Getting to the Heart of Service in Small Groups

Getting to the Heart of Service in Small Groups

After a day of learning about what advocacy looks like in organizations and churches, our compassionate ministry training landed on a question: “What breaks your heart?” Before the question was asked, I felt empowered with new knowledge, comforted that there was a plan in place to aim for community transformation through a network of churches and ministries around the world but I also felt somewhat detached from it. Because . . . information doesn’t always motivate me. Pain, however, does.... Read More

Planning Center Check-Ins: Chaos to Confidence

By Emily Jiles A new family’s impression of your church can be framed by their first experience with your children’s ministry. What kind of impression is your children’s ministry making on your attendees? How do you think parents feel when they come to check-in their children on a Sunday morning? Many of us at Planning Center have worked, and still volunteer, in children’s ministry—we know how chaotic check-in time can be. The massive influx of people can completely overpower your volunteers’... Read More
Building Trust With Parents as Small Group Leaders

Building Trust With Parents as Small Group Leaders

Inherently, being a small group leader comes with a lot of responsibility. You’re being entrusted with your few at least once a week and then some, especially as they get older. This isn’t something that anyone should take on lightly. There’s an incredible amount of trust and commitment that needs to go into those relationships. And as much influence as you may have, ultimately, you’re not their parent. You don’t have the final say in these young peoples’... Read More
A Dynamic View of God: Helping Kids Connect with God at Every Phase

A Dynamic View of God: Helping Kids Connect with God at Every Phase

Imagine going to a U2 concert with a group of toddlers. Or buying tickets to see Yo Gabba Gabba with a middle school group. Or watching Barry Manilow with all 3rd-grade boys. Hopefully, you’ve never done any of these things. Musicians, even great musicians, play for a specific audience. Not everyone relates to country music, or hip hop, or jazz. That doesn’t make those genres less inspiring. It just means the musician has to know more than music if they hope to connect with their audience. The... Read More
Measuring What Seems Un-Measurable

Measuring What Seems Un-Measurable

Some things in life are easy to measure. How many times did you tweet? How many Double Stuf Oreos did you eat? How many miles per gallon does your vehicle get? Some things in life are harder to measure. How much water is in the ocean? How many people live in the Ukraine? How much milk can a seventh grader drink without puking? Then there are some things that seem un-measurable. How much does a mother love her child? How do you know when someone is “over” their ex? How well does a foster child... Read More