Thursday, March 31, 2011

Raising Godly Kids In A Not So Godly World-Part 4

#3. You can’t raise Godly kids without focus. Focus is defined as an act of concentrating interest or activity on something. Even if you are alone in the parenting task you must be intentional about your focus! One of my favorite scriptures is Proverb 28:2 “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.” This is true at every age! Evaluation must be the compainion to focus! It takes one to have the other.

#4. Desire to be an encourager more than a drill sergeant
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." The Bible is not a book of don’ts many parents present it as such. It’s a book of do’s and when children are encouraged to do all the do’s there’s not much time for the don’ts. Encourage your children to get involved in ministry. Encourage your children to participate in activities that teach the value of serving. Talk to your children positively. Be the biggest cheerleader in their life! You can ask my kids, I look for every opportunity to reward & bless my children, that’s why they know Father God is good!

#5. You cannot disciple without discipline
Matthew 28:19 says Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, At the heart of discipleship is “discipline” but the key is consistency. Kids learn commitment and respect for authority from their parents. Children need to know the rules of your family (they are for all members even you!) Explain why what they do wrong is wrong, show them firsthand in the word. You must teach and model repentance parent also teach and model forgiveness. Make it a habit to do everything you do in love especially discipline. 

Parent whether you have a partner or you are working alone enlisting the help of a local church with a dynamic family support ministry is a smart idea. Two combined influences working together and be more affective than one influence working by themselves. The Family needs the church and the church needs family. Red + yellow = orange!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Raising Godly Kids In A Not So Godly World-Part 3

With these thoughts in mind here are five things that you should understand and practice to raise Godly children in a not so Godly world.

#1. Children are a gift from God. (Children are part of God’s plan for families)
Ps. 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Gifts are to be cherished, especially when they come from someone you admire and esteam. Gifts of great value are sought after. At World Outreach Church we realize that kids are the most valuable procession a young family has. Although parents realize this when their kids are small they relax after a few years. (Much like parking a new car far away then after a few dings parking it just anywhere.) Parents, you have a responsibility to guard and protect your child at every age, whether you are working alone or with a team.

#2. The responsibility for training children about God was given to parents! Deut. 4:9 says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. These verses where not written for pastors, it was written for parents. The phrase “in the way he should go” refers to God’s plan and desire for your child. What does God want for your child? What do you want for your child? No one can hit a goal without a vision. Proverbs 29:18 tells us “Where there is no vision people perish. Your kids need to know what you and God desires for them. When I was a child grownups always asked me 3 questions. What’s your name? How old are you? And, what do you want to be when you grow up? I hear them only asking kids today the first 2. I think kids need to ask God the question, “What is your plan for me?” But parents also need to make a vision for their kids and your home.

Here is a sample list of mine and Julie’s goals and vision for our kids.
1. We desire that they know God and love his Word (To be a fully devoted follower of Christ)
2. For all of us to be a close family
3. We desire for our children to exhibit Godly character and have a Biblical world view!
4. We desire for our children to fulfill the plan God has for them (career/vocation)
5. For our children to have a good work ethic, and be responsible with all that is entrusted to them
6. To provide and develop skills, abilities, education & training needed for our
children to fulfill God’s plan.
7. For our children to be an example to others and to be a difference maker to all those whom they encounter in all relationships.
8. For our children to enjoy life (hobbies, interests etc.)

These were our goals what are yours? The truth is if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 tells us how much time God think you need to disciple your children. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Who and what you give your time to determines if your children will get the gospel. How are you using your mornings, evenings, time at home and travel time? Are they devoted to discipling your children or mostly other things. Training is more than verbal instruction. Training calls for a model or example. Training takes a trainer and a trainee. It also takes consistency! Training children to be doers of the Word is a full time job and takes more instruction than a child can get on Sunday and Wednesday only.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Raising Godly Kids In A Not So Godly World-Part 2

There were three things Julie and I did with our kids that really paid off.
1. We spent a lot of time with our kids (daily, weekly and yearly)
2. We always required church. This included attendance and involvement.
3. We made up our own rules about the influences and voices that spoke into our kids that we could control like spending the night other places, video games, cell phones, internet use, phones and TV’s in their rooms, (what’s done in their room you can’t control as well as in the family areas) driving, dating, and other influential relationships. I believe with all my heart that there should there be a difference in how Christians raised their children and how non-Christians parent their children!

