5 Ways to Equip Parents in Your Church

5 Ways to Equip Parents in Your Church
One of the biggest needs in the church today is parent ministry. How can we equip parents to be better spiritual disciplers of their children?

Most parents do not feel adequate enough to disciple their kids and most of this inadequacy comes from a lack of training. As one parent once told me, “I’m just not sure how to disciple my kids.” Or, the problem is that parents do not feel equipped to evaluate discipleship resources for their families, so they end up not using any of these helpful resources at all.

Are you in a similar situation at your church? Many churches want to help parents, but they don’t know where to start. Or some churches just need a few ideas to guide them to the next step in their ministry to parents. Either way, it will be helpful to take a look at these 5 ways to equip parents in your church:

How to Maximize Your Productivity in Ministry

18 Tips for Increasing Ministry Productivity

Have you ever wished that there was more time in the day, or that you could find ways to increase your personal productivity to another level?

In ministry, there is never enough time to get everything done. However, there’s plenty of time to do the work that God has for us. As stewards of our time, we can honor God when we find ways to be productive when working. With this in mind, I am always looking at how I can increase my own ministry productivity, so after trying many different methods over the years, here are 18 tips for how to maximize your productivity in ministry:

15 Great Apps for Ministry Leaders

The 2016 Edition

15 Great Apps for Ministry Leaders

Every year, I create a list of my favorite apps that I’ve used in ministry and business. This year, I’ve added some of my favorite apps yet!

Trying out apps can be time consuming, so I’ve done the research for you in order to share these 15 great apps for ministry leaders:

Evernote: This app tops the list because it is incredibly useful. The ability to take notes, make recordings, jot down ideas, and other functions is invaluable, and the search engine is a great way to find documents quickly. You can access your files in Evernote from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc. The basic version is free, so try it out! Here are a few ideas from Michael Hyatt on ways to utilize Evernote.

Insightly: This is one of my new favorite apps. I use this app for networking, specifically to keep track of my conversations with people in my ministry, ministry leaders in my field, etc. I simply create a contact, add any contact info, then add a note each time I have a conversation worth summarizing briefly for future recollection. Plus, if I want to follow up with someone at a later time, I can create a task and schedule it to remind me about the task via email at a certain day and time. Definitely worth checking out.

Is Pokémon Go Safe for Kids?

Is Pokemon Go Safe for Kids?

Is Pokémon Go safe for kids? That’s the question on the minds of numerous parents and ministry leaders. To be honest, there are multiple factors involved here on both sides of the argument.

First, if you don’t completely understand the concept of the game, take a look at the article What is Pokémon Go? Also, I won’t be addressing whether or not Pokémon is inherently good or bad, as you can probably do a quick internet search and find articles on the topic. I just want to address this most recent phenomenon and its effect on our kids.

Ready? Let’s take a look at both the positive and negative elements of the game:

What is Pokémon Go?

What is Pokemon Go?

What is Pokémon Go? You may be thinking to yourself that this game seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Well, actually, you’re right! Pokémon Go was launched at the beginning of July 2016 and grew massively popular within just a few days. How popular? Well, the mobile app has hit the top of the App stores, and the Pokémon Go server has shut down several times, due to the high number of people registering to play the game. In just over a week, it has amassed enough users to rival Twitter for number of active daily users.

So what is this massively popular game, and why is it so popular? Pokémon Go is a free-to-play augmented reality mobile game for iOS and Android devices. It’s the first game to be launched (at this level of popularity) where players actually have to go out into the real world in order to play the simulated game.

10 Dangerous Apps for Kids and Teens

10 Dangerous Apps for Kids and Teens

If you’re a parent, then helping your kids and teens navigate the digital world can seem like a difficult task. There are many safe apps and websites available for your kids, but there are also many dangerous apps for kids and teens as well.

Many social media channels have age requirements that are ignored. Some apps, such as Instagram and Twitter (which both made the list) have many safe functions for your kids, they also contain ways to access some dangerous sexual context.

Are you ready to parent well in the digital age? Good parenting involves educating yourself about the apps that kids and teens are using. You can begin educating yourself by starting with this list of 10 dangerous apps for kids and teens:

10 Keys for Evaluating Children’s Ministry Curriculum

10 Keys for Evaluating Children's Ministry Curriculum

When was the last time you evaluated your children’s ministry curriculum? If it’s not quite as effective as you would like, then perhaps it’s a good time to take a look at other curriculum options. If you’re not sure where to start, then take a look at these 10 keys for evaluating children’s ministry curriculum:

1. Scope and Sequence. What is the game plan of the curriculum? Every good curriculum has a scope and sequence, which should include a breakdown regarding topics and Bible passages covered. If it’s not posted online, then a quick email to the company will usually allow you to take a good look at the scope and sequence.

2. Biblically-focused. Does the curriculum focus on the Bible? It might sound like the Bible should be an obvious part of any children’s ministry curriculum (and you’re right), but not all curriculum focuses on the Bible. A good curriculum bases every lesson on Scripture.

How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics

Book Review: Talk Now and Later by Brian Dollar

How to Lead Kids Through Life's Toughest Topics

Are you ready to talk to your kids about life’s toughest topics? In Brian Dollar’s latest book, Talk Now and Later: How to Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics, Brian shares great principles and stories that will help you initiate and navigate important conversations with your kids.

Just look at these topics from the table of contents:

  • God
  • Death and Tragedy
  • Sex
  • Self-Image
  • Making Wise Choices
  • Divorce
  • Friendships
  • Money
  • Bullying
  • Restoring Broken Relationships

Looks pretty interesting, huh? I have personally read through this book, and it is a great read! Here’s some more information about it:

How To Set Up Parental Controls on Your Child’s Smartphone/Tablet

How To Set Up Parental Controls on Your Kids Smartphone_Tablet

Have you ever set up parental controls on your child’s smartphone? If you haven’t, then you are leaving your kids at risk for exposure to millions of other people, some of which won’t have good intentions for your children. Keeping your child safe is important, so setting up parental controls on a smartphone or tablet is essential in the technological world of the 21st century.

Maybe you’re not convinced.

Think about taking your kids to the mall to shop. Now, imagine that the mall was filled with tons of stores. Except, most of the stores are pornography stores.

Woah, what?!

That’s right. The internet is flooded with dirty sites, and it is becoming easier and easier for kids to stumble upon these websites. In fact, 66% of kids who have seen porn in the past year first stumbled onto these websites accidentally, according to a study done by researchers at the University of New Hampshire.

Some research indicates that the average age a child is exposed to pornography is eight years old, according to Focus on the Family.

The Latest Research Findings on Children’s Ministry

Book Review: The Gospel Truth about Children's Ministry

The Latest Research Findings on Children's Ministry

Have you heard the latest findings on children’s ministry? My friends and colleagues at Awana decided to ask hundreds of children’s ministry leaders three important questions.

What these children’s ministry leaders said may change everything.