Category Archives: Resources

Partnering with Parents: Workshop Prezi

(pictured above, Westwood United Methodist Church)

Partnering with Parents

Workshop Prezi and LINKS

This weekend, I was asked to present a workshop on Partnering with Parents at a West Coast gathering for ministry leaders in the United Methodist Church.

Here’s the Prezi I used for the weekend’s presentation… which should look familiar because the content was very similar to what I presented in Chicago last Fall.

PREZI LINKOrange-ology: Turning Parents into Partners
(you’ll notice a shout-out to Orange in this workshop, because I wanted to pitch the Orange strategy to these leaders in a way that I felt would have been distracting at Kidmin)

Other posts related to this topic:

Reaching a New Generation of Families

Reaching a New Generation of Families: Redux

Turning Parents into Partners: An Introduction

Parents into Partners: Strategy #1

Casting a Vision for Partnership

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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Kidmin, Resources


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Strategic Church Leadership: ECO Workshop

A Gathering of The Fellowship & ECO

Strategic Church Leadership Workshop

I recently had the privilege to teach alongside my senior pastor, Jim Miller, at The Gathering of the Fellowship and ECO: a denominational conference in Orlando, Florida.

Here’s the description of the workshop:

Strategic Church Planning
Tired of ministry ideas that never quite hatch into effective mission? Wondering why so much of what you try
doesn’t get off the ground? Maybe a strategic approach to preaching, family ministries, staffing, meetings,
and everything else would help you move God’s people from being an institution to being a movement of the
Kingdom. Study effective steps to building systems that produce the results you want.

(Click HERE to view the Prezi/slideshow for this workshop)

It was exciting to be at a national gathering of church leaders who made a public pledge to baptize more people than they bury over the next few years – something that few denominations can actually say in 2013.  As mainline denominations continue to die, it’s encouraging to see churches rally around the call to make disciples (who make disciples) and who are trying to do so through innovation and strategic planning.  It was a blessing to be a part of this gathering.

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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Resources


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Teen Leaders in KIDMIN

Teen Leaders in KIDMIN

Notes from my #kidmin12 workshop

This workshop examined best practices and next steps for getting teen helpers involved in children’s ministry at your church. From getting your youth pastor in your corner to a how-to guide for getting teens to serve in your ministry, learn how to take your children’s programs to the next level by effectively integrating teen leaders onto your team.


Later next week, I’ll begin posts that correspond with each slide in this presentation.  If you were at Kidmin and attended my breakouts, these slides and notes will make perfect sense.  For those of you who were unable to be there… well, this post, like my last post, won’t be nearly as helpful as the ones that are going to follow.

You may also enjoy these posts:

To be a Leader

VBS Youth Training Recap

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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Kidmin12, Resources


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Turning Parents into Partners

Turning Parents into Partners

Notes from my #kidmin12 workshop

Later this week, I’ll begin posts that correspond with each slide in this presentation.  If you were at Kidmin and attended my breakouts, these slides and notes will make perfect sense.  For those of you who were unable to be there… well, this post won’t be nearly as helpful as the ones that are going to follow.

You may also enjoy these posts:

Reaching a New Generation of Families

Reaching a New Generation of Families: Redux


Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Kidmin, Kidmin12, Resources


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Book Review: The Eric Trap

Book Review: The Eric Trap

It’s been a while since I read a book as quickly as I read The Eric Trap.  But, here’s the thing, I care about Eric Newman.  Having not read the book, you might be wondering who Eric Newman is and why I care about him.  The Eric Trap, a book written as a collaborative effort by Jim Wideman, Sam Luce & Kenny Conley, is told as a fable of sorts that walks the reader through a week in the life of Eric Newman, Children’s Pastor at New Hope Community Church.  Eric is your typical kids’ pastor and is a character I could quickly relate to.  As Eric faces the typical challenges those of us in ministry face each week (disgruntled volunteers, painful meetings, time away from our family, etc), it’s easy to see a little bit of ourselves in his thoughts and reactions.  Which leads me to the things I dig.

