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Kidology Coaching

Social Media Change of Mindset


I had blogged recently about Why are those who minister to kids so uninvolved and it has created some great discussion on cmconnect.

I thought I would post another thought and see what people think about this one.

What if the saying of “The medium is the message” is true? Social media, as a medium, is a place to hang out with friends, tell a story, and gather an audience. What if it wasn’t a place where people went to learn something new; that’s done through books, courses, conferences like INCM, or coaching.
Shift your mindset and focus on using social media not as an educational tool, but as a tool to find people with relevant interests and create your messages to articulate their thoughts on ministry and the likes. What if we wrote about important aspects of ministry and discuss issues that exist that are shared by followers, but do so succinctly and in an engaging fashion.

What are your thoughts?

Rescue Time for better productivity in Children’s Ministry

rescue time2

I must admit that God has really help set me up with a ton of great opportunities and privileges with one of those being a Personal Children’s Ministry Coach. This consistently puts me in contact with wonderful people who end up spending a lot of time on computers as they research, plan, communicate, organize, network through social sites like Facebook, twitter and more.

All of this type of activity can sometimes seem to swallow up your time and at the end of the day you end in frustration because you feel like you never get anything done. Here is where a great little program called RescueTime comes in. All RescueTime requires you to do is a site registration, and to download and install its Data Collector, which will watch in the background, all the applications you use, the websites you visit, and the files you work on throughout the day.

RescueTime works behind the scenes taking notes of how much time, for instance, you spend on Facebook or twitter, how long it takes you to finish writing a report, and the amount of time you spend reading and responding to e-mails. It will also tell you when were the most productive times for you during your day and an “Efficiency Summary” is produced that reports a measure of the ratio of your productive time to distracting time. While RescueTime may label your time spent on Twitter or responding to emails as a distraction, you can indicate otherwise. After you have spent several hours using RescueTime, you can click on Categorize Activities, under the Settings menu, and set which activities you consider as “very productive,” “very distracting,” or somewhere in between.

Bottom line, get control of your time and the more strategic and efficient you can be in your children’s ministry. Go check out RescueTime and rescue your time.

How do you show volunteers they are important

Thank 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?

Continued Ideas toward better efficiency


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

* 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.

The Habit of scheduling time to think


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.

Habits for Effectiveness


There are some books that I could and often times do read many times because they add so much value to me. The book by Peter Drucker titled The Effective Executive is one such type of book that I re-read often.

In The Effective Executive Drucker argues that effectiveness is a skill that can be learned. Effectiveness is not style or personality, rather a set of practices. These practices can be picked up, just like riding a bike. No one is born learning to ride a bike, but through practice and perseverance its a skill that can be picked up by all. Drucker notes that all effective executives had to learn to be effective and had to practice effectiveness until it became a habit.

The most important five habits of effectiveness are discussed in his book but I will take one of those here and share. This is one that I work with my coaching students on often.

1. Effective executives know where their time goes.

“Effective executives know where their time goes. They work systematically at managing the little of their time that can be brought under their control.” – Peter Drucker

The first step to becoming effective is to know how we spend our time. We become effective by valuing and managing our time. Time is our limited resource, not money, people or ideas, but time. We can choose to spend our time in a way that gets results or we can waste it away. One thing with time is that it can never be regained. Once it is used it is gone.

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.“ – Peter Drucker
Effective executives don’t start planing without first understanding how their time is being spent. Understanding how executives spend their time helps to know where to cut the amount to unproductive activities and demands of their time.

Effective leaders carefully and continuously analyse and manage how they spend their time. Time is a scarce resource and unless this resource is effectively managed nothing else can be effectively managed. The following four steps offer an approach to help getting your time under control:

1. Track how you are actually spending your time. It’s not important what method you use, whither it is by pen and paper, or an app for your phone, the important aspect is understanding how your time is being invested. No one knows where their time really goes until they write it down. What do you do that consumes your time without producing results? Time is often wasted in the following ways:

* Lack of planning
* Lack of a system to deal with reoccurring issues
* Too many meetings and unnecessary discussions
* Lack of information or information is in the wrong format
* Over staffing causing things to take longer than is necessary

2. Eliminate those activities that are not delivering results, those things that do not need to be done by you (Pareto Principle is what I will get into here with my protoges) and are merely wasting your time.

3. Delegate those tasks on your time journal that can be done better by someone else.John Maxwell talks about the Law of the Lid. Anything that you may not be a 6+ in find someone else who is.

4. Consolidate time by chunking segments of uninterrupted time to work on important tasks that cannot be done by anyone else.

Effective Leaders know where there time goes and work to make sure their time is spent in their top priorities.

Using online storage and syncing in children’s ministry


Children’s ministry as I have said here and here can benefit from the world of technology that we have at our disposal today.

