Anyone want FREE access to CM+?


If you are a part of children’s ministry at all there is a good chance you are familiar with cmconnect.org. If you are not, I highly suggest you check it out. It is a great place to share ideas, and the networking aspect is awesome.

This past week, Michael Chanley (creator of cmconnect) and team rolled out a great new training tool called CM+.

CMConnect+ provides an enhanced training group designed to network you with of community of leaders.

Members receive the following:

  • access to a growing list of archived trainings (current value over $20)
  • a 10 to 15 minute exclusive monthly video from a thought leader in Children’s Ministry
  • exclusive weekly discussions hosted by INCM
  • bi-monthly MP3 uploads from INCM ($96 annual value)

This content is designed to give members access to exclusive content for developing as a leader in Children’s Ministry. You will not only enhance your CMConnect experience, you’ll also improve your ability to lead in our unique calling!

 

So far there are several audio sessions from last years Children’s Pastors Conference (CPC).  I am very excited since I have not yet been able to attend one of these great annual conferences.  I am looking forward to listening and learning from some great leaders through the audio sessions. I also can’t wait to start the content provided for CMConnect+ members to earn a certificate in “The Basics of Children’s Ministry: The Five Initiatives of INCM.”  I have been told that this is just the beginning of the resources to be added to this group.

I have the special opportunity to give away 10 ‘free one month trial memberships’.  Since I am able to share this learning opportunity with you, I would like you to share something with me.  The first 10 people to comment below and share about a favorite learning experience will win a free month access. It could be your favorite teaching technique.  Or maybe your favorite learning memory from when you were in school. Share something and win!

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Top Thoughts this Year


I was checking though some stats, and realized something.  Several months ago I posted (what I thought would be) my last post here as I moved all of my posts to my new site.  The funny thing is, because of the way different search engines work, this site often gets more traffic than my new site.  I put links here to my new site, but it seems not everyone followed the links, so I lost some of you in the process. Please consider following/subscribing on my new site, since I update that much more than I do here.

Since you may have missed some of my recent posts, I thought I would take a few minutes to share a few of the top posts from this year, many of them coming after I moved.

By far. my most popular post was “how to talk to your kids when tragedy strikes”

I posted this recently in response to the Connecticut elementary school shooting. I shared a few of my own thoughts, as well as links to many other resources to help you talk to your kids after a tragedy. I was also privileged to interview Wayne Stocks and Linda Ranson Jacobs on a special podcast.  They are both very experienced when it comes to helping kids through tragic events.  You can listen here.

Some other popular posts:

Questions to ask when in Leadership

If Christians were birds

5 classroom and behavior management tips and tricks

Laying a spiritual foundation in our kids

What is Family Ministry

I am considering posting more here as well as my new self hosted blog, but I ask you to consider subscribing over there to make sure you dont miss anything.

As always, thanks for reading, and feel free share your thoughts with a comment!

4 steps to better teaching and storytelling


Speaking to children is much different than speaking to adults. An adult usually has the self-control to sit and listen, even when not interested. A child, no matter the age, does not possess that same skill. They may be able to sit for a few minutes, but if they aren’t interested, you will soon know it. If you find yourself presented with the opportunity to teach children, whether in a  classroom, a library, a small group, a ministry,  a Sunday School, or you name the setting, there are a few things I have learned over the years that could be beneficial.

It is important to remember that everyone learns  differently. The fact is most of us will teach the way that we learn best. The problem with that is there will always be kids you are dealing with who learn differently. If you are  not prepared to vary your methods, you can be sure you will lose many of them. And we all know what happens once a child is no longer interested. Let the discipline issues begin!

There are lots more tips and tricks you could employ, but here are 4 that will help take your teaching or story telling to a new level. Continue reading

2 questions away from a ministry or classroom improvement


The dictionary says a consultation is a time of seeking advice, guidance or information. To consult means to consider or deliberate or to take counsel. We often consult with a doctor before special treatment. We consult with a lawyer before signing legal documents. A time of consulting is a time of informing yourself of the state of your current condition, or before a major decision.

So, what is the state of your current ministry or classroom? Are you getting ready to make a major decision? Who have you consulted with concerning either of these two situations?  It is wise to gather information, ask opinions, and seek counsel and advice no matter what stage you are at or how good you think things are going.

