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The Dangers of Child Centered Parenting

Child. Centered. Parenting. We hear it all the time – “My child is my world.” It sounds cute and maybe even honorable. Who wouldn’t want to give up everything for their children, right? But what happens when we focus too much on our child’s wants, too much on pleasing our child, or too much on making sure our child is happy all of the time?

Child centered parenting is a common phenomenon in this day and age. It’s the parent who gives into a child’s tantrum, the parent who takes out a second mortgage to pay for their children’s sports activities, or the parent who will ignore all other relationships while their child is still living with them.

But one day, hopefully, your child will leave your house. And when they do, they will cease to be the center of your world. Yes, we still love them and care for them. But if we don’t show teach them that the world will never revolve around them, they will have a hard time getting along in society.

If a child doesn’t learn to handle disappointment, boredom, or face the fact that we have to do things we simply don’t want to do early on in life – then adulthood will be very disappointing.

What will happen if they don’t feel like going to work? Or paying the water bill? It’s okay for a child to see that you have a life outside of them. Yes, we want to meet all of their needs. But in order to avoid ‘child-centered parenting’ we want to set limits on their WANTS.

Teach your child the difference between their needs and their wants. Always meet their needs. Set limits on their wants. This way, when they are an adult, they will learn to be self disciplined. What happens when we, as adults, always give into our wants? It leads to addiction, obesity, or idolatry.

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

James 1:14-15

Where sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

Teach your kids the valuable life lessons of dealing with their disappointments, boredom, and discipline while they are still young. Then, you will have raised happy, healthy adults that are prepared for the real world!

Upcoming: Child Centered Parenting: A Biblical Example

Want to know how to tackle Child Centered Parenting or other common parental problems? Keep an eye out for my upcoming course Practically Imperfect Parenting! I’ve been teaching this course for a few years now and I’m about to make it public! Details coming soon!

Women’s Ministry: Planning the Upcoming Year

It’s hard to believe that 2019 is about to come to a close! Our church just concluded our annual Women’s Conference and it’s already time to start planning for the New Year. Planning is a crucial step for any ministry. How do you plan an entire year of ministry events? Let me walk you through our process from the previous year….

1. Listen to the Spirit

It was October 2018 when I was invited to a friend’s wedding. I was able to find a babysitter for all 6 of my kids – thankfully, and my husband and I went to the wedding to enjoy the evening. It was during the ceremony, as I watched the bride and groom say their vows that I suddenly had a thought drop into my head: “What will it be like when we ‘marry’ Jesus?”

I mean, the church is referred to as The Bride, right? Revelation speaks about our reunion with Jesus as being a Wedding Feast. And that’s when I realized that the Holy Spirit was leading me to study this topic.

2. Pray

Not every thought or Bible study is meant for the corporate body. Sometimes, God just shows you things that would benefit you. So, how do we know the difference? We pray. I prayed about this idea and decided to bring it to my ministry team.

3. Pitch the Idea to Your Team

We have an entire Women’s Ministry team that works collectively. Yes, someone is there to make the final say, but we try to pray about different events and make decisions together.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22

When I pitched this idea to our ministry team, everyone thought it was a great idea. Since no one had any opposition, we saw this as confirmation from God. Once we had our main idea, it was time to start planning the details.

4. Decide Your Theme

We decided to focus on 2 verses for the entire year:

  1. Revelation 19:7, ” Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb and his bride has prepared herself.”
  2. Isaiah 62:5, “For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”

When looking at the Revelation verse, it says, “the Bride has prepared herself.” This naturally led to the question, “How do we, as the church and as individuals, prepare for the coming of Jesus?” We also wanted to focus on the fact that God rejoices over us and has already chosen us. We came up with the theme: “Preparing the Bride of Christ: Finding Joy in the Covenant.”

5. Plan…But Allow Room for the Spirit to Move as Needed

Our women’s ministry meets once a month. We planned each meeting to incorporate the theme of Preparing the Bride of Christ. We met in January to launch the vision for the women of our church and every month held a teaching to bring us closer to our ultimate goal: A Women’s Renewal at the end of the year where we renewed our vows in Christ.

