Kidshaper 2011 Part 2

Rob Bradbury asked me to speak in the Kidshaper electives this year about a topic near and dear to my heart. I firmly believe that everyone has a creative spark in them, especially when it has to do with your calling in life!  And I’m not just just talking about creativity that immediately springs to mind like songwriting or script writing, but everything from problem solving to preaching to leading volunteers.

This is a brief few thoughts from what I presented at the conference.

Learning how to use your imagination

 1. We have an imperative to create
God tells us to sing a new song. God is the only one who can create from nothing. We simply re-imagine.  BUT stronger can be our desire to hold on to our previous creations – don’t ride any dead horses… dismount.

2. Unblock the Hose
I wrote about this a while ago here. But sometimes you need to figure out HOW before you figure out WHAT. Perhaps you want to create a video for your weekend services but your grand ideas supersede your technical ability. Find someone with the know-how!

3. Give Yourself Space
In my role at Church I have to create a space so I can devote my entire brain area cavity to an idea or issue – and I am confident that I have God given ability to come up with solutions not because I am especially gifted but simply because I am called!

4. Don’t Accept the First Draft
Do not expect platinum without a rewrite. Sit with your ideas for a while before acting on them.

5. Don’t Mix Meetings and Ideas
NEVER. If you are brainstorming with team, stay away from agenda and ‘to do lists’. Focus on the dreams not the doing!

6. Be Mr/Mrs Implementation
Don’t just be known as Mr. Idea.

The bottom line is all this: Effort places value on our children… so take the time and develop your imagination!


Kidsong 2011 Report

Our annual Hillsong Conference is over for another year – we will have photos and videos up on the Conference website but it is in ‘promo mode’ without a specific Kidsong page getting ready for next year. So when it returns to info mode I will point you to it for sure.

Because of the Hillsong One Days we were in the Sydney Entertainment Centre (probably the lamest venue in Sydney for Kids), but we had tents… in the middle of winter! Okay, they were very nice marquees with big heaters (I want one for my house). So we were comfortably housed and our Primary school Year 2-6 kids were bused to our City Campus to spend the day in luxury.

It was a huge success on all counts, especially pulling off the crazy marquee thing and making buses a beautiful experience for all concerned!

I would like to officially acknowledge the fantastic Hillsong Kids Staff from all of our campuses for making this the safest and most enjoyable conference for kids ever! (I am basing that on data available from Paramedics and General feedback from Parents and Kids, so very scientific).

And as always the hundreds of volunteers that made it work, not only logistically but relationally, you really made it happen! (I even heard of kids crying at the end of the week because they would miss you. Brilliant!)

Here is the theme and teaching for this years conference!

KIDSONG 2011 BIG PICTURE:  Unchartered Journey

PRIMARY BIG WORD: Psalm 25:4 “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior and my hope is in you all day long” (NIV)

EARLY CHILDHOOD BIG WORD: John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God John 14:1


BIG POINT: God has an epic journey planned just for me
EC WORD OF DAY: Dreams – God has a plan for my life

PREACHING NOTES: Children will learn that God has a great future for them. An Epic journey is not always easy, not always fun, there will be challenges and lessons learned along the way but with God it will be an epic adventure!

Psalm 37:23 (NKJV) The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) “I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.


BIG POINT: If I trust God, he will direct my journey
EC WORD OF DAY: Love – God’s love leads us

PREACHING NOTES: We can trust God with our future. We don’t know what the future holds, but we can know that one that holds our future.

Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


BIG IDEA:                    STICK WITH GOD!

BIG POINT:                 No matter what, never give up

EC WORD THE DAY:  Pray – I can talk to God all the time

PREACHING NOTES: An epic journey has a beginning, middle and end. What makes the story of the journey EPIC and exciting is that there are challenges to overcome along the way. Think of any movie you’ve seen – what makes it good is that the character has to overcome something to get where they need to go. And if they don’t give up in the end is VICTORY!  No matter what, don’t give up, God is with you!

Galatians 6:9 New International Version (NIV) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


BIG IDEA:                    CLOSING CREDITS
BIG POINT:                 With Jesus I can overcome any obstacles
EC WORD OF DAY:     Jesus – Jesus is always with me

PREACHING NOTES: With Jesus anything could happen, nothing is impossible and with Him we can overcome any obstacles. When we focus on how BIG God is, problems we thought were big, look small.

2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Matthew 19:26 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, that is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.”

Isaiah 41:10 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) “So do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be terrified. I am your God  I will make you strong and help you. My powerful right hand will take good care of you.  I always do what is right.”


Kidshaper 09

kidshaper logoThere is pretty much one conference I attend each year that I have nothing to organise and that is Kidshaper. It is the national ACC children’s ministry conference in Melbourne Australia.

