Browsing Tag

Elevate

DIY Uncategorized

How To Build a Spinning Wheel

Why Build a Spinning Wheel?

For our recent reboot of the Elevate series, Berry Blast Theme Park, our staff and volunteers took time and effort to make a “point system” that would energize the kids and match the theme of our environment in FC Kids. The result: The Berry Blast Spinning Wheel! Our kids loved getting to come up and spin the wheel when their team won. It also gave them motivation to participate. Below are the instructions to make one for your environment, though you can adapt it for your own purposes.

BBTP Spinning WheelMaterials Needed (and found at your local hardware store):
1/2” Sheet of Plywood or MDF
4×4’ Post
2 2’x4’s
BBTP Spinner Art (optional)
8 1/4” dowels
A Lazy Susan with the top removed
3/8” x 5” Bolt with a lock nut
3/8” Washers
Wood Trim
Thin Piece of Stiff Leather or Plastic
Box of 3” Philips Wood Screws
Plastic Screw Head Covers
Nail Gun and Nails for Nail Gun (optional)
Wood Glue
Wood Puddy
Drill
Paint and/or Print Pieces for the wheel
Paint for the base and trim
Pencil

How To:

1. Use a 1/2” sheet of plywood or MDF to create a 30” circle, with a hole in the center of the circle for a 3/8” bolt.

2. Divide the circle into 20 ‘pie’ wedges, more or less, for the points. (Note: There are twenty wedges exactly on the BBTP Spinner Art). Mark with a regular pencil.

3. Drill twenty holes for the 1/4” dowels about an inch inside all around the edge of the circle and evenly spaced apart. They need to be aligned with the edge of each ‘pie wedge’.

4. Cut the 1/4” dowels to about 4” long and glue them in the holes you just drilled. We used wood glue. These dowel rods will be used as handles to spin the wheel, as well as the stoppers for the flapper.

5. Paint the circle and the stoppers the same color. We used Behr® Ultra, Satin Finish “Glidden Fresh Tangerine”.

6. Print the “BBTP_Spinner_Art.jpg” from the Environmental Graphics folder (available when you purchase the series) and adhere to the inside of the circle with screws. We used plastic screw head covers to disguise them. You can also create your own art. You can decorate your ‘pie wedges’ with different colors, different point amounts or whatever you are having the kids try to win. You can do this by painting, or by printing pieces, to adhere to the ‘pie wedges’.

7. To mount the circle to it’s stand, use a 4’x4’ post that’s at least 4’ tall. Mark a hole centered 20” down from the top the post, and drill a 3/8” hole all the way through the post. This is for the bolt that goes through the post and the center of the circle. We used washers to create space between the post and the circle so that the wheel can spin freely. We also used the base and ring with ball bearings from a lazy susan to help the circle spin. So the end result on the bolt went in this order (from back to front):

Bolt -> Washer -> Post -> Washer -> Lazy Susan base (with ball bearings facing the circle) -> Circle (with Art Attached) -> Washer -> Lock Nut

Note: Do NOT screw the Lazy Susan Base to the circle, instead, tighten the Bolt and Lock Nut just enough so the wheel spins freely and the ball bearings stay inside the Lazy Susan Base.

8. Use 2×4’s to create a base for the post and spinner. Screw the 2’x4’s to the bottom of the post first, in a radiating pattern. Then attach MDF around the edge in the form of a box. Then use the remaining MDF to form the top of the base. Finally, attach the trim with a nail gun, or other method, around the sides and edges of the base.

9. Use wood putty to fill the nail holes. When dry, paint the base and trim.

10. About an inch above the top edge of the spinner, drill a hole in the post for a 1/4” dowel that is at least 3 inches long. Using a jig saw, cut a narrow channel through that dowel and attach a thin piece of leather or plastic that hangs down. This creates the flapper that needs to be long enough to hit each of the dowels on the spinner.

11. Now you are done! Place your Berry Blast Wheel on your stage for the lessons and let the fun begin!

Elevate Uncategorized

Elevate Is Going Digital!

Treasure Quest Set

Digital, Downloadable Curriculum

Recently we started re-visiting some of our favorite Elevate series here at Fellowship Church, transforming them into a downloadable digital format and including a ton of new elements never before available in Elevate! I think you are going to be excited to see what we have done to make each series even more fun and exciting for the kids in your ministry. If you currently use Elevate this will freshen up each series when you perform them again. If you don’t use Elevate yet, please take a look at the elements below, then check out our website at ElevateAtChurch.com. You will see that we provide elements that no other curriculum on the market provides.

