Leadership Styles to Avoid – the Unorganized Leader


Time For Leadership Message Representing Management And AchievementOne of the hardest leadership styles to deal with, yet one of the easiest to correct, is the unorganized leader. This is the leader who is in a hurry but never gets things done. He is the leader who gives you a project to do but doesn’t give you the materials you need to do that project until the last minute. She is the leader who makes her poor planning your emergencies. We all have a little of this in us, but how do we fix it?

The Unorganized Leader

Strategic Planning Showing Organizational Business Solutions Or GoalsTake time each week to plan. Most people who want to become organized never take the time they need to plan because they think they don’t have time. You don’t have time not to plan. Decide what things you need to get done this week. Then go through and decide which are important and which can be delegated. Remember when you make this list to make time for the important, not only the urgent.

Schedule your time. Plan chunks of time to do certain things. For instance, morning might be your most productive time. Don’t plan meetings or take phone calls in the morning. Use that time to plan your day and tackle your to do list. If emergencies come up, and they will, that take you away from your schedule, get back to it as soon as you can. Remember that if you schedule your time, you’ll get more done, even if your sidetracked at times. If you don’t schedule your time, you’ll waste a lot of it.

Priority Rubber Stamp Shows Urgent Rush DeliveryLearn organizational and project management skills. Schedule time in your week to work on these skills and to read leadership and organizational books.

Learn to multitask. Multitasking is not doing a bunch of different things at the same time. Multitasking is learning to have different projects to work on in the same time period. For instance, as a children’s pastor, you may be in the beginning stages of planning a Christmas program. At the same time, you’ve just finished up a back to school activity and are in full swing for your Harvest party. Then there’s VBS on the back burning. You’re starting to look at VBS materials for next summer. If you schedule correctly, you can plan times to work on each of these projects throughout the week. Of course, the Harvest party and Christmas program will take most of your time, but by devoting time to upcoming projects, you won’t feel under the gun when that event gets closer.

Order Or Chaos Keys Showing Either Organized Or UnorganizedProject Management 101: The first tool in project management is to make a timeline for each event you have planned. Decide what you need to do or delegate and when. Then move everything back at least three weeks to avoid unexpected surprises. You’ll be amazed how organized you’ll become by doing this.

Work with your pastor. Let him know what you’re working on. If he asks you to do another task and you don’t have time to do it right away, let him know, and ask him when he needs it done. It may be that you were dropping everything to do what your pastor wanted when there are some things he is willing to wait for.

Remember that people are more important than what you have to do. You’ve planned an entire day to work on an important project when a parent comes in concerned about her child. The work can wait. The parent can’t. This is real ministry.

Pray Computer Keys Showing Worship And ReligionPray before you start you’re day. God knows what we need to do, and He will give us the wisdom and direction to do if we start by giving Him our day.

Leadership Styles to Avoid – the Micromanager

Time For Leadership Message Representing Management And AchievementWe’ve all dealt with them. Bosses who double check everything you do. Senior pastors who don’t even care what’s going on. Leaders who discourage instead of encourage. But at times, are we those kinds of leaders?

The Micromanager

We’ve all heard of the micromanager who won’t let the people under them do their own jobs. But if you care about the children’s ministry or are frustrated with the lack of quality workers in your ministry, this is one of the easiest leadership styles to fall into. There are ways to avoid being a micromanager.

Leadership Pyramid Showing Vision Values Empowerment and EncouragementMake clear job descriptions: One way to avoid being a micromanager is to make clear job descriptions for every worker with duties and responsibilities on top. If the worker has to wade through the vision of the church and the qualifications of being on your team, he never will get to the actual duties he’s to perform.

Then communicate the duties you’ve assigned clearly in at least 3 ways. Some way you can do this are to give each person a written copy, send each person an email, meet with each person individually, text message each person with the list of duties only, and FB message them with their duties. This may seem like overkill, but people communicate in different ways, and it’s important to share in a way the worker best understands.

Cast the Vision and Goals for Children’s Ministry: When your workers know the vision and goals of the ministry and they are onboard, you can trust them to do things that meet those goals without having to hold their hands.

Strategic Planning Showing Organizational Business Solutions Or GoalsHave Brainstorming Times: Have meeting that are meant for brainstorming only. Give your workers a problem to solve, a goal to meet, or an event to plan, and step out of the way. Give them permission to dream and to not worry about resources, space, or money. That subject will come at a later meeting. Avoid the temptation to offer suggestions or to tell them why something won’t work. You’ll be amazed at the solutions they come up with when you give them permission to brainstorm. It will also increase attendance at your meetings if their offering input and not just listening to what you have planned.

