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!

Advertisements

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

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

What is Family Ministry?


“Dad, will Gilligan be in heaven?” my daughter recently asked as Gilligan was laying on his back and she was scratching his belly.  Gilligan is the family dachshund.  She loves him, and he tolerates her, though he is playing with her more as she is getting older.  She is a huge animal lover, and I would not be surprised if she is a veterinarian when she grows up.  It makes sense that she would be concerned with his eternal welfare.

“I’m not sure, that is something we will find out when we get there.”

That seemed to pacify her for a moment, but then she continued her thoughts.  “If he does go to heaven, I hope I am there to see him.” Continue reading

3 reasons you should attend CM Leaders Conference


September 13-14, 2012 marks the beginning of something new.  It is the first ever CM Leaders Conference (CM=children’s ministry) .  For any of you involved in children’s ministry, you understand that your ministry is different from any other ministry in the church.  You face many difficulties and issues that are unique to children’s ministry.  While it would be great to attend a general ministry conference, CM Leaders Conference is not only designed specifically for those of us involved with children’s ministry, but will go a step further to discuss the leadership aspect within our ministry.

http://incm.org/cm-leaders/columbus-ohio/

Michael Chanley and his INCM team (International Network of Children’s Ministry) are behind the new conference.

“Everything INCM does stems from our purpose statement: serve | serve | serve. Simply put, we exist to serve God and to serve those called to serve His children. The CM Leaders Conference exists to serve the church by training those called to serve in Children’s Ministry in the arts of leadership specific to our calling.

This new event builds onto the Five Initiatives we launched at CPC:

1.   Impart God’s truth to this generation

2.   Provide a safe and relevant environment

3.   Communicate with families

4.   Network with a community of leaders

5.   Pray for the international children’s ministry community.” Continue reading

Laying a spiritual foundation in our kids


 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Prov 22:6

Not too long ago I was a part of an online discussion about how to partner with parents when it comes to attending to the spiritual needs of their children.  Parents need to have an active role, and in fact the lead role in the spiritual lives of their children.  The church has a 40-50 hour a year influence on a child, but the parent has a 3000 hour influence on that same child.

Through the conversation there were several things mentioned that got me thinking.  One of them is definition.  “Parents need to be the spiritual leaders of their house” is a statement that many agree upon, but may not know what that means.  I will attempt to explain my definition of the statement.

I believe that the role of a ‘spiritual leader’ is that of building the spiritual foundation of the child.  Now just what exactly does that mean?      Continue reading