Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for Leadership
Everywhere I go I run into Kidology Members who ask me where they can get affordable Leadership Training and I am surprised how often they are unaware that they have access to FREE online video Leadership Training as part of their Kidology Membership.
I created Kidology Online Training specifically because I know not every leader can go to conferences.
Through these FREE streaming online videos every Premium Member of Kidology can learn what I’ve learned in my twenty plus years of being a leader and children’s pastor.
Then, to add to the learning experience, each training session has an optional add-on download kit that provides a RICH 30+ page PDF that goes even deeper into the material, has bonus material, a downloadable version of the video so you can go mobile with it or full screen and even gives you a PowerPoint so you can then, in turn, train YOUR leaders!
When you are done and compile all FIVE PDFs the sum result is the Kidology Handbook Leader’s Edition, your companion to the highly popular Kidology Handbook Teacher’s Edition.
But remember – while the download kits have a modest fee, the VIDEOS ARE FREE TO VIEW as a part of the Member Benefits!
There are FIVE Leadership Labs:
#1 First Things First – The foundational Leadership Lab that looks at why the most important aspects of ministry have nothing to do with ministry. Put first things first and you will not just survive in children’s ministry, you will thrive.
#2 Visionary Leadership – What does it mean to have vision? How can a clear vision for ministry increase your effectiveness? How do you get your volunteer team working together toward a God-focused vision?
#3 Kid-Focused Ministry Foundations – Let’s take a serious look at the foundation of your children’s ministry. At a time when creating a “fun ministry” has almost become the ultimate pursuit, its time to analyze where your focus should be.
#4 Partnering with Parents – If the very thought of ‘family ministry’ and ‘partnering with parents’ stirs up feelings of failure and discouragement, maybe it’s time to change the way you think about ministering to kids and parents!
#5 Define, Refine and Shine – Are you exhausted? Stress robbing you of the joy of service? Let’s learn how to evaluate your children’s ministry, while also looking at keeping your life organized.
AND THE BEST DEAL is to get all five AS A BUNDLE. But remember, WATCHING the online training videos – is 100% FREE for Kidology Premium Members.
So stop wondering where you can get quality insightful leadership training. If you are one of the thousands of Kidology.org members… you already HAVE access to leadership training!
All you need to do is take the time to watch AND LEARN! My life’s Mission and heart’s Passion is to Equip and Encourage Those Who Minister to children.
Please take advantage of these Leadership Labs. I can’t tell you what a difference they will make in your ministry. And if you are one of our scholarship ministries and need this training, let us know. We will make this material available to you at no cost. We trust your integrity when you ask.
Because Jesus Loves Children,
Pastor Karl Bastian
P.S. – And make sure you are tuning into my FREE podcast KidminTalk.com – and when you are ready to get really serious about your ministry, get yerself a Kidology Coach!
Do you love to Equip and Encourage in Kidmin?
Many in children’s ministry are struggling to survive each week – they are beginners just figuring things out. They are needing help and are seeking it all over the web. They end up on Kidology.org by the thousands daily.
Are YOU that special breed THAT LOVE TO HELP kidmins like that?
Long before Facebook, Twitter, or any other kidmin blog or website – Kidology.org has existed for the SOLE purpose of Equipping and Encouraging Those in Children’s Ministry – AND YOU CAN JOIN OUR TEAM. As we approach our 20 year birthday, we are looking to grow our ministry team.
Kidology.org is the single largest online database of collective HELP for those in children’s ministry – and it has gotten that way because of people who share my passion for Equipping and Encouraging Those in Children’s Ministry.
- Do you love answering questions?
- Do you love to write?
- Do you love to publish materials?
- Do you love to share what you create?
Kidology.org offers the perfect place for you to MINISTER to other kidmins ALL OVER THE WORLD! And we need your help. We have a volunteer team of Kidmin Professionals (tho ‘professional’ doesn’t mean they are paid staff – it is a statement of their quality and excellence) who serve on staff at Kidology writing, serving, advising, answering questions in our forum, and ministering to the thousands who visit our website daily from all corners of the globe. (Side note: how can a globe have corners?) Our Kidmin Pro Team have a private forum where we also minister to each other. It’s a fun team to be on.
