Apply to be a CentriKid Staffer!

If you talk with anyone that has worked camp during the summer, they would probably say that serving on staff with CentriKid was one of the best experience of their lives. Camp provides ministry experience, team growth, and personal growth that will prepare us for our future.

There may be many young people in your church who have a heart for ministry and desire to serve in a bigger capacity than they have so far. Some of these college students/young adults might be a great fit to be a CentriKid staffer! We would love to interview them and get to know them better. We are looking for students that you trust working with your kids. We want staffers who love the Lord, love kids, and want to work hard.

Trying to decide what to do with your summer can be a difficult choice, but once someone decides to work camp, it is best for their hearts and minds to be in the same place. There are so many ways to learn and grow while preparing for and working camp, but here are 2 tips we would give potential summer staffers for their journey:

1. Know the heart of why you want to serve in a camp setting.  For staffers at CentriKid, it isn’t just about fun and games…we work hard.  We put in long days, and it is essential to have a kingdom-expanding focus.  CentriKid staffers know that all the work and preparation is done to make the message of Christ clear in the lives of kids.

2. Don’t just aspire for the top role of directing camp…aspire for the right fit God has for you.  Some people are wired for the behind-the-scenes roles, and some are wired best for specific positions.  However, if you are only set on one certain thing and aren’t willing to step out of your comfort zone, you may miss out on an awesome opportunity God has for you!

You can learn more about CentriKid summer positions or you can point potential applicants to the “Become a Staffer” page at centrikid.com. We love serving churches with summer camp, and we can’t wait to invest in new summer staffers along the way!

Alli Sewell

Alli began working camp in 2012 and joined the office team in 2016. She has served as a Bible Study Leader and Assistant Director. Alli graduated from Carson Newman University with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014. She loves all things Disney, Tennessee Vols, and showing everyone pictures of her nieces, Caroline and Waverly.

Unpack This Verse with Your Kids

This past summer at CentriKid, we taught kids how the armor of God is real and powerful, although it is “Unseen!” On Day 4 of camp, we taught kids how God gives us unseen truth, strength, and peace, and equips us to live those out with “Visible Faith.” During worship that night, we unpacked Ephesians 6:16.

In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

You can unpack this verse with the kids in your ministry just like we did at camp using this kids ministry illustration!Luggage

Supplies needed:

  • a Bible
  • a large suitcase
  • several clean pairs of wacky socks
  • a toy shield
  • a Nerf gun with foam darts


Say: I want us to look at this verse in God’s word like we were examining a piece of luggage at the airport. I want us to think about each word and phrase to try and squeeze out of it everything the verse can teach us about our faith in Jesus. We will unpack this verse, while I unpack this suitcase! (pull items out of the suitcase one-by-one)

  1. Several pairs of socks. “In every situation…” Have your ever been told to take extra socks with you when you spent the night at your friends’ house or with you grandparents. No matter where you go, you need to take your visible faith with you. You need your faith in every situation. In every situation at home. In every situation at school. In every situation at your church, with your friends, and especially with those that might be your enemies. You need your faith in Jesus in every situation.
  2. A toy shield. “..take the shield of faith…”  We are encouraged to take hold of our visible shield of faith in every situation. A shield that we are able to feel secure behind. A shield used for protection. Our faith in Christ is our shield. Our faith in God is our shield. He is our protection. (Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:30) It was also a symbol who you belonged to. The colors and images on the front of the shield explained which family you were part of and what commitments or loyalties you held. When you become a follower of Jesus, the Bible says you’ve been born again, made new, given a fresh start. And with that comes a new identity, a new family, a new allegiance to God. Our faith in Christ is a new allegiance, a new family, a place of protection and belonging. (Colossians 3:3)
  3. A Nerf gun and foam darts. “… with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Why do we need the shield of faith? These darts are things that tempt you to disobey God, to sin against Him. (Ex. To lie. To steal. To cheat on a test. To hurt other people with your words or actions.) Temptation, like these darts, can come out of nowhere. They fly at you when you are least expecting it. And before you know it, you’ve done something you really regret. We’ve all sinned and all have fallen short. We’ve all messed up and all made mistakes, big ones and little ones. We’ve all done things that we really regret and wished we’d never done. This is why we need the gospel of Jesus!

