The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol (July 2010)

Childrens Ministry Blog Patrol

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.

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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:

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 and 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:

Featured Article of the 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).

Ministering to Kids in Divorce… a guest blog by Tori Einstein
  • Tori Einstein writes from her own personal experience about what kids suffering through divorce really need from you.

On Teaching & Working With Kids

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.

The Importance of Worship Music for Kids
  • In this article that I wrote for, I explore the importance of finding good worship music to use in your children’s ministry.

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Ministering to Kids in Divorce… a guest blog by Tori Einstein
  • Tori Einstein writes from her own personal experience about what kids suffering through divorce really need from you.
Good teachers
  • Brenna Phillips shares several marks of a great teacher.

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The Truth this Sunday
  • 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.
2010 Lower Elementary Worship Set
  • Joy Bowen shares the music they are using this summer for their lower elementary age groups.
Hey, What’s Your Name?
  • Christine Yount Jones shares some ideas for what to do when you forget a child’s name.

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The 7 Most Important Things You Can Tell A Child
  • In this article for, I share the seven most important things I think you can tell any child.
Unwanted Counsel during Times of Grief
  • This observation relayed by Justin Taylor is very insightful when it comes to dealing with grief.

Children’s Ministry Issues

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, I explore those things which you can not cut out of your life in order to make time.

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.

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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.

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7 Things Kids Wish Their Leaders Knew
  • This article from 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.

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Killing Our Need For Affirmation
  • Peter Bierma writes about where we should find our affirmation and the need to get past desiring that affirmation from man.

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What’s the Proper Role of Children’s Ministry?
  • In this article, I explore some questions I have been wrestling with about the proper role of children’s ministry within the church.

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Opportunity comes to those who work… not wait!
  • Nicki Straza shares her thoughts on the importance of trying.

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Three Convictions About Children’s Ministry – Sunday Night Reflections
  • 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.
Teen Buddy Training
  • Amy Fenton Lee writes about using a teen buddy system in special needs ministry.
A Defining Moment
  • Wendy Douglas asks what your defining moment in children’s ministry was.
How Do You Build Momentum in Your Children’s Ministry?
  • In this article for, I share my thoughts on the importance of building momentum in your ministry.
What does “fun” mean?
  • Lin Pearson asks what fun means and how that impacts Children’s Ministry.
Surviving Ministry in a Shrinking Church
  • In the latest Think Tank from, several writers weigh in on how to survive and thrive in children’s ministry in a shrinking church.
No Excuses
  • In his first article for Kidmin1124, Jared Massey asks what excuses you are using for not doing what you need to get done.
How can I be more creative?
  • J.C. shares his thoughts on ways to spark creativity.

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You Have to Take Time to Make Time
  • In her first article for, Barbra Graves explores how you can spend some time to make time.
When Your Ministry Program Falls Apart
  • Karen Wingate shares her personal story of a flailing children’s ministry and what it means to her personal faith.
Where Have all the Children Gone?
  • Kevin DeYoung shares an interesting graph based on a 2008 Pew Study regarding where kids raised in different churches end up as adults.
Comp ‘Em
  • Dale Hudson shares his thoughts on what to do in children’s ministry in those situations where people are upset with you.

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Just the Facts! Special Needs Statistics
  • Amy Fenton Lee shares some statistics regarding special needs based on her extensive research.
You can change a child’s direction
  • Lin Pearson shares a powerful Biblical example of how external influences can change the path a child takes.
Five ways Children’s Ministry is like the documentary “Oceans”
  • Growing Kids Ministry comments on what we can learn about children’s ministry from the Oceans documentary.

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Too Much Church! 5 Dangers Facing Over-Churched Kids
  • 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!

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9 Strategies for Reaching Over-Churched Kids
  • In his follow-up to the dangers of being over churched, Tony Kummer offers some practical advice and tips on how to combat it.
8 Reasons Some Churches Do Not Grow
  • Perry Noble shares eight reasons churches don’t grow. I think these are applicable to children’s ministries as well.
the trap of busyness
  • Pudge Huckaby explores the dangers of being to busy.
I Could Learn From… Reggie Joiner
  • In a continuing series, Larry Shallenberger explores the lessons he could learn from Orange pioneer Reggie Joiner.
True Beauty?
  • John Foley explore what we can learn about children’s ministry from the reality show True Beauty.
Creating an Organization that Values Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose
  • 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.
The Premise of “The Inclusive Church” Blog
  • Amy Fenton Lee shares the basis for her blog dedicated to Special Needs Children’s ministry.
3AM Wake Up Call
  • Wendy Douglas shares a personal story about God’s guidance in her life.
Parenting Advice from a Single Children’s Pastor
  • In Kenny Acock’s inaugural article for he shares ways that single pastors can help parents.
play with your food (?)
  • Amy Dolan wonders if it is appropriate to play with our food in children’s ministry.
Strategies for Separation Anxiety at Church
  • Kristin Charles from 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.

