Here is a concept video for the new iOS 7. I hope this is not even close to what it will look like.
What are your thoughts?
Equip and Inspire World Changers on their leadership journey
Here is a concept video for the new iOS 7. I hope this is not even close to what it will look like.
What are your thoughts?
Today so many people feel that the time of a leader is the most valuable thing they have. Bill Hybels takes that “myth” on in his video here.
I enjoyed this greatly and hope you enjoy it as well. Hopefully you will be more energized toward the items that you feel are most important to God and you.
I read a lot and hear a lot of kidmin folks talk about volunteers. A person can’t hang out in circles of kidmin folks very long without hearing people claim they need more volunteers. Visit churches and see bulletins full of request for volunteers, clever commercials created asking for volunteers. Maybe you are even one of these ministries as well?
The sad note is, many are set up to make the new volunteer feel important and needed but the tried and true volunteer who has been faithful for years feel forgotten and more like a mule just plowing as usual. Maybe you have fallen under this category?
If we continue to treat the tried and true volunteers as though they are not important then we will never really end up with any tried and true’s because they will continue to leave. Yes we may draw in all the new ones but the back door of our volunteer ministry force will be so large we will never keep up with the demand. Create a volunteer appreciation person. This person will naturally have the gift of hospitality and administration. They will totally focus on creating and implementing a process to cover all of our volunteers both publicly and privately with appreciation.
Whether you have you been with us for a long time, short time or just joining our SFLCKids family, we have you covered. Why? Because we truly do care about you!
What about you? What is your way of loving on your volunteers? What message do you send about the importance of volunteers, being with you for a long time or new?
I started this topic over here with Part 1 of Ideas toward better efficiency. Now to continue toward better efficiency.
I find it helpful to rank my to-do items so that I will spend the most time on the biggest, most important projects and I will schedule them during my strong most productive time. I do talk more about this in part 1.
Some basic questions I ask myself as I prepare for better efficiency:
What’s due today?
What’s due this week?
What’s due next week?
Some further steps I take include:
* I will spend 10-15 minutes each night before bed prioritizing my daily tasks.
* Spend 30-60 minutes on a regular scheduled day that I have determined I am the most productive for planning the next week so I can “hit the ground running” on Monday morning.
* End each day with a clean desk or laptop desktop. A clean desk = work is done.
* Use a tickler file (electronic or paper. My preference is electronic because it goes with me everywhere) to remind you of things you need to do in the week ahead.
* Use categories and rules to automatically sort incoming emails. Another tool that I use which I truly enjoy is Unroll.me.
* Use your email search feature to find emails. If your email client does not have a good search feature then try Gmail, or Mail to suggest just a couple. Sometimes creating a ton of email folders make it harder to find what you want because you may forget what folder you actually put it in.
* Use your weekly completed tasks to create your progress report for evaluation purposes. Every week you want to keep an accomplished to do list for the use of evaluation so you can learn and become more efficient.
* Always ask, “What’s the next step?”
* Reward yourself for doing the things you don’t want to do with a task that you are excited about.
* Keep a MBWA (Management By Walking Around) list in Evernote always, and use that to create a to-do list once a week.
* Balance your work and personal calendars so that you are not trying to do too much. If married, recruit your spouse, share your calendar with your spouse. They will help you stay balanced.
* Write things down so you don’t waste time trying to remember things – and use a system you can trust so that you don’t waste time trying to remember where you wrote things down. This is why I keep everything in Evernote.
There you go. Some ideas and a brief look into my system of trying to be more efficient. What is yours or what would you add to my system.
There are as probably as many ways to better efficiency as there are ideas that people have. In this post I am not going to suggest a new method, only a method that has worked for me. If you can use any of it then great, if not, then please share your method.
I have always been mentored that you plan your work & work your plan. Invest just 1 minute of planning and it can save you 10 minutes of doing.
Part of Knowing my plan starts with me knowing how I work best. Yes, we all have a certain work style and that is where I started in my pursuit toward better efficiency.
* I payed attention to how I spent my time now.
