Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt 3)

And now, the exciting conclusion to the blog post series, “Six Questions To Ask Yourself Before Implementing A New Idea In Your Kids Ministry.”  Here’s what we covered in pt. 1 and pt. 2 of the series:

1)  “Have I Prayed About It?”

2)  “What Does My Pastor Think About The Idea?”

3)  “Does The Idea Resonate With The Hearts Of My Team?”

4)  “Do I Have The Support Of The Parents In My Ministry?”

QUESTION #5 – “Do I need God’s power to accomplish this idea?”

This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself as you evaluate whether the idea is a “God idea” or just another good idea.  If you can accomplish the plan without God’s power and without God’s anointing, it’s probably not His idea.

God’s ideas always require God’s ability.  If you can do it on your own, go back to the Lord and ask Him for direction.  This doesn’t mean that every impossible, crazy idea is necessarily from God.  That’s the wrong conclusion!  We need to have a balance of wisdom and faith—it’s not one or the other; both are required for good leadership.

QUESTION #6 – “If this idea succeeds, who will get the glory?”

As I have planned many ideas in the past, I was thinking, Man, when this thing is a huge success, people are going to think I’m the smartest guy around. Other children’s pastors are going to ask me for my planning notebook so they can pull off their own event like this. This is going to rock!

My plan to take all the credit for success was a clear indication that it wasn’t a “God idea” at all.  When people have trusted God for an idea, a plan, and success, they realize God is the source of every good thing, and he deserves the credit.  Pursue God’s ideas, and be prepared to give Him the glory.  After all, He’s the originator, not you.  He’s the creator, not you.  He is the author and finisher, not you.  He deserves the glory, not you.

Share your thoughts in the comment section.  I will pick a winner from the comments at the end of the week – winner gets a $25 web coupon to High Voltage Kids Ministry Resources.

Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt. 2)

In my last post, I shared the first two of the Six Questions to ask yourself before implementing a new idea in your Kids Ministry:

1)  “Have I Prayed About It?”

2)  “What Does My Pastor Think About The Idea?”

Now, we continue with Questions 3 & 4:

QUESTION #3 – “Does the idea resonate with the hearts of my team?”

After your pastor gives you the go-ahead, consult with your ministry team.  These people have the same passion as yours to impact the lives of the children in your church and community.  Share the plan with them while your idea is still in its early stages.  Don’t wait until you have the entire strategy fleshed out before you bring it to the team for feedback. The longer you work on an idea before you present it, the less likely you’re going to be willing to change course.  If leaders develop a plan too far before they talk to their teams, they can become emotionally invested in an idea and refuse to listen to any suggestions. When they don’t listen to their team members, trust erodes.

I remember when I thought I had a great idea for a Halloween outreach.  I wanted to call it “The Candy Factory.”  It was going to provide a full array of experiences, entertainment, fun, and best of all . . . candy!  I worked on the idea for weeks and weeks before I brought it to the team.  When I finally presented it to them, they immediately had questions about it.  They questioned the plans, the schedule, the execution, and the very idea itself.  I became defensive.  I’d worked several weeks on it, and this was my baby!  How dare they question an idea in which I had invested so much time!

If the members of your team—the people whose hearts are aligned with yours and who care as much about kids as you do—believe the idea stinks, you better listen to them.

QUESTION #4 – “Do I have the support of the parents in my ministry?”

This question applies especially to those who are young in ministry and have no children of their own.  It is easy for young singles or couples without kids to miss red flags that are obvious to parents.  Checking with them before an event can save you lots of headaches in the long run.

Many of you have read about the infamous Easter Egg Hunt that ended up in disaster (for the full story, get my book “I Blew It!”).  I planned an egg hunt for pre-schoolers on a steep drainage ditch and gave them Atomic Fireballs in their eggs.  If I’d taken a few minutes to talk to parents before the Easter Egg Hunt, they would have told me that it’s inappropriate to have Atomic Fireballs and jawbreakers in plastic eggs on steep hillsides with big rocks for an event for preschoolers (or anyone else for that matter).  They would have spoken up.  They would have told me the hard, cold truth, and I would have seen that it was an idiotic idea to hold a preschool egg hunt on Drainage Ditch Hill.  Parents would have looked me in the eye and told me, “Pastor Brian, the children will choke on those Atomic Fireballs. Are you insane?”

