A Story From My Favorite Site For Kidmin Volunteers

I originally wrote this post for Kidmin1124.com. This site was dedicated to equipping those that freely give of their time to minister to kids. While the site is still up and still filled with tons of great content, myself and the other members of that team have all been drawn in other directions. I thought that you all might benefit from this story. My passion for equipping other kidmin leaders has not changed. In fact, that’s part of why I write this blog. If there is something specific that I can help you with let me now. In the mean time, enjoy this post. I would also encourage you to check out kidmin1124.com. I assure you that you will find valuable content there.

Recently we hosted a meeting for local children’s ministry workers. The meeting was scheduled to start at 9:00. At 9:05 my wife and I were the only ones there. I looked at her and asked, “When do we give up?” She said 9:15. Anxiously I paced around the church glancing out the doors at the parking area, looking for someone to drive up. At 9:15 my wife called out that it was time to give up and clean up. As she said this I took one more look and saw a car pulling up. In this car was a young lady that I am going to call Misha. Misha is a 22 year old woman that is leading the children’s ministry at a church in my home town. As we talked I found that Misha also leads worship at her church while, single handedly leading the children’s church. So, she leads worship, then runs over to the children’s church, teaches the lesson, being sure to end in enough time to get back to the worship center for the invitation.

As I met with Misha I learned that she kinda fell into the position of Children’s Ministry Director. She started off as a helper and progressed to leading children’s church on alternating weekends. Then, when the previous director experienced health problems, she stepped up to lead the whole thing. Shortly after that she was shocked to see her name listed in the bulletin as the Children’s Ministry director.

Misha came to know Christ through the children’s ministry that she now leads. This happened even though her parents were not attending this, or any other church. In fact it was years later that her parents came to know Christ. Misha has a strong passion for reaching children for Christ, but feels ill equipped for the job. She longs to be a better leader and see the children’s ministry that she leads grow. More importantly she longs to see children come to know Christ and to see lives changed

I think that Misha represents children’s ministry leaders and workers in churches all over America. Many of us “fell” into children’s ministry. Many of us started feeling ill equipped for the massive job we were asked to do. Many of us still feel this way.

Misha, and others like her are the reason Kidmin1124 exists.

Misha may never attend Bible College. She may never get to go to a large national conference like CPC, Kidmin, or Orange. She may serve her entire life and never be paid for what she does. This is the very essence of Kidmin1124. Proverbs 11:24 says, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more…” This is Kidmin1124.

This site exists to give people like Misha the tools they need to do what God has called them to do. However, God has revealed a vision that goes far beyond a simple blog. Stay tuned as I share some of the things that I believe God has planned for Kidmin1124 in the future. Then hold on as we work to follow God wherever he wants to take this.

Matt Norman

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Book Review: A Lifelong Love

If we surveyed every married person, I think we would be hard pressed to find any that didn’t want to have a better marriage.  Just a quick search of Amazon for the word “marriage” shows 158,918 books on the subject. With that many books already out there the question becomes, do we really need another marriage book? Admittedly I have not read all 158,918 of the marriage books on Amazon, but I’m thinking that this one may be different. Let’s take a closer look.

A Lifelong Love.

Love Triangle: This is not what you think, but the author opens the book by talking about how important it is for your marriage to be, not a relationship between 2, but 3. You see God should be an integral part of our marriage. The author talks about a “Magnificent Obsession.” What he says is that our first priority must be a growing relationship with God. Through this we will become a better husband or wife.

Not only Father, but Father-In-Law: We often think of God as our Heavenly Father. But, the other encourages us to think of God as our father-in-law also. After all, if you married a believer, then THEY are God child too. So, God is father-in-law. He then makes a statement that really rocked my world:

“If a young men cam to me, praising me, complimenting me on my character, even singing songs about me and giving me 10 percent of his income, and all the while I knew he was making one of my daughters miserable through abuse or neglect, I’d frankly have nothing to say to him except, “Hey, buddy, start treating my daughter better, and then we can talk. You say you respect me? Then take care of my little girl.”

This one can go both ways, but since I am a man, I look at it in the same perspective as the author. You see, my wife is God’s daughter. How meaningless is everything that I do at church if I am not treating God’s little girl as the prize she is? How meaningless are all my spiritual disciplines if I am not treating my daughter like the daughter of THE KING? How meaningless are my prayers, or my singing, or my service, or any of it if I am not taking care of my wife.

Will this book FIX my marriage? Here’s the deal, if you are looking for a book to fix your marriage, this is not it. In fact there is no such book. However, this book does contain principles that, if put into place, can help your marriage become all that God intended it to be.

Should I buy this book? If your desire is to have a better husband or wife, then no, don’t buy this book. If you desire is to BE a better spouse, to have a better marriage, to have a marriage that honors God, then I would recommend this book.

Matt Norman

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Making Your Event More Gospel Focused

fish-and-cross pumpkinLet’s face it we all WANT our events to have a real gospel presence. But, with the planning and work that goes into a major, often settle for just getting through it. But, as I wrote in my last post HERE, if we intend to share the gospel, but all we do is draw a crowd then we can’t really call the event successful. Let’s look at one way to make your event more gospel focused?

