CPC20 – Rhythms of Grace

It has been almost a month since I attended CPC20 and I have had time to reflect on my experience. I had a great time! I would like to thank the INCM team for putting on such a great event and for inviting me as a breakout speaker.

I enjoyed meeting and hanging out with people I hadn’t met face-to-face like Melanie Hester, Karl Bastion, Melissa MacDonald, Ken Huth Baker, Dick Crider, and Mark Steiner. I also met some wonderful new friends!

Some highlights of the conference include the general sessions. It was so wonderful to be in a room with 2000 people who shared the same passion as I do. The speakers were funny, relatable, real, and challenging. Another highlight were the food trucks! It was a hard decision to choose which truck I would visit for lunch – there were so many great options! Another highlight was the resource center – it was jammed packed with booths full of resources and I met some wonderful people!

I was privileged to present three breakout sessions and each one was full of people who were eager to learn and excited about taking what they have learned back to their churches and children’s ministries.

Lessons I Learned

  • Bring a big suitcase! There were many freebies and also many resources purchased at the resource center!
  • Come prepared to learn and grow – even when you are a speaker! The general session speakers and the breakout speakers all had passion and purpose and provided me with a lot to think about!
  • Florida in January is a wonderful break from Regina, Canada in January! I went from -40 temperatures to +30 (+86F). But Florida is also soooo humid compared to Regina!
  • The Children’s Ministry community is full of fun, passionate, interesting people who love Jesus and kids! I am so glad to be a part of this community.

The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook – Table of Contents

When I go to a book store I like the flip through the table of contents so that I know the book will cover the topics that I want before I buy it. So here’s the table of contents for my book.

Page #
Introduction 1
Part 1: Vision, Purpose, And Mission 3
Introduction 5
Chapter 1 Vision 7
Chapter 2 Purpose 15
Chapter 3 Mission 19
Chapter 4 What To Do Once You Have A Vision, Purpose, And Mission 23
Part 2: Programming And Curriculum 27
Introduction 29
Chapter 5 Children’s Ministry Spectrum 31
Chapter 6 Disciple-Making Strategy Overview 35
Chapter 7 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #1 – What A Growing Disciple Looks Like 39
Chapter 8 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #2 – Scope: What Should Be Taught 45
Chapter 9 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #3 – Sequence: To Whom And In What Order The Scope Should Be Taught 61
Chapter 10 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #4 – The Program: When It Should Be Taught 103
Chapter 11 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #5 – Measuring Growth 105
Chapter 12 Curriculum 107
Chapter 13 Choosing And Evaluating Curriculum 111
Bonus Chapter: Choosing Curriculum For Toddlers 119
Chapter 14 Getting The Most Out Of The Curriculum You Have 121
Chapter 15 Programs – VBS 125
Chapter 16 Programs – Sunday School, Children’s Church, And Nursery 129
Chapter 17 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Worship 137
Chapter 18 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Bible Memory 149
Chapter 19 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Missions 159
Chapter 20 Writing SMART Goals 163
Chapter 21 Program Evaluation 165
Part 3: Volunteers 171
Introduction 173
Chapter 22 Recruiting Volunteers 175
Chapter 23 Training Volunteers 205
Chapter 24 Encouraging Volunteers 217
Chapter 25 Supporting Volunteers 221
Chapter 26 Retaining Volunteers 225
Part 4: Administration 227
Introduction 229
Chapter 27 How To Do Children’s Ministry Administration Without Going Crazy 231
Chapter 28 Safety Guidelines 239
Chapter 29 Forms And Records 253
Chapter 30 Working With Others In The Church 259
Part 5: Teacher Training 265
Introduction 267
Chapter 31 Understanding Age Groups 269
Chapter 32 Teach One Thing 275
Chapter 33 Lesson Preparation 281
Chapter 34 The Lesson – Getting Attention 287
Chapter 35 The Lesson – Bible Study 289
Chapter 36 The Lesson – Application 293
Chapter 37 How To Ask Good Questions 307
Chapter 38 Teaching Bible Skills 309
Chapter 39 Sharing The Gospel With Kids 313
Chapter 40 Storytelling Techniques 333
Chapter 41 Object Lessons – What They Are And Why You Should Use Them 341
Chapter 42 How To Use Games To Help Drive Home Your Key Theme, Learn Bible Verses, Or Develop Bible Skills 347
Chapter 43 How To Teach A Multi-Age Class 351
Chapter 44 Classroom Management 355
Chapter 45 Discipline 365
Chapter 46 Safety Guidelines Refresher Training 373
Chapter 47 50 Pop-Up Training Ideas 379
Conclusion 407
Appendices 409
Recommended Books For The Sunday School Classroom 411
10 Essential Classroom Supplies 415
How To Put Together The Best Prop Box Ever 419
Bible Story Box 421
Praying For You, Your Team, And Your Kids 423

To buy the book on amazon, click the book cover below.



