Archive for July, 2012

Jul

31

2012

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Small Group Game: Line Up!

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

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.

Jul

30

2012

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Help…I’m not a natural encourager!

Encouragement in a work/ministry setting is so important. It may not come naturally to you, but that’s ok. It’s something that can definitely be learned. During this post, I hope to provide you with some practical tips to make you an encouragement champ! picture from: www.poetry4kids.com
  • Have your staff or any other people you want to encourage fill out a survey listing ways they like to be encouraged. Finding out how someone is best encouraged can help you to be mindful of what you do to encourage that person and can also save you some time. If I give you a handwritten note, it may have encouraged you, but you may just want me to spend some quality time with you instead. You can make up your own quiz, or you can have them take a quiz like this one.
  • Make an encouragement schedule. This sounds like you are just encouraging each person because you HAVE to, but really, it just holds you accountable and makes you work hard at encouraging people who aren’t always easy for you to encourage or who may fly under the radar. They need encouragement too.

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!

 

Jen Hall, our camp intern, loves to encourage and can’t wait to encourage the staff she will be directing all summer long at Campbellsville. Keep up with Jen via twitter or her personal blog.

Jen Hall

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

Jul

27

2012

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Online Mass Chaos — July 27!

Remember the first rule of OMC!!? You can’t say “no.” So don’t forget to add your photos from camp to the CentriKid Facebook Page!

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.

Jul

26

2012

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Rest

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.

Jen Hall

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

Jul

20

2012

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Online Mass Chaos — July 20!

Parties, Track Times, Rec, and OMC … we wanna see those great pictures you captured at camp!

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.

Jul

19

2012

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Be Careful Where You Lead

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.

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.

The Heart of Delegation

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.

Jen Hall

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

Jul

16

2012

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10 Lessons on Leadership from a #kidmin Leader

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: 

 

  1. Move up to a new level of leadership.  Seek to go ahead of your followers and begin laying bricks on the road that your ministry will go down.
  2. Recognize that inflexible leadership fails when it is time to make needed changes.
  3. If you are still doing the same thing, you are stunting your growth.  You need people to take your place in ministry tasks.  “I” am a limited resource.  Multiply yourself in others.
  4. Identify the men and women under you and the strengths they possess.  Begin delegating roles of service and build an army of capable and reliable workers.
  5. Don’t criticize people who follow a different course.  God may be using them in unique ways to reach and minister to others.
  6. Recognize what you don’t know.  Identify resources and people to help you learn.
  7. Allow room to be wrong and grow from your mistakes.  Image-management has no room for kingdom work.
  8. Anticipate problems and help create solutions.
  9. Don’t let murmurings control your leadership.  Don’t listen to picking and critical unconstructive comments.
  10. Be a risk taker!  Try new things.  They won’t all work but some of them will.  You will discover what is usable and effective in working with your people.

 

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!

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!

Jul

13

2012

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Online Mass Chaos — July 13!

We are half-way through July, but the fun is not over! Look at all the fun we’ve had at camp this summer!! You can share your photos too on the CentriKid Facebook Page!

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.

Jul

12

2012

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3 Ways Leaders Set Culture

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: 

  1. A leader’s attitude will be the attitude of the team.
    If you are unhappy with the way something is going, so will your followers, because they are just that: followers. If you are passionate about what God is doing in the life of your church and are supportive of your pastor and teachers, so will your volunteers. An upbeat, honest, and loyal leader normally means a healthy team. A leader who values their followers will be valued.
  2. What a leader talks about is what your followers will think is important.
    If you are constantly talking about how your Sunday school teachers really need to leave their room clean on Sundays your volunteers will be great at that, but they will probably miss out on some of the more important things that they could be focused on. If you are constantly talking loving on kids, investing in their lives, and teaching them the Gospel, then that is what will be most important to your followers as well.
  3. A leader’s expectations and training set the course for the work today and for the future.It’s not enough to just have a good attitude and talk about the things that are important. A leader’s job is to equip followers to become leaders. Even in a group of friends, if you are the leader, you are informally training your friends about what leadership looks like.  Especially in a church setting, you want to train and equip your team in the best ways that you can, frequently sharing resources, ideas, and tips to continue to get better.

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.

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.