After decades of using the “Salvation Cards” to lead kids to Christ, with the help of my creative team, I have completely redesigned this classic Gospel tool to bring it up to date and make it even better!
This creative, fun, flexible, interactive presentation will quickly become one of your favorites, and now with the added “Pocket Edition,” it can be used by small group leaders or one on one to share the Greatest Message Ever Told!
Using the Romans Road, Yield, Stop, and other traffic signs, kids learn the right route to heaven!
Learn how to do this fun presentation via this complete training video which comes as part of your download order.
As mentioned on my podcast this week, my son and I spend a great deal of time each day playing Angry Birds… but not on an iPhone or iPad… but with real birds and pigs and blocks, and I might mention they are Star Wars themed too!
We take turns building towers and placing our pigs, and then trying to knock them down with the birds via the little sling shots.
There is a bit of strategy to how we build, but for the most part you are building something you know is going to be destroyed.
So while we may spend a great deal of care and creativity building, we can’t get too attached to our masterpieces knowing the whole point of the building, was to knock them down! We have to remember the real joy isn’t in the building, it is in the playing together. In fact, the whole point of the game isn’t what we build or even the shooting of birds to knock it down – it is Daddy-Son time. At the end, when the floor is a mess, it is a sign that we had a great time.
It’s kinda like kidmin. It reminds me of the effort and energy we put into building our ministries and how frustrated we can get when people mess with what we are trying to build, or when we watch what we’ve built be torn down by others or messed up, or become ruins after we leave a ministry. We must never forget – it was never about the building in the first place! It was never about creating great programs or even running great programs… It was simply about the relationships at the time, the kids, the volunteers and the parents.
So when you see things get knocked over, or find yourself needing to build all over again. Smile.
And remember, it’s all about the people and the relationships. The building is just what keeps us busy and brings everyone together.
As many of my readers know, I write the Kid’s Church curriculum for DiscipleLand and it is called DiscipleTown. It’s focus is on “Disciple Skills” – 24 units that cover twenty-four skills every fully developed disciple of Jesus needs to master. I am currently writing the 22nd unit. The series is designed for larger group with small group option and to be teacher led with many creative options (more than you can fit in a single week!) with several multimedia options.
I was very encouraged to get the following note this week from Marion Tims, a volunteer minister who describes herself as a 10 year veteran professional educator and home school mom and “to be honest, hard to impress.” She writes about DiscipleTown…
Karl, I just want you to know how much I have enjoyed finding the DiscipleTown curriculum. As the Children’s Director of a 300+ church, we started a Children’s Church in 2011. With my background in education, I knew I wanted a curriculum that would teach clearly and concisely Biblical principles in a creative, multi-media format. Having attended a mega church in the Atlanta area where they had a vibrant, active children’s ministry, I knew I wanted to duplicate that kind of ministry in our smaller church but with our much smaller budget.
I did, also, believe that we could teach Biblical truths at a deeper level. I feel like I have found it all with DiscipleTown.
I do not have the time, energy or gifts to plan on my own what I can purchase with DiscipleTown. I praise God that you have chosen to use your God given gifts to help those of us who are convicted to share the Gospel with kids in a fun, creative way.
The curriculum has also been a blessing to our youth ministry team who helps in our Children’s Church. They frequently tell me how much they learn and I have seen them grow as they come alongside their younger brothers and sisters in Christ as they help lead the different aspects of our worship. I look forward to teaching your future units. Keep pressing forward and looking up! It is exciting to see God using your gifts in our ministry!
Grace and peace, Marion Tims
I appreciated this note because she hit so many of the strengths of DiscipleTown. My goal as a curriculum author is to balance making your job as easy as possible, but at the same time to provide a curriculum that stands out from the crowd providing a tool that teaches clearly and concisely solid biblical truths. I often like to toss out a friendly challenge for folks to find any other children’s church curriculum that uses as much Scripture or that does as much biblical teaching as DiscipleTown. And yet, it doesn’t get too heady and is never boring! It does enable small churches to feel like they can offer the same multimedia like service that big churches do. As an added bonus, it’s super affordable! The statement, “I feel like I have found it all with DiscipleTown,” has always been my goal – lots of options, while keeping it creative, deep, solid, while staying user-friendly. It’s a tall order and countless hours go into every unit.
