One Man Christmas Story

I was invited to be a special guest again at Cherry Hill Community Church, where they have a wonderful children’s ministry. Whenever you are given the opportunity to teach at Christmas time, it presents a unique challenge. You are, of course, teaching the greatest story in HIS-Story – but it is also a very familar one. So how do you tell it in a new and creative way that will still engage children who can easily “check out” when they start to hear the familiar parts of the story. I searched my computer for countless ways I have addressed Christmas in over twenty years as a children’s pastor – and then walked into my vast kidmin prop warehouse and started seeing things that could be used to tell the story! At the same time, as I prayed about it, I was wanted to elevate the story above the mere facts of the traditional story to WHY did God sent Jesus? The story is truly epic and transcends the birth of Christ from the origins of time all the way to Christ’s Resurrection all the way to today! Then it hit me! Why don’t I tell the ENTIRE STORY OF CHRISTMAS …

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“Problem” Kids – Aren’t Really a Problem After All!

This is a guest post, re-posted from itsyourbooknow.blogspot.com with permission. This week I had a Sunday School training with Karl Bastian, the Kidologist. The topic was discipline, and I was eager to learn. That’s one of the hardest things for me as a Sunday School teacher. I walked out with a lot of great tips. Grace based tips. Which I love, because I’m a big fan of grace. All new ideas I’d never thought of, heard of, or tried before. I’m eager to try this out. But the thing that struck me the most wasn’t so much a tip as it was a perspective. Which was pretty much the perspective that framed all the tips. You know those “good” kids? You know, the ones who bring you Christmas gifts and say please and thank you and never disrupt class? You probably aren’t going to make a difference in their life. Why? Because their lives are already on a good trajectory. They usually come from good homes, homes where parents are doing a wonderful job teaching them about faith and how to live like Jesus. If you weren’t in their lives, they’d probably still turn out to be wonderful Christians. You …

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You Can Go Deeper and Still Be Creative!

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 …

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A Kids Krew Can Shape Life Direction

I recently got a wonderful e-mail from a Kidology member a friend that illustrates not only the incredible power of equipping kids to service on younger children, but it’s potential to impact the direction of a young people’s future! Dear Karl, After our service today a fifth grade girl asked who came up with the idea of KIDS Krew.  I told her about the CPC in San Diego where Pam Dunnevant and I met you, learned about KIDS Krew, then came home and implemented it.  She told me to tell you thanks, then proceeded to tell me how the Krew was shaping her life.  This young girl has started and will be finishing the year as a “special friend.”  We have a down syndrome child and assigned her (along with another) to sit with him.  She kept signing up for that job and has gone above and beyond talking to his parents and finding out his needs.  She now believes that this has made her want to study Special Education.  She wanted you to know this.  She said, “My life has been changed by KIDS Krew.” Just wanted you to be encouraged by the one who came back to say …

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Kids Church: Impossible!

I got into cooking shows while researching for the Kids Church Cookbook, and I was amazed at the wide variety of shows on the Food Network. One I discovered was called Dinner: Impossible! Loosely hinting at the 1960’s show Mission: Impossible, the host is given a challenge that includes some kind of meal he needs to prepare, some obstacles he has to overcome, and a time limit. He doesn’t know what the challenge will be until he arrives, and then the clock starts counting down. If I were put in that situation, I’m sure everyone would either starve or be forced to eat terrible food. I would love to be the host of a show called Kid’s Church: Impossible! I think it would be a wonderful challenge to be given a Bible story or Biblical topic, some limited props or supplies, and a time limit and have to come up with a complete lesson and then teach it. Perhaps that sounds like a nightmare situation to you, but the reality is, it happens all the time in children’s ministry. Maybe it doesn’t happen on Sunday mornings, because you ought to be planning your lessons weeks in advance. But you don’t …

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