3 Steps To A Spectacular Kid’s Ministry Group That Matters

3 Steps To A Spectacular Kid’s Ministry Group That Matters


Reading Time: 3 min 3 sec


I dropped my head in my hands and sighed. A sense of dissatisfaction eked into my soul. I must be missing something. Why is it that every Monday starts with such a promise? I have these great intentions of working ahead, dreaming, evaluating, or even time spent recruiting.

Instead, my week seems to fly by in an endless cycle of crisis management. I feel like I am constantly behind as I run to fill volunteer slots, send out newsletters, attend staff meetings, and prep for upcoming events. 

I want to build a Kids ministry that is more than checking a box. I want to create a ministry where kids’ lives are transformed. If only I could stop the relentless clock of Sunday morning long enough to figure out how to get there. This isn’t what I signed up for…

Today, we will talk about three steps to building a spectacular ministry group that actually matters.

Point #1- Pro-Active Vs. Reactive   

Point #2- Wonder

Point #3- Seek Wisdom 

mom life

1. Point #1-Pro-Active vs. Reactive  


A quick stop at your local bookstore will overwhelm you with the endless variety of leadership styles available. We could easily dive down the leadership rabbit hole, never to return.  We want to focus on briefly addressing a reactive and proactive style of ministry.

A reactive leader spends their days running around putting out fires. They are great at problem-solving. And though they passionately care about their ministry, they can live in the moment and never take the time for big-picture planning. This leadership style, left unchecked, can be stressful, and exhausting, and can quickly lead to burnout.

A proactive leader on the other hand can see the big picture. They are gifted at making sure they meet their long-term goals. They can get so caught up in planning for the future that they can struggle to address daily issues promptly.

I am here to advocate that as leaders, we need to develop both our proactive and reactive skill sets. Have you ever heard the phrase, “What gets talked about gets done?” My variation on that is, “What gets scheduled gets done.” We need to block out and protect time in our weekly schedules to focus on our long-term goals, otherwise daily tasks will dictate our ministries.

At the same time, we need to develop healthy flexibility, understanding that the needs of our pastoral role do not always match a pre-planned schedule. A healthy ministry can’t run on autopilot. Like anything else, it needs regular evaluation and maintenance.

Next Steps- Are you a reactive or proactive leader? If you have not already, block out time on your schedule to focus on evaluation and long-term planning. Set up safeguards to protect that time on your schedule (i.e. set a reminder on your phone, turn your phone to silent, and treat it as a standing meeting on your schedule).  Check out Trello. It is a free, visual time management software that has been very helpful in my own ministry setting.


2. Point #2- Wonder


You have blocked out your schedule…now what? These last two steps are not in any sequential order. I would encourage you to write down your vision or goal for your kid’s ministry. Start with this exercise if you are struggling to articulate a vision for your ministry.

What are the characteristics of a child that has just graduated from your ministry? What do you want them to have experienced, learned, and developed while in your kid’s ministry group? What tools do you want them equipped with?

Imagine one of your families has just graduated their last child from kid’s ministry. What would you have wanted them to have experienced, learned, and developed as a family in your church? Duplicate this process with your volunteer team as well.

Don’t rush through this process. Give yourself time to research, to learn how kids connect best with Jesus. Don’t forget to incorporate your church’s vision and purpose in your overall plan for kid’s ministry. You want to confirm that your vision for the kid’s ministry is in step with the overall vision of the church. The last thing you want to do is to create a silo ministry that is not working in tandem with the rest of the church. The vision for your ministry is the foundation upon which everything else is built. This can sound overwhelming, but as the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.”

Next Steps: Check out organizations like the Children’s Spirituality Summit for the latest research on the Christian spiritual development of kids. They offer a conference every year where pastors and educators encourage, brainstorm, and learn together. They also publish all of the keynote topics from the conference in a book which you can find on Amazon.  I buy it every year it’s that helpful.


3.Point #3-Seek Wisdom

Even the best vision cannot happen in isolation. We need to take the time to hear from God. It can be challenging to hear from him on a deadline. I would encourage you to utilize several days of your blocked-out time to create space to be with Jesus. Take a prayer retreat or a walk to a park.

If you don’t do this regularly, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Silence your cell phone (or leave it at home). Go for a walk, sit at a park, or in a quiet place. Nature is one of the primary ways where people meet with God. 

mom life

Spend a period in silence, practicing listening for his voice. Present your heart to God. Sit with him and ask him for his timing, direction, and wisdom. Take your time, and don’t rush this experience.

