Some Days.

January 29, 2015 — 1 Comment

messy-room

Some days are filled with toys every where.

Some days are filled with messy floors.

Some days are filled with scraped knees.

Some days are filled with tangled hair.

Some days are filled with art projects on the wall…with a sharpie.

Some days are filled with overflowing toilets.

Some days are filled with spilled milk and uneaten dinners.

Some days are harder than others.

Let’s be honest. If we would have known how hard parenting is and messy it can be, we might not have signed up for this.

But, now I am four kids in and find myself all in. And all in with four boys. Our house is loud. Our house is busy. Our house is an adventure that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

We have lots of hard days. We have days where we don’t know what to do. We have days we just beg for 5 minutes of quiet.

But, even through SOME DAYS, we still have EVERY DAY.

Yes, SOME DAYS are hard, but EVERY DAY can be purposeful.

EVERY DAY can be filled with GRACE.

EVERY DAY can be filled with LOVE.

EVERY DAY can be filled with JESUS.

It’s not always easy. When your child has poured shampoo and lotion and baby powder all over their bathroom for the third time in a week, love and grace and Jesus seem to be last on my list.

I find myself in those SOME DAYS moments needing grace and love and Jesus for myself more than anything.

And by me stopping and receiving the love and grace of Jesus before I speak and react, I have the incredible opportunity to show my children the same love and grace that I have received.

It’s not always easy, and many times I fail.

But when those SOME DAYS happen, I need to remind myself that I need Jesus EVERY DAY.

Speaking Their Language…

January 12, 2015 — 2 Comments

Kids Talking

Preschoolers speak their own little language.

Sometimes you have to lean in and really listen to figure out what they want/need.

Sometimes what they say is loud and jumbled.

When working with preschoolers our language has to be different. It has to be calming, trusting, loving, truthful, and caring. The language that we use is extremely important. The way that we communicate with preschoolers has the power to give them a clear picture of their heavenly Father.

Our language…our words…have power. They help us communicate, not only the greatest story in the world, but they also communicate a since of belonging…a since of being known…and a since of community.

If you have ever been to another country that speaks a different language than you, then you know the feeling. You feel like an outsider. You feel disconnected. You feel lost.

The church that I am a part of is a very multi-cultural church. Without knowing the exact number, we have well over a dozen nationalities represented inside the walls of our building.

The same goes for our preschool classrooms on Sunday mornings. Our rooms represent what the world looks like…diverse!!!

Yesterday morning, we had a Korean family visit our church for the first time. The little boy spoke english very well, but the little girl did not. My poor attempt to communicate with the little girl, who didn’t want to go in her classroom, only was received with odd looks and an obvious disconnect. I was having trouble communicating with her and she was having trouble communicating with me.

I was kneeling on the floor trying to comfort the little girl, when the lead teacher for that class asked me where she was from. I told him Korea, and quickly, one of our middle school student volunteers chimed in saying, “I am Korean!”

She walked over and the volunteer and that little girl began a conversation!

I don’t know what they talked about. But, I do know that that little girls eyes brightened and connected with a volunteer. It just a few short sentences that little girl felt connected. She felt known. She felt like she was a part.

Sometimes, we have to speak their language…literally!!!

More Than A Story.

December 15, 2014 — Leave a comment

books

Each week in our preschool classrooms you have the opportunity to teach the greatest story ever told.

You get the honor to sing songs that are catchy and fun.

You are blessed to have the chance to play, color, cut out, smile, give hugs and high fives.

ALL of those things are incredibly important in making an everlasting impact on the heart of a preschooler.

BUT, don’t let it just be a story. A song. An activity. A craft. A game. A hug or a high five.

– See more at: http://leadsmall.org/preschool/more-than-a-story/#sthash.yM7hj1XM.dpuf

WHY > WHAT/HOW.

September 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

golden-circle

Each week my team works hard to make sure that everything is taken care of for Sunday. We all have a checklist of things that have to get done?

Are there enough volunteers? How can we get more? What about emails? Subs?

Did all the curriculum get put out, cut out, purchased?

Are the rooms straightened? How did this mess happen?

Is Large Group ready? Why won’t the projector work?

Is the hall music on? Who forgot to charge the iPod?

Did all the emails get answered? How do I respond to that one?

Have we? Did we? How? What?

We all have our checklist.

Each week we fill our week with making sure that things get done and sometimes we forgot that the WHAT/HOW is not as important as the WHY.

The WHY has to remain at the center of WHAT and HOW you are doing what you do. 

Ultimately, each week, through ALL of the details to make sure that Sunday is an amazing experience for our preschoolers, we want our preschoolers to know about the God who LOVES THEM, who MADE THEM, and wants to be THEIR FRIEND FOREVER.

If we can begin setting a foundation in their little hearts and minds we will win. When the WHAT and HOW becomes more important than the WHY we lose.

The WHY is BETTER than the WHAT!!!

The WHAT is important. The HOW is important. Details matter. Please don’t misunderstand that these are crucial in your programming and planning. But the heart of a child is the most important thing. The WHY has to be center. 

