Download your free Go Time Kit to help relaunch your ministry!
The kit contains:
- Activity ideas
- Promotional materials
Download your free Go Time Kit to help relaunch your ministry!
The kit contains:
Summer is here, and kids ministry leaders everywhere find themselves re-entering into the joys and challenges of conducting busy summer ministries like VBS, attending summer camps, and creating summer programming to re-engage kids and families. It has been encouraging to see so much momentum around vacation bible school this summer. If there was any question as to whether kids would return to at-church events, the answer is a resounding, yes!
The good news is that the positive response we have seen to summer ministry events would seem to indicate that kids and parents are ready to come back to church. Ready or not, kids are coming back, and we need to make sure we are ready to go when they arrive. It may be tempting to take a break and relax with a major vacation getaway and let ourselves let down after camp and VBS are over, it would be wiser to take a brief respite and quickly reset our sights on fall. The reality is that the calendar is not our friend. Time is short, and, if we are honest, many of us are not really ready. If you feel like you have been running late and making a lot of last-minute decisions you are far from alone. We have all been functioning in a reactive mode, shrouded in uncertainty, without the ability to plan as far ahead as we would prefer.
Although we don’t have eons of time to regroup, we do have a window of opportunity to make preparations over the next few weeks so we can get out in front of what we hope will be a significant fall influx. But we cannot afford to delay. Now is the time to make key decisions and take important actions as we anticipate the restart of our kids ministries, some or all of which may have been on mothballs for the last 18 months.
We cannot afford to simply return to what we did a year and a half ago. This is time to reassess, reevaluate, regroup, reenlist, reengage, and possibly reinvent our kids ministry strategies, programs, and personnel. We need to re-design our ministries to make sure that they are well informed by the current state of our culture and make adjustments where necessary. In many regions churches have already returned to ministry as usual where they no longer require leaders or kids to wear masks or to enforce strong guidelines on social distancing, however it is wise for us to continue to implement standards and practices that minimize contact and maximize space for everyone in attendance. If you have not already reviewed and updated your guidelines, now is the time.
The Lifeway kids team has created two important and helpful e-books that you can find at lifeway.com/kmfa. 6 Considerations for Reopening your Kids Ministry gives insight in regards to standards of practice for safety, cleanliness and volunteer preparation and 10 Attributes of an Unshakable Kids Ministry helps you reevaluate your priorities so you can best serve kids and families as we emerge into a new post Covid season.
We anticipate what may be the largest fall kick off for kids ministries anywhere, ever, so we would all be wise to create strategies specific for re-engaging kids and families who have not attended regularly over the last 18 months, and to welcome and invite new families from the community to visit our churches this fall. Summer is a great time to offer fun family events in your fellowship hall or parking lot to attract and connect with kids and their families. This is a great opportunity to proclaim that your kids ministry will be back in a big way this fall. Starting this conversation early will help kids and families prepare now to be back then. To help you host a successful relaunch event, the Lifeway kids team has also provided a handy kit for creating your own fall relaunch celebration. The Go Time Kit is a printable download that will help you outline an experience for families that will reestablish relational connection between your church and the community you serve and restart momentum as we get ready to press go.
As we anticipate a massive return of kids and families to our churches this fall nationwide, we as kids ministry leaders need to not only gear up to re-open our doors and prepare our spaces for kids to be back, but also reevaluate our strategies in light of a world that has changed. Whether we are ready or not, fall is coming, and it is coming fast. Now is the time to get ready, and to reset, so that we can be all-systems-go as we near September and the relaunch of our kids ministries.
Chuck Peters is Director of Operations for Lifeway Kids. Before his role at Lifeway, Chuck had an extensive career in television and video production. He is a 3-time Emmy Award Winning producer, director, writer and host. A graduate of Columbia Bible College, Chuck, and his wife, Cris, have served vocationally & voluntarily in Student and Children’s Ministry for many years. They have four amazing children: Tally (21), Tristen (20), Tyson (14) and Tate (11).
