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...

VBS Prayer Countdown Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]VBS season is in full swing, and for us, Monday, May 21 marks the 2-week final countdown before VBS begins on June 4 (cue excited yet terrified feeling)! One of the most important parts of preparing for VBS that I willingly admit I am bad at staying on top of is prayer. Reading Priscilla Shirer's Fervent completely revolutionized my prayer life. Fervent taught me that using Scripture and writing down my prayers can help my times of prayer be more purposeful, so I'm applying those strategies to VBS this year. This week's free download is a Countdown to VBS Prayer printable. I'll be printing it this weekend, then putting it with my Bible. Starting Monday, I'll have written, specific prayers for every day until VBS (and through the week of VBS too). I invite you to join me in prayer and use this printable to...

Orange Conference 2018 Notes & Thoughts

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I’m kind of a conference junkie, so when I had the chance to attend Orange Conference 2018 with our church, I couldn’t say no! Orange Conference 2018 focused on how we can do more together. I’m not very familiar with Orange’s curriculum, but I’m a big fan of their theory of ministry that encourages and equips parents through each phase of a child’s life. All of the breakouts and main speakers were great, and I took PAGES of notes, but my biggest takeaway from the conference was the connections I made with other kidmin leaders and bloggers. I am an introvert, so the idea of small talk and meeting new people usually makes me want to hide. But I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to be intentional about meeting people, and I am so happy I did! Special shout out to Dana, Jae, Tessa, and Katy for...

KidMin Job Descriptions (For You and Your Team)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Whether you’re growing your team by recruiting volunteers or paid staff, you won’t get far without job descriptions for each role. Job descriptions not only help you communicate the needs of your ministry, but they also help ensure the people who fill those roles are the right fit! This week for Admin April, I’m sharing the job descriptions I’ve used for both paid and volunteer positions. [/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Job Descriptions as Part of the Admin April Bundle Now" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fkidmin-admin-bundle%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]The download includes 8+ job descriptions for positions like the Children's Ministry Director, an Assistant Children's Ministry Director, a Nursery/Preschool Coordinator, a High School or...

Stay in Your Lane

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I swam competitively all through middle school and high school, and one of my least favorite strokes was backstroke. It took almost 3 years of swimming before I could even do backstroke in a straight line! Too often, I was trying to see where the wall was and where other people were in the race. I would focus on how they were kicking their legs or holding their head and try to mimic their stroke. I was so focused on what they were doing, I completely messed myself up and ended up swimming in zig zags and coming in last.   But backstroke and swimming taught me an important lesson that I later applied to ministry: stay in your lane. When you compare yourself to other leaders or try to do it all yourself, you end up moving slower and much less gracefully. So do you, keep to your strengths, and let...

KidMin Budget Tracker

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Earlier this week we talked about budgeting our time - and now it’s time to talk about budgeting our money. (Ugh). This is probably my least favorite thing about kidmin (yes even worse than no-show volunteers in my book) BUT it’s an important administrative task we can’t ignore. There is no such thing as a budget fairy to keep track of it all for me (but how awesome would that be?!), so Excel was the next best option. I created yearly and monthly spreadsheets with designated expense categories to help me stay on top of my ministry budget, and this week I'm sharing that tracker with you! [/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Start tracking your budget now!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fkidmin-budget-tracker%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]How it Works: Take a...

Budgeting Your Time

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As much as I wish it were endless, time is limited. And your time as a kidmin leader is limited too. So how can you make the most of it? Plan your time So much time is wasted from not having a plan for your time. Even if it’s just a short list on a sticky note, at the end of each day, make a list of what you want to get done tomorrow. That way, you don’t spend a lot of time up front just figuring out what you need to do. You can jump right in, and it helps your brain focus on what needs to get done instead of where to start. (Psst - I really like using Asana as my digital to-do list, and lots of my friends enjoy using Trello).   Track your time If you want to use your time more wisely, you have to know where your time goes. Your church may ask you to track your time or hours anyway. Mine...

Admin April 2018

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Happy Admin April! All month long, I'll be sharing resources that help you rock the administrative responsibilities of our kidmin role. Think budgets, behavior, and forms, oh my! In case you missed a week, here's what I've shared so far... Week 1 [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="4473" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/5-tips-for-behavior-management-at-church/"][vc_btn title="5 Tips for Behavior Management at Church" align="center" button_block="true" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2F5-tips-for-behavior-management-at-church%2F||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="4477" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link"...

Behavior Management System (SLLRP)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On Monday I shared my 5 Tips for Behavior Management at Church, which discusses the importance of sharing behavior expectations with kids. To help the kids in my ministry understand my expectations for them, I created 5 Rules called the "5 I Can's", that eventually became known by the kids as SLLRP (pronounced "slurp"). They were adaptable for any situation too, so I could remind kids to "SLLRP it up" at VBS, a preschool playdate, or on a Sunday morning, and they'd know exactly what I was talking about. These “I Can” Statements help kids remember how we should behave at church so we can get the best out of our time each Sunday morning and learn all about what God wants to teach us. They allow kids to take ownership of their time at church each week and to empower them to CHOOSE to do the right thing....

Equipping Parents – Ideas from Leaders Just Like You

I had a great response to my giveaway of Home Grown, the new book from the KidMin Nation Library. To be entered to win, KidMin leaders from across the globe had to answer one question: What is one way you equip the parents in your ministry to be spiritual leaders in their homes? And the responses were excellent! Both rookie and veteran leaders shared their thoughts, and their honesty, vulnerability, and creativity blew me away! So I wanted to share some of the answers leaders posted, and I hope they spark ideas and creativity for you too. This is something that's been pulling strong at my heart here lately. I'm a brand new children's ministry director and unfortunately, there's never been a plan of action to equip parents. This is something I would love to implement asap. Thank you so much for the blessed opportunity to win this great...

Home Grown Review and Giveaway

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="4365" img_size="medium" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2MCjw3B"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Home Grown: How to Equip Parents for Spiritual Leadership By KidMin Nation (Editor: Tina Houser) My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: March 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 serve in children's ministry, you think parents are an important part of discipleship, you want more practical ideas for equipping parents that you can implement today. My thoughts: As a contributing author to this book (check out chapter 4 for my thoughts on being a parent cheerleader), I am a little bit biased. But there really is so much good stuff in this...

Talking with Kids about Jesus’ Death

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Easter often brings up a tricky subject in the kidmin world: death.  How do you explain Jesus’ death to preschoolers? Or to your sensitive elementary kids? And what about kids who have recently experienced a death? Should we just gloss over that part of the Easter story to spare their feelings? One Easter, one of the 2nd graders asked me a question that reminded me the importance of talking to kids about Jesus’ death. Her mother had passed away suddenly a few months before Easter, and after the lesson, she quietly walked up and asked, “Ms. Brittany, how old was Jesus when he died?” I responded and said “We believe he was around 33 years old.” She said, “Hmm, so he was younger than my mom when she died. I bet Jesus’ family missed him too.” (Give me a minute to stop weeping over...

Talking with Kids About Baptism

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Baptism isn’t just taking a bath at church or playing in Holy Water fountains; it means so much more! When we are baptized, it is an outward sign of an inward change. We know that when Jesus died on the cross, He wiped away our sins and made us clean. Baptism is our way of showing others that we have been wiped clean of our sins. But baptism happens AFTER we have given our lives to follow Jesus. Your heart changes first; then you are baptized to symbolize the change in your heart. Seems simple, right? Then why is baptism often so confusing for kids? Kids are concrete thinkers and have a hard time with abstract ideas, so trying to understand that the baptism symbolizes our death to sin and new life in Christ can be tough! Kids often hear "baptism" and "becoming a Christian" as interchangeable phrases,...

Small Groups vs. Stations

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Most curriculums offer a large-group, small-group format for Sunday mornings, but as a mobile church with limited time, space, and resources for creating an exciting environment, I had to come up with a way to make our mornings more engaging for kids. So I adapted the big-name curriculum we were using to fit a new format: large-group time, then stations. Kids LOVED it! Stations allow more movement throughout the morning and mean that you need fewer supplies since only one small group will be doing the activity at a time. Since each station lasts 10 minutes, that one kid who HATES crafts knows that a new activity is coming soon, so it helps eliminate disengagement. Kids go through the stations in the same order each week, but start at a different station, leaving enough structure for stability but enough...

The Most Productive Thing You Can Do Today

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This morning I had plans to pull together a lesson, work on another free download for all of you, and read a few chapters for seminary homework. But God kept interrupting my focus with the song below, and He used it to remind me of a lesson I’ve been learning over the past year. I so often confuse productivity with movement, action, and results, which leads me to believe the lie that spending time in prayer is unproductive. I know that’s not true, but there’s often a sneaky little voice in my head that reminds me of everything else I could be doing instead. I’m working on silencing that lie and retraining my brain to accept the idea that creating stillness is a form of spiritual productivity. I’ve learned that when God interrupts my plans for the day, I better pay attention, so I took a break...

3 Movie Sites to Help You Avoid a #Fail Moment Like Mine

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]At the first Parents Night Out that I planned, I showed the movie Shrek. We were a boy-heavy ministry at the time, and I thought, "Swamps, ogres, dragons... the boys will love it!" Well they also loved it when the characters cussed 4 times - yes, 4 times - throughout the movie and they got to tell their parents they heard a potty word at church. #fail Since that wonderful experience of inadvertently teaching the sweet preschoolers new words, I always read up on any movie I plan to show in my ministry. Using one or all three of the following sites helps make sure I’m not showing anything inappropriate and helps me prepare to address any issues that may arise. Learn from my Shrek mistake, and use these sites to preview movie content before showing it in your ministry. The Dove Foundation - I like this one...

Add Parents to Your Team

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Your ministry team isn’t complete without these important players: the parents. Whether they’re your favorite or your least favorite family (don’t lie, we all have favorites), having parents on your ministry team as more than just volunteers is important. To help give parents a voice in the ministry, better partner with them in discipling their children, and help build trusting relationships, I set up a Parent Council in my 2nd year of ministry and have loved it ever since. What is it? A Council, by definition, is an advisory board of people formally constituted and meeting regularly. A Parent Council is a group of 8-10 parents of your choosing that meet regularly to provide feedback, guidance, and input on the ministry. This is a sounding board for you as you plan as well as an extra team to rely on for...

Be a Parent Cheerleader (Not a Coach)

Ministry with children and youth is just as much about the parents as it is the kids themselves. But sometimes our approach to equipping parents can actually have the opposite result of what we want. In my early years of ministry, I provided resources about how to be the best parent and what the “Christian parent” should be doing in their home, but I quickly learned that sometimes these types of resources created more guilt and shame than encouragement or advice. Moms did not feel they could live up to all of the resources I was providing, and it left them feeling overwhelmed. I have learned to switch my mentality as a children’s pastor from “parent coach” to “parent cheerleader” (especially since I do not have children of my own yet). It may just seem like semantics, but this shift actually creates a brand new mindset to...