Did everything go smoothly all year long according to our plan? No. There were some hiccups along the way – but ultimately, we concluded with an all day event full of fun, teaching, and fellowship.

Click here to see a video we created featuring our final vow renewal.

It was almost one year from when God gave me the vision to the completion of our study. I learned so much all year and the women of our church were blessed.

When we listen to the Spirit for guidance, he will give us the exact teachings the women of our church need to hear. He will equip you with the speakers, the planning, and the organization to do exactly what he calls you to do. All we have to do is listen, pray, and plan.

I’ll be posting a video of our final teaching and be giving you more details of what we did at our Renewal in my next few posts!

If you need any assistance planning, forming, or organizing your event, Contact Me! I’d love to help brainstorm and give you practical tips on how to make your Women’s Ministry year a great one!

5 Simple Ways to Be a Better Parent

Most of us want the best for our kids. At least, I can safely assume that if you’re reading this, you agree with that statement. But what is the ‘the best’? Is it lots of toys, a nice house, a private education???? While those are all great things, I want to propose that the BEST thing for your kid is YOU! That’s why I’m offering some tips – 5 Simple Ways to Be a Better Parent….notice I said ‘simple’ – not easy.

1.Put the Phone Down!

Pay Attention to Your Kids

Like I said, it’s not always easy. But in this digital age, we can become so consumed with our Facebook, Twitter feed, or YouTube videos, that we forget to actually look our children in eyes.

I’m not immune to this. When my 3 year old knows I’m not really paying attention when she asks me a question, she quite firmly says, “Mommy, look at me.” This is her crying out for my undivided attention. And it works! I deliberately try and focus all my attention on her, if only for a few minutes. But those few minutes are so important to her.

2.Get Them Off the Screen

Just as it’s important for you to be mentally present with your children, it’s important for them to develop the relational skills that take place when you go for a walk, play a board games, or simply sit and talk.

Too many kids are becoming apathetic to the world around them while engaging in their virtual realities. This is both unhealthy and children who spend too much time on the screen are more susceptible to depression, bullying, and obesity. These were the actual results of a recent Pediatrics Research Study.

3.Don’t Underestimate the Ministry of Kickball!….or Simply – Be Active

Doing physical activities with our children is great bonding time! Get outside, go for a walk, or toss a ball around. When my husband and I worked for a children’s home, we had up to 10 children living with us. We had lots of fun family time playing kickball in the front yard.

We had a teenage girl come to live with us – a foster child whose heart had been hardened by her life’s story; and the way we bonded was by working out. I would take her swimming, rock climbing, and go on bike rides with her.

Be Active!

I’m currently training to run a race with my 2 oldest boys. It’s so much fun to spend time together working towards a common goal. It’s important to be active with our children. It not only provides fun ways to spend time together, but it helps them develop long lasting healthy habits.

4. The 10:1 Rule

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I thought it was so good that it is worth mentioning again. When I was at a Dave Ramsay conference, one of the speakers talked about the importance of of spending quality time with our children. She suggested devoting your attention to your child for at least 10 minutes everyday, and a longer period of time at least once a week.

10 minutes a day, 1 longer day during the week. This is a great rule of thumb to make sure you’re spending quality time together. Sitting in front of the TV, or staring at your phone while they’re sitting next to you isn’t ‘quality’ time. Be mentally present. Ask them how their day went and really listen. Play a favorite game or draw a picture with them. Then, one time a week take them out for ice cream or go for a long walk just the two of you.

When you make this a habit, it’s something you and your kids will learn to not only enjoy, but look forward to. Our children will know that we are setting a special time aside just for them. It may seem hard to find the time, but our children are worth it!

5. Pray For Them and With Them

Yes, it’s important to pray for our children. Pray for them as they wake up, when they go to school, when they leave for soccer practice, and when they go to sleep. Constantly and consistently pray for your kids. The world has become a scary place and our children need all the protection we can give them.

Pray for their friends, their health, and their future spouse. It’s also important to pray with your children. Let them know that you are praying for them. When they have a bad day at school, pray with them about it. If they are fighting with their friend, pray with them about it.

This not only helps them see that prayer is important, but over time they will see the power that prayer has over their lives. It will give them a tool to use when they are older and find themselves in a situation where they don’t know the answer. Pray.