Things I dig

Not only is The Eric Trap a fable about a guy you learn to relate to, but it offers advice throughout for how those of us in children’s ministry can avoid the mistakes and situations that seem to drag Eric down.  I love a good story, but I’m also someone who really appreciates tangible next steps – The Eric Trap is able to pull off both, which I wasn’t expecting and was pleasantly surprised to discover.  The writing style of the book makes this an easy read and something I could pass off to a friend or intern without feeling like I’m asking them to read an encyclopedia.  Before I pass it off to them, however, I’m handing it over to my wife – with permission to call me out on areas where I’m falling into the Eric Trap.  I’d encourage others in ministry to do the same.

Things that Dribbled

My one concern about this book is how a female reader will relate to the narrative.  In children’s ministry, I recognize that most people who hold my position are women – and most people who should read this book are those who are in children’s ministry.  Having said that, I think that every lesson learned is one that applies to both men and women.  My concern, though, is whether or not a female reader will relate to Eric in the same way that I do.

Wrapping Up

I now have another book that will serve as mandatory reading for my staff and for those who volunteer on our team and may one day be called to professional ministry.  This book is the best of it’s kind.  I appreciate that it was developed by those who are serving in real-life, full time ministry.  The stories within it are relatable because they happen every week in the lives of those who serve in children’s ministry.  If you have a chance to get your hands on a copy, or you’re looking for a book to add to your wish list, this is a book worth asking for.


Want to get your hands on a copy for free?

For reviewing this book, I’ve been given a copy that I can give away to a lucky reader of this blog!  All you have to do is comment on this post (by next Wednesday, 4/18) and tell me your favorite book on leadership and/or children’s ministry.  I’m always looking to expand my library – and so should you!  I’ll then randomly choose one commenter below who will receive a FREE copy of The Eric Trap.


Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Book Review, Kidmin, Resources


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The Hunger Games Discussion Guide

The Hunger Games

A Thoughtful Discussion Guide for Parents

Whether or not you want your high school students and preteen kids to be reading the books and watching the movie, chances are high that families in your church are coming into contact with the current excitement surrounding The Hunger Games.

Our student ministry team has developed a response that we’re distributing to parents of our kids to encourage them to dialogue with their children and talk through some of the serious content and questions that The Hunger Games is bringing into the lives of our youth.

Feel free to take this resource and run with it.  I think a part of our jobs, as those who are called to serve kids and families in our communities, is to resource them to have significant conversations around their dinner tables about stuff like this.  And, I think that part of my job is to share neat things like this that our student ministry team made for our families.

Sharing is a good thing, right?

Hunger Games Discussion Guide (PDF)


A special thanks to our Student Ministry intern, Kailyn King, for doing the footwork to make this resource a reality.  One day, you’ll be allowed to hire her at your church to run your student ministry.  But… not yet – we want to keep her for a while 🙂

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Orange, Resources


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Why You Might Experience Serious Regret this Thursday

Why You Might Experience Serious Regret this Thursday

The folks at have done it again…I don’t think they sleep.

This time they’ve teamed up with 20 different producers to put together the most epic bundle I’ve ever seen for anyone who does Children’s, Preteen or Student Ministry.  It’s really cool stuff, but the only catch is that they can only do this for 144 hours, then it’s over.

This deal ends on Thursday at noon…that’s in 2 days…just sayin’.

If you want to turn $97 into $2,000 for your ministry, snag this and don’t cry yourself to sleep on Thursday night.  Dave Ramsey would be proud of you!

Visit to check it out.

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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Kidmin, Resources


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CYMLC 2012

Children & Youth Ministry Leadership Conference 2012

I had the honor of taking my 2012 workshop presentations for a test drive today at the 16th annual gathering of children and youth ministry leaders at CYMLC in sunny Murrieta, CA.  As promised to those who attended my sessions, I’ve uploaded my notes here.  If you’d like the slides that go with them, comment below and I’ll pass them your way.

Tapping into Teen Helpers in Children’s Ministry


This workshop examines best practices and next steps for getting teen helpers involved in children’s ministry at your church. From getting your youth pastor in your corner to a how-to guide for getting teens to serve in your ministry, learn how to take your children’s programs to the next level by effectively integrating teen leaders onto your team!

