Archive for March, 2017

Mar

24

2017

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Easter OMC Special Edition

Spring has sprung! The trees and grass are turning green again, warmer weather is on its way, and you can start putting up the winter clothes and unpacking the shorts. The kids are all dying to go outside each week. What better time than this to take them outside to plan out an Easter 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.

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 an Easter 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. Both can be played simultaneously as well; it will just make the game that much messier and fun!

Once you have the digital version of the OMC game, you want to access the Easter 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.

Remember, once the game is over, debrief it to remind kids of the truth of Scripture and why we celebrate Jesus dying and coming back to life. See this past blog about tips on debriefing. We hope you have a great Easter OMC, and are able to impact kids with the great news of Jesus’ resurrection that we are celebrating! 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.

Mar

21

2017

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Leading Well: Collaboration

Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. There is always something that needs to be done. Something to be created. Something that needs to happen. And the best way to produce the very best product is with a great team. Check out some tips below about how collaboration can help you get things done.

Stick to the Vision: When there is something to be done, there are always many opinions on how to accomplish it the best way. What is so important is that you and your team understand what is driving you. What is the purpose behind what you are doing? As long as we always keep the main goal, the main goal then the logistics of completing tasks will fall into place.

Use Your Strengths: As you think about the team you work with and those in your ministry who help you to create new ideas, think about their strengths. There are lots of great tools that you can utilize to learn more about your teams’ strengths. You can use Meyers-Briggs or StrengthsFinder to figure out how the people on your team work best. Knowing certain things about your teammates can help you to be more contentious and be more productive.

Communicate Well: One of my leaders once told me, “You can say anything it just depends on how you say it.” That has always stuck with me. When you are leading a team or if you are on a team communication is so very important. And remember that listening is just as important as talking when it comes to communication. Sometimes you have to have difficult conversations, they are needed, but as long as the person you are having the conversation with feels valued, you can say what you need to say. Having an open mind and a listening ear is vital in collaboration.

Our CentriKid Office team loves to collaborate. We talk through many aspects of camp to make sure that we are bringing you the very best that we can. I hope that you can use these tips to collaborate with your team and to continue to strive for excellence.

Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 CSB

 

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.

Mar

14

2017

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How to Communicate with Kids

Working with kids can be tough, especially when it comes to communicating with them. How do they not just get some of the things we are asking? We say it as seemingly clear as day, but it seems like we are talking quantum physics with how little they are actually understanding or paying attention to what we say. Have you ever felt that way? Well, it’s because kids aren’t the same as adults. Now,that’s kind of a given isn’t? While this concept is very simple, and you probably already knew it, sometimes it is so helpful to be reminded of it t as you strive to impact the lives of kids with the gospel in the most effective way possible.

Kids aren’t adults
Kids simply aren’t at the same mental development stage as adults (Although I’m sure at least some of us have been accused of still acting like one!). They are going through much different life events. An exciting thing to a kid might be having 3 dollars to their name, but is an adult’s worst nightmare. When talking with kids, it is important to use relevant-to-them topics and examples. Along those same lines, kids tend to be more concrete learners than abstract thinkers. Kids will learn best with examples that connect clearly to what you want them to understand. That may mean talking about how the game you just played actually relates to our relationship with Jesus. We refer to that as a “debrief.” You can read more about that here in Debriefing 101. Beyond that, using physical objects will help solidify what you are saying in a kid’s mind–they simply aren’t going to understand or retain as much if you are using metaphorical illustrations. And remember to keep your vocabulary simple. They aren’t taking seminary courses; they don’t need to hear words like propitiation just yet, because you will completely lose their attention.

Kids aren’t babies
Now, thinking in a new way, elementary kids are more advanced than their younger counterparts. They can understand words and speak them back to you. You can have real conversations with them. In these conversations it is important to remember a few things. First, since they aren’t babies, you should allow kids to think for themselves. Asking open-ended questions and allowing them to answer in their own words helps kids think through what they know and believe in a much deeper way than simple yes and no responses that guide them to what you are telling them to believe. During these conversations it is also important to get on their level. Don’t tower above them and incite fear over them. Get down to a knee or squat to talk with them where they are.

Final thoughts
I’ve heard it said that when working with kids, you need to get on their train before you ask them to get on yours. For example, when you have asked everyone to come to the stage, but a young boy is continuing to build this massive lego tower instead, talk with him and find out all about what he is doing. Through doing this, he will be much more willing to come the next time you ask. Situations like this will help you build a relationship. We often say at CentriKid that life change happens best in the context of relationships. That’s why we do what we do, and I believe it should be a goal of yours as well — to develop deep relationships with the kids you are privileged enough to show God’s love. This relationship will instill trust, and you will be able to communicate with those kids even greater once that trusting relationship is there. Comment below with tips you have found work well when communicating with kids.

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.

Leading Well: Clarity

As a leader, you must be clear. Despite having to balance leading a team, getting details checked off your to-do list, and actually accomplishing results, taking the time to cast a vision of clarity can seem impossible.
Andy Stanley puts it this way in his book, Next Generation Leader:
“Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. There will be very few occasions when you are absolutely certain about anything. You will consistently be called upon to make decisions with limited information. That being the case, your goal should not be to elevate uncertainty. Instead, you must develop the art of being clear in the face of uncertainty.” 
Here are 3 tips to have clarity:
  1. Know your purpose and vision. You must know the vision of your ministry or program and be able to clearly communicate it to your team. What is the vision for your ministry, event, or program? 
  2. Repeat your vision. Do you remember step one? Repeat it, repeat it, repeat it. Every time you speak or communicate with the people you lead, point them back to the vision. You’ll know that it is catching on when you hear the people you lead talking about the vision in their every day language.
  3. Reward the vision.  Did you hear a volunteer share the gospel with a kid and her parent at the door? Celebrate it! Did you see your kids ministry intern take an extra measure to ensure the safety of the kids? Celebrate it! I’ve heard the phrase “What is celebrated is repeated.” 

In your leadership journey, there will certainly be times of uncertainty. How will you grow your ministry? What week of camp will we attend? How will you get enough volunteers for next Sunday? Not knowing all of the answers is okay, but in all cases, you must have clarity when leading your team.

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.

Mar

3

2017

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Use Your 60: Spring Break Edition

It has been a cold winter, but now we can see the warmth coming back for spring. Spring can be a hectic time for kids and adults alike, but the good news is that there is spring break! Maybe you are headed to the beach, or to the mountains, or maybe you are planning a stay-cation. No matter if you have big plans or no plans, you can Use Your 60 to make sure every moment counts.
No matter what your plans are, I challenge you to take some time for self care. The only person who can take care of you, is you. In order to continuously pour out your heart in ministry, you need to make sure that it is filled up. You might not get a week off, but maybe you can find an hour to take a hike at a beautiful spot or have a long chat with a close friend. Taking time to recharge is using your 60. 
When you are making every moment count, sometimes that means taking some moments away for rest. Whether you get a scheduled spring break or not I hope that you take some time of relaxation and rejuvenation this season. It will be well worth the time spent. Use Your 60 by taking care of yourself and making sure that you can continue to do the work that God has called you to do. 

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.