Brian's Blog

January 30, 2012

Drop The Excuses

We all have our favorite excuses why we haven't done the things we know we should do.  Taking risks, expanding our horizons, making significant life and habit changes - all of these things are held back by our favorite excuses: *  I'm comfortable with the way things are, so I don't really need to change. *  I'll probably fail, so why even try? *  It'll take too long to change. *  People will criticize me if I try this. As I write in my book, I Blew It!, excuses are perpetual blinders.  With them, we can stay stuck for a […]
January 26, 2012

Is Your Greatest Strength Also Your Biggest Liability?

In my book, "I Blew It!", I write about a crazy story where I ended up accidentally wearing a Keystone Cop hat on stage during the most serious moment of our Easter Production.  I had tried to be funny backstage and ended up forgetting I was wearing the hat.  It's hilarious to read, but wasn't so funny when it happened. My greatest strength in kids’ ministry was my sense of humor.  The children loved it, and the volunteers enjoyed it, too.  I was able to play goofy characters like Skittles, the Candy Rapper, and a host of others.  I was […]
January 25, 2012

Book Review: "Jumping The Track" by Roger Fields

When I first began seeing Roger tweet about the book he was writing, he was billing it as "The Kidz Blitz Story."  That is a major understatement!  While this book does chronicle the story of how the Kidmin phenomenon KIDZ BLITZ got started, it is so much more than that! "Jumping The Track" is Roger's story.  It's the story of a man who refused to follow the mold set by others in ministry.  It's the story of a man's struggle with his own overwhelmingly shy personality to become a mesmerizing stage host and people-person.  It's the story of a man […]
January 17, 2012

You Got Served!

I was privileged to spend some time at INCM's Children's Pastors Conference in Orlando last week.  It was an incredible conference!  If you have an opportunity to go in the future (there's another one happening in San Diego in February) I encourage you to make it happen! One thing that struck me the entire week was the level of service I received from the INCM staff as well as the Disney Resort staff where the conference was held.  While setting up our booth in the Exhibit Hall, we were approached multiple times by a member of the INCM staff asking, […]
January 6, 2012

"I Blew It!" Officially Released!

  I'm very excited to announce that my book, "I Blew It!", officially released this week!  This has been a labor of love that was nearly a year in the making (well, 20 years if you want to be technical LOL).  It chronicles my twenty years in Kids Ministry and all the biggest mistakes I have made - plus offers insight and principles to help YOU avoid those mistakes. I was honored to have one of my heroes, Jim Wideman, write the Foreword for the book.  Jim is a legend in Kids Ministry and has served at some of the […]
December 27, 2011

Making The Most Of Your Mistakes

WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION: "How do you respond when you really blow it?" I am excited to announce that my brand new book, "I Blew It!" will be released next week (you can pre-order it now by clicking here)!  In this book, I document the BIGGEST mistakes I have made in Kids Ministry and how YOU can avoid them.  Since I started talking about writing the book, many have asked me, "How did you keep from giving up when you made such huge mistakes?" or "How were you able to use your biggest mistakes to move forward instead of backward?" It's […]
December 19, 2011

Have You Prayed For Your Pastor Today?

Last week I had the privilege of traveling with my Senior Pastor, Rod Loy, for a very important trip.  We were meeting with some of the leadership of our denomination to discuss the possibility of a VERY cool project that could make a major impact on Kids Ministry.  It was exciting! During that quick, 24 hour trip, I was able to be a "fly on the wall" of sorts and get a glimpse into the kind of pressure my pastor faces on a daily basis.  While I drove, his phone rang almost nonstop.  In that short amount of time he […]
December 14, 2011

Why I Wrote "I Blew It!"

  WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION: "So, why did you decide to write a book?" - submitted by Aaron in Arkansas Since I announced that I was writing a book several months ago, this question has been asked of me many times.  I will have to admit, I asked it of myself many times - in many various forms. I have read many books relating to Kids Ministry.  There are some that focus solely on practical ministry helps (i.e. Learn To Juggle In 15 Short Lessons or Understanding Your Pre-Teens).  There are others that focus solely on Leadership Lessons (i.e. 12 Habits Of The […]
December 5, 2011

