Archive for September, 2012

RESOURCE: The Gospel, God’s Plan for Me

Have you ever wondered how to share the gospel with kids in a more effective way? If you came to CentriKid this summer, you may have seen a new resource we’ve provided for sharing the gospel with kids. It’s called The Gospel, God’s Plan for Me. This small 16-page booklet walks kids through

the gospel story, beginning with creation, and outlines our response to the gospel. This booklet will soon be available online and in LifeWay stores as a resource you can use in your ministry.

Why did we create this resource?

  • We wanted to provide a simple way for kids to hear the gospel story. For many kids, it takes hearing the same story in a number of ways before it catches on.
  • We realized that as leaders, we often focus the bulk of our time and attention with kids on our response to the gospel, when kids may not even understand what exactly they are responding to.
  • We hoped to provide a true resource for leaders, and even adults who are not as comfortable sharing the gospel in kid-friendly language.
  • We worked to offer something kids could keep for more than a day, re-read over and over again, or even pass along to a friend?

Where can you use it?

  • Weekly programming
  • VBS
  • Summer camp
  • Outreach events
  • A resource for parents to take and use
  • Anytime you share the gospel story and invite kids to respond

Look for The Gospel, God’s Plan for Me, available in LifeWay stores and online this winter. It will be available in both HCSB and ESV.

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.

Sep

18

2012

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4 Practical Tips for Being a Life Learner

A phrase I grasped hold of quite a few years ago was this: “Be a life learner.”

The world around us is rapidly growing and changing and there is always new information to learn. When I approach each day as alearner, I am placing value on the ideas and people around me. Learning is an act of humility, and being an effective minister of the Gospel means constantly seeking to relate to those around us. Keeping the “life learner” mentality is key to avoiding complacency and continually seeking to grow.

1.     Learn to love to read. There are countless people in this world smarter than me and though I may never get the chance to chat with them, their ideas and resources are often right at my fingertips. Get in a habit of reading often, be it novels, blogs, or even how-to’s.

2.     Find a mentor. No matter what stage of life you may be in, seek to find someone older than you who can counsel you with Godly wisdom. Chances are they have walked through many of the circumstances you are in now and you can grow from their experience!

3.     Go to a conference. Conferences are great places to connect with both peers and professionals who are both seeking to learn and looking for great ideas. Be sure to check out the upcoming LifeWay Kids Ministry Conference!

4.     Keep an open mind. It takes a lot of humility to admit that my way is not necessarily always the best way. Listen to the ideas of others, observe the pros and cons, and keep yourself open to change!

Laura Register

Laura graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Counseling and Human Development Services, focusing on Recreation Management. She began working for CentriKid in the summer of 2010 and joined the office staff in 2012.

Sep

14

2012

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LifeWay Kids Links

This Friday, take a minute to find something new from LifeWay Kids by checking out these resources.  The CentriKid team is part of the larger LifeWay Kids ministry team so we wanted to share the love today and point you towards a few of the other ministry resources we offer.

To get all the news and updates, follow some of these resources on a social network or check out their blogs.

The Kids Ministry 101 blog is the main spot for social meda info on all things LifeWay Kids.  You can regularly learn fun facts and get to know the folks on the LifeWay Kids team here.

LifeWay Kids on Facebook

@LifeWayKids on Twitter

LifeWay VBS – The main site for theme information, spritual direction, VBS Preview Events, and the VBS blog.

LifeWay VBS on Facebook

@LifeWayVBS on Twitter

The Gospel Project for Kids has lots of samples, videos, and details about the newest study from LifeWay.  There may even be something to pass on to the Pastor or the Student Ministry folks at your church because the Gospel Project is designed for all three age groups.

The Gospel Project on Facebook periodically posts inspiring images that are cool to share with your other Facebook friends.

@Gospel_Project 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.

Sep

12

2012

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Game Idea: Fencing

At CentriKid Camps, we love fun and active games. One of our favorites is called Fencing! This game is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Supplies:
4 boffers or foam swords (4 halved pool noodles will also do the trick)

Setup:
Have players stand in a circle, and place the boffers in the center.

Play it:
Any player may run to the center and grab a sword. Once a second player enters the circle and grabs a sword,

the players may sword fight. When a player is tagged, he or she must drop the sword, return to the circle, and sit down. A player may not be tagged until he or she has picked up a sword. Up to four players may fight at a time. The last player standing wins!

Hint:
If you have a large group, consider playing in two circles.

Debrief it:
In this game, players fight against one another. In our lives, our sinful nature constantly fights against us. Just like in the game, there can only be one winner, in our lives, only one person can defeat our sin. Check out Romans 7, and especially verses 24-25a: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

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.

