The holidays are over, and even though it is still cold outside, we know you’re starting to plan for camp! We want to give you some details specifically regarding the 2013 CentriKid theme, so you can start exciting your campers and informing their parents.
Our theme this year is “Out of This World: Where God Is Always with Us!” We’ll be teaching campers about different ways God abides with us and makes His presence known. The Key Verse will be Revelation 21:3 (shown below).
Check out our theme logo for 2013! You can click on them and download them to use for your own promotional materials as you prepare for camp!
Here is a quick guide of the best way to use each variation of the logo:
Also available for download is this 2013 Theme Art:
The last fun and exciting item we are going to share with you today is the 2013 Give-Away T-shirt design! Everyone who attends camp this summer will receive one of these t-shirts. We know many churches also make their own t-shirts, so we wanted to show you ours so you could plan yours accordingly and make sure yours are different and unique.
Continue to check out our blog for the Camp Prep series that is coming soon!
One of my seminary professors once told me that God’s love and God’s justice are two sides of the same coin – you can’t have one without the other. As you teach kids and help them gain an understanding of God’s love, it is important to also teach them about God’s justice.
Check out the following verses as you prepare to teach about God’s justice:
In addition to the Scripture above, I have found this analogy helpful in explaining God’s justice to kids:
Think about a policeman. If a policeman saw someone steal something or hurt someone else and he did nothing about it, would you say that is a good policeman? No. We expect police to catch people that do bad things and to put them in jail. Now think about God. God knows all the bad things we do. If God never punished people for the bad things that we do, would we say that he is a good God? No. People that do bad things deserve to be punished. That is fair and right. If God punished all of us eternally in hell, that would be fair – it is what we deserve. God is just, but the good news (gospel) is that he is also loving and gives us the chance to receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
God’s love and God’s justice are two sides of the same coin. Teaching on one without the other is incomplete. Helping kids understand God’s justice will also help them to have a deeper appreciation for God’s love and grace, and it will help them to have a fuller, more well-rounded understanding of the gospel.
We are excited to introduce you all to our newest office team member, Adrienne Smith. Adrienne served with us last summer as a team leader on CK4 at Anderson University, and has graciously agreed to step in and join us as we prepare for another great summer of ministry. She will be working in the office with us this semester and throughout the summer, helping to coordinate some of the logistics of camp. Be sure to look for her on the blog, as well as at our upcoming events!
Adrienne will be working with us as we communicate with churches, prepare inventory, write material, and a host of other tasks. We are beyond excited to have another set of hands on the team, but we are especially excited to welcome someone so fun, sweet, and willing to give it her all!
Adrienne is from the great state of Virginia, has a twin sister, and is pursuing her religion degree at Liberty University. Her favorite color is green and her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice.
As you journey forward in both your life and your ministry, you will always find yourself working with other people. Biblically, we need one another for encouragement and to cover each other’s weaknesses. Because relationships are your most valuable resource in life, there are a few key phrases you should work to make a part of your normal vocabulary. When used properly, these phrases tend to go unnoticed. When forgotten or neglected, the negative impact is surprisingly damaging.
A simple “thank you” communicates your gratitude in the smallest way, but carries the biggest impact. Take a second and think of all the people who have done something for you this week, or even just today. Did you thank them? While a “thank you” costs us nothing, it says to others that you appreciate and see the value in what they have done for you. Many times, you may not even know what all has gone into their act of service. Thanking them helps to build a stronger relationship– be it with your mom, your spouse, your volunteers, or the lady at the check out line. Saying “thanks” with a sincere heart adds value to others.
Learning to apologize can be one of the most difficult, yet valuable lessons you will ever learn. Nobody likes to apologize, because it implies that you have done something wrong. The key in both your life and your ministry is to learn to apologize– not only for your mistakes, but also for the circumstances that are beyond your control. At the end of the day, it rarely matters who’s fault something is. The people in your life may not stop to tell you they appreciate your apology, but it certainly goes noticed when you opt to remain silent. Take one for the team, be the bigger person, and humble yourself by simply offering an apology. The earlier it is offered, the better it is received.
The average child in elementary school spends 35 hours in school each week. Is it any wonder, then, that they won’t sit still in your classroom on Sunday morning or Wednesday night? The majority of kids are active learners, so here are a few tips for making learning fun without losing focus of the day’s main idea:
Remember, just because kids are not sitting still doesn’t mean they are not learning! In fact, they usually retain the day’s lesson best by learning with their hands and feet. What other ways do you keep kids engaged in your ministry?
Having a plan makes a big difference in how things turn out. One of my hobbies is wood-working and a recent project was converting my daughter’s “baby bed” into a “day bed.” We bought the baby bed as a floor model so we didn’t have all the pieces to convert it…so I decided to build the new rail for the day bed. I sketched out the design, shopped for supplies, and got to work. There were a couple of unexpected challenges but I was able to review the plan, modify as needed, and finish the project.
In hobbies, life, and even in ministry a plan is essential. Taking the time to prepare a plan is really taking time to prepare to “succeed.” And skipping the planning often puts the effectiveness in jeopardy. Whether its a plan for recruiting volunteers, an upcoming fundraiser, evaluating a new curriculum, or planning an event….
Here are 4 Reasons not to skip the planning phase:
The ministry the Lord has given us to steward is important enough to give our best efforts, so I hope this inspires you and challenges you to commit the time to plan for success!
