Balancing the Sacred vs. Silliness

In kids ministry we try to connect with kids in order to reach them – Kidology is a philosophy of ministry that strives to minister to kids from within the culture of kids. In order to interest, engage and even at times (dare I say it?) entertain kids, we will do the craziest things, won’t we? Dunk tanks! Drop eggs from helicopters! Pies in the face! All manner of craziness and silliness goes on in children’s ministries. And this is good! But there is also a danger. We can risk losing the sacred. We can risk being flippant with holiness. And at some point, all that FUN needs to decrescendo down to some sacred seriousness, or else it loses it’s purpose and was all for naught. Fun isn’t the goal, it is a means to a greater end. We aren’t in the business of giving kids a great time. We are in the business of making disciples. Consider: “Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.” Matthew 7:6 MSG I’m not going to offer the answer …

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Why I Do What I Do

I just got an e-mail that MADE 2014. It defined why I do what I do. I share it with his permission: Subject: I’m Going to Be a Children’s Pastor! Hey Karl, This Sunday I am going to be appointed as the Assistant Pastor of Children’s Ministries at my church. I am so excited to finally get to be focused on Pastoral ministry to kids and their families. However, when I think back over the years, I know I need to thank you. You were a HUGE encouragement to me and one of the reasons I kept pressing forward in this call. At one point I was simply a 6th grader with a call from God, but you were one of the touch-points God used along the way in order to keep me focused on that call. I know I was not the best employee at times, but you still saw through my work and saw the call God had put on my heart. I wanted to thank you for supporting me through the years I was blogging and working for Kidology. Honestly, I’m not always sure why you were so willing to empower me, because I know I was …

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FREE Family Devotionals on Victory!

As you may (or may not!) know, every unit of DiscipleTown comes with 12 family devotionals – 3 per week – in a cool “Table Talker” design like you see on your table when you eat out at a restaurant. I have now written 288 of these devotionals with the upcoming 24th DiscipleTown “How to Walk in Victory” to be released soon. I wanted my BLOG READERS to be the FIRST to get a sneak peak! So enjoy these FREE THREE DEVOTIONALS! Here is what they look like: Download THREE COMPLETE DEVOTIONALS for your family. There are nine more with the unit that will be released shortly, and 12 with every unit of DiscipleTown – but I encourage you to use these with your family and enjoy the fun you will have and the engaging conversations that will result.

Get a CLUE About Christmas!

Back by popular demand after the huge success of Resurrection Clue Hunt, it’s time to explore the true meaning of Christmas! Our family played this game last night and had a blast asking, “Do you have Joseph with the Gold?” or “Do you have Mary in the Manger?” or “What about King Herod in the King’s Court?” Mix and match different People, Locations and Objects and try to discover the missing clues to the Story of Christmas! When you are done – choose one of the complete devotionals to read to top off the play with some insightful Bible Learning! Your kids will learn some things about Christmas they probably didn’t know. With twenty different devotionals and different missing clues, the learning will be different each time you play! Ideal for church small groups as well as quality family time for the holidays. So turn off the TV! (The Grinch and and Rudolph can wait.) It’s time for another round of Christmas Clue Hunt! Your kids can learn more about the AMAZING TRUE STORY OF CHRISTMAS this season! Discover amazing facts from the Bible about: People (8 total) • Mary • Joseph • Baby Jesus • Wise Men • Shepherds …

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“Problem” Kids – Aren’t Really a Problem After All!

This is a guest post, re-posted from itsyourbooknow.blogspot.com with permission. This week I had a Sunday School training with Karl Bastian, the Kidologist. The topic was discipline, and I was eager to learn. That’s one of the hardest things for me as a Sunday School teacher. I walked out with a lot of great tips. Grace based tips. Which I love, because I’m a big fan of grace. All new ideas I’d never thought of, heard of, or tried before. I’m eager to try this out. But the thing that struck me the most wasn’t so much a tip as it was a perspective. Which was pretty much the perspective that framed all the tips. You know those “good” kids? You know, the ones who bring you Christmas gifts and say please and thank you and never disrupt class? You probably aren’t going to make a difference in their life. Why? Because their lives are already on a good trajectory. They usually come from good homes, homes where parents are doing a wonderful job teaching them about faith and how to live like Jesus. If you weren’t in their lives, they’d probably still turn out to be wonderful Christians. You …

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