My favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Carol. by Charles Dickens. But not just any telling of it. It has to be the The Muppet’s version. (1992)
It is truly the best version ever made. If you have not seen it, you must. Even if you aren’t in kid’s ministry and yes, even if you typically don’t like puppets. It is as touching as it is funny. And Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat, as narrators make the movie. They are simply hysterical. Micheal Caine does a great job as the Scrooge as well. Of course, Kermit and the Gang all do great filling in the rest of the cast.
So, in 2004, I created my own parody of the movie in ToyBox Tales fashion. If you are not familiar with ToyBox Tales – for several years I performed stories with action figures on a set in front of a live audience of kids at my church as a way to introduce lessons or re-introduce familiar stories in a new and fun way. (From 2001-2005) Long before the phrase “going viral” existed, the videos I made “went viral” and as people found them on my church website and I was forced to start a website called toyboxtales.com to share them. YouTube.com did not exist at the time! So they were converted to flash and hosted on my own site. They are there still!
But as a Christmas gift this year, I decided to take my favorite Christmas movie and upload them to my YouTube channel and share them here on my blog for your enjoyment.
Through these FREE streaming online videos every Premium Member of Kidology can learn what I’ve learned in my twenty plus years of being a leader and children’s pastor.
Then, to add to the learning experience, each training session has an optional add-on download kit that provides a RICH 30+ page PDF that goes even deeper into the material, has bonus material, a downloadable version of the video so you can go mobile with it or full screen and even gives you a PowerPoint so you can then, in turn, train YOUR leaders!
When you are done and compile all FIVE PDFs the sum result is the Kidology Handbook Leader’s Edition, your companion to the highly popular Kidology Handbook Teacher’s Edition.
But remember – while the download kits have a modest fee, the VIDEOS ARE FREE TO VIEW as a part of the Member Benefits!
There are FIVE Leadership Labs:
#1 First Things First – The foundational Leadership Lab that looks at why the most important aspects of ministry have nothing to do with ministry. Put first things first and you will not just survive in children’s ministry, you will thrive.
#2 Visionary Leadership – What does it mean to have vision? How can a clear vision for ministry increase your effectiveness? How do you get your volunteer team working together toward a God-focused vision?
#3 Kid-Focused Ministry Foundations – Let’s take a serious look at the foundation of your children’s ministry. At a time when creating a “fun ministry” has almost become the ultimate pursuit, its time to analyze where your focus should be.
#4 Partnering with Parents – If the very thought of ‘family ministry’ and ‘partnering with parents’ stirs up feelings of failure and discouragement, maybe it’s time to change the way you think about ministering to kids and parents!
#5 Define, Refine and Shine – Are you exhausted? Stress robbing you of the joy of service? Let’s learn how to evaluate your children’s ministry, while also looking at keeping your life organized.
So stop wondering where you can get quality insightful leadership training. If you are one of the thousands of Kidology.org members… you already HAVE access to leadership training!
All you need to do is take the time to watch AND LEARN! My life’s Mission and heart’s Passion is to Equip and Encourage Those Who Minister to children.
Please take advantage of these Leadership Labs. I can’t tell you what a difference they will make in your ministry. And if you are one of our scholarship ministries and need this training, let us know. We will make this material available to you at no cost. We trust your integrity when you ask.
Just wanted to make my blog readers aware that I’ve written a 4 week “Back to School” children’s church series that I’m giving away for free!
This is a 4 Week BACK TO SCHOOL Series by Karl Bastian that is FREE for Kidology.org Premium Members!
Overview of Lessons:
LESSON ONE:MAKING THE GRADE (Becoming Friends with Jesus)
LESSON TWO:BETTER THAN BRAINS (Growing in Wisdom)
LESSON THREE:YOUR BEST FOR GOD (Growing in Stature)
LESSON FOUR:TWO THUMBS UP! (Growing in Favor with God and Man)
The purpose of this unit is to help get kids excited about school in the fall and to see it in a new light. Instead of just somewhere they have to go to learn, they will be challenged to see school as a place they can shine for Jesus by being more like Him. They will be encouraged to do their best understanding that God has a plan for each of us, and preparing for that plan is very important. They will also be reminded not to compare themselves to others, but to see that God made them special and unique and no one else can be or do what they are meant to accomplish in this life. The secret is to be like Jesus, who at a young age the Bible says, “grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52, the theme verse for this unit.)
