9 Things They Didn't Team Me in College about Children's Ministry by Ryan Frank (Standard Publishing, 2011). I am really thankful for the ministry of Ryan Frank. He is a superstar in children's ministry. Ryan is the Executive Director of KidzMatter Ministries, an Executive Director of Awana Clubs International, and the publisher of K! Magazine. He has served as a children’s pastor for fifteen years, and he also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Network of Children’s Ministry and the American Children’s Ministers’ Association. But the reason Ryan is such an amazing superstar is because he ministers with gospel humility and grace.
The title of his newest book is 9 Things They Didn't Teach Me in College about Children's Ministry. I didn't actually take any college or seminary classes on children's ministry. So, for me, he could have put just about anything in this book. :) I'm really thankful for what he did put here. The book is profound. It majors on the simplicity of the gospel, humility, and love for people. But it is also practical. It applies these profound truths where the rubber meets the road, that is, to practical, everyday kidmin stuff like recruiting volunteers, managing conflict, and making budgets. I'll be having all of our Campus Kids Directors read it.
You can win a copy of the book. I'll give away a copy to the person who becomes fan #140 of SojournKids on Facebook. Click here to become a fan!
Here is a brief summary of some highlights from the book:
In the chapter titled, "How Big is Your Church? Defining a Successful Ministry," Frank writes:
Methodology and programs change, but God's measurement of success never changes. Sometimes we look for creative, innovative, dynamic exciting ways to succeed while overlooking the obvious. Want to know what's really important to God? The gospel!
In the chapter titled, "People Over Paper: Polishing Your People Skills":
Cheering on your team can start with simple notes of encouragement. They go a long way. You can e-mail someone, but I suggest turning off the computer and sending something in the mail. After all, it's nice to go to mailbox and find something other than a bill now an then. I see your head nodding.
In the chapter titled, "The Big 'Ask': Recruiting Volunteers for the Long Haul" (I wish I'd been told this three years ago before I read Reggie Joiner and Andy Stanley!):
Having ministry descriptions shows exactly what's needed and what the qualifications are for the different ministry positions. In baseball, the requirements to be a pitcher are known. That's why a batboy knows he isn't ready to pitch. In children's minsitry, there might be someone who would be a great organizer but isn't ready to teach. Ministry descriptions help people get into the right positions and not get frustrated.
This book is full of these kinds of gems. Thanks again Ryan!
I received a complimentary copy of the book, 9 Things They Didn't Teach Me in College about Children's Ministry, from Standard Publishing for review purposes.