Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ask the Honest Questions . . . Do You Really Have a Culture of Friendship?

Yesterday I said while we may not stop and think about helping the children in our Children's Ministries build and make friends, it is something we must do. I shared several reasons why it is important for us to have a "culture of friendship" in our ministries and today I want to share one more . . . 

A "Culture of Friendship" counters a "culture of cliques" which sadly, is found far too often in our churches . . . in every age level. Far too many churches are not really friendly places. Far too many churches are filled with cliques . . . in the children, teens and adults. And a "culture of cliques" is guaranteed to hurt others. If your church has a "culture of cliques", then you are not reflecting Jesus to the watching world and this "culture" must be eliminated and replaces with a "culture of friendship".

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

One More Essential Thing to Do . . . Build The "Culture"!

When it comes to Children's Ministry there are several things we know we need to do . . . provide effective Sunday and mid-week ministries, recruit excellent volunteers, do all we can possibly do to make our ministries safe, build a strong prayer support team, connect with and equip parents and grandparents. Clearly these are some of the basics and things we know we need to do. 

But, there is one more thing we must do, which we often do not even think about . . . help the children in our ministries build and make strong friendships. Some of the children in our ministries will already be friends, because their parents are friends, because the grew up together, and/or because they go to school together. But other children will not have friends. They will sit by themselves, to the side, not really engaging. Not really connecting. And, when it is their choice to go to church or not, they are more likely to choose not to go.

It is extremely important for us - and for our volunteers - to do all we can possibly do to help the children in our ministry build strong friendships with the other children. How can we do this? Consider the following . . . 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Provide Those Resources . . . & Maybe Win a Couple . . .

One of the important things we do as people who serve families is to provide resources parents and grandparents may use at home with the children they love. We want parents and grandparents to focus upon passing on a heritage of faith to their children/grandchildren, because we only have them for a few hours a week - at best - and if the children are going to learn to love, know and walk with God, we need to team up with the parents and grandparents.

On my other blog - grandma's cookie jar - I reviewed, and am giving away, two resources which help parents and grandparents learn how to pass on a heritage of faith and pray for the children they love. You'll find my reviews and details for the giveaway for Deeper in 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love - Psalms Edition at this link and for It is Impossible to Spoil Grandchildren; and Other Important Facts for Grandparents & Parents, Too! at this link.

The giveaways are tomorrow - August 30th and September 1st, so you still have time to enter . . . someone will win . . . who knows??? Maybe you will win!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Direction Signs . . .

Learn how to build stronger families and in so doing a stronger Children's Ministry by attending the Legacy Grandparenting Summit! You'll hear from Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Jay Kessler, John Trent, Gary Chapman, Tim Kimmel, Michelle Anthony, Larry Fowler, Wayne Rice and so many more!

You'll find all the details at this link - and if you use my code - Lynda16 - you'll save $40! Plan to come - and bring some grandparents, church leaders and pastors you know with you!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

God Designed it This Way!

While there is certainly no shortage of reasons why it makes sense for pastors and church leaders to be strong supporters of Grandparenting Ministry in their churches, one reason to do so is when you have grandparents who are focused upon passing on a heritage of faith, you will have stronger and healthier families. God designed it this way - He wants generations to work together and to learn from one another - and one of the places this happens the most is in families.

When grandparents pass faith to their children and their children's children, families will be able to grow stronger. As they share how God was faithful yesterday, rejoice in how He is faithful today and model what it looks like to trust God to be faithful tomorrow, this impacts both their children and their children's children . . . and the church as well!

So, commit as pastors and church leaders to engage, equip and encourage grandparents to pass on their faith to their children and their children's children - you, and they, will be so glad you did!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Passing on a Heritage of Faith to Your Grandchildren

I am part of the Legacy Coalition - I'm one of their senior writers/editors, so I was asked to write an article for the Legacy Coalition which was going to be published on FamilyLife's website. The article posted yesterday, so today I'm honored to share it with you - you'll find it at this link

Please share this with the grandparents, pastors and church leaders you know.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Make a Real and Lasting Difference in Your Children's Ministry

absolutely am convinced if we in the church focused on engaging, equipping and encouraging grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith, we would see the impact on the children and families in our ministry.

