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Managing for Tomorrow

Jim Wideman

Course Overview

Managing for Tomorrow discusses the effectiveness of puppetry in engaging children and teaching them God’s Word. It emphasizes involving older children and young people as puppeteers to grow in godly character and become disciples. Creative ways of using puppetry are highlighted, along with the importance of giving each puppet a unique personality and consistent traits. Practical tips for using puppets in ministry, voice techniques, and storytelling are provided, encouraging individuals to become effective puppeteers. The course also emphasizes problem-solving in the church, with examples from biblical figures, and offers two methods for tackling challenges. Growing ministries, particularly children’s ministry, is emphasized, stressing the need for organization, time management, and alignment with the pastor’s vision. The importance of recruiting, training, and appreciating workers is highlighted, along with the role of effective leadership in building a successful team for children’s ministry.

What You’ll Learn

  • Biblical basis for puppetry
  • How to make a pupett
  • How do use puppets in children’s ministry
  • Developing a puppet character
  • How to voice a puppet
  • How to move teh puppet
  • How to write biblical stories for Children’s minstry
  • How to problem-solve in Children’s ministy
  • How to grow your Children’s ministry
  • How to organize job descriptions for workers and volunteers
  • How to work with the senior pastor for Children’s ministry
  • How to recruit for Children’s minsitry
  • How to lead Children’s ministry workers
  • How to get workers to help you


1. Using Puppets in Children’s Ministry

The lesson emphasizes the effectiveness of puppetry as a tool to engage children and teach them God’s Word. It highlights the significance of involving older children and young people as puppeteers, enabling them to grow in godly character and become disciples. The instructor discusses the creative ways puppetry is mentioned in the Bible and how it can be used to teach children through symbols, costumes, and room decorations. Developing a puppet involves giving each puppet a unique personality, consistency, and a biography to reflect important lessons. The lesson provides ten different ways to use puppets in children’s ministry, such as introducing memory verses, making announcements, and engaging in conversation. Practical guidance on voice techniques, movements, and story-telling is offered, emphasizing the importance of practice and variety. Overall, the lesson encourages individuals to work hard and become effective puppeteers, making a positive impact on children’s spiritual growth and engagement in ministry.

2. How to Be a Problem Solver

The lesson emphasizes the importance of being problem solvers in the church, working together to support the pastor’s vision. Problem solvers are leaders who tackle challenges and seek solutions rather than waiting for others to solve the issues. Throughout the Bible, we find examples of problem solvers like Moses, Joshua, David, Joseph, Daniel, and Jesus. Problem solvers may not know the answer in every situation, but they explore, seek advice, pray, and take risks to find solutions. The lesson provides two methods of problem solving, including seeking God’s guidance through prayer and using a ten-step approach to analyze and address problems. It also advises against common pitfalls and encourages relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance throughout the process. Being effective problem solvers in the church requires wisdom, communication, and a reliance on God’s leading.

3. Organizing Children’s Ministry for Growth

The lesson emphasizes the importance of growing ministries, specifically children’s ministry, and how it is just as significant as adult ministry in God’s eyes. It highlights the need for organization and time management, seeing ministries as problem solvers, and working in line with the pastor’s vision. The lesson encourages making plans, training successors, and recruiting workers with a clear vision. Effective communication, training, and evaluation of workers are vital for successful growth. The instructor stresses the importance of constant improvement, making changes when necessary, and handling growth with the ability to receive. Building a great ministry takes time, consistency, and diligence, trusting that God will cause it to grow as efforts align with His will.

4. How to Get Others to Help You

The lesson emphasizes the importance of workers in ministry and the need for effective leadership to attract and retain them. Just as God promises to meet all our needs, including the need for workers, the lesson highlights ten steps to get workers to help with children’s ministry. It encourages leaders to be friendly and outgoing, recruit like Jesus did, set high standards, check and train workers, communicate regularly, and show appreciation. Coaching workers is essential in nurturing their growth and building a strong team. By investing in others and raising up an army of workers, successful and thriving children’s ministry can be achieved.

Course Preview

Managing for Tomorrow

Brad Andrews sits down with Dr. Berin Gilfillan to discussrunning a children’s minstry.

About the Instructor

Jim Wideman

Jim Wideman is a pastor, speaker, author, and ministry coach. He is considered one of the Fathers of the Modern Children’s and Family Ministry Movements. He has over 40 years of experience pioneering ministries, leading some of the largest children’s ministries, and publishing over 15 books. He was the children’s pastor at Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The International Network of Children’s Pastors awarded Jim the “Excellence in Ministry Award” in 1989 for his outstanding work, and Children’s Ministry Magazine in 2001 honored him as one of ten “Pioneers of the Decade” in children’s ministry. In 2012, The International Network of Children’s Ministers presented Jim with their first-ever Legacy Award for his lifetime achievement in children’s ministry. Currently, he serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries at Conduit Church in Franklin, Tennessee.

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