Have you ever had only 5 kids show up to church, then you have to think of a fun game to play? Smaller groups are sometimes difficult to play games with because it is easy to lose their attention. Line up is a game that is great for almost any size group, especially smaller ones. I’m going to give you several variations of the game for you to try with in your children’s ministry, but feel free to think of ohers along the way!
The idea of the game is to get children to line up in different orders according to your command. At first, play it simple! Instruct the group to line up from shortest to tallest or alphabetically. Then, make things more difficult. Line up oldest to youngest–down to the day. Do a silent round where kids are not allowed to talk with one another.
Now that the kids have got the hang of it, use the game as a teaching tool. Take the verse you all are studying and break it up into parts (5 kids=5 sections to the verse). Write each portion on a piece of paper or index card. Give each student a card. The kids’ task is to line up with their cards so the verse is in order.
Another way to make the game even more difficult is to write books of the Bible onto index cards. Each student gets a card and has to line up in the order of the books of the Bible. This is a great (and fun!) way for children to learn the books of the Bible.
Comment with any other ways you think your group can “line up!”
Jessica Herrell, Department Intern, loves to play games… in fact, that’s what she studied in college! Jess posts lots of games on the blog, so check them out to find some you can use.
Practical ways to encourage:
(These categories were taken from Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages”)
Words of Affirmation: Unsolicited kind words mean the world to this type of person. They are also torn down the easiest by negative words. Spend time writing them a note or coming up to them after you have seen them do something well and affirming them.
Quality Time: Being there for this type of person is critical. When you take the time to really invest time into your relationship with them, it makes them feel really special. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Take this person out to coffee or a meal. They will love that you set aside time just for them.
Receiving Gifts: This one is self explanatory, but don’t take it as materialistic. These people love the thoughtfulness , love, and effort behind the gift. For them, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and valued enough that someone sacrificed something in order to bring you this gift. Make sure you know what all of their favorite things are. A simple pack of their favorite candy may mean the world to them!
Acts of Service: Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. If this person is a volunteer in your ministry, you can encourage them by secretly setting up their class, taking their place on a specific committee, or even just asking if you can help with whatever they are doing.
Physical Touch: If you aren’t a hugger, don’t let this one scare you. Most people who are physical touch are encouraged by just a pat on the back. In your volunteer meetings, you can have a time of “8-10 meaningful touches” or just make a note to give your physical touch people hugs or pats on the back frequently.
Being in tune with how your volunteers, coworkers, and friends like to be encouraged will make a huge difference. Now, go out there and encourage!
God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity we plan only the things we can do by ourselves. -AW Tozer
Today, I read this quote and cringed. Most days, I am the person he is talking about. The one who plans only the things I can do by myself. It’s interesting how we do that. We say, “I believe that God will provide for me…now, what do I need to do in order to get there?”
I’m always asking myself what I should be doing about a certain situation, even if I’ve “given” it to God. I’ve been taught to work hard for everything I have, however, sometimes, I think I need to apply that to my spiritual life as well. So wrong. God made the entire universe. I’m not even letting Him show me that He will provide for me.
In the end, I end up driving myself crazy, exhausted, and thinking that I still have to solve all of my problems myself. Meanwhile, the Lord is saying “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
Today, I urge you to give up on having a plan that only you can accomplish and take part in the plan that only He can accomplish.
Jen Hall is our camp intern. She loves to use what she has read and learned to encourage people. She can’t wait to direct CK2 at Campbellsville this summer! Keep up with Jen via twitter.
