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Christine has over 20 years of children's ministry experience. She's the author of 10 books and hundreds of articles related to children's ministry. It's no wonder she enjoys an almost-daily latte to keep her going! She is also the executive editor of Children's Ministry Magazine and serves as Group's children's ministry champion, responsible for research, development, and innovation in children's ministry resources. 

Countdown to KidMin: 28 Days!

I can't believe we're this close to our national KidMin Conference in Chicago Oct 7-10. (www.childrensministry.com/kidmin)

There's a blur of activity around here as we pray and plan for all the details. Right now, I'm working on the details of the general sessions. I've been talking to our keynotes and love their hearts for Jesus, ministers, and this conference.

When I talked to Gina McClain about her topic of Bounce: Jesus Loves You!, she said that God had been working in her life to help her see it's not about what she does or doesn't do, but her identity is in Christ. (Thank you, God, for preparing Gina to minister to us!)

And in my phone conversations with the hilarious Jim Wideman (I can't talk about him without reverting to my Okie accent), he said that he's really looking forward to the conversations with ministers at KidMin! He pointed out that this is so rare that it's intentionally planned for in an event. I love that we value our conference guests talking to speakers and one another. It's a huge value for us!

We're doing something creative with both Jim's and Gina's keynotes, and I couldn't be more pleased with how open they are to being REAL. Their talks will be interactive and meaningful. So excited to see what God does through them!

Stay tuned...I'll keep you posted on the ins and outs of behind-the-scenes stuff (and try not to show you how much sleep I'm losing because I feel so behind!).

Hope you can join us at KidMin! There's still time. Check it out at www.childrensministry.com/kidmin

 

Posted at 15:57

KidMin Conference: Behind the Scenes

I'm so excited about the three bands that are coming to our KidMin Conference this October 7-10 in Chicago! Not just because they're extremely talented and make great music, but mostly because of their hearts!

Let me tell you about their hearts. Early on, we had a band coming that didn't work out. So we started searching for a replacement. When we contacted bands, we were a little shocked by their sticker price. So we said nope to those bands.

Then we contacted the manager for Leeland and explained to him that the most amazing people who minister to children and families will be at our conference. And that we want them to experience Jesus in meaningful ways.

He checked with Leeland and came back to tell us that they wanted to come. And not only that, they wanted to bring Building 429 and Royal Taylor since they were all starting their tour together. They were so excited about ministering to children's ministers and family ministers that big money wasn't an issue for them. They wanted to serve and minister!

Their humility...hearts for God...and hearts for kidmins were the exact fit for our conference. We've said from the beginning that this conference is about you...it's about conversation and connection...it's about everything but "the show." We're thrilled that these three bands are joining us in that endeavor!

Posted at 23:55

Volunteer Leadership Tip #5: Just Ask!

It seems like a no-brainer, but statistics show the #1reason people volunteer is because someone asked them!  Here are 3 quick steps for inviting someone into ministry.  It’s kind of like having a party—and your prospective volunteers are the VIPs.

Step 1 – The Guest List: Make a list of people with the right qualities.  Need someone friendly?  Organized?  Tech-savvy?  Use this as a primary filter.

Step 2 – The Invitation: When it comes to inviting people, get personal.  Either face-to-face or in a brief note. In your note, share how they will make a difference and briefly describe why you enjoy serving in your position.  Positive, high-energy statements are contagious!  End your note with a personal invitation to meet up and discuss the possibilities.

Step 3 – The Party – A Face to Face Meeting: Follow up to arrange a time to meet.  Share what God’s doing in your ministry, and how your “guest” could benefit from getting involved.  If they’re not ready to commit, invite them to observe.  There’s nothing like seeing God at work!

 Learn more best practices on inviting at www.churchvolunteercentral.com.

Posted at 22:51

Volunteer Leadership Tip #4: Equip Your Volunteers

I taught my son how to drive a stick-shift last night. It was frustrating when I sat on my side of the car and told him how. Once I said, "let me show you," I realized I'd been teaching him wrong. Actually driving the car reminded me of how to do it. Within seconds after we traded spots, he got it!

So the lesson learned? We can't equip others to do what we're not equipped to do. So even before we equip our volunteers, we need to get in touch with what's current, what works and doesn't, and how to do things ourselves...then pass that on.

I can't encourage you enough to keep learning...and then help your volunteers keep learning. Training meetings impossible to get volunteers to? Then reinvent your training with posts on facebook, tweets, quick emails or links sent, or send them to a site to watch a quick video.

So many volunteers quit their positions because they feel ineffective. But yours can feel equipped and sense the blessing from God of "well done, good and faithful servant" when you help them enjoy the ride!

Posted at 19:30

Volunteer Leadership Tip #3: Make It Clear

One of the most common reasons volunteers share for quitting is that they didn’t have a clear understanding of what was expected of them. It's frustrating for volunteers to answer God's call and then feel confused, overwhelmed, or under-utilized in service.

So make it a goal to develop job (ministry) descriptions that include the following elements: title, goal of the position, who they're accountable to, a brief summary describing the role,  approximate time required per week, the duration of service (a year?), and finally the benefits the volunteer will receive for doing the ministry.

If that feels overwhelming, check out www.churchvolunteercentral.com. Members of Church Volunteer Central can view and customize over 500 ministry descriptions as a benefit of their membership.  

Posted at 17:01

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