Be the best YOU you can be!

I could write an endless list of way to become a better parent. Not every way will fit into your family. The trick is to find what works and go with it. As long as you keep trying, you’ll keep growing in love and in your relationship with your child. YOU GOT THIS!

Slow Down…Be Still

It’s cliche. But life seems to go by so fast. All. The. Time. It doesn’t seem to stop. We keep going from one thing to the next with out room to breathe in between. But what happens when you’re forced to slow down? What happens when life makes you take a break? What could happen if we are simply STILL?

I was forced to slow down this week. An old back injury that creeps up every now and again flared up and I was left without the ability to carry out my normal routine. I wasn’t able to perform household chores. I wasn’t able to go to the gym. I was barely able to get out of bed most days.

At first, I was upset – that’s putting it nicely. I was frantic and thought I was going to go insane. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband and a great support system at home…and, after a few days of pouting and coming to the realization that I was going to take it easy whether I wanted to or not, I actually began enjoy the slower pace.

There is a reason why the Bible tell us to “Be still.”

Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

When we take time to slow down – to see what life really has to offer, we find that God is in control. And if we let Him control our schedules, our time, and our pace we just might find that life – in all it’s craziness – can be peaceful.

Why do we stress about our time, our money, our future, or even about today? Because we want to be in control. When we are still, we have the opportunity to KNOW God. If we focus on God, and not our schedules, we will see that He is God – and He’s got this.

Even in the midst of a busy schedule, take the time to Know God. Slow down – even for a minute. You’ll be glad you did!

Be Still and KNOW that I am GOD!

Children and Choices – Clarified!

If you’ve researched any types of parenting techniques, you’ve probably come across the idea of ‘choices.’ There are many schools of thought on this topic. You’ll find anything from, “Stop giving your children choices,” to “Give your children lots of choices.” How do you decide what’s best for your child? Let’s talk about children, choices, and bring some clarity to this topic!

No one likes being told what to do all of the time. This includes our children. However, too much freedom of choice can be overwhelming and instill a sense of independence outside of the respect for authority. Our children need to know how to follow specific instructions but they also need to know how to make smart, informed decisions on their own. Using choices is a great way to accomplish both of these when used wisely!

A Sense of Control – When They are Younger

2 Choices, both make YOU happy

The idea of choices can give your child a sense of control over their lives. It invites them to participate in the decision making. When our children are younger, this can help prevent some power struggles. If a child is struggling to follow instructions, give them a choice. Only offer 2 choices – too many can be overwhelming. Make sure both choices are options that make YOU, as the parent, happy.

If you want your child to get dressed, but they’re struggling to listen, try something like, “Would you like to put your socks on while sitting on the couch, or sitting on the floor?” This way, their socks get on their feet. When we offer choices that make us happy, we take the focus off of what they CAN’T do and bring their attention to what they CAN do.

You can do this for anything! “Would you like to wear your boots or your sandals to the store?” “Would you like to stop crying and continue to play, or would you like to cry in your room until you’re finished?”

Choices can also be fun! Get creative and offer your child lots of 2 option choices. “Would you like to go to the car while walking on your hands or on your feet?” “Would you like to wear your coat backwards or forwards today?” By offering lots of choices, your child will be more receptive for when you get to make the choice. “Mommy has given your lots of choices today. Now it’s my turn.” They still might protest, but it let’s a child feel secure knowing they have many choices too.

This way, our child has a sense of control over their lives, but at the same time their choices are not overwhelming. As our child grows and matures, their options will become less controlled by us and the responsibility will shift to them.

Teaching Opportunities – When They are Older

Giving our children lots of choices when they are younger and gradually letting them make more decisions as they mature, will teach them how to make good choices when they are older. A child will naturally learn from the consequences of their choices. If your teenager is faced with a difficult situation, they will learn to look at all their options. They will ask, “What choices do I have? Which choice will bring the best outcome?”

Embrace Every Teaching momen

Sometimes, they’ll need our guidance. We can use phrases like, “What do you think you should do? Do you want me to offer you a choice?” They will gradually learn to form their own choices and with some guidance from us, they will learn how to make informed decisions. This can be as simple as, “Should I go to youth group, or should I go to my friend’s birthday party?” Either decision might be okay, but they will learn that those are decisions they will have to make their entire lives.

