Brian's Blog

October 10, 2013

Raising The Bar: Expecting MORE From Your Team

“I can’t get my team to come to meetings, so I just don’t schedule them.”   ”I wish my team were more committed.”  ”I want to raise the level of my team, but I am afraid of losing good people.” I hear statements like these from Kidmin Leaders all the time.  They want to take their team to the next level of commitment so they can accomplish more for the Kingdom, but they are afraid that if they expect more, they will lose people off of their team.  And, they are probably right. Anytime we raise the standard and expect more […]
October 7, 2013

Are Church "Fall Festivals" Actually Counter-Productive?

Last year I wrote a post that caused a lot of discussion.  I thought I would revisit the subject since this blog has grown by over 1,000 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 Halloween.” The […]
October 3, 2013

Recommended Resource: "Leading A Special Needs Ministry" by Amy Fenton Lee

According to a 2013 report released by the CDC, an estimated 1 in 50 children receive a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Churches are finding themselves in a place where the need is great, but the answers and resources are few.  Kids Ministry Leaders are encountering an ever-increasing pressure to help parents navigate through these tough waters, but establishing an effective ministry to children with special needs can be a daunting task. Amy Fenton Lee’s new book serves as a practical “how-to” handbook for the Kidmin Leader who desires to create an atmosphere of inclusion for children with special needs. […]
September 30, 2013

How To Improve Safety And Security In Your Kids Ministry

One of the greatest needs and focuses of any Kids Ministry should be that of safety and security.  After all, we are entrusted with the most precious lives that mean the world to every parent who drops them off in our care.  If we do not do our due diligence in providing a safe a secure environment for the children, then we are not demonstrating the value that we claim to place on them. Many of you are aware of my friends at KidCheck.  Well, they have developed a powerful child safety video and guide for organizations caring for children.  […]
September 16, 2013

Powerful Video - "This Time" (Based On A True Story)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdYPjpl5pI0 Most of you who read my blog often will know I am a huge fan of the music of John Elefante (the former lead singer of the rock group, Kansas). Having followed his career since the mid-80s, it has been a pleasure as I have become friends with him the last few years. He is an incredible musician, singer, producer - but an amazing man of God as well. I will never forget when he sent me the original demo to the song, "This Time." I was blown away and moved to tears when I heard the song for […]
September 3, 2013

New Kidmin Resource That Will SHOCK You!

As many of you know, I am the founder of High Voltage Kids Ministry Resources.  We started providing Kids Ministry Curriculum back in 2004.  In the last decade, we have been blessed to see over 5000 churches use our materials.  Many kids have been saved and blessed as a result! Well, on September 1st, we launched a BRAND NEW line of curriculum:  High Voltage Power Packs.  The very first series in this new product line is "HELP!" “HELP!” teaches children to call on God in times of trouble.  Explores the topics of  healing, depression, stress, wisdom, and loneliness through the […]
August 22, 2013

How The Internet Has Changed Kids Ministry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A81IwlDeV6c#at=1212 I ran across this family video (originally released on VHS tape - remember those?) the other day. It was produced in 1997 and was intended to teach kids who to use the internet. From this video, you would assume the only purpose the internet was to give kids a hands-on education. Of course, we realize just how much the internet has evolved since 1997. Very little was mentioned about internet safety. In this piece that spans over 25 minutes, a mere 12 seconds was dedicated to teaching kids internet safety. My, how things have changed. I certainly did my […]
August 19, 2013

Ashton Kutcher Has A Message For Your Kids

Hollywood is known for sending the WRONG messages to our kids.  They promote a false sense of success, what it takes to get there, and what the definition of "sexy" is.  I was completely surprised when I saw this speech given by Ashton Kutcher at the Teen Choice Awards 2013. Now, let me first say this - I am in NO WAY endorsing Ashton Kutcher, his lifestyle, or his ability to be a strong and positive influence for children.  However, I think his words were refreshing and in many ways shocking among a Hollywood that rarely sends positive messages to […]
August 12, 2013

Do People Trust You?

