Aug

1

2014

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Photo Friday: July 28-August 1

Today is Photo Friday! Another incredible week of CentriKid is in the books. For many of our teams, this week was the last week of camp for the summer. It has been an incredible summer of ministry, and we’ve had quite bit of fun as well. Check out these pictures from the week:

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We still have one more week of camp next week, so be sure to post pictures using @CentriKid or #CentriKid. To see more pictures from camp, check out #centrikid on tagboard.

Henry Dutton

Henry received a BA in Christian Studies and English from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a Masters degree from the seminary. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

Jul

30

2014

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KMC BOGO – Register Today!

LifeWay Kids is proud to host the Kids Ministry Conference in Nashville, October 6-8, 2014! The conference will feature worship by Michael Bleecker and inspiring messages from Lisa HarperSally Lloyd-JonesPete Wilson, and others. At CentriKid, we know the importance of taking time to retreat – Jesus himself thought it was important to to pull away, refocus, and recharge. This is important for kids, but it’s also perhaps more important for adults. That’s why we are such strong advocates of KMC. Because we believe so much in the value of the conference, for a limited time we are offering a BOGO discount!

This offer is only valid for churches that attended CentriKid Camps during the summer of 2014. If you attended camp, register for KMC BEFORE August 9 using the promo code VBCAMPKMC14 and you will receive one additional registration for the conference FREE! We hope this discount will allow you to bring additional volunteers or leaders from your ministry that need inspiration and encouragement.

LifeWay’s KMC is designed for children’s pastors, leaders, teachers, & volunteers. The theme of this year’s conference is “Transformed.” If what you are doing in your ministry doesn’t transform the hearts of kids, if it doesn’t shape the culture, if it doesn’t expand the kingdom, then is it really important? Is it really as good as God wants it to be? Is it really transforming? Don’t miss this conference! We hope that you are transformed when you come.

Henry Dutton

Henry received a BA in Christian Studies and English from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a Masters degree from the seminary. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

How to Make A Spiritual Application from Almost Anything

CentriKid promises to be rooted in scripture. It is a foundation of our camp program because we know that God’s infallible word is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3: 16-17).

At CentriKid, we use scripture to debrief games and activities with a spiritual application. The Bible study material is the common thread, which we reinforce throughout the day in track times and at worship. We also always include a gospel connection. During our staff training, we focus on making spiritual applications from almost anything. It is important that staff are able to turn a meal time, or any other part of the day, into a gospel-centered conversation. We want to seize every opportunity with kids during camp. Making spiritual applications from almost anything is a skill and a discipline, but with practice, it can be easy. Here are some tips we share with our staff:

  • Be in the word and know it well. If you are not in the word yourself it will be difficult to use it for spiritual applications. We actually encourage staff to use their Bibles, so do not feel like you have to have the verse memorized verbatim.
  • Practice by selecting an object and describing it to a friend. It will surprise you how quickly you will find a connection to a biblical truth by just describing random objects. Try it now with the picture of the PEZ dispensers in the picture above.
  • Whenever you play games with kids, ask open ended questions. After playing a game, use debrief questions such as, “What did you like about the game?”, “What were the rules?”, “How did you win?”, etc. Often times you can take answers kids give and make connections to God’s word.
  • Always back up your applications with Scripture and use the Bible. You actually need to get out your physical Bible and teach from it. It is important for kids to know the truths you tell them are absolute, not because you are saying them, but because the Bible tells us so.
  • Do not stretch it. I am all about connecting everything to Scripture, but do not stretch it. Your connection will fall apart quickly, and you could be in danger of unintentionally saying something biblically inaccurate.

The key is really practice, practice, practice. So click here if you want to accept the challenge.

P.S. CentriKid Staff, this is your opportunity to show your skills.

Collin Spindle

Collin graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Science with an emphasis in Youth Development. He began working for CentriKid in 2010 and joined the office team in 2013.

Jul

25

2014

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Photo Friday – July 25

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.

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He met his wife Emily working camp, and their daughter #BabyMadison was born in 2011.

Jul

18

2014

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Photo Friday: Water, OMC, and God Redeems!

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.

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He met his wife Emily working camp, and their daughter #BabyMadison was born in 2011.

Jul

14

2014

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3 Tips for Having Intentional Conversations with Kids

“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:

GET ON THEIR LEVEL: HOW TO BEST COMMUNICATE WITH KIDS

HOW TO START CONVERSATIONS WITH KIDS

Henry Dutton

Henry received a BA in Christian Studies and English from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a Masters degree from the seminary. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

Jul

11

2014

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Photo Friday: OMC, Peach, Pizza!

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!

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He met his wife Emily working camp, and their daughter #BabyMadison was born in 2011.

Jul

9

2014

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Free Download of 2014 Stage Games

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!

Henry Dutton

Henry received a BA in Christian Studies and English from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a Masters degree from the seminary. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

5 Tips for Avoiding the After Camp Spiritual Slump

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:

  1. Allow kids an opportunity to share with the church what they learned at camp.
  2. Equip parents to engage their kids in spiritual conversations. We have questions that can help!
  3. Provide a time for the kids that went to camp to meet together for Bible study and prayer.
  4. Ask the music minister to include a song from camp in worship.
  5. Encourage kids to get into a regular devotional magazine after they use their devotion book from CentriKid.

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.

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He met his wife Emily working camp, and their daughter #BabyMadison was born in 2011.

Jun

30

2014

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Free Download of Adult Gathering Material

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 centrikid@lifeway.com!

Henry Dutton

Henry received a BA in Christian Studies and English from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a Masters degree from the seminary. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.