We hope that you’ll use this easy illustration with the kids in your ministry to clearly illustration Ephesians 6:13! Let us know how it goes by emailing centrikid@lifeway.com!

Micheal Walley

Micheal leads the development of our production elements at camp (like I Can't Wait, Party, and Worship), and serves in his church's kidmin as a large group leader. He has been working with CentriKid since 2011 and on the office team since 2014. Micheal loves talking about kids ministry, leadership, coffee, and his wife, Anne Marie.





Remember God’s Call in your Life

Psalm 37:4  (HCSB)
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.
This Psalm is titled “Instruction for Wisdom” and in the context surrounding verse 4, it has some warnings about distraction by evildoers.  It also has great guidance for us about seeking to follow the Lord with our heart and actions:
  • “trust in the Lord and do what is good”
  • “commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act.”
  • “Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him”
Verse 4 indicates that our greatest delight comes in Him.   So our greatest gift, the place we are most likely to find our passion in ministry is in His calling.  I know that many times I struggle with what I’m supposed to be “doing” for God that sometimes I miss out on what I should “be.”  This chapter includes a lot of “being” words that are not specific actions … words like trust, commit, be silent, wait, and take delight.
From this posture, we are able to take action, but I think our actions must be guided by what we are called to “be” in order for our “doing” to be on the right course.  Never forget God’s call in your life is where we take the greatest delight.
  1.  We are called to live for Christ as a child of God.
  2. We are called to Kingdom work.  This means we work in such a way that honors God and makes the gospel known.
  3. And for many of us, we also serve in a specific ministry calling that uses our vocational labor to daily serve in a church or ministry role.
Today, find an opportunity to reflect on God’s call in your life, and spend a moment thanking God and praising Him for your relationship with Christ, the work of the gospel in your own heart, and the opportunity we have to share Christ with others in word and in our actions.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17 (HCSB)

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.

Leading the Next Generation

Leading the Next Generation is all about investing in the leaders of the next generation.  To lead them well, we must invest in their future.  This investment will have ministry benefits for you right away, but also shape the trajectory of a young leader in ways that can benefit the future of this ministry and kingdom work for the future.  It is about them … Young leaders require energy… But they give a type of energy also… Working with them helps keep you younger, but the focus is on them.
This summer at CentriKid Camps, we asked some intentional questions about using teens and college workers in your kids programs.  We asked:
  • Do you have teens and college workers in your kids program?
  • What wins have you experienced with them in your ministry?
  • How have you seen them be successful?
  • What challenges do you encounter with them?
We had some great feedback and I’ve collected all those discussions and ideas in this “mind map” document.  Click the image to open and download the full-size version.


Leading the next generation could mean plugging in teens to work in your kids ministry or it could mean that you are preparing to hire a college student as an intern.  In any case, these principles can help make the investment beneficial for next month and the next decades of kingdom work.  Your intentional investment can last long after the time you have with these young leaders.
Acclimate them to your team.  Don’t just take whoever shows up and throw them in to ministry.  Implement a selection process and train workers on your team. In some cases, you may not be interviewing for a full-time position but you are looking to fill a specific role.  Take the time to have a conversation about what the role entails and the expectations are.  The level of formality for this conversation needs to fit the role.  After selection, train you leaders for the skills and for the culture you want your team to have.
Develop their competency.  Helping young leaders grow their skill set through practical experience is amplified when you provide them with feedback along the way.  We use a reading plan with our CentriKid office team and after serving as a summer staffer or office team member, I hope that young leaders catch the vision for being a life-long learner.
Expose them to new concepts.  New team members need a behind-the-scenes tour.  Young leaders who have potential for growth need to be exposed to working within a budget, professionalism, and excellence.  You can help them develop an understanding of the balance between ministry training and business principles.  They need to learn about evaluation, making tough decisions, and serving behind the scenes before moving to a new setting with greater responsibilities.
Propel them forward to their next steps in the journey.  When leading the next generation, keep in mind that they are with you for a season, but will continue in kingdom work long after they serve in your ministry.  Encourage them, keep the lines of communication open, and you can even continue to coach them (when they ask!).  The baby bird only flies when it leaves the nest, so prepare, train and then equip them to move on to new things God has for their journey.
This post is adapted from the breakout session I led at the ETCH Conference in Nashville.  If you were unable to attend the 2016 ETCH Conference, you can still purchase the ETCH16 digital pass that contains all the Main Session speakers and audio from each Breakout Session. [Available 10/21/16]

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.





