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But I Have A Full Time Job!

This is a message for the volunteer living a big life; How to run a kids ministry in 4 hours a week.

At Hillsong Church we have services ranging from maybe 10 kids all the way through to 700 kids in one service. On top of this we have full time staff members that are focused 7 days a week on children’s ministry as well as volunteer Pastors that oversee age groups on top of their normal day to day commitments.  A large part of our role is training people to be able to do more with less and enable them to have a large influence despite their seeming lack of time.

So myself and Nathan Mclean got our heads together and decided to put together our thoughts on what we would do if we weren’t full time at a Church and were running a children’s ministry with a full time job and maybe only 4 hours a week to make Church happen!

So watch the video, we truly believe it can help you!

VIDEO NOTES:

  • Hour 1. Leadership
  • Hour 2. Program
  • Hour 3. Pastoral
  • Hour 4. Prayer/Communication

Take an hour each week to focus on LEADERSHIP. This is the people part of your team, the delegating and getting things ready part of the team.

This could look like a key team meeting, which forms the basis of how we do what we do at Hillsong Kids.

Spend an hour getting your PROGRAM  ready. Writing your message, preparing runsheets for the service,

Do not neglect the midweek PASTORING. Visit the hospital (vital and an incredible opportunity), make the calls, pray with your families.

And remember, its all for naught if Jesus isn’t in the centre. Keep the main thing, the main thing, and PRAY. You are the chief COMMUNICATOR, there should be no-one more passionate about reaching the kids and families of your Church. So get the word out and make sure your team has everything they need to fulfil their mission!

Of course, you are not a lone ranger, every other person you involve in ministry creates a exponential reach. So build that team!

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The Ultimate Kidmin Conference Cheat Sheet

I spent a very quick few days in Columbus Ohio last week speaking at the Kidmin conference. Apart from feeling the jet lag a little more than in the past I found myself in a brand new conference experience put on by Group Publishing.

The amount of training that happens is astonishing in it’s variety and sheer volume requiring a telephone book sized yellow sheet just to recap all the topics and sessions! So with that in mind, here are some tips to help you survive the experience.

1: Find a friend and organise a buddy system. Perhaps you could create code names for each other like ‘Alpha Moon’, ‘Tomato Bob’ or ‘Larry Cucumber’ that you can yell out in an emergency. Here I have pictured two men doing just that. Wayne Stocks from Dad in the Middle Blog and Michael Chanley from CMConnect are now establishing contact with each other and assigning codes… I believe Michael went for ‘Louisville Kitty’.

ohio-chanley

2. Find people with similar hairlines to your own. This is myself and Steve Adams from Saddleback Kids very relieved to have found each other and realising that both our hairlines have seen better days. Steve has teenagers and so has progressed towards complete cue ball faster than me, but I have no doubt that I will catch him up at some point. You can just make out Michael Chanley photobombing at the back still nervously looking.

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3. Get your selfie on with a guy in a mohawk. Jeff from JumpStart3 was an ever present presence in the resource area and a guy with big dreams and the guts the go after them. Which brings me to the guy on my left.

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4. Bring along the legend that runs Hillsong Music. We just recently released Faith, Hope and Love a 9 week curriculum for both Preschool and Primary/Elementary and it’s awesome (I haven’t really mentioned it on the blog strangely). Tim Whincop and Josh Olson both were with me and made the Hillsong Kids stand happen.

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There were many moments that happened at Kidmin conference meeting people like Wayne Stocks and Gina McClain both bloggers who I have been following for a long time! Meeting Christine Yount Jones the editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine and seeing her enthusiasm for helping leaders in kidmin. I did want to catch Dale Hudson who writes probably the most consistent kidmin blog there is and I did see Anthony Prince in passing at some point. But next time I do this I think a blogger meetup would be in order!

Thanks Kidmin, we had a great time!

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1 reason to visit Columbus Ohio

As you travel the world, one destination towers over the rest in the search for international prominence.

Columbus.

It screams out from brochures, demanding your attention as you forget about Paris, London and New York. Drowning out your reservations with “We have a replica of Christopher Columbus’ historic ship the Santa Maria“. 

So I am sure there are lots of reasons to visit Columbus Ohio, but to be fair, there is only one reason I am here.

It’s the KidMin Conference by Group Publishing and Children’s Ministry Magazine.

