Managing for Tomorrow

Jim Wideman

Managing for Tomorrow

Build a successful children’s ministry.

4 Video Lessons

Watch, listen, and learn as Jim Wideman shows you how to manage tomorrow by building  successful children’s ministry.

Course Guide

A FREE workbook that guides you through the course.

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Course Preview

Managing for Tomorrow

Brad Andrews sits down with Dr. Berin Gilfillan to discuss running a children’s ministry.

Course Overview

Managing for Tomorrow explores puppetry’s effectiveness in teaching children God’s Word, emphasizing the engagement of older children and youth as puppeteers to foster godly character and discipleship. It advocates for creative puppetry, stressing unique personalities and consistent traits for each puppet. Practical tips cover ministry use, voice techniques, and storytelling. The course addresses church problem-solving using biblical examples and provides two methods for challenges. Growing ministries, particularly in children’s ministry, are underscored, emphasizing organization, time management, and alignment with the pastor’s vision. Recruiting, training, and appreciating workers are emphasized, highlighting effective leadership in building a successful children’s ministry team.

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 underscores puppetry’s efficacy in teaching children God’s Word, advocating the involvement of older youth as puppeteers for character growth and discipleship. Biblical references highlight creative puppetry applications through symbols, costumes, and room decor. Crafting distinct puppet personalities with consistent biographies imparts valuable lessons. The lesson suggests ten ways to integrate puppets in children’s ministry, from introducing memory verses to making announcements. Practical guidance on voice techniques, movements, and storytelling emphasizes the importance of practice and variety. Overall, it encourages dedicated puppeteering efforts for a positive impact on children’s spiritual growth and ministry involvement.

2. How to Be a Problem Solver

The lesson underscores the importance of church members as proactive problem solvers, uniting to support the pastor’s vision. These leaders take initiative in addressing challenges instead of waiting for resolutions. Drawing inspiration from biblical figures like Moses, Joshua, David, Joseph, Daniel, and Jesus, problem solvers exhibit a willingness to explore, seek advice, pray, and take risks. The lesson outlines two problem-solving methods: seeking divine guidance through prayer and employing a ten-step analytical approach. It cautions against common pitfalls and advocates reliance on the Holy Spirit. Effectiveness in church problem solving demands wisdom, communication, and a steadfast reliance on God’s guidance.

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.

Trimester 5



No. of Sessions

4 Sessions

Running Time

1 hrs 41 min



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About the Instructor

Managing for Tomorrow
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. Willie George Ministries launched a direct-to-video spin-off of The Gospel Bill ShowThe Candy Store,  a program for pre-schoolers that featured Lefty Wright (Jim Wideman), who also provided puppetry for the show. 

The International Network of Children’s Pastors awarded Jim the “Excellence in Ministry Award” in 1989 for his outstanding work. 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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