Here are two more great tools that I enjoy using in my children’s ministry.

Online storage.
The two that I enjoy the most are Dropbox and Box cloud services. With both of these I run all of my coaching from. The students buy each unit and I am able to add all the shared material to each one of the their folders and it stays updated in real-time as I add stuff or they work on stuff. Speed is great.

I will use Dropbox for everything that I do which may be shared. The online storage of Box I use for all things personal that will not be shared but I want access to at all times from any of my devices and places I may go.

Then there is syncing my iPad, MacBook Pro, iMac, iPhones and even PC files that are used from our church that are being stored there for me. The item I have come to enjoy the most for this is SugarSync.

With this piece of technology, even though it does cost a little, makes my life so enjoyable. I never have to worry with my mobile life style and ministry if I will ever be in need of some information that I have on another computer. I will always have everything with me. Not to mention that SugarSync also will back up my data.

Do you use either of these?

How do you us them? What is your system or process for use?

What would you recommend for some to check out?

Team building the Nehemiah way

team rock faces

Nehemiah is a great biblical example of someone who achieved incredible even jaw dropping success through teams. The protective walls of Jerusalem were in shambles. The people were divided and treating each other poorly. Yet Nehemiah rides in and helps the people rebuild the walls around the entire city in only 52 days! Here’s how.

First, he made sure he had a group that was committed to a common purpose, goals, and
approach and held each other accountable. They knew they could carry out more as a group than they ever could alone. Even though the officials, priests, and nobles ruled the city, they were not this kind of team I just described. They were simply a group of leaders by title. Nehemiah quickly figured out that the natural teams in the city were the family units, priests and Levites, and people formerly from the same geographic region.

These leaders could pull together their people into teams quickly and effectively. He divided the work into more than 40 sections along the wall and brought together family leaders and officials to get it done. (Check out the long list of real teams in Nehemiah 3:1-32.)

How do keep your volunteers committed to a common purpose, goals and approach?
Have you learned to truly spot the leaders in your church?

Stop giving importance to the unscheduled


A New Year brings with it to many a new beginning. Often times that new beginning involves new habits. Those new habits often times involve becoming a better task manager and that means scheduling things better.

Why is it that after just a month or so many are back to feeling that their life is on the start again of spinning out of control? Just a few weeks ago they had all their calendars synced, appointments set, reviewed next day agenda the night before, and even bought the latest gadget, app or software to help with scheduling. Now it is all mixed up. Why?

The unscheduled often times trumps the scheduled and planned out. This should not happen and must change!

If you have an important team meeting on Tuesday, how would make sure you get there? You would put it in you calendar, of course. Nothing really magical about that. The fact that an important team meeting is on Tuesday allows the other activities in your day, and even your week, to fit around that appointment.

Unscheduled events will conform to scheduled events. If it was important enough to add to your calendar first stop allowing those unscheduled appointments to take the place of the scheduled. I know for me that if I have added an appointment on my calendar the only items that can challenge the already scheduled would be my family, or my boss. If I keep up enough courage to keep the scheduled appointment those unscheduled appointments really do form around the already scheduled.

Try it, you just may find that it works.

Lessons on overcoming adversity from Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson

Anyone who nows me even in the littlest way knows I have been and always will be a die-hard Vikings fan. Today it brings me great pleasure to share with you a video found on YouTube showing Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. In this video he shares how he overcame adversity that he suffered in 2011.

On December 24, 2011, Peterson was injured and helped off the field in a 33-26 victory over the Washington Redskins. He was placed onto injured reserve due to a torn ACL and MCL on December 26, 2011. For the first time in his career, Peterson failed to record a 1,000-yard season after playing only 12 games during the year. This type of injury usually requires an athlete to wait at least one season before getting back on the field and another year to return to their original form.

Yet, Peterson was back on the field for the team’s first game of the 2012 season. While leading the Vikings to the play-offs, he finished the season with 2,097 rushing yards, the second highest total in NFL history. Despite facing tremendous adversity, Peterson overcame it in unprecedented fashion and had one of the greatest individual seasons in NFL history.

Here are just a few lessons I picked up from watching this video. What are some others you have picked up?

Defy Expectations. Be someone who is defying expectations of others and you will be someone people will talk about. People will notice those who go above and further than others think should be possible.

Help raise the level of performance for others. In this video Adrian keeps talking about during his rehab he wanted to be one that would push others. Despite his situation he was not going to stop pushing himself because as he performed at optimal pace it caused those on his team to do the same.

Keep focused on desired outcome and not on situations. Adrian was determined to be the best he could be before the accident. That is what he trained for and ready for. When the accident happened it did not change the outcome of what he was going for. This was only a situation along that path. Stay focused.

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