5 Steps to Becoming a Children’s Ministry Mentor

mentoring

Monday Guest Blogger Andy Partington shares his insights on becoming a children’s ministry mentor.

As you march up the ladder of ministerial success, take some time and think of how you got there. Sure there were lots of victories. You picked up some valuable lessons from hard knocks. And along the way you picked up some great anecdotes, illustrations, and connections.

Isn’t it time to pass some of that wisdom along? Paul talks about mentoring as a father and son relationship.“11 As you know, like a father with his own children, 12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:11,12)

We all bring a bag of tricks to the table–a wheelhouse of good ideas that are just begging to be shared with future generations or with our peers trying to minister in their own areas of life. Are you ready to take someone under your wing and become a mentor?

Well, here are five things to do as you decide to share your expertise.

1. Make a list of your strengths and experiences you bless someone’s life with. Start here. After all, you can’t really invest in someone without pinpointing what it is you’ll be sharing. You may just be surprised as you make your list. It’s possible you’ll find some strengths you didn’t know you had.

2. Determine how much time you have to give. I get it. You’re really busy. It’s always good to know your schedule and evaluate how much time you can give. Time can never be saved or redeemed. But it can be invested. And what better investment is there than pouring yourself into others?

3. Pray for and choose someone you want to be with and reach out to them. Let God identify just the right person to mentor. Perhaps you see someone struggling. Maybe someone has reached out to you for advice. Look for a teachable spirit and someone that you actually like. Mentoring is a relationship. So, it will help to actually like the person.

4. If you “connect” initiate some regular time together until your protégé has what they need. Mentoring time doesn’t always have to be a formal meeting. Spend some time together and enjoy a few laughs. Take your mentee along with you as you work. You’ll find that if you connect, it’s easier to talk and you’ll be on your way to sharing your life’s story, wisdom, and passion.

5. Then let them go. Every little bird gets kicked out of the nest in order to fly. Once you’ve passed on everything you can, it’s time to let them work on their own. Hopefully, they’ll be equipped to mentor someone else and pay it forward.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the ins and outs of mentoring. Let me hear if you have some other great pointers to get out there and start mentoring.

Kidology–Thankful Thursday

kidology

What’s Kidology? Kidology is a nonprofit ministry started by Karl Bastian, aka “The Kidologist” encouraging and equipping those who serve in children’s ministry, whether paid or on a volunteer basis. Their site is filled with resources and ideas for lessons, games, crafts, holiday ideas, power points, gospel magic, puppetry, devotionals and more. There are online forums where people just like you can ask and answer ministry questions to help more effectively reach the kids in your own backyard. Ideas used by everyday people in everyday churches like yours.

About two years ago, I deepened my relationship with Kidology at Children’s Pastor’s Conference I attended. That meeting led to my entering into the world of Kidology coaching with my now friend and coach, Todd McKeever. Kidology coaching has helped me sharpen not just my ministry skills, but my leadership skills as well. Todd and I tackle everything from nursery wall colors to goal setting and task management to volunteer training to blog writing.

It is refreshing to see an organization so dedicated not just to children’s ministry, but to those who minister to children in the church, school or home setting. Many of their resources are free, yet even for those which require a fee, their costs are consistently low, and they do their best to see that any leader with a real need, yet a real lack of resources will never do without.

You can find Kidology at http://www.kidology.org and Karl at http://www.kidologist.com He has even taken ministry to the next level by joining Pinterest! My coach Todd McKeever keeps me up to date on the latest Kidmin leadership and tech tools at his blog http://www.toddmckeever.com Todd’s latest post on creating object lessons could be just the thing you’ll be thankful for as you prepare your next lesson!

So thanks, Kidology, for all you are doing to help the Kingdom grow. This Thursday, and every Thursday, for that matter–I’m thankful for you!

1st and Goal

It was just a few years ago that I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what the term “1st and goal” even meant.  However, as our youngest son began his peewee football, then his jr high football, and finally his high school football career, I began to figure it out. Yeah, it took me that long. (I seriously think it took me four years to understand the concept of a first down).   Through the years we saw some great coaching and some not so great coaching and truly began to understand how much good coaching can mean to successful teams.

At the California CPC (Children’s Pastor’s Conference) last year, I met some of the wonderful people of Kidology. We hit if off immediately and next thing I knew the Lord had drawn me to the wonderful world of children’s ministry coaching.  Not as a coach, but as a “player”!!!  After twelve years in Kidmin, I am beginning to take my game to a whole new level.  And although at times I hate to admit it, I love it–really, really love it.  For you see, I’m being stretched, held accountable, and being called to set goals.  Ugggghhhhhh!! I mean Yeeeeeeeaaaaaa!!!!!

No doubt, my coach, a great guy name Todd McKeever (check him out at www.toddmckeever.com) has encouraged me, yes even forced me, (okay, well, only because I signed on for it) to set and keep goals. Ministry goals, spiritual goals, family goals, financial goals, fitness goals and now, praytell, one year  and life goals. Lord knows, (and so does Todd) that this is not something that I have enjoyed or that I was especially receptive to . .at first.  BUT, and this is a big but, goals are changing my life, and as a result, the lives of those around me. The focus, purpose and accomplishment of these goals makes me stronger, makes those on my team stronger, and makes my witness for Christ stronger.  I’m having opportunities to share the process with others, and together through the directed approach of goal setting we are “moving those chains” down the field towards the goal–surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on from the heavenly realms. At least that’s how I see it in my head.

I’ve finally learned that goals really can be SMART– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely not just Suffering, Migrain Inducing, Annoying, Reminders of Time Wasted. I’ve learned that in accepting their worth, I’m changing outwardly and inwardly at the same time, and I’ve learned that this unschooled, ordinary woman can shine a little more brightly because she has spent time with Jesus allowing Him to be the ultimate coach and goal setter of her life.

I think Paul said it best when he said in Philippians 3:10-14″I want to know Christ, yes to know the power of His resurrection and the participation in his suffering and becoming like Him in His death, and somehow, attaining to the resurrection of the dead.  Not that I have already attained all this or have arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . .I don’t consider myself to have yet taken ahold of it, but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

And that’s my ultimate 1st and Goal until He returns to take me across the line into the neverENDing ZONE.