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In This Issue Jan Feb 2012

cm0111coverIn This Issue of Children's Ministry Magazine:Jan./Feb. 2012

button_green FEATURES

Children's Ministry Impact on Your Church
Exclusive, hot-off-the-presses research that'll rechart your thinking.

Debunking the Dropout Myth
Is it really true that nine in 10 teenagers  "graduate" from the faith after high school? A well-known researcher debunks this pervasive legend.

Good Byes
Rather than melting down when volunteers announce they're leaving, follow these three strategies to ensure you-and your valued
co-servants-finish well together.

Stop "Using" Teens in Kidmin
Move away from "using" teenagers to developing and empowering them.

Tough Talks With Parents
Practical ways you can learn to speak a parent's language-even with challenging conversations.

Peel Off Kids' Labels
Labels-the good, bad, or ugly-can hinder your ministry to children. Here's how to unstick those labels.

A Guide to Kids' Grief
Practical tips for effective ministry to children experiencing loss and grief.

Happy New You
11 great ideas to help kids live a God-centered year.

button_orange AGE-LEVEL INSIGHTS


Birth to 2
Ministry of comfort, Daniel rhyme, jump up, Lazarus, solid foundation.

Ages 3 to 5
Praying with preschoolers, put Zacchaeus in the tree, fly frenzy, preschool eyesight.

Ages 6 to 9
Games that teach, silly-mals, foot-finders teamwork, distracted kids.

Ages 10 to 12
The awkward years, blindfolded builds, running on thirsty, therefore go.

button_pink IDEAS


Reaching Out
Welcome new kids, feed the hungry, prayers for the world.

Family Ministry
Ministry to your pastor's family, eyes to see, sacred marriage.

Special Needs
The sound of music, a quiet place, 100 devotions, 100 Bible songs.

Discipline Q&A
Parents' refusal to acknowledge problems, disciplining children differently, asking a child not to come back?

Leading Volunteers
Volunteer vision chart, synchronized prayer, five keys for better meetings.

>>And much more...



chrisyj_85x85From the Editor:

I went skiing with my daughter Abby recently-and I never fell. That's not a good thing.

Here's why. My thighs burned, my feet ached, and my entire body tensed. I wasn't having as much fun as I could've had, because I fear how awkward I look before, during, and after a fall. So "what people might think" robbed me of fun and skill improvement.

I thought later that day this is really a metaphor for my life. I avoid personal projects unless they have guaranteed success. I resist competitions I won't win. I play it safe.

And it made me wonder about you and your ministry. How often do you play it safe because failure might make you look stupid or gawky or downright miserable? Do you work ultra-hard to keep from falling because you haven't figured out how to get up afterward?

You think I'd be different since I work at Group and we're all about risk-taking and innovation. Just try it I hear a lot around here. In fact, we even celebrate our "top flops," because if we're not failing, we're not trying hard enough. But on a personal level, I can be risk-averse.

I've learned a few things about myself that could maybe help you, too. First of all, I'm afraid I've never gotten over that junior-high-age belief that everyone's looking at me. The truth is, they're just not. So maybe we need to get over ourselves.

Second, I may just have to lift some weights to strengthen my upper body so getting up doesn't feel so impossible when I fall. What do you need to strengthen to recover from a fall? Maybe it's your humility muscle, your sense of humor, or your ability to learn from failure.

Falling isn't fatal. In fact, falling can be a protection from skiing into trees. Perhaps failure in ministry is God's protection from running headlong into an out-of-bounds area. Just think of what we can learn about God in the midst of turning to him to pick us up, gather our equipment, and help us smile at ourselves.

I say we make 2012 the year we go all out, catch some air, and enjoy the scenery as we fly by. And when we fall (because we will), we celebrate that we're not playing it safe anymore.

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