Children's ministry is something I am very passionate about. God called me to this ministry many years ago, but it has only been in the last two years that I have actually submitted to that calling and begun working as a children's minister. For awhile, I just sort of went on what I knew - things I had been taught as a child and things I had seen other children's ministers teach. But there came a point last year where I knew I was becoming stagnant in my children's church. I knew I needed to go beyond what I already knew, beyond my own thinking, and branch out to see what other resources and ideas were available.
A dear friend of mine, Larry (who happens to be the youth pastor at my church), suggested that I purchase a subscription to a children's ministry magazine. He told me about the magazines he gets that are geared for youth ministry, and thought I might benefit from something similar. So I looked online to see what was out there. There are so many things that one can find online that it can actually be a little overwhelming. Adding that to the fact that many of the ideas people are using are out of date and not nearly as effective for this generation of children, after all that searching, I didn't really come up with much. Then I looked for children's ministry magazines. There are only a hand full out there, and they each cost roughly $20 for a yearly subscription. I couldn't afford to get them all, so I had to pick.
Kidz Matter. I will admit, the title didn't look that interesting. But the more I thought about it and looked at some of the things they had in this thing, the more sure I was that this was the one I needed. It wasn't until I got my first issue that I was ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN this was the magazine that was going to provide me with the resources I needed to move me forward in children's ministry.
The theme of my first issue was "Leadership." That was something I had been trying to get some direction on, but didn't really know where to start. The articles were so helpful, and I have read most of them several times. I have plans to pass that issue on to others working in children's ministry in my church, but so far I can't come to part with it. I just keep picking it up and re-reading it!
The article that I enjoyed the most was titled "Full Steam Ahead," and was written by Tina Houser. Mrs. Houser talks about the power of momentum in your children's ministry, and how to go about fueling that momentum so that it is like a train that can't be stopped. She showed the importance of declaring your vision and sticking with it, jumping right into things rather than slowly getting into the race, and pouncing on opportunities that land in your lap. Being a step ahead of the game helps you to keep moving, instead of just coasting along in your ministry. She shows how to multiply your effectiveness by increasing your mass (people who work in children's ministry with you), how to set up wins for your team, the importance of plowing through obstacles that stand in your way, how to go public with what you are doing with your group, and the necessity of continually evaluating what and how you are doing. She hit the nail right on the head with that lesson on momentum.
Each issue is packed with so many great articles, it is hard to put the magazine down once I get started reading! And the articles are written by very experienced children's ministers such as Tina Houser, Roger Fields, Ryan Frank, Jim Wideman, Greg Baird, and so many more! You get great articles from experts in the field of children's ministry, ideas for ways to add some excitement to your lessons, decor, and overall ministry, encouragement for when you feel like things aren't going just right or like you're not making a difference, and loads of information on curriculum and products out there just for you! I am looking forward to the next issue, because the theme is "Creativity in Ministry." I need all the help I can get in that area! It's going to be a great issue!
If you want to check out this AMAZING magazine, along with plenty of other children's ministry resources, take a look at their web site! Or you can give these lovely people a call toll free at 877-568-2437. You will get to talk to an actual PERSON, and they are all very friendly! For $19.95, you get six completely PACKED issues!
BUT, I am so EXCITED to tell you that I am GIVING AWAY a full year subscription for my blog giveaway today! The good folks at Kidz Matter have graciously provided me with this prize, and one of my followers is going to win it! You are definitely going to want this prize! I promise!!
Here's how to enter. First, you MUST be a follower on my blog. So if you haven't clicked the "Join This Site" button on the right, go do that now. GO! GO! GO!! If you are a follower through another site, such as Google Reader, you need to leave me a comment and let me know. Everyone who FOLLOWS my blog gets entered automatically! YAY!!
If you would like to have an additional entry, here's what to do. Leave me a comment telling me why you want to win this prize, and/or if you would keep it or give it to someone else. Hey, I know all of you lovely people aren't children's ministers like me, and might not actually use something like this. But remember, kids ministry is a HUGE thing to God, and you could definitely pass this on to whomever has the privilege of being in charge of this ministry in your church! So whether you keep it or give it away matters not. You still REALLY want to win this!!
And for one more additional entry, post a link to this blog post on Facebook or Twitter telling all your friends about my prize giveaway! Then you need to come back here and leave me a comment letting me know where you posted the link.
Be sure to leave me your e-mail address in your comment, so I can contact you if your name is drawn.
So there you have it. You have three ways to enter. The contest will run until Monday, November 14, so you all will have plenty of time to enter.
This magazine has been so helpful to me in my children's ministry, and I just can't WAIT to give away a subscription to one of you!! And if you just can't wait until Monday, or if you want to go purchase a copy for someone else, head on over there to the Kidz Matter website and pick up a subscription. You will NOT be sorry!!
*And a BIG THANK YOU to Hip Homeschool Moms for letting me post my giveaway to their site!! Go check them out!