How Effective Planning Can Jump-Start Your Week

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As you shut down your computer on Friday and reflect on your workweek, you either feel a sense of fulfillment or you wonder where the time went. We’ve all had weeks when we kick butt and take names. We’ve also all had weeks when we busily go from one thing to another but have nothing to show for our efforts at the end of the week. With some effective planning on the front end, you can jump-start your workweek and feel satisfied as you roll into the weekend.

1. DETERMINE WHERE YOU’RE GOING.

Stephen Covey eloquently said,

“Begin with the end in mind.”

As you begin your week, visualize what you want to achieve. Sure, it would be great to plan that next big event, write months of curriculum, personally disciple every student in your ministry, and create a killer social media strategy, but with only 168 hours this week, you won’t be able to get it all done. You can’t do everything in one week, but with some planning you can do some things. Pull out your calendar, pray for God’s will to be done, and write down your goals for the week.

2. CHOOSE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS.

The work of ministry is never truly done—you can always have more conversations, improve your systems, and spend more time in the Word. So choose and write down a few big tasks that are both important and urgent for this workweek. If you’re planning a service project, finding transportation is important, but the details you first need to determine are date and location. On Friday, you don’t want to look back and see all the little tasks you accomplished as you failed to complete the big and urgent goal.

Read the next 3 steps by clicking here!

8 Expert Authors Whose Books Will Grow Your Ministry To The Next Level

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Almost every ministry leader I talk with is reading a book to improve themselves and their ministry. But with more than a million books release annually, it’s difficult to select your next purchase. Which author’s have done the research necessary to release great content? Who can write as an authority on the subject that which you are interested? And honestly, who can write something worth reading? Here are 8 expert authors whose books will grow your ministry to the next level! 

Andy Stanley
Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
Seven Practices of Effective Ministry (North Point Resources)
How to Be Rich: It’s Not What You Have. It’s What You Do With What You Have.

Jim Wideman
Children’s Ministry Leadership: The You-Can-Do-It Guide
Stretch-Structuring Your Ministry For Growth
Children’s Ministry Volunteers That Stick
Beat the Clock

Reggie Joiner
Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide…
Lead Small: Five Big Ideas Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know
Creating a Lead Small Culture: Make Your Church a Place Where Kids Belong

Ken Blanchard
Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service
Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization
Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships

Ryan Frank
9 Things They Didn’t Teach Me in College About Children’s Ministry
Pulse: Pumping Life into Your Kids Ministry

Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

George Barna
Churchless: Understanding Today’s Unchurched and How to Connect with Them
Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions: Why Children Should Be Your Church’s 1 Priority

Michelle Anthony
Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families
Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family: Avoiding the 6 Dysfunctional Parenting Styles
7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries

 

Who would you add to this list?

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3 Simplified Breakthrough Tips To Unlock Your Faith

In your wildest dreams, did you ever picture yourself to be in the place you are now? If you could go back in time and explain to yourself where the future has taken you, do you think you would even believe it? I believe there are reasons why God often shows us only our next step. The writer of Hebrews said, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (11:1) Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Here are 3 simplified breakthrough tips to unlock your faith.

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1. Acknowledge your limited view. You don’t know what 10 years from now looks like, let alone the end of today. A phone call can come in at any minute and forever alter the course of your life. While…

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You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To; Except This…

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Growing up, were you told you could do anything you put your mind to? With the right motivation and enough time you can accomplish most things, but not everything. The absolute truth is that Jesus paid the price you could never afford. If you had all the time, money, energy, skills, and abilities you still come up short. With this post being only five sentences, I think we can take a minute to reflect on fact that Jesus truly paid it all and all to Him I owe.

A Useful Scripture Memory Tool Endorsed By Me

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Do you wish you had the willpower to memorize Scripture? Do you find it challenging to commit your favorite passages to memory? If you’re like most people who believe in the Bible, you wish you knew more verses by heart but have not taken the time to study. I recently found a scripture memory tool that works for me; membands. 

