Friday, February 28, 2020

The Other Part of Effective Children's Ministry . . . Part Two!

So when it comes to equipping parents and grandparents, what can and should the church do to help them? Equipping them involves training them and this is a vital – sadly often ignored – area of critical ministry the church is in the unique place to offer to parents and grandparents, both from the church as well as the community. The church can impact church families by offering classes to help them in the following areas:

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Other Part of Effective Children's Ministry

What does and should Children's Ministry look like in our churches? What is the true, God given role for the church to fill in the area of training and teaching children? For many, many years we have mostly focused on the area of teaching in Sunday school, mid-week ministry and for special events like Vacation Bible School. While these are certainly areas the church can and should strive to be as effective as possible due to the tremendous way they allow us to reach in to the “church” kids and out to “community” kids, true, genuine and lasting effectiveness is achieved as the church fills it’s role in equipping and encouraging parents and grandparents to fill their God-given role as the primary teachers of the children they love.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Do One of the Most Important Things - Equip Grandparents & Parents

One of the most important things you will do for the children in your church is to equip their grandparents and parents, so they are able to hand the faith to the children they love. Parents and grandparents are the first and second most influential people in the lives of the children in your church, so equipping them to hand down the faith not only makes sense, but it is one of the best, most effective uses of your time.

So, today I'm going to share with you some links for resources which will help you equip the grandparents and parents in your church. Please share these with the grandparents and parents . . .

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Equip and Back Them Up

As people who serve in a Children's Ministry, we are clearly people who care about reaching children with the truth of who God is and how they are able to trust and believe in Him. This is a core part of any Children's Ministry. But, there are other vital, core things for us to focus upon as well and if we do not, we will continue to see the children we care about grow up and leave the church. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

A Prayer For Your Ministry - Pray For the Most Important Thing!

There are certainly many things for us to pray about when it comes to praying for the children, families and volunteers in our ministry, but I think we can take a cue from Jesus as to the most important thing for us to pray about. In Matthew 22:37-40 someone asked Jesus which command was the most important; He said, "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Friday, February 21, 2020

How Do We Spell Love in Our Children’s Ministries?

I have an important question for you - how do you show love in your Children's Ministry? What do you actually do to show love to the children, families and volunteers in your ministry? While we certainly do need to say we love them, we must also show it, so how do you show your love? Consider the following ideas . . .

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Keep a Child's Perspective

So, 2020 is here and while it is common to consider the past year as one looks forward to the new year, I want to consider things from a different perspective  . . . a child’s perspective. After all, children are vitally important to God . . . He did enter this world as one!

Stop and think about this! The God of the universe entered this world as a child; as a baby. Talk about one of the weakest entrances ever. But, Scripture does tell us, I Corinthians 1:26-30 – 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Please Help

For ten years I have been writing this blog, sharing ideas, information and resources to help you equip parents and grandparents so they are able to connect with the children they love and hand down the faith to them and help you with developing the most effective Children's Ministry possible. Today I am asking for your help. 

My grandsons helped write the book; Praying Deeper Through the Psalms for Children by collaborating, writing and illustrating - it is designed to help children, ages four through fourteen, learn to talk with God by praying the Psalms back to God. This book is a must have resources for the grandparents/parents in your ministry who want to hand down the faith by helping the children they love learn to be people who pray and for you to use with the children in your ministry as well. I need your help. Please consider the following . . . 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A Gift & Bless the Ones You Love

One important thing the parents and grandparents in your church are able to do for the children they love is to "bless" them . The Bible has many blessings in it which they may use with the ones they love. They may choose their own blessing to give from a favorite Bible verse or use this one from Psalm 86 . . . 

Monday, February 17, 2020

"Maintenance" or "Change the World"? Which Will You Choose?

I saw a very interesting video by George Barna. It is only one minute and four seconds long, but in those 64 seconds he asks a very important question - one every church needs to answer! Watch it at this link and answer it for your church -

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day from Grandmas with Heart

On this day when we think about the love we have for others, just look at how Zephaniah 3:17 describes God's love for us, and the ones we love - 
  • God's love is shown by His presence with us as He is with us.
  • God's love is shown by His choice to save us.
  • God's love is shown by the way He rejoices over us.
  • God's love is shown by how we are able to find rest in His love.
  • God shows His love by singing and being joyful about us!
Oh yes, God absolutely loves us and His great love for us gives us the example to follow in how we show love to others as we . . .

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Grandmas with Heart

Grandmas with HeartMany of you who read About the Children's Department are grandparents/ parents who, along with being involved in Children's Ministry, are also focused upon handing down the faith to the children you love. You also have parents and grandparents in your church who want to do the same. On this blog, along with posts about Children's Ministry, I do sometimes post ideas for handing down the faith. While I will continue to post ideas, resources and tools to help you and the parents and grandparents in your church hand down the faith, today I want to be sure you know about my other blog - Grandmas with Heart and invite you to make it a blog you read, and share with the parents and grandparents in your church, as well.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

When We Get It Wrong the Price They Pay is Far, Far Too High

When we, "get it right" in our Children's Ministries, the result is parents and grandparents are equipped to hand down the faith, we are able to join with them to build upon what they do while we engage children in what we do, provide additional adults to pass the same messages to the children and encourage strong friendships with other children who love Jesus. All of this means the children in our church are equipped to believe, grow, walk and talk with God, so as they become teens and then young adults they will continue to grow, walk and talk with God as they become the parents (and one day grandparents) who hand down the faith. This is what it looks like when we, "get it right".

