Thanksgiving is over, and the Christmas season is now in full swing! If you are like me, you’ve already had your tree up for about 3 weeks, and you’ve been listening to Christmas music since November 1. Today is Black Friday, and many of you are likely making your list and checking it twice as you hunt for bargains and scope out deals for all your gifts. I heard about this amazing gift idea last summer during a group leader listening session at camp. For Christmas this year, consider giving the kids on your list a $50 deposit to come to CentriKid Camps!
Okay, I realize that in some situations, a $50 deposit to camp might be a little bit anticlimactic, especially when kids are expecting the latest video game or toy, but this really could be a great gift idea to kids from grandparents! You could even consider allowing adults and families in your church to adopt kids for Christmas and pay the $50 deposit for them. This gift idea is something that truly could have an eternal impact on the life of a child.
This Christmas season, as you are purchasing gifts and sharing special moments with family, be sure to take time to reflect on the many true gifts in your life, and give thanks to God for the indescribable gift of his Son.
Even though camp is still about 6 months away, it is not too early to begin thinking about fundraising. Check out these previous posts for some great fundraising ideas.
Camp Fundraising Ideas (2013)
Fundraising Ideas (2012)
Fundraising Ideas (2011)
Comment below to share your ideas on how to raise money for camp.
Happy Thanksgiving! Tomorrow is a special time to reflect on the many blessings that God has graciously given. We hope that you enjoy some quality time with family and friends, and we hope you enjoy a couple platefuls of turkey, too.
Over the past few days, we’ve asked many of you to create a hand turkey and tell us all about the things for which you are thankful. Check out some of our favorites below.
As you can see, we have a lot to be thankful for this year. We truly hope that this Thanksgiving is the best yet, and we pray that God will continue to pour out blessings on you as you continue to seek to become more like the image of his Son.
Before you start cooking the turkey, we’d love for you to check out one last hand turkey. We received this amazing video hand turkey from one of our staffers. Be sure to check out this super fun video from Isaac below.
This is a post by William Summey. William is the team leader for ParentLife magazine in the LifeWay Kids Department. Check out a few of his suggestions about talking to your preteen:
Have you found it increasingly difficult to have a conversation with your preteen? Do you find yourself asking the same “How did it go today?” question and only getting one word answers in reply? I am a Dad of two boys: one preteen and one young teen, and getting details is like pulling teeth sometimes!
My wife and I always discuss ways to get more conversation flowing. We know they can talk about sports all day, so that is a great entry point. Having mealtime together, turning off the radio in the car, and establishing a solid nighttime routine have all been helpful for us to connect with our boys.
Sometimes we wonder if other parents have this same problem. In fact, my wife sometimes comments that if she wonders if this is just “a thing with boys.” One advantage of working with ParentLife magazine each month is that I get to hear from a lot of parents and get to work with a lot of great writers. Our Mom’s Life columnist, Angie Smith (http://angiesmithonline.com) made me feel so much better when she wrote about some of the same issues she was having with her girls.
I want to invite you to check out ParentLife magazine and our blog (blog.lifeway.com/parentlife). We focus every article to help parents of kids 12 and under raise godly kids in today’s world. Would love to hear your great ideas about getting conversation going in your home!
Many of you will remember that in 2013 we made quite a few changes to our camp schedule. For a look back at why we made these changes, check out this video. We heard a lot of great feedback about the changes that we made, so for 2014, we are only making a minor adaptation to the week-long schedule. You can read more about those details here.
As we began preparing for the summer of 2014, our team took a closer look at the weekend camp schedule and asked the question, “How can we make it better?” Weekend camps are short, and since they are so short, we really want to provide as much value as we can in the time that we have. We feel that one of the most valuable things we can provide at camp is an opportunity for kids to encounter God in worship. So for 2014, we are adding an extra time of worship to the weekend camp schedule. Here’s how it will work:
On opening day, check-in will take place from 3-5pm like it always has. Then, after dinner, instead of coming to opening celebration, campers will go to Bible study. Following Bible study, staff will bring kids to worship. Of course, this time will still begin with an upbeat “welcome to camp” atmosphere, and then we’ll transition into worship. After worship, churches will be dismissed to church group time, and then the schedule will follow the same pattern as last summer. For a full look at the weekend camp schedule, click here.
Don’t worry. If you choose to come to weekend camp, you’ll still get all of the things that kids and churches have come to know and love:
We are excited about this small change to our weekend camp schedule, and we really hope that it will give kids that much more of an opportunity to engage with the living God and to be transformed by His word.
When building a team of employees or volunteers the pressure is on to fill all the holes. It is negligent to not hire any applicants; however, we often focus on filling the spots instead of finding the right people for the job. One way you can ensure you hire the right people in the right places is finding people who are genuinely interested in positions you wish to fill. This can be accomplished by talking folks out of a job.
This is a paradigm switch in recruitment. You tell the applicant the reality of the work, and you do not spend time overselling the high points. This tactic paints the job description warts and all. Make no promises about a perfect work situation and your applicant will have appropriate expectations. Consider the benefits of having someone say yes to a job where they clearly understand how difficult their position can be.
We know there is no shortage of challenges when it comes to children’s ministry. The volunteers you seek need to be bought into the mission of your children’s ministry. Their allegiance to this mission should make it where they cannot be talked out this job. No challenge should dissuade them from participating in children’s ministry.