If you’ve never tried DiscipleTown, I encourage you to give a unit a try – there are currently 21 topics to choose from:
Worship is not a new concept to children, but it is often misunderstood. Too often, kids do not realize the significance of worshiping the one, true God. Children assume that “worship” is synonymous with “singing.” This unit provides an understanding of what true worship is — and it offers some very practical ways that children can incorporate worship into their lives. The first lesson explains the core meaning of worship “to show worth.” This second lesson imparts practical instruction on how to have daily quiet-times with God. The remaining two lessons will demonstrate how kids can worship through giving and by serving others.
For children, the Bible can be a very intimidating book simply due to its size. This unit will erase kids’ impressions of the Bible as a giant, overwhelming volume that will take years to wade through. Instead, they will view the Scriptures as a collection of smaller books written personally for them. You will introduce children to exciting tools that will help them delve more deeply into the Bible. Watch their confidence grow as kids gain a broader understanding of how the Bible is organized and how to navigate its pages! Students will be motivated to practice applying biblical principles to their daily lives. The Bible is not just a book to be studied —- but God’s Book that can change their world!
The Fruit of the Spirit may be a familiar topic to children, but the concept of how to grow spiritual fruit is one that is often misunderstood by adults, not just by kids. Unlike many curriculums on the fruits of the Spirit for children, this unit is not an overview of the nine fruits. Rather, it is a 4-week series that will walk children through the process of how to nurture the soil of their soul so that the Spirit of God might produce genuine spiritual fruit in them. Starting with the seed of salvation and being watered with the Living Water, children will discover that their spiritual life is like a plant and God is like a loving gardener. They will learn that it is only by being pruned through loving discipline and abiding in Jesus that spiritual fruit will blossom in their lives. This unit will guide them, not into working harder to be good, but to draw closer to God so that he can make them more like Jesus.
One of the more important skills we can impart to children is the wise ability to choose good friends. Few things will have greater influence on the rest of their life. The friends children choose will have significant influence on their character, their choices and therefore the direction of their life. Helping children to be intentional and thoughtful about their choices in friends is a skill that if gained as a child can have life-long benefits. This unit will help children understand that friendships are not only a gift from God, but something that we are to be intentional about.
Many people, including Christians, settle for a very self-focused life goal — to arrive at death safely, with as much comfort as possible along the way. This is hardly God’s best! Though the world offers fun and excitement, only the Lord’s plan promises deep, rich fulfillment. We can help kids elevate their perspective to see that life can be thrilling when they follow God’s plan. This unit will help your kids discover God’s will for their lives! They will learn that growing in Biblical knowledge, in Christlike character, and in godly conduct are key to fulfilling God’s wonderful plan.
Many parents pray long and hard that their children will make good choices. It is essential that we equip children while they are young with decision-making skills that will enable them to weigh and evaluate alternatives. This unit will help your children understand the power they have to choose between right and wrong. They will learn how to win the spiritual battle that rages inside, as well as what to do after they make a bad choice — as we all do far too many times. You will encourage your kids to listen to the positive influences that help guide them toward sound choices along the way.
The topic of work may not immediately appeal to children (or adults for that matter), but God invented the whole idea! Beginning with the first chapters of the Bible and throughout Scripture, God presents work not as a chore but as a gift from Him. Work allows us to engage in God’s plan for His wonderful creation. In this unit, you will introduce children to the gift of work, and they will learn how to be faithful workers — as they use their attitudes, their abilities, and their actions. Teach children that when we accept the gift of work, have a good attitude, learn new abilities, and get into action, God can provide for our needs!
Prayer is a familiar topic to children — but do we truly teach children how to pray? For too many Christians (of any age), prayer is reserved for times of trouble or cursory meal blessings, but prayer is so much more. It connects us with our Creator and deepens our walk with God. Teach prayer as a skill so that children can discover firsthand how it enriches their lives. Teach children to pray, and there become many things you will not have to teach them — the Holy Spirit will do it for you! In order to give children a simple mental framework, break down the many aspects of prayer into four areas, each starting with a letter of the word “PRAY” — Praising, Repenting, Asking, and Yielding. While there is certainly more to prayer than can be captured in four simple words, each lesson will expand on the broader aspects to show kids that they will enjoy a lifetime exploring the power and the joy of connecting with God!
