Preteen Book Review: Let Go and Run Beside

Have you ever started a book and loved it so much you bought it for all your friends before you even finished it? Well, if you work with preteens you need to check out the new book, “Let Go and Run Beside” by Sean Sweet!

In this book, Sean will give you the ten essentials of Intentional Preteen Ministry. 
1. Let Go
2. Run Beside
3. Invite Preteens to Take Risks in a Safe Environment
4. Give Choices and Share Power
5. Implement Active Learning Strategies
6. Facilitate Reflection and Response
7. Disciple Through Questions
8. Build a Foundation for Identity Formation
9. Persevere and Overcome Obstacles
10. Take Your Next Step

Some of my favorite quotes so far:

“As difficult as you may find it to be around preteens, it’s often more difficult to be a preteen.” 

Here’s an equation that I found useful when observing preteen behavior:
LACK OF EXPERIENCE
+ DESIRE TO TRY NEW ABILITIES
+ DISCONCERTING FEELINGS ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGE
+ THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER OF HORMONES
= Preteen Behavior

“Likewise, preteens are ready for us to ‘let go of the bike.’ They have new mental abilities that they’ve never had before, abilities which will allow them to connect with Jesus in new and meaningful ways, but we must make room for them to do this.”

“He’s ready developmentally, but not experientially.”

“They have a new desire for independence and autonomy. Are we going to stifle that or make room for it?”

If you are looking for ways to encourage, pastor, and love preteens during this critical phase of their life, go pick up the book for you and a couple of your preteen leaders. All the information can be found at: https://fourfivesix.lpages.co/let-go-book/ 

Hacks On How To Win With Your Kidmin Social Media (Technology Track)

When you visit a restaurant, do you check their social media before walking through the door? Families in your area are searching for your kids ministry. Are they enticed by what they see? Let’s work together to make you kidmin social media stand out!

House Analogy

The average person in your town has no idea about your house. But if they drive by maybe you can catch their eye. 

Road:

The most public – Just the top view

Google – Southern Hills, the Church at City Station – Have you taken ownership of your listing so you have up to date information? Columbus Day, COVID? Are your services times accurate? Are your pictures new? Is it inviting? 

Facebook Page – Cornerstone Church https://www.facebook.com/cstone.central (notice video banner) Is it a billboard or does it make me want to visit? 

Instagram – KidSpring at NewSpring Church https://www.instagram.com/kidspring/ (notice link in bio) Use some hashtags for your city. 

Do these entice someone to look deeper? 

Driveway: 

Website – Christ Church of the Valley – https://ccv.church/ministries/kids (notice the 1 minute video clip AND how few words.) 

Youtube – Mosaic Kids – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhpcdq6jK_Z3Tab0wIqquQ7UjSPqlx-W (notice quality and video thumbnails)

Back Yard:

Facebook Groups – Are you establishing a community? Think I Love Kidmin. www.ilovekidmin.com Resources and community, NOT all day every day advertisements. 

Email List Broad – Will you gather people’s information at your fall family event? Can you use this to invite to the next event or Easter? 

Living Room: 

Text Group – 

Instagram Close Friends – 

Email List Specific – 

Hacks – You can’t cheat it

But you can be smart: Times of day. Quality ENGAGING content. 

Kids – Don’t unintentionally encourage kids to break the law. 

COPPA Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites. Facebook or Insta 13. 

Don’t put yourself against parents. 

Volunteers – Jim Wideman: The Three Dog Night Rule – One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.

Google Drive – Give full access to materials. 

Multi use the same materials – fb/insta – different audience 

Sharing posts to story at a later date. (Some people only watch stories)

Ryan’s Strategy. 

Be where your people are.

Ex: Twitter – For us waste of time. FB page vs FB group. Kids vs Main Church accounts.

Do your kids know where to find you? I mean, are you on YouTube. 

Use pictures – pictures of people. Schedule someone at least quarterly to just give you a fresh library. 

canva.com 9.95/month OR create small and crop

Keep the main thing the main thing. It’s about making disciples.

Questions?

Volunteer On-Boarding Kidmin Nation Mega-Con

Volunteer On-Boarding: A Step By Step Guide (Volunteer Track)

What if you could seamlessly move someone through the process of joining your team? What if you brought someone in so smoothly, they were set up from the beginning to be retained for years to come? Come learn how to develop a strategy to onboard your volunteers.

Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Link to Notes and Additional Documentation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bwh9guwmw6uh6pu/AABrcKTcFSwVVHIBDtdG9NoMa?dl=0 

Announcing The Kids Ministry Exchange

The future of your kids ministry may feel uncertain. But we can figure it out together. To help your ministry this year, Orange is putting on the Kids Ministry Exchange!

