I’m a small group leader and a parent. Actually I’m a parent first.
Maybe I should rewrite that first statement.
As a parent, I love nothing more than to see my kid receive attention from adults that mean them well and want to see them succeed. But selfishly, I love a small group leader that can do that while making me look good in front of my kids.
I don’t want a small group leader that is a “better voice” for my kids, I want one that is “another voice” for my kids. As small group leaders learn to embrace the role as an accompanying voice in the life of my kid, the more value my own voice has in my kids life.
Read the rest of my contribution at the Lead Small blog at: http://leadsmall.org/elementary/making-a-parent-look-good/
As a Small Group you leader you need to have the ability to get kids to open up to you. We need to feel pretty confident that we can get any kid, anywhere, in most any circumstance to talk with us. You may be thinking, “I just wish I could get my kids to STOP talking so much!” But I’m not talking about the kids you know, I m talking about those first time kids that come into our group, or maybe the kid in the checkout line at Wal-Mart (of course in public make sure you don’t creep the parents out and be sure to invite them to your church).
Are there things you can do to get any kid to talk to you? Yes you can, and here are a few tricks. Feel free to put them to the test, and I guarantee you that you will get a positive response.
The Nickname Method: Simply ask them if they have a nickname. This worked fabulously when I worked with more inner city kids, because they ALL had nicknames! But even out here in the the nether regions of West Texas I ve found that kids love to share nicknames. Maybe they have a name that their mom calls them, or something their friends joke with them about. Kids love nicknames. If they don t have one, then you can offer them some suggestions. It s an instant ice-breaker!
Read the rest of my contribution at the Lead Small blog at: http://leadsmall.org/elementary/getting-the-new-kid-to-open-up/
I’m a father and I’m learning. I’m learning that signing my son up for baseball means I get to sit outside in the freezing cold March nights. I’m learning that my daughter will talk about her favorite songs for hours on end. I’m learning that what my kids hear at church isn’t necessarily easy for them to do right away. I’m learning that my children are a much greater challenge to me than my job as a leader of children’s ministries.
I’m also a pastor and I’m learning. I’m learning that setting things on fire in a building with sensitive smoke detectors is not a great idea. I’m learning that glitter is the archenemy of our custodial staff. I’m more importantly learning the best of intentions does not guarantee a real connection with my families. I’m learning that children are the most important people in the lives of their parents. I’m learning that what I teach kids at church is second in importance to what parents teach their children at home.
We’ve all been there. We start working with kids, because we love the kids. We love teaching them new things about God. We love hearing them discover new ways of understanding God’s plan for their lives. Then, we realize that it’s much more fruitful to pour equal amounts of energy into the people these kids we love so much live with. That’s when we hit the proverbial family ministry wall. All that work you’ve been doing to connect families to your church could be for naught. The parents aren’t doing it at home. Your materials are top notch, they’re shiny, and they’re perfectly designed for parents … you think.
Read more from this article that originally appeared in Kidzmatter Magazine March/April 2014 at: http://kidzmatter.com/helping-every-parent-take-a-next-step-from-ideology-towards-practicality
Did you know your church is always searching for more leaders? No matter how big the church you serve in is, there is always a need for more people to invest in the lives of the children there. As a small group leader, you play a huge role in this “recruiting” plan.
If your church leader could clone you, they would! You are the one your leaders are attempting to replicate, and you play the oh-so-important role of recruiter for your ministry. You know the people in your world, and you know who would make an awesome SGL. Part of fulfilling the responsibility of “Creating a Safe Place” is to make it a safe place for new kids and for the times when you can’t be there. So, tell your story!
Invite Someone You Love. Most of us serve because we were asked by somebody we trust, so pay it forward by doing the same for someone else. What we do always carries more meaning when we do it with someone we enjoy being with. Don’t keep it to yourself, invite others to share the experience!
Read the rest of my contribution at the Lead Small blog at: http://leadsmall.org/elementary/tell-your-story/
Homemade ice cream.
Mornings on the porch with coffee and the dawn song of birds singing.
Visits from family and friends; highly anticipated, and always better than hoped for.
Floating the river.
Bright nail polish.
Big beach hats.
Georgia awash in green.
Fireflies temping us outside…mosquitoes driving us back in.
Sweet tea in mason jars.
Loud music with the windows down.
Fresh, sweet tomatoes and fragrant basil from the garden, devoured with slices of mozzarella.
My gorgeous kids with tanned legs and golden hair.
Skinned knees and bug bites.
A slower pace, a lighter heart.
From the time I was a little girl and waited all spring for it to be warm enough to water-ski again, summer has always, always been my favorite. I could go on and on with things big and little that fill my heart in the summer months. These last few months have been hard ones for us (hard is relative of course, and we are acutely and keenly aware that we have much to be thankful for). I’m so truly grateful for the timing: that this figurative hard “season” of life has coincided with my literal favorite one. Seeking God and finding Him faithful just comes a littler easier to me with the sun warming my face.
As summer threatens to turn to fall, I’m admittedly a little anxious about what our future holds. But I trust He will be there in the turning and changing of the leaves just as He’s there in the easy, natural comfort of summertime.