i met annette through the kidmin conference, but she has greatly impacted my ministry with the release of her book “sustainable children’s ministry”   we are having such rich, productive conversations as a dawson kids staff as we read through her book. first, she starts with questions that really cause you to look at how and why you are doing ministry the way you are. then, her hands-on, practical ideas immediately begin to give you ways to implement the changes she suggests or your team discovers. how i wish i would have had this book early on in ministry. 
with annette’s ministry and consulting experience, she offers great answers to the 5 questions. read her answers and do your ministry a favor and get this book. (she doesn’t pay or ask me to say that.)

1 – what do you see kidmin and family ministry leaders doing right? 
Creating shared experiences for families that engage everyone. It seems like conversations naturally flow out of shared experiences, so when families experience aspects of their faith together, parents are able to naturally foster their children’s faith and dig into questions that they can explore together.
2 – what do you see as the greatest need in kidmin and family ministry right now? 
 The greatest need I see in kidmin right now is for us as leaders to learn how to “give away” ownership of pieces of the ministry. One person can’t effectively execute every aspect of children’s ministry. Our experience becomes so much richer when we work alongside volunteer partners who are invested with us.
3 – if you could have coffee with every kidmin/fammin leader, what would you want to make sure you shared with them? 
     Take time to take care of yourself. Find a a fun way to blow off steam. Whether it’s a sport or a hobby, do something that is just for yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to “shut off” our ministry tasks. Decide when you’re NOT going to work and protect that time. You will be a better leader because of it.
4 – what word of encouragement do you have for today’s kidmin/fammin leaders? 
 What you’re doing is enough. There will always be more to do, and our desire to do more sometimes makes us feel like we aren’t doing enough. Use that feeling of “not enough” to engage others as leaders who can carry forward pieces of the ministry.
5 – why are you passionate about children’s and family ministry? 
 I grew up in a church with a great children’s ministry. I learned how to connect to Jesus at a young age, and I want to make sure that lots of kids get that experience. My relationship with Jesus as a child still influences my relationship with Jesus today.

Annette fell in love with children’s ministry in the 1980s and has never looked back. After graduating from Bible college in 1991 with a certification in children’s ministry, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s from SMU. Over the years, she has consistently served in various roles and in various settings as either a staff member or volunteer team member.

In recent years, Annette served as a director for a rapidly growing children’s ministry, and has been a member of the Ministry Architects team since January of 2012. She is a conference speaker for both Children’s Pastor’s Conference and Group’s KidMin Conference. She lives in McKinney, TX with her husband Kevin, and their two children, and enjoys traveling, cooking, and writing.

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