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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.

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

Start to finish. Implementation ideas to unpack.

start to finish

Strong Start

The first step in having an effective start for any volunteer is making sure that the ministry they are starting to serve in has a clear and precise course of action to carry out the goals to achieve their wins. This includes orientations, learning the environment they’ll serve in, the role they’ll play, and being partnered with someone who can coach them early on.

Welcome “Bob”, our new background checked and approved volunteer. We get the go ahead from his criminal background check that nothing is in his closet to be concerned about (and if there is, we just set up another appointment to discuss that to see if we should go further or help them find another one of our great ministries offered within the church) so we set up our first meeting with him. During this meeting, the explanation of why God has our ministry right where He has us is unfolded. It explains clearly the reason someone would be led to come to our ministry and not maybe some of the other great ministries surrounding the area. It shows our uniqueness. Our specific DNA for accomplishing the Great Commission and Great Commandment.

Ministry descriptions and flow chart are shown. Tying in where they will be serving in the larger picture is extremely important. The understanding of what is expected from them and what they can expect from you or the ministry should be clear. Questions asked and answered are important in this first stage. People with limited time to offer for volunteering want to contribute to things larger than themselves. They want to make a difference. Show them how they are, then release them into the care of someone who will nurture that desire.

During this first step of unpacking a great ministry start for any volunteer, help them explore the environment they serve in. This “connection partner” will be extremely important in this phase. This is the foundation of your volunteer force. It is this foundation that others will be recruited, and trained from. Not to mention discipled in.

Now that will be a great stage one start. If you are not there yet then start with this end picture and work your way back. Ask yourself what steps are missing and what would it take to accomplish them. Then go nd do it! Have fun with step one. Watch for further steps to come in the days ahead.

The next post on this topic can be found here: Part 2.

New Family Ministry App A Must See.

take two app screen shot

This may be one of my shortest post only because I can let this great app do all the talking for itself.

It has arrived!!

Take TWO Family Ministry, a ministry that is part of First Church of the Open Bible here in Des Moines, Iowa has had our app go live as of 3/25/15. It has everything from videos, stories, jokes and riddles for kids. For the adults, it has devotions, parenting blogs and more.

A few items that bring me special joy to have as a part of the app is:
1. Invite a friend. If someone clicks on this it generates an email that has a great message and all you need to do is add the email of who you are sending it to and hit send.

2. It has a salvation tract that all anyone needs to do is read it as they show whoever they are witnessing to. Takes the fear out of sharing your faith for some.

3. Puts you contact with all of our social media areas.

So much more. make sure you go now and download it. you get all of this and the more for FREE!

Nuggets taken from Seeds conference prt. 2

seeds conference 2015

This year attending the Seeds conference via Live StreamPass was great. It cost my church a fraction of the price for me to go and attend, travel, food, Hotel etc.. Instead I was able to watch from many places of my choosing ranging from a couple local coffee shops, to my porch.

Just as if I was there I picked up some great nuggets of wisdom, insight, and definitely quotable tidbits. I want to list some more of these below and hopefully you will find them as good as I did. You can also go to my first post with even more goodies that I picked up over here

* Good people rarely leave healthy organizations. @patricklencioni

* Teamwork allows us to build the healthiest possible organization.

* Jesus is LIFTED UP when you do things with excellence!

* How to make your church healthy:
1. Cohesive leadership team
2. Create clarity
3. Overcommunicate clarity
4. Reinforce clarity

* Discipline 1 of creating a healthy organization – Establish a cohesive leadership team

* Discipline 2 and 3 of creating a healthy organization – Create clarity and over communicate clarity.

* Over communicate clarity, people need to hear this over and over.

* People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed. @patricklencioni

* Vulnerability is the best opportunity for growth. This only happens if the leader goes first

* When people in your organization can be emotionally buck naked with each other, it changes your culture for the better.

* “A healthy organization is one where people come and know that there’s NO politics.”
-Patrick Lencioni

* What makes Chick-fil-a special is not the sandwich it’s the culture.

