WNMD Kids Ministry Blog

Blog for the Wisconsin/ Northern Michigan Ministries Network Children's Ministries

Drive 'em safely - Two Tools Tuesday

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Spencer Lake Kids Camp is next week, and I'm thinking and praying about our campers getting to camp safely.  
 
Safety is important.  Campers get to camp anyway they can.  They come in cars, buses, vans, trucks, even on motorcycles.  It's such a joy to see them get to camp.  The saddest sight is seeing the bus leave on Friday.  I watch them go down the road and can't wait to see them get back next year.   
 
As I see the buses, cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles drive away I always say a little prayer.  "God get 'em home safely to their families.  Let them be a blessing in their hometowns."  
 
There are two resources that I want to make you aware of that may be helpful as you get kids safely to camp.   They are videos that I found to be helpful as well.  Church Mutual Insurance produced these.  You might recognize a few sites throughout Wisconsin as you watch the videos.

The Road To Safer Transportation

This video should be something that you require your drivers to watch

 

Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection

 

These are useful tools to review and make sure that your drivers are keeping your kids safe.

We all want to see kids have a great time at camp. It starts by getting them here safely.

 

 

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Two Tool Tuesday _ 7_17_18

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Two Tool Tuesday.- Two Websites for Kids Ministry

KIDZTURN LABS

kidzturn labes

Just for those of you who have loved using the programs from Kidzturn labs, I just found out that the programs are no longer being developed but the old programs are being given away for free.  You need to use a windows machine, but if you have one that you can dedicate to these games there are some great games for review.  They are fun and keep working.  Download them now while the site is still available.  

Here are the files that they are making available.

Kidzturn Labs Games
Support for these games is no longer available.

Feel free to download them and use the following Registration Codes to unlock them.

BRAIN BLOX

Reg Code: 1B2D65AF6B

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oleightur31pjgu/BrainBlox_install.exe?dl=0

LOCK OUT

Reg Code: 06C35B7B49

https://www.dropbox.com/s/019q3uzke3kkols/LockOut_install.exe?dl=0

PHRAZE CRAZE

Reg Code: F4DD765C12

https://www.dropbox.com/s/drj7lm063j1aopo/PhrazeCraze_install.exe?dl=0

SCORE BOX 2

Reg Code: BF5EC00B7A

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jalc1yy5hbjfvi7/ScoreBox2_install.exe?dl=0

SCORE BOX

Reg Code: 51122CC3BB

https://www.dropbox.com/s/766pyeus8s639zj/ScoreBox_install.exe?dl=0

STOPWATCH

Reg Code: 19D9484A28

https://www.dropbox.com/s/z6kqd462bgd9lph/Stopwatch_install.exe?dl=0

TIMEBOX

Reg Code: E3F11C8581

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ia2yy4mvmqgqm1e/TimeBox_install.exe?dl=0

TIC TAC TOE 2

Reg Code: 7B75A75550

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wwcqdasnya7klno/TTT2_install.exe?dl=0

ULTIMATE BRAIN DRAIN

Reg Code: C5661187CA

https://www.dropbox.com/s/racol2f6me1w3ow/UltimateBrainDrain_install.exe?dl=0

WORD DROP

Reg Code: 461237B9DB

https://www.dropbox.com/s/scirfbphlqxx9fz/WordDrop_install.exe?dl=0

 

three heart

Kidology

 

kidoloty

 

Kidology is another granddaddy of Kidmin.  Karl Bastian has been a forerunner in kids ministry for years.  It is a membership site but the materials are fantastic.  For years I have been a member and have used resources off and on for the past 20 years.  When I was in Chicago Karl was part of a cohort I was a part of with David C. Cook.  Karl was always the innovator and life of the party.   He showed up with a new gadget or idea nearly every meeting.  

If you are looking for ideas, Karl is an idea machine.  

Karl's book the 4 pillars of Kids ministry is a synopsis of Karl's lifetime invested in children's ministry.  If you haven't read it now is the time.  Check out all the resources at:

Kidology.org

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Two Tools Tuesday 1_16_18

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The cellphone is such a game changer in so many ways.  I remember many years ago my senior pastor said he thought the cellphone would have an even bigger influence even when compared to the personal computer.  Now I know a cell phone is basically a computer, but what he was saying was how it would be used.  The cellphone is everywhere.  In 2014 we officially had more cellphones than people.  We haven't looked back.  There are lots of reasons to be concerned, but this is not the intent of this post.  Instead, I will focus on two apps that can make the cell phone something better for those who serve in kidsmin.

