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Top Blog Post by the end of 2016

“Sporadic” would be describing my blogging for 2016 in the best terms. There has been so much searching for me personally to figure out why do I blog? Where is my voice in blogging? Where do I want my voice to go through blogging?

The bottom line for me in 2016 was to figure out is blogging hitting my reasons for doing it or has it just become one of those things I do because I have always done it over the last few years? There are way too many changes that have happened in my life and ministry to allow me to do anything for long at all just for the purpose of doing it. To aid in my blogging I have asked a friend by the name of Brandon Cox to help coach me in making the blog even better in 2017.

So as I continue to find my answers I went through my stats of those who read, subscribe and have interacted with my blog through social media channels and have put together the top 16 post (in comparison to views, interactions and how long the post has been active) according to you since I have been blogging.

Enjoy. Feel free to interact with this post as well because I do pay attention.

16. Are you worth following

15. Productive morning routines part 2

14. It is still empty.

13. Kids do see differently

12. Are you hired for your children’s ministry to be a leader or a manager

11. Made 2015 Top 100 Kidmin blogs

10. Unlock a new level of your children’s ministry

9. What success looks like

8. Effective meetings can happen

7. MBWA Management by walking around

6. Happy birthday iPhone. How you have changed the game.

5. One method to create children’s ministry object lessons

4. The habit of scheduling time to think

3. 7 questions to hitting your target

2. What’s your day look like?

1. Difference between front and back of the house.

Connect with the top 20 Children’s Ministries

push-pins-several

I enjoy reading outreach magazine for many reasons, one of those reasons would be when they compile a list for me where I do not need to do the work.

Here is a list of the top 20 children’s ministries. I would urge you to reach out to them because there are a ton of lessons that they can share with you if you stop asking so much of the “what are they doing” and move more to the “why are you doing this or that?” type questions.

By the way, don’t be intimidated to contact them thinking that they will never talk to you because your ministry may only have 25 kids. You may just be pleasantly surprised to see how nice they are and willing to help the Kingdom grow if you just ask them. Do have your questions in order of importance of what you want to ask them, have a list of 3-5 questions that are the most important to you, do your homework on each church so you may ask them very specific questions that their unique ministry may help give you great advice in a specific area.

1. Waumba Land, Upstreet and Kidstuf at Northpoint
Community Church
2. Highland Kids at Church of the Highlands
3. KidSpring at NewSpring Church
4. Amazing Kids at Gateway Church
5. Saddleback Kids at Saddleback Community Church
6. Promiseland at Willow Creek Community Church
7. CCV Kids at Christ Church of the Valley
8. CFKids at Christ Fellowship Church
9. Southeast Kids at Southeast Christian Church
10. Crossroads Kids Club at Crossroads Church
11. eKIDZ at Elevation Church
12. Kid-O-Deo and Elevate at Eagle Brook Church
13. Second Kids at Second Baptist Church
14. Planet Kids, Gravity, The Edge and The Ride at
Woodlands Church
15. Summit Kids Ministry at Flatirons Community Church
16. Children’s Ministry at King Jesus International Ministry
17. Port Mariner’s Kids at Mariners Church
18. Kingdom Kids at Mt. Zion Baptist Church
19. K12 at 12 Stone Church
20. Family Christian Center Kids at Family Christian
Center

*This list is based on the 2016 Largest Churches in America report by Outreach magazine.

Quotes That Inspire Me

Wind-in-Sails

I have collected quotes for some time now and have decided to post some of them today. Whenever I read certain quotes they can really be the wind in my sail. My prayer is that you will find some wind for your sail within some of these quotes I’m posting today.

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” James Cameron

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Henry David Thoreau

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” Lisa M. Amos

“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Jim Rohn

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” Tony Hsieh

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.” Anonymous

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” Vaibhav Shah

“Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” Denzel Washington

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” Chris Grosser

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” Albert Einstein

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best revenge is massive success.” Frank Sinatra

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” David Brinkley

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” Henry Ford

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” Bruce Feirstein

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” Ray Goforth

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

“People ask, ‘What’s the best role you’ve ever played?’ The next one.” Kevin Kline

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Thomas Jefferson

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Napoleon Hill

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” Thomas J. Watson

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak

Meet The #OC15 Blogging Team | Orange Leaders

Source: Meet The #OC15 Blogging Team | Orange Leaders

Orange Conference 2015 will be starting soon. If you want to get to know some new and old bloggers alike that will be covering all things Orange, then click on the source link above.