I am so thankful that I was raised in a Christian home. My home was a loving place filled with laughter and lots, and I do mean lots of southern food! For most of my childhood I only had one parent. It’s true in anything a team working together can get more accomplished than one person working by themselves. My Dad and Mom divorced when I was six months old, then my Dad passed away when I was three. My mom was smart and enlisted the help of others when a Father was not in the picture. (Extended family, the Church, Church leaders, Boy Scouts, Coaches, and friends.) I do believe two born again people working as a team with one agenda, to raise on fire, Godly kids have an advantage over parents working alone or in direct conflict with another parent with a different mindset of parenting but I do believe a single parent or a parent working alone can raise children to be Godly. Like in anything else it just requires more work, more time and being truly selective of the spiritual walk and effectiveness of the team members they involve along side of them to join the disclipling team.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Raising Godly Kids In A Not So Godly World

Let’s face it the world we live in is crazy. The other day on the Glen Beck TV show I watched footage of a teen ager being beat to death with a railroad tie by another teenager while yet another teenage videoed the whole incident and laughed about it. Throw in drugs, sex trafficking, the porn industry and the state of the family and you’ll see the days we live in are evil. Families here in America and around the world are under attack. The divorce rate here in the U.S. is out of control
 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.” The sad thing is the divorce rate among Christians isn’t much better. Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us what to do but we aren’t doing it. 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Weather you are a single parent, a married couple or a married person alone in providing Godly influences for your child I believe you can raise Godly kids when you are careful how you live. Use Godly wisdom and make the most of every opportunity God presents you daily.

I’ll never forget the day I became a parent it’s been more than 30 years since I heard 3 words that changed my life forever... “It’s a girl!” I am thankful that my children and I share a very close relationship today. I have always said “How much your children allow you to be involved in their life when they are older has a lot to do with how much you were involved throughout the process. You can’t raise G rated or Godly kids without Parental Guidance. It’s not suggested it’s required. The average parent in America spends a lot less time with their children than they should. (Married fathers spent an average 6.5 hours a week caring for their children. Married mothers spent 12.9 hours. Single mothers spent 11.8 hours) But out of those hours caring for their children only an average of 3.5 minutes per week is spent by parents in meaningful conversation with their kids. When you take these hours and look at the amount of time other influences get it’s mind boggling. The average teen spends 900 hours in school per year, 1500 hours watching TV. Teenagers spend an average of 31 hours a week online. Nielsen says…The average American household has a TV on 8 hrs and 15 minutes a day. No matter what your marital status the battle of hours and influences is on and Christian parents must wake up and start being intentional about the choices they make with their time and actions to raise Godly Kids!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kidmin Blog March Maddness

Again this year my blog got nominated to be a part of the Kids Ministry Blog Madness over at Ministry-To- It's a tremendous honor to be nominated and to have advanced to the second round. This is a lot of work for a contest but the cool thing about this is beyond the contest it gives those of us in kidmin to find blogs that maybe we didn't know about. (Thanks Tony!) I know for me I find out about blogs and young leaders I want to learn from and some I want to invest in each and every year. I hope you'll take a minute and checkout all the blogs, even those from the first round. While your there I would appreciate you voting for my blog. I'm not sure if I'll advnce to the next round if I do win I'm looking forward to giving the ipad2 away to one of the young leaders I've been voting for who is going to be in Infuse 5 beginning in September. The bottom line is everyone is a winner when they learn from one another and live a life that values networking. Networking is a way a life for me it has been my secret weapon in my 20's, 30's 40's & now in my 50's. I practice it daily through blogs, weekly through phone calls and lunches and throughout the year at the conferences and events I participate in. It means more to me that you get this more than even a vote for my blog. Growing leaders are learners! That's a leadership nugget you can take to the bank!

Thanks for voting for my blog to get into the final four I have dedicated JWM to helping the next generation of children's ministry leaders the other 3 folks who are in the final are young guns I have worked with or are about to work with in infuse5 so please don't vote for me. I's love to see Jared get the ipad2 I think it would help his ministry the most!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Developing A Biblical World View In Your Children-Part 7

9. Quote the Bible to your kids and let them see you feed on the Word constantly. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You should model to children and families a life built on the Word. If your kids don’t see you doing these things they won’t do them either. If we are what we eat physically we are also what we eat spiritually. The more I pray, read and meditate the Word it helps the kids around me do the same. When kids ask for our advice give them the Word. I taught at a conference recently and overheard some people talking about the workshops I had taught and they where telling some people to go to my workshops because I actually use the Bible. Now if we can stick out at a conference using the Bible you can also stick out as a parent for given them the word! They need the word more than anything else you can give them.