Turning Parents Into Partners: Family Ministry 101


Family ministry is more than just large events and Sunday morning handouts that end up in the church parking lot. In this workshop, we discuss the best ways to create a church environment that encourages parents (and other adults who bring children to church) to partner with your children’s ministry team as you raise up children in the faith together. We also examine the common pit-falls that family ministry models fall into as well as simple ways you can make your ministry more family-friendly.

 I’ll be leading expanded versions of these workshops at Group’s Kidmin Conference this Fall.

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Kidmin, Orange, Resources


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When You Least Expect It

When you least expect it

Open positions you can’t afford to overlook

Recently, I’d had the chance to connect with an amazing organization that is committed to connecting the best churches with the best children and family ministry staff in a hope of revolutionizing the way that the Church-at-large reaches the next generation.

Currently, there are two open positions that you’ve gotta check out – even if you’re happy where you’re at, God can call you out of your comfort zone when you least expect it.

Pastor of Family Ministry in Washington – Crossroads Community Church

Director of Children’s & Family Ministry in Naperville, IL – The Compass Church

Both of these churches are doing pretty creative things in the world of Kidmin.  Full details about the positions and church profiles can be found by visiting:

If these positions aren’t quite the perfect fit for you, but you’d like information when other jobs come available, send me a DM on Twitter (@anthony_prince) or a private message on facebook ( – all inquires will be completely confidential.

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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Kidmin, Resources


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The Traditions of Christmas

The Traditions of Christmas

Our families share their Christmas Traditions

We have a parenting fellowship that meets on Sunday mornings at our church.  We discuss parenting, marriage and family life topics.  Homebuilders, for Glenkirk, is a community that’s smaller than a church service, but bigger than a small group – allowing parents a next-step into community with other believers (and some non-believers) who seek to raise up Christ-following kids.

This year, at our last gathering before Christmas break, some of the families in the group shared their family traditions around Christmastime and I thought I’d share them here.  These might give you some ideas for traditions your family can start, or just give you a picture of what some of the families in our communities do to celebrate Christmas.

Families were asked to submit their Christmas Traditions…
Here’s how they responded:

