Archive for August, 2012

Aug

31

2012

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You’re Invited to KMC!

Don’t believe us?  See what David Pearson has to say about Kids Ministry Conference!

Click here for more information and to register for KMC.  Hope to see you 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!

Aug

30

2012

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5 Practical Tips to Keep the Attention of Kids

You are constantly fighting for the attention of the kids at church. We live in a world saturated with entertainment, where even on the short drive to church there is probably a video game in the hands of every kid under 13. So, how do you compete? 

Some choose to say they won’t compete and some throw every gaming system and slang acronym at kids, entertaining them, but missing out on solid teaching.

If you fall somewhere in the middle – wanting kids to be engaged and get quality Biblical content that supersedes just having fun and being entertained – you are not alone.

 

Here are some practical ways to keep the attention of kids at your church that we use at CentriKid Camps:

1.     Keep segments short. A kid’s attention span is normally about as long (in minutes) as their age.

2.     Keep them moving. Don’t let them sit in the same chair the whole hour. Have them up and moving around the room. Take them on a journey if you are talking about Paul’s journeys or tape a whale on the floor for them to sit in if you are talking about Jonah.

3.      Don’t waste game time. Games can be a great way to tie in spiritual content for kinesthetic learners. Connect games to stories principles that you are teaching.

4.     Vary activities each week. Keep kids guessing about what is coming next. This takes planning and preparation, but has a huge pay-off.

5.     Make it apparent that you care. Kids think video games are great, but kids will know when you genuinely care… and that makes all the difference.

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.

Aug

28

2012

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Like camp? You’ll love KMC!

If you haven’t heard about LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference yet, you’re missing out!  

Join us for three exciting days that will help unlock your potential as a kids’ minister. Experience worship with Travis Cottrell. Hear from Coach Tommy Bowden, pastor Tony Merida, sought-after Bible teacher and speaker Lisa Harper, ministry expert Doug Fields, pastor Clayton King, and former football player and Big Oak Ranch founder John Croyle. Learn first-hand from DayStar Ministry counselors, Melissa Trevathan, Sissy Goff, and Dave Thomas. Explore current topics and trends in kid’s ministry, and soak up the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains while your mind and spirit recharge. You’ll go home refreshed, refocused, and ready to take your kids’ ministry to the max.   With over 40 breakout sessions to choose from, there’s something for everyone!

Pull out that calendar and mark out October 8-10 for Kids Ministry Conference–register now! 

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!

Aug

24

2012

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Clues to CentriKid Camp Mystery revealed at KMC

 

We’ve had a lot of questions from folks who attended CentriKid Camps this summer and saw this video:

COOPER TEASER from CentriKid Camps on Vimeo.

The mystery will be revealed this fall at Ridgecrest during the KMC conference.  See more details about the conference line-up online at www.lifeway.com/kmc

 

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.

Aug

23

2012

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5 Tips for Communicating to Your Team

During my many summers at camp, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of strong communication. Team members really want to know what’s going on, what’s expected of them, and how things are going. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

What you talk about is what they will find important. Think about recent conversations you’ve had with your team. Did you talk about details? Big picture? Only negatives? The team will place importance on what you communicate most, so keep the main thing the main thing.

Cast Vision Early and Often. You can’t say it once a year and expect it to stick. Where are we going? What’s the goal? Remind your team of this over and over and over. It’s equally important to remember that it’ll be tough to succeed if you never cast vision in the beginning — you’ll always be catching up. Cast vision early, and re-cast it often.

Over-Communicate. Just when you sense you’ve said something too much, you are likely just beginning to get to a point where team members get it. Not everyone is an auditory learner. It helps to say it to the group, but maybe send a follow-up text and perhaps also write it down where everyone can see it. At camp, we talk through the schedule of events and also post the schedule on a large poster where team members can see it many times a day.

Celebrate the victories by communicating them. With a team, not everyone always knows what’s happening. Communicate the victories to everyone, even if they are not directly involved. “We had 15 first-time visitors today!” is great for all leaders to hear, even if some had no visitors in their class. Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated. Highlight.

Praise in public, correct in private. When you see team members succeeding, talk about it. Behavior that’s rewarded will be repeated, so highlight the things you want to see in team members. In contrast, approach team members in private when they’ve done something wrong or need correcting. No one likes to be called out in front of the whole team, and team members will appreciate you approaching them in private.

Meredith Teasley loves to talk and write about leadership, and is thankful for the “leadership lab” provided by CentriKid Camps. She’s learned the hard way that communication can make or break a team, and wants to help you succeed with your team by leading well and communicating well!

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.

