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Last week’s blog about how much harder your job is as a Children’s/family minister, was pretty highly trafficked! You all seemed to find some commonality with hard working kids leaders around the world! Here is part 2. Thoughts?

6. You’ll have to navigate “Separate Orbit Syndrome.” This happens when you start to feel disconnected from the adult church service or from the church in general. This happens because children’s ministry is sometimes the ONLY ministry that takes place DURING the adult main service. Other ministries break out during the week or serve IN the main service. Children’s ministry can start to have its own orbit. You have to fight the children’s ministry becoming its own “silo.” It is a lot of work to keep it connected to what is going on in the church at large. I realized one day in our staff meeting that in a room packed out with staff, I was the ONLY one who had not been in the main service, and I was also the only one who knew what had happened that week in the kid’s services. The kid’s leader has to be very vocal about what is happening in the kid’s areas. The rest of the church may not know, because they weren’t there. Your hardships, your huge wins- you have to get very good at making sure these are heard. Kind of like a moon, orbiting the earth….”Houston, we have a problem….”

7. And you’ll run a higher risk of burnout. Children’s ministry tends to run non-stop. School year, summer, holidays, weekend, midweek. And too many children’s leaders report NEVER being in an adult service. They do not ever sit with their families in a worship service. They do not get to attend a Bible study. And this can be extremely wearing on even the strongest Christian. We’ve always had 3-5 services to plan every single week for kid’s ministry as opposed to student ministries’ 1 (they are adding another one). You will have to work harder perhaps, than other staff members to make sure you make it to a church service. I know how difficult that can be. I make it to one at least once a month (wearing my pager!), and I attend a morning Bible study during the week. You MUST invest in yourself and your relationship with God or you will soon have nothing left to give!

8. Underappreciated, underrated ministry- Even though you have one of, if not THE TOUGHEST jobs in the church, you may feel invisible. You may feel that no one understands or appreciates what you do. Many times Children’s Ministry is still viewed as babysitting or women’s work or a stepping stone. I remember hearing in bible college, “Someday God may move you up”. I always felt this was top of the ladder for me!

I hope you read part 1…what did I miss? Why is your job so tough sometimes?? Let me just say that I love you guys and you are not alone. There are many of us! Jesus sees all you do for him and His kids. Please keep on fighting today and always! Love Trisha

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No it’s not all in your head. Your job as a children’s ministries staff person/volunteer is one of, if not THE toughest job in your church. Why? Here are a few of the key reasons that you have such a difficult (yet rewarding) ministry:

1.No area of the church is as prone to explosive conflict as the children’s area. Very nice people can become UNNICE rather quickly when their children are involved. Any program that works with people’s kids will encounter intense conflicts from time to time. On top of that several articles have been written recently about the problem of parent bullying of teachers. Unfortunately, that bullying can extend itself into your ministry- parents/guardians bullying you and your leaders in order to get their way (a part in a play for their child, special rules just for their child, a certain prize for their child, an ending of consequences etc. etc.) These conflicts tend to involve a lot of emotions and may become quite personal. The sheer number of these conflicts can be wearing on a kid’s ministry leader.

2. The legalities involved are mind-boggling. In the past decade, liability insurance for churches has skyrocketed. This massive insurance premium increase has resulted in changes in the way that some churches do ministry- some have stopped doing camp outs, some have stopped offsite activities, others have discontinued their 15 passenger van services (because their insurance will no longer cover them). Every single thing that we do in children’s ministry must be scrutinized for its possible liability issues. The public schools deal with this as well. If a child falls on church property, or is injured by faulty equipment, the chances are MUCH higher of their being a lawsuit against the church than if the injury happened to an adult. And let’s just face it- kids get hurt. Toddlers fall down. Kids get hurt playing games, running and horseplaying. We cannot prevent all injuries, but we can do due diligence to minimize injuries on our property. If something goes to court, the question will be asked, “Did you and your staff do everything REASONABLE to prevent this from happening?” Bottom line: the vast majority of your church’s liablity and potential lawsuits come from your children’s ministry department.

3. Medical issues in children’s ministry have changed. This goes hand in hand with #2. We do not have room here to debate why the cases of food allergies (including peanuts) and cases of autism and childhood depression, among other disorders, have increased exponentially in the past several years.  Most of these medical issues will affect the children’s department the most. At our church, 8 out of every 10 medical issues happen in the kid’s ministry area (a fall, a bite in the nursery, an allergy reaction, an emotional meltdown). One Sunday morning, I got a call that a 7 year old child was down, struggling to breathe, because another child came into class that had just eaten a peanut butter sandwhich at home. She had a severe peanut allergy reaction just from the boy’s breath. Thankfully her mother taught for us and was nearby with an epipen. These are issues we face much more often in kid’s ministry than in the adult service.

4. Recruiting is so MUCH MORE difficult for the kid’s ministry leader than for ANY OTHER area in your church. Why? A. Due to the above issues, you MUST maintain proper ratios. Depending on your state recommended guidelines and/or your church’s guidelines, you may need to have 1 leader per 2-3 kids in the infant room, 1 per 4-5 in toddlers, 1 per 6-8 in pre-K, 1 per 8-12 in elementary. Adults do not have to worry about these ratios. Student ministries do not need quite as high ratios. B. You CANNOT put just anyone serving in kid’s ministry. Many people in your church will not qualify. You cannot use anyone with a history of child abuse, or anyone with a bad temper etc. Not everyone has a temperament that will work well in kid’s ministry. C. Your onboarding requirements will be MUCH tougher for a new volunteer. They must be fingerprinted, background checked, trained and more. Your kid’s ministry SHOULD have the toughest guidelines to serve in the church. Not everyone will qualify, or even stick around for the longer onboarding process. *SEE HOLIDAY SCHEDULING

5. You will have a lot of administrative duties. Many new children’s leaders are not prepared for the level of administrative work they will need to do. You have to organize the recruiting, training and onboarding of new leaders continually. You need to create the schedules for each class, make sure each class has teachers each week. This means filling holes in the schedule week to week and on a Sunday morning too when the need arises! You are keeping track of who is serving when and with whom and who traded days with who etc. ****HOLIDAY SCHEDULING- This scheduling can be so frustrating and overwhelming around holidays- Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Summer….And in most cases, when there is an adult service, there will be children’s ministry. The other pastors may get a “break” to sit with their family at the Christmas Eve service. You may not. Your budget will have to be more detailed because it covers several ages groups and activities (Our is 14 pages as compared to student ministries 2). You will have a LOT more equipment to keep track of- diapers, wipes, AWANA game equipment, curriculum, teaching supplies etc etc. You have the planning of VBS, Camps, Weekends, Midweek, Christmas play, Harvest Fest etc. etc. Many of these have to be planned  up to a year in advance.

 

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think what you do is harder than most people think it is? Stay tuned for part 2 next week of Why Your Job Really is Harder. Please be encouraged and have an amazing week. You are loved, and Jesus sees all you do for Him and His kids. Love Trisha

interviewing-hoops

prematurebaby16 I have a confession to make. Sometimes I read comments on Twitter. Usually a bad idea, I know. And it usually leaves me shaking my head and worried for the future of humanity as a whole. Case in point, yesterday, there was a thread on Twitter, all about how Christians should view abortion.

Among the popular comments I saw were:

“The Bible does not say the word ‘abortion’. Therefore it isn’t wrong.”

“The ancient Hebrews did not acknowledge a fetus as alive until 4 months gestation.”

“In the Bible and in many cultures, a child is not considered ‘born’ until they are 12 months old (post birth).”

“It is wrong for Christians to question what the government does. If the government has decided it is right or wrong then that must be what God wanted.”

“It is not a Christian’s business. A woman and her doctor are the only ones who can have an opinion about abortions.”

“Christians are not pro-life, they are only pro-birth. Christians should be quiet about abortion unless they support larger government social programs.”

“Abortion is just one small Christian pet issue that does not compare to all the other issues our world is facing.”

Wow. I have been following the escalating battle over abortion here in the United States for some time. The recent law passed in New York has inspired several other states to propose similar legislation. The reason this change is so controversial is that it removes safeguards and protections that limited late term abortions. In New York, it is now legal to abort the child, even if the head is coming down the birth canal (end of labor and delivery). The governor of Virginia has also come under fire for making comments about a newborn child being “resuscitated” and “made comfortable” while the doctor and parents “make choices.” Some have said that this amounts to infanticide. The embattled governor has refused to retract his statements or apologize. Instead he has doubled down on his support for late abortion free of any restrictions. The debate has certainly been heated and the gap between right and left has been widening. I felt strongly that I needed to respond to these popular arguments on social media, and I took a week or two here to pray and think about . Buckle your seatbelts, because this is gonna be a bumpy ride. Let’s hit each of these “reasonings” head on. Please read to the end to see my sources for further research and study!

“The Bible does not say the word ‘abortion’.” 

Of course the word abortion is not in Scripture. It is a more modern term. But the Bible has a LOT to say about abortion- starting with life beginning in the womb.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Luke 1:43 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,

Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Isaiah 49:1 The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.

Isaiah 44:2 Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

Luke 1:15 For he will be great before the Lord. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

Job 31:15 Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Galatians 1:15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,

Psalm 82:3-4 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Leviticus 18:21 You shall not kill any of your children to offer them to Molech (idols), and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

Luke 18:15-17 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. ..Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Proverbs 24:11-12 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

Exodus 21:22-25 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her child is born, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined…but if harm does come, then you shall pay life for life and eye for eye…”

Therefore, to God, the unborn child is alive, and to cause that child to die is murder. God talks about detesting the killing of babies (usually newborns) in many parts of Scripture. Infanticide is most commonly associated with a society’s complete rebellion against God, and a fall into base depravity. God talks about His heartbreak, “Ezekiel 16:20-21 And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to Me, and these you sacrificed to them… Were your adulteries so small a matter that you slaughtered my children to idols??” Notice God refers to these babies as HIS children.

 “The ancient Hebrews did not acknowledge a fetus as alive until 4 months gestation.”

???? I had to do some research on this one. What I found was that this rule is NOWHERE in Scripture/the Hebrew Bible. There are some Rabbinical writings (which are complicated) that allow for abortion if the mother’s life is in imminent danger. Some Rabbis allow the “morning after pill” but only within 48 hours after a forcible rape. The historical standpoint, as well as the modern Jewish standpoint is that in general abortion is wrong. They base their stance on “Though shalt not kill,” and God’s instruction to Noah, “If a man sheds blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” Historically, Christianity has ALWAYS thought of abortion as murder. Currently the Catholic Church, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, most evangelical free churches, Lutherans (Missouri Synod) fundamentalists and Mormons are officially against abortion- at any stage of pregnancy.  Relatively recently United Methodists, Universalists and Presbyterians (USA) have allowed for some abortions, but with restrictions. The overwhelming majority of Christians historically and currently are against abortion-especially without any restrictions, late term and post birth.

“In the Bible and in many cultures, a child is not considered ‘born’ until they are 12 months old (post birth).”

This is NOWHERE in Scripture. Yes there were cultures that regularly practiced infanticide- the Romans and the Vikings for example. The father would be given a certain amount of time to decide if the child was strong, healthy and without defect. If a father did not accept the child, the infant was disposed of, usually through exposure.  These discarded babies were many times female (which was considered a defect), blind or disabled in some way. In modern times, many abortions are still done for gender selection (females aborted in China for example) or because the child might have a disability (down syndrome, deafness, missing a limb etc.) Only 1.5 percent are aborted because of rape, incest or a mother’s life in danger. That means the other 98.5 percent are terminated because they were the “wrong” gender, the “wrong” race, they had a chance of having a disability, the parents were concerned about finances, or the timing was inconvenient. Abortion HIGHLIGHTS racial disparity. Did you know?? The most aborted racial group is still biracial children, followed by African American children. Planned Parenthood Centers are almost always in urban black neighborhoods. Black babies are aborted at 3 times the rate of white babies. Does this sound good to anyone? It sounds horrific to me.

“It is wrong for Christians to question what the government does. If the government has decided it is right or wrong then that must be what God wanted.”

God does want us to obey our government- UNLESS we are being asked to go against something God has expressly said. When the apostles were told to stop telling people about Jesus, they respond to the rulers, “Scripture is full of stories of people of faith standing for God even in the face of government consequences- Daniel in the Lion’s Den, The Fiery Furnace, all of the apostles, Micah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha etc. etc. etc. We need to remember that just because the government says something is right doesn’t make it morally right. Our government used to say slavery was ok-and in God’s eyes it was reprehensible. The Greek government used to say that having a young boy as a sex slave was perfectly acceptable; God hated the practice. Our government says abortion, even late term and perhaps post-term abortion is perfectly ok.  But what does God say/think? That is what should matter to Christians.

“It is not a Christian’s business. A woman and her doctor are the only ones who can have an opinion about abortions.”

Scripture tells us we do have a responsibility to speak up for what is right- especially for those who are helpless, at risk, disenfranchized etc. An infant, born or unborn, is helpless and in need of protection and support.

“Christians are not pro-life, they are only pro-birth. Christians should be quiet about abortion unless they support larger government social programs.”

Do you remember that time that Jesus ordered his disciples to take over Rome to forcefully take everyone’s money and then have corrupt non-Christians “redistribute” everyone’s wealth as they please? Yeah, me neither. Caring for the sick, the needy, the orphaned, the hurting is OUR job as Christians and as the church. Nowhere in Scripture does God advocate any particular form of government, except a theocracy (with Him in charge). Socialism has a terrible track record of ruining every country it touches. And socialism tends to disempower its people, and make the whole nation poorer- even the very poorest. Also…did you know? Americans last year gave a record 406 BILLION DOLLARS to social causes and charity, 70 percent of which was from individuals. This is many times more than any other nation on earth! Christians do care and they are giving! Do I trust our government more than our churches to “redistribute” those funds? Um no. Also also also- I believe many Christians are pro-life and would love to adopt these children. Currently, so many couples are waiting desperately for a child to adopt and provide for. Our system is so broken that only the rich are able to afford to adopt at times, and there is endless red tape and rules that hamper and prevent successful adoptions. Christians can be pro-life AND anti-socialism.

“Abortion is just one small Christian pet issue that does not compare to all the other issues our world is facing.”

Murder is kind of a big one. Yes I know all sin is sin in God’s eyes. But certain sins do have bigger consequences to others.  Taking an innocent person’s life should not be any group’s “pet” issue. “Thou shalt not kill,” is in the 10 Commandments. If you truly accept that the “fetus” is human and is alive, then taking that life is Scripturally unacceptable. We now know so much more about unborn children than we did when Roe V Wade was passed. New scientific studies are coming out every day. Numerous scientific studies have now PROVEN that unborn babies can feel pain from 20 weeks gestation- and several studies found proof even earlier. Now we know that abortion stops a beating heart, in a horrendously painful and inhumane manner. Now that we know this, we are responsible for how we respond. Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you do to Me.” That small life would certainly qualify as the “least of these.” How could a follower of Christ NOT speak out against abortion? Yes, the abortion issue alone could decide my vote. For me, this is not a scale weighing abortion against poverty, immigration and/or education. You can be for lifting others out of poverty, for compassionate immigration reform, for education for all- but draw the line at casual, cruel murder of the most vulnerable among us.

Bottom line: Abortion is the cruel and most of the time unnecessary taking of human life. Christians NEED to pray against it, speak up against it and VOTE against it. At the same time, we must reach out and love the women who have had or are having abortions. Jesus loves these women so much. They are victims of abortion too.

What arguments have YOU heard for and against Christians being pro-life? Have you made up your mind where you stand?

I love you all with all my heart- God bless your ministry for Jesus and His kids

Trisha Peach

Sources- for further reading!

“I want the whole staff here to know, that you should only be pursuing interests and training that help THIS church, at this particular moment. If it’s not for the church as a whole, you do not have time for it right now.”

I actually heard a lead pastor make this statement to his very large staff many years back. As I drove home to my own church that evening, I thought a lot about what he had said. And I came to the conclusion that I disagreed with his statement. And when I talk with a young new kid’s pastor, or a pastor at a church I’m consulting with, I always tell them, “You need to continually be working on YOU. Continue your training. Further your education. Beef up that portfolio. Work on that book, or ministry side project. Many times, that leader will shake their head and respond, “Oh, I couldn’t do any of those things. I cannot be thinking of ME; I have to be thinking about this church and this ministry. Thinking about things outside of this ministry right now would just be selfish.”

Yikes. Holy Guilty Martyr syndrome batman!!!! No it’s not selfish to keep working on YOU, and here are four good reason why self-improvement is a great idea for ministers of all ages:

1. You are setting the example for those you are leading. This includes the children and youth who look up to you, your own family, your staff and your volunteer leaders. You know how parents can sometimes say, “Do what I say and not what I do”? We pastors are often guilty of that. We tell our church and family, “YOU need to finish your education, YOU need to get out there and write that book, YOU need to study Scripture more deeply, YOU need to go on a missions trip” etc. etc. But are we asking them to do what we are not doing anymore? Great leaders do not give others a list of things to do. Great leaders MODEL a Christ centered life. We should be saying like Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Do you want your congregation, children, leaders to keep growing in Christ and in their education and experiences? Great. You go first and then invite them to follow.

2. Great leaders are always learning. It is a myth to think, “Well, I did all these things in the past and I can just check them off my list.” Your relationship with Christ should be a living part of your life- continuing to grow. Your marriage should continue to grow. And your education, training and portfolio should continually be growing as well. The best leaders are always finding new ways to challenge themselves and fresh ways to take a new step up. Then you are not feeding those following you with old moldy leftovers from years ago; you are serving up something fresh that you just learned yourself! It is a dangerous trap to ever sit on our laurels and think, “I have arrived.” If you are still breathing on this side of heaven, then you should still be learning, growing and becoming more like Christ- living more of the plan He has for you! This is the same whether you are 8 or 108!!

