Seven Habits of Highly Insecure Children’s Pastors

Continuing my Benefits of Hindsight series, I would like to suggest seven habits which can create highly insecure and ineffective children’s pastors. In my years of ministry I have witnessed all of them, and I also have been guilty of a few. So, as you read the list and think about the implications, imagine my voice as one of godly fear and trembling, rather than witty sarcasm. In the statements below I refer to the CP, for children’s pastor.

New Christian Cartoon Series for Kids "Theo Presents"

I just finished watching four online preview videos of Theo Presents. The following statements in quotes are included in the press kit prepared by Whitestone Media. I respond to each paragraph based on my observations. Theo Presents is centered around the adventures and teachings of the main character, Theo, a student of God’s Word and a theologian. Theo lives in a cozy corner of a quaint English village, in the heart of the Cotswolds, and entertains many guests, including two

Sample Head Lice Policy for Church, Daycare, or School

A few years ago I wrote a letter to the parents of my church to inform them of our head lice policy. While head lice is not a glamorous topic, it can present very real problems. And I don’t simply mean the head scratching kind! If one or more children show up to church with head lice infestations in their hair, and accidently pass the lice on to other children, tempers can flair among parents. So, I learned

Learn the Secret Art of "Verbal Judo" in Children's Ministry

The children gathered excitedly in front of me, sitting on their little red or blue plastic chairs. There were about thirty kids, ranging in age from three to seven years old. I sat my large dalmation Firedog puppet from Amaze Healing Wings on my right knee. A previous generation of kids I pastored long ago had named him “Scruffy.” As the children quieted down, I began to interact with him. Normally, I do not try to do conversational ventriloquism; I usually have the

Benefits of Hindsight in Children's Ministry Leadership

Late in 2010 I resigned as Children’s Pastor from the church where I served for fifteen years. It concluded thirty years of being involved in some form of children’s work, mostly in the local church. In my previous church, one of only two where I have been on staff, I was an elder and Children’s Ministry Director for four years, although I had participated in children’s ministry for thirteen years in that setting. So, twenty-eight years have

5 Relational Tools to Make You a Better Teacher

Children say the cutest things. I have a long list of memorable questions and statements which children have made during my ministry career. Most are hilarious. Others, quite sad. Still others probe the depths of Christian spirituality, often retaining characteristics of humor and grief. All of them reveal the innocence of childhood in a way no Hollywood script writer can convey. Capturing these moments requires an intentional posture of attentiveness. That is, we must listen. We must

The Cold Hard Truth about Bethlehem We Often Forget

Just a few weeks ago, Black Friday kicked off the holiday shopping season. People camped in front of select stores in frigid temperatures. Others rose long before sunrise to join the teaming masses of consumers. There was a collective loss of sleep and health, and a drain on finances. Some even participated in all night shopping sprees for that special deal. Black Friday. In the first century there was also a black Friday of sorts. In Matthew 2

Are You a Missional Children's Minister?

Missional is a term which is gaining traction among church planters and senior leaders. It borrows its root meaning from the more familiar word, missionary. Chances are, your senior pastor is familiar with it. The expression is far less known among children’s ministry leaders. This is unfortunate.  I have read many books introducing me to the concept of being missional. I have also met people who model missional living beautifully. These influences, combined with my personal experiences

4 Tips for Turning Supervised Playtime into Ministry

Children love to play. Although much of their time in my church setting is structured for active worship and learning in small and large group contexts, we do allow a component of supervised play as time permits. I do not view this as a necessary evil to accommodate services which run long or parents who are late to pick up their children after service. Rather, we often schedule such playtime into the heart of the session’s activities

Thanksgiving: It’s an ugly day for many kids

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, children’s ministry leaders and teachers are thinking about how to teach the children under their care about God’s view of giving thanks. At first blush, it seems simple. For example, we might ask the children to think about what they are thankful for. Cool toys, a nice house, the latest award for sports or the arts, parents, brothers and sisters, the dog, the cat, even the pet lizard that seems to keep