Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keeping Leaders Spiritually Healthy- Part 2

The second gage to keep in check is your attitude. You can’t control what happens in life but you can control how you respond to life. Your attitude is tied to your thinking that’s why wrong thinking produces a wrong attitude every time! Your attitude will make you or break you. Philippians 2: 5 reminds us our attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus’. Your thankfulness level is also a terrific indicator of your true attitude. I also think
your attitude is a by-product of your self-image. The key is to line up how you view yourself with what God’s Word says about you! When you view yourself according to the word is will guarantee you stay spiritually healthy. A great habit to develop is to line up your attitude with the Word daily.

The third gage that will help you stay spiritually healthy is faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” Wow I want to please God so I can never let my faith get low. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. That’s really good to know. That is how you increase or build your faith. It comes from hearing God’s word. I have found that one of the best ways for God’s word to get from my head into my heart is by riding the elevator of my mouth. By saying God’s word it builds my faith. Faith moves you toward the things you and what God wants for you. I’ve found that the time to build your faith is before trouble comes. That way when you need faith, it’s there! 1Timothy 6:12 says “Fight the good fight of the faith. If there is a good fight, then there is a bad fight! You are the only one who can make sure you don’t fight the bad fight. To stay spiritually healthy watch out for the enemies of faith like your feelings or emotions. You can never trust your feelings, ever! An effective leader must master their emotions and hide them if possible. Another enemy of faith is fear. My favorite definition for fear is faith in reverse. Fear is the devil’s #1 weapon Everyone’s battle with fear is different, no matter what the fear is, deal with it or loose your leadership. “Me” issues also fight faith.

more to come...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Keeping Leaders Spiritually Healthy- Part 1

The key to most of the success in my life is evaluation. Over the years I’ve learned that only the things I evaluate will grow and bear fruit! I spend a lot of time looking at how I spend my time. Each week if you visit me here in Murfreesboro at World Outreach Church you’ll find me most of the time walking around using my M.B.W.A. degree (Management By Walking Around). Each morning I start my day getting on the scales. When I go to the gym I always wear a heart rate monitor, why? It’s simple one of my goals is for my heart to not jump out of my chest.

All of us rely on gages to make our lives better each day. I don’t understand what all the gages do on an airplane but every time I fly I am thankful the pilot does. When I get in my car I check my gas gage and make sure none of my gages or warning lights are on. I also believe we should monitor certain gages in ministry to keep all of us in leadership spiritually healthy. What’s so important about gauges? Let see what the bible says in Revelation 11:1 “I was given a stick for a measuring rod and told, "Get up and measure God's Temple and Altar and everyone worshiping in it.“ Wow God was saying evaluate or measure my house even my most sacred area as well as everyone who worships there. This is no surprise if you truly believe only the things we evaluate will grow and bear fruit!

Information is power! Gages let us know what changes, or what action needs to take place before it’s too late, this is also true about spiritual gages. Failure or trouble comes from ignoring your gauges. Leaders who ignore their gages on a regular basis are really not leading they are only a leader in their mind. You may be asking yourself “What gauges should a leader be watching in able to stay spiritually healthy?” I’m glad you asked that.

The first gage you should be keeping an eye on is your Joy. Some people in Children’s Ministry become bogged down with to do lists, tasks and they forget the secret of your strength, the joy of the Lord. Neh. 8:10 says “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Growing leaders are joyous leaders. We spend joy every day. It seems like life can be full of things aimed at robbing our joy. How quick can you replenish your joy? Pouty leaders are not examples. The silent treatment should never be accepted. You can grow up no matter what your age is. My mom taught me years ago that happiness is a choice. It has nothing to do with your circumstances, it has to do with you thinking as well as your attitude. Don’t let your joy gauge or those who lead with you ever get on “E”

One of the most valuable skills you can ever develop is to learn how to encourage yourself in the Lord!