In this two-day, online event they are bringing together counselors, researchers, pastors, teachers, experts, and thought leaders, so you can discover the practical information you need to help you bring hope to your community.

4 main sessions with national thought leaders

20+ breakouts and live Q&As with ministry experts

4 opportunities for virtual roundtable discussion

1 Digital Exhibit Hall with the best ministry exchange

. . . and 3 bathroom breaks

I hope you will gather your nextgen team for this online learning experience! To learn more check out https://thinkorange.com/kids-ministry-exchange/

5 Powerful Verses to Help You Lead up in Nextgen

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How do you lead up in NextGen ministry? 

Any idea on how you can get buy-in from leadership? 

One of the biggest challenges you face as a NextGen leader is gaining the buy-in from leadership without necessarily having the position of influence in your church. For those of you who have a plan and vision that exceeds your authority, here are four courageous challenges and Scripture to help you lead up in NextGen ministries. 

Be Faithful in the Little Things

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Matthew 25:23, NLT) In Jesus’ parable of the three servants, He shows us what it means to faithfully steward whatever has been entrusted to us. Whether you are given leadership over a single budget line item or an entire department’s spending, the best way to influence the future decisions of the budget is to faithfully steward what you’ve been given. When you control your spending, keep track of every receipt, and can show how you used the church’s money to do amazing ministry, you show how you can set the direction for future spending. 

Be Loyal to the Team 

“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:4, NLT) Are you leading for the benefit of others or yourself? In “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge” Clay Scroggins asks, “Are you the type of leader that makes others better?” Being a leader worth following means you lead out of your influence with others not your position with others. When your actions inspire everyone around you to imagine more and to become more, you naturally begin to lead up. In contrast, when you look out for yourself and your position, you push people away and extinguish joy in your workplace. 

Choose Love

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15, NLT) Your leader is not perfect, your team is not perfect, and you are not perfect. Choose today to accept those around you, flaws and all. Nothing stands out more in this broken world, like someone who chooses love. 

Be Dedicated to the Mission

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NLT) Scroggins defines ambition as “that strong desire we have to make something or to achieve something, even when it takes great effort, focus, and determination.” To lead up, you must not give up. Focus on what you can control and make it great. Don’t allow unimportant things to wear you down and get in the way of what God has called you to accomplish. Consider even visually posting the mission where you and your team will daily see what you are aiming towards. 

Above All, Guard Your Heart

“This is a trustworthy saying: ‘If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.’ So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT). Nothing will make you lose influence or discredit your leadership faster than sin. You might not be in charge of the whole organization, but you are in charge of yourself. What thoughts do you need to take captive to obey Christ? Where have you allowed yourself to drift and need to get yourself back on track? Repent and choose right now to walk in obedience.

21 NEW Games For Your KidMin

You’re here because you’re probably looking for some fresh games for your kid’s ministry! I am right there with you! Finding games that work in a zoom call and live is hard. I was looking for fresh games and decided to just start making some of my own to share with the kidmin community. Here are descriptions and links to make things easier for you!

Zoom Games:

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This on-screen game asks if you would rather this, or that? Choose your answers and see what your friends say. Lots of laughs to be had while playing this game!
Would You Rather Quarantine Edition

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Each person competes in these 15 family challenges to earn points towards the gold medal! You could do this game on your next Zoom call, church service, or even send it to your families as an at home challenge! Games include things like the Straw Fridge Challenge, Back Slide Race, and Social Distance Challenge!
Family Quarantine Olympics

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In this Zoom game, kids compete to be the last kid on the Zoom call! You will share several challenges. If they complete the challenge, they stay on. If they fail to do the task in time, they are out! Challenges include things like: Do your best Fortnite dance! Balance on one leg for the rest of the call! …and 13 more.
Last One Standing

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You start with both hands raised and then you have to put a hand down if the statement read, for example: “You ran out of toilet paper” is true for you. The last person with a hand raised wins the game!
Hand Down If Quarantine Edition

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This fun On-Screen Scavenger Hunt game is perfect to do when the kids are stuck inside the house!
At Home Scavenger Hunt


This is the second version of the original Would You Rather? Quarantine Edition On Screen Game! This game asks if you would rather this, or that? Choose your answers and see what your friends say.
Would You Rather Quarantine 2nd Edition

In this game, the kids test their skills by seeing if they can guess what an object is while it is zoomed in! It will slowly zoom out until the entire picture is revealed. This game will work great on Zoom. This game will also double as a way to give bored kids ideas of ways to have fun at home!
Zoomed In Quarantine Edition


This trivia game has 12 questions all about toilet paper. Test your toilet paper history knowledge in this fun game!
Toilet Paper Trivia

Best Selling:


This game is perfect for Zoom or large group settings. Kids will have fun trying to figure out what animal is making the sound played in the video. Lots of laughs and amazement will ensue!