Children grow up being told what to do and what not to do, learning behaviors that keep them out of trouble and earn them rewards. In this short-sighted approach, their walk with Christ becomes limited to seeking to please the adults in their lives. Remove those adults, and the kids’ pursuit of Jesus evaporates as well. Teach children to build solid Christian character, however, and you have disciples who can live victoriously, independent of adult supervision yet dependent on God. Isn’t that our ultimate goal? This unit trains children to evaluate and take ownership of their spiritual growth, following the model of Jesus’ growth in the short but powerful verse, Luke 2:52. In this verse we discover a comprehensive formula for Christian character in young people — wisdom, character, integrity, and reputation. Children can intentionally develop in these same areas, if we are willing to guide them!
Jesus’ final command before leaving earth was to “Go and Make Disciples!” For kids to be disciplemakers, they need to know how to explain their faith to their friends. During this unit, your students will discover the joy of sharing their faith with others. As they learn a simple Gospel message, “Good News for Kids,” they will explore each element that Jesus told His followers to take to people everywhere (Matthew 28:18-20). During each lesson, children will unpack Biblical principles that explain how to communicate their faith to others. They will discover how to prepare to share, how to be wise with words and actions, and how to develop the courage to share their faith with people who desperately need the Gospel.
One of the most exciting things about being a Christian is that God gives His children special gifts in order to help them serve Him. While all of His creatures are born with talents that are a part of what makes them unique, when we become a part of God’s family, the Bible tells us that we receive special abilities — spiritual gifts — that help us serve God and advance His kingdom. In this unit, children will be encouraged to learn about both their talents and spiritual gifts and will be guided through a process of exploring what their spiritual gifts might be.
The purpose of the Christian life is to have a relationship with God. Too often people in the church place an emphasis on “getting saved” — but then what? While our ultimate destination with our Creator is to be cherished and celebrated, Jesus also died to welcome us into a relationship with Him during this life on earth! In this unit, your kids will learn tried-and-true techniques for enjoying a personal “quiet time” with God so they can deepen their friendship with Him. They will also discover how to enjoy the Lord’s presence throughout the day and how to call on Him in times of need. Meeting with God is something we can do in a focused “quiet time,” but God is also available anytime we want to experience His presence and power.
For many kids, the Bible seems so big and complex that they feel overwhelmed. They don’t know how to start mining the riches in the New Testament. In this unit, you will take children on a tour that will unlock the mysteries of God’s Word and give them confidence to navigate through the New Testament. Your kids will learn how the New Testament fits together. You will show that the 27 New Testament books fall into three groups: History, Living Letters, and Prophecy. In addition, they will “meet” some key authors of the New Testament. Finally, you will guide children to apply Bible truths to their lives.
For 4,000 years, the Old Testament has molded Jewish civil, religious, social, and economic life. Never has one book so greatly influenced the way of life of an entire nation! Few children today, however, can relate to OT customs that appear to be outdated and irrelevant. This is your opportunity to open their eyes to the enduring significance of God’s Word. During this unit, your kids will learn how the Old Testament fits together. You will show that all thirty-nine Old Testament books belong to these three groups: History, Poetry, and Prophecy; seventeen History books illumine the past, five Poetry books imprint the present, and seventeen Prophecy books inspire the future. The Old Testament may be an “old” book, but it has a new message for kids today! Bring this ancient manuscript to life for your students.
People often say: “Kids today have no respect.” But what is respect and where does it come from? In this unit, your children will learn basic skills to help them show respect to God, themselves, their families, and others. They will realize that respect begins as an attitude. If we develop a respectful attitude, respectful behavior will soon follow. We can help children become more respectful by helping them accept who God made them to be and by encouraging them to improve their attitudes toward other people.
This DiscipleTown unit introduces kids to basic questions and answers related to understanding and defending the Christian faith — the study of apologetics. While apologetics is often used as a witnessing tool, its proper place is to strengthen the faith of believers. This unit will help prepare children to answer questions about their faith, while teaching them that having questions is okay. Children need the confidence that when they think logically and search God’s Word, He will provide His answers!
