How Jim Wideman Helped Me

My story, like so many others, is that I didn’t want to be a children’s pastor, I got drafted. I was young and dumb and the only problem was I didn’t know it. Like most young people, I believed I knew everything. Unlike most young people, it took me a while to grow out of it. I was stubborn and didn’t want to have to depend on anyone outside my small circle of influence.

I was a legend in my own mind, but my ministry was a giant mess. No one could tell me anything. My pastor tried to help me but I wouldn’t listen. My team stayed relatively small and I had to depend a lot on my wife and myself. I was stuck at a level and wasn’t even trying to do anything about it.

That all changed when Jim Wideman came into my life. I remember the first time I met Brother Jim. He was on a tour with his church doing regional training meetings. When they came to our area, I loaded up our team in the church van and drove the thirty minute trip. I met Brother Jim in the men’s bathroom right before a session he was teaching. I had heard him teach before and had some of his Puppet Trax so I knew who he was. I greeted him and wanted to shake his hand. He probably thought “Who is this weird guy trying to shake my hand in the bathroom?”

His session was great and it challenged me in many ways. It was towards the end of a year so I geared myself up for a new year with a renewed commitment to ministry growth. I even went on eBay and bought an used set of his Club lessons. I then bought everyone of his books and got a hold of any audio teaching I could. As I was reading the book Children’s Ministry Leadership: The You-Can-Do-It Guide, a quote jumped off the page:

There’s no success without a successor.

I had done nothing to ensure lasting success at my church. I didn’t get help for five reasons:

  1. I didn’t know how to ask for help.
  2. I thought I could do it better.
  3. I never thought I would leave that church.
  4. I didn’t trust other people do things.
  5. I wanted all the credit.

Since meeting Jim and joining his mentoring program, Infuse, I have changed those old bad habits. Everyone does better with a coach and I would encourage you to take a look at Jim’s program. Its well worth the investment and I say that as someone who paid the fees out of my own pocket for the first year. It was worth every hard earned penny! If you’re a kids pastor, youth pastor, family pastor or work in any of those areas, check it out today.

Don’t be a Spiritual Prima Donna

pri·ma don·na

noun \ˌpri-mə-ˈdä-nə, ˌprē-\
a vain or undisciplined person who finds it difficult to work under direction or as part of a team
I hope that doesn’t define you but I know that at times I have been a prima donna.
What are some of the signs of being a ministry prima donna?
  • 1) Its your way or the high way.
    You don’t really let others have a voice.
  • 2) You don’t take correction well or at all for that matter.
    I mean who needs to take correction when you are always right?
  • 3) Everything you do is your idea when it goes right and someone else’s when it goes wrong.
    Even when you take others ideas you pretend they are yours and blame your bad ones on those who agreed with you.
  • 4) Personal success trumps organizational success or even how God defines success.
    There’s no “I” in team, but there ain’t no “we” either.
  • 5) You don’t care who you burn as long as you get things done.
    When you hurt people you point at the results and tell them to get over it.
  • 6) You see compassion as weakness.
    Weak like Jesus.
  • 7) You say yes to the boss’ face but say no behind his/her back.
    Yes sir, yes ma’am.
  • 8) You exaggerate your “victories” and excuse your “failures”.
    You did what? Sure you did.
  • 9) You take all the credit even when you don’t deserve it.
    The only credit we should care about is to do with money.
  • 10) Your way is always better.
    Different isn’t always wrong, sometimes its just different.
  • 11) You demand respect from everyone and the feign it for you.
    If you have to demand respect, just know they are faking it.
I could go on, I’ve done it all…. any other things you would add?