Trust is critical and is the foundation of any relationship.  Whether that be in your family, ministry, church, or work - trust is what makes every relationship work.  Often, we assume that others should just NATURALLY trust us, but it rarely works that way.  You have to do your part to build trust. If you want to build a strong level of trust with your team and others, here are several practices you should put in place: *  Keep your promises - do what you say you will do. *  Tell the truth - the whole truth, all the time, […]
July 29, 2013

Ten Effective Ways To Show Appreciation To Your Volunteers

Leading a volunteer ministry can be difficult.  Volunteers sacrifice their time away from their families, their jobs, and their other responsibilities and interests.  They are not required to stick with you or your kids ministry, so you want to make sure that you are proactive in showing them your appreciation. Here are ten effective ways you can show appreciation to your volunteers: 1.  Say it publicly Every opportunity you have: in a meeting, in front of the kids, in front of the church, in whatever public setting you are in - brag on your team.  Thank them for their tireless […]
July 22, 2013

Becoming A SLAM-Grandparent!

Yesterday was a very cool day for my wife, Cherith, and I. It was the day we discovered we are now "SLAM Grandparents" at First NLR. We became the Kids Pastors here in 1999 - nearly 14 years ago. "SLAM" is the name of the Elementary Kids Church service we began when we got here. Yesterday, it was an honor to welcome several children into "SLAM" who belong to Anthony Kennedy, one of the kids that were in that original group. I am about to celebrate my 14th year as Kids Pastor at First NLR. I have been blessed to […]
July 15, 2013

"THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT"

https://vimeo.com/70308815 Hey everyone! I've been teasing all of our customers at High Voltage Kids Ministry Resources that on July 15th, we will make a BIG announcement. I thought I would share it with you as well! Hopefully, you will find it helpful for your ministry!
July 9, 2013

Who Is This Clown?

This past weekend, we launched our "Family Month" event.  This is something we do every year during the month of July.  We always bring in outside ministry guests and have FREE family ministry/entertainment during our Sunday Night services that are dedicated to bringing the entire family together. Our first guest was "Chagy the Clown."  Chagy did an incredible job.  He was one of the best guests we have had - EVER!  Here are a couple of reasons why he was such a hit! 1)  He was FUNNY! - Everyone loves to laugh!  Chagy connected with the youngest and the oldest […]
July 3, 2013

New "Kid Bible Heroes" App - Kids Just Can't Put It Down!

The Kid Bible Heroes interactive app for kids features youngsters living out grown-up faith that will build your kids’ trust in God. Each narrated Bible story pauses for games, fun sound effects and interactive animation. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. With the Kid Bible Heroes app, your kids can learn about ordinary kids in the Bible who were used by God to do extraordinary things.  The app features five Bible stories about everyday heroes like David, Miriam, Samuel, Mary, and the young boy with the fishes and loaves.  Through their interactive stories, your kids will learn about God's plan […]
June 27, 2013

Should Kids Pastors Talk To Their Groups About "Gay Marriage"?

With the news yesterday of the Supreme Court striking down the "Defense Of Marriage Act", the topic of "Gay Marriage" is once again a major story in the news.  No doubt, our kids are hearing all about this topic both on the TV and, many times, on the playground.  It's hard for a Christian parent to control the context in which their child may have conversations regarding this important topic. I received a question yesterday from a fellow Kids Pastor asking my opinion on whether or not he should "address" his Kids Ministry on the topic of Gay Marriage and/or […]
June 24, 2013

3 Tips To Help You Be The WORST Leader You Can Be

There are so many posts and books about "How To Be A Better Leader."  I've written a few and have read even more.  So, I thought I would take a different route and give you a couple of tips on how to be a bad leader - in fact, the WORST leader you can be! 1)  Be Unpredictable If you want to be a bad leader, make it hard for your team to know what you want, what you think, or what mood you will be in.  Volunteers hate it when they have to guess what you feel is the […]
June 17, 2013

Five Tips To Instantly Improve Creative Output

Creativity is an elusive thing. For most people, it doesn't just happen. Although, I am a firm believer that every one of us has enormous creative potential (check out my post on "Kidminnovation"), there are definitely times when creativity just doesn't seem to flow. If you find yourself struggling in your creative realm, try these tips: 1) Start "scratching" Twyla Tharp, author of The Creative Habit, talks about the act of scratching. She writes, "You know how you scratch away at a lottery ticket to see if you've won? That's what I'm doing when I begin a piece. I'm digging […]
June 12, 2013

Incredible New Album and App By YANCY

Yancy just came out with a brand new CD and now she has an amazing app that accompanies it.  (if you want to get a SPECIAL package deal on this new CD and more, CLICK HERE) When Yancy recorded her newest album Roots for the Journey she knew these songs were special. The music, organic, unplugged and simple was something that adults of all ages would be eager to listen to again and again. The message in the songs timeless because each song is centered on scriptures from God’s Word. Yancy spends most of her time doing family concerts and making music and worship resources […]
June 10, 2013

Are You Missing The Trees?

We have all heard the phrase, "They can't see the forest for the trees."  This usually refers to someone who is so totally focused on the individual problems, issues, or difficulties of life that they fail to see the BIG picture.  While this can often happen in the life of a Kidmin Pastor/Leader, I believe there is a VISION failure that can be even more devastating. Sometimes, as leaders, we are missing the TREES for the forest.  We become focused on the BIG picture (the forest) and we lose sight of the trees (individuals).  Ministry is not ONLY about the […]
May 28, 2013

Ten Rules For Dealing With Others

I am sure most of you have heard of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.  He is one of the more famous authors and motivational speakers of the 20th Century.  He had "10 Rules" that he operated under when dealing with others.  I thought it would be interesting to see how many of these you are practicing on a daily basis in ministry: 1.  Learn to remember people's names.  People's names are important to them.  Forgetting a person's nameis often taken as a sign you are not interested in them. 2.  Relax and be a comfortable person to be with.  Make sure […]
May 21, 2013

"Helping Kids Deal With The Tornado Tragedy"

We are all in shock and disbelief about the tornado tragedy in Moore, OK this week.  Like many, you might have had the thought, “Wow.  That could have happened here.”  And, it’s true.  Tragedy knows no boundaries.  It does not discriminate between people.  Tragedy can hit any community, any family, any individual, at any time. Aside from tornados - there are mass shootings, terrorist attacks, Earthquakes, and other tragedies that eventually strike every family.  The death of a loved one.  An accident that permanently injures someone.  The sudden loss of income due to layoffs or being fired.  These are the […]
May 16, 2013

How Is Digital Media Affecting Our Kids?

I came across an incredible infographic this week (see below).  I thought you would be interested in what it shares.  We all hear about how video games, television, and other forms of digital media are keeping our kids locked in their homes and causing them to become obese, lethargic, and lazy. Well, although there are certainly dangers - the key word is balance!  Parents must be vigilant in what kind of time their child spends in front of their digital playground.  But, teachers seem to think that using all kinds of technology in the classroom is going to be the […]
May 14, 2013

You Can Take It, But Can You Dish It Out?

A few weeks ago I received an email from someone who was extremely negative.  It was from someone who disagreed with an approach I was taking in ministry.  I was not surprised to hear from someone who disagreed with me as I always invite dissenting and opposing opinions.  I want to grow by hearing from those who see things from a different perspective. This email was different.  It was in response to the reader seeing the above graphic that was featured in our Children's Ministry newsletter around Easter weekend (featuring a bunny and eggs). Here is the email in its […]
May 6, 2013

The Forgotten Value Of Asking Questions

I have observed over the years many Kidmin Leaders make the mistake of "arriving" in ministry.  They achieve a certain level of "success" and decide they know it all (or at least all they care to know). When this happens, they move into protectionism.  They are constantly trying to protect their reputation as a "knowledgeable and capable leader."  I have watched as these leaders begin to sink because they are not willing to do something that could help them keep rising in leadership - ASK QUESTIONS. Admitting you don't know it all and asking others for their input is difficult […]
April 16, 2013

Three "Creativity Killers"

Creativity is a MUST in Kids Ministry.  It takes creativity to capture attention and illuminate the gospel to a young mind that is bombarded with flashy, glitzy attention-grabbers all day from a world whose message is less than spiritually healthy. We all want to be more creative, but we often fall prey to one or more of the three CREATIVITY KILLERS in ministry... 1)     PROCRASTINATION There’s an epidemic of procrastination in Kids Ministry.  I can’t believe how many times I hear people saying that they don’t even begin to start their preparation for Sunday until Saturday Night. Nothing will kill […]
April 9, 2013

How To Communicate So Kids WANT To Listen

This past weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at an event called Illuminate.  This event is put on by my friend and fellow Kidmin Blogger, Kenny Conley.   It was an incredible time of pouring into a great group of leaders! I did a workshop on "How To Communicate So Kids WANT To Listen."  I thought I would share some of the thoughts I shared with those leaders. How To Communicate So Kids WANT To Listen: 1.  When teaching the lesson or telling a Bible Story, have your Bible in your hand.  I never want kids to think God’s truth […]
April 1, 2013

Book Review: "Connecting Church & Home" by Dr. Tim Kimmel

"Strong churches don't make strong families.  Strong families make strong churches." - Dr. Tim Kimmel What is the center of your Family Ministry strategy?  Is it safety and protection from the dark influences of this world?  Is it reaching unchurched families through evangelism?  What drives your ministry to kids and families? Dr. Tim Kimmel offers a one word answer in his new book, "Connecting Church & Home." That one word:  GRACE.  Dr. Kimmel suggests that God's grace can and should be what encompasses everything we do as a church - especially ministering to families. Kimmel begins with the book with a challenging […]
March 18, 2013

Five Habits Of "On-Time" Leaders!

Time is precious.  We only have so many years on this Earth, only 7 days a week, and only 24 hours in a day.  Sadly, too many leaders waste MUCH of the time they are given.  When you waste time it can have a negative impact on your leadership and your relationships. I challenge you to adopt the five habits of the "On-Time" Leader! 1.  Arrive ON TIME!    If you are supposed to meet someone for lunch, be at a staff meeting, or attend an event - arrive ON TIME!  When you arrive late it sends a message to the […]
March 13, 2013

What Are Babies Thinking?

This TED talk was very intriguing for me.  Anyone who considers Children's Ministry (particularly Nursery Ministry) as merely "babysitting" will be shocked to hear that babies take in and process so much more information than we ever could have imagined.  We are imparting the TRUTH of God's Word into their minds and hearts.  We must be more and more determined to make God's TRUTH come alive for the babies in our nursery! [ted id=1241] Question:  Should we be more intentional about leading children on a learning JOURNEY by allowing them to discover God's TRUTH rather than simply be TOLD?
March 11, 2013

An Incredible Resource To Help Kids Memorize The Bible

Let me introduce you to the hottest new resource in the Kidmin YOU-KNOW-VERSE!!! JumpStart3 meets an immediate need in the Christian world by combining modern music with lyrics straight from the Bible!  Their goal is to create an exciting and innovative way for kids to memorize and hide God’s word in their hearts. I met Jeff, the founder of JumpStart3, last year at CPC San Diego.  Jeff has been an accomplished music producer for the last 25 years and has earned many #1s, awards, and accolades.  His desire is to take all of his knowledge and gifts and get kids […]
March 7, 2013

Another One Of Our "Time Change Sunday" Parodies

So, did you like "On Time Style" and "Call Me, Wake Me!" - well, you ain't seen nothing yet!  This is the final installment of our Time Change Sunday videos.  This one stars our Choir Director (who is 68 years old) rocking out to a parody of Michael Jackson's "Black Or White".  It's Time Change Sunday this week - so make sure you "Change The Time!"  Enjoy! [wpvideo laFu9RfC]
March 6, 2013

Another "Time Change Sunday" Parody - "Call Me, Maybe!"

