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.
With the makeover of the blog this past month, I was hoping to update the look of the Blog Patrol as well, but I decided to go on a Daddy/Daughter date with my seven year old instead. I will work on it for next month!
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 added several new categories over the last several months to make things easier to find. AS the number of posts increases, I’ve felt it necessary to add additional categories. If you have any category ideas, please let me know!
We are introduced a new feature a couple of months ago 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 this month’s 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
- 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 am also now writing for Ministry-to-Children.com and Kidmin1124.com. Those articles are scattered throughout the Blog Patrol.
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).
Blog Series – Toy Story 3: What We Can Learn From a Great Story
Donald Miller explores Toy Story 3 as an example of great storytelling.
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.
- In this article I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com I discuss the importance of making sure that Jesus is at the very center of your children’s ministry.
- In this article written for Ministry-to-Children.com I discuss the time we spend with kids discussing “non-spiritual” matters,
- Lin Pearson shares some advice on how to help kids memorize verses by repeating them out loud.
- Acacia in the Desert shares four tools you can use in preschool ministry to add zing to your classroom.
- Brenna Phillips shares a link to a site to test your knowledge on what kind of learner your kid is.
- Justin Taylor provides an outline and link to the full article by Randy Alcorn on how to help your kids manage money.
- In this article for Ministry-to-Children.com, I share ten things you can do to get children excited about their Bibles.
- Greg Priebbenow offers some resources related to children’s worship.
- Sam Luce shares some bad ideas for incorporating object lessons into your children’s ministry.
- Kristi West discusses the importance of playing with kids.
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.
Blog Series – The Art of Storytelling
Jared Kennedy offers this series on telling good stories based on a two part lecture given by Andrew Peterson. Read this series, and make sure you listen to the talks from Andrew Peterson as well. It will be time well spent!
Blog Series – Toy Story 3: What We Can Learn From a Great Story
Donald Miller explores Toy Story 3 as an example of great storytelling.
- Sam Luce wonders what kind of life we’re living in front of our kids. Is it the kind of life that demonstrates faith in God?
- Amy Brown offers five ideas for creatively telling stories on Ministry-to-Children.com
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 – What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry
I continued my review and comments on various submissions to the E-Book “What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry?”
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Kingdom by Anthony Prince
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Sufficiency Dr. Rob Rienow
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Ingenuity by Henry Zonio
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – The End by Kenny Conley
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Us by David Wakerley
Blog Series – Kids Ministry Champion of the Week
Tony Kummer continues his series on Ministry-to-Children.com highlighting selected champions of the Children’s Ministry community.
Blog Series – Large Group / Small Group
Jonathan Cliff explores the dynamic between large group and small group time.
Blog Series – Hiring in Children’s Ministry
Jonathan Cliff shares some of the criteria he uses in hiring people.
- Building a Ministry Staff Team
- Hiring Quality #1 // Love Your Spouse
- Hiring Quality #2 // Love the Church
- Hiring Quality #3 // Love the Lord
- Ministry Staff Team Summary
Blog Series – Do You Lie About Yourself Online?
Sam Luce, in an effort to share that we are all human, shares some of the mistakes he has made in ministry.
- Do you lie about yourself online?
- Not including parents.
- Caring more about fun than safety.
- #fail: Not functioning under authority.
Blog Series – Time Gobblers
Mike Johnson writes about things that can needlessly eat up your time.
- Part 1: Programming Pac-man
- Part 2: The Meeting Miser
- Time Gobblers – Part 3: The Interruption Immobilizer
- Time Gobblers – Part 4: The Plan-less Paralyzer
Blog Series – Developing Depth in Your Ministry
Jim Wideman shares his thoughts on the importance of, and methods for, developing depth in your ministry.
- Kids Ministry 101 offers advice on developing a plan for reaching children.
- Carey Nieuwhof reminds us that there is really nothing in life which is truly free.
