All posts for the month October, 2009

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I have a feeling that I will be touching an interesting topic in the following posts. Too many churches don’t deal with it and therefore, too many children’s churches or services don’t deal with it…

I’m talking about the proper use of an altar time – or prayer time in your children’s ministry service. You say – “an altar time in a children’s ministry?” Yes, unless room for response is made, many times people will only go to an altar a few times in their life; once when, or if they get married… and/or when they get saved. And of course there is that possibility, if they come when they have no where else to turn.

I believe an altar time plays a vital role in the maturing of the child’s walk with God as well as the intensity of the service. I will get into the how’s, what’s, why’s and so-forth in the upcoming posts. I promise; I won’t become super-spiritual on this, nor will I be lazy in my definition and practics during these posts… I do welcome your responses.
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Well, would you? I think I would. I have a name tag ball that’s pretty big – it’s actually as big as my head (no jokes please!).

How did this thing get started? A few years ago I actually saw a friend of mine at a neighboring church with a giant name tag ball. He told me that the most popular thing with his kids is getting to add their name tag to the ball as they leave… I took the idea and ran with it. At the particular church that
I was at, we got a name tag ball going that got as big as a basketball before we left.
The one you see me holding is about as big as my head and growing. (we’ve been adding to the ball since June – and yes, it’s 100% name tags!)
This has been a great way to enforce our rule “Wear a name tag”. We tell the kids that if they pull it off and stick it on constantly during the service of class, not only are the

y not obeying the rule – but, it will not be sticky enough to add to the name tag ball.
Do you use labels as name tags (printed or handwritten)? give it a try!
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When you look at the vision that God gave you to reach boys and girls, you have to keep in mind… and in heart, that God didn’t give you someone else’s vision.

It sure is easy as a CM leader to look at Church A, B & C and desire what they have… or desire to do what they do – especially if that church is at the forefront of church ministry. I was recently at a friend’s church for a CM leader’s meeting and got a tour of the building. While touring this monster of a building, my friend showed me the CM resource room. I was envious… it was awesome! Huge; organized; with numerous matching shelves and cabinets; an insane amount of counter space for getting work done; every conceivable piece of office equipment – just of for the CM department… that CM leaders wish they had (color copier, giant laminator, large format printer, paper cutters and several work computers!) Get the idea here? Most public schools wouldn’t be able to touch this!
I went home and told my wife about it – and the pursuit of a bigger and better resource room began to formulate in my mind. But, I had to realize that I was not called to pursue that vision, but vision that God has put in front of me for this church. Sure I can use the experience of seeing that big resource room to inspire me to pursue excellence in what we do in this church. But I was not called to fulfill that other church’s vision.
Look at where you are now… what you have now… who you have now… and ask God where He wants you to go now… How He wants you to do what He’s called you to do… and – When His time frame allows for you to do all He’s asked you to do.
Besides, my friend said that I could use his resource room anytime! Hmm… what could I laminate?
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Lately the topic that’s been on my mind lately is:

the difference between a noun and a verb – particularly in reference to God’s Word. I believe that most of God’s Word written to us was written as a verb. Even where a noun exists, you must take and use your freedom as a minister to interpret it as a “noun that is in action”.
Salvation is a noun – However, it is the name given to the action of being rescued from sin. And according to scripture, it’s a noun that should constantly be in action. We are to “work it out…”
Faith is a noun – However, it is a noun that is activated into a verb when we start to step out into it.
Ministry is a noun – interestingly, it is something that we do or that God does through us… it’s also something that happens.
What other nouns can you identify in God’s word that are things we do, God does, or are activated by our actions or God’s move?
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I say some of the things that I say in Children’s Ministry Presentations and Kid-Show Performances… because it’s funny!

You should always have something fun, funny, witty, or just plain silly to say to your audience. Whether it’s planned or ready to cover a mistake; a funny quote, pun, gag or joke should always be in your pocket.

My latest book, “Because it’s Funny” is 40 Pages of funny things to say that have worked for me over the years – maybe some of these things will work for you too. This is my first book-endeavor that is not exclusively a Children’s Ministry resource… although the stuff in it has been developed both in Children’s Ministry Presentations like: children’s churches, kids’ crusades, camps and outreaches… as well as Kid-Show and Family Performances like; school assemblies, daycares and birthday parties.

Besides, at the last FCM conference I was at, Del WIlson said that he really liked the cover – thanks Del!

…and while you’re there pick up a few other downloads why don’t ya!
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It’s my favorite way to point kids the real answer to eternal life. It’s essentially a big flash-card-type of an effect. You show what appears to be 5 cards; each with a picture depicting a way that some think will lead them to heaven. A spectator is asked to take the cards and begin eliminating all of the cards except for one. When that card is revealed, it shows a picture that represents Jesus… a card that was apparently not in the pack of cards to begin with!

The download gets you the instructions and graphics to make the flash-cards. I’m sure you’ll find it to be an effective way to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ in your class, children’s church or at an outreach.
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