Monday, April 30, 2012

Thank You For Making The Eric Trap Launch Was A Huge Success!

I want to thank everyone who took part in The Eric Trap blog tour over the last two weeks. Not only do I appreciate everyone who wrote a review or blog post but I also appreciate everyone who bought a book online @ Jim Wideman Ministries, Amazon, Orange or on Kindle. Orders are coming in everyday and I just ordered more books. If you still haven't made up your mind about this book here's just a little taste of what in store for you...

Friday, February 23, 9:07 p.m.

Eric pulled into his driveway and shifted his pale blue Ford Focustm into park. It was the end of a really long day, a day that he was supposed to have off. Quite honestly, Eric couldn’t remember the last time he hadn’t worked on a Friday. If he didn’t love the work so much, he might have resented having to work so hard. However, the pace he’d been going at for the past few months was starting to challenge his passion for the job.

With a detached look on his face, Eric gazed out the window. In his mind, he was recounting all of the previous events of his week. He searched for words to accurately describe all that had happened. Unreal? Sobering? Overwhelming? Seconds later, the emotional toll of the week caught up with Eric as he buried his face in his hands and wept. It was a lot; no, it was too much for him to bear.

He thought, If I were called to ministry, why does the most logical solution seem to be throwing in the towel? If this used to come so natural to me, why is it so hard now?

Never in his thirty-six years of life had he felt so much pressure and, at the same time, so inadequate. In his late twenties, he had been part of a thriving team at a start-up ad agency. He worked full time at the agency and volunteered whenever he could at New Hope Community Church as an elementary-boys’ small-group leader. He loved his job, but he dreamed of the day that he could work at the church full time. The moments he spent leading that small group of third-through-fifth-grade boys made his week. He was a natural, and he wanted to be able to devote 100 percent of his efforts to kids’ ministry.

So, ten years ago, when Eric got the offer to be New Hope’s first full-time children’s pastor, he was ecstatic. He made sure to seek sound advice and commit the offer to prayer and fasting first, but it quickly became clear to Eric that he had nothing to doubt. He was created for this job. He even found he could incorporate a lot of the skills he had learned from the ad agency into his new job. Success came quickly and naturally, but simply pastoring kids was a dream come true.

The church grew quickly, and Eric was stretched in areas he was unfamiliar with. Fortunately, he valued hard work. He wasn’t afraid to take on new challenges. Best of all, he always did what he had to do to get the job done.

However, things were different today. Very different.

Eric leaned into everything that came naturally to him, yet he still found he was coming up short. When he did what he was absolutely best at, he only encountered frustration. Something stopped working, and he just couldn’t figure out what it was.

Volunteers were walking away faster than he could recruit new ones. His pastor didn’t value what he valued. In fact, his pastor seemed to take the side of those who were against him. Ministry peers empathized with him, but their advice didn’t really comfort. Worst of all, Eric’s family was just hanging together by a strand. He was inadvertently hurting his children and his wife by issuing ultimatums, something he never imagined several years before. Everything seemed to be crumbling around him. No matter how much or how hard he worked, he couldn’t hold it all in place.

“If I’m doing everything right, why is everything falling apart?” Eric questioned. “Why do I just want to quit?”

Since everything had unraveled in the past week, Eric had spent the entire day by himself getting everything ready for the weekend. While doing the job of ten different people, he couldn’t shake the thoughts that bombarded his mind all throughout the day.

Is my time in ministry over? Should I begin looking again at ad agencies that are hiring? Will I find a better situation at another church?

All Eric knew was life could not continue the way it was going. Something had to give.

Eric sat in the driveway for a few more minutes gathering the nerve to go inside. He’d told Rebecca he was going to be home in thirty minutes, which was two hours ago. This wasn’t going to be pretty, especially after the big fight they’d just had. 

Eric opened the door and wiped his eyes. Under his breath he muttered, “This isn’t how I imagined any of this.” 

Hooked yet? Order from my store befor May 2 and enter the coupon code: NEW STUFF and receive free shipping within the U.S.

