It's amazing to see how God directs our steps and brings special people into our lives for His purposes. When I started infuse back in 2007 I didn't see everything it would accomplish and really in tell. I knew it would bless others, I just had no idea how much it would bless me and that my life would be so enriched by the people God brought across my path.
During the second year of my first group God spoke to my heart about producing a book with that first group. The outcome was KIDMIN LEADERSHIP. When I started the second group one of their first questions is if we do the second year can we do a book too? It was after that I saw God was going to birth something special that I now call INFUSE PUBLICATIONS.
Two of the folks in this group were Sam Luce and Kenny Conley. The more I spent time with these guys the more I knew God had knitted us together for more than just infuse. These two began to not only help me learn as well but have also been a tremendous source of encouragement. Our relationships have grown where I am confident we will do a lot of life together as well as learn from one another for the rest of my life. (There is not enough adjectives I could use to tell you how much I love these two!) If you know anything about Sam and Kenny they didn't want to do a book like anyone had ever done before in the KIDMIN universe. So during a retreat while I went to preach to our Student Ministry they led the meeting in my absence. I came back to find out that the group and them had come up with a lot more than a show and tell style book but something they were describing to me as "a leadership fable." Over the next few months we came up with a concept that is very timeless and also unusual. Sam and Kenny started on the fable and everyone else started working on the 5 things every leader has to get right. The outcome is amazing!
The book is in the final stages and has actually started the production, final edit stage. Soon we'll have a cover to show you and an availability date for early 2012 but right now all we have to really share is our concept and our title. It's called "The Eric Trap -5 things every leader has to get right." This week I'll be telling you more about this project. I'm excited about it because I know it's going to help a lot of people. Not just KIDMIN folks but any leader in ministry who serves another leader.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
8. Have people you can brainstorm with. I love to brainstorm for creativity. I do not brainstorm to make decisions but let creative people give you their two cents worth. The decision is still yours but bounce it off a few people who will give you an “umbrella of mercy” I like to call individuals bounce an idea off them and then listen. How is this different from 4? In number 4 I want their ideas now I want their reaction. (And by reaction I do mean their honest opinion and thinking on the idea.) I’m thankful for the people who take my call and let me bounce and go. My friends know when I get more time (Like when I’m in my car) that I will call them back and find out what they are up to but not now. When I brainstorm no idea is too crazy. Be open to another way of doing things. Remember same action brings same results. Be on the lookout for different ways to do things and for new ideas. (At least new to you!)
9. Make time to think. I try to send time alone each week to think. I try to come up with 2 new thoughts per week. Schedule this alone time during a meal or in a quiet place. I love to sit and think on my screened porch.
10. Follow the peace of the Holy Spirit. Remember the Holy Sprit is your helper listen to him, follow peace. Never over ride a warning or check in your Spirit. He will guide you in all things even being creative.
What to add to my list? What do you do to be creative that anyone can do?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
5. Learn from different camps and types of ministers. I belief the body of Christ has lots of camps and circles. The more of these camps and circles you can penetrate the greater influence and blessing it will bring to you. I am blessed that over the years I have been able to speak to almost every different denomination and group as well as attend almost every major conference the different organizations put on. I have learned something from all of them. Sometimes I come home having learned what not to do but to me that is just as valuable! Here lately I’ve been spending a lot of time with youth and student pastors. Rather than spend my life complaining about youth ministry I’ve been trying to create a different model I have not seen before. I ran it by Sam & Roger but because they are both from the children’s ministry camp I wanted to run my idea by a “dyed in the wool” 100 per cent bonifide Student pastor. So I made a lunch date with Michael Bayne. He’s a young leader I’ve been watching and learning from his blogs, he’s a great church in Clarksville, TN. It’s funny he thought I was going to try to hire him and I wanted to be able to tell him about the my methods and model of Student Ministries I’ve developed and get a Youth Guy’s perspective. It was a very helpful lunch and I hope the start of a new friendship.
