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 of 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 continued to add new categories. On the heels of adding categories for Storytelling and Discipline and renamed “Kids & Theology” to “Kids & The Bible” last month, this month we’ve added a separate category for Vacation Bible School as more and more articles on the topic begin to appear. If you have any category ideas, please let me know!
We are introducing a new feature this month called “Featured Article of the Month.” As I explain in the introduction to that section, “The idea of this section is to pick the one article (or series) each month which had the greatest impact on me and I thought would be the most useful to the readers of The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol. That said, I know myself, and there is a good chance that I may include more than one article each month where I found it impossible to pick just one. I do promise to keep it to three or fewer though! (Note: These articles are also included in their proper categories below).”
The following is a quick guide to the various sections of The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol:
- Featured Article of the Month
- On Teaching & Working With Kids
- General Ministry Issues
- Leaders and Leadership
- Family Ministry / Orange
- Kids & The Bible
- Kids & Christ
- Kids & Culture
- Internet Sites & Resources
- Other Resources (Music, Conferences, Etc.)
- Curriculum and Object Lessons
- Parenting and Marriage Issues
- Devotions for Kids and Families
- Just For Fun
- Ministry-to-Children.com Articles
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. I am also now writing for Ministry-to-Children.com. You can find links to those articles below under the section titled Ministry-to-Children.com Articles.
The last couple of days of this month were dominated by posts related to the Orange Conference. Rather than include all of those here, please check out the following two articles which I posted related to Orange:
With that introduction, let’s have a look at some articles you might have missed this past month:
The idea of this section is to pick the one article (or series) each month which had the greatest impact on me and I thought would be the most useful to the readers of The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol. That said, I know myself, and there is a good chance that I may include more than one article each month where I found it impossible to pick just one. I do promise to keep it to three or fewer though! (Note: These articles are also included in their proper categories below).
- I decided to do things a little bit differently this month. What impacted me most this month was not one particular blog entry but a series of them related to the free e-book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry. The link above is to a page which includes links to all the entries this prior month related to the book including my office review of the book. In My Official Review, I have included an updated list of link to all of the blog posts (including my own) related to the book. Those include (as of today):
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – The Teaser Post – from Dad in the Middle
- The Best New Kidmin Resource…For FREEEEEEEEEE? – from SmallTownKidmin (Jared Massey)
- It’s Coming | What Matters Now – from Dan Scott
- Preview: What Matters Now In Children’s Ministry – Anthony Prince preview post
- Vision | One Word – from Dan Scott (when he writing his chapter)
- Free E-book: What Matters Now – Larry Shallenberger
- What Matters Now? – David Wakerley
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Ebook Release! – Matt Guevara
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Henry Zonio
- “What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry?” – Logos Ministry
- What Matters Now In Children’s Ministry: Free eBook! – Anthony Prince
- What matters now? – Kenny Conley
- Can You Say…Free Book! – One Way Street
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Dan Scott
- Free inspiring children’s ministry e-book – Lin Pearson
- What Matters Now? – Jill Nelson
- What Matters Now In Children’s Ministry – Barbara Graves
- Does it really matter? – Greg Baird
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – New ebook – Kelly Dolan
- Give away Tuesday: Free collaboration book. – Sam Luce
- FREE E-book for Children’s Ministry – Pastor Steve
- Free E-Book! – Lindsey
- What Matters Now…Finally – Jared Massey
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – DOP Candy
- What matters NOW in children’s ministry – Amy Dolan
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Digital – Matt Guevara (His chapter from the book)
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry: Ingenuity – Henry Zonio (on his chapter from the book)
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Worldview – What my contribution would have been
- why i chose confidence – Amy Dolan expands on her contribution to the book
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Karl Bastian
- What Matters Now… – Wndy Douglas on Connections
- What (Else) Matters Now – Barabara Graves on Foundations
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Empowerment – Matthew Guevara on Empowerment
- Effectiveness As Told Through Stories – Dan Scott expands on storytelling as a means of measuring effectiveness
- What Matters Now in Children’s Mnistry – More – Matthew Geuvara on the chapter from Byron Ragains
- what matters NOW: space – Amy Dolan on Sean Miller’s contribution to the book on space
- What Matter Now in Children’s Ministry – Parents by Gina McClain – Here’s my write up on Gina McClain’s contribution which I thought cut to the core of the purpose of children’s ministry.