More to come...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Orange 2012

I've been at Orange 2012 Wednesday not only did The Eric Trap go live for sale in the Orange Store as well as but I also spoke 3 times. Then a bunch of my past, present and future infusers plus some #kidmin friends went to dinner. I had a blast hanging with them and handing out books and "I am Eric Newman T-shirts to all who attended. Then Reggie rang the bell as the conference got kicked off officially. It was great to see a lot of old friends plus I got to meet several online friends live and in person. I also finally met Kendra Fleming from Northpoint Church. I have been a fan of Kendra's for a long time and we had never met. We always missed each other at events but today we met and I got a picture! (Thanks @kfleming!) 

Thursday I did 4 more breakouts for a new kind of breakout we called Conversations. I met some great folks and enjoyed the smaller classroom size.(Each room was limited to 30 people)
Then I got to go to dinner with one of my Timothy's who is now a multi-site campus Pastor and the rest of the team fro his church. It was great to hang out with them. Julie was telling my mom about it and said we went to dinner with a little boy from our children's church in Montgomery who is now a grown man. :)

 I love Orange! To me it's like coming home. Today is the last day and I'll be meeting with some folks this morning then doing a book signing for The Eric Trap @ 12:15 then it will be time to head home. 

This year's theme has been "game changer". To me partnering with the family is and has always been a game changer. The relationships and people you meet at Orange are a game changer in my life! I am thankful for what I learned but I am ready to go back to my church and be a game changer for the kids, teens and families of Murfreesboro, TN.

 I think this has been the smoothest and best Orange ever. Next year will be here before you know it and I plan to be here again laughing, learning and making new friends! Thanks Orange staff and team for all your hard work, you have served us well the last 3 days!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


 Pick up a copy at the Orange Conference in the Orange Store 

Then Join us Friday, April 27th @ 12:15 for a special book signing
or order here at the lowest price around. 
Want a box of 54? 
Email me for a special deal!
This book is going to help a lot of people!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's new with me...

For as long as I can remember April has been a big conference month for me. Later today I'm going to be hitting the road on a three conference tour. First I'm heading up to Lexington, KY to be with my good friends Roger Fields and Jim Marshall at their church's conference called The Uprising Church Conference. I'm so excited about being a part of this conference and get to experience Quest Community Church live and in person. The more I learn about this great church the more impressed I am with their passion and focus for people. Then I head back to my old stomping grounds to Tulsa, OK to the Heart Of The Child Conference put on by the Oklahoma & Texas Baptists. I'm also excited about connecting with some dear friends and eating a my 2 favorite Tulsa eateries Elmer's BBQ and Stone Horse Cafe! Sunday, I'm excited to speak at Northstar Church in Pryor, OK. I can't wait to see my buddy Pastor Roy Evans and meet his two grandchildren. I have know Roy's kids since they were little and had the honor to be their Children's Pastor. I love Brook and Dustin like they were my own kids. Then I'm headed home to swap dirty clothes for clean ones and head over to Atlanta to The Orange Conference. I have been a part of the Orange Movement from day one. I think the world of Reggie Joiner. I love his family, I love his staff. I love the people I meet there year after year. Not only am I speaking seven times but I'm also excited because we are officially releasing my new book THE ERIC TRAP during the conference as well as doing a book signing with the other authors. 

Last week we kicked off a big blog tour there tons of reviews floating around plus several people are giving away some free copies of new leadership book.
One of my favorite reviews about the book came from Wayne Stocks
Here's just a part of what Wayne wrote... 
"I am glad that Jim has begun to have his infuse groups publish these books, and I hope he continues.  Jim influence on these guys is readily obvious throughout the book.  At times, I forgot who had written which portion of the book as Jim’s wisdom and years seems to shine throughout no matter who was wielding the pen.  I think that is a testament both to Jim and these gifted writers.  I think this book has the potential to change the landscape of how effective children’s ministry is done, and for that I am grateful."

I think this might be one of the greatest compliments I've ever received. I started infuse to help people learn what the Lord has taught me these past 35 years in a whole lot shorter span. Infuse has been the most effective and beneficial teaching and training tool I've ever been a part of. So much so it will be all I do next year to train others besides my books, Orange, and an event I'm doing with Yancy. So I can have a road trip with my grandson. In February I started tweeting about infuse and in just a few weeks I had filled up all 20 spaces. Several people over the years had asked me to do mini version of infuse that would include a retreat. (this is everyone's favorite part about infuse.) So I came up with a way folks could have the infuse experience for a fifth of the cost and I could expand the number to 25 with the wonderful coaches that God has raised up that have all been through the infuse experience. This August I will launch the first INFUSE LITE RETREATS. Also if you are accepted to be in infuse lite and choose to be a part of the next 6 month infuse session in September 2013 I'll take $200 of the price to sweeten the deal. So what are you waiting for download your application and email it to me here. I only have 13 more spots left. 

