Top Posts of 2016

Happy 2017, friends!

I hope your 2017 is off to a great start!  Before jumping too far into the new year, I wanted to reflect on the top posts shared here in 2016.  I tried to post from a variety of angles, from what God taught me personally to giving a glimpse into my ministry world.

Top 5 Posts of 2016 from KidMinspiration - A Children's Ministry Blog

Here’s a recap of the top kidmin posts of 2016.  Check out any that you may have missed (and please, share them if they spoke to you.)  I look forward to writing more here in 2017 and sharing (really soon!) about a new project I’ve been working on.  Stay tuned!

1. When Kidmin Breaks Your Heart

2. Preparing for Move Up Sunday

3. When There Are No Words

4. Preschool Curriculum: Why We Chose Orange’s First Look

5. A Conversation About Teaching Kids the Gospel

I appreciate you for reading and being part of this community!

As we look ahead to 2017, what topics would you like me to tackle here on the blog in 2017?  Leave your thoughts below or email me at kidminspiration@gmail.com.  

Seeing Kingdom Potential in Each Child

Seeing Kingdom potential in each child

As a little girl, I loved to go to church.  I mean loved.  It was the favorite part of my week.  I remember walking through the doors of my church excited to be with friends and adults that I loved.  The atmosphere in that pink (yes, pink!) classroom was warm and welcoming.  The adult leaders taught me songs and scripture verses that I still remember to this day (and sing aloud occasionally).  I was introduced to bible stories that deeply impacted my life.  These precious experiences impacted my life so deeply that I wanted other kids to love going to church just as much as I did.  Little did I know at that moment that God was preparing me for the call He had on my life.

When I began serving in Children’s Ministry as an adult, that desire was my drive…I wanted other kids to love going to church just as much as I did – even more than I did!  I wanted to create experiences that would help kids know how much the God who created them loved them and cherished them.  I wanted children to make friendships that could become lifelong.  I wanted children to treasure God’s Word and be excited to learn it, know it and do what it says.  I wanted children to develop a love of Jesus, one that would sustain them a lifetime.

You see, for me, leading Children’s Ministry is remembering that each child has Kingdom potential.  That means seeing each child who walks through the doors of my church as children who might one day grow up and be a dynamic Christ-follower.  That means seeing them not as the church of tomorrow but as the church of today.  God is working in their lives now, preparing them for the call He has on their lives.

Who but God knows the future He has for them?  Maybe the next great theologian, pastor, ministry leader or church planter is sitting in one of your classrooms right now.  Maybe God is preparing a boy or girl in your ministry to be the next author, politician, artist, business leader, or teacher to turn the world upside down for His honor and glory.

That’s why what we do each week is so much bigger than what we can see with our human eyes.  Each week, we are privileged to welcome children through the doors of our church…children who come to us with all sort of family backgrounds, personalities, gifts, talents and potential.What we are part of is Kingdom investment right now.  What an honor to be part of influencing the life of a child who might change the world and shine bright for Jesus!

If you’re a kidmin leader or volunteer, there’s something I’d like to challenge you to do.  The next time you hold your mid-week or weekend programming, I want you to look around at all of the children in attendance.  Look them in the eye.  Look beyond the challenging behavior, family circumstances or personality issues.  Look at them through a new, fresh lens…as one who could make Jesus known to a world who desperately needs Him.

If you’re a parent, there’s something I’d like to challenge you to do.  Do everything you can to plug your child into a church that helps them know and follow Jesus, one that challenges them to grapple with what they believe and challenges them to put their faith in action.  Attend church regularly so that your child can be connected to leaders and peers who can encourage them along their spiritual journey.  Help them see the church as another voice to speak into their lives.

Keep the conversation going!  How might this change in perspective affect how you minister and parent this week?

My Favorite #OC15 Tweets

Orange Conference 2015

I was not able to attend this year’s Orange Conference but I stayed plugged in through their live feed and social media posts.  Here are my favorite tweets from the conference:

Leadership

“You can only lead someone as far as you have gone yourself.”