Name That Sound – Animal Edition


Your kids are going to love this video-based extreme game! Everyone can vote if they think the person on the clip will make it or break it. Make it or Break It will work on Zoom or in a room full of kids! The kids can vote “Make It” by giving two thumbs up or “Break It” by making an X with their arms.

Make It or Break It Volume 1


In Version 2 of the original Make it or Break It, everyone can vote if they think the person on the clip will make it or break it. Make it or Break It will work on Zoom or in a room full of kids! The kids can vote “Make It” by giving two thumbs up or “Break It” by making an X with their arms.

Make It or Break It Volume 2

Which of your kids has the best memory? This on-screen game challenges players to remember a sequence of colors with sounds to see who can make it the longest. If anyone successfully remembers all 20, they are officially a genius.

The Memory Game


In this game, the kids test their skills by seeing if they can guess what an object is while it is zoomed in! It will slowly zoom out until the entire picture is revealed. This game will work great on Zoom or with a large group of kids!

Zoomed In

Great Games For Church:


In this fun on-screen game, kids guess with their thumbs if they think the bible trivia answer is more or less!
More or Less Bible Edition Volume 1


Even more of this fun on-screen game, kids guess with their thumbs if they think the bible trivia answer is more or less!
More or Less Bible Edition Volume 2


This game is all about hands! You start with both hands up, and put a hand down if the statement that is said is true for you. The last person with a hand raised wins!
Hand Down If


This game is perfect for Zoom or large group settings. Preschoolers will have fun trying to figure out what animal is making the sound played in the video. Lots of laughs and amazement will ensue!
Name That Sound – Preschool Animal Edition

Seasonal Games:


In this fun game, kids vote if they think the joke is funny or a fail!
Dad Jokes – Funny or Fail


In this fun quiz, kids answer 10 trivia questions about famous dads in the Bible! Do you know which dad was rendered mute until his son was born?
Famous Dad’s of the Bible


In this fun on screen game, kids guess with their thumbs if they think the answer is more or less!
More or Less Mother’s Day Edition 


In this fun game, kids guess which famous dad said it! “I went to kindergarten, I know how the alphabet works.” – Bob Parr or Mr. Incredible?

Which Dad Said It?


Hey KidMin friends, if you would like for a specific game to be created, let me know. I might just be able to make that happen for you!

Tools to Help You Rise Up Notes

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Mega-Con Online is a virtual experience put on my Kidmin Nation! Many of you have asked for notes so I wanted to make these available. If you really want to dive into applying what you learn you should get the Rise Up Workbook. The Tools to Help You Rise Up chapter in the workbook is 16 pages, here’s a preview if you want to take a look.

Tools to Help You Rise Up Workbook Sample

Tools For Your Time

Apps: Rescue Time, Forest, Hours, 

Beat the Clock Book – Successful Strategies for Effective Time Management.

Wearing a watch

Turn off notifications

Reminders – location-based. 

Create a weekly plan – Benjamin Franklin — ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’

Ryan Frank – Productivity PlayBook

Jim’s Evaluation Toolbox – CM Weekly Staff Report

Michael Hyatt -Full Focus Planner® 

Corey’s Weekly Sheet

Use a Calendar

Appointment Keeper, Reminder, To Do (To Stop Doing List)

Set Appointments with God

Set Appointments with your spouse 

Set Appointments with your kids

Set Appointments where you rest. 

Tools for your Soul:

YouVersion App Reading Plan

Blue Letter Bible (App and Website)

Scripture Memory – Fighter Verses App

Scripture Memory Tool – “TIMC BSAC DNBAOD FTLYGIWYWYG.” “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” If you want to Rise Up with a solid foundation, fill your toolbox with Scripture. 

First 5 App

The Chosen App 

PrayerMate

Ask Questions

Tools for your Team:

Build A Team – Ephesians 4:12 “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Don’t try to build up the church on your own. Equip God’s people to do the work of ministry! 

Postagram

LeadSmall – everything small group leaders need to make a big impact

Delegation responsibility and authority 

Duplication yourself in others 

Tools for your Kids

Nameshark 

Kahoot! 

Circle or Bark for parental controls. 

InterLand – beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com a game to teach kids how to be smart on the internet. 

