A Gauntlet in Kidmin?

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The Gauntlet was one of the best scenes in the classic movie staring Sean Connery as Kind Arthur – but it wasn’t until this week that I saw a Gauntlet used in kidmin! Was this some kind of new disciplinary device? Did the kids forget to bring their Bibles? What could this be? Actually, it was just a fun way to honor the kids who had completed a section in their Awana Handbooks – and judging by the smiles and laughter, they loved it. Is handing out candy or giving stickers not getting the results you’d like? Perhaps it is time to add a Gauntlet to your children’s ministry! Regardless of whether you start handing out swim tubes to leaders – I commend their creativity in doing some NEW and DIFFERENT to recognize kids and motivate them to participate. What creative thing are YOU doing to engage kids in your ministry?  

Kids Napkin Art

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I love sharing great ideas that I notice out and about. If you every visit Colorado Springs, make sure you visit Fargo’s Pizza. It’s an old-time pizza parlor, with player piano and all. I was there recently as a part of the Kidology Coaching Summit. After enjoying some great pizza and fellowship we were on the way out, and as I often do, I checked out the stuff they had for kids. What caught my eye was a framed collage of kid’s art. Here are some of the pictures close up: I think this is a great idea that could be easily incorporated into a children’s ministry. Whether you encourage kids to illustrate the sermon when they are sitting in “Big Church” or pass out a biblical coloring sheet for a coloring contest. You could do a Draw the Pastor contest or My Favorite Bible Story. Look at any parent’s refrigerator and you’ll have no doubt that kids LOVE to see their art displayed. Why not do the same at church where many more will see their art. PLUS, it shows off your children’s ministry to the pastor, parents and others who walk by the wall you have them displayed …

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What is your WOW factor?

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I dropped by a church this week just to see a friend and drop something off. As is my habit, I took a peek in the kids area and saw these GIANT board games on the wall! I couldn’t help saying, “Wow” out loud and imaging the impact these have on kids on Sunday, especially guests visiting for the first time. They say we love kids! We value kids! We welcome kids! Before you simply react, “How do I get those? Can you buy them? Are there plans?” Ask yourself, “What can we do wow kids? To show parents they are loved, valued and welcome?” Sure, you can copy this idea, but you just might come up with something even better! It all starts with wanting to do something that is extra special, extra cool, and that will make your kids say “Wow!” on Sunday. At the church we are currently attending and serving it, their wow factor for my son started with an ice cream truck outside as we arrived our first Sunday, followed by donuts inside, of course, but then the kicker… Not one, but TWO jumpy houses in the children’s area. And this is a mobile church, …

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Making Lessons Relational

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Kids learn best when there is a personal connection with those tho teach them. (So do adults, for that matter. It’s no mystery why the #1 reason people leave a church is that they don’t like the pastor.) If we don’t connect with our kids relationally, we reduce our impact. There are lots of way to be a relational teacher. The Kidology Handbook is the book on the topic, but there are many fun ways to do it as well, by personalizing the little things you do every week. Next week we conclude our Armor of God Series – it’s been a LOT of fun. The kids have really enjoyed our Roman Soldier we’ve been bringing through time to learn. (Watch videos of these lessons here.) The kids really enjoy Micah – he is a nut – and willing to do anything to engage the hearts and minds of our kids. (See Capturing Kids Imagination When You Teach.) So when I needed to create an activity for small groups next week, I decided to incorporate Micah into the activity. During the first week of this series, Micah showed up at church in his pajamas – and we ended up talking about …

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LEGO and Let God!

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I wanted to take you behind the curtain a bit, and share a little about how I create complete curriculum units in a short amount of time—as I’m often asked for “my secret” or for help when friends find they need to crank out an entire series in a short amount of time! I’m heading to another week of camp speaking, and I’m excited about the theme: What a FUN theme for a week of helping kids to “BUILD” their lives on the Word of God! So many applicable verses come to mind, like: You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:5 I’ve done a Kid’s Church unit in the past where we looked at our “Connections” to God, Family, Church, Friends, Neighbors and the World. But I had 8 chapels to write and that series was only 6 lessons—and while I could do an intro and a review—the creative in me said, “Time to do something new and fresh!” rather than rehash something old. I did look through them for “lego ideas” that would be transferable. Then the …

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