Would you like a Promo-Packet? Well, good news: You can have one!
Would you like a Promo-Packet? Well, good news: You can have one!
Head to http://doylefamilymissions.org and see what we’re up to – you can also follow the links in order to support us.
So if you were thinking that we were trying to tap you for that “$10,000-empty-your-life-savings-love-gift”… think again.
Although we appreciate the High-Caliber Givers, what it really takes is many individuals, families, churches, businesses and organizations giving Monthly Commitments that are actually do-able.
You can help us meet our goal for April (or any month for that matter). We are looking for individuals/families and churches to partner with us by making monthly commitments. Here’s how you can get involved:
- 5 Monthly Commitments at $10
- 4 Monthly Commitments at $25
- 3 Monthly Commitments at $50
- 2 Monthly Commitments at $100
- 1 Monthly Commitment at $200
We are grateful for any amount you are able to give! Pray – see what He says… then CLICK HERE and set it up.
(if you prefer a commitment form that you can mail of fax, add a comment here)
After all, most of the time, children are just being children – they have not been deliberately sent by the devil to disrupt you class, service or small-group.
It starts with US. Yes, you and me and our ability to plan ahead, be engaging and going the extra mile. In this way we aren’t just disciplining children- instead we can attempt to steer children who are simply being children so they can have a positive experience, learn something new, stay safe and encounter and almighty God.
Have a PLAN for the Kids from the Moment they Arrive Until the Moment they Leave. Be properly prepared to carry-out that plan in your service or class… Remember, if you are not prepared and you don’t have a plan, the kids are always prepared with their plan… and they will begin carrying it out.
This doesn’t mean you have to be super-rigid and run a military-reform school. You can have free-time,or activity time, but schedule it and make the time-frame seem intentional.
Give Them Something To Do. When kids enter your room, do you expect them to just sit there and wait until you’re ready? Again, they will interpret that as boring. Have activities and engaging things ready so when kids enter your room, they have something to do besides implement their own plan. We have a game table with UNO cards, Rock-Em-Socke-Em Robots and Jenga Blocks. We have a LEGO table. We 2 long tables covered with paper so kids can draw whatever they want. We have Speedstacks tables with timers. Occasionally, we have the old Nintendos with Mario Card hooked up.
These activity tables not only give the kids something to do when the enter the room, it is a way for them to connect with each other… and it’s a way for our leaders to engage with the kids and build the relational bridge (see below)
Don’t be Boring! If kids interpret what you’re doing as “boring”, they will have something they interpret as “fun” ready to go. Use variety, and relevant teaching methods. Use a child’s natural intensity level when planning your services. In other-words: put fun, exciting and fast stuff on the front end of your service. Put the serious stuff in the middle. End your service with fun, exciting and fast stuff. See my series on the Kids Are Bored
Aim at the older children with the stuff and aim at the younger children with the length: Use music, graphics, video clips, characters and verbiage the older crowd will relate to… the younger kids will “aspire up” and want to be like the older kids. But, use a minute per year of age for each segment. If the youngest child in your service is 6 – You have 6 minutes max for each segment. See my post on How a Child Interprets Their World
Have Clearly Stated Rules Ahead of Time. These should be rules that BOTH the child and parent understand… abd these should also be rules that CAN BE accomplished by the child.
Ron Brooks and I differ on our approach – and yet, we are still friends Ron’s approach is pushing a positive out come from the children ie. I Can Listen, I Can Show Respect, etc. For more of Ron’s view on rules, head over to his post.
Mine are direct and straightforward:
Consistently Review the Rules. Kids cannot follow your rules if they don’t know what those rules are each week. We carve-out a time at the very beginning of our service to review the rules. Sometimes it’s quick and takes all of 2 minutes to review and explain the rules. Sometimes something fun happens… like a character enters who has the wrong idea about what the rules are. Sometimes we have a quiz-show and get kids from the audience to state our rules. Either way, guests will know what’s expected and regulars will be reminded.
Consistently Enforcing Those Rules. Make sure you and your leaders know when the best course of action is to sit with a disruptive child; when it’s time to separate children to different seats; when a child should remain afterwards so a discussion with a parent is necessary or when a child should be removed from a service or classroom and a parent needs to be notified. Read my last post on confronting parents.
