Archive for March, 2011

Mar

31

2011

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2011 Director Training

This past weekend was a very sweet time for our camp leadership to come together and begin dreaming and training for the summer. We spent a ton of time talking about what it means to be a leader at camp and how to follow God’s leadership as we journey together through the summer. As you can see from the photos, we had a blast. We spent time building relationships with one another and just having fun. The ropes course was tackled, the alpine tower was climbed, movies were watched, and the card game, Nerts, was certainly played. But more importantly, relationships were built, God was honored, and leaders grew.

We are getting ready for an exciting summer of ministry as we tackle the subject of how God provides. Pray for the leaders of the team that you’ll have at camp. Pray that they finish well with their school work and jobs, and that they will spend quality time between now and the summer preparing the details and also preparing themselves to lead their team well. We truly believe that as a church group leader, you are in great hands. These Godly young adults are ready for an awesome summer of ministry. Are you?!

 

Andy Dukes

Andy serves as Event Coordinator for LifeWay Kids. He graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky. He served on summer staff (Crosspoint & CentriKid) for 7 summers and moved full-time at LifeWay in 2008. Andy's wife, Meghan, is a 2nd grade teacher and they attend Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, TN where he serves both on the worship team and also as a community group leader.

Maybe You Should Start from the Beginning, Again

I love to observe folks who are hungry for knowledge as they ask questions and experience the growth of learning more about their passion for ministry. This week, I’m spending time in my “usual spot” for Beta Conference… and each time I observe these sessions for new ministers, I walk away with good ideas to improve my ministry and work. I have heard some of these workshops 3 or 4 times, but still have room to grow and improvements to make!

A few times a year, our department hosts a “Kids Beta Conference.” These 3-day events are designed for those who are new to children’s ministry, and the goal is to help equip them for the journey of ministry with pre-schoolers or kids. Klista Storts works to get these events organized and she does a wonderful job hosting the groups each time.

Usually I spend about half of each Beta Conference event sitting off to the side at the tech table with the media computer making sure things run smoothly…. so I get to be a part of some really great workshops and Q&A sessions.

Beta Conference participants come in all ages and levels of experience. Some have been ministers for years, but have only recently begun working in children’s ministry. Others are completely new to the game. My biggest takeaway this week is that no matter your age or experience, there is something to learn. I find that when I consider the vantage point of a “newbie” in ministry, I am able to come away with a fresh new perspective, and some great new ideas for my own ministry.

So my challenge to you is to consider a couple of aspects of your work or your ministry with the eyes of a beginner. There may be things that you see differently than before… There may be changes you can make today for the good of your church or family… Or there may not be many things you would do differently right away… but I guarantee that you’ll be better from opening up your mind to consider a new perspective.

If you or someone you know is new to their preschool or children’s ministry role, you can send contact information to Klista Storts…she is always looking for upcoming Beta Conference invitees. For those of you who have been to a Beta Conference at LifeWay before or have observed one, please comment below to share a couple of things you’ve learned from the experience!

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

Mar

29

2011

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Are you a giver? Or a taker?

Several years ago, I read a great book entitled Love is the Killer App – How to Win Business and Influence Friends by author and business expert Tim Sanders.  The premise is that you gain more by giving away… giving away your knowledge, your networks, your compassion…  He goes on to make up some great words like “lovecat,” which he defines as nice, smart people who succeed in business and in life.  Sanders argues that “lovecats” are better people and better employees because they’re constantly giving.  And that’s a lot like what Christ did for us.  He gave us his wisdom, his help and, ultimately, his life.

Sometimes in the ministry-business world – if we’re not careful – we can see ourselves as just competitors… with other churches, other non-profits or other Christian businesses.

But what about good friends?

It seems that only the church we serve, the camp where we work or the business that pays our salary care anything about the competition.  The person shopping around is simply looking for what works best for him and his ministry.

If you want to succeed, I truly believe you must see your “competition” as friends.  And don’t stop there.  Make them your friends.  Be on a first-name basis.  Add their number to your speed dial.  And give away … your knowledge, your networks…

Your business or church wins when the person shopping around sees that you care more about connecting with others, as opposed to knocking out the competition.

Do you know the other kids’ ministers at churches near you?  Have them on speed dial?  Had lunch with them lately?

Anyone know Reggie Joiner?  I am trying to get a meeting with him.



2011 Camp Prep #2: Fundraising Ideas

To prepare for camp, we know lots of you guys do some really awesome fundraisers to help lower costs for kids.

Here are some ideas that we’ve posted in the past.
Check those out and glean what would work for your church group! There are even some ideas that are outside of the realm of traditional fundraising that are posted here.

 

Here are some ideas from facebook that group leaders just like you submitted:


What does your church do for fundraising? Does your church do sponsorships or scholarships for kids?