This unit includes a Bible lesson rich in scripture, games, small group ideas, object lessons, skits, puppet routines, and even a practical “home play” assignment. (Since kids don’t want more homework!)
Here is an overview of the lesson components you will find in Is It Recess Yet? (Back to School with Jesus!)
LESSON INTRO - Each lesson will begin with an overview to help the teacher grasp the “Big Idea” of the lesson and have a clear idea of what they are trying to accomplish through this lesson.
GET TO KNOW ME PACK: Pass out the GET TO KNOW ME PACK PDF. This is a tool to help you get to know your kids. Encourage them each week to take this home and color and decorate and fill it out and bring it back. Give a candy or prize for kids who bring these back. Consider covering a wall with them. What YOU should do is scan or copy them and put them in a 3-Ring binder and use them to pray for your kids throughout the year to pray for them and get to know them. Consider using them as a tool for visitation and ministry contact. (Contact info is not included, it is assumed you have this separately in a data base.)
WORSHIP TIME - Some songs from Go Fish’s “Old Skool” CD will be recommended for each lesson. You can order this CD via download or disc at Kidology.org/GoFishOldSkool
PUPPET WELCOME - A fun puppet welcome and lesson introduction is provided an optional fun way to introduce each lesson.
RECESS TIME - An easy and fun game with a lesson application.
MEMORY VERSE -There is one verse for the entire unit to help make sure the children really learn it. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52
LESSON TIME - This is the main lesson loaded with scripture and creative ideas.
SKIT TIME - A description of a drama you can do to help reinforce the lesson.
SMALL GROUP TIME - A fun deck of backpack cards is provided for a new game each week as well as some discussion questions for small group leaders to use. (A Printable Small Group Guide PDF is included for each week.)
HOME PLAY CHALLENGE - An easy and practical lesson application to challenge the kids to do during the week in order to apply what they have learned. It is called “Home Play” because the last we want to do is give more “home work!”
50+ IMAGE CLIP ART COLLECTION - Includes over 50 Back to School Clip Art Images to use in Power Point, bulletin board or promotional purposes. Also included is the original backpack art used in the small group game and the ‘Get to Know You” poster so that you can modify the game or the get to know you tool if you would like.
TO DOWNLOAD THE CURRICULUM, you’ll need to be logged in as a Premium Member.
Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in ZEAL, but keep your SPIRITUAL FERVOR, serving the Lord.
I used the letters of the word Z.E.A.L. to offer four ways to rediscover ZEAL:
Z = Zero in on What Matters Most (get away from the distractions that pull you away from what drew you into ministry in the first place)
E = Encourage Others (get the focus off yourself)
A = Abandon Busyness (get away from ministry periodically)
L = Love Jesus (get back to relationship over service)
As I mentioned on the show…why do I have my son help wash my car? Is it because he is actually helpful? Do I need his help? No. In truth, I can wash the car faster and better without him. He actually hinders the task a bit.
I let him help because he wants to be a part of what his dad is doing. We wash the car together out of a loving relationship, not out of my need for his assistance.
Our service to God is exactly the same.
God doesn’t need our help. In fact, truth be told, our efforts probably hinder and hurt God’s efforts. However, He allows us to work with Him because He loves us and understands that we want to work with our Dad. Get this: We serve God out of a loving relationship, not because of God’s need for our assistance.
It makes you wonder why we work so hard…and often without God. It would be kinda like my son trying to wash the car without me. Pretty pointless, don’t ya think?
The first app is called The Sounds of the Night and it is a story about a boy going to bed and hearing noises outside that make him a little scared, but learning what they are. Each is explained as a creature God created with touch screen interactive options that are fun to discover as well as pop-out words for early readers.
The story can be read to you, or you can read it to your child. There is even an option for the book to advance by itself if you are just cuddling and want it easy.