More to come...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Becoming an authentic leader-Part 2

6. Leaders invest in others through coaching. 
Leaders come alongside people and help them get better at what they do. Everyone does better with a coach than they do on their own. A good coach starts with what a player can already do and builds on it. No football coach spends time teaching a quarterback how to tackle. That’s not the quarterback’s job. A wise football coach doesn’t want each player to be equally good at every position. A wise football coach wants to make each player outstanding at whatever position that player fills. There are some fundamentals that everyone needs to know—the rules, how to catch, how to throw. But that’s about it. What do your individual volunteers do well? Do you know? What’s your individualized development plan for each volunteer in your ministry? There’s no shortcut for leaders when it comes to coaching others. You have to do it. Coaching is a powerful way to affirm, challenge, and motivate. If you’re not coaching, you’re not leading. Take time now to write a Development Plan for each of the people who report directly to you in your ministry. Is it easy? No—but good coaching never is.
If you’re coaching well, you’ll hear yourself asking this question as you watch different team members do ministry: “What’s that person doing well? What can I do to help that person improve?” If you’re not asking that question, there’s no way your team will get to the next level. You’ll be missing coaching opportunities.

7. Leaders take appropriate risks.
During my first few years in children’s ministry, back in the 70’s, we didn’t have the money to send me to conferences. I’m glad, because if I’d gone I would have been told what I wanted to do was impossible. You see, we had seven kids in our ministry. (six normal kids and a little boy named Bubba) We wanted more kids. And we wanted kids to understand how our church worked. I asked the Lord what we should do and it seemed clear we were supposed to involve our kids in helps ministries. So in children’s church we plugged kids in as deacons, and we got kids involved in service. Pretty soon we had more than 300 kids and I was asked to speak at those conferences I hadn’t attended. So I showed up and made my little presentation and there were all sorts of confused faces. It turned out that there is no way what we’d done was supposed to work and people were lined up to let me know it. But I went home and sure enough—there it was. Working. I’m so glad I listened to the Lord instead of the “thus sayeth the Seminar Speaker.” Was what we did risky? If we’d done it on our own, yes. But since we were following the direction of the Lord, absolutely not. Leaders take calculated risks—and when the Lord tells you to do something that’s not a risk at all. If you’re following God’s leading, your ministry will increase and flourish. The risk that tends to pay off in the most spectacular fashion is when you bet on people. By that I mean you find and train leaders in your ministry and you give them permission to run with the vision. When you’re taking risks it means you’ll try things you’ve never tried. You’ll do things differently. You’ll blaze trails, and take chances. Now and then you’ll go with your gut instead of your intellect. What risks are you taking?

8. Leaders bear fruit and grow spiritually.
Leaders carry more responsibility than followers, and face greater challenges. They have to handle extra stress, extra work, and make do with less than they sometimes they wish they had. Those aren’t ideal conditions for growing. If you want to experience growth and bear fruit while you’re a leader, I suggest you eliminate three poisons that tend to creep into leaders’ lives. They are:

Those of us who minister to children can experience envy with the best of them. We look at our budget and compare it to what the youth ministry gets. We notice we’re spending more hours at the church than the Senior Pastor, and wonder why we’re not cashing a larger paycheck every Friday. We size up how much influence we have when it’s time to remodel the church building compared to the rest of the staff. And this isn’t just a twinge of jealousy we feel. Jealousy means I want what you have. Envy means I want you to lose what you have so I can have it. And if there’s just so much influence and money to go around, then you’ve got to lose some of yours so I can have it. It’s envy—and it’s poison. When we envy what others have we undermine teamwork. We don’t step up and provide help. We let others go down in flames at board meetings so we look better—and we can increase our influence.
Has envy crept into your life or ministry?

Strife and quarreling
I know children’s workers who speak poorly of their fellow staff members. They gossip and backbite. They talk to lots of people, but never to the person they’re talking about.
The day you hear yourself talking about “us” and “them” when you’re referring to other members of your church, you’re in trouble. There is no “us” and “them”—there’s just “us.” We’re one body so we’ve got to get along. Like it or not, you’re working along side of other staff members at your church. Resolve conflicts, don’t gossip or harbor your anger.
Are you quarreling with other leaders? Experiencing strife?

