Archive for May, 2012

May

31

2012

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A Director’s Vision

Our very prolific guest-blogger, Henry Dutton shared this leadership insight with us today…

I’m a big movie buff, and I also love to watch movie award shows.  Not too long ago, I was watching the Oscars, and Michael Douglas was about to present an award for outstanding directing.  Before the presentation, he gave a brief anecdote and made this comment, “A director does everything imaginable to recognize a singular vision.”

Granted, Michael Douglas was talking about film directing, but his comment really resonated with me in terms of leadership.  I think Douglas really hit on two key leadership concepts.  First, a leader must be a servant leader.  He or she should not be afraid to delegate responsibility with authority, and yet, a true leader will also be willing to roll up his or her sleeves and work alongside other members of the team.  He or she should be willing to complete even the “small” tasks.  Servant leadership always raises the level of trust on a team.  Second, a leader must never lose sight of the vision.  Vision is what drives a team to complete a particular mission.  Without vision, a team will fail, and it is the leader’s responsibility to retain the vision, cast the vision, and re-cast the vision frequently.

In response to Douglas’s comment, ask yourself these questions: (1) “As a leader, am I taking advantage of opportunities to serve my teammates?” and (2) “As a leader, am I casting the vision for my team effectively?”  Evaluating these elements of your leadership will certainly prove helpful.

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

May

30

2012

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What’s Your Story?

 

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We all have a different story or testimony. Each of our circumstances is different and they have each played into who we are today. Some are peppered with intense struggles, while others numerous successes. No matter which category you fall in to, know that the Lord was and is there.

You may think that just because your personal journey isn’t riddled with divorce or some other horrible curveball that your story is somehow is lesser. Or that Christ’s redemption is seemingly less evident. That couldn’t be further from reality. Truth is, if you’ve chosen to follow Christ, that in and of itself is a GREAT story. It tells a story of death to life. No matter if you grew up going to church or not, your story is the same—Christ has brought to life what was once dead. No earthly struggle or circumstance can out weight that.

So I urge you, share your story! Share your story of how Christ has redeemed your life. Encourage your church and the kids in your ministry to do that same, because there is not greater testimony than that.

 

Jessica Herrell, Department Intern, is entering her 4th summer serving with CentriKid Camps. Her 2nd year as camp director. If you want to hear more of her story, check out her Journeys.

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.

May

28

2012

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Why I Love CentriKid (guest blog)

Ever wonder why a children’s minister would love CentriKid so much? Here are 5 reasons from a real live children’s minister who does!

5. The kids love it! What more can I say?

4. The CentriKid staffers work hard to wear my kids out all day long (so the girls sleep at night, although I can’t speak for the boys!) The staffers are very kind, caring and full of energy.  They spend time with all the kids (and the kids love it!)

3. It is never boring.  Every minute of the day is packed with fun.  From I CANT WAIT till PARTY time the kids are engaged with Bible in ways they learn and love. The kids love it!

2. Worship times are meaningful and on a level the kids understand (and chaperones alike).  The music stirs in them a passion for honoring the one true God! The preaching brings the Bible into their everyday lives. (the kids love it)

1. The flag of Jesus if flown high all day and night long… (and the kids love it!)

Connie Zinn is the Children’s Minister at Ogletown Baptist Church Newark, Delaware. She remembers the life-changing experiences at Centrifuge Camp when she was a youth, so it was a no brainer for her to take her kids to CentriKid.  Connie is looking forward to her 9th summer at CentriKid this year!

Meredith Teasley met Connie at camp in 2005 in Maryland and they have been friends ever since. One of Meredith’s favorite aspects of camp is connecting with Children’s Ministry HEROES like Connie! Keep up with Meredith’s camp connections this summer on twitter.

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.

Understanding and Relating to Kids

Building relationships with children can certainly be a difficult task, and yet, relating well to kids is absolutely essential to ministering well to kids.  In my own experiences of serving as a Camp Director with CentriKid Camps, I have been able to see firsthand the simple truth of this adage: life-change happens best in the context of relationships.  Relationships.are.key.  So, if relating to kids is so important to ministry, what are some ways to go about fostering these relationships?

  • Pray.   As in all areas of life and ministry, the aide of the Holy Spirit is essential to understanding and relating to kids.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you and give you insight and wisdom.  Pray for opportunities to foster relationships with the kids in your ministry, and pray for specific children by name.  Pray before, during, and after you spend time with kids.  Pray without ceasing.
  • Prepare.   In order to relate well with kids, it is important to have at least some understanding of kid-culture, so for many of us, this means it is time to do our homework.  Adults that work with children should probably be familiar with names such as Justin Bieber and Joe Jonas, games such as Mario Kart and Rockband, and movies and shows such as Cars 2 and Phineas and Ferb.  Do not misunderstand.  I am not suggesting that you need to follow Justin Bieber on Twitter, buy a Wii, and watch the Disney channel all day, and I am also certainly not suggesting that you need to necessarily endorse any or all of these cultural elements.  What I am suggesting is this: for good or bad, kids are interacting with the culture of the world, and if we as adults are oblivious or isolated from kid-culture, then we are missing out on many opportunities to connect with kids and to use these cultural elements as a means of building relationships and sharing truth.
  • Practice.   One of the best ways to understand and relate to kids is to simply spend time with them.  The key here, though, is intentionality, not happenstance.  If you teach, be sure to show up early so that you can take advantage of extra time with early arrivers.  If possible, share a meal with kids or choose to sit at the “kid table.”  Rather than always conversing in a circle of adults, choose to join the conversation with a group of kids.  Plan to attend the sporting events or recitals of kids in your ministry.  Spending intentional, quality time with kids is the best way to gain experience in understanding and relating to children.

