Yup. It’s official. I’m gonna be a rat in an upcoming animated video from Timbuktoons… that according to their KickStart fundraising site!
Todd Hampson and Sean Copley are two of the most creative guys I know. You may not recognize their names – but you see their work all over the Kidology and the Kidmin world. Todd was the artist for my novel Order of the Ancient and Sean designed this blog theme and all my matching stationery, business cards, brochures, etc.
They are also the creative guys behind a LOT of the stuff you see walking through the exhibit hall at the Children’s Pastor’s Conference. (Though I’m not making the list, as I’m not sure I have permission to disclose all that they are behind?) But if it looks sharp, there is a good chance Todd and Sean are behind it! And I’d like to think I was one of the first to discover Todd. Though I’m sure others may make that claim too. He is fought over! And since adding Sean, they are the artistic dynamic duo!
So when I saw an opportunity to support them in fund raising for a new creative project I couldn’t whip out my credit card fast enough!
They have been doing excellent work for others (even being featured on JellyTelly.com!) but now they are trying to create their own animated series but it is a very costly undertaking. If you have enjoyed their work, help them out now.
Even just $5 would go a long way if a bunch of people stepped up and helped them out. They need to raise $3700 through this KickStarter website to get funded.
Kidology’s “This One’s On Me” fundraiser is a way to support one of your favorite children’s ministry websites with small donations that otherwise may seem insignificant. To make it fun, you can choose to “buy” the equivalent of many every day products as your donation. The catch? You’ll get nothing in the mail, but will receive our heartfelt thanks and a tax-deductible receipt at the end of the year!
If you’ve ever treated a friend to lunch or picked up the tab for a colleague’s Mocha Frappucino latte with whipped cream, then you know the joy a small gift can bring and the satisfaction from giving it. Here at Kidology we consider you a friend of our ministry and enjoy giving you the tools, resources, and ideas you need to be effective in your ministry to children.
We’d like to give you a fun opportunity to give back to a site you love! As a non-profit ministry we are dependent on donations to underwrite the costs of this extensive high-traffic site. Keeping our membership fees low means we need those who benefit from the site to help cover the expenses that memberships and product sales can’t cover alone. Plus, it may surprise you that a large number of members pay nothing due to being a student, an overseas missionary, or because of a scholarship.
So ask yourself, what would you be willing to give for Kidology? A Starbucks drink? An ice cold Mountain Dew? Perhaps just a candy bar or a new pair of shoes? We’ve created a fun “This One’s On Me” section in our store to help you give symbolic ‘gifts’ to Kidology ranging from a $0.99 iTunes song to a brand new Lexus or Lear Jet.
While we are a very small ministry, using conservative estimates, Kidology.org impacts well over a million children each and every month as over 20,000 unique visitors come each and every day to find ideas, soak up encouragement, and shop our helpful resources. As we look to enhancing the site we often wonder, “What if every visitor gave just a small $1-5 donation (or more)?” The impact on our ministry and the Kingdom would be significant.
So shop the “This One’s On Me” section and pick something that you’d like to give to Kidology. We’ll send you our utmost appreciation and continue to invest in making Kidology.org even more helpful to your ministry!
This is one of Barney Kinard’s “Coach’s Conundrums,” or what he calls one of his collection of pithy principles that need some explanation. As he often says to his Protégés (as he calls his students), implementing of his conundrums could alter your paradigm for children’s ministry or influence the way you approach kids.
I want to share this one with you – because it is one that when he shared it with me years ago, it hit be so hard between the eyes, it about knocked me over!
Karl & Barney (In our pre-Mac days!)
Not only is Barney a long time friend, he is one of our Kidology Coaches, who offers weekly coaching calls to his students as part of Kidology’s personal one-to-one personal curriculum based mentoring program. Every Monday, he faithful sends out his Coach’s Huddle, an e-mail LOADED with updates, insights, encouragements, pithy wisdom, fun puns, updates on his students, and bonus coaching materials exclusively for his students. It is truly a treasure of knowledge his students are blessed to get (and I’m lucky to be CCed on) every Monday.
I’m taking the liberty to post his Coach’s Conundrum on “Work expands to fill the time allowed” knowing that Barney will not mind!
Here is how he explains it:
This is something that continues to impress me, I find that time pressure is the motivational trigger that compresses the time a project needs for completion. The extremes do occur, too much time and too little time, but for this conundrum to work, we determine the pace to finish on time, mostly. The constant variable is “when does it have to be done?” The answer becomes “the pace of the race” for the finish line. If there is a time to beat, a drop dead goal to complete, the task, somehow, is better done, than if it would be either postponed, set aside or put on the shelf. To put anything “inactive,” is like stopping. However, harnessing the task with time frames is like testing the limits of the stretched rubber band. Our “one-step” method is an overt effort to stop this “all-or-nothing” orientation to work by breaking it down into “doable parts,” matched with a reasonable time table for completion, done, done well and on time.
Let me share with you – how this “Work expands to the time allowed” principle impacted me.
As the founder of the Kidology University conference – Kidology.org put on 15* different Kid U conferences over a period of ten years while I was on staff at the Village Church of Barrington, finally culminating with our 10th anniversary event in 2008. (download that brochure)
Barney was at many of those Kid U’s and at all of the first 3-4 of them, and every year, I was at the church late – and I mean late – up until 2-3a.m. doing last minute details to make the event just right. Each year, trying not to be up so late, I started earlier, and planned better, and delegated better, and yet still I would be there until 2-3a.m. doing last minute things to make the event just perfect for those who would be coming by 8a.m. the following morning. Barney, being a good friend, was always at my side, helping me with those last minute details and ideas.
Finally on the 3rd or 4th year (I forget which), I commented to Barney, “I don’t get it. Every year, I start earlier, I plan better, I delegate better, I have more help, more employees, and yet here I am, working late the night before. I just don’t seem to be able to go home at a decent hour.”
And that was when he kindly said those magic words, having never complained about being there so late with me, he just said,
“Well, Karl, it would seem to me, that the work expands to fill the time allowed.”
You see, because I was WILLING to work until 2-3a.m. the night before the event – because I loved the event that much, and the volunteers and trainers who would be pouring through the doors in the morning… I wouldn’t leave until 3a.m. I would stay there thinking of things to do to make it better!
The work would expand because I had allowed that much time for my work! I wouldn’t be done until 3a.m. no matter how early I started, how much I planned ahead, or how much I delegated!
The following year, I didn’t not allow that time. I planned a dinner for all my staff and volunteers for the night before the event and determined that after than meal, I had to go home and get a night of sleep. The work could no longer expand into the night. I did that from then on. A few times I did need to run back for a few quick things, but I no longer worked the whee hours… the work no longer expanded, for I was out of time.
And it worked, and I was much healthier for it.
It’s a powerful principle. Coaching works. Sometimes a simple sentence can have a powerful impact on years of ministry into the future.
Ministry doesn’t have to be a conundrum.
*Yes, to a few die hard Kidology fans out there, who love to constantly remind me there were previous Kid U’s in the city of Chicago, the “First Kid U” was not the truly the first! I hereby acknowledge that. In defense, when I said 2nd annual Kid U and 3rd and so on, it referred to the second, 3rd and so on annual at VCB. But once we expanded beyond VCB to WI and OH, it was too late to renumber them all to include the pre-VCB Kid U’s. But, yes, you are correct, there were more than 15 Kid U’s, and you, my friends, were at the REAL FIRST KID U in Chicago when I was truly an unknown children’s pastor just equipping and encouraging in the inner city of Chicago. Thank you for your ardent support over the years! You shall be rewarded in heaven for your encouragement to me over the years and for coming to those first humble Kid U’s in that small fellowship hall!
For those of you who write – let me give you a glimpse into what happens behind the scenes of writing DiscipleTown.
When I write these units, I am given a collection of raw material from Mark Steiner, the creator and author of the DiscipleLand Core Bible Curriculum, since I am creating a children’s church curriculum based on the 24 Disciple Skills that are part of the overall Disciple Making Strategy created by Mark.
As part of the Level Three, Second Quarter Curriculum, Mark provided a collection of character traits for the teacher to cover as part of the Disciple Skill of Building Character. They were:
Positive Character Qualities
Negative Character Qualities
Honest, truthful, fair
dishonest, false, corrupt
Caring, compassionate, merciful
unconcerned, insensitive, judgmental
Loyal, devoted, steadfast
unfaithful, disloyal, uncommitted
Respectful, courteous, polite
rude, impolite, disrespectful
Diligent, hard-working, determined
lazy, procrastinating, undisciplined
Courageous, bold, brave
fearful, timid, cowardly
Holy, pure, set apart
impure, polluted, tainted
Trustworthy, responsible, dependable
unreliable, irresponsible, undependable
Cooperative, teachable, helpful
disruptive, unruly, troublesome
Humble, servant-hearted, unselfish
proud, selfish, arrogant
Generous, gracious, giving
stingy, miserly, tight-fisted
All 12 came with matching scripture. (I love the biblical depth of DiscipleLand)
Match these 12 traits to the 4 lessons, 3 each! They needed to match, and not be contrived, if possible. It took some work, but I was pretty excited with the way it worked out. They fit quite naturally!
TRUE (When No One Is Looking)
BE HOLY (impure) Deuteronomy 7:6
BE DILIGENT (lazy) 2 Timothy 2:15
BE COURAGEOUS (fearful) 2 Timothy 1:7
OUTER (Toward Others)
BE COOPERATIVE (disruptive) Philippians 1:27
BE GENEROUS (stingy) Proverbs 19:17
BE CARING (unconcerned) Ephesians 4:32
INNER (Ones No One Can See)
BE HUMBLE (proud) Philippians 2:3-4
BE HONEST: (dishonest) Psalm 15:1-3
BE PEACEFUL (worried) John 14:27; John 16:33
REPUTATION (Known For)
BE TRUSTWORTHY (unreliable) Exodus 18:21
BE RESPECTFUL (rude) 1 Peter 2:17
BE LOYAL (unfaithful) Proverbs 17:17
MY FINAL CHALLENGE:
How do I visually communicate these traits in a way that would be FUN and ENTERTAINING, yet really illustrate to kids the differences among TRUE character (who you are when no one is looking), INNER character (those traits no one sees), OUTER character (those traits that impact others), and your REPUTATION (those traits that impact how others view you?)
I ended up deciding I needed to break the mold from my usual Object Talks, and do something entirely NEW!
Here is the first of FOUR YouTube-style videos of a puppet named Luke, video blogging about his week and the lessons he is learning about character. Each explores character very uniquely and covers TRUE, INNER, OUTER and REPUTATION.
Children grow up being told what to do and what not to do, learning behaviors that keep them out of trouble and earn them rewards. In this short-sighted approach, their walk with Christ becomes limited to seeking to please the adults in their lives. Remove those adults, and the kids’ pursuit of Jesus evaporates as well. Teach children to build solid Christian character, however, and you have disciples who can live victoriously, independent of adult supervision yet dependent on God. Isn’t that our ultimate goal? This unit trains children to evaluate and take ownership of their spiritual growth, following the model of Jesus’ growth in the short but powerful verse, Luke 2:52. In this verse we discover a comprehensive formula for Christian character in young people—wisdom, character, integrity, and reputation. Children can intentionally develop in these same areas, if we are willing to guide them!
Taking everyday mundane family occurrences and turning them into memories…
We had a small tragedy in our home this morning. Charlie’s nose came off. It would only take me 2-3 minutes and some super glue to fix it – but what an opportunity for a memory!
I went down to my “children’s ministry closet” that is still stacked full of boxes from nearly 20 years as a children’s pastor and prayed, “Dear God, let one of the first three boxes I pull have my doctor outfit!”
The first box looked promising – as it had the doctor table cloth in it! But I struck out with the next few boxes and it looked like my plan of coming back up stairs dressed as a surgeon was not going to happen. Then I remembered something I’ve said more times than I can count in workshops across America,
“Kids love to pretend and as adults we are handicapped by our need to be realistic.”
So I just grabbed what I did have access to – a poncho and sombrero, that surgeon’s table cloth and walked back upstairs and introduced myself as “Doctor Poncho” and said, “I hear you have a dog whose nose has fallen off?”
My four year old, Luke, lit up and brought me the dog and the nose for examination. Of course, I treated this as a very serious matter, but not one that wasn’t treatable. But we would need some tools! So of to the garage we went for some of his daddy’s tools.
Soon an operating table was set up on the coffee table, and as long as we were operating we went ahead and turned him into a super dog like Bolt! (One of Luke’s favorite movies.)
The entire surgery took no longer than ten minutes, but it was a lot of fun. Luke even went and found a bowl and put it on his head so he could look like me!
He held the flash light and helped with the examination and held Charlie’s paw throughout the procedure in case he was in pain and to help him not to be scared comforting him just as we do when we have to put ice on a bump or pull a splinter. We talked about how we help him when he is hurt and how he was helping Charlie while he was hurt.
Finally, Charlie’s nose was like new. But not only that, Luke’s day was off to a great start. Every time he called me “Daddy,” of course I corrected him saying, “Daddy? Who is that? I’m Doctor Poncho!” Although, when it was all over he followed Doctor Poncho downstairs and I let him see me take the costume off and he said, “See, I knew it was you daddy!” And I just said, “Of course it was me – but isn’t it fun to pretend?”
We have a choice as parents. We can just fix the toy (which often I do, of course.) Or we can choose at times to take these opportunities to make a memory. To enter into our child’s world of pretending and make believe and play with them. When you do that, you strengthen your bond with them. That is the currency of relationship with children. Too often we want to kids to be more like us – to behave and grow up. Yes, they need to mature and learn and obey and all that. But if you want them to listen to you and respect you and love you, you need to go their way at times too. That is what relationships are all about. It’s true in your friendships and marriage too, right? Give and take. Why wouldn’t it be true with your kids. Do make believe.
What are you going to do TODAY or THIS WEEK to enter your child’s world? Have a tea party? Build a fort? Be an alien or a cowboy or just have a pillow fight? Or perhaps it will be something as crazy and unpredictable as being “Doctor Poncho!”
Keep your eyes open and be ready so you don’t miss it!