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Hey out there to my Calvary Chapel friends. I am going to be at the Calvary Chapel Children’s Ministry Leadership Conference in Southern California in March. You can get the pdf brochure here. If you are in Children’s Ministry, and you are with the Calvary Chapel, and you can get to the Murrieta area by March 4… then, you should be there! it’s a great time and the price is right for the conrference, food and lodging on site.

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I ran across this post a few days ago – it intrigued me because, 1. I run a children’s ministry and 2. This is a church in Minnesota. I added my comment and got a nice response from the folks in charge of the blog. It turns out that the family is just one suburb over from our church and the folks in charge of the blog were going to forward our church info to them. When I found out where they lived, I knew which church they were referring to. I began to realize how sad it is that this well known church in our part of the metro is not just well known for being big… they have a reputation as the church that has a cover-charge for kids to get into the children’s ministry. It makes me wonder if they realize that they have this kind of reputation.

How about you – what do you think? Do you charge kids to attend weekend children’s ministries? If you were asked to start by your leadership, would you?

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If you look off to the right of this post (if you are not on bloglines which by the way… if you are not on bloglines, then subscribe so you can keep track of all of your blogs) then you will see that there is a new podcast episode called “How To Be A Winner – Part 1” If you are at bloglines, then just click here and go to my podcast page. This is part one of a two part episode on some tips, tricks and ideas that could help you go to the next level.

For those who care and need to know details. This was a lecture that was recorded live at the National Children’s Ministries Leadership Conference hosted by the Assemblies of God in Springfield, MO.

I hope you enjoy it – and as always, I would love your feedback.

I have some more pics of the new set that I had built for our TOYS series. I will post them when I get the chance.

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Here are a few pictures of the props that are making up the set for our new series in Kids’ Church “TOYS – everyday fun… eternal truths”.

The first pic is of me and my 3 year-old daughter, Emma, atop of the giant legos. These are a few of 6 total that were built for us by a guy in our church. They are actually made of wood and the bottoms are finished as well and actually have holes that perfectly fit the knobs on the tops – these things can actually be stacked like the real thing!

The second pic is on me and the giant Rubik’s Cube, a Lego on bottom and the big Paddle-Ball Paddle. Off to the right on the floor, leaning up against the sound booth, you can see the monkeys for the Barrel of Monkeys.

I’ll add some more shots of the finished set later (My projection screens look like Etch-a-Sketches – the same guy made all of this stuff for us!) Can you tell that I am totally geeked about this series?

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This is a post form my church blog for parents:

We are starting the new series in KidZone Church this weekend called: “TOYS – everyday fun… eternal truths” The room is gonna be amazing! Kristie Kerr and her entourage of amazing decorators and set-design gurus will be unleashed upon the room formerly known as the secondary auditorium this week to adorn it with jumbo-sized replicas of classic toys.

Each week we will take a classic or famous toy and turn it into an illustrative message that will be unforgettable!

I really don’t mind if you, as parents, would like to come in and see the room and stay for the service – there’s no doubt that your minds will be flooded with memories of the days by-gone of yesteryear when you, as a youngins, occupied the floor of your bedrooms, frolicking about with many of the toys that you will see!

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David Wakerly over at the childrensministryblog.com just busted my chops (and a few other bloggers) for neglecting to update our blogs… Guilty. The last time I updated this thing was over a month ago when I shamelessly promoted how well my podcast was going. Well, here is an update and I hope you find it helpful:

Kids Don’t Schedule Counseling Appointments – by Jamie Doyle

If you are a kids’ pastor or synonymous leader in your church to children, then you have realized that children aren’t standing in line in front of the children’s church room following the service to set-up a counseling appointment with you. Kids don’t think in those terms. But I have found that kids will talk with you about all kinds of stuff when you are just hanging out with them and being yourself. Issues in their lives will surface when they feel comfortable with you.

