There are always drawbacks to using free services in church. You get what you pay for. And, generally speaking, ad supported software is not recommended for use in a live environment. One of the things about using the free version of Spotify is that is that the audio ads play randomly and cannot be muted. I bet you already see where this is going.


Read More

Why Limited Budgets Can Be Good for Your Family Experience

Christine Kreisher
Orange Conference 2013

“A family experience is a shared experience for families designed to engage parents as partners, with a strategy to shape the faith and character of their kids that serves as a catalyst for what happens at home.” Reggie Joiner

Internal Collaboration

It all starts with vision…why FX?
Communicate to leadership and staff how your FX will help to flesh out the vision of your church
Who are the 5 most influential families in your church?
Who are your potential core leaders?
Leverage influence…identify kids and students who will serve on your team

Strategic Community Partners

Create partnerships with local businesses whose values are in line with yours…family, community, etc.
Develop a promotion/marketing strategy. Social media is a must
Make a list of business owners within your congregation and create a win-win
Ask for donations “You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

  • Had a local restaurant donate an iPad and they got to make the presentation of it to the winner.
  • Creative story about giving away a widget for “Wisdom.” Called a local dentist, the dentist provided stress ball wisdom teeth with their logo on them at no cost to the church.

Top Ten Budget Saving Ideas

  • Free marketing techniques: press releases, tickets, invitation cards, paint car windows, Facebook, website
  • Free widgets and give-aways
  • Free and low cost set design options
  • Free costumes and props (get donations from church community)
  • Generate income through snack bars and novelty sales
  • Scripts, Feature presentation, and Get Reel videos from 252 Basics
  • Technical equipment
  • Collections for local non-profits create community presence (charge an “admission” of an item for the food pantry or something similar)
  • Music:
  • Recruit to a bold vision

About the Speaker:Christine Kreisher

Christine Kreisher

Christine serves as the Family and Connections Pastor at Glad Tidings Church in Reading, Pennsylvania. She’s a published author of a children’s curriculum called “Follow 4:Kidz” and a CD/DVD resource, “Launching an FX: Tools to start a Family eXperience.” Christine has been the featured speaker for numerous local, regional, and statewide conferences. Her diverse life and business experiences have allowed her to connect with clients and audiences ranging from church leaders and volunteer teams to corporate executives. Christine is married to her best friend and business partner, Jim. They have three incredible sons and never a dull moment!


I discovered this site quite a while back, but hesitated to share it because of the quantity of stuff that was available. Seeds is a ministry provided by Church on the Move out of Tulsa, OK. They do a fantastic job with their ministries and have decided to make all of their resources available for free. This is great especially for small church with no curriculum budget. You can get high quality material for free and you don’t have to design everything yourself.

seeds resources

They have a variety of resources available including, children’s curriculum, youth curriculum, adult sermons, audio files, graphic stuff, and motion worship songs and loops. Everything is free to download and use and it is well worth your time to browse the site.

I’ll be honest, what I’m most excited about is the kids worship music I found. These are excellent videos that we will be incorporating immediately. I downloaded all of them to use. I also downloaded a few of the worship loop backgrounds and have already started using them.

The resource site is located at or just click the image above.

What’s Up?

Jared M —  April
4 Notes

Not sure if you were wondering or not, but just in case, here’s a little update. I just finished up a major migration of all of my sites, including this one, to a new host. If you do a lot with websites, you know how much of a pain that is. If not, well, just be glad you’ve never had that experience. Now that everything is moved and seems to be working properly, I’m ready to get back into the swing of posting regular content and resources for you. YAY!

businesscard_template_usBut at a personal level, there has been a lot of stuff that has gotten in the way of blogging but has been a major blessing to me. At the beginning of the year, I left my second job working as a wire clerk at a bank. This job had served as my home 40 hours a week and enabled me to continue to do ministry in my small church while still providing for my family. For a while now, I’ve felt that the job was no longer where I needed to be for a variety of reasons. After much prayer and searching, an opportunity came for me to join the team of At the time, I was not fully aware of what my job description would look like, but I knew it was the right place for me to be.

I’ve been working with ROAR for the past three months and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m working with a variety of churches helping them build and maximize their apps. It’s a customer service position which is something I am wildly passionate about, so it fits me well.

Because of the arrangement with ROAR, which is not full-time work, I have been able to spend much more time working with my church. This was the biggest win of the whole deal. Over the last few months, our church has been through a lot of stuff and up until January we had never had a pastor that kept office hours (both myself and our senior pastor worked full-time day jobs). Over the last few months, I’ve been more available to our church and have been able to be there for hospital visits, funerals, and just those moments when they need to talk.

I thought once my new job arrangements started, I’d have tons of time to write. That has not been the case, but consider this post the shot in my arm to get me back into writing. I have discovered a ton of new resources that I just cannot wait to share on here. Also, next week I will be posting live from the Orange Conference, which is always a treat.

