{Book Review and Giveaway}: “Talk Now and Later”

brian dollar

Children today carry so many burdens and sometimes parents are ill-equipped to tackle those issues.  Recently, I received a copy of Brian Dollar’s new book “Talk Now and Later: How to Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” and I was looking forward to reading its contents.

Book Description: It’s a challenge to be a parent today.  It’s an even greater challenge to be a Christian parent.  Brian Dollar’s book provides insight and answers to the questions about how to influence our children for Christ.  He reminds us that we are not parenting alone – we can rely on God’s wisdom.

Here are the 10 tough topics covered in the book:

  • God
  • Death and Tragedy
  • Sex
  • Self-Image
  • Making Wise Choices
  • Divorce
  • Friendships
  • Money
  • Bullying
  • Restoring Broken Relationships

I found the book to be filled with practical tips and insights not only for parents but for anyone who walks through life with a child.  It was an easy read and I think you’ll enjoy it!  You’ll glean so many nuggets of wisdom to help you not only understand these issues but how to address them head on.  You will come back to it time and time again.

I am giving away an autographed copy of this great book!

Enter to win by emailing me at kidminspiration@gmail.com no later than 11:59pm EST on Sunday, September 13, 2015.  Winner will be announced on my Facebook Page on Monday, September 14, 2015.

Be sure to connect with Brian on Twitter or Facebook.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Flashback Friday: My Favorite Online Reads (Week of May 4, 2015)

This Week’s Favorite Online Reads

Here’s a sampling of some of the online reads I enjoyed this week:


What’s Your Leadership Made Of – Steel or Straw by Margaret Feinberg

The Best Way to Get Buy-In by Dale Hudson

Expand Your Vision: Partnering with Parents by Orange

How to Acclimate a New Volunteer by Orange

How to Lead A “Creative Team” by Brian Dollar

The One Thing You Must Focus On To Succeed in Children’s Ministry by Dale Hudson


I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I did.

Did you read something this week that inspired or encouraged you? Share it with me so I might check it out, too!

Summer Lovin’: Switching Things Up

The following post is part of a series of summer-related posts.  

Today, we’ll look at changing up your programming during the summer months.

Our ministry’s ‘summer’ began on Father’s Day, so with God’s help we have successfully survived 3 summer Sundays without our school-year volunteers (who serve Sept – mid June and get the summer off). Because we invite parents, members of our congregation and students to serve during the summer months, we wanted to restructure our ministry to still provide quality programming with the fewest amount of volunteers.

Here’s what we did. and how it’s been working so far:


During the school year, we provide individual classes for 2-yr olds – Kindergartners at each of our two services (eight classrooms).  During the summer months, we decided to offer a class for 2-yr olds (using Group’s Hands-on-Bible curriculum) and a mixed-age group for 3-yr olds – Kindergartners (using Orange’s First Look curriculum).  This mixed-age room will be a large group/small group format that will include engaging arrival activities, large group time (live worship and Bible story, on DVD) and mixed-age small groups for application activities (crafts, games, etc.), playground time, snack and prayer.  The response has been so overwhelmingly positive from children, parents and volunteers that we are considering continuing this format this fall.


Since we bid our rising 6th graders a fond farewell a few weeks ago, we have again decided to combine our rising 2nd – rising 5th graders for the summer.  (We’ve done this for the past few years and it’s worked very well).  Our summer programming will be just seven weeks this year, as our elementary students worship with their families during the month of August.  (Take a look at how we introduced this last summer here).  Usually I order the summer XP materials from Orange but the materials they offered this year was a repeat of materials we used last summer so I began praying and asking God to direct me to what materials we should use for the seven weeks of our Sunday programming.  I landed on teaching the kids about Moses since our VBS will focus on Moses in the wilderness with the Israelites.

On Sunday mornings, we set up a few arrival activities and lead the children in a large group game to introduce the lesson for the day.  Then we move everyone to our large group space for a fun, interactive countdown, worship, prayer, and our Bible story (led by a main storyteller).  When our large group time concludes, we split the group into 3 groups and allow the groups to rotate through 3 activity stations, which has included object lessons, memory verse activities, crafts, games and snack.  The slightly different format has worked so well that I’ve signed up a few volunteers to serve with us this fall!

In our ministry, attendance fluctuates during the summer months, so we like to take risks and try some new things in the summer.  If something’s a hit, we include it in our programming for the new ministry year.

Related article:  Should Kids Ministry Take the Summer Off? by Brian Dollar

What does programming in your kidmin look like during the summer months?  What ‘risky’ things are you trying this summer?