Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Conference: Leading for the long haul.

lifeway kids ministry conference

Leading for the long haul

Lesson #1 Motivation: who benefits from what i do. –  The My kids and the team I am apart of. –

Motivation gets tested early –
Need a kingdom mindset. No job in kids ministry is more important than the other – We are all building the kingdom by using the gifts God has given us
That can feel sort of vague but when you understand who you work for Jesus Christ and who benefits from what you do? Your kids, your pastor and ultimately your church. It helps you with your motivation.
Watch for wrong motivations

God and children share a divine quality – They both have the divine ability to destroy ego.

We all have a very active sin nature and can sometimes think more of ourselves than we should but if you and I want to last for the long haul we need to ask ourselves do I have the same attitude as Christ Jesus? What helps me make it for the long haul reading Philippians 2 and asking God to do this in me.

Philippians 2:1-11
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Lesson #2 Maturity:

If you want to grow as a christian and as a leader you need to learn how to be a self-feeder.

How do you become a self feeder –
1. Read your bible. – Is more than a textbook it’s a guidebook
2. Practice Transparent Faith – TF only takes place in the context of relationship – Find a small group and live transparently.
Do I think we as leaders should talk openly about everything we are dealing with? No. I do think that creating a healthy church environment starts by doing what James tells us to do: confess our sins to each other that we may be healed.

I believe that people who are far from God can identify more with our transparency
than they can with our super-spirituality
3. Leverage Collaborative Connections – This is something that was missing from my life up until 5 years ago. I wanted it just didn’t know how to make it happen. – It makes all the difference.

Your Pastor
Other kids pastors

You may say I’m just a kids pastor why would I bother using twitter to talk to other kids people. You may not but you can talk to other small group leaders in your church and learn from each other. Ask your leaders questions the more you know the more you grow the better it is for you kids, for your leaders and ultimately the church.
[It’s important that you network and ask others for input children’s ministry can be very isolating you need to make sure you don’t get isolated or overwhelmed because that will lead to discouragement.]

Lesson #3 Dealing with discouragement:

A big reason many leaders quit kids ministry is due to prolonged periods of discouragement.
Early warning signs I look for in myself:
1. Irritability
2. Lack of Focus
3. Pessimistic outlook on life
4. Tired
5. Apathetic
6. Frustrated by small things

I look for any of these things starting to creep up in my life if and when I notice them I realize that the clock is ticking and I need to take steps to counter them or it will only get worse.  Here are some of the things I do when I start to see signs of discouragement in my life.

1. Ask God for help
2. Talk to accountability partners and close friends about what I am feeling.
3. Make sure I am reading my bible.
4. I am a big music person – Listening to worship music does wonders for me personally
5. Practice Thankfulness  – Jim Wideman taught me this one (to be honest if this is all I learned from Brother Jim it would be enough. This his helped me more than anything. When I feel discouraged thanking God helps me with my perspective.)
6. Spend time with friends and family – nothing helps discouragement more than surrounding yourself with people who know your good, bad and ugly and  love you any way.

If you want to last for the long haul and leave a legacy

1. Always support your Pastor. If you find yourself in a place when you no longer do, it’s time that you need to find another Pastor who you can support.
2.  Make sure you measure success by the right standards. Tools we use do not measure our effectiveness but by life change that results from the tools we may or may not have.
3.  Life change is not measured in weeks and months but rather in years and decades.
4. Your family is the best indication of your success in life and ministry.”
You will have short term successes but true success is not measured in weeks or years but in decades. To see fruit that remains in your life and ministry you need to lead for the long haul.

People don’t notice. – Our church is huge on kids ministry and still some people said to me when I transitioned to campus pastor people said how does it feel to finally be a pastor.

My mom said about the applause of man vs. applause of God.

One of the coolest things I’ve experienced In kids ministry happened to me just this week. In teaching kids you get cards and notes from kids some recognizable some not so much. But for pastor appreciation month one of my volunteer staff made a scrap book of notes kids and volunteers wrote tell of the impact I’ve had on them. What was crazy for me was some of those kids who 13 years ago had made squiggly pictures

My Prezi for this talk.


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