The Most Important Part of Your Story
  • 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.

Blog Series – How To Deal With Difficult Kids

J.C. examines ways to deal with difficult kids in children’s ministry.

Leaders and Leadership

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.

Do you explain things well?
  • Joy Bowen writes on identifying your weaknesses and figuring out how to bring that strength to your team.
The 200 slide solution
  • 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.
Underpromising Leadership
  • Do you overpromise in leadership or underpromise?
Five Strategies for Building New Habits
  • Michael Hyatt shares five strategies he has found useful in developing habits.
Five Ways to Use Authority for the Benefit of Your Team
  • As a leader, are you using your authority to benefit yourself or to benefit your team?
feedback ≠ control
  • 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.
How (Not) to Fail at Communication
  • 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.”
Signs of Personal Stress in your Ministry
  • This article provides a listing of ten signs that you are succumbing to personal stress and might be a good litmus test for you.
The Principle of the Leadership Lid
  • Thom Rainer talks about the limitations a leader can put on an entire organization and the importance of having the right people.
Real Leaders Rest
  • Carey Nieuwhof discusses the importance, and gift, of rest.
Avoiding the Tyranny of the Urgent
  • Do you schedule time with yourself? Michael Hyatt suggests that it might be a good idea.
Learning through transition
  • J.C. Thompson shares what he’s learning as he transitions roles at his church.
Young Leadership Lesson #2 – Respect
  • J.C. returns with his series of lessons for young leaders – this time talking about respect.
5 Types of Leaders
  • 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.

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What Do Your Volunteers Want?
  • Check out this list I compiled of ten things your volunteers want from you.

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Are Your Volunteers Driven?
  • 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!
Be a Place Where Volunteers Want to Be
  • Jenny Funderburke explores what a place where volunteers want to be would look like.
Need or Vision
  • Barbara Graves asks what message we are giving to potential volunteers.
10 Ways To Build An Effective Children’s Ministry Team
  • Tamera Kraft shares ten tips for building a children’s ministry team.
If You’re Going to Recruit, You’re Going to Have to Talk to People
  • Jenny Funderburke shares some volunteer recruiting basics.
How Good of a Stalker Are You?
  • Jenny Funderburke offers more advice on the art of kidmin recruiting.

Family Ministry / Orange

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.

Children in Worship … Or Not
  • This article from Greg Priebbenow addresses the issue of whether or not children should stay in worship with their parents.

Kids & The Bible

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.

Using the Bible Biblically to Parent Biblically
  • Mark Tubbs explores the indirect parenting advice from the Bible.
The Spirit of the Child
  • Greg Priebbenow writes about the spiritual life of kids and why it matters.

Kids & Christ

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.
The Gospel Matters for Your Toddler
  • Jay Younts explores why parents should have a sense of urgency about sharing the gospel with their toddlers.
The Gospel Matters for Your Eight-Year-Old
  • Jay Younts explores why the gospel is important to your kids in a world which is ready to offer plenty of alternatives.

Kids & Culture

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.

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Online Safety for parents.
  • Sam Luce shares a resource with parents that will monitor their children’s online activity on social networking sites.

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10 Commandments of Online Safety for kids.
  • 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!
How to protect our kids online
  • Lin Pearson summarizes 13 points from Steven Kryger on how to protect your kids online.
Over 80% of Teenagers Lack Meaningful Relationships with Adults Beyond Family
  • The Forming Faith blog looks at how many teenagers have a meaningful relationship with adults outside of their own family.
Children are growing older faster
  • Brenna Phillips writes about the cultural phenomenon whereby kids are asked to grow up quicker in our society.
Are Movies Becoming More “Christian”?
  • 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.

Review: VBS Curriculum from the Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • I reviewed a VBS produced by the Seventh Day Adventist Church for 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.

I’m Puzzled | game
  • Here a fun teamwork game involving blindfolds and puzzles.
Games for large groups
  • Lin Pearson lists some great resources for large group games.
Fun & Games
  • Wendy Douglas shares some resources for finding fun and games to infuse into your ministry.
Indoor games for hot days
  • 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.
How We Tweak Minute to Win It Games for kidmin.
  • 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.

Internet Sites and Resources

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.

