We’ll Get To That Someday…

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When I ask kidmin leaders what they are doing about child safety and security in their church, I often hear things like, We aren’t big enough…      We’re still looking into it…           We’ll get to that someday… As a children’s ministry leader, Child Safety is one of those things you find yourself in charge of that you didn’t go into kids ministry to do. I know. You got into this “business” (you consider it ministry!) because you want to reach kids for Jesus and creatively teach the Bible, but the next thing you know, you are responsible for the care of the children in a world where there is increasing risk and liability for how children are cared for. The good news is, there are companies out there who are making it easy so that those who love ministry to kids can keep their time and attention focused on the things they enjoy the most, while at the same time, create safer environments that help build trust for families and keep both parents and volunteers protected. That’s why I am often writing about KidCheck. I told you how They Read My Mind and created a system that was everything …

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Launching a Whole New Kids Church!

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This past Sunday was exciting! It was the culmination of a summer of prayer, dreaming, planning, networking, recruiting and team building – but we launched our ALL NEW kids church program for this fall called The Outpost. Launching a new theme is exciting! But it also is strategic. As a ministry, our leadership team established four aims for our children’s ministry: 4 AIMS: Engage Children (Themeing generates excitement and captures the imagination.) Delight Parents (Parents will enjoy seeing the excitement in their kids!) Excite Volunteers (Enthusiasm and quality programming makes recruiting easier.) Bring Visitors Back! (We desire to create an experience that kids want to return!) We are driven by the vision of Church becoming the highlight of a child’s week – because when kids encounter God, their lives are changed, and eternity is impacted! When I was pitching this overhaul to our kids church to the leadership, volunteers and parents, I presented a vision for our ministry: OUR VISION: We want every child who comes through our doors to feel loved, come to know Christ and find a place where they can grow through fun and life-changing experiences. Then, to narrow it down to a simple mission everyone could …

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Think Differently

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Steve Jobs and Apple made famous the phrase, “Think Differently,” but creative “out of the box” thinking is not limited to technology developers. It applies to children’s ministry too. Creative innovators see the world differently. They reject how things have “always been done.” They see things in a new way. Just yesterday I saw a car port in the Home Depot parking lot where most saw a cart bin. OK, that might not be children’s ministry – but are you constantly looking for ways you can see things differently? How can things be done differently? What new approach can I try? How have we never done it? Let me give you a great example from my good friend and amazing children’s pastor friend, Shelly Sexton down in sunny Florida. She recently brought me in to do some magic for a huge summer outreach she was doing call “Kingdom Hearts.” They rented a civic center, built a castle and brought in hundreds of kids and more volunteers than I could count to creatively share the Gospel with their community. Secure check-out in this unique setting was a challenge. The previous year they did it similar to how Sunday’s are done at …

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Is Your Kidmin in Survival or Creative Mode?

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I love Minecraft. For those who don’t know what it is, it is basically virtual Lego. I run an online community for my son and other kids to play in. (details) It’s fun! When you play, you get to choose between two basic game modes: Survival and Creative. In CREATIVE – you get access to all the pieces and can build whatever you can imagine! In SURVIVAL – you start out with nothing, and must find or build what you want/need. In Minecraft, the process and making things from other objects is called “Crafting” – you combine certain items to craft new items. For example, sticks and coal can be used to craft a torch. What does this have to do with Children’s Ministry? In ministry, we often start out in Survival Mode – we have to start from scratch. Nothing exists! We need to find volunteers, leaders, resources and supplies. We need to create spaces where ministry can take place… and as we build (craft), better options become available. We build upon past successes, learn from mistakes, all while watching out for Creepers and Zombies! These are roaming creatures that are constantly needing to be dealt with and repairs …

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FALL Checklist Time!

Kidmin Sun Tzu

Let’s work together! Fall is going to be here before you know it! While you may still have some summer events… soon the kids will be back in school, you’ll be raking leaves, and your annual ministry programs will be in full swing. NOW is the time to get a jump on the fall and head off some mini emergencies. Soon you’ll have all the usual Sunday morning crises you had last fall: New teachers wondering where things are Regular teachers asking where stuff is Supplies running out Equipment malfunctioning Backlog of applications and background checks New obligations someone assumed you knew about! Fill in the blank: _____________________ Take some time this week to make yourself a FALL CHECKLIST. I can’t write your check list because every ministry is different – but I can give you some suggestions based on what I’m thinking about for my own list. Use an afternoon, a lunch hour, or a quiet evening to think ahead. (Don’t just say, ‘That’s a good idea.’ DO IT!) In the classic Children’s Ministry Handbook, The Art of War, Kidmin Guru Sun Tzu writes, “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” Which simply means, preparation is everything. He …

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