And while Christmas may be in December, The Lonely Stable is a story for all year around because it is a story of understanding that we all have a special purpose for why God made us.
It also has fun interactive touch elements, shapes, sounds, words and more for young kids to enjoy and the same reading (or be read to you) options.
As you can see, these books are gorgeously illustrated. But I can’t show you on the blog, the fun interactions, you’ll have to experience that on your iPad!
While I think every reader of mine should support this effort of Jessica’s by buying these for their kids so she can quickly come out with the next book – she gave me some iTunes Store codes to give several away for FREE – just listen to my podcast to find out how you can get one of these two books for free!
My good friend and a very wise and experienced children’s ministry guru, Dick Crider, who has decades of teaching experience both as a professional and as a father and grandfather, provides LIVE online training seminars via DiscipleLand that you can sign up for and attend FREE of charge.
HOWEVER – attendance is LIMITED so it is important to sign up in advance for the online workshops that interest you.
This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving.
DAY #21: My Customers
Back in 1994 when very few people knew what the “Internet” was, I got an idea for a website: The KidologyWeb:
I was already calling myself “The Kidologist” in my workshops as I sought to equip and encourage children’s workers to approach children’s ministry from the perspective of a child:
By 1996 the first “Kidology Handbook” was published:
VERY FEW people remember when Kidology.org (before I had that domain!) looked like this:
OR when you clicked into it and saw crude pages like this:
Only hundreds were lucky enough to BE on the Internet surfin’ kidmin back then! (And only a few bought the “Life Time Memberships” I offered back then when I needed to raise some money to buy some much needed Microsoft FrontPage software, and yes, they are still members!)
More remember the next version of the site: Kidology 2.0 (which I called it long for “2.0″ was hip)
It had the infamous “frames” that if you navigated just right, would give you frames within frames within frames, which could be kinda fun…
If you were a member then, prove it by putting int he comments the “Secret” entrance you clicked on to enter the Member Area before I had usernames and passwords… it was kinda funny!
Then, due to a huge answer to prayer and grant (told about in my Thankful for Steves post) I was able to hire a real web developer, Ken Kinard, who built me my first real website, with a database driven backstage and got use set up with credit card processing and memberships with usernames and passwords.
Kidology.org finally had a webite platform we could really build on. Our rapid growth soon meant transitioning to a more robust platform and even another complete redesign and before we knew it it was time for yet another complete redesign and platform change… as we went from hundreds to thousands of members and became the leading destination for children’s ministry content on the Internet.
We incorporated as a non-profit ministry in 2000 and by 2006 I had gone full time. That paints a much smoother picture in one sentence that the story is – but anyone who has lived life or founded a ministry knows, no road is smooth, but God is faithful when we continually seek him through the ups and downs on the journey.
Our websites have changed… our logos have changed… staff have come and gone…
A Rejected Kidology Logo!
One thing has remained the same… OUR CUSTOMERS! They come by the hundreds, indeed by the thousands, every day… looking for ideas, for resources, for encouragement, for training, for jobs, for connections, for friendship, for a wide variety of things… things that can’t all be found anywhere else all in one place… and even when they can be found somewhere else, they know they can find it there, but starting here! Because like Miracle on 34th Street… we will direct you to where you need to go.
So far this month, as of this blog post, we’ve have 1,157 newFREEBasic Members sign up on Kidology.org, and that’s just THIS MONTH so far… I’m blown away by how many children’s ministry workers come to Kidology.org. I remember when 1,000 members was the entire ministry of Kidology! (And when we thought we’d never hit that number.)
It is humbling and amazing and such a blessing that this is my employment now. That I have the privilege to get up each day and serve you.
I am thankful for getting to work at home near my family, to get to travel to minister to children, and to get to meet some of my customers when I am out and about serving.
MY LIFE MISSION hasn’t changed since I was nineteen when God gave it to me: To reach and teach as many children as possible with the Good News of God’s Love, and in the process to Enlist, Equip and Encourage others to do the same.
THANK YOU for allowing me to use my God-given talents to bless you and serve you. I stink at a lot of things, but that I get to do what I love, is because of my customers.