How you work alongside—and for—other leaders is a hallmark of your leadership. Have you taken conflicts that should have stayed behind closed doors and shared them with others? Always be on the lookout for division. How can you repair any divisiveness you’ve created?

9. Leaders don’t worry about comparisons.
Unless you’re one of the Apostles that Jesus sent out to carry the gospel, you’re not the first leader your church people have ever seen. People aren’t in the church long before they realize that pastors come and go. And it seems you’re always following one that people liked better than you. Don’t worry about comparisons. You can’t talk your way out of them by pointing out the shortcomings of the person who was on staff before you. You have to do something that helps folks see you for who you are, even if you’re different than your predecessor.
And if someone can get past the past, you can establish your leadership where you are. Give it some time, take some action, and let God work through you. With whom are you comparing yourself? What’s the result? What if you could just put the comparisons aside?

10. Leaders are life long learners.
In many professions there’s a requirement for Continuing Education Units. If you’re a doctor or a nurse and you quit learning, sooner or later your license to practice medicine will be taken away from you. I wish we had something like that in children’s ministry. Children’s ministry, as a field, has way too many know-it-alls in it. People who I’d like to buy for what they’re worth and sell them for what they think they’re worth. People who hit on a successful idea and they’ve never grown past it. The fact is you don’t know it all. I know I don’t. And the people we lead in our children’s ministries are certain we don’t. We’ve all got things to learn, and if you’re not leading the way in learning you can’t expect the people you direct to keep learning and growing either. By “learning” I don’t necessarily mean attending classes or accumulating additional degrees. The place to start is to find a mentor—someone who’s wiser and more experienced than you—and to go ask questions. And to listen to the answers and the questions that come back at you.

Working with a mentor is worth its weight in gold. You’ll not only learn something, but you’ll become teachable. And that’s right where you need to stay.
Read books and blogs. Listen to CD’s and podcasts. Go to workshops and conferences. Find people who know about the things you need to learn and go ask questions. And be sure you talk about what you’re learning to your volunteers. Your example sets a standard: it’s okay to admit you don’t know it all, and it’s good to go find out what you need to know.

My mother taught me this: experience is the best teacher—but it doesn’t have to be your experience.

I visit other churches and learn from their experience. There’s not a big church in my area that I haven’t been in at least once, nosing around to discover what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

Leaders are life-long learners. What have you learned lately? 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Becoming an authentic leader

Authentic leadership is more than potential. It’s even more than proven character in someone called by God to a leadership position. Authentic leadership is expressed in action, too. It’s one thing to talk leadership, and quite another to demonstrate it. Here are ten fundamentals you’ll need to master, let’s overview these together and see how you’re doing.

1. Leaders set an example.
If you want people to follow you, give them something worth following. As a leader, how you live your life is far more important than where your name appears on an organizational chart. How you treat your spouse, how you treat your children, how you honor God.

The highest compliment I was ever paid came when a man at church walked up to me after church one Sunday. He said, “I’ve been watching how you get along with your teenagers. Man, I want to take lessons from you. That’s what I want with my four-year old when he gets to be that age.” I about started crying. Here was a man who believed that my relationship with my family was worth following. How you follow your pastor sets an example, too. I would love for everyone who serves in my children’s ministry to treat me the way I treat my pastor. I set the example. When it comes, to leadership, the golden rule applies big time: you need to treat people in the way you want to be treated. How you treat your leaders and how you treat those who you lead—it all matters. You’re an example.

