imakidmin: find your element

My friend Michael Chanley has done it again. He has given the kidmin community another opportunity to connect and network online and with imakidmin maybe offline.

Chanley created Cmconnet a couple of year ago and it has quickly become a sort of  kidmin facebook I know I found a couple of kids pastors who live near me through Cmconnect. Enter imakidmin a social media site where you fill out a map of the US and the world by putting your physical location down on the map. I was amazed how many people I follow on twitter and read their blogs live within driving distance and that’s saying something for someone who doesn’t live anywhere near the buckle of the bible belt.

Check out Chanley’s new site and put yourself on the map literally. You can get to his site by clicking this link or by clicking the green element ad to the right.

Retro Post: What the church can learn from Ratatouille: Volunteer management

[Here is a post I did awhile back Mary-Kate posted a comment today so I thought I would bring it back up for debate or perhaps food for thought (pun intended)]
I saw this movie the other day and loved it. Pixar rocks. I thought there were quite a few clips that could be used as illustrations for kids or adults.

The first one I saw was in the opening sequence when Remy the rat first discovers he has a amazing sense of smell he knows that it is for something creative and good. He ends up saving his family from being killed because he could smell rat poison. How do they thank him. They make him the official food sniffer. They make him smell the garbage they are all eating. He ends up having to leave the family to find a place to express his gift.

I think the church does this to people all the time. We find out something that people are good at an make them do that instead of what they are passionate about. When someone comes to our church and we find out they are the best first grade teacher in city we in kidsmin start salivating. We can’t wait to get them plugged in doing something for our elementary aged kids. What I have found to be more effective is to interview that person find out what they love doing, just because someone does something for their job and just because someone is good at what they do for work doesn’t always mean they are passionate about it.

To find the best volunteers find out what love to do why they love it and make a place for them. Don’t try forcing people in to places you have created because you have a need alone, because someone else will come along and see the genius inside them. If you want to grow your volunteers know your volunteers.

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today my beautiful bride turns — ! When I think of my wife I am there are so many things that flood my mind. I love that she is Italian, she’s an amazing cook. She is a great homemaker and creates an amazing environment for our family to grow in. My wife is an amazing mother. I love that we share the same values in life. I love that she helps me know when I am misplaceing my priorities. I love that she is happy for me when I do well and there for me when I fail. I love that we see eye to eye when it comes to raising our kids, we have our disagreements but how to raise our kids isn’t one of those. She is an amazing partner in ministry, part of the reason I can even have my little blog is that she allows me to write late at night (so I can keep up with my day job), and never gives me a hard time about it.

She is more beautiful today than the first day I saw her and was smitten. I know for a fact I would not be were I am or half of who I am if it wasn’t for my wife being who she is in my life. I am blessed to have a women like her to grow old with. Which we are doing quite nicely by the way.

Love you Babe.

Jump starting parent/kid connections.

I am currently reading a book by the Heath Brothers called Switch. In this book they talk about helping people with change. Finding the switch in a change situation. One of the things they said that has gotten me thinking in regards to family ministry is something they call shrink the change. The basic idea behind shrink the change is when people are given a headstart they are more likely to finish than if they are forced to start from scratch. The example they give is 100 people are given a stamp book in which you need 8 stamps for a free wash another 100 people are given a stamp book with 10 stamps needed but with 2 stamps already recorded. So both groups needed 8 stamps total. The first group only 16 people completed the 8 stamps and in the second group 36 people completed the stamps and they did so before the first group.

Here is how it translates to kidmin. I have been thinking about what milestones would look like in our church. In my opinion on of the hardest parts for parents is starting something like this from scratch. Most parents don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed by the volume of information, and if their kids are older they may feel like they missed some major opportunities. Another reason that parents won’t get involved is they feel inadequate.

So here’s my thought about the whole milestone thing. What if we had a milestone or a couple of milestones that were something parents are already doing? So we can celebrate with them and they would think “maybe I am not such a bad parent after all”. Every parent wants to do what’s best for their kids I think they they just need a gentile nudge in the right direction.

So let me ask you, what would you say is something we can use to “prestamp” if you will a parents participation in their child’s spiritual development?

My new intern: Rebekah Guiney

Rebekah grew up in Redeemer Church. She has a genuine passion to serve kids and families and feels called to children’s ministry. I asked her to type out why she knows she is called. There are few things more powerful than a personal testimony that you can go back to and revisit when times get though. Here is hers.

I have always wanted to work with children but I never thought about being a Children’s Pastor until God opened my eyes to it. I love being around children and I’m probably one of very few people who are excited about babysitting.  I’m extremely proud of kids as I watch them learn, especially about God’s love.

I would love to be a Children’s Pastor for so many different reasons. The first and most important reason is because I know God has called me to this. It is because of God that I have a gift to work with children. I have so much patience and excitement to see the eyes of children get bigger when they hear that the bible is actually interesting. My story is a little different because God told me that I was going to be a Children’s Pastor through a vision. There were three children standing outside. God was holding onto to them while he showed me that in one direction there was darkness and in the other there was light and the church.  After this God led me to hold onto the children and pushed us towards the light. This vision was significant in three ways. The first is because God showed me that I was special. He has called me out to help direct children and guide them away from the darkness. The next reason is because God was actually in the vision that he sent me. This is a great remembrance that I am not going to do this alone. When God has called you to do something, whether big or small, he won’t push it your way if you can’t handle it and won’t leave you to wonder how it’s going to work. The third way this vision meant a lot was because right after God showed me the vision he reminded me that I had the same vision when I was in kid’s church myself. Yes, even children can hear God’s voice.

If there is one thing that I have learned by reading the bible and having a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, it is that you NEVER ignore the voice of God. Therefore, I don’t just think I’m going to be a Children’s Pastor and I don’t just think God was speaking to me directly.  I Know it! It is so exciting to hear from God and most constant, passionate prayer is that my friends and family would have a vision from God or hear his voice loud and clear. Hopefully it’s somewhere along the lines of, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”