Is Your Kidmin in Survival or Creative Mode?


I love Minecraft. For those who don’t know what it is, it is basically virtual Lego. I run an online community for my son and other kids to play in. (details) It’s fun! When you play, you get to choose between two basic game modes: Survival and Creative. In CREATIVE – you get access to all the pieces and can build whatever you can imagine! In SURVIVAL – you start out with nothing, and must find or build what you want/need. In Minecraft, the process and making things from other objects is called “Crafting” – you combine certain items to craft new items. For example, sticks and coal can be used to craft a torch. What does this have to do with Children’s Ministry? In ministry, we often start out in Survival Mode – we have to start from scratch. Nothing exists! We need to find volunteers, leaders, resources and supplies. We need to create spaces where ministry can take place… and as we build (craft), better options become available. We build upon past successes, learn from mistakes, all while watching out for Creepers and Zombies! These are roaming creatures that are constantly needing to be dealt with and repairs …

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Making Meetings Matter

Coffee cup, standing on the daily organizer.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Two things in life are certain, death and taxes…” perhaps he should have added “meetings.” We went into children’s ministry because we love ministry to kids… and yet, we find ourselves in a LOT of meetings! I am amazed at the number of meetings children’s ministry leaders have to attend. I’ve had friends share with me how overwhelmed they are by meetings. A few have told me they have over twenty meetings a week. One said, “I’m being meetinged to death!” So when I started my new children’s pastorate one of my first orders of business was to make sure I got control of meetings. Not only did I not want to attend more than necessary, but I didn’t want to meet my own leaders and volunteers to death. So I asked a few of my friends for their tips on meetings, and developed a set of rules that would guide the meetings that I called. At my first team meeting, I established the following guidelines. Perhaps you may find them helpful. You are welcome to use and modify as you need for your own ministry: Team Commitments and Roles When there is not a …

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A Fun Game with Stacking Cups


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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Steve Jobs Created the iPad for Kidmin!


Since everyone and their brother is jumping on the “what Steve Jobs would say” band wagon, I’m going to jump on too and suggest that Steve Jobs would be delighted that his invention of the iPad has just made kids safer at church! Now, I know he wasn’t a big fan of things religious, but I think even he would be pleased to know that because of KidCheck‘s new iPad App the following are true: Checking in kids securely at church is faster and easier! (and more relational) Parents can enroll their children with ease on their own iPads! Parents can instantly add or remove approved guardians with KidCheck acocunts right from their own iPads. Leaders can check if someone picking up a child is approved quickly and easily if they have a licensed iPad approved by the leadership. Medical information can be attained quickly and easily in an emergency by an approved leader instantly by scanning a child’s name tag using the camera on an iPad right from within the new KidCheck App! Parents can use an iPad at a station at church to check their children in or be greeted by a friendly staff member at church who …

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Visiting Awana HQ for the Inside Scoop


As a grown-up clubber, frequent blogger about Awana, and as the man who introduced Sport Stacking to Awana Game Time and a children’s pastor who has seen the impact of this ministry – I am always looking for opportunities to drop into the Awana HQ in Streamwood, Illinois. I’ve been hearing some exciting news coming out of Awana – and noticed their brand new website, so after speaking at camp for a week in Wisconsin, I headed down to Awana to sit down with Michael Scarbrough, who is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Awana to get the inside scoop on the relaunch of Awana going on right now! LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE! I also snagged me an official Awana sport coat (off a freebie table) so that I can sport it at the next Awana Conference. I think this coat gives back-stage access or at least snacks in the employee room. Forget GQ magazine, I think I could be on the cover of AHQ magazine! Got a great Awana story? Have questions about the club? Want to share some feedback for Awana leadership? Visit the podcast discussion forum and let’s talk Awana!  

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