I realized something recently as my heart broke (as it so often does) for the stories and the hurts of the children that I encounter each day in my ministry. I’m often broken by the tragic things they go through and even the choices they make. The more my heart aches for them, the more I am grateful for the blessings the Lord has put in my own life. Sometimes these blessings look like avoiding certain hurts. Sometimes they look like walking through tough times and coming out with a greater knowledge of God’s faithfulness and goodness.
I was recently reminded that the place where God’s blessings meet our brokenness is the place where we are most called to do ministry. There is a reason you are the most passionate about the things that break your hearts. There is a reason for the specific blessings God has laid out before you. God calls each and equips each of us for a very specific purpose. Through brokenness He reveals our heart’s passions and through blessings He equips us to meet the needs that our hearts are so bent on.
Maybe you can see exactly what your heart’s passions are in your ministry. Maybe you have days when you simply aren’t sure why you do what you do. When was the last time you let your heart simply break over something? Remember that as we walk in faith and obedience to God, brokenness is a good thing. It shows that our hearts are aligned with God’s heart and that we are passionate about the people and the issues that He is so passionate about Himself. Take some time to think today about what your passions are in your ministry and how God has specifically equipped you to meet needs through His blessings.
We know that when your kids get back from camp you are dying to know all about it! Lets be honest, they cannot wait to tell you either! Our mission is that every child leaves CentriKid having a life-changing encounter with Christ! That is why it is so important to ask your kids about their time at camp. Dig deep to see what they learned and how they plan to apply it in their everyday lives. This will help them continue to grow spiritually and will help you know where they are in their walk with Christ! In the video below, Katie will walk you through some great questions to ask your children after camp!
For many of our CentriKid teams, this will be the last week of camp (2 of our teams finished last week). The end of the summer means a few things – a lot of hugs and tears, but also LOTS of counting, labeling, taping boxes, and packing (inventory). While it is hard to get overly excited about counting pencils and paperclips, recently I have gained a new perspective on the importance of finishing well.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned that the way that a team ends the summer has a direct effect on how the next team will begin. The work that we do as we wrap things up either sets up the next team for success or failure. The point is, there are always people that will come after you and fill your shoes, and the way that you finish says a lot about your character and your values. Make it your mission to finish well.
Maybe you are currently finding yourself in a time of transition. Maybe things are winding down in your current situation and you are moving on to the next best thing or a new, exciting chapter of your life. Remember this challenge that Paul wrote to the Colossians: “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). Don’t move ahead too quickly. Finish well, then devote yourself wholeheartedly to your next task.
Maybe you are in a difficult situation, and the end is not even in sight. Be encouraged by these words: “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Heb. 10:23-25). Seek encouragement and support from your brothers and sisters in Christ, but even if they fail you, remember that He who promised is faithful. Hold on. Don’t waver. Finish well.
Check out some awesome things that happened this week at CentriKid!
Join us in praying for our churches that are traveling home from a great week of camp today!
Many of you have had the privilege of seeing Laura Register at CentriKid Camps this summer and over the past few years. During the past year, Laura also has served in the CentriKid office. Today is Laura’s birthday, so we want to celebrate with her by remembering all the fun times we have shared together in the CentriKid office at LifeWay.
One of Laura’s projects was the camp store. One day, we looked at this closet of tiny t-shirts to pick out shirts for camp. Of course, Laura had to draw a tiny man to go with the tiny t-shirts! We also spent a few days creating a new display for the camp store, and Laura helped create our glowing box!
Many times, our adventures at LifeWay led us to some very fun places, like a stairwell where the sunlight glares brightly every day, the green room, and even the penthouse (which is not as glamorous as it sounds).
At LifeWay, we also stumbled upon some old trinkets from previous years of VBS and CentriKid Camps. Some of our favorites were the koala hair clip from VBS in 2004, an inflatable moose from VBS in 2006, and the Barbosa box and treasure map from CentriKid Camps in 2011!
One of our favorite lunch time activities in the CentriKid office is sharing childhood memories. One day, Laura shared this gem with us. At CentriKid recreation in 2013, we have been playing a game called Big Friz. I think this hairdo was inspired by that game.
You may have noticed in the picture of tiny t-shirt man, but Laura is currently proudly wearing an engagement ring, and she is planning to marry Daniel in September. We’re sad to see Laura leave our team, but we know that God has amazing things planned for her in the future. Thanks Laura, for everything you have done to make CentriKid a place where kids can have the time of their lives and where they can encounter Christ and experience life-change.
Are you looking for more ways to connect with CentriKid all year round?
