Apr 18, 2014

You Might Be a Children's Ministry Leader If...











If you have the "Bible App for Kids" on your phone...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If someone has ever said to you, "You're a big kid"...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever been in a check-out line at Walmart with a shopping cart full of the goldfish crackers...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever watched the Disney Channel...without your kids...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever yelled at a copier machine on Sunday morning...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever prayed for a dog, cat, or goldfish to be healed...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever wiped a booger off a wall...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever had boxes from Oriental trading stacked in your office...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever stayed up all night with a group of 5th graders...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever changed a diaper...and the diaper didn't belong to your child...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever said the words, "Is big church out yet?" with a desperate tone in your voice...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever had your arm cramp because of holding up a puppet...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever laughed when you heard someone from adult ministries say, "Yeah...ministry slows down in the summer" you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever worn a brightly colored t-shirt to church on Sunday morning...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever baptized someone who was splashing...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever gotten bitter toward choir members because they've never served in the nursery...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever oversaw a basketball league where the players all wear shirts that say "Upward"....you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever lead a choir where everyone is under 5 ft. tall...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever studied your lesson at the stoplights on the way to church...you might be a children's ministry leader.

If you've ever had the church janitor mad at you...you might be a children's ministry leader.

Join the fun...add some more in the comment section below.

Apr 17, 2014

Stay-at-Home Moms...7 Things You Need to Know











A recent report shows that the number of stay-at-home moms is on the rise.  Here's 7 things you need to know.

1.  More moms are staying at home.
The share of mothers who do not work outside the home has risen over the past decade, reversing a long-term decline in stay-at-home mothers. (In the U.S. today, 71% of all mothers work outside the home.) Two-thirds are “traditional” married stay-at-home mothers with working husbands, but a growing share is unmarried.
share of stay at home moms over time












2.  Americans say a parent at home is best: 
Despite the fact that most mothers in the U.S. work at least part time, 60% of Americans say children are better off when a parent stays home to focus on the family, while 35% say they are just as well off when both parents work outside the home.

3.  Opinions vary by religion, ethnicity and education: Hispanics, white evangelical Protestants and those who never attended college are more likely to say children are better off with a parent at home.  College-educated women are among the most likely to say children are just as well off if their parents work outside the home.
FT_14.04.07_Stay At Home Moms_demographicGroups640px 


 4. Stay-at-home moms are poorer, less educated than working moms: 
Stay-at-home mothers are younger, poorer and less educated than their working counterparts.  For example, 34% of stay-at-home mothers are poor, compared with 12% of working mothers.  They are also less likely to be white and more likely to be immigrants.
 
5.  The share of stay-at-home moms in poverty has doubled since 1970: While more stay-at-home moms are in poverty — 34% in 2012, compared with 14% in 1970 — those with working husbands generally are better off than those without.  But stay-at-home moms with working husbands are not as well off financially as married mothers who work outside the home.
stay at home moms in poverty percentage










6.  Home by choice or necessity?
Married stay-at-home mothers with working husbands are more likely than single or cohabiting mothers to say caring for family is their primary reason for being home.  Single and cohabiting stay-at-home mothers are more likely than married stay-at-home mothers with working husbands to say they are ill or disabled, unable to find a job, or enrolled in school.  Overall, a growing share of stay-at-home mothers say they are home because they cannot find a job: 6% in 2012, versus 1% in 2000.
FT_14.04.07_Stay At Home Moms_choiceNecessity640px (1)








 7.  How stay-at-home and working moms spend their time: Mothers who are not working for pay spend more time, on average, on child care and housework than do working mothers, but they also have more time for leisure and sleep.
time use of stay at home and working moms

Apr 16, 2014

10 Lies the Enemy Whispers to Children's Ministry Leaders











The enemy is known for whispering lies.  He started in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day.

Here are 10 lies he whispers to children's ministry leaders.  How do I know?  I've personally heard all of these.

1. You're not really making a difference.
2. What you do is not as important as adult ministry.
3. You don't have the ability to do this.
4. You're too busy to pray.
5. You're teachng kids.  If you were a really good teacher, you would be teaching adults.
6. No one wants to volunteer.
7. No one appreciates you and your ministry.
8. That kid or family can't be reached.
9. You're not successful because your children's ministry is not growing.  Give up and quit.
10. God doesn't care.  If He did, He wouldn't have let that child die.

When the enemy whispers these and other lies to you, what should you do?

Do what Jesus did in the wilderness.  Speak the Word of God back to him and stand on God's promises.

1. You're not really making a difference.  
It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.  -Isaiah 55:11

2. What you do is not as important as adult ministry. 
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."  -Matthew 19:11

3. You don't have the ability to do this.
It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
-Zechariah 4:6


4. You're too busy to pray. 
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.  Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.  -Matthew 6:6

5. You're teaching kids.  If you were a really good teacher, you would be teaching adults.
You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.  -2 Timothy 3:15

6. No one wants to volunteer.
So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.  -Matthew 9:38

7. No one appreciates you and your ministry.
For God is not unjust.  He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.  -Hebrews 6:10

8. That kid or family can't be reached.
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"--and I am the worst of them all.  
-I Timothy 1:15

9. You're not successful because your children's ministry is not growing.  Give up and quit.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  -1 Corinthians 3:6-9

10. God doesn't care.  If He did, He wouldn't have let that child die.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  -Isaiah 55:8-9

What are some other lies the enemy has whispered to you?  How did you stand against it?

The floor is yours. Share with us in the comment section below.  God will use your words to encourage and help us.

