Are You a Leader Who Keeps Learning?

Leaders keep learning!

When I was a girl, I loved learning and reading.  I loved going to school.  I took pride in my assignments.  As a ministry leader, I still have a passion for learning and taking pride in my work.  While my time for reading is not as much as I’d like (because of family, ministry and life), I love good reading material and sharpening my skills through conferences and connecting with other leaders.  I’d like to think of myself as a leader who keeps learning.  Would you say the same about yourself?

A few weeks ago, I read a quote by John Maxwell that stopped me in my tracks:  “If you continually invest in your leadership development, the inevitable result is growth over time.”

This could take many forms but might include:

  • Podcasts
  • Books
  • Conferences/seminars/workshops
  • Blogs/websites
  • Social media groups
  • Classes
  • Mentoring relationships

On the day that read John Maxwell’s above quote, I was having a bit of an anxious moment.  You see, I just started a new yearlong venture and was a little overwhelmed when it started on April 5th.  Ladies and gentlemen:


That’s right.  I am enrolled in Kidmin Academy, an intensive twelve-month online program that will award me a diploma in Children’s Ministry upon completion.  I am excited but nervous about what lies ahead.


Kidmin Academy exists to train and equip leaders for life-changing ministry to children and families.

Kidmin Academy uniquely couples theological instruction with practical ministry expertise from a credentialed faculty with a wide-range of backgrounds.  Our curriculum and education philosophy is unique in that it is very practical while academically rigorous.  Kidmin Academy equips pastors, church planters, worldwide missionaries, teachers, and individuals with a life-fulfilling passion for the Gospel and ministry to children and families.

I’ve only been in the academy for just a few weeks but I’ve already learned so much!  But boy – going back to school has been a huge transition for me.  This program is real school, friends.  No fluffy teaching or assignments here!

This is another faith journey for me.  I’m praising God for the opportunity to attend Kidmin Academy free of charge (thanks to the generosity of a very dear friend)!  I’m praising God for the opportunity to learn and improve my craft and use my gained knowledge to better the ministry and team I lead.  I’m trusting God to help me manage my time well to watch the teaching videos, do the required readings and complete my assignments.  I’m trusting that God will enlarge my borders and help me see one of my dreams come true.

Will you pray along with me as I embark on this new journey?  I’d sure appreciate it!

Learn more about Kidmin Academy here.

Keep the conversation going!  Are you a leader who keeps learning?  How do you do that?  Leave a comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Teaching Familiar Bible Stories

Behind the Scenes: Children’s Ministry Magazine, March/April 2016

CM Magazine - Mar-Apr 2016

Teaching the Bible in fun, exciting and engaging ways is a challenge that every children’s ministry leader faces.  Some weeks come together really well; other weeks not so much.

If you’re like me, you scour the internet (thank you, Pinterest!) for ideas and inspiration to help you knock the story out of the park each week.  Then you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of those who’ll hear.

One of the dilemmas of a large group leader or teacher is to effectively teach the Bible to children who are familiar with the Bible AND kids who’ve never heard the stories before.  How can you capture the attention of fresh ears while engaging kids who are familiar?

This was the inspiration behind my “Old Messages, New Truths”, my elementary column topic in the March/April 2016 issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine.  In the column, I share 5 tips on how to do this.  (You can find the tips on page 30.)

If you’re looking for even more ideas, check out my kidmin-themed Pinterest boards.  You’ll find hundreds and hundreds of ideas to spur your creativity.

What methods have you found to maneuver this challenge?  Share your ideas below!

When KidMin Breaks Your Heart

Heartbreaking kids ministry

As a teenager, I served regularly in Children’s Ministry at my church.  I also babysat regularly after school and on weekends.  I had a lot of childcare experience.  So when I went away to college and served in Children’s Ministry at a center for low-income families, I wasn’t prepared for what I’d experience.

When we’d pick the children up on the center’s bus, some of the children were unkempt – they were dirty and often smelled like they slept in a bed that they had wet.  Some got on the bus eating non-traditional breakfast food like potato chips and fruit punch.  Despite it all, they were so precious and teaching them about Jesus was such a blessing to me.

If you’re in ministry, you know what a joy ministry can be.  Seeing a child ‘get it’ and take their next spiritual steps.  Volunteers who are committed to the purpose God has called them to.  Hearing stories of real life change.  These are the things that confirm that we’re in the right place, doing what God created us to do.  Feeling like we’re making an impact on the Kingdom is a very fulfilling calling.

If you’re in ministry, you also know that ministry is hard – physically, emotionally, spiritually.  There are days we wonder what it’s all for, if what we’re doing really matters, and if we’ll ever have all of the resources (budget, facility, volunteers, etc.) that we need to do effective ministry.

Recently, I was reminded that kids and families in my ministry are really hurting.  Sometimes I forget the burdens that families carry into my church and that smiles can often hide deep pain.  My heart was so broken one Sunday that I came home and cried until I had a headache.

Think about the children in your ministry or community.  Some split their time between two homes.  Some are being cared for by grandparents dealing with health or financial challenges.  Families are dealing with terminally ill family members.  Some are simply wondering where their next meal will come from.

I admit that I am often consumed with details of ministry that are important – things like scheduling volunteers, editing curriculum, purchasing supplies, planning events, and leading my team.  Sometimes I’m too consumed by these things.  But I was reminded that ministry is also doing soul care for our families, listening to the details of their lives, and reminding them of the hope we have in Jesus.

I used to think of these more heartbreaking moments as a downside of ministry but the longer I’ve been in ministry, the more my perspective has changed.  This is the ministry I was called to.  This is kingdom impact.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

(Matthew 25:34-40)

If no one has told you recently, what you’re doing matters tremendously.

If someone in your life needs to hear this message, please share it with them today.

Women of Faith: An Amazing Joyful Journey Movie

As a ministry leader, we spend so much time pouring into the lives of those under our care.  That’s what we do, right? A good shepherd takes care of his or her flock.  Sometimes we can do so much that taking care of ourselves takes a back seat while we tend to the needs of others.

When this is magnified in my own life, I feel a sense of what I refer to as ‘soul malnourishment’.  Maybe you experience the same warning signs of soul malnourishment that I do: fatigue, weariness, irritation, dissatisfaction, feeling overwhelmed.

One of the best ways for me to feed my soul is to position myself in a posture of prayer, praise and worship.  I do this to take the focus off of me and realign myself with Christ. This helps me to get myself back in balance.  Oftentimes I do this on my own but occasionally I do this in a group setting.

One such event that has filled my soul was a Women of Faith weekend event that I attended years ago with the ladies in my family.  It was a great day filled with upbeat praise, reflective worship, heartwarming stories and biblical, relevant teaching for all ages of women of various ethnic backgrounds and denominations.

After 20 years, the event is coming to an end but I was excited to hear about their new movie coming to select theaters in February and March.

About the film: 

Over the last nearly 20 years, Women of Faith – – grew to become the largest non-denominational Christian women’s conference, touching over five million lives with personal stories full of laughter and tears.  Stage events have included such inspirational and spiritual luminaries such as Campus Crusade for Christ’s Mary Graham, author & reality TV star Corie Robertson, author & popular speaker Luci Swindoll, author Sheila Walsh, and others.
The cinema event will take viewers on a journey of Women of Faith through the years, on stage and off, on their travels with World Vision, their impact on audiences, in short the way they’ve changed the world.  Partly historical, and frequently hysterical, this unique cinematic experience will be packed with some of the most popular pieces from the beloved speaking team to include Anna Trent, Thelma Wells, Mary Graham, Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, Jen Hatmaker, Sandi Patty, Patsy Clairmont, Nicole Johnson, and Marilyn Meberg as well as music and performances from Christian contemporary artists that appeared on the tour.  Featuring never-before-seen interviews, outtakes, and behind the scenes footage, this event presentation will bring back memories for all those who have attended a Women of Faith weekend as well as create new memories for those experiencing it for the first time.
Limited engagement in select cinemas February 18th & 20th, and March 3rd & 5th

SOCIAL • CORNER (Find out more by clicking a link below):
Official website
Instagram: @WomenofFaith
I CANNOT wait to see this movie next week!
Have you attended a Women of Faith event?  Will you see the movie?