Sep

11

2012

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Teaching Kids to Love Serving

“It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

There is not much that ranks higher on the list of things we should teach children than a love for serving. We are to be compelled by our love for Christ into serving. Here are 5 practical ways you can instill a love for serving in those that you lead at church or in your children at home.

1. Serve together. Involve entire families in the serving process.

2. Do something that a kid can do well. Although young kids may not be able to build a house or paint someone’s fence, they can serve food to homeless with a smile on their face. Kids will connect when they feel they are doing well and are making a difference. Teach children to speak to those they serve and try to treat them like Jesus would treat them.

3. Do something practical where you can see immediate fruit. Pass out clothes to a family who lost their home in a fire, or sort canned goods and then stay for when they distribute them. As kids see needs met, they’ll understand the great need to serve.

4. Help them understand it doesn’t have to be organized on a Saturday morning. Challenge kids to take someone’s lunch tray or to be generous with their school supplies when someone needs something. Teach them to watch for needs that they can meet.

5. Let the kids choose where and how to serve. If they would rather give out bottled water (must be sealed) at a local baseball game or go clean the house of someone who has been in the hospital than go serve a meal at the soup kitchen or go play games at a nursing home, then let them.

Cast the vision that serving is not about us and all about meeting the needs of others.
Teaching children to love to serve is one of the best ways to set them up to be servants throughout their life.
Give kids a chance to serve, and teaching them to love it will just happen!

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.

Sep

10

2012

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Top 5 Reasons CentriKid has a New Website Coming!

We are so thankful for the church leaders who choose CentriKid every summer and for the folks who keep up with the CentriKid blog online!  For all of you, we’ve got big news about our new website.  It is coming very soon and you will want to check it out for sure!
Here are the top 5 reasons CentriKid has a new site coming!
  1. It is going to be easier to find information you are looking for on our site. We’ve got simpler menus, plus a new menu at the bottom of the page.
  2. New location pages are coming with added detail online for each camp location.  Church leaders can get answers to questions & also point the parents of campers to these location detail pages too.
  3. We finally have a chance to bring the blog and the website together.  CentriKid fans have asked us for a while, and now we are able to make it happen on one site.
  4. All the LifeWay blogs are coming to the WordPress platform over the next few months so your experience will be more consistent across the different blogs.  They won’t all look the same (and all can’t be as fun as CentriKid!) but I think you’ll appreciate the change.
  5. You have been looking at the same CentriKid website for too long.  It was time.  Our last refresh about 4 years ago, so get excited, it is coming soon!

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.

Sep

7

2012

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Stay Connected

Social media is a great tool to use in both your personal life and your ministry. It’s fun, up to date, and a great way to both stay in touch with others and spread information. One of our favorite things about social media is that it gives us an opportunity to talk to you, but to hear from you as well!
Be sure to stay connected with CentriKid this year for fun photo updates, important event information, and the latest on great kids ministry tips and reminders! Here are some great ways to keep in touch with us:
Watch for the new website and blog update!
Check us out on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter at @centrikid
…And the latest addition to our social media family: Follow us on Instagram at @centrikid

Laura Register

Laura graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Counseling and Human Development Services, focusing on Recreation Management. She began working for CentriKid in the summer of 2010 and joined the office staff in 2012.

Sep

3

2012

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3 Uncompromising Qualities of a CentriKid Staffer

Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We base hiring decisions for the CentriKid office and CentriKid summer staff on three qualities….character, chemistry, and competence … in that order.  We get this emphasis from reading Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels.

  1. It all begins with character, and this is non-negotiable.  We seek out staff who demonstrate Christ-like character and a calling to ministry.  Our ministry is focused on making the message of Christ clear for kids at camp so we must have staff who are pursuing Christ.
  2. Team chemistry is not an easy thing to predict, but the type of person we hire has to be one that we believe will fit the CentriKid culture.  The nature of serving at camp is in a team setting where everybody pitches in to help get the work done behind the scenes.  Even with kids, it is a team approach to connecting with them through the week, helping answer questions, explaining spiritual truths, and modeling the gospel in our lives.
  3. Competence comes 3rd on the list, although it is very important, we make the distinction that it isn’t the MOST important thing about a staffer.  We don’t just hire a person because they are good at something… their character and chemistry to match up first.
The proof is in the results.  We love that we have the opportunity to celebrate almost a thousand kids who came to know Christ for the first time at CentriKid in the summer of 2012!  This is a God-sized number of lives impacted by the staff who serve at camp.  I’m so thankful that they are willing to serve the Lord and share the gospel 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.