Jan 26, 2022

Want A Thriving Church? Focus On CHILDREN!

Do you want to have a thriving, growing church?

I believe the key to this is focusing on children.   

When you focus on reaching children, you usher in the blessings of Jesus.  Look what Matthew 19:14 says...

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

I believe when a church concentrates on reaching children, they usher in the blessings of God. 

"A church that minimizes children's ministry will minimize God's blessings on their church.  On the flip side, I believe a church that maximizes children's ministry, will maximize God's blessings on their church. "

When a church pours their time, resources and best volunteers into children's ministry, they will see God do miraculous things. 

Want to reach entire families?  Children's ministry is vital for this to happen. 

Think about how many times in Scripture people came to Jesus for one reason...for their children. Their child was sick or had another issue that needed the healing that is only found in Christ.  And so they came to Jesus looking for help.

I have seen this happen time after time after time.  Parents bring their child to church and end up entering a relationship with Him through this.  

The best way to reach entire families is through their children.  No matter how far away a parent is from Jesus, when you do something nice for their child, you have their attention.  Remember this...

When you take a child by the hand, you take their parent by the heart.

Here's an example of this.

At one of the churches where I led the children's ministry, we decided to put in a large indoor playground.  After services, children could play in the park under the supervision of their parents.  I hung out there after services to meet parents and to connect with potential volunteers.

One Sunday, I walked into the park area and noticed there was a lady standing off to the side  She was crying.  I walked over to see if she was okay.  She told me the tears were tears of joy.  She pointed to a little girl and a man playing in the park.  Here's what she told me. 

"See that man and that little girl playing together?  That is my husband and daughter.  My husband is not a believer and I have been asking him to come to church with us for over 7 years.  But he always says 'no.' This week, our daughter told him that they had a new park / playground at church.  She asked him to come to church with her and they could then play in the park after church."

She said she was crying because he said "yes" and was at church.  She told us she could sense God was beginning to work in His life during the service. All because of his little daughter. 

This is another example of how God will work through children to bring an entire family to Jesus. 

I want to encourage you to pass this article along to your pastor and church leaders.  Any church that wants to grow should read this and take action.  

If you want a thriving church, then you should focus on reaching and discipling children.  That's where it's at!

Jan 25, 2022

20 Great Quotes to Inspire Your Volunteers

Volunteers.  There is no children's ministry without them.  They are the key to seeing your ministry grow and thrive. 

A big part of leading volunteers is keeping them inspired and motivated.  I have found that  sharing key quotes is a great way to do this.  

Here are 20 great quotes to inspire your volunteers.  You can use these in your communication with your volunteer team. 

Serve for the outcome instead of the income.

The world has yet to see what God can do with one person who is fully and totally dedicated to Him.

You can design and build and create the most wonderful place on earth, but it takes people to make the dream a reality.  - Walt Disney

The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.  - Billy Graham

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.  - Charles R. Swindoll

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.   - Frederick Douglass

Children need models rather than critics.  - Joseph Joubert

Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.

Children are like wet cement.  They are very impressionable.  But remember, there is only a short period of time before their hearts turn to concrete.  We must seize this time to reach them with the Gospel.

When you invest in children, you are sending a message to a day you will never see.  

If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!  - Dwight L. Moody

History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.  - Nelson Mandela

A legacy is not what you leave for kids.  It's what you leave in kids.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.  - Frederick Douglas

Children are the greatest mission field in the world.

Children are the future of your church.  Without them, your ministry is terminal.

A person is a person. No matter how small. - Dr. Seuss 

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.  - Winston Churchill  

The disciples saw the children as a bother. Jesus saw them as a blessing. 

Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless. - Sherry Anderson

Your turn. In the comment section below, share a quote that you have heard that can inspire volunteers.

Jan 24, 2022

Little Folks

I was thinking about my grandmother this morning. She passed away a little over a year ago.  

She was a faithful Sunday School teacher for many, many years. She would spend time each week preparing her lesson for the children she lovingly called the "Little Folks."  

The "Little Folks" were the children that God had entrusted her to teach and disciple.  

Teaching the "Little Folks" was something she was very passionate about.  

Many of the children she taught went on to become pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers, etc.  The impact she made bore fruit then and now as many of the "Little Folks" she taught continue to serve Jesus to this day.  And while my grandmother is now in heaven, the seeds she planted over the years continue to bear fruit.  

Throughout Scripture, we see God's love and commitment to reach the coming generations with the Gospel.  

There are lots of little folks to reach. There are currently over 2.2 billion "Little Folks" on this planet. We must reach them while their hearts are open and receptive to the Gospel.  We know most of the people who come to Jesus do so before the age of 18.  The "Little Folks" are the greatest mission field in the world.  

Remember this classic song from when you were a kid?

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.  Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.  Jesus loves the little children of the world. 

Jesus died for all the children, all the children of the world.  Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus died for all the children of the world. 

Jesus rose for all the children, all the children of the world.  Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.  Jesus rose for all the children of the world. 

May God find us busy sharing the Gospel with the "Little Folks."  

