Kidmin

The Lead Small Culture Book Club

I am really excited to start this new year off by joining many other kidmin and youth min. leaders (last time I checked it was over 900), as we read through Creating A Lead Small Culture together through an online book club. I have already read through this book once fully and the second time was a brief synopsis for another leader in a smaller church looking to implement Orange philosophy and the 252 Basics curriculum into their program. The book is full of great tips on how to connect your leaders with the kids they serve on a deeper level and how they can partner with parents so that together they can create more opportunities for spiritual development and deeper understandings on how God is at work in their lives everyday.

Every kid needs to be known by someone and to belong somewhere.

Most leaders agree. That’s one reason for a shift in the way many churches are discipling their kids and teenagers. Think of it this way: connecting kids and teens to a consistent leader who believes in God and believes in them is something the church can do that nothing else in culture does.

Here is how my next eight weeks are looking.

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As I started Session One today I have already had a couple questions jump out at me and cause me to strongly reflect how Life Groups (We use Life Groups instead of Small Groups in the hopes that these groups will continue to grow together and do life together), function in our kidmin department.

The very first question is a tough one for many leaders because they simply want kids and parents to attend everything possible that happens within the church walls.

If kids only show up at church one time a week and experience one environment or participate in one activity, where would you tell them to go?

Wowzers, yep they said what every leader dreads to ask, or even think about. The thought that a family or a child might only pick one of the many great things that your ministry does. I have been wrestling with this question for months now:

How do we plan our ministries better to help families leverage their time together so that they spend more time as a family?

Think about it:

Kids ministry is one day, or night,
Youth Ministry is on one or two other nights.
Men’s ministry happens,
Women’s Ministry is another,
and church is on Sundays,

oh yeah don’t forget about after school activities and extra curricular activities.

Add all those days up and well you have one very exhausted and overwhelmed family.

Your greatest asset to building faith in the next generation is not your Bible study, worship band, facilities, or budget. The most valuable resources you have to help people see God are the people in your church who know God. (pg. 33)

How do you react to that statement? With relief? Hesitation? Excitement? Explain Why?

What are your biggest obstacles when trying to connect every kid with a consistent adult leader?

What are some of your ideas so far for overcoming those obstacles?

Those are the main questions that I am going to be wrestling with this week. I want nothing more for my kids in our kidmin than for them to experience God through the caring adults that are in their lives. That is how they will understand who God is, how we works in their lives, and how He loves them unconditionally. By learning about God in a relational context I hope that our kids learn about a relational God that wants to have a consistent two-way relationship with them.

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The Truth About Kids And Social Media – Speaker’s Spotlight Blog

 

The benefits that Amy Jo Martin points out in her must-read book, Renegades Write The Rules may surprise you – it’s an important read for anyone trying to understand social media.

As most of us already know, there are clear downsides with kids using social media and this topic has been covered for years. Cyberbullying, privacy , and identity theft are only a few negatives that should be considered. Just as we teach our children how to ride a bike, we need to teach them how to navigate social media and make the right moves that will help them. The physical world is similar to the virtual world in many cases. It’s about being aware. We can prevent many debacles if we’re educated.

Question: What are the benefits of kids using social media?

via Speakers’ Spotlight – The Truth About Kids And Social Media.

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices : All Tech Considered : NPR

This is a great article. I have been wrestling through this issue with a few ministry friends lately.

How are you as a parent balancing your screen time with real time?

“One of the many things that absolutely knocked my socks off,” she says, “was the consistency with which children — whether they were 4 or 8 or 18 or 24 — talked about feeling exhausted and frustrated and sad or mad trying to get their parents’ attention, competing with computer screens or iPhone screens or any kind of technology, much like in therapy you hear kids talk about sibling rivalry.”

via When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices : All Tech Considered : NPR.

Low-tech parents: Why Steve Jobs wouldn’t let his children touch an iPad and other digital gadgets | Financial Post

Even parents who work for tech companies are asking the question: How much is too much time in front of a screen?

Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now chief executive of 3D Robotics, a drone-maker, has instituted time limits and parental controls on every device in his home.

“My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules,” he said of his five children, 6-17. “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

The dangers he is referring to include exposure to harmful content like pornography, bullying from other kids, and perhaps worse of all, becoming addicted to their devices, just like their parents.

Some of the questions that I had after reading this.

What limits do you set for your kids in the home?

Do you have limits that you place on yourself?

via Low-tech parents: Why Steve Jobs wouldn’t let his children touch an iPad and other digital gadgets | Financial Post.

Risky play and skinned knees are key to healthy child development | Toronto Star

By exhilarating kids, it gradually exposes them to things they fear, so they can learn to cope and master new skills. Fear protects them from situations they aren’t ready to handle.

Taking risks is important towards understanding who you are. How do you as parents and leaders encourage smart risks?

Or, why do you feel kids should not take risks?

Share your thoughts below!

via Risky play and skinned knees are key to healthy child development | Toronto Star.

The Orange Conference 2014: Highlights on Vimeo

I finally came across the highlight video from the Orange Conference I attended in the spring time. Have a look at the video below for only a small sampling of why this might have been the best conference I have attended in years.

The Orange Conference 2014: Highlights on Vimeo on Vimeo

via The Orange Conference 2014: Highlights on Vimeo.

Launching a New Ministry Year : Notes and Highlights

This past Sunday marked the first week that our elementary students used the 252 Basics curriculum from Orange and from the leadership side of things we could not have been happier with the outcome. Here are a couple of my highlights from our launch weekend.

1) Our set for this month. We were given some used doors to use from a family on our staff to use as well as all the hinges and screws to piece them together to make dividers. We used these to bring the theme from “Opportunity Knocks,” (the title of this months series) to life on stage. The idea from Orange was very Monsters Inc. and our tech. team went with that and used lighting to make them all blue and green.

Another great thing that came from this set happened by sheer coincidence. The theme for our church’s Global Missions Conference that runs from September 7-21, 2014 has a very similar look to it. We found this out after we planned the doors for our stage in a meeting with our worship arts department.

Kidmin Sept. 7.1 (2)

Nations GMC   2) We taught the students a new song this weekend from the CD “Movin’ Me” from Amber Sky Records. This CD is a must own for any #kidmin programs. It is upbeat, catchy and full of great songs for students and parents to learn. My wife and I play this CD at least once on every road trip since I picked it up in May. We taught the students one of my personal favourites from the album “Let It Be Known.” 

3) We made some changes to the sign-in and sign-out policies for our children’s ministry that were greatly received from our parents and congregation. We had ushers and greeters to help us with these transitions so it was a smooth transition.

4) We have implemented a props cupboard for our storytellers and hosts. This was very handy for the first lesson that included safari hats, sunglasses, a shovel and a stuffed carrot to name a few. this should help us stay organized and to help us gather props for upcoming weeks. 

Our children’s ministry department loved the flow of our large group with the bottom line, memory verse and lesson. It flowed well and kept us on schedule for the whole morning. 

A great first week.

Thoughts Heading Into A New #Kidmin Year

As we get ready to launch our children’s ministry for a new ministry year this week I am taken back to these words found in Playing For Keeps by Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy.

 

We don’t experience worth because we are loved once,

but because we are loved by someone over time.

We are not motivated to action by one phrase,

but by words that move us over time.

We don’t understand the word through a single event,

but through a collection of stories over time.

We don’t know we belong because of an invitation to something,

but because we have been welcomed in a tribe over time.

We don’t discover how to live in a moment,

but we live when we experience the joys of life over time.

I find these words to be a challenge and a focal point for the upcoming year. As students enter into their place of worship this year are they experiencing love, hearing words of encouragement, listening to stories that will change their lives and welcomed into a life group?

All of that so they can see and understand the joys that come from living a life that mirrors Christ and shares the gospel with their friends and family.

I am pumped for this year and I truly hope that none of our kids miss out on the fact that they are loved by God and their life group leaders care enough about them to share a large story with them all year so that their life will change forever.

 

Books on my shelf

10629658_10152205019986370_6670124045181772431_nThe books that I have recently finished, or I am currently reading. Also on this list would be “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek which I blogged about here.

 

What books are you reading right now?

 

Everyone wins when a leader gets better. – Bill Hybels

 

#ThinkOrange: Our #kidmin is changing colours this fall.

This September our #kidmin program is turning Orange and using the 252 Basics curriculum. I have found myself overly excited about this transition since going to the Orange Conference back in May. I am excited for a few reasons:

  1. The amount of content that will be available to our parents and families throughout the week. This will include Parent Cue, 252 Live, and more. It also means that more families will be talking about Jesus throughout the week. A win on all levels.
  2. The added responsibility and content for our tech team. Our tech team is full of students that have wanted more ownership over the content on Sunday mornings. Even though the content is still prepared ahead of time they will have the opportunity to pull it up at home experiment with it and make the visuals their own.
  3. The added role of a host on Sunday mornings. This will allow some of our volunteers the opportunity to use their dramatic skill sets to help the storyteller bring the Bible to life every Sunday.

The one thing I have not enjoyed about implementing Orange has been the constant need to justify our choice to other #kidmin leaders from other churches I come into contact with. Whether it is their preconceived feelings about what Orange brings, or their desire to have full control of the content that they bring to their kids many leaders have asked me the same question in one way or another,

“Are you worried about the lack of Bible content in their lessons?”

I can’t even begin to tell you how often I have heard this in the last three months. In a way I find it heartbreaking and I always feel as though one of our team’s core responsibilities in being questions. That responsibility is presenting the Gospel to our kids and allowing families the opportunities to live out the Gospel in their homes each week. When I get asked that question about Orange I feel as though I am being asked whether or not our team is capable to bring the Gospel message to our kids.

Orange is creative in ways that I could never be, or would take me hours to produce and summon from within myself. Those hours of creativity that this curriculum saves me allows me to add Bible when I need to, (I personally think that Orange provides just as much Bible content as many of the other curriculums out there do) for my volunteers, or for family specific content. I have also gone through Bible college for Biblical Studies and as a leader in a church realize that part of my job is to add in Bible wherever I need to.

So when I hear that question asked to me what I really hear in my head is,

“Are you prepared to do your job and teach those children in your care how to live out the Gospel message of Jesus?”

The answer is of course. I also realize for me the question goes way farther than what curriculum do I use and I probably take it way to personally, but I am always surprised when I get it.

I am excited for September and what 252 Basics will add into our ministry. I truly believe at this point that the benefits of this curriculum choice will be felt in the lives of the children in our ministry for years to come. As a children’s pastor you cannot ask for anything better than impacting the lives of the kids and families in your community.