Brian's Blog

April 22, 2015

FREE Family Ministry Conference? Yep, It's True!

FREE stuff is great!  Everybody loves FREE!  Free coffee, free candy, free toenail clippers with your neighbor's company logo on it - you don't care...because it's FREE!  We love FREE! Every once in a while, something comes along that is FREE, but is also something you would be willing to pay for...and pay a LOT!  That something - is the D6 Days Family Conference! It's a new online event that you don't want to miss out on.  Rally up your team and inspire them with over 23 sessions from some of the best speakers in the world.  This is perfect for […]
April 17, 2015

Inspiring Movie - "Where Hope Grows"

Not too long ago, I had the privilege of being given a private screening of an upcoming faith-based movie, "Where Hope Grows."  My wife, Cherith, and I were very moved and very impressed.  I will admit to being a "Christian Movie" skeptic.  I have been burned so many times by movies that were written and produced by Christian companies.  You know what I am talking about - cheesy plot lines, cheesier acting, low-budget production, and over-the-top religious themes that are meant to please a Christian-Only audience.  Well, "Where Hope Grows" is NOT that kind of movie. The movie centers around […]
April 15, 2015

How To Lead A "Creative Team"

Ten years ago, when I first began creating High Voltage Kids Ministry curriculum, I remember being scared to death.  I had never tried ANYTHING like this before and had put it off for many years already.  You see, I had felt God leading me in this direction but wasn't willing to take the leap.  When I finally decided to jump, I assembled a team of 10 of my best leaders in a room, and we proceeded to craft the very first High Voltage release, "Got Questions?"  It was a wonderfully collaborative process, and the end product was amazing. When it […]
March 31, 2015

How Do You Know If You Are Called To Full-Time Ministry?

Several weeks ago I received an email from a fellow Kids Ministry leader.  He asked, "Can you help me as far as my calling?  How did you know you were called?  How can I affirm my calling?"  Such great questions - and I have to admit, I was a little intimidated.  I wanted so hard to give the "right" answers to his questions - so I kept thinking and thinking (and putting off writing about it). I finally realized that there really isn't a "right" answer.  However, I can share from my experience and the experiences of others to share […]
March 12, 2015

Are You A Secure Or Insecure Leader?

Security is the main ingredient of healthy relationships.  You need healthy relationships with others in order to fulfill the call God has placed on your life.  As a Kids Ministry Leader, your goal is to raise up others to join you in the vision of raising the next generation of life-long followers of Christ.  If you are not secure in who you are and who God has created you to be, you will (consciously or not) poison your relationships with the people God puts around you.  My pastor, Rod Loy, challenges our entire team to evaluate whether or not we are […]
March 2, 2015

"Friends In Slow Places" (Time Change Parody 2015)

And our final installment in our Time Change Sunday series this year is for all of you Country fans (of which I am NOT).  Hope you enjoy our spoof on a Garth Brooks classic. Missed our other Time Change Parodies?  Here you go: "Set My Clock" (parody of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off") "All About Time Change" (parody of "All About That Bass") [vimeo id="121036261"]  
February 23, 2015

"Set My Clock" (Parody of "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift)

Well, we are back with another funny video to remind your church about TIME CHANGE SUNDAY, March 8th.  This is a great spoof of "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift.  The performer is Madison Russell, who is one of the young worship leaders on my Kids Ministry Team.  WOW, she did a great job singing this!  I think she gave Taylor a run for her money - and Madison is ONLY 13 years old!  Feel free to use this video in your church! [vimeo id="120285477"] Check out last year's wildly successful "What Does The CLOCK Say?"
February 16, 2015

"All About Time Change" (parody of "All About That Bass")

Every year, our church does a great job at poking fun of Time Change Sunday (the day that clocks Spring an hour forward and for some reason people freak out because they are losing an hour of sleep).  To keep people from forgetting and ultimately being late for church that day, we create crazy videos to remind everyone. The last few years, we have done parody songs and videos of the hottest pop songs of the day.  Well, this year is no different.  For your entertainment, here is a parody of "All About That Bass" (yes, we are fully aware […]
February 2, 2015

3 Reasons Your Lead Pastor Just Doesn't Get It

I hear one statement a LOT as I travel and speak to Kids Ministry Leaders all over the country: “My Lead Pastor just doesn’t get it!”  In some churches, there seems to be a real divide between the senior leadership and the Kids Ministry Pastor/Director. Most Kidmin Leaders I talk to feel that the reason for the strain on this relationship is almost entirely the fault of the Lead Pastor. They forget that every relationship is a two-way street and haven’t considered the following three reasons why the Lead Pastor doesn’t “get” Kids Ministry. 1.  He doesn’t know what’s going […]
January 26, 2015

Do You Suffer From #Kidmin Tunnel Vision?

