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  • February 2009


    Dave and I promised that we’d post copies of our typical service schedules on the site. Enjoy! Sorry, these files are outdated and have been removed.

    These files are in zip format. You can download the free 7-zip program to uncompress them.

    12 – How We Do Service

    February 23, 2009 · 0 comments


    This month James and Dave talk through they way they do an average elementary Sunday children’s church service. We share important tips on segments, points, curriculum and more.

    Resources mentioned during the show:


    Remember when…

    February 21, 2009 · 0 comments


    I stumbled across this photo on Digg.com and wanted to share it with all of you.

    It instantly took me back to my own childhood (though I was never as ‘cool’ as these guys). One of the greatest gifts God could give a children’s minister would be the ability to remember what childhood felt like.

    I pray that God will help you remember yours, so you can minister more effectively to the children God has entrusted to you.

    (Click the pic to make it great biggie.)


    Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and something they say reminds you of a similar story from your own life? We all have. But what about when everything they say reminds you of something else and you feel the need to share every thing, every time? At what point have you stopped swapping stories and started to hijack the conversation to make it all about you? This can be a common thing, especially when trading funny life stories.

    You can’t be a good storyteller without being ready to listen to someone else’s story. Here are some tips to help you be a better listener… and storyteller.

    1. Pay Attention

    The attention you pay will be the attention you are repaid. (You can quote me on that if you want) It’s a spin-off of the Golden Rule. Listen to others the way you would have them listen to you. Do you want someone texting while you’re sharing? Do you want them nodding like a moron the whole time you’re talking because they’re waiting for a pause so they can interrupt? No! Then be the listener you want them to be.

    2. Keep Your Responses Relevant

    Does your input compete with the situation shared by the other party or does it enhance it? To often we share our version because it’s “better” or “worse” than theirs (ie: “You thought that was bad? Listen to what happened to me last summer!”) or we’re trying to prove that we’re even funnier. This is passive-aggressive at its root and not the foundation for a comfortable conversation.

    Your responses should be just that, responses. This person is sharing something with you that they care about. They’re not trying to out-do you or brag. People typically share things because it was exciting to them and they want to share that feeling with their listeners. If you will go into each conversation with this assumption, it will make it easier for you to be a listener and a participant without being a topic derailer.

    3. Ask Questions Instead Of Relating

    The typical thing to do after someone shares a story is to come back with a similar happening in our own world. It’s our attempt at relating but it waters down the conversation and steals the thunder of the storyteller. When we don’t have a way to relate, commonly we will respond with a statement, “That sounds awesome,” or simply, “Wow”. This hands the ball back to the storyteller… but gives them nowhere to go. The best response is to start asking questions. Pull more of the story out of them. You’ll see their face light up at your interest, and as an added bonus, you don’t have to think of a way to relate!

    4. Bait Your Hook

    When the storyteller is done, then it’s your turn. Do yourself a favor though, give them just a title and tagline before you read the entire article. Put just a bit of your story out and see if there’s any interest before you waste their and your time. It may sound something like this:

    “You know, one time I fell down a cliff too. It’s the tumble that nearly killed me.”

    See how that pulls you in? I just made that up but even I want to hear the rest of that story.

    Your Turn

    What tips would you have for our readers? What do you hate about folks who can’t listen? Share your thoughts in the comments!

    How To Tell…

    February 18, 2009 · 0 comments


    I was looking up an article I wrote on How To Tell A Funny Story to see how it ranked in Google’s search results. Google begins offering suggestions as you type, showing you popular search words/phrases. I took a screen shot of what was being suggested because it made me sad.

    I know why it affected me… what does it say to you? (click to make it big)

    help-1400x1400This first installment of our new weekly mini-casts focuses on redefining discipline with a God-centered viewpoint.

    Be sure to check back each week for more.



    Nine out of 10 parents have heard their parents swear in front of them, according to research.

    This article and study is from the UK, but are we in the States any better?

    Nine out of 10 parents swear in front of children [via telegraph.co.uk]


    There are approximately 20 million podcasts available for download across the world. Most of them are probably crap. For many, that’s okay. They just want the experience of doing a podcast, they don’t really care about the listener. But for many of us, though we don’t have the greatest equipment and resources, we want to sound like we do. Since we’re poor and ill-equipped we have to find more creative ways (read: cheaper) to pull off that professional air we’re going for. Here are a few tips that I give when someone asks me how to help their podcast stand out from the crowd. [click to continue…]