Thursday, September 26, 2013


One of the most intriguing professions in the world to me is forecasting the weather. Sometimes they miss it but most of the time they get it right.
Mr. Webster defines forecasting as “to predict a future condition or occurrence; to calculate in advance by forethought and foresight in planing. These are not just descriptions and duties of a meteorologist. It’s also the responsibility of a leader

Here’s seven steps that will help:
1. Know where you are headed. Dare to dream and be specific. Get God’s plan for ministry (Read Habakkek 2:2)  Get on your face and ask Him. I believe He’ll show it to you!

2. Know where you are. You can’t get to where you are headed if you don’t know where you are starting from.
3. Know where you’ve been. Knowing what’s been done in the past let’s you know the definition of success
4. Know what others are doing. A smart leader studies the success and failures of others. Experience is the best teacher but it doesn’t have to be your experiences that you learn from. Twitter leaders you want to learn from see what they are working on and what they see as the next big thing!

5. Develop the plan then communicate and execute it

6. Evaluate. Be on the lookout for current trends as well as historic trends so you can head off problems before they happen.

7. Keep momentum and energy moving forward. It’s up to you leader to set the pace.Do what you’ve never done. Look down the road and forecast what is ahead. Plan ahead, remember it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. Instigate and initiate change. Make things happen.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Playing For Keeps

My good friend Reggie Joiner let me know about something his staff has been working on this past year. After 25 years of working in Family Ministry, and seven years leading an organization that influences those who influence the next generation, Reggie has learned there are some things adults just can't do for kids. You can't force a toddler to eat broccoli. You can't make a teenager "not date him." And you can't make a kid love God. Can you? At some point it just starts to break down. 

That's why Reggie wrote Playing for Keeps. He wanted to talk to parents and leaders (and anyone else who influences the lives of kids and teenagers) about six things you can give a kid over time that will make a significant impact. These six things can help give a kid the kind of history that will show them why they matter to God. 

That's why He used the illustration of the marbles. 
Each marble represents one week in the life of a kid or teenager. 

There are approximately 936 weeks from the time a child is born until he or she graduates high school.
A leader who stays connected to small group of kids for a year will have 52 weeks of influence before those kids move on to the next group. 

Parents and leaders have a limited amount of time. Maybe that’s why Psalm 90:1 says,
"Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Reggie wants to help parents and leaders visualize their week. By counting their weeks, he hopes to help them make their week count just a little bit more.

Playing for Keeps and the marbles were pre-launched at The Orange Conference this past April and the feedback has been really exciting. Today they are kicking off the national Play For Keeps tour, I wanted to be a part of spreading this message to the parents and leaders in my circle. I highly recommend this book. (It's really 2 books in 1)

You need to get your hands on this new book "Playing For Keeps" and get it into the hands of the parents and small group leaders you serve! I've already read it and believe me this is a game-changer that you want to pass on!

Go to for more information about an Orange Tour event coming to a city near you!
I'll see you at the one in Nashville!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Raising Godly Kids...

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

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

There were three things Julie and I did with our kids that really paid off.

1. We spent a lot of time with our kids (daily, weekly and yearly)

2. We always required church. This included attendance and involvement.

3. We made up our own rules about the influences and voices that spoke

into our kids that we could control like spending the night other places,

video games, cell phones, internet use, phones and TV’s in their rooms,

(what’s done in their room you can’t control as well as in the family areas)

driving, dating, and other influential relationships. I believe with all my heart that

there should there be a difference in how Christians raised their children and

how non-Christians parent their children!

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

#1. Children are a gift from God. (Children are part of God’s plan for families)

Ps. 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Gifts are to be cherished, especially when they come from someone you admire and esteam. Gifts of great value are sought after. At World Outreach Church we realize that kids are the most valuable procession a young family has. Although parents realize this when their kids are small they relax after a few years. (Much like parking a new car far away then after a few dings parking it just anywhere.)

Parents, you have a responsibility to guard and protect your child at every age,

whether you are working alone or with a team.

#2. The responsibility for training children about God was given to parents! Deut. 4:9 says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to our children and to their children after them.” Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train

up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart

from it. These verses where not written for pastors, it was written for parents. The phrase “in the way he should go” refers to God’s plan and

desire for your child. What does God want for your child? What do you want for your child? No one can hit a goal without a vision. Proverbs 29:18 tells us “Where there is no vision people perish. Your kids need to know what you and God desires for them. When I was a child grownups always asked me 3 questions. What’s your name? How old are you? And, what do you want to be when you grow up? I hear them only asking kids today the first 2. I think kids need to ask God the question, “What is your plan for me?” But parents also need to make a vision for their kids and your home. Here is a sample list of mine and Julie’s goals and vision for our kids.

1. We desire that they know God and love his Word (To be a fully devoted follower of Christ)

2. For all of us to be a close family

3. We desire for our children to exhibit Godly character and have a

Biblical world view!

4. We desire for our children to fulfill the plan God has for them (career/vocation)

5. For our children to have a good work ethic, and be responsible with

all that is entrusted to them

6. To provide and develop skills, abilities, education & training needed for our children to fulfill God’s plan.

7. For our children to be an example to others and to be a difference

maker to all those whom they encounter in all relationships.

8. For our children to enjoy life (hobbies, interests etc.)

These are our goals what are yours? The truth is if you aim

at nothing you’ll hit it every time!

Deuteronomy 6:6 & 7 tells us how much time God think you need to

disciple your children. “These commandments that I give you today are

to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them

when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie

down and when you get up.”

Who and what you give your time to determines if your children will get

the gospel. How are you using your mornings, evenings, time at home

and travel time? Are they devoted to discipling your children or mostly

other things?

Training is more than verbal instruction. Training calls for a model or

example. Training takes a trainer and a trainee. It also takes consistency!

Training children to be doers of the Word is a full time job and takes more instruction than a child can get on Sunday and Wednesday only.

#3. You can’t raise Godly kids without focus!

Focus is defined as an act of concentrating interest or activity on something. Even if you are alone in the parenting task you must be intentional about your focus! One of my favorite scriptures is Proverb 28:2 “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.” This is true at every age! Evaluation must be the compainion to focus! It takes one to have the other.

#4. Desire to be an encourager more than a drill sergeant

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." The Bible is not a book of don’ts many parents present it as such. It’s a book of do’s and when children are encouraged to do all the do’s there’s not much time for the don’ts. Encourage your children to get involved in ministry

Encourage your children to participate in activities that teach the value of serving.

Talk to your children positively. Be the biggest cheerleader in their life!

You can ask my kids, I look for every opportunity to reward & bless my children, that’s why they know Father God is good!

#5. You cannot disciple without discipline Matthew 28:19 says Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, At the heart of discipleship is “discipline” but the key is

consistency. Kids learn commitment and respect for authority from their parents. Children need to know the rules of your family (they are for all members even you!) Explain why what they do wrong is wrong, show them firsthand in the word. You must teach and model repentance parent also teach and model forgiveness. Make it a habit to do everything you do in love especially discipline.

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

Monday, September 09, 2013

Infuse Retreat #19 Is In The History Books

In early 2007 I got new marching orders for my life. The Lord gave me a fresh desire to take what I’ve learned about children’s ministry and leadership and pass it on to the next generation of leaders. I began to look for ways to do this in addition to my monthly audio leadership resource “the Club.” I added blogs, began to host forums and discussion groups online and began to write for several ministry publications; yet I knew there was still something missing. It seemed like the more I did to mentor others the more people wanted me to come up with a way to personally coach and mentor them. Then I had the idea for Infuse! For the past 6 years I’ve been offering a coaching/mentoring service that’s intensive yet affordable for any size church. (It's about the coast of a national 4 day conference.)

Mr. Webster defines infuse as: to instill a quality or skill in someone or something; to soak or pour into. This is what infuse has been about from day one, a way to pour into others what it’s taken me years to learn so they can be better leaders and accomplish more in less time.
This past weekend marked the 19th retreat. It was an amazing time. The group that came this weekend were all in past Infuse groups and wanted more. Each year besides offering a session for first timers I also offer an Alumni group. Some of the members of this group I'm now calling "Infuse Plus" have been a part of 4 different infuse sessions. Every retreat has been different as well as each group this group is learning all about Decision Making and Problem Solving. There were so many God events this weekend there's not enough space to write them all down here on the blog. The retreats are kind of the special sauce that makes Infuse different from other coaching programs. There are 2 retreat for each session one at the start and one at the end. There are also 4 different conference calls and an online forum where you have access to me and my eight #kidmin coaches. (All who have completed a minimum of 2 years of Infuse themselves.)

Infuse is limited to 30 selected candidates. I’m excited at this place in my life and ministry to be able to make this service available. Because of the high demand I'm adding an additional Infuse session March- August 2014.

I’d love for you to prayerfully consider this investment in yourself, in your dreams and in your ministry, I want to help you become the leader you want to be and pour into you the qualities and skills to make your dreams reality. I believe this is my chance to take what the years have given me so I can pass it on to the next generation.  Everyone does better with a coach. So far I have successfully coached 12 groups through the infuse program. The results have been greater than I could have ever imagined but more importantly lifelong friendships and divine connections have been forged. (Also 3 KIDMIN books and counting)

I’m looking forward to being your KIDMIN coach! If you have any questions about infuse feel free to post them here I've already accepted 8 folks for the next group.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


No I'm not going to start quoting lryics to one of my favorite early Beatles songs but I do want to tell you about something brand new from My good friend Brian Dollar. (Also here I'm going to resist quoting my favorite Beatles' song sng by Ringo)

I'm a big Brian Dollar fan not only does he write good stuff that works and that kids like and learn from but Brian's stuff is kid tested and created in and for a local church. 
Did you know High Voltage Kids Ministry Resources are used in over 5,000 churches world-wide? Brian has totally redeveloped Curriculum style, it now has higher quality graphics and video. It only  $99 (still one of the lowest prices in the Kidmin Universe) plus it's available as a download for only $79.

Besides all  that Brian to me is the real deal! He loves God, his family, his Pastor and he also has been mighty kind to me over the years. So when Brian asked for help to tell you about "HELP" I couldn't say no!

 “HELP!”  Is the very first series in Brian's new Product Line – High Voltage Power Packs.  This takes our kidmin curriculum to a whole new level but why take my word for it? Brian has made it possible for you  download an entire lesson (including ALL the videos and graphics) so you can can taste and see that this stuff is good.
Just go to enter your information and bam there you have it.

“HELP!” teaches children to call on God in times of trouble.  It explores the topics of  healing, depression, stress, wisdom, and loneliness through the Bible Stories of King David, Jairus’ daughter, Apostle Paul, Mary and Martha, and Solomon.

Here's what it includes:

·      Six lessons of Large Group curriculum

·      Six lessons of Small Group Curriculum

·      Three high impact Video Segments per lesson

·      Bible Story with comic-book style illustrated graphics

·      Action Games

·      Character Skits

·      Object lessons

·      Family Devotions to send home with parents

·      All Quicktime and Mpeg Video files

Also Brian has even sweeten the deal by offering you a $20 discount if you order before September 30th.  All you have to do is use the promo code “HELP” when you order.

The only thing that would be sweeter is to have a way to give a complete series away. OK we can do that, just leave a comment below and then tweet "@jimwideman is giving away @highvoltagekids' new #kidmin series #HELP on his blog today @"
I'll select one winner and post it here!
The more you tweet and retweet others the more chances you'll have to win.

Have fun and don't forget to get your free download and $20 savings code for "HELP!"