I will never forget the Staff Meeting where I confronted my Pastor about why I wasn't made aware of the big Missions opportunity that the rest of the staff seemed to already know about.  I let him know how upset I was that "those of us who are in Children's Ministry and aren't able to be in the Sanctuary on Sundays shouldn't be kept in the dark. My pastor kindly asked me, "Brian, did you not read the bulletin the last few weeks?"  I had not.  "Did you read the letter I sent home to every household in our church?" […]
January 21, 2015

Combining Faith With Fun: The Key To Making It Stick

Hey everyone!  Since I am at CPC (Children's Pastors Conference) in TN this week, I have a guest blog post from a good friend in #Kidmin, Andrew Linder.  Andrew is a husband, a father of four, and a children's pastor at a thriving church.  Andrew is passionate about intentional parenting and effective children's ministry.  He blogs about Kids, Family, and Ministry at AndrewScottLinder.com, and he creates children's ministry resources that combine faith with fun that can be found at KidzBlast.com.  One of the most powerful things I’ve learned in children’s ministry over the last 13 years is this: Kids engage in what […]
December 29, 2014

Most Popular Posts Of 2014

It's hard to believe, but 2014 is almost over.  What a year it has been.  I am so honored that you choose to share some of your precious time with me as we journey together.  Each person who reads this blog is committed to reaching the next generation with the message of Jesus in the most powerful and effective way we can. I took some time to check out which of my posts were the most popular in 2014.  It was a banner year for this blog as we added thousands of new followers.  Here are the TOP FIVE posts […]
December 22, 2014

Too Many Pastors Are Overweight

I figured that headline would get your attention.  But, sadly it is true.  Certainly not all, but an overwhelming majority (76%) of pastors (male and female) answered a recent poll that they would call themselves "obese."  In addition, many of them don’t feel confident behind the pulpit, don’t feel attractive to their spouse, aren’t taking a day off, have trouble sleeping, are lacking exercise regularly, and have minimal know-how to fueling their bodies. I can certainly say that not too long ago - I was in the same boat.  I finally came to the realization that change was never going […]
December 18, 2014

FREE Christmas Resources From OneHope

Hey everybody!  Christmas is only one week away!  Can you believe it?  I know that many of you are working hard at putting the fine touches on your Christmas service this Sunday!  My friends at OneHope.net want to help you out by providing FREE resources for you.  Just go to http://onehope.net/feature/christmas-resources/ and check out what they have provided.  There is everything from coloring pages to parent resources.  Merry Christmas, everybody!
December 10, 2014

What Does God Think About Your Child?

In each of the gospels, we find Jesus pouring himself into the lives of children.  Many times, the disciples and religious leaders tried to chase the kids away and pull Jesus back into “real” ministry.  But Jesus corrected them: “Let the children come to me, do not forbid them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).  Even when crowds of people gathered around Jesus to be touched and healed, He stopped to lay hands on children, hold them in His arms, and bless them. We sing “Jesus Loves The Little Children” for a reason.  Throughout […]
December 3, 2014

3 Things I Tell EVERY Volunteer

Part of the process for joining our Kids Ministry team is a personal sit-down interview with me, the Kids Pastor.  I want to personally know every person who serves on our team - whether that is in an up-front or behind-the-scenes capacity.  During this interview, I always stress three important principles that I hope will guide their decisions while serving in ministry: 1)  Always Strive For Excellence We try to live Colossians 3:23 on a daily basis:  "Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men.”  In every part of […]
November 28, 2014

FUN FRIDAY: Brand New "Star Wars Episode 7" Teaser

OK, the little kid in me is going nuts as I just got the first look at the teaser trailer for "Star Wars Episode VII:  The Force Awakens."  It looks amazing!  Check it out for yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erLk59H86ww
November 24, 2014

