One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. It is a time to gather with family and friends and it is always great to reconnect when loved ones live in so many different places. This is a great time to take a look at your ministry and see if you are fostering an attitude of thankfulness with your leaders, volunteers, and kids in your ministry.
One of the best ways to encourage gratitude in the kids in your ministry is to exercise gratitude in your own life. As you set the example of expressing appreciation, the people around you will want to emulate your generous attitude. Fostering gratitude in the kids that you lead becomes much more attainable when they can see your thankfulness towards others. Genuine gratitude is the goal, not simply reciting please and thank you. And it becomes incredibly difficult to teach kids something that you are not currently practicing. Taking a look at your level of gratitude is the first step in passing on a thankful attitude to kids.
Making kids feel valued is another important step to gratitude. It is very difficult to understand how to show appreciation when you do feel appreciated yourself. Creating a safe and loving environment where kids can be themselves and encounter a community of belonging will allow them to understand that they are appreciated and loved. When they can understand that they are important to you and important to the church, they will be much more inclined to understand the importance of gratitude.
Help the kids make gratitude their own. Each kid comes from different backgrounds and they need to understand what appreciation looks like for them. Asking them to think of people and things that they are thankful for helps them to understand gratitude for themselves. Sharing things that we can be thankful for in the church is a great start to creating gratitude in your ministry. There are many great ways for kids to express thankfulness, and it is important to cultivate a thankful and generous attitude all year long, not just in November.
Taking on the role of camp director was one of the most exciting, yet terrifying, steps on my ministry journey thus far. When I look back on the summer of 2014, answered prayers and lessons learned are the first things that come to mind. My fears were so perfectly met by the Lord’s provision and I learned many valuable leadership lessons through His answers to my prayers.
Here are a few of the lasting leadership lessons I learned last summer:
Learn from other leaders. Don’t let the experience of those that have gone before you go to waste. We can utilize the lessons others have learned from their biggest successes as well as their most disappointing failures. Take advantage of the experience of others and learn the lessons that they had to learn the hard way.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind. Admitting you were wrong can be one of the hardest parts of leadership. Don’t be afraid to listen to the ideas of others and put them to use. Be willing to admit that your idea to play OMC in the morning on checkout day is absolutely ridiculous and listen to adults who tell you they would rather play at night (trust me).
Value your team. When I look back on the summer of 2014, I would not have survived without each and every member of my team. Realize that each person brings incredible value to your team and it wouldn’t function properly without each member. Be intentional in letting your teammates know that you value them. When people know they are important in relation to the end goal, they are able to catch the vision much faster.
Take care of yourself. It’s easy to pile all of the stress and responsibility of leadership on your own shoulders and not take any time for yourself. I found that it is enormously important to be sure you are being fed spiritually as well as emotionally. We cannot expect to pour out to others continuously if we are not allowing ourselves to be poured into. Leadership can be draining. Find that one person outside of your team that you can confide in and allow them to encourage you and remind you of why you do what you do.
About the Guest Blogger:
Caitlin Henry is a Camp Director for CentriKid! She is a Carson-Newman University graduate in accounting. Caitlin has been working CentriKid since 2011, directed the CentriKid team at Anderson University last year, and will be directing the camp team at Gardner-Webb University this upcoming summer. We are thankful for Caitlin’s service and leadership with CentriKid!
“You have the best staff.” “I come to CentriKid for the staff.” “How do they do it?” “Your staff are always engaging our kids.” “Your staff is great.”
Although it is said many different ways, the sentiment is always the same. We have been blessed to serve with some of the best men and women involved in kids camp throughout the years. From Crosspoint to CentriKid, we have hired staff with great character, chemistry to our mission and values, and competency to perform.
Today we turn a new page by inviting our former staffers to join our CentriKid Staff Alumni. A quarterly email, “Behind the OMC”, will be sent to our alumni to keep them in touch with camp-related events. Behind the OMC will give alumni a first look at upcoming camp related projects, provide a prayer list to partner with us in spiritually preparing for the summer, and a insider look at our VBS and Kids Ministry Conference. We are also providing an offer to all our alumni to help us get the word out about camp. A brand new church to CentriKid Camps, recommended by one of our alumni, will get a special rate when they sign up. Details will be provided in the first edition of Behind the OMC.
