FamilyTalk ranks #18 on an Amazon best seller list!


You may have seen some earlier posts I wrote about Family Devotion times, or my book- FamilyTalk: a guide to family devotions.  Whether you have seen the posts or not, I have some exciting news to share.

After much reading, learning, and experimenting I finally formatted my book for Amazon.  The link went live on New Years Day, and after a few sales and several reviews from people that already had the print version, FamilyTalk ranked #18 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for its category.  That means out of over 300 books in the category, it ranked #18 in it’s first day!

Check out FamilyTalk on Kindle!

Amazon Best Sellers- best Children's Christian

That may not mean much to you, but that was very exciting for me.  It was not long after that I noticed it was #1 in the Hot New Releases for it’s category.

FamilyTalk- a guide to family devotions- Ron Brooks- Amazon.com- Kindle Store

If you haven’t seen it yet, it is listed at a great price right now on Amazon.  If you have a Kindle, or a Kindle app on an ipad or iphone this would be a great investment for your family.  If you decide to get a copy, don’t forget to leave me a review!  And you are welcome to post your thoughts here too

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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!

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

Top Leadership quotes from CMLeaders


So I’ve had a little time to start processing everything from the CMLeaders conference.  If you weren’t there, I would highly recommend you attend next year.  I searched through my twitter account to find some of the quotes I posted during the conference.  I understand that sometimes a quote out of context may not mean much to you, but this list is just as much for my sake as it is yours.  At least this way I have all of my ‘top quotes’ in a single place.

Your devotional time determines your emotional time @craigjohnson5

Kids don’t need to love me, they need to know someone loves them @samluce

Help those u lead succeed and shine brighter than u do. @samluce

We need to get back to “Jesus is everything” @samluce

The value of a volunteer in the United States is $27.79 per hour. – Sheila Robinson Continue reading

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.

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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)

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