Think about it for a minute. If the average child in your ministry is only at your church every other week on Sundays (as most are), then this means they are only receiving your programming; your ministry, for about three hours a month. Times this by twelve months and you have the average child in your ministry for 36 hours a year. Yes, a YEAR!!!

While those 36 hours can make a difference, they clearly pale in comparison to the number of hours children are being influenced by other things and other people in a year. Even if a child is at your church every Sunday morning and every Wednesday night, this still only adds up to about three hours a week which adds up to 156 hours a year. Better than 36 hours by far, but still out of a year is only just 156 hours.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Engage the Family - All of Them!

If you are serving in the Children's Ministry in your church, it is obvious you are working with children. However; children are not the only people we work with. We also have to work with the family if we are going to be effective.

When you think about the "family" of children, it is obvious you are talking about parents . . . they are, after all, the people with the greatest potential to influence children. However; the parents are not the only people we need to think of and work with. Grandparents are the people who have the second greatest potential to influence children and we need to include them in whatever we do to engage and equip parents.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Take Time to Be Thankful . . . Say & Show It!

Yes, when it comes to Children's Ministry there are many things we pray about, many things we ask of others and many things we receive; all of which we can be thankful, but how often do we take time to express our thankfulness? While it is important for our ministries to be ones where we are quick to pray, they also need to be ones characterized by a spirit of genuine thankfulness as well. consider the following . . . 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Take Time to Find . . . New Volunteers!

Recruiting. A word which often "chills" Children's Ministry directors to their core! It can seem like a never-ending task and can lead to much stress, as well as to a high turn-over in Children's Ministry leaders/directors/pastors. 

It is a fact of Children's Ministry, you need volunteers. Period. It is also a fact it can be difficult and challenging to find enough volunteers - especially those who are willing to serve more than just one week a month.

So, what do you do? How do you find the volunteers you need? Consider the following . . .

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Take Time to Keep . . . The Volunteers You Have!

When it comes to recruiting, your ministry will benefit the most, and be the strongest, when you keep the volunteers you have. When you have volunteers who serve long-term, your ministry - and the children, families and volunteers, all benefit in the following ways . . .  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Take Time to - Ask!

Okay, you've spent time praying, thinking about how to end the volunteer revolving door, listening, evaluating, and more time praying. Now you are ready to think about recruiting. While there is no shortage of things to consider when you think about recruiting, there is one essential thing for you to focus upon . . . it is not up to you to "get" people to volunteer. Please let me say this again; it is not up to you to "get" people to volunteer.

When you think it is up to you to "get" people to volunteer, you may easily make several mistakes. Consider the following . . . 

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Legacy Grandparenting Summit . . . Please Watch, Share & Join Us!

Please share this video with the grandparents, pastors and church leaders you know - and if you . . . or anyone you know . . . decides to join us at the Legacy Grandparenting Summit, please use my discount to save $40 . . . Lynda16 (and, please let me know you are coming, so we can connect at the Summit!)

Take Time to Pray . . . Make it a Core Part of Your Ministry!

It seems like a "no-brainer", but honestly, how much do you really pray for your Children's Ministry? How many people do you have on a prayer team and do you and they pray regularly for your Children's Ministry? Do you engage your entire church on prayer walks or other opportunities to pray for your Children's Ministry before the Fall ministry begins . . . and throughout the year? Is prayer really part, a core part of your Children's Ministry?

It is easy to say we pray, but do we really? Consider the following ways you could make prayer a core part of your Children's Ministry this year . . . 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Take Time to Listen . . . To Children, Grandparents/Parents & Volunteers

Fall ministries will be starting up in just a few short weeks; as you prepare, do not forget to take time to listen . . . to the children, grandparents/parents and volunteers. It can be all too easy to just "pay attention" to what we think and then do the things we want to do, but ministry is about far more than our own opinions. We need to listen to others - and act upon what we learn. When we do, our ministries will be far more effective. Consider the following . . . 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Take Time to Evaluate . . . What are Your Volunteer Needs?

