Welcome back to The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol. Every month we gather links from around the blogging world related to Children’s Ministry and issues important to those who work in Children’s Ministry and organize into one easy to use document. A friend once described it as “The Table of Contents of the Children’s Ministry Blogs.” I like that.
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.
As has become my custom, I have identified what I view as the best of the best, or most important, articles of the past month with this little graphic next to the title.
I used to warn you with a graphic when I was linking to posts from Dad in the Middle. Since I am now also now writing for Ministry-to-Children.com and Kidmin1124.com, that doesn’t seem as pertinent, and I have stopped using it. I guess you’ll have to fend for yourself.
The following is a quick guide to the various sections of this month’s Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol (If you have any category ideas, please let me know):
- 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
- Coloring Pages
- Other Kidmin Resources (Music, Conferences, Etc.)
- Other General Resources (Bible Study, Theology, Etc.)
- Curriculum and Object Lessons
- Parenting and Marriage Issues
- Devotions for Kids and Families
- Just For Fun
- Ministry-to-Children.com Articles
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).
- Don Miller explores the “Why” and the “What” of our lives and how it impacts our ability to accept the Bible.
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.
- I linked to one of the most popular series ever on Dad in the Middle in this article.
Blog Series – The A-Z of Children’s Ministry
David Wakerley challenged himself to post the complete A to Z of children’s ministry this month, and we all get to endeavor from this challenge.
- The A-Z of Children’s Ministry
- B is for Bible
- C is for Culture
- D is for Delegate
- E is for Encouragement
- F is for Fun
- G is for Growth
- H is for House
- I is for Inclusive
- J is for Journey
- K is for Kidology
- L is for Longevity
- M is for Mystery
- N is for New
- O is for Obedience
- P is for Paradigm
- Q is for Question
- R is for Respect
- S is for Sabbath
- T is for Teaching
- U is for Unexpected
- V is for Visual
- W is for Welcome
- X is for Xenagogue
- Y is for Yahweh
- Z is for Zeta
- The A-Z Recap
Blog Series – These Kids Are Bored
Jamie Doyle explores some of the reasons kids might be bored in your church service.
- These kids are bored… it’s not their fault!
- These Kids are Bored… Part 1
- These Kids are Bored… Part 2
- I wrote this article for Ministry-to-Children about how I never want to let my preparation and plan stand in the way of God’s will when it comes to working with kids.
- I wrote this article for Ministry-to-Children.com based on a conversation I had with Henry Zonio regarding how we may inadvertently impose our trepidation for sharing the gospel on kids.
- Wendy Douglas talks about the fun and challenge of working with Tweens.
- Tammy Jones reminds us what is really important when it comes to children’s ministry. Here’s a hint – it is not big rooms and fancy props.
- Greg Baird from Kidmin360 shares the most important things you can do for a kid.
- Lifeway offers practical advice on using small groups with kids.
- Roger Fields shares his top five non-negotiable items when it comes to working with kids.
This category is a bit of a catch all for everything that doesn’t fit under another category. These articles deal with all kinds of different issues relevant to Children’s Ministry and those who work in that ministry.
Blog Series – New Position Landmines
Todd McKeever has a new job, and in this series he explores some of the potential land mines when you walk into a new position.
- New Position Landmines #1 Personal
- New Position Landmine #2 Relationships
- New Position Landmine #3 The Ministry itself
Blog Series – People I’ve Met Online
Jonathan Cliff started a series about some great people he’s met online.
- People I’ve Met Online
- People I’ve Met Online: Sam Luce
- People I’ve Met Online: Gina McClain
- People I’ve Met Online: Keith Geeding
- People I’ve Met Online: Kenny Conley
Blog Series – The Social Church Database
Kenny Conley explores social church database.
- The social church database: a new concept
- The social church database: who is doing it?
- The social church database: what to watch out for
Blog Series – Interview with Amy Fenton Lee
Check out this two part interview that Another Piece of the Puzzle did with Inclusive Church Blog founder Amy Fenton Lee
- Interview Part 1 with “Another Piece of the Puzzle”
- Interview Part 2 with “Another Piece of the Puzzle”
- Greg Baird shares five signs that children’s ministry might not be for you.
- Tony Kummer writes on open letter to senior pastors from children’s pastors on the importance of supervision.
- Amy Fenton Lee asks (and answers), “How do ADD/ADHD kids fit into the special needs community and children’s ministry? How can we equip our volunteers?”