However, if we’ve been guiding them and teaching them how to make good choices when they are younger, they will know how to think through things when they are older. When someone offers them drugs or alcohol as a teenager, they will know how to think through their options to make the best decision.

The Ultimate Choice

Our kids will have to make the ultimate choice in life – to follow God or not. God gives us a clear choice. This began in the garden. Adam and Eve were given many good options for food to eat. However, the serpent distracted them by making them focus on the one thing they could not have.

We need to direct our children to all of the choices they do have. They have many blessings in life – just the fact that they have socks and shoes to wear is a great privilege that most children in the world don’t have.

We can learn from this too! By focusing on all the things that God has given us, we will be less worried about the things we believe we are lacking. If we model good decision making for our children, they will make good decisions in life.

Choices are good, but ultimately there is only ONE choice that matters. If you do nothing else as a parent, show them how to choose Jesus!

The ultimate Choice

Don’t Go To Church…BE The Church!

Church isn’t a place. It’s a People. (Marvel fans, that was for you!)

Church is a People

But seriously, when you think of the church, how often do you think of a building or physical location? Maybe it’s just the place you attended as a child or possibly a camp you went to when you were younger. I want to submit to you today that the physical location or the existence of a building doesn’t constitute a church just because a name of a denomination is in the title. We simply don’t go to church…we need to BE the church!

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe that everyone should belong to a church – a physical family of believers that gather frequently to grow deeper in their faith. This does necessitate some sort of common meeting place. We should meet with one another so that we, as The Church, can be strengthened through our common bonds. The Bible encourages this.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT

But going to church and being the Church are two separate things. Romans 12:1 says we need to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Being “Living Sacrifices” often calls us out of our comfort zone. If church (our Sunday morning gathering) is comfortable and we live everyday in the ‘comfort’ of other believers, then we are not Being the Church.

If we love Jesus, then we will naturally want to do His Will. His heart will be our heart, His thoughts will be our thoughts. We want to see the world through Jesus’ eyes. And what does Jesus tell us to do? How do we become the church?

Do you love him? Jesus asked Simon Peter the same thing. This was their conversation.

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. John 21:15-17

How are we to be the Church? Feed His lambs. Take care of His sheep. Feed His sheep. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to step into a messy world. Sometimes ministry is messy. Jesus loves people. We are called to love them, care for them, and show the unbelievers the truth behind the gospel.

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

Romans 10:14

If we never step out into the world – step outside of our comfort zone, then those who don’t believe might miss their opportunity.

Practically acting this out looks different for every person and every family. Our family has taken in children that need a home. Maybe you are the type of person who can visit those in the hospital or in prison. If you need some ideas, here is a short list of some things you can do:

  • Keep Ziploc bags of water/tooth brush/tooth paste/and small food for people on the street
  • Volunteer at your local food pantry
  • Give out blankets in winter to those who need them
  • Tie scarfs around lamp posts in your city for the homeless to find
  • Visit those in the hospital, in prison, and in the nursing home
  • Invite people into your home for a meal
  • Take the neighbor some cookies
  • Sponsor a child overseas

I want to encourage you do some of these things with your families. It’s so important to teach our kids how to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Get them involved at an early age. Let them help make the cookies or pick out items for a needy family. Then, let them be actively involved in taking it to the person. This is how we model Jesus for our children. This is how we become the Church.

What about you? How are you impacting your community? How do you show Jesus to the unbelievers around you? Let me know in comments below. I would love to hear more ideas on how to practically walk out our faith.

If you Love Him, take care of His sheep.

Don’t Fall into this Parenting Trap!

We’re all guilty of it at some point. It sounds so warm and fuzzy. The fact that it’s a trap is counter intuitive to our natural instincts. But when we practice this style of parenting, our children turn into selfish adults whose relationships are based on their own gains and not the other people involved. It’s called Child Centered Parenting. Don’t fall into this parenting trap!

“My child is my world.” It sounds nice. But when you drop everything all the time to make sure your child is always happy, you end up creating a 2 Timothy 3:2 child.

