Browse Category

ministry

Ministry lessons learned from Underwear and a Toybox

When I was younger I can always remember that dreadful time when I had to go shopping with my mom and she would tell me how she had to go get some new underwear. Please no, not the new underwear time!!

Off we would go into the women’s underwear aisle we would disappear too. The whole time all I could do as a young 6-year-old boy would be look down at the floor and wish we could get out of there. Everything there made me feel uncomfortable. I knew I would never find anything that I wanted while we were in those aisles. I had no conversation that would be joined, thoughts or opinions to give, basically, I knew I was about to be as miserable as a 6-year-old boy could be for the next 15 minutes or so.

Now come with me to this toy box I have in my office.

Every time, I meet with families in my office and they have younger kids as they enter my office those kids will lock their eyes upon this toy box that I have and immediately go to it and start to play. I have yet to really have to tell any child that the toys are for them to play with, they just know. While they play, the parents and I will meet. I love watching the kids play with their imagination being set free build new worlds, conquer territory, cook at the fanciest restaurant in town, entertain Kings, and Queens and so much more.

What lessons did I learn from these experiences? The lesson of an atmosphere. In all of our ministries, and churches we are creating either an underwear type experience for kids, students and yes even adults or we are creating a toy box time for each.

When visitors come, do they feel miserable? Uncomfortable because they can’t give anything or that everything around is irrelevant for them?

Let us all try to strive for those toy box experiences for people. People will know as soon as they come into your ministry if there is anything for them or not.

How will you change your environment to be more welcoming to those who just come in?

Ministry Staff Accomplishing More

clock

Often in ministry, we tend to feel we don’t have as much time as we need to carry out what needs to be accomplished. The truth is, you do have enough time to do exactly what you choose to do. We have the same amount of time each day as the greatest leaders that we know or have heard of.

So why does it feel like we never get what we know needs to be done accomplished? Why is it that these great leaders we are thinking of seem to carry out so much more? They have learned to put the right people in the right seats and know what Exodus 18:21 says is true.

Exodus 18:21 it says: “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens”.

For too long too many in the church have thrown anyone into leadership. The proof can be seen as we continue our dependency on mass recruitment from the pulpit, newsletters, bulletin inserts etc.. We also promote people out of areas of their strengths because we concern ourselves more with the positions we need to be filled over who God has made them. Then we get disappointed when they don’t live up to what we were expecting or needing. It’s not fair to them or those we put them over. We are exactly designed for the results we are getting.

Let’s re-examine who we put over what. Leaders of 10’s will lead 10’s not 50’s. Leaders of hundreds will lead hundreds not thousands.

Fewer Ministry Staff can do more if everyone is in their right places and developing their 10’s, 50’s, 100’s or 1000’s.

Some resources I have enjoyed recently and think you may too.

Carey Nieuwhof – 5 things Every leader should tell their top leaders.

Nick Blevins Family Ministry Podcast. This podcast is one that has a few that had sparked many thoughts, so I am not going to list just one or two. Click on over and subscribe to hear all of them if you work in children, youth, or family ministry.

Tony Morgan and then there is Tony’s Vital Signs book

doing more with fewer podcast.

How do you learn who should be in what seat in your ministry?
Do you have officials of 50’s and your holding them accountable for the 1000’s?

Leave your thoughts, comments and any resources you have found good to further this conversation.

Stop wasting your on loan opportunities

ipad-stock-trend

The Pareto principle of 20/80 really does apply in ministry as well. Actually, because of the eternal outcomes we deal with, I would say it applies even more!

Look over your past week and see how you spent your time? How much went into eating lunches with friends? Working on the computer to build a better data-base or write another policy manual? Creating t-shirt designs for your youth or children’s ministry? Looking for that perfect app that will solve all of your problems? Watching T.V., enjoying your favorite hobby with all of your Christian buddies? The list will go on and on probably with all the diverse activities that we all take part in.

What if…we not only knew that we needed to invest 80% of our time into the top 20% of activities that we are in because that is what gives us the 80% of return, but we actually lived this out? What would happen if we understood that God has loaned us every minute we have here on earth to carry out what He wants to see happen?

Read this and give it some thought.
Matthew 25:14-30 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Are you really investing your time into the things that matter? Or are you burying the time that has been given to you through activities that do not pay off? They are not in the 20% that will give back the 80% return.

Stop wasting your on loan opportunities. Remember, delayed obedience is disobedience.

Back to school and Back to blogging

sitting at desk with computer

The summer of 2016, where did it go?

