We’ve all had those days. We’ve all had those weeks. It seems that no matter how hard you try to make things different, by the time you wake up, get ready for the day and make it to the office, you feel that there is no more gas left in the tank. You feel alone, tired, and worn out. And it’s only Monday!
Yes, we’ve all been there. It is in those moments we need to find inspiration and encouragement in our life. In those moments, it’s vital that we remember and dwell the words of scripture. In John 15:16, Jesus says “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” Wow! What an amazing passage – that God would choose people like us and that He desires that we bear fruit abundantly! As we seek after God’s desires and as He reveals Himself in the scriptures, we begin to understand our purpose and we begin to rekindle the hope that we should have in Christ. Those are the things we should remember to give us the inspiration and encouragement we need.
Another great way to find inspiration is to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ. When we come together, we get to share one another’s burdens, we can share laughter together, and we can know that our struggles are not ours alone. That is exactly why highly encourage you to join us for KMC this October! And if you register before March 15, you get to bring a volunteer with you for 50% off…that’s over $100 in savings! What a great experience to share with your entire kids ministry team?! Maybe you have 3 on your staff that want to come to KMC? Register all 3 and get 3 spots for volunteers at 50% off. It’s that easy! Take advantage of this limited time offer by visiting our website www.kidsministryconference.com and register today! Use the Promo Code: KMCVOLUNTEER14 to receive this special, limited time offer.
We are looking for great bands to come and lead worship at CentriKid this summer. Do you know a band in your church or community that might be a great fit for CentriKid? We are looking for bands that simply have a heart to lead kids and students to the Lord and provide an opportunity for people to worship God. The camp experience is unlike anything that kids experience throughout the year in their church, and we desire to provide great worship for all who come to CentriKid!
If you know of people we should talk to, contact our recruiter, Andy Dukes. He’d love to connect with them directly to talk about the possibility of leading worship at CentriKid!
In case you haven’t heard, the 2014 CentriKid Theme is Reset: God Redeems! Our 2014 Spiritual Focus is all about God’s faithful love and abundant redemption.
This summer, campers will be learning about the incredible story of how God redeems started when He created the world. When we sinned, it was “game over,” but God “reset” our story with the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. In 2014, campers will learn what it means to be redeemed by God. They will discover how God’s redemption resets our hope of eternal life with Him, by providing forgiveness of sin, and making a way for us to be with Him forever!
The Key Verse this summer is Psalm 130:7: “Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with Him is redemption in abundance.”
Here are the Daily Themes campers will be studying at camp:
Day 1: God Reaches down to redeem us- Campers will learn about the first sin of Adam and Eve and how that affects us today. We will take a look at how because of sin, we are in need of God’s redemption. From the very beginning, people have sinned and have needed God to redeem them.
Day 2: God rescues from captivity- God rescued the Israelites from captivity in Egypt. We will study the story of Passover and make the connection between the Passover
and the sacrifice Jesus made for us to rescue us from sin. What God did for the Israelites helps us know Jesus came to rescue us from slavery to sin.
Day 3: God reconciles through Jesus- We will learn about how we are redeemed because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Campers will learn the only way we can be redeemed of our sins is through Jesus.
Day 4: God restores for a purpose- On this day, we will study the story in Mark of the paralyzed man who was physically healed and forgiven of his sins to glorify God. Campers will learn God restores us for for a purpose and how we should live because of the redemption we experience.
Day 5: God reaches out through us – Campers will learn that God can use us to help restore someone else. As people who have been redeemed, we should not keep this to ourselves.
Don’t forget to check out the pre-camp devotions to do with campers before the summer. These devotions will help prepare your campers and get them even more excited about the summer than they already are!
Our interview season for this camp year is over. During the past 5 months I have throughly enjoyed getting to know new applicants and hearing their stories. One of the things that we do our best to gauge during an interview is spiritual maturity. We always ask several questions related to spiritual maturity, but 2 of my favorites are below:
“Is anyone intentionally pouring into you or mentoring you?”
