Can You Really Fall In Love With Reading The Bible?

Bible Dust

I didn’t always enjoy reading the Bible.  I know – it’s really BAD for a pastor to admit this.  Just to clarify, it’s not that I disliked the Bible.  It’s just that I saw it as more of something I NEEDED to do rather than something I WANTED to do.

We’ve all been there.  Our Western mindset causes us to make reading the Bible something to be achieved and knocked off the list.  We make a grand goal of “reading the Bible through in a year,” but barely get through the book of Numbers before we abandon that and skip to Proverbs.  We look at the best-selling book of all time and treat it like an owner’s manual rather than a treasure map (which it  most definitely is).

My good friend, Keith Ferrin, is one of the most passionate people I have ever met about the Bible!  I had the opportunity to interview Keith a short time ago.  I asked him how his journey into “falling in love with the Bible” began.  His story is inspiring.  I think you will be challenged by his commitment to God’s Word, but you will also say, “I can do that.”  It’s an incredible interview and VERY practical.  Keith’s goal is simple:  “To help you ENJOY the Bible.  If you enjoy it, you will read it more.  If you enjoy it, you will talk about it.  If you enjoy it, you will be more consistent in your time with God.  If you enjoy it, you will apply it!”

Keith has just launched something that I think you need to check out!  He has launched an 8-part video “Relational Bible Study” course.  It is such a revolutionary idea that many of you can benefit from.  You can check it out here!  Don’t delay!  This opportunity is only available for a few days!  The deadline to register for this incredible online course is Wednesday, September 30th!

A Church That’s Not Afraid To Talk About Racism In America

racism panel

This past weekend, my church (First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas) hosted a panel discussion on one of the hot button issues of our day: RACISM. What followed was an hour filled with open conversation, shocking statements, raw feelings, surprising confessions – ALL done with the most incredible grace, mercy, and love that only followers of Christ can do.

If you think anyone chose to shy from the difficult facts, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Sit down, watch, and prepare to be challenged and encouraged.  God is at work in HIS Church!

Watch the entire video here:

video - racism panel


3 Practical Keys That Will Transform Your Kids Church Experience

SLAM Stage

As Kids Ministry leaders, it’s our passion to help children become life-long followers of Jesus.  It’s about getting kids excited about the Word of God.  After being in kids ministry for over 23 years, I’ve also developed a passion to equip other teachers to present God’s word with excellence so that it leaves a lasting imprint on the minds and spirits of the children we minister to.  In order to do so, we need to work with a curriculum that holds keys to unlock doors of opportunity to create a transformational kids church experience.

The big question is: What makes kids church curriculum effective?

As the creator of High Voltage Kids Curriculum I have discovered 3 incredible keys which create that irresistible environment for children.  Over 5000 churches are already experiencing the impact of the principles that I am about to share with you:

Key 1:  Have an interactive approach to teaching

Over the years I have discovered that that number one thing that will help to effectively communicate the Gospel to kids, and to get them really engaged, is to have an interactive approach to teaching.  Many times we have the “lecture thing” going on where we have a teacher stand in front of the class simply “sharing stuff.”  The kids are simply “watching” the teacher and lack real engagement with the content that is being shared.  They often seem disconnected at best.

Studies show that if you just “watch,” you retain 10% of what is being communicated.  If you hear and see at the same time, that number can rise all the way up to 40% retention.  However, if we are able to get the child physically involved in action, they are going to remember 90% of what is being communicated.  Now, there are various ways to accomplish that level of engagement.  At High Voltage Kids we’ve added several components in our curriculum that stimulate this type of interaction.  From the “Watt’s Up?” segment to the “Power Verse” segment to the “Brain Drain” game, we have purposefully incorporated interactive elements to keep your kids engaged.

