Archive for March, 2012

Mar

30

2012

0
COMMENTS
CATEGORIES
TAGS

3 Ways to Use Networking

Networking is a pivotal (but often forgotten) part of any children’s ministry. I learned this working at the Kids Beta Conference. Beta is a small conference that gathers new children’s ministers together in Nashville to address some topics and situations that may come up in the first few years of ministery. It seemed the most recent attendees could talk with one another for hours about their ministrieswhile gaining new ideas from each other. This got me thinking… do they network at home? Do they even know where to begin? Here are a few practical tips to help get to know other #kidmin leaders and maybe even learn a few things along the way:

  • Take the lead in calling local children’s minsters to set-up a time for lunch. Meet with a purpose. You don’t have to set an agenda, but see what ideas and tips surface from the discussion. Every month have someone else plan the lunch, but YOU need be one to get things rolling! Bring a notepad and take lots of notes. Don’t look at others in your area as “competing ministries” but partners in ministry.
  • Utilize social networking sites. Gather email addresses or name of kids ministry leaders you have met and begin a Facebook group where you all can post ideas to share with one another.
  • Go to a conference or two. Learn. Get away. Make connections. These can be great places to meet other children’s ministers and hear new ideas. Gather the email addresses of folks you would love to connect with again down the road.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is normal and good to not know everything about children’s ministry. No one knows it all! Connect with people so that you can share knowledge and gain confidence in yourself as a leader.

If you are or know of a new children’s minister who has been serving in kids ministry for 3 years or less, email klista.storts@lifeway.com to get more info about our next FREE Kids Beta Conference.

Comment if you have any ideas or tips to improve networking between children’s ministry leaders.

 

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.

Mar

30

2012

0
COMMENTS
CATEGORIES
TAGS

Blast from the Past: Treasurehood Part 3

See links below for previous episodes of the Treasurehood Series.

<EPISODE ONE>

<EPISODE TWO>

Now, for the next chapter:

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.

13 Questions to Ask your Preteen About Media & Peers

ParentLife writer Tonya Grant provides 13 questions to get your preteen talking about media choices and peer influence. Try some of these with your preteen about one of his favorite media topics.

  • Is it possible to be liked by everyone? (Role-play some examples.)
  • How is this (activity/friend/pursuit) going to make you a stronger person? Are there any ways it could hurt you now or later?
  • Will the group still like you if you choose not to participate? If not, how will you handle that? If not, what does that say about the group?
  • When did this (person/form of media) start getting popular? Has it always been popular? Do you think it may one day not be popular anymore?
  • Tell me some reasons you like this (song, style, movie).
  • What do you know about the example this (music group, actor, person at school/church) sets? Do you aspire to act like that or have a similar reputation?
  • Do you think I would allow this star to babysit (you or younger children)? Why (not)?
  • Do you think how this person acts is okay? Why (not)? What do you think are the long-term effects of choices, behaviors, and lifestyles like this?
  • What do you think Jesus might say if He was sitting down having a conversation with this person you admire?
  • Have you read any review of this movie? (Direct your child to a trusted site like pluggedin.com; read and discuss the information presented there.)
  • How do you feel when I tell you “no” about this, but your friends are allowed to participate in it? What would make you more willing to feel that way?
  • Is this person’s main message in agreement, opposed to, or neutral about our Christian values? How can media that is strongly opposite our values affect our thinking?
  • How do you want to be remembered?

Initiating conversations like these will not only guide your preteen in his decisions, it will also help your know his heart better. Be open to having your mind changed as well; but remember, you are the parent. You have the right to lay down the law in your home.

What topics have you struggled with when it comes to talking to your preteens?

Check out the ParentLife blog and get regular updates on the ParentLife Facebook page or from Twitter – @ParentLife.   See other articles from ParentLife on centrikidblog.com…

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!

5 Ways I Get Things Done


Everybody seems to be doing more with less.  More work with people, more deadlines with less time, more productivity with less help.  Folks at church, in business, and even families are having to figure out how to get things done quicker and easier so they can spend time on other things.

Image: Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Here are 6 ways I get things done in my work day & home life:

 

GTD – A few years ago, I was introduced to the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.  It really helped me think about how I think.  It sounds crazy to read a book about organization, but it really helped.  The biggest principle I’ve taken away is the importance of getting things out of my head and tracking to-do items in a trusted system. PRICE about $10.

