Archive for October, 2016

Leading Well: Leading with Prayer

Leading your team, whether it be three people or 300 hundred people, is huge. As Christian leaders, we want to serve Christ faithfully and steward the opportunities He has given us well, but how do we do this best?

I’ve learned (and am still learning) that one of the primary ways to lead your team spiritually is through prayer.

Looking at the life of Jesus, consider just a few of the times we see Christ pray to the Father. We see Jesus praying in the solitude of the wilderness (Luke 4 and 5), praying for guidance and help in the garden (Matthew 26), and praying for His disciples as He knows His time is soon drawing to an end (John 17) .

We serve a Father who is faithful to listen to His children. Scripture shows us this —
1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (HCSB)

As we step out in leading others, may we remember our God who never fails and may we, in humility and with boldness, go to our Father in prayer. In leading your team spiritually consider these ways to pray:

PRAY FOR THEM. Before the throne, with genuine devotion, intercede on your team’s behalf. We have a Father who listens to the prayers of His children. Knowing this, create a routine to continually pray with your particular team in mind. No matter the circumstance, you can always remember your tribe in a loving, Christ-honoring way when you go to the Lord.

PRAY WITH THEM. It’s important to be a leader who prays with your team. Your team should be comfortable to pray with you and quick to come to you with their needs. Be mindful to create an atmosphere where authentic prayer is paramount.

PRAY OVER THEM. As the shepherd of your flock — be it an entire congregation or a volunteer group of four — you should regularly pray over them. This means to visibly, boldly, honestly pray over them, standing at their sides. Lead your team in group prayer and ask that the Lord would guide you all to walk together in faithful obedience to Him.

PRAY FOR YOURSELF. Remember that before you can lead anyone else spiritually, you must first be in a place of pursuing Christ. This does not mean you have to be perfect. As a spiritual leader, you do not need to appear as one who has “arrived”, as if you’re pulling others to meet you at your destination, but you have to simply be walking toward a life that looks more like Jesus.
“May you look more like Christ when you lay down tonight than you did when you got up this morning.”

Leading a team spiritually is an important task, but it is not a complex one. Rest in knowing that leading others spiritually is a gift – a simple and genuine gift. Your care and devotion to this gift in which you’ve been entrusted will reap great reward when you humbly and wholly present it before the Father.

Meg Brown

Meg started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2016. She received her degree in Educational Ministry and Public Relations from Campbellsville University. She has served as a Bible Study leader, Assistant Director, and Camp Director. Meg leads in Track Times and Group Leader Information for camp 2017. In addition to camp, Meg loves playing tennis, reading books, and spending time outdoors.

Oct

24

2016

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Camp Matters Because…

Why spend a week away from home being sweaty and tired? Why take time out of your everyday life to go to a college campus or conference center to spend a week at camp? Because it could be the very best week of your life! Here are a few of my favorite reasons to come to CentriKid.

Rooted in Scripture

Everything at camp points back to Christ. No matter what is going on, a rec game, an activity during a kids favorite track time there is always a gospel connection. Kids can see how their passions can help them understand bible stories and that will open their minds to how they can live like Christ in their own lives! Kids learn differently and we strive to create content that reaches every single person that comes to camp. Through games, art, singing, storytelling, and always getting involved kids will experience the bible being taught in a whole new way at camp.

A Change of Pace

Kids can sometime get in a routine at church, but camp gets kids out of their comfort zone. When kids are taken out of their normal schedule they are allowed to experience new things and can experience the vulnerability that is needed to respond to the gospel that is presented at camp. Camp is a great place to begin new relationships and deepen established relationships. Once kids see their leaders playing dodgeball right alongside them they begin to see them in a different light and that can lead to great conversations.

A Time of Renewal

CentriKid Camp has great things for adults too. At CentriKid we love to serve adults and pour into their spiritual lives and commission them back into ministry with a renewed passion and dedication. We want kids ministers and volunteers to to come back from camp feeling refreshed and renewed spiritually. Through Adult Gathering and allowing CentriKid to plan the programming you can leave camp ready to take on the next season of ministry.

Camp is fun, crazy, non-stop, and one of the very best experiences that you can have. We can’t wait to see you all at CentriKid 2017, because Adventure Awaits!

Tiffany Francis

Tiffany graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in communication and media studies, and received her Master's Degree from Murray State. She has been with Lifeway Kids since 2010 and joined the camp team in 2014 where she works on Bible Study, the camp store, and many other elements.