Key 2:  Never let “media” take your place as the minister in the room

Technology is great.  It’s all around us.  It’s the language that is spoken by our kids.  It’s the environment that they are growing up in.  So, obviously you’re going to need to have media integrated into your lesson plan.  Whether through video, games, or interactive online environments, it doesn’t matter.  Media is an important aspect that will contribute to effectively communicating the subject matter.  However media should NEVER overtake the role of the kids pastor or class teacher.  I know it’s never our intention to have that happen, however there is a real danger of that happening anyway.

Many times, because it the current thing to do, media is the dominant driver of kids church.  I personally believe that’s a wrong approach.  Nothing can take your place as the leader and minister in the room.  Whatever you do through media should enhance what you as a leader and minister are doing, not replace what you are doing.

Key 3: Always take the lesson beyond the Sunday experience

Taking the lesson outside of the classroom and beyond the Sunday morning experience is crucial.  As Kids Ministry Leaders, we have most kids for about one hour a week.  If a kid has perfect attendance, throughout the year, you’ll have them for a total of 52 hours in one year.  We all know that perfect attendance is really an illusion.  It simply doesn’t happen. So, the reality is that you are only having your kids in your classroom for a very limited time.  When you add up those hours, you are lucky to maybe have the ability to minister and impact a kid for only 2 full days (48 hrs) of the 365 days that a year has to offer.  Understanding this limitation forces us to think bigger and bolder.  It’s crucial that we integrate tools that allow kids to take the Sunday experience with them, into the week and into their homes, so they can experience the impact as part of their everyday family life.

At High Voltage Kids we’ve developed curriculum based on these discovered keys.

Because of that, we can facilitate an environment that creates transformational experiences for our kids.  Whether you choose to use High Voltage Kids Curriculum or materials from another publisher, it really doesn’t matter.  As long as we understand these important keys, we can unlock the hearts of the children that we’ve been entrusted with and give them the experience they need to develop a strong relationship with their Father.

If you are interested in learning more about High Voltage Kids Digital, I’ve created a promo video that will explain some of the incredible value that our online membership has to offer.  It explains how you can experience the power of High Voltage Kids year around for one amazing low price.  HURRY though!  The enrollment window into this membership closes September 15th and won’t open up again until February 2016.  Check it out:

How To Talk To Kids About Life’s Toughest Topics


Children today are being bombarded by messages that are contrary to what the Bible teaches.  As I talk to parents and grandparents, they feel completely overwhelmed as they try to navigate the difficult waters of conversation with their kids about very difficult topics like:

  • SEX
  • Self-Image
  • Bullying
  • Divorce
  • Death & Tragedy
  • Money
  • Making Wise Choices
  • Friendships
  • Forgiveness
  • God & Spirituality

That’s why I am so excited about my brand new book, “Talk Now And Later: How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics.”  You don’t have to GUESS how to communicate with your kids about these subjects.  I have taken my 23 years as a Children’s Pastor and my experience as a Father of two and put it in this book to help you.  I firmly believe it is going to be a GAME-CHANGER for Christian Parents.

The book OFFICIALLY releases TODAY, September 1, 2015.  I think every Christian Parent, Grandparent, Kids Pastor, and Children’s Ministry Leader needs to have this book as a resource for the many difficult conversations that are going to happen among the children that God has blessed you with.  The question is not WILL these difficult topics come up.  The question is will you be PREPARED when they do come up?

So, get your copy of “Talk Now And Later” HERE and start learning how to lead the kids in your life in meaningful spiritual conversations about life’s toughest topics. You’ll be glad you did.

I can’t wait to hear the stories of what God is going to do as you “Talk Now AND Later!”

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Incredible Innovation In Kids Ministry Staging And Sets


Sharing space with Youth Ministry or a School?  Tired of the grind of having to spend hours setting up and tearing down your Kidmin set pieces?  My great friend, Steve Hogue, has patented an UNBELIEVABLE and life-changing idea just for YOU!

