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!

CMLeaders: 2 Characteristics of an effective leader


Listening to all the different aspects of leadership over the two days of CMLeaders was great.  Reading through some notes, I did find some pieces that fit well together: pieces from multiple speakers.  One of the bigger pictures that I found could be called ‘Characteristics of a Good Leader’.

#1 A good leader pays attention to patterns

This works on tow different levels.  First, you need to be aware of the fact people are looking at you, and often imitating you.  I have a lot of experience working with kids, and this is so true.  The behavior pattern you model is the behavior pattern you will encourage.  If you are a high-strung, disorganized, paranoid person, the kids around you will tend to pick up on that and imitate your behavior.  On the other hand, if you model organization, thoughtfulness, kindness and any number of positive qualities, you will automatically enforce those qualities in the kids around you.

This is not only important when you are leading kids, but it holds true when leading adults as well.  If you complain, are disorganized, unhappy, that will trickle down through those under you, and it will be increasingly more difficult to keep them motivated.  If you remain positive, encouraging, uplifting, guess what.  That will permeate your team as well and it will become easier to lead your team. Continue reading

Thoughts from CMLeaders conference


I just got back from the very first CMLeaders conference, put on by INCM (International Network of Children’s Ministry).  It was a GREAT experience.  As expected, the quality of speakers was top-notch.  I walk away challenged to not only be a better leader, but a better follower as well.  I have just started to review and begin to process my 25 pages of notes.

The structure of the conference was great.  There were no breakout sessions, only large group ‘TEDTalk’ style sessions.  This was nice because I did not have to worry about choosing the wrong session or wondering what I would miss out on in the break out group I didn’t go to. 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

Are you holding onto the Past?


 But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

Have you watched the show “Hoarders’?   It’s the one with people who never throw anything away.  I spent the day in a friend’s garage yesterday.  There is no question that it would meet the requirements for the show.

I know he grew up in the depression era, so part of me can understand him not wanting to get rid of anything.  And he loved a good deal, even if it was something he would never use.  But years and years of buying useless stuff and never throwing things away led to the photo you see here.

I thought a lot about the piles of junk.   It was not his intention to allow the things of his past to ruin his present, but look at the photo.  It was a mess.

Life can become a mess when I hold on to too much stuff from the past.  Good or bad, the things in my past are just that, they are past.  Surrounding myself with my past will hinder my present, and make it even more difficult to look to the future.

Continue reading

Success in Ministry


“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”

George Sheehan

Many times success in ministry is defined by how many kids show up on Sunday morning.  Or how much money you make.  Or how big is your budget.  Or any number of other things.  I sometimes have to remind myself those things are not necessary for success. Continue reading