Value of Having Lunch With Kids

 

Whether you are a parent, teacher, minister, small group leader, or just a friend to a child, there are exciting times to be had when you share a meal with them.

I recall my days in middle & high school when our Campus Life leader would come to visit at school.  I hoped he would talk to me, sit by me, and affirm my worth in front of my peers.  Maybe he would speak to my friends about Jesus in a way that I could not.  His presence would break up the routine of the day-to-day lunch rush in the school cafeteria.  He was just there to build relationships.

So I asked myself as an adult, how could I show these children they were important and deserved special attention? Their friends were worth meeting, and they had something to share.  How could we make it fun?  How could I make it memorable?  

 

For five years I had the privilege of going to 32 Elementary schools and home school gatherings to enjoy a meal with kids from our church.  Every Tuesday & Thursday I went to a different school and sat in a cafeteria from about 10:45am-1:00pm, moving around the room to visit with our kids.  I listen, ask questions, and use my presence as an opportunity to help the child be bold to share their faith.

You can learn a lot about your children over pizza and tater-tots.  It allowed me to poke around into a child’s spiritual life, home life, or listen for clues to what or who is important to this child.  When bigger issues arose and I was needed as a minster to help them with tough times or celebrate with their decisions, we had already built some rapport.

 

Use personal touches to help break the ice. I rode my motorcycle to visit them.  I wore my leather biker jacket and boots and brought in my helmet. This always started some kind of conversation. I brought my digital camera and obtained prior permission from the parents to visit their child and take their picture. At the end of each month, I would print out each picture of a child with me and mail it to them. Each photo said “Thanks for having lunch with Mr. Shane.”

Something amazing happens when you can be a little silly and have some fun with a kid over a meal.   I still have many good relationships with those kids who are now serving with me in ministry that are High School, College, and young adults.  Relationships over a meal can go farther than I ever dreamed.

This is a guest post from Shane Pass, Minister to Children, at Clearview Baptist Church in Franklin, TN. Shane is a great friend of CentriKid Camps! To connect with Shane, visit his blog HERE.

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!

Aug

21

2012

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2013 Update on Jeff Slaughter

From all of us here in the CentriKid Office, we pray that God did big things among your group at camp this summer! We hope that each individual you brought to camp had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. That is our goal and focus. We firmly believe that life-changing experience with Christ happens best through the context of relationships.

One of these relationships we are blessed to have is with Jeff Slaughter. As many of you already know, Jeff is going through a lot of transition in his life and the Lord is calling him in new directions and opening up many new ministry opportunities. These new opportunities have led Jeff to make a difficult decision to not return to CentriKid in 2013. Jeff has been a valuable part of our CentriKid Camps team as he has led worship for the better part of 10 years. It has been an absolute privilege to watch the Lord work through Jeff Slaughter as he has led thousands of kids to worship God with some of his classics including “We Believe” and “It’s All True.” No one can ever forget laughing and dancing to songs like “Humpty Dumpty,” and waking up to “I Can’t Wait” each day at camp.

As Jeff embarks on his new journey, we want to celebrate all that God has done and will continue to do in his life. We are saddened that he is not returning to camp in 2013, but we honor Jeff’s commitment to the Lord’s direction, and will be praying for him as he moves into these new ministry opportunities. Jeff will be missed, but we will continue to keep the focus of camp on sharing Christ and investing in the lives of your kids.

This summer was full of amazing memories! We saw so many great things take place as we studied about how to live a transformed life! We are looking forward to all God has in store next summer as we go “Out of This World…where God is always with us!”

CentriKid Camps | The Nashville Office

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.

6 Ways to NOT Embarrass Your Preteen

Have you ever embarrassed your kids?
I remember the first time it happened… We were at a ballgame, cheering on our team, one of our favorite activities to do together. After a big play, when everyone jumped up to cheer, I showed my age, letting loose with the Arsenio Hall-esque dog pound park, waving my fist as I barked. Even though the crowd around us was not paying any attention to my personal version of “Who Let the Dogs Out,” my preteen nudged me in the side, saying, “Don’t do that, Dad!” Ahh, I knew the preteen years were upon us!
 