When it comes to recruiting, do you "settle" for insufficient volunteer levels? If you have one teacher in a class, do you go with it, or do you staff your classes based upon the number of students you have and the number of volunteers you actually need to be genuinely effective? Think about the following . . . 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Take Time to Think . . . End the Volunteer Revolving Door

For the past five days I've been focusing upon taking time to make time to spend in God's Word. While this seems like a "no-brainer" when it comes to a "must-do" for us to be effective in our ministries, it is all too easy for us to let taking this time slide as we get caught up in all the "important" things we need to do. Failing to make time to take time to spend in God's Word will insure we will not be effective and will experience difficulties in our ministries as well.

So, after focusing upon keeping the priority of spending time each day in God's Word, we must think about what we do with our volunteers. Recruiting tends to be one of the biggest challenges - and frustrations - for most people serving in Children's Ministry, as finding, and keeping, volunteers takes a great amount of time. 

I have often said - and do believe - recruiting is fun; yes fun! It is like going on a "treasure" hunt to find the people God has placed in my church to serve in the Children's Ministry. No one cares more than God does if we are able to serve the children and families. He has gifted the people in each and every church and placed people with those gifts in the church to serve. Some are already serving; others are not, so finding them is like going on a treasure hunt to find these gifts from God!

I'll focus later this week on recruiting new volunteers, but when we need volunteers, I do believe the first thing we need to do is to look at what we are doing to keep the volunteers we have. If our Children's Ministry is a "revolving door", when it comes to finding and keeping volunteers, then clearly we are doing something wrong. We should be keeping our volunteers. If they quit for any reason other than family needs, illness, or God physically moving them elsewhere, we are not doing what we need to do to support and encourage them.

So, while I could write a lot about this, I think it may be more helpful for you to consider the following questions in light of your ministry and your volunteers . . . 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Take Time to Spend Time - Isaiah 40 - Good News!

I have been enjoying the opportunity this Summer to spend time in the Book of Isaiah, so today I am sharing one more passage as I encourage you to, "take time to spend time" this summer in reading God's Word and talking with God.

So, today, let's take a look at Isaiah 40 . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Take Time to Spend Time - Isaiah 26, 28 & 30 - Perfect Peace!

For the past few days I've been talking about taking time to spend time talking with God. We might think this is a "no-brainer", but when we get busy in Children's Ministry, we might let our own personal time with God, "slip". So, today, I'm encouraging you to, "take time to spend time" talking with God!

I've been sharing passages with you from Isaiah, because I've found them to be so encouraging! Today I'd like to encourage you to read some verses from Isaiah 26, 28 and 30 . . . 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Take Time to Spend Time - Isaiah 25 - God ALWAYS Does What He Says He Will Do!

For the past two days I've been talking about taking time to spend time with God - even though we are busy this time of year with Summer ministry and getting ready for the Fall. I have also been sharing passages from Isaiah which have been speaking to me over the Summer; so today, I'm happy to share another one; this time it is Isaiah 25 . . . 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Take Time to Spend Time - Isaiah 12 - Find Your Salvation in God!

Yesterday I said, "As we move through the Summer, we can become extremely focused on getting ready for the Fall ministries to begin. While there is good reason for this, it is also important for us to stay focused on God and how our ministries are really His. Yes, we have work to do, but it is God who moves people's hearts to get involved and serve; not us! So, in all your busyness, do not forget to spend time with God each day."

Then I shared a passage from Isaiah 57 and a scripture prayer with you. Today I want to share another passage with you; this time from Isaiah 12 . . . 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Take Time to Spend Time - Isaiah 57 - Find Your Refuge in God!

As we move through the Summer, we can become extremely focused on getting ready for the Fall ministries to begin. While there is good reason for this, it is also important for us to stay focused on God and how our ministries are really His. Yes, we have work to do, but it is God who moves people's hearts to get involved and serve; not us!

So, in all your busyness, do not forget to spend time with God each day. I have been spending time in Isaiah this Summer and have been encouraged with a number of things. I thought I'd share some of these with you this week. Consider a few things I'm learning from Isaiah 57 . . .

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What Is the "State" of Your Grandparenting Ministry? Rebuild & Strengthen!

Last year, in a town not far from where I live, a tornado hit; three churches in this small community were seriously damaged. One was a church which was 160 years old. The members of this church were understandably quite dismayed and disheartened to see the significant damage to their church. However; their sadness turned to rejoicing when the builders who began the work to rebuild brought them shocking news. As these builders surveyed the damage and began the work, they discovered nothing was holding up the floor of this old church building. The years had taken their toll and unbeknownst to the church members, their church floor was unsupported and about to collapse. The tornado actually saved them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Strong Grandparenting Ministry Strengthens Your Ministry!