10. Teach the importance of attending and being active in church. One of my favorite scriptures is Luke 4:16 it tells us that Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day as it was His custom. Jesus modeled for us the habit of attending church. It was never up for discussion whether my daughters would attend church. If they wanted to take a dance class on a church night they didn’t take the class, they went to church. But not only did they attend, they served.  They were active in things for their age group but they also gave back to others. I was not the only person in our family involved in ministry we were a ministering family. Now that they are adults they are still doing what they were trained a children to do. Yancy is in full time ministry but she still gives back to her home church. Whitney doesn’t just attend a small group she’s the small group leader. Parents if you make them eat green beans because “they are good for you” why not have them in church, it it also “good for them!” Don’t just tell them to do it, set the example of attending, serving, learning and growing
Do the children at your church and the children at your house have a love for the Bible? A love that moves them from studying the Bible to living the Bible. It’s not just the responsibility of the pastor it’s both the home and church doing these things together!
Same actions bring same results, what are you going to start doing differently?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Developing A Biblical World View In Your Children-Part 6

6. The Bible is the infallible Word of God and has the answers for everything in life. What ever the answer you are looking for it’s in God’s word. How should I treat others? Who should I forgive? Who should I be friends with? How should I treat my parents, my family my employer? Who should we vote for? What should our nation’s views on Israel be? It’s all in the book! It’s not just for Sunday and Wednesday, it’s also for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is the guide book on living and the filter that every voice should be measured against. God’s word is not not outdated it’s relevant for today! One of the things you can do with your children at both home and church is gather the questions kids need to know and then give them the answers from God’s word.

7. Jesus is the only way to the Father and lived a sinless life by following the Words of the scripture. Every time Jesus faced the devil or demonic opposition He spoke the Word. Our tongue has the power of life and death when we speak the word we speak words of life. As parents and pastors we need to help kids watch their words and be intentional about saying what the word says. This is also how we build our faith. Faith comes by hearing, when we say God’s word it pumps us up and builds our faith like reps with dumbbells and  barbells. Also the number one question we should all be asking and teaching kids to ask is “what would Jesus do?” Then do it!  What confessions should you lead your children in to get God’s word in their hearts. One scripture I have taught my children as well as one I say often is “I am the Lord’s sheep, he is my shepherd, I know His voice. The voice of a stranger I won’t  hear!”

8. Point out wrong thinking anywhere you experience it and don’t let it lay root. The children in our churches as well as the children in our homes need to see that what the Word says and what the world says can be different when we are faced with a choice we choose the word. Take advantage of teachable moments anywhere anytime! Kids don’t need devotions they need to be taught to live a devoted life based on the word! Dave to confront and challenge wrong thinking in the media, as you do life, take every opportunity you are given to make God’s word real to your kids. I not only jump into my own girl’s life I jump into the kids I teach and lead at church. To me if you love any group of kids you’ll look for opportunities to swap wrong thinking for truth and love them enough to confront them in love. What do the children around you need to hear? 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Developing A Biblical World View In Your Children-Part 5

3. Teach principles not facts. The number one mistake in teaching the Bible to children is to fill them with facts instead of instilling in them the principles of each story and teaching. Facts go in our head, while principles go in our heart and help us to walk out the truths within. Kids need the principles of the word to apply it to their every day life. Do your children at home and at church know the principles within the stories or just the stories?

4. Let children know wisdom is better than money or fame. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned is that the voice of wisdom and the voice of God is always the same thing. That’s why I need to know God’s word because it also contains His wisdom. The world tells kids life is about fame and fortune. I know more parents who are more concerned with their child’s ability to produce wealth then to instill the pursuit of wisdom and truth above all.  The Bible says that wisdom is better than riches or gold. If someone is wise that wisdom will bring blessing, honor and a good name. Knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. God’s wisdom brings blessings. Have you instilled this in your child?

5. Just because it’s on TV or in a movie doesn’t make it right or true. I’m not sure when the TV changed roles with parents but in many households it has. Because of the craziness of our schedules we never really watched anything when it came on. It turned out to be a tremendous blessing because we were able to fast foreword through some stuff and pause and talk about other stuff! When I was a child Lucy and Ricky couldn’t even sleep in the same bed. Today our kids are bombarded with messages contrary to the Bible. Whether it’s a TV program or the news you need to tell your children the truth. It’s seems like all the media wants to talk about is bad news. I know there are some things that need to be reported but I want to point out the promises of God that work in every type of economy. We still serve a God who is more than enough. He is our supply and our provider. Feel free to correct the wrong voices and remind kids what the Bible says. Here’s a wonderful project for both church and home take TV shows, movies, magazines and newspapers and have your children research a topic or a viewpoint then write down what the media says about that topic then let them research what the Bible says and let them see for themselves how they are different. 

