Everything a kid tells you is important.

You may not think it’s important, but to that kid, at that moment, it’s the most important thing in their world.

We as adults have, over time, developed a filter called: “THE STUFF IMPORTANT TO ME” filter.  And we react accordingly.  If someone tells you something that is interesting to YOU or in some way creates a commonality – YOU naturally react with genuine interest.  YOU react with attention.  YOU react because YOU actually care.

But when someone tells you something that you have no interest in, you may try to react as though you care – because you don’t really want to offend the person trying to tell you something.  But you’re not really listening, are you?

When that child walks up to you and shows you his loose tooth… this is a big deal – no wait! It’s a BIG DEAL!  When she tells you that it was her birthday yesterday… it’s a BIG DEAL!  When a kids tells you that his family is taking him on vacation to “Happy World”, it’s a BIG DEAL!  When she explains that her dog is lost… it’s a BIG DEAL!  When they point to their new shoes… it’s a BIG DEAL!  You all know what I’m talking about. It happens all weekend long… and that’s a good thing!

But, how many times have you had one of these experiences only to usher that child to his seat and tell him politely that he can tell you later? After all, it’s time to start class, right.

To a child, you may be the most important person in their world at that moment that needs to know this information.  Your reaction will determine their significance at that very moment in THEIR WORLD. And if you’re the one who made them feel significant at that moment, you have earned their attention from that moment on.  Try it – I promise, it works!

Turn on your listening ears the next time you’re with kids and Be blessed

If you’re like me (and I know I am), you put a lot of emphasis on teaching kids the Word of God every week – and in some cases, several times or venues a week. For me, I have 4 Kids’ Church large groups on a weekend (one on Saturday Night, 2 on our main campus and I travel between those 2 services to teach/preach at our second campus most weeks) Add to that a Sunday School hour, Wednesday night large groups (of which I’m involved) and Wednesday night small groups.  We also have a myriad of classes and services for toddlers and preschoolers and even some teaching time for infants that our wonderful staff on directors and volunteers oversee and participate in.

THERE’S A WHOLE LOT OF TEACHING GOING ON!

That’s why I’ve started a simple “training by e-mail” campaign for our lead teaching staff.  Each week I will send out an e-mail to our teaching staff with an encouragement and a tip that just might help them reach new heights.  I would like to share those e-mails with you in blog-format each week… if you follow me on twitter, you saw that I did a series of around 15 tips for teaching in kidmin a few weeks ago – these coming blog posts are those tweets elaborated. So, here we go:

Let me encourage you this week as you plan for the upcoming Wednesday or Weekend and give you a pointer that I just know will give you the confidence and in some cases the “know-how”… and if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last few years: INFORMATION is POWERFUL when you APPLY IT.

THIS WEEKS TIP:

Start preparing early in the week for the upcoming lesson or class time. In other words, if your ministry time was over the weekend, crack open that lesson book or materials on Monday… if your ministry time was on Wednesday; then make Thursday your day to start studying.  You don’t have to plan your entire lesson on that day, but at least:

  • Read over the lesson
  • Know and memorize the key verse
  • Look up and read any supporting verses
  • And know the main point of the lesson.

Why should you do this? I’m glad you asked!
…When you start early in the week, it gives the Holy Spirit time to be your helper… instead of (gulp) having to work in spite of you.  Think about it: all week long as you pray over the materials you’ve read, the Lord will reveal unique teaching ideas, stories you’ve heard or events in your life that you could work into your lesson.  As the day of ministry gets closer and you are planning what that class time should look like, instead of saying, “Lord, what am I going to teach?” …you’ll be able to say “Lord, how do I fit all of these ideas into the lesson?”

Try it – I promise it will work. And as always, if you ever need a teaching idea, I’m just an e-mail away and I’m happy to brainstorm with you! I’d better let you go – some of you need to start studying!

Be blessed,
Jamie

I am so totally pumped about baptizing kids at our church tonight!

I will have the privileged of baptizing over 20 kids (possibly more if we have some walk-ins who have completed their baptism packets). Best of all, I will get to baptize my daughter tonight!

I believe baptism is an important step int the life of a new believer – even kids:

  1. It is commanded by Jesus in the scriptures.
  2. It helps to seal that relationship with Christ – thereby building the faith of the person being baptized.
  3. It’s an outward picture that helps to build the faith of the congregation watching.
  4. It may be the link to their consistent church attendance.
  5. It helps the leadership and attenders know that there are good things happening in the Kingdom of God.

Have more reasons?

A very wise man in ministry recently told me this in regard to a conference we were both at.

