Archive for December, 2016

Kids Ministry Resolutions for 2017

It is hard to believe that the holidays are over. This means Christmas decorations must be put away, back to busy schedules, and new years resolutions. Most folks make financial resolutions, health resolutions, and family resolutions for a new year, but why not start your ministry off with a fresh start towards kids ministry resolutions. Here are some ideas that we hope you find helpful to kicking off the new year right!

1.Invest in Volunteers.  As a leader, investing in your volunteers is as important as investing in your kids. This may sound crazy, but it is true. As one person, you can do only so much. A well trained and equipped volunteer multiplies what you can do, and a team of volunteers quadruples your multiplication efforts. To invest in them, start by getting to know your team of volunteers on a personal level. It is easy in the busyness of Sunday morning to take this group for granted. Make it a goal in 2017 to write a personal note to each of them thanking them for serving with you.  This simple step can launch a year of renewed engagement for your ministry team!

2. Meet the Parents. I know this one if challenging! In the craziness of kids getting dropped off and picked up sometimes we are lucky to just say hello and check their security tag. Meaningful communication doesn’t just happen. It is a choice you must be disciplined to make each time to get to interact with parents. This year take a shot at improving your communication with parents. This might be standing outside your classroom (without the clipboard in hand) and intentionally greeting every parent, putting together an email newsletter, or organizing a parent appreciation night just to love on them. The investment is worth it! Parents, like volunteers, have a huge impact on ministry because without their support, there aren’t any kids to minister to.

3. “Use your 60”. At CentriKid we believe in the power of every minute with kids, so we want to use every one of them! We believe that you can intentionally take each minute to deeply invest in a volunteer or a kid’s life. Think about what you can do if you take those “random” minutes to stop a leader in the hallway and call out something amazing you saw them do with a child in class last week. Think about what you can do if you take those last couple of minutes of the hour on Sunday to stop a parent on their way out the door and tell them how you saw the light bulb go off in their child’s mind today during worship. Think about what you can do if you take the first minute of each class to hug a child and tell them how thankful you are that they are here today. Think about what you can do if you take the “commute” minutes on the way to church each week to thank God for the ministry to get to serve in and the people he has placed around you to help change lives!

We are praying for you and believe in what you are doing! Let’s begin 2017 with a grateful heart knowing that each day we are impacting little lives for eternal purposes!  Take a moment now and jot down your 2017 Kids Ministry Resolutions!

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.

Dec

25

2016

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Merry Christmas from CentriKid!

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Whether you are opening presents by the fire, traveling to Granny’s house to gather with extended family, or enjoying other fun Christmas traditions, we hope that you and your family have a blessed day as you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (HCSB)

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 John 5:11 (HCSB)

From our CentriKid family to you, Merry Christmas!

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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.

Dec

22

2016

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The Light of Christmas

One of my favorite parts of Christmas are the beautiful lights. I love to see the twinkle of Christmas lights throughout the town. When I was younger my grandfather and I would drive around our small Kentucky town and marvel at the beautiful lights that were on display at Christmastime. This week as we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Light of the world, let’s remember the true meaning of the light.

On the night that baby Jesus was born and laid in the manger He brought light into the world. God is light, and when He sent His son, Jesus to earth, God provided a way for us to be reconciled with Him so that we would never have to walk in darkness again. Jesus broke through the darkness of the world when he defeated death on the cross.

In the darkness of night the first Christmas, Jesus came to shine a light into the world. And Jesus is still shining bright into the dark world. The Lord placed a light in the sky to guide the wise men to their Savior. And Jesus is still shining light into our darkness today. The light of Christ is shining still this Christmas.

This summer at CentriKid we will be discussing Jesus, the one true light, and digging into John 8:12, Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” We are called to walk in the light, and receive the life that the light brings. 

This is why I love the lights at Christmas, it reminds me of Jesus. It reminds me that no matter how dark it seems, Jesus can shine light into my circumstances and rescue me from myself.  This Christmas when you see all of the twinkle lights let that be a reminder of the light of the world, and how we have a responsibility as believers to walk in the light.

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.

Dec

19

2016

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Making Ministry Kid-Friendly

Christ has radically, unexplainably, graciously called us out of darkness and into His light. We’ve tasted and seen the goodness of Lord and now we get to show Him to the little ones He has entrusted to us. When ministering to kids, we want them to understand this life-changing good news, but how do we do this best for our kids?

We want the children in our ministries to have a firm foundation and to grow up into young adults who love the Lord and His Word. To serve them well, begin with and never compromise content that is biblical. The what of your kidsmin should be unchanging, but the how should evolve at a pace in line with your kids. For kid-friendly ministry make sure you share Truth with kids in a way that is:

Challenging
– Too frequently we are surprised by what kids can learn! Oftentime, children understand more than what we give them credit for, so be sure to feed them content that dares kids to continually stretch and ask questions.


Memorable
– Make your kidsmin opportunity something they won’t forget! Pull in wild, crazy surprises or make the most of the everyday. Concrete object lessons that turn simple, everyday items into a vessels of biblical teaching are great go-to’s for ministry to children.

Engaging – Instead of just occupying children’s time, captivate their minds with biblical Truth. To draw kids in, make interaction and involvement a priority in all times together. When kids can experience what you’re teaching at different levels (through movement, song, or even play-dough) your lessons will go farther and last longer.

When questioning what a specific age group can understand or how to most appeal to certain kids, consider LifeWay’s Levels of Biblical Learning. This is a great guide to show how different ages understand and learn best. Following these simple principles will help our kids to be better learners and help us to be better teachers. When we have a captive audience of children’s ears, let’s show them the Truth in a fun, kid-friendly way!

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.

Dec

16

2016

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Time Well Spent In Ministry

Do you ever feel like you are way to busy to make an impact in your ministry? I think we have all been at the point where we feel like we have so many responsibilities that we are not sure if we are doing any of them well. There has always been the same amount of time in every day, but sometimes we just cannot get everything that we need done in one day. So how do we make sure that we have the biggest impact in our ministry? The key is to use your time effectively.

When you are focusing on too many things at once, everything suffers. You cannot possibly do twenty-four things at once with excellence. So if multi-tasking isn’t the answer, then what is? The answer is focus. Take one thing at a time and target a specific action item. When you work on one thing at a time you are able to use time much more effectively. I challenge you to Use Your 60. Here at CentriKid we want every single minute to matter. When we use our time effectively to plan events in the church or prepare to teach kids, then we can use every single minute that we have with them when they are in our care. When we use our time well we can focus on building relationships with kids and sharing the gospel with them.

Use Your 60. Every moment matters. When you successfully use every minute in an hour (your 60) you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish. Gone will be the days of being busy, but getting nothing accomplished. You will be able to look back and see how you consciously made decisions that have such positive impacts on your ministry.  Focus on one thing at a time, strive for excellence, and most importantly be fully present with the kids in your ministry. Kids will always remember how much time you had for them, time turns into love. The people who shape us are the ones that are most present in our lives. Use Your 60.

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.

Dec

13

2016

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Have a Christmas OMC!

Christmas time is upon us! What a wonderful time of Christmas music, celebrating the birth of Jesus, and cold weather. While rocking all your new winter clothes you have is fun, with colder weather, the kids don’t get to be outside as much, making them even more restless than before! Now is the perfect time to plan out a Christmas OMC at your church! It will allow the kids to run around and be crazy, but still allow you an opportunity to debrief the game and point it back to Scripture. See this past blog about tips on debriefing.

We have over 15 different editions and add-ons of OMC (not including each summer’s themed editions), but some of my favorites are the seasonally-themed add-ons. They bring the fun of OMC that we play at camp during the summer into the rest of the year and what is happening at the time. Here is how to create a Christmas themed OMC at your church or ministry.

First, if you do not have the official OMC game yet, you’ll want to get one of those! You can find it online here if you need to get it. There are two full editions available. You can choose if you want the “Yellow Edition” or “Messy Edition”– or even get both to have at the ready at any time! Each of those editions comes with 50 unique task cards.

Once you have the digital version of the OMC game, you want to access the Christmas bonus edition instructions and additional tasks. With these combined versions, you will be good to go. Each edition will provide you with instructions on what supplies are needed, as well as how many cards to print, and the overall setup of the field.

A few ideas to help create the theme:
-Christmas music!
-Stockings hung by the scoring zone with care: Have kids return completed task cards into stockings.
-Creative Caroling: have the teams come up with cheers to the tune of their favorite Christmas carols

We hope you have a great Christmas OMC! Feel free to check out our other special editions as well as some FAQs about OMC at centrikid.com.

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.

3 Things I Learned as a CentriKid Staffer

This summer I was blessed with the opportunity to be a CentriKid staffer. This was something that I had dreamed of ever since I attended CentriKid as a 5th and 6th grader. When I accepted the position, I knew that it was going to be a whirlwind of a summer full of crazy schedules, crazy cool kiddos, and serving a crazy awesome God, but little did I know that it was going to be a summer full of intense learning.

3 of the biggest things I learned this summer were:

How important relying on the Holy Spirit is.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” This summer the Lord taught me how to live in this verse. Instead of worrying and being anxious about Track Times or sharing the gospel or Recreation, I just needed to trust, rely, and think about HIM. At CentriKid, we root everything in scripture, because without Jesus this is all for nothing.

The importance of a testimony.
A testimony carries extreme power. I was able to witness the power of testimonies this summer when a child would open-up to an Adult Leader and a staffer because they heard a testimony of someone going through the same thing they were going through. Seeing the look of defeat on a struggling child turn into a look of hope is a sight that cannot be forgotten.
The importance of community.15253549_10206013021283895_8706648706174483929_n
Romans 12:4-5 (HCSB) says, “Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.” If we know anything about the human anatomy, it is that if someone took out our heart, we would not be able to function. The heart brings something to the body that is of vital importance. In the same way, without other believers in our lives, we suffer in our own personal walks with Christ. This summer I made 25 of the greatest friends I will ever have: my fellow CentriKid staffers.  They prayed with me when I was tired and weary, they spoke scripture into my life when I felt unworthy, and they encouraged me when I was feeling unfit. I was better able to minister to the children because I knew all 25 of their personal stories and could connect a struggling child with a staffer going through the same situation. Community is something that I used to think was unnecessary, but now I have learned that it is something that no believer should ever do without.

I loved being a CentriKid staffer, and you should apply to join me! CentriKid staffers are young adults with a passion for hanging out with kids and sharing Christ through everything they do. Find out more here! 

About the Guest Blogger:

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-8-51-26-amLukas Comer is a CentriKid staffer! He’s studying Interdisciplinary Studies K-5th at Middle Tennessee State University. Lukas is currently the children’s ministry intern at Parkway Baptist Church in Smyrna, TN. He also wants to be a kids minister “when he grows up!” We’re thankful to have awesome staffers who love kids and love the Lord like Lukas serving with CentriKid Camps.

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!

How to Share the Gospel with Kids

In kids ministry, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to kids is one of the most important things we can do as we minister to kids. Because of it’s importance, it can also be one of the most daunting things we can do. The real challenge comes in simplifying the language without simplifying the concepts. Kids are concrete thinkers, so when we share the gospel with kids, we must get on their level and explain the full truth in ways that they can understand.

At CentriKid, we have developed a plan that we call “The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me” that we believe fully explains the gospel on a level that kids can understand. (Other LifeWay Kids resources also use this method of explaining the gospel.)

THE GOSPEL: GOD’S PLAN FOR ME

1. God Rules.  The Bible tells us God created everything, including you and me, and He is in charge of everything.

Scripture – Genesis 1:1, Revelation 4:11, Colossians 1:16-17

2. We Sinned.  We all choose to disobey God.  The Bible calls this sin.  Sin separates us from God and deserves God’s punishment of death.
Scripture – Romans 3:23, 6:23

3. God Provided.  God sent Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve.  It’s something we, as sinners, could never earn on our own.  Jesus alone saves us.
Scripture – John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9

4. Jesus Gives.  He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again.  Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God’s family for eternity.
Scripture – Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 2:8-9

5. We Respond.  Jesus has given us this gift, and we must accept this gift. Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He’s already done on the cross.  Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus.  Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus.
Scripture – John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, 13

You might have other ways that you prefer to share the gospel with kids, and that is great! Overall, just be sure that your method is easy to understand for a kid, explains the whole truth, and uses Scripture as the foundation.

As a kids ministry leader or a parent, point your kids to Jesus every chance you get. Trust that the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say and guide you as you share your faith with kids.

Here are some other blogs and resources that can help you easily explain the gospel to kids:

Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Kids – CentriKid

5 Articles on Kids and Salvation – CentriKid Blog

How to Teach the Gospel without Velcro – Kids Ministry 101 Blog

Always Point to Jesus – CentriKid Blog

Free Gospel Poster Download – CentriKid Blog

The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me (Booklet) 

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.