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volunteers

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!

Children’s Ministry Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Vision And Legacy: Seeing Kids As Leaders

Children’s Ministry leaders and parents, more than anyone else, understand vision. You must have vision when you are working with kids because although you teach kids to love God and love others, you won’t always see immediate results or changes in their lives. As parents and as Children’s Ministry leaders, you need to have the vision that what you are doing now will make an impact in a child’s future. You have to trust that, over time, everything you pour into the life of a child will come out in a positive way.

I saw an example of the legacy left in the life of a child this summer at FC Kids Camp. This year at Allaso Ranch, more than 50 students and adults who attended Kids Camp as a child over the past 21 years, returned to volunteer, as seen in the video above. Why? So they could share their passion for loving God and loving others with children 2nd through 5th grade, so they could hand the legacy off to the next generation. When these students and adults were young, we looked at them and asked ‘are they really getting it?’ and now we can see that they did. These volunteers, because they have lived it, understand why we do what we do in the lives of children and they want to do their part in helping continue the legacy to make a difference in the life of a child.

Because I’ve been doing Children’s Ministry at the same church for 21 years, I was personally able to see these children grow up in the church and come back to serve at camp. However, I know this group of 50 people is only a small portion of those we poured our time and knowledge into. I know there are hundreds or even thousands of kids that have moved elsewhere, who I won’t ever see the fruit of our labor in their lives. So although it’s about leaving a legacy, even more, it’s about having the vision to understand that you are making a difference in the future of these kids, even when you don’t see the fruit now. You need to persevere with the great calling you have been given as a parent and as a Children’s Ministry leader because what you do in the life of a child does matter.

You may not always see the fruit of your labor on earth, but you will when you get to heaven. When you stay committed to God and to church you will be able to more successfully stay focused on the vision God has given you. When you invest your time and knowledge into the life of a child, that child will grow up and have the opportunity to impact others. And before you know it, the legacy of loving God and loving others that you left with one child is being passed down for generations to impact hundreds and potentially thousands of people. Stay committed to the vision and know that you are making a difference.

Children’s Ministry Leadership Uncategorized

Respect For Everyone

1 Peter 2:17a “Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.” (NLT)

Read 2 Kings 2:19-25.

When is a joke not a joke? How far is too far? When does saying, “I’m just kidding,” become an excuse for saying whatever we want?
It comes down to respect. What happened to Elisha was not a simple case of name-calling. Read 2 Kings 2:25 again. There were at least forty-two boys in this gang, maybe more! Can you imagine being stalked and yelled at by more than forty people? This was a threatening situation that had everything to do with respect. These boys were not just showing disrespect for a balding man, they were showing disrespect for the representative of God. The SAME God that had used this man to save their city from a poisonous water supply!
These boys were showing disrespect to God when they showed disrespect to Elisha and we do the same thing when we disrespect others. In 1 Peter 2:17 we are commanded to respect everyone. Our family. Our friends. Our church leaders. Our employers. Even politicians whom we disagree with. Yes, even the one you are thinking of right now! Everyone.

So regardless of who someone is, what they have done, or if we agree with them, as followers of Christ we should treat all people with respect. Don’t cause God to call out a bear out on you!

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Current Affairs Uncategorized

Prisoner To Our Fast Food Culture?

1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (NLT)

Read Daniel 1

“It’s just too hard to find healthy food.” “I just don’t have time to cook.” “I’m on a see food diet – everything I see, I eat.” Many of us treat food and eating as if we are held prisoner to the fast food culture around us. But Daniel actually was held prisoner! And he managed to find a way to honor God with what he ate. Scripture doesn’t fill us in on the details of why Daniel found the food “unacceptable” (verse eight). It could be that the food had been sacrificed to idols and used in the worship of Babylonian gods. It could be that it violated Jewish dietary laws Visit Website. It could be that it was simply unhealthy. The point is that Daniel knew that by eating the food, he would be defiled and dishonor God. Today we live in a shifting sea of fitness guidelines. The super-food of one decade, is the health-risk of another. Daniel wasn’t concerned with following the dietary fads of the world, but he was concerned with honoring God with what he ate. We should follow Daniel’s example.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Children’s Ministry Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Keeping Your Commitments

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (NLT)

Read 1 Samuel 14.