Apr 15, 2014

Teaching a Lesson That Captures Kids' Attention...3 Key Things You Need










The TED talks are about Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  Only the most engaging, thought provoking talks make it to the TED stage.

Carmine Gallo, author of Talk Like TED, has watched over 150 hours of TED talks.  He recently shared the top 3 things the most engaging presentations have in common.

#1 - USE STORIES TO EVOKE EMOTION
The TED talk that has received the longest standing ovation was given by Bryan Stevenson.  He is a civil rights attorney that won the Supreme Court case Miller vs. Alabama.  He knows how to persuade people.

If you examine the talk you will find the following:
  • 10% was establishing credibility for the speaker
  • 25% was giving data and statistics
  • 65% was evoking emotion by telling stories
Most children's teachers tend to do the opposite.  65% of their lesson is giving data and statistics.

Bryan started off by telling a story about his grandmother.  When asked why, he said, "Because everyone has a grandmother."  It gave him an immediate connection to the audience.

If you want to capture kids' attention, then tell stories that kids can connect with and fill the story with emotion.

P.S. This sounds like how the greatest teacher of all times (Jesus) taught.

#2 - BE NOVEL
Another highly rated TED talk was given by Bill Gates.  In his talk about the impact of malaria, he shocked the audience by opening a jar of mosquitoes in the middle of his talk.  The novel illustration obviously grabbed the audience's attention.

Kid's brains are wired to look for something new and exciting.  When they hear it...their attention is immediately drawn in.

When you are preparing a lesson, look for ways you can make it novel, new, and exciting.

Several years ago, I did a talk about Daniel and the Lion's Den.  I decided to go outside the box.  When the kids came in the room, there was a cage that was covered by a tarp.  When we got to the part of the story where Daniel is thrown in the lion's den, we pulled the tarp off the cage.

Yep... you guessed it.  We had a full-grown, real lion in the cage.  We had hired a local zoo to bring him in.  He let out a roar and the kids were immediately engaged to say the least.  The kids will never forget that lesson.

#3 - EMPHASIZE THE VISUAL
Robert Ballard's 2008 TED talk about the discovery of the Titanic is another one of the top rated talks of all time.

What made it so engaging?  It contained 57 visual slides...and none of the slides had text in them.

When asked why he didn't use any text, he responded, "Because I'm storytelling; not lecturing."

Research overwhelmingly shows that kids (and adults) learn better when information is delivered using words and pictures.  When ideas are only presented verbally, they only remember about 10% of what they hear.  But add pictures to the talk and retention soars to 65%.

Add more pictures, animations, and images to your lesson and kids will remember it. 

Apr 14, 2014

An Inside Look at our Newest Children's Building











This past weekend, we opened the new building at our Boynton Beach Campus.  The neat thing about this campus...it is located in an active mall.

The Dillard's store had gone out of business and God opened the door for us to purchase and remodel it.  Where shoes, clothes, and perfume were once sold...now kids and families are learning about Jesus.

Few notes about the children's area...
  • The theming was done by Bruce Barry and Wacky World Studios.  
  • Most of the furniture was purchased from IKEA.
  • We use a system called ARENA for chek-in.
  • We use the playground for preschool chapel during services.  There is a stage with a built-in puppet stage, monitor, etc. at one end.  After the service, it's open for kids to play in under the supervision of a parent.
  • We currently have two services at this campus. 9:30 and 11:00 am.  It was standing room only at both services, so we will be opening a third service...probably a Saturday night service.
  • The lettering on the walls was done by a local company.
  • We have a coffee shop where we produce our own coffee brand.  The coffee shop opens up to the mall and is also open during the week.  All the proceeds go to outreach.
 Here are some pictures from opening weekend.
    dalehudsoncm's Boynton Beach Campus Opening album on Photobucket

Apr 11, 2014

Words You Should Avoid When Teaching Kids (and adults)











Using big words with kids (and adults) hurts your communication instead of helping it.

Great communicators know how to take the complex and communicate it with simplicity.

Simple words = effective communication.  Complex words = ineffective communication.

A recent study at Princeton University revealed the following:

3 essays were scored:
#1 - essay with simple words
#2 - essay with more complex words
#3 - essay with even more complex words

Guess which one was rated the highest? #1

A foreign text was translated:
#1 - translated into simple words
#2 - translated into more complex words

Guess which one was accessed the highest by a group of readers? #1

A text that had complex words was taken and...
#1 - text was left as is
#2 - words that had 9 letters or more were replaced with shorter synonyms

A group of people were asked to read both texts and then vote on which author was the most intelligent.  Guess which one was voted as the most intelligent? #2

Here's some tips...

Avoid using long, complex words.  Use short, easy common words when teaching kids (and adults).  When you use big words, people's attention will shift from what you're trying to communicate to trying to figure out what the word you just said means.  Choose being heard over sounding smart.

Don't use big Bible words when teaching kids (and adults).  Words like...
  • regeneration
  • propitiation
  • redemption
  • imputation
  • justification
  • sanctification
  • predestination
Make sure the key point you want the kids to remember from the lesson is simple and short.  The shorter and more simple it is, the better the kids will remember it.

Fill in these blanks...
The few...the proud...the ___________
Nike...just ________
MM's...melts in your mouth...not ______________

You remember these because they're short.  If they were a paragraph, you probably wouldn't be able to finish them.

Put it on the bottom shelf.  If you want to reach all your audience all the time, then put the cookies on the bottom shelf.  Again...remember...great communicators know how to turn the complex into simplicity.

When Jesus was asked to sum up all the law, He didn't go into a long, complex explanation.  He simply said to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. 

What are some other complex words we should avoid when teaching kids?  Share with us the comment section below.