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 last 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:
- 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 last month 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:
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 – How Do You Prepare A Message
This Series from Perry Noble examines the process for preparing a message. Although this series is not directly related to Children’s Ministry, we should put as much effort and skill into preparing messages for kids as we do for adults.
Blog Series – Kids and Behavior Issues
In this series, Kendra Flemming asks the question “What do you do with the Karate Chopping, Paper Eating, Won’t Sit Still kind of kid?”
- CapCity Kidz links to a Focus on the Family resource that includes 12 ways to help kids become peacemakers.
- Dan Scott offers a fun way to introduce yourself to the kids in your small group and/or have them introduce themselves to you.
- Justin Taylor recounts an illustration given by John Piper in a sermon in 1999 on Why Faith Glorifies God. It is classic John Piper and a great illustration for kids.
- Jonathan Cliff offers useful advice on teaching a class about Child Dedication.
- This is a follow up to Jonathan Cliff’s earlier article on Child Dedications.
- Ragsstudio offers some practical suggestions for making small talk with children.
- Three stories that should be in every lesson for kids’ church.
- Charlie Wallace on why the gospel should be included in every lesson you prepare regardless of the curriculum you are losing. This one is near and dear to my heart!
- Karen Wingate examines the need for creativity in teaching children.
- This article touches on another topic near and dear to my heart – how do we make sure that when we present Bible stories to kids they understand that it is fact and not fiction!
- Are there parts of the Bible which are not appropriate for kids?
- A fun look at what happens when you stretch a little too far to find the application for a particular Bible story.
- Kristin Charles from Ministry-to-children.com provides four pieces of advice on effective storytelling based on the model of Jesus.
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.
Blog Series – Reaching the Next Generation
Kevin DeYoung writes this series on How to Reach the Next Generation
- Reaching the Next Generation is Harder and Easier Than You Think: Grab Them With Passion
- Reaching the Next Generation: Win Them With Love
- Reaching the Next Generation: Hold Them With Holiness
- Reaching the Next Generation: Challenge Them With Truth
- Reaching the Next Generation: Amaze Them With God
- This installment of the Children’s Ministry Think Tank asks how do you teach kids how to pray. This is the second Think Tank I’ve contributed to, so I think I’ll start calling myself a regular contributor!
- Jim Wideman asks what a lack of attention to detail may be costing your church.
- What if Children’s Ministry were more interactive? This article doesn’t have all the answers, but it will definitely get you thinking!
- In enjoy working with the kids in AWANA each and every week. This list was compiled by T&T kids at Bethany Romanian Baptist Church in California to let you gauge just how long you’ve been in Awana.
- On the flip side of the last articles, this one includes ten things that AWANA leaders wish parents would understand.
- This article bucks the notion that bigger is better and focuses on four keys to successful youth ministry.
- Children’s Ministry Monthly looks at the debate over how “fun” Children’s Church should be and concludes that in the end – it depends!
- Jerry Moyer from the Jubilee Gang looks at the proper motivation for doing ministry.
- Based on the life of the prophet Elijah, this article from Tamera Kraft looks at practical steps to avoid burnout in Children’s Ministry.
- Jeri Tanner from Ministry-to-Children.com provides this fascinating history of Sunday School.
- Dale Hudson explains that effective Children’s Ministry ministers to a whole lot more than just children!
- Jamie Doyle reminds us that we need to make sure that we are following God’s vision for us and not the one he has given to someone else – even if we like it better!
- The Orange Leaders blog offers links to five sites with summaries of Reggie Joiner’s talk at Catalyst 09.
- Justyn Smith explains why you need to intentionally branch out from Children’s Ministry.
- Clayton King expounds on the health benefits of having fun!
- Robert Gentry examines how Children’s Ministry is changing.
- A practical article on extending your budget in these down times.
- Orange Families discusses the appropriate way of dealing with frustration.
- This article asks some practical questions about how friendly your church is towards children.
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
Blog Series – Delegate or Die
In addition to a great title, this series from Jim Wideman offers tips on the why and how of delegation.
- Delegate or Die- 1
- Delegate or Die- 2
- Delegate or Die- 3
- Delegate or Die- 4
- Delegate or Die- 5
- Delegate or Die- 6
- Delegate or Die- 7
- Delegate or Die- 8
- Delegate or Die- 9
- Delegate or Die- 10
- Delegate or Die- 11
- Delegate or Die- 12
- Delegate or Die- 13
- Delegate or Die- 14
- Delegate or Die- 15
- Delegate or Die- Final Thoughts
Blog Series – Four Dangers
Perry Noble reflects on the dangers associated with leadership in this must-read series for any leader.
- Four Dangers Part One – Jealousy
- Four Dangers Of Leadership Part Two – Ignorance
- Four Dangers Of Leadership Part Three – Pride
- Four Dangers Of Leadership Part Four – Misc.