3. Your ministry should reach further than the church you are at right now. Now before you throw things at me for blasphemy- I know we all hope to be at our current church, ministry forever. But the reality is that most ministry positions do not last (3.7 years is the average, with student ministries being far less 17 months). I’m not condoning short ministry stays- I believe short stays can do a lot of damage to the church, the leadership and the minister themselves. But the truth is that it is very very rare for a ministry position to go on until retirement. And it is not wrong to ask yourself, “How will I be better for my time here?” Did you pursue higher education? Did you take on bigger ministry challenges? Too many young ministers are completely lost when a ministry position ends, no matter what the reason. They haven’t updated their resume in ages, they have no portfolio- and sometimes the church they are leaving has a lot of great things to show for that minister’s time there, but the young minister does not, usually due to not being careful to keep pictures, examples of work, numbers records etc. One of my favorite Bible college professors once gave me great advice, “Trish, love people and minister like you’ll be there forever; keep up your resume and portfolio because you’ll need them some day- don’t be scrambling at the last second.” Sometimes we all lose sight that our church is not THE church. God’s kingdom is a lot bigger than that. We shouldn’t be telling God where He can place us. So we minister and make a huge impact where God has called us, for as long as we can. And when and if God moves us on, our calling and ministry continue, just in a new venue. And you will need your updated resume, complete with updated portfolio with examples of your best work ready to go. God is your final Boss, and He won’t change His mind about your calling. Ministry positions sometimes end. Your marriage, family, relationship with Jesus and your calling should not.

4. To minister effectively, you are going to have to keep adapting. We’ve all met them. Ministers who learned something in Bible college or on a missions trip 25 years ago- and they haven’t changed their approach or methods since. They thought they learned, “how it’s done” and to this day, they just do those outdated things over and over again, even without getting any results. They do not know any other way and are unwilling to learn new ways. The message of salvation in Jesus Christ does not change- but our methods for reaching this generation can and will. We must continually keep training and learning to keep up. Otherwise our ministry becomes the equivalent of moving to Shanghai, screaming your sermon at the people in Swahili, and then condemning them all for “not being interested or engaged.” Of course they aren’t listening! You aren’t speaking the language! About every 10-15 years, the “language” we speak here in the United States changes drastically. If you aren’t growing and changing with it, you are wasting your time and theirs, preaching nonsensical words that are not having the desired effect. Paul said, “I am all things to all men, that by any means I may save some.” Want to be an effective leader? Learn the language and culture of the people God has sent you to. Learn some new methods of doing ministry. Change up those cultural references and object lessons. You don’t have to be ‘hip’. You just have to be willing to love people and meet them where they are. Let’s never be too stubborn or lazy to learn what we have to, to reach whomever we can. Jesus died to reach those people- and now He has called you to tell them about His love and His offer of a new life. There is no greater message or responsibility on earth! Let’s tell His message often, clearly and in as many ways as possible!

So I hope you can see, the best hope for a better church, is a better YOU. Start with what you have- yourself! What steps can you take right NOW to improve yourself as a leader and to prepare for whatever God has for your next? It’s an exciting adventure…one that’s just getting started…..

Love Trisha

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And by “our” I mean, our modern, American culture has a very messed up, incorrect definition of love. And tragically, sometimes this warped view of love seeps into the culture, thinking and message of the church. Our definition of love is CRUCIAL- especially as followers of Christ. Scripture tells us “God is love” . As Christians we are literally commanded to love God, our fellow Christians, our neighbors and even our enemies! “Love” is mentioned in Scripture a whopping 3orld, are 1. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength”. 2. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 10 times. Jesus tell us that the most important commandments of ALL, in the whole w12:30 So wouldn’t it be IMPERATIVE for Christians to have a crystal clear understand of what love is?

Most people THINK they understand love. But how much of our definition of love is based on Scripture and how much is based on Twitter, romantic comedies and sentiment? One major part of the problem is that we only have ONE word for love in English. Greek has 3 different words for love- friendship, romantic love, unconditional love. Some languages have as many as 14 different words for love. But in English the meaning of “love” is diluted when we use it for everything….I love you, I love ice cream, I love my baby, I love….lamps. etc.

Here would be a few modern definitions of love that are really screwed up:

  1. Love is a gushy feeling. Truth: Love is much more of a verb than a noun. Feelings can come and go with time, circumstances or last night’s bad Taco Bell. Love is a choice- a commitment to care about someone and to want a relationship with them even when you do not “feel” like it.
  2. Love is always “nice.” Truth: Sometimes love is fierce. Having grown up in a “Minnesota nice” culture, I do understand the thinking that if you love someone you will never correct them, never offend them, never tell someone a painful truth. All we need to do is read the major and minor prophets in the Old Testament to see a whole different side of “love.” God pours out His raw hurt at being betrayed, His anger and yet His neverending passion and commitment to fight for His people. God does NOT hold back. He is brutally honest. I have not yet learned the balance of “speaking the truth in love.” But I really want to get better at it! The total lack of discipleship or accountability that results from always being “nice” stunts the growth of Christians and churches. What could really happen if we started speaking the truth in love?
  3. Love means you agree with anything and everyone anyone says or does. Love means never ever saying no. Truth: If you really love someone, you are going to have to say no sometimes. My 3 year old son really really wanted to run down the middle of the street. But I had to say no because I did not want him to be squished. And I’m sure at the time he thought I hated him and wanted to ruin all his fun. But I had to say no and ask him to trust me. There are things in the Bible that God explicitly says NO to. And if God says NO then there must be a good reason even if we do not always understand it. And if God has clearly said NO, it is not love at all to try to overrule God and say, “Oh sure do whatever you want. I support you!” If I were hurting myself with bad decisions, I really hope someone would love me enough to try to help me make better ones- not support me as crash and burn. God is literally love and in Scripture and He sets limits, boundaries and holds people accountable BECAUSE He loves us.
  4. Love means never saying no to abuse. Truth: Letting someone endlessly abuse you is not love either. The church has been criticized in the past for perhaps not helping victims of domestic violence. I have actually talked to wives who were told by their pastors to stay with their violent abusive husbands because it was the loving thing to do. They were also told that since Jesus suffered for us, we should be abused too to be real Christians. AND if you are being abused than that must be God’s will and you have to to take it and like it without complaining. This fallacy burns me up. Yes, Christ suffered vicariously for us (Once for all) and sometimes God will call us to suffer for our Christian testimony. But it seems that we are to use our legal and other defenses as well. When Paul was going to be beaten by the Romans, he invoked his rights as a Roman citizen. When the Jewish leaders wanted to hide how they treated Paul, he again invoked his rights and made them “own up” to what they had done. How can we say we love someone if we continually let them sin against us without trying to confront them and call them to grow? Love means setting boundaries, accountability and occasionally saying NO. God desperately wants relationship with us, but to be close to Him He has very definite boundaries.
  5. If someone loves me they will give me what I want, when I want. Truth: Manipulation is not love. God does not always give us everything we want when we want it. But as a Good Father, He gives us what we need in His time. Meeting everyone’s hectic demands in our lives is not love. Trying to keep everyone happy is exhausting. Love tries to help others to have what they NEED. Or better yet, love frees others to work for what they need. If I let my teenage son have what he wanted whenever he wanted, he would eat nothing but fiery cheetos, fries, donuts and pizza rolls. He would be in a scooter with type 2 diabetes before the age of 18. So we make sure he has what he NEEDS when he needs it- and occasionally some fiery cheetos. God’s love for us is not selfish- He chooses to love us sacrificially.

So what about you? What falsehoods have you heard about love? How would you define love?

Here is how Scripture defines love- beautiful and inspiring! God bless and Happy Valentine’s Day!

We love because He first loved us.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.

However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him.

Yes, you CAN get a day OFF. And it can be Amazing!

Should I take Monday? Should I take Friday? Will I EVER get a day off? Does any of this sound familiar? If you are in leadership, a pastor or a parent of young children then there is no such thing as a “weekend” or a regular “day off”. And if you are like me, with a combination of travel, leadership and parenting it may feel IMPOSSIBLE to take a day off. But I want to tell you right now, it is imperative that you DO take a day off each week and that you make that day off as effective as possible, and here’s how:

1. First of all, you have to believe that it IS possible to take a day off. Too many ministers and leaders and parents have given into the lie of our America culture that it is not possible, or wise to take a day off. The lie says, “You MUST be a GOOD worker, and a GOOD parent, and to be a GOOD worker and a GOOD parent you must ….(work 80 hours, take the kids to soccer, hockey, ballet, karate, speech meets, playdates, etc etc etc etc ). What we really need to do is separate our America culture from what scripture actually says. We really do not need to work that many hours. We do not need to please that many people. We do not need to have our children in that many activities. It’s time to kill the martyr complex. If you absolutely cannot find one day to take off for yourself, than some activities will have to be cut. If some people are disappointed, than that is ok. You are not on earth to please everyone. You are on earth to glorify God and to please Him. God tells us to take one day in seven to rest; therefore it IS possible to do it. If we feel we cannot take one day in seven to rest, we are doing too much to please other humans instead of God. If pastors of massive churches have found ways to be faithful in resting before God, you can to. With a husband, five services a week, two small children, traveling, five employees, an intern, a more than full time schedule and a partridge in a pear tree I have made a way to have a day off almost every week (emergencies do happen), but it was WORK to make that happen. But first, I had to believe it was was the right thing to do, and that it was possible to have a day off every week. For parents, I used to think I couldn’t ever have a day or even an evening to myself. I told a friend, “I cannot afford a sitter right now.” She said, “Will someone watch your children for free so you can have a day off?” I said, “No one would ever do that.” She said simply, “Have you ever asked?” I was stunned to silence. I did start asking and very soon a kind lady from our church said yes. And I finally had “time off” each week.

2. You are going to have to plan and work toward having your day off with the same creativity as any other event on your calendar. Did you just yell unfair? That may well be unfair. But if you do not work to plan and protect your day off, other things will creep in and steal it away. What do I mean by plan and protect your day off? I do not schedule anything on my day off. Not dentist visits or doctors check ups. Not teacher meetings.  If people from church ask to meet that day, I respond, “I cannot, because I have something scheduled that day. How about the day after.” I do not say, “That’s my day off,” because people are shockingly flippant about days off, saying “oh, then I’ll just come by your house and we can meet there!”.  I will deliberately plan to be out of town in a state park on my day off where there is no cell signal. You are NOT powerless as far as your schedule goes; you have more control than you think. When someone says, “we are doing _________ on (your day off)”, many times you CAN say, “No, I can’t that day, I have a commitment, how about __________?” It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. And what if it is your senior leader or someone on your staff who regularly disrespects your day off? You may have trained this person that your day off didn’t matter. And you can retrain them that now your day off DOES matter. It takes time and patience and good communication. “I would rather not do our outreach debrief on our day off if at all possible. I had planned to take my family to the zoo that day. We could all use a day of break after that big weekend. Could we all meet ____________?” Be respectful, but start making a case your time OFF to be time OFF. If your senior leader does not honor their own time off, they probably will not honor yours either. But YOU need to keep working toward a day of rest for the sake of your relationship with God, your spouse and your family anyway. Put your days off on the calendar at home and at church and protect them at all costs. Put your out of office reply on and let your voicemail pick up. That’s what it is for.