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Developing A Biblical World View In Your Children-Part 4

    There are lots of voices that speak into our lives that challenge a biblical world view. As a parent and as a pastor I cannot block out every voice that speaks to my family and to my congregation nor should I but I have spent my life pointing out that God’s word contains truth and the truth of the Word is what will set us free. God’s word is the filter we should view the world through! Years ago I learned that all a stronghold is believing wrong information. When we take captive every thought and make it obedient to the word of God it produces right thinking that creates right actions. Our actions come from our thinking that’s why we have to be intentional about the voices we listen to and the actions we do, regardless of our age. When my children were small we limited the voices and the “traditions we planted in our children.” Just because a movie or TV show was animated or geared for children didn’t mean we allowed our children to feed on it. We have never lied to our children. We never told them there was a tooth fairy, Daddy bought their teeth. We never told them their Christmas presents came from the north pole or where made by elves. We told them the stories as stories not as truth. The truth was their presents came from Mom and Dad with love bought with money Father God provided to us because He loves His kids and wants us to love ours. One of the reasons my children believed me about Jesus is because we have never lied to them. When I told them about the hurt and pain from living contrary to God’s word they believed me, didn’t need to experience the pain themselves they learned from my mistakes and believed me, because I’ve always told them the truth. I learned when I first started working with kids always keep your promises to them. I never made a promise in children’s church that I couldn’t keep, if I did that at church I needed to do that at home. I never promised I would be at everything I told my girls I would try and I was honest if there was a possibility that I could not be there. I’m not saying I’ve never disappointed my children I have many times but I’ve told them the truth about life and tried to model what I was asking them to do and believe. So with these things in mind here’s my top ten list as a Children’s Pastor and a Dad on how to instill in your kids a Biblical World View.

    1. Always be open and honest with your children about every subject. One thing I see in the ministry of Jesus he was never too busy for questions. Encourage your kids to ask questions. Listen to what they are asking and give them why as well what what. If you freak out then they’ll stop asking. Help them understand that there is a difference between a question and doubt and unbelief. Never be too busy for questions a big part of that is spending time with your kids. The time you spend with them and the less you freak out the more questions they’ll ask at home and at church.

    2. Model to children what you want them to do when they grow up and place other models around them. Never forget when it’s come to Bible living that when you point at others there are three fingers pointing back at you. There can’t be one set of rules for you and another for them. Follow Paul’s words as he says “Come follow me as I follow Christ.” At the heart of D6 model is the fact that the parent must set the example. “These precepts must be upon your hearts.”

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Developing A Biblical World View In Your Children-Part 3

    Over these past thirty plus years of working with children I’ve seen thousands of kids come up through my ministry. I am so blessed to have scores of “Timothy’s” in full time ministry who have been in my children’s church. I have gotten a real kick out of catching up with kids on facebook who have been a part of previous children’s ministries I have had the privilege of leading. But the sad spot within my heart is when I think about the kids who are not living for Christ and who are not walking out the goal to become a doer of the word. The problem is not just in church, it’s also in the home! So many kids who were not only raised in the church they were also raised in Christian homes, by Christian parents, listening to Christian music, watching Christian videos, reading Christian books, hanging around with Christian friends who did the same things are not following Christ today. What happen? I believe that the problem lies within the church and the family having two views of life rather than one Bible based world view.
    The Bible tells us we are in the world but we are not of the world. The Bible also tells us to come out of the world and be separate yet we are told to be salt and light to the world. Over the years I have studied families and the different way they parent. I’ve also studied churches and the different way they do church. To me the families and churches who have the greatest success are the ones who have teamed together to join their forces to develop in individuals a biblical view of how to live 24/7.  I have had the wonderful honor of raising two wonderful daughters. They are both successful not only in business but also in their spiritual walk.  My girls are as different as night and day, if I had not been in the delivery room with both of them I would not believe they were kin. I have had to discipline them differently, I have to communicate and instruct them differently. But when it comes down to making choices and how to live it was the same for them as it was for their mother and I and that was what does the Bible say?

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Developing A Biblical World View In Your Children-Part 2

    Just like the church needs a Biblical vision for reaching children so does the family. Have you ever asked God for what He wants for your family? I realized that God designed the family to put His word into future generations. If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. So if God gives us the desires of your hear what is your desire and goals for your children? For me I wanted our family to be close. I wanted them to love the Lord with all their heart and love the word. In fact I wanted them to love the Bible so much that it was what they based every choice in their life on.  What about you what’s on your list? That a break from your reading and start a list. Then ask God if your list is his list? Remember if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.
    The Bible is the benchmark of how we should view the world and how we live. My goal for my children as well as every child I have the opportunity to teach and pastor is for them to grow up to become a doer of the word. I realized early in my ministry that children couldn’t live what they couldn’t remember and they couldn’t remember what they didn’t understand. It changed the way I taught, the methods I used and how visual and simple I needed to communicate but most of all they needed a model or example. Show is needed along with tell! This is what Deut. 6 is all about for a parent to take every available minute they have with their children and make them count to put a love for the Lord and His word. Parents much be as intentional and visual as pastors or teachers. Imagine if we all worked together. The Church and the family one in purpose.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Developing A Biblical World View In Your Children