Get specific as you outline some of the challenges. When interviewed for my current position Jeremy Echols gave me specific examples how working in the office is very different from what I experienced each summer at camp. We think about CentriKid Camp more than anyone else and our team culture demands us to year round do one more thing to make camp better. Jeremy simply told me if I could be talked out of the job I absolutely should not serve on this team. The more he pressed into me the more I was bought into the mission of our organization, which is to serve churches in their mission of making disciples. I could not be talked out of this job. I am now especially thankful for his honesty. It allows me to approach my work with the foreknowledge that I was committed to everything, not just the highlights.
Next time you recruit or interview keep this principle, “talk folks out of a job.”
As my girls are getting older, I’m finding my methods of communication with them have to change. What used to be a simple, “Want to talk about it?” has now turned into a much more elaborate dance. The first few answers usually involve shoulder shrugs and vague one-word responses, but I push through because I know there are gems waiting for me.
Do you “interview” your kids? It sounds sterile on paper, but when I have a list of questions I can use, we get past all the initial stuff much more quickly. Some of our most amazing conversations have come from having a deliberate time where we sit down together and do this.
What typically happens is that I make a list of questions ahead of time and then I sit them down individually (they answer differently this way. Ever noticed that?) at the table with a fun drink (hot chocolate is a favorite).
I always have a pen and paper to record any thoughts that I might need to tuck away. I start with surface-level questions so we can build up to the heavier stuff. For example, I might ask about their favorite part of the day or the best thing they’ve eaten recently. Even if they start out not being sure they want to be interviewed, they end up connecting during this phase because it’s just fun and doesn’t have any kind of emotion attached to it.
When I feel like we’ve laid some groundwork, I ask them about some of the harder things. This might include questions like, “Has anyone hurt your feelings lately?” or “Is there anything you’re afraid of?” My kids know that this is a safe zone. If it so happens that I’ve hurt their feelings, or there are some family issues that need to be discussed, they are free to bring those up in a respectful way. They are always encouraged to share anything that will lead to unity and peace in our house.
The last phase is the dreaming phase, and it’s a great way to leave them feeling encouraged about what’s next in life. We can dream radically, freely, and even ridiculously if we want to here (“If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?” “What is the best thing that could happen to our family today?”).
I throw in a lot of funny questions too because I feel like it opens them up. The bottom line is that we have to be intentional about talking to our kids about small things as well as big. Grab a notebook and start your interviews today.
What are your ideas for starting a great conversation with your kid?
National OMC Day was a huge celebration this November 11th. Instagram alone had over 170 #nationalomcday pictures. It was a wonderful day of reliving some of our best moments at camp. I hope it also served as a reminder to connect all things back to the gospel. We play OMC because it is fun, but at the end of the day it is a platform to share the gospel message with our campers.
We announced this year we would hold a competition for the most tasks completed with the hashtag #nationalomcday. Several people posted pictures and fun was had by all. Join us in giving a round of applause to all our winners. These participants went above and beyond with several pictures and funny videos.
3rd Place: Caleb McDonald
2nd Place: Tiara Willis
1st Place: #BabyMadison
If you would like to be a part of OMC during the summer and share the gospel with kids as a CentriKid staffer click here. Or if you are interested in bringing your kids to CentriKid Camps let us know. We love partnering with churches in this fun, crazy, and gospel centered game. To close out this year’s #nationalomcday enjoy these last few pictures.
It’s here! Ministry grid makes training leaders simple by making content available anywhere, any time, on any device.
Ministry Grid bases their entire ministry on the vision of Ephesians 4:11-13. Their vision is to see churches built up and equipped to do the work of the Kingdom, and they have provided a unique and unparalleled resource to do this.
LifeWay’s president, Dr. Rainer says, “We see a great opportunity to provide almost unlimited training in this digital age that could not be done in years past.”
Now available are more than 1,500 training videos for pastors, staff, volunteer leaders, and every-day church goers. Ministry Grid covers, or will cover, every topic a church needs from the parking lot to the pulpit.
Church leaders agree on the need for training workers in their ministry. Getting people to give up more time in the week for training at the church building can be challenging, so now the content can be customized by the leader and viewed anywhere by the people who need the training.
We are glad its here, so click over to ministrygrid.com to check it out today!
Happy Veterans Day! We can’t even begin to express how grateful we are for the men and women who have served in our country’s armed forces. Because of your willingness to serve and secure our freedom, we can spend our summers sharing the gospel and enjoying one of the greatest games ever played. Today is also National OMC day!
Make sure you’re celebrating by posting pictures of you and your friends performing your favorite tasks on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! Don’t forget to use the #nationalomcday hashtag. We will choose a winner based on who posts the most pictures of completed OMC tasks using #nationalomcday.
Check back Friday for OMC photos or videos from our CK office staff! Have a great OMC day!
First, here at the CentriKid Office we say thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed for our country. Veterans Day is Monday and we can not be more appreciative for their service. Monday also marks the celebration of another day unique to CentriKid. Monday is National OMC Day. We are excited to celebrate National OMC Day with you for the fourth year.
We would love for everyone to post pictures of you and friends performing your favorite tasks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You may end up on a recap of National OMC Day post on November 15th. Keep in tune for a video of our office staff doing some of our favorite tasks as we celebrate National OMC Day!
This special day would not be complete without friendly competition. Imagine your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as your color bucket. The individual or team of people who completes the most tasks will be our OMC winner. Make sure you use #nationalomcday for the office to track who wins. So, wear your OMC Shirt and deck out in your favorite OMC color as we celebrate a game that is used to share the gospel to thousands of campers every summer.