2. Leaders are problem solvers.
Leaders aren’t derailed by problems. They meet challenges with a spirit of faith in God’s ability to overcome those challenges. I know it’s popular to say that there’s no such things as “problems,” just “opportunities.” Well, I’m here to tell you: now and then Jim Wideman has problems. When there aren’t enough drivers for a field trip, that’s a problem. When there’s not enough budget to cover the growth you’re experiencing, that’s a problem. When a pipe breaks and floods the preschool room, that’s a problem. And if you’re the leader, people will expect you to sort out a solution. Maybe you’re a big enough organization that you’ve got someone whose job includes driver recruitment, or fundraising, or plumbing. Then by all means let them do their jobs. But it may be you with the mop and bucket down in Preschool land. Leaders aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. They see that problems get solved—period. They identify the problems and get them fixed. And while leaders don’t look for conflict, they realize it comes with the territory. Some of your most painful, time-consuming “opportunities” will have to do with people management.

3. Leaders show initiative.
Leaders don’t wait to be told what to do. They step out boldly and try things that line up with their mission and ministry goals. Leaders don’t shrink from challenges. They don’t hide in their offices hoping things get better when the bottom drops out of a program or a chance to improve presents itself. They’re proactive. I’m a big believer in the “Santa” approach making things happen around our church. I make a list as I walk around the church, then I check it twice. I may note that a particular teacher did a great job greeting children, or that another teacher needs help presenting a Bible lesson that connects with children. We work on what needs fixing during the week, then I wander around with the list again to guarantee that we made the necessary improvements. And as I walk, I’m working on another list. We’re always making improvements. I’ve always got a list. Remember: people don’t do what’s expected but what’s inspected. That means I’ve got to show initiative in fixing problems, strengthing weak spots, and celebrating strong performance. And you’ve got to do the same. 

4. Leaders manage their time well.
It blew me away when I realized that my time belonged to me. Suddenly, when people asked me if I had a minute to talk as I headed to a classroom, I said “no” if I didn’t really have time to focus on the person. I’d suggest a time we could talk later. If you can’t manage your time, you’re always stuck reacting to people and situations. You’ll never be effective. You’ll never be a strong leader. But with time management, you’ll amaze even yourself. Let me say right here that managing your time isn’t just about getting lots of stuff done. It’s about getting the right things done…and that means doing what God wants you to do. The best thing for you to do to improve your time management is to spend time with God in prayer. Ask him what you should be doing. Ask for his power in getting them done. Things happen when you pray that don’t happen any other way.

5. Leaders model how they want things done.
There’s a balance you need to strike in your ministry. If all you ever do is tell people how to do ministry and you never show them, ministry will never happen. But if you do all the ministry yourself and never allow others to work alongside you, what you know will never be passed along. Some leaders never find that balance between doing and telling. They either try to do it all themselves, or they tell workers how to do a puppet show, or lead a child to Christ, or run a bus route—but workers never see a demonstration of what the leaders want. There’s just talk.
You’ll know you’ve found the right balance when your workers can describe for you what you want because you’ve told them, and you’ve set expectations through a demonstration. What’s your plan for modeling what you want from others?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One Is The Loneliest Number Part 2

When you delegate it allows you to accomplish more and helps others fulfill the call of God on their lives by using their God-given gifts. One of the reasons our ministries don’t grow the way they should is because we have not made room for others to get involved. Here are ten steps to being a good delegator:
1. Be willing to let someone else help you. The first thing Jesus did when He began His earthly ministry was recruit helpers. If the Son of God needed help, we need a bunch of help!

2. Identify the things you are doing now that others can do. There are people in your congregation that need to be needed more than you need helpers. When you make a list of things you are presently doing that others can do it releases you to do what only you can do. When you are doing in ministry what only you can do is when you will hear, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

3. Organize your ministry. Make job descriptions and flow charts for workers before you even have them.

4. Look within the church for faithful people. If you have workers who have proved themselves faithful turn more over to them. Jesus said in Luke 16:10, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much,” Remember to coach, train, and model to your workers what you want them to do.

