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:
- Keep Your Eyes Open – always be saying to yourself: “What could this be? How can I use that? How could my church benefit from having/knowing about this?
- Be Deliberate – Visit places that are interesting and unique… ON PURPOSE. There’s that one store in the mall that has unique displays. There’s that one park with playground equipment like no other. There’s that one 2nd Hand shop that always seems to gather interesting items.
- Use Up Your Smartphone’s Memory – If you have a smartphone, you should be taking pics, capturing video, taking notes and recording voice memos of your surroundings and experiences. Invest in more memory if need be.
- Catalog Your Finds – Evernote is a great way to organize the ideas and notes you collect so you can return at a later time to be creative. If Evernote is not a consideration, have a place to keep those ideas so they are not forgotten: Open a document program on your computer and keep a running list of those ideas… store pics and video on a hard drive… if nothing else, keep a notebook handy.
- Visit The Bigger Guys – There’s that church near you that is bigger and has more resources at their disposal. Perhaps they have some innovations and things that could be adapted for your situation. They’re usually willing to share their thoughts and ideas.
- Visit The Littler Guys – Often the drive of the newer/smaller church’s leaders pushes them to try newer things quicker… after all: Necessity is usually the mother of invention. These guys have HAD to figure out how to solve problems; and in the process might have created the new process.
- Empower The Team – You’re not the only one in your ministry that can do the aforementioned. Encourage your team to do all of these things! Bring it all together once in a while for a “Show and Tell” session: Everyone puts what they’ve collected over the last weeks or months their finds. Get out the whiteboard and start to map-out the finds into usable ideas whether your church or ministry ever uses them or not… you’d be surprised where these session might go.