” People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,”

2 Timothy 3:2

Does that sound familiar? Many children and young adults today are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, ….

It’s a bit of a paradox. Parents don’t intentionally parent so their kids grow up to be selfish. They are so afraid of being ‘too hard’ on their children that they go completely the opposite and actually give them too much. They struggle to teach their kids the difference thier wants and their needs.

When we think of our children as completing our world, we teach our children that they are the center of the universe. Children do NOT complete a family – they simply expand it. Think about a husband and wife holding hands. If a child stands in the middle, he pushes the mother and father apart. Instead, a better image of a healthy family dynamic is for the mother and father to each hold hands with the child. They embrace them as part of the family – not the center of it.

Child Centered Parenting

Child-Centered Parenting fosters family independence, not
family interdependence. Children who perceive themselves
to be the center of the family universe too often grow into
selfish independence…Independence robs a child of the
opportunity to invest. Where there is no relationship
investment, there is no reason for family loyalty. Other
people (parents, siblings, peers) matter only to the extent
that advantages are gained by maintaining relationships.
What the child can get out of relationships, rather than
what he can give, forms the basis of loyalty.

Growing Kids God’s Way

Just because our kids are not the center of our world does not mean we don’t care for them, love them, and have lots and lots of fun with them. We want to be involved parents who show our children that their happiness does not rely on getting everything they want; rather, we find joy in being with and serving others.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Galatians 5:13-14

The way we teach our children to love others is by modeling love to them. If we treat our children with the same respect we expect them to show us, their siblings, their peers, and their future spouse, then we need to be actively involved in being with our children in a healthy parent-child relationship. We can teach our children to understand the difference between their needs and their wants by setting healthy limits and discipline them in a loving manner.

Above all, we love our children. We model Jesus and do our best to show Jesus to our kids every single day. If we make Jesus the center of our family and not our kids, we set them up for success. They will learn to have healthy relationships by serving others and they, too, will learn to make Jesus the center of their lives.

Keep Christ at the Center of Your Family.

4 Big Parenting Mistakes We’re All Guilty Of

parenting mistakes

Let’s face it. As parents, we’re not perfect. We love our kids, we do the best we can, but we all make mistakes. It’s hard to break old habits and sometimes it’s just easier to give in than turn our children’s imperfect behavior into teaching moments. Here are four big parenting mistakes we all make when it comes to disciplining our children and how we can do our best to avoid them!

1. Bribing

Bribing or begging kids to behave

The first mistake we are all guilty of is bribing. Bribing is when we try to exchange a gift or reward for our children’s good behavior. This is when our child is already behaving poorly and we bribe them to stop.

We’ve all been there. Our two-year-old is throwing another tantrum in the grocery store so we give them candy in hopes that they will be quiet so we can avoid embarrassment. Bribing teaches our kids that we reward bad behavior. If our kids always get something good for acting poorly, they will continue to act poorly to achieve the same result.

Bad Behavior = Candy (or whatever I want that makes me happy): A child thinks, “If I act this way, I will get what I want.”

Instead, we should expect good behavior from our kids. Kids should not expect to get a reward every time they behave. However, we want to reward good behavior as often as possible. This doesn’t have to be anything big or fancy. A simple verbal praise will suffice. “I loved the way you shared your toys today! Great job!”

If a child does something exceptionally good, then I will reward it – but not always. On the other hand, I always make sure bad behavior is not rewarded. If one of my kids throws a fit in a store, I generally buy all the other kids a small piece of candy at the checkout counter and say, “This is for kids who did not throw a fit. You can try again next time.” It generally only takes once, if the child is stubborn sometimes twice, in order for them to correct their behavior for the next time.

2. Empty Threats

Threatening Kids

Have you ever flown off the handle and made a ridiculous threat that you couldn’t back up? Maybe something along the lines, “If you don’t stop you will get no TV for a year!” We can say things in the heat of the moment that we realistically can’t follow through.

As parents, if we give out a consequence, we need to follow through. Our words are so important. We need to choose the hills we are willing to die on because if we decide to fight a battle – win!

