Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The 3 R's: Johnny's Rules of Engagements

The best way to get your kids to behave and interact the way you want them to is to communicate your expectation to them in a way that they understand. In this short video Johnny Rogers shares the 3 Rules of Engagement that he teaches the kids in his group... maybe they'll work for your kids too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One's in the Crowd

It’s easy to think of the kids in your ministry as a group… a crowd… maybe even a mob! ...that's not necessarily a good thing. I was recently reminded that, no matter how massive our groups get, we need to minister to our kids as individuals. The ultimate goal is for each child to feel spoken to, related to, and ministered to personally each week. Making your ministry personal can be a challenge as your group grows in number, but the only number that really counts is 1. So whether your group is 20, 40, or 170, try to not think of them as a group of that many... but as that many 1's. Purposefully speaking to each one as if they were the only one will help keep your kids from feeling lost in the crowd.


Friday, December 19, 2008


Well, it’s that time of the year again… the season of sneezes, sniffles and outright sickness is upon us again! Here are a few tips to help you and your co-leaders stay healthy and hearty this winter so you can concentrate on your kids, not your colds.

 1. Wash Your Hands! - One of the best ways to avoid getting sick (especially when you’re working closely with kids) is to wash your hands… a lot! Be sure to do a thorough job; use soap and warm water, scrub for at least 15 seconds, and wash your hands several times throughout the day (like in between church services). Expert hand washers recommend using liquid soap (not the bar kind), and drying hands on paper towels that you then throw away. Hand sanitizers (like Purell) are are another good idea. These products use an antiseptic alcohol to destroy 99% of germs and you can use them anytime and anywhere because they don't require soap, water or towels to be effective.

 2. Clean Your Surfaces - They say that germs and bacteria can live for hours on the surfaces that sickies have touched (or sneezed on). Use germ-killing cleaning products to disinfect your classroom’s desks, doorknobs, game controllers and toys… and don’t forget to wipe down your laminated KIDMO scorecards and the balls that you use as points.

 3. Cover Up! - If everyone covered their face when they coughed or sneezed, germs wouldn't stand a chance! Unfortunately, many people just can't make this habit stick, and the germs fly free. Encourage kids to turn their head and cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow -- rather than the palm of their hand -- to avoid passing germs by touch.

 4. Eat, Exercise & Sleep - Get plenty of sleep. Exercise, especially aerobic, increases the body's virus-killing cells. Even better, exercise outside in the fresh air, away from dehydrating indoor heating systems and recirculated, germy air. Eat healthy foods with lots of vitamins, like colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains and yogurt. Drink fluids; it flushes out your system. 

Take care of yourself! Your kids need you!


 For more tips on staying healthy, check out the article that inspired this post at: http://multiples.about.com/od/familyissues/tp/healthytips.htm


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Note from a KIDMO Kid


I'm a student from KIDMO, and I LOVE it! It really seems to work magic on my church. All the kids who are usually loud, and "unteachable", are becoming really nice! Especcially the Christamas episodes, my church was amazing. I saw the very loud 5th graders standing next to the 1st graders, that they usually dont even talk to, swaying to the music, singing all the christams song, it was wonderful! 

When i was little, i didn't really like going to church. But now that there's KIDMO, im exited to go, and i look foward to it during the week. I also LOVE the songs. I mean, who could have thought of a better way to make Christ through music? I sure don't know anyone. I mean, even the older kids, we all come up and do motions for the younger kids. But I do have one suggestion. Could you make a song JUST about the rapture. Not like all the freaky, scary parts. I mean, i dont think you really want to scare the little 1st graders. Just saying He will come. I think it would make a good song. 

Well, you guys are amazing! Now I feel better about bringing friends to church, cuz they would be lass tempted to go, if you're listening to a long sermon in a very low monotone. But GO JOHNNY ROGERS!

Rebecca N.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ministry is More Than Words

Take a second or two to think back on the school teachers and church leaders that you had when you were young. You might be able to remember some of their names, maybe what they looked like, maybe some of the big picture principles that they taught you...  I only remember a few of them very well. When I was in 5th grade I had a Sunday School teacher named Mrs Myers who was the coolest little old lady teacher ever. I remember her teaching Bible stories on the flannel graph (umm... yeah...). I remember one week when she shared the plan of salvation that ultimately led to me giving my life to Jesus,  but, to tell the truth, I really can't remember anything much about all of the other Sundays that she taught my class. Only that one lesson. ~ What I can tell you is that Mrs. Myers was my Sunday morning buddy at church. She knew my name... she told me that she missed me when I wasn't there... and she seemed really interested in hearing about my baseball games. She made me feel important. She made me want to go to church. While I don't remember a lot of what she said, I remember wanting to be around her.  

The truth is, most kids (including a lot of us "former kids") don't remember a whole lot of what their teachers say word-for-word week-to-week. As adult leaders we need to be mindful of this reality! While we may wrestle with the words we'll use to communicate God's truth to our kids, we need to be aware that the lessons we teach are only a small part of our ministry. As your kids grow up and think back on the teachers who influenced them, it's likely that they will remember your actions and attitudes -- that you were there, and that you care -- more than the lessons you taught. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Lists

About this time every year postal workers in New York City begin opening thousands of letters that kids have written and mailed to Santa Claus through the USPS. The project is called Operation Santa Claus, and its goal is to match children in need with surrogate Santa’s who can help give an underprivileged child a Merry Christmas. While we’re not endorsing Operation Santa, or asking you to participate in the project, we do want to pass on some information on the trends that its participants are reporting this year. 

In a recent radio interview, Gary Smiley, a New York Paramedic who has picked up letters from the NYC Post Office and given gifts to their writers for 18 years, said that he has seen kids Christmas wishes change this year, “It has kind of shifted a lot from toys to more clothing and necessities. They really just need the basics in life. They don’t want a race car they want a coat, or a pair of pants or a nice outfit they can wear to school as opposed to a doll or something.” 

What can we take from this as Children’s Ministry workers? We need to be acutely aware that, while Christmas is a joyous time for many of the families in our churches, many others are struggling at home financially, emotionally and relationally during this current time of economic recession, and many of the kids in our programs may be facing slim Christmases. 

What can you do? If your church doesn’t already have a means of matching children in need with others who can provide them with gifts, food and clothing this season, you can start one! There’s still plenty of time to create your own Christ-centered Christmas “Operation” to help the kids in your class. This also gives us a unique opportunity to teach our kids that the real gift of Christmas isn't one that comes wrapped in colored paper, but one that came wrapped in swaddling clothes.  If New Yorkers can “bless” children and their families in the name of Santa, how much more so should we bless the families in our churches and communities in the name of Jesus, and remind them that He alone is the real reason for the Season, and Hero of the Holiday.