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.
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.
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!
5. Bee hive.
This precious costume is so easy and original.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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:
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.
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!