    I had no idea that saying yes to the command “Get your guitar and your Bible and go back to Children’s Church” from my Pastor in 1977 would change my life forever. Not only has it changed me as a person and a Christ follower, it’s changed me as a husband, a father, an employee, a minister and has changed the lens I view everything through. It began a journey that at fifty-four years young and counting I’m still on, “to know God and love His word and help sons and daughters do the same.”  I’ve told this story for years but it bears repeating for the readers who have never heard it. I had been working with teenagers for the past 3 years serving in churches and playing in a Christian rock and roll band when my pastor came looking for me and told me to go cover children’s church for the teacher who called in last minute and informed him that she was not coming back. I wanted to help my pastor so I did what he had said. I grabbed my guitar and Bible and I went back to the old fellowship hall with seven kids. “How hard could this be?” I thought. The answer came just minutes into the hour and a half that turned into a month all in one day. It was the hardest thing I had ever done on short notice. I was not prepared and the kids could smell the fresh blood just like a group of sharks. They ate me up! I went to find my pastor as soon as the last child had been picked up and I wanted to know how long I was going to have to do this. I’ll never forget Brother Wilson’s reply to me, “You’ll need to do it until God raises up someone with a vision.” Immediately I began to pray, “Lord, give someone a vision for children’s ministry! Open their eyes Lord, and let them see the importance of reaching and teaching kids from your viewpoint! After praying that prayer and working with the children over the next several weeks I soon realized I was the someone that Jesus had given the vision to. How did I come to this realization? I had begun to see children’s ministry from a different viewpoint a Biblical view point. For the first time ever as a young Christ follower I began to see that children and the importance of ministering to them was in the Bible. I’ve tried to do other things in ministry but that vision, that view would not let me. I believe what’s missing from so many ministries and families is an understanding of life from a Biblical world view.
    more to come...

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    How To Strengthen Your Leadership-part 2

    When you get down to it, you must realize that all levels of leadership are judged by performance. In other words your leadership level is not based on where you think you are, it’s based on what level you can lead and perform at. When I left Tulsa I found my original resume. As I read it, it dawned on me that the job I was leaving had grown into a job I was not qualified for 17 years earlier. I’ve learned that you can strengthen your leadership in the same way that you can increase the amount of weight you can lift. 
    The starting place is to test the weight. Is the task you are leading light, medium, or heavy? You’re the only one that can decide. If it’s light, increase the weight that you are lifting until it is challenging yet manageable. If it’s medium keep working with it until it becomes light and no problem at all. Then repeat this step. I know what you are about to ask, “How long to I repeat this step?” That’s simple, for the rest of your life.  Growing and increasing your leadership is a lifelong process. You can learn something every day if you want to. It’s completely up to you. If the weight is heavy, don’t go it alone instead take a spot or a lift up. That’s weight lifting slang for get some help. Help can come in a lot of ways.  It can be as easy as reading a blog, a book or a magazine article. Other times it means attending a conference, finding a coach or mentor or even yet, building a team. The Key is to do whatever you need to do to make a heavy weight manageable yet challenging. When the weight is easy you must add more weight to each set. In leadership terms take on more responsibility and kick it up a notch. You have to keep making yourself start at a higher or new weight. Don’t let yourself stay in a leadership rut, push yourself to grow.  Don’t do the same exercises. Same actions always bring same results. If you are going to strengthen your leadership skills you must set new goals. My trainer use to call it “shattering your personal best.” If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. Your thinking drives performance so it’s up to you to make adjustments and corrections and think right. In other word look in the mirror and correct your form. How bad do you want to improve & grow?
    Do your actions prove it? Never be satisfied with where you are until you have finished. I don’t know about you but I’m not finished yet! 

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    How To Strengthen Your Leadership

    Over the last several years I have talked a lot about how leadership can be learned in my children’s ministers leadership club. Leadership like any skill can be increased and strengthened. But before you can know what your next leadership level is you must first locate your present leadership level. A great place to start is to identify where you are by comparing where you think you are now to where you esteem the top is. Identify perfection then consider yourself. My mom always told me things are not as bad as I think they are and that I was not as wonderful as I think I am. It’s somewhere in between. Make sure you compare your definitions with that of the leaders above you. What is a five to you might not be a five to me. It really doesn’t matter where you think you are. Align your thinking with that of the leaders above you. Be honest!  Are you a legend in your own time or a legend in your own mind? Realize definitions change with time. Big & busy are both relative terms. My definition of a big church or a busy life has changed as my abilities and experiences have changed. Another way to determine your present level of leadership is to examine and rate your efficiency and abilities in every area of your life. Including your walk with the Lord, your family, your finances, and even your work.

    What would happen if your responsibilities, your stress, and your workload all doubled? This is exactly what has happened to me five times since 1993. It forced me to learn delegation, to make lifestyle changes and to stop doing things that I was doing that someone else could do and grow and strengthen my own leadership to do what only I could do. At the time I thought I was in over my head. I was, without the Lord but with Him all things are possible. Sometimes the best thing to get us to grow is to come face to face with the largest challenge we’re ever faced. It sure worked for David. David was given an opportunity to be used by God to solve a problem for the army of Israel.  The soldiers as well as King Saul saw Goliath too big to defeat. David saw the same challenge but instead of seeing him too big to defeat he saw Goliath too big to miss. David knew the God that had strengthen him before would help him again.
    to be continued...

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Everyone Does Better With A Coach-part 5

    Here's the last of my posts about infuse this week. Where some other coaching and mentoring programs use multible coaches one of the things that make infuse coaches different all are curently children's pastors in growing churches, all have spent 2 years with me in the infuse program. Not only are they available daily on the infuse website but they'll coach you in the same direction as I do. For infuse 5 Sam Luce will be joinning Jenny Funderburke, Jen Galley, Sara Richards, & Spencer Click. These folks are some of the best leaders I know and they are tremendous blessings in my life. They help me for one reason they believe in infuse and know first hand that it works! Here's some things some other past infusers have had to say.

    When I applied for Infuse, I wasn't sure what to expect from the experience.  I hadn't yet been as familiar with Jim's ministry to train young leaders as I am now.  I have been inspired to become a greater leader for the Lord through the lessons and interactions Bro. Jim and challenged to be more professional in my job as a children's minister.  With Infuse, you'll get out of it what you put into it, but when you make the decision to plug in to Bro. Jim's insight and experience, you'll be blessed and charged up by the experience.
    Steve Greenwood
    Nashville, TN

    The Infuse program has been life changing for me.  The practical wisdom and insightful experience that Bro. Jim offers is inimitable.  My leadership level has risen dramatically because of his influence.  The way I conduct myself as a Children’s Minister and as a husband/father has been challenged, amplified, and enhanced.  The retreats are far more valuable than I could have imagined.  They offer personal, almost intimate, face-to-face interaction with other passionate children’s ministers that cannot be replicated in any other setting.  The intentional and free flowing exchange of information and ideas is invaluable.  I highly recommend Infuse to anyone desiring to learn and grow and attain their highest potential.   

    Montie Mansur 
    Little Rock, AR 

    Infuse has helped me look into the mirror, and understand that I truly have what it takes to grow the leaders around me.

    Joa Allen
    San Antonio, TX

    So what are you waiting on? Download your application and send it in today @ There are only 3 spaces left for Infuse5.

    Want to win a free 6 months of infuse? Leave a comment on today's post and let me know why you should be selected. My Five Coaches will be deciding who wins the free spot next week. So post away!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Everyone Does Better With A Coach-part 4

    You've heard from some of the guys, now lets hear from some of the ladies...

    My time in Infuse has been so incredibly helpful. I'm a more organized leader, more strategic thinker, and better mother & wife because of Jim's teachings. My goal in signing up for Infuse was to take my leadership to the next level. I can definitely say that Infuse has helped me to do that!
    Susan Hughes

    Infuse is incredibly practical and will help you take your ministry and your leadership to the next level. I have learned so much over these months and am thankful for the blessing Bro. Jim has been in my life. He is a wonderful encourager who will push you to go further and live into the call God has on your life. 
    Kristen Englund

    "Infuse mentorship came at a time when I was really struggling with whether
    or not I was to remain in the ministry. I was feeling inadequate to move
    with my church to the next level, but I didn't know where to turn. In fact,
    the year before I had asked a trusted leader of a larger children's ministry
    for his suggestion on what I could do to "grow with my church" and he had
    suggested joining The Club. That was a great step in the right direction,
    but Infuse was so much more! The assignments helped me do things I knew
    would help, but I needed the accountability with the other Infusers to
    actually follow through on getting the reading, writing, and implementing
    done! Not only have I grown because of Bro. Jim's input, but because of the
    comments and ideas I've gained from other group members. "Sitting at the
    feet" of our gracious "fearless leader" is an experience I'll always cherish.
    Kathy King

    Infuse has been he perfect "next step" to grow me me as a leader. I have been challenged these past 6 months to take a look at how I prioritize my time and challenge myself as to what I can hand off to others
    Bro. Jim's Structure for Growth plan has provided me with the tools I needed to take our ministry structure to the next level. It truly has been a rewarding experience!!
    Paula Spear

    Another thing that makes infuse different is the experience starts with the Path Element 
    Profile ™ by Laurie Beth Jones for both the infuse member and their spouse as well as your supervisor. We start your coaching journey seeing the lens you view the world as well as helping you communicate better. That's another one of the many differences that make infuse successful.

