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  • September 2009


    Due to my schedule this week, I’m not on my usual (nearly) daily blogging schedule… but I wanted to just share a little of what I’m experiencing from God right now. My hope is that it will lift you up.

    I really feel like God loves me right now.

    I always know he does… but we live in a world that makes that fact a little less than obvious sometimes. Knowing God loves me has carried me through a lot of rough times. Trusting and believing that He has my best in mind… that He’s out there watching over me… that He will never leave or forget about me… those things keep me going on and standing as strong as I can. But that being said, it’s nice to have the feeling once in a while too.

    I’ve never been very touchy-feely with God. My childhood taught me that you can’t trust your feelings. So I trusted in hard facts about God. That was safe… ultimately I suppose they took less faith to believe in as well, but I digress. I obviously over compensated, as we adults often do, and so rather than the sensible thing, experiencing feelings but not making life changing decisions based on them, I grew to despise them. They were something for weaker Christians… I didn’t need them. I was almost proud of the fact that I didn’t need to FEEL God in order to believe in Him.

    But it got lonely.

    I feel the love of my wife. My children are both crazy about me… I love the way that makes me feel. Feelings are awesome… so I really wasn’t opposed to them… only when it came to the spiritual side of things. I wish I had more to write down at this point… but now we’re caught up to the current day… and I’m totally blown away with the amount of love that God, my Father, has expressed to my family.

    You know how you feel when someone gives you the perfect gift? A gift that shows that shows you how well they know you? It may not even be very expensive… or maybe it’s even handmade… but the sentiment behind the gift makes it priceless. Have you ever cried after opening something at a birthday or Christmas? I have (it was a Buzz Lightyear watch)… but this gift that God is giving to us is so personal, so perfect, so spot-on… it simply blows my mind. It truly feels like a dream. Unreal.

    God’s love feels good for a change. It’s nice.

    Let’s be honest, sometimes His love hurts. It urges us to grow and go to places we’re not comfortable going. It shines the light of Truth into the dark corners of our souls… places where ugly things hide. It’s not fun being broken and rebuilt for His use. It doesn’t feel good. I guess I thought that’s all there was. Maybe I was just really screwed up and needed a lot of extra work. Maybe I just fought it and hurt myself. Who cares.

    God, thank you for your amazing love. I’ve always had it… but thanks for making it feel so good this time. *tears*

    help-1400x1400How do we deal, as children’s ministers, with a lack of pastoral support?

    [click to continue…]


    Halloween Alternative Ideas

    September 24, 2009 · 4 comments


    I’m interested in what you do (or don’t do) for Halloween. So let’s flip the script here today and you tell me something. 🙂

    What are you doing this year for your kids & community for Halloween?

    Leave your responses in the comments.

    10 – My Story Part II

    September 24, 2009 · 5 comments


    Get all that inside info you crave… but first, listen to Part I


    I’ve written about Children’s Ministry names before, but that was more of a post about the types of names. This time I’m just going to punch out a list of names for Children’s Church right off the top of my head. I cannot confirm or deny if any of these are original or in use somewhere. These are simply offered out of a desire to help those who are searching for Children’s Ministry Names.

    Kid Works – A construction or science theme.

    InTune – Music or computer theme.

    Megaville – City or superhero theme.

    JAM City – Jesus And Me, a city theme.

    ChurchName Kids – Put your church’s name and add kids to the end. It works.

    Xtreme – Extreme sports theme.

    Power House – Electricity or explosion themed.

    Young Adventures – Explorer themed.

    City Kids or Kid City – City themes.

    NRG Zone

    Power Source

    Sonshine Kidz

    Kids Life

    Sincity – Just checking to see if you’re reading this. 😉

    Kids for Christ

    Kids Trek

    Disciple Ship – Nautical theme.

    Volunteer Seekers – Sorry.

    Kids Place

    Kid Nation


    Kidz Zone

    Kid Builders

    Camp Kingdom

    Kid Power

    Kid Planet

    Action Kids

    Big Steps


    180 Crew


    Kids in Training


    Camp Rock



    Christ’s Kids

    Young Champions

    Submitted by @PerryLyons



    Kids for Christ

    His Little Ones


    Tykes for Christ

    FYI – The logo above was done by me for a Children’s Pastor via my website http://drawyouapicture.com. If you need a low-cost children’s ministry logo, check it out.


    What do you do when someone you depended on quits Children’s Ministry? Maybe it’s a top level coordinator or just someone who said they would do music for VBS. The job they were going to do doesn’t matter… the fact that you’re not stuck with it, or unable to do the program because of it, is. It can be easy to panic when you get those emails or phone calls. I’ve recently had this happen to me. It changes things, but I’ll adjust and eventually have the same outcome. I guess that’s the point after all.

