Welcome to The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol. Every month we gather links from around the blogging world related to Children’s Ministry and issues important to those who work in Children’s Ministry and gather then together here in one place. There were a lot of great articles published this month in the world of Children’s Ministry. I hope you will take a few moments to check them out.
To help identify what I view as the best, or most important, posts of the month, I’ve added this little graphic next to title of particularly pertinent posts. I think they’re all must-reads, but if you’re running short on time, you should make sure that you check out these articles at a minimum!
Last month, in response to what was dubbed “Orange Week,” I added a separate section called Orange Week. It was supposed to be a one month addition, but this month Henry Zonio featured a review of the book Orange by multiple bloggers. With the Orange conference coming up soon, I may just leave this section for the time being. Here is an index to that and the other sections of The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol:
- Practical Teaching Tips and Advice
- General Ministry Issues
- Leaders and Leadership
- Everything Orange
- 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
As has become a custom here in on the Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol, I’ve included this graphic to warn you / let you know where a post came from Dad in the Middle. I finally updated the graphic this month to match the new look of Dad in the Middle.
With that introduction, let’s have a look at some articles you might have missed this past 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 – Tips for Large Group Teaching
Last month, I started a new series in which we look at various tips that can be used in Large Group Teaching situations. The entire series can be found at this link. The following were the entries to the series this month.
- #13 – It’s All About Jesus (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #14 – Be Yourself (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #15 – Challenge Your Kids (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #16 – Teach From the Book (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #17 – Read About Teaching (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #18 – Keep It Simple (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #19 – Point Everything in the Same Direction (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #20 – You Must Keep Learning to Keep Teaching (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #21 – Don’t Lose Sight of Your Own Spiritual Journey (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #22 – Invite Questions From the Kids (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #23 – The Power of Open-Ended Questions (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #24 – Always Be a Source of Encouragement (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #25 – Understanding Different Learning Styles (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #26 – Always Be On The Lookout (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #27 – Love Them Like Jesus (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
Blog Series – Communicating With Children
This series by Michael Chanley over at CmConnect.org looks at some tips on how to communicate with kids.
Blog Series – The Dynamics of a Small Group
Pudge Huckaby examines the personalities and challenges in leading a small group.
- This article offers six tips for telling stories to pre-school aged children. That said, many of the tips are applicable to storytelling at any age level.
- The Children’s Ministry Blog looks at how to gear your teaching towards the seven different learning styles in order to be most effective.
- From Effective Children’s Ministry, this article looks at an acronym based on the word smile to help you improve communication skills.
- This guest post on Sam Luce’s blog was written by Funny Man Dan looks at the use of fillers (like “um”) in communication and what you can do about them.
- Sam Luce follows up on an earlier guest post on the use of fillers in speaking. He offers ten tips for avoiding the “Ums” in speaking.
- Based on an off-hand comment I made in the Ministry-to-Children.com Forums asking whether or not anyone actually uses flannel graph anymore, Lin Pearson of Effective Children’s Ministry wrote this informative article on the pros and cons of flannel graph.
- Karen Wingate from the “Inside the Classroom” blog examines your role in managing classroom conflict.
- Kristin Charles from Ministry-to-Children.com offers five practical ideas for getting kids’ attention.
- I don’t know if I like this article because of how useful it is or just because it matches up with how I prepare my lessons. Regardless, Ryan Frank presents a great tool for preparing a sermon that I can attest will work well for children’s ministry lessons as well.
- Tamera Kraft from Revival Fire for Kids offers some common sense reminders for those teaching kids.
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 – Dear kidmin curriculum publishers
Kenny Conley from Ministrytochildren.com offers his input to publishers of Children’s Ministry curriculum.
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Defining roles
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Curriculum distribution
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Video curriculum
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Leverage creative collaboration
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Family content
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Video access
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Independent standards
- Ministry resources: risk versus safety
- Dear kidmin curriculum publishers: Conclusion
Blog Series – Power to Last
Jim Wideman is a fixture in the world of Children’s Ministry. He has been around for years helping others in the field, and in this series he looks at persevering.