Here’s what we added:

MediaShout® and ProPresenter® Files – All you have to do is download the MediaShout® and ProPresenter®  file. All the audio and video elements for the lesson are already in the Media Shout or ProPresenter program, ready for your media person to hit the space bar to advance each individual element as the script calls for it. Simple!

Higher Resolution Video – Because these downloadable video elements don’t have to be compressed onto a DVD, the quality is much closer to HD.

Updated Teacher and Co-Teacher Scripts – We’ve gone back and tweaked the scripts to add even more application and fun! If you have used the series before, I think you will readily agree! Here is an example from our Elevate series, Treasure Quest: TQ_L2_Teacher_CoTeacher_Digital_Media_Script

Drumrolls and Winner Songs – We’ve added a competition element to the lesson and given you a fun way to let your kids celebrate when their team wins. Each team is given a song with motions to that song. Then, every time you announce a winner, the song of the winning team plays, preceded by a six second drumroll. Here is an example: https://youtu.be/MA_S2Yp7jpU

Countdown Video – A countdown video announces the hour is about to begin. https://youtu.be/rJIJd2PsKPQ

Environmental Music – You can play this music in your hallways in order to get families excited about the themed series you are in.

 

Video Training Tips – Specific training tips given by myself and the FC Kids team for the leaders of your children’s hour. https://youtu.be/po39A-qL9t4

New Opening Games – Fun alternatives to the great activities Elevate already offers. https://youtu.be/wxJDijNj-WY

Elevate Copyright – All print outs, posters and artwork will contain the Elevate Logo, rather than the Fellowship Church logo.

Teacher and Co-Teacher Training Video – This is the new element I am most excited about! Here’s why…

I have found that the very best way to train someone is not to tell them how to do something, nor to have them read what I want them to do. I have found the best way to train someone is to show them what to do! That is why Elevate, with its many weekly video training components, is so successful. However, looking back, I was always sad that our video training was missing the Teacher and Co-Teacher element of the program. This element, in the past, only had a script and therefore left A LOT open to interpretation. With this new format we have taken the time to film the Teacher and Co-Teacher element.

Now you, or your teachers, will know exactly what to do each week in front of the kids.

This has made such a huge difference for us at Fellowship, as our teachers now feel much more confident in their presentation, and they can learn their script in much less time. Here is an example of what the weekly Teacher and Co-Teacher Training Video looks like: https://youtu.be/NEYsuAhmDU4.

Digital Series Now Available

Having made these changes we have made Elevate even better than before and we are excited to be releasing each series as we complete them here at Fellowship Church. Here is the order of the next several series we will be doing:

THEY (Tough. Honest. Encouraging. Yielded) – Available NOW

Berry Blast Theme Park – Available NOW

Treasure Quest – Available NOW

Heroes Of Mega City – Available NOW

Adventures In Science – Available NOW

Winter Extreme – Available NOW

Allaso Ranch – Available Summer 2016

Professor Playtime’s Christmas Shop of Wonders – Available Fall 2016

Ten Hut – Available Winter 2016

All Elevate series are still available in the traditional DVD Base Pack format. Contact us to find out how you can upgrade to the digital Base Pack version if you have already purchased the series!

Conferences Uncategorized

Join Me At C3 Conference 2015!

C3 Conference

It’s almost time for my favorite conference of the year – C3 Conference 2015! C3 Conference is for everyone and I wanted to extend a special invite to you! By watching the video below, you will learn about a FREE Children’s Ministry resource we will provide you at the C3 Conference at Fellowship Church this year.

C3 Conference

At C3 you will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend breakouts by myself and the Children’s Staff of Fellowship Church.
  • Meet the Elevate Staff and see Elevate in action.
  • Connect with Children’s Ministers from around the world.
  • Be inspired by the Worship and Creativity of Fellowship Church.
  • Learn from speakers Ed Young, Steven Furtick, Mark Batterson, At Boshoff, David Hughes, Brad White and Chris McGregor.
  • Get a hotel discount when you book your accomodations through the conference website.

Register now on C3Conference.com and come connect with me and the FC Kids Staff at Fellowship Church! I look forward to seeing you in person February 11-12 at C3 Conference 2015!

Children’s Ministry Current Affairs Uncategorized

Teaching Creationism To Kids

Recently, a couple of questions have come up from Elevate users asking about which lessons teach the Creation story and which can be used to teach Creationism. In Elevate, we believe in teaching kid’s God’s Word as early as possible, and because of this, we have several lessons that teach the Creation story, the story of Noah, and an entire series on those Bible stories for younger age groups. These Bible Lessons don’t include specific apologetics when it comes to Creation, dinosaurs, or the worldwide flood because we are providing you as the teacher with the flexibility and time to discuss the lesson as your ministry decides.

For those of you looking for lessons specifically about Creation and Noah’s Flood, here are the ones from Elevate, based on age group:

Creation Lessons for ages 3-6 – The Roanoke Jones Jr. series is eight lessons on the overview and story of Creation. It is probably our most comprehensive lesson plan for Genesis 1. Another lesson on Creation is Lesson 1 from the series Upsidedown Town Jr.

Noah’s Ark Lessons for ages 3-6 – The entire series of Port of Call Jr. is the story of Noah spanning all the way from the building of the ark to the rainbow. Other lessons where the Bible Stories are about Noah can be found in Upsidedown Town Jr. Lessons 5 and 6.

Creation Lessons for ages 6-12 – There are three lessons on Creation for this age group. Allaso Ranch Lesson 3, Adventures in Science Lesson 1, and Zooplosion Lesson 1.

Noah’s Ark Lessons for ages 6-12 – There are two lessons from the story of Noah for this age group. The Great Skybridge Showdown Lesson 2 and Zooplosion Lesson 8.

If your ministry already has these series, you can create something similar to what we do at Fellowship Church – we put together a few weeks we call ‘the Best Of Elevate’, and pick different series. Or if you need to purchase these series, you can find them all on ElevateAtChurch.com.

For those of you interested in more information on Creationism vs. Evolution – there is a place called the Institute for Creation Research that has a local center in the Dallas area. They have several resources on their website: http://www.icr.org/.

Uncategorized Volunteers

3 Ways To Adapt Children’s Curriculum For Any Mission Trip

Mission Trip Curriculum For Any Destination

If you have ever volunteered with your friends or youth group outside the walls of your church, you know that what you plan to do, and what you actually do, are two totally different things.

What if there was a way to plan for the best, and the worst, possible scenario when on a missions trip? There is – it’s a list of three things to keep in mind when planning your mission trip curriculum. No matter what curriculum you use (the below examples are from the Elevate Children’s Curriculum), you can use this checklist so that your only concern is ‘how do we boil water for brushing our teeth?’, and not ‘what are we going to do with the kids’?

Three ways to adapt for 1) Culture, 2) Logistics, and 3) Volunteers:

1.What do I need to adapt for the culture?

Family Structure – Do the kids have parents or not? For an orphanage in Haiti the application when talking about authority figures needs to change from ‘parents’, to ‘teachers’ or ‘adults in the house’.

Possessions – Do the kids have access to toys, games, or electronics? In Uganda, where the children have no access to video games, we took out the application of “your little brother spilled orange juice on your video game, what should you do?” Also, sharing may take on a whole new meaning depending on what they actually have to share.

Acceptable Practices – Talk to your point person on location before you plan the lessons and their application. Ask what the main cultural difference is between kids there and kids where you are from. There are some things kids in a first-world, western culture are ‘allowed’ to do that around the world is unacceptable, usually related to authority and the other gender.

Games – Many games we think of as universal (tag, red light/green light, etc) may not be universal after all. When preparing your games and activities, think of the simplest way to play the game that still gets the point across. Also, plan on taking a longer time to explain the game if it’s being translated. On a trip to take Elevate to Malawi, it helped to sit down with the translator at dinner before the lesson the next day, and talk through how to play the game.

2.What do I need to adapt for logistics?

Electricity/No Electricity – Plan for no electricity at all and be creative when it comes to sound effects or capturing the children’s imagination. For a video based curriculum like Elevate, that may mean printing still shots of the animation as posters and using the “Perform It Live” version of the Bible Lesson or recruiting the children to act out the Bible Lesson. If you are only using the music, plan on bringing a portable CD player and lots of extra batteries.