3. Remember your reasons for taking a day of rest. God told us to do so all throughout the Bible. He set the example for us in Scripture. The burnout rates of ministers are high because ministers tend to be the LEAST obedient to God about taking a day off! You are not doing ANYBODY any good if you burn out and leave ministry. Your family needs you. And you get only one chance to make memories with the family God gave you. You will be a better minister if you take a day off once a week. Your relationship with God will be better and closer if you are obedient to Him to rest once a week. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” We really like to be in charge. But our ministry can dramatically change for the better when we decide to be obedient and rest in Him. Your health depends on learning to rest. You’ll do ministry for the Lord longer on this earth if you learn to take days off! So stop flinging yourself off cliffs and demanding that angels catch you as you crash and fry yourself!

4. Plan activities for your day off that will refill and renew YOU. Do not just hope that your day off will “happen”. You may just end up folding clothes and raking and then wonder why you’re still tired at work the next day. What energizes you? What makes you feel new again? It is not the same for all of us. For introverts, it is usually time alone, away from it all. If that’s you, maybe you should schedule some hiking time for yourself, or time on a secluded beach, a nap with all phones and lights off etc. Extroverts, like myself, get energy from being around people! I refill from going to a movie (phone off) or the mall with friends or the zoo with my family. I do not like staying around my house because 9 times out of 10 I end of doing housework or someone from church finds me with a minor crisis. No matter what it is, find out what refuels you, and then schedule THAT on your day off- NOT things for work, or house work, or school work- nothing that DRAINS you. I know this is difficult. It is a discipline but it is worth it.

I know how difficult it is to get a day off, and sometimes life happens, so it just does work out. But that should be the exception, not the rule. I just wanna encourage you today and give you hope that you and your family are WORTH having that day off every week. It’s Biblical and it’s what’s best for you, your family, your staff, and your church and ministry! Taking a break is a lot of work, so let’s get to it!

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If you were blessed to be at Children’s Pastor’s Conference this week, then you already know it was packed out. I heard a couple thousand people were there! Which makes sense since I saw volunteers having to set up more and more and more chairs. So here are just a few of my favorite memories from Children’s Pastors Retreat 2019.

  1. Location- I certainly enjoyed the weather (67 and sunny in Orlando versus 23 and snowing in WI). Children’s pastors retreat is something I look forward to every year-a refreshing winter retreat to be with Jesus and others passionate about kids ministry. The stunning Caribe resort seemed well able to accommodate all of us, and their staff were very helpful. This year there were a lot more food trucks, making things a bit easier to get lunch onsite. (I particularly liked the salted caramel gelato! Yes, that WAS my lunch lol.) Also, the close proximity to Disney meant that many children’s leaders were able to go over to one of the parks or Disney Springs for a bit. Several kid’s pastors brought their families to stay an extra day or two after the conference. This makes CPC a place for growth and learning for kid’s pastors, as well as a place for CP families to refresh and make memories. Nice plus!
  2. The Powerful Main Sessions- The worship was powerful, expressive and engaging. Now worship style can be a controversial thing. But I felt that just about anyone could feel at home in these worship services. Many people seemed to enjoy the prayer stations set up around the room as well. People lined up for different prayer stations to make a lasting moment there with God. The speakers were amazing as usual, however I was especially touched by the ministry of Beth Guckenberger (again) talking about the sweetness of God and inspiring us to a new level of intimacy with God. And Robert Madu- oh my goodness!!! I was blown away. I will never forget all he had to say about “staying in your own lane” and the “but me!” glasses. I laughed so hard but left deeply impacted. I hope he comes back!!!
  3. The Large Variety of Relevant Breakouts- There were a wide variety of breakouts that I felt were hot button issues for most of us who attended. I still like the fact that you can choose a “track” that you are interested in, and find classes on that theme (Or not). For example, you can pick, “Special needs ministry” and find the 4-5 breakouts that will specifically deal with that issue. I know many of the breakout leaders, and they are extremely qualified, experienced people who absolutely love to serve others.
  4. Coaching- CPC Conference is a bit unique in that personal one on one coaching is INCLUDED in the price of the conference. This coaching allows the attendee to get a 30 minute session with a kid’s ministry professional. You bring one issue and together you work out a “plan.” The idea is to “Go home with a plan.” I saw God at work in these sessions. I saw kid’s pastors leaving their coaching sessions with hope and a new excitement for their ministries. Coaching is one of my favorite ministries offered by CPC. (I was blessed to be a coach, and to teach a breakout).
  5. The Networking- Most children’s pastors will tell you that the best part of a kidmin conference is the networking that happens between children’s pastors in classes, at meals and in the hallways. Children’s leaders are born networkers. I heard a first time attendee remark, “Wow, I am impressed. I haven’t met a single snob here yet!” The organizers of CPC get this and intentionally build in networking time. But they also allow this to happen organically as well.
  6. The Schedule- I felt that the schedule was well planned out- not too busy and not too lax. Plenty of time for coaching, worship, networking, resource center and even relaxing. I actually did not go home from this conference completely spent.
  7. The staff and volunteers- They were so helpful and friendly. They all seemed thrilled to be there and to be serving!
  8. The resource center- I always have a lot of fun there. There were so many booths and so many fun things to do. I THINK that we got more time allotted there this year and perhaps a few more booths. It was a blast.

If you were there last week, please tell us what YOUR favorite part of the conference was? Do you agree with my favorites list? What did I miss? Lots of love and blessings- Thank you for all your work for Jesus and His kids! Love Trisha

Well-child policy.

Common sense tells us that when your child is vomiting, has a fever, or is blowing lots of thick green guk out his nose, you stay home with him until he is well. Your work would not be happy with you if you brought that child with you into the office and held him on your lap hacking stuff up during a meeting. And the schools all have “well-child” policies that would keep you from leaving your child in class that day puking in a bucket under his desk or passing out during gym. Doctor’s offices would make your child with a heavy cough wear a mask while there. So why do we treat church so differently?

I overheard a staff member whispering to another staff member once, “I would never ever leave my child in the nursery here. That place is a Petri dish of every bacteria known to man. No one leaves there healthy!” Several parents responded to our survey saying they wouldn’t use the nursery for fear of their child catching an illness. It was time to act. We researched well-child policies from surrounding schools and churches and came up with our own that matches our needs.