To sign up check out of our Alumni Page! No surprises here, but you can only sign up if you are a former CentriKid or Crosspoint staffer. Even if you are not a former staffer you can check out our Wall of Fame. It has pictures of all our former teams.
To those individuals who make up our alumni, we want to say thank you for being the hands and feet of our ministry. No matter how great a program the Camps and Events Team creates, the way you implement the plan, serve churches, and love on kids have really made the difference in our mission to serve churches in their mission of making disciples.
We love you CentriKid Alumni!
Emerson said, “good manners are made up of petty sacrifices”. This quote was found in my recent read of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Copyright 1936, this book has been in circulation for a long time. The examples are dated, but it brought the simple ways to be influential to life. Here are some of my favorite techniques Carnegie outlines in his book.
This is a short list of many great tips Carnegie produces in his classic. I suggest you pick it up for a quick read. Ultimately, what I took from this book was to honor and remember the simple things. We have all sorts of models and theories on how to maximize a business or improve your ministry, but at a fundamental level you will fail if you fall short here.
#NationalOMCDay was a major success! We are overwhelmed and so thankful for all of the celebration that happened this past Wednesday. Over 590 Instagrams and Tweets were posted, and the fun of Organized Mass Chaos was spread throughout churches, schools, and workplaces.
If you completed a task, put on an OMC shirt, or even liked a social media post, you had a huge hand in making #NationalOMCDay an incredible day. Thank you for loving the ministry of CentriKid. We could not do the ministry of camp without people like you! THANK YOU!
So many people actually completed all of the CentriKid tasks that went out! Thanks to everyone for participating! (check out a photo recap at the bottom of this post)
1st Place: @SoCallMeKaybe / @jordan_brooke95
2nd Place: @SadieKasior
3rd Place: @adammoffet42
Also, we want to give a shout-out to EIGHT incredible churches that celebrated #NationalOMCDay by playing a game of OMC in their kids ministry! We love all of our churches, and are so thankful that your ministry continues to transform the lives of kids.
Tulip Grove Baptist Church
First Baptist Church Hodgenville
Ballardsville Baptist Church
Raleigh Road Baptist Church
First Baptist Hazel Green
Hernando Baptist Church
River Road Baptist Church
First Baptist Church Clarksville
#NationalOMCDay Photo Recap
Check out these other awesome social media posts from Wednesday!
Thanks for joining us for #NationalOMCDay 2014! Go ahead and mark your calendars for November 11, 2015 for #NationalOMCDay 2015!
It’s here! It’s today! It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for!
In case you haven’t heard, today is NATIONAL OMC DAY! From the rec field, to your office, church, or school, OMC is the greatest and most fun game ever created (it’s also a great way to share the Gospel). We love to celebrate it!
So what are you waiting for? Put on an OMC shirt, change your Facebook profile picture, and check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for tasks throughout today. When you complete a task, be sure to post it on social media and use #NationalOMCDay! Whoever completes and posts the most tasks will be featured here on our blog on Friday, and will receive something fun in the mail!
If your kids ministry at church plays a game of OMC tonight at your service, we’ll send you some extra special OMC themed items to get you ready for camp this summer!
If you’d like some more information about all the fun things that are happening today, check out this video that explains National OMC Day!
Be sure to check back this Friday for a recap for #NationalOMCDay!
Object lessons can be a great tool to connect the Gospel to kids. At CentriKid, giving kids concrete examples that help them see the glory of God in a more powerful way is something that we are always striving to do. This can also be a great tool to utilize in your children’s ministry!
Showing kids the power of God in our lives can sometimes be tough because it is not always tangible. When we follow Christ, we are filled with His power and become part of His plan. Sometimes it can look like people are following Christ, they go to church, they are nice to people, and sometimes they even have really good prayers. So what is the difference between someone who is following God and someone who is just a good person?
Get 2 identical balloons and fill one of them with helium and the other with regular air. Hold them in a way that no one can tell a difference between the balloons. Have the kids describe the 2 balloons. What color are they? Are they the same size? They look the same on the outside!
