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Top 20 Improvements I’ve Made Due to Kidology Coaching

kidology coaching coaches

Every weekend our churches are filled with those who have the responsibility of ministering to our children, connecting with and resourcing the parents, equipping those who are also responsible to help reach children and the list of responsibilities just goes on and on.

You may call these wonderful gifts to your churches: Children’s pastors, Children’s directors, Kidmin ministers etc.. With the responsibility that these people carry out many churches have figured out that it is wisdom to make sure they are equipped, developed, trained and ready, to carry out all that they are expected to do with excellence. These expectations and responsibilities have evolved beyond what our colleges are preparing leaders for.

It is this group of children’s pastors that I have had the privilege of being part of for 22+ years. For the last 3-4 years I have also had the privilege of formally coaching those in this group.

Here is a top 20 list that Andy Partington, one of these great children’s pastors have put together as he reflected over his last year of coaching with me before he went into our graduate coaching program.

1) I am seen as a pastor and parental help to the families in my
congregation more and a facilitator of children’s programming less.
2) I have put in place a volunteer training schedule that doesn’t burn
out volunteers while still maintaining growth.
3) I use my time intentionally.
4) I integrate Gospel presentations into each ministry setting.
5) My goals are clearly defined and communicated.
6) I know how to appreciate and affirm my team: My team clearly
knows that they are a special part of our ministry.
7) My meetings are awesome: Each meeting has a purpose and flow.
If it didn’t we wouldn’t have it.
8) I know what the acronym S.M.A.R.T stands for and I now live by it.
9) I know that I can manage tasks instead of time.
10) I know how to present good news and bad news to my fellow
staff members.
11) I now have a ministry team instead of a committee.
12) I now work with leaders instead of workers.
13) I know how to have fun with my staff and with the kids that I
minister too.
14) My “bag of tricks” is open to other people in ministry. What I’ve
learned just could help someone else and I’m glad to share.
15) I delegate. I wasn’t designed to do 100% of tasks. There is 20%
out there with my name on it.
16) My ministry is geared to do that one thing that we were meant to do.
17) I know how to help people find their “one thing”.
18) Multiplication isn’t just for grade school math classes. It’s a regular
process in my ministry.
19) I listen to parents.
20) I know how to learn from anyone I come into contact with.

If you would like to enjoy more growth personally and with your ministry I want to invite you to join coaching or a new avenue that many will find useful as well online training for your team. It’s not just your future that depends on it.

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The Habit of scheduling time to think

time-to-think

This week my family and I are in one of those definite busy times in life and ministry. We are driving everywhere to get our kids to all of their appointments, tackling some big items in ministry, sicknesses hitting different family members which come with doctors visits and more.

It is due to these busy times that I am grateful for the habit I was mentored in, scheduling regular time to get away and think. I learned long ago there are brilliant ideas lingering in everyone’s minds that are just waiting for the opportunity to be released.

One of my favorite John Maxwell books is titled “Thinking for a Change.” That book is one that made an impact on my life as it reinforced the lesson for me to be intentional about my thinking. I know first hand how much more productive and resourceful my mind is when I schedule time to think. And that is one of the keys…“schedule time to think.” I teach all of my coaching students that if it is not on your calendar, it probably will not happen.

Scheduling time to think is a discipline. Disciplines begin with a single decision, that decision leads to a habit and the habit leads to a lifestyle.

Here is my simple process but you will need to find your own.

1. I have a regular time every week that I have scheduled for “thinking”. You have to treat that “thinking appointment” with high priority; otherwise it is amazing what little items can steal that time away.
2. I take my iPad mini and open up Evernote and create a new note. I will use the “record” feature in Evernote so I can ramble quickly and not have to worry about typos etc at that time.
3. I will go to a quiet place outside (this is my preferred place) and at other times Barnes & Noble. It just depends on my goals for the thinking time.
4. I then make sure all notices are turned off, phone is off and then I begin.

It is amazing how many great ideas will come to your mind in a matter of minutes once you get in the right environment and give your mind an opportunity to focus.
Take time to think.

