This is one of Barney Kinard’s “Coach’s Conundrums,” or what he calls one of his collection of pithy principles that need some explanation. As he often says to his Protégés (as he calls his students), implementing of his conundrums could alter your paradigm for children’s ministry or influence the way you approach kids.
I want to share this one with you – because it is one that when he shared it with me years ago, it hit be so hard between the eyes, it about knocked me over!
Karl & Barney (In our pre-Mac days!)
Not only is Barney a long time friend, he is one of our Kidology Coaches, who offers weekly coaching calls to his students as part of Kidology’s personal one-to-one personal curriculum based mentoring program. Every Monday, he faithful sends out his Coach’s Huddle, an e-mail LOADED with updates, insights, encouragements, pithy wisdom, fun puns, updates on his students, and bonus coaching materials exclusively for his students. It is truly a treasure of knowledge his students are blessed to get (and I’m lucky to be CCed on) every Monday.
I’m taking the liberty to post his Coach’s Conundrum on “Work expands to fill the time allowed” knowing that Barney will not mind!
Here is how he explains it:
This is something that continues to impress me, I find that time pressure is the motivational trigger that compresses the time a project needs for completion. The extremes do occur, too much time and too little time, but for this conundrum to work, we determine the pace to finish on time, mostly. The constant variable is “when does it have to be done?” The answer becomes “the pace of the race” for the finish line. If there is a time to beat, a drop dead goal to complete, the task, somehow, is better done, than if it would be either postponed, set aside or put on the shelf. To put anything “inactive,” is like stopping. However, harnessing the task with time frames is like testing the limits of the stretched rubber band. Our “one-step” method is an overt effort to stop this “all-or-nothing” orientation to work by breaking it down into “doable parts,” matched with a reasonable time table for completion, done, done well and on time.
Let me share with you – how this “Work expands to the time allowed” principle impacted me.
As the founder of the Kidology University conference – Kidology.org put on 15* different Kid U conferences over a period of ten years while I was on staff at the Village Church of Barrington, finally culminating with our 10th anniversary event in 2008. (download that brochure)
Barney was at many of those Kid U’s and at all of the first 3-4 of them, and every year, I was at the church late – and I mean late – up until 2-3a.m. doing last minute details to make the event just right. Each year, trying not to be up so late, I started earlier, and planned better, and delegated better, and yet still I would be there until 2-3a.m. doing last minute things to make the event just perfect for those who would be coming by 8a.m. the following morning. Barney, being a good friend, was always at my side, helping me with those last minute details and ideas.
Finally on the 3rd or 4th year (I forget which), I commented to Barney, “I don’t get it. Every year, I start earlier, I plan better, I delegate better, I have more help, more employees, and yet here I am, working late the night before. I just don’t seem to be able to go home at a decent hour.”
And that was when he kindly said those magic words, having never complained about being there so late with me, he just said,
“Well, Karl, it would seem to me, that the work expands to fill the time allowed.”
You see, because I was WILLING to work until 2-3a.m. the night before the event – because I loved the event that much, and the volunteers and trainers who would be pouring through the doors in the morning… I wouldn’t leave until 3a.m. I would stay there thinking of things to do to make it better!
The work would expand because I had allowed that much time for my work! I wouldn’t be done until 3a.m. no matter how early I started, how much I planned ahead, or how much I delegated!
The following year, I didn’t not allow that time. I planned a dinner for all my staff and volunteers for the night before the event and determined that after than meal, I had to go home and get a night of sleep. The work could no longer expand into the night. I did that from then on. A few times I did need to run back for a few quick things, but I no longer worked the whee hours… the work no longer expanded, for I was out of time.
And it worked, and I was much healthier for it.
It’s a powerful principle. Coaching works. Sometimes a simple sentence can have a powerful impact on years of ministry into the future.
Ministry doesn’t have to be a conundrum.