It’s called the “Inflate-A-Set”, and it is incredible!  The idea was born out of Steve’s own plight of having to share space with other ministries within the church and taking too much time to set up and tear down.  He began with children’s church in the school’s gymnasium, which is also the chapel room, which is also where youth church meets on Wed. nights.  Set up and tear down, setup and tear down…maybe you can relate!

Steve’s challenge turned into an inspiration…a true God-design!  God literally downloaded plans for a children’s church set that could “blow up” (ok, so “inflate” is probably a better word).   Simply attach a 1 horse blower and you have a cool backdrop, with a puppet stage or doorway and a place for a rear-projection screen!  Set up and break down is less than 10 minutes! 

This innovative, patented design has not only helped his ministry, but is saving time, energy and money for many churches across America!  Inflate-A-Set officially went on the market in August 2009 and is creating a  lot of buzz.   Inflatable sets are durable, versatile, affordable, and portable!

Check out this video which shows how easy it is to set up:

When I personally saw the Inflate-a-set for the first time, I KNEW it was perfect for Church Plants.  So, my church bought one for a church plant that we wanted to invest in.  They have used it for years and are THRILLED with it.  Want more info?  CLICK HERE to visit Steve’s website and find out how amazing Inflate-A-Set really is.  I have seen it in action and was BLOWN AWAY!

Make Ministry Simple, Not Easy


Today’s post is written by Jeffrey Kranz and sponsored by Disciplr, a new interactive curriculum platform for KidMin leaders. Check out their free ebook for Sunday school teachers!

It’s a blessing and a curse to be a leader in this day and age, isn’t it?

It’s a blessing because it seems like almost every area of life is getting easier. It’s a curse because you’re expected to make things exponentially easier for your volunteers, too!

That makes sense, though. Almost everything is getting easier.

  • I can’t remember the last time I had to ask for directions. (Thanks, Google!)
  • I can keep in contact with all my old friends and make new ones around the world. (Thanks, Twitter!)
  • I’m automatically reminded of my next appointment. (Thanks, Siri!)


But ministry? I don’t think ministry is getting easier—for leaders or volunteers.

It seems like no matter how advanced the technology gets for the local church, ministry is still tough work. (And this is coming for a guy who has worked for two software companies that specialize in ministry tools!)

But that begs the question: Should ministry be easy in the first place?

Ministry isn’t easy in the Bible

I suppose it makes sense that ministry isn’t necessarily easy. “Ministry” literally means “service,” and service usually involves some work!

Plus, when I look at what some of the characters in the Bible experienced while they did ministry, “easy” isn’t exactly the word that comes to mind.

  • Ministry wasn’t easy for the prophets. The Israelites planned to kill Moses a few times. Jeremiah was thrown in a pit. Daniel was thrown to the lions. Elijah was considered an enemy of the state.
  • Ministry wasn’t easy for the apostles, either. James was beheaded. John was exiled. Peter was crucified. Paul had quite the list of hardships (2 Corinthians 11:23–29).
  • Ministry definitely wasn’t easy for Jesus!
  • Paul doesn’t think ministry will be easy for the people he taught, either. He tells Timothy that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).


Ministry isn’t easy. It probably never will be.

So what can leaders do?

Your volunteers see everything getting easier around them, and they’re going to expect ministry to keep pace. How can you, as a leader, help them out—even though ministry will never be easy?

I can think of one huge way you can help them:

If you can’t make it easier, make it simpler.


Easy vs simple

“Easy” and “simple” are often thrown around as synonyms. However, when it comes to ministry, there’s a difference.

“Easy” means something takes less work.

“Simple” means something is less complex or convoluted.

You can make lots of things easier. But for the stuff that’s irreducibly hard work (like ministry!), you can always look for ways to make the process less complex.

For example: many people are afraid of public speaking—it’s been said that people are more afraid of public speaking than death and spiders! You won’t make that easier for the brave volunteers who agree to teach large group.

