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Children’s Ministry Current Affairs FC Kids Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

They're not "JUST kids", they're future leaders

Recently, I had the opportunity to present a message at Fellowship Church entitled They’re Not “Just Kids”. In it I presented the fact that our children are our nation’s and world’s future leaders, and the qualities and values we invest in them now will determine their success in life, and the success of our future.

This message is one that EVERY PERSON who has a child in their life needs to hear! For those of you who work with children within a ministry, or for a living, I hope this encourages you and reminds you again of the importance of what you do. For everyone else, I promise you, it will forever change how you look at children!

Children’s Ministry Parenting Uncategorized

Is Church Attendance Important?

This is the house where I grew up in a little town called Anaconda, Montana, population 4000. (Our school mascot was a Copperhead – yes, it’s true, we were the Anaconda Copperheads. Can you guess what our gym was named? The “Snake Pit” of course!)

There is nothing extraordinary about this house except for the fact that it was two houses down from this building – Grace Baptist Church.

This is the church I grew up in. Nothing kept my family from being there every time the doors were open; not rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor venomous snakes roaming the streets.

Anyway, on to the point of this post:
At Grace Baptist Church, children were given Sunday School Pins every year if they attended a certain number of Sundays during that year.
Now you may be asking, what was the magical number of Sundays you had to attend? The answer is 50. Yes, I said that right – if you came 50 out of 52 Sundays, you would be the proud owner of that years Sunday School Pin. (Now there were ways to get around this. For example, if you were sick you could be excused if you brought a note from your Doctor. Or, if you were out of town, you could be given attendance credit if you brought back with you a bulletin from the church you attended while you were away. Other than that, your bum had to be in a seat on Sunday morning.)

Knowing this seemingly insane number of Sunday’s needed to get a pin, how many Sunday School Pins do you think my sister and I received from Grace Baptist Church while growing up?

No, not zero.

We received one every year we were eligible…18 in all.

Now, I wish I could say I can take credit for that, but I can’t. In fact there were many times I wasn’t that thrilled about going to church. Sometimes I was even dragged (usually on Sunday nights when I had to miss the end of Walt Disney’s Magical World of Color). But my parents, Larry and Sue, knew the value of regular church attendance and they made the decision that they would orbit our family’s life around the church. Because of this I was able to learn about compassion, integrity, courage, faithfulness, obedience, generosity and many other Biblical leadership qualities. Qualities that helped me avoid a lot of mistakes in life. For that, all I can say, is thank you mom and dad!

But what I learned at Grace Baptist Church is only part of the great gift my parents gave to me. The other part of the gift is something that both my sister Becky and I have strived to give our own children…a love for the local church. This is a great gift because it is through the local church that our children’s lives will be transformed and through it they will in turn be given the opportunity to transform the lives of others.

Now, don’t get me wrong, orbiting your life around the local church is not a magical formula for raising your children with success. But it’s close! And here’s the cool part. Orbiting your family’s life around the local church hardly costs anything – just one hour a week.

Oh, before I go. I was looking through some old pictures awhile back and I stumbled across this one below.

It’s a picture of my dad (on the left) when he was 18 years old. He is standing on the corner of the church he grew up in…Grace Baptist Church in Anaconda, Montana (you can see that very corner in the foreground of the picture above). And here’s the part I love..if you look really close you can see that he is proudly wearing something on his lapel. Guess what it is? 18 Sunday School Pins.

Thats the legacy that was passed down to me. What legacy regarding church are you giving your child? Remember, it’s never too late to start.

DIY FC Kids Uncategorized

Wonder and Palette's playroom now open!

Wonder & Palette's Playroom

Preschool Renovation: Part 1
What once was a seldom used area near one of our Preschool lobbies at Fellowship Church, is a space that has now become an interactive playroom for kids to hang out while mom and dad chat and check in before services! All themed by Wonder and Palette!

With a week of work and a lot of volunteers, our team transformed the lobby in time for Easter services. First we removed the old walls, created cubby spaces for the window TV’s, reframed and drywalled the area, cut out the foam core graphics, painted the edges, and placed the final touches from our favorite store…IKEA!

These updates changed the entire atmosphere in our Preschool lobby. Now, the 2-3 year olds sit down to color while moms and dads meet other moms and dads, and new families immediately see how important their children are to us in FCKids.

Taking on a build project to change the environment of your church may seem like a daunting task, but it makes a big difference in the atmosphere of your church. Think of it like this: you remodel your home to make it comfortable and inviting for yourself and for your guests. In the same way, we remodel the areas of our church to make them more comfortable and inviting for our attendees and visitors.

Over the next few weeks I will share the details of how we made this project come together successfully.

You can use the same graphics we did to decorate your preschool area too! Visit ElevateAtChurch.com to download the full sized Preschool Wall Art and Graphics.

Children’s Ministry Uncategorized

2 Minute Drill For Elementary

Each parent who walks through the doors of Fellowship Church and the FCKids ministry gets a first impression of our ministry. They get an impression in the one minute it takes to drop their child off, and another impression the minute it takes to pick their child up. We think a first impression is so important, we always ask the following questions. What does a visiting parent see when they walk through the doors? How are they greeted? What do they see when they look in the classroom? And equally as important, what does that parent see when they pick up their child?

We call it the 2 minute drill. Above is a quick post-session interview I gave at CPC Orlando about the impression we give parents about our safety and environments in our elementary ministry.

 

Children’s Ministry Leadership Uncategorized

The Future Of Children’s Ministry

At the end of last year I was honored to be asked to contribute to KidMin360’s Future Of Children’s Ministry series.

Some of the other authors included:

Karl BastianRick ChromeyJonathan CliffAmy DolanMatt Guevara
Tina HouserDale Hudson ~ Tony KummerSam Luce
Gina McClainMatt McKeeTodd McKeever  Larry Shallenberger
Justyn SmithGordon & Becki WestHenry Zonio

Now all of the articles are in a single PDF which is available to anyone for FREE.  But here’s the added bonus – they’ve added NEW articles (never published) in the PDF from:

Michael Chanley ~ Amy Fenton Lee ~ Roger Fields ~ Tim Shiels ~ Greg Baird

Click here to download your free PDF – The Future of Children’s Ministry or visit kidmin360.com

Please let me know what you think about my article, as well as the others. Enjoy!

Elevate Production Uncategorized

Do It All Over Again

Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted for awhile… Does anyone else have a problem with time going by too fast?

Over the holidays we have been in production of our new Elevate series “Allaso Ranch”. I am really excited about this series and I look forward to it accomplishing great things here at FC and around the world. The theme for Allaso Ranch is summer camp and each lesson is about growing closer to God.

One of the greatest things about camp is the fun that you have and the friendships that you make. Knowing this, we wanted to write a song for this series that would communicate just how great camp is and how awesome the friendships are that happen there. The song is called “Do It All Over Again” and I’m really excited about the way it turned out. Take a look…

 

 

Elevate Production Uncategorized

Professor Playtime's Christmas Shop of Wonders: Full Skit Sample!

We tried to pull just a little bit of this Professor Playtime skit to show you, but every part is just too much fun to cut! So… we decided to share an entire skit. This skit is part of a lesson on patience. It has a toy shop, princesses, talking candy, a warrior riding a giraffe, and an astronaut with issues. So really, you need to see the whole thing! Enjoy!

 

Behind the Scenes Children’s Ministry FC Kids Uncategorized

Making Good Kids Into Great Leaders – Salvation Presentation

The motto for FC Kids is “Making Good Kids Into Great Leaders.” We achieve this several ways. One way we achieve this is through a salvation presentation.

We use a salvation presentation to show kids God’s love and help them become great leaders. 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. The child is able to answer questions at the end of Kid Faith with a leader at Fellowship Church. This helps determine if they are ready for baptism. In addition, they are given the opportunity to accept Christ into their lives if they have not done so already.

How do you show kids God’s love and help them become great leaders by presenting the Gospel to them? I’d love to hear any ideas and suggestions you have!