There are several reasons you may have kids in your worship service:

  • You are a small church that doesn’t have the resources to provide a separate Kids’ Ministry
  • You are doing a special service that includes kids in the service for the day
  • It is part of your philosophy of ministry to include kids in the service with their parents

Whatever the reason, there are times when we have kids in our services.  This is a healthy thing, whether it is occasional or ongoing, but when they are included in attendance, we should strive to make them included in the service itself.

It’s easy to just give them headphones and an iPad, but it would be better to have them actively participating in some way.  I remember one Sunday when a little girl who was joining us for the Worship Service said to me, “I don’t mind being in here with you, but I don’t understand what you’re talking about!”

That was a good reminder to keep my communication and preaching clear for everyone in the room, regardless of age.  No small task, though, right?

That conversation inspired us to create a simple “Kids’ Worship Guide” for when school age kids are with us in the service. It’s very “general,” and is applicable for any service.  We provide them with crayons, and encourage them to actively engage in the service with us and the adults who brought them to church, today.

Feel free to download the FREE PDF here and use it whenever you need. (No opt in, necessary. Just click the link and download!)

You can also use it as an inspiration and simply create your own.  To create ours, we used free clip art and created the word search puzzle for free, here: “Discovery Education Free Puzzle Maker”

If this is useful, and you’d like to see more of these kinds of downloads on the site, please let me know in the comments below. Feel free to share the link, and thanks for stopping by!

There are a few audio issues in this episode. “Perfectionist Guidance is Suggested.” 🙂

Today’s podcast is part two of “Seven Questions” with Pastor Michael Feese. Dr. Feese is the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Alvord, Texas. He has served in youth ministry, as a Church Planter and as Senior pastor of several churches in the great state of Texas.

Dr. Michael Feese
http://www.RealMinistry.net

Mount Zion Baptist Church
http://www.Facebook.com/MyMZBC.org

A Few More Tips From Michael:

On Keeping Your Family Relationships Strong:

* Spend lots of time alone with your spouse.

* Don’t just talk about a regular “date night,” actually do it!

* Travel together (without your kids)

* Make “flirting with your spouse” a life-long practice.

* You can avoid “empty nest syndrome” down the road by investing in your relationship with your spouse all along the way.

* Even when your kids become adults, look for opportunities to talk about and offer guidance in spiritual matters and life issues.

Michael’s Basic Work Schedule:

Mornings: Spiritual Disicplines & Message Preparation

Afternoons: Pastoral Ministry – Hosptial visits, phone calls, emails, etc.

Evenings: Family time

Saturdays: Guarded time for family

Staff Meetings  – “Since we already feel rotten on Mondays, we might as well have staff meeting…” 😀

Join the conversation on this topic by commenting or leaving questions below. If you have a question that you’d like to have heard on the podcast, record your question, and upload it to Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or some other cloud based site and send the link to Hello@MinistryBackpack.com

Music Provided by Michael Leckie – http://MichaelLeckie.Bandcamp.com

Pack This:

Ministry Quote – “The missionary must labor and strive because he has his hope set on the living God who is the Saviour of all men. He is therefore long-suffering towards men ‘not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.'” – William Owen Carver in “Missions in the Plan of the Ages,” (1901, Fleming H. Revel Company, 1951, Broadman Press – pp. 53-54)

  • “Men” – Think, “Mankind.” This quote is from 1901, after all…

Show Notes: Michael Feese (Part 1)

There are a few audio issues in this episode. “Perfectionist Guidance is Suggested.” 🙂

Summary: On today’s podcast, I begin part one of “Seven Questions” with Pastor Michael Feese. Dr. Feese is the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Alvord, Texas. He has served in youth ministry, as a Church Planter and as Senior pastor of several churches in the great state of Texas.

Dr. Michael Feese
http://www.RealMinistry.net

Mount Zion Baptist Church
http://www.Facebook.com/MyMZBC.org

Tips From Michael:

* Church Planters
– Don’t walk away too soon. But if you determine that it’s time to step away, determine that when you are spiritually fresh, and only if there is direct leading from the Lord Jesus.

– If you’re struggling, consider taking a short sabbatical, then come back and “double down.” 🙂

* It’s not really about how well you preach, it’s all about the relationships that you build with people.

* The use of social media differs in rural and suburban settings. Use what works best in your setting, even if it’s not “cutting edge.”