Family Advent Project: "Christmas Prayer Chain"

Looking for a great and easy-to-do project for your family this Christmas?  My wife, Cherith, started this Christmas tradition in our family when my kids were just babies.  It has meant a lot to our family, and I hope you will find it meaningful as well.  I have had several requests to post this again, so here you go: "CHRISTMAS PRAYER CHAIN" What you need: 25 strips of construction paper (approx 2 inches wide and six inches long); a sharpie marker; glue What to do: 1)  Prior to Dec. 1st, gather your kids together and take turns naming the name […]
November 17, 2014

How To Kill An Invisible Gorilla

OK, now before the folks at PETA start picketing my blog - let me explain. Ever heard the expression "monkey on my back"?  It refers to a problem or irritation that just won't seem to go away.  A looming deadline, a staffing issue, a recurring problem.  These "monkeys" can be irritating. However, I am not talking about those little "monkeys" in this blog.  Have you ever woke up with such heaviness, such a weight bearing down on you it's like a 900 lb gorilla sitting on your chest?  You know that you have something huge to face today - a […]
November 3, 2014

The Most Rewarding Ministry Program I Have Ever Started

I was looking through some old photos this weekend and came across the picture above.  It's a shot from thirteen years ago that features our 2001 C.I.A. team.  C.I.A. stands for "Christians In Action."  C.I.A. is our Summer Discipleship/Leadership Program for 4th & 5th graders.  As I looked at it, I realized that two of the eight members of that team are on our Pastoral Staff here at First NLR. C.I.A. has been one of the most effective programs I have ever started in my 23 years of Kids Ministry!  We just celebrated our 15th graduating class.  The graduates of CIA […]
October 31, 2014

The Unmistakable Benefits Of Longevity In Ministry

Today is October 31, 2014.  It was exactly 15 years ago that my wife, Cherith, and I came to Arkansas to be the Kids Pastors at First NLR.  What a ride it has been!  We have been blessed to serve under two incredible pastors, Dr. Alton Garrison (the first 18 months) and Rod Loy (the past 13.5 years).  To serve on such an incredible team (many of whom have been along for MOST of the ride as well) is more of a blessing than I could describe. There's something to be said about longevity in ministry - especially longevity in […]
October 7, 2014

10 Principles To Help Kids Make WISE Choices

We all want our kids to be wise.  We train them, talk to them, model for them, do everything we can to instill Godly wisdom and practical intelligence in their minds.  We spend eighteen years (sometimes more) monitoring their every move, correcting when necessary, and preparing for the day we will set them free to go out into the world and make a life of their own. We hope and trust that the scripture we have quoted numerous times throughout our trials and tribulations of parenthood will come true: “Train up a child in the way he should go and […]
October 2, 2014

4 Proven Ways To Get On Your Boss' Good Side

Everybody wants to be "in" with the boss.  Nobody wants to be on the outside looking into the boss' inner-circle.  You want to be someone he trusts.  You want to be someone your boss will call on when he needs feedback, when he has a new initiative he wants to start, or when he wants to bounce off a new idea. As a Children's Pastor, it is so important to me that I have a strong personal relationship with my boss - my Senior Pastor.  I think that is something that every staff pastor would want.  The problem is, we often behave as […]
September 19, 2014

Are Church "Fall Festivals" Actually Counter-Productive?

Two years ago, I wrote a post that caused a lot of discussion.  I thought I would revisit the subject since this blog has grown by well over 10,000 monthly readers since then, and many of you were not able to be a part of the discussion. For my first twenty years in Children’s Ministry, I planned and hosted a “Fall Festival” (a.k.a. “Harvest Party”, “Hallelujah Night”, “Fall Fest”, “Family Fun Fest”, “Trunk or Treat”, etc.) at the church where I was serving.  These events generally were seen as a fun Family Event that served as an “alternative to trick-or-treating and […]
September 10, 2014

A Helpful Resource To Help Teach Young Children About Creation

Throughout their academic life, children will have to face the onslaught of scientific theories, teachers, professors, and peers who will pressure them into leaving behind the "primitive and uneducated" belief that Earth was created by Almighty God.  A recent Gallup poll reveals that over 60% of Americans believe in the theory of evolution - many of them believing that it is the PRIMARY explanation for where life on Earth comes from.   Earlier this year, Ken Ham, a well-known Christian apologist debated the outspoken evolutionist, Bill Nye (the Science Guy).  It was a classic  (and public) Creation-versus-Evolution debate.  Nye is more […]
September 7, 2014

