Sep 1, 2014

How Divorce Really Affects Children

How does divorce really affect kids?  A recent survey reveals that most parents who divorce are in denial about how it affects their kids.
  • Only 14% were able to be honest with their parents about how upset they felt.
  • 39% said they hide their feelings from their parents as they don't want to upset them.
  • 20% felt there was no point in telling their parents because they were too wrapped up in themselves.
  • 1 in 12 felt forced to look after the parent during the divorce.
  • 35% said one of their parents tried to turn them against the other.
  • Almost a third described themselves as 'devastated' by their parents divorce.
  •  1 in 12 thought it meant their parents didn't love them and had let them down.  
  • 13% blamed themselves for the divorce.
  • 31% witnessed their parents fighting.
  • Older kids - 5% drank, 3% took drugs, and 11% self-harmed.
  • 6% considered suicide and 1 in 50 tried it but was found in time.
Parents who experienced divorce said...
  • Only 5% realized their children blamed themselves for the split.
  • 10% thought their kids were "relieved" they left their partner.
  • Only 10% realized their child had seen them fighting - three times lower than the true figure.
  • 8% admitted they had tried to turn their child against the other parent, almost four times lower than reported by the children.
  • 77% of separated couples think their kids coped well – but only 18% of children are happy their parents are no longer together.
  • 1 in 5 youngsters drank and 1 in 9 self-harmed to cope, but just 1 in 100 parents knew.
  • Only 1 in ten parents knew their children were hiding their true feelings.

Aug 29, 2014

7 Ways to Communicate with Parents

One of the most important aspects of children's ministry is partnering with parents...and communicating with them is a big part of this.

What are the best ways to communicate with parents?  Here's 7 ways you can connect with the people who have the biggest influence in the lives of the kids in your ministry.

Did you know that 98% of text messages get read?  This is a sure-fire way to connect with parents.  More about that here.

Make a point to talk with parents at church.  Want to know where I spend my time on Sundays?  Talking with parents.  Be in the hallways and engage them in conversation.

Two-Minute Window
You have a two-minute window when parents are dropping off and picking up their children.  Be intentional about connecting with parents during this window of time.  More about that here.

Call them.  And not just when you need them to volunteer.  Call just to say "hi" and ask how you can pray for their child.  

Take-Home Paper
Send home a communication piece.  Will it get read?  Not always, but you'd be surprised how many parents actually do read it.

Email still works.  Send out emails about upcoming events, classes and activities.  Or take it to the next level with a digital newsletter for parents.

Offer training classes at key times in parents' lives with their children such as child dedication, baptism, transition into middle school, etc.

How do you communicate with parents?  
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Aug 28, 2014

Why You Should Be Telling Stories That Make Your Volunteers Cry

Jesus told stories that evoked emotion.  A prodigal son returns home, a Samaritan helpa a man who was in desperate need, a widow gives all she had...just to name a few.

Emotional stories can infuse your volunteers with passion, vision, commitment, and encouragement.

How do you know if your story is evoking emotion?  You will see tears.  Some will hide it better than others, but you will see a good percentage of people reaching for a Kleenex.

Here's a couple of ways to bring strong emotional stories to your volunteers.

Share the emotional stories of kids and families whose lives have been impacted by the ministry.  Volunteers want to know that they matter and that what they do matters.  When you show them, you are bringing that affirmation.

Years ago, I had an appreciation dinner for some of our volunteers.  Unbeknownst to them, I had arranged for some of the kids they taught to show up at the dinner and surprise them.  At just the right moment, the kids came walking in and began to thank them for impacting their lives.  There was not a dry eye in the house.  Mission accomplished.

Share videos that evoke emotion.  Here's a couple of examples.

Do you ever see your volunteers cry?  Remember...the point is not the tears, but what the tears represent. 

Aug 27, 2014

Is Your Identity Wrapped Up in Your Ministry?

Polls say that 55% of people get their sense of identity from their job.

Those who serve in ministry are no exception.  Many times our sense of identity is wrapped up in our ministry instead of our Maker.

I'll be transparent here.  I've been guilty.  When things were going well with the ministry, I would feel my worth go up.  When things were stagnate with the ministry, I would question my worth.

If we're honest, we've all struggled with this at times.  We base our worth on what we do instead of who we belong to.

Instead of finding your identity in your ministry, find your identity in what God says about you as His child.  Your ministry will have it's ups and downs, but your identity in Christ will never change.

Check out this short video and be encouraged.  Your identity is not found in being a Children's Pastor or a Children's Ministry Leader or an amazing volunteer.  Your identity is You are a Child of God!

Aug 26, 2014

3 Keys to Impacting Kids for Christ (free video teaching)

This past weekend we had a training for our volunteers.

Below is the opening session.  I shared three keys to impacting kids for Christ.  Praying with you for a great fall season of ministry.