Check out all the different ways you can connect with us:
You can even subscribe to our blog and have all of our posts emailed to you as soon as they are posted! Go to centrikid.com where you can enter your email address to have our blogs sent to your email! We post ministry tips, stories from camp, and even helpful information for group leaders and parents! Our blog is another great way to connect with us!
It has been another great week at CentriKid! We are seeing life-change take place all over the country! Did your kids have a life-changing encounter with Christ at CentriKid this year? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about it! We would love to hear about the out of this world things that the Lord has done at CentriKid this summer!
Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany Avondale Estates First Baptist Church to CentriKid at Shocco Springs. This was my second time to experience camp as an adult sponsor, but it was my first time in three years to not be a staffer at CentriKid.
My husband Christopher and our good friend Kalen are serving as the children’s ministers at Avondale. The three of us and eight of the most awesome kids in the universe made up a small fraction of the 800+ kids attending camp.
I worked at Shocco Springs in 2010–my first year as a staffer and the summer I met my husband. As soon as I walked in the auditorium for the opening celebration, I promptly turned around, bolted for the bathroom, and sobbed for about ten minutes.
Sure, I missed camp terribly, but I knew it wasn’t the reason I was weeping. The more I tried to calm down, the harder I cried. I slowly realized that I was simply overwhelmed by what God has done in my life through CentriKid. Allow me to explain: I met my husband working CentriKid. We became great friends the summer we worked together, and in God’s perfect timing, He put Christopher in my life. Last summer, I served as a director for CK7. My assistant director, Ellie, is currently the director of the team working at Shocco. I developed a lifelong friendship with Ellie last summer. Seeing her lead this team made my heart soar. The camp pastor grew up at Avondale Estates FBC.
I began to see my journey with camp come full circle. I was crying because my heart was overflowing with joy and spilling out as tears.
The greatest blessing of the week, however, was being with children on the “other side” of camp. For the first time since we got married, I got to know some of the Avondale Estates kids — I heard their stories, got to know their personalities, and witnessed them having an encounter with Jesus. I was reminded why I worked at CentriKid all over again.
Children’s ministers and adults involved with children’s ministry have the opportunity to experience their kids having a life-changing encounter with Christ. Bringing kids to camp is supposed to be a refreshing recharge for ministry—but I hope we never lose sight of the responsibility we have to continue to point children toward that life-changing experience the other 51 weeks out of the year.
I’d like to share three things I think adult sponsors can learn from my experience as a former staffer:
1. Make every minute count. As a staffer, every second of every minute of my day was accounted for in some way—as a group leader, you don’t have to be quite so strict; but be on time. Arrive on time. If you make an effort to be on time, you’ll be surprised how much smoother your day will go.
2. Get to know your kids. At camp, we really emphasize the importance of being intentional. Think about how much time you, as a group leader, have to be intentional with kids — bus rides, walking to breakfast, at night before bed. Kalen used an unusual time during worship to go outside and walk around with one of the Avondale kids, who opened up to her about some things going on in his life.
3. Get crazy. Get messy at OMC. Dance around and do the motions at I Can’t Wait. Because if your kids see you engaged, two things will happen: #1, your cool points will skyrocket, and #2, they will be engaged. They will sing and dance. They will listen, and when they listen up a little more, they may hear God a little more clearly.
Written by Mary Chase “Breedlove” Mize, a former CentriKid camp director who is now married and attended camp with her church.
You may have laughed when you saw the title of this blog post.
“Please. I don’t have time for me. There are so many other people and things to take care of.”
The truth that we often have to learn the hard way is that if you do not take time to take care of yourself, you will eventually be unable to take care of other people. God calls us to take a day to rest for a reason, but far too many of us disobey His command. We run a thousand miles an hour trying to take care of the whole world and neglect to take time to simply answer His call to be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
The truth is, God didn’t create you to single-handedly take care of everyone and everything. Besides, if you’re doing everything constantly, chances are you aren’t doing anything to your fullest ability. God Himself is the one who keeps the whole world going at once. He equips us for specific tasks at specific times but always intends for us to remember that we are only small players in His big plan. We cannot take the whole world on our own shoulders because we were not created to do so. How grateful we are that we have a God who understands that!
Take some time to spend alone in the quiet with the Lord today to refresh and recharge. Then do something that makes you happy just because you can. Weather it’s going for a run or getting a pedicure, take a few minutes to take good care of yourself and thank God for the opportunity to simply recharge and be who He has created you to be. Take a few minutes to seek out specifically what it is God has called you to do in this season of your life and focus on that.