Some things we included in ours went something like this:

“If your child is displaying any of the symptoms below either now or in the past 24 hours, please keep your child with you, and have them sit out of children’s ministries until they are well.

Keep your child home if they have:

Fever over 99, vomiting or diarrhea,runny nose especially with any color of discharge, heavy wet coughs, unexplained rashes, skin infections, impetigo, boils, ringworm, eye infections, childhood diseases such chickenpox, mumps, measles, rubella, pertussis, scarlet fever etc.

If a child develops any of the above symptoms while in our care, we will contact the child’s parents as soon as possible so that they might tend to the child’s illness.

Our Children’s Ministry staff will not administer any type of medication to the children placed in our care.”

At first we caught a lot of backlash. I had the volunteers call me over to speak with parents who were not being able to leave a sick child. I got a lot of excuses like “Well, the school won’t take him either and I really need a break. Here you take him!” And “Oh yeah, that rash has been spreading all over his legs since this morning. He caught it at daycare, but it’s not contagious.” and “This is a church. You have to take anyone!” No wonder people didn’t want to use the nursery. Again, I didn’t understand this until I had kids of my own and found out that one nasty virus could waylay our whole family for a week. The bottom line is that you need to do your research, come up with a solid well-child policy, and have your pastor approve it. Then you need to post it somewhere visible so you can make it apparent you are not targeting any particular child; this is the policy across the board.

NOTE:

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It is extremely important to make sure no parent feels singled out or embarrassed in front of others. Yes you do have to turn some children away if they are too ill, for the safety of all the other children and your workers, but remember to be kind and caring. That poor parent may have had a very rough week and thought “maybe we are well enough now to finally get out” when they just weren’t quite ready. Always use grace and kindness. But keep that kids’ area a “well-child area” as much as you possibly can.

From “Your Children’s Ministry From Scratch” available on Amazon

fundraisersFundraising can be such a pain! And even if you have a children’s ministries budget at your church, chances are that you will be called upon to raise money for some project- camp scholarships, a new set of puppets, missions etc. Teaching our children to give is an important part of their faith. I do not believe that faith is genuine if it never touches our wallet! And children need to be taught from an early age to tithe and to give of their time, talent and money.  This needs to be a “habit” that extends into adulthood. Also, if your church as a whole is working to raise funds for something, then your kid’s church should be a part of that (they are part of the church right now!) Although children may not have access to the the same flow of cash as an adult, I am continually surprised at the amazing things kids can do when someone challenges and inspires them. Over the years our team has done MANY fundraisers and missions pushes. And I wanted to share with you the ones that worked the best for us. I know that what works at one place will not necessarily work in another; nevertheless, I hope this gives you some great ideas.

  1. Fill the crate- The premise of this fundraiser was unusual but simple. We were sending missionaries to an African village and they were asking for children’s clothing to pass out to orphans in need. We got a large crate, advertised the challenge, showed pictures of some of the children in need and heard from the missionaries. We gave the children 30 days to fill the crate with kid’s clothing items, used or new, of all sizes.  To my surprise and delight, our kids filled the entire crate in only 8 days. EIGHT DAYS!!! The clothes were all in good condition, although one or two dresses were far to fancy to be usable in that climate. It was too late at this point to advertise that we had filled the crate early, so we filled a second one for an orphanage in Kenya. I think this one was so successful because it was visible and tangible. Kids could see the bin filling up! We followed up by having the missionaries take a lot of pictures of the kids at the orphanages wearing the clothes from our kids. We showed these photos so the kids would see the results of their giving.
  2. Fourth and Fifth Grade Clean Your Church Day- I’ll be honest, I was did not know if this one would fly. My elementary director really wanted to do this. She suggested having all fourth and fifth graders come in on a Saturday and give their free time to THEIR church by spring cleaning- doing the windows, cleaning out flower beds, carpet cleaning etc. etc. She hoped to teach kids to treat God’s house with respect, to make a habit of volunteering at church, and to realize this was THEIR church. I will admit I was skeptical on this one. But I was wrong. These kids came out in record numbers, thoroughly cleaned our massive building, had a blast doing it- and couldn’t wait to do it again. We showed pictures from this event to inspire our adults to higher levels of serving.
  3. Papa Murphy’s pizza deal. Not sure if this one is still available- but it was amazing. We bought Papa Murphy’s pizza discount cards for 1 dollar each and then sold them for 10 dollars each. If a child wanted help with money for camp or an event, then they had to participate. Children who did NOT need a scholarship were allowed to raise money for their friends. I had kids who sold 400 cards all by themselves in a week just to send 4 friends to winter camp. It became a way to fund our events, allow less fortunate families to send their children, and to teach giving to others of our time and money. This also really got the attention of our community because our kids were hitting up EVERYONE. We ended up bringing 50-60 people to winter camp each year because we raised so much money.
  4. An Incentive- I know this is controversial, because we do not want to teach children to expect a reward for giving and serving Jesus. However, I have found that an incentive can make that event stand out in a family’s mind in a sea of information overload. I also believe in celebrating together and commemorating successes as a team in ministry. We teach kids not to expect rewards for giving, but to celebrate when we “win” as a team. Our 19 year old sound guy had extremely long hair. He offered to have his hair shaved to the scalp live on stage if we met our missions giving goal. The kids were so excited that we not only met our goal, we exceeded it. The day of the “shearing” the kids all brought their friends and we gained a lot of new kids to our kid’s church as a bonus.
  5. A Competition- Again, this one is controversial, as some churches discourage competitions in a church. It seems to me however, that kids are hardwired to love playing games and to compete. We do need to teach our kids that loving others is more important than “winning.” One competition we had that went very well was our kid’s church versus youth group challenge. We raised money for missions over the course of 6 weeks. At the end we had a pizza party that both groups attended. Since youth group raised less (slightly), they had to serve the pizza to the kid’s church kids. This worked so well because the youth pastor and I switched places a lot to promote it. It showed our groups working together. The kid’s church kids got to meet the youth pastor and interact with him. The youth group kids actually seemed to be having fun serving the kid’s church kids. It was an example of the church working together toward a common goal. The “competition” just made it really fun and no one felt like a “loser.” The main winner was our local women’s shelter who received the money, and our young people who all had a great time.
  6. Walmart matching- Now I have seen this one work differently in different cities/states. Where we live, Walmart will match what a non-profit makes selling food in their parking lot. There is an application process and some work involved in setting this up. “Brat fry’s” are big in Wisconsin, and whatever profit we make is matched by Walmart. This has paid for several of our kids to go to Bible Camp. If they wish to use a church scholarship for camp, they MUST help out at the brat fry. We want kids to think about putting some of their own sweat, funds and time into obtaining the things they want.