How To Handle Parents Who Don't Attend Your Church

Some time ago, one of the children who attends our church (but his parents do not) told me, "I didn’t come last week because my dad doesn't think it’s important.” I recognized what he was doing.  I asked him, “Did your dad actually say that he doesn't think church is important?” The boy said, “Well, no, but since he didn’t bring me, he must have something against me coming.” I quickly responded, “Wait a minute.  We can’t draw that conclusion.  Give your dad a break.  I’m sure he was just busy and couldn’t make his schedule work out.  After all, […]
September 2, 2014

Do You Struggle Getting Volunteers For Your Ministry?

Do you struggle getting volunteers for your ministry?  If you do, you are NOT alone!  Survey after survey tells us that recruiting and keeping volunteers is one of the biggest struggles for EVERY Kids Ministry Leader.  Well, I have an incredible opportunity for you that will help change that statistic. My friend, Ryan Frank, was a Children’s Pastor for 15 years and is currently the CEO/Publisher at KidzMatter.  He has created a FREE 4-part video series on how to recruit and keep amazing volunteers.  The video series is called “Volunteer Breakthrough."  In this video series, Ryan unpacks 10 Laws he […]
August 22, 2014

How To Have A High-Tech Bible Gameshow

Several weeks ago, we had a fun event called the "Bible Trivia Showdown!"  On a Sunday Night, we invited the families of our church to partner up and challenge one another on their knowledge of the Bible.  It was a hilarious event!  Everyone had a great time trying to see if they could answer the questions faster than the other family they had challenged.  We gave out a bunch of Sonic gift cards!  It was a blast! Ever since I posted the above pic on Facebook, I have had several people contact me asking how THEY could get an incredible […]
August 20, 2014

5 Things Every Ministry Leader Should Be Doing With Their Family

This week I got an email from a fellow Kids Pastor.  It said, "How hard do you push your children? On those days when someone from the church has been extremely rude, or when a party took place on a Saturday night and Sunday morning my kids show up and have to clean before worship service can even begin, or when they are just plain TIRED. Everyone gets frustrated from time to time because we are dealing with humans.  How do I, as a mother, know when I'm pushing them too hard.  The LAST thing I want is for them […]
August 13, 2014

What If Your Family Were Shot With 3,192 Paintballs In 5.3 Seconds?

This would be a ludicrous question - if it hadn't actually happened to this family!  It was all done to prove a point - a POWERFUL point!  Watch below and you will understand what I mean... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7t85SESTXI#t=100 Movies these days are often filled with gratuitous language, violence, nudity, and suggestive material.  It can be almost impossible for the family to sit down and watch a movie together without being subjected to all of this content.  Well, the people over at VidAngel have innovated the Family Movie Night.  They have introduced a streaming service that allows YOU to be in control of […]
August 11, 2014

10 Common Mistakes Church Staff Members Make

If you work (or have worked) on a multiple member staff at a local church, you know that it is not always easy to maintain unity and cohesion among the team.  Much of the reason for that are some of these common mistakes made by church staff members.  Browse the list and give yourself a check-up... 1)  Competing with other staff members. In staff meeting, they look for opportunities to shoot each other down.  They make the mistake of thinking that to make yourself look good, you have to make them look bad.  That’s not a team. 2)  Using “cut-down” humor […]
August 4, 2014

Talking To Kids About SEX

There is a long held belief in many circles that there are certain subjects that should not be mentioned at church or from the pulpit.  They are “reserved for the home.”  There are two problems with that whole frame of reference. Shouldn’t SEX Talk Be Reserved For The Home? 1)     SEX was created by God. The idea that sex should not be discussed in church flies in the face of the fact that SEX is a beautiful gift, created by God, for the purpose of giving a husband and wife an intimate physical way of connecting and expressing their love […]
July 28, 2014