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Wonder – Matt Guevara on Randy Isola’s chapter on Wonder
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Confidence by Amy Dolan – Here is my take on Amy Dolan’s chapter on Confidence
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Infectious by The Lads – My take on The Lads’ chapter on Infectious
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry: Why I Chose Ingenuity – Henry Zonio shares why he chose to write about Ingeniuty
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.
Blog Series – Stop Saying You’re Not Creative
This series from One Way Street encourages people to find their creative side.
- Roger Fields provides 12 tips for coming up with creative ideas.
- In this article from Ministry-to-Children.com, I provide a practical idea for a way to present a Bible story which is both fun and drives the story home for kids.
- Justin Taylor looks at preparing a message in terms of a three course meal. This article is not specifically geared towards children’s ministry but might be of some assistance in terms of preparing messages for kids’ church as well.
- Karen Wingate explores the importance of capitalizing on the teachable moments even if it means deviating from your original plan.
- Gina McClain wonders about the importance of fun in ministry and how you would define it.
- Especially for those of you who use the 252 Basic curriculum, this post explores the components of the large group teaching portion of the curriculum along with some great pictures from North Point Church.
- Continuing with the theme raised in a Gina McClain article, Amy Dolan asks if fun is really all that important to children’s ministry after all.
- On the heels of several other blog posts on the issue of fun in Children’s Ministry, Tony Kummer offers his thoughts.
- Here is an article I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com with 100 conversation starters for those who have trouble, or are uncomfortable with, talking to kids.
- Cara Martens reminds us that conversation is about a whole lot more than words.
Anyone who knows me or follows this blog probably knows that I feel storytelling is an essential element in conveying the meaning and veracity of the Bible to kids. I’m hoping to find enough posts to have a separate section for posts related to storytelling. So, let’s see how it goes.
- Jon Acuff from Stuff Christians Like talks about the importance of allowing you reader to put themselves into the story. I think this is an important concept in teaching kids the story of the Bible – God’s story.
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.
- If you volunteer in children’s ministry or work in a bi-vocational capacity, I started a Facebook group for us to network and share our passion for the ministry.
- This was my humble attempt to talk the powers-that-be into restarting the CM Edge podcast. It got some positive comments so hopefully that wonderful resource for children’s ministry will be revived soon.
- This was my official review of the new free e-book called What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry and includes links to all the other blog posts I could find about this book.
- This article includes what my one word contribution to What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry would have been.
- In this article, I add my thoughts and questions for further discussion on the chapter written by Gina McClain in the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry on Parents.
- In this article, I add my thoughts and questions for further discussion on the chapter written by Amy Dolan in the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry on Confidence.
- In this article, I add my thoughts and questions for further discussion on the chapter written by The Lads in the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry on being Infectious.
Blog Series – Kidmin Champions of the Week
Tony Kummer and Ministry-to-Children.com introduced a new feature this month that highlights one Kidmin Champion each week.
Blog Series – 101 Ways to Get Your Children’s Ministry Off the Ground (Without the Hot Air)
Ryan Frank continues year-long series of useful techniques and advice on children’s ministry. Check back in the months to come for the remaining installments in this series that is bound to bless children’s pastors and ministers from around the world!
Blog Series – Preschoolers Are Creative
In this series, Children’s Ministry Blog looks at how to help preschoolers to be creative.
Blog Series – The Missing Piece
Jim Wideman shares his own testimony about how he got started in Children’s Ministry and having a biblical world view.
Blog Series – Lessons Learned from the Flood
Kids Ministry 101 looks at lessons in Children’s Ministry that can be learned from the recent floods in Tennessee.
Blog Series – 10 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Children’s Director
Helen Fuller examines 10 things she has learned since becoming a children’s director.
- #10 – THE CALL!
- #9 – Leading isn’t like Playing!
- #8 – The Team is a Reflection of the Leader
- #7 – Hobbies are Essential!
- #6 – Someone to Share!
- #5 – I’m in over my head!
- #4 – Leadership Hurts!