Christians must expand their horizons and embrace God’s heart for people all over the world. By broadening kids’ perspectives to see beyond their local church and community, this unit will enable your children to grasp God’s great plan and to participate in His Great Commission. First, children need to see that God has a plan for every person to know His Son, Jesus. Next, they need to understand the good news that Jesus came to bring salvation to every person — everywhere — so they will be able to share it. Then, they must understand that God uses His Church to spread His Good News around the world. Finally, they need to be challenged to have “beautiful feet” by sharing God’s wonderful message.
You and your students are about to begin a wonderful journey together — the joy of personal Bible study. The Bible is a powerful book! It has the potential to change kids’ lives! However, too many children view this amazing book as one that adults study and then tell them about. God gave His Word to all believers to read and study, and that includes children. When we equip our children to read and study the Bible, they experience its power for themselves! In these lessons, you will introduce children to four inductive Bible study steps. First, they will learn how to survey a Bible passage (Zoom!); next, how to carefully observe a passage (Look!); then, after learning how to correctly interpret a passage (Think!), they will discover how to apply biblical principles (Live!). Soon your students will be exploring their Bibles in a whole new way!
God declares that His Word is authoritative and effective, and when “hidden in the heart,” it has the power to keep us from sin. But the idea of memorizing Scripture can intimidate children and adults alike. In this unit, children will appreciate the incredible mind that God has given them, the importance of memorizing God’s Word, and the benefits of doing so. Furthermore, kids will learn to meditate on Scripture in order to allow it to sink into their very characters and wills, resulting in deeper, richer insights. Using fun science, they’ll know that God has wired them to learn and to apply what they learn.
When Jesus was asked to identify God’s greatest commandment, He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). But what does this truly mean? What does it look like? Too often we give children “pie-in-the-sky” platitudes but without supplying practical steps they can apply in everyday life. This unit will help your children know what it means to love God with actions — not just words. Your kids will discover how to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. They will also learn that loving God involves loving other people, too.
We spend a great deal of time in ministry doing a great many wonderful things—reaching, teaching, and training kids for Jesus. However, Jesus gave just one primary command when He returned to heaven: “Go and make disciples.” What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? Can young followers of Jesus experience victory in their Christian walk? This unit introduces children to five basic principles for having P-O-W-E-R to follow Christ in their faith: Praying from the heart, Obeying the Holy Spirit, Worshiping with the Church, Explaining their faith to others, and Reading their Bibles daily. Yes, children can experience profound P-O-W-E-R in their walk with God when they begin to apply these life-changing disciplines.
I’m back from my 6th Yosemite Summit – and what a fantastic year it was. We had beautiful weather and did some fantastic hikes in Yosemite National Park.
These guys joined the elite group known as Summiteers! Tom was a four time repeater. Dave, Patrick, and Chris were there for the first time. (No, that is not our cabin; that is an old trading outpost found along the trail to McGurk Meadow.)
I will soon be putting together the annual report and highlight video, but I’m also back into the midst of the busy work schedule I unplugged from, so going though the 2,407 photos, plus editing and creating the video always takes me a few weeks. But I’m also working on a new surprise for this year’s Yosemite Summit Report, so be sure to watch your e-mail for the news when it breaks. (Be sure you are subscribed to the Kidology Newsletter.)
What can I say about this year now?
Well, we did a lot of hiking along with just spending time enjoying the Creator and His creation. This year, I decided to wear a pedometer for fun, starting out with my shopping day:
Friday (the day Dave and I arrived), I walked 4371 steps for 1.63 miles. That was just a little more than an average day for me based on the week before. Saturday saw a lot more action with 10,456 steps for 3.89 miles. There was a lot of prep to do! We left on Sunday, and that included our first short hike and introduction to Yosemite, bumping me up 14,856 steps for 5.64 miles for the day. But then came the real hikes. The day that included the trail to Dewey Point racked up 29,199 steps for 10.98 miles followed on Tuesday with 19,203 for 7.32 miles (Murphy Creek to the Poly Dome Lakes.) Then two of the guys really wanted to hike the Panorama Trail from Glacier Point around the rim and down to the Valley passing Illilouette, Nevada, and Vernal falls – what is typically a Day One hike. The other two opted to have some solitude time in the Valley with less than the 27,267 steps I put down to conquer that 10.09 mile day. (Remember, this is all day, not just the hikes themselves.) On our last day, we went down to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, but I took it easy and only logged 10,095 steps for 3.76 miles. Friday I flew home, so I returned to my average day clocking 4,587 steps or 1.68 miles.
