Archive for December, 2015





Merry Christmas 2015!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Whether you are opening presents by the fire, traveling to Grandma’s house to gather with extended family, or enjoying other fun Christmas traditions, we hope that you and your family have a blessed day as you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (HCSB)

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 John 5:11 (HCSB)

From our CentriKid family to you:

ChristmasCard (2)

Merry Christmas from the CentriKid Office Team! (JE, Isaac, Tiffany, Henry, Vincent, Micheal)

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.

Help Kids Celebrate the Season

I love Christmas. I love the smell. I love buying gifts for people. I love to decorate. I love to wrap presents. I love to surprise neighbors with small gifts. I love the lights. I love that December is the perfect time to celebrate and I love what we celebrate. December comes with lots to do, a busier than normal schedule, and sometimes some stress. How do we make sure we create special moments for our kids and teach them what we are celebrating? Here are a few practical ideas to make memories in your family or ministry this Christmas and to help kids celebrate the season:

Read. Wrap a book for your kids to open each day. Use this as a time to share a moment with them while they learn about the birth our Savior.

Pick one night a week. Protect this time and use it to do something together. Make a craft, go look at lights while listening to Christmas music, drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie. Do something on this night that is unique to the season. Encourage families in your ministry to do this by sending them home with something to talk about or an activity to do related to what they learned on Sunday.

December Daily. Make a book and let your kids document something fun they did everyday in December. It’s not too late! These have become a tradition in our family. I make one every year and each December we pull them out and look at the last few years. This is a fun way to remember fun things you did and of course see the growth and change from one year to the next.

Read the Christmas story from the Bible. This one seems obvious but I think sometimes we over look it. No matter the age of your children or the children you are ministering to, they need to hear it. Read it, sing about it, act it out, and tell it as you move characters around in your nativity scenes. This is the reason we celebrate and can be a seed planted in your child’s heart that can lead to other conversations throughout the year.

Pass it on. Give hope to someone. As a family or as a Sunday school class, let your kids brainstorm something they could do for someone else. Let them come up with the idea and talk about why we should show kindness and serve others.

Don’t let the busyness of this season steal your joy and the opportunity to make it special for your own kids or the kids in your ministry. Pray now that this holiday season will have deeper meaning for your ministry. We at CentriKid pray that this holiday season will create times for intentional conversation, opportunities to serve others, and some special memories for your families and ministries.

About the Guest Blogger:

IMG_6927Emily Echols lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she coaches high school softball and teaches private softball lessons with young girls. Originally from Texas, she has been involved with education and coaching for over 10 years. Emily loves being a mommy to Madison (4 years old) and wife to CentriKid team leader, Jeremy (their 14 year anniversary is tomorrow!).


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.





Christmas Games to Celebrate the Season

As you are putting the finishing touches to all of the Christmas parties that you are hosting this season, sometimes you need just one more activity to have fun with the kids and connect it back to the story of Jesus coming to earth. We know that, just like at camp, you love to have fun with your kids. This can also be a wonderful time to remind the kids about the reason that Jesus came to earth. Here are two of my favorite Christmas games that will help your kids remember the importance of this season.

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
(One for each team)
Toilet Paper

Split your kids into teams depending on how many materials you have. Designate one person per team to be the snowman. When you say go, each team will race to dress their snowman using the materials. Give them 3 minutes to completely dress their snowman. Give each of the snowmen a chance to show off their attire. Using a loudness vote, chose a game winner!

In the Bible, it tells us that we can be made new through Christ. Ask the kids if they could recognize the person you dressed up as a snowman? When Jesus came to earth, He had a plan to make us new. Luke 19:10 says that Jesus came to save the lost. He came to earth to give us a new life with His father and just like we can not recognize the snowman when he is dressed up, we will be changed when we accept Christ into our lives. Unlike the snowmen, we will not be changed on the outside, instead God will come into our lives and we will have a relationship with Him!

The Gift
Wrap a gift such as a $5 gift card or small toy
Wrap the present multiple times with different wrapping paper
Be sure not to tape the paper layers together!
Have some music that is easy to play/pause

Sit the kids in a circle and start the music. As the music plays, pass the present around the circle. When the music stops, whoever is holding the present gets to open a layer of it. Keep playing until the someone gets to the present.

The Bible talks about how Jesus came to earth to be the free gift for everyone. Romans 6:23 says that we do not deserve this gift of life but because Jesus came to earth we can be saved. Ask the kid who unwrapped the present if they did anything special to deserve the gift. They get to keep that gift because they unwrapped it. Just like all they had to do was unwrap the gift, all we have to do is accept Christ ourselves.

These games can be a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate Christmas with your children’s ministry. Let us know what you do with the kids at your church to celebrate the birth of Christ and His amazing gift to us!

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.





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.