If your child is behaving poorly, stop, take a breath. Evaluate the situation and decide if this is something that is annoying (and it just irks you) or if it is a behavior that needs to be corrected. A three-year-old asserting their independence by wanting to choose their own clothes might be annoying if they choose to wear one sandal and one snow boot. But if you’re just going to play in your backyard, is it a big deal? Whereas a child who doesn’t want to put on their shirt to go to church might be an issue.

If we ‘threaten’ and say “If you don’t get dressed you’ll go back to bed,” but realistically we need to leave the house now because we’re already late, our child learns that we won’t really follow through on our consequences and test you every time.

Take a breath. Evaluate the situation. Is it a big deal? What kind of consequence will make us happy? Remember, if we threaten to take away the TV, then we need to provide another source of entertainment – or we will get annoyed and eventually cave in. If you’re going to ‘lay down the law’ – make sure it’s a law you can keep!

However, when we use an ’empty threat’ that we know we can’t follow through on, we can turn that into an opportunity to talk about God’s grace and show our child that we are willing to forgive.

3. Negotiating

Negotiating, like bribing, is something we see happen frequently. Have you ever witnessed a parent say, “Eat all your food or no dessert.” Then, a few minutes later, “Just eat your hamburger or no dessert.” And again, “Okay, only three more bites and you can have dessert.”

The child went from having to eat everything, to just a few simple bites. What will happen the next time the child does not want to comply with the rules? They will wait until the parent starts negotiating until their ‘rule’ becomes so minimal that they are willing to comply. And kids will wait it out once they learn they can!

This is why our words are so important. Choose your battles and stick to your rules! Set the bar for your kids, and then make them rise to the occasion!

4. Repeating

Repeating

So many parents undermine their authority by constantly repeating themselves. When a parent repeats themselves, the child learns that they don’t have to listen the first time.

If you request something of your child, expect them to do it the first time. If they don’t, they have a consequence. This is why I’m not a fan of the 1…2…3 technique. Think about it this way, a policeman will not pull up beside your teenage driver and yell, “I’m pulling you over if you don’t slow down in 1…2…3.”

Real-life consequences happen without warning. We should prepare our children for the real world early on so they can avoid the pain of learning this later on in life. It’s easier to teach a child to follow through the first time than it is to teach a teenager or young adult.

As a parent, a child will learn to respect you if you require immediate and complete obedience.

Final Thoughts…

Our parenting goal is to teach our children about Jesus and teach them how to follow God’s word. If our children learn that they don’t have to follow our rules, how can we expect them to follow God’s?

Give yourself lots of grace. I still make these mistakes. But when I do, I try to learn from them and move on. Parenting is hard, but with a little work and a lot of Jesus, we can do this!

You can do it!

7 Things to Think About When Planning a Women’s Ministry Event

So you want to host a women’s event. Great! But now what? Sure, it’s fun to sit and talk about what you’re going to do and how fun it’s going to be. But when things get right down to it, there’s planning, decorating, advertising – it takes a lot of work. Here are 7 things you might want to consider when planning a women’s ministry event.

1. Location

7 Things to think about when planning a women's ministry event
7 Things to Think About when Planning a Women’s Ministry Event

Maybe you want to do a retreat and get away – how far are you willing to go? How far is your intended audience willing to go? These are important questions to ask yourself before you get too far into the planning phase.

Maybe you’re hosting the event at your church. Great! Where exactly? The gymnasium, the sanctuary, the youth room…. think about what you will be doing during the event and how many people you plan on accommodating. Do you need certain permission to use a specific space and from who? When deciding the exact location, don’t forget set up and clean up. How much effort do you want to put forth in those areas? That will determine your layout and might help you decide exactly where you want to host.

2. Music and Sound

Will you need music? It might be nice to have something playing when people are arriving. Will you do worship? If so, will you have a live band or play music from a sound booth? If you worship, how will people know the words? Will you print them out or have them displayed on a screen?

Even if you don’t have music, do you have a speaker that needs to have a microphone? Do you know need someone who runs sound to help you out with this? Will you use a wireless mic or hand held?

These are all great questions to hash out before the day of the event. It doesn’t look like a well thought out or professional event if you’re running around trying to mic your speaker but can’t get it to work 5 minutes before your start time. I know we all have hiccups and things go wrong, but being prepared to the best of our abilities beforehand will help eliminate some of the hassles.

