Welcome to a brand new weekly feature here on Kidmin1124.com. There are thousands and thousands of volunteers who turn out each weekend and selflessly serve children in churches around the globe. They do not do what they do for recognition or accolades, but at Kidmin1124 we would like to shine a light on some of these volunteers as a way to say “Thank You!”. So, each week we will recognize one volunteer from the world of kidmin who goes above and beyond in their service to God’s kids. Our hope is that this segment will provide some well deserved recognition to individual volunteers. More importantly though, we have asked these Volunteer Champions to share some of their insights and experiences with us so that we can all learn from their wisdom.
Our first recipient, based on a nomination from yours truly, is (drum roll please):
“Funny Man” Dan Lee Archer
Here is some background information from Dan himself:
1. What is your full name?
2. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
3. What church do you attend and serve?
I go to the city campus of Hillsong Church Australia
4. How long have you been involved in children’s ministry?
5. What position(s) do you volunteer at in your children’s ministry?
I don’t really have a position or title. I volunteer for Dave Wakerley and help him with some of his projects.
6. Tell us about your family (spouse, kids, etc.)
I am married to a Princess who is out of this world. I have a 10 month old Little Princess who is near perfect – just like her mother. I could talk about these two all day as they bring so much joy into my life but for the point of the survey I will restrain myself.
7. Any links you would like to share (blog, twitter, facebook, cmconnect, etc.)
www.google.com is a good place to start.
Oh, you mean that relate to me? OK.
- www.thethursdayblog.com – the home of the World Famous Thursday Blog
- http://cmconnect.org/profile/fmd – Me on Cmconnect
- www.twitter.com/funnymandan – this is where I tweet
- www.hillsongkidsbig.com – the best curriculum you will find out there
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sydney/Hillsong-Kids-Big/16269221065?v=info – Big’s facebook page
- http://cmconnect.org/group/hillsongkidsbig – Big’s cmconnect
Here is some wisdom we asked Dan to share:
1. What do you know today that you wish you knew when you first started working in children’s ministry?
Laughter can never been defined or boxed. Laughter comes out of a place of joy, and God is the ultimate source of Joy. If you love what you are doing they will too. I don’t need to focus on being too clever or be show stopping amazing. I simply have to tap into God’s joy and let that be entertaining.
2. How have the needs of children changed today compared to when you started
Youtube!!!!!! Back in the day, I would focus on juggling 5 balls, and that was it. I was going for the “WOW” factor and not worrying about the show. But Youtube has changed the way I perform for anyone over 10. Entertaining children (that’s what I do) is not about learning the next big magic trick or juggling 100 balls. You need to focus on what’s funny because no laughing experience is the same and is laughter is an endless source of entertainment.
3. What is the single greatest lesson God has taught you through your volunteering in children’s ministry?
That children’s ministry is so important it can be a complete life calling.
4. How did volunteering so much affect your own children and family (good and bad)?
We are very calculated in how my volunteering effects my family, and we take each choice as it comes. I am not going to pour out to minister to someone else’s child if I am not looking after the one God gave me. We sacrifice my time together as a couple, and it is a gift we give to God. We love giving gifts and if we can see my time as a gift rather than as something that is being taken away from us then that helps us to maintain a healthy balance. Also I hold my ministry with loose hands. If my family was struggling, I would drop it in a flash. God gave me my family, and I chose my ministry. One is more important than the other.
5. As a volunteer yourself, what advice would you give to a new or young children’s pastor who needs help learning to recruit or retain volunteers?
Look and learn. If you are not reading David Waverley’s, Jim Wideman, Sam Luce, Justyn Smith and even Dad the Middle’s blog then you are limiting yourself. Remember as a volunteer, I have a choice where I serve, and if I can not receiving anything, I will have to get fed somewhere else. Keep feeding your volunteers with vision, encouragement and purpose and they will stick around. What I love about Dave (my pastor) is that he has plans for every single volunteer, and he tells them those plans. He also gets upset if they ever leave. There is also always plenty of food in his ministry.
6. What do you do personally to achieve balance in your life?
You have to understand that no matter how much you want to do as a volunteer, there is a limit to how much you can do. I miss out on a lot of stuff that my pastors get to be a part of. I would love to do it as well, but at the end of the day they have an extra 40-50 hours head start on me because that is the time I need to be at work. Their work is their ministry. I have realised that I can’t do everything, but I can do what I do with excellence.
7. As a volunteer, what is one thing you wish that all children’s pastors knew about their volunteers?
That we think you are great!
Congratulations Dan on being the very first Kidmin1124.com Volunteer Champion of the week! Sam Luce was supposed to forward the cash prize, so I will let you deal with him on that.
To Children’s Pastors and Others who would like to nominate a volunteer for Volunteer Champion of the Week:
We are looking for additional nominations for future Kidmin1124.com Volunteer Champion of Week recipients. If you have a volunteer, or know of a volunteer, who really goes above and beyond, please e-mail their name, e-mail address and brief explanation of why you are nominating them (a sentence or so) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your help to make this series a success.
One final note from the Editor:
I would be remise if I did not take a second to go on the record and say, were they not writing for Kidmin1124, I know who the first 12 recipients of this award would be – the writers and contributors to Kidmin1124. In fact, when I asked for nominations from various children’s pastors around the country, many of their names were mentioned for consideration. Their dedication to kids and willingness to go above and beyond is what prompted me to ask them to write for this site in the first place!
I also need to thank Amy Fenton Lee from The Inclusive Church Blog who was actually the one who suggested that we add this feature at Kidmin1124.com and has been a great supporter of the site.