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Children’s Ministry Academy

You might have noticed that there are a few business, and organizations that I would recommend; and therefore allow them the opportunity to sponsor space on this here website.  Today I would like to introduce you to the newest sponsor at www.jonathancliff.com.

I recently did an interview with ChildrensMinistryAcademy.com about ways that my team and I are transitioning our established church to be a more modern family-friendly environment.  When the interview was over I was given an  opportunity  to learn more about what Children’s Ministry Academy offers those of us out here in the world of Children’s Ministry.  I have walked away impressed!

Here is how www.childrensministryacademy.com would describe themselves:

The  CHILDREN S MINISTRY ACADEMY  was created to aide leaders, pastors, teachers, volunteers, and parents in their efforts to nurture faith in youth. We are strong believers that faith doesn t grow in a vacuum; instead it requires a community of support and encouragement. If you are in a position of authority in a Children s Ministry program, it is your job to lead your community.

All too often, Children s Ministry Leaders are tossed into a classroom with little else than a good luck pat on the back. Seventy one percent of the teacher s we ve certified received NO FORMAL TRAINING prior to enrolling in our program. This is a dangerous statistic. Children have little patience for on the job training . In this day and age, when Sunday School is competing with sports, video games, and violin lessons, can we afford to let teachers struggle along until they discover how to manage a class on their own?

It s time for a change.

I took the class titled, “Secrets to Effective Classroom Management” and I must tell you that it was well worth my time.  The material was presented in a very real-world type of situation.  The entire class is taught while you pretend to be a Children’s Director at a fictitous church.  Your Senior Pastor even sends you emails with advice, and it’s through these that the lessons and materials are taught.  After reading through your Senior Pastor’s advice, you are then given a scenario of a situation happening in a classroom.  After observing (or more honestly reading) you take a quick 3 question test to see what you would recommend to your teachers.

After going through 7 different teaching segments (all outlined on the left), I took a 30 question test about all that I had learned.  I had to score 24 out of 30 correct to PASS the course!  (No worries, I passed.)

I must say that I had a recurring thought as I read through the materials and browsed through their website…I sure wish I had this when I started in Children’s Ministry!  I can think of three distinct Children’s Ministry Leaders that need to look into this resource:

1. NEW Children’s Pastors.  If you are new to what you’re doing, then take the time to invest in yourself by getting a subscription to CMA.  Just lock yourself in your office for a day and a half and learn, learn, learn!

2. Ministry Leaders. I think this material would be fantastic for the person leading others within my ministry.  I often struggle to find time for my leaders to learn, and this might be a great go-between.  It would be an answer for the question I get sometimes from my leaders, “How can I get better at what I’m doing?”

3. Part-Time Children’s Pastors.  I know you are out there!  There are 1,000’s of lay staff working with kids all across the country.  They struggle to have budgets to travel and learn, and CMA might be your fix.

So what’s next?  Children’s Ministry Academy is currently offering a $50 scholarship for sign-up, thereby reducing their enrollment fee to only $50.  After that you pay $20/per month to continue learning and taking new classes.  They will even send you a ton of free stuff just for signing up!  Go today and visit www.childrensministryacademy.com and see if it would be a fit for you and your ministry.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.