Quick Book Review & Free Giveaway: Stretch by Jim Wideman


If you’re leading a team of volunteers or oversee a ministry, you celebrate and search after growth. In Jim Wideman’s informative book, Stretch – Structuring Your Ministry For Growth, he asks the questions, “If a hundred new families walked into your church, would you know what do do with them? Would their kids have teachers? Would they even have a classroom? If fifty people who wanted to serve approached you this Sunday, could your system handle it?” These questions will challenge your thinking and throughout the book you will be see how to create a growth structure for your ministry. 

Stretch Teaches The Following Topics:

The Importance of Structure

Making Room to Receive

Beginning Keys to Building Structure in Ministry

Structuring Yourself for Growth

Enlarging the Abilities of Those You Lead

Structuring Your Organization for Growth

Structuring Your Volunteers for Growth

Structuring Your Facilities for Growth

Communicating Your Structure

Questions to Ask Yourself

If you desire to apply Biblical principles of structuring your ministry for growth, then Stretch is for you. Pick up a copy for yourself and then lead your team through each chapter. Take steps today, to move away from a maintenance model and create a strategic plan for the ministry you are stewarding.

If you would like to be entered for a chance to win a physical copy of Stretch, simply share this blog post to social media. 

What 5 Scriptures Need To Be In Your Office To Build Yourself Up?


If there’s one essential quality in successful ministry leaders, it’s a passion for God’s Word. You can keep your priorities, manage your time, and delegate all the right responsibilities but without a solid foundation everything can come tumbling down. At Jim Wideman’s Infuse 11 retreat, he asked the question, “What 5 Scriptures need to be in your office to build yourself up?” Here is a quick process for determining which passages you need to ask God to impress in your heart.

First, determine where you are currently. Are you struggling with a specific sin or temptation? Are you in a season where you need encouragement? Do you need to focus on one of God’s promises?

Next, decide where you want to be. Is there something holding you back from reaching your potential? Is there a promise found in God’s Word that can push you closer to the person God made you to be? Is there a fear holding you back that the Bible can speak into?

Research and listen to the Spirit. Jump over to Bible Gateway and type in a keyword or two to begin researching. Check out different translations and ask the Spirit to speak to your heart through His word. Remember that whatever you feed will grow.

Write down the 5 scriptures that need to be in your office post them visually. Place them somewhere that you will read them regularly and consider creating some digital graphics for your desktop or background.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12

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


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 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!

Obedience Will Always Get You To The Right Place


6 years ago, when my wife, Nicole, and I began looking for our new home and children’s ministry the limits were the world. We didn’t feel a specific calling and with our family spread out everywhere, we were open to anything. After a lot of prayer, hard work, and seeking wise counsel we discovered Southern Hills Christian Church in Carrollton GA. On our first Sunday checking out the church, we really wanted to be a true visitor and so we snuck in under the radar. We didn’t want special treatment and it was very important to me that I worked at a church that welcomes new folks. I wanted to be able to invite a stranger at the coffee shop and know that even if we didn’t see each other at church, they would feel welcomed.

As you can guess, we loved our first visit. We experienced the church stepping out of their comfort zone to welcome us, not just the door greeters, but the average church members in the seats. When someone found out that we were looking for a new job, they prayed with us. This church leader wasn’t an elder or someone on staff this was just an average guy who went out of his way to welcome visitors. We felt an overwhelming sense that this was the place and on our way home began praying that if it wasn’t that God would shut the door.

Well, time passed, interviews came and went, and man, they went well. And I can remember it like it was yesterday. The elders asked if I had any further questions and hesitantly I explained that I had one more thing. I went on to explain that long term, my goal is that my wife and I would work for the same church. I told them about how we both had the same degree, about how we have worked together before, about how I know the difficulties that come with hiring couples but about how we have left our previous jobs well and won’t leave the church in a bad place. The elders sat in silence for a minute, a very long minute, and then one spoke up and said, “Sorry Corey, we have done this in the past, and it’s just not gonna happen.” So I did what most folks in my position would do and just cried on the inside. We wrapped up in prayer and I headed back to Nicole and filled her in on the news.

We were in a HARD spot. We knew that God wanted us a SoHills. We knew it and had so much peace about it that I really believed that if they offered the job and I didn’t take it, that I was being disobedient to God. But, what about my wife? What about our long term goals? What about the plan? We had no idea what God’s plan was for her, but she too had so much peace about it and God made it so clear to me that He had orchestrated this, that it was His plan, and if I didn’t follow, then I was choosing…to disobey…God…

So long story short. We were obedient. We took that next step that God showed us and I accepted the position. God only showed us that one step, but we obediently followed Him. Over time, Nicole kept a positive attitude and stayed obedient. Through a lot of small steps of obedience, Nicole was eventually offered a staff position. I learned a very important lesson that later my mentor Brother Jim spelled out when he said, “Obedience will always get you to the right place.” 

Is there a time in your life where you learned, “Obedience will always get you to the right place?”

This is an excerpt from my sermon from July 3rd, to hear the whole message, click here!

Leadership in KidMin is Delegation

imgres I recently joined The Club for children’s ministry workers. This is a monthly audio leadership resource that will teach organization, administration and leadership skills from Jim Wideman who has been there and done it with a proven track record of excellence in ministry. The past year was made available and so I decided to start at the beginning and work to the present date. The first section was on DELEGATION.

Delegation is having someone to represent you in an area. I should be delegating to people who I have already started the process of duplication. A goal that I have placed for the 2013-2014 school year is to build depth in our volunteer teams. Jim asked, “If people were no problem where could you use a worker?” This has been something that I have been thinking through and I have an immediate need list and a future need list.

Immediate Volunteer Openings:
Huddle Coach (small group leader): First Service 4th Grade Girls, Second Service 1st Grade Girls, Wednesday 1st Grade Boys
Huddle Assistants: Sunday, First Service Kindergarten, Second Service 4th and 5th Grade Girls, 5th Grade Boys
Concierge for Visitors at Every Service
First Impressions/Check In Wednesday Night
Special Need Assistant Coaches

Future Volunteer Openings:
Service Coordinator
Creative Team
Large Group Teacher
Worship Leader

I have also been working through the fact that some day everyone will be replaced. Some will move to find a new job, some will move up with their kids to the next stage of ministry, some will experience life difficulties and need to step down, and others will pass away. The truth is that everyone will need to be replaced. I need to be finding my one day replacement and I need to help each of my volunteers find the person who will one day grab hold of the reigns and lead. It is sad to think that this will one day come but the truth is that the day is coming and the best thing I can do for the organization is to set it up for future success!

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