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

VBS 2020 - Anchored from Group Publishing

Anchored Weekend VBS 2020 Starter KitI'm delighted for the opportunity to once again share Group's weekend VBS with you . . . AnchoredThe idea with this resource is to provide two affordable 2 1/2 hour sessions, plus a one hour celebration which churches could use over one weekend . . . or over three weekends . . . or they might be able to spread it out for one Saturday a month for a Summer of fun! And, if you do not mind repeating games and focusing more on the same Bible Adventure, you could stretch it for a week of VBS.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Equip Children to Know Their Real "Super Power"

When the grandparents in your ministry look back at raising their now grown children, they will likely have things they wish they knew to do differently. I do. The biggest is I wish I knew how to talk with God then, so I would have been able to help them learn how to talk with God. Looking back, I know now how much it matters to help the children we love learn to be people who talk with God on their own, people who watch for how God answers and people who remember what He does in their lives. It is absolutely the most important and essential things for the ones we love to grow to love, know and walk with God.

Now as grandma I know how to talk with God and I understand how absolutely vital it is for me to help my grandchildren learn to be people who talk with God, watch for how He answers and remember what He does. Many grandmas and grandpas I know often ask me what they are able to do to help their grandchildren know, love and walk with God. They do not want their grandchildren to turn away from a walk of their own with God, but do not know what they are able to do to hand down the faith to them.

I understand this, as it is where I was as a mom; but no more. Today I want to encourage you to help grandparents (and parents, too) in your church learn do a simple thing to help equip the children they love ages four to fourteen learn to be people who talk with God, watch for what He does and remember. Then I want to ask for your help to let as many grandparents - and parents, too, know what to do as well.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Keep The Volunteers You Have By Encouraging and Thanking Them!

I've been writing about recruiting volunteers and while I focused mostly on recruiting new volunteers, today I'm writing about the easiest - and best way to recruit . . . by keeping the volunteers you already have with a focus on encouraging your volunteers.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Look Into Their Faces & Please Help

Look into the faces of the children in your church this evening or on Sunday morning. Picture them growing to love, know, walk and talk with God. Picture them growing to one day become parents who hand down the faith to their own children; and one day grandparents who hand down the faith to their own grandchildren. Is this not what you want to see happen with the children in your church? Is this not why you plan, prepare, pray, recruit, train and engage with the children, parents, grandparents and volunteers?

Certainly this is what you want to see happen, but the statistics do not show this is what is actually happening. According to Barna Research, churches are struggling to connect with and retain Millennials and Gen Zers, Atheism is on the rise as more and more children grow up and away from church. This is something we see in our churches as well. It used to be if young adults wandered from church, when they married and had children they often returned - they knew they wanted their children to grow up with the influence of church. But this is not the case. More and more young adults do not return to church - even after having children. Many of these parents let their children go to church IF their children want to go to church. This means in ever increasing numbers, it is most often the grandparents who are bringing their grandchildren to church.

Look into the faces of the children in your church this evening or on Sunday morning. Picture them growing to walk away from church, and not return. In more and more cases this is what is happening, but certainly it is not what we want to see happen with these children.

So, what are we able to do to make a change? I firmly believe we have to be focused upon the following if we are serious about making a change . . .

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

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

I've been talking all 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. As we wrap up April I'm going to look at this - keeping the volunteers you already have starting today with the benefits of retention!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Why Not Give it a Try?

As leaders in Children's Ministry, of course we want the parents and grandparents in our church to be focused upon handing the faith to the children they love. We know how important it is for them to hand down the faith, because what they say and do does matter - it does make a difference. So, we as leaders in the Children's Ministry, need to equip them to hand down the faith; which means we need to look for ideas, resources and books to help them do this very important thing.

I have personally tried quite a number of things to hand down the faith to my grandsons and while many of the have been effective and have engaged my grandsons in conversations which matter, so they believe and know why they believe, the single most effective thing I have done with them so far, is for me to help them learn to be people who talk with God themselves. We are on week 11 of our focus on prayer and I am able to see how this is starting to make a true difference and am looking forward to watching as they continue to grow closer to God by talking with Him for themselves.

Let's Plan a Volunteer Recruitment Month! - "Meant to Be" Theme!

As I've said many times, I believe volunteers are a gift from the hand of God . . . a treasure, so when it comes to recruiting, we are actually on a "treasure hunt"! God created the volunteers we need and placed them in our churches - some of them know who they are and are serving . . . and aren't you so very thankful for them! Others do not realize yet, they are the treasure God has given to your church, but as you present your volunteer needs, they will come to realize this and you will find in them some of the "hidden" treasure you're looking for!

I love this song by Steven Curtis Chapman - yes, it is from a VeggieTales dvd - "It's a Meaningful Life" and the message is one of how each child is "meant to be" making the world so much more than it ever would be without them. However; I believe this song - and it's message - would work very nicely to build a theme for a month of recruiting because the volunteers are "meant to be" and were made by God to "touch the lives that they touch"!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Let's Plan a Volunteer Recruitment Month! - "Glorious Day" Theme!

Most of the songs I select to build a theme for my recruiting month have a strong message about serving and while Glorious Day from Casting Crowns doesn't have this message, the message of the song is the reason we do what we do in Children's Ministry. It is the message of Jesus and this song, for this very reason, would make a wonderful song to build a theme for a month of recruiting!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Our Book Store is Open

I have wonderful news! We now have a Book Store on this blog where you are able to get digital/pdf copies of books and resources to help the parents and grandparents in your church hand down the faith to the children they love for just $5 each! This means they will be able to get books and resources to be equipped and use with the children they love to hand down the faith for less than they might spend at a fast-food  restaurant.

One such book which is now available as a digital/pdf copy of Praying Deeper Through the Psalms for ChildrenThis book is for children ages four through fourteen and for just $5 parents and grandparents are able to get it and use with all the children they love to help them learn to talk with God for themselves. Is there possibly a better way to spend $5? I know it is making a difference in my grandsons' lives as they learn to talk with God on their own.