Sep 27, 2021

Christmas is Coming - 2 Great Resources That Can Help You Have the Best Ministry Christmas Ever

Christmas will be here before we can blink.  Now is the time to start preparing.  

Christmas is one of the best times of the year to reach  and disciple new kids and families.

It's important to have a strategic plan to engage families and share the Gospel with them at Christmas.

Here are two ministry tools that I have created for the Christmas season that I want to share with you.  These are proven resources that have been used in local churches to reach thousands of kids and parents.

Christmas Lesson - The Christmas Gift

This children's lesson follows the heart-warming story of a boy named Andrew who discovers the true meaning of Christmas and is given the greatest Christmas gift ever...Jesus. Because Jesus came, our sins can be forgiven and we can have eternal life when we ask Him to be our Forgiver, Leader and Friend.

Delivered Electronically - Instant Download

Includes...

  • graphics for posters, social media, promotion
  • graphic slides for Power Point, Pro Presenter, Media Shout, Keynote
  • 5-minute countdown video
  • lesson videos that will capture kids' attention
  • lesson plan that fits large group format, small group format, traditional classroom format, mid-week format
  • lesson is hands-on, experiential and learner-based
  • lesson is flexible and editable to fit your specific ministry context
  • lesson connects with all learning styles
  • small group leader format that's easy-to-use and requires little prep

and much more...

Here is a sample of the lesson at this link.

Below is a video clip from the lesson. (if you are reading this in an email, the video can be accessed at this link)

The other resource is a Christmas family experience. 

Who's This All About?" is a Christmas Family Experience that has been used by hundreds of churches of all sizes across the country. It is for kids and their parents to experience together. It tells the story of a young girl who discovers "Who" Christmas is really all about. Set in a "Whoville" like environment, it brings laughter, fun, music, games and storytelling together to create an experience families love. This is also a great outreach tool as families are looking for shared experiences during the Christmas season.

Includes...

  • scripts for drama (scripts are editable and flexible so you can adjust as needed to fit your specific ministry context)
  • suggested order of service
  • family games and activity ideas
  • family message that creatively shares the true meaning of Christmas
The Christmas family experience is available as an instant download at this link. 

If you have any questions about these resources, feel free to email me at dale@buildingchildrensministry.org.

Sep 24, 2021

20 Things You've Thought But Can't Say in Children's Ministry

It's Friday, so let's have some fun as we prepare to head into the weekend.

Here are 20 things we'd like to say as children's ministers, but can't.  Can you relate to any of these?

1. Can you put the new speakers in the kid's worship room instead of in the sanctuary?  We'd like the adults to have to endure an old, screeching, out of whack sound system for once.

2. Instead of using money to purchase new choir robes, can we use the money to decorate the kids' rooms?

3. Can I take my vacation the week of VBS?

4. Can the adult service end when the kids' service ends?

5. Can we have the church greeters dress up as super heroes?  Think about how awesome it would be to be welcomed each week by Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Spiderman?

6. Can the adult Sunday school classes be banned from meeting during the Sunday school hour so they can serve as teachers for the kiddos?

7. Can the choir stop being a hiding place for AWOL children's ministry workers?

8. Can we not let the adults leave the building until they swear on a Bible to use the take home paper during the week with their kids?

9. Cashier, please stop asking me why I am buying 25 bags of cotton balls?

10. Did you know that the manna in the Old Testament was goldfish crackers?

11. No problem that you were 45 minutes late picking up your child after the event.  I don't mind missing dinner with my family because of it.

12. If only I could bottle up the energy of the 3rd grade boys' class and sell it as an energy drink, I would be rich.

13. Uh-oh...here comes Negative Nelly.  I need to smile and remember that Jesus loves her.

14. Can we use the VBS offering money to send me on a vacation to Hawaii?

15. Whose bright idea was it to give the kids noise makers?  Oh yeah...it was mine. The parents are going to love me for this.

16. If I have to blow up one more balloon for decorations, I'm going to pass out. 

17. Can I count a trip to Disney World as a business expense?  

18. I don't know why I have any "dress clothes" for church.  The only thing I ever wear is a children's ministry shirt. 

19. Wow...that object lesson was a total disaster.  Why didn't I test it before the service to make sure it would work?

20. I get annoyed when the adult ministry says summer is a slower ministry season.  Not for children's ministry.

Any other comical thoughts you have?  Share them in the comment section below.

