Archives For Ministry

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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How to Tell a Great Story

Tammy Jones —  September 27, 2011

Storytelling is one of my favorite ways to share a Bible story with my class. With a little practice, anyone with practice can tell a great story.  In order to tell a good story, there are three fundamental steps you need to take in order to be a good storyteller.

Know the story!

  • Read the story aloud three times.
  • Tell as much of the story as you can from memory. You don’t have to get the re-telling perfect, and you probably won’t the first time.
  • Read the story aloud again.
  • As you read, try to picture the story in your mind.
  • Divide the story into three or four scenes according to the action in the story. This step will help you remember the story better.
  • Re-tell the story again. You did better this time didn’t you?
  • If you are still having trouble try repeating this process again.

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It happened again! You have a children’s ministry activity planned and someone else is using the room, the equipment, or whatever, hindering your planned event. You get so frustrated and want to scream!

I’m sure that has never happened to you 🙂

It happened to me last night. We entered the church to find someone painting part of the set for the Easter production in the gym where we hold game time for Awana. When asked if they could be moved, the answer was, “they’ll have to work around it.” Not only was the space being used an issue, but the fumes from the paint were permeating the building and the classrooms adjacent to the gym which are used for Awana and youth.

I now have a snap decision to make. How do I handle this situation? Awana is a planned weekly event and it is known that the gym is a key part of the night. Plus the fumes, how do I accommodate the rooms impacted by the fumes? Do I pull out the righteous indignation and demand they relocate the props and paint elsewhere? Here is how I handled the scenario:

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To VBS or not to VBS

Tammy Jones —  February 3, 2011

Vacation Bible School is alive and well in many areas all around our country. For many small churches VBS may be the biggest outreach of the year. However, some ministry leaders consider Vacation Bible School to be obsolete and ineffective. VBS is being replaced by more family-oriented events.

The decision to banish Vacation Bible School from your church calendar should not be taken lightly. Here are a few tips to help you and your team in a your decision.

1. Prayer–This should go without saying. Seek God’s will for your church.

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Lessons from the Lawn

Commander Bill Gunter —  September 14, 2010

A few years ago I moved into a new development. So new that when I moved in, the grass had not yet been planted. Being a home owner for the first time, I now needed to care for the lawn. Suddenly the parable of the seed falling on good soil had a whole new meaning. But that wasn’t the only lesson I’ve learned from my lawn, there are several.

1) It’s true, the grass is always greener on the other side. I look at my neighbor’s yard across the street, who moved in the same weekend I did, and his yard looked good compared to mine. It is the same way in ministry sometimes, being bi-vocational, I often wish I had the time others have who are in full-time ministry. I need to be content with where God has placed me at this time and not look at others’ ministry. You see, as I look at another’s lawn, when you look close, you see that it has imperfections that you may not see from a distance, and so do others’ ministries. There are no “perfect” ministries or opportunities, the only perfect one is the one where God would have you serve.

2) A good looking lawn needs a lot of attention. I have used a lot of fertilizer, grass seed and water to get my lawn healthy. If the lawn is neglected, weeds grow, and grass dies. In ministry, and our personal lives, we need to keep in the Word, in prayer, and working on our relationship with God. If we neglect that, “weeds” will grow and the lawn (our ministry) will suffer.

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Love & Ministry

Guest Writer —  September 1, 2010

Happily married for 7 years, Kelly and Amy Dolan live and volunteer in the suburbs of Chicago. They like to tweet (@KellyDolan, @adolan) and blog (, and enjoy lazy Friday nights together.

My husband Kelly and I met while working on staff at Willow Creek Church. It was a fairy tale match made in heaven: he noticed me teaching the children with all of my passion and talent, and immediately knew I was the one for him. Not really. We were set up on a blind date by a friend! But, either way, it worked out and almost seven years later – we’re happier than ever to be married.

For the first 5 years that Kelly and I knew each other, we worked in full time ministry together: he in student ministry and me in children’s ministry. And even though we didn’t work on the same team – our offices were just down the hall from each other, and we had plenty in common for the experience to be both great and at times, challenging.

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