GMail / Google Docs / GCal – These are simply the best at email, sharing documents, and calendaring because it all happens online and syncs in the cloud.  I’ve got access to my email from my computer, phone, or any other device.  My calendar is always up-to-date so I’m always able to check my availability.  The Google tools work well because they all communicate with each other too.  Price FREE.

Evernote – This is best reference tool because everything is searchable, everything can be tagged, and it allows you to upload pretty much any type of file or document.  This is my one-stop source for all reference material that I want to hang on to.  Price FREE.

Omnifocus – Keeping track of projects and deadlines has traditionally been something I just keep in my head, but after reading GTD, I’ve tried out a few different software solutions.  Omnifocus is my current (and favorite) solution for this because of the level of detail it allows you to add to a project, it has an iPhone app for capturing to-do’s anywhere, and a nifty feature is the “start on” date in addition to the “due” date.  Unfortunately it is only available for Mac computers and devices.  Price $100 for Mac & iPhone version.  NOTE: Prior to using Omnifocus, I worked in Remember the Milk which is web-based and free!  RTM is a super solution that allows you to keep up with lots of lists.

Quiet Space – Not every solution for getting things done is a piece of software.  My best times of productivity have been getting away for 2 hours while the baby naps on Sunday afternoons and cranking out work projects, home projects, or just reading at the local Panera.  Too many times, the quiet space in our lives is filled with TV, facebook, or just running around … but carving out a couple of hours in the course of a week has really helped me stay on top of my workload.  Price FREE!

Jeremy Echols leads our camp team and always challenges us to add new tools to our toolbox whether in leadership or tech skills.  JE has written before about Tech Tools You Can Use in #Kidmin.  Connect with JE on twitter & comment on our Facebook page to share how you get things done.

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

27

2012

0
COMMENTS
CATEGORIES
TAGS

2012 Camp Prep #9: Meet the Directors

You’ve seen their names. You may have even sent them an email or called them with questions about camp. Now it’s time to put faces with names of your 2012 camp directors!

LEAVE A COMMENT and let them know how excited you are to see them this summer at camp!

Drew Turberville will direct CK1 at Ridgecrest and Norman Park.Jen Hall will direct CK2 at Campbellsville University.Mary Carlisle, Camp Specialist, will direct CK3 at Millsaps College.

Laura Register will direct CK4 at Anderson University.Henry Dutton will direct CK5 at Cumberland, Eckerd College, Southwest Baptist, and Lake Yale. Jessica Herrell will direct CK6 at Lee University, Austin College, Louisiana College, and Shocco Springs.Mary Chase Breedlove will direct CK7 at Southern Arkansas University, Campbell University, Eagle Eyrie, and Skycroft.Mark Owens will direct CK8 at Jenness Park, Biola University, Camp Oakhurst, California Baptist University, Howard Payne University, and Trinity Pines.

 

 

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.

6 Simple Reminders for Engaging Kids in Conversation

If you are in #kidmin or work with children in any capacity, then you talk to kids all the time.  As you “talk” with kids, don’t miss opportunities to engage them in a deeper conversation.  Here are 6 simple reminders for engaging kids in conversation from Henry Dutton.  Henry is a CentriKid camp director who excels at training camp staff & modeling how to have intentional conversations with kids.

  1. Call children by their names.  This is very important because it communicates that you care.  For all of us, our name is one of the best things we like to hear…its how we are wired.
  2. Ask open-ended questions (about family, friends, interests, school, etc.).  If they can shake their head or answer yes/no to your question, then you won’t go very deep with this conversation.
  3. Ask appropriate personal or spiritual questions.  Too many times, adults shy away from asking kids personal questions.  Remember, kids don’t have the same awkward filter that adults do…so they are happy to answer personal questions and talk about spiritual things.
  4. Share appropriate personal stories with kids.  It can be a big relief to find out someone they look up to has been through the same thing.  The story can help solidify the point you are making with them too.
  5. Strive to be honest, genuine, and caring.  If we are genuine with kids, we model how they should be when they grow up.  They will begin to reciprocate that genuineness now, and it can become a part of all their conversations.
  6. Have fun!  Smile! Strive to foster a responsible sense of childlikeness.  It’s okay to be a big kid and express to a child that you enjoy hanging out and chatting with 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

23

2012

0
COMMENTS
CATEGORIES
TAGS

Blast from the Past: Treasurehood Part 2

Time to catch back up with Sam and Thatcher as they are on a journey to find their neighborhood treasure.