* Identified “my prime time”. Mine is mornings and my wife is at night for example
* Focused on results, not on being busy.
For one month, I kept track of how long I thought each of my tasks would take me, then recorded how much time I actually spent on each task.
Now the actual Planning
– Write it down! (Here is where I could list several tools over time that I have used electronically to do this, but I have switched the actual tool so many times. The tool I use is not as important as the actual point of just writing it down.)
– Break big projects into smaller tasks. I have learned if I don’t break them into more manageable bite size pieces I don’t have as such a high rate of accomplishment.
-Write down the next “action step” on your to do list.
I will stop here for today and continue it in another post with the topics of Prioritizing and furthering my process.
Who Moved My Cheese? This was an incredible book when I read it. This is one of those books that really got me to thinking and was the reason for me to challenge myself on my reason for doing and process for doing. Here is a bit from Wikipedia about this book:
“An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, published in 1998, is a motivational book by Spencer Johnson written in the style of a parable or business fable. It describes change in one’s work and life, and four typical reactions to said change by two mice and two “little people”, during their hunt for cheese. A New York Times business bestseller since release, Who Moved My Cheese? remained on the list for almost five years and spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weekly’s hardcover nonfiction list.”
So how do you handle change when it happens suddenly, a new situation takes place and creates a new reality for you? What do you do?
You follow a process and move through and with your new reality.
A process offers a set of steps, protocols and principles that go into place in a sensible order. They are designed to restore perspective, functionality, effectiveness, efficiency and life as you have become use to. Regardless of the situation you are facing, defining a process, implementing it and regularly monitoring it can give order and meaning to the results.
A process involves steps and decisions in the way something is accomplished, and may involve a sequence of events. The process that one follows is as important as the results that are produced by the process.”
Are you following a process to keep things moving forward, or are you stuck or drifting?
Here are a few areas (and in no order) that I check to make sure my process stays on track:
1. Making sure that my vision is clear about what I do and what I am supposed to be doing. It makes it easier to stick with it and persevere. This is what my coaching students know as their 20%.
2. Making sure that my values are clear about why I am doing what I am doing.
3. Making sure that the fundamentals are in place and I am after the best practices available today. These best practice tools constantly change.
4. Nurturing and having a mindset and attitude that is positive, and full of kindness.
If I keep these areas clear, on track and working together, then I am better equipped to deal with and manage those external conditions, like my cheese moving. I still may have no control over my cheese moving, but I have a process and a system in place that will aid me greatly in guiding and moving me forward.
This week my family and I are in one of those definite busy times in life and ministry. We are driving everywhere to get our kids to all of their appointments, tackling some big items in ministry, sicknesses hitting different family members which come with doctors visits and more.
It is due to these busy times that I am grateful for the habit I was mentored in, scheduling regular time to get away and think. I learned long ago there are brilliant ideas lingering in everyone’s minds that are just waiting for the opportunity to be released.
One of my favorite John Maxwell books is titled “Thinking for a Change.” That book is one that made an impact on my life as it reinforced the lesson for me to be intentional about my thinking. I know first hand how much more productive and resourceful my mind is when I schedule time to think. And that is one of the keys…“schedule time to think.” I teach all of my coaching students that if it is not on your calendar, it probably will not happen.
Scheduling time to think is a discipline. Disciplines begin with a single decision, that decision leads to a habit and the habit leads to a lifestyle.
Here is my simple process but you will need to find your own.
1. I have a regular time every week that I have scheduled for “thinking”. You have to treat that “thinking appointment” with high priority; otherwise it is amazing what little items can steal that time away.
2. I take my iPad mini and open up Evernote and create a new note. I will use the “record” feature in Evernote so I can ramble quickly and not have to worry about typos etc at that time.
3. I will go to a quiet place outside (this is my preferred place) and at other times Barnes & Noble. It just depends on my goals for the thinking time.
4. I then make sure all notices are turned off, phone is off and then I begin.
It is amazing how many great ideas will come to your mind in a matter of minutes once you get in the right environment and give your mind an opportunity to focus.
