Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
- Having different colour codes for different cateogories
- Brainstorm and write your ideas into the different colour cards
- Help the shy to also share their ideas
- Ideas can be used for the current event or saved for a later event
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Model A Servant's Heart
You've heard it before: "The only Bible some people will ever read is your life." Consider that truth as you serve in children's ministry. Children have an uncanny ability to recognize the difference between obligation and servanthood.
Serve with joy at all times.
Do you reflect the same kind of servant's heart when you're teaching, leading worship, greeting, helping a newcomer, or showing someone where the restroom is located? A servant's heart knows no levels -- no ministry or job is more important than another.
Offer many opportunities.
Allow kids to experience a variety of opportunities to serve. Even in adult church there are opportunities to serve beyond preaching or leading worship. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:12, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ." A healthy church is one where all the members work together to reach their community for Christ. This means more than just certain gifts and abilities in operation, and it definitely means different ages serving throughout the church.
Identify Gifts And Abilities
A question I frequently ask those who minister to children is, "How many eyes did you look into today?" It seems we often get so caught up in our ministry that we forget about who we're ministering to. Our programs, plans, and procedures may go well, but what about the lives of our children? Are we spending enough time looking into their eyes and listening to their hearts? When we listen, we'll know our children, we'll see their strengths and weaknesses, and we'll understand how we can help them grow.
As we teach our children in Sunday school, children's church, and midweek programs, we need to watch them and identify the varying gifts God has given each of them. As you worship, note those who seem to easily enter into praise. Notice which ones rise to the occasion as leaders. Observe children with mercy and grace toward others. Identify kids with artistic abilities. Keep a notepad handy to record the strengths and abilities you recognize in each child. You'll be able to use this knowledge as you provide ministry opportunities for children.
Think outside of the usual church "box."
There are plenty of ministries in the church, but there are also opportunities throughout your community. Match children's gifts and abilities with the opportunities you discover. Breaking out of the normal church ministries can help kids see that the Christian faith goes far beyond the four walls of the church.
Do you really believe that a child can do anything you do in ministry? If not, why not? The same Holy Spirit who lives in an adult lives in a child. It isn't a person's age that determines abilities; it's training. If you've modeled a heart for ministry and identified children's gifts and abilities, the next step is to give children proper training.
Offer varied training options. What kind of training opportunities do you have? Consider offering training for children during your weekend or midweek services. Lead children with musical talents in a worship-team practice, choir rehearsal, or band rehearsal. Invite children with teaching gifts to come to your teacher-training classes. Offer Sunday school classes on drama, puppetry, and other creative arts.
Randy Turner, associate pastor at Trinity Church in Lubbock, Texas, gives an example of how his children's ministry staff has trained children to pray. "How do we train? First we lead by example. Next we walk beside them, helping them to know how to pray. Then we release them to do the ministry. In a prayer time recently, we prayed for children struggling in school. We called for the oldest group to come forward -- in our case, the sixth-graders. The leaders prayed for them and then we asked them to pray for the fifth-graders. The fifth-graders prayed for the fourth-graders, and so on. That very week we began to hear how God had touched some of the kids and how they had felt the Lord help them in school."
Create mentoring relationships.
Pair up your kids with "big church" ushers, greeters, check-in people, parking lot attendants, and other service people. This gives the kids and the adults a chance to serve in an intergenerational setting. Worship teams, choirs, bands, greeters, ushers, prayer teams, and other areas of ministry will benefit when children, youth, and adults serve side by side.
Share your duties.
What are you doing that would make your job easier if someone else were doing it? I remember a boy named Brian who was a little more than active in our church. Instead of teachers straining to keep him calm before and after class, he became my "crayon checker." Each week he'd go through the crayon boxes in the classrooms and determine if they needed more crayons. If so, he went to the supply room, filled the boxes, and returned them to the classroom.
Release Them Into Ministry
Start somewhere. Perhaps it's as simple as letting kids check other kids into classrooms during Sunday school. If you have children's church, start with greeters and move kids toward leading your worship time or being part of the worship band if you have one. Find kids who can come early to help with setup or collecting supplies. Whatever you choose, start now.
Once you get comfortable with kids in these first-phase ministries, venture out beyond these areas. Let kids with teaching gifts help in younger kids' classrooms. Develop a kids' prayer team for your children's ministry. They can either pray before or during your Sunday school or children's church.