Missed the first episode? Don’t worry. Visit our blog post from last week to get caught up.

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.

4 Things I’ve learned from CentriKid Director Training

Last weekend, we brought in all the CentriKid directors & assistant directors for training … and it was a great experience to learn, share ideas, grow in leadership, & prepare for the summer.  Our directors and “AD’s” this year are top-notch!

Click on the image to open a new window with a panoramic view of our Directors and Assistant Directors as they made preparations for the summer.

Here are 4 things I’ve learned from CentriKid Director Training over the years:

  1. God is already at work in the lives of the camp leaders for this summer.  Every year I get to catch up in person with folks I spend time with mostly during the summer, so it is refreshing to see how they are growing during the “camp offseason.” It is always a great reminder that the Lord is working in the lives of the kids & adults who will come to camp too!
  2. Investment in culture pays huge dividends.  For example when we place an emphasis on serving churches well, it gets passed on from the camp leadership to the entire camp staff.  The next year when new camp leaders are in place, they already come with a good understanding of the importance of serving churches well and what it looks like at camp.  So we are able to build on that and make more improvements each year.  Investment in “culture” lasts longer than you think.
  3. Laughing together = team building.  An important aspect of camp is always “fun” but its also a big part of training for camp.  Every year there has to be an element of fun in the training weekend, and every year it pays off with a unified leadership staff who trust one another and understand their role in the CentriKid program as a whole.  Trust me we get a lot of work done, but we laugh a lot and I think it is great!
  4. You must cast & re-cast the vision.  To make sure we are all aligned in our approach to the ministry of camp and the details, I am constantly casting vision for our camp leaders.  They re-cast this vision over and over to their teammates through the summer.  We talk about it all the time, because we never want to lose focus of why we do CentriKid in the first place.  We consider it our job to make sure nobody leaves camp without having a life-changing encounter with Christ. 

Jeremy Echols leads our camp team and spends lots of his time investing in the leadership of the CentriKid program.  The panoramic image in this blog post was created using the “Dermandar” app … check out the iPhone app online.  You can connect and keep up with JE on twitter.

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

2012

0
COMMENTS
CATEGORIES
TAGS

Editing

Today, as I sat at my desk at work, I edited. A lot. I’m working on the CentriKid Camps staff notebook, tweaking some things and making changes. I know you’re going to think I’ve been brainwashed or something like that, but I actually really love editing. I’ve always had fun taking something and making it better. Constantly evaluating and since I’m not an English major, I’m also constantly looking up grammar rules. Nonetheless, I enjoy the editing process.

Let’s get real for a minute: Editing is really only fun when what you’re editing isn’t you. Making changes in your own life isn’t as easy as making that lower-case letter capitalized or changing the past tense to the present.

When I’m editing something, most of the time it gets really overwhelming when I’m trying to tackle everything at once. I usually end up making a list of things to look for, i.e. misspellings, sentence structure, etc. This helps me to be very thorough and not overlook anything.

Basically, I’ve created a list of things that I can work on “editing” in my own life. Most of these are just simple re-directions. (sidenote: simple in theory, not necessarily in practice)

-Instead of worrying about something, stop and pray.  

-Find something good about something you would normally complain about.

-If you say you’re going to do something, do it.

-If you say you’re not going to do something, don’t do it.

-Turn bitterness into forgiveness.

-Replace laziness with something productive.

Of course, when all of the editing is done (and is it ever really done?), you need to have first started with strong content. Start your day with some time in God’s Word. Don’t expect to get encouragement to face the day from any other source.

*You will probably see things that need to be edited in this blog post. Don’t worry about it :)

Jen Hall is our camp intern. She is excited to direct CK2 at Campbellsville this summer. Keep up with Jen via twitter.

Jen Hall

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

2012 Camp Prep #8: Parent Packets

Printable Parent Packets are found 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.