Archive for November, 2016

Nov

28

2016

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Staying Motivated in your Ministry

1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

There are times when you may feel like you don’t know why you’re staying in the position that you are in. Staying motivated can be tough to do when you aren’t seeing immediate results. Isn’t that how most things are these days?When we put so much time and energy into something and don’t get back exactly what we want to see, it’s hard to stay motivated.
In Kid Ministry, we can feel like the walls are the only thing listening to what we have to say, or that you just don’t relate to the kids anymore. Staying motivated and committed doesn’t even have to be a deep theological outline. It can be very practical, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

We have to create an environment of success for us, as well as the kids. Take a minute to create a list of goals. What do you want your ministry to look like a year from now? Don’t create goals that you don’t expect to reach. You know your ministry best.

Have someone with the same vision as you help out in the ministry. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one… a three-fold cord is not easily broken.” If you’ve got a big task and it’s only up to you, you’ll probably procrastinate and get discouraged. If you’ve got somebody else and can say, “We’re going to meet and get this thing going”, you’re more likely to get it done and feel more successful.Lastly, think about the kids. That is why we do what we do. We have to remember that God called us into this, because we have a passion to spread the love of Jesus to kids. That takes a special kind of person.. You!

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.

Nov

24

2016

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

I love Thanksgiving. I love getting together with family and eating more mashed potatoes than I should. We have a tradition of going around the table after eating dinner and saying one thing that we have been thankful for in the past year. Some years it is so easy to talk about how the Lord has blessed us, but other years it is a little more difficult to be thankful. Yet, there has never been a time when someone was silent when the topic of giving thanks was discussed. Even in the challenging days there is always, always something to be thankful for.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

Even when it is difficult to see the Lord’s work in our lives, we can be confident of His presence. The Lord is teaching me a lot about perseverance in this season in my life. This holiday season take some time and look for the glimpses of God’s presence, even in the hustle and bustle. Know that the Lord has you in the exact place that you are needed and be thankful that He guides every step that you make.

Here at CentriKid we are so very thankful for the churches, leaders, and kids that we are able to serve year after year. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that God blesses this sacred time of faith, family, and friends. If we were all at my family’s dinner table, what would you be thankful for this year?

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.

Thankful Reflections

As I notice the leaves changing outside and the trees as they seem to shift their stance, I posture my heart to a place of quiet thankfulness. In this new season I’ve taken a bit of time to reflect on those who invested in me in different seasons of my life. By the Lord’s grace, I was surrounded by some who loved the Lord and showed His love to me. I was steadily demonstrated the Lord’s character as it flowed so freely from these folks, even in the midst of the everyday. Today I lift prayers of gratitude and sing a song of thanksgiving to our Father because of this crowd.

Remembering the people who sang their verse, no matter how big or small, into my song fills me with overwhelming gratitude. I think of the monotonous mornings spent by my faithful nursery teacher; I remember the countless hours poured out by my youth pastor who later baptized me; I remember my college basketball coaches who instilled in me the love of the game and the greater value found in serving Christ; I think back on the memories shared with my first CentriKid camp director who took time to show me more than just how to solve logistical issues; I rejoice in the patient moments shared at the lakeside or on beaten-down field path with my grandfathers. These folks didn’t just pass their time, they shared with me their life. In both times of great excitement and in the dull day-to-day, these people showed me Jesus.

Use Your 60 through Thanksgiving
At CentriKid, we challenge leaders to “Use Your 60” by making the most of every moment with their kids. Why waste even one opportunity? I’m grateful for those in my life who saw the value in investing in me. These folks were heroes in hindsight. I’m sure few felt their importance in the moment of impact, but the waves of their intentional moments are felt today and into eternity. Let me encourage you, leaders. You may not feel like you’re bringing life-change in any given moment, but what you do in these moments adds up. Take for granted not a single one!

Spend a few moments today thanking the Lord for those who invested in you. Reach out to these heroes and remind them of their significance in your life. Ask yourself how you’re spending your moments. Time is fleeting, friends! In an overflow of thankfulness, be challenged to “Use Your 60” and make the most of every moment today.

