Seeing Kingdom Potential in Each Child

Seeing Kingdom potential in each child

As a little girl, I loved to go to church.  I mean loved.  It was the favorite part of my week.  I remember walking through the doors of my church excited to be with friends and adults that I loved.  The atmosphere in that pink (yes, pink!) classroom was warm and welcoming.  The adult leaders taught me songs and scripture verses that I still remember to this day (and sing aloud occasionally).  I was introduced to bible stories that deeply impacted my life.  These precious experiences impacted my life so deeply that I wanted other kids to love going to church just as much as I did.  Little did I know at that moment that God was preparing me for the call He had on my life.

When I began serving in Children’s Ministry as an adult, that desire was my drive…I wanted other kids to love going to church just as much as I did – even more than I did!  I wanted to create experiences that would help kids know how much the God who created them loved them and cherished them.  I wanted children to make friendships that could become lifelong.  I wanted children to treasure God’s Word and be excited to learn it, know it and do what it says.  I wanted children to develop a love of Jesus, one that would sustain them a lifetime.

You see, for me, leading Children’s Ministry is remembering that each child has Kingdom potential.  That means seeing each child who walks through the doors of my church as children who might one day grow up and be a dynamic Christ-follower.  That means seeing them not as the church of tomorrow but as the church of today.  God is working in their lives now, preparing them for the call He has on their lives.

Who but God knows the future He has for them?  Maybe the next great theologian, pastor, ministry leader or church planter is sitting in one of your classrooms right now.  Maybe God is preparing a boy or girl in your ministry to be the next author, politician, artist, business leader, or teacher to turn the world upside down for His honor and glory.

That’s why what we do each week is so much bigger than what we can see with our human eyes.  Each week, we are privileged to welcome children through the doors of our church…children who come to us with all sort of family backgrounds, personalities, gifts, talents and potential.What we are part of is Kingdom investment right now.  What an honor to be part of influencing the life of a child who might change the world and shine bright for Jesus!

If you’re a kidmin leader or volunteer, there’s something I’d like to challenge you to do.  The next time you hold your mid-week or weekend programming, I want you to look around at all of the children in attendance.  Look them in the eye.  Look beyond the challenging behavior, family circumstances or personality issues.  Look at them through a new, fresh lens…as one who could make Jesus known to a world who desperately needs Him.

If you’re a parent, there’s something I’d like to challenge you to do.  Do everything you can to plug your child into a church that helps them know and follow Jesus, one that challenges them to grapple with what they believe and challenges them to put their faith in action.  Attend church regularly so that your child can be connected to leaders and peers who can encourage them along their spiritual journey.  Help them see the church as another voice to speak into their lives.

Keep the conversation going!  How might this change in perspective affect how you minister and parent this week?

International Children’s Bible {Review & Giveaway}

Bibles are one of those staple items for ministry to children.  (If it’s not, it should be!)  Choosing an age-appropriate Bible for children is sometimes a bit of a challenge because there are so many great options out there.  Here’s one I’d like to share with you that children will love.

International Children's Bible

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The International Children’s Bible, the first Bible translation created specifically for children, has been updated and newly typeset in a large readable layout.  The Bible text is set in large type, with bold in-text subject heads that help kids easily find the passages they are looking for.  Also included are boldface words that correspond with a dictionary and concordance entry to explain word definitions.

A great new feature in this updated setting is a key verse index with more than 300 verses that are highlighted throughout the Bible for kids to read and learn.  The beautifully illustrated Bible story insert pages are in a style that children love and will delight their imaginations as they read and “see” popular Bible stories.

International Children's Bible

WHAT I LIKE

The Bible is easy-to-read and easy for younger readers to read on their own.  The size of the Bible is perfect for smaller hands to hold and navigate.  The colors used in the illustrations are brilliant and the drawings are not too young to turn off older elementary-aged children.

WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE

I would have loved to have seen a brief synopsis for each book, such as the author and an overview.  Giving children this background information could help them see the big picture of God’s story.  I also would love to have seen the highlighted verses in a bold color instead of the dull gray; this would help the verses stand out a bit more.  Lastly, I would have loved if the illustrations were in close proximity to the story it related to as well as a scripture reference provided under the illustration’s title.  I could see how this might cause some confusion for children.

