Saturday, August 30, 2014

Take a Moment to Give Thanks . . .

I've been talking this week about pausing, reflecting and evaluating in our children's ministries; yesterday I wrote; "Evaluating is all about measuring, judging the worth of something, and like I said yesterday, 'if we do not evaluate the things we do, how will we know if we are, "on taget" or just throwing everything at the wall hoping something "sticks"?' Ministry to children and families matters too much to not take the time to regularly evaluate; to regularly measure what we are doing and if it is 'hitting the mark' or not." Take time this week to reflect, pause and evaluate, but while you are doing these things, don't forget to take time to give thanks! I looked on-line and found the following definition for giving thanks . . . "Express gratitude or show appreciation to." So, with this in mind, let's think about taking a moment to, "give thanks" . . . 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Take a Moment to Evaluate . . .

Yesterday I wrote, "Reflecting is all about evaluating and if we do not evaluate the things we do, how will we know if we are 'on target' or just throwing everything at the wall and hoping something 'sticks'? Take time this week to reflect, chew over, think over, ponder and contemplate . . . and be sure to take notes!" and Monday I said, "The Summer is over and Fall ministries are beginning so now is the perfect time to take a moment to pause, reflect, evaluate and give Thanks!" and then took time to consider pausing. 

Today I want to take a moment to consider what it means to "evaluate" and why we should do so, but first, let's think about what "evaluate" means. I looked on-line and found the following definition . . . "Place a value on; judge the worth of something". So, with this in mind, let's think about taking a moment to "evaluate" . . . 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Take a Moment to - Reflect!

Blue Stick Man Reflect Clip ArtYesterday I wrote, "The Summer is over and Fall ministries are beginning, so now is the perfect time to take a moment to pause, reflect, evaluate, and give Thanks!", and then took time to consider pausing.

Today I want to take a moment to consider what it means to "reflect" and why we should do so, but first; let's think about what "reflect" means. I looked on-line and found the following synonyms for "reflect" . . . "chew over; think over; meditate; mull; mull over; muse; ponder; ruminate; reflect; speculate; contemplate". So, with these in mind, let's think about taking a moment to "reflect" . . . 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Take a Moment to Pause, Reflect, Evaluate and Give Thanks!

Well . . . Labor Day is just a few days away and then school begins . . . at least here where I live in Michigan. The Summer is over and Fall ministries are beginning so now is the perfect time to take a moment to pause, reflect, evaluate and give Thanks! First, today, lets consider taking a moment to pause . . . 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Stop Fear in Your Children's Ministry!

Yesterday I wrote about how fear can "stifle" your children's ministry. I said; "Children's
Ministry can be one of the most joy-filled places to serve in a church; after all, what can possibly be more joy-full than listening to children sing praises to God, or hear children pray, or hear children talk about how much God loves them and they love Him?! But, it can also be an area where we serve with 'fear'. While we may not say we are serving with 'fear', we may actually be doing so." I went on to give some ideas of how this looks in our children's ministries - you'll find the full post at this link.

Today I want to consider a couple ways we can take definite steps to be sure we do not let "fear" rule in our children's ministries. Consider the following . . .

Monday, August 25, 2014

How Fear Can "Stifle" Your Children's Ministry

Children's Ministry can be one of the most joy-filled places to serve in a church; after all,
what can possibly be more joy-full than listening to children sing praises to God, or hear children pray, or hear children talk about how much God loves them and they love Him?! 

But, it can also be an area where we serve with "fear". While we may not say we are serving with "fear", we may actually be doing so. Let's take a closer look at what, "serving with fear", looks like and what we might do to no longer do this . . . 
  • When do not do something because someone else might get upset; we are serving with fear.
  • When we do not recruit with enthusiasm because people are tired of hearing how we need volunteers; we are serving with fear.
  • When we allow things to continue as they are so we do not, "rock the boat"; we are serving with fear,.
These are just a few ways "fear" can show up in our ministries and when it does, it stifles our ministries. So, what does God have to say about serving with "fear"? Look at this verse . . . 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Want to Say, "Thank You!"

I have had a tremendously busy Summer. Busier than I anticipated. My daughter-in-law spent time in the hospital, so I spent time taking care of my three young grandsons - ages one, three and almost six. And, I've been busy designing, consulting, coordinating, writing and editing a new curriculum for my church. And, my MS has been flaring.

I should be on my back in bed, but I'm not! I have an energy I never expected to have and I've been able to do everything I need to do! I take this as a gift from God, so today I just want to say, "Thank You" to God and praise Him for His amazing goodness which He has shown to me all Summer long! God is so Good!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Three Attitudes Which Kill Your Children's Ministry . . . It's Too Hard to Get Volunteers

Yesterday I looked at the attitude of, "we tried that before" which can mean the 
"death" of our children's ministries and said; "There may be solid reasons we should not try something we tried before, but there may also be solid reasons for us to give it a try again. Don't 'kill' your children's ministry by making, 'we tried it before' an easy way to dismiss something God may want you to try once again." Today I want to look at another attitude which can kill our children's ministries; the attitude of, "it's too hard to get volunteers".

This attitude is about not wanting to put the time and work into engaging more people so they catch the vision of your children's ministry and join in serving. Yes, it can be difficult to find people who are willing to serve, but if God wants you to do something, He will provide the people you need to do it.

Now, don't get me wrong, if people are not stepping up to get involved as volunteers, it may be wise not to try adding something where you need more volunteers. However; we need to consider a few things before we just "cop out" and just dismiss it because it is too hard to get volunteers; it may be possible God does want you to do this new thing.

So what do we need to do to be on guard for this attitude and what should we think about before saying it is too hard to get volunteers? Consider the following . . .

Friday, August 22, 2014

Three Attitudes Which Kill Your Children's Ministry . . . We Tried That Before

Yesterday I looked at the attitude of, "we've never done that before" which can mean the
"death" of our children's ministries and said; "There may be solid reasons you have not, 'done something a particular way before', but there may also be solid reasons for you to change how you do things or to try something new. Don't 'kill' your children's ministry by making, 'we've never done it before' your 'go-to' answer to anything new or different for your children's ministry." Today I want to look at another attitude which can kill our children's ministries; the attitude of, "we tried that before".

This attitude is not often phrased differently - it usually shows up clearly, and what it boils down to once again is basically, "We do not want to do it."

Now, don't get me wrong, if something has not worked before, it may be wise not to try it again, but we need to consider a few things before we just "cop out" and just dismiss things we do not want to do by saying we tried it before, because it is possible God does want us to try it again.

So what do we need to do to be on guard for this attitude and what should we think about before saying we tried something before? Consider the following . . .

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Three Attitudes Which Kill Your Children's Ministry . . . We've Never Done It Before

While there may be, and likely are, a whole list of things which can mean the "death" of your children's ministry, there are three which are sure to kill it or at least greatly reduce its effectiveness; so today I want to look at one of these . . . the attitude of, "We've never done it before".

This attitude can show up in a few different variations: "We've never done it that way before" or "That may work somewhere else, but it won't work at our church" or even, "That's not how we do things at our church." While it may be phrased in different ways, what it boils down to is basically, "We do not want to do it."

Now, don't get me wrong, just because you have not tried something or done something a certain way, it does not mean you should, but it also does not mean you should easily dismiss different and/or new possibilities either. It can become a very easy "cop out" for us to just dismiss things we do not want to do by saying we have never done it before, because it is possible God does want you to do something or change the way you do things.

So what can we do to be on guard for this attitude? Consider the following . . .