What I learned at camp. This summer I had my first experience with CentriKid camps. If you have not checked them out you should –  HERE. One thing that really impressed me was how intentional they were. Every moment that they had with kids was used. Meals became a chance for staffers to connect with kids. Free time became a chance for staffers to play with kids, thus deepening the connection. What impressed me even more was that all of their tracks were teaching moments. From archery to arts and crafts to baseball they gave ALL of them a Bible connection.

How’d they do it? Towards the end of each track time the leader would gather all the kids together. He or she would then have a devotional time with them. BUT, they used the activity that they had just completed to point kids to the Bible. It was beautiful and genius. On the surface this seems simple, but it takes some planning. This meant that they had to carefully plan devotions for each day for each activity and make sure that it tied in with the message for the day. I know it can be hard enough to tie a single activity into what you are teaching. They did it with a wide variety of activities.

What I plan to do. Tomorrow is our Trunk or Treat. During the event I will be manning our Fire Truck booth. We recently purchased an old firetruck to use for outreach. I plan to play a fire fighter themed game. I will do it in such a manner that 3 – 8 kids (maybe more) are playing at one time. Then after we have a winner, BEFORE they get any candy, I’m gonna sit them down and give a quick gospel presentation taking off of the firetruck/firefighter theme.

Won’t that mean fewer kids at my booth? Yes, this may mean fewer kids through my booth. But, I’m willing to take that risk knowing that the kids that do come through my booth WILL hear the gospel. This does mean that some will skip my booth to go for the quicker prize. I am praying, and trusting, that God will send the right ones to my booth.

Planning for next year. As I plan for next year I hope to take this a step further. You see, my booth will be a bit of an experiment. My hope is that next year I can expand this to most, if not all, of our game booths. Certainly there will be some that just want to buzz through and get as much candy as possible and move on. For those we still have the trunks handing out candy. But, for those that are willing to take the time we will have the potential for a much greater impact in their lives.

What are you doing to make your event(s) more gospel focused?

Matt Norman

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KMC14 – 10 Steps to Family Ministry That Works

Heidi Hensley

Statistics

  • Families spend only 8 hours per week together.
  • Weekend is at best 2 hour twenty minutes devoted to the family each day.
  • During the week the amount of times shrinks to just 36 minutes on average each day.

All this is true and yet we, as the church, are trying to claim part of that time.

  1. Know your families
    1. There is no longer the “average family”
    2. Be a communicator
  2. Remind them to have fun!
    1. It’s Biblical! Ecclesiastes 8:15
    2. At home and at church
      1. events are necessary, but they should not be the staple of your ministry.
    3. Provide the occasional escape route
  3. Equip them
    1. Don’t assume that parents know the basics
      1. send home papers should be easy enough that kids can understand it and work through it. This way if the parents have not been in church, then the kids can do it on there own. If the parents work with the kids on it, then they can help the kids and they can actually learn from it.
    2. Get them connected (inside and out)
    3. Provide an educational component
      1. Not all parents were ready to step into an adult Sunday School class.
    4. Realistic Family Discipleship
      1. Don’t over complicate it.
      2. Teach parents to use life’s moment.
        1. Teaching them what the Bible says about gossip, pornography, etc. helps parents to be ready to use life’s moments as spiritually teachable moments.
      3. Build on what you have.
    5. Let families serve together.
      1. Kids will value what their parents value
      2. Create opportunities (for families to serve together)
    6. Family worship
      1. When do your kids enter the sanctuary?
      2. Multi-generational worship
      3. How do your families worship as a family?
        1. family worship service?
    7. Equip parents for Spiritual moments
      1. Teach them to pray with their kids
        1. Pinterest – Creative prayers for kids
      2. Teach them to share their testimony
        1. invite parents into your class to tell their testimony
      3. Teach parents what your church believes about baptism and communion
    8. Make marriage a priority
      1. offer a date night
      2. offer a marriage class
      3. Remind them of the importance
    9. Kid’s ministry is Family ministry
      1. involve parents
        1. they are involved in the kids lives, involve them in our ministry.
      2. schools have the right idea
        1. PTA – what kind of things are they doing that we could also do in ministry
      3. Do your parents know what their kids are learning?
    10. Get started
      1. Work with what you’ve got
      2. Make a vision list
      3. Form an action plan
      4. Get leadership on board
Matt Norman

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KMC 14 Closing Session Notes

Sally Lloyd-Jones

“I’m gonna write a children’s book. How hard can it be.”

“As a writer our job is to tell the story, not to tell you what to think about it.”

The power of a story is not in the summing up or the drilling down or turning it into a lesson. The power is in the story.

When we sum up the story we leave no room for God.

If they are asking questions, then you’ve done it right. We should worry less about giving all the answers and work to raise the right questions.

Focus more on telling the story and then trust in God to do the rest.

What kids need is to be invited into the story.

Matt Norman

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