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 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
- Internet Sites and 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 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).
- Tori Einstein writes from her own personal experience about what kids suffering through divorce really need from you.
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 that I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com, I explore the importance of finding good worship music to use in your children’s ministry.
- Tori Einstein writes from her own personal experience about what kids suffering through divorce really need from you.
- Brenna Phillips shares several marks of a great teacher.
- Jonathan cliff did a great job incorporating an article I wrote into a video for his volunteers. I was honored that he felt like it would be a useful thing for his volunteers to hear.
- Joy Bowen shares the music they are using this summer for their lower elementary age groups.
- Christine Yount Jones shares some ideas for what to do when you forget a child’s name.
- In this article for Ministry-to-Children.com, I share the seven most important things I think you can tell any child.
- This observation relayed by Justin Taylor is very insightful when it comes to dealing with grief.
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 – The “Non-Negotiables”
In this series, on Kidmin1124.com, I explore those things which you can not cut out of your life in order to make time.
- The Non-Negotiables: An Introduction
- The Non-Negotiables #1: Prayer
- The Non-Negotiables #2: Time in the Word
Blog Series – 101 Ways to Get Your Children’s Ministry Off the Ground (Without the Hot Air)
Ryan Frank continued his series this month of 101 ways to get your children’s ministry going.
Blog Series – Developing Depth in Your Ministry
Jim Wideman concludes his series on manufacturing depth in your children’s ministry.
Blog Series – Starting From Scratch
North Point Kids discusses starting a children’s ministry from scratch.
Blog Series – Expectations
Kids Ministry 101 explores the importance of great expectations in children’s ministry.
- Great Expectations through Kids Sunday School!
- Expect Classes to Reproduce!
- Expect Classes to Reproduce!
Blog Series – Super Size Me
Turns out this series isn’t about fast food. Rather, Jim Wideman discusses the process by which you enlarge your abilities.
Blog Series – Creating Kids Church Magic
Justyn Smith discusses the life of Jesus and Disney World.
- Creating Kids Church Magic: Create a Culture of Training (1 of 7)
- Creating Kids Church Magic: Everyone Is Important (2 of 7)
- Creating Kids Church Magic: Be Guilty of Appreciation Overload (3/7)
- Creating Kids Church Magic: Create Magical Moments (4/7)
- Creating Kids Church Magic: Stay Ahead (5/7)
- Creating Kids Church Magic: Eliminate Hassles (6/7)
- Creating Kids Church Magic: You Represent the Church (7/7)
- This article from Ministry-to-Children.com is based on a conversation I had with my own kids about what they would like new leaders in their children’s ministries to know about them.
- Peter Bierma writes about where we should find our affirmation and the need to get past desiring that affirmation from man.
- In this article, I explore some questions I have been wrestling with about the proper role of children’s ministry within the church.
- Nicki Straza shares her thoughts on the importance of trying.
- Perry Noble offers up three thoughts on children’s ministry. This is an interesting look at children’s ministry from the eyes of a senior pastor.
- Amy Fenton Lee writes about using a teen buddy system in special needs ministry.
- Wendy Douglas asks what your defining moment in children’s ministry was.
- In this article for Ministry-to-Children.com, I share my thoughts on the importance of building momentum in your ministry.
- Lin Pearson asks what fun means and how that impacts Children’s Ministry.
- In the latest Think Tank from Ministry-to-Children.com, several writers weigh in on how to survive and thrive in children’s ministry in a shrinking church.
- In his first article for Kidmin1124Jared Massey asks what excuses you are using for not doing what you need to get done.
- J.C. shares his thoughts on ways to spark creativity.
- In her first article for Kidmin1124.com, Barbra Graves explores how you can spend some time to make time.
- Karen Wingate shares her personal story of a flailing children’s ministry and what it means to her personal faith.
- Kevin DeYoung shares an interesting graph based on a 2008 Pew Study regarding where kids raised in different churches end up as adults.
- Dale Hudson shares his thoughts on what to do in children’s ministry in those situations where people are upset with you.
- Amy Fenton Lee shares some statistics regarding special needs based on her extensive research.
- Lin Pearson shares a powerful Biblical example of how external influences can change the path a child takes.
- Growing Kids Ministry comments on what we can learn about children’s ministry from the Oceans documentary.
- Tony Kummer kicks off his discussion of over-churched kids with this look at five dangers you could face when kids spend too much time at church. Make sure you read through the comments section as well – great stuff!
- In his follow-up to the dangers of being over churched, Tony Kummer offers some practical advice and tips on how to combat it.
- Parry Noble shares eight reasons churches don’t grow. I think these are applicable to children’s ministries as well.
- Pudge Huckaby explores the dangers of being to busy.
- In a continuing series, Larry Shallenberger explores the lessons he could learn from Orange pioneer Reggie Joiner.
- John Foley explore what we can learn about children’s ministry from the reality show True Beauty.
- This book, and these ideas, are on my list of things to blog about, but I just haven’t had the chance yet. So, here is a great article from John Saddington on what motivates people from the book Drive by Daniel H. Pink.
- Amy Fenton Lee shares the basis for her blog dedicated to Special Needs Children’s ministry.
- Wendy Douglas shares a personal story about God’s guidance in her life.
- In Kenny Acock’s inaugural article for Kidmin1124.com he shares ways that single pastors can help parents.
- Amy Dolan wonders if it is appropriate to play with our food in children’s ministry.
- Kristin Charles from Ministry-to-Children.com shares some practical ideas on how to overcome separation anxiety.
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.
- Michael Hyatt writes about the importance of not quitting.
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
Jenny Funderburke concludes her series on children’s ministry discipline.
- “Max’s mother called him ‘Wild Thing’ and sent him to bed without supper…” Discipline and Consequences in Children’s Ministry
Blog Series – How To Deal With Difficult Kids
J.C. examines ways to deal with difficult kids in children’s ministry.
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 continues her long running Monday Morning series with ideas for having a better meeting.
- #13: build a better (mental) meeting
- #14: build a better (one word) meeting
- #15: build a better (iPad) meeting
- Joy Bowen writes on identifying your weaknesses and figuring out how to bring that strength to your team.
- Seth Godin writes about a technique for keeping an audience engaged by simply changing how you present something. While this particular technique is likely not applicable to children’s ministry, the idea is sound.
- Do you overpromise in leadership or underpromise?
- Michael Hyatt shares five strategies he has found useful in developing habits.
- As a leader, are you using your authority to benefit yourself or to benefit your team?
- Just because you get feedback on something doesn’t mean you need to turn over control of it to someone else. Amy Dolan looks at using feedback while still maintaining control.
- There was no better way to summarize this article than to share my favorite line from it which is, “Separating the issue from the person allows you to communicate in a way that shows you value the relationship – and still deal with the issue.”
- This article provides a listing of ten signs that you are succumbing to personal stress and might be a good litmus test for you.
- Thom Rainer talks about the limitations a leader can put on an entire organization and the importance of having the right people.
- Carey Nieuwhof discusses the importance, and gift, of rest.
- Do you schedule time with yourself? Michael Hyatt suggests that it might be a good idea.
- J.C. Thompson shares what he’s learning as he transitions roles at his church.
- J.C. returns with his series of lessons for young leaders – this time talking about respect.
- Orange Leaders lays out five different kinds of leaders.
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.
- Check out this list I compiled of ten things your volunteers want from you.
- Joy Bowen shares a very interesting video about what really motivates people. This has made my list of things to write about at some point in the near future!
- Jenny Funderburke explores what a place where volunteers want to be would look like.
- Barbara Graves asks what message we are giving to potential volunteers.
- Tamera Kraft shares ten tips for building a children’s ministry team.
- Jenny Funderburke shares some volunteer recruiting basics.
- Jenny Funderburke offers more advice on the art of kidmin recruiting.
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 Greg Priebbenow addresses the issue of whether or not children should stay in worship with their parents.
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.
- Mark Tubbs explores the indirect parenting advice from the Bible.
- Greg Priebbenow writes about the spiritual life of kids and why it matters.
In all about Christ! This section is for articles about bringing kids to Christ, bringing kids back to Christ, salvation and children, and anything along those lines. I’ll warn you that I love stories about kids being saved. So, don’t be surprised if you see quite a few of those hear too.
- I wrote this article about the upcoming baptism of my seven year old daughter.
- Jay Younts explores why parents should have a sense of urgency about sharing the gospel with their toddlers.
- Jay Younts explores why the gospel is important to your kids in a world which is ready to offer plenty of alternatives.
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 shares a resource with parents that will monitor their children’s online activity on social networking sites.
- If you are a parent, or someone who works with kids, you HAVE TO read this post from Sam Luce. These 10 rules are short, simple and absolutely essential!
- Lin Pearson summarizes 13 points from Steven Kryger on how to protect your kids online.
- The Forming Faith blog looks at how many teenagers have a meaningful relationship with adults outside of their own family.
- Brenna Phillips writes about the cultural phenomenon whereby kids are asked to grow up quicker in our society.
- This interesting little article from Mike Johnson asks if movies are becoming “more Christian.”
With VBS getting closer and closer, the number articles related to the topic warrants its own category.
- I reviewed a VBS produced by the Seventh Day Adventist Church for Ministry-to-Children.com. Here is what I had to say.
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 a fun teamwork game involving blindfolds and puzzles.
- Lin Pearson lists some great resources for large group games.
- Wendy Douglas shares some resources for finding fun and games to infuse into your ministry.
- Brenna Phillips shares a link to some fun indoor games you can play when the weather outside it too hot to spend much time in the great outdoors.
- Sam Luce shares how they tweaked some Minute to Win It games for their children’s ministry event.
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 – Lead the Way God Made You – Five Year Anniversary Blog Tour
There were two separate series going on this month to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Larry Shallenbeger’s book “Lead the Way God Made You.” Larry spent some time on his blog sharing more about the book, and a series of bloggers (including myself) reviewed the book. This section includes them both.
Blog Series – What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry?
This month, I continued my series in which I am working my way through the book “What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry?” chapter by chapter.
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Redemption by Sam Luce
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Memories by Sarah Killelea
- What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Community by Liz Perraud
- Larry Shallenberger – The “Lead The Way God Made You Blog Tour” Opens!
- Matthew Guevara – Lead the Way God Made You – Blog Tour
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You, Day 2: “Sometimes the First Idea is Not the Best Idea”
- Barbara Graves – Lead the Way God Made You
- Larry Shallenberger – LTWGMY DAY 3: What Bowling has to do with Building Culture
- Joe McGinnis – Lead the Way God Made You – Book Review
- Kenny Conley – A “not-so-new” (but great) leadership resource
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You Blog Tour, Day 4: Read for Free
- Todd McKeever – Lead the way God made you book review
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You, Day 5: Goose Chase
- Henry Zonio – Lead the Way God Made You Blog Tour!!!
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You Blog Tour, Day 6
- Kenny Conley – Book Review: Lead the Way God Made You
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You, Day 7: “Letting Go of Part of Your Game”
- Greg Baird – Lead the Way God Made You (Book Review)
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You, Day Eight: A Leadership Profile of Karl Bastian
- Wayne Stocks – LEAD THE WAY GOD MADE YOU by LARRY SHALLENBERGER (a Dad in the Middle Review)
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You Blog Tour, Day 9: “The Goal isn’t Perfection, It’s Being Connected”
- Jonathan Cliff – Book Review: Lead the way God Made You
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You Blog Tour, Day 10: “But Will it Play in Korea?”
- Wendy Douglas – Happy Birthday to Larry Shallenberger & Lead the Way God Made You!
- Larry Shallenberger – Lead the Way God Made You, Final Post of Blog Tour
- Peter Bierma (not part of the official tour, but interesting none the less) – Lead the Way God Made You
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.
- In this article, I review a great new “facebook like” website for kids.
- In this article that I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com, I share ten sites that people in children’s ministry ought to know about.
- Kenny Conley shares a site from Church on the Move in which they share great information on the technical side of church.
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 – The Best Part of My Trip to the CM Expo
In this two part series, I reflect on the best thing about the CM Expo.
- Here is a review of an online preschool which I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com.
- Jenny Funderburke shares her thoughts on her time spent in Jim Wideman’s infuse program.
- Sam Luce shares the top twenty five apps for kids for the Iphone. I don’t have one myself, by I know that my kids (from 3 to 17) all enjoy playing on their Mom’s IPod Touch.
- Tony Kummer shares some thoughts and a video re: his experience at the CM Expo, and yes, I have a very small cameo in the video.
- This is Commander Bill’s take on the Expo.
- Pastor Steve shares his thoughts on his trip to the Expo as well.
- Kidology announced a new two-and-a-half year program that is going to take Kidology out of the computer and into churches around the country.
- I love the music of Seed Family Worship. Check out this review that I did for Ministry-to-Children.com.
- Donald Miller reviews the latest album of Andrew Peterson.
- Steve Bourque shares more about his experience at the CM Expo.
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.
Blog Series – Sam Luce Bible Lessons
Last Month, Sam Luce started sharing some of the lessons he has written for children’s ministry. Last month he shared Genesis and Exodus which were featured in the The Blog Patrol. This month, Sam shared a number of additional lessons.
- Free Bible Lessons: Leviticus “Book of Holiness”
- Free Bible Lessons: Numbers “Book of Wanderings”
- Free Bible Lessons: Deuteronomy “Faith and Obedience”
- Free Bible Lesson – Joshua “Boldness”
- Free Bible Lesson – Judges “Heros”
- Sam Luce reviews a new curriculum from The Lads Band.
- Kenny Conley writes about the new product for families from ReThink called Cue Box.
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 – Our Values
Reggie Joiner explores the values that he and Carey Nieuwhof write about in their book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity
- Our Values
- Family Value #1: Widen the Circle
- Family Value #2: Imagine the End
- Family Value #3: Fight for the Heart
- Family Value #4: Create a Rhythm
- Family Value #5: Make it Personal
- Dan Scott reminds us that our kids grow up quickly, and our goal should be to tell them yes as much as possible.
- Carey Nieuwhof reminds us that how we say things to our kids is just as important as what we say.
- Albert Mohler comments on studies which conclude that parenting does not make people happy.
- Amy Brown offers some ideas for parents of preschoolers to get together with other preschoolers for a day out.
- Ivy Beckwith explores what parents might be thinking when we tell them that they need to be at the center of their children’s spiritual formation.
- Amy Dolan explores the pros and cons of raising kids in a city verses rural setting.
- This is a great bullet list of what makes a family successful in various areas.
- Perry Nobel shares a list of things you can do that are certain to ruin your marriage.
There are great sites out there with devotions for families and kids. These are great resources which we can point families too.
- Kristin Charles shares five great ideas for summer devotionals for families on the go.
- Kristin Charles from Ministry-to-Children.com offers up three food related devotions you can do with your kids.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted, useful or just made me chuckle.
- Funny Man Dan on focusing on the “good old days.”
- I like personality tests. I really do. Here’s are John’s results from Human Error. I feel like I know him after reading this.
- Sam Luce shares this candy to drugs conversion table.
- I’m a bit of a grammar nut, but I do make the occasional typo in a blog. Here is a list of the top ten mistakes bloggers make.
- John Acuff shares some rules, as only he can, for a baby Sunday school.
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 for Ministry-to-Children.com, I discuss the problem with the idea of fairness.
- Do you really have to talk about God every time you talk to a child?
- This Ministry-to-Children.com article is a collection of verses for dads.
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