“Time management hack: Look at your week and ask yourself “What 3 things have to happen for this week to be successful?”

“Saying yes to the wrong things is a momentum killer. Be willing to say no.”

“Language should be: • Relevant • Memorable • Repeatable • Effective.”

The first time you do something should be the worst time. Every other time you should be getting better at it.

“Never fight the battle of the “how to” until you have fought the battle of the value of why.”

“Courage is creating a stop doing list to do something better. Be intentional.”

“There’s an inexorable correlation between leadership and change.”

“You need 2 people in your life: 10 yrs ahead of you to show you potholes. 10 yrs behind to show you where the culture is heading.”

“You can’t fall in love with your method, you have to fall in love with your mission if you’re going to be an effective leader.”

“Change the world by investing in one life.”

“Celebrate what you want repeated.”

“Never apologize for having high standards for your leaders!”

“A healthy team culture, creates healthy church, which creates a healthy community.”

Volunteers

Church: we have the most important mission on the planet. Don’t apologize when asking 4 volunteers.”

“Few things are more demotivating to a volunteer than discovering staff didn’t set them up to succeed. Be organized.”

“Non-financial currencies to pay your volunteers: Gratitude, Attention, Trust, Empowerment, Respect.”

“Remind your volunteers often that even if they can’t always see it – they are making a difference.”

“Do we treat our volunteers well enough that they would recruit others to volunteer in our ministry?”

Taking Care of You

“If your only common ground with your spouse is your kids…they’re going to leave 1 day…then what?”

“Hustle is an act of FOCUS, not FRENZY.”

“Burnout doesn’t happen overnight. Passion fades. Your heart grows hard. Rest isn’t refuelling. Learn self-care, not self-medication.”

Family Ministry

“Parents don’t need something else to do. Give them an activity to do during times they all ready have with their kids.”

“For a blended family, attending church together 26 weeks a year is perfect attendance.”

“Reaching and keeping families at your church demands you plan and create systems so families can take next steps!”

“How to reach & keep families: Visitors will make a decision whether or not they will return within 7 sec of parking.”

“Only 18% of unchurched population fit into “traditional family” category. How does your strategy reach all families?”

“The church should be the BEST place that all parents can go to coached and equipped on becoming better parents.”

“One of the best gifts a church can give a kid or teen is to help parents have a thriving marriage.”

Connecting with Kids

“Kids will forget what you say, they will forget what you did, but kids will never forget how you made them feel.”

Next Gen Ministry

“Teenagers will never believe they are significant until you give them something significant to do.”

“The sooner you get students involved in ministry the more solid their relationship with Jesus becomes.”

You can find more tweets by searching the following hashtags: #OC15, #justaphase, #thinkorange.

Keep the conversation going!  Did you follow the conference online or attend the conference in person?  What were some of your favorite tweets or quotes?

{Throwback Thursday}: Every Child Matters

lifecounts

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous–and how well I know it.

Psalm 139:13-14

Last year, my children (ages 16 and 13) attended the March for Life rally in Washington, DC.  I was so proud of them–their desire to attend and brave the frigid temperatures and snow, all to make a stand for life, which is precious in the sight of God.  As I watched the rally online, I was awestruck at huge number of people (estimated at 500,000) standing up for the unborn.  I was reminded of how precious children are to God and how each and every child is valuable.

As a Children’s Ministry leaders, may we never forget that every child who shows up for our weekend and weekday programming matters to God.  Children from traditional homes and children from non-traditional homes.  Children from the suburbs and children from the inner city.  African-American children, Asian-American Children, and Caucasian children.  Children born in America and children born in a foreign land.  Rich children and poor children.  Children with special needs children.  Well-behaved children and misbehaved children.  Prodigal children. Children born to teen moms.  Children born to a single parent and children born to two parents.  Adopted children, abandoned children, orphaned children.  Well-educated children and uneducated children.  Children who come to church in a fancy car or SUV, by taxi cab, by bus or by foot.  Thin children and pudgy children.

Every child matters.