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Children’s Ministry Conferences Elevate

Q&A: “How can I extend my weekend curriculum to Wednesday nights?”

Seven Ways To Extend Your Curriculum

There are many ways to extend your curriculum an extra hour or even two. In Elevate, we’ve purposefully included additional small group activities and review games that you can use in an additional worship hour, or on a weeknight while showing the Bible Lesson again. Here are a few time-tested ideas to extend your lesson, no matter which curriculum you use:

  • Show the Bible Lesson and Main Point from the weekend – repetition is key at this age and the Bible Lesson is short enough to be seen again, even if you don’t show the Skit.
  • Use more or all of the small-group lessons – each Elevate lesson includes 4-6 activities for you to choose from and you can use whichever activities you did not use from the weekend.
  • Play the full review game – yes, this is included for each lesson in the Elevate curriculum but you can make up your own review game to play as well. We like to come up with wild ways to “buzz” in the answer (bean bag toss, catch the ping pong ball, etc.)
  • Add songs – you can add music videos to your media software, like an additional worship song or two. You can play your favorites from a past series or you can ask the kids which one they want to play. You can check out all the Elevate music videos on our website.
  • Use “Game Break” time – these Large Group games don’t have to relate to the lesson, they can just be fun themed games. You can search online for “Large group games for kids” and pick one that fits your time and space.
  • Minute to Win It – these type of games take very little supplies and are a lot of fun. You can use these at the beginning of your time as children come in or toward the end of the time as children are being picked up.
  • Make the time Game-Show style – if you are using the same lesson, capitalize on the review game style, ask the questions, and then have a spinner to spin in between each question that lands on either Song, Game, Minute To Win It, Activity, Messy Game, etc. Our kids LOVE this style as you can also make it a competition between teams and not just individuals.

Another option for your Wednesday night, especially if you have used Elevate for an extended amount of time, is to grab other lessons that reinforce the weekend lesson. For example, Elevate teaches many lessons on prayer from different Bible characters. If you learned about prayer from the lesson of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane on Sunday (Good News Kids), you can follow up with the lesson about the life of King Asa on Wednesday (To The Depths Kids).

What ways do you extend your curriculum lesson past an hour and a half?


This was one of many additional questions from Pastor Mike’s C3 Conference Q&A session. Stay tuned for more or click the Q&A tag to see other questions and answers.

Children’s Ministry Conferences Volunteers

Q&A: “What should a volunteer schedule look like to avoid burnout?”

avoid burnout

A Balanced Spiritual Life

This is a common question in any ministry, but especially for those working with children. The easy answer is balance and consistency, but the logistical answer depends on your church schedule.

Let’s start with balance. We want everyone who is a part of our church to find a place to serve so they can grow as Christ followers. That being said, we have the policy that if you are not attending church, you need to stop serving. Does that sound harsh? We have this policy to protect our volunteers. For example, we all probably have those “super volunteers” in our ministry who will say yes to everything we ask of them. Can they serve an extra service? Of course! Can they stay late to watch the staff kids? Their pleasure! Can they come Tuesday and count out small group supplies? Sure! However, the longer we ask them to do everything, the swifter they burnout, especially if they do not have an opportunity for corporate worship. It is better for us to protect our volunteers and help them learn a balanced spiritual life so they can be an example to others long-term.

On the other side, we all have the volunteers who are so afraid of committing because they don’t want to experience burnout. They may have already experienced burnout before, at a ministry or even as a PTA parent. So they try to “balance” serving with the rest of their life by signing up to volunteer once a month or just “when they can.” However, in this scenario, they miss out on true connection with the kids and other volunteers and eventually drop out of serving entirely.

That is why we talk to our volunteers about this up front during recruiting and in volunteer training. We first talk about Matthew 22:37-40 and God’s plan for a balanced spiritual life, and then we show this short video example to our volunteers.

A Balanced Spiritual Life (volunteer training video)

Hopefully, as volunteers see this modeled out by our leaders and other volunteers, they’re able to grow into consistent, thriving volunteers who do not burnout.