5. Identify the abilities and gifts of each person.

6. If you don’t have a volunteer ready to put to work, do what the military does - draft! Look you those who are not involved in any ministry and ask them to help you. Don’t wait for volunteers to come to you, go out and get them. There was not one volunteer among the twelve disciples. If Jesus drafted, why don’t you?

7. Don’t ever do anything by yourself. Train new workers by taking them with you. When they can do the job without you, let ‘em. (Then they can take a new worker with them, and you can find someone else to train.)

8. After you have turned a task over to someone make sure you inspect and evaluate what they’re doing. Remember to be understanding and motivating. Workers do do what you expect they do what you inspect!

9. Don’t forget to check in with each key person. A simple call or memo lets people know that you care about what they’re doing. Be a coach. Help them grow and make improvements. Be an encourager!

10. Tell people how much you appreciate them. Without them you couldn’t be as effective or accomplish the things you are doing for the Lord. Workers who feel good about themselves do a better job. Saying thank you is always the right thing to say.

After you begin to delegate, you’ll have to change your organizational structure. The one thing that I know will never change is that I need to make changes constantly. I realize now that I used to like to be the one who was working harder than everyone else. But I’ve leaned that it’s better to work smarter than to just work harder. Well, what are you waiting for? Start today to build your dream team. You don’t have to minister alone in children’s ministry. Go delegate! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

One Is The Loneliest Number

Have you ever found yourself ministering day after day taking care of routine jobs and doing what you feel God has called you to do, then you look around to discover that you are all alone? You try to cope with the pressures and challenges as best you can, but no matter what you try, you are still by yourself? “If only I had some help,” you say.

Everyone has been in a place where they need more help. There was a time when I felt I was a training camp for other ministries. It seemed like whenever I would have a worker trained so I could turn over responsibility to them, they would get transferred or change churches. Then I’d be right back where I started - all alone.

I had to learn that Jesus meets all my needs according to His riches in glory. Meeting all my needs included my need for workers. Jesus is your source for everything. Jesus told us to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers or workers (Luke 10:2). Jesus wouldn’t tell us to ask if He wasn’t going to send us what we asked for. Even if you don’t have those laborers yet, you must remember that you are never really alone. Jesus is always with you. Jesus promised He would never leave you or forsake you, even if every worker you have quits or moves. Not only is Jesus with you, but He is for you. He wants you to succeed. God’s will for your ministry is growth - spiritually and numerically! If God is for you, who can be against you?

At one time or another, everyone in ministry has felt like they were doing all they could, but there was more that needed to be done. Moses found himself in the same spot. In Exodus 18, he discovered first hand that he couldn’t do what God had called him to do alone. From morning to night, he judged the people, but it was impossible for him to do it all.

Had Jethro not stepped in to give Moses some advice, no doubt Moses would have frustrated himself into an early grave. Jethro taught moses the secret of delegation - Do the things that only you can do, and let others do the things that they can do. If you’re going to be a good delegator, you’re going to have to admit that other people can do a good job too. Oh sure, maybe they can’t do it as good or as fast as you can, but you didn’t always have the experience that you do now. Other people won’t gain that experience if you don’t give them a chance. You have to be willing to let go. Jethro didn’t advise moses to turn the responsibilities over to just anybody. Many churches hold on to the verse, “Whosoever will, let him come.” If they can find someone willing, they’ll dump everything on them. But Moses had to find faithful and able men.

Certain people are capable of handling more than others. Exodus 18:231 says that some could oversee tens, some fifty, some hundreds, some thousands. There are faithful people in your church you are capable of handling different amounts of responsibility. When you find them, ask “What can they handle?” The things? Fifty? Is there just one thing you’re doing that someone else could do? If you allow others to do what they can do, you’ll be free to do what only you can do. The folks Moses needed were already there. If God has called you to do something, He will also provide the help to get it done, but it’s up to you to use it. If you don’t give people something to do they won’t stay around and watch you work.

