His Kidmin Yoke is Easy

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 If Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10) and to make our joy complete (John 15:11), then why are so many in ministry worn out, stressed out, and secretly ready to drop out of ministry? Why is it that so often those who know they were called by God to serve Him find themselves second-guessing that same call when life and ministry become almost more than they can bear? Whenever I am asked to speak or write on “avoiding burn out,” I can’t help chuckling to myself. Not because the topic is funny, but because the joke is on me. I know that when I needed to hear such things, I was unable or unwilling to. Why? I loved ministry! I was driven by the pressure that comes from wanting to make a difference. My favorite Calvin and Hobbes quote was when Calvin declared, “I …

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What Re-Creates You?

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The 9th annual Summit is now only one month away. It will probably seem like the longest month of the year as I anticipate my annual pilgrimage with God in Yosemite National Park with six other pastors for a time of re-creation, renewal, recharging, refocusing and restarting for the next season of life and ministry. I am often asked, “What’s so special about Yosemite? Why do you go there every year?” While I have answered that countless times and in many ways on the YosemiteSummit.org blog, let me share with you my first entry in the journal I have now taken to Yosemite on every trip. WHY YOSEMITE? This place is beyond description, though of course, I will try. As I often say, it is the closest God ever got to sin… because he sorta showed off His creative abilities! Our language lacks adequate words to do Yosemite justice. Incredible. Amazing. Spectacular. Breath-taking. Beautiful. Magnificent. I suppose the best I can use is awe-inspiring. Awe at the sheer size and height and depth and distance and beauty and splendor that hits your eyes all at once. And no matter how many pictures you take (and I take a lot) you …

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Improve Your Ministry in 2016!

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Christmas is just around the corner, and before you know it 2016 will be here! If you are like me, you already are starting to think about goals for the New Year. You are starting to day dream about ways you want to improve your work habits, how you can work smarter, be more efficient and ultimately be better at what you do. Children’s Ministry is incredibly demanding! There is always more to do than time permits. The secret to success is to do what matters most and in the best possible way. Many Kidology members over the years have discovered my Kidology Online Training. It is simply one the most enjoyable and effective ways you can take your ministry up several notches in the New Year. In a nutshell, it is five short self-guided training sessions that come with both a video training and supporting materials so you can learn on your own time, go at your own pace, and watch as your personal and professional skills improve. Why not make one of your 2016 goals to go through my Online Training Course? Its easy, fun, and has the potential to make you the best you can be in …

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How to be an AWESOME Small Group Leader

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Many churches today use a Large Group / Small Group format. That simply means all the kids first gather together for a large group teaching that may utilize videos, skits, object lessons, puppets or games, and a gifted teacher who is able to engage a large group of children effectively. Then, the kids break into small groups for discussion, a simple game perhaps, and other activities to help dig a little deeper into the lesson topic. If you are a small group leader, here are FIVE TIPS to make your time as effective as possible: #1 Understand how important you are! Often small group leaders sell themselves short. They may not have the “up front” skills of the Large Group teacher and so they may mistakenly think that they aren’t as important. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Your role is critical. No matter how amazing your large group teacher may be, they are teaching to a LARGE group. They can’t have the relational impact that you can. Notice, Jesus amazed large crowds, but he poured his life into a small group called the disciples. The crowds ran when Jesus was dying, but it was those disciples who carried on …

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Get Results From Being Positive

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Have discipline issues in your class, club or program? How do you train kids to behave? Hopefully no one will take offense at me comparing training kids to training my dog, but house training our Teddy reminded me of the power of positive reinforcement. As first time dog owners, we had to learn to house train our little puppy by trial and error. We listened to people, read articles, and even signed up for doggie training at our local Pet Smart… but the results were discouraging. Months into him joining our family, I was secretly thinking of giving him away because of being weary of cleaning up the unpleasant “gifts” he was leaving around the house. (Though, I knew that wasn’t really an option if I wanted to keep living in house!) Then we had a break through. A friend told me – give up scolding him or correcting him when he messes up. (He can’t understand you anyway.) Instead, when he does do his business outside where you want him to, CELEBRATE it to the MAX! So when he did it right, we jumped up and down, we clapped and cheered yelling “GOOD TEDDY.” Basically, the advice was go overboard …

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