Leading Well: Finding Community

We stand at the base of our mountains and stare up at the daunting climb. We can feel the breath-taking vastness of the summit and taste the crisp air of the peak if we close our eyes just long enough. But sometimes doubts and fears creep in when we consider the long journey ahead. No matter what mountain we are given, the climb is a difficult one if we choose to walk it alone. Fellow traveler, let me urge you, do not walk alone.

In leadership it can feel like you walk many nights by yourself, but to lead, and lead well, always involves community. Life is not meant to be lived unaccompanied. We know this in our head but we do not always hold this in our heart. Serving in leadership, whether you’re called the “teacher”, the “minister”, the “volunteer” or the “pastor” can often feel like you’re standing by yourself. When your hands are empty after begging for volunteers, when your emails receive no reply, when your prayers seem to be returning void…it can feel like you’re alone.

Brothers and sisters, let me urge you, feel not alone; be not alone. Be comforted that Christ never leaves you and be then compelled to find close, tangible, encouraging community around you. God’s word shows us this. Think of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 which says, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.”

In my summers with CentriKid, I’ve come to know the great value of community. The sense of belonging and purpose that comes with being on a camp team is unmatched, but that can leave one feeling out of sorts when the camp season expires. In reflection on my time as a camp director, I can see times where my leadership was grown and my capabilities were tested. The community that surrounded me always made the difference. Thinking on this and looking at my life in the day-to-day, here is what I’ve found for practical leadership tips in this journey:

Find Community

Inside your church
You need a flock of similar experience and beliefs who can understand your needs, desires, and utmost prayers.
Outside your church
You need folks of similar environment who can understand daily struggles and lend a simple, caring hand in the everyday.
Beside you
You need the few who can sit beside you when there is no understanding to be found. There needs to be unquestioned reliability, vulnerability, and trust here.

Reach out to find men and women in these areas of your life to be your people. Community is built upon the common ground of trust. Rest in and trust that your sojourners will support you no matter the valley or the peak. The people you find at your side have faced their own mountains and have much to teach you as you journey together. As “the leader” you don’t need to shoulder the weight of your mountain climb alone. Remember that even our Lord didn’t walk solo. You need to rely on and rest in the comfort of community.

Remember that the Father marked your path, the Spirit walks with you, and the Savior has already conquered this mountain. Walk in community with those who remind you of this. They will be Jesus to you in the valleys.

Meg Brown

Meg started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2016. She received her degree in Educational Ministry and Public Relations from Campbellsville University. She has served as a Bible Study leader, Assistant Director, and Camp Director. Meg leads in Track Times and Group Leader Information for camp 2017. In addition to camp, Meg loves playing tennis, reading books, and spending time outdoors.





5 tips to help parents lead kids spiritually

Your role is important in the development of kids who seek the Lord, but its not designed to be the only spiritual leadership that kids get.  In conversations at camp this summer, a lot of kids ministry leaders expressed the feeling that parents just expect them to handle the spiritual training of kids.  Here are 5 tips to help parents lead kids spiritually.