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Delegation needs Communication

Communication-in-Leadership

I Have posted before on how Delegation is a must in children’s ministry.
Today I want to follow that up with the importance of communication before, during and after delegation.

Suggestion 1: Clarify your expectations. Write out what you want to do to see if it sounds logical and comprehensive. Be specific about the timeline and results needed (this should be part of the S.M.A.R.T. process I have mentioned many times).

2. Ensure you’re on the same page. Talk things over to be sure there’s a mutual understanding of important points. Rephrase what you understand to be what has been said and any assignments given out.

3. Share your knowledge. Help those you are working with succeed by being generous with any information or tips you can give them based on your experience. When they win the team wins. Long gone are the days of keeping information.

4. Remain available for questions that may develop. Many questions can arise once a person actually starts working on a delegated assignment. Check in often to offer feedback and advice, especially in the early stages. Anything short of this kind of continual check-in is not “delegation” but “dumping”.

5. Encourage accountability. Assign whole projects and related decision-making authority as much as possible. It helps to speed things up and people often feel more motivated when they have a sense of ownership.

How would following these suggestions help your children’s ministry out if followed?

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Listening helps identify potential

I am always learning more about the power of listening when it comes to leadership and team development. Here are some things I listen for as I size up the teams potential. Listening well helps me to see how I may equip them, motivate them, and challenge them to go to another level for themselves.

1. Stress management.
Their ability to withstand and overcome pressure, failure, deadlines, and obstacles.

2. Skill.
Their ability to get a specific task done.

3. Thinking.
Their ability to be creative, develop strategy, solve problems, and adapt.

4. Leadership.
Their ability to gather followers and leaders to build a team.

5. Attitude.
Their ability to stay positive and tenacious amidst negative circumstances.

Pay attention to your volunteers, team members, and future team members to hear where they may fall in each of these areas. Many will disqualify themselves from being on a high-caliber team without even knowing it.

Listening is powerful.

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Long distance mentoring

I have had the opportunity of having some incredible mentors through my life. I actually would have to give credit to most any great that I may do today to the mentors God has allowed me to have in my life time.

I have mentors that seem to fall under 1 of 3 categories. I will briefly explain the 3 types and will tackle the long distance mentor today.

1. Mentors that live close. The name of this mentor pretty much says it all. This would be a mentor who lives in the same city, town, etc. One who you can easily and readily set up a time for coffee and go and be mentored.

2. The unbeknown to me mentor. This is the mentor who doesn’t even know they are your mentor. You watch them from afar, you read their books, listen to their podcast, watch them on t.v., listen to their sermons, and other creative ways to reap the goodies that they share.

Then the mentor that we are talking about today…

3. The long distance mentor. This mentoring will take some definite intentionality. Here is a mentoring relationship that I have probably had the most of during my life. But due to this being the main type for me I have developed some ideas and found some tools that aid on making it profitable.

A. Have a cheat sheet ready every time you meet. This will be a document that you record down what you talk about, what the mentor shares with you, resources they may bring up, ideas, anything. You must make sure you review this each time before you meet with them so that you always show that you want to be a good steward of their time with you.

A few tools that I have used and/or using with my long distance mentors would include:

Day One. This is a journal app for my iPad, iPhone and my MacBook Pro. It has a search feature that allows me to enter a word and then it will pull those places that word is used. So in each header, I name it so. Example Mentoring time with _______. Now I want to pull up every time I met with them I would enter their name and WA-la, there they would be.

Evernote. I use this in so many ways I can not even explain without writing a book.

DropBox. Here is an area that my mentor and I can swap materials back and forth. Edit them together, enter items for the other to read before we meet again and for them to be notified when an item has been entered or changed.

Group Skype. I use to use just skype but occasionally in my Kidology Coaching times I pull my students together for a video chat and group skype is the tool I use for them as well as my mentoring time. Whatever you may use, I feel it is the responsibility of the one being mentored to prep in advance with questions to be addressed during the mentoring time.

There’s more, but to keep this from becoming too long I will stop there. What do you use for long distance mentoring?

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