Blog Series – What is Kidmin?
Kidmin360.com is the new blog of Greg Baird. In his first series of posts, Greg examines what kidmin should be all about.
Blog Series – 3 Things Pastors Need to Read
Dustin “Can I Buy A Vowel Please” Aagaard takes a look at three things every pastor should read. Number one won’t surprise you, but two and three are a little more out of the box. Though this series is not geared specifically towards those in Children’s Ministry, it is certainly true for us as well.
- This article examines the importance of Children’s Ministry in a church.
- I am a fan of Charles Spurgeon (to the extent that you can be a “fan” of a preacher). I appreciate his simplicity, straightforwardness and deep thought. That’s one of the reasons I am in the middle of a fairly lengthy synopsis of his book Come ‘Ye Children. This article examines a Spurgeon sermon on the importance of Children’s Ministry.
- This article from Emily Meredith offers some insight into the policies and procedures for the Children’s Ministry at North Point Church.
- Justyn Smith talks about curriculums and the ability to customize that curriculum.
- James Kennison looks at the importance of packaging in Children’s Ministry. As he explains, “Packaging isn’t the most important part of children’s ministry… but it is an important part.”
- Tamera Kraft provides ten tips on building a Children’s Ministry. From communication to accountability, this article hits on foundational principles.
- Sam Luce examines the role of the Holy Spirit in a child’s life and wonders why it is largely ignored in Children’s Ministry.
- Here are 101 phrases you can use to praise a child. Pick a few and use them with your kids today!
- Sam Luce looks at the building a children’s ministry on the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Dale Hudson reminds us that work in Children’s Ministry sometimes includes grief and tears.
- I think Sam Luce is one of the most creative Kidmin people I’ve found on the internet. In this post he speaks to the value of icons in conveying the core attitudes of his children’s ministry, and yes he does provide pictures.
- Jamie Doyle looks at the necessity of good stewardship when it comes to spending your ministry resources.
- Each Tuesday Take 2.0 ministries answers questions texted in on Sundays by their 4th through 6th graders. I highlighted this post for two reasons. First, I love the use of a technology that the kids are familiar with to interact with them. I applaud Take 2.0 to for staying on the cutting edge. More importantly though, I appreciate the fact that Take 2.0 is dedicated to drawing questions out of the kids they minister to.
- How does your ministry deal with kids who have no family in the church?
- This is a great article on how we, as adults, benefit from the Children’s Sermon.
- The most important thing we must do in Children’s Ministry has nothing directly to do with Children’s Ministry itself. This article reminds us that our first priority is being a follower of Christ.
- This article includes tips on creating an inviting environment for guests.
- In this latest installment of Ministry-to-Children.com’s Children’s Ministry Think Tank the likes of Gina McClain, Sam Luce, Kenny Conley, Brenna Phillips and yours truly answer questions related to the call into Children’s Ministry (and yes I feel l a little bit like a t-baller thrown into the starting lineup of the New York Yankees being part of this group!).
- This article offers useful advice on the process of making children into disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Sam Luce shares his ideas about how to create a successful team.
- CM Buzz talks about the process of coming up with a new vision based on Andy Stanely’s book “Making Vision Stick.”
- Gina McClain asks, “What do you give to parents who have just recently responded to the gospel to help them be spiritual leaders with their kids?”
- Acacia in the Desert is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs for discussions of Children’s Ministry theory. In this article they look at the benefits of scripture memorization.
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
Blog Series – Leading When You’re Young
Last months, we started a series from 23 year old J.C. which looks at the leading others when you’re still young/ He continued that series this month (I went ahead and included the entries from the prior Blog Patrol as well.)
Blog Series – Learning 2 Lead
In this series, Pudge Huckaby shares what he is learning about leadership.