So that's what's new with me except the fact that The Eric Trap will be available on ebook after the Orange Conference release and my grandson is cutting some new teeth.
Thanks so much for reading my blog!

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's a brand new week and The Eric Trap Blog Tour is in full swing!

Last week was wonderful but we're ramping up the blog tour with 20 more stops. Wow!!!
Today we're going to hear from two folks I know and two I don't know yet. (But I'd like to get to know them!)

Our first stop is Little Rock, AR from my friend Brian Dollar. I had the honor of writing the forward on his book. (Which I highly recomend, by the way.) I really respect Brian a ton! Next we travel to Southern California to another Kidmin I've gotten to know and respect,  Anthony Prince. Anthony is on my young guns to watch list. Plus a couple of other lists. The next two stops are from Tobi Florence and Jeremy Echols who I'm looking forward to learning their perspectives of The Eric Trap

I also announced last week a special 2 day mini infuse retreat this August 30 & 31, 2012 here in Murfreesboro. I'm calling this event infuse lite. Get all the news here. If you have wanted to do infuse but it was not in your budget here's an option that will be a blessing to you. I've already accepted 12 Kidmin folks so go ahead and send in your app as soon as possible if. It will fill up too!

I plan on giving out some more books this week and I'm thinking about giving away an infuse lite registration fee as well. So checkout this blog daily to find out how to win big!

Thanks for being a part of The Eric Trap Big Blog Tour!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Tour So Far

If you haven’t heard by now there is a blog tour going on for our new book “The Eric Trap” which comes out at the end of the month at the Orange Conference.
and more to come...
Several books have been given out as well. I gave away 10 myself just for posting on my blog! Several of the blogs above are also giving out copies of the Eric Trap. Rumors have it there could be some "I am Eric Newman" T-shirts being given out on this blog as well as at Orange 2012. How cool would that be. Also the ebook and kindle versions will also be released after Orange.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 3 of The Eric Trap Blog Tour continued

Well today Evan Doyle jump out and gave us the first video review you can see it here.

Then Henry Zonio gave us the big surpize review of the day here just a few of Henry's comments...

I was immediately taken off guard by the story of Eric. A gifted children’s pastor with a strong sense of calling to full-time church ministry, Eric finds himself in the same predicament I’ve heard echoed in my life and the lives of countless other children’s ministry leaders I’ve met over the past 15 years. What unfolds over the 146 pages of the book is a brutally honest unveiling of the struggles, thoughts, crises and confrontations that we’ve all had in one form or another as children’s ministry leaders–most of which we hope no one is privy to. Interspersed throughout Eric’s story is the insight, encouragement and advice from children’s ministry leaders who are in the midst of struggling through the same issues Eric is struggling through. None of the stuff in this book is new, but it is presented in a way that gets beyond the pretense that any of us (including the authors) have it all figured out and challenges us to…
Go beyond reading inspirational words and stories, and measure your life and ministry against the traps many in ministry fall into as did Eric.

Each section of the book ends with some practical and soul-searching questions to help the reader to internalize and examine the issues brought up in the book. The Eric Trap doesn’t just expose the leadership pitfalls we are victim to and need to avoid or climb out of. The Eric Trap challenges you to take practical steps to becoming a better, more balanced leader.
While Eric isn’t a real person, his journey is very real and reflects that of every children’s minister I’ve known… including my own. I highly recommend The Eric Trap… not just for those leading children’s ministries but for leaders to take their teams through. What better way to open up those honest conversations that need to happen for all of us to not just become better leaders but better people. Read the whole review here.

Tomorrow will bring 3 more reviews two from infusers Sara Richards one of my originals and a fellow coach, and Chris Sykes- Chris just finished his 2nd session in February and one from Wayne Stocks, a bi-vocational Kidmin leader that I highly admire. It will be a fun day.

So go check them out for yourself. I'll be tweeting when I find out they have been posted.