You could likely make a list of things you just could not get by in your children’s ministry without. Maybe for you it’s popsicle sticks and markers. Maybe it’s animal crackers, your sound system, or the picnic table you meet at each week. Maybe it’s even your team of volunteers.
But you as a children’s minister, volunteer, or even a parent have a few great resources up your sleeve as well. Three of your most valuable resources in kids ministry are your time, your attention, and your energy.
Your time. We all know that there simply isn’t enough of this. What you give your time to can quickly become who you are. Make sure you’re giving your ministry the time it deserves in preparation, in action, and in prayer. Do you view your ministry as your calling or your afterthought?
Your attention. Your focused attention can mean the world in the life of a child. Some kids in your ministry are seeking attention that they will not find in other places. When talking with a kid, get down on your knee so you can make eye contact with them. Make them feel like they are the only kid in the room. Seek out time to listen and to do something with them one-on-one.
Your energy. Many kids ministry workers, parents, and church staffers are simply overloaded. At the end of the day, it can be difficult to give it your all. The kids in your life deserve your best and will often relate best to high energy. Push yourself to always do one more thing in your ministry, and God will continue to supply all that you need.
Guest Blogger: Mary Chase Breedlove
Children’s Ministry. Sometimes those two words paint an image of angelic, frolicking children playing gently with colored building blocks and eating their cookies and Kool-Aid quietly at a kid-sized table. They sing songs and read stories about the Bible. They sit quietly through lessons. Sure, sometimes they may make you want to pull your hair out, but for the most part, they’re well-behaved.
For some, perhaps I’ve described a decent image of your very own children’s ministry. But I’m sure most children’s ministers and volunteers find themselves in a whirlwind of laughing, talking, running, jumping, playing, complaining, shushing, and the general “joyful noise” of children.
So what do you do when someone from your church criticizes your ministry because kids are laughing loudly in the children’s room? Or one took off running through the hallway?
A lot of the “church curmudgeons” known for their criticism can be very discouraging to children’s ministers, especially young ones. You know the people I’m talking about—the ones who don’t like loud music and expect nothing less than for the third grade boys to sit quietly and perfectly still for an hour-long lesson.
I understand people can be slow to change, and the idea of active learning may be foreign to some, but I want to encourage you to try to include them in your ministry. I know it’s hard to fight the temptation of arguing with them or being engulfed in rage. The next time they complain to you (or someone else) about how loud their room sounds or how energetic they are, invite them to participate in your Wednesday or Sunday activity. Let them see how important active learning is for children.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned working as a CentriKid staffer, production leader and director is the importance of active learning. Children learn though doing; some of the most intentional conversations I’ve ever had with kids have occurred while they are crawling around on the floor playing a game during Bible study or running through a sprinkler during an outdoor track time. Sure, it’s summer camp, but when kids are engaged, they are attentive.
If you have to crawl on all fours playing a game that illustrates the Gospel, do it. If you have to jump around doing hand motions to songs to get kids excited, they could memorize scripture in the process.
There is no limit to how children can learn about Jesus.
I was sitting at my desk a couple days ago writing the basketball track time manual that all of our basketball tracks at CentriKid will go by this summer. While working on it, I created the coolest basketball game for kids of all time… OK, that’s probably a pretty extreme statement and not entirely true, but I did create a basketball game for kids that I think sounds awesome and that I really want to play, so it’s practically the same thing.
At CentriKid Camps, we look to connect everything we do back to God’s Word and how it applies to campers’ lives and our lives, so after I completed the game, I started trying to figure out a debrief that connects this basketball game to the Bible study theme of Day 2 which also connects to the Gospel. Call me pessimistic, but my initial thought while looking at this is that it would be impossible to find a connection. I had created a random basketball game designed to help kids work on their dribbling skills and to have a ton of fun. Honestly, a connection to the Gospel wasn’t on my mind right when I was making up the rules to this game.
As I sat there and tried to decide if I should just find a different game that relates better, I saw a connection that could be made. I ran with it, and when I was finished writing it, I had a spiritual debrief that connected my random basketball game to the Bible study lesson and the Gospel without taking anything out of context or having to stretch to make it work. It just fit.
I was reminded all over again that the word of God is alive and active and applies to every aspect of our lives—even something as small as a kids’ basketball game. Ask God to show you how He’s working in the minor details of your life. Let Him have control over the things that you feel are impossible for Him to care about because He does care about them, and He wants to take even them smallest burden away from you. As you go through each day, seek Him in everything, and you will find Him in everything.
Every January and February, CentriKid office team members join the LifeWay Kids events team and travel the country hosting Vacation Bible School Preview Events. These events are wonderful opportunities for church leaders to come and get a sneak peek at the upcoming year’s VBS, network, share ideas, talk with the creators, and have a whole lot of fun. This week over a thousand church leaders and representatives are at Ridgecrest learning and preparing to lead their children’s ministry this summer.
So far we are having a wonderful time sharing ideas and learning from one another! It’s exciting to know that the Lord is already at work through the leaders who have come to learn. This summer hundreds of thousands of children will hear the Gospel and encounter Christ through VBS, many of them for the very first time.
Take a look at the LifeWay VBS facebook page to stay updated with fun photos and behind-the-scenes looks at all that’s happening here!