The word “risk” can send shivers up your spine or can invigorate your curiosity. These steps toward “what’s possible” can, at times, feel impossible. Whether it’s a financial investment, a new ministry, or a different model for your team, risks ultimately mean change. In leadership, responsible risk taking looks a lot less like gambling and a lot more like calculated chess moves.
As a leader, you must be willing to guide your people into the unknown. Not on a careless journey, but one with promise to benefit all. Though the path will be new for your footsteps, as the leader, you must be willing to forge the trail. With risk comes both uncertainty and possibility; we must face the risk before us with both hands open wide. As you begin this endeavor, consider the following:
1. Count the cost
Consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of your possibilities. Make a pros/cons list. Sit down for discussion over coffee with people you trust. Consult your mentors and teammates. And most importantly, seek the Lord’s guidance through meditation and prayer.
2. Make your move
Once you’ve decided to move forward on this new road, set your eyes on what lies ahead. Map out a game plan and stay faithful to your calculations. Heed not the words of naysayers and unbelievers. With peace from the Lord, take each stride in confidence.
3. Stay focused
A bare bank account, a tough day, or words of opposition will be discouraging. Resolve to stay resilient. When pursuing the call God has for you, continue to run your race. Face the obstacles as they come and move on to your mountaintop.
Leaders are seldom remembered for simply what they intended to do. Leaders take action. Taking risks will not always mean success, or improvement, or reward. But, without taking that chance, you’ll never know what could have been. Don’t meekly evaluate your choices. Recognize your goal, and take that leap of faith!
It is hard to believe that the holidays are over. This means Christmas decorations must be put away, back to busy schedules, and new years resolutions. Most folks make financial resolutions, health resolutions, and family resolutions for a new year, but why not start your ministry off with a fresh start towards kids ministry resolutions. Here are some ideas that we hope you find helpful to kicking off the new year right!
1.Invest in Volunteers. As a leader, investing in your volunteers is as important as investing in your kids. This may sound crazy, but it is true. As one person, you can do only so much. A well trained and equipped volunteer multiplies what you can do, and a team of volunteers quadruples your multiplication efforts. To invest in them, start by getting to know your team of volunteers on a personal level. It is easy in the busyness of Sunday morning to take this group for granted. Make it a goal in 2017 to write a personal note to each of them thanking them for serving with you. This simple step can launch a year of renewed engagement for your ministry team!
2. Meet the Parents. I know this one if challenging! In the craziness of kids getting dropped off and picked up sometimes we are lucky to just say hello and check their security tag. Meaningful communication doesn’t just happen. It is a choice you must be disciplined to make each time to get to interact with parents. This year take a shot at improving your communication with parents. This might be standing outside your classroom (without the clipboard in hand) and intentionally greeting every parent, putting together an email newsletter, or organizing a parent appreciation night just to love on them. The investment is worth it! Parents, like volunteers, have a huge impact on ministry because without their support, there aren’t any kids to minister to.
3. “Use your 60”. At CentriKid we believe in the power of every minute with kids, so we want to use every one of them! We believe that you can intentionally take each minute to deeply invest in a volunteer or a kid’s life. Think about what you can do if you take those “random” minutes to stop a leader in the hallway and call out something amazing you saw them do with a child in class last week. Think about what you can do if you take those last couple of minutes of the hour on Sunday to stop a parent on their way out the door and tell them how you saw the light bulb go off in their child’s mind today during worship. Think about what you can do if you take the first minute of each class to hug a child and tell them how thankful you are that they are here today. Think about what you can do if you take the “commute” minutes on the way to church each week to thank God for the ministry to get to serve in and the people he has placed around you to help change lives!
We are praying for you and believe in what you are doing! Let’s begin 2017 with a grateful heart knowing that each day we are impacting little lives for eternal purposes! Take a moment now and jot down your 2017 Kids Ministry Resolutions!
We know that kids learn in different ways. Adults do too for that matter. Learning can happen for some by just hearing about a subject, for others they need to see the words or information being taught, and still others learn best through hands-on activities and experiences. Knowing this, it is important to take the time to debrief games that you play in your kids ministry. This will help those hands-on learners grasp in a more solid way the connection between everyday life and their relationship with Jesus.
What is a Debrief?
A debrief is a short time in which you gather the kids to explain how the activity and/or game connects to our relationship with Jesus. This is best done right after the activity is over so that is still fresh in their minds. Be sure to have a clear connection to Scripture. The best debriefs are planned out in order to ensure effectiveness and relativity. With no preparation you will be in a “wing it” type approach, mainly speaking from your own knowledge, perhaps with a weaker spiritual connection. With planning you can incorporate a more concrete connection which is important for kids, as well as Scripture to go with it. Nothing will be sure than the truth that is in God’s Word, so why not use it bountifully?
Tips for Debriefing
–Remove distractions (face the kids away from potential distractions: TVs, other kids playing games, windows they can see out of)
–Be one level removed (if the kids are sitting, you kneel; if they are kneeling, you stand)
–Use objects and personal stories (kids are concrete learners. So, applying spiritual concepts to concrete examples, like objects, helps create a strong connection in the mind of a child)
–Root it in Scripture (read from the Bible… that helps them know it is truth from the Word)
–Make eye contact (if you are outside, remove sunglasses)
Debriefing activities can be some of the most powerful and effective times of learning for those kids who learn best with a hands-on, concrete example type of learning.
- Do you have teens and college workers in your kids program?
- What wins have you experienced with them in your ministry?
- How have you seen them be successful?
- What challenges do you encounter with them?