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Archive - December, 2008

2008 Elemental Children’s Ministry in Review


Happy New Year!, originally uploaded by ~BostonBill~.

I thought it would be fun to review some blog stats over the past year.

Here are the top 10 posts that were visited:

10. Roadmaps for Child Spiritual Development
9. Children’s Ministry Leadership Nugget from an Olympic Swimmer
8. My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
7. It’s More Than Just About the Kids
6. Family Ministry Coversation Day 1
5. Generation We
4. “Why Do Bad Things Happen?” and Other Tough Questions
3. Jon and Kate Plus 8 Go To Church
2. Scot McKnight chiming in on children’s, youth and young adult ministries
1. Christians Rule

Top Ten Search Terms that were used to find Elemental Children’s Ministry:

10. “create a whatnot”
9. “100 films for children”
8. “things to do with cardboard”
7. “jon and kate plus 8 church”
6. “donald miller mentoring”
5. “children’s ministry themes”
4. “elevate curriculum”
3. “elemental children’s ministry”
2. “create a muppet”
1. “children’s ministry”

Top Ten Countries Where Visits to Elemental Children’s Ministry Came From:

10. South Africa
9. Israel
8. Germany
7. New Zealand
6. Kyrgyzstan
5. Philippines
4. Australia
3. United Kingdom
2. Canada
1. United States

It’s been a fun year interacting, discussing and learning from you this year. I look forward to interacting with more of you in 2009. BTW, if you have any ideas for posts or would like to see a discussion on a specific topic, comment below, and maybe it just might show up some time!

Have a great New Year’s celebration. May God bless you all in 2009 as you continue to follow him where he has put you.

Seth Godin on Passion vs. Expertise


Toaster, originally uploaded by Always Changing Clothing.

Seth Godin’s latest post talks about what to look for when picking people for different jobs. He poses the question of what is more important: expertise or passion? In the end, Godin leans more towards choosing people more for their expertise over their passion. It’s not that he downplays the importance of people buying into mission. What Godin is trying to say is that, for most jobs, it is far easier to hire someone who is skilled in the area you are looking for and then sell them on mission rather than the other way around. Of course, getting people who have both is ideal! The example Godin uses is fan-based companies or websites. Many times these organizations hire great fans to run the website or organization and then use that as an excuse to have mediocre product.

I couldn’t help but think about how this plays out in church. We are big on mission, vision and values of our churches. We spend a lot of time getting people to buy into them, we put them on banners, print them in our bulletins and on our websites, we even pride ourselves when people can quote them back to us. Because we are volunteer-dependent organizations, we then recruit these “passionate” people  and put them where our “need is greatest” with no regard to their skills and expertise. We then leave them to figure things out on their own.

How much more effective would it be to find people’s skills, talents and abilities and then match those with jobs that fit? I know that we all talk about doing that, but do we really do it? Do we recruit that way?

I can already hear the questions, “What do we do when we can’t find people who don’t have the skills we need?” There’s always outsourcing projects. Or you can get people the skills they need; invest in getting them educated or encourage them to get the training they need.

There is a world of difference between something staying “good enough” because the people working on it are passionate about the cause and something starting off mediocre and steadily improving as skills are gathered and honed because those who are passionate about the cause are also passionate about the quality of work that goes into making the cause work.

Elfed by a fellow staff member

This past Sunday, Jay Dampier, the adult ministries pastor at Redwood Park Church played an Elf Yourself video in which he put pastoral team (minus himself). It’s a funny video! Of course there were MANY people that Sunday who had fun seeing it and commenting on my mad dancing skills.

Redwoood Park Church Pastoral Staff Team (minus 1) Elf Yourself from Henry Zonio on Vimeo.

I did warn Jay, though, that he had set himself up for retribution times five…

Did any of you play with Elf Yourself or any other stuff on JibJab.com? Post links in the comments if you did!

The Idea Camp

I ran across this post on Eric Bryan’s blog about an “unconference” called The Idea Camp. I’m not all sure exactly what it’s about. It seems pretty nebulous right now, but it has piqued my interest. Apparently, registration for this unconference is free and is happening at the end of February at NewSong in Irving, CA.

Go ahead and check it out. I’m sure we’ll find out more about it as time goes on, but the concept of people getting together to share ideas and have the attendees drive the content seems intriguing. I wonder how children’s and family ministries could fit into something like this? You could look at ideas of how to form/create generational cultures at the formative stages of a generation–when they are kids. Or looking at how current missional/emerging theological converstaions are translated into children and family ministry contexts? Hmm… now my brain is percolating!

Take a look at The Idea Camp. What do you think? Initially, I’m somewhat cynical because it seems very church trendy, but that could just be me.

Steve’s 25 Days of Christmas Music

My friend, Steve Tanner, has a fun Christmas tradition that he’s done for the last eight years. It’s called Steve’s 25 Days of Christmas. It’s a fun way to countdown the days to Christmas. Each year he’s had a theme to the type of Christmas music he’s posted. This year, the theme is Duelling December Ditties. Each day he is posting two arrangements of the same Christmas song. You can vote for which one you like.

I know that this post isn’t necessarily children’s ministry related. I guess you can extrapolate that since this is Christmas music, it does have to do with kids… OK, fine! I love what Steve has done with this. It’s my advent calendar. My kids have their chocolate ones, I’ve got this!

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to Steve’s site and start listening to some fun Christmas goodness!