During summer in Take TWO Family Ministries it was a whirlwind of incredible activity, and, a ton of fun.

Here are only a few of the fun times had by all.

Soccer Camp.
soccer camp 2016 503x503

Marriage Scavenger Hunt. (For the record my wife and I won this one with another couple from our church, the Underfers)
Marriage scavenger hunt 2016 503x503

Kids Camp
Kids Camp 2016 500x503

Family Service week with KidzTurn
KidzTurn at First 2016 503x503

Stay tuned as I will be getting back on a regular schedule for posting blog post.

My ministry day with my iPhone


I still get amazed what we can accomplish today with just our phones. 

Today, I’m going to take us on a brief trip of my day in ministry with just using my iPhone. 

  • Started the day off with using my Bible (YouVersion). 
  • After that I went into my weather app to see what kind of weather I was going to get today. 
  • Easily.Do to check for birthdays and send out text or email cards to them. Also get to see the status of all my packages coming and going. Then get a quick overview of trending Instagram pictures from my friend and the Instagram community. One of the last nice things I enjoy about Easily.Do is it gives me an update of any emails I need to respond to. 
  • Next I move into Trello to check on all my group projects. This handles all my project management. 
  • Throughout the day I am in and out of Evernote. It serves as my electronic brain. 
  • Dropbox is the same with me going in and out all day long as it is my sharing tool with others. 

I am amazed at all that I can and do with my iPhone daily. The apps mentioned are just a couple that I use first thing in the morning. This post would turn into one very long list of I was to mention everything that I use. Even this post was made on my iPhone.

What apps do you find the most valuable to your day? 

8 Ways to help Pastor Kids not hate the ministry

kids running in field b_w 805x537

Growing up in a pastor’s home can be hard, or so I have heard from many. Pastoral kids don’t get to make their own choice of living in the ministry. They are just born into the fishbowl that comes with being in the ministry. Their growing up stories seem to make it into many sermons, their childlike mischief ends up getting blown up more than other kids, and more.

Parents, here is my two cents worth coming from a pastor whose children have known nothing their whole lives except being in a pastor’s home. My wife and I are experiencing the results of following the recommendations I am making here. None of our kids hate the ministry but enjoy being part of the church. Here are some ideas.

1. Put Christ first in your life, like you should be doing in the ministry.
2. Model what a Christian should look like in all stages of life.
3. Teach and model on how to have the right priorities. God first, Spouse next, Children next and then Ministry.
4. Teach your children the Bible and about God as much if not more than those you pastor.
5. Encourage your children to have Godly influences in their lives.
6. Pray regularly with and for your children. It is this life of talking and learning to hear the voice of God that will pay off.
7. Serve others with your kids.
8. Share your faith outside of the church with others around your children. They need to know it happens beyond the church walls.

Dispatch a great tool for ministry

Dispatch Nov 2015

Allow me to share with you a fantastic tool that comes from INCM called Dispatch.

Dispatch is a curated selection of some of the latest ideas and products for children’s ministry leaders. It comes packed to the rim of the box and makes you feel like it is Christmas all year round.

Here are just a few of the items that came in this last box:
The Gospel Truth about children’s Ministry
7 Family Ministry Essentials
Strong in me CD

and so much more.

What are you waiting for, go now and get your box of goodies.

Apple please don’t lose me anymore.

  
There have been many who have made this claim but I’m not sure they are as accurate as I am about to be with this statement: “I am a Mac-evangelist”. Yes, my name is Todd, and I am a “macaholic”. If Apple made underwear I would even wear them.

There is a change that is starting to happen with me though. I do not like it the feeling that comes with this change, but it is becoming harder to ignore all the time. Is it time to go away from Apple?

Apple has defimately changed sine Jobs is no longer around.  What is referred to as creativity is just a re-branding of old ideas, new software updates are resulting in being pushed out to quick with not enough testing so that the consumer will have a good experience. Then, when the customer does have a bad experience not enough resolve in putting people over procedures.

Let me explain a little.

I updated my iPhone to the new iOS9 and ever since then have had a terrible experience with the calendar. I cant seem to get any resolve with this issue, and have worked even with senior advisors at apple over this as well. End result is I have been told that they are now aware of it and will be coming out with a new update v3 to solve this. Until then, it is extremely cumbersome to add calendar events which is a large part of what I do by living off of my calendar.