Three Words That Will Energize Your Ministry

There are three words that will energize your ministry.  No, it's not "Drink More Coffee!"  Although, on a Monday morning after a LONG Sunday, I can see where that would certainly help!  The three words that will energize your ministry:  ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY! OK, so it's the same word repeated twice!  But, having a high level of energy can transform a normally boring and routine Kids Ministry into a thriving one.  Just about everything can be improved with increased energy.  Nobody wants to hear a song, listen to a lesson, or participate in a class where the leader looks bored, […]
July 23, 2014

Winners of the FREE "Power Bible" Announced

Congratulations to Donna Falvo and Susan Cantrell!  They are the winners of a FREE copy of the "Power Bible."  In case you missed my post on the "Power Bible" check it out HERE! There will be more giveaways of more resources in the future, so stay tuned!  In fact, this week I am giving away lots of resources to randomly selected followers of mine on Twitter.  So, if you don't already, follow me at @briandollar1 and see if you win!
July 21, 2014

5 Ways Twitter Can Instantly Enhance Your Ministry Effectiveness

Twitter is not exactly "new technology" since it was founded almost ten years ago on March 21, 2006.  Many Kidmin Leaders are already using this Social Media tool on a daily basis, but I also know many who have hesitated.  Some thought it was a passing fad, while others are just intimidated by it.  Still others just "don't get what the big deal is with Twitter." I use Twitter daily.  I use it for a variety of reasons.  It gives me a tool to have unprecedented connectivity to so many of my networks (friends, fellow laborers, and other leaders).  If […]
July 16, 2014

How To Preach From An iPad

[guestpost]I am away at Kids Camp this week. So, I have asked several of my favorite bloggers to write guest posts for you. This is a guest post from my good friend, Aaron Strawn. Aaron is a self-proclaimed "Kidmin Geek" who is one of the most creative guys I know! He blogs at aaronstrawn.com under the moniker #KidminGeek[/guestpost] (Imagine this first part as a cheesy infomercial) Is this you on a Sunday morning? Papers everywhere! Ugh..what a mess!  Papers..who needs this first world problem, I sure don’t. Haha, ok, here’s the truth, I use to be papers-all-over-the-podium-guy.  It’s not clean […]
July 13, 2014

10 Children's Pastors I Don't Follow Anymore

[guestpost]This week, I am away at Kids Camp.  So, I have invited a couple of my good friends in Kids Ministry to share some guest posts on my blog.  This a guest post from my great friend, Ryan Frank, who is the CEO of KidzMatter and a Vice President at Awana Clubs International.  He blogs over at RyanFrank.com.  But, most importantly, Ryan is a leader's leader.  Ryan is giving away  some great video training at RyanFrank.com.  I encourage you to go sign up so you start receiving them.  They are inspiring, informative, and transformational.  [/guestpost] I love children’s pastors. I have given much of my life to equipping them and […]
July 7, 2014

Kids Ministry "Meatloaf"

A mother was making meatloaf with her teenage daughter, a ritual they've been doing together for years.  As part of the tradition, the two chefs cut the end off one side of the meatloaf before putting it in the oven.  One day, the teen asks, "Mom, why do we cut the end off the meatloaf before we put it in the oven?" Taken by surprise, the mom began to think.  She really wasn't sure of the reason, but she had observed her own mother do this many times when she made meatloaf.  So, the teen and the mother called up Grandma to […]
June 30, 2014

INSIDE LOOK: "High Voltage Kids Ministry BIG Announcement"

Ten years ago, my team and I wrote and produced our very first Kidmin Curriculum called, “Got Questions?”  Since then, High Voltage Kids Ministry has gone on to be used in well over 5,000 churches world-wide!  We have a HUGE announcement that is going to be a GAME-CHANGER for Kidmin Leaders! We are giving you an INSIDE LOOK at the BIGGEST creative venture we have ever attempted!  If you are a big user of our Curriculum or have ever thought about using it, THIS is going to blow your mind! Check out the video below for all the details, then leave […]
June 30, 2014

Should Kids Ministry Leaders Drink Alcohol?

The other day I answered a question that was posed in a Children's Ministry forum that I belong to.  "How do you all handle seeing Facebook posts of your adult volunteers drinking or bar hopping?"  There was definitely a diversity of opinion among the members of the group.  So, I thought that this would make a good blog post and a healthy conversation. Before I get into it, let me make something perfectly clear:  This is my opinion.  I am not declaring doctrine, nor am I telling you what your standards should be.  I am simply sharing my personal thoughts on the […]