Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Great Christmas Book - Belfry's Christmas Gift - I'm Giving One Away!

Over on my other blog, grandma's cookie jar, I'm giving away a wonderful new book from Whitestone Media - Belfry's Christmas Gift. This book is in the Theo Presents series and does such a delightful job of presenting what Christmas is all about: God gave His love to us!  In this story, Belfry, the little mouse, is too little to have much he can give to Theo for Christmas. While Belfry is feeling sad and trying to think of a gift he could give, he notices a lonely clockmaker who the other animals are afraid of and stay away from. Belfry helps the clockmaker and shows love by giving of himself to him.

I won't spoil the story for you, but you'll find my full review and the details for how you can be included in the give-away - which is on November 20, 2014 - at this link.

Belfry's Christmas Gift is a great book to add to your church library and to recommend for families as they will have much to talk about as they read this book together at Christmas . . . and all through the year!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thank You . . . with a Little Fun and Creativity!

I love pretty much everything about children's ministry, but one of my favorite things is thanking and appreciating the volunteers - after all, what is more fun than expressing a heart-felt thank you?!!!

Yesterday we handed out a "thank you" to the Sunday volunteers at my church (the Wednesday night volunteers will receive their "thank you" on Wednesday night). We ordered Lego 2x2 bricks (orange for Sunday morning volunteers and white for Wednesday night volunteers), glued pin tacks to the back of each one, put each pin through a card with Ephesians 4:16 printed on them, (From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.) along with a red "Thank You" design and a "Thank you" from us; "Thank you for doing 'your part' to help the children at Calvary trust and follow Christ for the rest of their lives!" Our volunteers all wear a photo id on a lanyard, so they will be able to pin their Lego pin to their lanyard.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Make The First Contact Memorable!

Smile Mouth Teeth Clip ArtThanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, potentially bringing first-time visitors to our church, so, it is so very important for us to think about what we do to make the first contact with a visitor to your church and children's ministry, because first impressions are so important! Did you know the first ten seconds . . . yes, seconds . . . you meet and greet someone can, and usually does, impact the relationship you end up having with the person! I learned this, and five top tips for making a great impression from Maralee McKee's blog - Manners Mentor! I especially love tip three . . . 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Three Keys to Identifying a "Positive" "Wake"

I've been writing this week about what you have in your "wake" at your children's ministry. I said, "We are truly responsible for the people serving in our children's ministries; responsible to help them serve with joy and to be sure we do not harm them.I also shared three warning signs to be watching for so we do not leave a trail of hurt people in our "wake".

It truly does matter what we do and say with and to those God sends to serve in our children's ministries, so to help us not only identify if we are leaving people who have been encouraged, supported and who are filled with joy in our "wake", but to also help us know what to do to have this type of impact, consider these three "keys" . . . 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Candle Day by Day Bible - I'm Giving One Away!

There are no shortage of Bible storybooks for children, but recently Kregel sent me a book to review which I really like because while it is a Bible storybook, it is actually something more than just another Bible storybook.

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say M. Davis is the winner in my give-away Dare U 2 Open This Book and JustSayin'(You'll find the reviews at this link.) Thank you M. Davis for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address at lyndagcj@gmail.com by October 24, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending these books for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Warning Signs for "Hurt" Left in Your "Wake"

Yesterday I asked, "What are you leaving in your 'wake'?" and said, "We are responsible for the people God sends to serve in our ministries. We need to be sure we are encouraging them and helping them grow in their walk; not harming them. Sadly, in too many churches, volunteers are not encouraged and supported; they are used and abused leaving wounded Christians who do not want to serve again. We must be on guard we do not allow our ministries to be one which does this."

We are truly responsible for the people serving in our children's ministries; responsible to help them serve with joy and to be sure we do not harm them. I have served in ministries where serving truly was a joy (and where I serve now it definitely is a joy), but sadly, I have also served in ministries where the ego of those in leadership caused pain and actually left me determined to never serve again anywhere. Thankfully, God had other plans for me!

So, what are some warning signs we may be harming and not encouraging those God has sent to us to serve in our ministries? Consider the following . . . 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Are You Leaving in Your "Wake"?

When I was a child my parents had a house on a lake where we spent our summers and most weekends. I loved to spend my summer days swimming in the lake. Some friends a few houses down from us had a speedboat and often took us water-tobogganing. I loved water-tobogganing! I got quite good at it and rarely could be thrown off the toboggan - no matter how many times I went over the "wake" from the boat.

So, the other day I was thinking about this and about the "wake" we leave in our ministries. Is our wake one where people are excited and enjoying the "ride", or is it one which "throws" them off and leaves them "wounded"?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Support the Volunteers You Have!

I've been talking about The Best, Easiest and Most Fun Way to Recruit by keeping the volunteers you have and being sure you Take the Time - and Make the Time - to Know Your Volunteers! Today I want to focus on supporting your volunteers. 

It can be so easy to be so caught up in trying to be sure you have your "bases covered" by having enough volunteers, that you do not think you even have time to focus on supporting the volunteers you have. But, if you do not provide the support volunteers need, you will probably find you are always recruiting because you will not be able to keep the volunteers you have. Consider the following -

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Best, Easiest, and Most Fun Way to Recruit!

I've been talking off and on for the last month about recruiting and while I think everything about recruiting is fun, there is one way to recruit which is the best, the easiest, and the most fun ever . . . and the most effective. What could this be, you ask? Retention. Keeping the volunteers you already have! If you are successful at keeping your volunteers, then your recruiting demands will reduce significantly. I'm going to look at this for a few days - keeping the volunteers you already have, starting today with the benefits of retention!