Make sure you have downloaded the app as well to take in the live streaming for those of us who can’t be there in person.

Here is a quick snapshot of those who will be covering #OC15 if you have had a real hard day and clicking on the source link above is more than what you have in you at this time.

Children’s Ministry

Jenny Funderburke, @jen_funderburke and JennyFunderburke.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and JonathanCliff.com
Kenny Conley, @kennyconley and ChildrensMinistryOnline.com
Matt Norman, @kidminmatt and It’sPastorMatt.com
Tom Bump, @ptbump and PTBump.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Yancy Richmond, @yancynotnancy and YancyNotNancy.com

Middle School Ministry

Elle Campbell, @ellllllllllle and ElleCampbell.org (will be blogging during OC15)
JC Thompson, @jcisonline and JCisOnline.com (will be blogging during OC15)

Youth Ministry

Aaron Buer, @aaron_buer and AaronBuer.com
Ben Read, @benjaminread and YouthMin.org (will be blogging during OC15)
Chris Parker, @ChrisParker0 and LifeofAYouthPastor.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Elle Campbell, @ellllllllllle and ElleCampbell.org (will be blogging during OC15)
Jeremy Zach, @jeremyzach and ReYouthPastor.com
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and JonathanCliff.com
Michael Bayne, @michael_bayne and ParentMinistry.net (will be blogging during OC15)
Ryan Reed, @ryanreedme and RyanReed.me (will be blogging during OC15)
Terrace Crawford, @terracecrawford and TerraceCrawford.com (will be blogging during OC15)

NextGen / Family Ministry

Frank Bealer, @fbealer and Lead3.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Jessica Bealer, @jessicabealer and Lead3.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Joe McAlpine, @joemcalpine and JoeMcAlpine.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and JonathanCliff.com
Michael Bayne, @michael_bayne and ParentMinistry.net (will be blogging during OC15)
Nick Blevins, @nickblevins and NickBlevins.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Pat Rowland, @pdrowland and PatRowland.com
Ryan Reed, @ryanreedme and RyanReed.me (will be blogging during OC15)

Leadership

Brian Dodd, @briankdodd and BrianDoddonLeadership.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Dexter Culbreath, @dextext and Dexistence.com
Frank Bealer, @fbealer and Lead3.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Jessica Bealer, @jessicabealer and Lead3.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and JonathanCliff.com
Matt McKee, @mattmckee and MattMcKee.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Nick Blevins, @nickblevins and NickBlevins.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Pat Rowland, @pdrowland and PatRowland.com
Rob Cizek, @RobCizek and RobCizek.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Ryan Reed, @ryanreedme and RyanReed.me (will be blogging during OC15)
Tom Bump, @ptbump and PTBump.com (will be blogging during OC15)

Parenting

Jenny Funderburke, @jen_funderburke and JennyFunderburke.com (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and JonathanCliff.com
Pat Rowland, @pdrowland and PatRowland.com
Tom Bump, @ptbump and PTBump.com (will be blogging during OC15)

Technology

Matt McKee, @mattmckee and MattMcKee.com (will be blogging during OC15)

Church Staffing

The Minister Search Team, @ministersearch1 and Minister Search Blog

You do not, not have time to read.

books

I have heard and I am sure you have too, “Leaders are readers…” and with the amount we have all heard and read this one statement, I must believe there is some truth to this. Actually I whole heartily believe this.

You need to develop an appetite for life-long learning. In today’s world with all of our great technology like the internet, e-books, blogs on every imaginable topic under the sun, and all of this just a click away with the device all of us hold in our hands from phones, tablets, and laptops, there is truly no excuse to not read.

If you think you don’t have time to read, think about this:

Reading just an hour a day adds years of experience and research to your life. You actually gain time by reading. Time you would have spent doing something the wrong way.

And that just scratches the surface at the benefits of reading.

Reading expands our minds.
Reading provides access to mentors who may not be with us anymore.
Reading allows you to travel places you may never get to go to otherwise.
Reading ignites our passion as we get to link dreams with others.
Reading frees us to learn about anything our hearts desire.
Reading clarifies our thinking as we connect with someone who has traveled further.
Reading fuels our creativity as we are challenged by someone taking one of our thoughts further.
Reading helps us lead more effectively and efficiently.

