May 4, 2016

Want to Build a Great Volunteer Team? Use These 5 Tips from the NFL Draft

Do you need more volunteers?  I'm 99.9% sure the answer is "yes."  If that's you, then here's some help...from the NFL draft.

Recently I was watching the NFL draft.  Teams drafted new players with the hope that it will make their team more successful.

As I watched the draft and the process leading up to it, I realized there are some cues we can learn from this that will help us build our volunteer teams.  Here they are. 

#1 - Look for people who are a good fit for your team.  NFL teams not only look for players who have talent, but also for players who will be a good fit for their team culture.
Look at character as much as you look at credentials. (tweet this) 
Take time to sit down with prospective volunteers and interview them.  Find out not just what they do, but who they are.  Find out what their skill set is.  Find out what their passion is.  If you'd like a list of questions we ask prospective volunteers, you can get them at this link. 

#2 - Individually invite people to join your team.  In the NFL draft, players are individually drafted by a team.  This is also the best way to build a volunteer team.  You don't build a volunteer team by mass appeals, you build a volunteer team by personal, individual asks.  That's the way Jesus built His team of at a time...come...follow Me.

#3 - New people bring new energy to a team.  Teams draft players knowing that a new, dynamic player can bring fresh energy and excitement to the team.  New team members also bring new energy and excitement to a volunteer team.  Is your team tired?  Just going through the motions?  Hit a plateau?  Adding a new team member can turn things around.

#4 - Invite people to be part of something bigger than themselves.  Players who are drafted are excited to be part of something bigger than themselves.  They have made it to the next level.  They have the opportunity to be part of something that only a small percentage of football players ever get to part of an NFL team.  They are joining a vision...a cause...a dream to be part of a team that wins the Super Bowl.  

Everyone longs to be part of something bigger than themselves.  When you invite people to join your volunteer team, make sure you are inviting them to a big vision...a big calling...a big opportunity.  Your team has the greatest cause in the world...sharing the Gospel with kids and families.  People are drawn to a big vision.  People are drawn to a great cause.  People are drawn to an opportunity to make a significant impact.  People will line up to be part of a winning team! 

#5 - Get them connected.  Have you noticed what happens as soon as a player is drafted by a team?  They immediately give them a team hat and shirt.  They quickly identify them as part of the team.  They connect them.

The same should be true with the people you bring on your team.  Get them connected as soon as they are officially on the team.  A team shirt...a team name tag...however you decide to do this...get them connected...physically...
emotionally...and relationally.

Connected volunteers plug in.  Connected volunteers are happy.  Connected volunteers establish relationships that make them feel like part of a family.  Connected volunteers last.

Want a winning volunteer team?  It all starts by bringing the right people on your team in the right way.

Your turn.  The floor is yours.  What are some other tips we can learn from the NFL draft?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

May 3, 2016

Free Curriculum Giveaway ($120 Value)

Starting Line is a class curriculum that we developed to help kids step across the line of faith and begin a relationship with Jesus.

This curriculum has been used to lead hundreds of kids and parents to Christ at our local church and is now being used by churches across the country. 

The class is designed for kids and their parents to attend together and provides tools that parents can use to follow up with their children at home.

This comprehensive curriculum includes...
  • Introduction and instructional video
  • Teacher/Facilitator script with binder
  • 10 student booklets (full color with 18 pages)
  • 10 parent booklets (full color with 22 pages)
  • 10 pre-class activity pages (full color)
  • Class handout files that are editable and ready to print
  • Teaching videos on DVD and in data file format
  • Media presentation for PowerPoint and ProPresenter
  • Ready-to-go media files you can place in other presentation software such as Media Shout, Keynote, etc.
  • Promotional materials that are editable and ready to print
  • 10 mini-tennis shoe keepsakes for kids who attend the class
This is a great resource for ministries that want to reach entire families for Christ.  And we're giving away a free kit to one of our readers.  You can enter the drawing by emailing me at  We will announce the winner next Tuesday, May 10, here on this site.

The resource is also available for purchase at

Here is a video overview of the curriculum as well as more pictures and sample videos.

