Seven Tips on Ambition

In a typical week, what’s the one food you eat the most? Mine is pizza. It’s not uncommon for me to eat pizza two, three, sometimes even four times a week. Because let’s face it, pizza is delicious. However it has its side effects. I’ve recently had to replace my pants and shorts with bigger sizes, and every time I eat pizza I want to take a nap afterwards.

scottdrew

Ambition and appetite are similar. When properly fed, ambition will lead to success. However, if you don’t feed your ambition correctly, it can yield laziness, the kind of laziness that comes on after eating half a pizza.

I recently came across seven tips on feeding ambition from Baylor basketball coach Scott Drew that I really enjoyed. Here’s an excerpt:

I develop ambition and hunger as a daily habit in the following ways:

  • Praying for God’s direction for the day.
  • Organizing a list of things to accomplish.
  • Having a plan of action to complete these goals.
  • Surrounding myself with other ambitious and hungry individuals.
  • Having a drive and desire to outwork the competition.
  • Making sure my staff and players organize their days so the can maximize productivity.
  • Being a servant. After all, Jesus came to serve and not be served.

What are you doing to feed your ambition? What was the last goal you set for yourself? Are the people you surround yourself with pushing you to achieve more or pushing to maintain the status quo?

These are all very important questions to ask yourself, especially if you work in ministry. God has given us a very important mission. It’s literally a matter of life and death, so make sure you’re feeding your ambition the right way.

What’s the food you’re eating multiple days a week, and how is it affecting your energy level? Leave a comment and let us know, also if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on leadership, church growth, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

5 Ingredients to a Great Children’s Ministry

Very few ministries in your church are as important to guests as your children’s ministry. If you’re looking to reach families, children’s ministry is without a doubt the most important ministry in your church. I hate to break it to some of you, but flannel graphs and coloring pages don’t cut it anymore.

traviseaster

I didn’t grow up in church. My family would’ve been described as the Easter and Christmas crowd when I was very young but eventually stopped going all together. My childhood church memories basically consist of one photo of me sporting a pastel yellow suit hunting Easter eggs, and that’s it.

I was lucky to have a friend who invited me to church when I was 20 where I accepted Christ into my life. I am part of the small percentage of adults who make that decision. The majority of salvations in America happen between the ages of 4 and 14.

That’s why children’s ministry is so important. Each week we have the opportunity to introduce kids to the love of Jesus. So, how can we make the most of this opportunity? How can we make sure that church is the highlight of their week?

I would suggest these five ingredients that have worked for us tremendously over the years.

  1. Prioritize Safety

The world we live in is a scary place. Your children’s ministry shouldn’t be. Make sure every children’s volunteer passes a background check, no exceptions. Also, you should have a safe and secure way to check children in and out of rooms. Planning Center is a great web-based option, while Excellerate is great for those without a reliable wi-fi signal.

  1. Be Creative

It seems that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter these days for kids and adults. That’s why it’s so important to be creative. Keep children engaged by using a combination of music, videos, games, and activities each week.

  1. Teach on Their Level

Make sure to break down your kid’s ministry into different age-specific environments. Different ages learn at different levels. You’re not going to have much success teaching preschoolers with 5th graders. Once you learn to teach Jesus on their level, they can start reaching their full potential in Christ.

  1. Encourage Friendships

Perhaps nothing will better determine the direction your child will go than the friends they have around them. That’s why we want to build the best friendships at church. We try to do this through age-specific small groups that take place each week after the lesson.

  1. Have Fun

This may sound crazy, but we actually are more concerned with kids having fun than we are with them learning a Bible lesson. Here’s why, when kids have fun they beg their parents to bring them back to church the next week. The more they attend church, the better chance they have of giving their life to Jesus.

We’ve learned so much over the years from some great children’s ministries, but the greatest resource we’ve found is KidSpring, the kid’s ministry of Newspring Church.

They provide all of their resources for free, and in my opinion it’s the best curriculum in children’s ministry. Check it out, and I know you’ll be blown away.

What does the children’s ministry look like in your church? What curriculum are you using? Let us know be leaving a comment below, and make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on leadership, church growth, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

Trunk or Treat Your Way to Growth

Today, September 22nd is the first day of fall. Whoever said the years pass by quicker the older you get was absolutely right. It’s hard to believe we will be putting up Christmas decorations soon.

trunkortreat

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s make sure we take advantage of the season we’re in. The fall is one of the church’s best opportunities for growth.

While you should naturally see a bump in growth as vacations come to an end, kids go back to school, and life returns to normal, you can maximize on this growth by scheduling a big day at church.

Some big days occur naturally such as Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. Others will require a little bit of work, but make no mistake, if you want to see your church grow, you have to capitalize on big days.

One thing we’re doing this fall is “Trunk or Treat.” If you’re not familiar with “Trunk or Treat,” it’s basically a Halloween event in which people decorate the trunks of their cars and hand out candy to kids. Your community may do something similar. If they do, don’t let that keep you from doing your own.

I know some of you may be worried about doing a Halloween type event at church, but the way I look at it is they’re already going to be trick or treating why not take advantage of the opportunity to get them in your church to hear the gospel.

Here’s what that event will look like for us:

  • We will advertise the event on Facebook for three weeks leading up to it. If you’re not familiar with using Facebook ads, check out my step-by-step guide.
  • We will give our kids and adults invite cards to give to their friends and family inviting them to the event, as well as promote it on our website.
  • We will ask our church people to provide a trunk, tailgate, or tent on that day, decorate it, and hand candy out from it. If your church has small groups, this is a great way to get them involved.
  • We will invite our kids from fifth grade and below to dress up on that day and trick-or-treat after service. We also send a note home with parents asking that their child’s costume not be scary or inappropriate. If you’re worried about costumes, put a theme with it. For example, ask everyone to dress as his or her favorite superhero.
  • On that day we will have service just like we always do. Our kid’s ministry will do what they always do. The only difference is that after service we will invite all our kids to trick-or-treat. Pretty simple.
  • You could add to the day by having a cookout, chili cook off, hayride, or petting farm. All of those are great ideas.

If you do this, I can almost guarantee you are going to have new people show up to your church. Don’t forget to get their information. Make sure you have them fill out a connection card so you can invite them back.

For more information on how you can make the most out of “Big Days,” make sure to pick up Nelson Searcy’s book Ignite: How to Spark Immediate Growth in Your Church.

Has your church ever done a “Trunk or Treat” event? I’d love to hear more about it, please leave us a comment below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.