How Jim Wideman Saved My Marriage: Having A Mentor

ImageOkay this title might be a little extreme. My marriage was never in trouble, but I had this thought the other day when I was asked by my wife to do something. My wife was swamped with things she was picking up my daughter from her pre-school and had other things on her to do list that she needed to get done so she called me and asked me to pick up my son from school. Now before you ask yourself what is the big deal with this you just go and pickup your son and be done, but the problem is I have truly forgotten to pick him up before and our school has called the house wondering where we were at. (Insert Terrible Dad Award) Who forgets to pick up their child from school (This Guy Did.) It wasn’t just one time, but twice. After she asked me I stopped what I was doing went to my phone and added it to my calendar, but knowing me I would still forget so what did I do? I put three calendar reminders for me. One at the 60 min mark another one at the 30 min mark and finally the last one at the 15 min mark. The last one for sure is the one that you better go by this one or else. I had my mentor Bro. Jim in my head reminding me that my brain was not to be for remembering, but it was for creativity.

After I went to the extreme of making sure that my calendar was complete with all of the reminders I was good to go. As I got busy I heard the first alarm go off knowing that I still had time the second alarm went off then finally after the third one I walked out of the door to pick up my son. As I was at the school my wife sent me a text asking me if I was there? I looked at the text with a smirk on my face replying Yes then followed by the thought of the title of this blog.

For the past several months I have been challenged and had even made life long friends going through the Infuse group that Jim Wideman has provided. I have wanted to join for a long time, but was very nervous about it knowing that I was going to be asked to grow and to be challenged in my approach to change things in my personal life as well as my professional life. in order to grow in as the leader that God sees that I can become.

I will leave you with this parting thought. I would encourage everyone to make time to go and check out this amazing resource that Jim Wideman is providing. Spending time with Jim I have bee able to really see the heart that he has to help the next generation leader. His passion to continue to make a difference has been very impactful in my own life and has helped me view ministry in a different lens. I know for sure that this will help you become a much better leader and help you grow into your position or even help take you as a leader and show you how God created you and how to lead in your ministry



Since I’ve Been Gone


Over the past year I have neglected my blog and basically I have not blogged about anything from children’s ministries, family, leadership absolutely nothing. For some reason I couldn’t come to the grips of typing up anything or even thinking of anything to possible blog about, but let me tell you what has been happening this past year and what is to come.

My family and I over a year ago transitioned to a new church. In our hearts we felt God speaking and leading us. I knew that the next position that I would take would have to be one that God wanted me to be at, but also a job that would take me out of my comfort zone as well. He did all of that and even though I felt overwhelmed and under qualified by what God was doing I surrendered to the fact that God knows me better than I know myself and if this is where God wants me then I need follow his leading and go. He says in his word in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.” I tell people that all of the time, but sometimes you need to hear it yourself and actually believe what you are telling others. Rachel and I took a position in Bloomington –  Normal Illinois and have just completed over a year of ministering here at First Assembly.

Since my time here at First Assembly I have had some amazing opportunities especially joining the infuse group with Brother Jim Wideman. Having Brother Jim mentor you has been an awesome opportunity. This is what I want to share with y’all (Yes a southern term. I think they finally turned me). I want to share the my experience being in Infuse, but also why I think that every children’s pastor both rookie or even veteran needs to take up an opportunity like this. i have felt blessed to talk with like minded people, but also be challenged by the coaches and my peers around me. The best part is to learn from the voice behind the leadership tapes, cd’s, to now mp3’s. It has been a huge honor to be in this group and in the next post I want to share the reason why you all should try and be in a mentorship group called infuse.

Once again sorry for the delay, but I am back and you will see more post coming from me in the future. Have a great weekend.

Live Courageously…

This post I am dedicating to the movie “Courageous”… Do you ever feel like the life that you are living is mundane, boring and a lack of vision for your life. Do you ever feel that your family is more of a burden that a joy, are you caught flipping the channels on the television while you drift further and further away from your family.

Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.”

Sunday afternoon my wife and I took half of our small group to see the movie Courageous. This is a movie that talk about fighting for the family. In this movie you have four officers from different past backgrounds that help reach everyone that is in the movie theater. Right from the start it’s pretty action packed running down criminals, gang members, men working long days trying to balance their home life as well. As I look back at these men we can probably see ourselves in each of these situations. The best quote that was in the movie that I loved was when one of the characters said “I don’t want to do just a good job I want to do a great job”.

I love this portion of the movie because it was a man who wanted more for his family, but he knew that he needed to change in order for the results to be that like doing something that you don’t really want to do at the time, but it’s more about the quality time that you are spending with your child that outweighs the cost.

Food for thought: When was the last time your kids asked you to do something with them and you turned them down?

Seize every moment that you have with your family and with your kids because when it comes down to it when you blink they will be all grown up, out of the house and you will be left either admiring the job that you have done in shaping the child that is now an adult or you will be regretting the person that they have become because you didn’t do what was required from you.