Oct

19

2016

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Apply to be a CentriKid Staffer!

If you talk with anyone that has worked camp during the summer, they would probably say that serving on staff with CentriKid was one of the best experience of their lives. Camp provides ministry experience, team growth, and personal growth that will prepare us for our future.

There may be many young people in your church who have a heart for ministry and desire to serve in a bigger capacity than they have so far. Some of these college students/young adults might be a great fit to be a CentriKid staffer! We would love to interview them and get to know them better. We are looking for students that you trust working with your kids. We want staffers who love the Lord, love kids, and want to work hard.

Trying to decide what to do with your summer can be a difficult choice, but once someone decides to work camp, it is best for their hearts and minds to be in the same place. There are so many ways to learn and grow while preparing for and working camp, but here are 2 tips we would give potential summer staffers for their journey:

1. Know the heart of why you want to serve in a camp setting.  For staffers at CentriKid, it isn’t just about fun and games…we work hard.  We put in long days, and it is essential to have a kingdom-expanding focus.  CentriKid staffers know that all the work and preparation is done to make the message of Christ clear in the lives of kids.

2. Don’t just aspire for the top role of directing camp…aspire for the right fit God has for you.  Some people are wired for the behind-the-scenes roles, and some are wired best for specific positions.  However, if you are only set on one certain thing and aren’t willing to step out of your comfort zone, you may miss out on an awesome opportunity God has for you!

You can learn more about CentriKid summer positions or you can point potential applicants to the “Become a Staffer” page at centrikid.com. We love serving churches with summer camp, and we can’t wait to invest in new summer staffers along the way!

Alli Sewell

Alli began working camp in 2012 and joined the office team in 2016. She has served as a Bible Study Leader and Assistant Director. Alli graduated from Carson Newman University with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014. She loves all things Disney, Tennessee Vols, and showing everyone pictures of her nieces, Caroline and Waverly.

Unpack This Verse with Your Kids

This past summer at CentriKid, we taught kids how the armor of God is real and powerful, although it is “Unseen!” On Day 4 of camp, we taught kids how God gives us unseen truth, strength, and peace, and equips us to live those out with “Visible Faith.” During worship that night, we unpacked Ephesians 6:16.

In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

You can unpack this verse with the kids in your ministry just like we did at camp using this kids ministry illustration!Luggage

Supplies needed:

  • a Bible
  • a large suitcase
  • several clean pairs of wacky socks
  • a toy shield
  • a Nerf gun with foam darts

Illustration:

Say: I want us to look at this verse in God’s word like we were examining a piece of luggage at the airport. I want us to think about each word and phrase to try and squeeze out of it everything the verse can teach us about our faith in Jesus. We will unpack this verse, while I unpack this suitcase! (pull items out of the suitcase one-by-one)

  1. Several pairs of socks. “In every situation…” Have your ever been told to take extra socks with you when you spent the night at your friends’ house or with you grandparents. No matter where you go, you need to take your visible faith with you. You need your faith in every situation. In every situation at home. In every situation at school. In every situation at your church, with your friends, and especially with those that might be your enemies. You need your faith in Jesus in every situation.
  2. A toy shield. “..take the shield of faith…”  We are encouraged to take hold of our visible shield of faith in every situation. A shield that we are able to feel secure behind. A shield used for protection. Our faith in Christ is our shield. Our faith in God is our shield. He is our protection. (Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:30) It was also a symbol who you belonged to. The colors and images on the front of the shield explained which family you were part of and what commitments or loyalties you held. When you become a follower of Jesus, the Bible says you’ve been born again, made new, given a fresh start. And with that comes a new identity, a new family, a new allegiance to God. Our faith in Christ is a new allegiance, a new family, a place of protection and belonging. (Colossians 3:3)
  3. A Nerf gun and foam darts. “… with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Why do we need the shield of faith? These darts are things that tempt you to disobey God, to sin against Him. (Ex. To lie. To steal. To cheat on a test. To hurt other people with your words or actions.) Temptation, like these darts, can come out of nowhere. They fly at you when you are least expecting it. And before you know it, you’ve done something you really regret. We’ve all sinned and all have fallen short. We’ve all messed up and all made mistakes, big ones and little ones. We’ve all done things that we really regret and wished we’d never done. This is why we need the gospel of Jesus!

We hope that you’ll use this easy illustration with the kids in your ministry to clearly illustration Ephesians 6:13! Let us know how it goes by emailing centrikid@lifeway.com!