Involving Kids In Ministry

WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION: "I am wanting to get kids more involved in leadership.  Do you use kids to help lead?  If so what have you found works or doesn't work in training them?" - submitted by Chuck in Georgia I am a firm believer of allowing kids to use their God-given talents in areas of ministry.  It is VERY important that children begin serving in ministry as early as possible.  It helps them avoid developing a "church is here to serve me" mentality.  Instead, they focus on serving and leading others as a means of worship. God has, can, and […]
November 28, 2011

The Procrastination Trap

WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION: "I struggle with procrastination.  I'm a spontaneous type of guy.  Do you think that hurts my leadership?" - submitted by David As I’ve talked to hundreds of people involved in kids’ ministries across the country, I’ve observed that there’s an epidemic of procrastination.  We excuse it in all kinds of ways, but all our reasons lead to the same result.  Yes, you have to be quick, and you never know what a kid is going to say or what kind of crazy thing will happen next.  But many kids’ leaders believe their enthusiastic personalities and the spontaneity […]
November 25, 2011

Great Family Project: "The 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. 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 of someone the family will pray for (friends, family, pastors, teachers, and others) 2)  Write one […]
November 14, 2011

Lessons For Kidmin From The Penn State Child Abuse Debacle

The news from the Penn State scandal has dominated the news cycle for the last week, and it has dominated my thoughts as well.  I couldn't believe the heinous crime that was perpetrated on young at-risk boys in such a public place for so long. There are many lessons to learn from this tragedy and it's aftermath.  We spent a good deal of time in our staff meeting today discussing this.  Here are some of the BIG lessons I believe we in Kids Ministry MUST learn from this: 1)  We must be VIGILANT in protecting His children. Every child must […]
October 17, 2011

Discipline In Kidmin pt. 2

WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION: "How do you handle discipline issues at your church?" - submitted by "Anonymous" in Dallas, TX In my last post, I explained what our discipline policies for Kidmin. If you want kids to follow your policy, follow through with established consequences. Consequences help kids own their behavior and teach them to make better choices. Here are the established steps we follow when applying consequences. 1.  Remind the child of the rule they have broken. 2.  Official Warning 3.  Move the child to a different seat 4.  Remove the child from the room (bring them to office) 5.  […]
October 14, 2011

Register For CPC and Win BIG!

I am really excited to be speaking at CPC this year for the first time.  I will be co-leading a Pre-Conference Leadership Seminar with Ryan Frank (of Kidzmatter and K! Magainze) called "The P.O.L.E. Position".  This will focus on four key components of your ministry that willl position you for success:  Passion, Organization, Leadership, Evaluation. I hope to see many of you there.  All of those who attend the Pre-Con Seminar will receive a $100 gift card to use in the High Voltage Kids Ministry Resources online store.  PLUS, if you register for the Orlando or San Diego CPC in […]
October 12, 2011

The Homeless Blogger: Kidmin Heritage and Kidmin Soon-to-be

Hello friends.  My name is Kenny Conley and I'm the homeless blogger. What does that mean?  Well, I have a blog over at childrensministryonline.com (BUT DON'T GO THERE). My blog is very sick with a nasty virus. Since she's sick and slowly getting better, I don't have a place to post new articles.  I'm at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago and like always, I've got something to say... I just don't have anyplace to say it.  So, thanks to some good friends, they're giving this homeless blogger a couch to sleep on and letting me finish off the carton of ice cream […]
October 10, 2011

Discipline Issues In Kidmin pt. 1

WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION: "How do you handle discipline issues at your church?" - submitted by "Anonymous" in Dallas, TX Discipline is a hot button issue for people who work with kids.  While public and private school systems have five days a week to instill a discipline plan with students, the church typically has about one hour per week to do the same thing.  It's important to have a clear system in place.  The last thing you want to do is expect volunteers to come up with their own discipline plan without guidance or expectations. Successful Discipline comes down to two […]
October 3, 2011

Does a Kidmin Volunteer have to be a Christian?

