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Gauges To Measure In Family Ministry part 3

Last day of discussing 5 ministry gauges to help you do family ministry better.

A brief overview of the earlier 3 Gauges:

Gauge 1: Strategy. Take time to strategically put some things in place to focus on the end goal, will lead to better steps along the way.

Gauge 2: Experience Gauge: Craft core truths into engaging, relevant, and memorable experiences.

Gauge 3: Groups Gauge: Self-reliance is one of the greatest threats a church leader can face. It overestimates your abilities and diminishes the impact of your team. So develop your teams!

Now Today, the last 2 Gauges.

Gauge 4: Service Gauge: Are you creating consistent opportunities for kids and students to experience personal ministry?

Here are some things that will begin to happen if you ignore the service gauge.

  • Parents become programmed to see the church as a provider of services for their kids.
  • Leaders never recognize that the discipleship process is also about influencing a student to serve and care for others.
  • Students established a consumer mindset about the church.
  • Communities continue to perceive the church as institutional and insulated.
  • Individual families never experience a sense of calling and mission to make others a priority.
  • Students fail to experience and realize their calling to care for others, and they leave the church without a passion to pursue God’s calling in their lives.

 

The last Gauge to pay attention to would be…

5. Personal Gauge: Are you taking care of yourself?

  • Be a student. “If you’ve closed your mind off to any learning, you’re not a student.”
  • Be balanced. “No one wins when you lose your family. No one wins when you quit your job.”

I have found over the years that paying attention to these 5 gauges can help all of us as we attempt to get our family ministry on the right page. These five gauges are excellent for evaluating where your ministry now stands, and they will help you continue to grow.

So, what are some other gauges you may use in your family ministry?

 

Jumpstart3 was just here

We just held our yearly Central Region KidsMin Conference and had Jumpstart3 and Joshua Denhart come and share with us.

Jeff from Jumpstart3 shared a ton but some of the reports I am getting back already is how those in attendance walked away with understanding:

  • Don’t overlook opportunity to share Christ with others
  • The importance of teaching scripture to the kids
  • Remember your identity in Christ not in what others may say
  • The importance of staying faithful and consistent in the lives of kids and families

Joshua had 2 sessions here as well and just a few items that he brought were:

  • His great talk over volunteerism. We actually asked if he would bring this back again as he first taught it in a prior year but so many asked for him to bring it back.
  • Then with his wife, he brought the importance of family time.

Bottom line, those who came walked away talking how blessed they were. The practical items they are taking back to their churches. We even had one church here from Texas that is only 15 people total in attendance and a new lead pastor as well. This church recognizes the importance of kids so much that they held 2 fundraisers to help pay for their person overseeing the kids be able to come and attend this conference.

 

The Red Book Mark Harper

“The Red Book” by Mark Harper should be on every shelf of every Children’s Ministry leader. It is a great ministry hand/guide-book that is easily digested with practical application steps.

This book covers the important aspects of Children’s Ministry. Mark doesn’t only tell you what those aspects are, He shares his own experiences, insights, and how you can put in place those ideas into your own ministry. Every chapter is short. When it comes to Ministry, there is a ton to unpack even if we’re only considering the most basic elements. Great nuggets of timeless wisdom and knowledge in every chapter. Steps you can follow the next Sunday.

I will admit, I had one part of the book in which I had a struggle with Mark and do not see eye to eye with this comment of his. On page 57 he writes: “In my opinion, too many of us have bought into this philosophy of “teach less for more.” I do agree with the idea of teaching less for more. The way Mark uses this thought is not correct. Mark writes how our kids are starving for the word of God. If you are starving then you feed that hunger. I agree we have people starving for the word of God and that we should feed them as much as possible. The “teach less for more” isn’t people like myself saying we need to teach less of Gods word. Let’s look instead at what we are doing in our services and make sure we have given the word priority over all the extra things. That is “teaching less for more”.

In my ministry, we have made small groups where the word can be shared in a way the kids can flesh it out. The “Word” has such a priority, that it gets more than half our time together each week. This time is what gives us more bang for our investment than anything else we can do.

Outside of this, this was an incredible refreshing book to read. I enjoyed this book so much that I am ordering it for all my leaders and I would urge you to do the same. I am using each short chapter as a stand-alone teaching in my pre-service huddles with my leaders.

Thanks, Mark Harper for such a great book that anyone of any church size can use.

Time to P.P. in your ministry

Time to “Partner with Parents” in your ministry!