 

Check back next week for Camp Prep #3…. Details for the Team Assistant Program!

Mary Carlisle

Mary is a University of Mobile grad, with a BA in English and Theology. She worked with CentriKid Camp starting as a staffer in 2007 and began working in the camp office in 2010. She joined the VBS team in November of 2012.

Mar

25

2011

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Meet Jessica Herrell: Director of CK1

Jessica Herrell will be directing CK1 this summer. They will be headed to Lee University, Ridgecrest Conference Center (June 18-26), Campbell University, Shocco Springs (July 4-10), and Norman Park.

“I am originally from Gatlinburg, TN. I am currently a student at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. I am graduating in May with a degree in Physical Education & Health with Teacher Licensure. Right now, I’m in the process of student teaching in a middle school and high school. On a random note: a little girl at camp last summer begged my to pull her loose tooth– I DID!

This will be my 3rd summer working CentriKid, but 1st year serving as Camp Director. Previously, I have been a Team Leader and Rec Leader. Serving as a camp staffer has completely changed my life and reaffirmed my calling to work with children. Even though every week of camp brings new challenges and new stories, several things are always consistent–my love for kids, my love for serving others, and my love for Christ. My life has been infinitely blessed because of the ministry of CentriKid Camps. One thing I am very excited about for this summer is to serve at Ridgecrest, because, when I was an adult sponsor there 3 years ago, the Lord called me to work camp. Funny how things work out!


One of my favorite passages is 2 Timothy 4:2 –“…proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.”

Even though this passage is speaking of proclaiming to Gospel, I can apply it to teaching and working with students as well. You have to love them and respect them, because of who they are. I correct them and encourage them, because I care for them. You also have to search through their baggage and everything else in their lives to love them and teach them effectively. Building positive relationships with my students has gotten me farther than any amazing lesson I can teach.

I’m look forward to meeting and serving some of you all at camp this summer!”

Mary Carlisle

Mary is a University of Mobile grad, with a BA in English and Theology. She worked with CentriKid Camp starting as a staffer in 2007 and began working in the camp office in 2010. She joined the VBS team in November of 2012.

Mar

24

2011

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Why Volunteer?

Whether you are trying to recruit volunteers or are a volunteer yourself, there are many hurdles. By human nature, we tend to look out for ourselves. It’s sometimes hard for us to sacrifice time, money, and relaxation for the good of others. Volunteering does many different things for different types of people, but here’s the main reason why I like to volunteer in kids ministry…kids are fun.

Last Sunday, I volunteered in the preschool ministry at my church. The lesson was on the 10 Commandments. After singing a song (and having no musical ability whatsoever), helping make “tasty tablets” for a snack, and taking a potty break with 4 year olds, you tend to realize just how much your ministry would suffer without volunteers.

It’s amazing how working with kids is an instant throwback to when you were that age. I’m sure some of you children’s ministers out there know what I’m talking about. One of the reasons why I love kids so much is that they are hilarious. Hanging out with a kid is like taking a small vacation back to when you were 5.  While coloring a picture of Moses, one little guy said, “My dad says I need to color in the lines. I’m trying so hard but it’s just not working!”  I can honestly remember those days. It was tough.

Same coloring sheet, different kid: “Is this before or after Moses went up on that hill? I need to know if I should color his face bright yellow.” And also, “Is this the same Moses that was a basket case?” “Are you talking about the basket Moses was in as a baby?” “Yeah, that’s it. He was IN a basket case.” So full of questions! At such a young age, they retain so much information. You are literally teaching them things they will remember forever.

My plea is this: Go out and volunteer your time with kids’ ministry. It’s such an awesome responsibility that the Lord has given us!

Jen Hall

Jen graduated from Morehead State University, and has worked at CentriKid Camps since 2007.

Mar

23

2011

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GAME IDEA: Easter OMC

Last Spring, our friend Jared told us about an incredible idea! Change your same ole’ same ole’ Easter Egg Hunt into an exciting activity that will keep even your preteens involved!  It’s called…
EASTER OMC.

Simply place your OMC tasks into eggs, in place of candy or other prizes.  Once a kid finds an egg, he has to complete the task inside.  It’s no longer about finding eggs, but completing the fun tasks found inside the eggs!  The team, or child, with the most completed tasks wins the game!

Remember the 3 Rules of OMC.
1. You can’t say, “NO!”
2. Don’t enter the NO FLY ZONE.
3. Return equipment to the NO FLY ZONE.

This year we’ve added a few EASTER TASKS that you can use alongside the Official OMC Game. Simply print several copies of these 8 new tasks and use them as part of your Easter OMC activity.

Visit our OMC Page for more details… and, as always, send us your pictures or videos of this fun event!

Meredith Teasley

Meredith studied at Samford University and Beeson Divinity School. She worked camp for 8 years, then served in full-time children's ministry in Virginia before joining our team in January 2009.