Blog Series – Build A Better Meeting
In this series, Amy Dolan from Lemon Lime Kids offers several tips for having a better and more productive meeting.
- Anna Light looks at overcoming the urge to be a people pleaser.
- My wife loves the food channel. She watches it a lot, and her love for it has rubbed off on me and my kids. My 8 year old son knows chefs and ingredients that normal 8 year olds have never heard of. One of the shows we like to watch as a family is Iron Chef America. Whether you are a fan of the show or not, you will benefit from the five qualities of leadership which Dan Scott gleans from an episode of Iron Chef.
- This article from the North Point Kids blog looks at how to develop leaders for your ministry team.
- This article from Free CM Stuff provides a pdf worksheet to help you initiate effective change.
- Todd McKeever reviews an article from Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson Publishers on understanding biblical leadership.
- Anna Light Ministries offers biblical words of encouragement.
- Pete Wilson shares a quote which lays out the difference between a leader and a boss. If you’re in a position of leadership (or a boss), you should definitely check out this post.
For one month only, I’ve added a section for links to all the Orange Week posts from various Children’s Ministry bloggers around the internet. If you’re interested in the Orange concept, make sure to check out these articles.
Blog Series – Think Orange Group Blogging Project
Last month, we featured Orange week where a number of blogs spent a week digging into the different aspects of the Orange philosophy. This month, Elemental Children’s Ministry sponsored a group blogging project on the book Think Orange by Reggie Joiner. Elemental did a similar series on a book several months ago, and I’m hoping to get in on the next one planned for sometime in April.
- Chapter 1: Orange-ology
- Chapter 2: Bright Lights
- Chapter 3: Warm Hearts
- Chapter 4: Orange Glow
- Chapter 5: Skeeples and Lomes
- Chapter 6: Essential #1 Integrate Strategy
- Chapter 7: Essential #2 Refine The Message
- Chapter 8: Essential #3 Reactivate The Family
- Chapter 9: Essential #4 Elevate Community
- Think Orange Group Blog Project – Chapter 10: Essential #5 Leverage Influence
- Think Orange Group Blog Project – Conclusion: Orange-ality
- Wrap Up: A Standing Orange-Vation
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.
- Recruiting volunteers is a constant battle in many Children’s Ministries. This article offers number of practical reasons why parents should serve in Children’s Ministry.
- Kenny Conley examines types of teenagers and how they can help you out in your Children’s Ministry.
- Kenny Conley turned me on to this blog from Jared Masey who writes specifically for those who work in Children’s Ministries in smaller towns and churches. In this article, Jared examines the struggles and importance of learning to trust your volunteers.
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.
- Terry Delaney continues his look at the apologetics in Children’s Ministry.
- I am passionate about the Bible and specifically about kids and the Bible. One of the things I spend a lot of time thinking about is how to make sure that we do not convey (explicitly or implicitly) the message to kids that Bible is similar to other fictional stories they read or hear. In this article from the Acacia in the Dessert Blog looks at appropriate introductions to Biblical stories taken from (where else?) the Bible.
- Henry Zonio from Elemental Children’s Ministry wrote an article for Children’s Ministry Magazine about what apologetics might look like for kids today. This article includes a link to the full Children’s Ministry Magazine article.
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.
- In this article, Donna Perugini offers insight into how to transition kids from simply liking God to having a relationship with him.
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 is a listing of the top ten bestselling children’s books of all time.
- This article is packed with eight practical tips for reading to preschoolers in order to keep their attention and interest.
- The Logos ministry looks at parenting in the increasingly fast-paced culture that we live in.
- Larry Shallenberger links to a USA Today article filled with information on the youngest generation.
- The Revival Fire for Kids Blog offers some interesting characteristics and data on the Z Generation born between 1999 and 2005. My middle two kids, and the kids in my room on Sunday fall into this generation. It was revealing to compare them to the information from this article.
- Tamera Kraft from The Revival Fire for Kids blog offers some interesting cultural information on the Homelander Generation.