Remember that not everyone will do things the same. If you have assigned a worker a task, and that worker understands what you want to accomplish, don’t second guess the way he goes about it. He won’t do things the way you do, but in the end, it might even be better.

The questionnaireCheck progress: This may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not. If you have a project for someone to do, give her a timeline for steps you want completed, and check to make sure she’s on target. If you know what’s going on, you’ll avoid the temptation to step in and take it over. Also if any problems come up, you can work with your team in time to take care of them. It will help you breathe easier while someone else takes care of the project.

Pray Computer Keys Showing Worship And ReligionPray: Some of the biggest reasons leaders become micromanagers have nothing to do with the other person. Pride, envy, jealousy, and insecurity are a part of our carnal flesh. We need to pray and get those things under control, or we will always be micromanagers.


Summer Event Planning

If youre not all ready planning your summer programs, you should be. Summer is a great time for evangelism programs. Children are out of school, and parents love to bring children to events that will curb the summer boredom.


Vacation Bible School, Kid’s Crusades, Carnivals, Sports Events, and Camps are some wonderful ways to minister to children. But there are lots of other ways to minister to children over the summer.


Heres some tips for planning your summer program:


Pray, Pray, Pray! In case I didnt get my point across, you need to pray before planning any events. The most effective ministries are not the ones you ask God to bless, but the ones God directs you to have. Be in His will, and He will bless your efforts.


Dont overload the calendar. Many times, childrens pastors want to use the time available to plan as much for the children as possible. If you do this, parents will soon tire of the endless calendar of events and stop bringing the children. Remember, sometimes less is more.


Think outside the box. Just because youve always had Vacation Bible School, doesn’t mean you always have to have Vacation Bible School. You might want to have VBS, but do it in an entirely different way. Or you might want a different event altogether like a kid’s crusade or sports camp. Don’t always do the same thing. Plan out of the box. Look at what is no longer effective, and change it.


Remember not to be a one man show. Develop a team and release some of the responsibility to them. You can only do so much. A team can do so much more.

3 Teaching Models You Can Use for Children’s Ministry

DSC_1118There are three basic teaching models that can be used for children’s ministry classes although there are variations to these models. There is no right or wrong method, and you can use different models for the same class from time to time.

Classroom Model: The classroom model is where the students sit around a table or on the floor and are taught the entire lesson in one setting. This model works best when there is student interaction and creative methods of teaching are employed.

Rotation Model: The rotation model is used mostly in VBS programs, but it can be used in other teaching settings. Basically you split the children up into age groups or randomly. Each group rotates from class to class. One teacher may do the Bible story. Another will do a game. The third teacher might do a learning activity. There are many variations of this model.

Children’s Service: This model is set up like a service for children. It starts with fast music and activities and games then moves to skits and object lessons, and proceeds to worship followed by a children’s sermon and prayer. This is a great method when you need to incorporate different age groups together. It also prepares children for adult worship services.

The Last Step in Project Management

You’ve done all the steps, you’ve worked your plan, and you’ve had a successful event. There’s one more step that will ensure your event grows and evolves into something even greater. That step is a follow-up meeting.

What went right?

What went wrong?

In what areas could we improve?

Do you have any ideas for next year?

After asking these questions, file away the answers until it’s time for the next time. Bring them out during your first dream team meeting. Then relax until the next big event.

Project Management For Children’s Pastors: Work Your Plan

Now that you have your project plan in place, it’s time to work the plan. Here’s a few things to remember.

Meet With Your Team Often: Follow up on your team members’ progress. Make sure they haven’t run into any difficulties. Communication is the key to teamwork. Remember we live in the computer age. Meeting with your team doesn’t always mean a meeting at church or in person. Use email, Facebook, and video conferencing to save time.

Tweak The Plan: You may need to find replacements for your team members, change the timeline, or find additional resources. These problems will crop up. Expect them and be ready to tweak your plan.

Time For God & Yourself: Remember your priorities. Don’t get so bogged down in the project that you neglect time with God and your family. Also take an occasional afternoon off to regroup.

Document Everything: Write down everything you do and keep great records. This will help you not have to reinvent the wheel every year when a project comes up again. Documentation will save you time in the long run.

Have Fun: Don’t forget to have fun. This is children’s ministry.

Project Management For Children’s Pastors: List Your Steps

Once you’ve defined the objective of your project, examined your resources, and built a project team, the next step is to list the step you need to complete your project on time.

List the Big Steps First: What are the major components of the project? Make a to do list with those components. It’s good to list these in chronological order, but it’s not necessary. You can always change the order later.

List the Smaller Steps: Make a to do list under each of the Big Steps. These are the things you need to do to make a big step happen. I’ll give an example. A big step for VBS would be to recruit workers. Smaller steps might include what workers you need and how you intend to recruit them.

Develop A Timeline:  Once you have your to do lists ready, make a timeline of when each large step should be done. Then add the smaller steps to the timeline. A wall calendar is a good way to make your preliminary timeline. After the timeline is complete, move each date back two weeks. No matter how great our planning, life interrupts our schedule. Unforseen events can wreck havoc on deadlines if we don’t allow enough time for interruptions.

Develop a Preliminary Plan

Assemble all your steps into a plan. What happens first? What is the next step? Which steps can go on at the same time with different resources? Who is going to do each step? How long will it take? There are many excellent software packages and templates available that can automate a lot of this detail for you. Many are free or low cost. Here are a few:

Free Excel Project Management Templates


Revise Timeline:

You and your project team should revise the timeline often to make sure you’re on track and to revise or tweek anything that might need more time.

Project Management Teamwork

No children’s pastor can manage large projects alone without burning out. The most effective project management resource a children’s pastor has is teamwork.

10 Effective Way to Build a Team

Teamwork is vital for large projects. But if it isn’t done right, it frustrates everyone involved. Here’s some ways to use teamwork effectively.

1. Have a dream team meeting. In the initial planning stages of a project, bring in a dream team. To start the meeting off, tell the team your focus for the event and give them permission to throw out ideas. Let them know, although all the ideas won’t be used, this is a chance to dream big. No idea is a bad one. This isn’t the time to talk about practicality or money limitations. That comes at a later meeting.

2. Your second meeting is to plan the big picture: goals, timeline, stations. During this meeting, break the project into manageable stations, and give one station to each team member.

For instance, if you’re planning VBS, you might have a game station, a craft station, a station for snacks, follow-up, decorations, etc. The more team leader you have, the more stations you can have. If you have a smaller team, you might need to give more than one station to each team leader.

During this meeting, give each leader a timeline for when you need certain things done. Also give each team leader permission to assemble his own team. Let the team leaders know what resources they have available.

3. Have regular meetings where the team leaders will give reports on their progress. These are the times where you work out problems that may arise and make sure everyone is on task.

4. Resist the urge to take over when a team leader isn’t following through or doing things the way you like. If you take over, the team leader will back off and let you do it. Instead, give the team leader suggestions on how to solve any problems.

If a team leader isn’t doing the job, you may have to sit down with him and talk about what the problem is. It may be something easily solvable, or the team leader might won’t to back out. But this is a last resort. Don’t become a micro-manager.

5. Have a follow-up meeting. After the event, have a meeting to discuss what went right and what went wrong. The idea of this meeting is to take notes on how to improve the event in the future.

6. Lavish praise. Make sure each team leader knows how much you appreciate him and the job he did, both publicly and privately.

Project Management Resources

One of the most important parts of project management for children’s pastors is determining your available resources and deciding what resources you need.


The first resource you’ll want to look at is how much money has been budgeted for your project. Usually the amount of money is beyond your control. Pastors and councils usually set up the budget. But it helps to work closely with your pastor and communicate how much you need to accomplish your project and which items can be taken off the wish list if need be. If you do that, your pastor will be more likely to work with you in establishing a great program.

Once you know how much the church will provide, look at your budget creatively. Are there items that can be donated by people or businesses? Do you want to fundraise to get extra money? Will you take an offering to defray expenses.

Sometimes there are easy ways to cut expenses. For instance, to use the VBS example, you could buy craft materials at a discount craft store to make crafts rather than use the expensive kits most VBS’s provide. Or you could eliminate the student books and substitute activities.


Your church calendar is a resource you can’t afford to overlook. Don’t just find an empty date on the calendar. Check what’s going on with other ministries in the church.

If you use teens for your event and the teens are going on a youth retreat, you might not want to schedule your event for the same week-end. If you do, you’ll find yourself scrambling for workers.

Also if your church has a busy season, your workers and parents may be overloaded by one more event on the calendar. A little pre-planning will save you headaches.

Once you have a date scheduled, communicate to the church and ministry leaders so they won’t plan anything to conflict with your project. Also let your workers know early so they can plan to work at the event.


Determine how many workers you’ll need and write short job descriptions for each role your workers will play. Also have a wish list of extra jobs in case you have more workers than you thought you would.

You might also want to schedule different people for clean up and follow up after the event. Sometimes after an event, your workers will be tired and want to go home rather than tear down. If you have another crew ready to come in, it will make things that much easier.