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.
I learned early on in ministry that keeping my office in great shape is a huge help in forming positive thoughts in people’s minds about me and the Children’s Ministry at Fellowship Church.
I want people, when they walk into my office, to think of me as someone who desires, and will even demand, excellence. If they walk into my office and go “WOW!!” (instead of “…ohhh my”) they will make an assumption about how I want things to run in this ministry.
You can talk all you want, but nothing speaks louder than the environment you call your home away from home. Remember, your office speaks for you…even when you’re not in it!
So the question is…What does your office say about you?
When it comes to teaching children, you have to capture their eyes and ears so that the Holy Spirit can capture their hearts. To do that, you need to make sure they are having fun. Fun is the currency of a child. If they think something is fun, they will want to do it. If they don’t, then they will not want to do it. It’s that simple. Just ask any kid if he or she would rather go to the doctor or Disney World. You’ll get your answer quickly. So it stands to reason that if you want a child engaged, attentive, and involved in your ministry, you need to make sure they are having fun.
I don’t believe that having fun in church means “making fun” of the Bible or the applications of the Bible to our lives. I just believe that having fun while learning is the best way to create an experience that can increase the retention of knowledge and encourage the children to return.
So, if you want to make a church experience meaningful for kids, make it fun.
Details matter. It’s true. We typically don’t think about the impact of details until we forget one. But details are huge in the experience of a person. Take music for example. The right music can make or break an experience. That’s why I use music in my talks, in the children’s areas, in the skits we perform, almost anything we do in FC Kids has a musical element.
We aren’t the first people to realize the impact that sound can have on others. I first experienced the impact of being immersed in sound at Disneyland. I recently came across a blog about the focus Disney has on audio in their parks. You can check that out here.
“When the speakers fail, it feels like the life is sucked out of the place.” Mr. Q
Disney has spent untold sums of money to help their park patrons feel euphoric while at their parks. Their goal is to make you feel good during the time you spend there. Shouldn’t this be a goal for the church as well? We want people to feel good about their experience at church because the church is where life change begins. It’s where families become stronger, people become better, and kids learn to be adults who follow God their whole lives. Music can play a part in this. So, look at sound and music in your children’s areas, it’s a small detail that will yield big results.
Development on Elevate Year 4 is well under way. The first series has been approved and is being written right now!
Above is the second rendition (but still not the final) of the Year 4 map. By looking at the above map can you guess what the 7 series are? Take a look at the last map I posted (the first rendition) because 2 of the themes were guessed correctly…hmmm, I wonder which ones? Don't forget that the prize will go to whoever can guess the 7 themes correctly first, so give it a guess!
Below are a few photos taken with our iPhones as Creative Pastors sets up the Elevate booth for CPC Nashville 2010. I’ll be at the booth some so if you're here, be sure to drop by and say hi.
To develop Elevate, Elevate Jr., and the new Elevate Family products there are three major departments:
- Pre-production (brainstorming the series, writing the series)
- Production (filming, art construction, animation)
- Post production (editing, scoring, DVD production)
Each series begins here…the Deadline Meeting. It’s here that all the departments come together and work out all the kinks of doing what we do in just 8 weeks. Basically, in a nutshell, the agenda for the meeting is “who needs what and when?”
Currently we are in pre-production of “City Streets – The Musical”. Yes, I did say musical. This will be the most ambitious series yet. We’ve got some very talented High School kids who will be playing the leads…which makes for some interesting shoot times in the studio (all in the evening after sports and school). Should be lots of fun!
I realize it might not be what you expect someone to say.
But February is one of my favorite times of the year. When I was
growing up in rural Montana, February meant snow forts, snow ball
fights and the occasional hookie bobbin’. (If you know what hookie
bobbin’ is you’re probably from the north central U.S.) But as an
adult, February is one of my favorite times of the year for a different
reason. February means C3!
C3 is a great time to sit under some amazing teaching while
discovering how God can bring fresh creativity to your church. At C3
you will get the opportunity to connect with pastors from all over the
world and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. I cannot
tell you how I have been inspired and equipped over the years at this
conference. Ministry change AND life change happens at C3. I can
testify because I have been to every one!
I am especially looking forward to February 2010 because in 2010
we have partnered C3 with our C3 Kids Conference. Beginning February
16th-17th Fellowship church will be hosting children’s pastors and
volunteers from all over the world as they gather to learn how to reach
and grow the next generation. Then, all attendee’s of C3 Kids will have
the opportunity to stay for C3 (February 17th-19th) and hear from some
of the greatest leaders in ministry today. Ed Young, T.D. Jakes,
Jentezen Franklin and Ed Young Sr. are just a few of the powerful
speakers on the menu.
Okay, I’m promoting, and I’m not really trying to hide it. C3 is a
GREAT time! If there is any way you can be here, make it happen. I
promise, you will not regret a single minute of it. Check out the
details at c3conference.com.
Hope to see you here!
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!