Jan 20, 2022

The Ultimate Secret of Children's Ministry

When I first started out in children's ministry, I thought the secret to success was having great programs that helped reach and disciple kids. 

Over time, I realized that this was not the ultimate secret of children's ministry.  

One week, when I was trying to run a program by myself, it dawned on me that I needed to enlist volunteers to help reach and disciple children.

Yes...the ultimate secret of children's ministry is having a great volunteer team. 

I often say this.

The success of your children's ministry will rise and fall on the strength of the volunteer team you build.

Remember...it's not what you can do...it's what you can empower others to do.

The Bible makes it very clear in Ephesians.  Our role is to equip volunteers for the work of the ministry. We must be equippers instead of doers. 

You can be the most amazing children's speaker, but without great volunteers your services will fall flat.

You can be the best kids' worship leader in the country, but without great volunteers the worship service will be bland.

You can be the best Bible teacher, but without great volunteers your effectiveness as a leader will be diminished.

You can have the coolest children's ministry building, but without great volunteers kids won't be excited about coming. 

You can have the best curriculum ever, but without great volunteers to teach it kids won't grow deeper in their faith. 

You get the point.  The ultimate secret of children's ministry is VOLUNTEERS.

Volunteers must be your first priority. 

Enlist them.

Equip them.

Love them.

Thank them. 

Invest in them.

Empower them. 

Encourage them.

Take good care of them. 

Pray for them.  

I love what Walt Disney said as he was preparing to open Disney Land many years ago.

You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But IT TAKES PEOPLE to make the dream a reality.

Want to unlock the greatest secret for your children's ministry?  Create an excellent process in place that brings new volunteers on the team. And then ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask people to join your team.

Want to grow your ministry?  Make equipping new volunteers your top priority.

You can get more great tips for building and leading a volunteer team in my book "The Formula for Building a Great Volunteer Team."  It has been called the best book ever written on the subject.  The book is available at this link. 

Unlock the power of the ultimate secret of children's ministry and watch what happens. 

Jan 19, 2022

How to Lead Volunteers Who Are Older Than You

When I started in full-time ministry at the age of 22,  I faced a challenge that all young leaders face. 

Trying to lead volunteers who are older than you.  

And at the age of 22, most of my volunteers were older than me.

One of my professors in Bible college told me that no one will listen to you as a leader until you are 30-years-old.  

I often found that statement was true in my life. 

When you are young, your volunteers will look older than you.  Sound older than you.   Act older than you.  

I remember when I was a young leader a specific incident where this happened.  A lady came by the church for marital counseling.  I had only been married for a year.  I tried to offer her advice as best I could from my very limited marriage experience.  It didn't go well.  At the end of the session, she looked at me and said, "Wow...these ministers keep getting younger and younger."

In spite of this leadership challenge, you can effectively lead volunteers who are older than you.  Here are a few things I have learned over the years about leading when you are young.  

Give volunteers a voice.  Listening is one of the best things you can do.  They want you to hear their opinions.  When you are willing to learn from your volunteers, it will help you become a better leader and mentor. Gathering opinions and feedback will cause your volunteers to respect you.  

Ask them how you can best support them.  Ask them what has worked well in the past.  Ask them what needs to be changed. 

Create a diverse team.  From diversity comes ideas and insight from different ages, genders and preferences.  A balanced team comes from balanced leadership.

Rally people to a vision.  A compelling vision can unite everyone behind a common cause.  Point people to the vision. This makes it not about you, but about the vision God has called you to fulfill as a team.  

Don't micromanage.   Trust your team and their many years of experience.  

Build relationships.  People don't follow a title.  They follow someone they love and respect.  Trust and respect takes time to gain.

Get some wins under your belt.  Even if they are small leadership wins, your team will see this and it will cause them to begin to respect you.  Authority is earned.

Invest in them.  If you invest your time, effort, and energy in helping the people on your team, they will be appreciative of your time.  

Know the difference between leading people and managing people.  A manager delegates tasks and assignments.  A leader invests in people and brings out the best in them.  He/she inspires teammates to do great work, make solid decisions and work toward a common goal.

Be confident.  If you show insecurity while leading, your volunteers will pick up on it and may become unsure about your leadership abilities as well.  This doesn't mean you should come across as cocky or as a know-it-all.  It means you know God has called you to this role and He is with you.  Rather than trying to walk in your own confidence, walk in Godfidence. 

Admit your mistakes.  When you blow it - be honest about it.  Balance strength and humility.  Don't let ambition come across as arrogance. 

Make changes...slowly.  Change should be an open book instead of a secret diary.  Bring people into the process of change.  In my book "Lead Well in Children's Ministry" I show the steps you need to effectively lead change.  You can get the book at this link

Ask God for wisdom.  You have a promise in James 1:5.

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."

Ask God each day to fill you with the wisdom you need to lead well as a young leader. 

Lead on.  Lead well.  Lead with Godfidence.  Lead with God's anointing.  He has called you.  He will provide you with everything you need as a young leader. 

Your turn.  What recommendations do you have for young leaders?  Share your insight and ideas in the comment section below.