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Ten Internet Tools for Children’s Ministry
  • In this article that I wrote for, I share ten sites that people in children’s ministry ought to know about.
Site of the week: Seeds
  • Kenny Conley shares a site from Church on the Move in which they share great information on the technical side of church.

Other Resources (Music, Conferences, Etc.)

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.

Review: Cullen’s ABC’s Online Preschool Program
  • Here is a review of an online preschool which I wrote for
The Two Years that Will Impact the Entire Rest of My Ministry
  • Jenny Funderburke shares her thoughts on her time spent in Jim Wideman’s infuse program.
Top 25 iPhone Apps for Kids
  • 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.
Video & Recap from Children’s Ministry Expo
  • 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.
CMX 2010 Report
  • This is Commander Bill’s take on the Expo.
CMX: My Children’s Ministry Expo Experience
  • Pastor Steve shares his thoughts on his trip to the Expo as well.
Kidology to Go – Where the Rubber Meets the Road!
  • 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.
What’s the Deal with Seeds Family Worship?
  • I love the music of Seed Family Worship. Check out this review that I did for
Andrew Peterson’s Counting Stars, A Review
  • Donald Miller reviews the latest album of Andrew Peterson.
CMX: My Experience Part 2
  • Steve Bourque shares more about his experience at the CM Expo.

Curriculum and Object Lessons

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.

Review: The Lads Kids Curriculum.
  • Sam Luce reviews a new curriculum from The Lads Band.
ReThink ReInvents Family Times
  • Kenny Conley writes about the new product for families from ReThink called Cue Box.

Parenting and Marriage Issues

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.

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Blog Series – Our Values

Reggie Joiner explores the values that he and Carey Nieuwhof write about in their book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity

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Parenting | Saying Yes
  • Dan Scott reminds us that our kids grow up quickly, and our goal should be to tell them yes as much as possible.
How To Fail At Communication (1)
  • Carey Nieuwhof reminds us that how we say things to our kids is just as important as what we say.

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Why Are Parents So Unhappy? And Who Would Settle for Happiness, Anyway?
  • Albert Mohler comments on studies which conclude that parenting does not make people happy.
Preschool Moms Ministry: Preschool Play Day
  • Amy Brown offers some ideas for parents of preschoolers to get together with other preschoolers for a day out.
The Misery of the American Parent
  • 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.
children + city = strong faith
  • Amy Dolan explores the pros and cons of raising kids in a city verses rural setting.

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Qualities of a Strong Family
  • This is a great bullet list of what makes a family successful in various areas.
How To Make Sure You Destroy Your Marriage With An Affair!
  • Perry Nobel shares a list of things you can do that are certain to ruin your marriage.

Devotions for Kids & Families

There are great sites out there with devotions for families and kids. These are great resources which we can point families too.

5 On-The-Go Family Devotions for Summertime
  • Kristin Charles shares five great ideas for summer devotionals for families on the go.
Cooking Up Family Devotions with Your Kids
  • Kristin Charles from offers up three food related devotions you can do with your kids.

Just For Fun

This section includes posts from various Children’s Ministry blogs from the last month that were lighthearted, useful or just made me chuckle.

Glory Days
  • Funny Man Dan on focusing on the “good old days.”
Personality Profiles
  • 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.

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Stuff Kids Pastor’s Like #105: Candy and Drugs.
  • Sam Luce shares this candy to drugs conversion table.
10 Common Spelling Mistakes That Haunt Bloggers
  • 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.
Baby Sunday School
  • John Acuff shares some rules, as only he can, for a baby Sunday school. Articles

This section includes a listing of my posts on Dad in the Middle alerting readers to new articles which I have published on

  • In this article for, 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 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


  1. Thanks again for the links Wayne I am always amazed by the volume and the quality of all the stuff you find in Kidmin bloggosphere. I remember back in the day when there were 4 kidmin blogs. Love all the fresh perspectives.
    My recent post CardStar- Self checkin with your smart phone

    • Way back when like 3 years ago right? 🙂 Fortunately, yours was one of those pioneering kidmin blogs that I think we all have learned a lot from, and continue to be edified by. Thanks for all you do for the children's ministry community and for putting out all that great content for inclusion in the blog patrol.

  2. Bravo Wayne, that must have taken the whole weekend to compile:) Thank you so much for including the article on ministering to children of divorce. There needs to be more discussion on this topic in the children's ministry arena. Thanks for bringing it into the light.
    My recent post Bible Games for Kids – Sign or No Sign

    • Thank you. I couldn't agree with you more. I am planning on writing something about it for the blog, but I don't feel like it's something I can just throw together. I feel like I really need to do my research and put a lot into it to do it justice. Unfortunately, that means finding the time to dedicate to it. Keep up the great work!