Of course, this may not interest many, but I had fun logging my total of 100,831 steps, or walking 44.99 miles. (Wow!) We don’t typically hike that much, but it was such a beautiful year, and adding on the Panorama Trail was just plain fun.
My feet may have been a bit sore for a day, but my soul was refreshed and renewed! I’m posting from my iPad mini at the airport, so I’ll add more pics later when I am at a computer.
While I am glad to be back, there is a part of me that never leaves Yosemite. But right now, I have some catching up to do!!
After decades of people encouraging me to publish this story, it took wanting to explain the incarnation to my own seven year old that finally prompted me to make it a “New Year’s Resolution” for 2013. You can now order directly from the online publisher at: http://tinyurl.com/AndyAntslulu
The story comes to life through the wonderful illustrations created by Lori Butler, who started creating these images without my knowing or asking several years ago because she enjoyed the story so much and wanted to illustrate it for teaching in her own ministry. We’ve now expanded her illustrations and added a colorful cover as well.
On the back of the book I didn’t want to include any “spoilers” but here is a fuller description of the book for those wanting to know what the story is about:
What’s a boy to do when he learns that his beloved ant hill, hidden in a secret hide out, will soon be destroyed to make room for a new shopping center? When all human attempts to save them fail, there is only one thing left to do. Become an ant and warn them in person! This wonderful parable makes the concept of the incarnation understandable to children perhaps for the first time! Beautifully illustrated, this delightful story will have kids and parents turning each page and smiling as they discover the parallels to the true story of the One who gave up everything to warn those He loved and to prepare a better place for us in His Father’s House.
I hope you’ll consider purchasing this book and introducing “Andy and the Ants” to your children!
Recently Discovered Ancient Document Reveals Modern Kidmin Strategy
Could it be that a recently uncovered document once thought lost forever in the archives of the Kidologist’s vast children’s ministry vault of hand written resources from before the dawn of the computer could reveal a ministry strategy that could revolutionize your ministry today?
Archeologists have discovered a hand drawn ministry strategy document dating back to circa 1993 from when Karl Bastian, aka “The Kidologist,” was just a “Green Thumb” children’s pastor at the historic Moody Church in downtown Chicago. Yet this ministry strategy has been guiding his ministry for over twenty years.
Once guarded as a valuable treasure and only shared with the most trusted colleagues, Karl has now revealed its secrets on his podcast. Will clues within this ancient drawing lead you to gold or a national treasure? Or will it simply make your ministry programing and event planning more strategic and purposeful?
You be the judge. Listen to Kidmin Talk #53 today… and download the full resolution historical document for yourself.
Discover the secret that will set your ministry planning on a whole new Quest!
Did you know that YOU are a Bible character? It’s true! Consider this. An upcoming lesson in DiscipleTown has the theme “Pray and Obey,” and this is the “Connect with Your Kids” element. I wanted to share it with you early, because I think it is relevant to your lesson every week, no matter what you may be teaching this Sunday. It’s all about sharing when you have done what you are asking your students to do. It’s all about BEING what you are TEACHING. That makes YOU a “Bible Character.”
Used with permission from DiscipleLand.com
It is one thing to tell kids they need to pray and obey. It is entirely another to give them a real world example from someone they know who has done it. Prayerfully reflect on a time in your life when you have needed to “pray and obey,” and then God gave you the power to do the right thing. Share your story. It can have a powerful impact on your students. Don’t underestimate the power of your story on your students. We often tell Bible stories and forget that these Bible “characters” were just ordinary people like us. They didn’t know their stories would end up in the Bible, they just made choices like you and I have. So, in a sense, your story is as much a Bible story as Joseph or Esther or Ruth or Daniel. And your story will mean as much to your students as theirs. Perhaps more, because your kids actually know you!
