Tag Archives: support

Gaining Respect For Your Ministry, Part 1

There is a secret issue just under the surface in the ministry lives of many children’s ministers. The issue is the feeling of a lack of respect from others about what we do. We work with children and are separated from the main service. It’s easy for us to feel removed, forgotten, taken for granted and disrespected. Continue reading

Sponsor My Biggest Buzz Lightyear Project Yet!

**Update!!** We made goal! Thanks!!
Any extra donations are welcome… but will go toward other Buzz Projects.

I’ve got a huge idea… and you can help me pull it off!

Ever seen folks use Solo-style cups to spell out words on a chain-link fence? Imagine that taken to the next level. I want to purchase enough multi-colored cups to create a huge Buzz Lightyear.

Here’s a photoshop mock-up of what he’ll look like:

It’s going to take over 600 cups to create this masterpiece… and that’s where you come in.

Consider sponsoring a cup (or several cups) for 25 cents each. When I complete the project and post it on the site, I’ll list the names of everyone who gave in order of how many cups they sponsored.

So how about it? Can you spare a quarter (or more) for this cause?

Check back as I will update this post with the progress.

Cups Needed: 605
Cups Sponsored: 605
– 9:46pm 3/8/2011
Cups Remaining: 0!!


Flash Jervis
Michael Shannon
Monica Mason
Too Much Information Podcast
Obsessive Comics Disorder
Axe Cop! (Ethan Nichole)
David Godbout
John Stienklauber
Traci Haley
David Weyers
Jennifer O’Rourke
Brittany Parrish
Josh Kessie
Between Your Ears Podcast
Vanessa Perez
Michael Klein
Jennifer Kennison
Mat Pace
Patricia Sanchez
Jared Miller
Winnie Van de Broeck

Sponsor 1 Cup – .25


Sponsor 4 Cups – $1.00


Sponsor any number of cups – You choose.

Build A Super Simple Puppet Stand

I was going through my very own storage area and happened upon some old puppets. I realized they were standing up on their own which was odd. It turned out they were being supported by toilet plungers! Genius!

So if you need a super simple, super cheap option for keeping your puppets vertical and clean, go pick up a cheap toilet plunger!

10 Things That Can Ruin Your Children’s Ministry: I’m Not One Of Them

I found a link to this excellent article on ChildrensMinistry.com via a buddy on Facebook. I was sure I’d be listed as one of the top ten things that would ruin a good kids ministry… but I guess I’m number 11 or 12.

Number 1 on the list is communication.

1. Lack of communication — If people don’t know what’s happening in your ministry they assume nothing of consequence is happening. Refuse to communicate, and your children’s ministry will never be a priority to the church and community. People vital to your ministry need to know what’s going on in order to support the work. If they don’t know about it, they can’t support it.

Talk about your ministry with your pastor, other staff members, volunteers, parents, the community and children. Promote your ministry in church publications, community advertising, and best yet, word of mouth from satisfied participants.

If I had an 11 or 12 to add they would be:

11. Lack of Personal Spiritual Growth – It can be easy to get disconnected from the “Big Church” and miss the worship, sermons and fellowship that nurture and grow most Christians. It’s also easy to fall into the habit of only reading the Bible and studying in order to create lessons and sermons for ministry. Make sure some of it is just for you! Make time in your schedule to go to an Adult Service at least once a month.

12. A Bad Attitude – Children’s Ministers are often tempted to be huge complainers. Often they’re under the impression they’re just being visionary… but vision needs to be balanced with being completely grateful and content with the resources God has given you already. There’s a spiritual principal here… if you’re faithful over the little (even a little budget or a little team), God will make you master over much.

Read the article here: 10 Things That Can Ruin Your Children’s Ministry

When A Key Volunteer Quits…


What do you do when someone you depended on quits Children’s Ministry? Maybe it’s a top level coordinator or just someone who said they would do music for VBS. The job they were going to do doesn’t matter… the fact that you’re not stuck with it, or unable to do the program because of it, is. It can be easy to panic when you get those emails or phone calls. I’ve recently had this happen to me. It changes things, but I’ll adjust and eventually have the same outcome. I guess that’s the point after all.

Here are some tips for dealing with big jobs that get abandoned.

1. Don’t Panic

This is not a choice you can make just after you’re disappointment happens. This is a choice you make today… before anything goes haywire. Are you going to be a person of action… or reaction? I don’t know about you, but I want to be in control of what comes out of my mouth… and though it’s true that no one can tame the tongue… you can control where the tongue is speaking from. If your heart is focused on the One you live to serve, if you realize who is in control, that heart will overflow out of your mouth when the time comes. Make the choice today to not panic.