If you aren’t in the habit of regular daily reading, I suggest you take out your calendar and make an appointment with yourself and a good book or e-book everyday. Start your day or end your day this way, it doesn’t matter as long as you do it.

First let me say upfront, one book that we all should be reading is the Bible. This blog post is assuming that you are already starting there. So now, let’s add to your reading.

Sir Francis Bacon’s advice on reading says it best:

“Some books are to be tested, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Books.

Some of the books I have spent some time chewing and digesting for a various amount of reasons:

Start here: “11 Books that have caused change in my life”.

Here is the list of books that I have on my iPad Kindle that I still have yet to read.
1. Tech Savvy Parenting
2. Creative Teaching Methods
3. Bit Literacy

Blogs

There are so many good blogs on the internet that you can learn from an expert in just about anything. And best of all, you don’t have to pay for it!

If you don’t read blogs, you are missing out. Get yourself a free Feedly Reader account. Get an app for blog reading on the go (I use feedly here as well). Then, find good blogs about topics that interest you.

Here is a list of the top 100 Kidmin blogs to help you get started. Notice this blog post has been in the list and steadily moving up over the last couple of years.

Now go and start your reading.

Top 20 Improvements I’ve Made Due to Kidology Coaching

kidology coaching coaches

Every weekend our churches are filled with those who have the responsibility of ministering to our children, connecting with and resourcing the parents, equipping those who are also responsible to help reach children and the list of responsibilities just goes on and on.

You may call these wonderful gifts to your churches: Children’s pastors, Children’s directors, Kidmin ministers etc.. With the responsibility that these people carry out many churches have figured out that it is wisdom to make sure they are equipped, developed, trained and ready, to carry out all that they are expected to do with excellence. These expectations and responsibilities have evolved beyond what our colleges are preparing leaders for.

It is this group of children’s pastors that I have had the privilege of being part of for 22+ years. For the last 3-4 years I have also had the privilege of formally coaching those in this group.

Here is a top 20 list that Andy Partington, one of these great children’s pastors have put together as he reflected over his last year of coaching with me before he went into our graduate coaching program.

1) I am seen as a pastor and parental help to the families in my
congregation more and a facilitator of children’s programming less.
2) I have put in place a volunteer training schedule that doesn’t burn
out volunteers while still maintaining growth.
3) I use my time intentionally.
4) I integrate Gospel presentations into each ministry setting.
5) My goals are clearly defined and communicated.
6) I know how to appreciate and affirm my team: My team clearly
knows that they are a special part of our ministry.
7) My meetings are awesome: Each meeting has a purpose and flow.
If it didn’t we wouldn’t have it.
8) I know what the acronym S.M.A.R.T stands for and I now live by it.
9) I know that I can manage tasks instead of time.
10) I know how to present good news and bad news to my fellow
staff members.
11) I now have a ministry team instead of a committee.
12) I now work with leaders instead of workers.
13) I know how to have fun with my staff and with the kids that I
minister too.
14) My “bag of tricks” is open to other people in ministry. What I’ve
learned just could help someone else and I’m glad to share.
15) I delegate. I wasn’t designed to do 100% of tasks. There is 20%
out there with my name on it.
16) My ministry is geared to do that one thing that we were meant to do.
17) I know how to help people find their “one thing”.
18) Multiplication isn’t just for grade school math classes. It’s a regular
process in my ministry.
19) I listen to parents.
20) I know how to learn from anyone I come into contact with.

If you would like to enjoy more growth personally and with your ministry I want to invite you to join coaching or a new avenue that many will find useful as well online training for your team. It’s not just your future that depends on it.

Top iPad apps going into 2014

Using a tablet computer

I have enjoyed the use of iPads since I bought the first version all the way to my iPad mini which is my default iPad now.

You can read some of the post I made about apps that I enjoyed by reading my post at: Scanner Pro; Top apps 5/16/11; 11 Favorite iPad apps going into 2011

So there are some quick links into apps from past post and now let me look into the apps that are new or still on my iPad as we go into 2014.

Let me start by saying the apps I will list with links will not include some of my apps that have always been part of my app picks since day one like: Facebook, Flipboard, HootSuite, My Bank of America app, Dropbox, Kindle, 1Password or Skype. The following are apps that are becoming part of my regular tool belt.