This is a guest blog by Henry Dutton, a camp director for CentriKid Camps.  Henry loves working with kids and does a great job leading camp staffers in sharing the gospel with kids at camp.  

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

May

25

2012

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How to Prepare for Camp: Guest Post by Elizabeth Hyndman

 

Are you so excited to serve as a CentriKid staffer on one of our 8 teams this summer? Alumni staffer, Elizabeth Hyndman, prepared this list of things to do before camp so that you will be completely prepared… Enjoy!

1. Get up early each day.

2. High-five everyone you see, for no reason at all.

3. Jump up and down for 15 minutes, at least 4 times daily.

4. Yell. Scream. Shout. Do this often, even after your voice is almost gone.

5. Eat each meal (including breakfast) in under 15 minutes, while trying to maintain conversation with a 10 year old. Try to steer the conversation toward deep topics like the child’s home life or spiritual walk.

6. Try to relate every single aspect of your day to Jesus, the Bible, or church.

7. Try to get people to play games. Outside. On the hottest day of the year. Tell them that this is your favorite part of the day.

8. Load and unload a moving truck full of boxes, sound equipment, sporting goods, and suitcases from a truck once a week. It would be best if you could find someone to throw these boxes to you.

9. Go into a room full of children. Attempt to hold their attention for an hour and a half.

10. Constantly be excited.

11. You may sit down for approximately 20 minutes, toward the end of the day, in a dark, air-conditioned room. You must not fall asleep and you must remain completely alert.

12. You may go to sleep around midnight each night.

13. Learn to take 5 minute showers.

Welcome to camp!

Elizabeth worked as a CK staffer from 2006-2009. She lives in Nashville where she’s a grad student and an Admin Assistant. Also, she writes. And drinks a lot of tea. You can read more of her writing at edhyndman.com or follow her on Twitter @edhyndman.

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!

May

24

2012

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3 Qualities of a Great Camp Staffer

I’m gearing up to spend my 6th summer at camp. I think it’s safe to say that I know what qualities a great CK staffer holds. Here are just some of the qualities that our staff must have: 

Spiritual maturity. We train a lot before camp actually starts, but our staffers need to come into the summer knowing that they will be relying on the strength of the Lord. We hold them accountable to spend time in the Word every day and maintain their relationship with God. It’s not something that can take a backseat when you are constantly pouring into kids.

Teachability. No one comes into camp knowing everything…even if you are a returning staffer. There are things we change from year to year with our camps and so you need to come in ready to learn new things. Staffers who don’t have a teachable spirit often do not get the most out of camp. 

Flexibility. There’s always a chance that you will be teaching Kitchen Chaos and the electric will be out in your room just as you are getting ready to use the oven. Our staff need to be able to quickly switch to a different activity and keep kids engaged, even if things aren’t going as planned. If you have this quality and can be flexible without panicking, your campers probably won’t even notice when plans change!

Like I said before, these are just some of the qualities that make our staff great. Do you have these qualities? Keep them in mind as you work in your kids ministry!

Jen Hall is our camp intern and will 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.

May

23

2012

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Discipleship for Kids – Quiet Time Sheet (free download)

We have a free Quiet Time Sheet for kids that you can download.  Emily Echols explains how she uses this sheet to help her students at school get into studying God’s word.

This simple sheet was developed years ago by Emily’s Uncle Tom who had a true heart for sharing the gospel and seeing kids grow in the Lord.  Uncle Tom took every opportunity he could to share what the Lord had done in his life.  He left a legacy of many new believers who came to saving faith in Christ.  He would always make sure that new believers had a Bible and got help reading it and understanding it.

Download this quiet time sheet for free.  

It is free to reproduce and free to share.  

Please feel free to copy the web address for this blog and email it to other parents or kids ministry leaders.  http://centrikidblog.com/blog/discipleship-for-kids-quiet-time-sheet-free-download.html

 

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!

May

22

2012

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3 Reasons to Check Out The Gospel Project For Kids

Over the past few weeks you’ve heard a lot about LifeWay’s newest Bible study resource, The Gospel Project for Kids.  It has recently gone on sale and if you chose the digital delivery system, you’ll have access instantly to the first full volume.