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.

Nov

17

2016

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Disciple’s Path-Resource

The Disciple’s Path resource is geared to help make disciples.  Disciple-making is not a scientific study with specific measurements of chapters to read, verses to be quoted, or minutes to be spent in group study…but we know that spending time in God’s Word, understanding scripture, and living in community with others are vital components of the process.  LifeWay offers the Disciple’s Path resource as a tool to help make disciples who are intentional about producing other disciples.

At CentriKid, we believe in the power of your influence in those kids under your care, but also the powerful impact you can have for the kingdom with the adults in your ministry.  Read more from Michael Kelley about “Discipling the Disciples Who Make Disciples” at LifeWay Kids Ministry 101 blog.

You can also check out a free preview of The Disciples Path from www.disciplespath.com.

Start today with making an intentional difference in the spiritual lives of those around you.  Making disciples is not easy, but it has a lasting impact long beyond the Sunday School lesson or the VBS decorations.  LifeWay offers resources for the disciple-making journey with kids too.  TeamKID features Bible memory games and application of Bible truths, engaging missions videos and activities, and fun activity-based learning all while helping your kids grow to be more like Jesus.  You can preview TeamKid for free at www.lifeway.com/teamkid.
teamkid

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.

Nov

14

2016

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Debriefing 101

We know that kids learn in different ways. Adults do too for that matter. Learning can happen for some by just hearing about a subject, for others they need to see the words or information being taught, and still others learn best through hands-on activities and experiences. Knowing this, it is important to take the time to debrief games that you play in your kids ministry. This will help those hands-on learners grasp in a more solid way the connection between everyday life and their relationship with Jesus.

What is a Debrief?

A debrief is a short time in which you gather the kids to explain how the activity and/or game connects to our relationship with Jesus. This is best done right after the activity is over so that is still fresh in their minds. Be sure to have a clear connection to Scripture. The best debriefs are planned out in order to ensure effectiveness and relativity. With no preparation you will be in a “wing it” type approach, mainly speaking from your own knowledge, perhaps with a weaker spiritual connection. With planning you can incorporate a more concrete connection which is important for kids, as well as Scripture to go with it. Nothing will be sure than the truth that is in God’s Word, so why not use it bountifully?

Tips for Debriefing

–Remove distractions (face the kids away from potential distractions: TVs, other kids playing games, windows they can see out of)
–Be one level removed (if the kids are sitting, you kneel; if they are kneeling, you stand)
–Use objects and personal stories (kids are concrete learners. So, applying spiritual concepts to concrete examples, like objects, helps create a strong connection in the mind of a child)
–Root it in Scripture (read from the Bible… that helps them know it is truth from the Word)
–Make eye contact (if you are outside, remove sunglasses)

Debriefing activities can be some of the most powerful and effective times of learning for those kids who learn best with a hands-on, concrete example type of learning.

Vincent Thomas

Vincent started working camp in 2012 and joined the office team in 2015. He received his degree from Peidmont College in Georgia. Vincent has served as a Bible Study leader, Recreation Leader, and a Camp Director. Vincent oversees all things Recreation which your kids will experience at camp this summer. In addition to CentriKid, Vincent helps develop the ETCH Conference and VBS Preview Events.

Nov

10

2016

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Announcing the 2017 Camp Leaders!

Our Camp Directors and Assistant Directors will be the ones on-site at every CentriKid Camps location this summer making sure that kids have a great experience at camp, adults who come to camp are taken care of, and that the week of camp runs smoothly. They view their role as one that doesn’t just involve logistics, but includes spiritual leadership as well.

Ultimately, our Camp Directors and Assistant Directors are here for you. While our staff will be pouring in your kids, our leaders will be making camp an easy week for you. They’ll take care of the details so that you are free to build relationships with your kids and grow your own relationship with Christ!  We’re excited to announce the 2017 Camp Leaders below! Find out who is leading your CentriKid location at the link below.

CampDirectors17

ADsYou can find out who your Camp Director and Assistant Director will be by visiting  your location specific page at CentriKid.com here!