The Logistics Of A Balanced Schedule

Now onto logistics. As I mentioned in our Q&A breakout at C3, I’d encourage you to talk to your pastor or leadership team about having two services; then volunteers can attend one and serve the other every weekend. We have 3 services available at our Grapevine campus. When we first opened our Fellowship Church Celina campus, volunteers had the opportunity to come to Grapevine on Saturday night and serve at Celina’s single service on Sunday morning. The Celina campus has since moved to two services on Sunday morning.

If you only have one service for the foreseeable future, we have heard of churches on a 4 week or 8 week schedule – where the same teachers teach the whole Elevate series, or at least 4 weeks in a row. Other churches’ volunteers serve on an every other weekend schedule. There are pros and cons to both. Whatever your schedule, remember consistency and balance is key to connect with kids and avoid volunteer burnout.

What ways does your church help volunteers avoid burnout?


This was one of many additional questions from Pastor Mike’s C3 Conference Q&A session. Stay tuned for more or click the Q&A tag to see other questions and answers.

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 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 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 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!

Conferences Uncategorized

C3 2011

What do: Ed Young, Brian Houston, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kong Hee, Steven Furtick, Judah Smith, Gary Clark, Joyce Meyer, Dr. Robi and Shannon OʼDell have in common? All of them took C3 2011 by storm, raining down an incredible three days of teaching, inspirational messages and next level leadership development at Fellowship Church.

To those of you who were able to come, we hope your experience was as awesome as the teaching. To those of you who werenʼt, you can still be blessed! For $49.00 you can get every moment of every great message. Go to for your own personal C3 2011 DVD set.

If you couldnʼt make it this year, be sure to make plans for next year by signing up now for C3 2012 at The lineup is unbelievable. Not very often do you get this kind of teaching all in one place. Take my word for it, you will be blessed… see you there!

Children’s Ministry Conferences Leadership Uncategorized

Korea in a Week – Expectations

I must say that when I went to Korea, I didn’t have high expectations. The organizer of the conference told me in advance not to expect a large group of people. Instead, he told me to remember that this conference would be a good start toward increasing the awareness of the importance of Children’s Ministry in the life of the Korean church. I think he was afraid I would be disappointed by the turn out and he wanted to make sure my expectations weren’t set too high.

I had my own doubtful expectations before the trip as well. I wondered if what I had to say would have any relevance to a nation on the other side of the world. I wondered if the FC Kids philosophy of ministry would have any impact on a culture so different from ours. I wondered if my sessions on volunteering would add any insight to a culture that exudes servanthood. I wondered if the trip was even worth taking.

But then the trip came, and along with it came the realization that both my expectations and the organizer’s expectations were way too low. With over one thousand people in attendance and an overwhelmingly positive response, I once again remembered that I should NEVER have low expectations about what God can and will do if I just make myself available.

When you live out the principle of Ephesians 3:20, believing that God is able to accomplish infinitely more than you might ask or think, you can have confidence that God will put you in places where He can have a huge impact through you. Your primary job is to realize that you are in those places not because of your own special ability, but solely because of your willingness to be a vessel that God can work through.

So, open yourself up to the opportunities God has placed in your life. Let Him bring to you what He has planned for you. Don’t let low expectations discourage you and keep you from the amazing experiences God has created for you. Embrace each opportunity as a chance to make a difference in the kingdom of God, and then sit back and let Him do the rest.

Children’s Ministry Conferences Leadership Uncategorized

Korea in a Week: Ministry is More Universal Than You Think


When I was preparing for this trip I poured over my notes, videos, and object lessons, looking at them with critical eyes. Would my Korean audience understand the context of my examples? Would humor that got big laughs in the United  States fall on confused ears in South Korea? Would my ministry concepts developed at Fellowship apply in a foreign land? Secretly, I feared my insights of ministry may have no validity to an audience with a different language and culture.

But as I was teaching the material at the conferences, I saw many of the same reactions from the Korean audience as I saw from the
American audience. Through conversations with them I realized that God was moving and they were getting it! In hindsight it shouldn’t have surprised me. The concepts I was teaching came from scripture. And, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the universal principles of God’s Word do not return void.

What a joy it was to see, through Christ, how much we have in common with ministers on the other side of the world! Always know that, when done with the right heart, God will use you and speak through you to others. The Holy Spirit has the power to communicate in ways that go beyond our understanding and abilities!