How does this relate to what you do in KidMin:

  • Do you show up with half a lesson ready? Then, start prepping earlier in the week… or better yet – earlier in the month.
  • Do you show up with a “it’s just a few kids” attitude?  Then, see each child as an individual, spiritual being who has a destiny that you get to help shape.
  • Do you have old posters hanging in classrooms that have nothing to do with that unit of curriculum anymore? Then, throw them out and put the new ones up.
  • Do you have cluttered classrooms and environments? Then, have a clean-up day and get your teachers involved.
  • Do you have major repairs that are needed that would be obvious to a first-time visitor? If you don’t know, get a neighbor to walk thru your building and give you some feedback.
  • Do you have outdated curriculum rendering your storage/resource closets irrelevant because someone said, we should save this… just in case?  “Just in case” has come and gone my friend – buy a box of Hefty’s and get to work.
  • Do you use certain teaching methods that you like more then the kids actually like? Then stop and have some help evaluating how you teach kids – this is not about you.
  • Do you deliberately hold off on moving forward on the dream and vision God has given you for KidMin because of a lack of money? Then do the leg-work and communicate the vision so you give God and avenue to get you the resources to move forward.

Please do whatever you can to make these changes (and others)…
Because if KidMin is worth doing, it’s worth doing well if it’s worth doing at all.

I cannot begin to describe to you the feeling I get when I can help influence someone else. And then I got to thinking that we all have the ability to influence others in our ministries. We can actually make an impact on someone else’s ministry to children! You may never know all of the amazing lives that have been changed because you, encouraged, invested or resourced another KidMin Leader.  Here are a few initiatives to consider:

  • Encourage someone to pursue their ideas – help them with ideas that will get them to at least start taking steps toward their dream.
  • Take someone out to lunch and get them talking – sometimes when people are able to externalize their internal ideas, it charges them up to actually go and do it!
  • Invest tangible resources. Learn to pick up on clues of what someone else really needs to start a project, a new program or ministry within the current structure. Do you have the resource(s) that would equip that ministry that you could part with?
  • Invest Finances – when it’s appropriate… In other words: when it’s a reputable ministry that has already done some respectable things and there is a way to give to that person, ministry or organization… invest.  I shouldn’t have to give you a reason.
  • Listen to that newbie in KidMin or the KidMin at the smaller church.  There may be a great idea they are already implementing at their own church that you could/should be using.  Ask their permission to use their ideas.  There’s no better feeling when the “perceived veteran” wants to use your ideas.
  • Give gifts. Remember, it’s not just the gift but how it’s presented. Some people will see those mementos and be reminded that someone out there is pulling for them.
  • Make a phone call just to check up on someone and find out what you can do to help them or at least pray with them.  I have had an unstructured, unadvertised mentoring/coaching program for years by just doing that.  Want me to coach mentor you? Then e-mail me so we can trade phone numbers or skype names.
  • Network others together for their sake as well as yours.  Some of the newbies may not be as connected as you in your community. Get a few of you together for coffee or lunch and watch the relational stuff happen.

By making these small deposits into someone else, you broaden your ability to make an impact on more people.  One day you will share in the reward of the people you’ve made an investment in.  Remember, the Word says that the share or reward of the man who stays with the supplies is to be the same as the man who leaves to go to battle.

Be Blessed!

  • Continue to communicate vision to your team
  • Find new ways to connect with parents
  • Go be alone once in a while
  • Your enemy is not your pastor, the board, your volunteers or the parents
  • This whole #kidmin calling isn’t about you
  • Drink some coffee
  • Change your voicemail (don’t make it goofy)
  • Find a way to serve another #kidmin leader in your community
  • Find a way to network face to face with other #kidmin leaders
  • Clean up your office, desk or storage closet (it’ll make you feel good!)
  • Hug on your spouse and kids

… that is all for now – trust me, you’ll come up with more.

That’s right, I’m having a ONE day sale starting TODAY Friday, July 22, 2010

Here’s the deal.  You’ll get 7 of my ebooks for only $20.00. READ THAT AGAIN!