Day 3 of The Eric Trap Book Tour

Wow, we have gotten some great reviews so far on our new book- The Eric Trap. Yesterday I didn't realize that Jenn Day was going to write on Day 2, I had her down for Day 3 so it was not only a surprized when I read her post, I was trilled. Jenn knocked it out of the park with what has been one of my faviorite reviews so far. You can read it by clicking here. I'm going to wait until Kenny posts about Day 3 before I point you to the next stops on the tour since he is driving the tour bus. So while I'm waiting for him to post I think I'll just give away some books.

 So...... here's what you have to do to win: 

1st- leave a comment below why you should win a free book...
 then 2nd- tweet 

@jimwideman is giving away 3 free copies of the #EricTrap on his blog. #kidmin #stumin #oc12

I'll choose 3 winners and post them here. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day Two Of The Eric Trap Blog Tour

Today our book heads onward to two more blogs. First we're heading over to the great state of Texas over to the blog home of Jonathan Cliff. I really like Jonathan! He's been ony young guns to watch list for a long time.  You can tell when I like someone because I call them by a nickname. I like to call Jonathan "Cliffy". Another thing I really like about him is he has a wonderful wife. I like Kidmin folks who married up like I did. "Cliffy" also wrote one of the endorsements we included on the back cover of the book.

"The "Eric Trap" takes ministry leaders on a dark, serious, and scary journey into the world of working in a church and balancing your priorities.  It was eerie how much the story mirrored my own story in so many ways.  I believe the "Eric Trap" can be a game changer for those willing to shine the light into the dark places of their own pastoral lives.  It's on the other side of change that the insights gained from this book pay off in a rich way!"

Next we head over to Rob Livingston's blog. I have not got to hang out with Rob yet but I have talked to him online. I was drawn to his twitter name @bamahouse1. I like all kidmin folks but I really like kidmin folks who are also BAMA fans. One of the greatest things I taught Sam Luce has been to love ALABAMA FOOTBALL. Speaking of Sam checkout his blog as he posted a great post entitled "Who is Eric Newman?" 

Thanks Cliffy and Rob for being a part of our big blog tour! Today I'm going to give away some books. 

Here's what you do to be eligible to win leave a coment on my blog and then tweet...
@jimwideman is giving away free copy of his new book #erictrap #kidmin #stumin #oc12 #cmconnect

Have fun and thanks for playing!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Ready For A Blog Road Trip?

For several months I've been telling you about a new collaboration book that my I'm releasing with the help of one of my infuse groups entitled The Eric Trap- 5 things every leader has to get right!  During the second year of coaching with my first infuse group we came up with the idea to write a book together as a project that would be based on what they had learned during their infuse experience. The result was KIDMIN LEADERSHIP. (Click the link to reveal a special price, during the blog tour) When I began the second year with my second infuse group the first question everyone asked was "Are we going to write a book like infuse 1.2 did?" Kidmin Leadership was about what was learned and why it is important. We also added how each author modeled what they wrote about and put it in action in their ministry. During one of the retreats we began to brain storm on what this new book could be about. We decided on writing a Kidmin leadership fable on the five things that every leader has to get right. The discussion on what five things was very beneficial as well. All of us agreed that without each of these it was hard to be successful as a leader. They also were the five things that we felt as  group were the most significant topics we had learned in the two years we walked together in infuse.  

Sam and Kenny took on the task to write the fable in a way that the story would reveal each of the these five areas then each person in the group would have to choose which one of these were important to them and write a chapter that was the application of what Eric (the star of our story) was missing in his life and ministry. My job was to write the conclusion. This process went on far after the groups time in infuse. There's been a lot of work put in not only from each of us but also from Jenny Funderburke, one of my coaches and a dear friend and daughter in the ministry. 

 Last week Sam Luce, Kenny Conley and I announced that starting today we would began a two week blog tour of The Eric Trap.  More than 50 kidmin, stumin, and fammin bloggers are reviewing our book. Many of them have been sent multiple copies so they can share the love and give some away. I too will be giving away some books both on my blog here and also on twitter. Be sure and follow me on for even more chances of winning. You can also follow the star of our book at, he'll be giving away books too. Enough talk about the process let's get the tour on the road.

Our first stop on the blog tour is the winner of the 2012 Kidmin Blog Madness, infuse's own Jenny Funderburke. So what are you waiting on click on the link to head over to Jenny's to hear her take on The Eric Trap and to win yourself your very own copy.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Eric Trap Blog Tour is Coming!

On Monday, April 9th, the Eric Trap blog tour BEGINS! Let me tell you. This isn’t like any blog tour you’ve ever seen. This one is going to be Epic. I’ll go ahead and apologize right now because the kidmin blogospher and twitterverse are about to get overloaded. Almost 50 people are participating in the blog tour and most will be using multiple streams of social media. Many of the bloggers will be giving away books (more than 40 up for grabs).
So, get ready. The Eric Trap goes on sale in 3 weeks and you’ll get some sneak peaks in the coming weeks about this new book. Stay tuned, I’ll post more on Monday as the blog tour starts up. I can’t wait!

Friday, April 06, 2012

It's A Good Friday

Today I get to serve communion to individuals, families and even whole small groups at our church- World Outrch Church. It's always one of my most favorite days of the year. We do this at two different times. (11:00-1:00 & 4:00- 7:00)  I am so blessed to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of all wonderful people here in Murfreesboro, TN. I am so blessed. The cool thing is I'll get to serve communion to my family today as well!
It is a good Friday!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Eight Relationships That Matter In Ministry- Part 6

#6- Know the key influencers within your church and ministry. Remember Claude? (the key influencer at John Maxwell's first church). Every church has key influencers and key families it's important that you know them and their family. Know only should you know they, you should recruit them for your ministry. Help them be better parents, help them understand the fruit that happening in your ministry. In the same way who are the core kids in your ministry? What are you doing to develop them as leaders? Every person in your ministry is important but knowing the influencers and winning them over will help your leadership!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Eric Trap Book Tour...

Thanks to everyone who signed up to be a part of our new book's blog tour. More than 50 Kidmin, Stumin, and Fammin bloggers signed up to help. It will start Monday, April 9 and will run through April 27. You'll get to learn all about this new resource and also have a chance to win a free copy for your own library before it is officially released at Orange 12. Also I hope you'll learn about some great blogs where you can continuely learn our blogger team.

During the Orange Conference we'll also be having a book signing. I'll also be giving away some free copies in all of my workshop sessions at Orange. I'm getting excited about bloging about the 5 things we feel every leader has to get right next week. But until then here's two more things some folks had to say about it.

“I loved this book! I’m also excited to get copies for our CM & SM staff. I really enjoyed the mix of fiction and non-fiction. You can tell that this was written by someone who is really in ministry. Very realistic. Each chapter was very well written. I also appreciate the transparency of the authors.(You don’t see that often)  I think that the chapters written with personal mistakes exposed are going to minister to a lot of people. I also love that there is a clear “next step” at the end of each chapter. WOW!-This is clearly a book to “work through”- not just to read.”
-Jennifer Galley ||Next Generation-Family Pastor, Minniapolis, MN

I just sat down and read The Eric Trap. Can I just tell you: this book is amazing. I think it may be one of the most important books written for kidmin in years. It’s immensely relatable, and I could feel myself in Eric’s shoes. (Well, and a bit of Kenny and Sam in his shoes too. :)  It really addresses some of the big issues that we’re often too afraid to address, but matter more than any others. I think I may have learned more about ministry in the hour it took me to read the book than I have in 3 years of school… But don’t tell my profs that. :)
-Evan Doyle, Kidzmatter

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Eight Relationships That Matter In Ministry- Part 5

# 5- Know you team
It doesn't matter if your staff is paid or not. I had a staff long before I had employees. Jesus spent a lot of time with the level of ministry directly under Him, while He was on the earth. You should too! Start with your structure If you've read my book Stretch then you know the difference between a Growth and/or Maintenance structure. Put your ministry on paper.  Look for where ministry is happening alone. Identify not only the positions where you could use a worker but also identify the gifts and skills required for each position. A great question to ask yourself is... Do you have the right people in the right place? Every person on your team needs to know two things 1. What you want them to do. 2. How you want them to do it. It's your job to train and teach them these skills. Another great question I'd love to ask you is this... Do you have a plan to enlarge their abilities? If not you should. After you get through reading Stretch make sure you read volunteers That Stick. Remember all your time with your team can't be spent in meetings. People can't catch your heart and vision without an investment of time.

Would you like to win a free copy of STRETCH or VOLUNTEERS THAT STICK.
Post which book you'd like to win on the coments and watch my twitter for instructions on how to win.