- In a follow-up to an earlier post, Tamera Kraft looks at ways to minister to the Homelander Generation.
- apparently Blogging offers up this alarming statistic on tweens and alcohol.
- CM Buzz looks at recent statistics regarding the amount of time kids spend online.
- The Children’s Minister Blog offers up this link to information from the Children’s Ministry Agency- Assemblies of God USA with information on how to approach kids with different types of personalities.
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.
- This article is all about the great forums available at Ministry-to-Children.com. It is a resource that you will definitely want to check out!
- This is a great resource from Seeds Family Worship to help kids and adults memorize scripture.
- In one of our last posts of the month, I provided a thorough review of Phil Vischer’s new endeavor called “What’s In The Bible.” You can find out what I thought of the video here.
- Effective Children’s Ministry is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs and resource sites on the internet. They were kind enough to link to last month’s Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol in this article. This article also introduced me to the phrase “Bumper Bundle.”
- Ryan Frank from K Magazine (can’t wait for the next issue by the way) provides a listing of 11 books every children’s pastor should have and read. The end result of this article for me is another trip to the book store!
- Free CM Stuff offers up a link to Faith Incubators and their site called FaithInk games.
- Effective Children’s Ministry has added part 2 to their series on reasons to believe the Bible. You will definitely want to check out this PowerPoint presentation.
- Free CM Stuff offers up a link to Dramatix which is a site full of thousands of Christian skits.
- Elsewhere in the Blog Patrol, we have featured posts from Effective Children’s Ministry which include PowerPoint presentations on the reliability of the Bible. In this third installment they tackle the structure of the Bible with an equally compelling presentation.
- The Free CM Stuff blog offers up a link to a site which offers daily devotionals for kids. You will definitely want to check this site out.
- Glen Woods offers up this review of the good points and concerns related to this recent book from Ivy Beckwith.
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.
- This lesson for 1st to 6th graders teaches kids to make use of what they have now rather than just dreaming about what they want to do when they get older. It is based on the story of Joseph.
- This lesson from Betty Benson Robertson teaches kids about biblical love based on the story of the good Samaritan.
- This lesson plan from Ministry-to-Children.com teaches preschoolers aged 3-5 to develop a love for God’s Word.
- Free CM Stuff links to these 13 free lessons from the Book of Hebrews presented by Dick Gruber and Jason Rhode who host the Children’s Ministry Talk podcast.
- Free CM Stuff offers a link to a collection of Old and New Testament lessons from Calvary Chapel.
- A Heart After Children links to a website with a multitude of Sunday School lessons and resources.
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 from North Point Kids talks about how they create a shared family experience.
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.
- Cap City Kidz offers insight into the three components of a child’s attitude. It also offers advice to parents on what they can do to change those attitudes.
- The 22 Words blog explains how being a dull parent is good for their development.
- As a parent, I have to plead guilty on this one!
- Trevin Wax offers 3 unique ways to play with your kids. If you’re looking for something new to do with your kids, make sure you check this out.
- This post from CMConnect offers five steps that we must go through in order to instill a work ethic in our kids.
- Jay Younts explores the importance and art of listening to your kids.
- Justin Taylor looks at how God uses the institution of marriage in our sanctification based on the book What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul Tripp.
- This article by Susan Alexander Yates offers six tips for strengthening your marriage during the parenting years.
- Cap City Kidz helps parents to use their children’s conscience in raising kids.
- Cap City Kidz offers advice to parents on how to develop the conscience of their children.
- Jared Kennedy looks at some common goals we have for our kids that can easily become idols if we are not careful.
- This articles wonders if you are pushing your kids towards average or above-average.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted, useful or just made me chuckle.
- I enjoyed this look at the lighter side of Biblical love so I thought I would post it here.
- As someone who enjoys writing, I found this article very useful.
- Michael Hyatt offers ten tips for reading non-fiction books. Since non-fiction makes up 99% of what I read, I found this article fascinating.
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