Archive for the ‘Kidmin Leader’ Category

Use Your Free Promo Resources!

Camp is quickly approaching and as you get your group prepared for time with CentriKid this summer, don’t miss out on our awesome promotional resources! Go to our Promotional Resources tab and check out the great, free promotional pieces you can download as you get ready to come to camp!

Here are some highlights of what we offer:

For decorating your church:
–Posters, Stickers, Camp Brochures, Flyers
Use these in your kids ministry to communicate deadlines, promote camp, and get families excited for the adventure that awaits your group coming to CentriKid!

For communication:
–Bulletin inserts, postcards, email headers, theme art, CentriKid logos
Use these pieces as you email parents, make announcements on Sundays, and make your own CentriKid informational pieces for your kids ministry.

    Fun idea:

Print out our Postcard Download and have different small groups in your church write notes to kids at camp! You can collect these before you leave for camp and pass them out at Church Group Time during the week so each camper has a piece of mail to open at camp.

For fun:
–iPhone backgrounds, special edition OMC cards, sticker templates
Use these as camp approaches to build anticipation for camp! Campers and adult volunteers can download a themed iPhone background for their phone; your group can play pre-camp OMC with special task cards to get ready for the best day of camp; and you can print CentriKid stickers as a promotional piece so that kids go home with a reminder about camp for their parents to see!

All of these great resources await you on our website. Be sure to check it out now and get your group ready for CentriKid 2017. Adventure Awaits!

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.

Leading Well: Clarity

As a leader, you must be clear. Despite having to balance leading a team, getting details checked off your to-do list, and actually accomplishing results, taking the time to cast a vision of clarity can seem impossible.
Andy Stanley puts it this way in his book, Next Generation Leader:
“Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. There will be very few occasions when you are absolutely certain about anything. You will consistently be called upon to make decisions with limited information. That being the case, your goal should not be to elevate uncertainty. Instead, you must develop the art of being clear in the face of uncertainty.” 
Here are 3 tips to have clarity:
  1. Know your purpose and vision. You must know the vision of your ministry or program and be able to clearly communicate it to your team. What is the vision for your ministry, event, or program? 
  2. Repeat your vision. Do you remember step one? Repeat it, repeat it, repeat it. Every time you speak or communicate with the people you lead, point them back to the vision. You’ll know that it is catching on when you hear the people you lead talking about the vision in their every day language.
  3. Reward the vision.  Did you hear a volunteer share the gospel with a kid and her parent at the door? Celebrate it! Did you see your kids ministry intern take an extra measure to ensure the safety of the kids? Celebrate it! I’ve heard the phrase “What is celebrated is repeated.” 

In your leadership journey, there will certainly be times of uncertainty. How will you grow your ministry? What week of camp will we attend? How will you get enough volunteers for next Sunday? Not knowing all of the answers is okay, but in all cases, you must have clarity when leading your team.

Micheal Walley

Micheal is a CentriKid Camp Specialist and a volunteer in his church's kidmin each week. He has been serving with CentriKid since 2011 and on the office team since 2014. Micheal loves talking about kids ministry, leadership, coffee, and his wife, Anne Marie.

The Importance of Team Assistants

What is a Team Assistant?
The best high school juniors and seniors, or even young college students, that a church group can bring to camp to be Adult Leaders for their week of CentriKid.

Team Assistants will get to spend more intentional time with the campers like staffers do! We want train them to work and interact with the campers just like we train our staffers to.
Check out this video to see what the Team Assistant Program is about and what a week of camp would look like for them!

Bringing Team Assistants to camp can also serve as a solution to an issue that some Church Group Leaders have: a shortage of Adult Leaders. These students will count towards the standard 1 to 5 adult to kid ratio, and will be housed with your group like all the other adults you bring. But, as an added bonus, they’ll get to work alongside the CentriKid staff helping out with Recreation, Track Times, and Bible Study! This gives them a behind-the-scenes look at serving as a CentriKid Camps staffer.

This is also great for the campers to see people they already know from home help lead them during camp programming. Not only will it help the kids stay attentive, but it makes them realize just how cool these students are, because they’re like CentriKid Staffers!

CentriKid Staffers absolutely love Team Assistants! They don’t just help with camp duties, but they help make impacts in the lives of campers. That’s what CentriKid is all about! We want our Team Assistants to have the best experience so that they’ll want to become CentriKid Staffers as well. Many of our current staffers were once Team Assistants, and are now returning summer to summer to make a difference in the lives of kids!

If you have any questions about Team Assistants or the Team Assistant program, please feel free to email centrikid@lifeway.com.

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.

Jan

16

2017

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Pre-Camp Meetings – Use Your 60

On social media, you’ve probably seen us mention #UseYour60 and we wrote a blog about it too.  This is the heart of CentriKid, equipping adults and children’s ministry leaders to make the very most of their week of camp.  We provide detailed Group Leader Information, so download that for your week of camp (its found on your camp location-specific page).

Making every moment count can apply to your pre-camp meetings.  Don’t just use your meetings as informational meetings, use them as an opportunity to invest in the families who are trusting you with their child at camp.

  1. Relieve fears – especially those who are going away for the first time, or those parents who will be sending a camper away from home for the first time.
  2. Answer questions – you can prepare for some of these things, but leave time to answer questions about what the camp experience will be like, housing and roommates, when to pick up and drop off from the church.
  3. Explain safety – let parents know about your plans to monitor kids through the week, whether its a buddy system or having a leader from your group assigned to small groups of kids.
  4. Convey that camp is more than just fun and games – Share the spiritual direction for the week, begin teaching kids (and their parents) the key verse John 8:12.
  5. Set your clocks – Let parents know that worship is 7 to 8 PM, and they can pray for kids during that hour each night of camp… Knowing that they will be hearing from God’s word and hearing about the gospel.
  6. Make a packing list – Have parents send their camper with a Bible and pen. Like last year there will be notes pages for worship inside the camper nametags.  Talk about OMC and encourage them to label everything that goes to camp with the camper’s name.

In the pre-camp meetings with parents, pray for the upcoming camp trip and what God is doing in the lives of these families.

BONUS – Follow-up after the meeting with kids or parents who may have more questions. Your extra investment could go a long ways towards ensuring success for each camper.  Encourage those who have never been away from home before to have a trial run by spending a couple nights away from mom and dad with a friend or a grandparent’s house.

We believe God can work in the lives of kids in a powerful way when they are away at camp and we want every camper to be successful at camp.  Your pre-camp meetings will be a great opportunity to communicate information and your heart for ministry at camp.

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

Innovation in Kids Ministry

If you are a kids ministry leader, you want your kids ministry to be excellent, creative, and most importantly, reaching families for Christ. You also probably want to keep finding new ways to get across Biblical truths in creative and innovative ways to the kids in your ministry. Sometimes, though, it’s a struggle in itself to maintain a level of excellence with the nuts and bolts of your ministry (by studying your curriculum, planning events, and even just recruiting enough volunteers for a Sunday morning). You want to create new, and creative ministry tools and experiences for families, but how in the world are you supposed to find time and energy to dream, brainstorm, and innovate?

Here are some tips to help get you started down the path of innovation: 

  1.  Find your purpose. Everything in your kids ministry should be rooted in your purpose. Like at CentriKid, our purpose is rooted in Scripture–everything you see at camp will flow from God’s Word. Before you innovate, be sure you know what you want to accomplish. Write that purpose down somewhere that you’ll see it daily.
  2. Schedule Time to Innovate. Go ahead. Put some time on your calendar each week to simply sit, think, doodle, and brainstorm big ideas that you want to see happen in your ministry. If it’s not scheduled and routine, other things will overtake it, and you’ll never have time to dream. Simply put 30 minutes to an hour each week on your calendar, grab a cup of coffee, and get to dreaming!
  3. Don’t give up!  You can do it! The nuts and bolts of your kids ministry SHOULD definitely be taken care of and sometimes will take away from the chances you have to innovate. But don’t give up! You can definitely allow your creativity to influence your style of kids ministry leadership, and if you keep trying, God will use you and your innovation to continue to make the gospel clear to kids.

Micheal Walley

Micheal is a CentriKid Camp Specialist and a volunteer in his church's kidmin each week. He has been serving with CentriKid since 2011 and on the office team since 2014. Micheal loves talking about kids ministry, leadership, coffee, and his wife, Anne Marie.

Kids Ministry Resolutions for 2017

It is hard to believe that the holidays are over. This means Christmas decorations must be put away, back to busy schedules, and new years resolutions. Most folks make financial resolutions, health resolutions, and family resolutions for a new year, but why not start your ministry off with a fresh start towards kids ministry resolutions. Here are some ideas that we hope you find helpful to kicking off the new year right!

1.Invest in Volunteers.  As a leader, investing in your volunteers is as important as investing in your kids. This may sound crazy, but it is true. As one person, you can do only so much. A well trained and equipped volunteer multiplies what you can do, and a team of volunteers quadruples your multiplication efforts. To invest in them, start by getting to know your team of volunteers on a personal level. It is easy in the busyness of Sunday morning to take this group for granted. Make it a goal in 2017 to write a personal note to each of them thanking them for serving with you.  This simple step can launch a year of renewed engagement for your ministry team!

2. Meet the Parents. I know this one if challenging! In the craziness of kids getting dropped off and picked up sometimes we are lucky to just say hello and check their security tag. Meaningful communication doesn’t just happen. It is a choice you must be disciplined to make each time to get to interact with parents. This year take a shot at improving your communication with parents. This might be standing outside your classroom (without the clipboard in hand) and intentionally greeting every parent, putting together an email newsletter, or organizing a parent appreciation night just to love on them. The investment is worth it! Parents, like volunteers, have a huge impact on ministry because without their support, there aren’t any kids to minister to.

3. “Use your 60”. At CentriKid we believe in the power of every minute with kids, so we want to use every one of them! We believe that you can intentionally take each minute to deeply invest in a volunteer or a kid’s life. Think about what you can do if you take those “random” minutes to stop a leader in the hallway and call out something amazing you saw them do with a child in class last week. Think about what you can do if you take those last couple of minutes of the hour on Sunday to stop a parent on their way out the door and tell them how you saw the light bulb go off in their child’s mind today during worship. Think about what you can do if you take the first minute of each class to hug a child and tell them how thankful you are that they are here today. Think about what you can do if you take the “commute” minutes on the way to church each week to thank God for the ministry to get to serve in and the people he has placed around you to help change lives!

We are praying for you and believe in what you are doing! Let’s begin 2017 with a grateful heart knowing that each day we are impacting little lives for eternal purposes!  Take a moment now and jot down your 2017 Kids Ministry Resolutions!

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

How to Share the Gospel with Kids

In kids ministry, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to kids is one of the most important things we can do as we minister to kids. Because of it’s importance, it can also be one of the most daunting things we can do. The real challenge comes in simplifying the language without simplifying the concepts. Kids are concrete thinkers, so when we share the gospel with kids, we must get on their level and explain the full truth in ways that they can understand.

At CentriKid, we have developed a plan that we call “The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me” that we believe fully explains the gospel on a level that kids can understand. (Other LifeWay Kids resources also use this method of explaining the gospel.)

THE GOSPEL: GOD’S PLAN FOR ME

1. God Rules.  The Bible tells us God created everything, including you and me, and He is in charge of everything.

Scripture – Genesis 1:1, Revelation 4:11, Colossians 1:16-17

2. We Sinned.  We all choose to disobey God.  The Bible calls this sin.  Sin separates us from God and deserves God’s punishment of death.
Scripture – Romans 3:23, 6:23

3. God Provided.  God sent Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve.  It’s something we, as sinners, could never earn on our own.  Jesus alone saves us.
Scripture – John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9

4. Jesus Gives.  He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again.  Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God’s family for eternity.
Scripture – Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 2:8-9

5. We Respond.  Jesus has given us this gift, and we must accept this gift. Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He’s already done on the cross.  Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus.  Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus.
Scripture – John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, 13

You might have other ways that you prefer to share the gospel with kids, and that is great! Overall, just be sure that your method is easy to understand for a kid, explains the whole truth, and uses Scripture as the foundation.

As a kids ministry leader or a parent, point your kids to Jesus every chance you get. Trust that the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say and guide you as you share your faith with kids.

Here are some other blogs and resources that can help you easily explain the gospel to kids:

Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Kids – CentriKid

5 Articles on Kids and Salvation – CentriKid Blog

How to Teach the Gospel without Velcro – Kids Ministry 101 Blog

Always Point to Jesus – CentriKid Blog

Free Gospel Poster Download – CentriKid Blog

The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me (Booklet) 

Micheal Walley

Micheal is a CentriKid Camp Specialist and a volunteer in his church's kidmin each week. He has been serving with CentriKid since 2011 and on the office team since 2014. Micheal loves talking about kids ministry, leadership, coffee, and his wife, Anne Marie.

Nov

28

2016

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Staying Motivated in your Ministry

1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

There are times when you may feel like you don’t know why you’re staying in the position that you are in. Staying motivated can be tough to do when you aren’t seeing immediate results. Isn’t that how most things are these days?When we put so much time and energy into something and don’t get back exactly what we want to see, it’s hard to stay motivated.
In Kid Ministry, we can feel like the walls are the only thing listening to what we have to say, or that you just don’t relate to the kids anymore. Staying motivated and committed doesn’t even have to be a deep theological outline. It can be very practical, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

We have to create an environment of success for us, as well as the kids. Take a minute to create a list of goals. What do you want your ministry to look like a year from now? Don’t create goals that you don’t expect to reach. You know your ministry best.

Have someone with the same vision as you help out in the ministry. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one… a three-fold cord is not easily broken.” If you’ve got a big task and it’s only up to you, you’ll probably procrastinate and get discouraged. If you’ve got somebody else and can say, “We’re going to meet and get this thing going”, you’re more likely to get it done and feel more successful.Lastly, think about the kids. That is why we do what we do. We have to remember that God called us into this, because we have a passion to spread the love of Jesus to kids. That takes a special kind of person.. 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.

