Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for February, 2013
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Easter is a pretty big holiday, and while it doesn’t get the attention that Christmas gets, it’s a pretty important event! In fact, all of Christianity rests on this historic event! And yet, often kids don’t know all the important details of this story as well as they do Christmas. So I sat down with my wife a few months ago and we brain-stormed, “What would be a fun game to help kids learn the details of the Resurrection Story in an exciting way?”
We came up with a game based on the classic CLUE game and we think you and your kids are going to LOVE IT! We hired the top artist in children’s ministry, Todd Hampson, who has worked on What’s in the Bible, JellyTelly, Order of the Ancient, Yancy (not Nancy) videos and more – and then got our very own webmaster Steve Tanner, who is a CLUE game connoisseur – and came up with a game that is both fun and educational. Next, I asked a new friend I met at CPC in Orlando, Stanley Mearse, to team up with me on writing twenty short devotionals on the places, objects and people of the Resurrection Story, and he came up with the idea of adding QR codes to the game to add an extra element of interactive fun. Others helped with editing, design, game input and tweaks, and in the end, the collaborative process has resulted in one of the most creative and fun projects from Kidology yet! It is called: Resurrection CLUE HUNT!
Imagine if the President of the United States heard about your kids ministry and decided he needed to see if for himself?
That’s exactly what happened to a Sunday School Director named Dwight Lyman Moody… and the President was none other than Abraham Lincoln!
I have the honor of being the first children’s pastor on staff at the church he founded well over 100 years ago, The Moody Church.
While he is known primarily as the Billy Graham of the previous generation, his ministry began as a children’s evangelist and he had a HUGE impact on the creation and growth of Sunday School. At a time when many churches were supported by ‘rented pews’ Moody rented pews for street kids. When he was told the children weren’t welcome in church (Big Church) he started a Sunday School for street kids that grew so big and well respected that Abraham Lincoln visited one Sunday to see it for himself! Imagine having the President of the United States drop in to see your kids ministry. Moody was passionate about kids but as his ministry grew, his focus shifted to adults.
He said at the end of his life,
“If I had my life to live over again, I would devote it entirely to reaching children with the Gospel.”
His school is still training kids workers to this day!
You may not see the President of the United States visit your kids ministry, but someone who far out-rankes him visits every week… Jesus! Is your ministry worthy of Him? Are you doing your best? Are you reaching as many kids as possible, and not just the ‘easy’ ones, but the ones that others reject or overlook?
If so, Jesus will show up at YOUR MINISTRY to see it for Himself, and to add His blessing and power while He’s there!
PS: If you are curious about the history of children’s ministry, you may enjoy this thread in the Kidology forums.
Will you be at my historic “42 in 42″ CPC?
If you are at CPC Orlando this week – look for me! I often wear a BRIGHT YELLOW pull over with the Kidology Logo to help people spot me! And I never mind people saying, “Hello!” Sometimes people e-mail me later and say, “I saw you, but I didn’t want to bother you.” Nonsense. Bother me! I want to meet you!
HOW TO FIND KARL:
He’ll be hanging out at the DiscipleLand booth during the Resource Center times to answer questions and tell folks all about DiscipleTown!
THE KIDOLOGY GATHERING!
Don’t miss this annual casual and intimate late night gathering that we’ve been doing for years! This year it will be on Tuesday evening, February 19th, during and after the Phil Vischer Show at the Terrace Cafe, which is right in the center of the campus, outside the Resource Center. NOTE: You will need to enter from the back side near the pool as the restaurant will be closed, but will have a room open for us. However, there is a little snack shop that sells drinks and snacks for awhile next to where we will be that you can get some food at.
Come enjoy some relaxed fellowship, fun and conversation about life, ministry and whatever comes up. It is always a great time.
Karl is teaching a workshop on Wednesday, February 20th
Breakout #5 at 10:00am – Making Your Discipline Problems Disappear
I am also available for one on one coaching sessions if there is something you are wrestling with and just need to talk or get some input or direction about a topic in your ministry. I enjoy sitting down and chatting. Don’t be hesitant to ask to do so. That’s why I come to CPC!
If you are wanting to connect with Karl, and having a hard time – feel free to DM via Twitter at @Kidologist and try to arrange a time/place to connect. Karl loves to meet Kidology folks at CPC! As I said back in 2008, it’s still true today: CPC is the BEST place to network!
CPC San Diego is my 42nd consecutive Children’s Pastor’s Conference. I’ve not missed a single CPC since 1995. I’m calling this CPC “42 in 42″ since I will have been to 42 CPC’s and I’m 42 years old, so my CPC’s will have caught up to my age!
I look forward to seeing you there!
You hear a lot about “child security” in kidmin today… but I’d like you to consider “parent security” for a moment. What do I mean by parent security?
- Keeping parents safe?
- Accounting for every parent?
- Returning parents to the proper child?
- Protecting parents from harm?
None of the above, actually. When I say “parent security,” I am referring to that feeling parents want to have that their child is secure. Children are rarely out of their parents care. When they are – there are certain conditions that must exist for a parent to feel secure that their child is not only safe, but that their child feels as secure as when they are with their parents.
There is a progression to parents extending care for children. Early care takers are usually family, then very close friends. Next come professionals within secure facilities. As children get older, parents must necessarily lower their standards as to who can care for their kids, or they will never get time away from their kids. They also realize their children need to grow socially independent as well. However, there is a fear that as this circle of care grows, security drops. Once strangers, non-professionals or volunteers begin to care for their children, especially in unfamiliar settings, such as a church, it can feel to parents as though they need to let go of their feeling of security in order to enjoy time away from their kids or for their kids to grow socially.
As a church leader, you need to be aware of this inner conflict that some parents are wrestling with, especially when they are new or visiting the church. It is a stronger struggle if they are new to attending church in the first place, not only are the people strangers, but they are a strange type of people… religious people!
How can a church help to increase a parents sense of security, or put another way, increase their church’s “parent security?” The answer is often to provide not only provide better child security – but along with that, is to improve parent communication of what child security policies and procedures are already in place.
Here are some steps you can take to increase your “Parent Security” at your church:
- Use KidCheck for secure child check in. Or another such system that lets parents know kids can’t just come and go. You know who is there and account for every child. You will only check their child out to the person who checked them in. Let parents know they will be texted if they are needed by their child for any reason.*
- Post That Your Volunteers are Trained and Screened. Let parents know that you do not let just ‘anyone’ work with their child. Right at the drop off location, post that all your staff are trained and screened workers so they have peace of mind about who is working with their children.
- Have clearly posted ‘never alone’ and bathroom policies parents can see. Put to rest any unspoken questions your parents may have about any potential opportunities for abuse by assuring them no such opportunities are even possible in your programs due to proactive polices and enforcement you have in place.
- Clearly identify who is staff. Use name tags, lanyards, t-shirts or somehow clearly identify staff for parents so there is no confusion over who is working with their children and who are visitors/parents and keep non-staff out of classrooms and children’s restrooms. This will greatly increase parent security.
- Keep classrooms and areas where children are open and visible. Keep doors open, or install windows in doors if you need to close them for sound containment. When you have an open and visible environment where children and staff can always be observed parents feel much more secure to leave their children behind.
*This is a service of KidCheck.
When you put effort into keeping kids safe and secure, you increase your “Parent Security” as well. I would highly recommend you take a look at KidCheck. They offer the fastest, easiest check-in system on the market, and are constantly innovating to make it better. If you are used to systems that create a lot of data entry work, you will find KidCheck refreshing, as it has parents do most of the entering and maintaining of family data. And unlike many complicated systems, it is user-friendly and affordable. As an added bonus, Kidology.org members get a discount we have arranged, so that makes it even easier to increase your “Parent Security” at your church.
Check out KidCheck today!
Over in the Kidmin Talk forum discussion on Kidmin Talk Episode 49: Mutiny, The Kids Have Taken Over Kids Church, I am offering a FREE SCAR FORCE VBS to someone who posts a picture of their favorite Star Wars character!
One poster, Matt Owens, suggested:
Karl, my favorite character is Boba Fett. He’s a clone among millions, but he’s the only one who saw Jango as his father. He had such a heart-breaking childhood experience and he chose a path of bitterness and vengeance. This kid needed a Kidmin in his life!
It made me think, YES!
Imagine if a children’s pastor could have found poor little Bobba and invited him to a bounty hunter VBS or clone summer camp or discipled him in the power of spiritual weapons, instead of hunting Han Solo, he could have been a missionary evangelists to bounty hunters and the galaxy could have been saved so much turmoil! He could have been a galactic version of the Apostle Paul!
What a lost opportunity for sure. Imagine how different the entire Star Wars saga could have been if someone had reached that poor little poor at a young age – a boy who had experienced such tragedy as a child. A boy carrying such deep emotional scars that he carried into adulthood. A boy who never got the benefit of being raised by a loving father, let alone feel the embrace of a loving mother.
Had someone found and reached this boy in his time of need, how different his life, and the lives of so many others could have been, who were destined to find themselves facing the brunt of this cooped up rage and inner confusion over his identity and misplaced life calling.
How different his life purpose could have been. Perhaps he could have even reached Darth Vader before Luke, we’ll never know, because no kidmin leader reached him as a child.
Who are the future Bobba Fetts in your life and ministry?
What paths are they on?
What will it take to reach them?
What futures will you rewrite by reaching them?
If you would like to WIN A FREE SCAR FORCE VBS post your favorite Star Wars character.
I found the Lost Medallion! And with it, I traveled into the future and saw this movie that is coming out in theaters NEXT MONTH!
Here is my review, before the movie even hits theaters! Truly, the Medallion is powerful!
No worries, right before returning from the future, I replaced the Medallion to the place where I found it so as not to disturb the space time continuum – you really don’t want to mess with that! Last time I did, I nearly kissed my mom at a dance in the 50′s! McFly!
Anyway, I really enjoyed it. (Dare, I admit tissue needed at the end?)
It reminded me of The Princess Bride in that the story was written in response to requests from children (though not many people know the Princess Bride was written from a list of things the author’s daughter asked to be in a bedtime story) – In this movie, it was a group of gathered foster kids who asked for a story.
It also reminded me of Second Hand Lions in that while the sets and acting and effects may have been sub-par for a ‘realistic’ major motion picture, it wasn’t intended to be ‘realistic’ as it was a visualization of a story being told, and in that sense, it made it perfect. This isn’t to say the effects or acting were bad – it was quite elaborate and the settings were beautiful and exotic, just a little corn-ball at times in a fun way, similar to Second Hand Lions.
It also had tips of the hat to Indiana Jones in light hearted ways, but in the end, it was a movie with an obvious purpose: to address the need for kids to know they are special (a word almost over used).
The story teller is a man dropping by a foster home to drop some things off on his way to a play off game and after visiting with the host, an elderly woman, he conversationally learns a little about three news kids – each with unique needs. When he is mistaken as the Tuesday story teller, he gets roped into spinning a story, which he crafts using the names of the three new kids, each with character needs similar to their own.
Half way through the story, you see him glance at his tickets and you realize he has chosen to skip the game and continue his story for the sake of the kids who are glued to the story he is skillfully weaving… with the once withdrawn kids moving closer and engaging, much like the nephew in Princess Pride.
As for violence, there is one death that is a little awkward to the plot and seems a bit forced, but is planted in order to provide a parable for Christ’s sacrifice for us. An old man who was killed steps in front of the main character to save him. When asked why he would die for him, his dying words are, “Because a king once died for me.” The sudden attempt on the boy’s life by an otherwise comedic character seems a little out of place, but it serves the purpose of the parable as well as lightening the party who next must travel by water, a trip that would have certainly left the old man behind anyway. The primary villain kills a few of his underlings, but most of the violence happens behind a log or bush or is pretty tame.
While the story moves a bit slow at times and could have used some tighter editing, it has a message that is an important one that would be valuable for all children to view. I would especially recommend this movie to children who are in foster care – as it seems it would have a message of hope and value for them, when adults in their lives have let them down, God still has a purpose for them, and the message of “they are no accident” is rung loud and clear several time in this film. It is refreshing to see another movie produced with the goal of instilling positive messages to kids about their own value and God’s love for them. We need more movies like this.
The hardest line for me was the father who told his son, “Everything of value to me is buried in the ground,” referring to his deceased wife and the lost treasure, oblivious the message that communicates to his son – who is alive and standing right there. I would hope fathers watching would catch that blow, and ask themselves if their grief over life’s losses and their devotion to work ever communicates a lack of value placed on their children who are longing to be loved and valued by their dads.
The end has a very sweet twist I’ll save for your enjoyment that adds an extra special and unexpected heart tug outside of the Lost Medallion story itself, that adds value to the overall experience.
In short, support this film, and take your kids to see it in the theater. You’ll be glad you did.