6. Go to creative places. I love Disney every park. I try to go to every theme park I can go to, it always jump starts my creativity but so do themed restaurants, as well as creative church environments. I am so thankful for cell phones because now it’s easy to keep a camera with you 24-7 and take pictures of every creative thing you see that you might be able to use or that just strikes your fancy. I have pictures of carpet from Movie Theater and hotels, wall décor from stores at the mall. Wherever I am I see something cool I snap a picture, then when I’m wanting to be creative I go through my picture albums of ideas.
7. Start a creative file. Years ago I realized you did not have to have a million dollar advertising budget to be creative. I started collecting happy meal boxes and bags, brochures from the Disney Store and paying attention to font choices and colors as well as other design concepts I could learn from people who did have a million dollar advertising budget. If a secular business mass marketing to the same age group or demographic as my church I tried to learn from them. When I needed an idea I went through the file. Every church I go to I pick up every form, brochure, offering envelope that I can get my hands on. Then we I get home I file the good ones and trash the bad ones.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
3. Hang out with creative people. Every chance I get to choose who I spend time with I choose creative folks. I always have questions ready to learn what I want to learn at that time. I am thankful for my friends do you know every friend I have I choose to be friends with. Most of them I sought them out. Roger Fields, Sam Luce, Kenny Conley, Ryan Franks are four folks I like to talk to just to see what they are up to and they are thinking. Michael Chanley is another good friend that I am so glad is in my life. Michael just up and called me one day and said he wanted to have lunch with me and was willing to drive to Murfreesboro and meet with me. It impressed me so much I not only took the appointment, bought his lunch but I have developed a very close relationship that has helped me be creative. This also makes me think of another habit. When you go to a conference don’t hang out with just your friends make new ones. I call this the conference within a conference. I seek out speakers, workshop presenters and attendees I want to learn from and buy them coffee or a meal. Never miss an opportunity to learn, ask a question, or run something you are thinking about by someone you admire! I just got back from spending a day with Reggie Joiner in Atlanta and boy did I need it!
4. Learn from people of multiple age groups. I hang out with a lot of people from different age demographics. When I think about the people who I like to learn from and who are speaking into the creativity of our next generation department I’m being influenced by folks from 18 to 50. Most of the people that I spend time with are younger than me so I deliberately get older folks opinion as well as listen to parents of different age groups. Every group and different back- ground brings an unique viewpoint.
more to come
Monday, December 12, 2011
If you have read any of my other articles here on my blog or have read any of my books or have ever heard me speak, the chances are pretty high that you’ve heard me say at least one or all of these sayings…
If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time, or Same actions bring same results. Or maybe you’ve heard me say “Don’t make the same mistake twice, there are lots of different ones that you can make each time. Sound familiar? The common denominator to walking these sayings out is to be creative. It’s a way of life that every children’s leader can and must practice to build an effective ministry to children’s and their families. Here are 10 ways or habits I try to walk out on a consistent basis to be creative.
1. Pray to ask God to help you be creative! You have to realize we were created in the image of the creator. Genesis 1:26-28 tells us “26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” I start every day as well as every creative meeting or brainstorming session with prayer and ask the creator to stir up His creative spirit and power within me. It takes creativity to manage, rule and be fruitful. God has promised us that he would meet all our needs (Philippians 4:19). Expect Him to show up.
2. Study creative people. I like to read about creative people; Walt Disney, Dave Thomas, Sam Walton, Donald Trump, and Seth Godin, just to name a few. Any time I can find a successful innovator I find a creative person. I love to try to get inside their head and learn ho they think and look at life. Reading their books, their blogs and/or the stuff others write about them help me unlock secrets I can adopt in my own life. If you can add 1 habit from a book that’s a benefit. I try to read every autobiography I can get my hands on.
more to come...
Thursday, December 08, 2011
3. 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?
4. 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.
5. 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, December 07, 2011
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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
One scripture I have taught my children as well as one I say often is “I am the
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
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
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 is the fact that the parent must set the example. “These precepts must be upon your hearts.”
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?