So many of you watched our other "Time Change Sunday" Parody Video ("On Time Style" and asked, "Do you have more?" Well, yes we do! Here is a great parody of the big hit, "Call Me, Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. This one stars our Preschool Coordinator, who apparently broke her alarm clock and wants you to "Call Me, Wake Me!" so she isn't late for church on Time Change Sunday! Enjoy! [wpvideo 7BUz2gYU]
March 5, 2013

Funny Way To Remind Your Church About "Time Change Sunday"

Every year, my church does CRAZY videos to remind people to set their clocks forward an hour for Time Change Sunday. Well, that is THIS Sunday, March 10th. So, don't miss it! Enjoy this - featuring our Worship Pastor! [wpvideo XgEQo8R6]
March 4, 2013

The "Atomic" Easter Disaster

It was one of my very first events at my new church.  Sadly, I was focused more on impressing them with my amazing creative ideas rather than providing a safe and secure environment for the kids. We have very little grass on our property for an egg hunt, so I got permission to use a vacant lot that was across the street from our church.  Now, I didn’t realize it would be a good idea to provide a crossing guard – or even a crossing area for the families to make it safely over to the lot.  So, it was […]
February 25, 2013

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

Sometimes, we exaggerate the good things to look a little better to impress people, and we downplay the bad things so we don’t look so foolish.  Both of these are, in fact, lies. Partial truths are also partial lies, designed to “save face” by giving enough truth to avoid outright lying but not enough to expose our stupidity and sin.  Tell the truth—the whole truth, the first time.  It saves a world of trouble. I scheduled a meeting with one of our team members for 10:00 in the morning.  At ten minutes past that time, he wasn’t there, so I […]
February 18, 2013

Are You Doing YOUR Job?

As Kids Ministry leaders, we are passionate about our area of ministry.  We work hard and focus on creative ideas to reach more and more children for the cause of Christ.  This is wonderful!  This is what we SHOULD do. Often, that laser focus and passion leads us to ignore other very important and fundamental needs in our church.  We must remember that, although our PRIMARY focus may be Kids Ministry, the BIGGER role we play is that of a member of our church's pastoral TEAM. I was speaking at a church in Texas several years back.  The Kids Pastor […]
January 21, 2013

How To Avoid Kidmin Tunnel Vision

In my previous post, I shared the dangers of Kidmin Tunnel Vision.  This is when you get so laser focused on Kids Ministry that you fail to keep the BIG picture of the WHOLE church in mind.  Today, I want to share how you can avoid falling into this trap! It’s not enough to sit back and expect your pastor or other staff members to make sure you’re vitally connected with the entire scope of the church’s life.  That’s your responsibility.  Here are some steps you can take to Avoid Kidmin Tunnel Vision: 1)  Read every available piece of information. […]
January 14, 2013

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 7, 2013

Question EVERYTHING!

Effective leaders are constantly questioning the status quo.  They don’t settle for “what’s always been done.”  They never say, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”  They are constantly questioning methods, practices, and strategies to ensure they are taking the best possible approach. If you are going to be an effective leader, be willing to question EVERYTHING in your ministry – even the things that you think are going wonderfully!  You say, “Wait!  I thought I was supposed to live by the motto ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!’”  Here’s the problem with that.  In ministry, oftentimes something has […]
December 31, 2012

Where In The World Is Brian Dollar?

2013 is going to be an exciting year.  I have been honored to be asked to speak at several incredible conferences and events.  I would love to get a chance to meet you and connect! Just thought I would pass on some of the dates and locations I will be in 2013.  Hope to get a chance to meet many of you in person! North Texas Kids Pastors Retreat; Jan. 4-5, 2013; Dallas, TX;  keynote speaker and multiple breakouts  more info INCM’s Children’s Pastors Conference;  January 16-19, 2013;  Orlando, FL; multiple breakouts more info Oklahoma Kids Pastors Retreat; Jan. 25-26, 2013; […]