Are You A Secure Or Insecure Leader?

insecurity

Security is the main ingredient of healthy relationships.  You need healthy relationships with others in order to fulfill the call God has placed on your life.  As a Kids Ministry Leader, your goal is to raise up others to join you in the vision of raising the next generation of life-long followers of Christ.  If you are not secure in who you are and who God has created you to be, you will (consciously or not) poison your relationships with the people God puts around you. 

My pastor, Rod Loy, challenges our entire team to evaluate whether or not we are Secure or Insecure Leaders.  Here is part of a grid he provided for us:

Insecure Leader – when someone else succeeds, they divert credit to themselves

Secure Leader – gives credit away to others.

Insecure Leader – surrounds themselves with weaker people because they have an inner need to be adored

Secure Leader – is comfortable with the strengths of others and surround themselves with strong leaders

Insecure Leader – when evaluating themselves, they only see weaknesses

Secure Leader – they know their weaknesses exist, but they are not crippled by them

Insecure Leader – evaluate by “how do I compare to others?”

Secure Leader – evaluate themselves by “how am I doing right now?”

Insecure Leader – can’t laugh at themselves

Secure Leader – laugh at their mistakes, seeing them as another opportunity to learn

Insecure Leader – resists evaluation (they have inextricably connected their performance with their self-worth)

Secure Leader – embraces evaluation as an opportunity to grow

Insecure Leader – they are very hard on others who make mistakes

Secure Leader – more patient with other people and with their growth process

Insecure Leader – may enjoy success for a season

Secure Leader – will enjoy success for a lifetime

Insecure Leader – says “Blessings are to be enjoyed by me!”

Secure Leader – asks “How many blessings can I share?”

Insecure Leader – produces insecure followers

Secure Leader – produces other secure leaders

So, are you a Secure Leader or an Insecure Leader?  It’s not too late to change course:

1)  Learn to see yourself the way God sees you.

2)  Hang around secure leaders and friends.

3)  Recognize when reactions are based on insecurity.  Retrain yourself away from those reactions.

4)  Ask God to help you become more secure in Him so that you can build a team of Secure Leaders to help you reach this generation and advance the cause of Christ!

The more secure you are, the better leader you will be.

“Friends In Slow Places” (Time Change Parody 2015)

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And our final installment in our Time Change Sunday series this year is for all of you Country fans (of which I am NOT).  Hope you enjoy our spoof on a Garth Brooks classic.

Missed our other Time Change Parodies?  Here you go:

“Set My Clock” (parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”)

“All About Time Change” (parody of “All About That Bass”)

 

“Set My Clock” (Parody of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift)

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Well, we are back with another funny video to remind your church about TIME CHANGE SUNDAY, March 8th.  This is a great spoof of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.  The performer is Madison Russell, who is one of the young worship leaders on my Kids Ministry Team.  WOW, she did a great job singing this!  I think she gave Taylor a run for her money – and Madison is ONLY 13 years old!  Feel free to use this video in your church!

Check out last year’s wildly successful “What Does The CLOCK Say?”

“All About Time Change” (parody of “All About That Bass”)

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Every year, our church does a great job at poking fun of Time Change Sunday (the day that clocks Spring an hour forward and for some reason people freak out because they are losing an hour of sleep).  To keep people from forgetting and ultimately being late for church that day, we create crazy videos to remind everyone.

The last few years, we have done parody songs and videos of the hottest pop songs of the day.  Well, this year is no different.  For your entertainment, here is a parody of “All About That Bass” (yes, we are fully aware of what the song is actually about and we don’t endorse the message – which is why we changed the lyrics).  After all, it’s “All About Time Change” – NO SNOOZING!

 

Wanna see some of our other videos from past years?  Here are a few below:

Time Change-ian Rhapsody”

“Call Me, Wake Me”

“On Time Style”

3 Reasons Your Lead Pastor Just Doesn’t Get It

Lead Pastor Get It

I hear one statement a LOT as I travel and speak to Kids Ministry Leaders all over the country: “My Lead Pastor just doesn’t get it!”  In some churches, there seems to be a real divide between the senior leadership and the Kids Ministry Pastor/Director.

Most Kidmin Leaders I talk to feel that the reason for the strain on this relationship is almost entirely the fault of the Lead Pastor. They forget that every relationship is a two-way street and haven’t considered the following three reasons why the Lead Pastor doesn’t “get” Kids Ministry.

