Today we celebrate a truly incredible teammate—the one and only Collin Spindle. Collin has been a part of CentriKid Camps since 2010, and he has served as a team leader, a recreation leader, and a camp director. For the past two years, Collin has also served as a very integral member of our office team. Sadly, this is Collin’s last week to serve with us, but we are excited about his new opportunities. Collin will be serving with Preston Taylor Ministries in Nashville, TN, and he will be helping impact the lives of countless children and youth.
While many of us would like to curl up in the corner and weep unconsolably because of Collin’s departure, the only fitting way to honor him is by remembering some of the best times we shared with Collin.
On one of Collin’s first days on our team, he plunged into a mirky pond to find a frisbee. We knew right then there is almost nothing this guy won’t do. As such, he frequently got “volunteered” to appear in CentriKid videos.
He is never really one to seek out attention, but somehow Collin often found himself in the limelight. This is a testament both to his incredible skills and his outrageous sense of humor! Why wouldn’t we put him on stage?!
Collin liked to FREQUENTLY remind us of his Texas roots, and although many of us have tried to compete with his mustachio, he clearly has the corner on that market.
At the end of the day, what we expected from Collin was a hardworking teammate. What we got was so much more! He is an incredible friend, and he is fiercely loyal. He’ll be the first to jump on the back of a Speeder Bike with you (even though he has no idea what it is), he’ll tag along to any sporting event or concert, and he’ll even jump out of an airplane with you! We’ll miss you very much, Collin. Here’s to you, buddy!
If you have been following our culture posts you have read about Striving for Excellence, Making It Fun and Building Life-Changing Relationships. Catch up if you have missed one or two. We find these culture statements important with our camp, because they guide our actions regularly.
Today’s topic is replace yourself. When talking with staff, we choose to say “replace yourself.” As we discussed the “Replace Yourself” statement when we toyed with different phraseology, which can totally change the dynamic. We wanted to convey the importance of raising up the next generation to pass the baton of our mission to them. We considered “replicate yourself”, but it strikes the wrong chord. Replication means you are making a carbon copy of yourself. From experience I know I cannot be a great someone else, or even a good someone else. However, I can be the best Collin maximizing my strengths and working on my weaknesses.
Replace yourself means you will work to invest in others, because you have the realization you cannot do everything by yourself and you are not always going to be where you are currently. Here a few techniques we use to make sure we are replacing ourselves at camp.
Ultimately, replacing yourself is a spiritual mandate we should all follow based on the Great Commission. If you are not first replacing your faith in others, you are missing the mission in our walk as believers. Today consider in whom you should be replacing yourself and how you can accomplish it.
As a CentriKid staffer, we have the amazing opportunity to create relationships with people from all over the country; whether it is the people on your team, the kids at camp, or the adult leaders, we believe that ministry is best done in the context of relationships. At CentriKid, we want every kid to have an encounter with the gospel and we believe that it is best done through relationships. By creating that relationship, we are able to do more than just preach to them, we are able to invest in a child’s life by listening to their stories, caring about their needs, and by showing them the amazing love that God has for them.
Here at CentriKid, life changing relationships are something that we strive to create with everyone involved with camp. These relationships also translate to the group leaders and adults who are at camp. We know that you work hard all year to minister to these children and we want camp to be a time where you can grow in your relationship with Christ. Sitting with adult leaders and hearing how God has been faithful in their ministry or listening and praying with leaders who are struggling is
Building personal relationships is vital to creating a team that is unified in sharing the gospel. I have been blessed to have people on my camp teams who have created relationships with me and spiritually invested in me. Even though I was at camp to minister to kids, my relationship with Christ grew more in that time than it had ever before.
Life changing relationships is not something that is simply preached but it is a cultural element that transcends throughout every part of camp. The first time that I ever saw members of the Nashville CentriKid office interact was at a conference and I immediately noticed the intentional relationships that helped them succeed as a team. Life changing relationships are a major part of the CentriKid culture and it is through these relationships that ministry occurs.
Check out the other aspects of CentriKid culture here:
CentriKid Camps has an amazing group of young leaders with a ton of leadership potential. They have studied and prepared to be in a leadership role at camp.
Every year I have the privilege of interviewing and working with our summer camp directors. These guys and girls each serve with one of our camp teams and will lead the staff, work with the venue, and prepare to host our churches at camp this summer.
Here are 5 tips from young leaders who are early in their leadership journey, but have great insights already on leading well and serving in ministry.
“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.
Today 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!
The Kids Ministry Conference was last week. The theme of the conference was transformed. We believe if you are not transforming kids hearts, if you are not shaping culture, and if you are not expanding God’s kingdom then you are not participating in anything important. We are thankful to be a part of the discussion of transformation in kids ministry.
At KMC we had some of our CentriKid Staff helping us out. Each summer of camp they get to watch life transformation in kids lives and they have agreed to share some of their favorite verses and stories.
This summer I had the unique opportunity to host my home church while at camp! My church brought a girl who had just started coming within the past year and had a pretty rough home life. She moved to my home town after her mother decided she didn’t want to take care of her anymore, which resulted in her moving in with her father and a whole new set of difficulties. This all caused a lot of bitterness and anger in her heart and she took out that anger in fights, and disrespecting authority. Throughout camp I had the opportunity to have many conversations with her about choosing to go to the Lord with that anger, on Thursday night she made a decision to follow the Lord and go to him with that anger and bitterness. Since coming home from camp I’ve gotten the opportunity to see how her decision has completely transformed her life and she is using it to tell others about Him!
“and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” Galatians 2:20
I had a little girl in my Bible study who came into the week not wanting do anything. She refused to play games at recreation, and would sit off to the side and not respond to me during Bible study. Needless to say she was making my job a bit tougher that particular week. One of the adult leaders with her church group spent a lot of time investing in her as did one of the female staffers I had asked to hang out with her. She was difficult throughout the entire week, but on the very last day as I was taking roll to make sure I had everyone for Bible study, she walks up to me with a tract of what it means to be a Christian someone had given her. She taps me on the shoulder and asks me if she could read it to the rest of the group because the night before she had become a Christian and wanted the others to become Christians as well. It was the greatest display of life change I had ever seen. She went from a hard-hearted child who didn’t want to obey or even listen, to someone who was very polite, cared for others, and wanted to share the love of God she experienced.
From the moment church groups get off the bus until they drive away at the end of the week, there are promises that every CentriKid team looks to uphold. They have become a part of our culture, but they are not just for camp. They can play a major role in presenting the gospel in your children’s ministry every week.
Root EVERYTHING in scripture
We believe that the Word of God should be at the forefront of every program, activity, and game at CentriKid camp. We love to have fun and go crazy, but it is all to get children excited for the gospel. As children’s ministers, creating an atmosphere that is centered around the study of the Bible and teaching it to children should be the most important part of any programming. Kids love playing games, making crafts, and singing songs. Let’s be honest, I love all of that too! However, when we are able to connect these fun events to the scripture they take so much more away from Sunday morning than just a good time. They will see that the Bible is God’s truth in their lives.
Ministry through relationships
At camp, CentriKid staffers see meal times and Hang Time as another opportunity to build relationships with kids. The conversations that happen during these times are sometimes more powerful than the conversations that happen during worship response time. Building these relationships create many avenues of conversation that can lead to presenting the gospel and learning how best to pray for and love on these kids. Working in a kid’s ministry, you have an amazing opportunity to create these relationships all year. Knowing the kids who are in your Sunday School class or in children’s church will create an environment that stimulates discussion. By loving these kids through a meaningful relationship, we are able to show them a small glimpse of the amazing love that God has for us.
Kid friendly programming
CentriKid would not be CentriKid if it were not for the high energy I Can’t Waits, crazy recreation games, and the amazing times of worship that kids and adults can experience at camp. We know that Biblical truths such as the Holy Spirit, the Tabernacle, and God’s redemption are not always the easiest things for kid’s to understand, but at camp it is our promise that all of the programming and Bible studies will be created with kids in mind. Kids from 3rd to 6th grade will enjoy the games and songs and they will also be taught the Bible at a level that is understandable to them and is applicable to their lives. Every week, you have an amazing opportunity to share the Word of God with kids so that they can apply it to their lives now and grow in their relationship with God.