So the next time your child tells you the Bible story and they don’t get ALL of the details right or it sounds funny, just know that God is taken up space in their little hearts and minds, and THAT is the most important thing.

Find some time this week to remind yourself that the WHY is better than the WHAT and the HOW.

One hundred years from now the only thing that will matter is someone’s relationship with God.

– Reggie Joiner, Think Orange

Do you do this with you team? Make it a regular part of your communication with your team and your volunteers? 

Is-MLM-Recruiting-Without-Cash-Possible

Probably one of the most important things that we do but also one of the hardest things too, is recruiting new volunteers.

The reality is…we all need people.

We need people to fill holes. We need a small group leader here. We need one there. We need. We need. We need.

Every one of us could immediately give a list of the positions, small group leaders, worship leaders, hosts, etc. that we need.

Here are a couple of tips of recruiting new volunteers.

Don’t use the word NEED.

Yes, you need them. But instead invite them to something bigger.

Invite them to a vision not a spot.

Invite them to changed lives not a position.

Invite them to be a part of something great not a need.

When we INVITE others to a vision, a mission, and being a part of something bigger, we give them more value and they become a part of what is happening in your ministry, not a spot-filler. 

Don’t do it ALONE.

One of the greatest recruiting tools that you have are your current volunteers. They have the firsthand experience to invite someone to something great. They have a story to SHARE.

Have your volunteers invite family and friends to come check it out with them.

Have your volunteers SHARE their stories of what serving has done for them.

Have your volunteers use the circles that they are a part of, to ask!!!

You can only reach so many people. Your volunteers can reach so many more.

Get the PASTOR on board.

If volunteering is truly important in your church, the PASTOR should be pushing that from the stage. If you continue to have a lack of volunteers and your pastor is not pushing for volunteers, you will continue to have a lack of volunteers.

Recently, our church did a big push for volunteers church-wide. Every area of ministry had a number of volunteers that were needed for their ministry. Our preschool number was 59. We wanted 59 people to step up and serve.

We had a yarn-artist create these incredible boards to physical show how many volunteers we wanted to SAY YES to serving. You couldn’t miss them. They were all over the church. Each ministry had one located close by.

For weeks the PASTOR shared what these meant, it was throughout our publications, and it was a part of our conversations with parents, social media, volunteers, and anyone we came in contact with. It all led up to one Sunday where the PASTOR, started a series called SAY YES, and pushed people to get out of their seats and sign up to serve, SAY YES!!! These boards were located around the back of the auditorium and people would come and clip their card to the area of ministry that they wanted to serve.

photo

It’s NOT a ONE TIME deal.

Recruiting is not something that should happen once, or even twice a year. Recruiting should be a regular process of what you do. It’s when you talk to a parent or a student, and they have heard about some great things happening in your ministry. It’s in that moment that you invite them to be a part of it. Recruit should just always be on our minds, but on our weekly to-do list. It should always be a part of what we do.

So schedule that phone call, that coffee meeting, or dinner with a few people you see potential in.

There are a group of people that your need to INVEST in right now…make your list, and…Share with them what you are doing and invite them to be a part of something BIG. 

Recruiting can be a hard thing, but it doesn’t have to be.

What are some things that you do to help recruit new volunteers into your ministry!!!

 

MarriedPeople_Book_Cover
Who doesn’t like a deal? Of course…everyone likes to get a deal…Plus this one is all about partnering the church with married people. Because, well…they should go together!!! 

Our friends over at Orange Books are offering some great deals this week. You can get any of the deals, any day this week, but we really like today’s featured deal:

Buy one copy of the book Married People, and get all of the following:

  • “Why Marriage Ministry Is Doable for Every Church” (Orange Conference 2014 breakout by Ted Lowe, audio file)
  • “Married and in Ministry” (Orange Conference 2014 breakout by Ted Lowe and Doug Fields, audio file)
  • An annual subscription to MarriedPeople E-ZINE (a monthly resource of ideas, insights, and “go and do’s” you can email to the married couples in your church)

Plus, when you tweet or share on Facebook any of the deals using the hashtag #OrangeBooks, you’ll be entered to win a prize. 

Go to OrangeBooks.com to learn more.

forgive

The other day I wrote a post about forgiveness and how my boys need to see me model that. You can read it here.

Well, the other night my sweet little 3 year old boy came silently walking down the stairs, after bed time. My wife and I were sitting downstairs and he came walking over and gave me a big hug.

He looked up at me and said to me in his sweet little voice, “Daddy, will you forgive me for yelling at you?”

“Absolutely, buddy! I forgive you!”

He smiled and started back up the stairs.

He then stopped, just a few steps up, looked through the railing and said, “Do you forgive me for being out of my bed too?”

It was so funny, but I replied, “I sure do. Sleep good!”

I love that he is already realizing his need to be forgiven.

I am praying that I continue to model that well for my family and that they will continue to seek forgiveness!!!

How are you modeling forgiveness with your family?