But it didn’t cross my mind to ask any of the parents. Solomon advises us (me especially), “With many counselors, there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14 NLT).

(CLICK HERE FOR PART 3)

Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt. 1)

Sometimes, we overestimate our own creativity and cleverness.  We think we’re so smart that we know exactly what we need to do in a given situation without consulting God or others.  It’s a sad situation that I see repeated over and over in Kids Ministry.

This post will be the beginning of a series of posts dealing with SIX QUESTIONS we must ask ourselves before implementing a new idea.  Often, we can get in such a hurry to implement a “crazy clever” or “amazingly creative” idea that we have for Kids Ministry.  I have had many such ideas end up as disasters (as I am sure many of you have).

I wish I could give you a list of “Ten Ways to Discover God’s Idea for Your Life and Ministry,” but God speaks to different people in different ways.

*  God spoke to Moses through a burning bush.

*  God spoke to Samuel in an audible voice in the middle of the night.

*  God spoke to Joseph in a dream.

*  God spoke to David through the prophet, Nathan.

*  God spoke to Mary through the angel, Gabriel.

God speaks to people when and how He chooses, but I want to give you a series of six questions that can help clarify your thinking.  Ask these questions of yourself BEFORE implementing a new idea in your ministry:

QUESTION #1 –  “Have I prayed about it?”

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” – James 1:5

If the idea you’re chasing came from any source other than a time of prayer, hit your knees immediately and ask, “God, is this your idea for my life and ministry?”

God’s not trying to hide His will from you, and He’s not trying to make you figure it all out on your own.  He wants to give you wisdom and reveal His plan to you.  He wants to give you incredible, amazing, God-inspired ideas.  Pray about it.  Ask Him for wisdom and clarity.  He’ll answer and show you the way.

QUESTION #2 – “What does my pastor think about the idea?”

As early as possible, run your idea by your pastor or kids’ ministry leader to get feedback and input.  Take this step before you invest too much time and energy in your idea.  Your pastor may be aware of liability issues or other reasons why your plan just won’t work. Trust your pastor’s judgment—he’s been down this road before.

Take the initiative to make the appointment with your pastor or ministry leader.  Explain the idea, including the pros and cons. If he approves it, that’s wonderful.  If he finds problems with it, then the conversation will save you a great deal of wasted time and embarrassment.  (I can’t tell you how much my pastor has saved me from all kinds of heartaches.)  And talking with this person before you implement the plan builds trust for the future, too.

(CLICK HERE FOR PART 2)

Four Words You Should NEVER Say

I hear it all the time from so many Kids Ministry leaders.  It’s the four words that should NEVER come out of your mouth…“I’m just not creative.”

Sometimes it comes in more subtle ways such as, “How do you guys do what you do?”“I could never do that!”  “I wish I could be more creative, but I don’t have it in me.”
“Why are some people creative and others aren’t?”

The truth is everyone has creative potential.  We sell ourselves short thinking that creativity is some mystical ability that few are blessed with.

A large part of the problem is that there is an air of mystery and mysticism around the creative process.  Because people assume and reinforce the idea that some have creative potential and others don’t.  They assume that “creative” people somehow have a super power that others just do not possess.

Think back to when you were a child.  You were able to be kept busy for hours simply by playing with cardboard box.  That box instantly became a house, a fort, a fire station, a cannon – whatever your mind could come up with.  When you were a child, EVERYTHING was a toy.  You were definitely creative!

Somehow, through the years, we lose our fascination with everyday things, begin to lose our confidence, and somehow begin to believe the lie that “creativity is a gift reserved for the few.”  It’s not.  It is, however, a skill that must be developed.  Like any other muscle, your “creative muscle” will atrophy if you don’t put it to work regularly.

This week, take 15 minutes on this creativity exercise.  Walk into a room, find a random object, and see if you can turn it into some sort of spiritual object lesson.  Don’t worry, nobody is watching.  When you have completed this, guess what – you just took a step closer to unleashing the creativity inside of you!

Stop selling yourself short!  You ARE creative!  Now, get out there and create something amazing to change the world for your kids!  You can do it!!!

Share your thoughts in the comment section.