3. Volunteers

Every great event requires people. And people are hard to recruit. If you need volunteers for your event, start looking early. Get excited about what you have planned and that will make others excited too! Don’t just ask them in passing on a Sunday morning if they want to help, actually invite them out for coffee and share your vision.

Find people who love to serve and help. Then, pair them with the area that THEY feel best qualified to do. This allows them to use their gifts in a way they enjoy. If someone really loves setting up tables, let them do it! If they have an eye for decorations, ask them to come up with some of their own ideas.

4. Clearly Defined Roles

If you want to get more volunteers, have clearly defined roles for each position. What does ‘set up’ team entail? Does that mean moving chairs and tables, or does that mean placing centerpieces – or both?

You need to designate a person to take out the trash, turn off the lights, and set the thermostat back once you’re finished… I have found that if you offer many little jobs that people can handle easily, then you we tend to have more volunteers. This helps people not feel so overwhelmed or feel like they have to ‘do it all.’

Communication is key when working with a team of others. Let everyone know their positions so there is no question as to what they are suppose to do. On the other hand, make sure everyone knows who is in charge of each area so if there are questions, people know who to go to. I love the idea of everyone in charge of an area standing out in some way. I call it the ‘orange lanyard.’ If I know that someone with an orange lanyard is in charge, then at least I know they can answer my question or point me to someone who can.

5. Advertising

How will you get people to your event? Is it just for your church, or are you opening it up to the community? Does your church have a social media account you can post the information to? What about a website?

Sometimes, making an announcement from the pulpit is an option. Maybe you can post your event to different community calendars in your area. Whichever decision you make, you need to begin advertising early and often. Don’t underestimate ‘word of mouth.’ Start talking about the event with your friends and ask them to pass it along.

Also, when you advertise your event, make sure it’s clear. Have the date, time, and who the event is for. Don’t forget to put a cost or let them know if it’s a free event. The less questions people have to ask, the more effective the ad will be. If I can’t tell what an ad is promoting, then how can I care about that event?

6. Transitions

If you want your event to run smooth, think about your transitions beforehand. How will your audience know when it’s time to start? When the speaker is finished, who announces what is happening next?

Make it clear to your guests what will happen and the order of the events taking place. This makes everyone more comfortable. It’s awkward when the person who is ‘in charge’ starts getting the deer in the headlights look when they don’t know how they are going to go from worship to introducing the speaker. It’s also embarrassing if everything is over and you haven’t thought how you will dismiss everyone and let them know. Have someone designated to handle the transitions smoothly.

7. Prayer

Prayer is Vital!

I know this is the last on the list, but it’s the FIRST thing you should do. Prayer is so vital to planning and preparing anything. Prayer is how we find out from God what we should do. Because if God’s not in it, what’s the point? We can plan all we want, but we need to make sure we leave room for His direction so we fulfill HIS purpose.

Once you have a vision, ask people to keep you in prayer. Ultimately, when you’re planning something that is intended to enhance God’s Kingdom, you are sticking a target on your back to be spiritually attacked. Satan doesn’t want to see us succeed. But having powerful prayer warriors around you and praying for you and specifically for your event – that is how we fight those attacks. We conquer them through prayer.

I would also encourage you to pray at the event. Maybe open and dismiss in prayer, but also have a designated prayer team for people who might need prayer during the event. And pray afterwards. After we pour our hearts and energy into something we think is going to be great, usually comes more attacks about how something wasn’t ‘good enough.’ Pray. Pray. Pray. Don’t forget this step. It’s so crucial!

Are you planning a women’s event? What other common needs or roadblocks arise during the planning process? If you want some ideas, or simply prayer, contact me or let me know in the comments below. I would love to help you plan your event or be with you in prayer. May you be successful in doing your part to grow God’s Kingdom!

Five Ways to Handle Toddler Tantrums Like a Champ!

Are you a parent raising a toddler? Then you’ve probably experienced a tantrum or two…or three, or four. Toddler tantrums can be embarrassing in public, frustrating in the home, and difficult to handle at times. But there are a few things you can do to ease the stress and parent with a smile! Here are 5 Tips to Help you Handle Toddler Tantrums Like a Champ!