Talk with your uplink or boss and express your vision for ministry. Ask for their input and wisdom. What do they see that you don’t see?  Spend time in prayer, asking God for his wisdom and grace. Discuss the best time and way to implement the new vision. People have a hard time overall with change. So give yourself and others grace as you move slowly, faithfully implementing God’s vision for your kid’s ministry.

Putting in the work by scheduling time, envisioning a better ministry and seeking out wisdom takes effort but it will provide a framework for a transformational ministry. My prayer for you is that your children’s ministry will thrive and you will witness your kids connecting with Jesus in powerful ways each week.


If you want to know how to get started in transforming your Kid’s Ministry: grab our 8 Primary Ways Kid’s Meet With Jesus Guide (below). And join the MIW Community of children’s pastors who are hungry to lead a transformative Children’s Ministry. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to developing your Kid’s Ministry?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


14 Powerful Picture Books That Will Ignite Your Child’s Faith

14 Powerful Picture Books That Will Ignite Your Child’s Faith


Reading Time: 3 min 14 sec


Have you ever searched for Christian children’s books only to shake your head in dismay?  I have only just realized that for most of my life, I have had this thought that Children’s Christian literature is subpar, a chotskies, something you stick in an Easter basket or as an “extra” gift on Christmas morning because you feel like you should.

Even as a child, it seemed like most Christian picture books were trying to portray this cotton candy outlook on life, light but rarely formative.  They were what you read at Grandma’s when you were bored with literally nothing else to do.


It is not until now, as a mother, that I realize that alongside the cotton candy are books dripping with gold.  These books rarely make it to the bestseller list and are hidden in out-of-the-way nooks, but they are formative to our child’s walk with Jesus. We are going to be talking about 14 Powerful Books that will ignite your children’s faith.

1. Children Learn Through Experience

2. The Power of a Truly Great Book 

3. How to Read Christian Picture Books 

4. 14 Powerful Picture Books



1. Children Learn Through Experience 


I discovered that reading stories is not just a way to pass the time or to make sure our child is receiving a solid foundation in Christianity, but as a powerful tool in their walk with Jesus.


Children learn through experience and even though as parents we would like to open their heads and stick in all the right answers to life’s greatest questions, we can’t.  While we have good intentions, the fact is that all of the knowledge in the world cannot trump experience.


My mother loves recounting the story (okay hundreds of them) of myself as a toddler, and my fascination with the stove.  She would constantly tell me, “Alexis, don’t touch that, you will get burned.” But no matter how many times she said it, I didn’t believe her. I reached out touched that stove, and truly experienced the meaning of the word “hot”.


Fortunately, through the power of stories (and the graciousness of the Holy Spirit) our children can experience many different situations and see the consequences without ever leaving the comfort of the couch. Books allow us to experience truth without having to walk through the pain.


2.  The Power of a Truly Great Book


Did you ever read a book as a child that’s truths stick with you to this day?  The book that shaped me, was Anne of Green Gables.  This book which has so captured the hearts of millions of people depicts the beauty of ordinary life.  It showed us how to observe the world around us, how to bask in the beauty of today, how to invest in relationships even when they are messy, how to love well, and how to persevere.


Great books invite you to reflect, allow you to discover, spark your imagination, call out the beauty in the world, and inspire you to new heights. Great books read in community, as a family curled up on a couch, give you a shared vocabulary, a way of relating to each other and the world around you. They not only build life-long memories, as you wrestle together, with ideas and concepts, but they allow your child to form their outlook on life.


Reading great Christian books together as a family isn’t just a good idea, or something to check off the to-do list, but a simple, yet powerful tool in the investment of your child’s walk with God.


We all learn best in the context of a story. 


3. How To Read Christian Picture Books

I adore books. I love surrounding my children with life-changing literature. However, if I bought every book I read I would need another house. 🙂


The more I read about the spiritual development of children the more I realize the importance of providing select tools for their spiritual development. I look at these picture books as something comparable to what a journal or podcast would be for adults. I would plan to add these titles to your collection over time. 🙂


Unlike books for educational purposes, the goal is not to finish. I know shocker, right!  The goal is to allow space to be present to each other, to listen to the still, soft voice of the Holy Spirit, to wonder, and ask questions.