    Here are some tips for dealing with big jobs that get abandoned.

    1. Don’t Panic

    This is not a choice you can make just after you’re disappointment happens. This is a choice you make today… before anything goes haywire. Are you going to be a person of action… or reaction? I don’t know about you, but I want to be in control of what comes out of my mouth… and though it’s true that no one can tame the tongue… you can control where the tongue is speaking from. If your heart is focused on the One you live to serve, if you realize who is in control, that heart will overflow out of your mouth when the time comes. Make the choice today to not panic.

    2. Don’t Burn Bridges

    Like Moses said, “Let your people go!”… kinda. You may be angry, hurt, upset, disappointed… but let them go easy! You’re going to have a ton of feelings toward them… none of them will be good ones. None of them will be based on anything other than what you think they’ve done to you. You can’t base decisions on bad thinking. So make your choice now… when they call or email… let them off easy. I always make a point to let them know that the door swings both ways, in a positive sense. They’re welcome back anytime! I can count on two hands the number of volunteers I’ve gotten back because I gave them a guilt free exit.

    3. Trust Your Real Source

    Both step one and step two rely on step 3 to work. You’ve got to realize where your help comes from. It’s not a volunteer, your spouse or your pastor… not even in yourself. Your help comes from the Lord (creator of Heaven and Earth). Also, it’s HIS ministry, HIS kids, His church, HIS passion and therefore HIS responsibility. Trust that God has a plan to work everything out for your good and HIS glory. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send you laborers… it’s HIS harvest field… if he wants it harvested, he’ll have to send you folks to help! He does and He will.

    4. Think Outside Your Circle

    Okay, so the spiritual stuff is good… but what about the help you need? God helps those who help themselves right? Maybe. I prefer to say that we do what we can do and God does what we can’t. If you’re like me, you’ve tapped about just about everyone you know. It may be time to think outside your circle. Pray a bit and ask God to open your mind to someone who may have the right skill set to do what you need done. Ask them directly, letting them know what skills attracted you to them. Offer a limit to their service… say, three months. Tell them they can visit before they commit. If they bite, awesome, if not… keep praying until God delivers.

    Trials like this are never fun. They’re one of the more frustrating things you’ll deal with in ministry. But like any struggle, you can just go through it… or you can go through it and have God’s purpose work in you as a result. You’re going to go through it anyway… might as well do it God’s way and get some benefits!

    9 – About I Like Genius

    September 17, 2009 · 0 comments


    I’m excited about my new podcast, I Like Genius.

    Check it out at http://ilikegenius.com


    Grace And Discipline

    September 17, 2009 · 3 comments


    Two different children acting out in two different ways sparked the idea for this post today. One was a 3rd grade boy on our Rangers class… the other was my 1.5 year old son. They both were acting out in ways that were unusual for them… and because it was unusual… grace was given.

    My son, or “Dunder” as we call him, was having a rough day yesterday. He was crying uncontrollably any time his Mom walked away from him. He was sensitive, whiny and just all around bad… but in a weird way. Just when we were about to pack him in a box and ship him away we theorized that he may be teething and gave him some baby Tylenol. His behavior improved within the hour. The boy was in pain apparently.

    Later that evening at our Wednesday church services I was brought a couple of young men who had exchanged blows while picking up the game room for pre-class worship time. I listened to the excuses and issued my standards. I told them I’d be talking to their parents and that I wanted to be able to tell them that the boys had been good the rest of the evening. I told them to sit separately and go back into worship. One of the two was crying uncontrollably the entire time… which was unlike him… but I figured he was just upset I was talking to his parents.

    Later that evening I got a call from his teacher. He was causing problems in class and was refusing to sit in time out. I was ready to put the fear of God in this kid. I was going to lay down the law and be absolutely sure he knew that he could not act this way in class and expect to get away with it. I was going to call the parents out from church… and possibly read them the riot act as well.

    I had the child meet me out in the hall with the teacher… I felt my heart soften toward the boy. Kids who cause two sets of problems in same night, who don’t do it every week, are probably going through something. I asked him what the trouble was tonight. He looked to the ground and said that he hadn’t slept well the night before. I now noticed how red his eyes were. The boy was exhausted! No wonder he was acting out.

    All of my plans flew out the window… grace for his situation came in it’s place. I told him that even when he’s sleepy he needs to make good choices. That while I was still going to talk to his parents, I didn’t want to add to it that he wasn’t obeying his teachers. I told him that he would go back into class and service his time… but that he could lay his head on the table for the rest of class if he wished to rest.

