Dynamic Children's Ministry - Blog

Most Important

This week I received a thank you note from my child’s school.  It wasn’t fancy, just a postcard in an envelope with a couple of heart-felt sentences, thanking me for helping out with the teacher’s appreciation breakfast.  Receiving it surprised me because, frankly, I really didn’t do much...I just signed up to bring a few cartons of juice and a container of ground coffee.

thank-you

While I felt the note was a little undeserved, it did get me thinking about how much we thank volunteers at church.  If a school goes to all the trouble of sending a note when a volunteer runs to the store, how much more should we, as Children’s Ministers, be thanking the people who give their time to eternally impact the children in our church?

I know what some of you are thinking right now.  You already know you should be thanking volunteers and you’ve have good intentions of sending notes to your team, but…you get so busy pulling everything together for the weekly children's services that you often run out of time to do "extra's" like appreciation.

Children's Ministers are the busiest people I know.  We are doing a million different things and it seems like Sunday just comes faster and faster each week.  Knowing that, we should always remember that our programs are only as good as the friendly adults who volunteer alongside us, and appreciating them is one of the most important things we can do with our time!

Do you need help making changes in your ministry priorities?  Are you feeling like adding another “to do” is just too overwhelming to even think of?  Then contact me to discuss Ministry Coaching.  It's effective, affordable, and will help you define what matter’s most in your ministry, as well as bring the passion and drive back to your ministry.

Learning From Other Churches

I visited a great little church last Sunday called Evangelical Covenant Church in Des Moines, IA (ECC).  It was refreshing to see their high level of commitment to Children’s Ministry with an exciting space, use of creativity, allocation of resources and passionate volunteers.

The morning started with kids arriving to a really cool space with upbeat music playing and a room filled with board games, video games, legos, foosball, pool, and ping-pong tables.  The lead teacher was ready at the door with a big smile and high-fives as kids arrived.  The service continued with video worship music, relevant teaching, relational/age-specific small groups, and life application.

This church models a lot of what I have seen at large churches, even though ECC’s numbers are small in comparison.  Actually, some of what I saw at ECC was even better than what I’ve seen at a lot of large churches:  the tech equipment was modern (it didn’t look handed-down), the board games looked brand-new, and the volunteers took the initiative to plan extra activities without relying on a staff member to prepare everything for them.

I also picked up some ideas I haven’t seen before:  Their volunteers work every week for a month, then have a month off, rotating year-round; and they use a different Bible presentation for each of their two services so that the kids who attend both services (because their parents are volunteering somewhere in the church) experience new teaching each time.

Have you had an opportunity to learn something new from another church lately?  When we visit other children’s programs, it not only allows us to learn new things, but it pushes our creativity and refuels us to take our programs to the next level. It also helps us builds connections with others who have the same ministry passion.church_collage

If you haven’t been to another church lately, I’m urging you to do so.  It’s a good practice to learn form others in this way because no matter how “happening” our ministries are, there is always room to grow, learn and be inspired.  I love the phrase Ed Young wrote in his book, The Creative Leader, “The moment you stop learning is the moment you stop being an effective leader.”   So get out of your church, see what you can learn from others, and have a great time doing it!

Need more ideas, or want help totally overhauling your ministry?  Contact Dynamic Children’s Ministry to assist you in making your Children’s Ministry…Dynamic!

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Church Security Webinar Review

I “attended” a webinar (that means live seminar on the web - for those of us who are constantly learning technical terms!) this month on Seven Critical Security Tips for Churches put on by Fellowship Technologies.  It was an excellent presentation of ideas that churches should really look into in order to keep their children and church body safe.  The seven tips include:  Background checks; check-in systems; aggressive friendliness; emergency action plans; triage teams; emergency response team kits; and communications.

The speakers, Jeff Kowell, who heads up the Life Safety Ministry at New Life Church in CO, and Chris Wilson, President of Clear Investigative Advantage, presented stats and life experience on the need for a high, but friendly, level of security in churches.  Kowell told how he has gained some of his expertise in a way none of us ever want to become experts in church security…through a shooting that occurred in his church.  He and his team were prepared and stopped the shooter inside the building, but unfortunately, people lost their lives in the parking lot.  He said that although they had a team and policies in place, they learned from the tragedy and have since implemented even better safeguards to protect their people.

Both he and Wilson agreed that church safety-programs need to be in place in all sizes of churches, because problems are not just happening at large churches.  They stressed that even the smallest of churches should at least have gatekeepers/watchmen over the parking area, the adult service, and children’s ministry.  Children’s Ministry volunteers should all have a background check completed and wear a name badge, and the children’s ministry should have a check-in/out procedure.  Procedures for check-in/out can be as simple as handing out a matching ticket when children are dropped off and expecting it back when picking them up.

Fellowship Technologies has allowed me to post the website where you can download the entire webinar audio and ‘white paper’ that goes along with the talk (at no charge) by going to:  http://fellowshiptech.com/dynamicchurchtrends

If this type of church security seems like ‘over-kill’ to you, remember that Jesus instructs us in Matthew 10:16 to be “as shrewd as snakes and as harmless as doves” so security is just part of our calling to protect the children that have been entrusted to us.

If you know your church’s security needs an overhaul, but feel a little overwhelmed and would like some help, feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to help you get started!

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