As YOU read, don’t hurry to turn the page, but take the time to take in the illustrations. At the end, do not rush to teach or share the moral of the story. Trust that the Holy Spirit is touching your childs heart.


Instead, invite discussion. Ask your child what they thought and felt as they experienced this book.  This doesn’t have to be a long-drawn-out affair.  Yes, this can be done with active children. 🙂  Remember that whether you can see it or not the Holy Spirit is at work in the heart of your child.  Enjoy!



4. 14 Powerful Picture Books 

Grab your FREE Beginner Guide to The Deeper Life and join our community of moms who are hungry for more of Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their children.




What about you? What is your favorite Christian children’s picture book?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!

7 Powerful Scriptures You Need To Pray Over Your Kids

7 Powerful Scriptures You Need To Pray Over Your Kids


Reading Time: 4 min 28 sec


Mom, don’t forget to pray over me!” my child murmured sleepily. “I would never forget.” I smiled, and I laid my hand on his head. Following the traditions of thousands of parents throughout the ages, I called on the name of the most high God.


“Father In Heaven, I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke.  God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life.  He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” (Psalm 121:1-8)


Praying Scripture over your children is one of the most powerful gifts you can give your kids. It teaches them about the character of God, it reminds them of their identity in Christ and comforts them with the knowledge of his protection and love.


The combination of words and touch leaves children with the deep sense of being loved, accepted, cared for, and valued.”- Vernie Schor Love


Discover my top tips and seven powerful scriptures you can pray over your children today.  


1. Prayers For My Children: The Importance

2. Prayers For My Children: 7 Powerful Scriptures 

prayers for my children

1. Prayers For My Children: The Importance  


Establishing a habit of praying over your child is so powerful. It teaches them about the character of God, reminds them of who they are, and where they are going.  Praying scripture is a physical act of obedience, a daily surrender of your need to control, and a placing of your most precious treasure into God’s protection and love.


Erik Erikson, the famous child psychoanalyst, believed that “we are influenced by the history of our family and community as well as by present dynamics…The stories of who we have been as a family, a community or a nation affect our expectations, perceptions, and responses. When these stories are recounted and celebrated, their influence increases.”- Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey


By immersing our family in scripture through prayer, experience, study, and celebration, we increase its influence in the lives of our children. By establishing a daily practice of prayer: it models for our children a life lived with God. We communicate to our children that we were not meant to live separated from God.


Children also need adults who are willing to intentionally cover them in prayer. They will face many challenges, and they need adults who will serve as prayer intercessors. Praying Scripture over your child is convenient (you don’t have to come up with any words). And it is a great way to engage in the work of the Holy Spirit in your child’s life.


2. Prayers For My Children: 7 Powerful Scriptures

Here are some tips that you might find helpful. I have found that the easiest way is to pray over my children at bedtime.

Take the time to prepare notecards with key verses ahead of prayer time.  You want to choose verses on topics most relevant to your child’s situation. For instance, if your child is struggling with worry, focus on praying scriptures on peace over your child.

The goal is not to complete a prayer but to steep yourself in scripture. Children love repetition. So focus on one prayer for several days, weeks, or months until you feel the Holy Spirit drawing you to another passage.

I have included seven passages of scripture on a variety of topics to get you started.



Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”


Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”


Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

prayers for my children



Psalm 121:1-8I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?

No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke.  God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life.  He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” (MSG)



Habakkuk 3:17-19, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”




Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”



Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”


If you desire to shape your child’s future, give them a sense of identity, and place a hedge of protection around them, practice the habit of praying scripture over your child. You just might be shocked at how a five-minute investment can change the course of your child’s life.


Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 



What about you? What’s your #1 issue when it comes to praying for your kids? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How To Consistently Read The Bible With Your Child

How To Consistently Read The Bible With Your Child


Reading Time: 5 min 7 sec


I shook my head in despair. This is ridiculous, I thought. I spend more time, energy, and money finding creative ways to teach my children Math and English than I do in fostering their relationship with Jesus.


Our family would go through seasons where my kid’s Bible reading was sporadic at best. I would find myself rushing through a daily devotional too, if I’m honest, check it off the list and make myself feel better.  I deeply desired to raise children who knew and experienced a relationship with Jesus; but my actions were not reflecting my values.  I felt dissatisfied and discouraged.


Thankfully, I stumbled onto the biography of Susanna Wesley, called 7 Women: And The Secret Of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas. She was the mother of Charles and John Wesley, evangelists who were powerfully used by God and who were also the founders of the Methodist church.  She was a mother of 19 children and practically raised them single-handedly (their father was gone a lot). 


Metaxas wrote that there was so much noise in her house that to spend daily time with Jesus, she would often throw her apron over her head to limit the distractions. Now that is a mom I can relate to! 🙂  Even more importantly, she was known for her consistency in helping her children create the habit of spending time with Jesus each day.


If she can do it with 19 kids, while parenting single-handedly, so can I.  After years of trial and error, here are three steps that have transformed how I read the Bible consistently with my children.


1. Reading The Bible: Finding Your Rhythm

2. Reading The Bible: The Right Tool

3. Reading The Bible: Listen And Respond

Reading The Bible

 1. Reading The Bible: Finding Your Rhythm 


As I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom as a child, one of the aspects that struck me was how each morning the family would get dressed, eat breakfast, and start their day centered around the Bible.  Corrie’s father would read scripture aloud, and they would follow it with prayer.

This was a great example of a rhythm. They had three things that started their day. Get dressed, eat breakfast, spend time with Jesus. Those were the priorities, and everything else had to wait.


Yes, life with kids can be unpredictable. Okay, who am I kidding? It is always unpredictable. That’s where a rhythm is so genius. Instead of planning our day around the clock and getting frustrated when life happens, we plan our day around our big rocks, the 2-3 things that must happen every day.  We take our time, finish a task, we just move on to the next thing on the list.


So, when the dog decides to throw up on the carpet or there’s no milk for breakfast etc. you don’t have to stress out.  You know that when you return, time with Jesus is your focus.


Yes, there will be days when reading the Bible with your child does not happen (or anything else for that matter). And that’s okay… that’s life.  But what is amazing is that after implementing a daily rhythm, how life transitions from a reactive to a proactive approach.  Instead of struggling to make devotions happen each day, a rhythm serves as a flexible placeholder for time with Jesus each day.


2. Reading The Bible: Find The Right Tool 


Finding the right tool for the right season makes all the difference in the world. There will be seasons where a long family devotion at home isn’t realistic. That doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and just wait until the season passes until you get back into God’s word.


You can spend time with God using a variety of tools. There are different resources for different seasons. During one season, scripture set to music might be drawing your child to God. Embrace it. Reflect on the words. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your child.


In Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey, authors Stonehouse and May, explain it like this:

Being Christian is rooted in a relationship with Jesus, and relationships are unique; they begin in different ways and at different times for different persons. But however they begin, healthy relationships grow and change across the years. We want to honor the uniqueness of each child’s experience with God, and we want to participate with God in encouraging the development of that relationship, their spiritual formation.”


Talk to the Holy Spirit. What are you and your children drawn to right now? What are you interested in? Trust the Holy Spirit is leading you.  Your child can interact with God’s word through audio, video, activities, songs, prayer, art, and even nature.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Jesus Storybook Bible
  2. The Visual Bible: Matthew and Acts
  3. Praying In Color: Kid’s Edition
  4. The Jesus Storybook Bible Audio
  5. Listening To Worship Music and Drawing


3. Reading The Bible: Listen and Respond 

    A crucial part of reading the Bible consistently with your child is the interaction with the Holy Spirit. The Bible is a living, breathing book.  It is meant to be read actively, not passively. We do this by first inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to us through his word and second responding to what we have read.

    This is KEY. If we are not careful, we can fall into the trap of reading to get it done or to feel good about ourselves. But what God is inviting us into through scripture is soo much better.

    Reading The Bible

    He is inviting us into a deeper relationship with him.  That comes from responding to what the Holy Spirit is highlighting to us (and our children) through the text.

    When you read the Bible with your children, remember that it is all about a relationship. The relationship between your child and God. Allowing space for the Holy Spirit means that as parents, we need to emphasize more silence and less teaching. This forces us to acknowledge that we are not the God of the universe, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher.


    How To Read The Bible With Your Child 

    a. Invite God’s presence. Ask him to speak to you and your child through his word.

    b. Read the story or passage slowly. Notice anything the Holy Spirit might be highlighting.

    c. At the end of the passage, spend some time in silence.

    Give the Holy Spirit elbow room to speak to you and your child.  THIS IS CRUCIAL. This is where your child responds to the reading. You are training your child to take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit.


