AIM for EVERYONE

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I was reading a discussion over on the Kidology.org forums about how to teach to a wide age range and there were some comments suggesting different age ranges to aim for. Some were suggesting “aiming for the middle” or “targeting the older kids” so as not to bore them, whereas others thought it better to teach to the younger ones so as not to lose them. I’d like to suggest a different approach after having taught over 1,000 children’s church services to first through sixth graders for over fifteen years. It’s a rather simple suggestion: AIM FOR EVERYONE! The key in a large group with a large age range is to shift your focus constantly. The secret is to be highly visual and to be physically moving and animated to keep the younger ones tracking with you (don’t stand still and never sit, meaning you the teacher) and use humor constantly to keep a connection with your audience. Think about it: Senior pastors preach to a wide audience range of age and intelligence and education and world view and learning styles and they can do it! They don’t break their audience into groups! How do they do it? It isn’t …

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Launching a Whole New Kids Church!

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This past Sunday was exciting! It was the culmination of a summer of prayer, dreaming, planning, networking, recruiting and team building – but we launched our ALL NEW kids church program for this fall called The Outpost. Launching a new theme is exciting! But it also is strategic. As a ministry, our leadership team established four aims for our children’s ministry: 4 AIMS: Engage Children (Themeing generates excitement and captures the imagination.) Delight Parents (Parents will enjoy seeing the excitement in their kids!) Excite Volunteers (Enthusiasm and quality programming makes recruiting easier.) Bring Visitors Back! (We desire to create an experience that kids want to return!) We are driven by the vision of Church becoming the highlight of a child’s week – because when kids encounter God, their lives are changed, and eternity is impacted! When I was pitching this overhaul to our kids church to the leadership, volunteers and parents, I presented a vision for our ministry: OUR VISION: We want every child who comes through our doors to feel loved, come to know Christ and find a place where they can grow through fun and life-changing experiences. Then, to narrow it down to a simple mission everyone could …

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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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A Fun Game with Stacking Cups

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I try to use Sport Stacking cups any chance I get because they always engage and excite kids, and they can be a great learning tool too. Tonight I was tasked with teaching on teamwork and how we all must work together using our different gifts and talents. So, as I often do when I need to teach is I mine the incredible content found in DiscipleTown units and looked that the How to Discover Gifts and Talents, and found a great game! In the lesson it suggested numbered Styrofoam cups (since that is available to anyone) but I prefer to use Speed Stacks cups. I made two sets of ten cups using ten different colors. (Yeah, I own a lot of stacking cups, including many discontinued colors.) Then I made slips of papers with the colors names on them. To choose volunteers I simply passed out the slips one at a time to ten volunteers. The Rules: They needed to make a pyramid, BUT they could only touch the cup of the color they were assigned. Teamwork and communication were needed! Round One: Simple pyramid, one on two on three on four cups. Any order, but each child could …

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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.

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