Printing – Paper activities are great…if you have a printer that isn’t 45 minutes away. Figure out your ‘must print’ list and print it ahead of time if it’s possible to take it with you. Or plan activities with no print outs. For Elevate, this means going through all the activities and adapting the drawing activities (maybe you can draw in the dirt or with chalk on the sidewalk) and for the activities with picture printables, print the pictures big enough to use with the whole group and laminate them.

Supplies – First pick all the activities that don’t require supplies – these are the best activities to use. Then, find the activities that require easily portable supplies – it’s amazing how many games you can play with an inflatable soccer ball, hand pump (hand pump needles must be on your check-in luggage, not carry on!), bean bags, bandannas, or rope. For a list of Elevate activities by series that are the most adaptable for a mission trip, go here.

Video/Sound – Would a portable DVD player or laptop with speakers be helpful? Elevate is a video-based curriculum, and yet, if there is not enough space, we want to adapt either the group or the schedule so everyone can watch. This may mean a rotating schedule of small groups inside, or bringing big enough speakers and an outside projector for a large group setting.

Weather – You may be at a place with electricity but the power may go out. Or you may be outside and it rains. Always plan what to do when you have inclement weather.

3.What do I need to adapt for volunteers?

Preparation Time – Cut down on preparation time. Volunteers may only have a couple of days to review the activity and may need to be ready to go the moment their feet hit the ground. Get all your prep work done ahead of time or pick activities that can happen in the spur of the moment.

Training and Flexibility – Have at least an hour or two training time to teach the volunteers how to adapt the specific activities they are given and/or give them a ‘go to’ list of activities you can do without supplies or planning best slimming aids. Have fun, and even play the games to teach them! Train everyone, so that in case you get sick or have to change locations, they can still run the entire curriculum.

Hopefully this checklist will help as you plan your curriculum, whether this is your first time on a mission trip, or you go every year. And know, this is just a checklist to do before the trip, things will happen on your mission trip that you have no control over and that you couldn’t expect. Remember to find your peace in God. Even if you lose everything you brought on the trip, a high five and a smile teaches the lesson of God’s love in any language.

How have you adapted curriculum for your mission trip? We’d love to hear your stories and ideas in the comments below.

Children’s Ministry Uncategorized

VBS Is Almost Here, But What About The Weekend?

Vacation Bible School

With all your VBS planning, don’t forget to plan the weekend!

Summer is right around the corner and with summer comes Vacation Bible School! Do you already have a plan for what theme or series you are doing this summer? Whether you do or don’t, Elevate can help. There are 5 years worth of Elevate Kids and 3 years worth of Elevate Jr. curriculum to choose from that can help enhance your weekend experiences surrounding and supporting your VBS material that you utilize during the week. And then you can decorate once for the whole summer!

Below are a couple examples of VBS curriculum and their suggested Elevate series by theme, in alphabetical order. Special thanks to Kidzmatter Magazines VBS 2014 Showcase in their January/February issue that we used to create the chart below.

VBS Curriculum Elevate Series
AgencyD3: Decide, Discover, Defend Spy Chase or Roanoke Jones Ace Detective
Arrow Island: Choosing God’s Way Treasure Quest or Shipwrecked
Basic Elements Adventures in Science
Blast Off Starlight Station
Faith Expedition Journey Below The Earth, On The Trail, The Great Race
Game Plan Super Sports Spectacular or Goodman’s Global Games
Gangway to Galilee Shipwrecked, Port of Call, To The Depths
God in Action Heroes of Mega City or Epic
Gotta Move Center Stage
High Power Sports Super Sports Spectacular or Goodman’s Global Games
International Spy Academy Spy Chase
Jungle Safari Treasure Quest
Living Inside Out City Streets or UpsideDown Town
Praise Break Center Stage
SHINE Center Stage or Entourage
SonTreasure Island Shipwrecked or Treasure Quest
Under The Stars Allaso Ranch
Weird Animals Zooplosion or To The Depths
Wilderness Escape On The Trail
Workshop of Wonders The Great Skybridge ShowdownRobot Repair Shop, or Make Things Industries

Are you planning your own VBS? or using another VBS not mentioned above? Let us know or use some of the series below:

Are you doing a circus-themed VBS? Check out Under The Big Top

Are you doing a medieval times-themed VBS? Check out Kingdom Tales

Are you doing an undersea-themed VBS? Check out To The Depths

Are you doing a round up or rodeo western-themed VBS? Check out On The Trail!

You can base your VBS around an Elevate series or you can purchase an Elevate series to go along with the VBS you have already selected, whatever you choose, we would love to help you Elevate your VBS!

 

Also, check out our Pinterest boards to see great decorating ideas from these series and more!

Children’s Ministry Parenting Uncategorized

What Can Kids Learn From Biblical Judges?

Biblical Judges

Gideon, Samuel, and Samson are familiar names to those of us who grew up going to church as kids, but what about Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Eli or Abimelech? Who were they and why do they matter today? Why does it matter what a couple of people over 3,000 years ago did? More importantly, why is it relevant today for kids to learn from the Biblical judges?

Looking back through the Old Testament, the time of the judges was a turbulent time – a time when “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25b NLT). Sound similar to today’s world? Just looking at the news each night makes us reflect back and think, maybe this is relevant because similar things are going on in the world around me. For our Goodman’s Global Games series we take some Bible Lessons from these judges and make sure they are age appropriate so kids can learn that doing things God’s way is better than doing things the way we think is right.

What can children learn from the judges in 1-2 Samuel and Judges? They learn leadership traits such as:

  • How to live life God’s way
  • How to be a leader through actions instead of words
  • How to help others
  • How to be brave when they are scared
  • How to obey God
  • How to choose good friends

The judges of the Bible were leaders who lived a life that is an example to us. Your children can watch these Bible Lesson videos on LeadershipForKids.org or churches can use these lessons from Elevate’s Goodman’s Global Games series. There are no wasted lessons taught in the Bible. Many valuable leadership traits can be gained from each person in the Bible, including from each of the judges.

Children’s Ministry Conferences Uncategorized

Who's Coming To The Children's Pastors Conference? You Are?!

The 2014 Children’s Pastors Conference in Orlando, Florida is just around the corner and I’d love to meet you at the conference. One of my favorite parts of conference season is meeting with you face-to-face and talking about your children’s ministry!

During the conference, be sure and come by our Elevate booth so you can take part in exciting events and giveaways.

If you haven’t signed up for the conference, you can register today using the referral code INCMelevate. E-mail us at info@elevateatchurch.com to let us know if you’re coming to CPC East in Orlando, Florida or CPC West in Ontario, California. We look forward to meeting you and exchanging kidmin ideas with you at CPC 2014!

Leadership Uncategorized

Are You Ready For God’s Great Plans For You?

David and Goliath - Elevate's Epic Kids series

The story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 (NLT)

Have you had conversations like these?

“Are you ready to go?”
“Yes.”
“Good. Let’s go.”
“First I have to find my shoes and go to the bathroom.”

Or…

“Are you ready for dinner?”
“Yes.”
“Let’s eat.”
“Okay, but let me go and get something out of the car first.”

If you recognize yourself in any of these lines, you and/or someone close to you does not know the definition of the word, “ready.” When you are ready, there is nothing left that needs to be done “first” because you have already done all of those things ahead of time. But the question for today is: “How can we be ready for things that we don’t know are coming?” I have found that there is really only one way to prepare for the unknown. You prepare for the unknown by making sure you are doing all of the basics with intensity and focus. For example, a team preparing for a playoff game when the opponent has not yet been determined will not slack off in practice, instead it will focus with intensity on the basics of the game.

In our Christian life we need to buckle down on the basics. One of the most “basic” of the basics is church attendance. You need to commit to be at church. Don’t miss. But, you also need to focus on the basics outside of church as well. You need to study the Bible at home, pray, read the Bible with your children or family, and share what you have learned with others.

We get ready for what God has for us in the future by doing what God has for us now. In the Bible, David worked and excelled at what God had for him when he was younger. He worked at the basics of being a shepherd. He may have dreamed about one day doing something else, but he didn’t use that dream for the future as an excuse for slacking off in the present.  He stuck to the basics and those basics one day helped him defeat Goliath.

When you do the basics of the faith with intensity, you will be ready for anything that God asks you to do, which, is a very good thing.

After all, when God says it’s time to go and do something great, you don’t want to have to be looking for your shoes…