Receiving Feedback Well in KidMin

The beginning of a new school year means new volunteers, new policies, and new procedures. And sometimes that comes with opinions and feedback on how the new changes are going. So for the next couple of weeks, we'll talk about receiving feedback well and asking the right questions. That may seem backward. Shouldn’t asking the right questions happen before we talk about receiving feedback well? From my experiences, no. Receiving feedback well is more about our heart than our questions. We have to be mentally, emotionally, and prayerfully ready to hear feedback and accept it gracefully before we even start asking the questions. Otherwise, the responses to our questions get tangled up in our own emotions and blind spots. As a young leader, I worked so hard to prove myself and gain the trust of parents and families that I often closed...

Lunch at School Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Visiting kids for lunch at school is something I wish I had done more of as a children's pastor. So when I saw a friend (and former college suitemate - miss you!) post about this on her Facebook page, I knew I had to share it! Thanks Jill for the awesome idea! Earlier in the week we talked about helping local schools win, and one way was to follow their protocols. So when visiting the children in your ministry for lunch at school, use this week's printable to help make it easier on your families and your local schools.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Start Meeting Kids For Lunch at School!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Flunch-at-school-printable%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]Here's how it works... 1. Print out one copy for every child in your ministry. 2....

5 Ways to Help Schools Win

As we start the new school year, here are 5 ways to help schools win. This blog post was written as a response and summary of Leslie Bosler's breakout session at OC18. Look for a win-win relationship. Too often, churches pursue a relationship with local schools for their own personal gain. But schools can smell that coming from a mile away. So rather than asking how partnering with the local schools can be a win for your church, ask how partnering with the local schools can be a win for the school. And if there’s a benefit only for the school, is that enough? Rather than expecting things from the school, hope things for the school. Action Steps: A school's win is often measured by numbers and metrics, so gain some credibility by doing research on the schools in your area and discover what their "wins" are. Look up their websites, mission...

Lectio Divina Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Lectio Divina is a spiritual discipline that combines prayers with the study of Scripture. As children's ministry leaders who are in God's Word for professional purposes (we have to know it if we're going to teach it, right?), the practice of Lectio Divina is an excellent way to make sure we're in God's Word for personal reasons too. Too often in ministry, I confused my teaching prep time with my personal quiet time, but when we approach the Bible only for the purpose of teaching it to others, we miss out on what it can teach us. Using Lectio Divina helped me shut off the part of my brain that focused on "how can I turn this into an object lesson for the 2nd graders" and sparked the side that quietly waits for that gentle whisper from a Heavenly King. I pray that this resource helps you connect with God's...

Word Lover

You could say I’m a word lover. As an English major, literary nerd, and book enthusiast, I’ve always had a thing for words. I like reading them, writing them, defining them, stringing them together to convey a message, and my husband would probably include speaking them. All in all, I just like words. They’re impactful. They inspire. They cause change. They evoke emotion. Words have the power to either destroy or to build, and they have the power to give life. I was listening to a Cambodian preacher give a sermon one summer morning while on a mission trip, and he talked about what it means to be a lover of God’s Word. He challenged us to think about if that’s what we were and I thought to myself, “Well yeah, I like reading my Bible.” He continued on to explain what being a lover of God’s Word really looks like, and it began...

14 Ways to Pray for the Kids You Serve Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As KidMin leaders, we can plan, prep, cut, glue, and email all we want, but our efforts to change kids' hearts are futile unless we ask God to do the real work for us. We have the opportunity to reach kids' hearts when they are most vulnerable to the redeeming story of the gospel, and when we pray for the children in our care by name and with specific prayers, we increase that impact exponentially. Use the 14 ways below to pray for the children in your ministry (psst- that's enough for a specific prayer each day over the next two weeks). Share this download with your volunteers or hand it out at volunteer training so your whole team can join together in covering kids in prayer.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Start Praying" align="center"...

