Making the connection

There is nothing like watching the light of service come on in a  volunteer.  Sometimes is happens fast.  They realize that this “serve” thing really isn’t such a big deal to actually do after all. Other instances it can take some time.  But, when you see it come on- you know it.    They have entered the place of connection.  God, ministry opportunity and me serving equals some t great potential to rock this planet.

I remember a volunteer dad and friend named Bob, who came to serve. As a father he  just wanted to contribute and do his part to partner in weekend ministry with his kids by serving once a month… then offering prayers, then twice a month…then lead teaching.   His prepping started on Mondays for the next weekend.  He researched and came up with THE best creative lessons to keep elementary kids engaged. He connected with kids. It is a cherished memory  of how his gifts bloomed.  He found and felt the connection with the gifts God obviously put in him before his birth. The guy would light up when he taught kids.  It all started with an ask, an invitation to join us in serving.

Who knows what treasure is in the heart of volunteers.  As a leader you need to unlock it. Help it come out.  Challenge them.  Don’t ever make an apologetic ask for volunteers. The NEED  is in people connect and make room to serve and find all that God has put in them.  It may not be teaching, but greeting, or a small group leader, or worship or many other venues to connect in ministry to kids.  I have enjoyed the vantage point of front row watching  many awesome volunteers from nursery on up making the CONNECTION.  Thanks God.

Points of Action

As a seasoned (sounds ever so much better than older) leader of ministry I have noticed a life anchor in Psalm 105.    I looked at it from the standpoint of  what fuels me.  In this Psalm is a life strategy with points of action for me to stay alive in Him.  It fills my cup. These five action points keeps  what I do in perspective.   Christ follower first before anything else.  He is our identity…not ministry or position or anything else.   There are 45 verses in this Psalm, but the first five verses are SO full of actions that I can’t pass up!  #1  Give thanks to Him.  #2  Sing praise to Him.  #3 Rejoice in Him  #4  Look to Him  #5  Remember Him.   Funny, but no matter what stage of life I am in, I just keep coming back to checking on how I’m doing with the five action points.  As I practice these points of action, I notice that I am more peaceful, more hopeful and excited about what’s ahead.

Rear View Mirror

Change happens.  It can come fast. It can come slowwww.   A ministry endeavoring to be on target is going to embrace the change possibilities.  While it’s happening it can be a painful, but  wow– what a worthy trek to find the finish line.   I’ve learned to take a look in the  rear view mirror to see how far ministry to both kids and families has come.  It helps spur me on in reach kids and families.

My gauge for review of a ministry week:

(1) Kids came and were taught in a fresh, insightful age appropriate way.

(2) We partnered with parents for the coming week  to reinforce and create their own ministry moments with their kids.

(3) Volunteers were connected, engaged and valued like crazy!

(4) God was honored and lifted up.

To be healthy, vibrant and growing you’ve got to keep it fresh.  If you think you’ve got the plan in place…think again. It will change.   Balance the unchangeable Message with what’s on the horizon in your ministry area. Open the doors to new ideas.   Our path ahead grows brighter and brighter! ( Proverbs 4:18 )  Just take a look in the rear view mirror and see.

Lead Yourself: It’s About Time

Lead Yourself: It’s About Time.

Ministry leaders rarely look for more to do.  “Busy” could be a middle name for some us.  Focusing on some downtime is an ingredient that we can miss.  It keeps vision fresh and ministry vibrant.  I believe the lack leading oneself contributes to all kinds of ugly stuff in the role of leadership.

Want to be effective at home and in ministry?  Then you’ve got to lead yourself.  Lead yourself by guarding against compromising your first love.  The relationship between  God- your Father, and you- His kid.  I like to call it the seek ye first rule (Matthew 6:33).  The disciplines of prayer, worship and Bible study are paramount.  Lose the art of leading yourself and life will get blurry.

Leader Problem Solving 101:

Quote: “None of us are as smart as all of us”. – Ken Blanchard

While in the trenches of ministry, don’t leave out the key ingredient of team problem solving.  Successful leaders value team input.  Great leaders know need more than one ingredient in the recipe of BEST ministry practices in Children’s Ministry.

  1. Carve out time for team dialogue on “big hills” needing to be taken.
  2. Examine if this “hill” lines up with the BIG vision of your church and ministry area.  Many times that solves the problem right there.
  3. Enlist your big picture thinkers.  You ain’t no island! Yell Help! Proverbs says wisdom comes from many counselors. Pride is “I’m in charge. I’m the leader.”
  4. Carve up the challenge into bite sized pieces as you attempt to solve.  Ask yourself how would a person you are inspired by look at this?
  5. A good leader attempts to examine the “what if” possibilities.  Work through those scenario’s with your team.  Be prepared.
  6. Never feel like pressure is the decision point.