If you were to buy these separately from my online bookstore, you’d pay $50.00

Why in the world would I do this? I’m a generous guy I guess… but here’s the deal:  The sale ends at 11:59 PM (Mountain Standard Time -USA) July 22, 2011

The Titles include:

  • Adding Flash To Your Lessons Vol. 1 & 2
  • Incredible Object Lesons
  • MORE Incredible Object Lessons
  • EVEN MORE Incredible Object Lessons
  • Teaching Kids To Give Vol. 1
  • Teaching Kids To Give Vol. 2

So, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Use paypal.com and send $20.00 (USD) to the e-mail address: pastorjamiedoyle@gmail.com
  2. In the “E-mail the Recipient ” section, put ebook deal in the Subject Line
  3. Put your e-mail address in the Message field
  4. When I see you’re funds have been sent, I’ll send you an e-mail with a link along with a password to download each book. (once you reeceive the link and password, you’ll have until July 31 to download the books.  After that, the links will be inactive)

You can go to my online bookstore to read descriptions and even see samples of each book – BUT REMEMBER – this deal is NOT AVAILABLE at my online bookstore.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Last night we held our teacher training night (we do this once every 2 months) we come together and I endeavor to teach on 1-2 topics that could help a teacher be better equipped in his/her classroom or service. Last night, I focused on discipline in the classroom and some practical teaching tips. For my session on discipline, I decided to get another “specialist’s” thoughts and perspective. The one and only Joe McAlpine Skyped in and presented about a 20 minute talk on discipline in KidMin settings. Our team of 28 loved it! (We even got treated to an extra special guest, David, Joe’s 4 year old son made a sudden appearance – spider-man hat and all!) I appreciated Joe’s willingness to give up some time and give his thoughts and perspective.

Now less then a year ago, Joe (who teamed up with Terry Cuthbertson) hosted a conference in which they had me Skype in for a session (which I was honored to do)

Most of what Joe talked about were things that I could have said. But, there’s just something about bringing in a guest who is perceived as a “specialist” The percepting is funny: “This guy is from the other side of the country, he obviously knows what he’s talking about…”

I also think it’s just a good idea to bring in a new face and a different voice from time to time. So, here’s what I got to thinking: I’m willing to give up a few minutes once in a while to help a fellow KidMin pastor/leader with a training session via Skype. And I’m guessing some of you are too. I mean, it’s not difficult to set up and your team will feel like they are getting a “specialist’s” perspective. Start a pool of KidMin Leaders in your network of friends that are willing to give up a few minutes once in a while to Skype in (iChat/Tokbox/etc) to KidMin Training times.

Perception is a powerful thing.  Everyone has a bunch of perceptions that order their world. And, everyone has a bunch about you and your ministry that may order your world.  So play to it.

In other words; the vast majority of people in your church have a perception about you and your ministry based on what they experience with you and your ministry… That means that they experience the weekend with you and your ministry.

What they see and experience on the weekend is typically their perception of what the rest of your world is like. That can be a good thing or a bad thing.

The good thing is that if you pull off a successful time of ministry their perception of you and your ministry is that you are successful for the most part and that you have stuff together and are moving forward.  Don’t let them make you a liar!  If you pull off a successful time of ministry and their perception of you and your ministry reflects the same, make sure the rest of your time, during the week, is as quality as it can be.

But this also means that there are less opportunities for what I like to call the “Compensation Factor”. This factor is when you have had a great week: You and your team have planned, strategized, worked hard and have had a successful week.  Now comes the weekend.  If one of your team members makes a mistake, shows up late or forgets something… you as a leader use the “Compensation Factor”. You say to yourself: “Sure they were late, but they worked hard this past week and they’re hardly ever late.  No harm done, let’s just keep going!” You compensate.

Unfortunately, the average church-goer-parent-type-person wasn’t there for the previous week.  They didn’t see the hard work this team member did or the extra effort made.  They only know what they see over the weekend. Therefore, they cannot compensate. Suddenly, there is a perception created that this is how it always is.

So, how do you play to other people’s perceptions? How do you build better perceptions in others? The answer: Just be perfect all of the time. Easy enough, right?

There is only one thing that creates a stronger “Compensations Factor” then seeing the hard work earlier in the week.  RELATIONSHIPS.

If you and your team are creating relationships with the parents in your church, there will be the perception that you and your team are personable, relational and pastoral. But don’t let it stop at a perception – Don’t let them make you a liar… make it who you really are!  Relationships are powerful. When someone has a relationship with you and they know that you care; if there is a mistake, an oversight or a transgression in your ministry, they can compensate with: “but, they care – and I know it”.

By no means does this give you license to let your ministry fall all over the place. Always do your best. Plan on having successful times of ministry.  Because those days will come when everything falls apart in a comedy of errors. It’s in those times that it’s nice to have relationships with the people around you to help you get back on track and pull it all back together.

For those of you who did not know, I write for another blog.  As you know I am the Children’s Pastor at a church in Colorado Springs, CO called Radiant Church.

Each week, I try to keep parents informed and updated as to the topics and series that we are on as a ministry.  My goal is to enhance what the parents are already teaching their children at home by providing the resources and tools that we use in our ministry to children.

You can see the blog here – please check it out, and while you’re at it, please browse the rest of the site.

See you next time!