Posts Tagged ‘LifeWay Kids’

Guest Blog: Why Overnight Camp Matters

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak as a part of CentriKid Camps again. One of my favorite parts of speaking with CentriKid is the opportunity
that I have to share the stage with my friend Dylan Arms and his band. One of their members is a “kid” I once had in kid’s ministry during my early years of ministry named Coleman. A kid who grew up fast. That little, quiet first grader quickly grew into a seasoned lead guitar player, who now leads me in my spiritual walk. While at CentriKid this summer, Coleman and I recalled “that week of camp that summer” when I took him to camp. Each year, “that week of camp” made a profound impact on Coleman’s life.

Overnight camps like CentriKid are not just an opportunity for kids to get away. It’s a ministry that makes a huge impact. It’s a ministry that changes perspectives. It’s a ministry that God uses to change hearts. How?

  1. Overnight Christian kids camps give kids the unique opportunity of being able to live in a kid’s world for a week. In a world bombarded with adult life, kid’s camps are a time for kids to sing and laugh and play and get messy. Adults even join in the fun. While our world’s TV shows, advertisements, and even coffee shops are geared to adults, it’s nice to know there’s still a special place for kids to be themselves.
  2. Overnight Christian kid’s camps provide memorable experiences. As we talked about camp, Coleman didn’t remember every small group activity or every craft we made in kids ministry but he did remember his Track Time Leader. He did remember his Bible Study at camp. He did remember the worship band. He did remember that first night away from home. He did remember how he trusted God for the first time. Why? Because camp matters. Camp is a spiritual marker. It’s a moment, although now 15 years old for Coleman, is still etched in his heart.
  3. Overnight Christian kid’s camps focus on what’s most important – Jesus. Games matter. Communication matters. Stage acting matters. Why? Because a kids camp that focuses on Jesus, focuses on Him at all times. Coleman and I recalled what God taught both of us – kids pastor and kid – every year at camp.

This year, as we near the end of the summer season, remember the importance of why you send your child to an overnight camp. It’s more than just a summer event. It’s more than “one of those things you do.” It’s a life-changing event. It’s a mark. It matters. It’s important.

When your child looks back on his life, he probably won’t remember every detail of last week’s Sunday School lesson or even last month’s memory verse – but he will remember the impact of a week of camp.

That week when he was “on his own.” And it was all ok.
That week when God made sense for the first time. And it was all ok.
That week when life was fun and made up of dancing and laughing and screaming out loud. And it was all ok.

That week at camp that summer. That week that Coleman and I talked about last week. That week that your child will talk about in 15 years. That week that your child will look back on when he needs remember what it was like…When it was all ok.

About the Guest Blogger:

DAVID PEARSON is from Greenville SC. David served as Children’s Pastor for 13 years and as Family & Operations Pastor at Springwell Church in Taylors SC for the last four years. David is a children’s ministry consultant, writes curriculum for various children’s curriculum publishers, and speaks at children’s ministry conferences and churches across the southeast, and has served as Camp Pastor for CentriKid since 2011.

CentriKid

CentriKid is a 5 day, 4 night camp for 3rd - 6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ!

The Levels of Biblical Learning

All summer, we’ve been talking with Adult Leaders about The Levels of Biblical Learning at camp. The Levels of Biblical Learning is a blueprint and framework that helps kids ministry leaders and parents understand how to explain key Biblical concepts to kids at any age! As Kids GROW, their understanding of FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS grows with them.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.07.30 AM

The Levels of Biblical Learning covers 10 biblical concept areas – God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Bible, Salvation, Creation, Church, People, Family, Community & World – that children can learn as they study God’s Word. The concept areas are presented through six different age ranges, from infancy through the preteen years, and reflect levels of understanding that follow how God designed children to learn.

LifeWay Kids provides resources (including CentriKid Camps!) that will equip you to offer kids opportunities to hear God’s Word, know God’s Word, and do God’s Word by applying it to their lives. The Levels of Biblical Learning Collection resources are tools that we have designed to help you teach children truths from God’s Word, truths that can impact kids for eternity.

You can find out more about Levels of Biblical Learning and find training content for your leaders by visiting Lifeway.com/LevelsofBiblicalLearning.

Bible Studies for Life: Kids is based on the Levels of Biblical Learning. Learn more about how to connect God’s word to kids’ lives in an intentional way with this resource.

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.

Dec

4

2015

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Join us at a 2016 VBS Preview Event

Aside from reserving your spots for camp, LifeWay VBS Preview Events are the very best way to get ready for summer!If you’re planning on taking a flight with us with CentriKid 2015, Unseen, we’d love to invite you to join us as we dive below the surface with Submerged! In fact, did you know that these events are brought to you by the same team that brings you CentriKid?

Check out this highlight reel to see what people are saying about their time at VBS.  We didn’t hire actors to read a script, we just caught them in the hall at last year’s event and asked them what they loved about the event!

You have a chance to join hundreds of other leaders at one of our VBS Preview events in NC, TX, or TN.  All the registration details are online at the VBS website.  At every VBS Preview Events, you will get to…

  • see all the decorations for all church sizes, all budgets, all rotations!
  • hear the music and learn the motions from the pro’s
  • get your VBS t-shirt, and order them for your church at the VERY BEST at-event discount
  • get ideas from other churches – VBS, BKC, and ZIP are all done differently in different church settings, so somebody at the event will be able to connect with you because they have a similar situation
  • attend breakouts on every topic, every rotation, every age
  • see whats pictured in the catalog  pick it up, hold it, turn it over, and you can purchase what you need in the on-site LifeWay store
  • experience things exclusive to the Events only at VBS events can you get to see an exclusive family experience modeled, buy exclusive VBS merchandise for the serious VBS fan, and connect with other leaders from around the country

We are excited to help provide and experience and training materials you can take home to use in your preparations for VBS this summer.

If you’re a director, pastor, kids ministry leader, or part of the VBS team, then VBS Preview is for you.  Also, if you have questions about coming to camp or your CentriKid registration, the entire CentriKid team and I be on-site at the VBS check-in area to meet you and help if we can!

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.

The LifeWay Kids Podcast

On the CentriKid office team, we love podcasts! Most days on my commute home from work, I don’t crank up the car without first clicking on the newest episode on one of the podcasts I follow. Recently, I’ve added a new podcast to my subscriptions: The LifeWay Kids podcast!

CN6lUR8U8AA1Z_EEvery week, our friends at LifeWay Kids release a new podcast featuring helpful tips from a leader in the kids ministry world discussing essential topics in kids ministry. The podcast is designed to resource, train, and encourage Kids Ministry Leaders and Volunteers! It’s hosted by Jeffrey Reed (Kids Ministry Specialist) and Chuck Peters (LifeWay Kids Director of Operations) who bring conversation and interviews talking about current trends and resources and how to best communicate these to the kids you serve. You can subscribe to the LifeWay Kids podcast (and catch up on episodes) by following this link! 

Here are some fun ways to use this podcast:

  • Listen to it on your drive to work and drive home on Wednesdays or Sundays. The ideas and tips in the podcast will be fresh on your mind when you minister to kids at church!
  • Share it with your leaders. When you hear something awesome or helpful for your ministry, share it with your kids ministry leaders and volunteers.  You can even share it with your family pastor or senior pastor if you hear something helpful for your whole church!
  • Tell you kids ministry leader friends about it. Be sure to spread the word about the podcast with your kids ministry friends. They could use the helpful fun of the LifeWay Kids podcast too!

Be on the lookout for an episode soon where our team leader, Jeremy Echols, will be chatting about CentriKid, and how best to train our staff to be leaders at camp.

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.

Oct

5

2015

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It’s Not Too Late to Sign Up for KMC!

KMC is approaching rapidly, and our team is working full speed ahead to create an incredible experience for you! The conference is only two weeks away, but there is still time to register. This will be an unforgettable experience, and we hope to see you there. Sign up today, or call 800-254-2022 to register.

Check out these details about the conference:

Some of our guest speakers include Eric Mason, Kelly Minter, Ed Stetzer, Sherry Surratt, Ryan O’Quinn, and more. Plus, don’t miss a special concert event featuring Cindy Morgan, Mark Schultz, Kelly Minter, and Andrew Greer!

Be sure to check out kidsministryconference.com for more details, including hotel information, the conference schedule, and a list of breakout sessions.

The theme for #KMC15 Is…

Imprint These Words on Your Hearts (guest post by Kelly Minter about #KMC15)

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

Kids Ministry Essentials

At the heart of every great kids ministry is a solid and effective philosophy. Here at CentriKid we have a mission to serve churches and in order to do that we abide by these three kids ministry essentials: Heart Transforming, Kingdom Expanding, and Culture Shaping. This philosophy guides everything that we do at camp to present the gospel to kids.

kingdomHeart Transforming

We believe everything we do should not simply teach kids good behavior or morals, but it should cause them to encounter Christ so that He can transform them. Behavior modification can be a burden, and kids have a hard time understanding what freedom in Christ can look when we focus on forming behavior instead of transforming the heart. It is only through the cross, through Christ redeeming us that our hearts can be changed. We must focus on heart transformation through Christ and not simply moral behavior modification.

kingdom2Kingdom Expanding

We want to point every kid we encounter at camp to Christ. It is vital to be focused on the Kingdom more than focusing on simply growing your ministry. When you place attention on the people in your ministry rather than the programs you can begin to make disciples instead of just having names on a roster. It is great to have new and exciting aspects of kids ministry, but without Jesus at the center and pointing kids to His Kingdom, it will be pointless.

cultureCulture Shaping

Many times it would be so much easier in life if we could just fit in. Yet, when we chose to follow Christ we were called to stand out and not be of the world. We want to encourage kids to stand up for their faith even when it is the unpopular stance. We want them to seek God, grow in their faith, and gain a solid foundation. With Christ as their foundation kids will be able to be bold in their faith and world changers instead of world imitators. When kids are in a ministry where they understand the love of Christ and have experienced heart transformation and have been discipled by Kingdom focused leaders they will be able to begin to shape culture.

These principles drive everything we create at CentriKid and LifeWay Kids. We want to come alongside you and equip you, in your ministry. You have many needs in ministry, so we encourage you to check out the many solutions we provide at LifeWay Kids and to learn how we can serve you more deeply. Check out lifeway.com/kids.

Also check out this great video about these essentials.

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.

Join Us for KMC in Music City!

Have you heard the exciting news? We are hosting #KMC15 at Nashville’s new Music City Center! KMC, or the LifeWay Kids Ministry Conference, is an annual gathering of kids ministers, leaders, teachers, and volunteers. Join us to experience inspirational messages and times of worship, practical breakout sessions, lots of laughter, and a ton of fun!

If you attended CentriKid during the summer of 2015, you received information about registering for KMC at a special discounted rate. This offer originally expired on 8/7/15, but we have extended the deadline. Don’t miss out on this great offer!

Did you attend CentriKid in 2015? Register for KMC now using the promo code KMC15CENTRIKID and receive the early bird rate of $275! Hurry, this offer ends 8/19/15!

The theme for KMC this year is RADIATE. Together we will explore ideas related to making a difference in the world, standing for convictions in the midst of moral turmoil, and helping kids grow up as culture shapers rather than conforming to the world. This all starts with the gospel. Learn more about our theme here.

Some of our guest speakers include Eric Mason, Kelly Minter, Ed Stetzer, Sherry Surratt, Ryan O’Quinn, and more. Plus, don’t miss a special concert event featuring Cindy Morgan, Mark Schultz, Kelly Minter, and Andrew Greer!

Be sure to check out kidsministryconference.com for more details about the conference, including hotel information, the conference schedule, and a list of breakout sessions (even more coming soon!).

You’ll see many familiar CentriKid faces at KMC in October, and we hope to see you there, too. This fall, don’t simply shine your light in a dark world—RADIATE!

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

Children Teaching Other Children

Kid Reading BibleThis summer at camp, one of the staffers on our team said “we are children teaching other children.” Since then I have tried to examine my role in ministry as well as a follower of Christ. As a camp pastor, I was seen as a spiritual leader, but the truth is, whether you have been in ministry for a few weeks or you collect doctorates in theology, you are still a child in Christ and there is so much more we can learn.

Read Matthew 18:1-5

Jesus says that it is the ones who humble themselves as children who will be the greatest in Heaven. As a follower of Christ, our eyes are open everyday to a deeper understanding of who God is. We continue to learn, we continue to grow, and through all of it we become even more humble as we see more of His power.

Has a child ever come up to you when they were scared or tired and reached up asking you to hold them? The humility that they have to say, “I can’t do this anymore,” or “I need your help,” is the same attitude that we need to approach God. As leaders or teachers, we need to rely on God every day to carry us through the situations that we cannot navigate ourselves. Colossians 1:16 reminds us that it is through God’s amazing power that everything is created through Him and for Him. However, we are still His children and it is that same power that is at work in us everyday.

Take a moment today and pray that as you minister to children or love a family, that you will be as a child, humbled in knowing that God is the center of our faith and that it is only through His gifts and mercy that we are able to be able to show people his glory.

Isaac Kierstead

Isaac graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Studio Art and Editing and Writing. He started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2014. Isaac designs a lot of the items you’ll see at camp this summer, helps with track development, puts together group leader information and staff manuals. His favorite part of camp is I Can’t Wait and track times.

CentriKid Staff Alumni

“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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 8.36.08 AMToday 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!



Pinterest- Creating an Unforgettable Time at Church

As a children’s minister, you sometimes need an extra craft, activity, or snack to create an unforgettable time at church. Thanks to the internet, we have amazing resources that puts thousands of amazing children’s ideas right in front of us. One resource that I have found very helpful in planning activities for kids is Pinterest because it is filled with fun ideas that can easily tie into lessons and curriculum.

One way you can start to gain inspiration on Pinterest is by following LifeWay Kids. They are always on the look out for new and easy ways to make learning the Bible fun for kids. You can find great ideas for decorating Sunday School rooms, crafts that will engage your kids, snacks that can be shared with a small group class, and some great resources on teaching Bible lessons to your kids.

One of my favorite ideas that I have used with 5th graders in Sunday School is a cup stack game that lets kids race to put the books of the Bible in order the fastest. The kids really enjoyed this and by simply doing it near the end of the class for a few weeks, the kids were able to recite the books. SImple things like this helped to further my ministry to these kids and helped them in their faith training.

Games, crafts, and even snacks can be used to bring glory to God. Using a resource such as Pinterest to gain ideas as well as share them with other kid’s ministers is a great way to continue improving our ministry and reaching more kids for the kingdom of God.

What are some ways that you use Pinterest to get ideas in your ministry?

Isaac Kierstead

Isaac graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Studio Art and Editing and Writing. He started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2014. Isaac designs a lot of the items you’ll see at camp this summer, helps with track development, puts together group leader information and staff manuals. His favorite part of camp is I Can’t Wait and track times.