Children’s Ministry Conferences Leadership Uncategorized

Korea in a Week – Language Barrier?

When speaking to others there is always a chance for misunderstanding. I say something to you and I think you understand. You hear what I say and you think you understand. We then part ways and act on what was said/heard, only to find out that we completely misread each other. This happens all the time. So imagine what happens when you have to add a different language and cultural context on top of that.

At the C3 Kids conferences in Korea, the sessions took twice as long as normal because I was speaking through an interpreter. The interpreter would often have to stop and ask me to clarify something I said so he could find the right Korean phrase to communicate my meaning. I would often wonder if what I was saying was having any impact whatsoever.

But then I realized something: I did nothing to get to Korea. God brought this to me out of the blue. The attendance at the conferences was exponentially greater than expected by both the conference organizer and the host churches. God had something He wanted to say to the Korean people and by His grace I was the one He chose to speak through. Knowing this, I realized that not only would the interpreter make sure my words were understood, the Holy Spirit was making sure the intent was understood as well. Knowing that it is God at work through you, and not you on your own, is a very freeing feeling.


Children’s Ministry Conferences Leadership Uncategorized Volunteers

Korea in a Week: Service is a Lifestyle

I just spent the last week in the nation of South Korea where God gave me the privilege of speaking to Children’s Ministers and Leaders. While there I spoke at two churches: Jeonhari, in the Seoul area and Hosanna Church in Busan, which is on the coast of South Korea. In my travels I learned one thing for sure, God is blessing the churches of South Korea and they have a hunger to reach the next generation for Christ. Over the course of this week, I want to share with you some of my experiences.

One of the immediate impressions I got from the Korean people is that service is very important to them. I first saw this on the flight over. The flight attendants on Korean Air were friendly, helpful, and very professional. I later found out that this “job of service” was considered very prestigious and that the people who did this job were the best of the best. But this courtesy didn’t end on the plane. No matter where I went, whether it was the people who worked in the different hotels, the couple who rented a bike to me for a quick ride in the park, the person who worked behind the counter giving me my morning coffee at Smoothie King, or just someone I would meet on the street, people were kind, compassionate, and warm.  

At the churches where the conferences were held, Jeonhari in Seoul and Hosanna in Busan, servanthood was taken (as my good friend and senior pastor would say) to a “hole notha’ level.” I cannot remember a time when I wanted for less. The staff and volunteers went to great extremes, despite language barriers, to make sure my needs were met. I dined with senior pastors whom I knew were very busy. I couldn’t carry my bags anywhere, even when I tried to. (An example: when I got out of the car to enter Hosanna Church on the first day of our conference there, someone who was on staff stepped up and took my bag. This person intended to carry my bag into the church for me, but he was unable to because someone else stepped up to take it from him.) Everywhere I turned the Korean people truly tried to, “Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10, ESV) We all could learn from their example.

Conferences Leadership Uncategorized

C3 Kids – Heading to South Korea!

Over the past four years I have developed a relationship with Steve Kim, a man who has a strong heartbeat for churches in South Korea. As I have gotten to know him, his enthusiasm has ignited a passion within me to help Korean churches better understand the importance of children’s ministry. Well, this Thursday I will have the privilege go to South Korea for nine days of teaching (and learning).

While in Korea I will be leading two C3 Kids conferences for ministry leaders and volunteers. One conference will be in Seoul and the other in Pusan (also spelled Busan). Each conference will last two days as I speak on the core principles of FC Kids and on how to recruit and retain volunteers. At Fellowship Church we have a great gal named Hae who has translated, with subtitles, all my videos and my notes. All of my spoken material will be translated by an interpreter as I speak. I will also be making some contacts to see if we can get Elevate translated into Korean… which would be awesome!

I’m excited to see Christ moving in a culture different from the one I see every day. I hope to be inspired and encouraged in the fact that even though we come from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds and cultures, we are all united in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

As excited as I am about this trip, I’m a bit nervous about a steady diet of Korean food. Is chicken fried rice Korean? ! I will have a translator with me, so he will be my lead. Maybe he’ll know where the local McDonald’s or Pizza Hut is!