    Do not jump over this step even if it feels uncomfortable.  When you allow space for the Holy Spirit meditation on scripture goes from head (what I know about God) to heart. The Holy Spirit uses the active, living word of God to transform our hearts.


    c. Ask your child what caught their attention as you were reading. It could be something from scripture or an event that happened that day.

    d. Finish by closing in prayer and thanking God for his active participation in your lives.


    The key to reading the Bible consistently with your child involves establishing a daily rhythm, finding the right tool for the right season, and actively responding to what you have read.  You got this, Mom!


    If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

    What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to teaching your child to love Bible reading?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


    How to Choose The Best Bible For Your Child

    How to Choose The Best Bible For Your Child


    Reading Time: 3 min 10 sec


    Do you ever wonder how to choose the best Bible for your child? Are all kids Bibles created equal? What type of Bible should you be looking for?


    I have a 6th grader this year and I’m looking for an engaging, fun, and informative Bible for my child.” Do you choose a Bible purely based on age-development, or preference?  


    Or do you choose a Bible-based on educational needs? “I need to find a more challenging Bible for my child. She really needs to focus on developing her reading comprehension. Her current Bible is great but I know she can definitely read at a higher level.”


    Browsing the shelves at my local Christian bookstore, I was amazed at the plethora of children’s Bibles available on the market. Everyone from recording artists to chefs and leadership gurus had their version of a children’s Bible on the shelves.  It was frankly overwhelming.


    So how do you cut through all the options and find the best Bible for your child? We are going to share with you the key indicators of quality child’s Bible PLUS our top recommendations for kids. 


    Grab a latte, sit back, relax, and say goodbye to camping out in the aisle of your local Christian book store for good. 🙂


    1. Best Bible: How Children Learn

    2. Best Bible: How To Choose 

    3. Best Bible: Recommendations

    Best Bible

     1. Best Bible: How Children Learn


    The first step to choosing the best Bible for your child is understanding how children learn and process information.  This will equip you with a grid that will help you to remove any stumbling blocks (in your power) that would prevent your child from connecting with Jesus.


    Children Learn Experientially– Kids learn best by getting their hands messy. This process (partnered with the Holy Spirit) allows them to engage their senses and turn head knowledge into heart transformation.


    Children Are Visual Learners– Kids can connect with God powerfully through images. Pictures, concrete materials, nature, and art, all of these play a HUGE part in the spiritual development of our children.


    Children Are Concrete Thinkers- Kids at this stage in their development are typically not able to process abstract concepts.  The stories of Jesus are a wonderful place for children to wonder and experience God through scripture.


    Children Learn Best in the Context of Community-  

    Children form their image of God through relationships with parents, family, neighbors, and friends. They experience God by watching and participating in their local church community. They learn about what it means to live a with-God life through interactions with other adults.


    Children Are Spiritual Beings- Children are spiritual beings created by God. We are called, as parents to join the Holy Spirit in what he is already doing in the life of our child.


    2. Best Bible: How To Choose


    You are at the Christian book store or scrolling through Amazon just ready to find the perfect Bible for your child, what should you look for?   Here are the simple criteria that I use to help me choose the best Bible for my child. This is an adaption of a list found in Listening to Children On The Spiritual Journey.


    a. Does the Bible communicate a loving God?


    b. Are the pictures beautiful and or interesting?

    Nothing crushes interest in a Bible storybook than boring images. We want to be aware of and intentional about removing obstacles that might hinder our children’s experience of God.


    c. Are the words concrete and captivating?


    d. Are the chapters short?

    Seriously, we want to set ourselves up for success. Nothing sucks the joy out of Bible reading than trying to plow through an extra-long chapter with a squirmy child.


    e. Are the stories true to actual text?

    Several versions get a little too free with their artistic license. We want to stay as close as possible to the original meaning and text while still meeting children where they are  developmentally.


    3. Best Bible: Recommendations 

      For those of you who are interested, here is a list of my favorite Bibles for children. Most of these Bibles are well-worn favorites on my own bookshelves. 

      I have to mention that the Jesus Storybook Bible is by far my favorite. I would recommend using that Bible with your child up through the elementary years.  Sally Lloyd-Jones does an amazing job of communicating God’s over the top love for his children. This Bible is a foundation forming tool. It really helps your child form a wonderful picture of the character of God. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! 🙂


      Best Bible

      If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

      What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to teaching your child to love Bible reading?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


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