  1. Challenge parents to have a plan for reading the Bible with their kids.  This can be a planned devotion book on a subject or it could simply be reading a chapter in the Bible each night.  Sometimes in our home, we re-visit the Sunday lesson by reading it again in the Bible or re-reading it in another format like the Jesus Storybook Bible.
  2. Use curriculum apps in the classroom to equip parents to follow-up on the lesson from church.  Encourage parents to use an app to re-watch video from Sunday’s lesson or do an activity.  This will help parents ask something other than “did you have fun” after church and it will also get kids back in context of the lesson so their memory is jogged to answer questions about the lesson.
  3. Share articles or podcasts that you encounter.  Sometimes it may benefit all parents in your group to read about a topic, or other times you may can provide a specific article to a family with a particular question.  Here are some good episodes to share with families from 3 of my favorite sources:
    1. Kids Ministry 101 blog
      1. Praying Through the School Year
      2. Calling All Dads
    2. LifeWay Kids Podcast
      1. When Are Kids Old Enough to Hear That Jesus Died on a Cross?
      2. Family Worship
    3. CentriKid.com
      1. A Note to Parents About Discipleship
      2. How to Help Kids Understand Baptism
      3. The Levels of Biblical Learning
  4. Provide milestone experiences for kids and parents.  Getting parents involved as leaders, helpers, or supporters at VBS, kids camp, retreats, and other service opportunities will have an impact that lasts long past the event.  Find intentional ways for parents and kids to be together and then provide catalysts for conversation … you don’t always have to create the special moment, just provide a situation where it can happen.
  5. Invest quality time with parents in your ministry.  Do coffee, have lunch, or just check-in with parents.  Your investment and your personal attention may be the spark that helps a parent re-ignite their fire to lead their kids spiritually in the home.  Pray with a parent for their kids.  You will learn of prayer needs and issues you never could have known about if you hadn’t asked.  Your support will mean a ton.  Probably more than you will ever know.

Use your platform to influence parents and kids in your ministry so families grow together and spend time at home talking about the things of God.  This causes deeper learning and can help move Bible lessons from single stories they hear at church to transformational encounters with God’s Word in their homes with their parents.

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.

Celebrate Fall with Fall Fest OMC!

Ahhhh…it’s the first day of fall! The cooler weather, the corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and flannel shirts..what a good time of the year. What could make it any better? Playing Fall Fest OMC of course!

We have many versions of OMC, but some of my favorites are the seasonally-themed editions. They bring the fun of OMC that we play at camp into the rest of the year and what is happening at the time. Here is how to create a Fall Festival 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 better get both to have at the ready at any time!

Once you have the digital version of the OMC game, you want to access the Fall Fest edition. 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.

A few ideas to really sell the theme:

  • Have hay bales for where the scoring zones are placed
  • Several scarecrows, pumpkins, and corn stalks situated around the field
  • Have your volunteers dress in flannel. Overalls and boots are great too!

We hope you have a great Fall Fest OMC! We would love to see how it went. Email us your pictures and fun stories to centrikid@lifeway.com. 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.





I love being a CentriKid staffer because…

Summer has come and gone, and it was a huge success! We couldn’t make it happen without our awesome CentriKid staffers. They commit their whole summers to early mornings, the Monkey Shuffle, and most importantly, sharing the gospel with kids! We love our staffers, and they’ve given us a little insight as to why they love working for CentriKid!

→ “Serving at camp is a great experience that will change your life forever. Not only do you grow spiritually, but you grow as a person and meet incredible life long friends.” -Emily T.

→ “Camp is a life-changing experience that pushes you out of your comfort zone in the most fun and interesting way to help children learn about the gospel.” -Abby W.

→ “It’s the best possible way to spend your summer! You get to lead 3rd-6th graders in games and activities all while connecting it straight back to the gospel. I can’t really think of anything at camp that doesn’t have some kind of link to scripture. It’s a lot of hard work, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because the Lord gets to speak through me to hundreds of kids that get to hear all about Christ and what He’s done for them.” -Hannah M.

→ “It is the most rewarding experience you can ever have. Serving at CentriKid is not just working camp, it’s a ministry where you have the opportunity to serve churches, be intentional with kids, and share the gospel to kids for the glory of Christ.” -Jacob S.

→ “You learn so much about yourself and your relationship with Christ. If you love kids and want to serve God through that, camp is where you need to be.” -Hannah H.

→ “CentriKid Camps is the opportunity of a lifetime where all you get to do is share the message of the Gospel to some excited kiddos. It is high energy, phenomenally fun, and will without a doubt be the best summer of your entire life.” -Mikala C.

→ “Working CentriKid is the best way to spend your summer. You get to share the Gospel on a regular basis and make lifelong friends on your team as well. It’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth it when you have a camper that gets what you’re talking about in Bible study, recreation, tracks, etc. I wouldn’t want to trade the past three summers working with CentriKid for anything else.” -Tyler B.