What happens when something happens and life gets a little crazy? When you release the balloons, one of them will float to the ceiling but the other will fall to the ground. Even though they both looked the same on the outside, the 2 balloons reacted to change very differently. It is the same for people who are walking with Christ versus those who aren’t. Life can look great, but as soon as the something happens that is out of our control, that is when you see a difference. When we are filled with the joy of the Lord, we know that He is always taking care of us. No matter what happens, there is nothing that can take us out of God’s hand and because of that, we are able to rise above any problem that comes up. When someone does not have that relationship with God, they do not have the hope that He gives through His grace and mercy. God has the power to pull us out of any situation and it is never too late to start following Him. When we are filled with His power, we can always know that God is in control.
Romans 8:38-39 is one of my favorite verses because it tells us that there is NOTHING than can take us out of our Father’s hand. When life seems hard, I can have hope to rise above the situation because I know that God is always in control.
Each year, we get several requests for logos, design elements, and information about the upcoming theme. We’ve made several of those available on our Promotional Resources page on CentriKid.com, and we will continue to update that page as we get more material this year (we are still in the process of developing some things). Until that page is totally updated with our new promo material, we want to make as many FIT: Faith in Training resources available to you as we can.
Here are some fun FIT: Faith in Training graphics and resources you can use in your church bulletins, blog posts, or anything that could help you promote camp at your church:
This summer at CentriKid, campers will learn about the spiritual practices that will help them grow their faith. We will chew on God’s Word and let him be our teacher. This goal of this year’s Bible Study time is provide kids with some hands-on, practical, take-it-home-with-them tools for using spiritual practices as they grow their faith.
2015 KEY VERSE
“You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (HCSB)
2015 DAILY THEMES
We want to make promoting camp as easy as possible for you, so if there is any way we could help, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” When it comes to shepherding the kids in your church, it is important to make sure that you are taking the time to prepare. Whether it be for an event or for normal Sunday morning activities, planning is vital.
An important thing is to make sure that your plans match up with your mission. Knowing exactly what your mission statement is for your kids ministry can shape your plans and what you want to accomplish as you set forth to expand the kingdom through working with kids. Having a mission statement for you and your ministry can help you to shape those plans and help direct your passions in your ministry.
Organization is key to a healthy kids ministry. It is super important to create an environment for your leaders and volunteers where they know what is going on. Its frustrating to be a part of a dysfunctional group and be unsure about what is expected. Planning out very clearly what is expected of the people in your ministry will allow them to have ownership of their tasks and responsibilities. When you are organized your volunteers will be willing to trust you and to follow you.
Making plans for your ministry can be exciting, but make sure that you are very realistic about those plans. Putting an unattainable goal in front of your church can do more damage than good. Creating smart, attainable goals can bring people together to reach towards something great. Understand exactly where you are right now, and take conscious steps to move forward at a realistic pace.
People in your ministry are excited to be a part of something great. Creating a plan for anything that you are interested to do is the very best way to get people involved and excited. Making a plan is the first step to success with any project, event, or program.
Giving is all about the heart. It’s important to talk to kids about giving at a very early age. Two great stories from Scripture that teach about sacrificial giving are the story of the widow and two mites (Luke 21) and the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4-5).
In Luke 21, we see the truth that the amount that we give is less important than the sacrifice. The rich gave out of their surplus, but the poor widow gave all that she had, and Jesus said that the widow’s gift was more valuable. If we only give a “comfortable” amount, are we really expressing full devotion and trust in Christ?
In Acts 4-5, we see that when we give, God examines the heart. Barnabas had the right heart—he saw a need, and he gave sacrificially to the church in order to meet the need. Ananias and Sapphira, on the other hand, had the wrong heart—they gave out of a feeling of obligation, and they lied about the amount that they gave. The words of 2 Corinthians 9:7 are particularly applicable here: “Each person should do as he has decided in his heart —not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Sadly, the outcome was fatal for Ananias and Sapphira, which demonstrates the truth that giving is a serious matter to God. This summer at CentriKid, we will be teaching kids more about this important passage of Scripture (join us)!
Both of these stories provide a strong framework for teaching kids about giving sacrificially. In addition to these stories, consider this one additional tip. Many times I hear people say that it doesn’t matter what you give to the Lord. You can give your talents, gifts, and time. While this sentiment is true (we should live fully devoted to God), I think that often we use this as an excuse for neglecting to give of our finances; however, Scripture is clear that we should give of our monetary resources. I understand that kids often don’t have an excess of money, but even at a young age, it is important to teach and provide an example of giving money to God.
For more tips about teaching kids to give sacrificially, check out this post.