Psalm 103:17 tells us; "But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children."

This is the message we in the church want to make known . . . God's love is steadfast; from everlasting to everlasting for those who turn to and fear Him. It is also a message which encourages grandparents - God's righteousness is for our children's children.

As a grandparent I am committed to sharing the message of God's steadfast, everlasting love with my children's children . . . and this is the point of establishing and leading a strong Grandparenting Ministry in our churches . . . to help grandparents be equipped and encouraged to focus upon passing on this message to their children's children.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Most Important Thing We Can Do For Children . . .

If you look in Judges 2 you will read some of the saddest verses in the Bible which should get the attention of every pastor, church leader and grandparent. They say . . . 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Facts About Grandparents & How They Impact Your Ministry

Let's look at some interesting facts about grandparents here in the USA which show the impact they have; and could have. Consider the following (from and the US Census) . . .

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Engage Grandparents and Make a Real Difference in the Lives of the Children and Your Children's Ministry!

For several years now I've been posting about how much it benefits children and Children's Ministries for churches to focus upon engaging grandparents. Just a quick review - 
  • Grandparents care very much about seeing their grandchildren come to love, know and walk with Jesus; which means, they are some of the people who care the most if your Children's Ministry is effective. 
  • Grandparents make some of the best volunteers as they have a lot of love to give and their influence is a positive thing for children; which means focusing upon grandparents when you recruit can result in some of the best volunteers - and some of the most committed.
  • Grandparents tend to be committed prayer warriors for their grandchildren; which means, of course, if you can get them to pray for your Children's Ministry, you will be able to develop a team of committed prayer warriors!
These are just a few of the ways engaging grandparents benefits the Children's Ministry. 

So, what are you doing to engage grandparents in your church? How are you involving and equipping grandparents? 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Do Not Be Afraid!

What are you afraid of? Well, if you are like me the first thing you think of is spiders! I do not like those hideous creatures at all! In fact, I firmly believe the only good spider is a completely dead spider; so one of my rules when my children were growing up was, "Kill all spiders until they are dead and then kill them again!" And just so you know, there is no such thing as a "small" spider!

Well, beyond the obvious things, like spiders, what are you afraid of? More specifically, what are you afraid of when it comes to your ministry? Are you afraid you won't be able to find enough volunteers? Are you afraid the children and families won't be reached? Are you afraid of church politics? You may say you aren't "afraid" of these things, but how much time to you spend thinking - or even worrying - about them? These are all legitimate things to be concerned about, but we do not have to be afraid.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mid-week Curriculum Option - Science, the Bible & Fun!

What do you use for your Mid-week curriculum? Do you have a program, but need to supplement with Bible curriculum or, are you looking for something to use? If you need curriculum, take a look at using my Science the Bible & Fun! curriculum. I wrote it to use with my grandsons, but it would also work very well for mid-week ministry.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Be So Very Careful - Don't Be a "Sponge"

When we serve in children's ministry - or any area of the church - it can become very easy for us to accept the kindness of others . . . 
  • A kind word to lift our spirits when we are tired - don't you typically have at least one person who speaks kindly to you each week?
  • Free babysitting.
  • Invitations for dinner.
  • Gift cards, meals, books, other gifts.
  • The prayers of the people in the church.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The 5 Love Languages of Children

One way to know if a book is going to be a good read is by reading the first sentence. This book begins with a powerful sentence; "Every child has a primary language of love, a way he or she understands a parent's love best." As someone who serves in Children's Ministry, one important thing for us to do is to recommend resources for parents and grandparents. This book will help them identify and know how to best fill their child's "emotional tank"!

The 5 Love Languages of Children   
Authors - Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell
Publisher - Northfield Publishing

Monday, August 1, 2016

Do Not Fall For Satan's Old Tricks!

One thing about serving in Children's Ministry which is pretty sad is how easy it is for us to be tricked by Satan. Yes, I said it is easy. The thing about Satan is, he is not very creative. He uses the same old tricks, but we often continue to fall for them. Consider the following . . .