Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm Excited About CPC12 in San Diego!

It's no secret I love California, it's one of my happy places! It's also no secret I love a good #kidmin conference. Put those two statements together and you'll understand why I'm excited about CPC12 in San Diego. Besides being about to connect with some of the greatest minds in Children's Ministry I just love getting to hang out with everyday folks who love working with kids and who want to grow and be more effective. I'm also excited about the KIDMIN GENIUS BAR powed by Infuse. This is an idea I bowered from the folks at the Apple Store. Michael Chandley and the INCM folks provide a space where Children's Ministry folks could sit and talk about ideas, dreams, problems in ministry, etc and get answered from folks with experience. If you will be attending #CPC12 stop by the KIDMIN GENIUS BAR. We'll be open to serve you during all Exibit hours. We're located inside the Jim Wideman Ministries booth space. Please come by and see us, we're here to help!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Staying Spiritually Healthy-Part 3

 The last gage I want to encourage you to check is love. The bible has a lot to say about love in fact there are over 680 verses. 1 Peter 4:8 says Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Love will also move you toward action. John 3:6 tells us God loved the world so much that He gave His son. 1Corinthians 16:14 tells us to do everything in love. Love will always lead you in the direction God wants you to go. Love is something that God’s people are known for. You can’t help but stay spiritually health when love runs supreme. Love will make you a better leader a better mom or dad a better boss a better employee. It only takes one overlooked gauge to cause a catastrophe in your life and leadership.
If you are serious about being spiritually healthy you must get in the habit of not just checking these gages but also feeding your spirit.

            Ministry looks a whole lot like work, in fact it is work, yes there’s a spiritual dynamic but just like anything else when you expend something you have to refill it. A smart leader knows that ministry works in the same way as a checkbook works. Mark deposits first then write checks from your overflow. So here are five ways you can keep these gages on full.
1.    Make an appointment each day to build your faith my having time in the word. Set the  time for that appointment the day before, it doesn’t have to be the same time every day you just need to treat it like it’s special because it is. Don’t spend all your time studying the bible to teach you have to feed your spirit daily just like you have to feed your body.
2.    Go to church. I should have to tell this to people in ministry but you need to worship and take in from your pastor.
3.    Start every meeting with God stories. God stories are just reports or testimonies about what God is doing in your ministry. It keeps leaders focused on the main thing being the main thing. If you have no God stories then things are not very healthy.
4.    Use the pre-service prayer time as a time to do a devotion together or to go through a book as a team. Don’t just read leadership books find books that challenge you and those who serve with you
5.    Make time for prayer. Things happen when you pray. Set aside the time you spend in your car to prayer, put down the cell phone and pray like it matters. Pray together with your family and also those you lead. I’ve found when you hem your life with prayer things are a lot less likely to unravel.

What are your gages telling you about your spiritual health. Once you identify what you need then add feet to your plan to fix it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Staying 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
            The forth gage for spiritual health is the excellence gage. Excellence gage how is that spiritual. Everything God does he does with excellence. If you want to do something in a way that will please God do what ever you do with excellence. Don’t settle with aiming  at the best, when you can aim at the best there is! God tells us in
Philippians. 4:8   Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable --if anything is excellent or praiseworthy --think about such things.  When you are pressuring excellence you’ll be spiritually healthy and you’ll also be setting yourself for promotion.
still more to come...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Staying Spiritually Healthy

 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 leaders. 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...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why I Go to Conferences... Part 8...The Napkin Conference

