Storytelling to Perfection


Weeks after reading the book  Playing for Keeps, one statement is still rattling around in my brain. The book says,

Stories are just another one of God s brilliant ideas to connect us to what really matters.

As a small group leader, isn t this really my main objective? To connect kids to what really matters? It s the bottom line for why any of us want to work with kids. It s the burden parents carry. It s the reason behind why churches do so much for kids these days. They want to connect them to something bigger than themselves.

- Read the rest of my contribution to the Lead Small blog at:

Looking for People to Believe in my Children


At churches all across the world, people are learning that bigger isn t always better. While there are a great many benefits of being a part of a large church; the benefits of becoming smaller are important. Small groups bring about real discipleship, life change, and spiritual growth. If you read my blog for any length of time you ve heard me write about  how-to  lead small groups,  how-to  recruit leaders to lead small groups,  how-to  organize the details of small groups, and even pushed some  tips at you from the greatest small group leader of all time.

I love small groups, but over the past two years those small groups have taken on a special meaning. I m a pastor and a leader of great leaders; but I m primarily a husband and a father. It s as the latter that I ve seen the real impact of small groups.

- Read the rest of my contribution to the Lead Small blog at:

They Want to be Known


The way you love a kid can dramatically affect his or her future. Love over time creates worth, and any parent would tell you the most common parenting mistakes are easily overcome by loving our children over the long haul. In the book Playing for Keeps , the authors make this statement:

Most research suggests that when it comes to love, the younger the recipient, the more powerful the impact.

This can create quite the urgency in the heart of an elementary small group leader. Think about it. When we are only seeing these kids for a handful of hours a year, how can we demonstrate a love that makes a sincere impact?

- Read the rest of my contribution to the Lead Small blog at:

Family Night Ideas

Below are links to “Family Night” themes we did a few years back when my kids were itty-bitties. My hope is that if you’re a parent of littles, you find some easy ideas for making memories and spending time with those precious wee ones. I had so much fun looking through these posts – would you look at those little sweet faces?!?

Roughing It  – Indoor Camping

Ye Olde Family Night  – Pirate Theme

Family Fall Festival  

No One Eats Moon Pies Anymore  – Outer Space Theme

Early Edition  – Morning at Night Theme


Water  – A night around Living Water International

All Aboard!  - Train theme around Polar Express

Puzzle Night

Create Your Own Boardgame  

Popcorn Night

Meet the President

St. Patrick’s Day  – all things green

One Seriously Funny Hamster  - a night around the movie Bolt


Super Heroes and Princesses

Choose Your Own Fast Food Night

India  – a night themed around Compassion International

Nocturnal Creatures  – all about critters that come out at night!

Pizza Night

Strawberry Night  

Sledding and Snowballs in Summertime

When I Grow Up


Thinking Independently


“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel worn paths of accepted success.”

— John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company

Read that quote again. It’s the secret behind the biggest breakthroughs in innovation. Look at the history of technology, and innovation is there. Look at the history of government, and innovation is there. Look at the history of organized sports, and innovation is there.

Innovation is not achieved by imitating the success of others. It’s achieved by great leaders who choose to risk failure and ridicule in order to create something completely new. The comfort of what has been done is always tempting, and sometimes staying put and maintaining is a great challenge that we are called to. However, oftentimes the real challenge is in walking off the beaten path.

Your teenage son that won’t talk to you because he’s tired of your lectures and unsolicited advice…maybe he could use something off the beaten path. Your preschooler that is too scared to be left in a room without you…maybe she could use something off the beaten path. That co-worker that drives you absolutely batty…maybe she could use a response from you that was less than common.

You may say, “Give me some examples!”, but then you’d be missing the whole point. The question is your to answer.

What do you need to do differently to make something different happen?