Rent to Own: How a Small Shift Brings Greater Results

28 04 2015

There is a level of satisfaction when you really own something. I still remember the excitement of the moment when we bought our first home. Renters have a difficulty appreciating what they have unlike owners who take greater pleasure in their possession. Parents take great pleasure in their children. Volunteers working with children have a little more flexibility here and can take the persona of either a renter or an owner. Which are you?


The Importance of Ministry to Children & Families | Kidmin360

31 10 2012


The Importance of Ministry to Children & Families (graphic) | Kidmin360.

A Philosophy of Children’s and Family Ministry (Part 2)

15 12 2011

(For part 1 click here.)


Of course there are many challenges when it comes to ministry with children and families. As mentioned in the rationale, people have sinned and are separated from God and therefore, need that relationship repaired. So sin is the number one challenge. Leaders, parents, extended families and children are tempted to go after the pleasures of this world while forsaking the eternal pleasures in the next world. This leaves the whole world and our local communities in one large mess. To attempt to minister to children and families and not prioritize countering this human problem is folly.

So I believe one of the greatest truths we can teach our families is repentance. The Bible, over and over, calls people to turn from their sin, back to their Creator. Children are no exception. In fact, if this habit of repentance can be instilled from infancy, it will take hold as a pattern for their life that will lead them to finding hope in God, to fostering healthy relationships, to establishing strong life skills and give them peace for their souls.

Another challenge is to be aware of each child holistically. Dr. Wess Stafford proposes a solid model for this. His perspective is from that of moving children out of extreme poverty, however, it is relevant for all children as well. We cannot be satisfied to only attend to one aspect of a family’s life. We must consider the whole person including economics, health, social, spiritual, learning as well as environment. To do this well we need to know a child’s story, become familiar with their history, their family, their location and their interests. This is critical for positive ministry. This is massive and one leader can’t possibly know all these things or be able to minister in all these areas. Therefore leadership training is essential.

Stafford gives his solution to the challenge of children in poverty. He writes, “I still say that the most loving and strategic thing that can be done for children in poverty is to bring them to their heavenly Father.” That this is true for all children is clear.

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Ministry Models and Fired Up Volunteers!

6 10 2011

I’ve been re-reading “Making Your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week,” by Sue Miller and David Staal, for one of my seminary classes. The following are some brief reflections.

Much of how I do children’s ministry has been shaped by the Promiseland model that has come from Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. From later on in high school and using the curriculum in my church, to attending Promiseland conferences throughout college and beyond, to volunteering in the ministry when I attended Moody Bible Institute, to knowing Amy Dolan-a fantastic programmer who I first connected with there, to reading this book, to watching and learning from the exceptional skills of Aaron Reynolds, to using their program structure in my current ministry, I have been surrounded by Sue Miller’s thinking. I’ve used much of what’s in this book in my ministry. It’s helped me with mission and values. We’ve structured our Sunday programs around their structure. While we still have a long way to go towards being strong in all the areas, we’ve been blessed with a strong starting point.

If there’s one thing that I disagree with, and it’s really more of a caution than a disagreement, it would be the focus on models and structured approach. Sometimes we little churches love to tag onto what some other larger church does so we can say we do it this way or that way. That may be kind of like the disagreement in the letter to the Corinthians where some were following Apollos and others Paul, which was causing divisions. I think it’s important to craft a mission statement and adopt some core values and find a program structure that works. It’s efficient and creates focus. I think a potential problem with this focus is it can lead to blind spots where God may be nudging us to another priority, but we’re stuck on our system. This can lead to a lot of discussion on strategies and approaches and priorities, but I think we just need to keep a very clear head and be responsive to God’s priorities even while we hold to our “way of ministry life.”

I think the biggest challenge for me from this book is working with volunteers. If our ministry context would really apply some of the volunteering principles laid out in this book, fewer people would drop out, more people would take greater ownership and increasing numbers of kids and families would be foundational and spiritually solid. I once used the team experience with our volunteers to discuss the ministry monsters from chapter seven. We discussed how well we were doing. Generally, our strengths were that volunteers didn’t commonly feel used and abused and there didn’t seem to be much power mongering. Our weaknesses tended to be the areas of stagnation and isolation. So we need to continue to fight those monsters to watch our ministry blossom. I’d love to see more and more volunteers connected in meaningful relationships and moved toward passionate service! Then families and kids will begin to flourish in this tainted world as they learn to walk through it with Jesus.

20 Top Volunteer Leadership Insights- Children’s Ministry

14 06 2011




Something Old Something New – Children’s Ministry.

Check out 20 fantastic and enduring volunteer tips by clicking the link above. I know I have some work to do!

Children’s Ministry Volunteer Support Videos

2 02 2011

Teacher Support.

Free volunteer training videos for toddlers/twos, preschool/K, grades 1-4 and grades 5/6. Click the Group logo for the link.

Kidmin Equipping Event Recap (With Aaron Reynolds)

22 09 2010

This past weekend our church had the privilege of hosting Aaron Reynolds, creative children’s ministry trainer. I wish I could box up the event and deliver it live to anyone who was not able to attend. There’s a lot in this entry so I’ll give you a summary so you can get to what you’re most interested in. This entry is broken up into the following sections:

  • Meeting Aaron Reynolds
  • Arrival in Sarnia
  • Recruitment
  • Preschool Teaching
  • Friday Leadership Discussions
  • Transformational Teaching
  • Transformational Relationships
  • Departure
  • Collection of Tweets and quotes from the Weekend
    Read the rest of this entry »

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