1.  He doesn’t know what’s going on in Kids Ministry.

Often, the Lead Pastor is not aware of all the great things happening in Kids Ministry. He doesn’t know about the salvations that are taking place every Sunday. He doesn’t know about how God is using the children at their schools to start Bible Clubs and reach their friends for Jesus Christ.

Why doesn’t he know? The reason he doesn’t know is usually because the Kids Ministry Leader isn’t communicating with him.   They don’t tell him about everything going on. They are WAITING for him to ask.

I have news for you. Your pastor has an entire church to lead and keep track of. It is not his responsibility alone to probe and ask about everything going on in every area of Ministry. It is YOUR job to keep him informed. Believe me, he WANTS to know.

So, instead of assuming, “He doesn’t care.” Instead of thinking, “I don’t want to bother him with all the details.” TELL him when something great happens. Email him when a child is saved. Leave him a note about what God is doing in the lives of the kids.

I send my pastor email updates on meetings I have, the first time I hear of an issue or problem he needs to be aware of, and the moment I know of a possible hitch in his plans. He doesn’t have to respond, but he wants to be informed. The last thing he needs is to be blindsided by a situation he SHOULD have known about. Don’t say, “I didn’t want to bother you.” Let HIM decide what “bothers him.” The worst thing that could happen is he hits delete.

Communicate with your pastor, then watch how much he starts to “get it.” He can’t “get” what you aren’t making him aware of.

2.  He’s not in your “Kids Ministry World.”

It’s a simple fact. The Lead Pastor is in the Sanctuary and the Kids Ministry takes place elsewhere. But, much of the time, that is not the reason the Lead Pastor is not in your “Kids Ministry World.”

Kids Ministry Leaders are sometimes guilty of creating their own “world” unto themselves. They are passionate about their ministry (and rightly so), but they allow that passion to lead to a single-focus. They get so wrapped up in their own ministry area, they begin to isolate themselves from the other staff and ministries.

This is what I call “Kidmin Tunnel Vision”, and I write about it more extensively in this post. Don’t create a ministry silo. A silo occurs when each part of an organization becomes self-contained, is independent from the others, and fails to coordinate vision, philosophy, and practices. It can happen in divisions of companies, and it can happen in churches—especially in kids’ ministries.

Instead of creating a “world” of Kids Ministry, look for ways to stay connected to your pastor’s vision, relationships with other staff, and what God is doing in the church as a whole.

3.  He has the wrong motives.

Or at least, that is what we choose to believe. When we disagree with a pastor’s decisions, it’s easy to ascribe sinister motives to him. We think he’s stupid, or selfish, or manipulative. We see signs of pride or fear. Sometimes, we’re assigning our own hidden motives to him. Psychologists call it projection.

We need to nix that. Our pastors are doing their very best. Certainly, they make bad choices from time to time, but we can assume they’re doing all they can to honor God and lead with integrity. If we’re going to make assumptions, let’s assume our pastor has the very best motives.

Is your relationship with your Lead Pastor strained at the moment? Perhaps you need to stop pointing the finger at him – and turn it on yourself. Be open and honest with yourself…are you guilty of the three situations I have listed here? If so, it’s not too late to change.

Spend some time praying for your relationship with your pastor this week. Pray that God will help YOU do what is necessary to have a vibrant, growing relationship with your Lead Pastor. Watch how God changes you and your relationship. It’s amazing when Kids Pastors and Lead Pastors can work together in a thriving, growing way!

Do You Suffer From #Kidmin Tunnel Vision?

tunnel vision

I will never forget the Staff Meeting where I confronted my Pastor about why I wasn’t made aware of the big Missions opportunity that the rest of the staff seemed to already know about.  I let him know how upset I was that “those of us who are in Children’s Ministry and aren’t able to be in the Sanctuary on Sundays shouldn’t be kept in the dark.

My pastor kindly asked me, “Brian, did you not read the bulletin the last few weeks?”  I had not.  “Did you read the letter I sent home to every household in our church?”  I did not.  “Have you paid attention in Staff Meeting the last few weeks as we have been talking about it?”  I had not.  I had made the mistake of deciding, “If it isn’t directly related to Kids Ministry, I don’t really need to pay attention to it.”

I made a classic blunder:  Having Tunnel Vision and Missing The BIG Picture.

Turns out it wasn’t my pastors fault I didn’t know about the opportunity.  It was my own.