Offer Incentives. Don’t just skip over this section. I have people all the time think that it’s wrong to bribe kids. Bribery has very little to do with incentives. Here’s my thought: Every kid wants to earn the trophy. It’s really about the recognition for following the rules. Sometimes offering a tangible reward (candy, points for their team, points or “Bible Bucks” for your prize store, etc) is a great way to reward children – they all want to win the trophy. Other times, just “catching” kids who follow your rules with a lot of positive recognition in front of everyone else will make them want to earn it again. Both methods make others in the room want to earn the same trophy.
Enter a Kids’ World. Be relational. This earns you the right to be heard and respected – thus, eliminating a whole lot of discipline issues. Before I teach a group of kids, I love to walk around, give high-fives, fist bumps and shake hands. I ask funny questions and play as many of the games and activities as I can with the kids. I try to notice new shoes, haircuts, dresses and the toys kids bring with them. It let’s children know that I notice them and see them as a priority – not an afterthought. See my post on the Stuff I’ve Kept in my Pockets.
Deliberately Approach “Those Kids”. You know the ones… these are the kids that you secretly hope are on vacation each week. They are the children who are consistently rambunctious, disrespectful and you seem to have issues with them any time they are in your class or service. I have had to make it a priority to pray for those kids during the week. I have asked God to give me compassion for these kids we typically define as “problem children”. And I believe that God has given me compassion for these kids.
Walk up to those kids each time they darken your door, get down on their level, look them in the eyes, smile your biggest and most sincere smile and tell them how happy you are that they are there. Ask them about their week, Ask them what was the funnest thing they did that week in school, invite them to play an activity with you. You will notice a difference.
I realize this has been a long post, but hopefully it’s given you some ideas as to how you can handle the discipline issues before they really become issues.
If you missed it or cannot join us, I will post the link to the podcast at a later date.
It’s inevitable – Parent Confrontation
If you haven’t had to do it in your children’s ministry yet, then there’s probably something wrong. It doesn’t happen every week, but it will be a regular occurrence if you have to deal with discipline issues. There are some important factors to consider when confronting parents and having to explain a discipline issue. After-all, you don’t want to be known as the minister who is constantly a negative bearer of bad news or unpleasant to deal with.
Here is a concise list of the things to keep in mind if and when you will have to confront parents about their child’s behavior and actions:
What would you add to the list?
Back in 2012, after returning home from a missions trip to Kenya with Jay Risner, I knew that this trip had been different – I had been on numerous missions trips before. But, this one was unique…God was stirring something inside. It turned out to be a passion for the mission-field! What that would look like was unknown to Jennifer and I at that time. After a season of prayer and being open to God’s direction and timing, we were invited by Jay Risner to join his team as a missionary with KIDLink International.
As a partner with KIDLink, we will be developing Children’s Ministries resources for missionaries and Children’s Ministry Leaders overseas; ministering to children and training Children’s Ministry Leaders in 8-10 countries a year and bringing children’s missions awareness to Kids Camps, Churches and District events.
We are just starting the process of raising support and we hope to transition from full-time children’s ministries at Radiant to the mission field sometime in 2015.
It is a season of challenges when you look at the economy and the funding of ministries in the local church. It takes much creativity these days to stay on top of providing a quality ministry to children – and yet, not having the funds available to make it happen the way you might be envisioning it. OK, I’ll just be straightforward with you: It’s downright frustrating… I know, I’ve been there!
Once upon a time, in a land far from here, at a church I will not name…
…I was in the interview process and asked about the budget for children’s ministries. The Pastor asked me what I thought it would take to pull off quality children’s ministries a that particular church? I became bold and said that it would take 12,000 a year to do it. (remember, this was 16 years ago). The Pastor pondered that for a moment and said that he could get the board to approve that amount. I ended up getting hired at the church and was told that the amount I requested had been approved – I was super excited and ready to make some purchases. I approached the finance person to find out how to access those funds to buy some much needed KidMin supplies. She looked me in the eye and exclaimed, “Oh, you have to raise that money!” I’ll let that sink in for a moment…
…The way that church funded ministries was:
So, for about 4 years, I had to provide quality ministry to children at a church of 1,200 by raising every dime.