Gabbwireless.com the perfect first phone for your kids 

YouTube – connect where your kids are. Post videos. Consider making a channel for you kids ministry. Connect with your kids Monday through Saturday with YouTube.

Church Database – Run and print a report of birthdays. Or run weekly reports of the kids who are missing. Follow up with your folk and steward what you’ve been given. 

Become the best teacher you can – record the room and see the kids posture and reactions as you teach. Build a team – solicit feedback and grow as a speaker. 

I love kidmin Facebook group – Ask questions, look at pictures of environments, find resources. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel and just use the search function in the group to find the help you need. 

Tools for your Physical and Mental Health:

Do you know how many steps you take? Argus, Health Kit

Are you honoring the sabbath?

MyfitnessPal for calories 

Map my ride, run keeper. 

Discipleship Group – https://replicate.org 

Soul Care or Counselor – Ministry is hard, you need someone to talk to. Don’t burn out. Don’t give up. Get help. 

Maybe right now you need to pause and text someone you trust saying, “I’m not okay, let’s talk.”

John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

And The Random Tools:

For those of you who want some specialty tools in your toolbox 

Buffer/Hoostuite

Amazon wish list for your ministry

Grammarly

Slack, GroupMe

Boomerang to schedule emails and follow up reminders if someone doesn’t respond. 

Audible or library

Kidmin Nation library and 365 conference 

Canva

Fiverr

Mint for finances

Good Coffee

So, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 

Connecting with Volunteers During COVID-19

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Everything changed…but in a way nothing changed. 

Your main role is still to – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” And to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Redefine your thoughts about your role:
You are not just an event planner, events are getting canceled.
You are not just a communicator on stage, there is no one in the seats.
You are not just someone who finds volunteers for Sunday morning because Sunday has been redefined.

Your role is to Love God and Love Others.
You are to be equipping God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. So how do you re-imagine your role? I want you to start asking the question, “What can it look like?“

Your ministry is not on hold, so ask the questions:
What can it look like to equip God’s people to be the church?
What can it look like to serve the church digitally?
What can volunteering look like in these unprecedented times?
When it comes to your volunteers you need to:

1. Connect

Do you know how your flock is doing? Are you being a good steward of your team?

Text your team

Call your team, especially your older volunteers.

Facetime your team, especially those who struggle with anxious or depressed 

Zoom.Us – 40-minute meetup for free 100 people.
  Google Hangout
  Group FaceTime 

Ask, how homeschooling is going? Ask about their work.
Ask, what can we do to help?
Ask, how can we pray for you?

2. Encourage 

If you’re allowed, drop off something at their door – food, toilet paper. Postcards. Pizza Delivery.

Do something fun – Social game/contest on FB groups!

Help them connect and encourage one another. 

If you have coaches, encourage them to reach out to their teams. 

Send prayer requests and needs to groups

3. Equip or mobilize them. 

Equip your team to serve!

Videos for daily

Postcard

Email to parents

Serve in the community

Drive through church

YouVersion Bible App Study

YouVersion Prayer

MarcoPolo scheduling volunteers to be online. Such a great idea! 

4. Pray for them and pray with them.

Open up your volunteer roaster and pray down the list. 

And say, “Hey, before I let you go, can we pray together?”

Let’s rally together. A lot of church are seeing online church x6 regular attendance! Families are having a mealtime around the dinner table! Parents are huddling up together in their living rooms to open up God’s word. God is doing something today, let’s roll up our sleeves and be the church!

Over 70 Breakout Options for Your Ministry

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Options, especially customized options, just make life better. 

Imagine walking into your favorite ice cream shop and there only being vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Or imagine going to a car lot with only one option to buy. Customized options can give you exactly what you need in the context you need it. 

At this year’s Orange Conference you have over 70 options for your breakouts. Ministry leaders from around the country with different backgrounds and specialties will create customizable options for you to select from help you improve your leadership and ministry. You can choose from the following breakout tracks: Children, City Strategy, Family Experience, General, High School, Lead Small, Middle School, NextGen Leader, Orange 101, Parent Strategy, Phase, Preschool, Preteen, Rural Strategy, Salvation Army, Special-Needs, Start Up, and Volunteer. 

This “choose your own adventure” style of breakout options can help you pick what is most relevant to your own experience. Whether you want to focus on a specific age group or work on a particular leadership skill, there will be options. 

 Although my needs my change between now and OT20 and therefore I might need to make changes to my own selections, here are the breakout options I have selected for this year’s conference:

  • Respond To The LGBTQ Reality 
  • Responding To Kids With Anxiety And Depression
  • Keys To Developing Other Leaders
  • Successfully Launching Your First Or Next Campus

Sort through your options today and customize a learning experience so you get the most out of this year’s conference. And if you’re up for it, drop a comment and let me know what you have selected for yourself this year!

Picking Curriculum Breakout Notes for #CPC20

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Did you know there are over 50 kids ministry curriculum options each with their own unique way of doing things!?! Let’s explore the options and determine what questions you should be asking before you get started!

  1. Why Curriculum? What purpose does it serve?
    1. Tool Belt Teaching
      1. The Lesson –  The scope and sequence, the strategy, the goals, repetition vs. redundant, age-appropriateness
      2. Games – Do they help kids connect? Do they serve a purpose? Do they further the teaching? Are they fresh?
      3. Small-Group Materials – Supply lists, well-crafted questions, fun? 
      4. Videos and Graphics
      5. Worship Songs
      6. Crafts
      7. Environments
      8. Scripture Memory
      9. Parent Resources
      10. Social Media Plan
      11. And so much more…
    2. Tool Belt Varieties
      1. Some are too big
      2. Some are old
      3. Some tools don’t fit
      4. Some you just don’t like
      5. Some you don’t understand
    3. A good fit has the right belt with the right tools. But still, it takes work. 
  1. Question 1 – Will this curriculum help your kids learn the Bible?
    1. Is scripture read and taught?
    2. Will the lesson connect with your kids?
    3. Do the supplemental materials reinforce the Bible?
    4. Does the teaching lead to life-changing application?
    5. Will the kids be engaged and interested in the lesson?
    6. Does this curriculum make learning the Bible fun?
  1. Question 2 – When your kids completely the curriculum will they produce the fruit you are desiring to see in their lives?
    1. Wise and foolish builder illustration
    2. Bible knowledge and application
    3. The vision of your church
    4. Begin with the end in mind
  1. Question 3 – Will this curriculum be a good fit for your program?
    1. Does the lesson length fit your needs?
    2. Will the materials change lives or just fill time?
    3. Does the curriculum provide the service components you are looking for?
    4. Is it flexible? 
    5. Is it manageable?
  1. Question 4 – Will this curriculum be a good fit for your kids?
    1. What age level is it designed for?
    2. Will it make sense culturally and socioeconomically? 
    3. Are their materials for children with special needs?
    4. Are there supplemental materials your kids will enjoy?
    5. Does it encourage community and build relationships?
    6. Will your kids be engaged and have fun?
  1. Question 5 – Will this curriculum fit in your budget?
    1. What is the starting price of the yearly curriculum?
    2. What is the full and real cost of the yearly curriculum? 
    3. What is the cost of the supplemental materials and props?
    4. Are scholarships or flexibility in pricing available?
  1. Question 6 – Do other churches, like yours, recommend this curriculum?
    1. What are churches in your denomination using or avoiding?
    2. What curriculum has your church used over the years and why did they change?
    3. Do churches a little larger than you recommend it? 
    4. What are the arguments against using the curriculum? 
  1. VIII.Question 7 – Does this meet family needs? 
    1. Do the materials take the Sunday lesson into Monday through Saturday? 
    2. Does the curriculum matter for 1 hour a week or 168 hours each week?
    3. If a child attends every other week will they be able to follow along? 
    4. Are materials provided in the curriculum to equip the family?
    5. Will a nontraditional family feel included?
  1. Question 8 – How do you access and edit the curriculum?
    1. Do you have the technology necessary to make the curriculum accessible to volunteers? 
    2. Do you need a CD-ROM drive, jump drive, or high-speed internet?
    3. Do you have the audio, visual, and technical supplies to present the lesson?
  1. Question 9 – How much work will it take for you to make changes? 
    1. Is it editable and easy to alter? 
    2. Are there plenty of options if you don’t like a particular portion? 
    3. Are you going to be making minor tweaks or major rewrites? 
    4. Do you have the time and margin necessary for the changes? 
  1. Question 10 – Do I really need to change?
    1. Are you the only one feeling the need to make changes?
    2. Could you add some flavor to spice things up or do you need to change the recipe? 
    3. Is now the right time?
  1. A special note before making changes. 
    1. The change in your pocket illustration. 
    2. What’s at stake?
  2. Let’s look at some options

 

A link to this full google sheet: HERE

 

In a recent KidzMatter Magazine, you can see a description and overview of many curriculum options.

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This is a curriculum evaluation created by a team made up of 60 practitioners with years of weekly classroom experience.2

What do you do from here?

    1. Pray
    2. Research
    3. Contact curriculum providers
    4. Explore samples
    5. Seek wise counsel
    6. Pray