1. WordPress

2. Hopto

3. Notability

4. GoodReader

5. EverClip

6. Pocket

7. YNAB (You Need A Budget)

8. TED

I will stop with these because I am more interested in what you are using and find helpful. Please post in the comments here what you are using, what have made your must haves, what you may be experimenting with even.

Leadership Priorities for Success

Stack of sticky notes with a meeting reminder.

True confession…Leadership is hard work.

In my networking with leaders from the business world and the non-profit world the fact of how hard leading can be on someone is one common story we all agree on. There are decisions we each need to make that vary from important matters to urgent matters. The varying noise that can come from each of these can make it hard at times to decide which decisions need action now or later. With each of our decisions we can often times drift from being and doing what we should be and what we should be doing into a mess of other things.

Here are some actions that I use to stay in tune with my leadership priorities.

#1: Pareto Principle. Those closest to me know and have heard me talk about the Pareto principle. This was a principle that once it was taught to me years ago it made a huge impact into my life. Basically this principle says that 80% of the value I give lies within 20% of what I do and my true values. For example, if you have a To Do List with 10 items ranked in order of importance with 1 being the most important and 10 being the least important, items 1 and 2 would contain 80% of the value of the priorities you plan to do. Know your 20%!

#2 Execution clarity. When I find my top 20%, I’m relentless in my pursuit of them, these are the truly important issues for me. Of course, the urgent will continue to emerge. When the urgent comes, I will quickly deal with these matters by asking: “Does this situation fall in my 20%? If not, do I have someone who is better suited for this (whenever my answer to this is “no” I make note of this as an area that I need to train people)? Or am I the best or only one who can deal with it? Once I answer this and execute then I return to the relentless pursuit of my top 20%.

#3 Task Management. I can’t manage time but I can manage my task that happen within the time I have. How often have you said something like this, “I just can’t seem to make time to do this” or “I’ll have to make time to do this?” No one can make time. Time is a gift from God and the management of our task within that time is our gift back to God.

#4 Reflective clarity. I have decided what my priorities are, I am clear on my execution for my 20%, and I realize that Time is a gift from God and that the task I carry out and manage within that time is my gift back. Now the last action in this process for me is to always ask myself “what have I learned in the process?” I set up a time and place to always ask myself, “What happened as I created clarity in my life?” “Why did it happen?” “What does this mean for using my next gift of 24 hours?”

Repeat all the above to keep up your leadership focus.

What are some steps you take to keep from drifting and stay focused in your leadership journey? Please share I would enjoy hearing them.

There is a balance in Leadership

gardening

Ever since I have moved to our new house in Kansas City, MO, I have truly been into my yard and gardening. While involved in these two relaxing activities for myself it has given me a lot of time to think and a ton of leadership comparisons to roll around in my brain. Here’s one.

Producing a healthy garden it takes the right amount of water, sunlight, fertilizer, and care. Too much water or too little of any one ingredient could result in damaging your gardening. Just like the best gardeners learn through experience and reflection what their gardens need to grow and develop, seasoned leaders learn what it takes to help people and organizations achieve their potential. I think they learn how much each of the items listed below need to be done.

— Plan and Execute.

Planning is important, but so is execution. Some leaders over plan and under execute. Of course some leaders do just the opposite. They’re busy having meetings, doing key-note presentations but making no improvements in the operation.

— Task and People

Some leaders are too task-focused. It feels everything is all business. People are used for getting a task done. On the other hand some leaders are too focused on pleasing people at the cost of solving problems and getting the work done.

— Results and Process

Some leaders only focus on results. “What’s the bottom line?” Results are important but so is process—how things are done. The how can often times decide how much results you can get at different sizes of growth. The seasoned leader focuses on both what is being accomplished and how it’s being accomplished.

— Coaching and Letting Go

An important part of a leader’s job is to coach people on how to be more effective and efficient. However, there is an important difference between too little and too much coaching. Too much can frustrate initiative. Seasoned leaders know the difference between providing too much (micro-managing) and too little (not developing your team) coaching.

— Work Life and Family Life

Some leaders get totally consumed by their job and neglect their family. To many jobs have been turned into mistresses.

Summary
Seasoned leaders know finding the right balance doesn’t mean moderation in all things. It means using the right mix of various ingredients to help people grow. Great leaders have the wisdom to know what actions are needed to meet success.

What would you add to this list?

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