My first experience with the fruits of doing a job alone came in 1983. My children’s church room had been used for a reception the night before. Everything was in its place except a few eight-foot tables. I thought to myself, Why wait on help? I began to move the tables by myself.
When I went to lift the second table, I lost my grip and dropped it on my foot. As I was hopping around in pain, one of my workers walked in. If only I had waited five minutes. That day as I taught class with my foot in a bucket of ice, I kept thinking how dumb I had been. Later I went for X-rays, and for the next several weeks I had a constant reminder of what happens when you try to be the Lone Ranger. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

I hope you'll join me @ CMX!

Where else can you take your kidmin team for professional training, discounted resources and a whole lot of networking fun for $25/person?
Children's Ministry Expo (CMX) is in Lexington KY July 6th and 7th 2011. Tickets are sold at
There are 3 tracks - Leadership, Basic and Special Needs – led by a Who's Who of children's ministry. Learn from these kidmin specialists: Greg Baird, Dr. Alyssa Barnes, Tina Bryson, Michael Chanley, Jeremy Collins, Coach D, Ken Dovey, Amy Fenton Lee, Roger Fields, Jenny Funderburke, Katie Garvert, Harmony Hensley, Dale Hudson, Tony Kummer, Jim Marshall, Gina McClain, Jolene Philo, Karen Rhodes, Michelle Romain, Justyn Smith, Jim Wideman and Yancy.
And of course see the biggest lineup of resources too!
With Scoops! CMX's original info sessions, are back by popular demand. Quick Scoops, will answer your questions and give you a firsthand understanding of a variety of kidmin resources. Scoops happen at the exhibits every half hour throughout the day. Get your schedule at registration.
New this year!
-          Five special needs champions, coordinated by Amy Fenton Lee, lead a track designed to educate and inspire churches who are in the development phase and the progressed stages of special needs related programs.
-          Jim Wideman’s Kidmin Genius Bar with his Infuse coaches offers FREE diagnostics/repairs for whatever is ailing your children's ministry.
-          Kidz Blitz will be conducting a 60 minute FX Live Family Experience in the exhibit hall highlighting some of the popular features of this family experience.
Hear this! Keys to Leading Multiple Ministries
                    Homerun Programs Every Time
                    Reaching the Fatherless
                    Too Much Church
                    Getting Started: The Special Needs Checklist
                    The Big 4 in the Volunteer World
                    Build Your Own Xtreme Props
                    and 20 more!
-          Roger Fields, this year's MC, will have some surprises.
-          The 1st 100 people in the door Thursday morning at 8am get a Door Buster bag of cool stuff.
-          The new Pre Expo hours (Wednesday, July 6th 6p-10p) give you a chance to check out resources and visit Jim's Genius Bar before the rush.
All this and more for a jaw dropping $25. CMX is the ONLY $25 kidmin event with this much to offer.
Email your CMX questions to or call 800-467-1711.
For the new CMX schedule go to

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

More about my new book...Kidmin Leadership- Part 4

When they began outlining their answers, they began to see what you will soon read—this book can be very helpful to a lot of people. The contributors of this book are some of the finest kidmin leaders I have ever known. During the writing process, it was so good to watch these leaders grow to a brand-new leadership level.

Each author in this book is on my leaders-to-watch list. Every lesson is a must for those who want to become better kidmin leaders. This will be the first of many Infuse books because kidmin folks like you need to hear from learners and doers, not writers and people telling you what they used to do in kids ministry.

Here are the bio's of those who helped me write this book:

Spencer Click has served in children’s ministry for twenty-three years moving through the ranks as a volunteer-Sunday-school helper to puppet-team coach to full-time children’s pastor. He has served at churches ranging from 75–2,500 people in attendance. In 2009, he was named one of the “Top Twenty Emerging Kidmin Leaders” by Group Publishing’s Children’s Ministry magazine. He and his wife, Heather, currently serve as children’s pastors at Bethel Church in Hampton, Virginia.