But you can make the process simpler for them. You can get them a script ahead of time. You can have all the props ready to go backstage (or onstage). You can do a mic check before the session begins. You can put a clock in the back of the room so they know how they’re doing on time!

You see the difference? You’re not making it easier for the volunteer to speak in public. But you are making the whole process surrounding the hard work a lot less complex. There’s less that the volunteer needs to think about—they’re free to focus on what they need to do.

It’s simpler.

You won’t make ministry easier. But you can definitely make it simple.

3 ways to simplify your children’s ministry

There are many ways you can start making your children’s ministry simpler. Here are a few to consider as you gear up for the beginning of the school year.

Consider fewer programs

Church consultant Tony Morgan recently warned churches not to launch too many programs this fall. Consider how many programs you have going on—and how your volunteers are spread across them. Is there a way for you to consolidate your programs? Can you cut some of the good programs to make the others great?

Make an internal communication strategy

Take an afternoon and plan out when you will send messages to your team. The more consistent you are in your messaging, the more consistent your volunteers can be in reading and responding to your messages! Some messages you will want to strategize may include:

  • Weekly reminder of Sunday morning’s agenda
  • Monthly lesson assignments
  • Encouraging notes for the team

Take an afternoon to determine when the best times might be to send these (and other) to your volunteers. By being consistent, you make the whole ministry experience simpler for your volunteers—they know when they’ll hear from you!

Consolidate your systems and services

It’s easier for volunteers to buy into one platform than many! While some of your volunteers will be quicker to pick up on digital tools than others, even the tech-savviest of them don’t want to get bogged down with too many platforms and services.

(This is one of the reasons we made Disciplr. It’s a single platform that handles all the shopping for Sunday school lessons, managing volunteers, and even your shopping lists for classroom materials. Plus, the lessons are cloud-based, so your volunteers don’t need to think about hunting down attachments in their inboxes.)

If you consolidate the tools you use, your volunteers will have less of a hassle learning the ropes—and you won’t find it as difficult to retain them! Again, this doesn’t make the ministry itself easier, but it sure does make it simpler!


Volunteers want to serve. And though you can’t make ministry easy, there are plenty of ways you can make it simpler for them!

And if you’re interested in getting some more tips for growing as a KidMin leader, I recommend you check out Greg Baird’s free guide: 8 Qualities of a Great Sunday School Teacher.



Only 7 DAYS until the release of “Talk Now And Later: How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” on September 1, 2015.  You can download the first chapter now at

4 Reasons The Kids In Your Ministry Are Misbehaving

child misbehavior

We’ve all been there.  It’s Sunday Morning, and you are ready for an awesome day of ministry to the kids in your church.  But, things just didn’t go according to plan.  Johnny wouldn’t stop throwing paper airplanes, Suzi wouldn’t stop talking to her neighbor, and the Jones kid decided to bring a laser pointer and virtually blind you while you were teaching.  It seemed like the entire class had obviously eaten a dozen powdered donuts for breakfast and were on a major sugar high.

Now, when this happens you have a choice to make.  You can get angry, threaten to quit, or bury your head in your pillow for the rest of the day.  OR, you could ask yourself – “Why were the kids acting this way?”  The truth is, there are several common reasons why kids misbehave in class…

Common Reasons For Misbehavior

1) A Desire to Belong

One of kids’ greatest desires is to connect with their peers.  Sometimes a child’s misbehavior results from a mistaken assumption that an inappropriate action will help gain peer recognition. When kids feel disconnected from a group, misbehavior is often actually a misguided tactic to belong: “If I refuse to participate, others will think I’m cool, and I’ll fit in with the group.”

2) Lack of Direction

Unclear rules, inconsistent enforcement, and lack of consequences can ignite misbehavior.  If kids believe they’ll get away with inappropriate behavior, and there’s a history of tolerance without repercussions, the spark of misbehavior can spread like a wildfire.

