The Children's Ministry Blog Patrol (September 2009)
The NEW AND IMPROVED Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol seems to have been a success. I hope that you will find this month’s equally as useful. There are a lot of people out there dedicated to Children and Children’s Ministry publishing great and useful stuff on the internet. This is my attempt to try to compile some of the best of that information into one place for your perusal.
I’ve added a new feature this month to accentuate those articles which I feel are “must reads.” Well, frankly, I think they’re all must-reads, but for the best-of-the best, I’ve added this graphic to the right of the title. If you’re running low on time, make sure that you check out these articles at a minimum!
This Blog Patrol seems to get longer every month, so I thought I would add a quick little section index right up front:
- Blog Series
- Practical Teaching Tips and Advice
- General Ministry Issues
- Leaders and Leadership
- Kids & Theology
- Kids & Christ
- Cultural Trends
- Resources (Music, Conferences, Internet Sites, Books, Games)
- Curriculum and Object Lessons
- Family Ministry
- Parenting and Marriage Issues
- Just For Fun
Finally, I resisted it for months, but I finally gave in and started to include my own articles related to Children’s Ministry in this blog. In case you want to skip over those and get to the stuff that really excites me, I’ve marked articles from this blog with the graphic to the left.
With that introduction, let’s have a look at some articles you might have missed this month:
In previous installments of the Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol I have segregated the articles series in this section. This month I decided to try something a little different, and I hope more useful. Series have been filed under their respective categories with a notation that they are series. Let me know what you think of the new format.
These articles offer tips and advice of teaching, working with kids, running your ministry and basically anything else that involves dealing with a group of kids.
Blog Series – Large Group Environments
Orange Leaders presents this short series on making your large group time most effective.
- Reggie Joiner’s defense of innovative churches.
- Brick by Brick looks at the importance of planning, and the impact of a lack of planning, in your Children’s Ministry.
- Tony Kummer, from Ministry-to-Children.com looks at the role of using rewards in a religious education setting. He also offers some practical tips on how to do it.
- This article from Justin Taylor summarizes the essential characteristics of a good teacher from a 1995 article from John Piper titled “The Marks of A Spiritual Leader.” The article is not specifically addressed to those who teach kids, but it is certainly applicable!
- From Children’s Ministry Talk, in this article Dick Gruber and Jason Rhode discuss how to effectively use technology in your children’s ministry.
- Children’s Ministry Monthly offers this gentle reminder that it is important to remember the grace of God in disciplining children.
- Jonathan Cliff describes some of the differences between teaching kids and teenagers based on his personal experience.
- Three simple things to help make your service the best it can be.
This category is a bit of a catch all for everything that doesn’t fit under another category. These articles deal with all kinds of different issues relevant to Children’s Ministry and those who work in that ministry.
- Gina McClain asks if you know how your volunteers are being treated by parents in your church.
- Love this post from Gina McClain on the paradigms we live our lives by.
- Why Children’s Ministry should be fun!
- David Wakerley asks if your heart is in the right place.
- Terry Delaney offers an alternative for churches to the traditional Halloween celebration.
- Charlie Wallace explores why your Children’s Ministry needs a ministry philosophy.
- Jerry Moyer from The Jubilee Gang asks whether you are a thermometer or a thermostat when it comes to your Children’s Ministry.
- Not everything in Children’s Ministry is easy. Are you avoiding the hard things?
- One church explains why they use the 252 Basic Curriculum from ReThink Group.
- The Children’s Ministry Think Tank is back, and this time the issue is teaching kids about sin. Make sure you check this one out!
- This article from Charlie Wallace offers some guidelines for using e-mail in dealing with ministry conflict. That said, these are some good guidelines for any e-mail you might send!
- Terry Delaney from Ministry-to-Children.com offers this article which examines how to make un-churched children feel welcome in your church.
- Jonathan Cliff looks at the way we should respond to our own weaknesses.
- Justin Taylor offers five reasons to teach morals from the book What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide .
- Nathan Hyde writes about finding the happy medium in approach to Children’s Ministry.
- Writing at DiscipleBlog.com, Tony Kummer looks at the importance of reading the Bible to Kids and offers some practical tips for doing so.
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
- We’re all busy, and it’s easy to make excuses for why we can’t do more. In this article, I looked at the process I went through before deciding to take on additional responsibilities.
Blog Series – Four Qualities of a Preschool Worship Leader
Maybe you were under the impression that just about anyone could lead worship with a bunch of two and three year olds. If so, you’re dead wrong. As this series explains, it takes a special kind of person to lead preschool worship!
Blog Series – Leading by Encouragement
In this series Jim Wideman looks at one particular form of leadership – leading by encouragement. He offers practical biblical advice on how to accomplish this.
Blog Series – What Volunteers are looking for in a leader
Jim Wideman looks at seven characteristics that volunteers are looking for in their leaders.