Those of us who say we minister to the family need to really stand back and ask ourselves, “Do we really minister to the family or are we more about being successful on just the weekend?”

Look at our prep times. Are we prepping to mainly show off the wonderful and creative ideas that flow from our choice of a curriculum? Or, are prepping resources to go beyond just the weekend?

Do we know what the needs are of not just the kids or the students, but what about the needs of those guardians who spend more time carrying the weekend experience further? What tools do they need? Guardians of those kids and students are looking to the church to help them do a better job at being the priest of their families. They need more than just a take-home paper (or should we call it a floor mat?).

Time to ask some real questions. Here are just a few to get you started.

  1. What are the parents “real” needs?
  2. What do we offer at this time that really address these needs?
  3. What do I have in my tool box of ministry goodies that I could easily bring out and make available for families?

Sometimes we try to offer up just an explanation of what we taught on a certain day and call it good. We expect that the parents will take that 1-2 minute explanation given at the door on their way out and build on that throughout the week. Wrong!!

  • Are you providing daily ways through social media, email, snail mail, quick videos etc. to continue to set the parents up with quick ideas that would be age appropriate for them to use?
  • Have you created a Facebook group or some connection spot for parents to network with other parents and receive encouragement and creative ideas to being the priest of their families throughout the week? Through a group like this, you also have access to their thoughts, troubles, struggles, and questions. You also have access daily to pour into families vision of what it can look like to live a Deuteronomy 6 family lifestyle.
  • Providing information over age appropriate children’s phases. I do this through Kidology Coaching.
  • Have you ever hosted an open house to show off your leaders who pour into the families but also opens up a communication time to hear what families are needing?

This post is to only serve as a starting point. The important thing is that you will start to ask the questions and then design your churches plan to execute on the ideas and needs of your families.

Families want to be successful, will you truly help them do exactly this?

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?

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.

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.

Love my INCM DISPATCH. 

Every time when I see this brown box sitting outside my mailbox, I know it’s going to be a great day!

Dispatch box

I am so thankful to INCM for allowing me to be part of the dispatch writing group. Thanks, Matt Guevara, for allowing me the honor to take part.

This dispatch as always is filled with some great goodies that would be a blessing to anyone in children’s ministry. Here is a sneak peek:

Dispatch contents 5_16

The Gospel Truth about Children’s Ministry

7 Family Ministry Essentials

Jonah Comic

ICB Big Red Bible

Strong In Me CD

Growing in Grace CD

Now do you understand my excitement? Click on these links and go get yourself some of these wonderful tools for your children’s ministry.

Ministry lessons learned from Undercover boss.

UndercoverBoss 796x448

Undercover Boss is one of those shows that I learn a lot more from than even the show thinks people take away from it.

I watch them early in the morning because I tivo them. I am the big nut for them and not the rest of the family. I was watching one and the usual lessons and tears started.

The format of the show goes with the boss going into disguise and visiting their employees. They learn a ton and hear a ton and then go back and change out of disguise. Then the meeting happens and the tears start for me.

Tears? Yes, tears. I tear up when the boss meets those he was under disguise around and share how they affected his life. Then he dishes out great benefits to those workers that change their lives forever. Gifts ranging from money, vacations, kids college starter money, cars and so much more.

The show ends with a caption at the end that says..”In the weeks following”..then it tells you what the employee has done since meeting the boss and getting their gifts. May not sound like it but it really can be a tear jerker.

Some quick thoughts I think about applying to my ministry, personal devotional life with Jesus.

1. What would truly be learned from me through my witness if Jesus would show up in my life as an Undercover Boss? Would I be loyal? Complain? Be grateful?

2. Do I see that I have an opportunity to speak to the Boss every day without waiting for him to show up undercover?

3. Do I recognize the gifts that He does give me and already has given me?

4. Am I as thankful to Him as those who receive from the Undercover Boss?

5. After my time spent with Him in prayer, what would be able to be said of the minutes since? Weeks since? Years since?

Made 2015 Top 100 Kidmin blogs

computer showing stats

I was honored to find out that my blog made it into the top 100 Kidmin blogs for yet another year. This year, though, we climbed to #38 which is a little higher thanks to all of you who faithfully read my blog.

top children's ministry blogs

There’s a tool that was added to the list this year that I think is an ingenious idea and a great resource to those in KidMin and other ministries. It’s a custom google search engine to search the Top 100 Blogs in the list! Find out what our blogs are saying about volunteering, training etc. Enter your word and search.

GO HERE to check it out. I searched several of my favorite topics. My search on Training pulled up 10 pages of blog posts.

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