3 Ministry Tips from the Mouse

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]My sister worked at Disney during the summer of 2018, so we took a trip down to see her and spend some time at the Disney World Parks. While we were park hopping, waving to Belle, and eating Mickey ice cream bars, I noticed a few things about how Disney runs things that can help us do ministry more effectively.   Here are 3 things the Mouse can teach us about ministry. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="5319" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]1) You can be efficient AND effective. The lines may be long for Space Mountain, but they could be MUCH worse. On nearly every ride, Disney has perfected the most efficient and effective system for getting people off the ride faster so more people can get on the ride faster. On top of that, they've designed interactive queues to keep you engaged...

Back to School Blessings Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As we prepare for the school year, I'm reminded of the importance of using Scripture in our prayers, writing our prayers down, and speaking prayers out loud over our families and loved ones. So as the school year begins, share this printable with the families in your ministry and encourage parents to use these scriptures to speak blessings over their children on their first days and weeks of school. Families can print them out and post the prayers around their house or car, and they're small enough to fit into a purse or wallet.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Back to School Blessings" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fback-to-school-blessings%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text] For the school year: Luke 2:52 - God, help [child's name] grow in wisdom...

Big Picture Mindset

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text el_id="brittany@deeperkidmin.com"]I love being married to a youth pastor. It makes our schedule a little crazy and we eat way too much pizza but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. One of my favorite things about it is that I get to see the big picture of spiritual development in a child’s life from preschool to high school graduation. (And it's awesome.)  Since I work primarily with kids in preschool-elementary but then also serve as a volunteer with the youth, I get to see how what we do in preschool affects elementary, which affects middle school, which affects high school and beyond. Just this summer included leading worship at VBS, serving with high schoolers in Chicago, worshiping with students at the beach, and watching middle schoolers experience their first mission trip. In just these 6...

New Postcard Designs for Crew Cards!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We already know that kids are wired for relationships. One of the best ways to help kids connect with their leaders outside of Sunday mornings is through Crew Cards. (Not sure what I'm talking about? Learn more about Crew Cards here.) As you prepare for the fall, it's time to update the postcards you use for Crew Cards! Update the look of your Crew Card postcards using one (or all) of the 4 images below, then use a site like VistaPrint to print your postcards for the year![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="I want the designs! " align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F06%2FDKM-New-Designs-for-Crew-Cards.zip||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="5104" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link"...

Wired for Relationships

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]God wired us with a need for community as a reflection of his triune character, and the same holds true for children. Kids need relationships with their peers and with their leaders. Friendships are especially important in the preteen years. I have found that groups of 6th graders who enter the middle school youth group as friends tend to have an easier time transitioning than a group of students who don’t feel close. Especially as preteens experience “11-year-old atheism” – when children have a difficult time reconciling an unknowable God with their concrete way of thinking – they need leaders they trust and peers they can learn with. Creating a community in which to doubt, play, and grow provides the healthiest environment for engaging children. Learning is a social process in itself, so...

Bible Story Trivia Video for Kids

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We're in the middle of a blog post series that focuses on engaging kids according to how they are wired, and we talked earlier in the week about how kids are wired for technology. In addition to the links and sites I shared in the previous post, today, I'm sharing a simple Bible Story Trivia Video for Kids! It has 12 questions, covers both the Old Testament and the New, and lasts about 6 minutes - perfect for a countdown or parent-pick-up time![/vc_column_text][vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQGdQ6TtQEs&t=21s" align="center"][vc_column_text] You can download this video to use in your ministry using a site like KeepVid or use it directly from the Deeper KidMin Youtube Channel. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="4658" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link"...

Wired For Technology

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Technology often gets a bad rap, but it’s not going anywhere, and if we don’t work to leverage technology for our advancement of the gospel, we will grossly miss our targets. Today’s kids don’t know a world without the existence of technology and the internet, and the Barna Group has found that children spend an average of five hours on an electronic device (tablet, phone, computer, etc.) every day. As ministry leaders, we have to use technology in our ministries to engage kids in what we are teaching and how it can apply to their lives. If you aren’t using technology in your ministry in some way, you’ll lose kids (and their parents) because they’ll subconsciously view the church as outdated and irrelevant. Kids interact with technology on a daily basis anyway, so why not redirect some of...