Membands are silicone wristbands that help the wearer memorize a verse. Embossed on the outside of the bracelet are capital letters, the scripture reference, and the membands logo. For example, I am currently wearing a memband that says, “TIMCBSACDNBAODFTLYGIWYWYG.” Embossed on the inside of the bracelet the verse is written out, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

When I first put the bracelet on, it looks like a secret code, but after a few hours, there is a breakthrough where I can easily look at the letters and remember the verse. After a day or so of glancing at my wrist while holding a coffee, driving down the road, or going for a walk I am always surprised that the verse is committed to memory. Then as the week is over, I can delight in knowing a new verse and can give this bracelet to someone who needs to hear the verse.

Membands are one of the many tools out there to help you focus on God’s Word. Over the last month, this method has proven itself to work for me. The company has plans to launch a Smartphone App to track shared bands and they are even looking into a subscription plan. If you’re looking for an easy way to hide God’s word in your heart, check out membands. 

 

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3 Common Mistakes KidMin Make (And How to Avoid Them)

3 Common Mistakes

Hopefully, you are not the same caliber leader you were last year. And hopefully, you are not making the same mistakes today that you made yesterday. At least a dozen times I have heard Jim Wideman say, “Successful leaders make mistakes, and then they learn from those mistakes and keep going.” Today I want to share with you three common mistakes kidmin leaders make and how to avoid them.

1. Self-Reliance

Far too many KidMin leaders are relying on the strengths that God gave them instead of the God who gave them those strengths. Psalm 127:1 clearly states, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” God has also blessed you with a team who He has given specific and intentional gifts. Are you equipping those under your leadership to use their talents for God’s kingdom? If you are making the mistake of self-reliance, take a step in the right direction today by repenting and asking both God and your team for their forgiveness.

2. Not Allowing Outside Voices

One of the greatest catalysts for taking your next step in leadership is allowing someone to speak truth into your life. Find someone further down the road than you and invite them into your life. Ask specific questions that allow the mentor to address personal character issues as well as areas of failure that you might not see. Also, learn from coaches or people who you might not have a relationship with by reading their books and blogs. Learn from others successes as well as their failures. If a coach gives you personal access to them, ask great questions and apply the wisdom they shared with you. There are also local kidmin leaders who you can learn from if you allow the opportunity. If you are not allowing outside voices into your life, take a step in the right direction today by researching a mentoring group or inviting someone to speak truth into your life.

3. Failure To Prioritizing

Kids ministry is never really finished. There are always more prayers to be prayed, more conversations to have, and more people to evangelize. The sad truth is that while many kidmin leaders are busy doing work, very few are getting the important work done. With 168 hours in the week, you need to know and live by your priorities. If God is truly number one, is this reflected in your time and finances? If your family truly comes before your ministry, is this demonstrated in your kid’s attitude towards your job? If you are failing to prioritize, take a step in the right direction today by physically writing out your priorities and creating an action plan to keep them in the right order.

What Mistakes Do You See? 

I have outlined 3 common mistakes KidMin make and how to avoid them. What mistakes would you add to this post and how do you avoid them? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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4 Simple Challenges Direct From Philippians 2

Have you ever opened up the Bible, began reading and felt completely lost? The Bible is full of historical events, unusual commands, and lists of names that can intimidate the reader. While some books in the Bible might confuse the reader, Philippians has only four chapters and is full of encouraging wisdom. Here are 4 simple challenges direct from Philippians 2 that Paul challenges the church to become.

1. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others (vs 3).  If applied, these eight words could change every school, home, and workplace in America. How many times do we get ourselves in trouble by putting our wants before the needs of others? How often do we find ourselves caught up in lies because we are trying to impress others? With these words, Paul challenges the church to have the same attitude of Christ.

2. Be humble, thinking…

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