Today we finish with part four of a 4-week series on healthy habits for kids ministry leaders, featuring Lifeway Kids director of operations, Chuck Peters. Throughout the series we will identify and unpack 8 tips to help set you up for success in your role.
These are difficult times for all of us. At no time in many of our memories has a single event touched every person on Earth. And let’s be honest: the gravity of this current crisis can feel overwhelming—especially when our worship gatherings are canceled. Even though we are not meeting together in person, we have a great opportunity to minister to kids and families in new ways during this unusual season. Many are leveraging digital content and delivery systems to spur on discipleship.
To help you accomplish this, Lifeway is temporarily providing current Bible study sessions from Bible Studies for Life, Explore the Bible, and The Gospel Project to churches, groups, and families for FREE.
We developed Lifeway Kids at Home (available FREE at digitalpass.lifeway.com) as a family viewing resource for parents to use with their kids at home, but wanted to also have a resource to equip church leaders to curate, customize and distribute the Bible studies they use every week in Sunday School.
Get Started With Digital Curriculum
Why Digital Curriculum?
Whether you’re familiar with print or digital resources from Lifeway, this new enhanced digital curriculum experience makes discipleship during social distancing easy, allowing you to:
- Access content on computers, tablets, and smartphones
- Customize with your own content, discussion questions, etc.
- Share via email or social media
- Use with discipleship groups via Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, or Zoom Meetings
- Print and deliver to those who cannot access digitally
How Does it Work?
Using this digital curriculum is simple! Here’s what you need to do:
Set up your church’s organization. In order to share this digital curriculum with your people, you will need to create a Ministry Grid organization that allows you to organize and share curriculum.
View and customize your sessions. The digital curriculum provided is completely customizable to fit your church’s context. You can add additional teaching components, activities and discussion questions.
Share curriculum with families to access at home. Once the curriculum is ready to share, send your people an email from within the platform, or share a link and they will receive the digital curriculum on any device.
Intentional Discipleship Made Easier
These times are difficult, but growing together doesn’t need to be. Keep growing by logging in at curriculum.lifeway.com today.
Stephanie Chase joins the podcast to discuss what your mindset for ministry is as we head into a time of not meeting in person?
Stephanie Chase has served in Education and Kids Ministry as a teacher, director, writer, and trainer for over 20 years and currently serves as the Kids Minister at Champion Forest Baptist Church.
By Josh Straub
“Yes, dad, I know,” said our 7-year-old son with a ting of whininess in his voice. “Two times, not just one.”
So, we kept scrubbing our hands, standing together in the restaurant bathroom singing “Happy Birthday” for the second time.
Though he never sucked his thumb, he is one of those kids who struggles keeping his fingers away from this mouth.
As parents, I confess, this is one battle we chose not to fight the past few years. Other than a reminder every now and again to stop eating with or licking his fingers, our consistency in enforcing any rules and tenacity to break the habit was lacking.
When the new novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, became not only a global pandemic, but a confirmed local reality, however, we had reason to start being more consistent in how we parent our children around proper hygiene.
And I must say, it hasn’t taken that long for the healthy behaviors to stick. Our kids just needed parents who enforced habits that were good for them.
Such is where I begin pretty much every conversation when it comes to “parenting” our kids—they do as we do, not as we say.
When we study the data, we can sum up all of parenting research into one primary conclusion: Our kids become who we are.
With that said, here are four ways we can talk to our kids about COVID-19.
1. DON’T PERPETUATE FEAR.
In times of crisis, our kids’ greatest need is to feel safe.
In my book Safe House, I write that self-awareness as a parent of what we’re feeling and why we’re feeling that way, is crucial to how safe our children feel.
In other words, don’t expect your kids to remain calm about the coronavirus while you frantically try to tell them everything will be okay. Our kids feel the discrepancy.
Even worse, the fear lands on them in ways they can’t comprehend because the their parent, the one person our kids should be able to talk to about how they’re feeling, is sending the message that he/she can’t handle them anyway.
If you’re afraid of what’s happening, find a trusted friend, pastor, or therapist who can help you process your fear.
2. SENSIBLY MAKE THE KIDS PART OF YOUR GAME PLAN.
About two weeks ago we stocked up on household supplies and food should we be quarantined into our home for two weeks. We told our kids this was a possibility and why.
Less than a week later, our kid’s school district shut down and has since remained closed. Were our kids prepared? Yes. Are they scared? No. Because we had a game plan.
In an age-appropriate manner, make your kids part of your game plan to not overreact or under-react to the reality of the coronavirus.
As we tell our kids, let’s remain sensible. To teach our kids the importance of not overreacting or under-reacting, these two verses have been on repeat in our home lately:
A sensible person sees danger and takes cover; the inexperienced keep going and are punished. (Proverbs 27:12)
Every sensible person acts knowledgeably, but a fool displays his stupidity. (Proverbs 13:16)
Being sensible is already having a plan for your family should you get a call that school has been cancelled, especially if both you and your spouse have jobs.
Helping your kids know in advance, as best you can, the game plan for such circumstances helps calm their mind when normal routine is interrupted.
3. TEACH YOUR KIDS THE FACTS.
Just as having a game plan calms our fear, so does knowledge.