It’s Published! The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook


After a year and a half of intensive writing and editing, I’m excited to announce that my book is finally published! The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook has everything you need to lead Children’s Ministry in your church. It’s a 400 plus page manual for Children’s Ministry leaders and volunteers to help them start and grow a thriving Children’s Ministry.

The book brings together everything I’ve learned in my 17+ years in Children’s Ministry. The book is divided into five parts:

  1. Vision, Purpose, and Mission: This helps you build the big picture of your ministry.
  2. Programming and Curriculum: Develop a disciple-making strategy; learn to analyze curriculum; and build programs that meet the needs of your church and community.
  3. Volunteers: Learn to recruit, train, and retain volunteers.
  4. Administration: Develop effective safety guidelines, create a budget, and work with others in the church.
  5. Teacher Training: This section has over a dozen detailed training topics (like lesson prep, sharing the gospel with kids, and discipline) to enable leaders to train their volunteers.

Check out this post for the table of contents.

To buy the book on amazon, click the book cover below.


How to Write SMART Goals

Children's Ministry Goals
Once you know your purpose, mission, and vision, it’s time to create some goals. Goals are the result that you are working towards; the aim.

There are some similarities here to vision, but goals are much more specific. The vision is a single sentence dream for your kids. Goals are the multiple, specific and measurable steps you are going to take to get there.

Goals can be general for children’s ministry or specific to a program. However, since you are creating steps to fulfill your vision, it’s better to be as specific as possible. You will want to create goals for each program you have in children’s ministry that will help you fulfill your vision.

How to write good goals – Be SMART!

Here is an example of a poorly written goal: “I’m going to get volunteers this year.” How will you know when you have achieved your goal? Did you set a time limit on accomplishing this goal? What action are you going to take to get it done? How will you determine that it has been completed? This goal example can be better written if the following criteria are used.


A specific goal is clear-cut. It is precise and definite. It is simply written and clearly defines what you are going to do. It is precise, not general.


A measurable goal is capable of being measured. You can determine if it has been accomplished. How will you know your goal has been completed?


An actionable goal outlines the steps you will take to complete the goal. An actionable goal will have verbs in it like telephone, ask, or teach.


A realistic goal is one that can be done. It might be difficult but it is something that is possible to accomplish. It’s practical in terms of time, opportunity, budget, and resources.


A timely goal has an end date. A timely goal will be accomplished by a certain time. It is a deadline – a time by which you want to have achieved your goal.


So instead of “I’m going to get volunteers this year,” a smart goal would look like this, “On August 19th I am going to telephone 15 prospective volunteers and ask them to serve in the nursery.”

This new goal is specific because it clearly states who is going to do it, when they are going to do it and what it is they are going to do (specific words or phrases in this goal are August 19th, 15 prospective volunteers, serve in the nursery.)

This goal is measurable because it will be completed when 15 calls to prospective volunteers have been made.

It is actionable because the actions taken are clearly stated. You are going to telephone and ask.

It is realistic because it is easily possible to call 15 people in one day.

And finally, it is timely because a date is given. You will know on August 20th whether this goal has been met or not.

Goal Writing Tips

When writing goals avoid words like try, could, and by the end of the year. These words aren’t specific or measurable, or timely.

A well-written goal says what you are going to do and how you are going to do it.

For every goal you write, evaluate it based on these criteria. Is it specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely?

These may seem daunting at first, but as you accustom yourself to writing goals this way, you will find it easier and easier. You will also quickly see the wisdom in well-written goals. You will find you need to write new ones as old ones are accomplished!

Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry Series:

Introduction – Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Do You Have a Purpose?

Is Your Mission a Secret Mission?

How’s Your Vision?

How’s Your Vision?

children's ministry visionOnce you have figured out your purpose and your mission, it’s time to move onto your vision. I have already written a series on vision in children’s ministry.




Here are the links to that series:

Why Do You Need a Vision for Your Children’s Ministry?

How Do You Develop a Vision Statement for Your Children’s Ministry? Part 1 – Brainstorming

How Do You Develop a Vision Statement for Your Children’s Ministry Part 2 – Create a Single Sentence Vision Statement

How Do You Develop a Vision Statement for Your Children’s Ministry Part 3 – Get the Word Out


Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry Series:

Introduction – Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Do You Have a Purpose?

Is Your Mission a Secret Mission?

How to Write SMART Goals

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