- #3 – God is Merciful and Gracious
- #2 – I work with Family!
Blog Series – Why Kids Ministry?
The Learn…Dream…Live blog looks at the importance of children’s ministry in this series.
Blog Series – Children’s Ministry Job Security
In this series, Kenny Conley looks at full time jobs in children’s ministry.
- Children’s ministry job security
- Childrens Ministry as a career? Kidmin has bad PR
- The perfect Children’s Pastor?
- The Kidmin Revolution
Blog Series – Born Into Heaven
Kenny Conley shares about a service they did in honor of children who never had a chance to take their first breath.
Blog Series – Make Your Ministry Shine
In this series, Christine Yount Jones shares tips for internal public relations.
Blog Series – Starting/Restarting your Childrens Ministry Career
Kenny Conley does a series on jobs in children’s ministry.
- Starting/Restarting your Childrens Ministry Career
- Childrens Ministry Career: Starting options
- Childrens Ministry Networking to find that job
- My career path could have looked differently
- Discover the next stage of your Kidmin career through job boards
Blog Series – Taboo Words
The Centri Kids blog looks at five taboo phrases when it comes to talking to kids about salvation.
- Taboo Words: “Ask Jesus in your heart”
- Taboo Words: “Walk with God”
- Taboo Words #3: Blood of the Lamb
- Taboo Words #4: Born Again
- Taboo Words: Check YES or NO
- Taboo Words: The Series Recap
- Roger Fields offers his insight into the four functions of children’s ministry.
- This short post provides some insight into the state of children’s ministry.
- Tony Kummer of Ministry-to-Children.com explores nine steps you should take in starting a church program for kids.
- This series was featured in last month’s Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol. This is the conclusion of that series.
- Justyn Smith reminds us that we need a God sized vision for the kids in our ministry – especially those kids who cause the most problems.
- Gina McClain tackles the question, “What can we do to make sure parents know about the children’s ministries we have available for their kids.”
- I love the Inside North Point blog. In this post, one of the leaders shares some practical things she learned from hanging out on one of their campuses one Sunday.
- Randy Dulin looks at what is really important in children’s ministry.
- Amy Fenton Lee explains that sometimes the best thing that can come out of having difficult or challenging kids in children’s ministry is allowing their parents the time to be refilled spiritually.
- Dale Hudson writes about how he changed his prize store into a giving store for kids.
- This article is both fun and insightful. Tim shares 24 things he learned from the show 24 that somehow apply to children’s ministry. I include it here first because of it’s insights, but secondly because I have been a fan of the show from the beginning.
- Anna Light reflects from the standpoint of a natural feeler on how to think. As a thinker, I found this article quite interesting.
- In this article, Acacia in the Desert offers up five practical ways to make your craft time a little more engaging each week.
- James Kennison openly and honestly discusses those weekends where you’ve planned everything out and nothing seems to go right.
- The Kids Ministry 101 blog on the importance of teamwork in children’s ministry.
- Roger Fields looks at the need for change.
- Dale Hudson shares his idea for Parent Focus Groups in his church.
- Sam Luce developed a score card to gauge what kind of children’s pastor you are.
- Here is another article I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com about the importance of each and every Sunday.
- Anna Light shares 10 things you should not loose just because you become an adult.
- Tamera Kraft offers 10 pieces of advice on putting together your children’s ministry team.
- This article looks at the right way to incorporate media into ministry.
- Matthew Guevara writes about the importance of visual thinking.
- Kendra Flemming posted her org charts for the North Point Children’s Ministry for all of us right-brained type people. I enjoyed seeing how they have their ministry set up.
- Jared Massey from SmallTownKidmin shares his observations on enabling kids to win.
- We continue to follow Jim Kast-Keat in his year-long efforts to simplify. This month he vows to buy nothing that is not edible.
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
Blog Series – Build A Better Meeting
Amy Dolan, from Lemon Lime Kids, continues her Monday series with tips on having better meetings.
Blog Series – Leaders Are Examples
Jim Wideman explores the necessity of leading by example.
Blog Series – How to Strengthen Your Leadership
Jim Wideman offers his advice on how to increase your skills in the area of Leadership
- Christina Yount Jones implores you to drop the “just” from your conversation.