I am very curious to know what fundraisers YOU have used. What worked? What did not work at all?

I truly hope to see many of you next week at CPC in Orlando Fl! God bless ALL of your fundraisers. God bless the work you do for Jesus and His kids. Love Trisha

PS- I’ll be coming to you live next week from Orlando so stay tuned!

 

Long gone are the days of “lone ranger” ministry- of one minister charging in, doing it “all” while everyone else follows. Today your ministry will literally rise or fall based on your ability to build and lead a strong team. Ministering to your TEAM should be one of your number 1 ministry goals this year. So how do you build a stronger, more unified team in 2015? The teams I have led, and been on over the years have become more of a family, and I am so blessed to be a part of them. Whether you’re leading a team of volunteers, volunteer department heads, paid staff or all of the above, these ideas you’ll see below have worked for me and other ministry leaders, to build a winning team.

1. Pray together- There is power in praying all together with one purpose. Pray FOR each other as well. It is a lot tougher to stay angry with someone, when your hand is on their shoulder in prayer for their upcoming surgery. This time spent in prayer together should not be “optional” or an afterthought. I cut 15 minutes of every outreach practice time just so we could spend that time in prayer together. It changed EVERYTHING- attitudes, effectiveness of “performances”, and our focus on the unchurched people who attended. Praying as one team can bond us in a way that nothing else can. I appreciate teams that begin and end all of their gatherings with prayer.

2. Grow together- Have you ever gone to a conference by yourself? You have this AMAZING experience, epiphanies that change your life! And then you come back to your church and try to explain those moments, those feelings to your team? It’s almost impossible isn’t it? The old saying is all too true, “You just had to be there.” Everything changes when the team returns together from a training/conference with a more unified vision, and everyone at the table “gets the inside jokes” and has the same memories of the event. You do not have to get them all excited or try to explain the experience, because they went through it with you. Other ways to grow together would include doing a book study or a Bible study together- we have had a LOT of fun bonding over our book/Bible studies! You can also find inexpensive local trainings to attend as a group or hire a speaker to come in and do a training for your team. A great newer option would be to do a live streaming training or conference and watch it all together at your church (or a neighboring church).

3. Serve together- Nothing, and I do mean nothing, seems to bond a team like working long hours on a major project. When you have a community outreach, vbs, service project, musical, Easter or Christmas function, it is good to have “all hands on deck” and give every member of the team a “job”. This laser focus- everyone pulling together in the same direction- everyone going for the same win, can show the “real side” of the people you minister with, the good, bad and the ugly. We get to know each other for REAL, and still love and appreciate your team for all of their unique giftings. We experience first hand the power of working as a group toward a common goal. This usually attracts new team members as well who want to be a part of something that is succeeding and so rewarding (Great teams are the best recruiters).

4. Dream Together- Is your “team” still a hierarchy of “I say and you do and don’t ask why?” Much better is the model “Let’s do this together, and I’ll help you until you can teach it yourself.” When you sit down to plan your calendar of events for the next year (which I really hope you are doing), who is sitting around that table? By that I mean, who has input in the planning of events and the pitching of new ideas? This can be scary to some leaders, and it definitely takes a lot of trust. But great ideas often come from diverse teams, even quiet, introverted team members. Perhaps your team members have been doing a lot of thinking and just need the chance to let those ideas out. They’ll think of great innovations and solutions that you never could on your own. It’s about letting go some of that need to control for the greater good of the people you minister to. Make it a safe place to express ideas, and even constructive criticism. But never allow pouting, grudge holding, or gossip. You can reserve the right to the final say, and you can always shut down negative or argumentative talk. But allowing a few more people at that planning table will not only uncork amazing creative conversations, but when you actually DO begin to implement your new ideas, you will have your teams buy-in and eager support, BECAUSE they had some say. BUY-IN always comes from IN-PUT. 🙂

5. Play together- It’s official; teams that play together, stay together. If the only time you contact your team is when you want something from them (work related), they may start to feel used; they may also dread it when they see you coming (just more work to do). Don’t just see people for what they have to offer you and “your” ministry. These are people, with lives and joys and hopes and jobs and families. Go to their sports games and cheer them on. Go as a team and do something fun- bowling, roller blading, boat ride, mini golf, a concert etc. I also highly suggest that you eat together. Sharing meals together has been known as a bonding activity throughout history. Go out to eat together as a team after services. Better yet, go to each other’s HOMES and COOK together. Being a team means caring about people’s lives OUTSIDE of the job you are trying to do together. If their child is sick, pray together for that child. If one of your team is in the hospital, go visit them together. As they say at Willow Creek, you are not just doing a job together, you are “doing life together.” You are building relationships to last for the long haul. These relationships give birth to the best, most successful ministries you will ever know.

What kind of team are you dreaming of? The best things in this life don’t just “happen”; they are intentionally planned and crafted. Put the majority of your time into growing a unified, effective team this year, and you’ll be surprised how far you’ll GROW. How do you disciple and pour into your ministry teams? (board, parent teams, teachers, volunteers, staff etc.)? Please let us know your best ideas for team building!

PS: I’d love to pray with you or sign a book for you. You can get a copy of “Your Children’s Ministry From Scratch” TODAY on Amazon, Kindle. Already have your book? Please make sure to rate it on Amazon- I read each and every review. God bless!