Beth DeLemos is a developer/marketer who has served in ministry for over twelve years, including five years as the children’s minister in her local church. During that time, Beth also put her skills to good use by starting up a publishing house, Bible school, as well as, a preschool. In 2010, Beth joined The Winn Group where she is able to help churches all over the country with developing the tools they need to fulfill their vision. She currently lives in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband, Sam, and their spunky dog, Tilly.

Jenny Funderburke is the wife of a computer geek and mama to the cutest and craziest little girls on the planet. She has served as minister of children at Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster, Alabama, for over eight years, and she enjoys blogging about kidmin at The other loves of her life include ice cream, the beach, and Tennessee Vols football.

Jen Galley has served in children's ministry for over thirteen years, and she is the children’s pastor at Oak Hills Church in Eagan, Minnesota. She’s highly caffeinated and lives each day to the fullest with her husband, Jeremy, and their three beautiful daughters: Clara, Avery, and Violet. Jen is dedicated to leading families to become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Larry Hillman has ministered to children for almost forty years as a children’s pastor, traveling children’s evangelist, public and private school teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Larry is currently associate pastor at Faith Life Church in Tampa, Florida, where he oversees ministry departments from birth to adult. He has written several books and recorded several CDs for children to enjoy. He is married to his best friend, and he has four grown children and seven wonderful grandchildren.

Derek Jones is just starting out in ministry, but he has learned a lot of life lessons by growing up as a PK. He is currently the kids’ pastor at The People’s Church in Spring Hill, Tennessee, where he serves families with children ranging from birth through grade school. Derek and his awesome wife, Tori, recently started their family by adopting a beautiful daughter from Ethiopia.

Kathy King has been minister to children at First Baptist Church of Opelika, Alabama, since 1993. Her husband, Mike, is also her boss as he serves as executive pastor of their church. Kathy loves Auburn University and the beach but not nearly as much as she loves her sweet grandson.

Sean Reece has worked in children’s ministry for over twelve years. He is currently serving as a children’s director in Texas. He has a wonderful wife and two boys; and all of them love the great outdoors that God has so majestically created.

Sara Richards is currently the Kids' Pastor at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, MN. She has been serving kids and families in Kids' Ministries for ten years. She is passionate about developing leaders and about helping kids become more like Jesus. She is married to her best friend, Chad, and they have three boys.

Lisa Walker became a children’s minister after traveling for two years in music ministry as a soloist. She has served in churches ranging in membership from 300-2,000. She has recorded two CDs and is currently serving as the children’s minister at Lakeview Baptist Church in Hickory, North Carolina. In August of 2010, she completed her certification as a Christian Life Coach and has recently launched Lisa Walker Ministries to accommodate her speaking-and-training events’ calendar, as well as, coaching clients. She and her husband, Gene, are parents to three precious gifts from God: Jacob, Joshua, and Sarah; and they reside in Newton, North Carolina.

Keith Warfield got his start in youth ministry and since then has been a children’s minister leader for almost six years. He is currently the children's pastor at Grace Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois. He is married to the sweetest, curly-headed brunette in the world. They have the coolest two year old and are looking forward to the baby on the way.

Jon Warneke has been a children’s pastor for ten years in his beautiful home state of Montana. He is currently the children’s pastor in Polson, Montana. His favorite way to pass time is being outdoors with his beautiful wife and three children.

Each one of these leaders has been a tremendous blessing to me over the two years we walked together in infuse. I believe with all my heart you will learn from each one of these wonderful leaders!

Order your copy of KIDMIN LEADERSHIP here at JWM at a special reduced price. Get yours today!  

