My kids are in Awana and have been for years. One of the great benefits of the Awana clubs, I believe, is that it encourages kids to memorize scripture. My kids seem to have a penchant for memorizing, and I have been amazed over the years to watch them inscribe the Word of God on their hearts. Indeed, much of the scripture I now have memorized has come through helping them with the Awana verses each week. As summer approaches, unfortunately Awana takes a break. On top of that school is out, and my kids have a tendency to walk away from things like memorization and learning not because they do not like it but because the opportunities are not readily available. So, each summer we try something to keep their minds working. Last year we focused grammar and sentence rules though we did peter out a little as the summer went on. This year, I am going to join them, and we are going to focus on exercising the memory muscle of our brains through the use of a Catechism.
For years now, I have been fascinated with the idea of Catechisms and how to incorporate them into the spiritual life of me and me kids. After years of thinking about it, this summer I am going to bite the bullet and work through the New City Catechism with my kids, and I’m inviting you to join us! Catechisms have been used by Christians for centuries to memorize and write on their hearts the truth of scripture and doctrine. A Catechism is a series of questions for which prescribed answers are memorized and recited back in response to the question. The New City Catechism is a series of 52 questions. You can find out more about the origin and use of the New City Catechism at http://www.newcitycatechism.com/intro.php. The beauty of the New City Catechism as opposed to other catechisms is:
- I trust the source of the catechism and that it is doctrinally sound.
- It is available as an iPad app (search for it in the app store). My kids love the iPad and just the fact that is available on that device will make it a little more enticing to them.
- It is also available online in a browser and as a printable pdf file if you are not an Apple person.
- You can track your own progress. Some of my kids are list kids. The fact that they can track their own progress is a definite plus.
- It offers both a “child” and “adult” option. We will be memorizing the same thing (though mine will be more in depth and harder – ironically, my kids have the better memories).
- It can be used by one person, but it is perfect for a family to learn separately then come together and discuss.
- The child version on the iPad offers songs and other options to help the kids and more in depth study for the adults.
- It’s shorter than most other Catechisms.
Group’s Kidmin Conference starts this afternoon. At noon today, I will start the long trek down to the conference center (8 miles) and begin a weekend full of networking, refreshing and friends. I am, in case you couldn’t guess, excited about it and wanted to take a second to thank Group for making it possible.
I am planning on blogging the sessions I attend starting this afternoon, and I wanted to give you a preview of where I am planning on being. Things do change sometimes, so this is no guarantee. I identified multiple workshops for each session that I would like to attend, so there is a possibility that I might switch when I get there. That said, here is what you’re likely to see me writing about here over the next several days:
Children’s ministry isn’t supposed to be about fun, right? There no room for fun if you’re serious about teaching kids about God, right? Not so much. There is room for fun in ministry, after all God invented fun, and if we can use it to teach kids about him and bring glory to his name – all the better! That’s why I want to tell you about a brand new ministry that your church can use to both teach kids about God and provide a memorable experience that your kids and your families will be talking about for months to come.
Today I want to introduce you to KaBoom! Ministries. KaBoom! is a ministry of Pastor Tom Bump. I know Tom personally. In addition to being a gifted teacher and a devout follower of Christ, he is a family man and an all around good guy! When I was hosting the Kidmin1124 radio show on CMConnect, we did a show a presenting the gospel to kids. I had Tom on as a guest, and I was blown away by his ability to clearly and passionately present the gospel in a way kids can understand. As I’ve gotten to know him better, I come to appreciate Tom’s heart for God and God’s people as well as and his friendship. Prior to starting KaBoom! Ministries, Tom has served on staff as the children’s pastor of various sized churches and spoken at a variety of camps, events and conferences.
So, what can KaBoom! Ministries do for your church?Read More
In the past, on this blog, we have been privileged to review Yancy’s newest releases, and she has yet to disappoint. This newest album named “Jesus Music Box” which released earlier this week is no exception. Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for your change to win the “Ministry combo” which is a CD & DVD set for Churches.
You can purchase the album on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jesus-music-box/id602350089. I would suggest the deluxe edition from iTunes which includes 3 videos as well. You can find that at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jesus-music-box-deluxe-edition/id605496395. To find out more about the album, check out http://yancynotnancy.com/store/cds/new-jesus-music-box. Enter the shipping code “YancyLovesMe” for free shipping.
All of the songs are scripturally based, and I love how Yancy masterfully weaves bits and pieces of scripture throughout these songs. These songs are captivating. I had planned on sampling the songs in order to write this review and found that I couldn’t force myself to turn them off in order to go to the next song! I was ready to review another of Yancy’s kids’ worship cds which are, without fail, top of the line. This is another worship cd for kids, but it is also one of the best all around albums I have listen to in a long time, and after one listening has become a fixture on my iPod’s worship playlist.Read More
Every once in a while here on Dad in the Middle, I feature a deal from Only144.com. These are the people who accumulate great children’s ministry resources and sell them to you at incredible discounted prices. I believe in what Only 144 is doing, and I am glad to support (plus every once in a while they send me the package for free which doesn’t hurt ).
Only144.com has a new deal starting this coming Friday, September 25, 2012, last 144 hours, and in my humble opinion, it is the best deal they have offered yet (and that is saying something). I have chosen to promote this deal not because I believe in Only 144 (which I do) but because I believe everyone who works with kids ought to have these resources at their fingertips.
This coming deal features the products of Jim Wideman. I am a big fan of Jim Wideman not only as a children’s ministry leader but as a person. I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to know numerous leaders in the field of children’s ministry over the last several years, but there is not one person who I have learned more from than Jim Wideman, and frankly there is no one that I respect as much as him either. Jim’s heart is first for God, secondly for his family, third for kids, and fourth for helping to raise up young leaders who in the field of children’s ministry. I am grateful for all that I have learned from Jim Wideman about children’s ministry, but frankly it is his words on being a parent and raising kids that have impacted me the most.Read More
– Leadership is more like an art and less like a science.
– We try to create box of what leadership is.
– You may be a good leader in some areas and a bad leader in others.
– We can gain wisdom by studying patterns.
– We should look at patterns in leadership to learn.
– Shared brain. We share information with the other people in our lives. That is why grief (from death or divorce) leads to loss memory. (more on this at a later date on http://divorceministry4kids.com
3 Leadership Arts
1. Develop (walking in faith, developing self, developing others)
You can’t burn out when you’re connected to God. We don’t burn out – we rust out.
2. Lead (casting vision, creating strategy, navigating change)Read More