It happens at the dinner table when they don’t like you’re serving.

It happens when you leave the park.

It happens when they can’t have a toy from the store.

It’s that everlasting battle to leave the house on time – find the shoe, go potty, find the matching shoe, grab the coat, can’t find the right shoes, tears, tantrums…you’re already late and you know you’ll go through it again the next morning.

It happens. Day in and day out – it happens. Toddler tantrums! And there’s nothing we can do about them…well, that’s not entirely true. Parenting is hard. But here are a few tips that can help the next time your child is due for a tantrum.

1. Prepare Your Child

Surprises aren’t always fun. No one likes to be caught off guard. Prepare your child ahead of time anytime you’re about to leave the house, park, or anything that will cause your child to have to change location or activities.

Always state your expectations and remind them of the rules beforehand.

A five-minute warning.

“We’ll be leaving in 5 minutes.”

“In 5 minutes, it’s time to go to bed.”

“5 more minutes, and then it’s time to clean up.”

Set Expectations

“We’re going into the store. No whining. I know you can do it!”

“Remember, we do not run inside church.”

“Use nice words and share your toys while playing with your friends.”

2. Prepare Yourself

It doesn’t matter how many times you prep your children, there will still be tantrums and tears. But, it will be easier if you prepare yourself ahead of time. If you know it’s always a rush to get out the door in the morning, pack a bag of extra clothes and shoes to keep in the car.

Give your child a 5-minute warning.

If they’re being slow, pick them up and put them in the car. You already have extra clothes on hand just in case!

If you know your child always struggles at the store, remind them of your expectations, but have a friend on standby who can come get your child and take them home when the tantrum hits. Make sure they have NO FUN with your friend. (After you’ve done this once, you might only need a time or two more, but it will stop grocery store tantrums.)

If you don’t have a friend, smile and just ignore it the best you can. Go through the drive-through on the way home and order an ice cream. When they ask for one, simply say, “I get one because I didn’t throw a fit at the store.”

Try to think of possible solutions before a tantrum occurs. This way, you’re prepared to handle it like a champ!

3. Planned Ignorance

Most of the time, a tantrum is due to disappointment when a child does not get his or her own way. A child continues to throw tantrums because they expect to change your mind, get the outcome they want, or they’re seeking attention. If you give into the child when while they’re throwing a fit, they will learn that a tantrum is what they need to do to get what they want.

If they are not hurting themselves or others, let them throw a tantrum. Don’t acknowledge it, or make eye contact. It might be hard to do this in public, but the more you ignore the fit, the faster they will realize that they don’t get what they want. This will help decrease the frequency of tantrums overall.

4. Take Simple Actions or Use Simple Words When Needed

You can’t ignore all the tantrums all the time – especially if a child is hurting themselves or others. In these cases, the child needs to be removed from the situation. Calmly pick up the child and carry them to a safe place. This could be their room, a crib, or if you’re in public, they might need to go to the bathroom until their fit has ceased.

Simple actions include buckling them up in the car seat yourself, using the strap in the cart at the grocery store or on the high chair, or removing a toy that they threw across the room.

There is no need to lecture a 2 or 3-year-old. Use simple phrases such as,

“That’s mine now. Maybe you can have it later.”

“I’m sorry you’re acting this way.”

“You can come out when you’re finished crying.”

“We’ll try again when you’re ready to be nice.”

“Dinner is over. You can try again later.”

5. Have Fun When Your Child is Behaving

The most important thing you can do to decrease the number of tantrums in your house is to have fun while your child is behaving. Once the tantrum starts, all fun stops. Once the tantrum stops, the fun starts again. Let your child know that you still love them and move on with the rest of your day.

Remember, everybody has bad days. Tantrums are a natural part of a child’s development and they are actually a good thing. Ever wonder why your child’s behavior is always better for someone else? A tantrum says, “I’m comfortable enough to share my emotions with you.”

So, you’re not a failure as a parent just because your child throws tantrums. You’re normal! But now you have some tips to help you the next time your child decides to throw down!

For more tips see 5 Ways to Parent Intentionally and Build a Better Relationship with Your Child

Or, for tips on Spiritual Development check out To Train Up a Child