Sep 23, 2021

A Necesary Shift in Family Ministry

Family ministry.  Bottom line is this - family ministry first and foremost is about influencing parents to be the primary spiritual leaders of their children.

Parents are definitely the biggest influence in children's lives.

If you want to influence children, then you must first influence their biggest influencer...their parents. 
Most of us, have poured ourselves into equipping parents by providing them discipleship tools and resources. 

But there is a crucial factor that I believe needs to given attention to by children's ministry leaders.  And that is training parents.  Specifically in two areas - marriage and parenting.  

Let's start with marriage.  For far too long, we have skipped over this vital factor.  

One of the biggest factors in seeing kids grow up to love Jesus is the health of their parent's marriage. 

For far too long, we have left that part of training and equipping in the hands of adult ministry...men's ministry...women's ministry. 

Now don't get me wrong.  The training provided for parents by adult ministry is important.  But I believe this - you should put the training and equipping of parents in the hands of family ministry / children's ministry leaders.  Not doing so, creates a silo where adult ministry equips parents and family ministry equips children and students.  Therein a disconnect can happen.

Feel the need to do a parenting class?  Don't sit around hoping that adult ministry will lead this.  Yes.  Connect with them and work on partnering with them for this, but understand that the family ministry should be the driving force for this to happen. 

Want to strengthen the marriages of the parents in your ministry?  Stop waiting around for adult ministry to initiate this and proactively lead a marriage seminar, class, retreat, etc. 

I believe many leaders see family ministry like this - I'll give parents weekend lesson follow up tools and as adult ministers, you train parents how to lead their children spiritually and have solid marriages.  

But the truth is...this often doesn't happen.  Why?  Because we have not taken the initiative of locking arms with adult ministry as well.  

When was the last time your church had a parenting emphasis?  What can you do about that?

When was the last time your church taught parents how to have a healthy marriage?  How can you help emphasize how important this is to the spiritual health of their children?

Bottom line is this - I believe that we must shift our thinking and start leading the discipleship of parents in the areas of marriage and parenting.

Do you agree?  Disagree?  Have more thoughts about this? Would love to see your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

Sep 22, 2021

What Your Volunteers Want More Than Anything

What do people want when they sign up to serve?  What do they hope to accomplish?  What do they want in return? 

It's obviously not money.  It's also not about prestige.  It's not recognition.  It's not honor.  It's not power.  

When people sign up to serve, more than anything else, they want to know that they are making a difference in the lives of people.  

Volunteers serve for the income. They serve for the outcome.

People volunteer because they want to know that their service is helping people come to Christ and helping people to grow in their faith.   

As a leader of volunteers, it is important that you consistently show people that they are making a difference.  

Tell them the stories about life change.  

Tell them the stories about the impact they are making.  

Tell them the stories about how God is using them. 

And this also relates to helping people seize the opportunity to be on your volunteer team.  Cast vision about what God can do through their life and service. Cast vision about the spiritual growth they will experience through serving.  

When a volunteer experiences God working through their life to influence others, it is an amazing feeling.  It ignites a fire in their heart to keep serving.  It also brings joy, fulfillment and adds fire to their passion to help others experience the love of Christ. 

Implement these steps into your ministry.

Cast vision about how God can use potential volunteers to make an impact when they start serving.

Tell the stories of the difference volunteers are making. Capture these on video or share them in person.

Keep pointing people to the "why" they are serving. 

This morning, I was thinking about a time when I wanted to honor and encourage the volunteers in our children's ministry.  I had a banquet for them with food, a gift and verbal confirmation of how God was using them to reach kids and families. 

A few weeks before the banquet, I had contacted about 15 families and asked if their child could come and help encourage the volunteers.  We had the kids hide in one of the rooms until the end of the banquet.  I started playing the song "Thank You for Giving to the Lord."  As the music was playing, the kids started coming in and telling the volunteers "thank you for serving and making a difference in my life."  I know it may sound "cheesy" to do this, but there was not a dry eye in the house.  

The volunteers were inspired and encouraged.  Why?  Because they could physically see the difference they were making.  It was what they longed for and that night they saw it.  

Few questions to think about as we wrap this up:

How often do you tell your volunteers "thank you for serving and making a difference?"

Do you consistently cast vision for what God can do through the lives of those who volunteer?

Do you show your volunteers how they are making an impact?

Volunteers who see and know the difference they are making will continue to volunteer for the long haul.