Chances are you’ve looked at the calendar and you know that summer is coming! Chances also are that you’ve looked around your church and realized that kids are going to need something to do to stay engaged while home during the summer. Depending on where you live, and the restrictions in your locale, you might be needing something different and creative to reach out to the kids in your ministry. Here are a few suggestions depending on your church’s level of return and comfort.
If you have no plans to be on campus during the summer months consider these suggestions for staying engaged with your kids.
If your church and city are more open and you can have folks gather outside, consider some of these suggestions for staying engaged with your kids.
If your church and city allow on campus meetings, consider these suggestions for staying engaged with your kids.
Staying engaged with the kids in your ministry is very important and hopefully some of these suggestions will spark an idea for you.
Tim Pollard teaches 3rd graders at Tulip Grove Baptist Church. He’s passionate about helping kids dig deep into Scripture, which he pursues through his daily work as leader of the Explore the Bible: Kids team. Tim lives with his wife and daughters in Mount Juliet, TN.
Churches throughout the Southern Baptist Convention will celebrate children’s ministry (ages birth—preteen) on Sunday, July 18, 2021. This is a great day to thank God for the ministry your church provides to kids, their families, and volunteers. Use this day to remind kids of their importance to the church and to honor kids ministry volunteers who invest in the lives of kids and their families. Recognize and honor kids ministry volunteers who invest in the lives of children and their families.
Here are some ways to celebrate Children’s Ministry Day in your church:
Summer is almost here! Are you headed to camp this year? Download our free Packing List printable to prep for camp. Share this download with kids in your ministry so they can get excited about camp, too!
By Kayla Stevens
Celebrate. The word is simple enough, but in the midst of a pandemic, unrest, and uncertainty, celebration may have taken a backseat in your ministry goals. But these verses in Luke 15 remind us that God celebrates.
“But the father told his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:22-24)
Like a father whose son has returned, God celebrates salvation.
And so should we!
As you begin planning what God wants to do in your ministry for 2021, I hope you will anticipate the celebrations to come. Kids in your ministry may experience the life changing power of Jesus this year. As you anticipate and pray for what God will do in the minds and hearts of kids, consider these four touch points of ways to multiply celebration.
Celebrate with the child. Take time to celebrate the child’s newfound faith individually with that child. Look for opportunities to share your joy and excitement through conversations, a card, or a video chat. Your words matter. Convey how you have prayed for this child and his or her salvation and watched God answer. There is no substitute for the personal interaction with the new believer.
Celebrate with the family. Consider the child’s family dynamics and discover appropriate ways to connect and celebrate their child’s newfound faith in Jesus. Provide helpful tools, such as I’m a Christian Now, for parents to walk through with their child. Invite the family to your home and let the child choose the menu. Talk about age-appropriate Bibles that parents or grandparents can provide for the new Christian. Take the opportunity to personally pray for the child and the family. Find creative avenues to involve the whole family in celebrating what God has done in this child’s life.
Celebrate with friends. Create space in your ministry for kids to celebrate with other kids. Kids usually enjoy the special attention that adults give, but there is also something special about kids celebrating God’s work in their lives with other kids. Invite one or two influential kids in your ministry to write cards to the child, congratulating them on their new faith in Jesus. Consider allowing time for the child to share his story and emphasize the value and importance of kids making a personal relationship with Jesus.
Celebrate with the church. Make sure to include the corporate church in the celebration as well. Typically, this celebration happens at baptism or in publicly presenting a new Bible to that child. Other opportunities might include a family re-dedication, inviting leaders involved in this child’s discipleship to join the child and family in a public prayer. Perhaps this child went through a family dedication as a baby or toddler where the family and church committed to partnering together to teach him or her spiritual truth. Now might be an appropriate time to recommit as a church congregation to pray for this new believer. Lead the church congregation to encourage, equip, and partner with this family in prayer and discipleship.
As you join God in celebrating new believers in your ministry, create experiences your kids will remember long into their adulthood years of those who celebrated their new-found faith alongside them.