Wired for Learning: Developmental Stages KidMin Leaders Need to Know

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We learned earlier in the week how kids are wired uniquely and what we can do to engage them. Today is all about how kids are developmentally wired for learning. The speed at which their little brains absorb and process new information is unlike any other stage of life. This is great news for us! Their minds are already ready for the truths we want to teach them. But that doesn’t mean every child is developmentally ready for every truth. While children may progress through stages of learning at different rates, they tend to follow the same patterns of development from birth to the preteen years, and when we engage kids based on their developmental stage, we can take better aim at the dartboard. Use this week's download to gain a general overview of a child’s characteristics in each stage and what...

A Game of Darts – Engaging Kids According to How They Are Wired

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Think of children’s ministry like a game of darts. We want what we are teaching (the darts) to stick with the children we are teaching (the dartboard). Engaging children according to how they are wired developmentally and relationally allows us to take better aim and hit the bulls-eye. Trying to teach a preschooler an abstract concept of faith would be like trying to throw the dart backward and hoping it sticks. It may leave an imprint, but will, for the most part, miss the mark completely. Knowing and understanding how children are uniquely wired for learning, technology, and relationships helps us be more effective in our presentation of Biblical truths and allows us to combine theology and scientific theory to create the most well-rounded approach to ministry and sharing the gospel. Over the next...

Volunteer Handbook

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Whether your volunteer team includes 5 volunteers or 500, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page. While you can (and should) host a volunteer training each year, that one hour every 52 weeks just isn't enough to communicate everything you want your volunteers to know. Creating a volunteer handbook is a great way to share expectations, communicate details, and provide a little extra training for your volunteers to have all year long. I'm sharing my full 34-page volunteer handbook this week, and I hope it helps spark some ideas for creating your own. Feel free to use the wording and details found within it, and if you want a customizable copy so you don't have to start from scratch, it's available here or as part of the Put Me In Coach Volunteer Training...

Volunteer Training Email Templates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One important aspect of hosting an all-star volunteer training is planning ahead and communicating details. If you expect all of your volunteers to attend training (and I recommend making your training mandatory), you have to give them plenty of notice and reminders.  So this week I'm sharing my entire email communication sequence that invited rookie volunteers to join the team, reminded veterans about training (several times), and even followed up with them after the event.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Communicate with your Volunteers" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F06%2FDKM-Put-Me-In-Coach-Email-Templates.zip||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]The email templates include emails for Recommitment & Recruiting Save the Date email for...

You Can Never Have Too Many Object Lessons: Irresistible Giveaway Results and Responses

I loved doing another giveaway for KidMin Nation's second book Irresistible: How to Engage Kids and Point Them to Jesus. To be entered to win, KidMin leaders from across the globe had to answer one question: What is one of your favorite object lessons for children’s ministry? One of my favorite chapters from the book was all about object lessons, so it was the perfect question. And man was I blown away by the creativity and passion for helping kids connect biblical truths to every-day things. I plan on using some of these ideas in the future, and I hope they spark some creativity for you too! "My favorite object lesson is on salvation. You write on a dry erase board with a Sharpie marker. You can write specific sins or just the word "Sin". Talk to the kids about how we can't get rid of our sins by ourselves, and sometimes our sin feels...

Beat the Summer Boredom Bucket List

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By July, parents are often ready for school to start again, just so their kids have something to do. Well fear not! Use this template for a July Bucket List to Beat the Boredom and help families finish off the summer with a bang![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Customize the List For Your Community" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F06%2FDKM-Beat-the-Summer-Boredom-July-Bucket-List.docx||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]This bucket list works for my home town, but you can customize it for your own area, highlighting cheap or free activities already going on in your community. Pick a few of these free events, then encourage families to attend and meet you there. This gives you a month off from planning and organizing events but lets you still enjoy special...

