Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Never Stop Learning

One thing all Children's Pastors have in common is that we are busy.  We can easily get lost in all that needs to be done.  However, if we want to be effective in our ministries, we need to keep learning.  There are always new techniques for teaching, new musical groups to check out, and more training to be had.  We may not be able to stay on top of everything, but it is important that we do what we can to stay current.  Here are a few ways to keep up without overloading your schedule even more than it is already.

Subscribe to a Magazine 
There are some great Children's Ministry Magazines out there.  I highly suggest you subscribe to one and then when it comes, take a couple hours to check it out.  It's an easy way to learn about things that are bombarding our kids, find out about a new VBS, or even get some needed encouragement.  You might check out KidzMatter Magazine or Children's Ministry Magazine.   Both are just full of great information!

Attend a Conference or Workshop
There are lots of Children's Ministry Conferences...in fact there are so many it can be a bit overwhelming.  Especially when you start looking at the price of the conferences.  However, there are are some great ones that you can attend that won't break your budget.

CMConferenceThis is the most affordable national conference I have ever found.  Even if you register late, it is less than $200 and it is AMAZING.  There are scholarships available so it really is affordable for everyone.

If you are Nazarene (like me), you should watch to see if there will be a SPARK in your area.  This is an amazing 3 day conference and full of awesome workshops and lots of fun.  It is growing across the country, so check out the Equip to Engage website to see if there is one near you.

Group also offers a variety of training you can check out.

If you keep your eyes open, you are bound to find a conference or workshop that fits your needs and your budget.

Blogs and Books
There are lots of blogs and books out there that you can easily access.  I like to check out blogs because they are bite size pieces of information and easily accessible.  But if someone tells you they enjoyed a certain book, check it out.  Personally, I am looking forward to reading "I Blew It" by Brian Dollar because I believe we learn more from things that didn't work than we do the things that go smoothly.   I've also heard great things about "Sticky Faith" by Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark and it too is on my "to read" list.

As for blogs, I am partial to the Imagine Family Ministries blog by Rev. Jill Waltz.  She always has wonderful articles as well as really useful resources.  I also enjoy checking out Children's Ministry Blog Daily Journal put out by GJ Farmer, the Children's Ministry Daily Paper put out by Commander Bill, and the blog journal by Corey Ray Jones.  All three of those blogs are set up like daily newspapers and are full of awesome content.

Choose what works for you, but keep learning.  If we let ourselves get stale, we will no longer be the effective ministers that God expects us to be.

Until next week!

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