Through a culture based in scripture, relationships, and fun, staffers are able to minister and love kids throughout the summer. How have you used the CentriKid culture in your church’s ministry?
At CentriKid, we believe that fun and games and God’s Word do not have to be mutually exclusive; in fact, we actually encourage kids to integrate their faith into all areas of their lives — sports, art, science, etc. While planning our camp program, we work hard to connect every activity to God’s word (that’s one of our promises). We call this connection a debrief — a 2-3 minute conversation that our staff lead in order to connect games or activities to truths from God’s word. During the 2014 camp season, our staffers connected over 1,960 games and activities to God’s word!
At first, making this type of connection can be a little bit of a challenge, but by the end of the summer, all our staffers are debrief experts. Oftentimes during a weekend or time off, our staffers will even try to hone their skills by challenging one another to debrief a particular moment on the spot or holding up an unusual object and asking someone to “debrief this.” Today we invite you to accept the challenge and debrief this picture. Comment below to tell us how you would connect this picture to God’s word. The person that writes the best debrief will win a LIMITED EDITION CentriKid journal!
Making every day connections to Scripture is a very useful skill, especially when working with kids. Continue to sharpen your skills by debriefing moments, games, and activities. Need help? Check out these tips on making a spiritual application from almost anything!
HAPPY LABOR DAY!
We hope you are enjoying your day off from school or work.You might be taking a road trip, having a barbecue, or watching a football game on TV. We all love this time of year because it means that summer is over and cooler weather is on the way. Labor Day was originally created to celebrate the hard work of American people, and we wanted to take today to celebrate an incredible group of people: OUR CENTRIKID STAFF!
We believe that we have the best young leaders in the world staffing our camps. They are some of the hardest working college students and young adults in the world. They use their time, passion, and energy from the time they wake up early to set up the rec field to the time they go to bed after a late-night staff meeting.
We believe that life-change happens best in the context of relationships, and our staff make sure that they build life-changing relationships with all the kids at camp. They take meal times as an opportunity to have intentional conversations with kids, they work hard to know each kid’s names, and they always hang out with them during hang time. Every staffer makes it his or her goal to make sure that no one leaves camp without a life changing encounter with Christ, and we are so blessed by each one of them!
Our office team works all year to create quality camp programming that best shares the message of Christ with kids. But at the end of the day, camp could not happen without our staffers serving selflessly, and God working through them to impact the lives of kids across the country at CentriKid.
If you have ever been a CentriKid staffer over the years, we want you to know that we appreciate you. Your service to God is a bit deal! Because of your hard work and willingness to serve the Lord, thousands of kids have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and thousands have grown deeper in their relationship with God! You have made a difference.
Thank you CentriKid Staff!
Today we celebrate the ministry of Ellie Doom. This marks Ellie’s fifth summer working CentriKid Camps. She has worked as a team leader, assistant director and has directed CK6 the past two summers. Her years of serving with CentriKid are almost over, but first we wanted to share some of the fun times we had with Ellie in the office.
If you didn’t recognize her already you will probably recognize Ellie as the giraffe from the CK rules video. Although she made a great giraffe, we all know her best avatar was Queen Elsa. Few Frozen fans can rival the amount of times Ellie saw this movie in theaters. When Ellie was not being the talent for the CK rules videos she could be found playing recreation. She makes the best ant for a CentriKid favorite called Ants and Anthills. We learned quickly Ellie had the power to persuade us into anything, look at those puppy dog eyes. It is like OMC, you can’t say NO!
America has Ellie’s heart, along with fat puppies, the Kentucky Wildcats, and Mountain Dew. If we could get all of those things on one pair of sunglasses she would wear them. Ultimately, Ellie had our team’s heart. She was the only girl on our office team this past year and she was everyone’s favorite. No one ever worried about Ellie keeping up with the boys, she could beat us all at basketball or tennis any day of the week. She made her leaders proud and she knew how to create a CentriKid “make it fun” culture.
Here are a few photos from Ellie’s last summer directing CentriKid Camps. CK6 was blessed with a fantastic leader at their helm and churches loved Ellie. We ask you to join with us as we celebrate Ellie’s accomplishments with CentriKid Camps. We are proud to announce Ellie’s next step in life has her as a children’s minister at a local church. Ellie, you are our hero!