There’ve been lots of posts about The Gospel Project…but I wanted to share what I believe to be the top three reasons one might choose to use The Gospel Project in your kids ministry.

#1:  The Christ Centered Chronological approach to the Bible.  Helping kids see the entire Bible through the lens of Christ is huge. instead of the Gospel just  being Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the entire Bible is the Gospel… God’s redemptive plan to rescue us from sin and death.  The logical, linear chronological approach will help kids to see scripture with order, from Genesis to Revelation… allowing the Gospel to work and transform.

#2:  The Video and Low Prep Options. The Gospel Project for Kids includes video options that I think you’re going to love. Both the preschool and the kids editions provide a Bible story video. You might use it every week, you might use it occasionally, or you might not use it at all (the written Bible stories are still in the leader resource)… but when it comes to saving prep time… these videos are excellent options.  Additionally, there are low prep options through out the resource (easily identified with a “low prep” icon) helping busy teachers and last minute substitutes to lead a successful  Bible learning experience.

#3:  The Electronic/Customizable Delivery Option. This is a first for LifeWay Kids and many of you have already shared with me that you will definitely be choosing this option. This digital delivery offers churches the ability to customize the resource, deliver leader resources via email, and have instant access when each volume is released.  If digital isn’t your preference, the printed version will be available.  If you want a little printed and a little digital, that’s an option, too.

The Gospel Project for kids is a wonderful Bible Study resource for use on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Mid-Week, or anytime kids are gathered to learn about God’s plan for their lives.

Don’t miss the opportunity to check out the first four sessions by joing the Pilot Program.  You’ll receive access to everything so you can investigate, take it for a test drive, see where it works best for you.  I think you’ll be pleased with what you find!

This guest post is written by Bill Emeott – Childhood Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Kids.  Bill writes on the LifeWay Kids 101 blog and we’ve also featured a video series about Salvation and Kids here 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!

May

21

2012

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3 Tips for Recruiting Sponsors for Camp

 

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You’ve got the kids in your ministry signed up for camp; you’ve got their participant forms; you even have the transportation to and from camp arranged. One major problem, you can’t seem to find enough chaperones. Trouble finding adult sponsors is something we hear frequently from churches. Here are 3 tips to help recruit sponsors for camp:

Team Assistant Program. This is a program we created several years ago to not only help churches meet our 1:5 adult to camper ratio, but also to help spot potential CentriKid staffers for the future. We require Team Assistants be at least a junior or senior in high school or college student. These are meant to be some of your “most trusted” youth.  We accept up to 2 Team Assistant per church.

Allow adult sponsors to switch out mid-week. This is a great option if an adult can only stay for 2-3 days at camp. Simply switch out adults if you have one that needs to leave for work or some other reason. Make sure that each adult, whether they’re there the entire week or not, fills out a Participant Form so we have knowledge of them being at camp. Also, make sure the camp director and assistant director is aware of the change.

Bring parents. Some parents may not feel like they are allowed to come because they don’t work in the church very often, but this is a great way for them to be involved. In allowing a kid’s parent to come, this may be the one way for the child to be allowed to attend camp in the first place. 

The final “unofficial” tip is to be direct in asking for volunteers. Don’t just administer a blanket statement asking for help. Seek out the Sunday School teachers, the Wednesday night teachers, the folks that are already investing in these kids’ lives. I think you will be surprised how willing they will be to help when they know that you intentionally thought of them as a potential volunteer. Let us know if you have any tips for recruiting sponsors for camp!

 

Jessica Herrell, Department Intern, will be directing CentriKid Team 6 at Lee University, Shocco Springs, Louisiana College, and Austin College. Feel free to check up on her and CK6 on Twitter and her personal blog.

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.

May

18

2012

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You Might Be One of CentriKid’s Biggest Fans If…

 

  1. June 1 is on your calendar with a big star to remind you that registration just opened.
  2. You and your volunteers save up vacation time just so you can go to camp.  You’d rather go to camp than on vacation, anyway.
  3. You can discuss the themes from the last 4 years of camp and can quote the memory verses… at dinner…for fun…during the winter.
  4. “OMC” is a regular part of your vocabulary.
  5. You and your friends get together to watch the CentriKid Live event (it’s June 27th this summer, just in case you need to send some invitations).
  6. You’ve played OMC once, maybe twice, maybe three times since last summer at camp.
  7. You wish CentriKid had been around when you were a college student because you definitely would have loved to be a staffer.
  8. You call all the churches in your area to see why on earth they don’t come to CentriKid the same week as you guys.
  9. You register for the next summer at camp or even before you go to camp.
  10. You talk about your camp staffers or camp director by their first name to your friends… and they know exactly who you are talking about.

We love our churches who join us at camp! Thanks for being fans!!

 

Mary Carlisle serves on the CentriKid office team and is the director for CK3 at Millsaps College. She loves serving at camp and hearing adults talk about how they love camp as much as their kids do!  Follow Mary on twitter and check out her blog.

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.