What's next? Tell your senior pastor what you've been doing with your kids. Ask for permission to have kids participate in adult church services. Randy Turner says, "Gone are the days when only adults led children. God is using kids to lead others in worship. Not only are our kids being leaders in children's church but in the adult services as well."
Many pastors say our kids are the church of tomorrow. God says they're the church of today. It's time for us to move beyond just preparing them for ministry tomorrow; we must prepare them for ministry today. Fortunately most churches have moved beyond the child-care-only level. Yet it's time for us to move from creating spectator Christians to releasing participating Christians.
Several years ago my son, who took the trip to England, made a profound comment about my children's ministry that he'd experienced as a child. He commented that we had a great children's church, interesting Sunday school, and great summer activities. "Even though we came from a big church with lots of cool stuff, and you were a great children's pastor," he said, "you rarely let us participate in ministry. We weren't sure how to get involved as we got older."
From that point on, his statement challenged me to change my ministry style. I realize that kids who serve while they're young will most likely become adults who serve when they're older.
The church of tomorrow starts with our kids today. Take the time to identify the gifts and abilities within your kids as you lead them. Give them proper training that'll release them into ministry. Then the Apostle Paul's statement to Timothy will also ring true in their lives: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity" -- 1 Timothy 4:12.
Monday, August 25, 2008
- Consistency in Discipline and Expectation = Balance Home
- You are their Parent not their Best Friend
- Discipline should be planned together as a couple
- Keep in mind Prov 22:6
- Grace must be present
Friday, August 22, 2008
Teacher Training Basics
Use these fundamentals in your teacher training:
- Communicate training expectations upfront.
"When we first talk to somebody about being involved in children's ministries," says Earl Radford, children's minister in California, "we talk to them about our teacher training programs that we have. We require that they attend at least two training sessions a year." Radford's teachers must also attend a membership class and a foundations of Christian doctrine class.
- Realize that not everyone will come every time.
It's very difficult to get 100 percent attendance at teacher training meetings. Radford realized "that I wasn't going to get everybody at the teacher training meetings. I couldn't take that personally."
- Choose the time yourself.
Don't take a vote. "Don't change your schedule for any reason because people will say, 'I didn't know when the meeting was,' " says Judy Wortley, author of The Training Remedy.
- Make training interesting.
Find out what teachers' needs are. "Survey the teachers somehow to discover what it is that they feel they need training in," says Bolton. And make the meeting time interesting. Bolton suggests, "Have a pretty high level of involvement so they're not just sitting and listening." Form small groups for active discussion and problem solving.
- Build a team relationship.
Acquaint teachers with what other teachers in other grades are doing. "If someone works with preschool, he or she doesn't have a clue what's going on in 5th grade," says Wortley.
- Love your teachers.
Volunteers want to be appreciated. "If you don't love them, you'll lose your volunteers," says Wortley.
- Use experienced teachers as leaders.
If your seasoned teachers can't see why they should come to teacher training, tell them how important their role modeling is to younger teachers. Have them lead a part of the training, and they'll want to come.
- Start and end on time.
- Provide child care.
- Meet in a relaxed atmosphere such as someone's home.
- Distribute an agenda ahead of time.
- Record the meeting.
Use audio- or videotape to preserve the meeting for people who can't make it.
copied from Children's Ministry Magazine
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
We’ve had some great experiences with camp and retreat speakers we’ve brought in - but as I’ve thought more about it I realized that there are a few things we should tell speakers up from before they take the stage at the weekend service or discipleship retreat. An outside speaker is just that - an outsider - why not give him/her some inside information to help them be more successful.
Here’s 3 things that I’ll be sure to tell our next speaker:
Give them the inside tip on the history.
What were the teaching series that preceeded this event? What is the direction you’ve been taking the students and how does this event play a part in it? Was the teaching time successful last time you had an outside speaker, and why? What are some areas your ministry / students are struggling in the outside voice can address?
Give them the inside tip on style.
What format and teaching style are the students used to hearing? How does technology play a role in your communication style? What should the speaker wear? What is the typical length of a teaching lesson? What is considered normal, and are we OK with doing something outside of that? What is the typical translation used in teaching? Are students used to carrying a Bible and looking up passages?
Give them the inside tip on the audience
Who is going to be in the audience? What is success for the teaching time? Is there a large percentage of students who haven’t accepted Christ? Are students forced to be there? Who is represented in the audience? What is the spiritual depth of the typical student in attendance? Are there any sensitive issues / topics that the speaker should be aware of? Do we have the resources and volunteers to deal with the response a particular type of talk could generate?