Irresistible Review and Giveaway

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="5024" img_size="medium" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2FUWbcZ"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Irresistible: How to Engage Kids And Point Them to Jesus By KidMin Nation (Editor: Tina Houser) My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: June 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you lead or teach children in a Christian setting, you want to know how to help kids connect with Jesus, or you want to learn about engaging kids in a variety of ways. My thoughts: It happened again! I’m thrilled and honored by this opportunity to have a second chapter published in a KidMin Nation book (missed the first one about equipping...

8 Tips for Hosting an All-Star Volunteer Training

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Volunteer Training is a vital part of your ministry, but it can be difficult to pull off with excellence. It's hard to get all of your volunteers in the same room at the same time, and even if you do that, how do you make a somewhat tedious conversation more exciting and informative for your entire team? You want your volunteer training to do three things: train your volunteers in the basics, inspire them with the importance of their role, and equip them to be rockstar leaders. To accomplish these three goals and host an all-star volunteer training, use these 8 tips... Don't call it a "meeting." You probably aren't super excited about attending meetings, and your volunteers aren't either. Whether you call it a training session, a convention, a conference, a summit, a rally, or even a gathering, what you...

VBS Feedback Forms

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You may think the most important parts of VBS end after the kids go home on the last day. But there's still a piece of the puzzle you can't leave out: gathering feedback. While it's important to gather general feedback about your ministry, each event (and especially a big one like VBS) provides a great opportunity for growth and improvement. So now that you've torn down decorations, appreciated your volunteers, and thrown away the leftover name tags, here are a few simple forms to help you gather feedback.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Ask the Right Questions with these Feedback Forms" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fvbs-feedback-forms%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]Because volunteers and participants of VBS have different experiences, they need different...

7 Practices for Asking the Right Questions & Receiving Feedback Well

One of my volunteers was almost TOO good at giving feedback. Every Sunday, she approached me with a list of improvements for the next Sunday. Sometimes they were small improvements like changing the text color on the screen. Sometimes the improvements required more time and energy, like completely changing the check-out process to make it more efficient for parents and more fun for kids. When the never-ending improvement lists just kept coming, I started dreading these after-Sunday conversations. I even began looking for a place to hide when I saw this volunteer headed my way. It started to feel like nothing was ever good enough! I eventually realized that this volunteer’s intentions were good even if her words weren’t. Just like me, she wanted what was best for the children in the ministry, and she was always willing to be part of the...

Meet Me at the Movies Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Want to host an easy family event that takes little preparation and planning on your part? Head to the movies! Just pick a movie, date, time, and theater, then communicate those details with your families. (Psst - check out a review of the movie on one of these sites to make sure it's appropriate for your families!) Because it's a family event, parents attend with their children, and you don't have to worry about chaperones, drivers, or anything but getting yourself to the theater. Incredibles 2 is coming out June 15, so it's the perfect opportunity to try this out![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Let's go to the movies!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F05%2FDKM-Meet-Me-at-the-Movies.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]It's a win-win for everyone!...

VBS Volunteer Appreciation Printables

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You and I both know VBS couldn't happen without an amazing team of volunteers. So use these simple VBS-themed printables to say thank you to the team you couldn't live without.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="I want to appreciate my VBS Volunteers!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F05%2FDKM-VBS-2018-Volunteer-Appreciation.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]How to Use: Choose your theme and design (LifeWay's Game On VBS and Group's Shipwrecked Theme available). Purchase the recommended candy or use the simple designs (page 2 or 5) as tags for a larger gift or with a gift card. Use individually wrapped Lifesavers for pages 3-4 or individually wrapped Starburst for pages 6-7. Print, cut, and attach your candy (use tape or, even better, Glue Dots). ...