I get to just attend and enjoy it!

Except this year I had the honour of speaking as a keynote to the hundreds of awesome men and women of God who sow their lives into the kids of Australia and New Zealand and the world!

You can read a report from the official blog of Kidshaper CM1234

And follow Rob Bradbury (national grand poo-bah of Kids R Us) on twitter.

But from a personal perspective it was such a great few days receiving leadership and wisdom from Papa Smurf himself Jim Wideman and so many other leaders around this nation.

I really felt God speak to my heart about great steps forward both personally and for our church. It was a profound week and I love seeing the same faces each year knowing there are so many volunteers out there running ministries with a heart for God and kids.

If you are one of those people who perhaps is out there running your ministry as a volunteer without a big network of like minded people around you:

  1. Find out who is close by you from Kids R Us… make contact and make yourself known. I know Rob and his team would love to support you.
  2. Contribute – it’s the greatest way to connect. Write a nice comment on someone’s blog, reply to them creatine prices on twitter. Connection is not all about the phone and face to face anymore. As you give you will receive. Send a resource to another Church, help them out. You may just find a lifetime ministry friend.
  3. Come to Kidshaper next year and say hi.

Thanks Rob and team!


Weekend Report #2

Weekend ReportSecond ever weekend report.

The cut off for our earlybird registrations for Kidsfest (Annual album recording) in October finished this weekend. For anyone who has run an event like this, or VBS where registration is required, the cut-off always brings a bump to the regos, but never as much as you thought?

Primary Age Recap:

Big Picture (August): The Word and Me
Big Word: Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
Big Idea: Promises… God’s receipt book
Big Point: God’s word is full of promises for me

Sunday mornings are a large group, small group format. So we have a DVD teaching each week, usually filmed with myself and Nathan McLean (Primary age pastor at Hills Campus).

This weeks video was okay, didn’t engage the kids as much as I hoped, but got the point across. We need to break up the video with some more random stuff/funny bits.

Had a volunteer focus over the whole weekend (8 services), and have 6 new volunteers to follow up this week…

Met a mum who came from the local area who was at church for the first time. She said she wants her kids to come to ‘Sunday School’. There are still parents around like that!! I am believing to really connect her in with the church!


Death by Ministry



Oh Man. You need to read this! And then spend a week in prayer and fasting, then read it again. Then if possible after reading it again, make sure you understand that a life of ministry is a spiritual battle.

eg. (USA) Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.

In Australia alone, there are over 10,000 ex-pastors.


Influential Churches

Via The Church Report

This survey was sent to 2,000 church leaders with the goal of ranking the nation’s fastest growing churches and churches with more than 2,000 weekend attendance. The 127 churches nominated for the 50 Most Influential Churches survey were located in 32 states and represented 27 affiliation groups and/or denominations.

It would be fascinating to read about the 50 most influential Children’s Ministries in the world, and if they correlate to the 50 most influential churches…

On that note, what are your top five influences in your ministry to kids?

Leave a comment, I will need to think on it a bit.


Hows the Blogosphere?

David Sifry (technorati.com) produces another “State of the Blogosphere”


The numbers are pretty astounding:

In summary:

  • Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
  • It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour

So if you haven’t got a blog yet… what are you waiting for?


It’s Coming Down

It’s coming down in a few days.


This is your last chance to get your hands on “Think Different”. A special report I have made available for Jan 2006 only!

It is also your last chance to enter the competition for a “Super Strong God” DVD.


Just let me say, you could still win this DVD quite easily, just simply let your ministry friends know about this report.

Why am I taking it down at the end of Jan?
Well, we all need some urgency now and then to get us going. And February is too late to be planning your year, so hence the time restriction!

So, don’t miss out!

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Escape Adulthood

When I was a lot younger than I am now I read a story about a wise old chinese man and some kids. I cannot for the life of me remember anything else about the story except for the description of the wise old man.

“He remembered what it was like to be young” – not just in an intellectual kind of way, but really understood why kids act the way they do. Now obviously God stuck that in my mind for a reason, otherwise I maybe slightly loopy right now.

So my site of the week is:

We want to rid the world of Adultitis. We can’t afford to set up a research team to develop a vaccine. We don’t have the stamina to attempt a triathalon to raise funds. And when it comes to those little ribbons, all of the colors have already been taken. But we do have a plan.

It is based on this manifesto from changethis.com


Make sure you have a look around change this while you are there. You may just find some ideas that change the course of history!


I’m on holiday!

My wife and I are taking a short break this week… (back to work on Friday). Not much blogging will be happening from these fingers… but I did just get a digital camera for my birthday (4th Jan… send money). So maybe I will put up some photos from beautiful Australia…

UPDATE: I am getting some great feedback from my FREE ‘Think Different” Report.

Check it out if you haven’t yet!!!