    I tend to be a person who sticks tightly to the rules and policies… and this serves me well most of the time. But I always run the risk of doing so blindly, with little consideration to the people involved. My prayer is that God will help me and those like me to always be ready to forget what they deserve and be ready to give the grace that He has shown me so often.


    I believe in cutting my Sunday Children’s Church Service into segments of no more than 10-15 minutes each. One of the ways I do that is by sticking one or two games in to the mix. My games are not just distractions… I use them as an excuse to reiterate the main point of the service. In other words, my games are quick, simple, and themed.


    No matter what our game is we only play it for 60 seconds. My game person chooses the children in advance during the service (watching to see who is being good and choosing at random from that group) and let’s them know when to come up and how to play. When she gets on stage, she calls up the kids she’s already chosen, briefly explains what’s about to happen to the crowd (the gamers already know) and then it’s Mark, Set, GO! Sixty seconds later the game is over, a point is made and prizes and points are given. Then it’s on to the next segment.


    Almost every single one of our stage games follows this formula: “How many (or much) ___________ can you ___________ in 60 seconds?”

    This formula helps us keep games simple and quick. Here are some examples of games we’ve done this way:

    • How many cotton balls can you collect…
    • How many Frisbee’s can you toss through a hoop…
    • How much soda can you drink…
    • How many puzzle pieces can you put together…
    • How many Lego’s can you stack…

    Even when we don’t stick to the formula, we still keep it simple and quick.


    There is no reason games should be ‘burn time’ where the kids aren’t learning. It’s simple enough to theme the games after something in the lesson or Bible story. For instance, the cotton ball game above could be used when talking about Manna. Frisbee tosses are for talking about sin and missing the target. Putting puzzles together are good for illustrating how God heals broken hearts. We’ve stacked Lego’s when we’ve talked about God being a strong tower.

    The game’s theme isn’t going to be obvious unless your game leader points it out. We typically do this before and after the game. It goes something like this, “Since we’re talking about Manna today, we’re going to practice picking up a bit of Manna ourselves!” Then after the game, “You guys and girls did great picking up that Manna! This game reminds me that God will always provide what we need the same way God provided for His people in the wilderness.”

    What stage game tips do you have? Leave them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.


    You must have a lot of free time…

    How do you get it all done?

    These are just a couple examples of the questions and comments that I get here and there throughout the average week. I thought I’d take a moment and address it and tell you a little about how I do 5 podcasts, a webcomic and blog nearly every day and still hold down a job, be a husband and super-involved father of two.

    It doesn’t take up as much time as you think.

    I do 5 podcasts… and that sounds like it must take forever… but not as much as you might think. From the very beginning I created the shows to be easy to produce and over the years I’ve worked very hard to simplify and streamline the entire process.

    I created shows that require very little pre-show prep. The show with the most prep required is Nobody’s Listening and that’s only because there are a ton of email and voicemails that have to be read and added to the show notes. Geek Loves Nerd is super easy as we just pick a topic during the week and just sit and record. Children’s Ministry Monthly is similar in that I just choose a topic and write a few notes of my experiences with the subject and that’s about it. The Gospel of Kennison is recorded in the car on the way to somewhere with a portable audio recorder. I Like Genius’s pre-show prep is all done via emails randomly through the week as I try to get interviews with interesting and creative people.

    As for recording, all of the shows, with the exception of GOK, are between 45-60 mins. Add about 15 minutes to that and the front and the back for setup and such and we’re at an hour and a half per show.

    Post-production used to take me forever. I once recorded each voice on different tracks and remixed them… it took hours. Now it’s super simple. Everything is recorded in real time down to a single stereo track. Live to hard drive as they say. After we’re done recording I typically only have to trim and dead air off the front and end of the show, Hard Limit and Normalize it, encode it to MP3, upload it and post it. The whole process maybe takes 30 minutes these days.

    I do most of it early and late.

    I blog in the early morning during breakfast. I record podcasts late at night. Nobody cares what I do with my spare time after the kids are in bed at 9pm. So from 9:30 to 12… it’s my time. Jenn and I record GLN on Monday nights. Tuesday nights are NLCast. I Like Genius are done randomly throughout the week… but typically on Thursday or Friday evenings. GOK is whenever I’m in the car. CMMonthly is once a month on a Sunday evening. No time has been taken away from my family, chores or other responsibilities. The webcomic is done on Sunday evenings… takes about an hour.

    So the tricks and tips? The KISS principal comes into play. If you going to do a lot of podcasting and blogging… Keep It Simple Stupid!