“Are you intentionally pouring into anyone or mentoring anyone?”
These two things are definitely markers of spiritual maturity. Ephesians 4 tells us that Christ has gifted the members of his body with gifts so that we can train one another, build one another up, and do the work of His ministry. As children of God, we should be using our gifts to pour into others, and other members of the body should be pouring into us.
One of my friends and mentors, Derek Webster, recently taught on spiritual maturity and spiritual growth. He identified the following levels of spiritual maturity:
Infancy – focused on obedience to Christ / the danger in this stage is ignoring God’s commands
Marry Me – focused on love for the Savior / the danger in this stage is developing shallow roots
Parenting – focused on learning and Bible knowledge / the danger in this stage is legalism
Accept – focused on grace / the danger in this stage is apathy
Character – focused on deep character change / the danger in this stage is hypocrisy
Truth – focused on dedication / the danger in this stage is comfort
Derek explained that most Christians normally progress vertically through these stages, but it is also common to revisit each stage at different points along the Christian journey. Derek encouraged me to identify my level of spiritual maturity and think about what steps I needed to take to continue growing. (To learn more about Derek’s ministry, click here.)
Today, I want to challenge you to do the same. Think about your level of maturity. What steps do you need to take to continue growing in Christ? Also, think about my first two questions. Is anyone pouring into you? If not, you need someone to fill this role in your life. Take active steps to find a mentor. Also, do you have anyone that you are intentionally pouring into? If not, diligently seek someone in whom you can invest.
None of us will ever “arrive,” but all of us should take steps to become more and more like our Savior.
But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head —Christ. Eph. 4:15
As you continue preparing for an amazing week at CentriKid Camps, one of the things you will need to do is recruit adult sponsors. Finding adults to meet the 1:5 ratio can be a struggle. Churches tell us all the time that it is particularly difficult to find male adults. Here are a few tips to make your job easier:
1. Show a promo video during the announcement portion of your service. (We make the Peach videos for kids, but adults love them, too!) Generating excitement about camp is one way to get adults interested in helping out.
2. Take time to explain the role of adults at camp. Adult sponsors watch over kids in the dorm buildings and at meals, but during the day, CentriKid staffers take care of all the details of camp. All of our camp locations have internet access, and there are opportunities for adults to find a quiet place or go back to their rooms work (or take a nap). If some of your male adults understand that they will have opportunities to take care of work, it might make them more apt to volunteer.
3. Mention Adult Gathering. We want everyone that comes to CentriKid to have a life-changing encounter with Christ, and that includes adults. Every morning after I Can’t Wait, the Camp Director or Camp Pastor will lead adults in a time of worship and Bible study that is designed specifically for them. We always hear that this is a very meaningful time.
4. Talk about OMC! OMC is the greatest game ever created! Who doesn’t want to be a part of the fun?! There is a place for every adult to get involved and have fun in the game. If you have adults that want to be in the heart of the action, send them to the No Fly Zone, or if you have adults that prefer to stand on the outskirts and watch the chaos unfold, we have a place for them, too.
5. Recruit Team Assistants. The Team Assistant Program is an option designed to give your most-trusted high school juniors and seniors or young college students a behind-the-scenes look at being a camp staffer while they act as a sponsor for your church group. Middle school students and high schoolers who are not at least rising juniors may not participate. For more information about the program, click here.
I hope these tips will make your recruiting season a little easier. We are looking forward to seeing you at camp.
Raising the funds to get to camp can be one of the most stressful parts of the camp experience. At this point your deposits are due, but you are looking at the rest of the money wondering from where it will come. Take an opportunity to take a deep breath, because today we hope to give you plenty of great methods of raising the money. Here is the 2014 Fundraising Ideas list.
Here is a complete list with all our Fundraising Tips from years past.
