Recently, David Wakerley said that I failed him. Well David, I only have one thing to say to you…you’re right, and I’m sorry.
David is the awesome Kid’s Pastor at Hillsong Church and is the creative director of Hillsong Kids. He has a blog well worth reading at DavidWakerley.com. For the last several months, David has been reviewing children’s music designed for Christian kids and I would highly recommend looking at his blog for the latest in such resources.
David and I have had multiple conversations over the years, the most recent being at a CPC conference in San Diego. Unfortunately, in our conversations, the children’s music that we produce here at FC Kids never came up. So, as he was scouring the Internet, he just happened to stumble across our kid’s worship music and was hurt that I had kept it from him. 🙂 Obviously, his ribbing me about not telling him about our music was done in jest, and he went on to give our children’s music a very kind review. For that I say a big thank you.
So, to make sure our children’s music is not a secret, if any of you are looking for creative kids music that can be downloaded as MP3’s and as music videos to use in your children’s ministry you can find them at ElevateAtChurch.com/Music. In fact, we have a free music video download for Easter – to download Hosanna, enter the code EASTER at checkout before Good Friday.
Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes video that I took when on the set of Elevate’s Altitude Jr. series video shoot this week. Many of you have asked me “Where does Elevate shoot it’s videos?” My answer: “Right here at Fellowship Church”. In this video, you can tell our sets are printed and contain a few added 3D elements. You can also see the teleprompter for “Switch”, the puppet (“Bivvy”, the human girl character, memorized her lines, the puppet on the other hand…well, he can be very demanding.) You can also see the number of cameras we use and the directors table, with our director for this Jr. series, Sam Johnson.
This shoot has been a lot of fun and we can’t wait to share Altitude with you and the kids in your ministry! Check out our ElevateAtChurch Facebook page for more behind-the-scenes pictures and updates of this upcoming series!
More changes in our preschool ministry! This time, the renovation took place in the south lobby of the Fellowship Church, Grapevine Campus. A small wooden stage and blank walls were pulled back and ripped out to transform it into Wonder & Palette’s Imagination Theater!
Imagination Theatre, the fifteen minute skit portion of our children’s worship experience, has been a part of Fellowship Church for about 10 years. While we have used Imagination Theater different times over the years, the format of our Elevate Jr. curriculum has once again helped it become an important teaching tool for our 3, 4 & 5 year olds
Using an adapted portion of the Elevate Jr. Large Group Script (which you can find in the latest Elevate Jr. series, starting with Elevate Peak 4) a teacher and puppet bring the Bible Story to life and the kids get to worship together as a large group. Each group of kids rotates in and out of the classroom to travel down to Imagination Theater. The children are greeted by a fun song, written by our children’s pastor Ryan McMackin, and by a lead volunteer as the teacher. Once all the kids are seated ‘criss-cross applesauce’, the teacher goes over the rules.
Rule #1: No talking while the teacher or puppet are talking
Rule #2: Stay seated
Rule #3: No poking your friend or neighbor (otherwise known as “no touchy-touchy”)
Rule #4: Have FUN!
The kids love to shout the rules, and it helps any new children know what to expect.
Once that part is finished, one of the many Elevate puppets are introduced. Here are a few of them:
Fernando Fezzik Pixie
These fun polyester-cotton blend friends help sing the song, say the Main Point and teach the Bible lesson to the children. It usually begins with the puppet NOT understanding the lesson, and then coming to the realization of what God wants them to do right after they hear the Bible Story.
From here, the kids get to go back to their classrooms and continue learning more about the lesson for the day. It is important to note that with Imagination Theater each child will have heard the Bible Story twice. For preschoolers, repetition is important.
The new set design of Wonder & Palette’s Imagination Theater helps keep the children’s attention even more focused with the bright colors and fun decor. The volunteers enjoy having a “door” to come out of, and the puppeteers enjoy having an extra ‘window’ to pop in and out. In all, the remodel was a success. Now if only we can keep Fezzik from eating the fake flowers every weekend…
One of my hobbies is to dabble in sculpting. I find my creative thoughts come easier when I am using my hands to make something. Some things are small (Winnie the Pooh, Lumiere and Cogsworth) and some are large (the mountain in our CCC building)…
The motto for FC Kids is “Show Kids God’s Love, Help Kids Love Church.” We achieve this several ways and I’ll go through them over the next several weeks. One way we achieve this is through a salvation presentation.
We use a salvation presentation to show kids God’s love. How do we do it? It’s a three step presentation:
Present the Gospel in a corporate setting.
This includes presenting the Gospel in Children’s church, presenting the Gospel at camp, and presenting the Gospel during Adventure Week, which is similar to a VBS. In Children’s church, the Gospel is presented at least once every 8 – 12 weeks. We will spend the entire Children’s church service on the Gospel that weekend. At camp, the Gospel is presented during a nightly event where all of the campers are taught together. During Adventure Week, the kids have a Bible study time with their age group and the Gospel is presented there.
Present the Gospel in a small group setting.
Kids who are interested after hearing the Gospel in the large group setting attend a small group. This takes place during the small group time in Children’s church. Here they have more one on one interaction with a leader. At camp, kids hear the Gospel presentation while spending one on one time with their counselor. During Adventure Week, the same would happen with the kids and their leader.
Present the Gospel to the children and their parents as they attend Kid Faith.
Kid Faith is a class that all of our children must take with their parents before they can be baptized. The class gives parents an opportunity to hear the Gospel presentation with their child. This serves two purposes. The first is that sometimes parents taking the class with their child are not believers. Not only does the class give them an understanding of what their child is doing, it also gives them the information and opportunity to become a Christ follower themselves.
The second purpose of the class is that it gives parents a specific set of questions to ask their child to assist the parents in knowing if their child really understands the Gospel. This helps the family bond as they go through the process together and ensures that the child is making an informed decision. A parent is normally going to be best at gauging their own child’s level of understanding.
How do you show kids God’s love by presenting the Gospel to them? I’d love to hear any ideas and suggestions you have!
Check out these special effects the Elevate team created for Professor Playtime’s Christmas Shop Of Wonders! From talking toys to a very special snowglobe that helps us tell each Bible story, this series really is FULL OF WONDERS!
Have you ever watched an animated character and wondered what the actor attached to that voice looked like when they were recording it? Check out this video of the voice talent behind Wonder and Palette, our wonderful hosts of Elevate Jr. They’re recording some special Christmas content for Professor Playtime’s Christmas Shop Of Wonders! You’ll also see some of the early animations that go along with this voiceover.
Ever wonder what it looks like when we put up a set for an Elevate shoot? Check out this video of our largest setup ever! We’ve condensed about 14 hours of volunteer work into two minutes. Can you spot any Elevate characters?
I am so looking forward to our first full Elevate Christmas series! We’ve had several questions about how we are going to use this eight week series here at FC. Since we don’t want the kids to get tired of Christmas before we ever get there (if that is even possible), we are going to start Professor Playtime the first weekend in December. We’ll use four weeks of the series this year and then the other four weeks of the series next year. If you would like to do the same, it will be helpful for you to know that all of the lessons stand alone (i.e. no lesson depends on another lesson to make sense) so you can pick any four you would like to show this year!
Keep your eyes on my blog for upcoming sneak peaks. I really think you are going to love this series! It’s going to be a lot of fun!