Three Questions to Ask Leaders

Here’s three things I like to ask leaders I lead and leaders who lead me:

  1. What is your story?
    1. Getting someone to talk about themselves is the best way to tear down any walls. That’s pretty much everyone’s favorite subject to talk about anyway: themselves. If you know where someone comes from and what they’ve been through you have a better understanding of them as a person.
  2. Where do you see yourself in future?
    1. After you know where they’ve been, you can see where they are going. High capacity leaders have a ┬ávision for themselves, their organization and their families.
  3. How can I help you get there?
    1. Lastly you connect yourself to people by asking how you can help them get to where they are going.

I don’t usually ask the questions in this format and definitely not all at once. I try to make it as natural and organic as I can. I certainly ask lots of other questions but this is the basic strategy behind how I approach helping leaders.


Dumb Things I’ve Done in Kidmin – Left Behind

I feel like when I blog about leadership or creativity that I’m just ripping someone else off. That’s not to say that we all don’t do that somewhat but I’ve decided to just share some of my stories with you. Some have a lesson, some just will make you laugh or at least shake your head.

I remember when I was at the first church I served on staff at. We loved to have long banquets for everything it seemed.

It’s Valentines day coming up … Let’s have a banquet.
Hey it’s Christmas… Let’s have a banquet.
We want to build a new building…. Let’s have a banquet.
It’s time to share this years banquet vision… Let’s have a banquet.
We loved banquets! Nom Nom Nom

And of course we couldn’t have a banquet without having a kids banquet aka childcare too. Of course these banquets seemed to go on and on. We’d pay people to work them but I always made sure things went smoothly. Often we even “programmed” these banquets because 100 kids need something to do for three hours.

The year was 2000. I’m. It sure which banquet it was but it was held offsite and parents dropped off their kids before getting their banquet on. I decided that I wouldn’t program this one and instead I’d show the latest DVD release, Left Behind. What could go wrong showing elementary kids a movie that was inspired by biblical events? Nothing, I thought.

Well I was wrong. Most of the kids watched intently because it wasn’t the usual Veggie Tales movie. After the rapture scene a few kids started getting scared. Two specifically started getting hysterical.

“I think my mom and dad might have been raptured.”

I thought I’d like to say “As bad as I am, God wouldn’t rapture your terrible parents and leave me here with you.” But instead I comforted them and let them know that the rapture had not happened.

They persisted on and eventually started crying. Several other kids also worked themselves into hysteria until I had to turn it off. The kids who were into it were made, they hysterical kids were worked up and I had no plan to keep these kids enetrtained. I struggled through it and survived the night.

Needless to say, the letters and emails I received from parents were a good indicator that I probably shouldn’t have done that. I retired the future releases from the banquet programming and went back to the drawing board.

How about you, has your content ever made kids cry?

Sharing YOUR Story in Kidmin

I love a good story, don’t you? I think storytelling is so important in children’s ministry. I’m not just talking about Bible Stories although they should be a big part of what we do. Our personal stories help capture the heart of kids. I’m not an expert on storytelling but I am an expert on my story. You don’t have to have some professional level skill in storytelling in order to share it with kids. You are already a expert on what God has done for you.

When picking and sharing a story to tell think about these things.

Emotion – What did you feel, convey that, feel it all again as you tell the story. This will spill into your audience. Make them feel what you felt. Cry, laugh, get angry, embarrass yourself all over again.

Conflict – What went wrong, what happened that you didn’t expect? Life is a fight, bring the kids along and make them feel the conflict. Conflict will make us uneasy but it engages us at the same time.

Resolution– How did God bring the victory? What part did you play? Did someone else play a major part?

Payoff– What should the kids walk away with in this story? Does the story distract from or build upon the big idea for the day?