- Perry Noble offers four indications that you are working with a leader.
- Donald Miller provides a list of six ways you can lose an argument while seemingly winning.
- Perry Noble shares six things he has done wrong as a leader so that you can learn from his mistakes.
- Seth Godin reflects on the difference between people who are willing to proof read sentences and paragraphs, and those who are willing to rearrange chapters and applies that to the people who “proofread” our lives.
- Anna Light laments people “over-apologizing.”
- Justyn Smith explores God given vision and the opposition to that vision.
- Gina McClain writes about what real delegation actually looks like.
- Seth Godin offers a simple but profound list a things you should do in just about everything you undertake.
- Jim Kast-Keat shares a list about lists.
- This article provides insight into why a poor start is not a reason for not doing something.
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 – Volunteers That Stick
Jim Wideman is the man when it comes to recruiting volunteers as far as I can tell. Thus, he writes this series which bears the same name as a book he wrote on the topic.
- Dan Scott offers some advice on how to recruit volunteers.
- Any Dolan asks whether or not being a parent changes your work in children’s ministry. Make sure to read the discussion contained in the comments to this post.
- Amy Dolan shares her thought on how to incorporate technology into your volunteer culture.
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 post includes some of my favorite Tweets from those who attended the Orange Conference this year.
- I accumulated all the blog posts I could find from the Orange Conference and organized them in this post.
- Justyn Smith asks whether family ministry requires a title or if we are all really family ministers.
- This article would be included in the Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol if for no other reason than the subtitle, “Don’t Worry, Be Crappy.” Beyond that, this is a great article on how to be a truly family friendly church.
Jesus should be at the center of any Children’s Ministry. That means teaching kids about Jesus, about the Bible and about theology. This section is for articles that discuss and assist with teaching kids about the Bible, theology and theological concepts.
Blog Series – Since when did faith become a 4 letter word?
Sam Luce examines the issue of faith and how we should talk to kids about it.
- Kevin DeYoung offers advice on what to do with those difficult biblical passages.
- Jared Kennedy examines the application of Biblical Interpretation to Children’s Ministry based on the book 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible written by Robert Plummer Jared’s review was sufficient for me to add this book to my list of books I need to read.
- John Piper offers six reasons why we should memorize scripture, and I feel these are just as applicable to children as adults.
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.
- This is a great video for kids with a clear presentation of sin and the need for the gospel.
- This was a cool little analogy of how we might treat Jesus if he came into our local church.
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.
- I’m not going to get into the whole Calvinist / free-will debate, but I thought this article was interesting.
- This article includes some eye-opening statistics about abuse and abusers. If you work in children’s ministry, or with children in any capacity, you should be aware of these statistics.
With VBS getting closer and closer, the number articles related to the topic warrants its own category.
- Mimi Bullock offers four simple games you can play during VBS that won’t cost you much.
- Mimi Bullock from Ministry-to-Children.com offers ten practical pieces of advice for running a VBS.
- Mimi Bullock shares some more ideas for planning your church’s VBS that kids will love.
- Kids Ministry 101 gives 11 tips to help ensure that your VBS this year is an evangelistic outreach event!
- Mim Bullock shares some common and popular themes for planning your VBS.
- Stuff Christian’s Like is at it again with this hilarious article on the VBS Bounce House.
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.
- Here is fun game to help your kids get to know one another.
- Kristen Charles shares four fun and easy games you can play with preschoolers.
- In this article on Ministry-to-children.com, I write about a game I developed for Awana involving scooters, M&Ms, spoons and rubber balls.
- Lin Pearson and Effective Children’s Ministry are at it again with this Power Point based review game for the story of Joseph.
- Effective Children’s Ministry shares this game to help kids understand the consequences of their actions.
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.
- Check out my review of a great book for kids and dads on a father’s rol as the pastor of his home.
- This article reestablishes the importance of reading in an age dominated by electronic media.
- Here’s another article defending the good old fashioned book!
- Tamera Kraft shares a great list of books on leadership for Children’s Ministry. She has certainly given me a couple of more books to add to my must-read list.
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.
- This guest post on Sam Luce’s blog provides step-by-step instructions for customizing your facebook fan page.