A few weeks ago, I went
running jogging/walking at our local YMCA. I decided to jog/walk on the indoor walking track because I hate the treadmill. I walked in, quickly glanced at the directional sign (telling you which direction to walk on which day of the week), and started running. It was nice and quiet for a while, and then an older man started walking. Soon, two other ladies came to join us, followed by another man. Then, a YMCA employee walked in and just stood there for quite some time… probably about 2-3 laps. As I jogged and made my way around the track toward where he was standing, he looked me in the eye with a reprimanding facial expression and simply pointed at the sign. I froze. I quickly gathered my thoughts and asked, “Oh, did you want me to change directions?” Yes, silly! Read the sign. Apparently Sun. looked an awful lot like Sat. when I walked in. It was Saturday, not Sunday, and I had inadvertently led all these people to walk in the wrong direction.
Why did no one say anything?
Why didn’t they do what they knew was right? I’m convinced that at least 1 of those 4 people could read, but am fairly certain that all of them could read. Instead of reading the sign and doing the right thing, they just followed. I can’t judge them. This wasn’t Hidden Camera or What Would You Do? But seriously… c’mon people.
Common sense lesson learned: read the sign. carefully. Leadership lesson learned: Be careful where you lead. Some people will follow, just because. You could be leading them in the wrong direction. Leadership is a great privilege and responsibility. Don’t take it lightly.
Meredith Teasley loves to talk about leadership. In fact, she’s always using silly opportunities like this to think of great leadership lessons for all of us! Meredith wants to improve her 5K time in 2012, so she’s getting back into the habit of running (or jogging) at the track.
Leadership is a part of our culture at CentriKid Camps. It’s lived out in everything we do…not only in camp, but throughout the year as well. It’s more than having a position and telling people what to do. It’s with a servant’s heart that we want to lead and serve our teams.
Something I have a hard time carrying out in leadership is delegation. Even though it’s not my favorite part, I had to ask myself, “why is it something I struggle with if it’s such a huge part of leadership?” Here’s the answer: It wasn’t the act of delegation that I hated, it was the position of my heart. In my heart, I was trying to protect what others thought about me. I didn’t want to be seen as a Director who wouldn’t do the things that I told others to do. I didn’t want to be the Director that sits around doing nothing while everyone else on the team is hard at work. But that’s not the truth. I had plenty of other things that I needed to do and some of them were things only I could do.
I try to keep it in perspective and also think about how excited I was when my Director would give me a job or project that no one else was doing. It was a sign of trust. A sign that they knew I was the right person for that job and that I would do it well. It’s because of those people who trusted me with tasks they may have also had a hard time delegating that I became a leader.
This summer, my goal is to build up leaders on my team, to help them grow, and to give them opportunities. Delegation can be a great tool for that! Camp is just one example, but you can use delegation as a way of building up leaders in your own ministry as well.
Jen Hall, our camp intern, loves to learn about leadership. She is excited to use what she’s learned as she directs CK2 at Campbellsville this summer. Keep up with Jen via twitter.
Being on church staff for 20 years has rewarded me with beautiful friendships and divine moments of growth. I have worked with children, teachers, and pastors who taught me valuable lessons. Each lesson has become a story that has shaped my view of leadership today. I want to share a few principles I have received:
Begin praying for a vision for what God wants to do in and through you. Gather people together and allow them to dream with you. Show them your heart and passion for the work. Prioritize and organize yourself to move forward and make a big impact on those you lead and teach. Soon, your followers will have stories, too.
Mark Jones is a Childhood Ministry Specialist in Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. He is a friend of CentriKid and you may have seen him at a VBS Preview Event leading classes on decorating tips! Check out his blog at MrMarksClassroom.com and get more kidmin ideas there!
I love camp. I am frequently reminded of how much camp has taught me about leadership, ministry, and relationships. One thing that I have learned over and over again is that leaders set the culture of the people they are leading whether that leader is leading a team of volunteers, is just the emerging “leader” of their friend group, or in the workplace. Here are three ways that leaders set culture:
What have you learned about leadership over the years? How would you say a leader sets the culture for a team?
Mary Carlisle serves on the CentriKid office team and directs CentriKid team 3 at Millsaps College during the summer. She is passionate about leadership and learning. Follow Mary on twitter.