* Don’t be “too hip for the room.” “Cool marches on…”

Links Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

https://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/

http://www.thomrainer.com

Join the conversation on this topic by commenting or leaving questions below. If you have a question that you’d like to have heard on the podcast, record your question, and upload it to Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or some other cloud based site and send the link to Hello@MinistryBackpack.com

Music Provided by Michael Leckie – http://MichaelLeckie.Bandcamp.com

From time to time someone will ask me something along the lines of: “How do you know when it’s time to move on to another Church, ministry or opportunity?” I’ve wrestled with this question a number of times along the way.

Here’s how I approach it.

Two quick “filters” before I share the indicators that it may be time to hit the road:

You shouldn’t leave just because things get tough. “Obstacles are not always indicators” that it is time to move on, because ministry is not always easy. In fact, it’s usually pretty tough. If you are involved in ministry of any kind, you can pretty much expect to encounter obstacles and challenges every week. That’s just how it goes. I will go so far as to say that obstacles are usually (though not always) terrible indicators of direction in this regard.

Also, you shouldn’t be in too big of a hurry to leave. I think many people hit the road way too soon in ministry. Usually it takes at least 2 to 3 years in one place just to deal with the “messes of our own making.”

But just as it is a mistake to leave a position too soon in ministry, it is also a mistake to stay too long.

Sometimes God makes it unmistakably clear that He is calling you to someplace new. Other times, …not so much.

In those “fuzzy” times, here are some possible indicators that God may use to inform you that it is time to transition to a new ministry. Keep in mind that this is not a formula, and your results may vary…

1. You have a growing passion and heart for a ministry or opportunity that can not or will not be realized in your current situation.

This is when that passion or heart just won’t go away. No matter how hard you try to envision or implement it where you are, it just doesn’t work, or is continually blocked for some reason. Like the Apostle Paul’s “Macedonian call, (Acts 16:9-10)” it can only be fulfilled in one way: Going to Macedonia.

2. You lack vision, passion and love for the people in your area for an extended period of time.

This is not just the “Monday blues,” but a difficulty seeing what God may want to accomplish in your current ministry. If all you can come up with are “canned” goals from someone else’s ministry, and you can’t love the people with a desire to see them become all that God wants them to be, it may be time to go.

Of course, you may just need a vacation. But if after prayer and rest, you can’t seem to muster up love and vision for the people and place of ministry where you are, the “time to go” light may be flashing.

3. Your family begins to suffer beyond the normal risk/sacrifice ratio required for ministry.

There is a delicate balance between one’s responsibility to provide for one’s family and the necessity for one’s family to make certain sacrifices for the sake of the call. When the balance tips in the direction of not being healthy for your family, it may be an indicator that a search for a new place of ministry is in order.

It’s much easier to move into a new ministry than to get a new family.

4. The advice and counsel of Godly, trusted people outside of your ministry suggest you consider a move.

Sometimes an outside perspective from someone who has nothing to gain but the joy of seeing you succeed can bring insight you might never discover on your own. If you are wrestling with the issue of staying or moving on from your current ministry, find wise advisers who can keep things in confidence and give you their take on things. (Be sure to have a good wisdom filter in place when you do so.)

But when these good people suggest that you consider the possibility of moving “out of the blue” as it were, without any prompting from you – it may indicate that it’s time to consider packing up and heading out.

5. You can no longer honestly follow or support the leadership.

Obviously, this assumes that you are not the lead guy. But if you find that there are “one too many” things that you can’t see eye to eye on with the leadership, it’s most likely time to get going.

The longer you stay, the more unhappy and ineffective you, the leadership and the church will become. Better to part ways in a God honoring way than to allow things to boil.

6. You’re at an impenetrable brick wall.

Basically, this is when you have no support, are not received well, or your opportunity for success has passed. Nothing seems to work. There is no progress and no impression from God that you need to stay the course and keep hammering away.

I believe these times are similar to the situation that Jesus described to His disciples in Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11 and Luke 9:5 – Essentially, if no one listens to you and you are not welcomed, “shake the dust” of your sandals and move on.

Again, all of these possible “indicators” are just that – “possible.” Please understand that they could also simply be distractions from your calling or mission, or “red light indicators” that something in your life, family or ministry is in trouble and needs attention.

As with all things, praying, fasting and seeking God’s direction continuously can help bring clarity and focus to your situation.

