Browsing Tag

music

FC Kids Parenting Uncategorized

Does Your Child Dance To Music Videos?

One of the greatest things about Elevate’s Radio E music videos is getting to see your child sing and dance along. I enjoy watching my two girls dance along to the music videos while simultaneously learning leadership principles. They learn leadership principles such as being “All In” for God, or saying “I’m Sorry” to those who wrong them while having fun singing and dancing along to music videos!

All Radio E music videos can be viewed on LeadershipForKids.tv for your children to sing and dance to at home, in the car, and everywhere you go! When you sign up for LeadershipForKids.tv, you will have access to over 50 unique music videos that will help your child learn valuable leadership traits and enjoy singing and dancing!

Through LeadershipForKids.tv, you can access the Elevate Music Videos your child gets to watch and participate in every weekend, at home! Some of my favorite Radio E music videos are “Big, Big Love”, “Hosanna”, “John 3:16”, and “<a title="God Is Bigger Music Video" href="https://www This Site.leadershipforkids.tv/watch/kids/god-is-bigger-music-video.html” target=”_blank”>God Is Bigger”.

“It’s so easy to access the song videos on Leadershipforkids.tv! My kids will watch all of them if I let them!” – Holly Bennett

“My daughter Landon loves to go to LeadershipForKids.tv to sing and dance with the music videos at home. She likes to be able to show her mom and sisters all the fun songs at home that she gets to sing on the weekends at church.” – Jordan Day

“Can we watch that video again?!” – Lynley (age 5)

Behind the Scenes Children’s Ministry Elevate Uncategorized

I Failed David Wakerley From Hillsong

Elevate Kid's Worship Music

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.

And, of course, to find the best kids music in the world, be sure to check out Hillsong’s Kids Music.

Now, all I can hope is that David will forgive me.

Elevate Production Uncategorized

Using Stop Motion Animation in Elevate's music video

It is true that we have used stop motion animation several times before, but this video is the first time that we have used this type of animation in a music video!

Our children’s worship leader and Elevate music producer, Ryan McMackin, saw the Coldplay music video for their song “Strawberry Swing” and liked how the style of video opened up the door for so many creative ideas that couldn’t be done in a normal music video format.  He wanted to see what Elevate could do with this approach, and he decided it would be the best venue to tell a story in the next music video.

Ryan’s vision behind the new video came in a spurt of creativity: “At the time, I was working on Now & Forever, about how Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and how He’s our Savior both now and forever. When writing the song I was thinking about the journey that we go on as Christ-followers and all the amazing things God has for our lives. There are many unexpected, and sometimes fantastical, stops along the way. But no matter the circumstances, He always provides.”

Stop motion animation was the perfect choice to display a simple storyline with as many imaginative elements as possible. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do! To download the full music video for your kids, go to ElevateAtHome.com/music. To use the video at your church, you can order the series The Game Show: Big Questions now available on ElevateAtChurch.com!

Children’s Ministry FC Kids Uncategorized

Small Tweaks Take You to Giant Peaks

Guest post by Ryan McMackin, FCKids children’s worship pastor

“Enhanced” is a trendy word these days. Seemingly everything in our culture has been enhanced in some way; tweaked so it’s bigger, better, faster, stronger, etc. Our bottled water is enhanced with electrolytes to aid in hydration. Our phones are enhanced with smart technology so we can play Angry Birds anywhere. Our TVs are enhanced with HD channels so we can see the individual blades of grass on the football field.

Now, we can argue the merits of some of these “enhancements,” but their existence and popularity prove that human beings are always looking for their life, and everything in it, to go to a higher level.

In FCKids, we are always looking for ways to enhance our worship services, and we will try anything if we think it will help kids learn about God. We do big events like Adventure Week (think Vacation Bible School on steroids), lock-ins at Legoland, and kids camp at Allaso Ranch. While those things are great, I think little enhancements make a huge impact in our ministry. Often overlooked in the light of big events, the value of these little tweaks is tremendous because they don’t require thousands of dollars, thousands of volunteers, or thousands of man-hours to put together.

In the last year, I’ve seen two of these little enhancements make a big difference in our kids’ church experience. The first is a bubble machine. We added two bubble machines in the atrium of our children’s building, strategically placed to where almost every kid who comes to church has to walk by them. We turn them on fifteen minutes before service and fifteen minutes after service, and the kids go nuts. Every weekend, I see kids playing in the giant mass of bubbles created by these machines, completely oblivious to anything else around them. The kids’ favorite thing in our atrium is not the giant purple mountain made of foam or any of the other amazingly cool visuals we have; it’s the $70.00 bubble machines.

The second enhancement came during our Easter series called Good News. One of the music videos, a song called “Hosanna,” features a group of high school students with glow sticks, waving them back and forth to the beat of the song. This gave our staff an idea: What if we got glow sticks for the kids, and passed them out during the song? So, we bought battery powered glow sticks (much cheaper than buying real glow sticks every weekend), and for the eight weeks of Good News, we passed them out in each service to each kid. When the chorus of “Hosanna” would start with, “Hey, hands in the air with a wave, lifted to the One who can save…” we would turn the lights off and all the kids would wave the glow sticks back and forth. They loved it. And by the way, so did our volunteers. It was a very cool sight.

Now, neither of these enhancements are flashy. And by themselves, neither will change a kid’s life. Certainly not like Adventure Week or kids camp can. But they do create excitement, and excitement brings kids back to church. As our pastor, Ed Young, says, “Small tweaks take you to giant peaks.” It’s often the little enhancements that make the biggest difference.

At night, you can sometimes find me drinking bottled water and playing Angry Birds while ESPN HD is airing commercials. Have these things changed my life? No. But they’ve definitely enhanced it.

Children’s Ministry Elevate Leadership Uncategorized

What can I do with a blog?

Over the past couple of years I have struggled with the question, “Should I, or shouldn’t I, do a blog?” I mean, after all, what can I do with a blog? Well, after much deliberation I have decided that, with a blog, I can share my thoughts on life, on family, on church, on volunteers, on ministry, and on being a Children’s Pastor in today’s world. And because I love connecting with people and I get excited about the conversations we all could have, I have decided to give it a whirl.

At mikejohnsonblog.com, I am going to share the insights of 16 years as Children’s Pastor of Fellowship Church. We will get into the nitty gritty, the ups and downs, as well as the challenges and victories of ministry today.

Some of the things I will share are:

  • Leadership strategies.
  • Tackling and overcoming the challenges of ministry that happen Monday-Friday.
  • Video of strategy meetings and conference planning sessions.
  • Behind the scenes looks at the production of our curriculum, Elevate/Elevate Jr./Elevate Family.
  • A peek backstage to look at the jam sessions of Cloud Nine, the band behind all the music for FCKids and Elevate.
  • Concept art.
  • First hand knowledge of new releases from FCKids.
  • Insights from the FCKids staff in all areas of children’s ministry: nursery, preschool, and elementary weekends, large events, discipleship, and curriculum development.
  • Thoughts on curriculum essentials.
  • Team building ideas.
  • Behind the scenes of our C3Kids conference planning.
  • Building/sculpting tips.
  • Set design.

In a nut shell, if it makes FCKids go, we’ll talk about it here. God is doing many exciting things in Children’s Ministry today. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and hearing your ideas!