 

superbook

1.  Superbook Radio

Superbook radio is produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network and is designed for kids.  It is available for download on the Apple Appstore the Google Play Store.   It can also be found online as well.  They have great family, kid-friendly music and between all the songs there are scripture verses and great spiritual encouragement.  This is not kiddy radio.  This is contemporary and features great artists.  Looking at the recently played list you will find, Rend Collective, Switchfoot, Britt Nicole, Crowder, Skillet, etc.  You can leave comments and even suggest a song.    The radio app is just a part of a larger website called superbook.tv.   From there you can play games, learn how to know God, participate in contests, watch videos, read the Bible, watch Super Book Episodes.  It's very nice.  

In focusing on the phone app, Superbook Radio is also part of a larger network of radio pages run by CBN.  I have a few favorites, for example, I really like the CBN News channel and the Cross Country channel where Country meets the Cross.  But in focusing on Kids, Superbook Radio is awesome.  This is fun upbeat music that encourages kids to follow Christ.      I'm listening more and more to Superbook Radio as I work at my desk in the office.  It is just plain encouraging music.  

 

I give the app 4 hearts.  

4hearts

SBapp 454x307

2.  Superbook Kids Bible App

I thought I would keep on the Superbook train.   I really like their Superbook Kids Bible App as well.   It is available in a number of languages and can be used on your Apple, Android, or Amazon devices.  

There is a lot to like about the app.  There is a full-text Bible available.  That is huge.  So many times kids Bible apps only give Bible stories and not a full-text Bible.  This one is different.  I appreciate that.  It's nice to be able to read a full-text Bible.  It also says to kids that the Bible is more than a storybook.  It has instruction and teaching that isn't necessarily a story.   

In the app there are Bible questions and answers, there are games, videos, and you can watch Superbook episodes.  Superbook is a great way to listen and watch the great stories of the Bible. The animation is beautiful.  This is not the Speed Racer animation from back in the 80's.  No this is modern animation and great storytelling.  What is really cool is that they can be downloaded to your device so you can watch them off-line.   Not all episodes are on the app, but enough to know you might want to get their other episodes.   There are also daily quests. These make kids want to come back for more.  I really like what they have done with this app.  If you don't have a favorite kids Bible app, this one is worth checking out.  

Here is a link for more information: http://us-en.superbook.cbn.com/app

 

I give this app 4 hearts.  

4hearts

 

There are so many great apps for your smartphone.  I'm sure in the future I will be giving more time to these.  For now, these from CBN are a great start.

 

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Two Tools Tuesday 1_10_18

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In starting the new year I had a couple of thoughts about starting the year right.  Of course, prayer is one way to start the year right.  In church, we have started with a week of prayer.  It is a great emphasis.  I know many of these saints who are part of this concerted prayer effort don't just pray during this one week.  They are ready to pray every week.

Although this is not a tool, we should be utilizing and mobilizing the efforts of these prayer warriors.  

So here are the tools or ideas for today.

 

kidminprayerteam

1.  Kidmin Prayer Team

 

There are men and women in our churches who maybe can't help in kidmin on Sundays, but they are willing to help throughout the year by praying for your kids and ministry.   Maybe they are older and don't have the energy needed for preschoolers, but they can pray.  We all need prayer covering and support.  When people pray for your ministry they hear from God.  They get a heart of compassion for the kids.  They become advocates for what God is doing in the kids ministry.   

Every time there is an event, mobilize the prayer team with information about the upcoming event.  They will pray.  When I bought one of my vehicles a few years ago I opened the gas tank cover and inside the cover was a round sticker.  It just said every time you are filling your car with fuel, take a moment and pray for the organization that sponsored the sticker.  What a great idea.  You could give all of your prayer team one of these stickers and encourage them to place them inside their gas tank cover.  