If you haven’t registered for CentriKid 2017, we’d love to have you join us and register today! What are you waiting for? Adventure Awaits!

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.

Evaluating Your Kid Ministry

It is always a great feeling when we know that our ministries are successful. Often times, we start to look at other ministries that we consider successful and want to model ours after theirs when we feel like ours aren’t up to par. What makes a ministry successful though?
It can be hard to think of ministry as a business; however, it is okay for ministries to work and operate by a business model. Incorporate a mission, values, and goals. It is a way to measure or evaluate the progress of a ministry. Are you working toward your goals? Are you holding true to your values? Are you planning around your mission?
When we step back and look at it this way, there will always be areas of concern and improvement. However, the best thing about working in a ministry is that God is sovereign and works in the lives of the kids – prevailing no matter what challenges we face. That is why we should never lose hope even if we feel like we aren’t making progress!

One of LifeWay’s Kid Ministry leaders, Brian Dembowczyk, gives six tips to keep in mind while evaluating your ministry in LifeWay Kids’ Kids Ministry 101 blog:

  •  Start with the end goal in mind. Sometimes a kids ministry is considered healthy if kids are attending and if they and their parents seem to be satisfied. Now, there is nothing at all wrong with those two measures, but they don’t give you the full picture of your ultimate goal of anchoring the gospel in your kids’ hearts. That end goal needs to drive how you evaluate every part of your kids ministry.
  • Focus on lead measures. A lead measure is something you can control that produces a result, also called a lag measure. So a lead measure would be inviting kids to an event and a corresponding lag measure would be attendance at the event. You can’t control people showing up, but you can control inviting people.
  • Evaluate objectively and subjectively. Analyze as many objective numbers as you can—they tell a story, but they don’t tell the full story. There is no way to quantify gospel transformation; a big part of it is qualitative, or subjective. Do you see the gospel sinking in? Do you see evidence of gospel transformation? Those are important evaluative considerations.
  • Strengthen what is going well. You probably know the strengths of your kids ministry before you even start evaluating it, but your evaluations should confirm them.
  • Fix what can go better. While you want to focus on your strengths, you don’t want to neglect the areas where you do need to improve. Figure out where you should be in these areas and why you aren’t there, and then come up with a plan to start moving that direction.
  • Scrap what isn’t working at all. As you evaluate your kids ministry, you may find that there are things that just aren’t working at all. Bathe these in prayer and once you confirm that they need to stop, stop them as quickly and gently as possible. Yes, this will be painful, but in the end your kids ministry will be better for it.

For more on this topic, check out Brian’s blog on Kid Ministry 101.

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.

Use Your 60

At some point, the passing of minutes turned into the passing of paperwork.  You hammer out administrative details and planning with your ministry hours instead of doing your main passion—intentionally pouring into kids.  At CentriKid, we promise to free your hands of all the little distractions associated with kids ministry.  For one week out of the year, hand us the clipboard.  We’ll handle lunch, plan Bible Study, set up Recreation, organize leaders, and lead Worship sessions. You, along with your other leaders, have one main job: use your 60.   We want to help you make every moment count in ministry at church and at camp.
Use all 60 minutes of every hour to invest deeply in the lives of your kids. So…what does that mean exactly?
  • Find moments for one-on-one time with every child.
  • Meet with small groups before lights out.
  • Grab a snack and discuss his home life.
  • During her crafts track, ask intentional questions about friendships.
  • Cheer for them during outdoor competitive tracks.
  • Tell him your story.
  • Walk her through the gospel.

Whatever you do in your kids ministry, don’t waste a second worrying about details. We have it covered.

Go ahead. Use your 60.

CentriKid

CentriKid is a 5 day, 4 night camp for 3rd - 6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ!

National OMC Day 2016 is Next Week!

Every year, CentriKid fans around the world celebrate National OMC Day to celebrate our favorite game in the world: Organized Mass Chaos!

So what is #NationalOMCDay?

We’re glad you asked! Organized Mass Chaos is the incredible, messy, and fun game that we play every year at CentriKid Camps.  OMC is a game worth celebrating, and National OMC Day is a time to celebrate it!