I was at a spiritual emphasis week at another church (about ten years ago). I was the featured speaker for the children’s services. Prior to my presentation, the children’s pastor at that church set up games and activities for the kids to play. I was a little put off by this and couldn’t understand why we were “playing games” at a spiritual emphasis church event. The next day, I felt like God had spoken to me to go and play the games. I really didn’t want to but, I did. While I was playing the game, the kids at that table began to talk to me about issues in their own lives. We ended up praying together and I informed the children’s pastor about it so he could continue to minister to those kids later. I continued to move from table to table and just play the games with the kids. That night during the message, I had earned the right to be heard and at the altar time, I knew what I why some of those kids came forward and I knew what to pray about.

To this day, I still schedule activities in which I can just hang out and have fun. Try it – You will earn the right to be heard and you will be able to counsel kids that need it.

Thanks Dave for bustin’ my chops!

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I recently started up my PodCast – I have been talking about doing it for… well, a long time. But now it’s finally happening. I have gotten some great responses from those who have subscribed (over 130 subscribers to date). Thanks to those of you have listened in and sent me comments. I have even gotten some good tips from some experienced PodCasters – Thanks for your help as well. If you have not headed over to itunes or to the PodOmatic site to download, listen or subscribe, you can do so off to the side of this blog by simply choosing the episode you want to listen to and listening to it with the player provided (you don’t even need itunes, but it helps). Please send me or post your comments and any ideas for future episodes.

Thanks once again and I hope you enjoy!

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Hey my blog-readin’ friends… I just posted my first Children’s Ministries PodCast. Take a listen and subscribe. I plan to add to it at least monthly. This first epidsode is part one of a two part series called: Dynamic Children’s Church. So, I will probably add part two next week.

I am waiting approval by the itunes store to get the PodCast listed there as well – but you can subscribe to your itunes from the PodOmatic site.

Please check it out and give me some feedback at the PodOmatic site. You can even record your comments – perhaps I would use your recorded comments in an upcoming PodCast.

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7. Never stop learning – you cannot expect to stay fresh if you are not constantly feeding yourself. I suggest reading blogs, books and magazines – subscribe to Jim Wideman’s Leadership Club and search some of the podcasts out there related to children’s ministry. Attend as many seminars and conferences as you can – especially if they are local.

8. Mix it up a bit – in your children’s church and classrooms, don’t get stuck in a rut. Have your teachers switch the agenda’s around once in a while. Challenge them and yourself to keep doing things that you have never done in your class before. Try new teaching methods and activities. You can have a weekend with teaching stations or small group breakouts or moving the entire class to a different location to teach a specific topic – even if you don’t plan to make it these things regularly scheduled events.

9. Invite the other pastors or church leaders to your services – Set aside time to introduce the leaders to your kids. Just by asking them to come as a guest of honor and to stay until the end to pray with the kids will speak volumes to them, the leader as well as the kids. Interview them at the class or children’s service. This helps to build the lines of authority in your church, the kids know who that person is and if good stuff is going on in your service – others will hear about it.

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Ok, here are some more things that you could do to help you make ministry better:

4. Plan on being flexible. If you have experieneced ministry to kids for any amount of time – you’ll know that being flexible is crucial. Things change and you have to be able to adapt. And learn how to NOT complain when those things change. Perhaps (and more than likely) those things have changed because God had a better plan. You may not see the reason until years from now, but when you see the reason – the light will go on. You should also breed the attitude of flexibility in your leaders

5. Plan activities and events outside of your weekend service. These are the times that you and your leaders get to know the kids… And they get to know you. These can also be great places for you to help children get to know one another. Some of these activities can be ministry related like: retreats, camps, park outreaches, service projects and so on. And these can also be fun events where the kids get to see you be… Well, you – like: sporting events, picnics, waterparks, carnivals, scavenger hunts, camping trips, field trips and the list goes on!

6. Network with other people who do what you do. Find out if there are any children’s ministry network meetings in your area – if there are none, start one! This can be beneficial for you and the others involved. You’ll get great ideas, give ideas, share resources, be able to borrow resources (stay within legal boundaries with this one), be encouraged and encourage others. I would encourage you to get a Kidology.org membership and read and post your ideas or comments in the network zone.

I’ll have more keys in the next posting. Comment if you think of other tips…

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