We’ve had another great week at CentriKid and you guys keep posting awesome pictures. As I’ve visited camps, it has been awesome to see kids worshiping and hear how God is at work in the hearts and minds of kids.
This week at camp there were plenty of water balloons, lots of crazy campers playing rec games, and great moments to make spiritual truths clear in the lives of kids.
We had a great time at camp, and we love that campers are learning more about those big truths from scripture like RESCUED from captivity, Reconciled to God, and Restored for a purpose!
Church leaders and parents, you can use these follow-up questions with campers, even if you’ve already been to camp earlier this summer. Dig deeper with campers to help solidify the truth from scripture in their hearts and minds.
“Be intentional with kids.” “Have intentional conversations today.” “Make sure that you are being intentional during hang time.”
These are a few phrases that you might hear during a CentriKid staff meeting at camp. Kids are only with us at camp for 5 short days each year, so we think it is VERY important for our staffers to be intentional with campers…but what do we really mean when we use this phrase?
At camp, being intentional basically means purposefully moving conversations from basic, surface-level topics to deeper, spiritual truth. It means seeking out specific campers (sometimes even scheduling meet-ups at the SPOT) and doing whatever is necessary to move them one stop closer to the cross of Christ. It means developing relationships that God can use to bring about life-change. We always want to take full advantage of the time that God gives us to build relationships and point campers to Christ.
There is no set formula for being intentional, but here are a few tips that may help you to have more intentional conversations with kids in your ministry:
1. PLAN to be intentional. This might be a given, but many times this step is ironically overlooked. Webster defines the word intentional as “done in a way that is planned or intended.” You cannot expect deep, spiritual conversations to come about by happenstance. Identify kids who you want to challenge or encourage spiritually, and set aside time on your planner to talk with them. There’s no need to set up formal meetings. You can easily talk to a kid about spiritual things while you are sharing a meal or walking alongside them to your next activity, but if you don’t plan for the time, it likely will not happen.
2. ASK spiritual questions. Oftentimes as adults, we shy away from asking spiritual questions because we fear aWkWArd situations. Kids do not have the same awkward filter as adults, and chances are that if you are interested in having an intentional conversation with a kid, you are probably already involved in their spiritual life in some way. Even though it may seem awkward to you, it will likely seem very natural to kids for you to ask spiritual questions; in fact, it might seem more unusual if you avoid spiritual topics. If you want to quickly make a conversation intentional, try asking, “Tell me about your relationship with Jesus,” or “What are you doing to grow as a Christian?”
3. SHARE your story. If you are having a hard time “breaking the ice” with a particular kid, try sharing stories of how God has worked in your life. This is an excellent way to teach kids about the Kingdom, and it also may encourage them to open up and share with you.
For more tips on communicating with kids check out these posts:
Today is Photo Friday, and in the last few days we’ve had our biggest week of camp this summer! It is always a privilege to spend the week with campers, celebrate birthdays, and see God at work in the lives of kids and adults.
Enjoy these pictures from the last week, featuring OMC, Peach, pizza, and July 4th!
During the afternoons at CentriKid we have a fun, game-driven program known as “Party!” This is an opportunity for kids to come on stage, play games, act silly, and simply have a good time. We also take the opportunity during the Party to teach kids more about missions, so many of our games have a missions emphasis or an element that we can use to make a connection to the projects we support through our missions offering. We know that many of you have similar programs in your ministry, and you are always needing a few new ideas for stage games. That’s why we’ve created this great resource. If you loved the Party games at CentriKid, download this packet to receive a list of supplies, participants, and rules for all the games you saw on stage at camp in 2014. Need even more games? Click here to download stage games from 2013.
If you came to CentriKid in 2014, we hope you had a blast, but even more, we hope that everyone in your group had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. We would love for you to share stories with us of some amazing things that God did in your group, or perhaps you would like to share some of your favorite stage game ideas with us! Either way, we would love to hear from you. Email us or leave a comment below!
Camp is a mountaintop experience. Camp represents a peak – a special occasion where things are uniquely different. It may be a mountaintop for a child because he or she accomplishes some type of physical goal, overcomes homesickness, or makes a spiritual decision. One danger of a mountaintop experience, though, is falling into a spiritual slump after coming down off the mountain. As a leader or parent, this is a great opportunity to go deeper in relationship with your campers and help reinforce the positive differences you see.
We believe that life-change happens best in the context of relationships. In the 21st century, there are so many ways to connect with other people: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, FaceTime, Skype, text messages, email, and many more. In our media and tech-driven society, though, we must not devalue the importance of real, face-to-face interactions and relationships. Kids are concrete thinkers, and they need “concrete” adults in their lives to help solidify a lifestyle of spiritual growth that reflects the spiritual decisions they’ve made at camp. Don’t miss this chance to really dig deep and challenge your kids to continue to grow in relationship with Christ.
Here are 5 Tips for Avoiding the After Camp Spiritual Slump:
We invest a lot in kids at camp, and we care for their growth after camp, too! Let us know how your kids continue to grow in the things of God after their camp experience.
Each summer, we strive not only to minister to the kids at camp, but we also provide opportunities for adults to worship, be fed, and recharge spiritually. Our goal is for EVERYONE at camp to have a life-changing encounter with Christ. That’s why we schedule and program for a time known as Adult Gathering.
If you have already attended camp this summer, you had the opportunity to participate in corporate worship, engage in an individual, reflective worship experience at prayer stations, and participate in a prayer walk. Our prayer is that God will use this time to speak to you through His word and to make you more like the image of His Son.
Each year, we get requests for the material that we use during Adult Gathering so that church leaders can reproduce the experience in their own churches. The material for adult gathering is available for download on our Post Camp Extras page, or you can also click here for a direct download.
In this packet, you will find the worship outline for the corporate worship time, all the content for the prayer stations (including a supply list and all the necessary handouts), and the prayer walking guide. Feel free to adapt the language to fit your individual ministry needs.
We always hope that camp is a life-changing experience, and we would love for you to share stories with us of how God has worked in your life through the ministry of camp. If you have a God story you would like to share, please email us at email@example.com!
Today is Friday, which means that another week of camp is coming to a close. It was another most incredible week of fun and ministry. In addition to all the good times we are having, we know that camp is not the only ministry taking place this summer – many churches have also been in the midst of VBS and other summer ministries over the past week, so this week we’ve included a few pics from a local backyard VBS, too. Be sure to check out Tagboard to see more pictures from the week. If you want to see your pictures on the next edition of Photo Friday, be sure to mention @CentriKid on social media, and use #centrikid.
While you are at CentriKid, it is our earnest desire to serve churches as best we can, but we also want to come alongside you and help serve you even after you leave. That’s why we’ve created a special page of resources for church leaders to use after camp.
The Post Camp Extras page has all the most frequently requested items that church leaders need when they get home.
We work to anticipate the needs of our churches after camp, so let us know if there’s anything else we can provide for you after CentriKid.
The first few cycles of camp for this summer are over. We absolutely LOVE what we do, but one drawback to our job is that we only get the chance in invest in the lives of your kids for one week, once a year. The rest of the year, many of you are the ones on the front lines week after week, and for that, you truly are our heroes. Nothing is more important than spiritually investing in the lives of kids and allowing God to bring about life-change.
Although we can’t be directly involved in your camp follow-up, we definitely don’t want to leave you empty handed. That’s why we’ve created these great resources. Check it out!
After Camp Devotions
You may have downloaded our Pre-Camp Devotions prior to camp, but don’t forget that there are also two After Camp Devotions included at the end of that document. You can re-download the document here. Consider leading these devotions during your mid-week programming or on a Sunday night. They provide a review of the material we covered at camp, and they will also challenge kids to live so that their lives reflect Jesus Christ.
Discussion Questions for Parents
We’ve created a general overview of our spiritual content, and we’ve provided a few discussion questions and conversation starters. Parents can use these resources to ask meaningful questions and challenge their kids to continue processing the things they learned at camp. This resources is available in the parent pack.
2014 CentriKid Devotions
You should have received copies of this great resource from your Camp Director prior to leaving camp. The 2014 CentriKid Devotions is a four week devotion guide that covers the following topics:
Some of our very own CentriKid staffers wrote these great devotions. After campers finish this book, we encourage you to help your kids find another devotion resource. Spending time in God’s word each day is so important. Bible Express and Adventure are great devotions magazines from our team at LifeWay Kids, and some of the folks that write for CentriKid help write for these devotion magazines as well from time to time.
Even though we cannot be directly involved in follow-up, we still want campers to learn more about God and live their lives for Him. We hope these resources will help.