Here’s how you can join the fun of National OMC Day 2016:NationalOMCDay15

1. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 9 and plan to wear a CentriKid shirt that day.
2. Change your profile pic to our #NationalOMCDay graphic (to the right) on that day.
3. On November 9, be watching the CentriKid social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). We’ll post tasks all day. Take a pic of you doing the task and post it using #NationalOMCDay.
4. BONUS: If your kids ministry plays OMC on #NationalOMCDay, then you guys will be featured on our blog! If you’d like to purchase an edition of the OMC game to play with your ministry, you can find it here!

See you November 9 for #NationalOMCDay!

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.

Nov

1

2016

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Guest Blog: What I learned about giving from a 2nd grader

This summer, I was blessed with the amazing opportunity to serve as a staffer with CentriKid. This year, camp missions offering went to two different wonderful organizations, One Cup of Water and Backpacks of Hope. Church group leaders would share with their kids information about these two missions organizations. Kids were encouraged to pray about what they could give, and then during worship the final night we would take up the offering.

We taught the kids that giving financially wasn’t the only way they could support the missions. Given the motto “Pray, Give, Go,” we taught a few ways they could support the organizations and Christian workers. They could pray for the missions, they could give financially, and they could even go themselves. Here’s the thing… It’s the same for us. Don’t worry if you’ve yet to realize the opportunities God gives us daily to support missions; I was the same way. That’s why this is the story of how God used a second grader to teach me about giving:

It was day three of camp, around 9:20 a.m, and we were talking about being ready with the “Gospel of peace.” We had just discussed how different people can be ready to do their job and what it takes for them to be ready. For instance, a chef can’t bake a cake if he doesn’t have sugar or flour, right?  So, what does a Christian worker need to be ready to do his or her job? We talked about how Christian workers can’t always get everything they need on their own, so we can help them. I glanced around the room, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the hesitant hand of a brown-eyed second grader raise into the air. I called on her not expecting her to say what she did, but the words that did come out of her mouth have stuck with me ever since. She said, “Ms. Katie, did you know if we don’t have money, we can help them in different ways?” She looked around the room at the rest of our Bible study and continued, “We can pray for them, too. Sometimes, that’s all God wants us to do. The really important thing to do is pray no matter what. Did you know we’re supposed to pray before we give our money too? God will tell us what to give, and He uses all of it. My church group leader said that we can give five cents or five dollars, and God will use it!”

Whoa. Needless to say, I was speechless. We continued discussing different ways we could give, and ended the Bible study with a prayer for our missionaries. Here’s the cool thing, the story doesn’t end there. Fast forward to the next night, worship day four. It was time for the mission’s offering. Our camp pastor talked about the offering, a suitcase was brought out (to represent that the money given wasn’t staying here, it was going out), and the campers were welcomed forward. I sat in my seat of the auditorium humming along to “Lord I Need You”, as I watched kid after kid walk to the front to give their part. Suddenly, I noticed a familiar brown-eyed second grader make her way to the front. She arrived at the suitcase and promptly removed her name tag to dump out the few coins she had left. She gave all she had, even if it was just a few coins, because she knew, “God will use it!”

Far too often, we as Christians make excuses when it comes to giving. Phrases like “I can’t afford to give anything” and “Someone else will give, so I don’t have to” fly out of our mouths so quickly, it’s almost cliche for us. Why is that kids understand giving better than us? Those kids that went forward that night weren’t concerned with the money they would have left, they didn’t worry about who could see them. Their sole concern was that their money would get in that suitcase, so that it could go help those kids who needed it. I encourage you to have the same mindset as those children. Just like that little girl said, it doesn’t matter if you give five cents or five dollars, God will use it. After all, Jesus fed 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch. Imagine what He can do with your offering.

About the Guest Blogger:
Katie DeWitt served as a CentriKid Bible Study Leader and taught Build It track time this past summer at camp. Originally from Dexter, Missouri, she’s a sophomore math major at Hannaibal-LaGrange University.

CentriKid

CentriKid is a 5 day, 4 night camp for 3rd - 6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ!