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. As always, 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, articles of the past month, I’ve added this little graphic next to titles 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!
We’ve added several new categories this month to make things easier to find. The following is a quick guide to the various sections of The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol:
- On Teaching & Working With Kids
- General Ministry Issues
- Leaders and Leadership
- Family Ministry / Orange
- Kids & Theology
- Kids & Christ
- Kids & Culture
- Internet Sites
- Other Resources (Music, Conferences,Etc.)
- Curriculum and Object Lessons
- Parenting and Marriage Issues
- Devotions for Kids and Families
- 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:
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.
- #28 – See the World Through Their Eyes (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #29 – Don’t Read Your Lesson (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #30 – Break It Up (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #31 – Find the New You (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #32 – Don’t Forget Your Baritone (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #33 – When You’re Not Teaching, Join Them (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #34 – Use Games (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #35 – Get the Kids Involved (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #36 – The Power of the Remote Video (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #37 – Laugh With Them (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #38 – Make Yourself Part of the Lesson (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #39 – Candy, Candy, Candy (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #40 – Play With Them (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #41 – Step Into The Story (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #42 – Be Specific With Your Application (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- #43 – Don’t Be Afraid to Admit That You May Be Too Old (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
- This article is based on a post originally done by Amy Dolan on the importance of storytelling in teaching kids the Bible.
Blog Series – Storytelling 101
Dan Scott looks at the essentials of storytelling in this series.
- The Script and Your Audience
- Characterization and the Dramatic Pause
- Storytelling 101 | Blocking and All Things BLING
- Storytelling 101: Required Reading
Blog Series – Confusing terminology and spiritual concepts for kids
In this series, Kenny Conley examines various terminology that is used in Christian circles and churches which can be confusing to children.
- Confusing terminology and spiritual concepts for kids
- Confusing terminology and spiritual concepts for kids: God
- Confusing terminology and spiritual concepts for kids: Salvation, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
- Confusing terminolgy and spiritual concepts for kids: Hearing God’s voice
One of the critical roles in Children’s Ministry is that of teacher and shepherd of kids. These articles offer tips and advice on teaching and doing presentation for kids as well as general information on working with children.
- The Children’s Ministry Blog offers up this article some advice on leading discussions with kids.
- Donna Perugini examines the importance of choosing the right words when you’re talking to kids.
- This article provides a simple and profound example of how our words impact the children we lead.
- The Acacia in the Desert blog examines the importance of HOW you teach about the miracles recounted in the Bible.
- Gina McClain explores how to get kids engaged in worship.
- Tamera Kraft examines different methods of training teachers in your Children’s Ministry.
- The Children’s Ministry Blog provides a practical listing of types of questions you can use to engage children.
- Justyn Smith reminds us to not sacrifice our real mission at the alter of creativity.
- Justin Taylor summarizes a sermon from C.J. Mahaney on how to interact with your kids in a way that will not cause them view God the Father in a negative way.
- Chad Swanzy shares how he prepares and delivers his lessons.
- Andy Johnson provides a worksheet he uses to prepare lessons for Children’s Ministry.
- Pastor Todd McKeever tells a funny story that illustrates the importance of being clear in what we say. This is particularly true for those of us in children’s ministry as kids, particularly younger kids, are very concrete thinkers.
- Joy Bowens explains the importance, and how to, of motions in children’s worship.
- Kenny Conley wonders if we have thrown the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to certain traditional teaching methods like catechism.
- This article from Children’s Ministry Monthly examines whether teachers should demand respect from their students or earn it.
- One of my passions is finding ways to convey the inherent excitement of the Bible to kids. I loved this post from Northpoint on how they brought the story of David and Goliath to life.
- Jamie Doyle offers five practical things you can do to be creative, innovative, relevant and fun in your ministry.
- Justin Taylor offers a quote from Alasdair MacIntyre on the importance of stories to kids.
- Mimi Bullock offers practical advice on the preparation for, and execution of, communion with children.
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 – 5 Essential For Kidmin
This second series from Greg Baird at Kidmin360 looks at five essential elements of kidmin.
Blog Series – Milestones
In this series, JC looks at specific milestones in Children’s Ministry
- Family Ministry Milestones
- Milestone: What does Kindergarten Look Like?
- Milestone: When do Children Start Reading?
- Milestones: When are Parents Comfortable Making the Change?
- Milestone: The Big Take-Away
- Milestones: The Aha moment
- Milestones: Baptism for Kids
Blog Series – Milestone Transitions
Jonathan Cliff looks at various indications for determining the proper time to advance kids from Kindergarten ministry to “a more mature Elementary environment.”
- Milestone Transitions
- Milestone: What does Kindergarten Look Like?
- Milestone: When do Children Start Reading?
- Milestones: When are Parents Comfortable Making the Change?
Blog Series – Jim Wideman
Although not a series in the traditional sense of the word, Kenny Conley offered a series of posts about Jim Wideman this month. Jim is a bit of a legend in the Kidmin world, and Kenny took some time to examine how Jim has helped him in his ministry.
- New books from Jim Wideman
- Things I’ve learned from Jim Wideman (part 1)
- Things I’ve learned from Jim Wideman (part 2)
- Things I’ve learned from Jim Wideman (part 3)
- Learning from Jim Wideman
Blog Series – Innovation
Sam Luce published article this month on asking the right questions in ministry.
Blog Series – The Kidmin Space
Gina McClain looks at the importance of your physical kidmin space.
Blog Series – Kids Worship Innovation Then & Now
Jim Wideman looks at the evolution of worship in Children’s Ministry.
Blog Series – How to make VBS the biggest thing all summer
Ryan Frank offers six practical tips for making your summer vacation bible school the biggest thing all summer. In a day and age where many churches are scrapping their summer vacation bible schools, it is refreshing to read these articles which extol the virtues of such an event.
Blog Series – Undercover Boss
One of the shows I have started watching recently is Undercover Boss. One of the things I like best about Sam Luce is his keen eye for learning opportunities in secular culture (I don’t care for that phrase by the way, but it fits here). In this series, Sam looks at various leadership lessons to be learned from Undercover Boss.
- What show is a must watch for anyone in #kidmin?
- Undercover Boss: Listen
- Undercover Boss: Thank people specifically
- Undercover Boss: Systems matter
- Small Town Kidmin blog looks at the importance of defining victory before an event happens.
- On the Orange Leaders blog, Tom Shefcunas takes an interesting look at the difference between hooks and anchors in Childern’s Ministry and wonders which one you are building your ministry on.
- Matthew Guevara provides practical tips for making a meeting all that it can be.
- Mimi Bullock from Ministry-to-Children.com looks at some important things to consider if you are planning a block party for your ministry.
- This article offers five unique ways to have fun with your kids.
- Jared from the Small Town Kidmin Blog reminds us that what is relevant in one community may be totally irrelevant to another.
- Many people feel like they aren’t cut out for Children’s Ministry because they are not musically inclined, This article offers some helpful tips for those of us who are tone deaf and sound more like a dying cow when we sing than a performer.
- Sam Luce reflects on his first year in Jim Wideman’s Infuse program and shares some of the insights he picked up.
- This article from Logos Ministry shares some age specific goals for the spiritual maturation of children.
- Todd McKeever looks at ways that we hinder kids and how we can keep from doing that in Children’s Ministry.
- This short article looks at an aspect of children’s ministry which I think is sometimes overlooked – consistency.
- Effective Children’s Ministry links to an article from ChildrensMinistry.com which includes 10 things which will threaten the growth of your Children’s Ministry.
- As those involved in Children’s Ministry, we oftentimes see the normal everyday things of the world through the eyes of children. One of the things I appreciate about Kenny Conley is that he does just that.
- This articles looks at various targets, goals and purposes that a Children’s Ministry should have.
- JC reminds us all of the importance of following God and modeling the act of listening to God for the kids in our lives.
- One thing I really like about Kenny Conley’s blog is that his posts run the gamut from the extremely theoretical and thought-provoking to the extremely practical. In this article, which tends towards the practical side, Kenny examines what he looks for in volunteer T-shirts.
- Todd McKeever offers three tips for sharing the Word of God with your kids.
- This article from A Heart After Children includes some cool optical illusions and reminds us not to put God in a box based on our perceptions.
- Last week I watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and it opened my eyes to a lot of different things. As he often does, Kenny Conley sees parallels between this show and children’s ministry.
- Ryan Frank shares this list given to him by a friend of ten reminders for leaders in children’s ministry.
- Larry Shallenberger looks at the challenges of putting on a Vacation Bible School in today’s day and age.
- This article offers five questions to evaluate the spiritual health of your children’s ministry.
- Victory Circle offers practical advice to those entering a new position in children’s ministry.
- Tim Elmore looks at helping youth today feel less overwhelmed.
- Sam Luce offers alternatives to the phrase “Seeing the light come on.”
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
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. This series, which started last month, is Brother Jim’s look at persevering in Children’s Ministry.
Blog Series – Build A Better Meeting
Last month Amy Dolan from Lemon Lime Kids started a series offering tips for having a better and more productive meeting. She continued that series this month
- #3: build a better meeting
- #4: build a better meeting
- #5: build a better meeting
- #6: build a better meeting
Blog Series – Leading Through Challenges
In this series, Pudge Huckaby looks at seven things to remember whenleading people through a challenging time based on the book “7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis” by Bill George.
Blog Series – What Kind of Leader Are You?
Children’s Ministry Blog looks at different ways of leading and relating to children to help ensure that they don’t walk away from church.
Blog Series – A Growing Leader
In this series, Jim Wideman examines several characteristics of a growing leader.
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner-Part 2
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner-Part 3
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner-Part 4
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner-Part 5
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner-Part 6
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner-Part 7
- A Growing Leader Is A Learner-Part 8
- This article contains the best analogy I’ve ever heard about not trying to take on too much too soon when you are in a leadership position.
- Kenny Conley looks at ways for a leader to keep from getting lonely at the top.
- Jamie Doyle offers a challenge to pastors (and all leaders frankly) to invest in those under their leadership.
- Jim Kast-Keat is on an interesting and commendable trek this year to simplify. This month he tackles slowing down the pace of life in general.
- Following his challenge to pastors, Jamie Doyle offers this challenge to Kidmin leaders.
- Greg Baird offers a little acronym to remember what is mean to be a leader in ministry.
- Donald Miller looks at God’s plan to slow us down
- Jamie Doyle challenges us to ponder this question in our ministry to children. If everyone were like me, what would Kidmin look like? It’s a great way to identify areas where you may want to change your approach or your attitude.
- Perry Noble examines the importance of the question “What Do You Think?” to leaders.
- Jared Masey offers a link to a free online personality test and explains that it is important that we know who we are as leaders.
- Kendra Fleming encourages you to examine what your personal blind spots might be and how they affect those you lead.
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.
- One of the principal jobs of a leader is to train others. This article from Bill Emeott looks at the value of training others.
- Larry Shallenberger looks at why those of us in Children’s Ministry should be actively recruiting helpers from the high school ministry.
- Inside North Point Kids offers insight into their own volunteer orientation program.
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.
- I love the catchy title from Orange Leaders, but what this article is really about is making the most of your time spent with parents.
- Tony Kummer offers some links to various resources related to family ministry.
- Rob Bradbury, of Planet Shakers and Children’s Ministry 1234, offers a seven step plan for family ministry to help kids grow up in God. He’s got a great graphic to go with a great plan too!
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 – When Can A Child Believe
Kids Ministry 101 asks the age old question of when a child is old enough to have (and accordingly also a responsibility to choose) a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Blog Series – Personal Agency and Childhood Conversion
In this series, Doug Wolter shares an e-mail conversation he had with Dr. Eric Johnson, Professor of Pastoral Care at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on the issue of personal agency and childhood conversion.
- This article from Justin Taylor has nothing to do with Children’s Ministry. It is however an interesting look at the different levels of “importance” when it comes to doctrine. I believe that those of us who work with kids should be grounded in doctrine and therefore this article is important to our own spiritual development.
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.
Blog Series – Responsible Evangelism with Kids
The Kids Ministry 101 blog from Bill Emeott examines thirteen principles for approaching children with the gospel of Christ in a responsible way.
- Our goal in Children’s Ministry should be to lead children to Christ. This article offers some practical advice on that process.
- Jerry Moyer talks about sharing the Gospel with kids.
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.
Blog Series – Commercialism and Faith
In this series, Donald Miller explores the relationship between the language of culture (i.e., commercialism) and faith.
- Commercialism and Faith Pt 1: The Effect of Commercials on the Human Brain
- Commercialism and Faith Pt 2: Paradise Lost
- Commercialism and Faith Pt 3: Rituals and Evangelical Voodoo
Blog Series – Can We Put Adolescence to Rest
Tim Elmore examines the cultural trend of prolonged adolescence.
- Anchor Children’s Ministry examines the difference between today’s “families” and families in the New Testament era.
- Funny Man Dan looks at the obsession with fame in our culture. As an aside, I would ask for his autograph if I could.
- This article looks at the impact cell phones are having on kids today.
- The Arise and Eat blogs looks at the growth in the alarming trend of cyber-bullying among youth.
- This article from CentriKids offers a brief summary of five shows the kids in your ministry might be watching.
- By the time this is published, Easter will be over, but I thought the facts in this article were interesting none-the-less.
- This article offers some interesting statistics on the prevalence of divorce in this country and asks whether your ministry is prepared to deal with the implication of the statistics.
- This article offers interesting insight into how children and youth are watching T.V. these days.
- Tim Elmore offers some advice on dealing with those from Generation Y.
One of the fun things about working in Children’s Ministry is playing games with kids. As Games Leader in AWANA each week, this is near and dear to my heart. In this section, I have accumulated articles about and links to various games.
- Effective Children’s Ministry provides a free Powerpoint template for a Bible review game.
- Acacia in the Desert provides a game for preschoolers which teaches that man is made in the image of God.
There are lots of great books out there about Children’s Ministry and lots of great books for kids. In this section, we accumulated reviews and recommendations to such books.
Blog Series – Review of Formational Children’s Ministry
Various bloggers reviewed Ivy Beckwith’s new book – Formational Children’s Ministry this month. These group blogging projects are really catching on. I am looking forward to participating in one or two in the coming months myself.
- Day One – Larry Shallenberger
- Day Two – Michael Novelli
- Day 3 – Liz Perraud
- Day 4 – Henry Zonio
- Day 5 – Barabara Graves
- Day 6 – Lori Bethran
- Day 7 – Matthew Guevara
- Day 8 – Sam Luce
- Day 9 – Amy Dolan
- Donna Perugini looks at the importance of reading to your kids and how to pick the right thing to read to your kids. I am happy to announce that I have corresponded with Ms. Perugini, and I will be reviewing her book(s) sometime in the near future here on Dad in the Middle.
- Kenny Conley links to a unique site which offers reviews of children’s books from a father and his kids.
- I can’t wait to get my hands on this new book from Sojourn Kids! Now I just need to find someone to send me a preview copy to review on Dad in the Middle (Hint! Hint!) .
- Kenny Conley offers his review of this revolutionary (pun intended) book from George Barna.
- Tim Challies, one of the most prolific readers I know of, offers his advice on ways to read more and make better use of your reading time.