- Church Crunch offers a link to this site which will allow you to archive Tweets with any given hashtag.
- Andy Johnson, from Free CM Stuff, links to this site full of youth resources which can be adapted for children’s ministry.
- This articles provides some great links full of Father’s Day ideas and resources.
- All of my favorite kidmin blogs are turning three. This month, Ministry-to-Children marked its third birthday.
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.
- Are you headed to the Children’s Ministry Expo this July in Lexington? If so, please comment on this article and let me know.
- This is a great conference coming up in June that you can participate in from your house. Here are the details.
- This is a great coloring page for kids based on the story of creation.
- Here is a neat little trick that you can use to show kids how to get the Word of God in their hearts with a Bible and a balloon.
- I don’t know quite what to make of this coloring book. If nothing else, it is definitely unique.
- In this article that I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com, I offer an idea for helping to make your children’s giving time more fun and engaging.
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.
- Acacia in the desert provides this three week plan for teaching preschoolers and kindergarteners about creation.
- From Youth Leader Stash comes this post with ideas for a 3 week series on thing kids can’t have.
- Here is an object lesson I came up with to demonstrate the impact of working together to meet other people’s needs.
- From Ministry-to-Children.com, this lesson plan for 7 – 12 year olds teaches kids about the difference their lives can make on other people.
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.
- From the new Orange Parents blog, Carey Nieuwhof discusses five strategies for parenting.
- How are you doing in the three roles to which a father is called?
- Reggie Joiner reminds us of the importance of choosing to spend time with our kids over doing chores and other responsibilities.
- Carey Nieuwhof reveals what it is our kids really want from us, and you may be surprised by the answer.
- Apparently there are some parents out there who are not perfect. Go figure? Reggie Joiner reflects on teaching his kids about their perfect heavenly father.
- Russell Moore answers a question from someone wondering if they should marry their fiancé when they have differing theological views.
- Carey Nieuwhof reflects on the importance of parenting with the end in mind.
- Carey Nieuwhof (whose name I am going to have to remember how to spell now that he is posting so many useful articles on Orange Parents) reflects in this article on the importance of having a plan for our kids’ lives.
- Jim Wideman writes about the importance of parents making prayer a priority in the lives of their children.
- This article answers this question simply with the word “enough.” This is accompanied by a listing of questions to gauge whether or not you are spending enough time with your kids.
- Carey Nieuwhof encourages parents to include discussing God in the rhythm of their daily parenting.
- Pastor Steve offers some thoughts on how to create a routine to help in putting your kids to bed.
- Jeff Robinson shares a challenging sermon from Alistair Begg on fatherhood.
- Here is some simple advice on how to be a better husband.
- As a parent, do you tip the scales more towards grace or truth? Where should you fall on the spectrum?
- Carey Nieuwhof explains why you should fight for people instead of with them.
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 some ideas for studying Acts 1-9 with your family.
- Bible Drive Thru offers this devotional for kids on getting in trouble.
- This devotional for kids is based on Solomon’s request for wisdom.
- A devotion for kids on the difference between the Creator and the Creation.
- Bible Drive Thru offers this devotional for kids about dealing with your parents in a biblical way.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted, useful or just made me chuckle.
- Really? People do that? Who knew!
- Check out this take on a “normal” Sunday church service.
- Sam Luce is at it again. In this post he gives superhero names to some prominent Children’s Ministry leaders based on their superpowers.
- Check out this hilarious warning sticker on Pentecost.
- On the heels of “In Case of the Pentecost” comes this warning sticker on the Eschaton.
This section includes a listing of my posts on Dad in the Middle alerting readers to new articles which I have published on Ministry-to-Children.com.
- In this article from Ministry-to-Children.com, I write about a technique I use in large group to tell a Bible story over and over while having fun with the kids.
- In this article I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com, I share a game I developed for our church’s Awana program which is equal parts relay Nascar, Dodgeball and American Gladiator.
- In this article I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com, I share 100 different conversation starters for kids.
- In this article for Ministry-to-Children.com, I reflect on the amazing things that can happen when God crosses our paths with the paths of the kids in our children’s ministry,
- In this article for Ministry-to-Children.com, I explain an object lesson I did to teach kids about the cooperation and giving.
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