Every children’s ministry pastor and volunteer has to overcome the obstacle of being isolated to some degree from the mainstream of church life.  We’re passionate about kids and excited about our roles, but it’s easy for us to develop a “silo mentality.”  A silo occurs when each part of an organization becomes self-contained, independent from the others, and fails to coordinate vision, philosophy, and practices.  It can happen in divisions of companies, and it can happen in churches—especially in kids’ ministries.

The leadership term “tunnel vision” is borrowed from the physical condition, which occurs when an individual loses peripheral vision (the ability to see objects on the top, bottom, and sides).  The result is a very constricted field of vision. In organizations, a manager with tunnel vision is zoned-in on his single priority, and he doesn’t see much else.  Being focused is good and helpful, but not in the extreme.

In kids’ ministries, we need to recognize the symptoms of tunnel vision.  If we don’t, we may suffer severe consequences.  Here are some dangers for kids’ pastors and other leaders:

Dangers Of  Tunnel Vision:

  1. We develop a territorial spirit.
  2. We develop a “poor me” mentality
  3. We infect the rest of our Kidmin team.
  4. We fail to support (and may even compete with) the pastor’s vision.
  5. We fail to communicate key information to parents and team members.

Tunnel vision isn’t just an inconvenience.  It’s an acid that eats away at everything good, right, noble, and pure in a leader’s heart, a team’s life, and a ministry’s impact.   Want to beat it?  Want to avoid Kidmin Tunnel Vision?  It’s not enough to sit back and expect your pastor or other staff members to make sure you’re vitally connected with the entire scope of the church’s life.  That’s your responsibility.

Here are some steps you can take to Avoid #Kidmin Tunnel Vision:

1)  Read every available piece of information. – Make it a weekly practice to read the bulletin, newsletters, articles on the website, and anything else that tells what the church is doing.

2)  Ask questions. – If you’re unsure about an upcoming event, a strategy, or any other plan, take the initiative to get an answer to your questions.

3)  Watch or listen to the Sunday morning service. – Most churches record the pastor’s sermon each week. If you can’t attend the service (and most of the time you can’t), make it a priority to listen to the message sometime during the week.  It will keep you connected to the pastor and to the heartbeat of the church.

4)  Pay attention in staff meetings. – Shut down Twitter, Facebook, and your web browser.  You are getting the info you need if you will just LISTEN and document it.

5)  Regularly pray for your pastor and other department leaders. – This choice has made a huge difference in my perspective, my attitude, and my relationships with each person on the team.  They’ve told me the greatest challenges they face in their ministries, and I found out their joys and struggles in their families.  My commitment to pray for them has kept me connected and prevented me from becoming focused only on Kids Ministry.

So, don’t hesitate.  Choose NOW to start these five habits.  They will keep you from falling into the trap of #Kidmin Tunnel Vision, and you will stay vitally connected to your pastor and entire team.

For more on this subject, read my book, “I Blew It!”

Combining Faith With Fun: The Key To Making It Stick

Hey everyone!  Since I am at CPC (Children’s Pastors Conference) in TN this week, I have a guest blog post from a good friend in #Kidmin, Andrew Linder.  Andrew is a husband, a father of four, and a children’s pastor at a thriving church.  Andrew is passionate about intentional parenting and effective children’s ministry.  He blogs about Kids, Family, and Ministry at AndrewScottLinder.com, and he creates children’s ministry resources that combine faith with fun that can be found at KidzBlast.com. 

Andrew-Linder

One of the most powerful things I’ve learned in children’s ministry over the last 13 years is this:

  • Kids engage in what is FUN
  • Kids get excited over what is FUN
  • Kids are greatly influenced by what is FUN
  • Kids remember what is FUN

You may not have caught it, but there is a key to successful children’s ministry, that if we overlook, we miss the boat to effectiveness. You probably guessed it :-)…  FUN!

At our church, our children’s ministry is called KidzBlast – “Combining Faith with Fun!” Kids love to have fun, and what better way to use fun for good than to combine it with faith to make a lasting and memorable impact?

Think about it.

Have you ever noticed how Disney/Pixar/etc. have a “fun” character in nearly every kids’ movie they make, regardless of whether the character’s role is significant in the storyline or not?

  • My kids loved the movie Shrek. And do you know why? It really wasn’t because of Shrek. It was because of, you guessed it, Donkey!
  • My kids went crazy over Despicable Me. Why? One word – Minions!
  • And who doesn’t love the movie Frozen? Why? Another obvious – Olaf!

What it is that makes you want to watch those movies over and over again? I’m going to guess that it’s probably not the great storyline that draws you back in time after time.

