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Kidology Coaching

5 Steps to becoming a mentor

Mentor word cloud

Here is a mentoring post that Andy Partington who is the Minister to Preschoolers and Children at First Baptist Minden, Louisiana wrote on mentoring. You can find out more about him at www.andypartingtonblog.com

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 who 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.

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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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There is a balance in Leadership

gardening

Ever since I have moved to our new house in Kansas City, MO, I have truly been into my yard and gardening. While involved in these two relaxing activities for myself it has given me a lot of time to think and a ton of leadership comparisons to roll around in my brain. Here’s one.

Producing a healthy garden it takes the right amount of water, sunlight, fertilizer, and care. Too much water or too little of any one ingredient could result in damaging your gardening. Just like the best gardeners learn through experience and reflection what their gardens need to grow and develop, seasoned leaders learn what it takes to help people and organizations achieve their potential. I think they learn how much each of the items listed below need to be done.

— Plan and Execute.

Planning is important, but so is execution. Some leaders over plan and under execute. Of course some leaders do just the opposite. They’re busy having meetings, doing key-note presentations but making no improvements in the operation.

— Task and People

Some leaders are too task-focused. It feels everything is all business. People are used for getting a task done. On the other hand some leaders are too focused on pleasing people at the cost of solving problems and getting the work done.

— Results and Process

Some leaders only focus on results. “What’s the bottom line?” Results are important but so is process—how things are done. The how can often times decide how much results you can get at different sizes of growth. The seasoned leader focuses on both what is being accomplished and how it’s being accomplished.

— Coaching and Letting Go

An important part of a leader’s job is to coach people on how to be more effective and efficient. However, there is an important difference between too little and too much coaching. Too much can frustrate initiative. Seasoned leaders know the difference between providing too much (micro-managing) and too little (not developing your team) coaching.

— Work Life and Family Life

Some leaders get totally consumed by their job and neglect their family. To many jobs have been turned into mistresses.

Summary
Seasoned leaders know finding the right balance doesn’t mean moderation in all things. It means using the right mix of various ingredients to help people grow. Great leaders have the wisdom to know what actions are needed to meet success.

What would you add to this list?

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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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Stop giving importance to the unscheduled

appointments

A New Year brings with it to many a new beginning. Often times that new beginning involves new habits. Those new habits often times involve becoming a better task manager and that means scheduling things better.

Why is it that after just a month or so many are back to feeling that their life is on the start again of spinning out of control? Just a few weeks ago they had all their calendars synced, appointments set, reviewed next day agenda the night before, and even bought the latest gadget, app or software to help with scheduling. Now it is all mixed up. Why?

The unscheduled often times trumps the scheduled and planned out. This should not happen and must change!

If you have an important team meeting on Tuesday, how would make sure you get there? You would put it in you calendar, of course. Nothing really magical about that. The fact that an important team meeting is on Tuesday allows the other activities in your day, and even your week, to fit around that appointment.

Unscheduled events will conform to scheduled events. If it was important enough to add to your calendar first stop allowing those unscheduled appointments to take the place of the scheduled. I know for me that if I have added an appointment on my calendar the only items that can challenge the already scheduled would be my family, or my boss. If I keep up enough courage to keep the scheduled appointment those unscheduled appointments really do form around the already scheduled.

Try it, you just may find that it works.

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