*Yes, to a few die hard Kidology fans out there, who love to constantly remind me there were previous Kid U’s in the city of Chicago, the “First Kid U” was not the truly the first! I hereby acknowledge that. In defense, when I said 2nd annual Kid U and 3rd and so on, it referred to the second, 3rd and so on annual at VCB. But once we expanded beyond VCB to WI and OH, it was too late to renumber them all to include the pre-VCB Kid U’s. But, yes, you are correct, there were more than 15 Kid U’s, and you, my friends, were at the REAL FIRST KID U in Chicago when I was truly an unknown children’s pastor just equipping and encouraging in the inner city of Chicago. Thank you for your ardent support over the years! You shall be rewarded in heaven for your encouragement to me over the years and for coming to those first humble Kid U’s in that small fellowship hall!
People often ask how we are able to provide such an excellent conference at such affordable rates. Kidology is known for exceeding expectations because our conference registration fees are always very low considering the quality of the trainers, the exhibitors, meals and performers.
Our Sponsors make it possible to provide a top-notch event at an affordable price. Some contribute financially, some donate their services, all deserve our thanks! And we don’t accept just any sponsor – all our sponsors are by invitation because they are the best at what they do.
We are very grateful for our Kid U 2008 Sponsors!
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SPONSORS AND VISIT THEIR WEBSITES!
DiscipleLand’s family of resources forms a comprehensive Children’s Discipleship System™ that helps you equip kids to reach their peak potential as Jesus’ disciples. DiscipleLand partners with parents and teachers to lead children to:
Know God intimately.They develop a reservoir of knowledge based on a Biblical worldview.
Love Him passionately.They display Christlike character in every area of life.
Serve Him selflessly.They demonstrate faithful conduct that honors God and helps people.
You can easily customize DiscipleLand Bible curriculum to use anywhere, anytime!
Kidz Blitz is a ministry focused on conducting shared-experience events for the family and developing a new style of children’s ministry curriculum and a fresh resource to children’s pastors/directors.
Kidz Blitz is synonymous with high-energy children’s ministry and crosses all major denominational lines as it continues to expand its unique approach to family events and children’s ministry curriculum across America.
Visit the official Kidz Blitz! website for more information… KidzBlitz.com
Uncle Charlie and Upward Bound Ministries
“Uncle Charlie” Bancroft is a nationally-known kids worship leader, highly sought after for his praise rallies.
Having served in local church youth ministry for 21 years, in 1997 Charlie created Upward Bound Ministries (Lutz, FL) in 1997 as a way to reach children with high-energy, upbeat music. His aim is to lift up the name of Christ so that men, women, and children will be drawn to Him and experience the joy that Christ brings into our lives!
He is a worship leader at Idlewood Baptist Church in Tampa, FL, where he attends with his wife Tammy, and his two sons, Andrew and Matt.
Scripture Candy’s mission is to fulfill the great commission… by using a simple piece of candy. They desire to “Reach The World One Piece At A Time” by taking the best tasting candies and wrapping them in Scriptures so they can be passed out to everyone.
Harvest is one of the largest distributors of Sunday school and VBS curriculum in the country. Quantity discounts, free shipping and quick service are just some of the benefits of their curriculum service.
Harvest also carries thousands of books and Bibles in stock and is the publisher of Adventure Club — a reproducible midweek program for kids ages 4 years old through 6th grade.
Visit the official Harvest Publications website for more information… HarvestBooks.org
Timber-lee Christian Center
Since 1972, Timber-lee Christian Center has operated a year-round Christian camp, conference and retreat center operating under the auspices of the Forest Lakes and Great Lakes Districts of the Evangelical Free Church of America.
Timber-lee is located near the southern part of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest. It is 45 minutes southwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 2 hours northwest of Chicago, Illinois. The site encompasses over 600 acres of wooded, rolling scenic land, and contains 65 existing buildings. Its mission is to create engaging communities where each young person encounters Christ through a dynamic camp experience.
Visit the official Timber-lee Christian Center website
for more information… Timber-lee.com
Take 12 specially designed plastic cups, stack and unstack them in precise patterns at ridiculously high speeds and you’ve got sport stacking with Speed Stacks ®.
Using the Speed Stacks StackMat ® , stackers time themselves for personal bests in the 3-3-3, 3-6-3 or Cycle stack. Head-to-head relays are also a fun and exciting component of sport stacking.