The Napkin Conference is all about the process of creative thinking from The Napkin to reality. It's not your same old conference but a new way of looking at training. Each workshop is led by innovative and successful Childrens Pastors and leaders, include guided discussion and interactive speaking to equip you with practical processes to apply in your ministry. Get connected with Childrens Ministry Leaders that offer years of experience and exhibitors with the right tools for any job. Use the afternoon panel discussion to ask questions relevant to your ministry specific needs. Let the Holy Spirit renew your mind as we end each day together in worship, prayer, and the Word. Everyone will have the opportunity to walk away each day equipped, connected, informed and inspired to come up with your own ideas, determine what makes a good idea, and create a process to make good ideas into good solutions.
The Napkin Conference itself was one of those ideas that pushed the limitations of reason to come to life. The first event was a huge success with many of the best speakers and leaders in Childrens Ministry from the US and Australia.  After only one year, the economic situation in Las Vegas caused this event to cancel in 2011. Now the Church od South Las Vegas will have the opportunity once again to host “The Napkin Conference!”
An idea starts as a desire in your heart, but it requires persistence to become a reality. Register today and join me, Ryan Frank, David and Beci Wakerley, Benny Perez, & Mycal Rosales with amazing worship by Jabin Chavez and The Church Band at The Napkin Conference 2012.  Here's an event where you can ask the hard questions, seek kingdom building solutions, and watch God take your idea from The Napkin to reality.” I hope to see you @ the Napkin Conference, February 23 & 24, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why I Go to Conferences... Part 7...D6 Days

Sometimes I go to conferences but sometimes I let conferences come to me. Years ago when I would attend a conference I always bought the tapes so I could experience the learning over and over as well as share it with others at home. Now-a-days there are so many ways to learn you don't have to just listen you can also see it again and again. One of the events I'm excited about being a part of this September is the D6 Conference. The good news is you don't have to wait until September! On February 21st D6 will come to you by presenting the 1st of 3 D6 days.

They've invited Brian Hayes, Michelle Anthony, Kurt Bruner and few other and a few other family ministry enthusiasts to give live, fresh content just for this event. They also are streaming full length past D6 Conference sessions from Doug Fields, Darren Whitehead, Rob Rienow, Fred Stoeker, Richard Ross, Jay Strother, and others! On top of that, they’re also giving away over 15 MP3s from some of their most talked about previous conference labs. All free!

There are three different D6 Days in 2012: February 21, April 17, and July 24. D6 Days content will be available for up to two weeks after the listed dates. For more details check out this website.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why I Go to Conferences... Part 6...Illuminate Nashville

In an earlier post on this subject I wrote... l attend conferences for these reasons. Number one to learn. Number two to network and meet people and number three to find resources and helps to aid my ministry. The forth reason I attend conferences are that it is good to get away and listen to God. Last but not least I attend conferences to be exposed to bigger vision.  This Saturday I get to take part in a wonderful 1 day event for volunteers created by my good friend and student Kenny Conley. It's called Illuminate and it's an affortable event just for volunteers. So far more than 500 #kidmin folks will be there and the cool thing is all 5 of these reasons will happen at the same time and the best part is I'll get to give out and take in at the same time. I hope to see you there!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Infuse... What's it all about? Part 4

Although infuse6 officially does not start until September of this year I start talking about the next infuse session in mid January of each year and start blogging in February hot and heavy. After 6 days in it looks like infuse6 is almost completely full. It's been the most over-whelming responce to an infuse session yet. Right now I have officially excepted 18 folks. Not everyone has paid their deposit so I could have more openings, but as of right now I have just 2 spots left. I am collecting applications until February 17 and will then choose the last 2 leaders for the 2012- 2013 session after that I will start excepting folks for infuse 7 for September 2013-February 2013. Wow, thank you for such an overwhelming response!

Because I keep hearing folks want to do infuse but can't afford it.  I decided to add an infuse-lite session to the infuse Alumni Retreat. Here's a mini infuse experience for just $325. You can find out all the details of how you can qualify by clicking here.  Infuse Alumni can also bring non infusers with them to this special 2 day event August 30 & 31, 2012 (Labor Day Weekend).
While you're trying to decide if infuse is for you. Here's a few more comments from some of my recent infusers...