Blog Series – 4 On Time Management
CM 1234 Blog looks at 8 (4 twice) practical steps towards effective time management.
Blog Series – Losing Your Mind
Technically, these posts from Perry Noble were not a series, but I have grouped them as such. Regardless, they are all very insightful!
- 16 Signs That A Leader Has Lost His Mind
- 18 Signs That A Staff Has Lost Its Mind
- 19 Signs That A Leadership Team Has Lost Its Mind!
- Children’s Ministry Monthly offers 5 steps to avoid burnout. These are actually quite useful regardless of what ministry you are in.
- David Wakerly, who runs Kid Inspiration – one of my favorite blogs, looks at why those who work in Children’s Ministry are not quite normal.
- This article from CMMonthly offers seven practical tips for dealing with confrontation. It is never a comfortable things, and this article will help you to deal with it in a more effective manner.
- Spencer Click looks at being what God intended you to be and being happy about it.
- Kristin Charles looks at how to examine your strengths and weaknesses in order to most effectively assemble a Children’s Ministry team that can glorify God in their working with children.
- Based on the book by the same name, this article looks at how to lead with kindness.
- In this Sunday Debrief, Kendra Fleming asks the question, “Do you ever volunteer in the environments that you normally lead?” and offers her thoughts from doing exactly that.
- Jim Wideman offers up four quotes from Mike Huckabee. As quotables go, these were pretty good!
- Jim Wideman offers some advice on keeping yourself on top of your game.
- For those inclined to take on way too much, Charlie Wallace looks at the art of avoiding burn-out by delegating.
- David Wakerly from Kid Inspiration looks at how much of his time a leader should spend on certain tasks.
- Leadership should be about a lot more than just your position. Jim Wideman looks at ten ways to build the confidence in you of those you lead.
- Pudge Huckaby writes on the differences between a good team and a great team!
- 14 things to keep in mind when thinking about your life and Jesus.
- Jonathan Cliff writes about finding your purpose.
- Pudge Huckaby looks at the importance of developing core values you’re your Children’s Ministry.
- When you need to apologize, you should! In this article, Perry Noble offers seven things that a leader SHOULD NOT apologize for.
Most Children’s Ministries are made up principally, or entirely, of volunteers. I am amongst that number. This section includes articles related to volunteers both for volunteers and about volunteers.
Blog Series – New Volunteer Interviews
This two part series from Inside North point Kids looks offers practical help for interviewing potential volunteers in your ministry.
- Part 1 – How do you screen your leaders who work
one-on-one with your kids?
- Part 2 – How do you make sure you cover the specific
expectations of their volunteer role?
- Dan Scott asks if you trust your volunteers enough to allow them input into how you run your ministry.
- This article looks at four positive aspects of having students serve in your ministry.
Jesus should be at the center of any Children’s Ministry. That means teaching kids about Jesus and about theology. This section is for articles that discuss and assist with teaching kids about theology and theological concepts.
Blog Series – What Kids Must Know About Sin
This series started as a contribution to the Children’s Ministry Think Tank which is linked as the first entry below. In the series I expanded on five things kids should know about sin with practical ideas for each item. Let me know what you think!
- Children’s Ministry Think Tank #5 – Teaching Children About Sin Versus Protecting Their Self Esteem
- #1 – What is sin?
- #2 – Where does sin come from?
- #3 – Who sins?
- #4 – What are the consequences of sin?
- #5 – What is the solution for sin?
- Faced with a tragic death to a young man in our church, this article asks what the best way to deal with the subject of death with kids is.
- Jeri Tanner provides three compelling reasons for catechizing kids. For those not familiar with the term, it has nothing to do with cutting off body parts.
- As one who struggles through the so called boring passages, this is an interesting article on what to make of them. It didn’t really fit anywhere else, so I threw it here under theology.
- Perry Noble offers ten questions to get you thinking from the book of Mark. Technically, this is not strictly a post about children’s ministry, but I found the questions thought provoking enough to include them here!
- This article looks at what baptisms have become in many churches today and how kids may misinterpret what baptism is really about because of it.
In all about Christ! This section is for articles about bringing kids to Christ, bringing kids back to Christ, salvation and children, and anything along those lines. I’ll warn you that I love stories about kids being saved. So, don’t be surprised if you see quite a few of those hear too.
- Kristin Charles asks the question, how do we reach the kids who drop out of church? If you have any good ideas, make sure you leave a comment on this article!
Kid are multi-million dollar target market. Is it any wonder that kids these days have their own culture? This section looks various cultural trends and issues with kids and that affect kids.
- A pungent look at the importance of kids to the church and a call to action for those of us involved in Children’s Ministry.
- Joel Taylor looks at another alarming trend in public schools that might just make your work in Children’s Ministry all the more difficult and all the more absolutely necessary.
- Trevin Wax comments on the book Do Hard Things: A teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris. This book is definitely on my “I need to read that sometime” list!