Speed Stacks, Inc., based in Colorado, is a family-owned business passionate about sport stacking and how it benefits kids of all ages improving hand-eye coordination, reaction time and focus while promoting good sportsmanship and teamwork. Stack Fast!
Visit the official Speed Stacks website for more information… SpeedStacks.com
The mission of God Rocks! is to “Energize Kids With the Good News!” Award-winning DVDs, music, and church curriculum help children ages 4 – 12 grow in God as they “Sing and Learn the Word” with NIV® Scripture songs and cool, rock characters!
Visit the official God Rocks! website for more information… GodRocks.ca
National Center for Biblical Parenting
The National Center for Biblical Parenting is committed to providing parenting resources that help parents touch the hearts of their kids.
They also help churches develop parenting ministries. Live seminars, video curriculum, books, audio CDs, and free email parenting tips are all available for individual use and to use in ministry.
Visit the official National Center for Biblcal Parenting website
for more information… BiblicalParenting.org
Awana is a ministry resource for churches and parents that offers fully integrated, biblical-focused programs to evangelize and disciple children ages 2 to 18.
Visit the official Awana website for more information… Awana.org
One Way Street
One Way Street provides resources and training for creative ministry, specializing in puppet ministry and other creative arts such as children’s music, clown ministry, gospel magic, ventriloquism, and more.
They are dedicated to helping teachers and ministers spread the Gospel by providing quality Christian resources.
Visit the official One Way Street website for more information… OneWayStreet.com
Timbuktoons is a small animation company that provides broadcast quality character animation and motion graphics services.
We also do illustration, graphic design (including logos), car detailing, catering, landscaping, Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. (Just kidding about the last 5… unless it’s a slow month.)
Timbuktoons has been around since December 2004. We’re developing some properties to pitch for children’s TV series and we have some pretty fun online shorts in the works as well. Our vision is to pursue God, assist ministries with discipleship and influence culture thru creative media. We intend to remain a small to medium sized animation studio with a tight-nit and well-qualified team.
Visit the official Timbuktoons website for more information… Timbuktoons.com
KidMo exists to create and produce educational and entertainment properties with a biblical worldview that inspire world changers.
KidMo’s curriculum and entertainment properties are produced through its parent company Orbit Church, the premiere provider of media-driven content to the church.
KidMo released its first DVD series, KidMo with Johnny Rogers, in 2003. It has become the fastest growing elementary age church curriculum product. This year, the company launched Lil’ K, a DVD-driven program for church preschool ministries.
Visit the official KidMo website for more information… KidMo.com
Stars of Christmas
Help the children in your ministry discover the true Star of Christmas is Jesus! The Stars of Christmas curriculum examines a different “Star” each week in a Grammy-style awards show that tells the entire biblical Christmas story in four lessons. This teaching tool was co-created by Kidology Board Member Dan Huffman — Children’s Pastor at The Chapel, an innovative multi-site church in Illinois — and the Willow Creek Association,
Bring a high level of teacher/child interaction and the ease of DVD teaching to your ministry with this unique curriculum. Large Group lesson segments are provided on DVD, making lesson set-up simple. However, the teacher sets up and interacts with kids between each section, while integrated, age-appropriate Small Group segments help kids process the key concepts of the lessons with adult volunteers.
Kid U was blessed to have Alan Root (www.alanroot.com) as our worship leader. His gentle spirit, quick “punny” humor, and obvious heart for God and kids (and those who serve them) just leaked all over the place! He is one of those worship leaders who have that rare ability to be very entertaining, and yet, keep it not about them, but about the Lord. We sang, we laughed, we even did the ‘Baptist Side-step’ and worshiped.
I’ve known of Alan and seen him at CPC’s for as long as I’ve been going, but I had never gotten the chance to get to know him. I was lucky enough to get to do some of the shuttling to hotel/airport and got to know him a lot better and look forward to doing so more in the future.
Alan is a recently added new vendor on Kidology.org making available his preteen Bible studies, and of course his music. Check out all the Alan Root Stuff on Kidology!