Take time to think.
I like many of us children’s pastors run my services by segments that last let’s say no longer than 10 minutes each. One of those segments I use is games. I believe that just because it is a game doesn’t mean it should not be building into the theme we are running with for the day or month. I like to have everything build and strengthen our direction. Keep your games Simple, Quick, and Themed to drive your point home.
Each one of our stage games follows this formula: “How many (or much) can you (?) in 60 seconds?” No food games for us because the kids in our ministries will choke themselves trying to win.
This formula helps us keep games simple and quick. Here are some examples of games we’ve done this way:
* How many pancakes can you catch on an aluminum pan fastened to a bike helmet.
* How many balloons can you stuff into an oversized pair of long johns worn.
* How tall of a Lego tower can you build.
(Minute to win it game show is truly a children’s pastors dream show.)
No matter the game we only play it for 60 seconds. My game person chooses the children in advance during the service (watching to see who is being good and choosing them from the group) and adds a color dot sticker onto their hand. Doing it this way for us helps with crowd control as everyone wants to be in games and they know we pick throughout the service for games spread out in our service time.
Game person takes to the stage and calls up the kids with a blue dot sticker. Game person only briefly explains what’s about to happen to the crowd (the gamers already know) and then it’s Ready, Set, GO! Sixty seconds later the game is over, a point is made and prizes and during team seasons points are given. Then it’s on to the next segment.
There is no reason games should be where the kids aren’t learning. It’s simple enough to theme the games after something in the lesson or Bible story.
The game’s theme will be obvious because your game leader points it out before and after playing the game. It sounds something like this: “Seeing how we’re talking about the tower of Babel today, we’re going to have those with a blue dot on their hand build the highest tower of Lego’s that they can build!” Then after the game, “Just like these magnificent towers that were built and each one felt theirs was the tallest and the best, those who built the tower of Babel felt they could build to the heavens themselves!
Then onto continuing the lesson and strengthen your service by the next segment.
This title may seem strong, and in ways it is meant to be. I am constantly hearing from department heads in churches all over about how they are disappointed in their volunteer base, and the commitment level of those they do have in ministry. Many tell story after story about their frustration of those who just use church as a place to come and relax, take in, and socialize.
If this is you or anyone you know, then look at the importance the children’s ministry is given at their local church? It probably is not given much importance or had the priority given to it long enough to cycle kids from children’s ministry to adult ministry. Proverbs 22:6 says, Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
How do you get excited greater for your church? People willing to serve? Small group leaders who put the importance on discipleship that it should have? People who want to reach your community and will do what is needed? If you have not guessed by now, it is to REACH THE KIDS TODAY!
Here is the difficult obstacle that stands in the way of reaching kids today. Not enough adults who are willing to step up and invest now so that in years to come we can see a new generation of those running the church.
Will you be willing to take up the cross and deny yourself your comfy chair or pew every Sunday to spend it with kids? Maybe deny yourself the extra donut and fellowship group to invest in kids now?
You ready? The kids are waiting.
I was given a great opportunity to review the new Action Bible, Action Bible New Testament, Action Bible Devotional, and Action Bible Handbook from David C. Cook. With these incredible resources comes the illustrations from Sergio Cariello’s who has worked for DC and Marvel Comics as well.
I am blogging about this a little later than I thought I would be due to a very hectic Easter season, but also because I got more involved in reviewing these wonderful resources than I thought I would have.
Wanting to make sure I could get input into the thoughts and opinions of the age groups that would be buying these resources I took them church with me a few times and just laid them around. It was like throwing fish food into a tank of very hungry fish. In no time at all the art began to do its magic and draw kids into opening the book. Once the book became opened the wonderfully illustrated photos and stories handled the rest. Kids were hooked!
My one wish for an improvement if I was asked would be: Find a way to illustrate and share the stories so more kids could use them in their children’s services while their children’s pastors were preaching.
Enjoy their brief trailer:
Now what are you waiting for….Go get these resources.