Turning Surprises Into Opportunities

Turning Surprises Into Opportunities

Do you remember the first time you asked someone if they liked you? Like in elementary school? Or maybe like me, middle school? More than likely it didn’t happen instantly. You thought about it. A lot. You played through all kinds of scenarios in your mind. Recently, my kids came across my old middle school yearbooks. They started asking all kinds of questions, mostly around haircuts and fashion but at some point it drifted to what one girl wrote in the back of my yearbook. It was an old... Read More
Empowering Your Volunteer Team

Empowering Your Volunteer Team

Ants. Everywhere. I looked around the classroom and could feel the sting of tears forming. It was going to be a hectic morning. I had known for weeks today would be challenging and had done everything in my power to set up my teams for success. It was a long holiday weekend, which meant many volunteers were at the beach or in the mountains with their families. (But we were covered; I had called in reinforcements in the form of staff spouses.) Our church building, which was often rented out by... Read More
Are You Dreading Sunday?

Are You Dreading Sunday?

Can I tell you a secret? I used to dread Sundays. Like, I really hated Sundays. It’s an odd place to be for a leader in children’s ministry. It’s like playing on the basketball team and loving the practice yet dreading game day. I loved what I did. The vision and impact of my work always fueled me. But Sundays felt more like Report Card Day. The day I found out just how well I did the previous six days. The day I received a grade on all my planning, communicating, and organizing for the week.... Read More
The New Kids

The New Kids

New environments make me so nervous. At the heart of it, I don’t want to feel stupid. And, not knowing what the routine is, what I can expect, or what the proper etiquette is will drive my inner self crazy with anxiety. If, as an adult, I feel this way, I can only imagine what a preschooler must feel when he encounters a new environment run by a bunch of “big people.” If we want to create a safe place for a new preschooler, we need to take a look at how we are making new kids feel welcomed and... Read More
Engaging Your Community Online

Engaging Your Community Online

There’s a popular saying in youth ministry that says: If you want to reach students, you need to “go where they are.” That means that if you want to meet students you go to school sporting events, band concerts, the mall or other places where students hang out. That way, you can get to meet new students in an environment where they are comfortable. In the same way, if you want to go where people are, that place is online. So, how do you build a community and new friendships for the sake of... Read More