The goal of the Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol is to bring together useful resources for those involved in Children’s Ministry. Many bloggers out there write about their favorite web sites. This section is for those types of articles.
- Lin Pearson, from Effective Children’s Ministry, was kind enough to link to last month’s Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol again this month. If the title of this post wasn’t so familiar at this point, I might think of changing it to the Bumper Bundle.
- Free CM Stuff links to a site that contains various free family activities to use in your ministry or with your own kids.
- Andy Johnson offers this link to a site with some good ideas and some motivational resources.
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 – R U Smarter than A Fly
This series of videos looks at four biblical stories through the eyes of a couple of flies.
- R U Smarter than a Fly? Fly in the Eye
- R U Smarter Than a Fly? Christmas Pudding
- R U Smarter than a Fly? Rubbish Heap
- R U Smarter Than A Fly? – Darkness
Blog Series – Napkin Conference
Glen Woods is nice enough to share some of his notes from this year’s Napkin conference.
- Napkin 2010: Introducing a Great Conference!
- Napkin Conference: Great Networking Opportunity
- Napkin Ideas Session 1: Justyn Smith
- Napkin Ideas Session 2: Benny Perez
- Napkin Ideas Session 3: Ryan Frank
- Napkin Ideas Session 4: Yancy Richmond
- Napkin Ideas Session 5: Jim Wideman
- Napkin Ideas Session 6: Justyn Smith
- Kenny Conley provides links to some fun things you can add to your elementary rooms!
- Acacia in the Dessert offers instruction on building a kid-sized tabernacle for preschoolers.
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.
- Children’s Moment blog offers this lesson for teaching kids about prayer.
- This Q&A type lesson teaches kids about the time Jesus stayed at the temple in Jerusalem.
- Beckie Stewart from Ministry-to-Children.com offers up this lesson for 7-12 year olds based on Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- Beckie Stewart, from Ministry-to-Children.com, uses the story of Jesus calling the disciples in this lesson for 7-12 year olds on the rewards of being obedient.
- The Children’s Ministry Blog offers a fun lesson for teaching kids the lesson of the wise and foolish builders.
- This object lesson from Kelly Henderson at Ministry-to-Children.com is for kids aged 9 to 12 is a review of the first 9 chapters of the book of Acts.
- This lesson intended for preschoolers helps kids to recognize Jesus as the Good Shepherd who saves us.
- From Acacia in the Desert, this is a great activity for preschool kids related to creation.
- This lesson intended for preschoolers helps kids to recognize Jesus as the Good Shepherd who loves us.
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.
- Want to know how to frustrate your kids? This article gives you the top ten ways. Head on over and take a personal inventory to see how you are doing.
- Doug Wolter offers advice to parents on dealing with emotional kids.
- I haven’t YET listened to the sermon associated with the article, but the article provides a Godly perspective on raising kids.
- This article examines how awkward moments (particularly with teens) can often offer the best opportunity for spiritual guidance.
- Being a parent is hard work. This article from Shepherd Press offers some encouraging words to wearied parents.
- apPARENTly blogging offers 13 great tips for you and your family to engage around the dinner table.
- apPARENTly Blogging offers 13 more fun ideas for the family dinner.
There are great sites out there with devotions for families and kids. These are great resources which we can point families too.
- Jared Kennedy offers up some ideas for devotionals based on the book of Matthew in this article.
- This devotional for kids teaches the importance of not grumbling based on the story of the Israelites from the book of Numbers.
- Enjoy this devotional based on the parable of the mustard seed from the Book of Mark.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted, useful or just made me chuckle.
- Kenny Conley linked to this site which has nothing to do with Children’s Ministry but did manage to take up a couple hours of my day. This site includes links to play various games from the original Nintendo system online. As a child of the 80’s and 90’s, I had a blast!
- Stuff Christians Like makes a triumphant return to The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol with this article on having kids memorize verses.
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