3) Environment

Sometimes the room arrangement encourages kids to act out.  Seating arrangements, physical distractions, and space issues can lead to a child’s poor behavior choice.  One church had kids who constantly goofed off in chairs during class time.  Their leader removed the chairs and had kids sit on the floor.  This simple change eliminated the distraction and kids were instantly more engaged in the teaching.  Group chemistry and personal circumstances may also create a hostile environment.

4) Boredom

If kids aren’t engaged in learning, they’ll engage in something else.  And an unprepared leader is a doormat just waiting to be stepped on.

Successful Discipline comes down to two words: Clear Expectations

There is no way that kids can be expected to be held accountable to follow rules that are never clearly communicated to them.


Don’t develop so many rules that kids can’t remember them from week to week. The rules I have used my entire ministry are the C.O.O.L. Rules

Care about your neighbor – don’t be a space invader

Only get out of your seat when you have permission

Obey the leader and don’t interrupt

Let’s work together – and be WINNERS!

To help kids understand, ask them what it looks like to follow the stated rules.  For example, “Care about your neighbor and don’t be a space invader.”  Ask kids, “What does this rule look like?”


Wavering in your discipline approach weekly causes confusion with the kids. Being extra sensitive and calling down everyone one week, then being extra care-free and allowing all kinds of disruptions will NOT help your kids at all. Be consistent.

Keep It FAIR

Many of our kids face life with a list of personalities, disorders, and issues attached to them. Each week may bring a different set of behavioral problems and challenges in your class. In the heat of the moment it can be easy to label the child instead of the inappropriate behavior.

Take care when confronting a child about his or her misbehavior.  Announcing to the class that Sally’s a chatterbox when she constantly talks out of turn doesn’t model respect and may inflict damage to her developing sense of self.  Instead, remind Sally that one of the class rules is to be respectful and when she talks out of turn, her behavior is disrespectful.


If you want kids to follow your policy, follow through with established consequences. Consequences help kids own their behavior and teach them to make better choices. Here are the established steps to follow when applying consequences.

  • Remind the child of the rule they have broken.
  • Official Warning
  • Move the child to a different seat
  • Remove the child from the room (bring them to office)
  • Pastor discussion
  • Parent meeting
  • Suspension for one week
  • Suspension for three weeks
  • Permanent suspension

Above all, let’s take a POSITIVE approach.

You get what you celebrate!  So, don’t blame the kids when they misbehave.  Take a step back, evaluate your approach, and modify it accordingly.  Good luck out there!

Last Chance To Get Autographed Copy of “Talk Now And Later”

TNAL Facebook Ad (20 percent TEXT)

I am so excited about the upcoming release of my brand new book, “Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” on September 1, 2015.  It’s a book I wrote to help parents, grandparents, and anyone who is a spiritual influence in the life of a child to help them navigate the tough conversations about today’s “taboo” subjects such as sex, bullying, money, divorce, self-image, and more.

I have talked to a lot of people who have read Talk Now and Later.  Many of them expressed feeling encouraged and equipped to guide their child through tough conversations.

It makes my heart jump when I hear those testimonial stories.  This is the very reason why I wrote the book, created my video series and why I blog about parenting so much.  I simply love to help equip you to talk to your kids about difficult stuff.

Tonight at midnight (August 15, 2015), the discounted offer for an autographed copy of Talk Now and Later is going away.  Obviously, the book will still be for sale through Amazon and other retail outlets, but I won’t be signing copies anymore.

I want you to consider something:

1.) If you have read the book and it positively impacted you, please consider purchasing a copy for others that may benefit from it.

At this time you can still benefit from an (up to) 40% discount on bulk orders.  And yes, these will also be signed by me!

2.)  If you haven’t read the book yet, you may want to consider getting one now.  I confidently believe that it will bless you tremendously and that the practical information as shared in the book will fuel memorable conversations with you and your children. 

If you’d like to get an autographed copy at a discounted price, then now is your chance to get one.  CLICK HERE to order your autographed copy!

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