    For more information about infuse or to download an application log onto

    Want to win a free 6 months of infuse? Leave a comment on today's post and let me know why you should be selected. 

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011

    Everyone Does Better With A Coach-part 3

    Here are 3 wonderful leaders I got to spend 2 great years with but the cool thing I realize I will be in the lives of those I coach for ever. I've gotten to walk through life with these guys on subjects and opportunities beyond infuse. Life is all about relationships. Infuse is an opportunity to surround yourself with relationships for life. Tried of learning alone join me for infuse.

    There are 5 more spaces for infuse 5 that will start in September for more information or to download an application go to

    Want to win a free 6 months of infuse? Leave a comment on today's post and let me know why you should be selected. 

    Infuse has impacted every single area of my ministry. I am a stronger leader and a more effective minister because of the time that I have spent with Brother Jim and kidmin leaders from across the US. The conference calls, retreats, and daily on-line interaction make this an unforgettable experience. I will always be grateful for how Bro Jim has impacted my life.  
    Jen Galley, MN

    My time in Infuse with Bro. Jim has been some of the most strategic and rewarding personal and ministry development I've had. From the phone calls to the retreats, I always walked away refreshed, challenged and ready to take ministry to a new level.
    Kenny ConleyAustin, TX

    "Infuse was and still is the best investment I have made in growing as a leader. Jim's mentoring and the relationships created with the other people in Infuse is priceless.
    Infuse helped me to start being a leader worth following. Jim's mentoring really helped me grow as a leader at the church and with our local network. Our local children's network is now stronger than ever, and we are all helping each other to grow."
    Keith Warfield
    Grace Church

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    Everyone Does Better With A Coach-part 2

    As someone who's been in children's ministry for more than a decade, I wished I would have had the opportunity to be a part of Jim Wideman's Infuse years ago.  Being coached 1-on-1 by Jim and the opportunity to network with great children's ministers from across the county are what make Infuse an amazing program.  But what sets it apart is the retreat.  Conferences are great, but getting away for a few days with 20 new friends and being able to dive deep into each other's ministries is priceless.  Infuse gets my highest recommendation!

    Christopher G. Sykes
    Minister to Children & Preschool
    Parkview Baptist Church
    Decatur, AL

    Chris was in infuse 4 and has just signed up to be a part of the alumni group of infuse 5. Chris made a comment one time that the retreat alone was worth the whole price of infuse. The retreats are very powerful that's why I changed infuse 5 to have 2 retreats (like the year versions of infuse did) instead of just 1. No other coaching program for children's ministers offers this, it's one of the things that sets infuse apart. You are also able to stay over and see my team at work at World Outreach Church. During the retreats folks have also shared rooms and the learning continued during the nights and early mornings. We eat good during the retreats as well. After the very first retreat my kids where blown away with what had taken place they told me at first when I told them 20 people from around the country was coming to our home they were a little worried but they could see this was special. Every retreat has been a little different but each one has been special. If you miss a retreat you miss a tremendous opportunity.

    For more information about infuse or to download an application go to
    remember there are only 5 spots left for infuse 5 begining in September 2011.

    Want to win a free 6 months of infuse? Leave a comment on today's post and let me know why you should be selected. 

    Monday, March 07, 2011

    Everyone Does Better With A Coach

    In early 2007 I got new marching orders for my life. The Lord gave me a fresh desire to take what I’ve learned about children’s ministry and leadership over the past 30 years and pass it on to the next generation of children's ministry leaders. I began to look for ways to do this in addition to my monthly audio leadership resource “the Club.” I added blogs, began to host forums and discussion groups online and began to write for several ministry publications; yet I knew there was still something missing. It seemed like the more I did to mentor others the more people wanted me to come up with a way to personally coach and mentor them. For years I’ve been looking for a way to offer a mentoring service that’s intensive yet affordable for any size church. My good friend Matt Payne told me about a coaching program his youth pastor had gone through that costed what a four-day conference would cost.  So I tried it and immediately I knew I had found what I was looking for!

    Since that first group I have seen 80 people go through my infuse coaching program. Mr. Webster defines infuse as: to instill a quality or skill in someone or something; to soak or pour into. This is what I’ve been looking for, a way to pour into others what it’s taken me years to learn so they can be better leaders and accomplish more in less time. 

    Infuse is limited to 20 selected candidates. I have already excepted 15 for my 2011-2012 group that will start in September and go through the first weekend in March.  I’m excited at this place in my life and ministry to be able to make this service available. I’d love for you to prayerfully consider this investment in yourself, in your dreams and in your ministry, I want to help you become the leader you want to be and pour into you the qualities and skills to make your dreams reality. Over the next few days I'm going to post some things that those who have gone through the infuse program have said about it. The find out more about infuse or to download an application go to

    Want to win a free 6 months of infuse? Leave a comment on today's post and let me know why you should be selected. 