- In this article written for Ministry-to-Children.com, I examine the problems with the cultural trend towards mandatory fairness.
- J.C. shares an experience in Children’s Ministry where he was called upon to give advice in an area where he has no personal experience. I think this is something most of us have experienced this in ministry at some point or another.
- This is an interesting article about how kids approach the world as a verb and not a noun.
- Jared Massey discusses the facilities at his church and God’s provision.
- Gina McClain discusses the need to build momentum in order to accomplish goals in ministry.
- Amy Fenton Lee shares a list of questions you can use to engage the parents of a child with special needs.
- This article offers some advice to Children’s Pastors about how they can serve their Senior Pastors.
- Anna Light shares five things that, if you do them, will always keep you feeling insecure.
- Jared Massey shares a wonderful story about the kids and prayer.
- Amy Dolan shares some great ideas that she has been mulling over.
- Todd McKeever explores the importance of passion in your ministry.
- Amy Fenton Lee shares how a preschool minister in her church did all the right things for her autistic son.
- The Inside North Point Kids blog offers advice on how to handle the situation when the pressure gauge is turned up extra high!
- Larry Shallenberger shares a confrontation he had in which the other person approached it with a biblical model of confrontation.
- Kristen Charles from Ministry-to-Children.com shares five ways to helps balance your ministry to your own family with your ministry to kids at church.
- Joy Bowen looks at ways to incorporate kids’ worship music throughout your week.
- Anna Light examines the relationship between fear in women and a need for control.
- Wendy Douglas, in her first published article for Kidmin1124.com shares some tips on how balance work and ministry.
- In this article, Greg Priebbenow offers practical advice on talking to children about death.
- Amy Dolan wonders why some parents oppose the security procedures in place to protect their kids.
- Anna Light explores the antidote for a controlling personality.
- Joy Bowen writes about the importance of making a good first impression, and no this article has nothing to do with dandruff.
- Wendy Douglas shares her thoughts and ideas on how to put your family first.
- Jared Massey shares a story that reminds us why those of us in children’s ministry do the things we do.
- Theo-Ann offers some practical suggestions about how to stay organized in ministry.
- Matthew Guevara links to a great video from Pixar University Dean Randy Nelson discussing finding the right people and collaboration.
How to discipline in Children’s Ministry is an oft discussed question, and this section is dedicated to all things related to discipline.
Blog Series – Where the Wild Things Are
With an apt title for an article on discipline in children’s ministry, this series explores “how we can better minister to our “wild things” with behavior management strategies.”
- New (and first) Blog Series: Where the Wild Things Are
- Let the wild rumpus begin…
- “His mother called him ‘Wild Thing’”… What Not to Say and Do
- “And Max said, ‘I’ll eat you up.’”… Behaviors that HAVE to be Addressed
- This article offers some ideas on discipline for various age levels.
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
- It’s time for the Go Dark challenge again this year where I turn off everything electronic for a week. You can get all the details here. I hope you will consider joining me in Go Dark!
Blog Series – Build A Better Meeting
Amy Dolan of Lemon Lime Kids continues her Monday morning series on building a better meeting.
Blog Series – Renew and You
Jim Wideman examines the importance of personal renewal.
Blog Series – Eleven People You Need to Beware Of
Perry Noble give a synopsis of 11 different types of people you need to beware of.
Blog Series – Project Management for Children’s Pastors
Tamera Kraft shares advice for children’s pastors about managing projects.
Blog Series – Leaders Are Examples
In this series, Jim Wideman writes about the need for leaders to be examples to those they lead.
- Perry Noble offers two brief insights into being a leader.
- J.C., young in years but wise beyond his age, shares his insights into humility.
- Seth Godin explores the difference in attitude between “This might work.” and “This better work!”
- Christine Yount Jones reflects on the consequences of poor delegation.
- Perry Noble shares exactly what the title implies – 10 random thoughts on leadership. They may be random, but they are definitely useful.