- Tony Kummer digs through the archives of Ministry-to-Children.com to share five of the sites most encouraging articles.
- Matthew Guevara writes about mind mapping.
- Anna Light wonders why it is that people who complain get the most attention. I wonder if this is true in your children’s ministry and/or in your family.
- Check out these two poems from Ulrich Schaffer from the book titled “For the Love of Children.”
- God works in mysterious ways as demonstrated by this great story from Barbara Graves.
- Perry Noble shares some common characteristics of growing churches. Many of these are applicable to children’s ministry as well.
- The Orange parents blog lists the top ten most stressful events a person can encounter in their lives. Let us remember that kids are not immune to stress either.
- Matthew Guevara challenges us over where we are investing our free time.
- How an iceberg relates to your talents and character and what you can to keep it from sinking your ship.
- Amy Fenton Lee writes about the importance of safety in children’s ministry – especially when it pertains to special needs kids.
- Wendy Douglas introduced a new feature on her blog to highlight some missions minded ministries.
- Tamera Kraft shares a practical list of ten things Children’s Pastors do that they probably shouldn’t.
- Jenny Funderburke shares her personal journey and struggles with doing ministry from home.
- Christine Yount Jones reminds us all that in writing, and in ministry, we have to be willing to delete to come up with a good final product.
- Amy Brown, from Ministry-to-Children.com writes about the importance of church investing in kids with special needs.
- Do you ever wonder what you should be teaching your preschooler about God? This handy checklist will provide you with some guidance.
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 – Review of Formational Children’s Ministry by Ivy Beckwith
In this four part series, I did an in depth synopsis and review of the latest book from Ivy Beckwith called “Formational Children’s Ministry.”
- PART 1 of 4 – FORMATIONAL CHILDRENS MINISTRY by IVY BECKWITH (A Dad in the Middle Review)
- PART 2 of 4 – FORMATIONAL CHILDRENS MINISTRY by IVY BECKWITH (A Dad in the Middle Review)
- PART 3 of 4 – FORMATIONAL CHILDRENS MINISTRY by IVY BECKWITH (A Dad in the Middle Review)
- PART 4 of 4 – FORMATIONAL CHILDRENS MINISTRY by IVY BECKWITH (A Dad in the Middle Review)
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 – How To Deal With Difficult Kids
J.C. Thompson continued his series this month on how to deal with difficult kids.
- CM Buzz shares their discipline system.
Running a ministry takes leadership at all kinds of different levels. This section is for articles about and for leaders.
- I turned off the electronics for another week this summer. This article recaps my experience.
Blog Series – The Non-Negotiables
I continued my series this month on Kidmin1124.com discussing those things we can’t afford to give up in order to make more time.
Blog Series – What I Learned About Resting
Jim Wideman shares what he learned from his vacation about the importance of rest.
Blog Series – Build A Better Meeting
Amy Dolan continues her sometimes sporadic but always helpful and insightful Monday Morning series on making a better meeting.
- #16: build a better (fall) meeting
- #17: build a better (on time) meeting
- #18: build a better meeting (one-on-one)
- Carey Nieuwhof examines the four potential paths of a leader.
- Deb Springer examines the importance of clear communication and paying attention to the words that you choose to use.
- Wendy Douglas explores the importance of making sure that you are always learning.
- I wrote about my plans for Go Dark week this past August in this post and explained why it’s important to unplug every now and then.
- Gina McClain proves, once again, that your response to challenges is dictated in large part by your attitude towards unexpected “problems.”
- Funny Man Dan writes about an interesting social phenomenon.
- I like quotes. I find them fascinating. In this article, Perry Noble shares some quotes and his thoughts on them.
- Michael Hyatt explains why it is important to know your weaknesses in addition to your strengths.
- In Lisa Habisreutinger first article for Kidmin1124.com, she shares how she worked intentionally to build up a team of volunteers.
- Gina McClain shares the value in, and a practical method of, pouring into your volunteers.
- Chad Swanzy shares some thoughts on how to make sure you are constantly growing stronger in your own theology.
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 – Recruiting Volunteers
In this two part series, Karen Kolger looks at ways to recruit volunteers.
Blog Series – Different Ways to Recruit
Coach Shef examines several different methods of recruiting people on the Orange Leaders blog.
- Courtesy of Andy Johnson and Free CM Stuff, this is a complete recruiting package for kidmin volunteers.