Infuse has been the greatest learning experience of my life. This experience has not only grown me as a kids pastor, but has made me a better husband and father. Not only has bro Jim inspired me to be a better leader in my church, but he's given me practical steps of to accomplish that inspiration. Thank you bro Jim. 
Jeremy Miller
Family and Children's Pastor
Winchester Church of God

Infuse has given me the opportunity to grow in the leadership potential that I didn't know I possessed. I've learned that I was doing several things right, but needed the encouragement and accountability infuse has provided to move to a new level of leadership.  The retreats provide an opportunity to openly discuss and learn from others who may be experiencing the same challenges with out judgement.  Bro Jim's one on one, and group calls with advice, wisdom and encouragement, far exceeded my expectations.
Clover Hill Kids

All year long we're called to produce, produce, produce.  Infuse is the opportunity to be pruned and nourished by Brother Jim and the other members so you're ready for whatever challenges and opportunities that God puts in front of you.

Jonathan Mitchell | youth pastor
grace fellowship christian church

Still have questions? Be sure and send me an email!.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Infuse... What's it all about? Part 3

More things folks have to say... these came from a few of my coaches who still help me

"Infuse was a game changer for my whole ministry.  I was stuck, and I think I kind of knew it, but participating in Infuse helped me see how stuck I really was.  Infuse not only grew my skills in ministry, relationships, and leading, but it changed how I think.  I know for sure that I would not have been prepared for all that God has given me to do if it hadn't been for the coaching of Bro. Jim and the friendships I developed with other kidmin leaders through Infuse."

Infuse is more than just a program to teach you “how to do” ministry. It’s the opportunity to “become” the leader that God is calling you to be. Bro Jim’s transparent modeling of biblical leadership has shaped my life in many ways. God has used Infuse to increase my leadership ability, discover a God-given vision for my life, and structure our ministry to effectively reach families for Christ. 
Jenny Funderburke

Doing infuse was an answer to prayer. When I started doing kids ministry 14 years ago I prayed God would send someone to me to help me, that would speak into my life and ministry. God answered that prayer 11 years later. Brother Jim has been a friend, a mentor and a constant source of encouragement to me and my family. There are many coaching programs but they are only as good as the motivation of the person doing the coaching. Bro Jim isn't doing Infuse to make money he does it to grow leaders to grow the church. Brother Jim is a father and the body of Christ needs more fathers. 
Sam Luce

Infuse is more than just a program to teach you “how to do” ministry. It’s the opportunity to “become” the leader that God is calling you to be. Bro Jim’s transparent modeling of biblical leadership has shaped my life in many ways. God has used Infuse to increase my leadership ability, discover a God-given vision for my life, and structure our ministry to effectively reach families for Christ. 
Jen Galley

Want to know more about infuse? click here
more to come...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Why You Should Use Your Conference Money on Infuse

Today I'm honored to have someone I truley believe God has placed in my life. She is more than a student or even a friend. She's like one of my kids. Not only is Jenny Funderburke one of my past infusers she is now one of my coaches and a big part of team Jim.
I hope you'll checkout her blog @
I love conferences. I really do. When the opportunity to do the Infuse mentoring group with Jim Wideman, I had a big choice to make.  It wasn't cheap, but I realized that for the money I could spend at a conference (after you add in flight, hotel, conference, food, etc...), I could participate in Infuse.  I made the choice to do Infuse and without a doubt, it was the wisest choice to make.  See, I quickly discovered that the things I loved about conferences were present and much, much better in a coaching environment.  Here's a few:

-  Quality teaching:  Infuse includes group phone calls each month and two retreats which all include concentrated and targeted teaching from Jim Wideman.  But, you aren't learning in a group of 200 or 2000.  He intentionally creates question and answer time and you can email questions in between occasions.  I learned so much about leadership, ministry, volunteers, structure, relationships, priorities, time management and more!  But I also got to ask for advice about specific situations and problems I was facing.

-  Networking:  I love meeting people at conferences, and I had no idea the impact of the relationships I would form through Infuse.  When you meet someone at a conference, you might have lunch or exchange email addresses.  But, through Infuse I was connected for several months to kidmin from all over the country, from all sizes of churches, and from a wide variety of denominations and perspectives.  This opportunity did a couple of things.  First, my eyes were open beyond my own little world.  Hearing what others were doing, their challenges and their successes, was inspiring.  Second, I formed ministry friendships through my group and coaching other groups that I now can't imagine doing ministry without.  In ministry, Spencer Click is like the big brother I never had.  Jen Galley and Sara Richards are constant sources of encouragement.  Sam Luce always has wise and encouraging advice.  Kenny Conley is always ready to tell me what to do. :)  These and many, many others are invaluable friends who celebrate during good times and pray during tough times.  I had no idea how much I needed this community outside of my own church.

-  Resources and new ideas:  Don't you love going to conferences and discovering what all is out there?  During Infuse, I do think I found out about more ideas, resources, and tools that I could really use than I found at conferences.  And I didn't have to go through an exhibit hall.  The difference is that I learned from people who were not selling, but were really using and trying and implementing these resources in their ministries.  When I encountered a problem or needed a resource, I had a wealth of people to ask about what was out there and what their opinions were.  When we began multi-site, I had people that I knew I could call and ask about what to buy and what was out there.  

-  Getting away:  Let's be honest that one thing we enjoy about conferences is that we get to get away.  We can unplug from church world and normal life for a few days.  We can be fully immersed in kidmin for that amount of time.  The two retreats that are part of Infuse provide that.  Lots of good food, laughter, and the opportunity to think kidmin for two days straight gave me the chance to be refreshed and go back to my ministry excited to go forward.

-  Made better at what we do:  Sometimes we go to conferences looking to learn or buy that "magic bullet" that is going to make our ministries better.  In Infuse, we spent months focusing on the small and personal things that we can be better that will in turn make our ministries better.  The benefit to Infuse being more than a three day conference set up is that it is a process.  Through teaching and growing with others, you have the time and opportunity to evaluate yourself, your calling, and your ministry.  And you learn hard things that you've got to do better.  There may not be a "magic bullet", but it is change that sticks because it is change that comes from a process.  

Let me encourage you not to think "I can't do Infuse because it is too expensive".  Consider what you can sacrifice to make it a reality. You may be stuck like i was.  You may need a network of kidmin friends to learn from. You may need the process of determining how you can lead better.  We all need a coach and people speaking into our lives.  I challenge you to find a way to make Infuse happen.  You (and your church) will be glad you did.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Infuse... What's it all about? Part 2

Here's what others are saying about infuse...

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.

Infuse has been a huge blessing to my life and ministry.  If you want to learn how to be successful for God's glory in ministry, getting to spend quality time with a leader like Bro. Jim is a no-brainer.  He's been in churches across the south both large and small and his leadership coaching will make a big difference in the way you do ministry.  I would highly recommend the Infuse experience!

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.

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

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!!

  Jim Wideman's INFUSE is leading me to the next levels of leadership through:
1. An up-close view of Jim's leadership, excellent, always learning
and servant leadership. I want to be like Jim!

2. Precise, practical how-tos in Children's ministry were in my hands
a few weeks after beginning INFUSE. After years of trial and error I
was able to skip a few chapters of "learning from my mistakes" by
learning from years of Jim's broad experience.

3. Network - I plugged into a world of Children's Pastors I didn't
know existed. Overnight I transitioned from feeling "alone" to
"connected" to people in my shoes. Knowing 20 others in INFUSE who are
called to leading Children's Ministry helps me think bigger, try new
things more and problem solve with a phone call.

4. Seismic shifts as a result of INFUSE:
•I've become a problem solver. I'm not looking for help from my
pastor, I looking for ways to serve & solve problems for him.
•I serve my pastor and supervisor with the vision of making my pastors
vision happen. (it's way less about me)
•I set up organization, structure policy & procedures and it frees up
time for creativity, re-thinking & loving the people I lead.
•I see Jim spending his time as if the minutes belong to God, they do,
so he squeezes every ounce of juice out of every second. I've picked
up my pace and see my time more like God's time. Wow do things get
done around here like never before!
•I can see 1000 kids at our church and how to get us ready for them.
I'm ready and getting our church ready for THE NEXT
Thanks Bro Jim !

more to come...