→ “Serving at camp was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There is no better way to spend your summer than teaching the gospel to kids in the most fun ways possible.” -Olivia G.

→ “It is the greatest summer of your life and working harder than you thought possible while getting to share the love of Jesus with hundreds of kids.” -Ryan H.

→ “Camp is amazing! This has been something that I have wanted to do for a long time but was always scared that I was not good enough. I am so glad that I did it, because I have never felt closer to God, and I think this is an experience that everyone should have!” -Maggie W.


We think everyone should have this kind of experience, so if you are 18 and one year removed from high school and love sharing the gospel with kids, apply to be a CentriKid staffer now and watch what God can do through you!

Alli Sewell

Alli began working camp in 2012 and joined the office team in 2016. She has served as a Bible Study Leader and Assistant Director. Alli graduated from Carson Newman University with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014. She loves all things Disney, Tennessee Vols, and showing everyone pictures of her nieces, Caroline and Waverly.





TBT: Unseen Theme Series

This past summer, we LOVED teaching kids about how the armor of God is real and powerful, although it us unseen. Hundreds of kids made life-changing decisions because of what God did at camp. One of our favorite parts of camp was the Unseen Theme Series: an awesome video series that illustrated the main points of each day!

In the Unseen Theme Series, we followed the story of Chris as she prepared to meet her cousin, Avery, who she knows is not a Christian. Through the help of a new friend Jan, she learns that the armor of God is powerful and can give her the strength, peace, and truth she needs to boldly share her faith with her cousin.

Check out the 2016 CentriKid Unseen Theme Series below! Let us know what you think!


We hope you loved watching the story of Chris, Jan, and Avery! We are already preparing for our 2017 Theme Series video for Adventure Awaits: Follow the One True Light! We hope you plan to join us! You can find our dates and locations here and register online, or register at 1-877-CAMP-123. For more information about Adventure Awaits, check out this blog!


Micheal Walley

Micheal leads the development of our production elements at camp (like I Can't Wait, Party, and Worship), and serves in his church's kidmin as a large group leader. He has been working with CentriKid since 2011 and on the office team since 2014. Micheal loves talking about kids ministry, leadership, coffee, and his wife, Anne Marie.





Thank You 2016 CentriKid Staff!

Happy Labor Day! 

I hope that you are enjoying a relaxing day off from school or work. Labor Day means that the summer is coming to a close and that cooler weather is coming soon. With that in mind I want to take this time to thank a very important part of CentriKid, our amazing staff! As you spend the day on the lake, catching up on your favorite Netflix show, or sleeping in we hope that you are resting in the fact that you are greatly valued. CentriKid would not be what it is without our staff. Over and over again we hear that the intentionality of CentriKid staff is one of the best parts of camp.

These young men and women work extremely hard to make sure that bible study rooms and the rec field are set up and ready for kids to learn about the gospel. They never miss an opportunity to talk with a kid to ask about their day and see what they are learning. We believe that ministry happens best in the context of relationships and these staffers are wonderful at building relationships with kids at camp. Whether it is at a meal time or walking across campus these staffers they are taking time to invest in kids lives every possible minute. There are a lot of ways that these young adults could spend their summers and we are beyond thankful for their dedication to the kingdom work that happens through CentriKid because of their work. I believe that we have the very best young leaders who serve in our camps.

Thank you, Centrikid staff for your energy, hard work, dedication, heart, and above all your passion for sharing the gospel with kids and adults who come to CentriKid. Your kingdom work does not go unnoticed and I hope that you know how incredibly thankful the CentriKid office team is for every single staffer that spends their summer to serve the Lord. Hundreds of kids came to Christ this summer and even more deepened their relationship with our savior. May the Lord bless you as you continue to serve in your school or workplace this fall. CentriKid staff, you are the best of the best and we hope that you understand the depth of our gratitude and understand that they impact of your service is eternal.

2016-CK8-WINGS                  2016-CK6-WINGS 2016-CK7-WINGS                  2016-CK5-WINGS 2016-CK4-WINGS                  2016-CK3-WINGS 2016-CK2-WINGS                  2016-CK1-WINGS

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.