- Amy Fenton Lee shares ways a church can build congregational support for special needs ministry by offering various positions.
- Dale Hudson on the proper approach to finding volunteers.
- Jenny Funderburke concludes her series on volunteers with this important post on how to finalize commitments.
- Andy Johnson posted this free complete volunteer recruitment package that you can use for your church.
- This article from Impulsive Joy offers 6 tips to better recruit volunteers.
- Coach Shef writes about the importance of being realistic in the expectations for your volunteer 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 looks at an interesting quote from Charles Spurgeon which mirrors some of the current issues in children’s ministry.
Blog Series – Connecting Church and Home
Tony Kummer covered the inaugural Connecting Church and Home Conference for his blog. Here are his thoughts.
- Connecting Church & Home: Opening Questions
- Calling Fathers to Raise Men: Randy Stinson
- Spiritual Orphans in God’s Household: Russell Moore
- Christian Parenting is Combat: Albert Mohler
- The Genesis Standard for Families: Ryan Rush
- 2010 Connecting Church and Home Conference Summary
- Connecting Church & Home: Closing Questions
- Gospel Parenting in the Home: Timothy Paul Jones
- The Spiritual Impact of Mothers: Sally Michael
- What’s a Christian Dad Suppose To Do: Randy Stinson
- 6 Habits of Gospel-Centered Homes: Peter Schemm
- Gina McClain comments on an Article from Brian Haynes in the latest issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine on family ministry.
- Gina McClain shares the specifics of a great family event her church put on. There is much to be learned from this article.
- Greg Priebbenow explores Hebrews 11 and why it is important to surround your kids with other Christian influences.
- This article explores the importance of getting parents involved in Christian education.
- Kara Jenkins, of Ministry-to-Children.com, writes about the practical imperatives of intergenerational ministry.
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.
- Don Miller explores the “Why” and the “What” of our lives and how it impacts our ability to accept the Bible.
- Abraham Piper shares this cartoon on “over interpreting” the text.
- Check out these interesting results regarding the most popular Bible translations used in youth groups.
- The Children’s Ministry Blog shares 10 great ideas for getting kids excited about the Bible.
- Jared Kennedy shares some resources which are helpful in wrestling with trusting God with our kids including issues related to suffering kids and the age of accountability.
- The Life Together blog shares some links to answer the question “Will I see my pet in heaven?” In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I have not had time to review the resources he linked to.
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.
- Karl Bastian shared this video he made with puppets in his backyard for a series on what the gospel is and is not.
- If you’ve read the Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol for long, you know I have a great fondness for stories of God working through kids to expand his Kingdom. This is another one of those stories.
- Lin Pearson links to one child’s storybook for Jesus.
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.
- Donald Miller offers some much needed advice to those in their 20’s about growing up.
- Matthew Guevara explores how the internet impacts relationships.
- Advice from C.J. Mahaney on dealing with idols in kids’ lives.
- Dad’s 4 Life shares some internet safety tips.
- GJ Farmer shares the results of an alarming study on the lack of role models in kids’ lives today.
- Check out these interesting statistics about the internet.
VBS is over for the summer, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of articles out there. Here are some of them.
- Sam Luce writes about what works at summer camps.
- Sam Luce shares his personal thoughts on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to Summer Camps.
- I was asked to develop a generic VBS evaluation questionnaire for Ministry-to-Children.com. Here it is.
- Fresh off Vacation Bible School at my church, I wrote this article on 10 reasons to still do VBS in light of a trend in kidmin towards cancelling such events.
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.
- I’m putting together a Minute to Win It game night for early next year. So, I pulled together a bunch of the resources I’ve found online.
- Christianity Cove shares a fun game for kids specifically designed for a lesson on Gideon.
- Mimi Bullock from Ministry-to-Children.com shares these three great games for church. These will work especially well for your more active kids – you know the ones I’m talking about!
- Lin Pearson shares a great game for helping kids to learn about the spiritual discipline of prayer.
- Pastor Steve links to a jeopardy type game for teaching your kids about the Bible.
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.
- I slowed down this past month, but I’m still working through the chapters in the e-book “What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry.” This month I looked at the chapter on Wonder by Randy Isola.
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.
- On Dad in the Middle, we’ve started to shine the spotlight on some of our sponsors, this article highlights some of the features of Christianity Cove.