If you blog, write, create, encourage, share, teach, coach, advise, or are otherwise a nut about children’s ministry – you ought to be on the Kidology Kidmin Pro Team. We write movie reviews for Kidology, World of Kids for K Magazine, and in general use our gifts to keep kidmins out there Equipped and Encouraged.
If you are interested in joining the Kidmin Pro Team – please let me know! Just put “I’m interested in the Kidmin Pro Team” in the comments box when you contact me, or tweet or e-mail me. Just let me know!
This summer my family and I traveled to Okoboji, Iowa where I did the children’s teaching for the Okoboji Bible Conference. It’s a super conference that families travel to from all over the country to enjoy not only the conference, but the family activities in the area from the lake to the amusement park and more. I taught mornings and evenings and then our family had fun during the day too.
One evening a sweet little girl came up to me, gave me a hug and slipped me a note “to read later.” One side was a picture of her holding my hand and the other was said, “Carl, you are the dest mijishan I had ever met. LOVE Ellie.” She even drew two linking rings unlinked, followed by an arrow and then they are magically linked!
(Click to view full size)
Of course, this simply note made my day, and her creative spelling only added to the charm. Out of a gymnasium full of children one little girl took some time to get some paper and crayons and make me a little note… a note I shall be saving. It reminded me of an encouragement note I got the last time I spoke at the Okiboji Conference in 1996 that I still have and blogged about long ago from the mom of Phil Vischer.
Simple acts of appreciation mean a lot to people. We often assume people get lots of affirmation – but usually this is a false assumption. When was the last time you got out a piece of paper and wrote someone a note of encouragement? A word of thanks? Have you let someone know lately you think they are the best? In an age of tweets, ‘likes’ and text messages a snail mail letter or hand written note means even more than it ever did.
Write one today!
Today, I want to share a thought that I got via e-mail from a friend of mine – a CP in Florida who is an “off the charts” super kids pastor. Not because she is well known, or runs a huge ministry, or for any of the reasons we tend to look for in the “Kidmin Who’s Who’s” – but because she has a HUGE heart for kids and Jesus. I talked about Shelly in the Kidmin Podcast, “It’s All About Jesus!” I love her personal motto, which comes in handy quite a bit in kids ministry. When things don’t always go as planned, you’ll hear Shelly say, “It’s All Good.” She even has it up on the wall of her office as a constant reminder, when God is in control, and you are trusting Him, “It’s All Good!”
“It’s All Good!”
I want to share something that God whispered to me the last two minutes before I walked out the doors of a conference our staff recently attended.
I was in the bathroom… the conference was over and I had dashed back in before we hit the road home. As I was washing my hands, I noticed a piece of paper towel on the floor. After I dried my hands I bent over, grabbed that paper towel and threw it in the waste can. As I was throwing it in, I was smiling as I was hearing the words, “leave it better than you found it.” (This is a saying I have carried with me my whole life.) As I was smiling God whispered to me, “That is what you do with the children each week.” And I stopped cold. I was the only one in the bathroom and I was so happy about that because I got to relish the moment and soak in it.
It’s true. Let me explain.
Do you remember our philosophy of ministry from wayyyyy back when you first read the CM Manual? Our Children’s Ministry ministry is W.I.L.D.E. about kids! When they are with us our goal is the following:
That we ARE:
- Worshiping with Joy (Reaching Up.. we teach this and model this with them)
- Intentionally seeking God’s Truth (Reaching In. discipleship. Teaching the Word)
- Loving kids and leaders right where they’re at (Grace. All the way around. Patience. Compassion)
- Developing and Deepening our relationship with Jesus and others (Reaching In. Discipleship. Fellowship)
- Exploring new and fun ways to tell about our Faith (Reaching Out. teaching kids to share their Hope! (Keeping the Good News fresh for the kids.)
When we do the above, we are leaving the Kids “better than we found them,” or “better than when they walked through our doors.” Every time you are a part of loving them, teaching them, guiding them, speaking and correcting with LOVE, modeling grace and patience… you are “leaving their hearts better” than when they walked in. You are nourishing their souls. They don’t know it, but we do! No matter your role in CM, you are a part of this beautiful impartation!
Someone asked me this week what my vision is for children’s ministry. That is such a complicated question! But the bottom line, as God whispered to me, is that we, as a team, bound together with one vision from God, is to “leave them better than we found them,” filled with TRUTH… and as they look back with us, they will remember there is a place of safety and of love and that place is Jesus.
I will leave you with one more thought…..
If you are tired, find time to get alone with Jesus. This should be a priority for us, not an afterthought or the last thing on our list of a busy day. It is so life giving! I love this line from a new song I learned, “There’s a calm that covers me when I kneel down at your feet. It’s a place of freedom, It ‘s a place where I find healing.” (Highlands Worship)
Leave Em Better!
Me and Shelly from “way back” when I first met her at a CPC.
I think that’s some pretty good advice that we all can take to heart and think about this coming Sunday. Thanks, Shelly, for all your encouragement over the years and for loving Jesus and Kids so much, it’s contagious!
Let me invite you to jump over to my lastest post on YosemiteSummit.org and read a personal challenge from me to you…
It could just be the thing you need today.
Recently Discovered Ancient Document Reveals Modern Kidmin Strategy
Could it be that a recently uncovered document once thought lost forever in the archives of the Kidologist’s vast children’s ministry vault of hand written resources from before the dawn of the computer could reveal a ministry strategy that could revolutionize your ministry today?
Archeologists have discovered a hand drawn ministry strategy document dating back to circa 1993 from when Karl Bastian, aka “The Kidologist,” was just a “Green Thumb” children’s pastor at the historic Moody Church in downtown Chicago. Yet this ministry strategy has been guiding his ministry for over twenty years.
Once guarded as a valuable treasure and only shared with the most trusted colleagues, Karl has now revealed its secrets on his podcast. Will clues within this ancient drawing lead you to gold or a national treasure? Or will it simply make your ministry programing and event planning more strategic and purposeful?
You be the judge. Listen to Kidmin Talk #53 today… and download the full resolution historical document for yourself.
Discover the secret that will set your ministry planning on a whole new Quest!
The Hobbit came as a delight to me. I knew it would be visually stunning and the music would be sweeping and amazing to listen to… but it also rose above the usual fluff of meaningless formalistic drivel that passes for entertainment today.
While much credit must be given to the author, Tolkein, Peter Jackson has done wonders to bring it to life, and capture the wonder of this timeless story. I am not one who is bothered by the three movie approach, but looking forward to it.
When I go to a movie, I ask, What is the Message of this story? What are the timeless truths? What are the transferable principles to real life? What drove the author to write the story? Why did the movie maker create this? What can I learn?
The Hobbit is loaded with life lessons that should not be missed. Some are obvious, others are more subtle – the subtle ones are the more powerful ones.
In this post, I’ll start with the obvious: The Lure of Adventure.
Bilbo, forgetting his Tookish roots, has settled into a life of comfort because of the culture in which he lives. It is not a bad culture, but a simple one. Then, Gandalf arrives to change all that, as Bilbo says, “In those days I was always respectable, and nothing unexpected ever happened.”
“Good Morning,” is Bilbo’s greeting as the wizard approaches. To which the wizard responds to catch him off guard,
“What do you mean? Do you mean to wish me a good morning or do you mean it is a good morning whether I want it or not? Or perhaps you mean to say that you feel good on this particular morning? Or are you simply stating that this is a morning to be good on?”
Thus begins the breakdown of Bilbo’s simple life. Next comes the uninvited quests, the knowledge of a quest, and the introduction of a contract which includes details of “incineration” and even funeral arrangements! It is more than this little hobbit can bear. He is certain Gandalf has made a mistake in choosing him to join this motley crew, and tells him so!
The wise wizard challenges him, after he says he just wants to sit awhile…
You have been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me, when did doilies and your mother’s dishes become so important to you? I remember a young hobbit who was always running off in search of elves and wolves, and staying up late and coming home after dark trailing mud and twigs and fire flies. A young hobbit who would like nothing better than to find out was was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps, its out there.
What are your doilies or dishes? What things keep you from adventure? Do we get content in life? Do we avoid “adventure” when it comes our way because we become complacent in our comfortable life? Are we afraid to take chances because of the risks involved? As Gandalf admits, safety is never promised. He tells Bilbo there is no promise of coming back, other than that that he will not be the same. Adventure changes us. However, he offers him something better than safety, when he says,
“You will have a tale yourself to tell when you come back.”
What tales do you have to tell? Too many people merely arrive at death safely and have no tales to tell of a life of adventure! It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by one of our most famous presidents who died reading a book – he was always learning -
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt
So the The Hobbit addresses adventure from two sides – it asks both, are you are willing to GO on an adventure? But it also asks, have you invited anyone to join you who otherwise doesn’t seem ready? Have you called someone to see something in themselves that they are unable yet to see by themselves? That is what leadership is all about. It is being the wizard to a hobbit. So you may be the hobbit who needs to GO, or you may be the wizard who needs to CALL. Only you can answer that. Sometimes we are one or the other in different life situations.
If you are the wizard, notice how Gandalf played his hand. He laid out the challenge. And then while Bilbo slept, the party left. The offer was made, but he did not force Bilbo to go. They left the house better than they found it, and went on their way.
Bilbo awoke to an empty, clean, and quiet house. Gandalf made him feel the emptiness of his life – he was confronted with the pointlessness of his now old life, and he knew if he didn’t run after them now, he would regret it forever. And run he did!
His first pull back to his old life came when he realized he had forgotten a small comfort of home – a handkerchief, but his new guide had to remind him he had made a choice, and life would now forever be different.
You will have to manage without pocket handkerchiefs and a good many other things, Bilbo Baggins, before we reach our journey’s end. You were born to the rolling hills and rivers of the Shire, but home is now behind you, the world is ahead.
The 1st CM Leaders Conference, hosted by INCM, is coming to a close. It was a fantastic time of challenge, inspiration and fellowship for leaders in children’s ministry.
I highly recommend it to leaders for their own enrichment – in addition to CPC, and INCM is offering a bundle on registration that makes the cost of this conference close to a meal out with a colleague if you attend both next year, so you have no reason to miss it.
I especially enjoyed meeting folks from Kidology that I’ve never crossed paths with before and getting to ‘break bread’ with my ‘kidmin peeps’ at meal times.
The conversations were fun but at times intentionally focused on issues we were facing in our ministries.
Opportunities to encourage or equip one on one were memorable. The comradore on Twitter via the hashtag #CMLeaders was at times hysterical.
I appreciated that there was both speakers who were well known and experienced, but some who may be less known, but equally qualified and with much to share and great challenges and insights, even if conference speaking isn’t a career for them. The blend was well thought through.
There were some helpful resource providers, but due to the smaller crowd, they had more time to visit and chat than at the larger CPC venue.
Having the time to work with people and answer their questions was a real treat.
I may post later some of the challenges and quotes from the speakers – but for now, I’m just processing them at a personal level. For now I just wanted to give INCM’s launch of the CM Leaders Conference an enthusiastic Two Thumbs Up and encourage you to join me next year! I’ll be starting my CM Leaders streak. (It’ll never catch up to my 40 CPCs streak!)
See ya at the next INCM Conference.
- Posted while mobile via iPhone, editing to come!
Just one of many thank you letters I receive from our Kidology Coaching graduates:
I want to thank you for organizing the Kidology Coaching program. It has helped me tremendously and I have learned both ministry and life skills through the material and my coach.
I joined Kidology and the coaching program about three years ago. When I first joined I was in a position where I was leading a Children’s Ministry with NO experience and feeling very overwhelmed. When I started there were only between 15 and 20 kids. I originally was looking for a coach to give me some direction and advice. As I sit here three years later, I realize that I have achieved both of these through Kidology Coaching. However, I have gained so much more.
Barney has become family to me. He is more than a coach, and the life skills he has taught me have given me guardrails and guidance that are priceless. He has instilled confidence in me when I was drowning in fear. He has helped me form good boundaries with family members. He has been patient with me when I struggled to keep in contact and on task. He has always been there for me when I needed him. He has helped me with my deep struggles as I asked GOD for guidance on life decisions. He has been a listening ear when I was dealing with frustrations in ministry. He is a trusted life coach and I consider him family.
Through the content of Kidology Coaching I learned how to take baby steps to complete a large goal. I learned that small, but consistent steps of discipline are the most important steps to achieving good habits. I learned how to do effective object lessons, Gospel magic, and what format to use when putting together lessons. I also learned administrative skills that have helped me to achieve my goals. Some of the lessons I learned have prepared me for the future and I am so grateful for that. I am a better Children’s church minister because I have learned so much about children and how to best reach and teach them.
I appreciate the format of the coaching because it used a good building structure. This type of structure is so solid and really created a firm foundation of learning. The units were composed of one-step lesson for each skill – this style of teaching fits me very well.
I recently finished the program and I still look through the material and seek Barney’s counsel on a regular basis. Now we are averaging 20 kids on Sundays and our new Wednesday program is attracting an average of 25 kids. GOD has used me to lead many children to the LORD. Also I have used Awesome Adventure to disciple two children at a time for 3 quarters. I have grown immensely through the program and I am so grateful that I found it.
This program bears fruit far beyond the coaching. I apply what I have learned on a regular basis and teach others the skills I have learned. Thank you so much for training leaders so that they can better lead and love children.
Jenny Erickson, Graduate, Kidology Coaching Program
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One of my favorite iPad Apps for passing idle time (like on the airplane right now) is CardTower. I get to build a “real” house of cards with playing cards, and it is amazingly realistic for being on an iPad (plus its free!)
I can grab either two cards from the top of the pile to form a triangle or just one to drop a flat one, but the physics are amazing! The best thing is that there are unlimited ‘undos,’ which I really need. I try to be disciplined and only do one redo, but I watch the entire thing collaspe, and then just undo the last card I placed. Or… I go back to a time when it was sturder and build from there. But don’t be fooled, that doesn’t make the game easy. It still took me a while to build this six level tower.
One Hint: See my little stack on the lower right side? If you want to make minor adjustments to slipping cards or even nudge in a flat card in the middle, grab a solo card from the top, use it to make adjustments, like you would with your hand in real life, and then just drop it on the table.
Pretty cool picture huh? The App has a feature that lets you take pictures of your progress and save to your Pictures on the iPad.
Well, I have a little confession to make. That pic was snapped nano-seconds before the whole house came crashing down! No matter how many redos I did, I could not get that final 6th level to stay. While it was fun to watch all the various ways it collapsed, it was a lot of hard work to get to that 6th level. I finally had to accept that my work on the lower levels had made a 6th level impossible. As hard as I worked, I had to accept that I would never get a perfect card castle. I would have to settle for a nice picture to show, and get back to work. My only choice was a ton of undos and reworking. I may never have a solid card castle that stands all on its own, and when (if) I do, it probably won’t be that pretty, like the ideal I have in my head.
No matter how hard I try to build this ‘perfect’ castle, it always ends up crashing down! Undos and start-overs are constant.
It reminded me a lot of Children’s Ministry.
We can print some pretty nice brochures for the Visitor’s Center and put up some great CM websites for prospective families to check out, but the reality is, we are constantly building, experiencing crashes, and redoing. Once in awhile we are able to snap a great picture to show the world. I’m not saying we are dishonest, just that those are the highlights. Those rare moments of feeling like we’ve really acheived something, when the rest of the time we are nudging and adjusting and just trying to keep the whole thing from coming crashing down.
I just want my kidmin friends out there to know, I see your perfect looking pictures and websites and brochures, and I celebrate those moments with you. But I also know that feeling of hoping no breeze will come along that might knock it all down. Breezes like volunteers quitting, pastors adding more levels your foundation can’t support, card (budget) cuts, dropped cards (balls) – and the list goes on and on.
I’m praying for you. My house is in constant repair and a little shaky too, as I seek to help build the Kingdom.
But it’s fun at the same time. Keep on keeping on!