Evaluating Your Kid Ministry

It is always a great feeling when we know that our ministries are successful. Often times, we start to look at other ministries that we consider successful and want to model ours after theirs when we feel like ours aren’t up to par. What makes a ministry successful though?
It can be hard to think of ministry as a business; however, it is okay for ministries to work and operate by a business model. Incorporate a mission, values, and goals. It is a way to measure or evaluate the progress of a ministry. Are you working toward your goals? Are you holding true to your values? Are you planning around your mission?
When we step back and look at it this way, there will always be areas of concern and improvement. However, the best thing about working in a ministry is that God is sovereign and works in the lives of the kids – prevailing no matter what challenges we face. That is why we should never lose hope even if we feel like we aren’t making progress!

One of LifeWay’s Kid Ministry leaders, Brian Dembowczyk, gives six tips to keep in mind while evaluating your ministry in LifeWay Kids’ Kids Ministry 101 blog:

  •  Start with the end goal in mind. Sometimes a kids ministry is considered healthy if kids are attending and if they and their parents seem to be satisfied. Now, there is nothing at all wrong with those two measures, but they don’t give you the full picture of your ultimate goal of anchoring the gospel in your kids’ hearts. That end goal needs to drive how you evaluate every part of your kids ministry.
  • Focus on lead measures. A lead measure is something you can control that produces a result, also called a lag measure. So a lead measure would be inviting kids to an event and a corresponding lag measure would be attendance at the event. You can’t control people showing up, but you can control inviting people.
  • Evaluate objectively and subjectively. Analyze as many objective numbers as you can—they tell a story, but they don’t tell the full story. There is no way to quantify gospel transformation; a big part of it is qualitative, or subjective. Do you see the gospel sinking in? Do you see evidence of gospel transformation? Those are important evaluative considerations.
  • Strengthen what is going well. You probably know the strengths of your kids ministry before you even start evaluating it, but your evaluations should confirm them.
  • Fix what can go better. While you want to focus on your strengths, you don’t want to neglect the areas where you do need to improve. Figure out where you should be in these areas and why you aren’t there, and then come up with a plan to start moving that direction.
  • Scrap what isn’t working at all. As you evaluate your kids ministry, you may find that there are things that just aren’t working at all. Bathe these in prayer and once you confirm that they need to stop, stop them as quickly and gently as possible. Yes, this will be painful, but in the end your kids ministry will be better for it.

For more on this topic, check out Brian’s blog on Kid Ministry 101.

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.

Leading Well: Leading with Prayer

Leading your team, whether it be three people or 300 hundred people, is huge. As Christian leaders, we want to serve Christ faithfully and steward the opportunities He has given us well, but how do we do this best?

I’ve learned (and am still learning) that one of the primary ways to lead your team spiritually is through prayer.

Looking at the life of Jesus, consider just a few of the times we see Christ pray to the Father. We see Jesus praying in the solitude of the wilderness (Luke 4 and 5), praying for guidance and help in the garden (Matthew 26), and praying for His disciples as He knows His time is soon drawing to an end (John 17) .

We serve a Father who is faithful to listen to His children. Scripture shows us this —
1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (HCSB)

As we step out in leading others, may we remember our God who never fails and may we, in humility and with boldness, go to our Father in prayer. In leading your team spiritually consider these ways to pray:

PRAY FOR THEM. Before the throne, with genuine devotion, intercede on your team’s behalf. We have a Father who listens to the prayers of His children. Knowing this, create a routine to continually pray with your particular team in mind. No matter the circumstance, you can always remember your tribe in a loving, Christ-honoring way when you go to the Lord.

PRAY WITH THEM. It’s important to be a leader who prays with your team. Your team should be comfortable to pray with you and quick to come to you with their needs. Be mindful to create an atmosphere where authentic prayer is paramount.

PRAY OVER THEM. As the shepherd of your flock — be it an entire congregation or a volunteer group of four — you should regularly pray over them. This means to visibly, boldly, honestly pray over them, standing at their sides. Lead your team in group prayer and ask that the Lord would guide you all to walk together in faithful obedience to Him.

PRAY FOR YOURSELF. Remember that before you can lead anyone else spiritually, you must first be in a place of pursuing Christ. This does not mean you have to be perfect. As a spiritual leader, you do not need to appear as one who has “arrived”, as if you’re pulling others to meet you at your destination, but you have to simply be walking toward a life that looks more like Jesus.
“May you look more like Christ when you lay down tonight than you did when you got up this morning.”

Leading a team spiritually is an important task, but it is not a complex one. Rest in knowing that leading others spiritually is a gift – a simple and genuine gift. Your care and devotion to this gift in which you’ve been entrusted will reap great reward when you humbly and wholly present it before the Father.

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.