I had a walk around the city this morning, grabbed great bacon omelette (international travel rules dictate, in the US? eat bacon) breakfast from a tiny little place around the corner from the hotel suggested by this great blog Breakfast with Nick. And then had a stroll around the rather massive count of high-rise buildings in the downtown area.

Seriously, there is a lot of tall buildings for 800,000 people (Apparently lots of state government departments are here).

But let me get serious for a moment. I am quietly excited about this conference. I have never been a part of an event run by Group before so I will be learning all I can, about how they do what they do. There are friends here and new friends to be met. If you are at the conf. come by the Hillsong Kids stand and check out some new resources!

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Kidshaper Conference Highlights

Kidshaper conference was a fantastic event in August.

We try and get as many of our team to attend as possible knowing that it will be a time where we get to be inspired, encouraged and perhaps most importantly hang out together without the pressure of task and ministry.

Andy Kirk is a champion with a very special place in my heart. His rebranding of the event makes me happy, his passion for ministry makes me happy, his innovation and the inner workings of his brain make me happy.

He is an absolute gift to the ACC in Australia. In short, when he asks me to jump, I ask how high? 

Kidshaper 2014 Highlights from ACC Kids on Vimeo.

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The worst word in kidmin

I present to you, fair reader, the worst word in kidmin:

…’Worksheet’

Doesn’t that just scream fun! Tell me more! I’m in! Yay!

It’s that thing that you hand out to the kids to reinforce the theme/topic you are discovering. It’s that thing the kids do during their small group time, it’s that thing that I just can’t stop calling a ‘worksheet’.

It causes me pain, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement.

What do you call them?

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Four kidmin leadership panels you should watch today

Andy Kirk is a champion.

Full stop.

I don’t know how he does it… family, ministry, entrepreneur…

But he does it and he does it well.

He oversees Kids R Us in Australia here and I think you should get to know him, connect with him, and at some point meet him and ask him questions! A good place to do that is at the annual Kidshaper conference.

He got together myself, Nathan Mclean and a few legends from Australia to talk about #kidmin and leadership etc. for a panel discussion. I love this style of learning and leadership and I think you should watch them! I just rewatched them and it reminded me of so much and kept me thinking about the things that are important!

You can find them in the resources tab at the KidsRUs website. Or head over to their Vimeo Account for more!

Kids R Us – Leadership Panel – Session 1 from Kids R Us on Vimeo.
 

 

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Why do you put the chairs out?

So I have seen a few children’s ministry tour/remodelling pictures where there are seemingly amazing facilities filled with beautiful stages, incredible murals on the wall and spectacular entrances and their sitting in the middle of the picture are chairs.

Now first of all I get over the pangs of jealousy generated by the permanent facilities and I realise that of course the room is set up for a photo shoot.

But I have seen it a number of times in photos and videos of weekend services with kids spread all over the room – In the back of the room, in the sides… holes and spaces throughout the crowd.

There is only one reason for this – the chairs are set up before the kids arrive in the room.

Huh?

You mission in life is to help these kids connect with God and with each other and you take one of your tools – seating – and leave it to chance?

Here are three rules of seating I just made up:

  1. Have the same amount of seats as kids
  2. Never have seats set out during praise and worship times
  3. Teach your kids the seating system/plan/fun way of making this tool work for you
Another great tool is bench seating especially for preteens and beanbags etc. etc.
One of the first things I did as a children’s pastor was change the way we setup chairs in our services… there were probably more important things but it’s what I did okay 🙂

Why do you put the chairs out?

 

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A Big Deal

According to this infographic at openchurch.org I am kind of a big deal.

You can find me in the white global influencers list in the international section.

This is all part of a campaign to raise awareness and support for Open Church – a nonprofit Kent Shaffer is launching to empower global Church leaders to equip each other with ministry ideas and free downloadable resources.
In other words, a really cool idea!
Now I think that my place in the list has something to do with one Matt Guevara who is the Kidmin Ambassador for the movement. He may have snuck me on alongside my Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston.
But I do see a huge disparity internationally with so many of the voices I am able to listen to coming from the U.S. I would love to read and hear from pastors working with kids in Asia, Europe and more even here in Australia but for whatever reason I just can’t find them.
As they say, “There is a huge race, gender, and geography gap among global church influencers…”
Anyway, I appreciate being on anyones list and really look forward to seeing this resource develop!