  • Eat Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve.
  • Have Santa has come to our house every Christmas Eve, they love it and we go to church.
  • The best part is Christmas day when the entire clan gets together (26 and growing).
  • We got an “Elf on the Shelf” a few years ago, and it is one of our favorite traditions.
  • Glendora Christmas Stroll
  • Advent Cards
  • Visit Live Nativity Scenes
  • Neighborhood Cookie Exchange w/ Santa Claus and Snow
  • Give kids $ to buy Christmas presents for everyone at dollar store
  • Read the Christmas story
  • There’s the usual baking, decorating and getting dressed up for church.
  • Play “Christmas Guess Who” (this is for a large group).
  • We also play bingo after dinner!
  • Make Puppy Chow and deliver it to friends and neighbors.
  • Drive together in the Yukon and look at Christmas lights wearing Santa hats.
  • Advent calendars for the boys from Trader Joes.
  • Everyone knows that the one gift they will “surprisingly” open on Christmas Eve will be P.J.’s.
  • After presents Christmas morning, we have “eggie” casserole and bagels, lox and cream cheese.
  • Listening to Amy Grant’s Christmas album while decorating the tree
  • After putting the kids to bed on Christmas Eve, my husband & I enjoy Mimosas, wrapping & watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on TV.
  • Do the “What God Wants For Christmas” story
  • Take turns opening presents one at a time and will even stop and play with a present if one of the kids wants to…
  • Have the kids also give each other and each of us presents
  • We also have Eggplant Parmesan for dinner and Thin-Hotcakes for breakfast
  • We always buy a tied up tree and open it up at home
  • Give the kids new Christmas PJs on Christmas Eve.
  • Read the Bible on Christmas morn before we open presents
  • Have Cinnamon Rolls and hot chocolate on Christmas morning
  • At our dinner parties or when we host Christmas eve, we section the Luke 2 chapter in as many pieces as we have guests (kids included) and we read our parts around the table as our prayer.
  • We make about 10-15 loaves of cinnamon bread starting at the crack of dawn Christmas morning to give to neighbors and friends.
  • On Christmas Eve all the kids perform the Christmas pageant and then we sing “That’s How Christmas Came to Be.”
  • We go to my in-laws and have a white elephant gift exchange after dinner.
  • We celebrate St. Nicholas day on Dec. 6. The night before the kids put their shoes out and they get little goodies (a small gift, Clementine, candy cane, and chocolate gold coins)
  • We read stories about the real St. Nicholas and it is helpful to tie our Christmas traditions to a real person and the kindness he showed for others
  • We buy our kids three gifts each: something they need, something they want, and something that’s a surprise
  • We have a traditional Norwegian meal on Christmas eve
  • Santa brings 3 gifts, just like Jesus received 3 gifts.
  • We choose one Christmas card each night from those we’ve received in the mail and pray for that family/individual before dinner.
  • We bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  Then we sing to him and blow out the candles after Christmas dinner.
  • We spend the night with my brother’s family Christmas Eve and wake up to cook bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls and open gifts.
  • We spend the whole day playing with new toys and playing over-the-line.
  • Strawberry Farms Christmas Tree
  • Christmas Music
  • Opening a present on Christmas Eve (always PJ’s)
  • Church on Christmas Eve,
  • Christmas Lights- drive around
  • Angel on top of tree
  • Cookies and milk for Santa
  • Mrs. Claus lingerie (after the kids go to bed, of course)
  • Our nativity scene
  • Calendar that counts down to Christmas
  • My favorite, second only to baking with the family, would be our family night where we let each person open two gifts:  pajamas and then an ornament
  • We read the Christmas story (from the Bible) and Santa Mouse.
  • Our family always gets our our Christmas tree the first weekend of December.
  • We pop popcorn, drink eggnog and hot chocolate while we decorate and after its all done, the kids “camp out” on the floor in front of the tree and watch a Christmas movie until they fall asleep.
  • On Christmas Eve, we order pizza, go to Christmas Eve Service and then open one present
  • Do Elf on the Shelf which is huge fun and helps with behavior!
  • Get hot chocolate and drive around looking at lights.
  • Sprinkle oats mixed with sparkles on the lawn Christmas Eve for Santa’s reindeer.
  • Always watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Vacation” on Christmas Eve.
  • My wife and I started a tradition because she came from a family that never put a topper on the tree, while mine always did. So here is our compromise — we put the toppers on my science fiction awards…!
  • A family tradition all year long… Our family does finger food Friday: appetizers for dinner and play games or watch movies
  • For years we went the Disneyland when kids were little…. We took a break…. We’re starting it back up this year!
  • The past few years we have had MOM and Son friends night at the Crooks with dinner and games or gift exchange….
  • We always watch Mary Poppins Christmas
  • We read the night before Christmas and still leave milk and cookies for Santa!
  • Make gingerbread houses together
  • Read Christmas books that were put away for the year
  • Watch the Polar Express Making hard cinnamon candy
  • Pull out the Little People nativity set
  • Christmas morning always includes homemade cinnamon rolls
  • We wake up Christmas morning, gather on mom & dad’s bed   for a Bible reading of the Christmas Story, then we pray and thank God for his many gifts to us, and we ask for grateful hearts for the many gifts that we are about to receive this day.
  • Lots of baking
  • The one item we make and keep for Christmas day is our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake!
  • We have an “adult tree” with our breakable ornaments and a “kid tree.”
  • One of our big family traditions: Progressive Dinner.
  • Christmas dishes and advent quilt come out December 1st.
  • Christmas boxers
  • Surprise Night
  • Reading Luke 2 and singing “Happy Birthday Jesus” in the hallway before presents.
  • Monkey Bread Christmas morning
  • The nativity manger is empty until Christmas morning

Do you have a tradition you’d like others to know about?  As always, feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Kidmin, Resources


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