Update: Winners of this contest have been announced and contacted. Thanks for your great comments and make sure you subscribe to this blog for more great giveaways like this one!

Kidzmatter Giveaway

I love getting a great deal. I tell everyone I can about the nice, black dress shoes I bought for $2 a few years back. They had only been worn once but I proceeded to wear them nearly everyday for two years. That’s a really good deal! This week, the Children’s Pastor Conference is happening in Orlando. If you are there, you ought to stop by the Kidzmatter booth 701. They have this great deal they are making available. It is $2000 worth of materials for only $99. That’s enough resources to keep your ministry going for a year (and for less than $2 a week). The good news for those of us who could not make it to CPC is, they are making this same deal available on their website. This deal ends Saturday night at 6:00 pm EST, so you need to act fast. Even better news for five of you, they are allowing me to give away five of these packages for free! Keep reading to find out how.

Big Bundle Deal 2

Read More

Free CPC Tickets

Jared M —  January
Add A Note

Update: Both tickets have been given away and I’m happy to report that I feel that the recipients are very deserving. I’m glad to see how this worked out and thankful for the folks at My Healthy Church for making it happen.

I have been blessed with two free tickets to the Children’s Pastor Conference in Orlando next week, but I will not be able to use them. I’m looking for someone to use them, but since it is so close, I do not want to run a contest or anything. Here’s the deal. The first person to give me a legitimate reason to give them the registrations gets them. I’ll also separate them, so if you only need one, let me know that too. Leave a comment or send me an email through the contact me form.


  • These tickets only cover registration and not travel or other expenses. This is a great opportunity for someone who is already going to bring a spouse or other team member.
  • Please do not waste these. If you honestly do not plan to go, please do not try to get them. That would just be rude.
  • These tickets were provided to me by My Healthy Church.
  • If I haven’t given both tickets away by Friday afternoon, they will be forfeited so I’d like to give this away as soon as possible.
  • Sorry for the late notice.

Please help me spread the word! Tweet it, put it on Facebook, call your friends. Let’s bless someone and get them to Orlando!

Preschool Nativity

Merry Christmas from Small Town Kidmin. God bless you and your family this season.

I Heard the Bells

Jared M —  December
Add A Note

Last Friday, when my post went live, I had no idea what would happen just moments later. I wrote a post wrestling with my personal struggle of sharing my good news while knowing others are suffering. And then, as the news unfolded of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I could not help but mourn for those parents who had lost children in this horrific tragedy. I kept putting myself in the shoes of those parents rushing to the school, frantically calling out the name of their child, but receiving no response. My heart is broken. Worst of all, this has happened at Christmas, a time when we are celebrating joy, peace, and the light entering the darkness.

church bells

In all this, my mind has been drawn to one of my favorite Christmas carols, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” I love the story behind this song. Written on Christmas day during the Civil War, it was the author’s observation of the devastation and brokenness of man that surrounded him. On Christmas, the fighting stopped for one day, to celebrate peace on earth. Yet the hatred and war continued.

I’ve included below the lyrics of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who penned these words in 1863[1]. I’ve bolded the last two stanzas as they have especially spoken to me over the weekend. The second to last stanza is one of complete and utter desperation but the final stanza is one of victory.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on the earth, good-will to men.”

And this is my all-time favorite version of this particular song.

I love sharing the stories of what God has done for me and my family. I love talking about the times God showed up in miraculous ways. These stories form my testimony of God working on my behalf, albeit often more slowly or in ways that I would not have chosen. I love sharing those stories, but I admit that it is often difficult to share them freely. Too many times, I’m afraid that by sharing the stories of what God has done for me, I am sending the message “God loves me more than you. That is why he miraculously met my need while you continued to suffer.” I do not believe that in my heart for one second, but I fear that is the story others hear.

sad boy

Take, for example, the story of my family’s Christmas miracle. While this story brings me so much joy, it happened just a month after someone I care about very deeply had a miscarriage. The question then becomes, why? Why does God sometimes show up in amazing ways and sometimes He lets us suffer? Why does one person get a new and better job just days after being laid off, while another who has worked just as hard waits a year or more for something that still is not as good as the job they had. Why does one family member die of cancer and another is told they are miraculously cancer-free? And why do we simultaneously quote Romans 8:28 to each of these people?

I wish I had a simple answer to this, I really do, but I do not think it is a simple question. I do know a few things, though. God loves the world so much, that He sent his only Son for our forgiveness and reconciliation. If God never did anything else for me, I can rest in His love knowing that. God is not a respecter of persons, meaning He does not have favorites and His spirit is available to all. Each one of us is uniquely His favorite.

I still think it is important to share our stories of what God has done and to celebrate those stories accordingly. However, I think we always need to be aware of the stories of others. We can never truly know what someone is going through, so it is important to recognize that people may not always respond as we expect them to, and that’s okay. We need to make sure our stories do not point back to our families, but to our family’s God. And in all things, we need to make sure the love of God is known.