Don’t waste your life banging your head against a brick wall. If God wants you to stay He will give you that conviction, but if not – the fields are white for harvest and there are people everywhere who need Jesus.

This article is adapted from a series of posts on JohnnyLeckie.com

Ministry Backpack Podcast Episode 4 Show Notes:

Summary: In today’s podcast, I talk about an essential quality for Christian Leaders:  A Higher Standard

Resources and Links mentioned in this episode:

REI’s 10 Backpacking Essentials:
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacking-checklist.html

2 Corinthians 6:3
http://www.biblestudytools.com/2-corinthians/6-3-compare.html

Philippians 6:3
http://biblehub.com/philippians/2-3.htm

Questions Christian Leaders should ask themselves:

1. Am I thinking of others first, in my leadership, rather than seeking the “vain conceit” of being the leader?

2. What habits in my life need to go in order for me to be a better and more Christ-like leader? (So I don’t lose credibility and authority)

3. Am I committed to living according to a Higher Standard?

4. Am I willing to edit my lifestyle for the sake of others, and to avoid being a “stumbling block?”

5. Am I conscious of the fact that as a Christian Leader I must have an unselfish attitude?

Join the conversation on this topic by commenting or leaving questions below. If you have a question that you’d like to have heard on the podcast, record your question, and upload it to Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or some other cloud based site and send the link to Hello@MinistryBackpack.com

Music Provided by Michael Leckie – http://MichaelLeckie.Bandcamp.com

Today’s Podcast is Part two of my conversation with Pastor Tony McCollum. Tony is the founding pastor of Fusion Church in Buford, Georgia. He is a husband, father of four, pastor, communicator, author, photographer, techie, and swell guy.

http://tonymccollum.com/

Fusion Church:  http://fusionchurch.net/

More Tips From Tony:

Strive for “energy management” even more than “time management.”

For longevity in ministry, take ownership for making sure you are healthy and feeding yourself spiritually.

Tony’s Basic Work Schedule:
Sunday Morning | Arrive at 6:30-7:00, Evening – Think/Dream Time
Monday | Morning/Afternoon – Recovery/Email/Planning/Listen to Other Pastors
Tuesday | Morning/Lunch – Staff Meetings Afternoon – Phone calls/emails
Wednesday | Morning/Afternoon Sermon Prep/Writing Evening – Directors Mtg
Thursday – “Catch-all” day, Counseling, Lunch meetings, Connecting with other pastors, Finance meetings, Periodic Trustee meeting
Friday | Family Day
SaturdayMorning | Family Time Lunch to Evening – Sermon Prep

Additional Links from Tony:

http://www.PastorGear.com

http://www.PastorMojo.com

[Not available for now: http://www.hungoverpastors.com] 🙂

Music Provided by Michael Leckie: http://MichaelLeckie.Bandcamp.com

Pack This:

Ministry Quote: “Well aware are we of the fact that thunder will not take the place of lightning in the pulpit. Likewise am I cognizant of the truth that the average preacher, including myself, is tempted to yell the loudest where his sermon is weakest.” – Herschel H. Hobbes in “Cowards or Conquerors,” (1951 Judson Press, p.230)

On today’s episode, I begin part one of “Seven Questions” with Pastor Tony McCollum. Tony is the founding pastor of Fusion Church in Buford, Georgia. He is a husband, father of four, pastor, communicator, author, photographer, techie, and swell guy.

http://tonymccollum.com/

Fusion Church: http://FusionChurch.net

Links Mentioned in today’s show:

Tech and Gear for Pastors
http://www.PastorGear.com

Encouragement for Pastors
http://www.PastorMojo.com

Mind Mapping Software- MindManager
https://www.mindjet.com/mindmanager/

Pocket
https://getpocket.com/

Planning Center
https://planning.center/

Evernote
https://evernote.com/

Backblaze
https://www.backblaze.com/

Tips From Tony:
Save everything to a separate drive – A Master Archive – Articles, Sermons, etc. Then back up to Evernote and/or Backblaze.

Church Planters – Recruit people to serve on staff who raise their own support for a year or so.

Music Provided by Michael Leckie: http://MichaelLeckie.Bandcamp.com

Pack This:

Ministry Quote:  “Only in the school of prayer can the heart learn to preach. No gifts, no learning, no brainpower can atone for the failure to pray.” – E.M. Bounds

Source:  Book – “The Weapon of Prayer,” by E.M. Bounds, pg 119