Micheal Walley

Micheal is a CentriKid Camp Specialist and a volunteer in his church's kidmin each week. He has been serving with CentriKid since 2011 and on the office team since 2014. Micheal loves talking about kids ministry, leadership, coffee, and his wife, Anne Marie.

Oct

11

2016

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Remember God’s Call in your Life

Psalm 37:4  (HCSB)
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.
This Psalm is titled “Instruction for Wisdom” and in the context surrounding verse 4, it has some warnings about distraction by evildoers.  It also has great guidance for us about seeking to follow the Lord with our heart and actions:
  • “trust in the Lord and do what is good”
  • “commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act.”
  • “Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him”
Verse 4 indicates that our greatest delight comes in Him.   So our greatest gift, the place we are most likely to find our passion in ministry is in His calling.  I know that many times I struggle with what I’m supposed to be “doing” for God that sometimes I miss out on what I should “be.”  This chapter includes a lot of “being” words that are not specific actions … words like trust, commit, be silent, wait, and take delight.
From this posture, we are able to take action, but I think our actions must be guided by what we are called to “be” in order for our “doing” to be on the right course.  Never forget God’s call in your life is where we take the greatest delight.
  1.  We are called to live for Christ as a child of God.
  2. We are called to Kingdom work.  This means we work in such a way that honors God and makes the gospel known.
  3. And for many of us, we also serve in a specific ministry calling that uses our vocational labor to daily serve in a church or ministry role.
Today, find an opportunity to reflect on God’s call in your life, and spend a moment thanking God and praising Him for your relationship with Christ, the work of the gospel in your own heart, and the opportunity we have to share Christ with others in word and in our actions.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17 (HCSB)

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.

Leading the Next Generation

Leading the Next Generation is all about investing in the leaders of the next generation.  To lead them well, we must invest in their future.  This investment will have ministry benefits for you right away, but also shape the trajectory of a young leader in ways that can benefit the future of this ministry and kingdom work for the future.  It is about them … Young leaders require energy… But they give a type of energy also… Working with them helps keep you younger, but the focus is on them.
This summer at CentriKid Camps, we asked some intentional questions about using teens and college workers in your kids programs.  We asked:
  • Do you have teens and college workers in your kids program?
  • What wins have you experienced with them in your ministry?
  • How have you seen them be successful?
  • What challenges do you encounter with them?
We had some great feedback and I’ve collected all those discussions and ideas in this “mind map” document.  Click the image to open and download the full-size version.

2016_centrikid_discussion_with_leaders

Leading the next generation could mean plugging in teens to work in your kids ministry or it could mean that you are preparing to hire a college student as an intern.  In any case, these principles can help make the investment beneficial for next month and the next decades of kingdom work.  Your intentional investment can last long after the time you have with these young leaders.
Acclimate them to your team.  Don’t just take whoever shows up and throw them in to ministry.  Implement a selection process and train workers on your team. In some cases, you may not be interviewing for a full-time position but you are looking to fill a specific role.  Take the time to have a conversation about what the role entails and the expectations are.  The level of formality for this conversation needs to fit the role.  After selection, train you leaders for the skills and for the culture you want your team to have.
Develop their competency.  Helping young leaders grow their skill set through practical experience is amplified when you provide them with feedback along the way.  We use a reading plan with our CentriKid office team and after serving as a summer staffer or office team member, I hope that young leaders catch the vision for being a life-long learner.
Expose them to new concepts.  New team members need a behind-the-scenes tour.  Young leaders who have potential for growth need to be exposed to working within a budget, professionalism, and excellence.  You can help them develop an understanding of the balance between ministry training and business principles.  They need to learn about evaluation, making tough decisions, and serving behind the scenes before moving to a new setting with greater responsibilities.
Propel them forward to their next steps in the journey.  When leading the next generation, keep in mind that they are with you for a season, but will continue in kingdom work long after they serve in your ministry.  Encourage them, keep the lines of communication open, and you can even continue to coach them (when they ask!).  The baby bird only flies when it leaves the nest, so prepare, train and then equip them to move on to new things God has for their journey.
This post is adapted from the breakout session I led at the ETCH Conference in Nashville.  If you were unable to attend the 2016 ETCH Conference, you can still purchase the ETCH16 digital pass that contains all the Main Session speakers and audio from each Breakout Session. [Available 10/21/16]

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.