Recently I participated in a missions journey with my church to Europe. Our team traveled by train across Germany, Austria, and Italy. Everyone on the trip is considering serving the Lord through overseas missions, so the purpose of the trip was vision, training, and strategy. We had the opportunity to interview several key Christian leaders and believers, and although they all said different things, I noticed a recurring theme – serving in Europe is very, very difficult, but it’s worth it!
On the trip, I was reminded that it truly is a blessing to be a part of the Lord’s work. God works in mysterious ways, and He could have chosen any number of means for the proliferation of the gospel around the world. In His grace and wisdom, though, He chose us to be the carriers of His message. He has given us the privilege of serving as ambassadors on His behalf. It is our responsibility, then, to represent Him well and to plead with others to be reconciled to God.
The language from 2 Corinthians 5:20 of “pleading” implies that our task is not easy. In Europe, for example, the spiritual soil is very hard and infertile. The good news, though, is that we are not expected to complete this task on our own. God appeals through us, and Christ has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. We simply have to be faithful in our obedience to follow Him.
Seeing God accomplish the impossible is one of the most rewarding things that anyone could be a part of. Along the way, you can expect that there will be difficulty and trouble, but if we aren’t willing to stick it out, then who will?
If you are in a season of discouragement in your ministry, don’t lose hope. Remember that He who has promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23). Although the journey might be long and arduous, it is certainly worthwhile.
CentriKid is the HOME OF OMC! It is our large-group recreation game that takes place on the last full day of camp. Even in the middle of all this fun, we are intentional about sharing the gospel with kids at camp. There are numerous ways to connect the game to scripture, and today you can download 3 different one-page tools for sharing the gospel using OMC at your church.
Don’t forget! You can customize your OMC game by adding one of the FREE special edition task card sets for an upcoming season (Christmas, Easter, Fall) or event (Back to School, VBS, Backyard Kids Club). Just click over to centrikid.com/omc to download and print the FREE special edition task cards.
Special thanks to CentriKid Rec Leaders Rachel Gillespie & Amanda Kate Harris for contributing to this post from their experience at camp sharing the gospel with kids after OMC.
In 2013, CentriKid Camps invited rising third graders to join us at our weekend camps. During those weekend camps, we evaluated how the rising third graders handled the camp experience in order to decide if they were ready to be a part of week-long camps at CentriKid. We also made it a point to ask for group leaders’ opinions in our Group Leader Listening Sessions since you are the ones who bring them to camp and work with them throughout the whole year.
The majority opinion of group leaders seemed to be that rising third graders are not ready for a full week of camp, so we want you to know that we heard you and will not be extending the age range to 2nd-6th graders. However, we do know that there are some rising third graders who are ready to come to camp, so they are welcomed at the discretion of the group leader and parents of those children. You know your children better than we do, so we want you to have the ability to make the decision of if your rising third graders are ready for a CentriKid Camps experience. If you do bring rising third graders to a week of camp, they will be a part of the yellow team and will join the completed third graders.
Thanks for giving your input as we sought your opinions on this! We are excited about this opportunity to better serve your ministry at your church!
Wearing many hats, that is having lots of different work responsibilities, is not new, and in an even smaller work force it is only going to grow. As a kidmin leader or volunteer, you wear all kinds of hats (teacher, director, boo-boo cleaner, plumber, organizer, etc). Here are some tips to help:
Wearing lots of hats is a balancing act. I have the responsibility of caring for my mother, wife and two kids. I also wear a number of hats for work. Recently my mother’s house flooded, we were refinancing our house, and I could not get our loan officer to return phone calls or emails. I desperately needed to get work done on my back yard, so my mom’s house would not flood again. At work I had a new boss, we were deep into budgeting, and training for camp was around the corner, to name a few of the hats I was wearing. I knew I wasn’t doing everything as well as I could but I was working 12 hour days at the office and going home to another 2 or 3 hours for things needed there. Somehow I have kept my nose above the water but I will admit there were days I felt the press of work and family all needing more than I could find time to give. However, God is good. There are days people don’t get all the attention from me they need or want but somehow God takes care of me and them.
If you have ever struggled with developing leaders or finding times that work for everyone’s schedules, then we have some exciting news for you! Ministry Grid is coming soon, and we want to give you some information about how it can help you more effectively train and develop leaders.
Ministry Grid is a web-based training platform that makes developing leaders simpler and more effective than ever before, removing the obstacles most churches face in training leaders and providing the right training at the right time, no matter the ministry role that needs it.
Ministry Grid features:
Here are the steps you take to get started with ministry grid:
Fall Festival season is upon us. It is time to round up all your supplies and get your games ready. This game has potential to be huge hit at your Fall Fest just remember to bring the putter. It’s called Pumpkin Putt!
Carve a pumpkin with a hole at the bottom. Consider turning the pumpkin on its side and using the stem as a nose, adding eyes, and making the hole its mouth for a funny pumpkin face. This hole must be large enough for the golf ball to easily roll into the pumpkin. Sometimes adding a wood plank as a ramp can help the golf ball get into the pumpkin. Now set up a course where kids win if they make the golf ball go in the pumpkin. Boundaries can be made of tiny pumpkins to fit the theme. You can make this as elaborate or simple as you want. The essentials are only a pumpkin, golf ball and a putter.
