Keepin’ It Simple

On Kidmin Talk this week, my focus is Secrets to Keepin’ it S.I.M.P.L.E. in Ministry. Every show focuses on a “Kidmin Keyword.” This week brings us to the letter “S.” There are a host of great “S” words – silliness! strategy! servant leadership! and of course, Star Wars! (LOL) But when it comes to children’s ministry – we are pushed and pulled in so many directions, I think we constantly need to be reminded to “keep it simple.” This doesn’t mean to abandon excellence or quality, but it means to not do more than God is asking us to do, and to focus on the basics and do those well, before we add more. Keeping it S.I.M.P.L.E. STAFFING Tips on how to staff your ministry; building a leadership team; recruiting volunteers; building a substitute strategy; and Karl’s “Secret Ace” streategy! (shhhh, don’t tell anyone!) INFRASTRUCTURE Evaluating your program plan. This is the framework of your ministry. Ask a lot of “Why’s” – don’t assume every ministry should accomplish every ministry goal. They shouldn’t and can’t! And don’t be calendar-drive, be ministry driven. A blank calendar is O.K., if ministry is taking place! MEETINGS Evaluate your meetings! WHY do you meet? …

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Kids Church: Impossible!

I got into cooking shows while researching for the Kids Church Cookbook, and I was amazed at the wide variety of shows on the Food Network. One I discovered was called Dinner: Impossible! Loosely hinting at the 1960’s show Mission: Impossible, the host is given a challenge that includes some kind of meal he needs to prepare, some obstacles he has to overcome, and a time limit. He doesn’t know what the challenge will be until he arrives, and then the clock starts counting down. If I were put in that situation, I’m sure everyone would either starve or be forced to eat terrible food. I would love to be the host of a show called Kid’s Church: Impossible! I think it would be a wonderful challenge to be given a Bible story or Biblical topic, some limited props or supplies, and a time limit and have to come up with a complete lesson and then teach it. Perhaps that sounds like a nightmare situation to you, but the reality is, it happens all the time in children’s ministry. Maybe it doesn’t happen on Sunday mornings, because you ought to be planning your lessons weeks in advance. But you don’t …

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MOVIE REVIEW: October Baby

Grace. Forgiveness. Healing. These are words that get tossed loosely around the Church between the donuts and Sunday bulletins. They are often just technical jargon we all must learn to speak in order to fit in with little impact on hearts and souls. We can hide hurt behind smiles and speak the church lingo without really understanding the depth of what these words were meant to provide. But there comes a time in everyone’s life when the meaning of these words is transformed from church jargon to life-saving concepts that truly save a person from self-destruction and despair. It may be the discovery of a painful truth, a deeply hurtful choice of another person, or a sinful choice for which the consequence was far greater or faster than one imagined. Suddenly Grace is sought. Forgiveness is desperately wanted. Healing is needed. But it can seem to be a thousand miles away. Such is the story behind the movie October Baby. It opens in select theaters MARCH 23rd, and it is well worth your time to go see, even if the topic doesn’t appeal to you initially. The story is one of a young girl struggling with Asthma and Epilepsy who discovers at age 19 …

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Book Review: Emory’s Gift

I am not one to toss around the words “favorite” or “best” lightly or often, so when I say that W. Bruce Cameron’s novel Emory’s Gift is my favorite novel, I mean it quite sincerely. It is TRULY the best novel I have ever read. Never before have I laughed out loud reading a book, turned away from others lest they see my tears, or just cried boldly on a plane because I no longer cared if anyone saw my tears. I have read lines to strangers who had no idea what I was trying to express because they lacked the context, but I didn’t really care, because I just couldn’t keep that line or paragraph to myself. Cameron’s writing style and insight into the mind of a young boy is truly amazing, insightful, and downright hysterical at times. Truly, I am Charlie Hall, the main character – a middle schooler, around whom the book revolves. And I miss him now like I lost a childhood friend I’ll never get to see again. So real did the author make him, and so vivid did he paint his memories, his experiences, his deep loves, such as Kate, a teacher he was …

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Reinventing Yourself

At CPC last month, I did a workshop titled “10 Steps to a Ministry Reboot.” You can listen to it and get my notes for a limited time here: www.kidology.org/cpc12 In short, it was 10 basic areas of ministry / tips you need to address in order to both keep your sanity and have a well functioning ministry. Some of the tips are a little shocking to newer administrators. Like “Don’t Recruit” and “Stop Leading.” In other words, you should only recruit a leadership team, and they should do the rest of the recruiting (under your guidance), and don’t lead any ministries yourself. Equip leaders who lead under your leadership. It’s a workshop that often saves the sanity and ministry of those who hear it. In response, I got the following e-mail today: Hi Karl, ….Last week I had the opportunity to attend CPC in San Diego.  I attended your breakout:  ”Ten Steps to a CM Reboot…”  I appreciated the things you shared.  I am currently on a sabbatical that my church has blessed me with and this is exactly where I am at right now… I am at a point in my life where I need to re-invent myself …

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