Kidmin Leadership

November 6, 2017

The Undeniable Benefits Of Longevity In Ministry

Just a few days ago, October 31, 2017 - I celebrated the fact that 18 years ago 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 16.5 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 […]
October 4, 2017

Communicating So Kids WANT To Listen (FREE VIDEO LESSON )

I am super pumped to share this FREE video lesson with you!  How would you like to learn some of the great principles and practices used by some of the most dynamic and effective communicators? Well, now you can!  In this video, I share some of the best tips and practices that I have learned in my 25 years of Kids Ministry!  It's a FREE video lesson from my Online Video Course called: "ACCELERATE: Boosting Your Ministry Effectiveness."   Here's the FREE VIDEO LESSON: [vimeo id="234919493"] Want MORE helpful videos like this?  You can find them in my  Online Video Course […]
August 26, 2015

Make Ministry Simple, Not Easy

Today’s post is written by Jeffrey Kranz and sponsored by Disciplr, a new interactive curriculum platform for KidMin leaders. Check out their free ebook for Sunday school teachers! It’s a blessing and a curse to be a leader in this day and age, isn’t it? It’s a blessing because it seems like almost every area of life is getting easier. It’s a curse because you’re expected to make things exponentially easier for your volunteers, too! That makes sense, though. Almost everything is getting easier. I can’t remember the last time I had to ask for directions. (Thanks, Google!) I can […]
August 24, 2015

4 Reasons The Kids In Your Ministry Are Misbehaving

We've all been there.  It's Sunday Morning, and you are ready for an awesome day of ministry to the kids in your church.  But, things just didn't go according to plan.  Johnny wouldn't stop throwing paper airplanes, Suzi wouldn't stop talking to her neighbor, and the Jones kid decided to bring a laser pointer and virtually blind you while you were teaching.  It seemed like the entire class had obviously eaten a dozen powdered donuts for breakfast and were on a major sugar high. Now, when this happens you have a choice to make.  You can get angry, threaten to […]
July 31, 2015

Brain Science & The Bible: Are They Enemies?

I will never forget sitting in the company of a preacher while I was in Bible College.  This preacher railed against Science and technology.  He viewed them as vehement enemies of the Kingdom of God.  He firmly believed that any sort of connection between Science and The Bible was a lie. Growing up in a Spirit-led church community, I often heard arguments against "those churches who plan and prepare their services."  It was believed that those who use their human minds to plan Church services were "not allowing God's Spirit to lead them."  The assumption, of course, was that God […]
July 15, 2015

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT About My New Book

I have been working the last two years on my new book, "Talk Now And Later: How To Lead Kids Through Life's Tough Topics."  I firmly believe this book is going to be a GAME CHANGER for all Christian Parents! Children today are being bombarded by messages that are contrary to what the Bible teaches. Parents (and grandparents who are now parenting their grandkids) feel completely overwhelmed as they try to navigate the difficult waters of conversation with their kids about very difficult topics.  That’s why I wrote this book!  To help parents and grandparents lead kids through topics like […]
June 29, 2015

A Children's Pastor's Response To The Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States determined that marriage between homosexual couples would be legally recognized in all fifty states. No doubt, our kids are hearing all about this topic both on the TV and, many times, on the playground.  It’s hard for any parent to control the context in which their child may have conversations regarding this important topic. Many Christian parents have struggled with the question, “How do I talk to my kids about this?” Likewise, many Children’s Pastors have struggled with the question, “What is my responsibility in this? Should I […]
June 1, 2015

T.H.I.N.K. Before You Post/Tweet

Rarely does a day go by when I don't open Social Media and see tweets and posts from Christians that I read and wonder, "Did they even take a nanosecond to think what those who see or read this will think?"  Posts like: “I’ve never met such a hateful & cold-hearted person in my life.” “You know how to put me in the worst mood possible.” “I’ve put up with this [stuff] for too long. I’m tired of it.” “The more you talk, the more convinced I become that pushing you down a set of stairs would solve a lot […]
May 1, 2015

Are You Teaching Your Kids A False Gospel?

I am at Awana's "Vantage Conference" and had the privilege of listening to a legend of Children's Ministry, Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales and What's In The Bible?).  Phil told a story that gripped my heart. Ted Turner (media mogul and founder of CNN & TBS) is an outspoken critic of Christianity.  Most people know this.  In 1990, speaking before the American Humanist Association, Turner proclaimed that "Christianity is for losers"...and this isn't nearly the most provocative thing he has said about Christians.  Many know this about Turner, but not many know the story behind his anti-religous sentiment. Ted Turner dreamed […]
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 […]
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 […]
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?" […]
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 […]
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 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 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

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 […]
June 25, 2014

VIDEO - "How To Communicate So Kids Want To Listen"

There's nothing worse than trying to communicate to a group of kids who aren't paying any attention to you.  As a matter of fact, if they aren't listening - then you aren't really communicating!  In this teaching, I share some of the things I have learned when it comes to communicating to kids in large groups, small groups, and one-on-one.  I pray it is helpful to you! https://vimeo.com/98355521 If you like this video, please do me a favor.  Leave a comment below.  Which of the pointers I shared made the biggest impact for you?  What is ONE THING you can do starting […]
June 12, 2014

Starting A Kids Ministry From Scratch (An Essential Resource)