There is a saying:
LOVE WHAT YOU DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
My customers make that possible. I am thankful for them today.
This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving.
DAY #5: Pandora!
I was going to say “Music” but wanted to be more modern, and Pandora is the #1 way I listen to music now, whether it is at the computer, on my iPhone, driving or in the morning getting ready for my day. If you don’t know what Pandora is – you are truly missing out!
Whether you use the iPhone/iPad app or the website, Pandora allows you to create your own custom “radio stations” based on the music you like and the mood you are in. You can enter any song, artist or genre of music and it will create a “station” or channel of music based on that entry and play music you will like that is “like” that original entry.
We believe that each individual has a unique relationship with music – no one else has tastes exactly like yours… the Music… spans everything from this past Tuesday’s new releases all the way back to the Renaissance and Classical music… Each song… is analyzed using up to 400 distinct musical characteristics… [and] …is updated on a continual basis with the latest releases, emerging artists, and an ever-deepening collection of catalogue titles.
By utilizing the wealth of musicological information stored… Pandora recognizes and responds to each individual’s tastes. The result is a much more personalized radio experience – stations that play music you’ll love – and nothing else. (abrrevieated)
This is by far my most used iPhone and iPad app, besides my communication apps, like Mail, Twitter and Facebook.
My favorite channels that I have created:
(I won’t tell you all of them, too embarrassing!)
Alison Krauss & Union Station
(see comments below)
Star Wars (Film Score) (MY FAVORITE, not because it plays Star Wars,
but because it plays movie soundtracks.)
The Stars and Stripes
(Great during fireworks shows!)
Walt Disney (Children’s)
TELL ME YOUR PANDORA CHANNELS in comments, please!
O.K., It might not be Sainthood, and I may not be up there with the authors, like Peter, Paul and James… but I did get my name on the back cover of a Bible… and not just any Bible, THE ALMIGHTY BIBLE!
I’ve been a fan of The Almighty Biblesince editions started to appear last year, and I was lucky enough to be sent some early review copies to check out.
The Almighty Bible is a series of graphic novels that illustrate the Bible leaving the biblical text intact at the bottom, edited only slightly for younger readers, instead of bubble captions like a standard comic Bible.
I gave them some feedback and expressed my enthusiasm and a quote has been put on the back cover the newly printed Book of Acts!
“Finally, there is a Bible for kids and preteens that engage their eyes and captures their imaginations without sacrificing the biblical text. The Almighty Bible brings the Bible to life like never before for young readers.” – me
In addition to an ever-growing collection of graphic novels for preteens and older, they have an amazing online interactive club for kids called, The Almighty Bible Club where kids can learn more about the Bible, Church history and even learn to pray for each other using an interactive Prayer Garden that tracks answered prayer requests.
You can also purchase images for use in PowerPoint presentations. The collection of books and images is constantly growing. This is a ministry resource product line you are going to want to keep an eye on! Follow on Twitter at @AlmightyBible
WANT A FREE COPY?
Just tell me in comments what your favorite story is in the Book of Acts, and I will pick one at random in a week and will mail you an signed copy!
This is the perfect give-a-way at church or for graduating kids. Be sure your Church Library is stocking up on these amazing books!
I am SO excited to have the GO FISH VBS KITS on Kidology.org that I’m gonna give a 100% REFUND to one of the first ten orders of EACH of their VBS Kits! Not only do I LOVE their music, but I love the strong emphasis their VBS materials place on Scripture!
You already SAVE $25 just by being a Kidology Member, and now you might just get it free!
Whether you go with their first unit Backstage with the Bible or the brand new release, Kickin’ it Old School – or just order both – I’m gonna give a refund to one of the first ten orders of each! After we sell ten of either VBS, we will randomly select from the first ten orders and do a 100% refund and let the winner know who won via e-mail! So order right away!
WHAT IF YOU’VE ALREADY ORDERED YOUR VBS? Some of you have already picked and are half-way done planning your VBS programs! (You super admins, you!) Well, then, use these for an Awesome Kids Church unit instead!
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
~ Stephen R. Covey