Making commitments is easy. However, being loyal and keeping those commitments can be much harder than we anticipated. Maybe you get tired, run out of time, or something else comes along that sounds more enjoyable. The important thing to remember during these times is that if we don’t honor our commitments, we will never experience some of the great things God has planned for us. In the story, Jonathan’s armor bear could have refused to go with Jonathan. Two men against an entire Philistine outpost? They wouldn’t even have the element of surprise. The plan sounded foolish and there was no guarantee of success. But the armor bearer had made a commitment to Jonathan and he chose to be loyal. As a result Jonathan and his armor bearer set something in motion that would become an incredible victory of the Israelites over the Philistines.
What victories does God have planned for you? Whether it’s your job, school, family, friendships, or your church, you’ll miss out on those victories if you don’t choose loyalty. A commitment that isn’t honored is useless.
Read Proverbs 17:17. Take a few moments to think about the people and things in your life that you have made commitments to. Spend time in prayer that God will help you to remain loyal by honoring those commitments.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Leadership Uncategorized

Exercise Your Faith

1 Corinthians 9:25 “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” (NLT)

Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Running is simple. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can run barefoot, or in high-tech footgear. You can run indoors or in the elements. You can run on a path or across the wilderness. The size of your stride may be short or long. The tempo of your steps may be quick or relaxed. The speed of your progress may be slow and steady, or an all out sprint. These are just variables in technique. The basic discipline of running is just putting one foot in front of the other, over and over. Our spiritual life is not that different. The basic disciplines are reading the Bible daily, praying, worshiping together as a church, and telling others about Jesus. When we stop doing that, we have stopped running the race and started observing the sport. Don’t be an observer, be a runner! Putting one foot in front of the other is not always easy. It is not supposed to be easy. Some days your faith may be so strong that it is like an all out sprint and you feel like you are flying high on spiritual adrenaline. But other days will feel like the end of a hundred mile run in the desert where your body is exhausted and your feet are swollen and blistered. But no matter how it feels, runners run. And no matter how we feel, as disciples, we must discipline ourselves to read, pray, and worship regularly. Keep putting one foot in front of the other toward the prize of heaven.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Small Steps Of Obedience

Hebrews 13:6 “So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?'” (NLT)

Read Judges 6:12-7:22

Gideon started with no confidence. (6:15) But step after step, he obeyed God. He started small by obeying God and destroying his father’s pagan altars. (6:27) He obeyed God and gathered an army to fight the Midianites. (6:34) He obeyed God by sending away troops as God directed him. (7:3-7) And he obeyed when God told him to sneak down to the enemy camp. (7:9-14) As he obeyed, God was with him and Gideon gained the confidence to say “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!” (7:15) The “6:15 Gideon” could never have said that!
Where are you when it comes to confidence? Are you “6:15 Gideon,” “7:15 Gideon,” or someone in between? What steps of obedience do you need to take to move from verse 6:15 to verse 7:15 in your life? We don’t need confidence in our selves. We need confidence in God. And we gain that confidence by each step of obedience we take. Whether small or large, taking steps of obedience to God will lead us to greater and greater things. Gideon’s small steps of obedience led eventually to a great victory.
What small step of obedience do you need to take today? Whatever it is, take it! If you do, you can have confidence that you will have great adventures of faith when you walk in obedience to God.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Behind the Scenes Elevate Production Uncategorized

Behind-the-scenes on Altitude Jr. Shoot

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!

Behind the Scenes FC Kids Uncategorized

Imagination Theater (Preschool Renovation Part 3)

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…

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!