kids 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
September 24, 2012

How Do You Handle Leaders Who Lack Energy?

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, irritated, or wishes they were somewhere else. If you are a full-time Kidmin Pastor/Leader you know that you have NO EXCUSE not to have energy on Sundays (or whenever ministry takes place for you).  However, some of our Kidmin Volunteers struggle with this.  They work 5 days a week, run like crazy for their families on Saturday, and on Sunday it is tough to have the energy they need to make a great […]
August 1, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today, BRIAN'S BLOG turns 1 year old!  It was on August 1, 2011 that I posted my first "real" post.  Since then, I have watched God do many great things through this.  I have heard from many of the readers of the blog how a post has inspired, challenged, or changed you in some way.  I am very grateful for this opportunity. My goal has always been to encourage and equip other Kidmin Leaders to increase their capacity to lead their teams, parents, and kids.  I appreciate all of you who are a part of this journey! Wanna help?  Here […]
June 18, 2012

Stop Being So Defensive!

Defensiveness is an issue that causes a lot of harm in mentoring relationships - or any relationship for that matter.  When we are challenged, confronted, or questioned as Kidmin leaders - sadly we often respond with a knee-jerk, reflex response that does more harm than good. For years, my insecurity caused me to struggle with being defensive.  Under the hurt feelings and protests is a deep sense that I’m not adequate, personally or professionally—or both.  No one is above correction, and we can all learn to handle it with grace.  Sometimes, I do a pretty good job of controlling my […]
June 12, 2012

"Kids In Worship" - Great Idea for Kidmin

This past Sunday we had our annual "Kids In Worship" experience.  I thought it would be good to share the concept behind this for all of you.  It is an amazing opportunity for the whole family. "Kids In Worship" is an evening of worship, led by our Elementary Kids Department.  The children are in charge of the entire service in the Sanctuary.  It is an evening of worship, led by the kids.  The entire family comes together for a night of singing and worship. We rehearse for months prior to this night.  Rehearsals are on Sunday afternoons from 4:30 - […]
May 29, 2012

Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt 3)

And now, the exciting conclusion to the blog post series, "Six Questions To Ask Yourself Before Implementing A New Idea In Your Kids Ministry."  Here's what we covered in pt. 1 and pt. 2 of the series: 1)  "Have I Prayed About It?" 2)  "What Does My Pastor Think About The Idea?" 3)  "Does The Idea Resonate With The Hearts Of My Team?" 4)  "Do I Have The Support Of The Parents In My Ministry?" QUESTION #5 - "Do I need God's power to accomplish this idea?" This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself as you evaluate […]
May 21, 2012

Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt. 2)

In my last post, I shared the first two of the Six Questions to ask yourself before implementing a new idea in your Kids Ministry: 1)  "Have I Prayed About It?" 2)  "What Does My Pastor Think About The Idea?" Now, we continue with Questions 3 & 4: QUESTION #3 - "Does the idea resonate with the hearts of my team?" After your pastor gives you the go-ahead, consult with your ministry team.  These people have the same passion as yours to impact the lives of the children in your church and community.  Share the plan with them while your […]
May 7, 2012

Four Words You Should NEVER Say

I hear it all the time from so many Kids Ministry leaders.  It's the four words that should NEVER come out of your mouth…“I’m just not creative.” Sometimes it comes in more subtle ways such as, “How do you guys 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 truth is everyone has creative potential.  We sell ourselves short thinking that creativity is some mystical ability that few are blessed with. A large part of the problem is […]
April 30, 2012

How To Know When It Is Time To Leave

It's one of the toughest decisions you will ever have to make:  Leaving a church you have been serving as a staff member.  It's a decision that should NEVER be made cavalierly and never without much prayer and consideration. I have seen many staff members leave too early and short circuit what God was wanting to do in them during a process of seasoning and learning.  But, I have also seen many staff members stay longer in a situation than they should have.  By doing so, they ended up hurting the church and their family in the process. Certainly, you […]
April 16, 2012

