Archives For Leadership

A few years ago, a Children’s Ministry conference came to our home town. We knew it would be a great opportunity for our key staff to learn and to have a team-building day. Over the two-day conference, we would attend different breakout sessions, and then debrief over meals (or ice cream!)

As usual for conferences, we were overwhelmed with a plethora of ideas. We were excited to implement a few ideas immediately. But at the last breakout session I and a co-worker attended, the facilitator said something that rubbed us the wrong way. She said, “You need to manipulate your pastor into thinking your ideas are his ideas, so that you can get what you want.”

Why This Is Wrong?

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In the midst of all the seasonal programs that occur in November and December, this is also a great time to evaluate how things are going. The school year tends to bring a lot of activity and newness, but we need to be sure to step back and see the bigger picture.

We all know the tragic story of the RMS Titanic (the largest passenger steamship of its time) hitting an iceberg and sinking on its maiden voyage. Much has been said and written about the mistakes that were made. That is what we can learn – that it wasn’t one error in judgment that resulted over a thousand deaths, but a series of decisions.

Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and we can always learn from history to make our future better. Without trying to minimize this tragedy, here are some thoughts from what we can learn from the voyage of Titanic, and how you can use them to evaluate and improve your ministry: Continue Reading…

In our Children’s Ministry, we developed a volunteer role called “Coaches,” and we’ve had the opportunity to share these ideas with other churches. This volunteer structure can be incredibly useful in your ministry, whether you have 30 or 60 or 200 or 800 volunteers. And keep in mind that this type of structure is not just applicable for churches and children’s ministries, but any type of organization that is volunteer-dependent and where leadership development is a goal.

What Volunteer Coaches Do

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From the Second Chair

Wendy Douglas —  August 2, 2011

I am a second chair leader.

When someone first mentioned this to me, I immediately went back to my band days in school. If you were second chair in band, that meant that there had been a competition and you had lost your chance at first chair. Everyone’s goal was to be first chair and there was a weekly competition for it. That isn’t this kind of second chair experience.

According to Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson, authors of the book Leading from the Second Chair, the definition of a second chair leader is “a person in a subordinate role whose influence with others adds value throughout an organization.”

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Last week, we started our holiday series here on Kidmin1124 exploring some of the lessons we can learn from the man up north.  The first lesson was “Making Lists and Checking Them Twice,” but that’s not all he has to offer.  A second critical lesson we can learn from jolly old St. Nick is:


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LearnerWelcome back to the Non-Negotiables series.  It has been a while since our last post.  In this series, we are examining a variety of things which you must make time for in your life regardless of how busy you think you are.  Whether you are a full-time children’s pastor, a bi-vocational children’s pastor or a volunteer, these are the things that must remain top priorities in your life.  So far in this series, we have looked at:

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Matt Norman —  September 20, 2010

Ok, I know that I am probably the only children’s pastor/worker/ministry leader that has ever done this, but I am going to share anyway just in case. When I took over our children’s ministry and our children’s church, the Pastor and I had a big vision. After spending some time developing this vision into something I felt like I could communicate clearly, I attacked it like an NFL line backer attacks the quarterback. Pushing aside any lineman that might stand between me and my goal, I gave it my all. This worked great, until…..well, until I got tired.  A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play a football game. One of the safeties caught an interception and ran it all the way back, 91 yards, for a touchdown. This was a very exciting play to watch. The Bucs took the lead, and this player took the bench. This worked out ok, because there was another player there to take his place while he recovered from his long sprint. When I took over the children’s ministry I hit it with the same energy as this player running for the end zone. The problem was there was no one to stand in for me while I recovered, and I couldn’t run full speed towards the end zone for an indefinite period of time. This led to a lot of stress and a lot of frustration for me.

I think that this is a trap that many of us fall into at some point during our ministry. For me it was something that my pastor said that ultimately saved me from this frustration. Isn’t it cool how great men and women of God can minister to you without even trying; and often without even knowing it. Isn’t it great how God will give you just the words you need, when you need them the most? Anyways, we were at an evangelism training event at a local church.  As we stood around talking with different pastors before the event started, we spoke with one in particular that shared how he was somewhat frustrated by the amount of stuff that needed to be done and the slowness with which progress seemed to come. My pastor looked at him and said the words that changed my ministry forever. He told this pastor that he was in it for the long haul; that he planned to die at this church. He said once you put it in a long term perspective, the pressure to get things done quickly goes away.

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In part one of this article, I talked about how to identify a dying program, ministry or event. I also promised to offer some thoughts on how you might be able to breathe new life into such a program, ministry, or event. That’s what we will do here in Part 2 of “A Season for Everything.”

Let’s start by going on the record – When the time comes for a program to end, we should end it. I stand completely firm in that conviction. However, there may be a program that is faltering that still has life to it and could still be effective for the kingdom. It is programs like these which may be teetering on the brink which we will consider today.

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Casting vision; this is something that we in church leadership sometimes leave to the Senior Pastor. “I’ll just let him cast the vision and I will follow it.” Or we may tell ourselves, “He’s the pastor, casting vision is part of what God called him to do.” While there is some truth in this, it does not let us off the hook. Ephesians 4:11 says,“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be lead pastors who will cast vision for the church and some to be children’s pastors who will plan children’s activities and, using flanelgraph, tell the stories of the bible, and some to be youth pastors who will play paint ball and loud music and occasionally give a bible lesson.” This, of course, is not what Ephesians 4:11 says. Paul did not single out lead pastors. He was talking to all of those called to be pastors. Now if you do not carry the title of “children’s pastor” don’t tune out; this article is still for you.

Casting vision; what does that mean? Is it really the job of the lead pastor? Well, I do fully believe that it is the job of the lead pastor to cast the overall vision of the church, and that the leaders of the ministries within the church need to focus hard on following that vision. However, I also believe that we need to have a vision for the individual ministries within the church. Whether you are a children’s pastor or leading the children’s ministry in another capacity, then you have some responsibility for casting vision.

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