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.
- Along with several other volunteer and bi-vocational children’s ministers, we launched a new blog called Kidmin1124.com this month. Here is my article announcing the launch.
- In my very first article for Kidmin1124.com, I write about why we are so much more than “just volunteers.”
- J.C. shares some tips on recruiting volunteers.
- Wendy Douglas reminds us that all volunteers are stepping stones to something great.
- This article explores the value of having kid volunteers in your ministry and the importance of accepting that that will sometimes mean you face challenges.
- Orange Leaders asks whether or not you are asking too little of your volunteers.
- Jared Massey promotes the new group blogging known as at Kidmin1124project done from the perspective of volunteers and bi-vocational children’s ministers.
- Andy Johnson, from Free CM Stuff, offers advice on how to fire volunteers.
- Tony Kummer, the founder of Ministry-to-Children.com, wrote a nice article announcing the launch of Kidmin1124.com.
- Commander Bill writes about the importance of remembering your volunteers and the sacrifices they make.
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.
- Tony Kummer shares a resolution from the SBC on family worship. Regardless of your denomination (or lack thereof), this is worth a read.
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.
- Henry Zonio asks is we are restricting God to a small box in how we teach kids in our children’s ministries.
- Jared Kennedy, from Sojourn Church, shares a paper exploring different views on child baptism.
- Kara Jenkins from Ministry-to-Children.com provides walks through the support for intergeneration ministry.
- Donald Miller on the complexity of God and why we can’t figure everything out.
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 I share some basic principles about prayer that I learned from my two year old son.
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.
- Sam Luce offers some practical advice on modesty for young children.
- Matthew Guevara looks at a trend in video games where it is no longer about winning but the game play that has become the most important factor. He also offers a suggestion about how this might be applied to children’s ministry.
- Carey Nieuwhof offers up seven questions he and his team use to gauge how they are engaging the culture.
- Albert Mohler explores the new digital family.
- In this insightful article, Larry Shallenberger explores Philippians 4:8 and whether or not God intends us to apply the verse merely to consuming culture or to creating culture.
- Brenna Phillips writes about some interesting ways young kids are using technology to stay connected.
- John Saddington asks how the use of technology by kids may impact the ministry they will do.
With VBS getting closer and closer, the number articles related to the topic warrants its own category.
- Andy Johnson offers some fun ideas that you can incorporate into your VBS.
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 offers this free Power Point review game
- This article offers ideas for a fun family scavenger hunt.
- Julie Cantrell shares a list of 25 fun things you can do with kids next time they announce “There’s nothing to do!”
- CentriKids offers suggestions on making your games as much fun as possible.
- Children’s Minister Blog shares three fun, and easy to do, games which are great for group building with kids.
- Brenna Phillips links to a resource with a listing of excellent games for kids.
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.
- Here is my review of a great book by Jim Wideman that every parent and person who works with kids should read.
- Sam Luce shares what he learned from Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. This article inspired me to read the book, and I didn’t regret it.
- Free CM Stuff shares a link to Mark Driscoll’s free e-book called Pastor Dad.
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 – CM Telesummit
I shared my notes from the CM Telesummit this past month. Here they are.
- CM TeleSummit – How to Create an Engaging Message by Jeremy White
- CM TeleSummit – Why Family Ministry Is Not an Option – Rob Rienow
- CM TeleSummit – Praise and Worship That Rocks – Yancy
- CMTeleSummit – The Art of Leading Up – Gina McClain
- CMTeleSummit – Leading Strategically From Your Strengths – Michael Chanley
- CMTeleSummit – Digital Children’s Ministry – Amy Dolan
- CM TeleSummit – Technology Tidbits – Jeremy Collins
- CM TeleSummit – Proactive Leadership – Karl Bastian
- CM TeleSummit – 10 Attributes of a Children’s Leader – Justyn Smith
- CM TeleSummit – Finding and Keeping Volunteers – Jim Wideman
- CM TeleSummit – Leading a Core Volunteer Team – David Wakerley and Nathan McLean
- CM Telesummit – Child Evangelism – Jerry Moyer
- CM TeleSummit – Help! I Need Volunteers – Kevin Ranfield
- Check out this review I did of modern kids’ worship music from God’s Kids Worship.
