Oct 7, 2010

Never Fly Solo!

"Where there is no counsel, plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors they are established."
Proverbs 15:22

Most of the things I share on this blog are things I am learning on my kidmin journey. This is one area I have tried to improve in the last few years. Still got a ways to go...but making strides.

The bottom line is the wisdom that flows from the verse above. NEVER FLY SOLO! In other words, don't make decisions alone. Have a group of people around you that help you make decisions.

  • Never counsel alone. Have someone else in the room with you.
  • When you feel you need to dismiss a volunteer or staff member, get the advice and confirmation of exec. leadership that it's the right decision before you pull the trigger. Then if it turns ugly, you know they've got your back. And make sure you have someone else in the room with you when you meet with the person.
  • When you are facing a major ministry decision, turn to friends who are much older and wiser than you for advice. I have several men on our staff team who are older and much wiser than I am. Anytime I need to make an important ministry decision, I run it by them. I've saved myself a lot of mistakes by doing this.
  • Don't plan or create alone. Bring your team into the process. Now matter how creative or gifted you are, your idea or plan will be much better if you let other people help you develop it.
  •  If you run a background check on a potential volunteer and something pops, have a team of at least three people who make the decision if the person will be allowed to serve.
Remember, you can go faster alone...but you can go further together. Who are your counselors? Who are the people who help you make important decisions? Don't fly solo! 

Posted by Dale Hudson

Oct 6, 2010

Kid Culture Connection Ideas

Jesus set the example for us. He used everyday objects from His culture as a bridge to connect people to Biblical truth. Some examples He used were birds of air, fish, flowers, coins, sheep, and more.

So...what are some ideas you have to use today's kid culture to connect kids to Biblical truth? I'm going to post a few I've been thinking about this morning. Then I'm inviting you to share some that you've thought about or used. By the end of this thread, we can have lots of culturally relevant ideas in our kidmin tool belts.
  • The Bible - It's like a great big, TEXT MESSAGE from God to you. 
    • Following God's plan for your life - it's like SYNCING UP YOUR IPOD WITH YOUR COMPUTER.
    • Growing spiritually - It's like GETTING TO THE NEXT LEVEL IN YOUR VIDEO GAME.
    There's three to start...keep the thread going...love to hear your ideas!

     Posted by Dale Hudson

    Oct 5, 2010

    Humble Acceptance vs. Pious Proclamation

    One of the things I strive to do is watch how great leaders react in different situations. One thing I have noticed is that when they are recognized for God's working through their lives, they graciously accept it. They respond with a simple "Thank you" or "It was my pleasure" or "Thanks for your kindness" or "You are very kind." It's what I call humble acceptance. They know that it was God working through them and they would never try to take the glory for what God did.

    But they also have the wisdom to know that pointing up to heaven and saying something like, "It's all because of Jesus" or "God did it...not me" or "It is for His glory" though it seems spiritual, can come across as a pious proclamation of your "spirituality."

    I've seen this played out so many times over the years. Example: At one church I served at, two men had dug a ditch for a plumbing need at the church.

    On Sunday, the Pastor asked them to stand and publicly thanked them for their time and love for the church. Instead of saying "thank you," one of the men responded to the entire congregation in a pious voice and said, "We did it for Jesus." But what he thought would make a spiritual moment had the opposite effect. The answer sounded so cliche and fake. Now I don't know his heart, but that's the way it came across.

    Once again, I have watched great Christian leaders. When they are acknowledged or receive a reward, they simply receive it in humility and say thanks. When that happens,they come across as genuine instead of pious. God receives the glory through their humble acceptance.

    Bottom line. Don't try to be super spiritual when you are acknowledged for God working through your life to build His kingdom. A simple "thank you" reflects humble acceptance instead of a pious proclamation of your spirituality.

    Posted by Dale Hudson

    Oct 4, 2010

    Effectively Talking with Kids

    Most of the stuff I post on this blog comes from real time ministry experiences that I learn from. I was reminded this weekend of some key tips that will help you communicate effectively with kids one on one.

    A little 5 year old boy was visiting our church for the first time. He was experiencing a lot of anxiety...to the point where he was doing the crying and clinging thing. Mom, who wasn't too concerned about it, handed him off to us.

    I watched this little boy and I was empathetic with what he was feeling. I looked through his eyes. I'm a little guy, surrounded by big people that I don't know, in a new place where I don't know anyone, and my mom just walked away.

    I tried the "Hey, let's go sit down and join the other kids for chapel time" with a commanding voice. But that wasn't going to work. The tears kept flowing and his anxiety went higher. I realized my mistake.

    I got down on my knees and knelt beside him so we could be on the same eye level. I lowered my voice and gently told him how glad I was he was here. Still the tears kept coming.

    I redirected his attention to the chapel that was in progress. There was a puppet on stage. It caught his attention, but he still didn't take any steps in that direction.

    I told him I was going to get a little closer, so I could see the puppet better. So I crawled a few steps toward the chapel. After a few seconds, he took a few steps my way and the tears became a little less frequent

    I continued to crawl a few steps at a time slowly toward the chapel. And each time I moved, he slowly moved closer. After about 5 minutes, we were finally at the back of the chapel and he was starting to wash the tears away.

    At that point, I was able to connect him with a loving leader who got him to sit down next to a boy the same age as him. The tears were finally gone and he was engaged with the chapel. My mission was accomplished and I slowly backed away.

    We all find ourselves in situations like this where we need to effectively connect with and talk with kids. What are some tips you have for this? Mine are above in bold. I'd love to hear some of yours.

    Posted by Dale Hudson

    Oct 1, 2010

    Punch the Back Door Closed!

    If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to close the backdoor. Guest families are not our problem. We have dozens every week. The big challenge is closing the back door and getting them to return so we can build relationships with them.

    We have been sending a letter to each guest family with coupons they can bring back for a gift at the church (free cafe item, small toy for child, etc.) And it has been working. We have been getting several back each week.

    This week we are going to try to close the back door even more. Punch cards. I have several that ice cream stores, restaurants, etc. have given me. You know how it works. Each time you come you get a hole punched. Once you have filled all the spots in, you get a free meal, ice cream, etc. It works for me. I go back and fill those babies up. Especially if it's food I really enjoy.

    So this week we are implementing the attached punch cards. Each guest will receive one of these. Once they come five weeks (five punches) and join a small group, they will receive a nice gift such as a t-shirt or backpack with our logo on it. If we can get them to come five times and get them in a small group, we feel we can build a relationship with them and keep them. We believe it's going to close the backdoor even more. I'll post again about this in a few months and let you know how it's working. Love to hear any ideas you have for helping close the back door.

    Posted by Dale Hudson