This week is the last week in the LifeWay Kids office for my friend and mentor Lance Howerton. We are excited for him as he transitions to a new position with Crossings Ministries in Kentucky … but we are sad to see Lance go. For over 20 years Lance has been a part of LifeWay’s camp ministry – with Centrifuge, MFuge, Crosspoint, and CentriKid. His leadership and guidance have been invaluable to me along the way with my journey. In recent years, Lance has worn a lot of hats within the LifeWay Kids ministry and he’s been a leader and friend to many who continue to serve here at LifeWay.
Here are a few words from CentriKid staff that Lance influenced:
One major phrase that stuck with me throughout the summer in leading and loving on staff was “It’s not all about what you say, it’s how you say it.” That helped me serve my staff well and communicate well with the team. – Micheal Walley
The fact that someone higher up would take the time to personally minister and give attention to myself and our team spoke volumes about his character. We were really struggling to figure out how to get the drum revolve put together and Lance was right there along side us, on his hands and knees, trying to get it set up! He is the real deal. – Will Croushorn
Lance says, “Always take the highest possible road.” – Meredith Teasley
Rest assured that your fingerprints are present in our lives and in our leadership. As we have gone out to serve across the country and around the world, your impact and influence continues to expand. — Matt Weston
You reminded me that people and your relationships with them are the most important thing in life. I have been so blessed by you as boss/leader, a man of God, and a friend. – Jessica Herrell
More than any leadership lesson or business tip that Lance gave … I value his friendship and the camaraderie I’ve shared with a boss that never acted like a “boss.” Thanks for taking a personal interest in me, and thanks for leading our team with integrity.
Ministry opportunities are unlimited, but we all need help stretching our limited budget for ministry. Here are 4 children’s ministry leaders who share from their experience on how to get the most out of their budget. You’ll see common themes of sharing and wise shopping, so here we go!
Special Thanks to each of these guys for sharing their insights with us! What else would you share from your experience? How do you stretch your limited ministry budget dollars? Share in the comments section below and we can continue to add to create a great collection of ideas!
Recently we polled some of our CentriKid Church Group Leaders on their favorite verse. We also asked them to share why it was their favorite verse. Here are some of their responses.
“2 Timothy 1:7. I have stressed this verse to my three daughters ever since they were old enough to understand that God never gives us a spirit of fear. But He does gives us POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND…if we can understand and believe this then what do we have to fear? RIGHT?” – Lisa Wilder
“The verse I use most often in my ministry with kids is Romans 6:23. I really like this verse and how it sums up the gospel.” – Peter Johnston
“1 Peter 3:15. To be prepared, one must be in Christ and in His word. To give an answer, one must be willing to share. To do so with gentleness and respect shows a humble heart. This verse is full of ACTION and I love that!” – Tammy Adams
“My favorite verse is John15:16. It was the verse God used to confirm His call to join Him in ministry.” – Kathy Martin
Why a particular verse resonates with us is different for each person. These verses represent how God’s word can “dwell richly among us” as it tells us in Colossians 3: 16. I find it fascinating to hear why verses hold special places in people’s walk with God. You can learn a lot about someone’s story and their interest whenever you hear why they hold verses close to their hearts. We know that God’s Word has power to change our lives so we believe it is important to share how it has shaped each of us. Take an opportunity to comment below or post on Facebook or tweet @CentriKid your favorite verse and why you love it. If you are looking for a new resource that for your kids ministry that starts with scripture as its navigation point check out and sign up for LifeWay Kids new curriculum line Explore the Bible.
Frustrated leaders are often frustrated because they aren’t sure if they are getting through to their people. A leader’s job (whatever the vocation) is getting things done with and through other people. A major distinction between a leader and a teammate is the “getting things done through other people” part of the definition. So it stands to reason that communication skills are essential in the leader’s toolbox.
For a leader to actually be effective, he must go above and beyond to communicate…and make sure the message actually gets through. Leaders must over-communicate, so here are 5 tools that a leader can add to the communication skills toolbox.
You can’t just say, “It’s their fault they don’t get it.” That won’t help accomplish the goals you have, nor will it make your team stronger. Over-communicate and continue to improve your communication skills in leadership.