Oct 3, 2022

Attending a Children's Ministry Conference? Don't Forget to Do This.

Is it a struggle to be able to attend a children's ministry conference?  

Do you basically have to beg for the opportunity? 

Does your church leadership not see the value that will come from you attending a conference? 

Here's a simple step you can take that will open the door for you to attend conferences. 

Take copious notes while you are at the conference and then type out a report that highlights the key findings you took away.

When you get back home, give your pastor or the person you report to, a copy of the notes.  If you want to take it to another level, set up a meeting with your leadership to present the key things you learned while at the conference. 

This one little step will be a huge factor when your leadership is deciding if you can attend a conference or not. 

This will convey to your leadership the value of sending you to a conference and the impact it can have on the entire church. 

Do this and you will hear the word "yes" more often when it comes to attending a conference. 

Sep 29, 2022

The Hand-Off Zone

In a relay race, there is something called "The Hand-off Zone."  This is where the front runner passes off the baton to the runner behind him. 

If a team wants to win the race, it is crucial that they have smooth hand-offs. If a runner drops the baton, the team is immediately disqualified from the race. Yes...it's that important.

There are numerous examples in Scripture of spiritual hand-off zones. 

Moses handed off the leadership baton to Joshua. 

Elijah handed off his mantle to Elisha. 

Paul handed off the baton to Timothy.

Jesus handed off the baton to the disciples. 

This past weekend, I was speaking at a church in North Carolina.  I talked about handing off the faith to the coming generation.  There are 3 things we need to hand-off to the coming generation.  Watch this short video clip to see what it is.  (if you are reading this in an email and can't see the video clip - you can watch it at this link)

Sep 28, 2022

5 Reasons Why Kids Grow Up and Turn Away From the Faith

Why do kids turn away from the faith? What causes them to say, do and believe the exact opposite of what they embraced earlier? There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are factors that it can be traced back to. Let's take a look at 5 of them.  

FALSE PROFESSION OF FAITH

 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged." I John 2:18-19

One reason kids turn away from the faith when they grow up is because they were never true believers. God doesn‘t have any grandchildren. He only has children. A child must own their faith. It can‘t be something they do just to please their parents. If they are riding on the coat tails of dad and mom‘s faith, when they are on their own, the child‘s lack of faith will soon become apparent.

LACK OF UNDERSTANDING

One of the keys to seeing kids make a true profession of faith is taking time to help them clearly understand the decision they are making. Far too many kids have gone forward in a service, been announced to the church and baptized without a clear understanding of what they were doing.

HYPOCRISY

Kids have the ability to spot hypocrisy. When they see their parent‘s life at home does not match their parent‘s life at church, it has a negative impact on their faith. And when they see hypocrisy in the life of church leaders, it also has a negative impact on their faith.


THE PULL OF THE WORLD

For most kids, fame will not come calling, but for the few who do experience this, it can put their faith to the test big-time. As we just mentioned, the pressure to compromise for success, can cause kids like to trade in their purity ring for popularity, wealth and notoriety. Jesus said that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Notice He didn‘t say it‘s impossible, He just said it‘s hard. It takes a very deep faith to survive fame. Ideally, the fame can be used to spread the Gospel and make an impact for Christ, but that‘s hard to sustain when you‘re in a culture that demands the opposite if you want to stay on top.

SHALLOW KNOWLEDGE OF THE BIBLE 

Then there is a shallow knowledge of the Bible. You could almost say it’s “Biblical illiteracy.” A recent study found that only 45% of people who regularly attend church read their Bible more than once a week. 

Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible.  And what we don‘t read...we don‘t know. And we are not effectively teaching kids the Bible. 

Biblical illiteracy usually doesn’t show up until kids get into high school and college. It is then their shallow knowledge of the Bible is exposed by peers and teachers. Without answers to the hard questions that are asked, their faith can be destroyed.

These are a few of the reasons that I talk about in my new book - 

Fertile Soil...see kids' faith grow and flourish for a lifetime.

I also share in the book, the ingredients you need to put into the soil of kids' lives that will make it fertile soil.  Kids planted in fertile soil can see their faith grow and thrive. You can get your copy at the link below.

Click here to order.


Sep 27, 2022

100 Largest Children's Ministries in the Nation

Here is the most recent list of the largest children's ministries in the nation.  This is based on Outreach Magazine's list of largest churches in the nation. 

In a healthy church, children will make up 15-20% of the total attendance. In some cases, children will make up 25-30% of the total attendance. This is phenomenal and shows they are reaching lots of young families.

Before you read this list, keep this in mind.  The most important number we should focus on is the number of people in our communities who do not yet know Jesus. This list contains churches that are passionate about reaching and disciplining the next generation. That is what motivates them to continue reaching more and more kids and families.  

For each of us, we cannot stop until every single child and family in our community knows Jesus.  We must continue to faithfully share the Gospel.  

Behind every number is a person who needs Jesus.  A person who Jesus died for.  A person that Jesus loves. A person that we must continue to pursue with the Gospel. 

I would encourage you to take some time and google some of these churches' children's ministries.  See what they are doing.  See what they are passionate about.  See what their vision is.  There is much we can learn from them. 

1. Life Church Kids - Edmond, Ok.

2. Church of the Highlands, Highland Kids - Birmingham, Al.

3. Lakewood Church, Kids Life - Houston, Tx.

4. Crossroads Church, Kids' Club - Cincinnati, Oh. 

5. Christ's Church of the Valley, Kid's Ministry - Peoria, Az. 

6. Saddleback Kids - Lake Forest, Ca.

7. Elevation Church, ekidz - Matthews, Nc.

8. Southeast Christian Church Kids - Louisville, Ky.

9. Christ Fellowship Kids - Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.

10. North Point Ministries, Upstreet Kids - Alpharetta, Ga.

11. Fellowship Church Kids - Grapevine, Tx.

12. Central Church Kids - Henderson, Nv.

13. Mount Zion Baptist Church Kingdom Kids, Nashville, Tn.

14. Gateway Church Kids, Southlake, Tx.

15. Bayside Church Kids, Roseville, Ca.

16. Dream City Church Kids, Phoenix, Az.

17. LCBC Kids - Manheim, Pa. 

18. Woodlands Church Kids, Woodlands,Tx. 

19. The Rock Church Kids, San Diego, Ca.

20. 12Stone Church Kids, Lawrenceville, Ga.