To date, I have embarrassed him many more times but learned some valuable lessons along the way. Consider these 6 Ways NOT to Embarrass Your Preteen:
  1. Listen to what your preteen has to say. He wants you to consider his feelings and not treat them as ridiculous.
  2. Understand that he is becoming more self-conscious. It will happen as he gets older, his body changes, and others grow at different paces. Kids point out differences, and it is difficult not to feel self-conscious.
  3. Do your best to build your child’s confidence. Do so by pointing out the special way God created him, his strengths, and his talents. Don’t give false praise. Don’t tease your child about his body. Put his confidence in God, God’s love for him, and the special plan God has for his life.
  4. Laugh! It is OK to have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Laughter has a way of breaking any tension and putting things into perspective. 
  5. Continue to practice great communication. Treat future requests with respect. Show you care about his thoughts and opinions. Share yours.
  6. Remember the important role you have.  Before you feel any sorrow at your son’s reaction to you, consider the good news: Your child still is most influenced by you! Sure these years are marked by the growth of influence by friends, but you most shape his identity because you are family. Be thankful and tackle any difficulties with unconditional love for your preteen.
To date, my son has made it to age 13, and we still regularly go to games together! Sure, the list of ways to embarrass him may have grown (“Dad, are you going to wear that shirt?”), but I have not lost heart. Although I occasionally break out a cheer, or a shirt, that embarrasses him, we never have stopped enjoying games or other good times together. Good luck!

William Summey is Project Leader of ParentLife magazine and loves to watch baseball with his boys, ages 8 and 13.  Check out the ParentLife blog and get regular updates on the ParentLife Facebook page or from Twitter – @ParentLife. 
 

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!

6 Tips for Balancing Results and Relationships

When approaching your work, do you create a “who” list or a “to do” list?  We are all wired to fit somewhere on the spectrum of “task-focused” to “relationship-focused.”  Most folks I know are pretty good at both, but have a tendency to lean one way or the other.

My gifting and the way God has wired me is to be task-focused so a to-do list is where I work.  I’ve got friends who start their week with a list (either mentally or sometimes written) of people to connect with rather than tasks to accomplish.

The key to success no matter your wiring or tendency is balance.  Here are six practical tips for balancing results and relationships:

To be more task-focused:

  • Start a to-do list and put stuff on it.  Get a notebook or notepad that you like carrying around, or one that fits in your purse or pocket.
  • Write things down.  Don’t trust your memory because we all tend to forget things when we are enjoying connecting with people.
  • Remember, it doesn’t make you rude or antisocial to reschedule a chat or tell someone you have to talk later when there are important tasks due.

To be more relationship-focused:

  • Don’t delay.  When you think of it, affirm the things you appreciate when speaking with someone. Paying compliments can seem less important than a project you’re working on, but it only takes a second and makes a big difference.
  • Set a goal. You can buy a box of notecards and a date to have them used by… or set tangible goals for meaningful conversations to have in a given week.
  • Remember – it isn’t a bad thing to treat “building relationships” as a task if that helps you work at it and holds you accountable.  As long as you are genuine, it will be the right thing to do.

Share other ideas with us on the CentriKid Facebook page about how you balance your responsibilities at home and at work.

 

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.

Aug

14

2012

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5 needs of first-time volunteers

I’m a new volunteer. You coerced me to come help out, or one of my friends convinced me, or maybe I just felt the Lord leading to work in children’s ministry. Either way, I’m new. I don’t know what I’m doing. What do I need? Here are a few things that come to mind…

Direction. Tell me what to do. Help me understand my role. Give me clear directions and show me what SUCCESS looks like in this ministry.

Inspiration.
Cast a big vision for me. Remind me of the work the Lord is doing in our kids ministry. Show me evidence of the need for workers in our church. What I’m doing makes a difference, and I need YOU to remind me of that!

Encouragement and Prayer. Let me know you care. Show me that you really do pray for me. Write me a note. Say “Thanks” as often as you can. Let me know you see my efforts and appreciate having folks like me volunteering to help kids know and love Jesus. Allow me to share when things are not going well, and let me know you really are praying for those kids who are struggling in my group!

Feedback. Am I doing a good job? Tell me. Are there areas where I really need to improve? Let me know. If you’ve encouraged me and shown you care, then feedback is just what I need. Remember I’m not perfect but help me to stay on track with where you are leading our team.

A Challenge. Allow me to grow! Give me something new to tackle, especially after I’ve proven that I’m up for the task. Don’t give me Mt. Everest to climb, but a small hill leading to a small victory will help me grow in my service and leadership.

If you are a my leader, help me. Appreciate me. Encourage and pray for me. Most of all, lead me. Set an example and keep me focused on the big picture, the end goal. What else to new volunteers need? Comment and add your thoughts!

Before joining the CK Team, Meredith Teasley led a team of 100+ volunteers as a #kidmin in a local church. She writers from her own mistakes and challenges working with lots of new volunteers. Now, Meredith and her husband Nic love serving in the reverse role – volunteering with 3rd-6th graders in their Nashville church.

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.