- Glen Woods examines why in our culture today we won’t let boys just be boys!
- Are we raising a generation of kids incapable of face-to-face communication?
One thing I have learned since getting involved in Children’s Ministry is that those who work in Children’s Ministry are generous to a fault. This section is full of useful resources for those working with kids.
- In this article, we look at the top three internet resources related to Children’s Ministry in a variety of categories including blogs, websites, forums, games, and more!
- This is a great little video that gives the evidence for Jesus being the Christ in a format that is great for kids!
- If you missed last month’s Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol, there are a lot of great articles in their to check out!
Blog Series – Sam Luce’s Top Ten Kids Ministry Resources
Sam Luce from samluce.com offers this list of his top ten favorite kids ministry resources,
- #1 The Collaborating Community
- #2 Jim Wideman
- #3 Google Wave
- #4 Andy Stanley’s leadership Podcast
- #5 Bible Bucks 2.0
- #6 K! Magazine
- #7 ProPresenter
- #8 The Effective Executive
- #9 Hillsong Worship for Kids.
- #10 The iPhone
Blog Series – 21 Days to a “Freed Up” Ministry
Free CM Stuff is one of my favorite blogs and an invaluable resource. I am enjoying every entry so far in this series, and I am looking forward to the remaining days!
- Week 1 – Post 1 – Brain Drain
- Week 1 – Post 2 – The Gimp
- Week 1 – Post 3 – Pump Up The Crown Countdown
- Week 2 – Post 4 – Ministry Today Magazine from Strang Communications
- Week 2 – Post 5 – Log Me In Software
- Week 2 – Post 6 – The Calling from Coldwater Cafe
- Week 3 – Post 7 – Church Tech Talk free videos, looping backgrounds and countdowns
- Week 3 – Day 8 – Max 7
- Free CM Stuff offers this link to a site with thousands a Bible related pictures.
- Kenny Conley provides a link to a site which will help you put together a bibliography for whatever you are working on.
- Tony Kummer offers some fun Bible Trivia for use in your classroom.
- Free CM Stuff gives us this link to Kidzplace where kids can learn how to share the gospel of Christ.
- From Children’s Ministry Monthly, this article looks at the right way to run games at any event.
- Tony Kummer compiled this great listing of the top ten Children’s Ministry Blogs. If you are a regular reader of the Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol, you are sure to recognize most of these!
Curriculum was part of the Resources section before I started to see more and more object lessons as blog posts. I don’t put them all here do to time constraints, but I will link to some of my favorite every month. If you’re looking for more, trying searching the blogs that show up under this section. Many of them frequently post object lessons.
- Kristin Charles offers this lesson plan for teaching kids about self-control.
- Ryan Frank provides a useful illustration for kids on prayer using only their hand.
- Cap City Kidz offers this curriculum on the importance of the Bible.
- Terry Delaney, from Ministry-to-Children.com, offers this lesson based on Jesus sitting down at the right hand of God.
- From Ministry-to-Children.com, this lesson is bases on the creation story in Genesis 1.
Family Ministry is a growing trend in the field of Children’s Ministry wherein worship services and teaching are not segregated by age. Instead, the whole family is the core. This section includes articles specifically related to Family Ministry.
Blog Series – What Does A Family Ministry Leader Look Like?
This series from Orange Families looks at what it takes to work in family ministry.
- Glen Woods remembers his first experience with VIP – Very Intentional Parenting.
The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol would not be complete if we did not pay attention to family issues that affect the kids we minister to. This section includes various articles and parenting and marriage.
Blog Series – The Fatherhood Initiative
In this series from the Counsel on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, Jeff Robinson addresses President Obama’s Fatherhood Initiative.
- This article offers some practical examples of how to use formative instruction with your kids.
- This article points to a Focus on the Family broadcast for Mom’s dealing with anger.
- I love this post from Gina McClain on the paradigms we grow up in / live in as families.
- Gilbert Montez, a father of grown children, looks back on raising his kids. This one tugged at my heart strings.
- I’ve never listened to Perry Noble preach. I think I will make a point to do that. But, his blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Maybe it’s all the lists – I love a good list! Maybe it is his to the point, no holding back writing style. I don’t know, but I intend to keep reading! In this post, he offers 15 quick ways to destroy your marriage.
- In this post, Perry Noble offers some concrete examples of how spouses slack off in their marriages.
- Taken from the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids this article looks at the need for parents to grow with their children.
- Tim Challies examines the essential role of the gospel in parenting.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted or just made me chuckle.
- Kids say the darndest things! In this installment from the Children’s Ministry Moments series, find out about one of the most honest answers I’ve ever received from a child in church.
- It wouldn’t be the Blog Patrol without an article from Stuff Christians Like. In this article, Jonathan Acuff comments on trying to raise dorks.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of “The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol.”
Fish Image courtesy of www.christart.com