Often those that we ‘consult’ with are close to the situation. Those close to you
have similar views and opinions as you. It is nice to have the advice or opinion of
those outside of your circle to help you asses your situation. A fresh set of eyes
can help you see things you may take for granted, or things you may not even see at
all. Continue reading

Dealing with Discipline: classroom and ministry ideas and tips


 

 

Discipline is a sensitive topic.  Everyone has their own ideas and procedures. ” How do you deal with kids when they are being disruptive?” is a question I have been asked a lot.  Some of you know that often what I write can apply to many different situations, and I often relate it to  ministry.  From 5 years experience in a classroom setting and quite a few years in a ministry setting, here are a few things we do:

 

1. The Look–  it is amazing how effective it can be just by giving ‘the look’.  Most of the time kids know that their behavior is not acceptable, and simply catching their eye is enough to let them know that you see what they are doing.  Knowing they ‘got caught’ will often cause them to stop.  Mothers are especially good at giving this look. (now that I think about it, so are wives, but that is another topic for another day)  And I am sure that you can all remember receiving the look at some point in your life.

Continue reading

5 classroom and behavior management tips and tricks


Classroom/Behavior Management tips

School is starting soon, so I thought I would share a little from my days as a teacher.  As you know, many of my thoughts have ministry applications, and this one is no different.  Whether you are a classroom teacher, a home school teacher, a Sunday School teacher,  kids ministry leader, or even a parent, this may be something that can help.  When I was teaching there was something we called ‘classroom management’. I know that you may be in a small group/classroom setting, or you may be in a large group setting, but either way, the principles are the same.

Classroom management (sometimes behavior management) is something that I learned over several years of trial and error. It was a skill that I often make use of in parenting and also in a ministry setting.   A key to remember is the more you are able to identify and reinforce positive behavior, the less you need to try to discourage negative behavior. Most of the time the kids will want to imitate the positive behavior you are rewarding, because they like the reward and affirmation.

In ministry settings I have often divided the group into 2 teams, usually boys against girls.  This may or may not work in your setting, and if it doesn’t you still should be able to find a way to adapt these ideas.

Zonk Board:

This is large felt board with large felt circles. On the back of the circles are various point values. When you want to reinforce a positive behavior you can allow the child to choose a circle. Add the points to that team’s total. On the back of two circles put a ZONK, which means no points are awarded. (see the photo)

Continue reading

Family Devotion Time


As a children’s pastor, one thing I enjoy doing is providing parents with tools to become the spiritual leaders in their home.  I have found that many parents would like to do this, but are intimidated, or simply don’t know what to do.
Last fall I wrote a family devotion book that has since been used in countless homes and churches across the country.  It has been a great blessing to many families.  Below is a sample devotion from the book.  It is meant to be read and completed as a family, whether in one sitting, two, or even three.  Do whatever works for your family.  The important thing is that you take the time together.

This week’s word: Believe

Think about it— Do you think it is easy or hard to believe in Jesus?  It takes faith to believe in something that you cannot see.  Even though we cannot see God, He has done so many things in us, around us, and for us, that we can know that He is there.


Read More

Do you believe in what you cannot see?

1 Timothy 1:17
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen

Romans 1:19-20
since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s  invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been     clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men  are without excuse.

This week at home:

Read Hebrews 11:24-27

Do you think it was easy for Moses to believe God?
How was Moses able to see “him who was invisible’?
Draw a picture of what you think God looks like.

Read  John 3:1-19

What does it mean to be ‘born again’?
Where does the wind come from? (vs 8)
How can we have eternal life?

Final thought:

The dictionary says that believing means we are confident of  the truth or existence of something  (God) without  absolute proof (not being able to see Him)  Do you believe in God?  What makes you believe?

We cannot see the wind, but we can see what the wind does.  We can see the clouds move or the leaves on a tree wiggle or a flag wave in the breeze.  We may not be able to see God, but we can see what He does.  We can tell when He changes something in our life.  We can see the plants and animals and stars and know it was God that made them.  Just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean we shouldn’t believe He is there.  If you have questions ask God this week to show you He is real.

If you enjoyed this, follow the link to a printable version.

Click here for printable version

Print it for yourself, your family, your grandkids, your nieces and nephews, you get the idea.  Also, check out my book.  It contains 10 different family devotion times, including this one.   Follow this link to see a sample of the book, and if you would like, you can purchase a copy–  FamilyTalk: A Guide to Family Devotions

I welcome your comments, and I would love to hear how your family grows together spiritually.  Do me a favor–share this post with a family who would benefit from reading it together.

I also leave you with a question:  How do you know God is real?