21. Christ the King Community Church Kids, Bellingham, Wa. 

22. Prestonwood Baptist Church Children's Ministry, Plano, Tx. 

23. Eagle Brook Church Kids, Centerville, Mn.

24. Calvary Church Kids, Albuquerque, Nm. 

25. King Jesus International Church Kids, Miami, Fl.

26. Calvary Chapel Kids Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 

27. Second Baptist Church Kids, Houston, Tx. 

28. World Changers Church Children's Ministry, College Park, Ga.

29. World Outreach Church Children's Ministry, Murfreesboro, Tn.

30. World Overcomers, O Kids, Durham, Nc.

31. Harvest Christian Fellowship, Harvest Kids, Riverside, Ca.

32. The Rock and World Outreach Center Children's Ministry, San Bernardino, Ca.

33. Triumph Church, Triumph Kids, Detroit, Mi.

34. Family Christian Center Children's Ministry, Munster, In.

35. Free Chapel Worship Center, Kidpack, Gainesville, Ga.

36. Lakepointe Church Kids, Rockwall, Tx. 

37. Christian Cultural Center Children's Ministry, Brooklyn, Ny.

38. West Angeles Church of God in Christ, West A Kids, Los Angeles, Ca.

39. Southland Christian Church Children's Ministry, Nicholasville, Ky,

40. Abundant Church, Kingdom Kids, El Paso, Tx.

41. Mariner's Church Kids, Irvine, Ca.

42. Calvary Chapel Golden Springs Children's Ministry, Diamond Bar, Ca.

43. Calvary Chapel Children's Ministry, Philadelphia, Pa. 

44. First Baptist Church of Glenarden Children's Ministry, Landover, Md. 

45. New Life Church, Life Kids, Colorado Springs, Co.

46. Potential Church Kids, Cooper City, Fl.

47. The Church of Eleven22 Kids, Jacksonville, Fl.

48. New Life Church Children's Ministry, Conway, Ar.

49. Community Bible Church Children's Ministry, San Antonio, Tx. 

50. Bethel Church Kids Ministry, Redding, Ca.

51. World of Faith International Christian Center, Children's Ministry, Southfield, Mi.

52. New Direction Christian Church, Children's Ministry, Memphis, Tn.

53. Epic Church International, Kids' Ministry, Sayreville, Nj.

54. Legacy Church, LKidz, Albuquerque, Nm.

55. Brooklyn Tabernacle, BT Kids, Brooklyn, Ny.

56. Calvary Chapel Kids, Melbourne, Fl.

57. Faith Community Church, Faith Kids, West Covina, Ca.

58. Greater Saint Stephen Full Gospel Church, Children's Ministry, New Orleans, La.

59. New Life Covenant Church Southeast, Children's Ministry, Chicago, Ill.

60. NewSpring Church, Kidspring, Anderson, Sc. 

61. Seacoast Church, Kids' Coast, Charleston, Sc.

62. VBF Church, VBF Kids, Bakersfield, Ca.

63. Lutheran Church of Hope, Hope Kids, West Des Moines, Ia. 

64. Bayside Community Church, Bayside Kids, Bradenton Fl.

65. Flatirons Community Church, Kids' Ministry, Lafayette, Co.

66. Church by the Glades, CBG Kids, Coral Springs, Fl.

67. New Hope Oahu, Children's Ark, Honolulu, Hw.

68. Salem Baptist Church, Kingdom Kids, Chicago, Ill.

69. Willow Creek Church, Promiseland, South Barrington, Il.

70. Templo Calvario Assembly of God, City Kids, Santa Ana, Ca.

71. Sun Valley Community Church, Children's Ministry, Gilbert, Az. 

72. Summit Church, Summit Kids, Durham, Nc. 

73. McClean Bible Church, Children's Ministry, Va.

74. Grace Family Church, Children's Ministry, Lutz, Fl.

75. Apostolic Church of God, Children's Ministry, Chicago, Il.

76. Church of the Resurrection, KidsCOR, Leawood, Ks. 

77. The Potter's House, Destiny World Children's Ministry, Dallas, Tx.

78. Pinelake Church, Pinelake Kids, Flowood, Ms. 

79. North Coast Church, Coast Kids, Vista, Ca.

80. Northview Church, Northview Kids, Indianapolis, In.

81. First African American Methodist Episcopal Church, Children's Ministry, Los Angeles, Ca.

82. River Valley Church, Go Kids, Burnsville, Mn. 

83. Church on the Move, Kids on the Move, Tulsa, Ok.

84. Covenant Church, CovKids, Carrollton, Tx. 

85. Houston's First Baptist Church, First Kids, Houston, Tx.

86. Sandals Church, Sandal Kids, Riverside, Ca.

87. City of Refuge Church, City Kids, Gardena, Ca.

88. Passion City Church, Passion Kids, Atlanta, Ga.

89. Cross Church, Cross Kids, Springdale, Ar. 

90. Shepherd Church, Children's Ministry, Porter Ranch, Ca.

91. The Crossing, Crossing Kids, Quincy, Ill.  

92. First Orlando, First Orlando Kids, Orlando, Fl.

93. The Park Church, Children's Ministry, Charlotte, Nc.

94. Compassion Christian Church, Compassion Kids, Savannah, Ga. 

95. Liberty Live Church, Liberty Kids, Hampton, Va.

96. Bellevue Baptist Church, Children's Ministry, Cordova, Tn.

97. Manna Church, Manna Kids, Fayetteville, Nc.

98. Faith Promise Church, FP Kids, Knoxville, Tn.

99. Scottsdale Bible Church, Discovery Kids, Scottsdale, Az.

100. The House, House Kids, Modesto, Ca.

*If you see a mega church that is not on this list, it is because they did not report their attendance.