2. Don’t Burn Bridges

Like Moses said, “Let your people go!”… kinda. You may be angry, hurt, upset, disappointed… but let them go easy! You’re going to have a ton of feelings toward them… none of them will be good ones. None of them will be based on anything other than what you think they’ve done to you. You can’t base decisions on bad thinking. So make your choice now… when they call or email… let them off easy. I always make a point to let them know that the door swings both ways, in a positive sense. They’re welcome back anytime! I can count on two hands the number of volunteers I’ve gotten back because I gave them a guilt free exit.

3. Trust Your Real Source

Both step one and step two rely on step 3 to work. You’ve got to realize where your help comes from. It’s not a volunteer, your spouse or your pastor… not even in yourself. Your help comes from the Lord (creator of Heaven and Earth). Also, it’s HIS ministry, HIS kids, His church, HIS passion and therefore HIS responsibility. Trust that God has a plan to work everything out for your good and HIS glory. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send you laborers… it’s HIS harvest field… if he wants it harvested, he’ll have to send you folks to help! He does and He will.

4. Think Outside Your Circle

Okay, so the spiritual stuff is good… but what about the help you need? God helps those who help themselves right? Maybe. I prefer to say that we do what we can do and God does what we can’t. If you’re like me, you’ve tapped about just about everyone you know. It may be time to think outside your circle. Pray a bit and ask God to open your mind to someone who may have the right skill set to do what you need done. Ask them directly, letting them know what skills attracted you to them. Offer a limit to their service… say, three months. Tell them they can visit before they commit. If they bite, awesome, if not… keep praying until God delivers.

Trials like this are never fun. They’re one of the more frustrating things you’ll deal with in ministry. But like any struggle, you can just go through it… or you can go through it and have God’s purpose work in you as a result. You’re going to go through it anyway… might as well do it God’s way and get some benefits!

5 Things To Help With Children’s Ministry Burnout


You often see articles on how to avoid burnout in ministry… but what about when it sneaks up on you? How can you get out of the hole of despair your in? Below I’ve listed some things that help me when the well doing makes me weary.

5. Time Away – but not necessarily

Taking time off if you haven’t had a break can be a great way to recharge… but not always. Sometimes taking a break can be like running away. If you don’t do things to recharge in your time away, you’ll end up coming back right into the same situations as ill prepared as you were before.

4. Act Your Way Into Feelings

I’m not talking about faking a good mood… though we’ve all been there. That would be an attempt to feeling your way into actions… which is killer. Acting your way into feelings means that you get up, get out there and keep on trucking. If you can’t do everything you’re supposed to do, do what you can do. Give God room to move in your ministry life by continuing to do as much of it as you can. The rest of the steps depend on this.

3. Change Things Up

Most of the time we’re not burned out on ministry as a whole… we’re just burned out on parts of it. It may be time for a change in those areas. I’m a fan of giving away parts of the ministry that grind my nerves away to those who are especially gifted at it. Even if you don’t delegate everything… doing it differently can be just the thing to renew your interest and passion.

2. Ask For Help

We get burned out when we try to do more than we can handle. Sure, there are things God has called us to do that may be beyond us and all… but His yoke is easy and all that. I’m talking about when we take on to much and try to do it all ourselves. It’s time to delegate. Don’t know how? Try asking yourself, “Who would take my place if I were sick this Sunday?” and go from there. You don’t have to give everything away… just the parts that anyone else can do.

1. Pray Through

As a child I would hear people talk about ‘praying through’. I didn’t understand it then… but I sure do now. Praying through, for me anyway, is praying until my attitude changes. Literally bugging God until He helps me through. Typically for me it means Him humbling me and realizing it was some sort of independent pride that got me where I was in the first place. Along with seeking energy, attitude adjustments and such, you might also ask for creativity… or if you’re season has changed. God loves you more than the ministry you provide. He knows that you minister out of your overflow… and He will fill you if you wait on Him.

5 Super Simple Ways To Bless The Socks Off Your Kids


5. Remember their name.

For me, this is a huge problem. I’m terrible with names across the board. I carry my drivers license so I can prove who I am… to myself. Nametags are great… but learning the names of your kids (other than the ‘bad’ ones) is huge. Remembering them after their out of children’s ministry is even better.

4. Tell on them to their parents when they’ve been extra good.

Sometimes in the chaos of a Sunday good behavior can be taken for granted. The last thing we want is our parents to start rolling their eyes when we approach them. Start telling on your kids when they’ve been caught being good. It’ll help you stay positive and the kids will love you for it.

3. Eat lunch with them at school and meet their Teacher(s).

With permission from a parent or guardian I have never had a problem getting in to eat lunch with one of my kids. I usually show up a bit early so I can meet the Teacher, see the classroom and most importantly, their own desk. This is especially good for your ‘bad’ kids. You might be surprised how good they are in school… or how they’ve improved since Kindergarten.

2. Get yourself invited to eat dinner at their home.

This is easy. Just ask the kids to bug their parents. You’ll get invites! It’s an excellent way to get into a family’s life. Have mom and the child give you a tour of the home and see the kid’s room. Remember a few things and mention them from the stage the next week. Watch their face.

1. Call them on their birthday.

A postcard is great… but a phone call on the day (or even the week) of their birthday has a greater effect on children and families than any other single thing I have ever done. If you have a small group, you’re probably looking at 2-6 calls a month. Put them in your planner and remember to check. Make weekend calls on Friday. Make Sunday calls in person with hug.

Behind The Scenes of the NLCast.com Website

I was asked today by one of the kids in my children’s ministry, “How do you make a website?” It gave me the idea of putting together a post with the details of what makes nlcast.com tick.

I use GoDaddy.com for hosting and domain registration. In my experience they are the cheapest and best for my purposes. You can save yourself some money (and help out the show) by using our codes.

I use WordPress for the website itself. WordPress is an excellent, free and easy to learn blogging platform that allows you to install themes that change the look and feel of your site instantly without changing the content itself. GoDaddy hosting makes installing WordPress simple by doing it for you.

The WordPress theme I use currently is a modified version of a premium theme called Simplista by WP Now. They liked what I did with the site so much, they asked to feature it in their Showcase.

I use a lot of plug-ins for WordPress. Plug-ins are free and easy to install. They add additional features to your WordPress blog that do not exist in the base platform. Here’s a list of what I use:

If you have questions about How I Podcast, you can visit the Podcast Resources category for a list of articles that will help you get started.

Do you have any great WordPress themes or plugins to share? Post them in the comments!

Most Children’s Ministry Gurus Don’t Minister To Me

When did children’s ministry become all about Leadership? Though I think that message appeals to the white-color, Starbucks-sipping, Mac toting children’s pastors (an observation, not a judgment)… I think the latest trend in children’s ministry is all but lost on a majority of the folks actually doing the ministry.

Most children’s ministers are unpaid untrained volunteers who have a lot of passion and ability but not a lot of ideas, support or resources. They also don’t have a budget. I think this is why the CM gurus have ignored the real need… there’s no money in it. I don’t see a lot of curriculum being created and marketed to the Inner City for instance.

The mother of 3 doing children’s ministry in the basement of the church with her husband doing puppets doesn’t need to know about leadership, time-management and budgeting. She needs to know how to create object lessons, how to discipline properly, how to stay motivated, how to work with nothing and turn it into spiritual growth in a child’s life.

My hope is that a movement will rise up. A community of mid-small church children’s ministers who are Kingdom minded enough to share what they’ve learned, what they have, what has kept them afloat. A group of folks who aren’t comparing numbers or conference appearances but may have accidently mastered some aspect of their ministry and would love to share it with the rest of us.

As MJ said… we’ve got to start with the man in the mirror… so here goes. If there is anything I can help anyone with… anything I have learned… anything I can give (that is mine to give)… please let me know. That is the goal of this site and podcast after all. To target the forgotten.

My charge to all of us: Forget about being popular. Be important.

This Is What I’ve Called You To… Can You Do It?

Yesterday’s post dealt with screwing up your legacy. I spoke of a message God had given on the way to the car. This post continues that event.

I sat in my car going through all of the things I needed to stop complaining about. There was a huge list. The truth is our church is a very hard church to serve. It’s just the truth. A slide show of situations and issues flipped through my mind. Volunteers. Parents. Finances. Inequity. Drama. Politics. Failures. Disappointments. Mistakes. Broken Hearts. Things the church had done to me… things I had done to the church.

God said, “Yeah, but this is what I’ve called you to… can you do it?”

That meant to much to me.

  1. He knew it was a tough job. It helped so much to have his understanding.
  2. It gave purpose to the drama. God had called me to help with it.
  3. He had called ME. He hadn’t been able to call some folks… apparently I was the man for the job.

I think God’s word to me is a word to us all… to those in ministry, to those in the workplace or who work to make a home. God called you! You are unique, able, enabled, and specifically gifted for the role He has given you to play.

Your church may be a world of drama. It may be the best thing in the world. The easiest place to work or not… but wherever it is… that’s what God called you to. There is a whole heap of energy in that.