Last week I attended KidMin Nation Mega-Con 2018 in Nashville, TN, and while I did use my conference reflection worksheet to help me process the week, here are my notes from the general sessions!
Ryan Frank – “State of the Nation”
Talked about the 4 major ingredients of success, according to Norman Winarsky (creator of Siri – make a joke about how my phone picked it up throughout the talk?)
- Address a pain point
- Use differentiated technology
- Build a team
- Create value proposition
So what does that look like for us as kidmin leaders?
- Address a pain point – what problem are we solving?
- We solve a spiritual problem, and there is eternal value in our job.
- Our job = evangelizing and discipling kids
- We also solve other problems that kids and parents face
- Differentiated technology – what do we do about it?
- Look UP and listen to the Lord (don’t just copy exactly what someone else is doing)
- “Thus saith the Lord still works.” – Jim Wideman
- Trends in children’s ministry/our culture:
- Family programs for a whole new reason (because we don’t have the volunteer manpower)
- Churches are no longer sticking with one curriculum
- Growing increase in security and child protection guidelines
- “In God we trust, and everyone else we background check.”
- More and more churches are rotating volunteers.
- Gospel is fueled by relationships, so have to be intentional about relationships when rotating
- Growing fear of men working in ministry
- A new generation of parents that aren’t looking for help being a Christian (I kind of disagree on this one)
- An epidemic of Biblical illiteracy
- Communication technology is bringing leaders together like never before (KidMin App – a new communication tool with your volunteers that also has built-in training)
- Build a team
- Can’t do it alone (that’s like playing on a seesaw by yourself)
- View yourself as a team captain/coach
- Leadership is not just about getting things done right, it’s about getting things done through people.
- Develop the next level of leaders
- Build a value proposition
- have a business/game plan, vision, and strategy for what you do
1 Timothy 1:12 – Do you recognize your appointment?
Lord, help me to see things other people don’t see and hear things other people aren’t hearing.
Healthy ministries bear healthy fruit. Don’t rely on fruit of the past – work on the fruit of today – you can’t live on fruit from another season.
Missing P’s of KidMin:
- Prayer – ask God for His process for YOU specifically
- Praise – help kids learn how to verbally praise God/express their feelings to Him
- Presence of Jesus
- Power of God
- Person = you have a helper – the Holy Spirit
When you compare, you’re putting your eyes on them and their audiences instead of Jesus and the audience He’s given you.
Just by teaching 1 child 1 memory verse, you’ve changed the world.
My confidence is my call, not the approval of others.
When we compare, we tend to try and take the paintbrush into our own hands (take control) and create our own masterpiece.
Don’t do it someone else’s way.
Success = bringing God glory
Create a ministry strategy to impact and engage families.
Impact + value = engagement
Impact = remarkable moments = families walk away and remark (talk about) what happened
Value = alignment = align strategies with what parents want and need
How much time do you spend prepping pick up and drop off? – The only time you have to engage parents and make a good first impression!
The success and failure of 1st-time guests at your church is at your feet.
CARE – babies and toddlers
- Set up a chart to show care and needs in the nursery
- Send a pic of happy child to concerned parent
- At pick up, go through with each individual parent and talk about the child’s morning and schedule that they went through
GROW – preschool
- Pick up time = sweet little circles (avoid the chaos at pick-up time)
- Helping kids grow in all areas
ENGAGE – elementary
- Kids need to have fun at church
- Help them love church
- During pickup and dropoff, have parents go into the classroom and end on a fun activity so parents see their kids having fun and kids say “just 1 more minute, mom!”
- If a kid is begging to stay, you are winning.
INSPIRE – middle and high school
- They are thinking about the future.
- Inspire them to think differently
- Overcommunicate with the parents, tell them what questions to ask their kids
If we’re going to impact and engage parents, we have to give them what they want.
Do these 4 things (care, grow, engage, inspire), but then also relay how you did them to the parent.
Convey the message: It is an honor and a privilege to serve your family.
I have destiny. You have destiny. We have destiny. And nothing can stop us.
4 things about destiny:
- We all make destiny decisions (Abraham -> Isaac and Ishmael)
- There are no such things are frivolous decisions.
- Every decision is consequential.
- We all have destiny distractions too.
- It’s easy to get distracted by what someone else is doing, but we have to focus on what’s going on with YOU.
- There are destiny developers/influencers.
- People and situations
- Destiny developers can often look like tragedy.
- It takes destiny determination.
- When you’re appreciated, you do what you do. When you’re not appreciated, you do what you do. When you’re understood, you do what you do. When you’re misunderstood, you do what you do. When you have a budget, you do what you do. When you don’t have a budget, you do what you do.
Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) – “…to give you an expected end.” God has an expected end for you and me.
Don’t write your future based on your past.
Your job in children’s ministry is about so much more than the kids – help the leaders of families win.
40 vs 1000 (number of hours we have with kids vs number of hours parents have with their kids)
4 types of parents:
- Searching = want to be a good parent
- Participating = coming to church
- Applying = integrating what they learn
- Leading = developing others
Which parents do you focus on? Think and plan for all 4 groups.
Goal = help parents be more connected to the faith community so they are more intentional at home
3 ways to help parents reach this goal
- Network parents with positive influences
- Intergenerational relationships
- Widen the circle
- The shortest distance between a parent and your church is a small group leader
- How do you support single parents and families who don’t even come to your church?
- Equip parents with shared experiences
- Do your families get to experience God together?
- Do they have the opportunity to serve together? When a family serves together, they discover things together.
- Cue parents to prioritize time.
- Small cues
- 936 weeks a parent has with their kid from the time they are born until they graduate high school
- We do more with what we have now when we realize what we have left.
- Every week matters, and the small things you do over time makes the most difference.
- It’s the quantity of quality time that matters – Reggie Joiner
If you want to call a family meeting, turn off the wifi and wait in the room with the router.
4 times a day:
- Morning – give a morning encouragement
- Drive time
- Mealtime – Where did you see God today?
- Bedtime – What’s on your mind about tomorrow? How can I pray for you about tomorrow?
It’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith. It’s silence.
Teach parents 4 key words… “I Don’t know but…” Parents don’t have to have all the answers, but they need to be talking about it.
Most parents can’t leave a lavish inheritance, but every parent will leave a personal legacy.
When you see a kid, see a family.