Starting Line Curriculum Video Sample 1

Starting Line Curriculum Video Sample 2


May 2, 2016

2016 State of Children's Ministry Survey (add your voice)

Aspen Grove, OneHope and CMConnect have partnered together to gather the latest, impartial findings about children's ministry in America.

The survey will help all of us understand where children's ministry is at in America and will provide valuable data that can help us get to where we want to be.

Add your voice.  The survey below only takes a few minutes to take.  Your participation allows you to receive the results free of charge and the valuable information can help you make decisions about your ministry.  Together we can gain fresh insight that will help us be more effective in reaching and discipling kids and families for Christ.

You can add your voice to the survey at this link. 

Apr 29, 2016

How Kids Are Using the Internet...the Latest Findings

Earlier this week, I talked about Generation Z, which are today's kids.  A big part of their lives is the internet.  They are growing up online and they've never known anything else.  Using a laptop, mobile device or smartphone to access the internet is as natural as breathing for them. 

Here are some of the latest findings from about how kids are using the internet.
  • 52% of kids say they go online many times a day.
  • 48% of boys and 34% of boys play games online.
  • 25% of boys and girls watch videos online.
  • 12% of boys and 17% of girls do schoolwork online.
  • 53% of kids listen to music online.
I am praying for more digital pioneers who will create online content that will engage and reach kids and families with the Gospel.  There have been a few successes like the Bible App for Kids and Jelly Telly, but we are just scratching the surface of what can be done.  Will you join me in praying for God to infuse many more people with the creativity, resources and wisdom needed to reach kids and families with the Gospel?

The floor is yours.  Who are some other people, churches or organizations that are reaching kids and families through the internet?  What fresh ideas do you have to reach kids and families through the internet?  Share with us in the comment section below.

Apr 28, 2016

One Simple Step That Will Enhance Your Check-In Area

Check-in is a necessary task that families go through when they arrive at church...not exactly something they look forward to doing.

And if they have to wait in line, it makes the experience even less pleasant.  69% of customers say long lines is the most frustrating part of shopping.  And that translates right into your children's ministry.

That being said, there is something you can do to enhance families' experience while they are checking in.

What is it?  Add visual content.

Studies show that customers are drawn toward signage at the check-out line.  And 84% of customers say watching digital displays helps the time pass more quickly while waiting in line.  40% of customers also say they are more likely to go to stores with digital displays near the checkout lines. 

Let's translate that into children's ministry.  How can you add visual content to your check-in areas?

Signs.  Adding signage at your check-in area can help enhance families' experience as they are checking in.  One way to do this is to add plexiglass sign holders at your check-in stations.  You can then swap out the signs on a regular basis with upcoming events, announcements, welcome signs, etc.

Really want to enhance your check-in area?  Add a digital display.   This can be done by adding a monitor with video content.  You can then show videos that welcome families, promote upcoming events, highlight programs, etc.
If you can enhance people's experience at check-in, they will start their day at your church with a positive feeling.  And since the sermon starts way before people enter the auditorium or classroom, that's a good thing.

Apr 27, 2016

The Best Children's Pastors Do These 5 Things

There are a lot of things you can do as a children's pastor.  But if you want to be highly effective, here's 5 you need to focus on.

Invest in people.  The best children's pastors invest in people.  They help people discover their gifts and maximize their potential.  They are equippers more than they are doers.  

Inspire people with vision.  The best children's pastor's constantly point people to the vision.  They are big on vision and articulate it clearly.  

Gather feedback.  The best children's pastors actively seek feedback.  Through team meetings and one-on-one conversations, they gather feedback that is clear, honest and constructive.  They use the feedback to move the ministry forward. 

Listen.  The best children's pastors ask questions, pose problems and challenges and enlist everyone's voice to generate answers.  They focus more on asking the right questions, knowing that from this the right answers will come.

Change as needed.  The best children's pastors are open to new ideas and change.  They stay out of ruts by being willing to adjust what's not working or needs to be improved...even it it was something they originally created.