All in all, I think the Bible is a great resource for children to develop a love for God’s Word.

To find out more, take a look at this YouTube video or visit their website.

Enter to win a copy of the International Children’s Bible.
I am giving away one copy of the International Children’s Bible to one of my readers.
Simply email me at kidminspiration@gmail.com and tell me your favorite Bible story!
The deadline to enter is 11:59 pm on Friday, May 20th.
The winner will be announced on our Facebook Page on Monday, May 23rd.

Are You a Leader Who Keeps Learning?

Leaders keep learning!

When I was a girl, I loved learning and reading.  I loved going to school.  I took pride in my assignments.  As a ministry leader, I still have a passion for learning and taking pride in my work.  While my time for reading is not as much as I’d like (because of family, ministry and life), I love good reading material and sharpening my skills through conferences and connecting with other leaders.  I’d like to think of myself as a leader who keeps learning.  Would you say the same about yourself?

A few weeks ago, I read a quote by John Maxwell that stopped me in my tracks:  “If you continually invest in your leadership development, the inevitable result is growth over time.”

This could take many forms but might include:

  • Podcasts
  • Books
  • Conferences/seminars/workshops
  • Blogs/websites
  • Social media groups
  • Classes
  • Mentoring relationships

On the day that read John Maxwell’s above quote, I was having a bit of an anxious moment.  You see, I just started a new yearlong venture and was a little overwhelmed when it started on April 5th.  Ladies and gentlemen:

I’M GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!!

That’s right.  I am enrolled in Kidmin Academy, an intensive twelve-month online program that will award me a diploma in Children’s Ministry upon completion.  I am excited but nervous about what lies ahead.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Kidmin Academy exists to train and equip leaders for life-changing ministry to children and families.

Kidmin Academy uniquely couples theological instruction with practical ministry expertise from a credentialed faculty with a wide-range of backgrounds.  Our curriculum and education philosophy is unique in that it is very practical while academically rigorous.  Kidmin Academy equips pastors, church planters, worldwide missionaries, teachers, and individuals with a life-fulfilling passion for the Gospel and ministry to children and families.

I’ve only been in the academy for just a few weeks but I’ve already learned so much!  But boy – going back to school has been a huge transition for me.  This program is real school, friends.  No fluffy teaching or assignments here!

This is another faith journey for me.  I’m praising God for the opportunity to attend Kidmin Academy free of charge (thanks to the generosity of a very dear friend)!  I’m praising God for the opportunity to learn and improve my craft and use my gained knowledge to better the ministry and team I lead.  I’m trusting God to help me manage my time well to watch the teaching videos, do the required readings and complete my assignments.  I’m trusting that God will enlarge my borders and help me see one of my dreams come true.

Will you pray along with me as I embark on this new journey?  I’d sure appreciate it!

Learn more about Kidmin Academy here.

Keep the conversation going!  Are you a leader who keeps learning?  How do you do that?  Leave a comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Teaching Familiar Bible Stories

Behind the Scenes: Children’s Ministry Magazine, March/April 2016

CM Magazine - Mar-Apr 2016

Teaching the Bible in fun, exciting and engaging ways is a challenge that every children’s ministry leader faces.  Some weeks come together really well; other weeks not so much.

If you’re like me, you scour the internet (thank you, Pinterest!) for ideas and inspiration to help you knock the story out of the park each week.  Then you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of those who’ll hear.

One of the dilemmas of a large group leader or teacher is to effectively teach the Bible to children who are familiar with the Bible AND kids who’ve never heard the stories before.  How can you capture the attention of fresh ears while engaging kids who are familiar?

This was the inspiration behind my “Old Messages, New Truths”, my elementary column topic in the March/April 2016 issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine.  In the column, I share 5 tips on how to do this.  (You can find the tips on page 30.)

If you’re looking for even more ideas, check out my kidmin-themed Pinterest boards.  You’ll find hundreds and hundreds of ideas to spur your creativity.

What methods have you found to maneuver this challenge?  Share your ideas below!