Blog Series – A fresh look: 9 new trends in children’s ministry leadership
This series from Ryan Frank will extend into next month, but we’ll get started with it here in this month’s Blog Patrol. This article was written by Mr. Frank for the November/December issue of K! Magazine and examines nine current trends in children’s ministry.
- Trend #1: Children’s pastors are doing more with less
- Trend #2: Children’s pastors are networking online
- Trend #3: Church staffers are learning together
Blog Series – Becoming an authentic leader
Jim Wideman offers his thoughts on becoming an authentic leader.
- The October leadership nugget from Free CM Stuff is a link to a resource called “No Other Ministry” which extols the positives of working in children’s ministry. I would encourage you to check this one out and print it for anyone you know who works in Children’s Ministry.
- Pudge Huckaby offers four things we should keep in mind at all time.
- Last months, Perry Noble offers seven things a leader should never apologize for. This month he gives us six things a leader SHOULD apologize for.
- We all have To-Do lists. This article looks at the flip side of the To-Do list and asks what should you put on your Stop-Doing list. This article is sure to get you thinking.
- Tamara Kraft solicited advice from Children’s Pastors for those just starting out in Children’s Ministry. This article summarizes that advice from 12 veteran Children’s Pastors.
- Chuck Swindoll offered 10 lessons he has learned about leadership over the last 50 years at the Catalyst 09 conference.
- From Children’s Ministry Monthly, I think the title of this one says it all!
- From Orange Leaders, this article reminds us of the importance of interpersonal communication.
- Larry Shallenberger offers five questions that you should ask those you lead. Brace yourself for the answers!
- Glen Woods offers some advice on how to ask thought provoking questions.
- Anna Light offers a five point assessment for discovering whether or not you know who you are.
- Jonathan Cliff examines the problems with assuming that we contribute to God’s plan.
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.
- Free CM Stuff offers a free form for evaluating your volunteers.
- Eric Griffin from B A Light.com offers encouragement to those who hold down a full time non-church job and also lead a ministry.
- According to Russell Moore, it turns out children are quite in tune with the concept of evil.
- Justyn Smith asks what would happen if we had teens leading children’s church each week.
- This article includes ten practical tips on building a Children’s Ministry team.
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.
- This article from Kevin DeYoung has nothing to do with Children’s Ministry (at least not directly). That said, it is one of the most convicting articles I read this month so I thought I would include it here!
- Jared Kennedy from Sojourn Kids looks at the meaning behind child dedications.
- J. D. Greer on why you might not always have the answer and why that’s OK!
- Mimi Bullock from Ministry-To-Children.com offers advice on how to help kids overcome fear.
- This article on the phrase “Oh My God!” really struck a chord with me. I notice this phrase more and more, and when I hear it it makes me cringe. It was interesting that the author mentions a certain home makeover show as I watch every week with my kids and we have talked about this particular phrase.
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.
- Despite the catchy title, the focus of this article is really on building inter-generational relationships in the Church.
- This is actually just a short quote from D.L. Moody on the importance of kids in God’s Kingdom.
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.
- It seems parents just aren’t talking to their kids enough these days.
- This article offers an interesting take on how we view kids in our society today.
- A family that eats together, stays together!
- This article examines the firm of Smarty Pant’s listing of the Top 100 Most Loved Brands of 2009.
- Brenna Phillips writes about the findings of a study that actually shows that video games, in moderation, could actually be good for you. No comment!
- Albert Mohler examines how the roles of parent and child are being turned upside down in our culture.
- Charlie Wallace offers this interesting post on the history of Halloween.
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.
Blog Series – Top Ten Christian Books for Kids
In this series I looked at and reviewed the top ten Christian books for kids that I have come across as a parent and Children’s Ministry worker.
- #10 – Arch Series Books
- #9 – Big Truths for Young Hearts
- #8 – My First Study Bible
- #7 – His Little Princess
- #6 – Big Thoughts For Little Thinkers
- #5 – The Memory Bible
- #4 – The Adventurers Bible for Early Readers
- #3 – Growing With Jesus
- #2 – The Jesus Storybook Bible
- #1 – ESV Children’s Bible
- Honorable Mention
Blog Series – Review of the Book Shift
This series is just a little bit different as each entry comes from a different blog as several Children’s Ministry professional review the book. The review and the book are definitely worth checking out!
- The Run Down on Who’s Reviewing What!
- Liz Perraud
- James Giroux
- Lorraine Seaman
- Larry Shallenberger
- Tim Inman
- Joshua Simpson
- Micah Foster
- Amy Dolan
- Jesse Smith
- Gina McClain
- Henry Zonio
- Author’s Response – Brian Haynes
Blog Series –
Top Ten Ministry Resources According to Me
Over the last couple of months, we have featured a couple of series of top ten lists from some prominent Children’s Ministry bloggers. This month, the Take 2.0 blog got into the mix with their own listing of top ten resources.
