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  • Help! I’m A Children’s Pastor

    help-1400x1400Practical tips and steps to take when seeking a part or full-time children’s ministry position.

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    I had the rare opportunity to go to Spain over Thanksgiving week to minister to Missionary Kids (MK’s). Each year the missionaries from all over Southern Europe get together for a traditional Thanksgiving and combine it with an annual business meeting and retreat. The kids tag along and until this year were usually kept busy with games and activities. This year they wanted something different. Most MK’s don’t get to experience any form of child-centered ministry or anything remotely close to what we’d call Kids Church. So Rev. Tony Gryskiewicz, missionary to the MK’s of Southern Europe, made a call to America to see if he could get a Children’s Pastor to come and minister to these children. [click to continue…]

    26 – How To Communicate

    November 22, 2010 · 0 comments

    help-1400x1400How to communicate to Parents, Children, Ministry Leaders, Volunteers and your Pastor. We cover bulletins, fliers, newsletters, email lists, Facebook, and more.

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    help-1400x1400How do you respond to parents who’s children do nothing wrong?

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    After nearly three years producing podcasts under the name Children’s Ministry Monthly, I’ve decided to rebrand the show. “Help! I’m A Children’s Pastor” seems to encapsulate the direction the show has taken almost since the very beginning. CMMonthly has always been a show for folks who are just getting started in kids ministry… or who have found themselves thrust into the ministry almost by accident. My hope is that the new name will attract even more of the folks this show is targeting.

    Dropping the “monthly” from the name also allows me to consider producing more than one show per month. Right now I’m considering doing a bi-weekly half-hour format. We’ll see.

    So it’s still me, James Kennison, and the same focus… you don’t even have to change anything in iTunes or your RSS feeds. Just keep enjoying the content and consider contributing questions, tips or other feedback: helpimacp@gmail.com

    The script for this Sunday’s puppet lesson called for a second puppet character that resembled the first. Since I created the costume for our regular character from scratch, this wasn’t going to be easy or cheap. I started thinking about craft supplies, foam balls for heads, dowel rods for the body, elastic to create tension for the jaw. I even went as far as to look up simple puppet making online. Then I had this idea… why not make myself out of paper?


    The first step was to draw the character out in Photoshop. (You can download the finished image as a PDF if you’d like to use it yourself) Then I printed it out on card stock with a color printer. You could just as easily draw your character directly on the paper though. Then I cut it out and cut a slit at the bottom of the black space. I slid a narrow strip of paper up through the slit and attached it with Super Glue to the top edge of the characters bottom lip. Instantly I was able to manipulate the mouth… but I had to use both hands.


    I added some tongue depressors to the back for support with Super Glue. I added a short length of rubber band to the back to pull the mouth back up when I pulled down. Then I wrapped the end of the mouth manipulation strip around a bit of Popsicle stick so I could pull it down with one hand using my thumb. And that was it!

    Check out the video of the finished puppet so you can see what I’m talking about here.

    I’m very pleased with the result. I’ll defiantly be making more of these… and I’m pretty sure Little Scripture Man will become a regular on Sundays.


    What do you think? Will you try your hand at making a paper puppet? Shoot me you thoughts in the comments.


    I divide my kids up by grade. Kindergarten, and 1st through 5th… each have their own section to sit in. I then divide those six groups into two teams (almost like the traditional boys vs girls): 1st, 3rd & 4th vs K, 2nd and 5th. This keeps things pretty balanced and allows me to sit kids of the same age together which builds friendships and helps new kids find friends quickly.

    It may sound confusing, but with my Street Signs, it’s super simple for the kids to keep track of where they sit. I’m presenting my rough plans and some photos of the completed project. It’s not a step-by-step by any means… but it should give you enough information to make your own. You could use this idea for pretty much any sign holder you might need. Sure beats paying hundreds of dollars for commercial bases and sign holders.

    Here’s the completed sign and stand. The PVC was all 1 1/2″ Solid Core PVC Pipe. The signs are Aluminum and I ordered them from a local vinyl cutting sign shop.

    Product List (per sign):
    1 – 4’ PVC
    3 – 12” PVC
    2 – 4.5” PVC
    5 – 90° Elbows
    1 – Threaded Cap
    1 Threaded Plug
    1 – T Joint
    1 – Cotter Pin
    PVC Primer
    PVC Glue
    Silver Hammered Finish Spray Paint

    After collecting all of the pieces and cutting them to size, I glued them up according to the plan sketch above. I used a hand-held miter saw to cut a slot about half-way down the top of each Threaded Plug to hold the signs. Then I spray painted the assembled stands. After they dried I slid the sign into the slot and drilled a small hold through the plug and sign. I used a cotter pin to keep the sign fixed to the plug.

    The base of each unit can be removed from the main shaft. The signs can be removed by unscrewing the plug from the threaded cap or by removing the cotter pin. Keeping some of the parts loose allows me to store them easily… or replace broken pieces without having to start completely over. The poles take the most wear and tear because kids like to lean on them… the poles can flex without breaking off from the base… but can easily be tightened with just a little downward force.

    We’ve been using them for about two months now and they still look as good as the first day. The hammered finish spray paint is very tough, sticks well and resists chipping well. They’re very light-weight so they’re easy to carry and won’t hurt a child if they tip over…. not that they ever have. The wide base keeps them upright and secure. This was a successful project and with a relatively low price.

    I spent about $90 on PVC and $90 on the vinyl signs, so around $180 total for six signs. Compare that to the quote from the sign shop for their stands and signs at $399 each!

    What do you think? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments. If you have any questions, post them and I’ll respond!

    help-1400x1400This month we’re clearing out the in-box answering your submitted questions about volunteers, delegation, administration, outreach ideas, moving to a new ministry position and positions for youth to help in kids church.

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    help-1400x1400Tips and lessons on improving your children’s church order of service.


    help-1400x1400This month we’re talking about the importance of children’s praise & worship with Jean Thomason, aka Miss Pattycake. I hope you enjoy listening to her as much as I loved recording her.

    Visit Miss. Pattycake online at http://www.misspattycake.com