We can “act knowledgeably” in spite of the impending reality of the coronavirus: Bookmark and review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. They have done a remarkable job stating the facts and keeping it up to date.
Here are some facts we have found incredibly helpful to ease fears for kids.
- As of February 28, 2020, only 2.4% of total cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in those 19 and younger and only 0.2% of those cases were deemed critical. (WHO)
- For kids under 9, no reported deaths have occurred. (WHO)
- Similar to the SARS and MERS epidemics, also coronaviruses, children seem to be the least symptomatic, however, they do carry it and can infect adults around them, which is why hand washing measures are so important. (WHO)
- Most people who develop the virus experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover in a few weeks.
- Print out the step-by-step guidelines from the CDC to protect yourself and others from getting sick and post them in your house. Better yet, have your kids create their own drawings and rules for healthy hygiene.
Finally, since the “Happy Birthday” song was growing quite old in our home, we turned washing our hands into a dance routine, singing songs our family loves for at least 30 seconds.
4. MAKE PRAYER A PRIORITY.
Kids may worry about you, or even their grandparents, since they are at the highest risk for coronavirus.
When your kids worry, you should listen to their fear, seek to understand the questions they ask, remind them of what you’re already doing to stay safe, and help them regain power over the fear, either through knowledge or talking about it.
You can also invite them to pray with you and give their fears to God. We specifically pray Psalm 91 with our kids, a perfect chapter for the current pandemic.
Be sensible, put a game plan together, and know the facts. But at the end of the day, show your kids by how you pray, that you trust God to be the One in control of it all.
JOSHUA STRAUB, Ph.D. (@joshuastraub) is a professor of child development and author of two books on emotional safety in parenting, including a kid’s book called What Am I Feeling? coauthored with his wife, Christi. He is the marriage and family strategist for Lifeway.
Today we continue with part three of a 4-week series on healthy habits for kids ministry leaders, featuring Lifeway Kids director of operations, Chuck Peters. Throughout the series we will identify and unpack 8 tips to help set you up for success in your role.
Today we continue with part two of a 4-week series on healthy habits for kids ministry leaders, featuring Lifeway Kids director of operations, Chuck Peters. Throughout the series we will identify and unpack 8 tips to help set you up for success in your role.
Show your thanks to volunteers with a Spring Tea Party. It’s a great way to give a warm welcome to first-time leaders while also showing your appreciation to veteran volunteers.
Today we kick off part one of a 4-week series on healthy habits for kids ministry leaders, featuring Lifeway Kids director of operations, Chuck Peters. Throughout the series we will identify and unpack 8 tips to help set you up for success in your role.
By Alli Brown
Since they can remember, all kids know is the kids ministry at their church. They’ve grown up there, made friends there, and before they know it, it’s time for them to head to the youth group. Thinking about the kids in your ministry that will be transitioning to the student ministry soon may give you a wave of fear or uncertainty. They probably had that same fear about coming into the kids ministry from preschool!
I’m sure you’ve learned one of the best ways kids get involved is through those milestone experiences—camp, lock-ins, VBS, and so forth. They may look different, but these events are still happening while kids are in youth! The best way to start making this transition is to, first, partner with your Student Pastor. You don’t want “Graduation Sunday” to just be a hand off. Let the kids see the Student Pastor’s face, know things about him, and see him get involved. I remember when I was in elementary school, the Student Pastor would come to some of our events and hang out with us. He wanted to get to know us and know what to expect when we came to the youth. This gave us buy-in with him! We got to know him on a personal level, and didn’t feel like the youth group was looming over us when we were in 5th grade!
Talk with your Student Pastor about events they have coming up, and consider letting those 5th graders join in! Show them what they have to look forward to, but also how things are similar/different from the kids ministry. This is a great time for those 5th graders to get to know the middle schoolers, and even older youth that they’ll soon be included with at church. Juniors and seniors in high school may seem super intimidating to a 5th grader, but once they get to see them being silly and get to hang out with them at church events, they’ll see they’re not so scary and like to have fun just as much as they do!
The biggest worry—losing these kids in church. The kids ministry has been a place of spiritual learning, growth, and formation for them. One of the most critical things about this time is making that transition to the youth meaningful and worth it for them, or else we can see kids start fading away from the church. This is a great time to partner with the parents. Prep them for what’s coming, be patient with them, and maybe even provide resources for them as their kiddo is growing up! The parents will need to know it’s worth it for their kids to still be involved in the student ministry.
Just remember, this can be a crazy time in your life and the life of these kids, but they love you! Don’t become a stranger to them just because they’ve moved up to the student ministry. Always be sure to say hey and still give them a high five when you see them in the halls at church! Keep taking the time to invest in their lives. A few of these kiddos may even be the ones that come back and want to volunteer in the kids ministry later in life. Who knows, they may be the next Kids Minister to fill your shoes!
Logan Meek joins the podcast to discuss 6 practical expectation we can ask of our volunteers:
1. Active Engagement
2. Enthusiastic Participation
3. Relational Connection
4. Catalytic Conversation
5. Supportive Supervision
6. Prayerful Preparation
Logan Meek serves on the CentriKid Camps team. Logan began serving with Student Life and Lifeway after spending two years as a Sixth Grade teacher with Teach For America. He believes in the importance of strong kids ministry to help kids build strong spiritual foundations.