Top Ten Ministry Resources According to Me
- Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 2 – Kidology
- Top 10 Children’s Ministry resource number 3 – Livescribe Pen
- Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 4 – Mac Computers
Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 5 – Library of Books
Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 6 – Collaborating Community
Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 7 – Teams
Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 8 – Sugar Sync
- Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 9 – Evernote
- Top Children’s Ministry Resource Number 10 – Dropbox
Blog Series – 21 Days to a “Freed Up” Ministry
The last entry in this series that was profiled in last month’s Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol actually fell into this month. Instead of making you go back and find September’s Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol, I thought I would list them all again this month along with the additional entry. Enjoy!
- 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 – Post 8 – Max 7
- Week 3 – Post 9 – Seeds Family Worship
Blog Series – PB & J Top Ten
It seems everyone is doing a top ten list these days. Here are the top ten resources for those in Children’s Ministry according to the PB&J blog.
- Don Stott offers a link to a site where you can ask for help with a Bible lesson and Uncle Noah will link to the appropriate resource.
- Who doesn’t love beans? Don Stott offers up two icebreaker game ideas involving beans.
- Kristin Charles offers three book suggestions that will engage your child’s inner-hero.
- The Free CM Stuff blog offers a link and advice on how to build free loops and countdowns for your service.
- Sam Luce offers up five great resources for getting kids to read their Bibles. One of these made my Top Ten List of Christian Books for kids and two were in the honorable mention list.
- CapCity Kidz writes about a great game for you and your family to learn about leading and following.
- Free CM Stuff offers yet another link to a great source for looping videos and countdowns from Muddy River Media.
- Elemental Children’s Ministry offers up this link to Worship House Kids from Worship House Media.
- Charlie Wallace explains this game for a large group of kids with very little preparation.
- From Free CM Stuff, Zoho Forms is a free WISIWYG forms and database creator.
- CM 1234 offers this link to a website that provides free logos for Children’s Ministries.
- Sam Luce offers his list of the resources he uses in Children’s Ministry, and as hurt as I was that I wasn’t included in the list (just kidding), it is still definitely worth reading!
- Free CM Stuff links to a similar site which provides resources for those working in Children’s Ministry.
- Free CM stuff offers a link to a site with a variety of free lessons.
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.
Blog Series – Days of Creation (Preschool Lessons)
Designed for children aged two to five, this lesson series works through the days of creation.<
Blog Series – Creation Day Children’s Church Lessons
In addition to the preschool lesson on creation, Felicia Mollohan from Ministry-to-children.com is doing this series on creation targeted to Kindergarten-5th Graders.
- Ministry-to-Children.com offers this lesson on pride versus humility based on the story of King Nebuchadnezzar.
- Check out this lesson for 3rd – 5th graders from the book of 1 Kings.
- Another lesson for 3rd to 5th graders, this lesson is based on God’s providing for Elijah and the Widow in 1 Kings 17.
- For third to fifth graders, this lesson is based on the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well.
- For kids aged 5 to 12, this lesson examines how Jesus reminds us of his power and love even when we forget about him.
- For kids in the 3rd to 5th grade, this lesson covers one of my favorite stories in the entire Bible.
- Beckie Stewart provides this lesson for Kindergarten-5th Graders based on Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000.
- An interesting lesson for Kindergarteners to Fifth graders on the adulterous woman and Jesus.
- A lesson on the Passover for kids aged five to 12.
- A lesson on Elisha and the widow from 2 Kings 4. This lesson is meant for third to fifth graders.
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.
- This article looks at the debate over whether or not children should be included in the worship service.
- Brenna Phillips examines whether children should worship as a group or with their families.
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.
- This article from CapCity Kidz offers three pieces of advice taken from the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids.
- This article looks at the importance of having a clear plan in raising kids.
- Elemental Children’s Ministry tackles the issue of how much you should shelter your kids.
- Cap City Kidz asks you to consider to timing of instruction and training when it comes to your kids.
- This article includes ten practical tips for helping your children to make new friends at church.
- Glen Woods offers an excerpt from his dissertation related to parental responsibility.
- Cap City Kidz offers practical instructions on dealing with kids who won’t deal with practical instructions.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted or just made me chuckle.
- This one could have gone up under Theology, but since it has to do with laughter (something near and dear to my heart) I put it down here under the Just For Fun section. In this article Mike Gilbart-Smith surveys biblical passages dealing with laughter.
- The continuation of the look at what the Bible has to say about laughter.
- Call me a grammar nerd, but I love this kind of stuff!
- If the last post didn’t seal my identity as a grammar nerd, the fact that I love this one most certainly will!
- Ahhh, If only…..!
- Sheri Mueller reminisces about that moment when you realize that your spouse isn’t normal like you are.
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