(Excerpt from an upcoming “Connect with Your Kids in DT21“)
If you have ever considered Kidology Coaching, read what this recent graduate has to say… (edited down from a much longer detailed account of her experience and how it helped her.)
February 26, 2013
I remember my first experiences in Children’s Ministry as a recent college grad. There were little resources at that time. I researched, listened to your podcasts and read forum conversations with great interest. When I began the Coaching program I was anticipating a quality experience. What I received was something greater than I expected.
Coach Barney has been an invaluable source of encouragement and support. This Coaching experience has been a leadership makeover for me. The journey has been more about remodeling the soul of a minister than adding to my resume. I have wanted to be coached in leadership for years. This process has been life changing.Kidology Coaching has prepared me for a career position in a healthy, mid-size church. Like an athletic coach, Barney came alongside to strengthen my gifts and talents. At the same time, he also helped me redefine my leadership skills plus I even added some new skills. Thanks to my Coaching experience, I am now ready to take my ministry to a whole new level.
Thanks Karl, for this incredible gift. I have been encouraged and equipped to expand my leadership potential. I am looking forward to what the Graduate Program will hold. Kidology has proven to be one of the best investments in my leadership experience.
Sincerely Jeanette Beland
Kidology Coaching has the potential to be a life-changer. If you are ready to take your life and ministry to the next level, you owe it to yourself to give Kidology Coaching a close look.
Tweet, Facebook and E-mail this URL to all your friends and family: www.kidology.org/hunt Easter is a pretty big holiday, and while it doesn’t get the attention that Christmas gets, it’s a pretty important event! In fact, all of Christianity rests on this historic event! And yet, often kids don’t know all the important details of this story as well as they do Christmas. So I sat down with my wife a few months ago and we brain-stormed, “What would be a fun game to help kids learn the details of the Resurrection Story in an exciting way?”
We came up with a game based on the classic CLUE game and we think you and your kids are going to LOVE IT! We hired the top artist in children’s ministry, Todd Hampson, who has worked on What’s in the Bible, JellyTelly, Order of the Ancient, Yancy (not Nancy) videos and more – and then got our very own webmaster Steve Tanner, who is a CLUE game connoisseur – and came up with a game that is both fun and educational. Next, I asked a new friend I met at CPC in Orlando, Stanley Mearse, to team up with me on writing twenty short devotionals on the places, objects and people of the Resurrection Story, and he came up with the idea of adding QR codes to the game to add an extra element of interactive fun. Others helped with editing, design, game input and tweaks, and in the end, the collaborative process has resulted in one of the most creative and fun projects from Kidology yet! It is called: Resurrection CLUE HUNT!
Imagine if the President of the United States heard about your kids ministry and decided he needed to see if for himself?
That’s exactly what happened to a Sunday School Director named Dwight Lyman Moody… and the President was none other than Abraham Lincoln!
I have the honor of being the first children’s pastor on staff at the church he founded well over 100 years ago, The Moody Church.
While he is known primarily as the Billy Graham of the previous generation, his ministry began as a children’s evangelist and he had a HUGE impact on the creation and growth of Sunday School. At a time when many churches were supported by ‘rented pews’ Moody rented pews for street kids. When he was told the children weren’t welcome in church (Big Church) he started a Sunday School for street kids that grew so big and well respected that Abraham Lincoln visited one Sunday to see it for himself! Imagine having the President of the United States drop in to see your kids ministry. Moody was passionate about kids but as his ministry grew, his focus shifted to adults.
He said at the end of his life,
“If I had my life to live over again, I would devote it entirely to reaching children with the Gospel.”
His school is still training kids workers to this day!
You may not see the President of the United States visit your kids ministry, but someone who far out-rankes him visits every week… Jesus! Is your ministry worthy of Him? Are you doing your best? Are you reaching as many kids as possible, and not just the ‘easy’ ones, but the ones that others reject or overlook?
If so, Jesus will show up at YOUR MINISTRY to see it for Himself, and to add His blessing and power while He’s there!
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