    Friday, March 04, 2011

    Knowing What And When To Delegate-Part 5

    God wants you to be a leader who knows what you should be doing and what you should delegate or outsource to. He wants you to improved your skills, your abilities and your methods but don’t forget you are to build your team and help them grow and improve too.  Make a list of everything you are doing that someone else can do. Bring people along beside you and start putting into them to represent you. Then that will free you up to do what only you can do. This changes along the journey as the abilities of those you are leading increases.
    God wants you to be a shepherd to the flock He’s given you. To be a shepherd you don’t need a degree, a title, or a position, but you must have a shepherd’s heart. Knowing what to do yourself and when and what to outsource to others can be difficult, but God equips and empowers those He calls! 

    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    Knowing What And When To Delegate-Part 4

    We must be eager and willing to serve. Jesus said in Matthew 20:28 that He did not come to be served, but to serve. In Mark 9:35 we see another important statement about serving “And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. YOU CANNOT OUTSOURCE MODELING SERVANTHOOD TO YOUR STAFF AND TEAM. Serving is more than sacrifice it’s total commitment
    John 10:11-13 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  We must get rid of the “what about me” spirit and remember It’s all about serving others. If you don’t possess this attitude others you outsource ministry to cannot catch it. Eager and willing also reflects our attitude and motives. There is a difference between an executive and a servant leader. There is a difference between a team player and a one-man show. Some solo artists have a band but it doesn’t make them a band.

         Something we can never outsource to other from 1 Peter 5:3 is that we must be an example. An example of what? I’m glad you asked. We should be an example of Christ Jesus. We should be an example of our Pastor. We should be an example of those in leadership above us. We should be an example of how we live and do business. We should be an example in family matters and relationships. We should be an example of how we carry ourselves that also includes our work ethic. We should be an example in ministry! What causes us to be able to do these things effectively is our heart. The Bible has a lot to say about our heart like…Proverbs 4:23   Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Luke 6:45   A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Jeremiah 3:15   And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

    Wednesday, March 02, 2011

    Knowing What And When To Delegate-Part 3

    We have also been called to care for the flock. The first rule of care giving is to have a relationship with flock. We must know our sheep and allow the sheep to know us. Look at John 10:14  "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-. There’s our example again. But the more sheep God has entrusted to you the more you must bring others along side of you to outsource this responsibility as well. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Pastoral care is more than hospital calls it must include follow up. Your volunteers can also help with this. Why should the Lord give you any more children if you cannot keep up with the ones you already have?

           We have been called to oversee. You must be a leader as well as a doer. If you are doing all the work you are not an overseer. You and those who represent you in ministry must learn to work with adults. The primary job of an overseer is to cast vision. I don’t just pastor the ministry I have, I must pastor the ministry I want to have.” The problem with outsourcing we must learn what, when and to whom to delegate. It’s our job alone to develop a strong organization structure and to know when it’s a growth structure and when it is a maintenance structure. We must evaluate constantly- you cannot spend all your time teaching! You need to manage the ministry and those assisting you.
    You should also make a list of every place you could use a worker. Make job descriptions, policies and procedures before you recruit volunteers. Train others to do what you want, how you want it done then continue to coach, equip and duplicate yourself, as well as your heart into your team.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2011

    Knowing What And When To Delegate-Part 2

    The title Children’s Pastor, Minister, or Director is not found in the Bible. Most of us who minister to children do so under the office of the Pastor or Shepherd. One of the best descriptions of what a shepherd does in found in 1Peter 5:2 & 3 “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers --not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. We see five main duties or descriptions of a shepherd in these verses. 1. Feeder 2. Care giver or tender

    3. Overseer 4. Willing and eager to serve 5.Example Let’s take a look at each one of these and see what we should be doing and what we should outsource.

    We have been called to feed the flock (Kids need the Word!) But we are not the only feeders within the children’s ministry. Our success depends not only on our abilities to teach and communicate but also our abilities to coach as well as train volunteers how to be effective. Success also depends on our abilities to partner, connect, and motivate parents to also assist with the feeding of their child. Something we cannot outsource here is determining the needs at hand. Those who help us feed must teach in ways that get the best results. Jesus used a variety of methods. He used questions, discussion, lecture or preaching, He used stories, illustrations, object lessons and also demonstration. He ministered to both large group and small groups. He’s our example. Our teams as well as us should follow that example. You cannot successfully outsource to others without show in addition to tell. We must model to others what we want them to do with excellence.