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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. 

Make Your Ministry Shine 2

Here are more helpful tips to make your ministry shine with internal public relations.

One of my favorites is "Share your stories with "megaphone members." Keith Johnson writes, "There's always someone in your church who's the first to know everything...take them to breakfast once a month to fill them in on your secret successes...your stories will become legend as they're repeated throughout your church."

I think another twist on this is to use "holy gossip." Talk about the good things people are doing in your ministry. When that bit of "gossip" comes back to the person, it'll be a positive affirmation. Plus, the good stories get shared with others. For example, say "You'll never believe what Tom is doing with his small group" or "I've discovered that Roma has a secret musical gift that our kids love in worship time!" Always share the good news about others!

Here's more:

* Attend the right meetings (when your ministry is being discussed)

* Make the good better.

* Change the wattage of your light bulbs (no more dim hallways)

* Freshen up the smell in your nursery area

I have to tell you that I often share "holy gossip" about you as a children's minister. I tell everyone who'll listen in our company that you are the most noble, idealistic, vision-filled, loving, creative people I've ever met! And you can definitely share that with others!

Posted at 18:48

Make Your Ministry Shine

Over my next few blogs, I'm going to share some great tips for internal public relations (adapted from an article written by Keith Johnson for CMMag).

#1. Publish your good news. If you don't tell people about the amazing things that are happening in your ministry, how will they know? I used to create a weekly one-page newsletter for our ministry. Not only did I give it to every child and parent, but I also put it in the mailboxes of our elder board and staff. I included big and small successes in this newsletter. And it was amazing to see how "for" our ministry our church leaders were because they knew God was moving.

So include stories about kids coming to Christ, families joining your church, great discoveries (those are the big ones). But also include stories about a child who shared his faith with a friend, a child who prayed outloud for the first time, a team member who expressed great joy in service.

I can tell you that because we did this, whenever we asked our leaders for something (a new VPU, window coverings, whatever), they were more than eager to help us out. (That and they were amazing people who loved to see Jesus on the move!)

The next two ideas are:

2. Deliver more than you promise.

3. Celebrate EVERY success.

Check back for more next time!

Posted at 22:35

I'm JUST Saying...

Don't say "just"...even if you're talking to your spouse, your friends, or your kids! Don't do it!

Here's why...I was chatting with Sophia Winter, our advertising director, and she said that a common communication mistake we make is to say things like "I'm just a children's minister" or "I'm just an editor" or "I'm just a mother" or "I just teach 4-year-olds."

Sophia says that adding "just" to the sentence minimizes us in our own view and in others' views of us. So let's just stop it...now! Just like that! Without any just cause other than we're more than we often think we are. And we're certainly more in God's eyes than "just" makes us out to be. So we don't need to say we're "just anything."

The funny thing is that this weekend my husband and I were driving through Fort Collins, and we saw a store called "Just Office Furniture." Guess what? Out of business! Could it be that "Office Furniture" would've made it, but "just" gave the lethal blow?

We may never know. But, today, let's cleanse "just" from any reference to ourselves!  (And while we're at it, let's keep "only" out of the conversation, too, when referring to the amazing callings God has given us!)

Posted at 15:49

What It Means to Be a Pro

I got acrylic nails today (yes, it is weird to type with them), but Abby was getting ready for prom so we had mother/daughter time at the nail salon. We were bonding.

And I was thinking...the gal who did my nails was a real professional. And it inspired me to think about what it means to be a professional.

* She was quick because she was experienced. It's the same kind of quick decision-making that happens when you stick in there in ministry and hone your skills.

* She knew exactly what to do when. A Pro makes quick decisions that are informed because they've made so many decisions that they know which will fail and which will succeed.

* She was adept with her tools and had them within easy reach. We don't have to be able to do everything, but over time we become amazing with the tools we have. That's a Pro.

* She took responsibility; she'd ask "am I hurting you?" (the pain came later...it's weird). A Pro doesn't blame others for her actions. Oh, and she only nicked me twice. Not bad.

* She did great work. In the end, a Pro is known by the work produced. Is it excellent? Error-free? Polished to the nth degree? People will know you're a Pro by the kind of ministry you create--what's immediately visible...and in every hidden corner.

Today, strive to be a Pro! (And if you'd like a little extra help along the way, check out our Children's Ministry Professional Edition newsletter. It's completely digital and affordable (but I can't remember how much). So check it out by going to http://www.childrensministry.com/leaders/ I can tell you that I depend on it for refining my ministry to you! It's amazing!

Posted at 23:10

Copycats, Imitators, and Lookalikes

My frustration today...

Just having been at several conferences recently, I marvel at how much resource providers look alike. In fact, I asked a children's minister how in the world she could tell the difference between VBSes. "I'll tell you how I'm choosing this year," she said. "My husband is a beekeeper...so I'm choosing the one with the bee." "Well, you should try Buzz," I told her. "Nope...my volunteers like what we're using," she said.

So...wait. One decision is based on a bee...the other decision is based on volunteer satisfaction. Not on theological framework or the learning experience.

And that makes me wonder how to do a better job of helping children's ministers have an established framework to make decisions when it comes to selecting resources. It's much more than the art on the box or making volunteers happy. It's about having a strategy and a philsophy of ministry that are build on a mission and values that breathe into every decision. It's about understanding what's behind the box. It's taking a deep look at how kids will learn, what the outcomes will be, how God is revealed.

I just breathe a huge sigh of frustration when I listen to how these big decisions are often made. And, sadly, it's not from a well-informed framework or strategy all the time. And if it's not, how in the world will people be able to tell the difference between copycats, imitators, and lookalikes--deep within where it really matters?

Posted at 18:32

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