Get Results From Being Positive


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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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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This morning at camp I showed the campers a really cool blue Lego Race Car Kit that I bought. I told them that my plan is to assemble it by shaking it in the box and demonstrated several shaking techniques. I even passed it through the audience letting the kids help me assemble it through shaking. I’m hoping by the end of the day it will be fully assembled inside the box so that I can just take it out and show the kids the completed car. But some think I’m crazy. They are telling me that the car had an inventor who first envisioned the car – then designed it – and that the box contains detailed instructions on how to put it together. Sounds superstitious to me! I let them know that sounds great, but I heard that our world came together randomly and by chance. It couldn’t be that Someone invented it, designed it, assembled it and made instructions on how we should then live! It just took millions of years of randomness for all this order to finally appear. So, by the same logic, if I just shake the Lego box enough times it should assemble …

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LEGO and Let God!


I wanted to take you behind the curtain a bit, and share a little about how I create complete curriculum units in a short amount of time—as I’m often asked for “my secret” or for help when friends find they need to crank out an entire series in a short amount of time! I’m heading to another week of camp speaking, and I’m excited about the theme: What a FUN theme for a week of helping kids to “BUILD” their lives on the Word of God! So many applicable verses come to mind, like: You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:5 I’ve done a Kid’s Church unit in the past where we looked at our “Connections” to God, Family, Church, Friends, Neighbors and the World. But I had 8 chapels to write and that series was only 6 lessons—and while I could do an intro and a review—the creative in me said, “Time to do something new and fresh!” rather than rehash something old. I did look through them for “lego ideas” that would be transferable. Then the …

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