- This article showcases free children’s worship music from The Village Church in Texas.
Blog Series – Merge2day
Amy Dolan shares her thoughts from the Merge2day conference.
- [sunday review] merge 2day
- [monday review] merge 2day
- [collaboration] merge 2day
- [moving away from application] merge 2day
- merge 2day
Blog Series – Merge2Day Conference
Ivy Beckwith also shared her thoughts from the Merge2Day Conference.
- Nicole VanderMeullen wrote an insert for your church bulletin to give parents tips on developing a faith focused family.
- Christine Yount Jones offers some more details on a new conference which Group Publishing will be putting on this October in Chicago.
- Sam Luce has begun to share some children’s lessons he wrote from his file, and what better place to start than the book of Genesis?
- J.C. writes about a source of music for helping kids memorize scripture and provides a link to a site where you can preview some of their music.
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.
- I reviewed a new product from Group Publishing – a parent class that goes along with their Faithweaver series of products.
- Kristin Charles from Ministry-to-Children.com shares a lesson on teaching kids to pray.
- Sam Luce share a children’s lesson he wrote on the book of Exodus.
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.
Blog Series – Real World Parents
Various authors contributed to Lemon Lime Kids’ series based on Mark Matlock’s book by the same name
-  real world parents
-  real world parents: preschool
-  real world parents: ages 6-8
-  real world parents: ages 9-10
-  real world parents: ages 11-12
- In this article written for Ministry-to-Children.com, I share 15 Bible verses which should guide Dads in their role as father.
- This articles looks at why parents must teach their kids not just that they should behave, but why.
- Parents need to agree on punishments. This article offers up 14 things which parents should discuss when it comes to discipline.
- This article shares twelve ways that the verse Ephesians 1:3 should impact your marriage.
- Trevin Wax writes on the importance of marriage.
- I love pictures – photographs, especially family photos. To the outside world they are just a reflection of a great vacation, a fun birthday, or a magical moment. But, for me, each photo has a much bigger story. It brings back the memories of feelings and emotions before and after the photo. Oftentimes, those memories are a lot more fun in hindsight than they were at the time of the photo. I think Carey Nieuwhof hit son that phenomenon in this article.
- In this article I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com, I explore ten bits of advice for fathers gleaned from Corinthians 4:14-21.
- Larry Shallenberger reflects on a January 2010 article from Christianity Today on the myth that there is such a thing as a perfect parent.
- This article looks at the difference between punishment and correction.
- Reggie Joiner writes on the importance of quantity time with your children.
- Albert Mohler comments on a Newsweek article that takes aim at the institution of marriage.
- How do we make things part of our daily family rhythm? What does your family’s rhythm look like?
- The Gospel Coalition blog offers some suggestions for books parents can read with their kids.
- Greg Priebbenow writes about the importance of fathers talking to their kids.
There are great sites out there with devotions for families and kids. These are great resources which we can point families too.
- This devotion for kids based on the verses from Joel 2:12-19 teaches kids what repentance really means.
- Based on Joel 2:28-32, this devotion for kids explores Biblical prophecy.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted, useful or just made me chuckle.
- David Wakerley shares this fun video to help those of us on this side of the pond learn the Queen’s English. If it’s all the same to you, I could less if it’s the same difference.
- This is a funny take on how Microsoft would have “improved” the packaging of the Ipod. The humor in this one is found in the element of truth included in it.
- Funny Man Dan lives up to his name with these well thought out one liners that you can work into conversations.
- I love this. I really think this is the way some people view Twitter.
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.
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