For additional resources and ways to resource families of new believers in your ministry, visit lifeway.com/kidsdiscipleship.
Kayla Stevens is a Content Editor for Lifeway Kids Team. She is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and William Carey University. Kayla lives in Nashville, Tennessee and has served in Kids ministry for over 10 years.
Need a quick break from your work day? Spend a few minutes doing this word scramble.
But wait! This isn’t just a fun activity. There’s a clue about the 2020 VBS theme hidden in here somewhere. Download it here!
Think you missed a clue along the way? Look back through past blog posts for an up-close photo, a Sudoku puzzle, and a noise related to next year’s VBS. Then post your best theme guess on our Lifeway VBS Facebook page.
Check back next week for our fifth and final clue before the big reveal on June 5 at 1:00 p.m. CT.
Micheal Walley, Lifeway Kids Event Producer, takes you behind the scenes for ETCH 2018! Hear why you should take your family ministry team on a retreat or a conference, the impact of gathering together in person, and the heart and vision behind the ETCH Family Ministry Conference.
Find out more about ETCH Family Ministry Conference here, and join us in Nashville October 17-19!
Micheal Walley serves as the Lifeway Kids Event Producer and leads the ETCH Family Ministry Conference and other Lifeway Kids Events. He is a graduate of Mississippi College and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He loves coffee, leadership, all things creative, and his wife, Anne Marie.
For us, everything begins with developing the spiritual direction at camp. It is the very first project we begin for the summer, and we start working on the scriptural content almost two years before kids actually experience it at camp. This summer at CentriKid Camps, we will be learning about God’s design for us and who we are in Christ. We will learn how we are His workmanship and how we are created in His image. God’s blueprint shows us that we are truly loved, completely forgiven, and prepared for a purpose to share the gospel.
The key verse this summer is Ephesians 2:10. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” I’m confident that this verse will give our camp staff and the adults from your church many opportunities to have intentional, gospel-centered conversations with campers.
The video series will have a new episode during each night of Worship, and while I can’t spoil all the surprises, I want to give you an idea of what to get excited about! During the video series, we’ll be following a group of kids who have been specially designed by God with different talents and gifts. Through some epic design competitions, these kids (and your campers) will be learning how they are made in the image of God and how they can use their gifts.
Also at camp this summer, we are making a change to the afternoon schedule. We are moving from three Track Times to two, to allow campers more time to focus in on the activities in their chosen Tracks! We are also adding some new Track Time options! Be on the lookout for Track Time cards to be posted on CentriKid.com on the specific Location Pages by March 2018.
Many of you are already promoting camp dates to your families and some are getting ready to, so we have the “2018 Chaos Kit” coming your way to help with generating excitement for CentriKid. The Chaos Kit includes visual aids, promotion materials, and a special edition “Blueprint OMC” game that you can play at church to get kids moving and thinking about camp.
We look forward to serving churches with camp next summer, so if you have not reserved your spaces for CentriKid yet, call 1-877-CAMP-123 or go online to www.centrikid.com to find a date that works for your group. Contact our team anytime by email at email@example.com with logistical questions, parent questions, or anything else that we can help you with.
Jeremy Echols leads the CentriKid Camps team and manages the Lifeway Kids events. He, his wife Emily, and their precious daughter love their church, their neighborhood, and spending time together. Jeremy loves to read, watch sports, and grill burgers.
One of my favorite parts of summer is camp. I love CentriKid camps! I’ve been to CentriKid in Mississippi, Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I love that they are consistent, safe, and fun. For the past three years, I’ve been to CentriKid as camp pastor and have been able to quietly (or not so quietly) observe a few things that I think would make your experience even better.
Jeff Land is Publishing Team Leader for Bible Studies For Life: Kids. He holds a BSW from Mississippi College and a MACE from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeff has served as children’s pastor and currently teaches second graders each week at his church. Jeff, his wife Abbey, and their four sons live in Coopertown, TN.