Celebrating a Year at Kids Rock

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It’s hard to believe it has been a year since I started as the children’s pastor at the Rock of Southwest! As I reflect back on the year, it is so satisfying to think of all the amazing things I have gotten to do as I’ve worked with some incredible staff and volunteers! Just scrolling through my Facebook wall is overwhelming and brings back so many memories. I inherited a ministry that was well staffed both from paid staff and volunteers; a place where kids were valued and where there was freedom to be creative and try new things. It was nice to start a ministry that wasn’t “on fire” and be able to build upon a solid foundation. Here are some of the highlights for me from the past year: We started with “POOF” – a meet the new Kids Pastor magic show that was a lot of fun! Relaunching children’s church as The Outpost and teaming up with some amazingly creative volunteers to bring a whole new level of large group learning filled with time machines, Minecraft portals, fun green screen videos, puppets and more! Launching The Outpost Crew and getting kids involved in leadership! Making videos with them! …

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What Re-Creates You?

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The 9th annual Summit is now only one month away. It will probably seem like the longest month of the year as I anticipate my annual pilgrimage with God in Yosemite National Park with six other pastors for a time of re-creation, renewal, recharging, refocusing and restarting for the next season of life and ministry. I am often asked, “What’s so special about Yosemite? Why do you go there every year?” While I have answered that countless times and in many ways on the YosemiteSummit.org blog, let me share with you my first entry in the journal I have now taken to Yosemite on every trip. WHY YOSEMITE? This place is beyond description, though of course, I will try. As I often say, it is the closest God ever got to sin… because he sorta showed off His creative abilities! Our language lacks adequate words to do Yosemite justice. Incredible. Amazing. Spectacular. Breath-taking. Beautiful. Magnificent. I suppose the best I can use is awe-inspiring. Awe at the sheer size and height and depth and distance and beauty and splendor that hits your eyes all at once. And no matter how many pictures you take (and I take a lot) you …

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Making Lessons Relational

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Kids learn best when there is a personal connection with those tho teach them. (So do adults, for that matter. It’s no mystery why the #1 reason people leave a church is that they don’t like the pastor.) If we don’t connect with our kids relationally, we reduce our impact. There are lots of way to be a relational teacher. The Kidology Handbook is the book on the topic, but there are many fun ways to do it as well, by personalizing the little things you do every week. Next week we conclude our Armor of God Series – it’s been a LOT of fun. The kids have really enjoyed our Roman Soldier we’ve been bringing through time to learn. (Watch videos of these lessons here.) The kids really enjoy Micah – he is a nut – and willing to do anything to engage the hearts and minds of our kids. (See Capturing Kids Imagination When You Teach.) So when I needed to create an activity for small groups next week, I decided to incorporate Micah into the activity. During the first week of this series, Micah showed up at church in his pajamas – and we ended up talking about …

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Making the Most of CPC (or any Kidmin Conference)

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This week I’ll be attending my 47th consecutive Children’s Pastors Conference. Though I’ve been to more kidmin conferences than can be counted. Sometimes I am privileged to get to do some Equipping and Encouraging as a workshop presenter or speaker – but usually I am just glad to be there to learn, connect, discover new resources and network. Let me share some tips I’ve learned over the years about how to MAKE THE MOST of whatever kidmin conference you are attending – you invest a lot of time and energy and resources to attend a conference, you might as well be sure you get everything you can out of it! #1 – Don’t try to do everything! This sounds contradictory to “getting the most” out of a conference, but conferences, by design are LOADED with opportunities to learn, connect and gather tools. However, if you attempt to DO everything offered, you may actually miss out on some of the best things there, or be moving so fast, you miss the people in the midst of the stuff to do. Keep in the mind: The conference is there to serve you – you are not there to do what the conference …

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Capturing Kids’ Imaginations When You Teach

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We don’t teach to give children facts. We teach to change lives, right? If we want our lessons to impact kids’ lives beyond Sunday, we MUST capture their imagination and bring our lessons to life! Let me share some tips on how to do this using my current series as an example. This month I am starting a new series on the Armor of God. It is one of my favorite series’ to teach, and I do it differently every time. I have a “secret agent” series on Kidology.org that I am loosely following, but anytime I teach, the creative juices get flowing and new ideas are sure to abound! This time around, thanks in large part to my teaching partner, Micah, we are doing something extra crazy! Micah had a complete suit of armor custom built for himself, so we decided to build a TIME MACHINE and bring a real Roman Soldier through time to help explain the functions of armor to the children before I compare them to the items God has equipped us with to fight our spiritual battles. No matter what you are teaching, it is important to capture the imaginations of children! It draws them …

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