KIDMIN QUESTION: "In a small church, it can be difficult to get enough volunteers since you are just starting out.  What do you think about people who aren't Christians volunteering with kids?" - submitted by Dan in Santa Monica, California I understand that many of you will have differing opinions than I have on this subject.  I want you to know that it is OK - and I welcome the discussion.  Please leave comments below.  Let's share our approach and reasons for it. My personal opinion and conviction on this matter is that all volunteers in Kids Ministry should go […]
September 26, 2011

Developing A Heart Of Worship In Kids pt. 2

(CONTINUED FROM PT. 1)  4)  Allow the kids to come around the front. This will help them take the move towards worship. Teach the kids of worshipful positions, (raising hands, closing eyes, etc…), and lead them in praising using these styles.  Let them know that these positions can help them in proclaiming their desire to worship God and focus their attention on Him.  ("I raise my hands as I am reaching out towards God; I kneel in reverence and honor to God’s presence; etc.") 5)  Don’t be afraid to have quiet moments. Often, we are afraid of "dead air".  While […]
September 19, 2011

"Developing A Heart Of Worship In Kids" pt. 1

KIDMIN QUESTION: “We usually do sets of 3 songs, 2 fast and one slower.  We'd like to have extended worship occasionally but how best can we handle that when some of the kids are not mature enough spiritually for more than a few minutes of worship?”  submitted by Dorrie Champagne - Agawam, Massachusetts Worship is an important part of the Christian life.  It is a time of devoted focus toward God, expressing our love to Him.  In order to develop a heart of worship in children who are new in the faith (or young in age), there are some practical […]
September 6, 2011

Recruiting Volunteers pt. 3

picking up where pt. 2 left off - here is the conclusion of my thoughts on recruiting volunteers... 8)  Develop a job description and communicate CLEAR expectations. You can’t expect a volunteer to “just know” what they need to do.   When possible, give a complete list of expectations in writing to avoid confusion.  There is nothing worse than giving someone a job to do and not clearly communicating expectations.  The volunteer has no way to know if they are doing what is expected or not.  This breeds confusion, so communicate expectations ON PAPER so there is no question as to […]
August 29, 2011

Recruiting Volunteers Pt. 2

KIDMIN QUESTION: “When recruiting, how do you help potential volunteers respond out of the right motivation (God honoring, using their gifts, etc) instead of guilt?” - submitted by Donna Leupp in Peshtigo, WI Picking up where Pt. 1 left off - here are more principles to follow when recruiting volunteers for your Kidmin Team... 4)  Develop a ministry application for volunteers to complete. Sit down and put together an application that not only gathers pertinent contact information, but also asks probing questions that give you insight into the person you are considering.  What are their likes/dislikes?  What experience do they have working with kids?  What […]
August 22, 2011

Recruiting Volunteers Pt. 1

KIDMIN QUESTION: "How do you get folks in the church to volunteer when they think it is the Children's Pastor's job to do the ministry?" - submitted by Mike Benintende, N. Versailles, PA This is one of the most difficult tasks of a Kidmin Leader - Recruiting Volunteers.  I can tell you, there is no magic formula.  The only way to recruit successfully is by CONTINUOUS hard work and adherence to a few key principles.  In the next few posts, I will share some of those keys that I have learned.  Hopefully they will help you to build a strong team […]
August 8, 2011

Kids Ministry Philosophy

WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION: "What has been the biggest change in your Kids Ministry philosophy in the past 20 years?" - submitted by Jon Warneke of Polson, MT It's hard to believe I am even qualified to answer this question, since to do so means I would have actually had to BE IN Kids Ministry for nearly 20 years.  It's true though - I am officially an OLD MAN! I began my Kids Ministry life in 1992 as a sophomore in College serving at a local church.  I had NO idea what I was doing when it came to leading kids […]
August 1, 2011

Here we go!

I have been asked the same question for several years, "When are you going to start blogging?"  I have always had a lot of different answers.  "I don't have time."  "It's not my thing."  "It's a passing fad."  All true thoughts, but not the real reasons.  Time to come clean. The truth is, I have avoided getting into the BLOGosphere because: 1)  I didn't think I had anything new to add. There are already so many Kidmin bloggers out there like Sam Luce, Tony Kummer, Kenny Conley, Gina McClain, and others.  I wasn't sure that ONE MORE VOICE was needed. […]
July 3, 2011

First Post Is Coming...

That's right!  Subscribe now to be one of the very first of my fellow KidMin Leaders and friends to join me in this journey.  I will post my very first "real" post on August 1, 2011 to explain why I FINALLY started blogging and the purpose of this blog.  So pass the word and subscribe now.  I will be giving away a $200 Web Coupon to use in our web store - highvoltage-kids.com to ONE lucky subscriber.  MUST be subscribed by midnight Eastern, July 31st to be eligible.  Thanks for your support!