It Just Stacks Up!


If you are a regular reader on, you know my passion for relational ministry, a term I started using over twenty years ago before it was hip. (Download my free book on the topic.) Jesus did a lot of teaching – but first he formed relationships with those He wanted to reach. It is no different in children’s ministry. When we play with kids we create a relationship, and out of that relationship we can have a huge impact! One of the BEST tools I have discovered for connecting with kids is with Speed Stacks. I helped introduce sport stacking to the world of kids ministry years ago when I discovered what a magnet it was for drawing and engaging kids. As I promoted it on Kidology, Speed Stacks credited me with expanding the growing sport from schools to churches across the country. I even headed up the effort to introduce sport stacking as an official Awana Game. (See I even got to be their spokeman! Kids LOVE sport stacking with Speed Stacks! It is fun, easy to learn, and is probably the best sport when it comes to allowing kids of all athletic ability compete equally. Regardless …

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Sharing the Gospel to Get Results


This past Sunday our church enjoyed having Barney Kinard visit as our guest speaker. Barney is known as the Kidhelper. He is a former children’s pastor, 50 year veteran children’s evangelist, and Kidology Coach. We celebrated 26 children making decisions for Christ on Sunday. Guiding children to making this life-altering decision doesn’t happen by mistake. It requires intentionality, creativity, skill and a sense of purpose. Let me share with you several observations I made on Sunday as I watched Barney “do his thing” that he has been doing for years developing presentations that create results. 1) Be Real. Barney doesn’t go into character. He is himself. He is the same person before and after the presentation. Kids need to connect with a real person if they are to make real decisions. 2) Don’t Talk Down to Children. Too often adults talk down to kids. They can do this both with their tone of voice, mannerisms or by talking to them as though they are younger or “dumber” than they really are. Expect kids to engage and understand and they will. They appreciate being honored as people, not as “just kids.” 3) Use Language Kids Understand. Barney avoids using “big words” …

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Horse Race vs. Locomotive Ministry


If a train were to race a horse, over the long haul the train would certainly win. The average train cruises along at speeds well over 100 mph, whereas a race horse runs about 35-45mph. But in a short sprint, the race horse would leave the train in it’s dust. Have you ever watched a train start? You might fall asleep! Have you ever watched a horse race start? When the gate opens the horses burst out and the race is on! Which describes your ministry programming? VS. When it comes to children’s ministry, we certainly are in the business of long term results, but when it comes to a Sunday morning – we don’t have a lot of time. We MUST gain kids attention and fast so that we can lead them into a life-changing learning experience. Slowly picking up speed from a dead stand still is a formula for boring kids and disengaging their active minds. Your children’s ministry programming, whether it is Kid’s Church or a midweek club – needs to START promptly and be off and running as soon as the “gate” opens. I’ve been saying it for years, “You don’t demand kid’s attention – you …

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Launching a Whole New Kids Church!


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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Principles for Powerful Programming


I recently had a vision casting meeting with our elementary volunteers. Currently, my church runs a good program. The kids are dropped off in various rooms. Then they travel to a large room for some corporate worship before traveling back to their separate rooms for a lesson. There is a lot of loose time and transition time. My goal was to pitch that we have very little time with these kids to make an eternal impact—so we need to make every minute count. So I presented some goals we will aim for this fall: Goals for this Fall: We want every child who comes to Kids Rock to feel noticed, loved and welcome! We want to make Sunday the highlight of their week! We want guests to come back because they had a great time and made a connection. We want kids to leave having learned something NEW and life-changing. These are goals everyone could agree with, easily. But how do you make them a reality? You have to create a program that has some pop and power and that pulls the kids along. It can’t drag and it needs to have clear direction, purpose and it be intentional. There …

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