This game is a ton of fun, but it takes a lot more games to make a Fall Fest happen. Are you looking for other games to consider? We have a few more games for you to see. Check out this post about another pumpkin sport and a game that is great for preschoolers. If you need several new ideas check out this post that has five last minutes games for you to add to your Fall Feast. You can also check out our Fall Fest Edition of OMC.
One day doing yard work I noticed a stone structure in a flowerbed. The owner of the house told me the story of the stones. He had placed them in a pyramid after he and his family went through a rough time in their lives. He told me that whatever hard condition they learned a deeper understanding that God was with them. Collectively, the stones represented God’s faithfulness through their circumstances. He wanted his family to remember what the Lord had done in their lives. He called it his “Ebenezer”.
The word Ebenezer means “stone of help” in Hebrew. You may think of “Come Thou Fount” whenever you hear Ebenezer or maybe you recall the story of Samuel and the House of Israel being saved by God from the Philistines after repenting from idols and returning the ark. Samuel creates a monument calling it Ebenezer saying, “The Lord has helped us to this point” (1 Samuel 7: 12b).
We all have Ebenezer milestones that help mark monumental moments in our lives. It is beneficial to remember these milestones, because meditating on them help you worship God, who has continually proved faithful in your life. Your milestone may have occurred through your experiences on a mission trip, or a time where you were stretched financially, or during a summer camp. Without any doubt everyone who recognizes Jesus Christ as their savior has a milestone by being adopted into God’s family.
Today I encourage you to take time to look at your Ebenezer. Maybe you already have a physical representation of God’s faithfulness, such as a prayer journal. Spend time thinking of events where God moved in your life to show you more about his character. Use your meditation on these milestone today as worship to God and his faithfulness.
Have you ever had someone try to “sell you” on their new diet or their new workout plan? Are you disappointed when they tell you about all the benefits and wonderful results, but you find out they just started it 2 days ago?
Do you ever fall into a similar scenario with your faith? Christians can’t impact the world by just spouting out “benefits” of faith. We can’t expect a neighbor or co-worker to care about our beliefs if we don’t actually put them into practice.
Going back to the workout illustration, I don’t shrug my shoulders at someone’s fitness plan just because they don’t look like a professional athlete. I’m genuinely interested in hearing about how someone feels better and gets results if they are actually using the plan. Similarly with the Gospel, your words will truly connect when your message and your life match. When you are living out your faith, when you are pursuing God daily, and when your life demonstrates that you are following Christ, its worth listening to.
You don’t have to “arrive” or “have it all together” to share your faith, but you cannot lead someone to something that you are not pursuing yourself.
Today’s question – Should you take a minute now to “work out” your faith? Read James 2:14-26. What is an intentional way that you can practice your faith today so you are continuing to grow tomorrow?
Thank you so much for being a part of KMC 2013. We hope you had a refreshing time while you were with us, but more importantly we hope you left changed. We pray that God would continue to reveal Himself to you in a great way as you continue to invest and pour out your life to the kids in your ministry. What you do matters!
We value your feedback! Let us know what you thought about KMC 2013 by completing this short online survey. Thank you for helping us make KMC even better!
Recently we’ve highlighted LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference (KMC) on the blog. KMC is happening NOW at LifeWay, and the CentriKid team is lending a hand with all the behind the scenes conference logistics. Check out a few of the highlights of the conference below:
Anthony Evans has led us in some amazing times of worship during the General Sessions. We’ve also heard from Pastor and Author J.D. Greear and Speaker and Author Angie Smith. J.D. shared with us the powerful implications of the gospel message, and he emphasized the importance of driving the gospel deep in the hearts of kids. Angie shared some of her story and helped us understand how to minister to hurting children.
The conference has also included some amazing breakout sessions by speakers, authors, and kidmin leaders from all over the country. This session was led by Bill Emeott, one of our LifeWay Kids Ministry Specialists. Bill was discussing “Trends that Influence the Future of Kids Ministry” and helping kidmin leaders understand how we can better minister to future generations.
Last night the conference took us to the beautiful downtown Nashville and included a concert at the historic Ryman auditorium. High Valley opened the show with a few down to earth country/bluegrass tunes. Anthony Evans then took the stage and continued the concert. He shared some hilarious stories, sang some incredible songs, and continued to lead us all in some very sweet times of worship. The night ended with everyone standing and singing “It is Well with My Soul.” What an incredible sound!
Many of our CentriKid churches are here at the conference, and it has been so fun to connect with many great friends. Some of the biggest CentriKid news at KMC is that we are offering a free spot at camp to anyone that attends the conference, and this promo is now transferrable! If you are here at the conference, be sure to stop by our booth and claim your free spot. Also, if you haven’t already, we’d love for you to go ahead and sign up for camp. Plus, you can go ahead and sign up for next year’s KMC. We hope to see you there!