Mar

22

2011

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Meet JE & Baby Madison

As you meet our camp directors and office team members on the blog, I wanted to introduce myself and also give folks a peek at our brand new baby girl, Madison.  My wife, Emily, and I have been waiting for our chance to adopt a baby for over 2 years … and just this month we got Baby Madison.  We are thrilled to have her and consider it a blessing to finally be parents!

My role at LifeWay involves lots of behind-the-scenes details with CentriKid Camps from hiring camp staff to working out details with our many different camp locations.  I enjoy the opportunity to serve with our office team and be a part of kids ministry.

We look forward to this summer as God will be doing awesome things in the lives of campers … as well as the adults who bring them and the staffers who lead them!

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

Mar

21

2011

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2011 Camp Prep #1: Group Leader Information

Teams are staffed and details are almost all nailed down. Camp is right around the corner…and I’m sure you are feel it approaching, as always, more quickly than expected like we do in the office. Here are a few things to make sure that you have become familiar with before you get on the bus to head to camp! In fact, you probably want to check these out today… just because they are that cool!

If you find a page that looks like this… then you are in the right place!!

Our Group Leader Info got a major facelift again this year. There’s more information in these pages than you could possibly need. You have questions? Group Leader Information has the answers. Even if you are a seasoned CentriKid veteran, make sure you check it out because there are new details, a few schedule changes, and parent pages to equip your parents to prepare their kids for camp, as well as continue the conversation about what they learned when they get back from camp.

Definitely do these things and let us know what you think of them!
1. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and select your location, then dates that you are attending. All documents are specific to location AND dates so make sure that you get the right week of camp’s info!

2. Watch the video here about Group Leader Information. It’ll help… and share this one with parents.

3. Check out what’s new on the first few pages of Group Leader Info! Read up on the 6th grade hang out on the last night of 5-day camps, the camp nurse position, and the off-site missions track for Georgetown College, Millsaps College, and Anderson University.

4. Prepare for your church group devotions time ((it happens every night right after worship — this is the 1 hour time period during the day that you will lead for your campers — it’s a sweet time of talking back through what the Lord has taught during the day)). Church group devos are found right here. Make sure to click the button that says Church Group Devos, print those out, read them, study them, love them, talk about them, highlight them, doodle on them, oh… and bring them with you to camp.

Check back next week for our next Camp Prep post—-ideas on Fundraising for camp!

What do you think of the new look that Group Leader Info has? Are you going to use the parent pages? Ready for Church Group Devotion time?

Mary Carlisle

Mary is a University of Mobile grad, with a BA in English and Theology. She worked with CentriKid Camp starting as a staffer in 2007 and began working in the camp office in 2010. She joined the VBS team in November of 2012.

Mar

18

2011

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Meet Bekah Garr: Director of CK7

Bekah will be serving as the director of CK7, which will be at Campbellsville University, Eckerd College, Ridgecrest Conference Center (July 4-8 week), and Skycroft Conference Center.

“I am from the small town of Campbellsville, KY but currently live in Bowling Green, KY where I attend Western Kentucky University. Go Tops! I am pursuing a degree in public relations and Spanish and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store. When I’m not working camp, I absolutely love to play sports, cook, travel, read, and do anything outdoors.

 

This is my fourth year serving with CentriKid, and my first summer as Director.  I have served as a Team Leader, Rec Leader, and Assistant Director. My favorite part about camp is seeing God move in campers’ and adults’ lives through the powerful message of the Gospel. There is nothing better than seeing the light click in a child’s eyes when they understand the message of the cross, to watch kids raise their hands in worship, or pray with an adult who has learned to trust God more. I love to see how God changes lives each week and how he changes my own life each summer.”

Bekah loves this passage–and this is why:

“Trust inthe LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“TRUST in the LORD.” Although this seems like it should be easy, I’m finding that in life this can be a little easier said than done. Whether it’s dealing with conflicts, wondering if God will provide volunteers, answers, resources, figuring out summer plans, or any other situation that could be challenging, confusing. difficult to understand, sometimes it’s easier for US to make plans, and for US to decide which direction to take, and for US to deal with the situations that face us each day. As my college graduation is approaching quite rapidly though, I am finding myself clinging to this verse every day and reminding myself: if I trust in the LORD, He will provide. He will make my paths straight. He knows what is best. Although the process is challenging, and sometimes painful, God is currently teaching me the importance of trust and how essential it is to rely on and submit to Him so that He can lead me through anything-even the things that I don’t always understand.

Mary Carlisle

Mary is a University of Mobile grad, with a BA in English and Theology. She worked with CentriKid Camp starting as a staffer in 2007 and began working in the camp office in 2010. She joined the VBS team in November of 2012.