I have decided to let you in on a few ideas that got me through those years – plus a few ideas I have used since and wished I had know about back then!
This was originally an idea that was presented to the Children’s Pastors of the Assemblies of God to raise money for Missions or BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge). So, let me state right away that this idea is not mine. But I’ve used it with great success.
Here’s what you’ll need:
I’ve done this fund raiser for missions as well as raising our own budget.
Here’s the basic idea:
You lay 100 envelopes across your platform. Each individually numbered 1-100. During the adult service, you ask families or individuals to consider choosing an envelope and putting the dollar amount that is on the front of the envelope… So, if the envelope has the number 24 on it, a family would give $24
Now you may be asking: “Why go that route rather than just a special offering?”
Answer: “Because, if every envelope is taken and returned you get $5,050 in one service.”
It kind of predetermines the outcome. And I don’t know about you, but anytime I’ve ever had a special offering taken in the adult service, we never even came close to that amount.
A few years back, I did it in our three weekend services. Each service, we put out new envelopes. Almost all the envelopes were taken each service. We raised over $12,000 in one weekend. The $12,000 we raised, went to supplement our budget and help us remodel or “freshen-up” some of the classrooms
We basically explained that this was an easy way for them to help build up the Children’s Ministry budget with a one time gift. We explained that there would be 100 envelopes each numbered and that their family should come ready to choose a dollar amount. We also explained that if the amount they were thinking of giving had already been taken, to add other envelopes together to equal their amount.
Here are a few more ideas that have helped me in years past:
Find 10 children that would contact 10 other people that would each give 10 dollars.
This would get you $1,000 for your ministry.
A family commits to giving for 12 months – $5.00 a month (that comes out to $60 per family that participates)
Multiply that number by the number of families willing to participate.
When you have a retreat, a family activity that costs something or an event that will require you to charge a fee… simply increasing each registration/ticket or cover-charge by a dollar or 2 each will give you that extra wiggle-room.
Parade your kids into the main auditorium during the adult service. Have the adults hold up any paper currency and have the kids run thru the auditorium collecting the cash. Play fun music in the background – kids and adults love this!
Here are a few low-cost events, prizes and supplies that might help the budget:
A night with a ream of white copy paper and craft supplies from your supply closet at church. Have families come, ready to fold and decorate paper airplanes. Do a few contests with bragging-rights as the prize: Longest flying plane, coolest decorations, most colorful, etc. If your church has a balcony, have the families line up to toss their planes off of the balcony to see who’s will fly the furthest.
Contact your local post office. There are several times a year when they get rid of the packages that cannot be delivered (no address, wrong address or incomplete address, no such address, the address is unreadable and there isn’t a viable return address) Ask them to contact you when they are getting ready to ditch the items and more often than naught, you can go pick it all up. Have an opening party at your church, Friends of mine have found high-end electronics, promotional items and all kinds of things that can be gifted or offered as prizes.
Need to paint a classroom or a backdrop for a series? Contact your local home-improvement place (Lowes, Home Depot, Etc) or your local paint-supply place (Sherwin Williams, Dupont, etc) and ask if they have any custom paint that hasn’t been picked up or paint that’s been mistakenly mixed that they want to get rid of. Often times it’s free for the taking or there may be a small fee – but trust me, it’s a major discount. You won’t always find the colors you need – but who knows!
Look thru the Free section – you will find all kinds of craft supplies, drama props and who knows what else for your ministry.
List your needs in the Wanted Section and see what kind of response you get. Someone out there is just waiting to donate some unwanted piece of equipment or supplies to a church.
Everywhere you look there are ideas to be used in children’s ministry… just waiting to be unlocked! They could be hidden in the pages of book, the display fixture of a store, an interesting commercial on TV, during a conversation about a topic you never thought you’d be talking about, happening in a new song on the radio while you’re waiting for the light to change or in a moment of misfortune.
When you go out and about in your day, here are some ways to harvest those innovations so you can keep your ministry sharp: