Archive for October, 2011

Deep Thoughts: 3 Reasons Kids Need to Understand WHY We are Sinners

A – Admit to God you are a sinner. Right? It’s as easy as A-B-C. Many kids know the ABCs and may even be able to sing them to you. But do they understand the WHY behind this crucial aspect of our response to the gospel? Do they understand what it really means to declare their sinfulness before God? Here are 3 brief and seemingly elementary but oh-so-important reasons kids need to understand why admitting sin is a part of one’s response to the gospel.

  1. Sin separates us from God. Because we are sinners, we deserve eternal separation from our perfect God. We are telling God that we recognize that we deserve death. In declaring sin, we declare that something besides us must bridge that gap.
  2. We can’t save ourselves. We can’t pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and brown-nose God into granting salvation. We are sinners. When we admit our sin to God we say, “God, I can’t do it! I can try all I want but I will never ever be able to earn your approval! I will always always always fall short.”
  3. Sin is not too big for God. Part of admitting our sinfulness is understanding that God is bigger than sin. He made a way to bring us back in to a right relationship with Him!

As you talk with kids about responding to the gospel. Ask why. Ask lots of whys! Help kids understand the greatness of our need for a  Savior. Check back for Part 2 of this Deep Thoughts series… helping kids understand WHY.

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.

Oct

28

2011

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5 Costumes You Can Make

Whether you are heading to a Fall Festival or passing out candy at your house, here are some easy costumes you can make for your kids.. or even yourself! Of course, our favorite is always a CentriKid Camper, decked out in your team color, ready for OMC… but if you are looking for something a little different, we collected these as some fun ideas for you.

1. A Bubble Bather.

This super easy costume can be made for less than $10 and on a narrow time limit. Check out the instructions here: Bubble Bather Costume Instructions.

 

 

2. Fire Breathing Dragon.

This super easy costume calls for things you probably have laying around your house.

Find the instructions here: Fire Breathing Dragon.

 

 

 

3. Birthday Cake

With a hula hoop, some fabric, and some puff paint this birthday cake costume is definitely a winner! Extra points if the costume-wearer actually has a birthday on that day!

Here are the instructions for this costume.

 

 

 

 

4. A Road Trip

Raid your son’s toy box and grab some of the small cars. Grab some yellow electrical tape and some velcro and you are ready to head to the costume party!

Here are the official instructions for this outfit that will probably take about 5-10 minutes to create.

 

 

 

5. Bee hive.

This precious costume is so easy and original.

Check out the instructions here.

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.

2 Things God has been Teaching Me: Guest Post (Tiffany Francis)

This is Tiffany and she works in our office as the Department Assistant. She is involved in so many parts of the children’s ministry work done in our department..and is a huge part of making camp a success. Here’s a post from her:

 

As we are in the midst of planning camp for 2012, it is so nice to be able to look back at what an incredible summer 2011 was. This was my first summer working in the CentriKid Camps office, and there was definitely a learning curve for me, but I am so thankful for all the experiences and lessons that were a part of this summer. God taught me some new things, and reminded me of some truths that I too often forget.

1. I was reminded that I am never alone. During the summer, the office is very quiet because everyone is at camp, but it was so amazing to see how God worked through our amazing staff to minister to me even though I was not out at most camp locations. Emails and phone calls were my connection to camp most of the summer, and it was so fun to work with staff to find solutions and work through certain situations. Even though I was not physically with any of our camp teams, I felt like I was a part of all of them. It was such a good reminder that God never leaves me, and He places people in my life so that we can invest in one another.

2. No matter how small the job, God is working everything together for good. I do mostly administrative work, and sometimes it is hard to see the fruits of your labor.  It is easy to feel distant from everything going on at camp sitting in a cubicle. But when I was recording the statistics from camp this summer, and I saw how many kids made decisions to follow Christ, I knew that I was a part of that. There are so many people that are a part of making CentriKid what it is, and every single one of those people is important. No matter how small you think your contribution to ministry is, your work is significant. This summer was such a blessing to me, and I am thankful to be even a small part of ministry of CentriKid.

 

As we are in the midst of planning camp for 2012, it is so nice to be able to look back at what an incredible summer 2011 was. This was my first summer working in the CentriKid Camps office, and there was definitely a learning curve for me, but I am so thankful for all the experiences and lessons that were a part of this summer. God taught me some new things, and reminded me of some truths that I too often forget.

This summer I was reminded that I am never alone. During the summer, the office is very quiet because everyone is at camp, but it was so amazing to see how God worked through our amazing staff to minister to me even though I was not out at most camp locations. Emails and phone calls were my connection to camp most of the summer, and it was so fun to work with staff to find solutions and work through certain situations. Even though I was not physically with any of our camp teams, I felt like I was a part of all of them. It was such a good reminder that God never leaves me, and He places people in my life so that we can invest in one another.

Another important thing that I will take away from this summer is that no matter how small the job, God is working everything together for good. I do mostly administrative work, and sometimes it is hard to see the fruits of your labor.  It is easy to feel distant from everything going on at camp sitting in a cubicle. But when I was recording the statistics from camp this summer, and I saw how many kids made decisions to follow Christ, I knew that I was a part of that. There are so many people that are a part of making CentriKid what it is, and every single one of those people is important. No matter how small you think your contribution to ministry is, your work is significant. This summer was such a blessing to me, and I am thankful to be even a small part of ministry of CentriKid.



4 Tips for Intentionality

Whether you’re a Children’s Minister, Volunteer, or Camp Staffer, you’re investing time, energy, and your life to make Christ known. 

Camp is all about investing. Although I love to invest in kids and adults who come to camp, the past few summers has offered me another opportunity to invest…in our Camp Staff. At CentriKid we have Family Groups. We split staff members up into small groups of the same gender and appoint one staffer as the Family Group Leader. The leader then leads the group with the material that we provided. These groups provide an opportunity for accountability and personal spiritual growth during the summer so that staffers can pour out even more when it comes to the kids.

Here are some tips that I have gathered over the years to help myself to be intentional in investing, especially in a group setting.  

  • Spend time with each group member individually. Just because you spend time with your group members as a group doesn’t mean that you know exactly what is going on in their lives. They may want to talk with you about things that they don’t feel comfortable talking about in a group. Take the time to invest in them on a one-on-one basis. Take them out to lunch, meet them for coffee, or have them over for dinner. 
  • Remember what they shared about and ask them about progress. This may require you to take notes, but when you recall something that someone said in a group setting, it really shows them you care. Listening more intently then becomes second nature. 
  • Share things that are hard for you to share. This one seems like a no-brainer, but real community happens when a group is unified and real unity happens when trust is established. 
  • Love them. I don’t know that this needs much explanation. Send notes. Give hugs. Say nice things about them. It helps 🙂  

I’ve heard it said that you get out what you put into something, and I fully believe that’s true. Go out and find someone to invest in. It’s definitely worth the time and energy. You may be speaking into someone’s life and never really know the significance of what you are doing. It will mean more to them than they can explain. 

Jen Hall

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

Oct

25

2011

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Kids On Mission

Here at CentriKid Camps, we are continuing to look for great ways to incorporate missions into what we do throughout the week at camp. Currently, this plays itself out best through our Tell The World track time, which teaches kids about missions and also gives them practical, hands-on mission projects to participate in at camp.  I know that you all agree that teaching and modeling what living missionly means and looks like is vital to growing as a believer in Jesus Christ.

In efforts to continue to help resource you throughout the year, check out this video from our friends at the International Mission Board. Their Kids on Mission program is a great way to continue the dialogue, teaching, and service throughout the year!

 

 

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.

Oct

24

2011

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Large Group Game: Hungry Crabs

When you have a large group of kids (20+), it can be difficult to keep them engaged and to make sure that they are all participating. Here is a game that checks both of those concerns off the list. Hungry Crabs can be played outside, in a gym, or in some other large, open area.

 

Equipment: Bean bags or small object that doesn’t roll (30-50 objects for 50+ children), 3-8 hula hoops (depending on number of teams).

Set-Up: Place bean bags in the center of the playing area. The bean bags or small objects are the “crab food” and the center is the “ocean.” Put hula hoops around the center area so each is an equal distance from the center (probobaly 20-30 feet). Divide group into equal teams (5 hula hoops=5 teams). Assign each team to a hula hoop. All at once, each student will crab walk and get a bean bag, either from the “ocean” or another team’s hoop, place it onto their stomach, and bring it back to their team’s hoop. Children can only take one bean bag at a time. Play for a set amount of time.

Variation: For smaller groups, only let one person from each team go at a time and don’t allow them to take from another team’s hoop. Play until all “food” is gone.

 

Jessica Herrell

Jessica is a Maryville College grad with a Physical Ed and Health degree, and has worked at camp since 2009. Jessica joined our office team as the department intern in August 2011.

Oct

21

2011

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October Festivities


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.

Oct

20

2011

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OMC: 6 Ways to Make it Even Better!

Here in the CentriKid Camps office, we are always thinking of ways to make OMC better! We even have fun new editions of OMC for you to use with your own group. The messier, the crazier, the more outrageous you can make OMC, the more fun you and your kids are going to have! Here are a few practical ideas for taking your Organized Mass Chaos to the next level:

Play OMC in the rain. Who doesn’t want to get soaked during OMC?! This way, every kid is drenched and you don’t even have to fill 500 water balloons.

Use more shaving cream! Remember, the messier the better! Buy 10+ cans to up the craziness.

Place a slip n’ slide near the middle of the field for kids to use.

Add 1 or 2 sprinklers throughout the playing area.

Dress up with costumes and face paint! Encourage kids to dress/paint up. You can even have kids make a costume according to a theme!

Do team cheers! Have each team write and perform a cheer for the entire group. Encourage them to add funky motions and act crazy.

These are just a few ways of how to make your OMC even better. Feel free to comment with your own ideas. Also, don’t forget that November 10th is National OMC Day! How will you celebrate?

 

Jessica Herrell

Jessica is a Maryville College grad with a Physical Ed and Health degree, and has worked at camp since 2009. Jessica joined our office team as the department intern in August 2011.

Oct

19

2011

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5 Reasons Change is Hard

In my last post, I said, “Change is always hard and almost always worth it. Even the change we are excited about is hard.  You purchase a new home and are so excited about moving in, but packing the boxes and moving the furniture is hard.  You want to use a new curriculum at your church, but training and communicating that change will not be easy.”  Here are five fundamental reasons change is hard:

  • We get emotionally attached to the way we do ministry.  I tell our team often, “Don’t love what you do too much.”  When you love something too much, you never want to change it.  More importantly, you are blinded to the need for change. 
  • You love what you create.  If you created it, you are even more blind to the need for change.  I live in Nashville, and it seems every other person you bump into is a songwriter.  If they wrote a song they love it, even if you don’t.  You just can’t bear to tell them.
  • You worry about how change will affect you.  Organizational change almost always means work will look different, and you worry about what that means to you personally.  Will I like my new role?  Will I love the people I work with?  Will I have a job?  These are all questions people ask themselves when change is coming, and it makes change so very difficult for the leader who is leading change.
  • Change is hard because it makes people move out of their comfort zones.  We are comfortable with what we know. Your volunteers are comfortable with what they know, and change means you have to help them get comfortable.
  • Change is hard because it is hard work.  It is hard work to plan for change, to communicate change, and to train for change.

 What are some other ways that change is hard for you? How do you normally respond?

 Watch for my next post for some practical steps for making changes.



Oct

18

2011

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Courageous Movie… from a man’s point of view

Have you seen Courageous yet?

My friends and I were among the one million people who saw Courageous on opening weekend, making it the #1 new movie of the weekend! Courageous is a movie with a message for men, regardless of age or life stage. It’s a movie that you should encourage all the men in your church and your life to see. Have you seen Courageous yet?  Take some tissue! Don’t worry, you’ll laugh as much as you cry.

Leaving the theater my friend, Jim, confessed that he auditioned for one of the lead roles! Though he didn’t appear in the movie, he’s still passionate about its message. I interviewed Jim to get a man’s perspective, and I’d like to share his viewpoint with you.

Q: Jim, did you cry?

A: Yes, several times. (Laughing) So many times I lost track.

Q: What did you think about the overall theme that challenges men to be the leaders of their homes, marriages, and children while strategically creating a Godly legacy?

A: It’s a timeless, needed message for men. Men innately don’t go into marriage equipped with an understanding of how to take care of a family. Women are equipped innately with raising family, finding hope, and loving the unlovable. We (men) need to be trained, called out and equipped with an understanding of our Biblical role as a servant leader in our households.

Q: Can men do this before they get married or become a father?

A: Yes. There are several avenues for a man to prepare—scripture, prayer, spiritual disciplines, being mentored or discipled, and going through great courses like Men’s Fraternity. Our destinations determine our preparation. If our destination is to be a great leader in our family, then we must prepare for that goal.

Q: The movie depicts kids whose dads are not in their lives and how it affects them—many ending up in gangs or turning to drugs. What do you think about this?

A: I completely agree. Our parents give us our first picture of God. So you can imagine what kind of pictures kids get until they are old enough to dig into scripture and see a real picture of God. Dads have a powerful impact on a son and a daughter, and the movie addresses both. Kids who don’t have dads need to search out a man with a good influence. Influence is also non-verbal. Men should expect to be watched in every scenario—shopping, eating out, and responding to life. A young boy needs to see that. He’s going to be taught by someone—either society or a real man.

Q: The movie reveals a Resolution signed by friends. What did this mean to you?

A: I think the Resolution was a good bar to set for obtaining high goals. The movie encouraged me not to do it alone. Together is better. Men should find other guys who can encourage one another.

Q: Any other take-aways from Courageous?

A: The movie showed the most important thing—the need to have a relationship with God through Christ—that the ability to be a good father and husband starts with redemption.

Q: So Jim, are you going to audition for the next movie by Sherwood Pictures?

A: If they ask, I’d be honored to (big smile).

Go see Courageous for yourself! LifeWay has also created resources for your church or Bible study groups that can help extend the ministry impact of this film within your church. Check it out!

CentriKid

CentriKid is a 5 day, 4 night camp for 3rd - 6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ!