Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for Discipleship
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.
“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 here – just a challenge as you plan to also pray and ask God to give you wisdom. The balance between silliness and the sacred will be played out differently in each ministry – but it needs to be there.
We are working with children, so there needs to be silliness and fun. But at the same time, we need to draw kids into the mystery and awe of God. That calls for a level of reverence and seriousness. You can have both! Actually, you need both. Ministries that try to be all serious lose kids and ministries that are all fun aren’t making an eternal difference because life isn’t all fun. Kids need to know the serious side of a life walking with an Awesome God.
Question: How do YOU “bring it down” and help kids appreciate the sacred and serious side of the Christian life? I have my techniques, I’d love to hear some of yours.
Please comment below, or in this thread on Kidology. Thanks!
I just got an e-mail that MADE 2014. It defined why I do what I do. I share it with his permission:
Click to View or Read Below
Subject: I’m Going to Be a Children’s Pastor!
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 all over the place at the time. However, you did and you helped me continually be reminded about what God has called me to. You gave me the opportunity to have a job where I could continue to learn and prepare for the ministry that was to come.
Lord, THANK YOU for Karl! I pray that you pour out a blessing over his ministry as he humbly serves you and press forward in reaching kids for your Kingdom.
I met Brandon at a CPC a several years ago. He was trying to meet as many experienced children’s pastors as possible so he could interview them for a podcast he had going of interviews about children’s ministry. I took him out to lunch and interviewed him. I learned of his call and passion for kids ministry and offered him a paid job at Kidology writing, collecting, and editing content so he could get into the middle of the flow of the best of kidmin content and content providers in kidmin today. I took him to conferences so we could room mate and work the Kidology booth together. We became friends. I saw a young version of myself! I visited him when I was in Californa. (His house is amazing at Christmas time!)
I constantly encouraged him in his pursuit of kidmin – but I learned from him too! I knew in time God was going to bring all his hard work to fruition and his dream of becoming a children’s pastor would come true in God’s timing.
This Sunday is that day! And I am celebrating that I got to play a part in that process, just as many others did for me. Just as he says he wonders why I kept believing in him – I used to wonder the same about those who believed in me and encouraged me when I was young. But as I told him on the phone, (I called after I read his e-mail… and after I wiped my eyes) us “older folks” have a way of seeing beyond youthfulness and seeing heart, passion and potential. Folks saw that in me… just as I saw it in him.
Congratulations Brandon, I’m so proud of you!
And to everyone out there investing in young people – for every e-mail like this, there are many others who never take the time so say “Thank You,” but you DID make a huge difference in their life, so keep on keeping on!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
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.
Christmas Clue Hunt
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)
• Baby Jesus
• Wise Men
• King Herod
Locations (6 total)
• King’s Court
• The East
• Shepherd’s Field
Objects (6 total)
For each there is a Bible Passage, a short description, custom illustration and a devotional that is available either immediately on your Smart Phone or Tablet via instant QR code, or PDF that comes included that you can print.
It’s Christmas Learning that is FUN for the whole family! (or church small groups or classes!)
Download: Sample PDF Devotional About Nazareth (143 KB)
Next entries »
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 know those “bad” kids? The ones who interrupt your class with fart noises and start chanting “no more rules!” (The latter actually happened to me last week.) The ones who make you want to use duct tape as a disciplinary measure or pull your hair out because you can’t? This is your greatest opportunity to make a difference in a kids’ life. Not by punishing them or yelling at them – not by striving to change their behavior. But by partnering with them and being their friend and helping them understand what it means to be a Christian. By helping shape their heart and showing them that Jesus loves them—when they probably feel like no adult loves them.
Karl accomplished his goal (at least for me): to make us want those kinds of kids more than we want the “good” kids. Because if I want to make a difference in a kid’s life, it’s not going to be in the angelic kid’s life. It’s going to be in the life of an unloveable 5th grade boy that I loved anyway.
By Ali Thompson
I asked Ali if I could re-post her blog post because she got it. If you want to hear the presentation I gave at LifeBridge Church last Sunday, you can listen to a similar presentation I did at a conference by downloading this MP3: Making Your Discipline Problems Disappear! (79 MB)