I consider it a privilege to count Alan as a friend!
AND THEN, after two days of Live Leadership Labs – it was time to ROCK, God Rocks that is! (www.GodRocks.ca)
The team from God Rocks ALWAYS puts on an AMAZING SHOW that completely blows away even the highest expectations in the audience. They prove that fun and tight choreography and dancing can be engaging, entertaining and completely wholesome at the same time. I especially love how much of their music is straight from the Bible – word for word – teaching kids to sing the very words of God. As their name suggests, if WE don’t praise God, the rocks will have to. Well, as long as God Rocks is around, real rocks are sure to stay silent, because few praise God with as much energy and enthusiasm as these young people!
Not only does God Rocks produce awesome music, they offer two years of Bible curriculum which can be found in the God Rocks section of the Kidology.org Store. We are also very excited about the awesome summer VBS they launched last summer – and you can do it this summer at your church!
Let me end by thanking Uncle Charlie for his generous support of Kid U! Due to his ongoing recovery from a near fatal auto accident he was unable to sponsor in person and come to serve as our worship leader, but instead of asking for a refund on his sponsorship he donated it and made it possible for us to have Alan Root as his replacement. Alan did a great job but we missed having Uncle Charlie with us, and ask you to join us in praying for his ongoing recovery. You can help support him by shopping the TWO PAGES of awesome music and videos available in the Uncle Charlie section of our online store.
Thanks to Uncle Charlie, Alan Root and God Rocks… the music at Kid U this year was amazing!
This is the second of a series on our Kid U 2008 Celebration Conference. (previous)
It’s no secret to Kidology users that I’ve been a huge fan of Speed Stacks since, well, before I even discovered Speed Stacks! I got my first set of generic stacking cups as my mother’s final Christmas gift to me the year she died of cancer. Her hand written note said, “I’m sure you’ll find a way to use these to entertain and teach kids.” Soon, I had developed my rules and was using cup stacking racing in my ministry. It wasn’t until a CPC several years later that I stumbled upon the booth for Speed Stacks, the premier manufacturer of cup stacking cups and the primary promoter of the Sport of “Sport Stacking.” I immediately signed up to be a member of the WSSA.
While I have never been able to attend the World Championship Tournament in Denver (which has been covered by ESPN) I hope to make it there someday to see if I can’t go home with a trophy. I have competed against a professional football player and won, as well as world champion and legend Emily Fox, as you can see here:
So when it came time to start planning our 10th anniversary Kidology University I quickly decided having a Stacking Competition would be a fan aspect to the conference, as well as help our attendees discover this fun sport for kids that actually can be a VERY effective outreach tool in the church.
I demonstrated Sport Stacking (the official term for the sport) in the opening session, and then folks were able to try it hands on in the exhibit hall.
We brought some kids to the conference to demonstrate and teach the attendees how to Sport Stack and then gave them the opportunity to qualify for a competition in the closing session on Saturday.
After three days of learning, competing and recording scores, only 8 finalists were called upon to compete in the final BattleStack Competition! What is a BattleStack? Only the newest coolest product from Speed Stacks:
When Saturday final arrived, I called up the 8 attendees who had recorded the fastest scores in the exhibit hall to compete on the BattleStack!
Competition was fierce, but it all came down to two clowns. One professional clown, Debbie George from Merry Heart Clowns (one of our trainers) and Pastor Ken Wheeler from Graceland Baptist Church of New Albany Indiana.
Competing against a clown must have been intimidating to Ken…
In fact, it proved to be too much, as Ken got a whoopin’ from a clown!
Who instantly broke into a victory dance all over the stage! Actually, it may have been ME that was intimidated by the clown, because I had promised to challenge the winner of the competition and I completely forgot to race the winner! So we’ll never know whether I would have won or not!
Many thanks to Speed Stacks for sponsoring Kid U and providing the BattleStack games and awesome prizes to our winners. All eight went home with some cool Sport Stacking equipment!
As I always say, “Don’t be a Slacker, be a Stacker!”
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
~ Stephen R. Covey