Go out and watch the movie Courageous and your life will not be the same. It’s a great movie that you won’t want to miss out on.

Half Day In Haiti…

We landed in Haiti at about four this afternoon and we were headed out to the orphanages and the one thing that stuck out o me was the affection that these kids were lifting up there hands begging you to pick them up.

Everyday I see my kids and kiss on them, but the kids the I loved on and hugged, fist bumped, high-fived don’t get that affirmation or the attention every single day, but they have the prettiest smiles when they see you. It feels like you are a shunning ray of hope coming into their lives.

We have a full schedule tomorrow, but I never knew that you could fall in love with the people or even a country ad quickly as I have fallen for these kids here in Haiti.

Thank you for your prayers…

Weird…. What Are You Afraid Of?

Once a month we have a missions spotlight where we look at missionaries that are doing something overseas or even in our own backyard of the United States. Then we take up an offering for missions. This past week I challenged all of our kids to give to missions I gave them a goal that they could reach, but with that goal I gave out incentives such as to shave half my beard if they raise a certain amount of money. One of the comments were “Well you will look WEIRD.”

So this is the whole point to my writing this blog have we been teaching our kids in our society to continue to be like everyone else, act like everyone else, and dress like everyone else. Are we afraid of going out on a limb and being who God created us to be and do what he told us to do, but instead of doing that we have limited ourselves to being just normal.

As I look through the bible the guy who I love would be John the Baptist now talking about a guy who was weird this would be the defination of that. He ate locust and honey, dressed in camel hair or anything else he could get his hands on. He didn’t speak to people and give them a cookie cutter type of message he spoke from the word and was not afraid of what would happen. He baptized Jesus and in the end was killed, but the thing that I love about John was that he obviously was not afraid to stick out, but he love the Lord and did it with everything that he had.

So here is the point that I am trying to make let’s not be so consumed with being like everyone else because we then are telling the creator that we don’t like what he created, but most importantly God has a special plan for our lives and he created us for that so lets not get strung up on looking like everyone else and lets focus on the obedience of our creator and what his plan for our life is. In the end we will never meet the standards of people around us because there will always be something that we can’t match up too.

A Steady Diet Of Donuts And Cholocate Milk…

Have you ever tried to lose weight with a steady died of chocolate donuts and chocolate milk? How do you think your weight loss will do with having this as your steady diet? I think… No I Know with a shadow of a doubt that you will not lose weight, but you will gain weight from this steady diet. It’s like going to McDonald’s and ordering your meal and getting the BIGEE size, but then ordering a diet coke like the diet coke will do anything… You might be asking yourself how does this have anything to do with children’s ministries well here it goes…

As I was talking to some of our fifth graders the other week we just got done talking about having Amazing Faith. As we were talking the conversation started going down to what our favorite television shows are and on the list of shows was pretty little liars… Okay by the name alone I know that this is not a very wholesome show, but as I probed a little bit I asked do you think that this show will help you have amazing faith? The response was, but I watch Christian Television too? (insert nervous laughter)

Here’s the bottom line as a parent I love my kids, but I need to care for their spiritual life as well. I need to give them a steady diet of devotions, prayer, daddy & mommy time. I need to give my kids a great example of what a Godly man looks like for both my son and daughter. My wife needs to give them a great example of what a godly woman / wife looks like and we also need to make our family a loving environment that will foster spiritual growth in the long run. So I am giving my kids a healthy diet of what Christianity looks like rather then giving them a glimpse of trash that is on the television and letting them watch that for hours, but then give them a 1 hr dose of christian television.

Change…Watch Your Mouth

I once heard a story of this church that after every service one sing this one particular song and through the years they continued to do the same thing they did twenty years ago. They would sing the song, but before they began to sing they would turn towards the left side of the wall and sing. One day this church had a visitor and the visitor noticed that everyone turned towards the left side of the wall so this man asked a member in the church and he didn’t know so they asked another person and he didn’t know so finally they asked another person, but this time it was and elder in the church and as they asked him why everyone turns to the left side of the wall to sing the song. The elder responded that at one time the song was painted on the wall and so they turned to read the word.

Okay this is a pretty extreme thing and hopefully there is not a church out there that really sings a song and turns to a certain side of the church, but what I am trying to say is that we can’t do the same thing over and over and over because it tends to get old, but eventually with every great idea it loses some steam so we need to change and continue to reevaluate our programs and continue to freshen things up. What happens when we don’t reevaluate our programs:

1. They can lose effectiveness

2. Lose purpose

3. Lose Steam

4. Lose Volunteers

5. Lose Creativity

These are some things that happens when we don’t continue to look at the product that we are giving out to the people in our church and this can also raise to a bigger problem which is the people don’t want to change and are very resistant to the change that we start to provide to the ministry. Go out and evaluate things and make sure that you are putting together a good quality of ministry to the kids that you love.