Jul 1, 2020

Why Kids Are So Clingy Right Now

Have you noticed that kids are extra clingy recently? 

You are not alone.  Many parents are dealing with clingy kids. 

So why are kids so clingy? 

The biggest reason is obviously because they are living through the COVID pandemic days. 

When kids feel threatened it can cause anxiety.  And when kids are nervous or unsure, they will cling to their parents to feel safe.

"One major reason why kids cling to their parents is because they are trying really hard to help themselves feel safe and comforted."                                                     

Dr Steven Meyers, Professor of Psychology, Roosevelt University

Clinging is a child's effort to cope with all of the changes and uncertainty in the world.

Normally we think of a clinging child as a toddler or preschooler.  Think about the times you've had a younger child cling to mom and dad when they were being dropped off at their church classroom.  Why were they clinging?  They were trying to deal with the uncertainty they were feeling inside.

But in the current situation we find ourselves in, even older children, who are normally more independent, may become clingy as well.  This may look like them following you around the house or come crawling in the bed with you at night.

Establish routines.  This will look different from when kids were in a school building all day.  Creating these routines does two things.

1. Routines give kids a sense of security.  It provides kids with an established structure for what happens each day. 

2. Routines help kids stay on track with their school work. 

Spend extra time with your kids.  Make it fun.  Board games.  Toys.  Video games.  Telling jokes.  Reading stories.  Give them your undivided attention during this time.  This will help keep them emotionally healthy. 

Chores.  If you already had chores for your kids, then continue them.  If you don't, now's a great time to establish some chores for your child.  Keep track on their involvement and reward them when they do a good job. 

Model the behavior you want to see.  Kids are very perceptive.  They turn to you for direction on how to respond.  They pick up on your emotions.  If your emotions are making them uneasy or afraid, then they will cling to you even more as they look for reassurance. 

Model confidence and calmness.  This will help your children feel more secure and calm themselves. 

They need you right now.  Kids are sad about all the changes they have experienced.  Think about it.  No school, can't see their friends, no sports or music classes, etc.  As far as in person contact,  you're all they've got in many cases.  Be there for them!

p.s. Don't forget to sign up for our upcoming online webinar.  You can register at this link.


Jun 30, 2020

Focus on What Matters

It's crucial that ministries have a common purpose and mission. 

It's easy to get distracted and sidetracked from your mission, isn't it?

 What should your mission be? 

Here it is...

Helping people find Jesus and His life-giving love and mercy.

However you word it, the bottom line is this - we must be focused on helping people know Jesus. 

Every part of your ministry should be tied to this and live in a "reach the lost at any cost" culture. 

You can do a lot of things in a church.  But whatever you do should be done with the end result of bringing people to Jesus.

People want to be a part of something that is bigger than they are. There is nothing that is more important than leading people to Jesus. 

It's important, as leaders, that we slow down at times to focus on what does and doesn't matter in our ministry.  Being intentional with this will allow you to take a look at everything you are doing and focus in on a few big things that will deliver tangible results.
 
If you are not intentional with focusing on what matters, it's easy to get sidetracked and get bogged down with doing "stuff" that doesn't affect people's life for eternity. 

Here are some big questions to ask you and your team.   Talk these through.  The answers may lead you to a more fruitful ministry.

How can we provide our team members with the "why" which will give them a greater and more reasonable reason for serving on our team?

Is there anything we are currently doing that is not aligned with our why?

Are there any areas where we have gotten sidetracked?  How can we get back on course?

What are the 2-3 things we are doing that help us stay focused on what really matters?

What do we highly value in our ministry?  What matters a lot to us? 

One day, someone will stand by your body as it lies in a coffin.  They will be asked to say a few words of comfort and good remembrances.  What will they say?  How will they remember you?  What will they mention was important to you?  What did you focus on?

Remember this...

"What you leave for the people in your life is your will. 
What you leave in the people in your life is your legacy."

That is being determined now as you are reading this and as you go through your day. 

Focus...focus...focus...on What Matters. 

Jun 29, 2020

How COVID-19 Is Changing Family Time

COVID-19 has been disastrous on so many levels.  Family members have been lost.  Grandmothers and grandads have had to say good-bye to their grand kids prematurely.  Families are having to scale back or even shut down their family business.  Family finances have been crushed.  Jobs have been lost.  We could go on and on listing the damage the virus has caused and will continue to cause for an uncertain amount of time.

That being said, when it comes to families, there have been a few positive things that have emerged.  A big one is this - in many cases, families have been able to spend more time together.  And that is a big win. 

In the toy industry, game and puzzle sales are up 228%!!!  Building set sales are up 76%!!!  Arts and crafts sales are up 70%!!!  And sports toy sales are up 20%!!!  Board games have doubled in popularity among kids ages 5 to 18 in the last few months.

Can anyone say "Family Game Night?"  Yes, these sales are strong indicators that families are spending more meaningful time together.  Sales of products that families can do together is on the rise.

As you interact with families and provide parents with resources to lead their children spiritually, be thinking of ways you can use this time to help them grow relationally and spiritually.

Here are few ideas...

Create some simple family games that they can play.  Tie the game into key Bible truths that you want them to grasp.

Provide questions where families have to use their Bible to find the answers

Create some fun Bible memory games that can help kids memorize Scripture. 

Provide families some fun, family devotions they can do together. 

Bake some cookies together and enjoy eating them...fresh out of the oven with a glass of milk.  Talk about some key spiritual ingredients that it takes to help you grow spiritually.  Prayer.  Bible study.  Serving.  Going to church.  Sharing your faith. 

These are just a few of the hundreds of ideas that families can use to grow together.  If you want more ideas, a simple Google search for "family Bible activties, games, etc. will give you hundreds of options.

Encourage parents to take advantage of every moment and be intentional about spending extra time with their family while they are hibernating from the virus. 

I know...the days are long.  But remember the years are short.  Families may never have an opportunity like this to spend lots of extra time with their kids. 

I'd love to hear what you are doing at home with your kids during this time.  In the comment section, share any games, crafts, activities and intentional play that you are using with your kids to help them grow in their faith.

Jun 26, 2020

50 Largest Churches in America All Have Something in Common....Can You Guess What It Is?

Recently, I did some research and found without exception that the 50 largest churches in America all have something in common.  Can you guess what it is? 

Drumroll Please!!!!

Here's what they all have in common.

They are MULTI-SITE churches. 

It has been proven over and over again.  If you want to grow your ministry and reach more people, then multi-site is the way to go. 

I propose that all of these 50 largest churches would be platued or even declining if it wasn't for their decision to go multi-site.  I have personally been on staff at 4 multi-site churches and have witnessed the growth that mult-site ministry can bring.  At the most recent church where I was the children's pastor, in a period of 9 years we grew from 3 campuses to 10 campuses.  During this time, because of being multi-site, we grew from 10,000 in weekend attendance to 28,000 in weekend attendance across the campuses.

You can grow your ministry by using a multi-site strategy and I want to help you get there.  That's why I am hosting a webinar about multi-site children's ministry.  You will hear from 2 of the top children's ministry multi-site leaders as they share how to have a thriving multi-site children's ministry.  More info. available below. 

As an added bonus, everyone who registers will receive an ecopy of my latest children's ministry book - Lead Well in Children's Ministry ($12.99 value).

If you can't be present on the date of the webinar, no problem.  When you register, you get access to the video and audio of the sessions. Instant download and streaming formats.  Below is more info. and you can register at this link.