It’s those fun characters that make our kids (and us) want to watch those movies over and over again. Without them, the movie, although having the same storyline, would be far less appealing and attention grabbing, and certainly less memorable. As much as you love Frozen, you probably wouldn’t be drawn to watching it over and over again with your kids if it weren’t for the fun that Olaf brings to the entire story.

So my question for you today is this – Why aren’t we making faith fun for our kids? I understand that fun is not the reason we exist as a church or a ministry, and we could teach the same stories every week without it. However, it will be far less appealing and attention grabbing, and certainly less memorable.

Whether we like it or not, we are in a sense competing with the entertainment industry for the hearts and minds of our children today. Just like a kid goes to school the next day after watching a movie and can’t be muzzled for talking so much about it nonstop… that ought to be our desire in ministry as well.

The kids in our classes on Sunday morning ought not be able to keep quiet on Monday morning about what they did and learned and how much fun they had in church the day before. Fun makes faith sticky! And isn’t that what we really want? We want our influence to stick.

A few months ago, when one of our first time bus riders was dropped of at her door, her father asked her, “So, how’d it go?” Her response, “BEST DAY EVER!!!” That’s the way it should be when we combine faith with fun in our ministry.

So, what will you do this Sunday to combine faith with fun? It might just be the one thing more than any other that makes your message stick.

I’d love to hear your input by you leaving a comment. What are some ways you’ve successfully combined faith with fun in your ministry?

Most Popular Posts Of 2014

2014-2015

It’s hard to believe, but 2014 is almost over.  What a year it has been.  I am so honored that you choose to share some of your precious time with me as we journey together.  Each person who reads this blog is committed to reaching the next generation with the message of Jesus in the most powerful and effective way we can.

I took some time to check out which of my posts were the most popular in 2014.  It was a banner year for this blog as we added thousands of new followers.  Here are the TOP FIVE posts from 2014.

#1 Post of 2014:  “Should Kids Ministry Leaders Drink Alcohol?”

#2 Post of 2014:  “Disney Channel Introduces First Lesbian Couple On A Kids Show”

#3 Post of 2014:  “Are Church Fall Festivals Actually Counter-Productive”

#4 Post of 2014:  “Talking To Kids About SEX”

#5 Post of 2014:  “3 Reasons You Need To Stop Telling Everyone You Need Help”

Thanks to YOU!  You are the ones who “voted” by visiting and sharing these posts.  Continue to help spread the word.  Feel free to share on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere you can!  God bless, and Happy New Year!  I can’t wait to see what God does in 2015!

I would love to hear from you!  What topics would YOU like me to cover in 2015?  Leave a comment here!  I will choose one comment at random to win a $100 Shopping Spree on our High Voltage Kids Ministry store!

Too Many Pastors Are Overweight

Pastors Overweight

I figured that headline would get your attention.  But, sadly it is true.  Certainly not all, but an overwhelming majority (76%) of pastors (male and female) answered a recent poll that they would call themselves “obese.”  In addition, many of them don’t feel confident behind the pulpit, don’t feel attractive to their spouse, aren’t taking a day off, have trouble sleeping, are lacking exercise regularly, and have minimal know-how to fueling their bodies.

I can certainly say that not too long ago – I was in the same boat.  I finally came to the realization that change was never going to happen to me – I had to MAKE change happen.  With God’s help, I was able to make some drastic changes in my life, exercise and eating habits.  This past year, I lost nearly 20 pounds and completed my first 26.2 mile marathon.

For those of you that say, “I just don’t know where to start!”  I totally understand.  I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Ricky Van Pay.  He is a personal fitness coach and chaplain that launched fitpastors.com to specifically help pastors achieve their health and fitness goals.

I highly recommend you check it out!  Ricky has a coaching huddle starting in January designed to a LIMITED number (only 100) of pastors and ministers.  To check it out CLICK HERE!

I know that many of you are planning to get in shape in 2015.  I am believing that you WILL achieve your health and fitness goals so that you can build a sustainable life pace and be effective long-term for the Kingdom.  If you want a coach, Ricky and fitpastors.com may very well be a good fit for you.

FREE Christmas Resources From OneHope

OneHope Christmas

Hey everybody!  Christmas is only one week away!  Can you believe it?  I know that many of you are working hard at putting the fine touches on your Christmas service this Sunday!  My friends at OneHope.net want to help you out by providing FREE resources for you.  Just go to http://onehope.net/feature/christmas-resources/ and check out what they have provided.  There is everything from coloring pages to parent resources.  Merry Christmas, everybody!