"The Eric Trap" Book Review

I am very pleased to be able to talk about The Eric Trap, a new book written by Jim Wideman, Sam Luce, Kenny Conley, and several others.  I received a copy a week or so ago and immediately began diving into it.  I have to say, I was blown away by it. Here are the things I LOVED about The Eric Trap: 1)  It is written as a leadership fable. If you are not familiar with this style of writing (a la Patrick Lencioni, Ken Blanchard, and others), it is told as a fictional story of Eric Newman.  Eric is a […]
April 10, 2012

Computer Brains

I have to admit - as a Christian kid growing up in the 80s I was a big Petra fan.  The other day, the song "Computer Brains" from Petra's "Beat The System" album came on my iPod.  I started thinking about the truth of that song.  It was powerful. Here's the truth:  our minds are like a computer.  Remember the old computer acronym, "GIGO" (Garbage In, Garbage Out)?  You have to be very careful when you program a computer.  Even the smallest error will produce flawed results.  In other words, the results produced by the computer will be no better […]
April 3, 2012

Winners of the "I Blew It!" giveaway!

Thanks to all of you who participated in our big giveaway that ended March 31st.  Many of you helped get the word out and many new subscribers were added to the BLOG.  Welcome to everyone!  Here are your winners: Joe Hegedus of New Jersey Nancy Freiling of Virginia Pamela Bartley of Kentucky Neil Hancock of Georgia Lisa Grace Each of them are receiving a FREE copy of my book, "I Blew It!"   If you would like more info about the book, click HERE!  Keep your eyes open for more winning opportunities. In the meantime, help me spread the word […]
March 12, 2012

Setting Ministry Goals

We all want to grow.  We all want to get better at our job, our ministry, our calling.  Although the desire to grow is common, actual growth is not so common.  I think one of the main reasons we fail to move from intention to actual growth is because we don't set clear, definable goals. Vague intentions almost never take us to a desired destination.  It’s not enough to identify an area that needs attention.  We then need to ask God for a vision of what it will be like to achieve the desired growth in this area.  When you […]
March 5, 2012

The Power Of Praise

As a Kids Ministry Leader, you are in the business of being a PEOPLE BUILDER.  Your goal is to help others reach their full potential of who God wants them to be. Every person we meet, we either give life to or we take life from.  You know what I'm talking about, don't you?  There are people who encourage you and when you are done being with them you feel built up.  Then, there are others who you feel torn down by. Successful leaders are people who have mastered the art of building others up. There are few ways to […]
February 27, 2012

Don't Just Feel It, Express It! (Gratitude)

  Gratitude is an important component of any leader's life.  Gratitude keeps you grounded, realizing that the world does not revolve around you.  Gratitude helps you avoid the dreaded "entitlement mentality" - the idea that you deserve all the good that comes your way simply because you are so cute and special. Gratitude is important for relationships.  People WANT to be around others who are grateful.  Most people avoid those who are ungrateful or selfish. Gratitude is important for your own mental and physical health.  Did you know: "A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are […]
February 20, 2012

What Are You Afraid Of?

Fear is a reality in all of our lives.  If you say you don’t have any fear at all, either you’re a liar or a psychopath—neither of these is a good option!  Some of us can’t admit our fears because they’re so terrifying we can’t face them.  Denial, though, never leads to growth, peace, joy, love, and strength. Fear is a barrier between us and the things God is calling us to do.  It keeps us still when God wants us to move, keeps us quiet when God wants us to speak, and causes us to shrink back when God […]
February 6, 2012

Offering Accountability

Accountability is something we often want from others, but we rarely want to give to others. On a ministry team, accountability is crucial for things to run smoothly. We understand this when it comes to those who are under us in the organization, but we don't always treat it with the same respect when it comes to our OWN accountability. I made a decision long ago to have a habit of offering accountability instead of forcing my pastor to require it. I don’t know of any senior pastor who enjoys tracking down any member of his staff to check on him […]
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 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 […]