Next, in just a matter of a couple days, I update my MacBook Pro to El Capitan to only have it crash. I’ve worked with tech support via the phone with no resolve and then had to make an appointment to take it in. The earliest apointment time was 2 days away. I then am told 1 hour to fix it and they will get back with me. All day I was the only one calling them to find out how it was going? From 11:15am-9pm I never received a call or email from them. Every call I made I knew I was going to invest a min. of 20 minutes waiting to talk to someone. The voice activated call system they had just sent me around and around to all the wrong places and when I thought I finally arrived, it was to only learn I had not.

Lessons that apply to the church as well, or so I think they do.

1. We live in a time where many people have tried the “church” thing and ended up very disappointed and hurt often times. We need to think more about our mission of connecting people to Jesus than we do about even introducing some fancy rebranded idea for a Seasonal event, starting a new ministry etc. Love our Mission first not any delivery Method. 

2. How easy do we make it to connect to the mission as people use the methods we have set up? Like with the calendar, because of an issue with it I now am frustrated everytime I use it and am reminded that it is broken. Everytime someone interacts with your ministry what are they reminded of?

3. There are a ton of options out there for people to choose to spend their time in. You are not the only show around. If you are not meeting and answering the questions people want answered or they can’t get what they want from their experince in your church, they will go elsewhere. I am for the first time exploring the same thoughts about possibly leaving Apple to go to another alternative. There are actually numerous good alternatives out there that can meet what I’m after concerning a computer experience.

There are many other lessons I am picking up over this time of being without a computer that I will write about as time goes on, but allow me to leave you with one last one. 

The longer Apple has me without my MacBook Pro, the more I become resourceful in learning what other options I have easily and affrodably at my disposal. The same with your church. The longer people feel they can get what they need from other sources, like on-line services, books, the internet etc. (all fo these are good as well) the more they will be ok in staying away from your church.

Apple, the ball is in your court. Churches, the ball is in your court as well in the minds of many in your community.

Summer Camps 2015

I am sitting here in the “Church/Chapel” area of where the kids services take place every night here at our 2015 Open Bible Church Camp. This year the theme is “Obey Your Thirst” and a friend of mine who I have known for years through networking but never in person until now, Jerry Moyer of the Jubilee Gang, has answered my request to come and do our camp this year. They are doing great and it is such an honor to have them ministering here. Every night the altars are full and God is moving in the lives of these kids. Last night, the kids started coming forward before he even gave the altar call, that was pretty cool.

I will include some links and pictures in this post and invite you to follow them and see what God is up to at this year’s Camp.

Here is when we preached at JCC’s Family service camp and we had dads play games with their kids. This is the PJ stuff.

DC PJ stuff 2

Here is the other dad who competed.

DC PJ stuff

Here is a pano of part of Wildwood Hills Ranch where we hold camp.

Wildwood Hills camp ground pano

Josiah going swimming
Josiah going swimming

Purple team practicing team cheer
Purple team practicing cheer

For me, this year was very busy but full of great life lessons. I will post more as time goes on and I get back home from all the camps where my internet connection is stronger. But for now, my greatest take away is that if the kids have someone loving on them and caring for them, they can and will do great things.

D6Days Open Live stream notes 2015

D6 Days logo

Here are some of my brief notes from just the two opening speakers of the D6Days. I must admit that I am so thrilled to see so many ministries starting to give some type of free goodies like this. Thanks to D6 and their generosity toward many of us who may not have been able to get to you. I can tell you that your generosity has potentially helped you in securing my attendance Sept. 16-18, 2015

Here is the run down of speakers for the next day on May 7th, 2015:

Session 3: 9 AM (CST)

“Fighting Disillusionment in the Church”
– Sarah Cunningham

“Social Media, Technology, & the Family”
– Brian Housman

“Avoiding the 6 Major Dysfunctions Parents Face”
– Michelle Anthony

“How to Train Your Volunteers to Serve Parents”
– Ryan Frank

“The Gift of Ritual”
– Sarah Cunningham

“A ‘Pitcher’ of the Source in Marriage”
– Ted Cunningham

Session 4: 1 PM (CST)

“Breaking out of the Family Crazy Cycle”
– Emerson Eggerichs

“Creating a Safe Environment Parents Can Trust”
– Heidi Hensley

“The Younger Generation in the History of Revival”
– Richard Ross

“The Doctrine Behind Family Ministry”
– Timothy Paul Jones

“The Value of Real-Life Connection”
– Lydia Randall

“The Power of Parents”
– Yancey Arrington

Again, D6 thanks, here is looking forward to seeing everyone jump on tomorrow for the last day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...