Saturday, June 04, 2011

More about my new book...Kidmin Leadership- Part 3

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines infuse as: “to instill a quality or skill in someone or something; to soak or pour into.” This is what I wanted to do. I had been asking the Lord to show me a way to pour into others what has taken me years to learn, so those leaders can be better leaders and accomplish more in less time.
As this ministry evolved, I realized I would have to limit it to twenty select candidates. So I put it out there, and much to my surprise, twenty people signed up to be a part of the first group. I saw from the beginning that every one of those original twenty had different reasons and expectations for being a part of Infuse. When I told my family that I was going to select twenty kidmin folks from all over the country and teach them by conference calls and a special website, they thought that was great. But when I told them they were going to come to our house two different times for a retreat here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, they thought I had lost my ever-loving mind.
“How are you going to make sure they are not weird?” I remember one of my daughters asking. After I explained the application and video interview process, they all relaxed; but I could tell before, and even during that first retreat, my family trusted me and trusted God, but it was a real step of faith for them to see how all this was going to work out.
Sure enough, the first retreat came and went, and I was surprised at my family’s responses. We were all sitting around processing the events and happenings of the last few days, and to my surprise, the same daughter who asked me how was I going to be able to tell if they were weird said, “Dad, by far this is the best thing you have ever done to help people!” It was just amazing. At the time of this writing, I am just completing my twelfth retreat.
After I did that first retreat, I was so pumped I decided to start a new Infuse group every six months. This is how I roll. If one group is good, having two or three or four groups is better. I am such a relational guy I just didn’t want to say no to the relationships I had formed. So one year turned into two, and it was so hard for me to not add on a third year. But the cool thing is four of the original twenty are helping me coach the new groups.
Fast forward to today. I have now come up with a balance of coaching and offering Infuse only from September to February each year. This allows me time to concentrate on the other aspects of Jim Wideman Ministries like writing books, speaking, etc.
As I do life with these amazing kidmin leaders God brought together, I’m beginning to realize they have taught me as much as I have taught them. This iron-sharpening-iron stuff really works. So I started discussing with my second-year Infuse 1 participants what our next step would be—writing a book.
You should have heard all the excuses I got.
“Who’s going to buy a book written by everyday kidmin folks like us?”
I said, “Everyday kidmin leaders who want to learn practical steps just like you do!”
Once they calmed down, they started answering the main question I posed to them: what are the two greatest things you have learned while walking with me these past two years that you wish you had known before Infuse? As the answers started to flow, I asked them to break them down into three categories:
Why is this important?
What do you do to practice this truth?

How do you lead or manage change to bring   this to pass in your ministry?

Order your copy of KIDMIN LEADERSHIP here at JWM at a special reduced price.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

More about my new book...Kidmin Leadership- Part 2

Soon after God led me to teach leadership, in addition to conferences and seminars, I was teaching kidmin leadership on tapes that turned into CDs that have now turned into MP3 downloads. In addition to my leadership club (which, by the way, is still growing strong—check it out here, I even give my teachings away free to kidmin folks thirty years old and under. Once the teachings began, I started writing books, and then I even added this blog. Along the way also came consulting and doing some one-on-one individualized coaching.
In late 2006, God told me another piece of the plan for my life that has been the most fruitful and also the most rewarding to me personally. During the Thanksgiving holidays, as I was taking a little time reflecting over my life and ministry, I heard within my spirit these words: “There are things that you know you have learned from me that you will spend the rest of your life teaching to the next generation of ministry leaders.” These words began to burn within my heart, and they began the largest shift in my ministry to date. This shift eventually led to a change of location and my role in the body of Christ. The more I prayed it out, as wonderful as conferences are, I began to realize they could not bring the life change that walking together with a group of leaders over several months or years would bring.
This quest for how to take the things God has taught me in the past thirty-five years and impart them into those who are willing to learn in much less than thirty-five years, led to creating and now evolving my Infuse Coaching. (It's not too early to apply for infuse in 2012 & get the 2011 price)

to be continued...

Order your copy of KIDMIN LEADERSHIP here at JWM at a special reduced price.

I'm giving away a free copy of the book today! All you have to do to enter is tweet the following:
@JimWideman is giving away a free copy of his new book #kidmin leadership over @  #kidmin #infuse #orangeleaders