Sep 26, 2022

Check Out the Top Toys Kids Love

I often talk about the fact that we are missionaries to kids.  How does a missionary prepare to minister to the people he or she is called to reach?  

They prepare by learning as much as they can about the culture, traditions, likes, dislikes and language of the people they are trying to reach with the Gospel.

We should also prepare ourselves to reach children by learning about their likes, dislikes, favorite shows, websites, movies, sports teams, etc. 

When you make the time to enter the world of kids and learn about what they like, they will open the door of their heart and listen to what you have to say.  

You've heard the statement - "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." When you learn about the world of today's kids, it will help you be more effective in reaching and discipling them.  

Here is a current list of some of the most popular toys that today's children love.  You can use these as talking points to connect with kids and start meaningful conversations with them.

Ride-On Toy of the Year - Mario Kart 24V Ride-On Racer

Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year - CoComelon Ultimate Learning Adventure Bus

Action Figure of the Year: Jurassic World Dominion Super Colossal Gigantosaurus (Mattel)

Collectible of the Year: Lego's Minifigures The Muppets (Legos)

Creative Toy of the Year: Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball (Moose Toys)

Doll of the Year: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Fresh Fierce Collection by The Fresh Dolls (World of EPI Company)

Game of the Year: Pokémon Trading Card Game: Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box (The Pokémon Company International)

Grown-Up Toy of the Year: Lego's Ideas The Office (Legos Systems)

License of the Year: Squishmallows (Jazwares)

Outdoor Toy of the Year: Twister SPLASH (WowWee)

Playset of the Year: Lego's Super Mario Adventures with Peach Starter Course

Plush Toy of the Year: 16″ Squishmallows (Jazwares)

Preschool Toy of the Year: Crayola Color & Erase Reusable Mat (Crayola)

Specialty Toy of the Year: Ann Williams Craft-tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt Potions (PlayMonster Group) and Snap Circuits: Green Energy (ELENCO)

STEAM Toy of the Year: Bill Nye’s VR Science Kit (Abacus Brands)

Vehicle of the Year: Lego's Technic McLaren Formula 1 Race Car (Lego Systems)

I would encourage you to make copies of this list of toys and give it to your children's ministry volunteers. They can use this list for striking up conversations with kids.

Sep 22, 2022

10 Ways to Stay Connected With Today's Kids

Today’s kids are not yesterday’s kids.  If we are going to reach today’s kids, we must understand them and stay connected with them.

Here are 10 ways you can connect with the kids you are ministering to.

1. Ask kids directly what they like. Going directly to the source is the best place to start. A great way to do this is through a kids’ focus group.


2. Stop by their TV channels. Make it a habit to stop by channels like Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Nick Jr., Sprout and more. The programming will give you a look inside today’s kid culture.


3. Go into the toy section when you are shopping. Make a detour by the toy aisle and check out the toys. This helps you see what kids like.


4. Keep up with what’s hot at the theater. What movies are bringing in the dollars at the box office? What are the top family friendly movies that are playing?


5. See what’s trending on Netflix, Amazon and Disney+.
These services list what movies are currently the most popular. This will give you insight into what is trending with kids.


6. Check out which kids’ apps are the most popular. A list of what apps are the most popular with kids will give you an inside look at what they like.


7. Check out the top kids’ websites. Do a Google search and find out which kids’ websites are the most visited. Look at the websites to see what’s relevant with kids.


8. See which YouTube channels are the most popular with kids. Four of the five most popular channels are currently aimed at children and they rack up about 1.5 billion views between them in a month.


9. See which songs are popular on iTunes.
This will show you who and what kids are listening to.


10. Check out which books are best sellers for kids.

This is an excerpt from my newest book - "Fertile Soil...See Kids' Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime."

Get your copy today at this link.