If you have ever had the daunting task of having to start a Kids Ministry from scratch (as in NOTHING, ZILCH, NADA), then you know it can be exhausting.  It's all you can do to keep from pulling your hair out and losing your marbles.  That is, until now! My friend and fellow Kids Pastor, Trisha Peach, has developed a LIFE-CHANGING resource:  "Your Children's Ministry From Scratch."  It is the definitive how-to book for anyone who ministers to children, whether volunteer or paid staff.  It's funny, poignant and interactive! Trisha's book, “Your Children’s Ministry From Scratch” is due out this summer 2014. […]
June 10, 2014

6 Reasons You Aren't Creative In Your Ministry

I hear it all the time from so many Kids Ministry leaders.  It's the six words that should NEVER come out of your mouth…“I’m just not a creative person.” Sometimes it comes in more subtle ways such as, “How do you guys at High Voltage Kids Ministry do what you do?”“I could never do that!”  “I wish I could be more creative, but I don’t have it in me.”  “Why are some people creative and others aren’t?” The 6 reasons most people aren't creative in their ministry?  It's because they believe the six words I stated above:  "I'm just not a […]
June 9, 2014

How To Know The Difference Between Being "Careful" And "Fearful"

I can't tell you how many times FEAR has kept me from stepping out and doing something big for God!  Fear is a powerful emotion and many times is a major deterrent to us accomplishing what God has called us to do. Some people pretend not to be afraid.  They talk big, but they aren’t fooling anyone. Others redefine it.  They claim, “I’m not afraid. I’m just being very careful.”  In his book, Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley compared “careful” and “fearful.” Careful is cerebral; fearful is emotional. Careful is fueled by information; fearful is fueled by imagination. Careful calculates risk; fearful avoids […]
June 4, 2014

3 Reasons You Need To STOP Telling Everyone You Need Help!

Picture this:  It's an average Sunday Morning in church in Anytown, USA.  The kids are bouncing off the walls, the crowd is buzzing, and the energy is palpable! Suddenly, the silence is broken with a booming voice echoing through the halls. It's the voice of the Children's Ministry Director.  She's talking to a group of people whom she sees as possible volunteers.  Then, the words come out - "We need HELP!  We are overwhelmed!  We have so many kids and not enough workers!  HELP US!" This is perhaps THE most ineffective way to recruit new team members.  There is nothing […]
May 28, 2014

How Do You Say "Goodbye" To Your Ministry Kids?

"Don't leave me!  You're gonna be sad you're not in Kids Ministry anymore.  You're gonna miss me so much you will hate Student Ministry.  You're gonna want to be back here!"  These are the words I once heard a Kidmin Leader tell the 5th graders who were promoting.  I don't think he realized just how insecure this made him look.  It was all about him, not the kids. We all go through it:   the bittersweet moment called "Promotion Day."  All of the children you have poured your heart and soul into are now too old for Kids Ministry.  It is […]
May 26, 2014

5 Keys To Remember When A Child Has A SERIOUS Prayer Request

"Pastor Sharon, will you pray for my Dad?  He just got arrested for doing something really bad to my sister." These words are devastating to any Kids Ministry Leader.  Sadly, in the society in which we live - these words have become much more common than any of us want to admit.  How you and your Kids Ministry volunteers handle situations like this could be absolutely KEY to the long-term spiritual, physical, and emotional health of the child involved. This past week, I taught my Kids Ministry staff about communicating with kids one-on-one.  One of the questions I covered was: […]
May 22, 2014

One Of The Best Tools For Ministry Networking Ever Created

I am a big fan of networking.  What is networking?  It is simply connecting with other people who share the same passion and purpose that you do. There are many reasons why networking with other Children's Ministry Leaders is a wise idea: INSPIRATION - You can get inspiration from what they are trying in their ministries.  Who knows?  God may use someone else's idea to spark something in your mind and heart! INFORMATION - Getting together with other Children's Ministry Leaders helps you find out what all is out there that you might be missing.  Curriculum, Music, Illustrations, Outreach, etc.  Swapping […]
May 19, 2014

Are You Stealing From Others For The Sake Of The Ministry?

It was a hot Summer afternoon in Dallas, Texas in 1993.  I had a flat tire - and no spare.  I locked my car, left it on the side of busy I-35E in the middle of rush hour traffic, and started running to the closest service station about 1 mile away.  I got there, bought a cheap spare tire, and rolled it back down the hill to my car.  I had only been gone approximately 20 minutes. When I arrived, I found my back window broken with glass all in my back seat.  I looked inside to find that my […]
May 13, 2014

Who Is Really In Charge Of Your Weekly Schedule?

There are two ways you can live:  Proactive or Reactive!  You can either float through your work week responding and reacting to whatever life throws at you, OR you can live ON-PURPOSE according to a plan you have set.  One produces peace and productivity, the other produces stress and procrastination. Obviously, stuff happens.  Things come up.  You can’t plan for everything. But, I have found that it is a whole lot easier to accomplish what matters most when you are proactive and "begin with the end in mind." (see Stephen Covey's "7 habits of Highly Effective People") One of the […]
May 6, 2014

How To Talk To Kids About DEATH And TRAGEDY

I remember exactly where I was the day the Columbine Massacre happened in 1999.  I couldn’t believe the news.  Never before had we seen that kind of devastation and tragedy on a school campus.  Years later, I remember exactly where I was the moment I learned of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  I was shocked at the death toll, rocked by the devastation that had been caused by this killer who took the lives and futures of so many innocent children. Perhaps you remember the thoughts that went through your mind.  Like many, you might have had the thought, […]