* “People walk through walls of fire for leaders who know who they are.” @patricklencioni

* When we don’t recognize constructive conflict as good, it ferments conflict around them as people.

* You need to be competent, not perfect.

* If you have people who aren’t willing to grow then you have to be willing to let them go #leadership #churchgrowth

* If people don’t WEIGH in on a conversation/issue, they won’t BUY in. So don’t just SHARE info w/your people, let them SHAPE it.

* The primary source of accountability is the people on your team, not the leader of the team.

* Behavioral accountability trumps result accountability in #leadership & healthy #organizations.

* “As leaders we have to have the courage to hold leaders accountable for their behavior.”

* Minister upward, with the same love and dignity as we “minister-downward.”

* “My department is fine, your department isn’t my concern” it just takes one hole to sink a ship!

3 Things having kids have taught me

child_learn

Having kids has truly been a joy and one of the best adventures I get to take part in. Saying all that I want to list 3 things that having kids has taught me.

Let’s begin:

1.Thinking time is the most precious resource

I have a new-found appreciation for the times when I have time and can collect my thoughts. I never knew how much I took this for granted until every minute of every waking hour (and a few half asleep ones too) was suddenly invaded. Now if all truth is told my wife is the one who may have suffered more with this because she is a stay at home mom, but boy she did great with it.

We simply cannot do good thinking when we’re being distracted all the time. Try writing a grocery list or type up a word document while a small child asks repeatedly “Can I get a drink yet?” and you might find yourself signing off “in that document with:
…”Until we meet again, Yes you can get a drink, I will get you some juice”

Equally, making space for thinking time in my work helps me to do my best work, handle curve balls and even have fun doing it.

Measure your work by impact, not hours

A parent I was counseling once in task management asked me, “how can I compete in business with other people who have more time?”

The answer is, in the same way that niche brands can take on the big boys. By being distinctive, selective and ruthless. Play on your strengths and leverage what you do well. Be incredibly focused on what has the most impact and creates the most value. Truly find what your Pareto principles lies. Don’t be all things to all people.

If I measure the work I do by the hours I put in, it may not look like much. But if I look at what I actually get done in that time, and crucially, the impact of my actions and not the amount of activity, I recognize my successes much more accurately.

My mind gets calibrated to what works well, and not what keeps me busy, and I measure my productivity by what creates value, and not what fills time.

2. Saying “No” gets easier with practice and a little creativity

Saying no is like exercising a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it gets. When you find yourself saying “no, you can’t have chocolate for breakfast” and “no it’s not time to open the Christmas gifts yet” all before 7am, you get a lot of regular practice at saying no.

You also find creative ways to say no.

If you tell a child not to run, the negative is harder to process, so “Don’t run!” becomes “Run!” Instead, when you say “Walk please!” their focus is pointed towards walking and not running.

Telling someone what they can do or have, can be much more compelling than telling them what they can’t.

In other words, say yes on your own terms:

“Yes, you can have chocolate after your dinner.”

“Yes, I’d love to help. I’ve got half an hour at 2pm. Shall we grab a coffee and talk then?”

“I can give you the quick and dirty version today or the polished product wrapped up by Friday next week. Which would you prefer?”

3. Margin is your best friend

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It gives us flexibility to deal with work that overspills, technical glitches and emergency firefighting.

Margin is like air. You don’t miss it until it’s not there. When there’s less time available, it’s tempting to try to cram as much in as possible. But then it doesn’t take much — a phone call, a spilt drink on the floor or couch, a missing shoe right before you leave the house, — for everything to spiral out of control.

And it’s not just a survival tactic. It also gives us space to explore opportunities we could never have planned for, to be captivated by a perfect sunset or a child’s first step. Margin makes life richer.

There are the 3 lessons having kids have taught me. These 3 are great lessons to help in life as well. Have you had any specific lessons learned from any season of your life?

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