Archives For Ministry

Consider Tomorrow

Jonathan Cliff  —  February 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

NeverFailFollowUp1

Ever think about tomorrow? Of course you do, but do you ever think about somebody else’s tomorrow? When we have families, kids, students, and anyone else visit our church it’s always worth it to think about Thursday afternoon. Why Thursday? Because that’s where real life is lived, on the lazy afternoon of a normal weekday. It’s so often overlooked, but it’s always worth looking at the entire week of those that visit our churches.

How?  

Follow a parent on Twitter, or Facebook, or LinkedIN.

Send the mother an email, and ask some questions.

Put a pen to paper and mail a postcard…to the 8 year old.

Capture your most witty and encouraging sentence and text it to the teenager that visited.

Buy them a helpful app on iTunes and email it to them.

 

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to connecting with those that visit our churches, but it’s an iceberg worth tackling. If it’s warm cookies that the purple hairs bring to the house, or the senior pastor that follows up with a phone call. It’s all fair game when we attempt to connect a Sunday experience with a Thursday afternoon.

 

Affirm the Parent

Jonathan Cliff  —  February 25, 2013 — 2 Comments

weloveparentshead

We can create relevant environments and put our leaders in the best possible position to start relationships, but it’s imperative to remember that for all our children and many of our teenagers, it’s the parent that brings them to church. Here are 10 ways to affirm parents that attend your church each week:

    1. Tell them you’re glad they are there.
    2. Smile.
    3. Find something (anything) to encourage them with.
    4. Tell them their family is beautiful.
    5. Help them find their way around.
    6. Remember their kids name.
    7. Smile.
    8. Make everything secure and safe, but keep it friendly. (See #2 and #7)
    9. Help them look awesome in front of their kids.
    10. How about just saying,   I am so glad you chose to bring your kids to {insert church name} this weekend. I know it s not always easy, and I appreciate what you did.

It’s hard to get your family to church sometimes, and ALL of those parents that attend are acceptance magnets. Give them what all of us are looking for…acceptance and affirmation.

 
**Image Source:  http://weloveparents.org/ **
 

Friday Bag #25

Jonathan Cliff  —  February 22, 2013 — Leave a comment

The Friday Bag

The Power of DuckTales - “DuckTales,  the most successful show of Disney s short-lived television-animation renaissance—and a show that kicked off a brief interest in syndicated afternoon animation from a host of media companies—has mostly disappeared from the limelight,”

 

OpenDNS - The Cliff Family is giving this a try this week. It’s a small attempt to make the Internet safer for our entire family.

How I Have Stayed in Church for 26 Years -   I am often asked by so many people, especially ministers, How have you stayed in one church or ‘survived in the same church for 26 years? Through God s grace and grace alone have we been able to do this.”   // Love this insightful look at longevity.

 

So proud to be a part of such a special place this past December. Be Rich 2012.

I have a real heart for those that work in churches and work with children. I’ve done it before myself, and I know what it takes and what it takes out of a leader. I know what it’s like to dread Saturday night phone calls, and to find yourself teaching in 5 minutes because somebody didn’t show up. For all of you out there that find these words resonating with you, then I’ve got a special treat for you!

CPCLIVESTREAMING

One of the greatest resources for Children’s Pastors is now available in your living room. My friend, and Executive Director of INCM, Michael Chanley is letting us in on 5 sessions this year. Just visit  http://my.cmconnect.org/page/streaming at the scheduled times below and hang out with some great leaders from around the world!

Monday, February 18 at 6 PM  

General Session  #1  “Impart God’s truth to this generation”

save to calendar  |  buy this session

Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00 PM  

General Session #3  “Communicate with families”

save to calendar  |  buy this session  

Wednesday, February 20 at 6:15 PM  

General Session #5  “Pray for the international children s ministry community”

save to calendar  |  buy this session

Thursday, February 21 at 9:45 AM  

General Session #6  “I’m IN!”

save to calendar  |  buy this session

 Shop the  INCM Resource Community  to get DVDs, CDs and MP3s of all the breakouts and trainings.  All of CPC12 and CPC13 (Orlando only) are currently available. CPC13 San Diego will be available in the next couple of weeks.

 

Circles Better Than Rows

Do you create a compelling place that people want to return to the next week?

If environments are the way we communicate atmosphere and expectations, then relationships are the words and voice that keep people from disconnecting from us. And the connected will return to our churches. In our efforts to create amazing environments we can’t forget that it’s the people connecting with people who communicate the Gospel. It’s people in the parking lot, people at the doors, people in the classrooms, people in the auditorium, people on the stage, and people sitting next to other people. (That there may be the most times I’ve used the word people in a sentence, let’s hope you get the point.)

Relationships matter now more than ever. Here are 4 ways to ensure that you are putting value in the people and not the things:

1. Encourage Conversation. I’m not saying we should make introverts stand up and talk to strangers, but we should be encouraging our leaders to connect. Teach and train leaders to recognize the ‘lost in the building’ person, to seek out the parent that could use a hand, and to make face-to-face interactions with those that visit our churches. Make the first-time count for something.

2. Lead Small through Small Groups. I’m 100% convinced that circles are better than rows, and if you’re not creating small spaces for preschoolers, children, students, and adults to connect in circles…then you don’t think relationships matter. Make relationships matter by making community in circles the most valuable resource in your church.

3. Equip Leaders. Have you reminded leaders in these all important groups to make eye contact, to lean in when talking, and to remember someones name? Do you evaluate how your leaders connect with parents? with children? with visitors? It’s our job as a leader to communicate the value of building relationships. As a parent of 3, I cannot overstate how important it is for me that the leaders of my children connect with my children.  

4. Respect the Journey. Surface level relationships are still relationships. All relationships begin awkward, simple, and sometimes frustratingly slow. The journey towards community is a long one, but when we value the story being written over the chapters we’re living in, then we have a God-shaped view of what real relationships and community could be.

Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”