- Commander Bill shares just what his Awana site is all about.
- Sam Luce reviews a resource that brings the concept of allowance into the 21st century.
- Tony Kummer shares the policies of Ministry-to-Children.com on the use of materials published on their site.
Recently some sites (specifically Ministry-to-Children.com) have been offering free Bible based coloring pages for use at home or in your ministry. I thought they merited their own section, so here it is!
- Check out this new series of coloring pages from Ministry-to-Children.com
- Ministry-to-Children.com’s gospel coloring page series continued with this “Why Do I Need a King?” page.
- Ministry-to-Children.com is quickly becoming known as the premiere place on the internet to getting coloring pages for your kids or your children’s ministry. Check out this page on creation.
- More coloring page from Ministry-to-Children.com. This article includes several related to the Armor of God.
One thing I have learned since getting involved in Children’s Ministry is that those who work in Children’s Ministry are generous to a fault. This section is full of useful resources for those working with kids.
- This is fun video to get the kids in your ministry up and moving.
- God’s Kids Worship is a great resource for worship music for your children’s ministry. Find out more about them in this article.
Blog Series – CD Burn Notice
Yancy Richmond offers solid advice about music and copyrights.
- Sam Luce shares links to various free things that all children’s pastors should take advantage of. Thanks for Sam for listing these out.
- Sam Luce shares information about a great group doing kids worship music.
- Jared Massey links to one of my favorite podcasts – CM Talk and shares his 6 degrees of separation from both Dick Gruber and Jason Rhode.
As those in children’s ministry, one of the things we should be committed to is growing in our own faith. I come across all kinds of resources to help with that, I will share them here.
- John Saddington shares a link to a fascinating site based on the genealogies of the Bible.
- Here is another site from John Saddington. This one if for Bible study and comes from the people who put out the Logos Bible Study software. There are elements that you can purchase, but there is plenty of free stuff you can use as well.
- Here is an article I wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com about an apologetic site which answers a multitude of questions about Jesus.
- Justin Taylor shares this video recreation of what the temple looked like in the days of Jesus.
- Don Miller offers his advice on what to do when your creative writing juices dry up.
- The Desiring God blogs share a short and insightful list of questions for you to diagnose the idols in your own life.
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 – Free Bible Lessons
Sam Luce continues to post free Bible lessons on the books of the Old Testament.
- Amy Fenton Lee answers the question about how to find curriculum for special needs children for your church.
- Karl Bastian shares five ways you SHOULD NOT choose curriculum for your children’s ministry.
- Linnea Sandvall, of Ministry-to-Children.com shares an object lesson on salvation using only an egg.
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.
- This article conveys my personal experience with the worst feeling a parent could ever experience.
Blog Series – 8 ways to empower your child to have the best school year ever !
Jim Wideman shares how you can bless your kids in this new school year.
- Sam Luce shares his theories on the importance of training our kids and letting them go.
- Donald Miller writes about the problems of conditional love.
- Matt Mckee explores the awkwardness of praying with your spouse.
- Forming Faith reposts a blog article on the five C’s of biblical parenting. The author may be unknown, but the article is definitely worth reading.
- Greg Priebbenow shares his thought on how to make Sunday a more enjoyable experience.
- Carey Nieuwhof writes about the amount of time you have with your kids and your influence on them.
- One of the things I love about Staci Inskeep and her Cap City Kidz blog is the practical advice she offers to parents in her ministry. In this article, she tackles the difference between compliance and obedience.
- In this article, Staci Inskeep helps parents to understand what Obedience is.
- Staci Inskeep offers advice to parents on what to do with strong-willed kids.
- Past Mark Driscoll, and his wife, share 18 things they have learned over the course of their marriage.
- This post will help parents sit down and come up with a spiritual plan for 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 lesson from Christianity Cove, uses the story of Samson to teach about being a good friend.
This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted, useful or just made me chuckle.
- Abraham Pipers shares this fun cartoon about the art of arguing with women.
- Stuff Christians Like explores 5 types of people you will meet in small groups. I wonder what the kidmin equivalents of these are.
- Stuff Christians Like suggests come Twitter etiquette.
- What do Martin Luther and rap music have in common?
- J.C. Thompson shares what has to be one of the coolest toys I’ve seen in a while!
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 Ministry-to-Children.com article, I examined the importance of, and provided some guidelines for gauging, the centrality of Christ in your kidmin lesson.
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