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. As you might suspect, there were a lot, and I mean A LOT, of articles about Christmas this past month. I tried to limit the number in the Blog Patrol (seeing as how you won’t read it until January), but there were a couple I could not resist including.
I’ve decided I like the “must read” feature, so I am going to stick with it for now. As I’ve said before, I think they’re all must-reads, but for the best-of-the best, I’ve added this little 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
There weren’t a lot of Children’s Ministry posts on Dad in the Middle last month as we spent most of the month doing the Christmas Carol Advent.
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.
- Kristin Charles, from Ministry-to-Children.com looks at the seven laws of teaching. How do you apply these laws to your Children’s Ministry?
- Mike Johnson looks at the importance of the Bible and his method for getting kids involved in the stories of the Bible.
- aPARENTly Blogging offers 8 practical tips for engaging your tween in conversation.
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 – Keep Your Focus
This is the continuation of a series started last month on the Free CM Stuff blog dedicated to resources to help in your spiritual growth.
Blog Series – Five People to Meet in Twenty10
Anthony Prince concludes a series started last month listing people he would like to make contact with in the coming year.
Blog Series – 5 Things I Hate About Children’s Ministry
Jonathan Cliff looks at five negative directions and roles that Children’s Pastors often take on.
- #1 – The Irrelevant Children’s Minister
- #2 – The “One-Man Show” Children’s Minister
- #3 – The Children’s Pastor that Ignores Early Childhood
- #4 – The “Jump on my Sinking Ship” Children’s Minister
- #5 – The Ungrateful Children’s Minister
Blog Series – Staying Dynamic in Children’s Ministry
In this series, Elemental Children’s Ministry looks at eight things a Children’s Ministry needs to do in order to remain dynamic. He tackled four of them this month.
- Take 2.0 links to a Barna study that reveals the importance of Children’s Ministries in the spiritual formation of adults.
- The article from the Awana blog reminds us that kids, and not just our own kids, are always watching us. We should make sure that we are showing them Christ in our actions not just our words.
- Jim Wideman reminds us that ministry is draining, and it is important that you invest in your relationship with God before you actually need it.
- Jim Wideman offers 10 practical ideas for helping you stay renewed in ministry.
- James Kennison lists six things about Children’s Church that are important to him in his ministry.
- Spencer Click reminds us that it isn’t always a good sign when things are running smoothly.
- A great article from John Piper on requiring kids to behave in ways which conform to God’s will.
- Chad Swanzy examines a list of things you should contemplate to see if you are ready to go into Children’s or Youth Ministry on a full-time basis.
- Perry Noble relates a story from their Children’s Ministry and examines how we approach unsaved kids.
- This article looks at what worship truly is and the relationship between kids and worship.
- J.C. examines the components of a devotional for kids.
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
Blog Series – Casting Vision to Your Church Staff
Kenny Conley had an opportunity to spend ninety minutes talking to the leadership of his church about the Children’s Ministry. This series captures what he said.
Blog Series – Leading With Help
In this series, Jim Wideman looks at the importance of including others in your Children’s Ministry efforts.
- Jim Wideman discusses coming to the realization that everyone will not like you and your decisions in ministry.
- Orange leaders looks at some practical tips for getting your team on the same page.
- Perry Noble offers up seven questions that any leadership team, in Children’s Ministry or otherwise, should ask on a consistent basis.
- Rags Studio looks at the four “A’s” of change.
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.
- This article examines the need for small group leaders to be invested in the lives of the kids they lead and what that means in terms of what should be expected of small group leaders.
- Jared Kennedy, from Sojourn Kids, shares their Children’s Ministry Servant Covenant. What do you ask your volunteers to agree to before you let them volunteer?
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 – A Christmas Story: From the Beginning to the Beginning of the End
Kevin DeYoung looks at the Christmas story in its context from the beginning og recorded history to the end. I tried not to include too much Christmas stuff in this Blog Patrol, but this series is worth checking out!
- Justin Taylor links to an article from R.C. Sproul which explains the origins of using X to symbolize Christ. I tried not include a lot of articles about Christmas, but this one was interesting and dispels some myths popular in Christian circles.
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.
- I’ve said it on here before, and I’ll say it again, I love reading stories about kids coming to Christ. This story from Kidologist Karl Bastian is one such story.
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.
- This article from Church Relevance looks at the top words searched by kids in 2009. WARNING – some of the words in this list are offensive. WARNING – That’s the point!
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.
- I tried not to include too much Christmas stuff in this month’s installment since it will be published in January, but this is a great resource that you might want to hang on to until next year.
- Free CM Stuff links to this site with various free materials for children’s ministry.
- Scripture Lady offers up this 20-Questions type game for guessing Bible characters.
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.
- A lesson on depending on God based on Daniel chapter 1.
- This lesson geared towards kids in kindergarten through the fifth grade teaches kids how anger can affect their decisions based on the book of Esther.
- Ministry-to-Children.com offers this lesson for 9 to 12 year olds based on Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego in the Fiery Furnace.
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.
- Kenny Conley wonders “family ministry” is really the solution or just another trend. I think articles like this are important in that they force you to step back from the “hype” and really give some thought to issues important to Children’s Ministry.
- Anchor Children’s Ministry looks at a trend in churches to go back to having kids worship with their parents.
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.
- I tried not to include too many articles in this edition of the The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol, but last month’s installment of the Children’s
- Lot’s of people offered their take on Santa last month. I thought this article was definitely worth reading.
- Children’s Ministry.com examines an article from Time Magazine on overprotective parents. If you know this type of helicopter parents, deal with them, or are one, you’ll definitely want to check out this article.
- This blog from the AWANA programs offers seven practical things you can do as a parent to help teach your kids how to be kind. Not surprisingly, all of them involve modeling the behavior for our kids!
- Perry Noble offers up seven reasons why marriages fail and, consequently, seven things you should be on the watch out for in your own marriage.
- Pastor George Pearson offers ten practical tips for being a better Dad based on Biblical standards.
- Sojourn Kids offers a short video from John Piper on spanking.
- Chad Swanzy offers from advice to parents from a youth minister.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted or just made me chuckle.
- From the Human Error Blog, this post looks at diagrams of good and bad methods of parenting.
- Tim Challies offers a write-up of a “Christian” board game that you’ll have to read to believe.
- A message for fathers from the Old Testament.
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