Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for February, 2008
If you live within driving distance of Chicago, mark your calendars for March 27-29, 2008 for a very affordable day of training and encouragement in West suburbs of Chicago. Great exhibitors (including Kidology!), great fellowship, and great training!
Hosted by GCSSA (Greater Chicago Sunday School Association) this is an excellent training event that I’ve been privileged to be a part of many times over the years. It’s been a few years, but next month not only will I once again be doing some workshops and exhibiting, but they are adding a Kidology Pre-Conference!
Here are the workshops I will be presenting: (NOTE: Thursday requires a pre-conference registration)
THURSDAY, March 27th PRE-CONFERENCE FOR LEADERS
HELP! I’m in Charge of the Children’s Ministry – PART 1
This workshop is for those brand new to leadership in children’s ministry, or those who may need to ‘start over’ more strategically. Learn the ABC’s of children’s ministry leadership. Get your bases in order! Leave with a practical step by step strategy for building a ministry that can stand the test of time!
HELP! I’m in Charge of the Children’s Ministry – PART 2
Continue exploring the basics of children’s ministry leadership. This is an eye-opening workshop that often revitalizes leader’s approaches to ministry and transformed stressed up worn out leaders into refreshed and encouraged leaders who end up healthier not just more effective.
Christian Kids or Disciples of Jesus?
What is the difference between teaching kids the bible and training kids to be fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ? Our classes are filled with bible-smart kids, but our youth groups are filled with teens who aren’t living for Christ. Where did we go wrong? How can we do a better job? The answer lies in a strategy to make disciples, not merely teach the Bible.
Partnering with Parents!
Most children’s pastors when asked ‘Do you partner with parents’ answer with “I try…” Partnering with parents is the most difficult part of children’s ministry. The responsibility of spiritual nurturing belongs to parents, but the church is caught between needing to do it and taking it over. This workshop will provide insightful ideas for how you CAN genuinely ‘partner with parents’ and be able to answer, “YES! I DO!”
FRIDAY, March 28th
Kidology 101: Effective Relational Ministry to Kids
Kidology is the study of kids and their world. To be an effective minister to today’s children, one must learn to do it from within the context of their culture. A working knowledge of a kid’s world is an inroad to their heart. Learn how to relate to kids and keep up with their ever-changing culture.
Making Your Class Rock!
“You Rock!” is one of the highest compliments a child can give a teacher. What makes some classrooms more fun than others? Why are some teachers remembered into adulthood when most are quickly forgotten? What can set YOUR class apart from all the rest? While at the same time, have a greater life impact? Rock your class and rock a kid’s world!
SATURDAY, March 29th
Teaching Lessons That Last
What makes a lesson memorable? Learn how kids minds and memories work – and how you can teach lessons that last not only through the week, but into their adult life and genuinely impact eternity! Kids love to learn – but they learn best through experience! Create lessons that impact kids beyond just the brain. Get them excited about their faith and walk with God.
The Object Lesson Explosion
This is a fun, interact, objects-in-hand, hands-on workshop. Give or mention ANY object to the Kidologist, and he will instantly create a biblical object lesson from that object – and then show you how to do it too!
Making Your Discipline Problems Disappear!
Learn how to PREVENT discipline problems, how to deal with them effectively when they arise, with a special focus on what is going on in the minds and hearts of children when they misbehave so that you can better understand how to respond and mold them.
I hope I will get to see you there!
FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT www.GCSSA.org , or DOWNLOAD THE FULL BROCHURE.
A few weeks ago my family got to travel to Waterford, MI to minister to kids as part of a revival week at Williams Lake Church of the Nazarene. The children’s pastor is a part of Kidology’s CP Team and happens to be the first student in Kidology’s Coaching program.We are so alike! As we swapped stories of children’s ministry – it was like we’d done so many of the same (crazy) things. Once, as I said I needed to go use the restroom before the program began, I called him over and whispered, “why don’t you have all the kids hide while I’m out, like they are playing a joke on me?” and he said, “I was just going to do that!” It was like finding my long lost brother separated at birth. But my mother was spared having two of me around!
I was pleased to see Eric had in his office his Coaching Notebook, Kidology Online Training Notebook, and Kidology Handbook Notebook! He truly has a servants heart and a teachable spirit! We asked me to feel free to tell him what I thought he could do better, but I honestly was very impressed with his ministry. It’s a small church with a big heart for kids! He not only does a wonderful job making the environment welcoming and fun for kids, but more importantly, it is obvious that the kids love him. Before I began a week of ministry he filled me in on what has going on in the lives of the kids so I could be sensitive as I taught. He got down on their level and it was clear they viewed him as their friend as well as their teacher. One of the things he does to connect with his kids is use Webkins. They can get virtual Webkins prizes at church – they simply pick a slip of paper with a prize on it and write their Webkins screen name, and he gives them the prize later online! He sends notes to his kids via Webkins and has even found a way to rack up points all night long while he sleeps so he can give away goodies to his kids, but I promised not to tell how!
When I entered his office I had to laugh – if I didn’t know him better, and if he didn’t live over five hours away, I’d think he robbed me! He had a bunch of stuff in his office that I have! Great minds think alike, well, goofy kids pastors anyway!
Over dinner Eric asked what I would have done differently early in my ministry if I could have it to do over again… what a question! I wanted to give him something deeply profound and life-changing, that would forever change the course of his life from that dinner at the Lion’s Den until Jesus returned! But the reality is that my answer was rather simple:
Pursue God more, and ministry less. Spend more time with my wife, and less time at the church building doing stuff for God. Worry more about what kind of man I am, than what kind of minister I am. Be more of a human being than a human doing.
It may have taken me too long to learn these things, but I’m learning!
As blogged last week, I got to be interviewed at the Equip Conference in Peoria last week. It was fun to talk about how my mom encouraged me as a boy to not wait until I “grew up” to serve the Lord (some would say I still haven’t!) as well as to give some highlights of the workshops. I gotta tell ya, radio interviews always go by SO fast… those 15 minutes seemed like only 5!
They had me busy speaking nearly every session so the booth was run by some of our staff who did a great job, even dealing with the weirdos that come by the booth!
Afterward we headed out to a local pub (recommended by my good Christian friend Bill Allison) who recommended I order their famous Pork Tenderloin… he said it was GIANT… and he wasn’t kidding!
It was almost as big as the Giant Donut I had in Texas! I ordered without even looking at the menu (or the price) and dove in!
That is one giant sandwich! There no way I was going to be able to finish it! So what do you do with a giant sandwich that you can’t finish?
Play tic-tac-toe with your staff!
I’m the X’s, and was allowed to go first!
HA! foolish move! The game was won, but I didn’t let on just yet!
Contining the set up with a forced block misdirect…
Mwaaaaaaa haha! Another wasted move… Everything was proceeding as I had foreseen….
What choice did my foe truly have? None! But they tried in vain.
The VICTORY WAS FINE! Defeated my foe was! Vanquished into Nothingless!
It is a day that will be long remembered.
(The guy at the table next to us took the left-overs home to his dog)
A friend sent me a link to this video on YouTube – so I snagged it* for your enjoyment here!
Luke loved sitting here listening to it! I can’t wait until he starts to understand and enjoy Star Wars. (no, he’s not seen it yet!)
*I snag YouTube videos so that I still have them after they disappear, get moved, or are removed from YouTube.
At 5:15 p.m., February 22nd, Chicago time, I will be interviewed for 15 minutes as a part of WPEO‘s live coverage of the Peoria, Illinois Equip Conference. It does not appear their radio station is streamed online (that I can find) so unless you live within this map, you’ll probably not be able to stop whatever you are doing for my fifteen minutes of fame… well, fifteen minutes on the radio anyway.
Karl’s Radio Coverage for 15 Minutes Tomorrow!
But it will be fun anyway. I’ve been interviewed twice on WMBI (not counting my youth group appearance on Saturday Night Live with Ron Hutchcraft in high school) Of course, it’s fun to be on the radio – but the best was when Rush Limbaugh read my e-mail on his show back in the early 90′s – I still have people tell me they heard that. (another story for another time, and I actually missed it!)
At any rate – let me know if you get to hear it! They will be interviewing many of the other speakers through tomorrow and Saturday so if you can get the station, listen in for other great interviews as well. My good friend Tim Balogh got to be interviewed last year when Kidology exhibited at Equip and Tim was the Kidology trainer.
Tim at Equip Last Year.
Better yet, if you can come to Equip, there is still room to sign up for the Kidology tract on Saturday! Workshops are:
- First Things First
- Unleashing Your Own Creativity
- Teaching Lessons That Last
- Making Your Disciple Problems “Disappear!”
- Secrets of Effective Communicators
As I have bragged before (here, here and here or when he got me a Frank Thomas ball) my little brother is a beat reporter for MLB.com as the Blue Jays reporter. While I enjoy baseball, I’m nowhere near the avid fan my little brother is – which is why I marvel at his writing. As I blogged about once before, I am impressed at how his writing transcends mere baseball reporting. I’m not a Blue Jays fan (technically he isn’t either), but I follow his blog as I because I enjoy his writing and I don’t want to miss when one of these “beyond baseball” masterpieces comes through.Well, he did it again! He has written another “baseball article” that demonstrates that his ability to articulate LIFE and not just baseball, and is what makes him such a masterful sports writer.
Before you read his article about how Blue Jays top prospect Travis Snider has dealt with several deaths recently, including his mother, it might interest you first to realize a few things not mentioned in the article about Jordan’s personal connection to this story. First of all, Snider’s mom Jordan’s and my mother both have the same name, though spelled slightly differently, his Patty, our Patti. Secondly, our mom passed away in 1996 while Jordan was still in middle school, and so he has experienced much of what Travis shared with him. As you read this article, you learn not only how Travis Snider has dealt with loss, but you get a glimpse into the understanding that this writer has, that perhaps others would not.
You can read the article here: Snider Finding Solace on Diamond.
And in case that link ever breaks, here is a link to download the article as a PDF file: Jordan Bastian Snider Article PDF preserved through Y3K on my server. You may send him feedback if you wish.
A Jelly Fish for God? Read on!
Not too long ago, the most important thing to me was my personal contribution to the Kingdom of God. I’ve literally been “in ministry” since I was a young boy. To me, as the son of a preacher man and a mother who served in the local church with creativity and a keen sense of leadership – serving God was what it meant to be a Christian. By the time I was a teen-ager was I traveling to minister in churches besides my own and by my mid-twenties I’d been to over ten countries on mission trips ministering to children and equipping leaders. From the time I got up in the morning until I collapsed in bed at night, I lived to serve God. As I look back, I still am so thankful for all the amazing opportunities that God brought into my life, but I also feel the burden of stress and the deep exhaustion that was my daily experience. And the loneliness. I have learned the hard way that “Impact” is not the purpose of my faith. It is a result of following and serving God, but it is not why God called me into relationship with Him. I was so busy serving God that I did not have the time, nor often even the inclination, to truly invest in knowing God. And I was starving my soul. I suppose, by God’s grace, there will still be “Kingdom Impact” in my future as I follow and serve the Lord, but I truly am not concerned with that any more. I have discovered the deep satisfaction of simply pursuing God, rather than pursuing his pleasure. Where as I once said to God by my life, “see all that I am doing for You?”, I now simply say, “Hey, God its me.” The problem is that “me” is not as impressive as all the things I can DO, but I’ve learned that “me” is all God wants, and it is all He died for anyway.
I wish I could say I came to this realization one morning during my devotions. But that would assume I did “devotions” or that when I did I took time to listen to God while I was busy reading and studying the Bible to teach from it, or praying for and about all the things I was doing for God. No, it took me coming to the end of myself and experiencing a complete break down in some pretty critical areas of my life until I finally saw myself for the utter and complete failure that I was. Not a failure in ministry per se, but a failure in my soul. Flat on my face, defeated by my own self-destructive drive to change the world and impact the Kingdom, I finally was forced to stop. In that oasis of inactivity I finally listened, and discovered God really wasn’t as impressed with me and all my “ministry” as I had assumed. Quite to the contrary, He was quite disappointed in me, and the secret loneliness I pretended wasn’t there, was His attempt to draw me to what He created me to be – simply a child of His. The problem was not that I had two full time ministries, though I’m sure that didn’t help, the problem was that my purpose in life was defined by what I did for God, rather than by walking with God.
In this past year I have been deeply impacted by hearing Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, as he has spoken at several conferences I’ve been at. He has been very open and vulnerable about his own drive for “impact” that cost him his ministry, Big Idea. A man we all assumed must have been on top of the world as his “impact” sky-rocketed, was struggling deeply with his identity and purpose and it was causing physical as well as spiritual sickness. He too reached a crisis point in his life where God finally got his attention. I hesitate to repeat too much of his journey, as that is his personal story, but I encourage you to hear him speak and get his book, Me, Myself and Bob. But I do want to share something he explained this past weekend at a children’s ministry conference aptly titled, INSIDE-OUT. He explained why he named his new company “Jellyfish.” As quoted on his website,
“Why? Because jellyfish can’t choose their own course. They can’t locomote. They can go up a little, they can go down a little. But overall, they’re completely dependent on the current to carry them wherever they’re supposed to be. For a jellyfish to make a 20-year plan would be ridiculous. An act of ultimate hubris. And so it is with us. Rather than crafting their little plans and laboring to force things to go “their way,” Phil and his new cohorts at Jellyfish are committed to seeking and following God’s direction, each and every day – committed to staying in the “current” of God’s will, and letting Him carry them where they need to be. No long range plans, unless they come directly from God.”
Let me encourage you to read his Jellyfish Story for yourself on his website. I see so much of my own journey in his.
So what does God have for me in the future? To be quite honest, I’m not really that concerned about it. But I do know what He has for me today. To walk with Him. To listen to Him. To obey Him. To follow Him. And along the way, He’ll show me what He wants me to do for Him today, and maybe tomorrow. But not much more. After all, He didn’t save me so I could make an “impact” on the world, He saved me so I could be His child. And He doesn’t really need my help anyway. Anything I do for Him is only to give me an opportunity to work with Him and watch what He wants to do in my life as well as in the world. He is quite capable of accomplishing His goals with or without me. But He’d rather me choose to live life with Him, rather than work my soul to death trying to do stuff for Him.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know what today offers, another opportunity to walk with God. And that is plenty to fill my soul and put a bounce in my step.
Thanks to my mac-genius buddy Chad over at:
I now can offer my Mac usin’ blog readers a very cool Kidologist.com RSS Mac Widget:
Just DOWNLOAD HERE, then open the ZIP file and double click on the file that looks like this:
It will ask if you if you want to install the widget, and, of course, you say YES!
- Version: 1.0
- License: Freeware
- File Size: 396K
Mac OS X 10.4 or later
THANKS to Chad for making this cool Mac widget for me! This kid’s got talent! For Mac tips, tricks and advice, be sure to visit Chad’s Mac Blog.
I was up in Wisconsin on Saturday speaking at the INSIDE-OUT Elmbrook Children’s Ministry Conference, and could not believe what I saw when I arrived: (click any picture for a larger view)
Yes, they had construction machinery moving the snow. MAN, was I jealous, that looked like so much fun!
That is some serious snow removal! They take all the snow and put it in one corner next to a retention pond. By the end of the day, the pile was HUGE!
I was told that their snow pile last into July! I just HAD to see the view from up there! It was a lot bigger than it looks in these pictures, and teens were snow boarding down the other side!
Why did I climb the mountain of snow, with a cane and a sprained ankle?
Because it was there!
Next entries »
I have shoveled six times in the past 24 hours! But I’m not complaining (only my back is) – it’s absolutely beautiful and why I LOVE living in the Mid-West… LET IT SNOW!
Luke even got into helping with the snow!
But the best help was a stranger with an ATV with a plow who did one of the clearing for me for a few bucks.
We considered eating out on the back deck….. not!
Wondering how deep it was, I stuck a two foot level into the snow:
But the best was playing in the snow with Luke, who pointed to go outside several times, but I only let him go out during one of my shoveling rounds. He didn’t want to come back in!
(Click Image for Larger View)