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    In April of 2013 I stepped down from my children’s pastor position due to the issues that arise when you can no longer hide your depression and anxiety disorders. It’s been just over a year since I’ve prepped a service, led a game, worked a puppet, preached an illustrated sermon or taught a memory verse. I miss the kids… but not Easter, Halloween and Kids Camp! But that’s a topic for another post.

    These days I find myself on the other-side of children’s ministry. Now I take my two children, 9 and 6, to someone elses kids church. We’ve been to several in fact. The view is quite a bit different out here than it was in there and I’d like to share as much as I can remember with you. It’s a unique perspective. I’m not another quirky parent demanding fundamental changes that only benefit my particular child. I’m a 13-year children’s ministry veteran who for now is standing in your check-in line. Here are some things that I noticed that were important to me:

    [click to continue…]

    using-puppets-memory-verse

    Using a puppet or live character to help teach the verse to children is in no way a new concept. My first experience was seeing Willie George trying to get Uugene to learn a verse. I would cackle my head off at his mistakes. It’s rare not to see a traveling kids evangelist use a puppet or live character helping with verses or main points of the lesson. Why is it so popular? Because it works.

    I was emailed recently about a puppet character I had performed while speaking for the AG Southern Missouri Kids Camp in 2012 called “Super Star”. He was a hit with the kids and the adult leaders. The email was from a pastor who wanted to start a similar thing in their own service and wanted to know if I had any advice. I realized that I had never written anything on the subject. Below are the results of answering that question. [click to continue…]

    A few years back I had an idea for a custom podium that would match my city theme. I always thought the traditional newspaper box would work well and so I built one and used it for years. I wanted to share my design in the hopes that others would be able to build it and enjoy it as much as I did so I’m in the process of creating a model and measured drawings in Google Sketchup.

    Coming soon!

    Till then, enjoy a few photos (after the jump) and let me know what you think. [click to continue…]

    Back in November I posted some photos of a custom check-in kiosk I was building for my children’s ministry. I’ve had quite a few requests for the plans. Unfortunately all I can find 6 months later are the print outs of the measured drawings I used for reference while building in the garage. I’ve photographed them and converted them into a PDF file you can easily download and print yourself. Keep in mind that these measurements may not be 100% accurate. They do not take into account the width 3/4″ MDF I used for instance. That being said, if you hand this to any sort of woodworker or handy man, he’ll be able to make sense of it.

    If you end up using these all I ask in return is a photo of your finished product.

    Kiosk Measured Drawings

     

    Ever had an object lesson blow up in your face? Or fall flat? Ever had a child barf right at the wrong time? What about those parents who’s kids do no wrong and the excuses they give? We’ve all got a story to tell.

    I’m sure you’ve never had anything at all ever in the world go wrong in your only slightly less than perfect experience in ministry to children… but I’d still like to see if there is anyone else out there who has had wonderfully horrible things happen at the worst possible times.

    I’d like the next episode of Help! I’m A Children’s Pastor to give you an audience!

    Not only will we laugh our faces off, I’ll bet we’ll each find something we can relate to as well. So email, record or call in your best (or worst) story. Try to keep it as short as you can, but don’t sacrifice the content.

    Send your stories via email, phone or audio:

    helpimacp@gmail.com or call 209-5NLCast

    Got a Kidmin personality you’d like to hear from? Let them know! Shoot um a link!

    Looking forward to this. Thanks for your support.

    I’ve talked before about how I use games in my children’s church. Almost without exception they work double duty as fun and an object lesson. This means that I create the games right along with the rest of my service and then share that information with the volunteer leading the game. [click to continue…]

    Ten years ago there was a movement among Children’s ministers to educate children and parents about the horrors of a cartoon-card game-toy combo called Pokémon. Many a children’s service was sprinkled references to these “pocket monsters” and how the game would act as a gateway to other games such as Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons. The way some of my peers went on and on about it you’d think Pokémon was more of a threat to their children’s salvation than Satan himself. [click to continue…]

    In part one of of this series we discussed how Children’s Pastors and their ministries can be easily disrespected and how it is our responsibility to earn the respect of our church. Part two suggested several ways we can gain respect for our children’s ministries. This third and final part will focus on a some things you can do to gain respect as a minister yourself. [click to continue…]

    In my first post in this series I talked about the secret issue of many children’s ministers: disrespect. I suggest you head over and read that post before continuing.

    It’s important for us to remember that we are a support ministry, we’re not part of the big show, and on our best day will still be playing second fiddle. That position is not a punishment, it’s our God-given position. We can bloom there or become bitter, brittle and dry.

    Which of us haven’t been asked when we’re planning to become real pastors? [click to continue…]

    There is a secret issue just under the surface in the ministry lives of many children’s ministers. The issue is the feeling of a lack of respect from others about what we do. We work with children and are separated from the main service. It’s easy for us to feel removed, forgotten, taken for granted and disrespected. [click to continue…]