This leads me to the second tool for Two Tools Tuesday

 

club52

 

2.  Club 52

 

Club 52 is an idea I have implemented at a couple of churches.   This is a club for people who want to be advocates for the kids ministry.   These are men and women who again may not be regular parts of the kids ministry and yet they may be.  They agree that for 52 weeks they will pray for the kids ministry and they will partner with the kids ministry by supporting the ministry.   How do they do that?  Of course through prayer, but then they can also participate by agreeing to give $1 dollar a week for the year.   In the end, they will give $52.  Most people just make out a check once.  With those funds I let them know that we will use them for outreach to kids in your community and help kids get to events like Kids Blast and Kids Camp.  When people know they are helping with those events, they are often very happy to help out.  Then about once a quarter I would send them out a newsletter letting them know about our needs in the kids ministry so they can pray.    The commitment is for one year.   After the year you can start again.   I think it helps to do it starting in January.   Especially during the week of prayer.  

And this being Wisconsin and we are surrounded by Clay Mattews jerseys, it would help to promote your Club 52 by wearing that around when you ask people to join the club.  

One thing you will want make certain of however is that your senior pastor is on board.  I don't see this being an issue, but others might want to use this idea for their ministry and it could become an issue.  So tack and partnership may be a good idea.   

 

I can't think of anything so important as bathing your ministry in prayer.   Get people involved.   Let them share the blessing.  I know their hearts will be changed and I know it will make a difference in your ministry.  People will be seeking God on your ministries behalf.  When their heart is in it they will be proactive to see you effectively reach the kids of your community.   

 

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Two Tools Tuesday 12_26_17

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It's getting close to the new year and it is that time when New Year's resolutions become a part of everyone's thoughts.  In the next couple of Two Tools Tuesday's I will be focusing on tools for the new year.  One of the resolutions I make every year is to read the Bible through the year.  I also like to explore new devotional guides for the year.   For this Two Tools Tuesday, I am going to focus on two Bible apps.  Both are by the same organization but serve two different clientele.  

 

youversion

The Bible App

The first tool is the YouVersion Bible App.  It can be downloaded for your phone, for your tablet or your computer.  I use the app every week and love it.  You can take God's Word with you where ever you take your devices. It is a free app and it is free from ads.   It has been installed on nearly 300 million devices.  That is a lot of devices.   I install it on nearly every device I have.   As a leader for kids, you can't teach from what you don't know and what you don't experience yourself.   God's Word needs to be the source of which we understand God and communicate His love to others.    

Here are a few things I really like about the app:

1.  Bible Versions - Pick your favorite version of the bible and download it to your device.  Regardless of whether you have internet or not,

you can read God's word on your favorite device in the version you prefer.

2.  Devotionals/ reading plans - There are hundreds of devotionals and or reading plans to choose from.  You can read the bible in a year, you can choose a devotional for a season in your life.  You can have multiple reading plans that fit where you are.   

3.  Verse of the day -  I can't tell you how often the verse of the day was just what I needed for the day.  It has been powerful and helpful.

4.  Share Verses.  You can highlight verses, take notes on verses and copy verses to take notes while you are listening to a sermon.  Keeping up with your pastor is easy.  I like to use Evernote to take notes and go to the Bible app to copy the verse references made by the pastor.   I have created a workflow that is fast and later in the week I can review the pastor's notes from the sermon.  It makes taking notes in service easy.  

5.  Events - One feature that I find to be under-utilized is the church events tab.  Pastors can put their sermon notes in the events section with key points, Bible references, an outline.   It is a nice feature, but I don't see many people using it.

One thing that is nice but I'm not so sure whether I like it or not is the bible book function to look up verses.  It is all alphabetical on my phone.  It is not separated by Old and New Testament.   It sure makes it easy, but I don't know if it helps when you open a paper bible.  

I give the Youversion Bible App 4.5 stars.

fourhalfhearts

 

bibleappforkids

The Bible App For Kids

 

The final app for this Two Tools Tuesday is the Bible App for kids.  

 

Again it is available for phones and tablets.  It is created by the same group that produced the Bible App, Life Church.  One Hope has also contributed to making this app available all over the world.   It is a kids bible that is animated and is told in Bible stories.  As you finish a story there is an award for your accomplishments.   You download each story and it can be read to you and you can complete an activity with your children.  You can choose which stories you want to read with your children.  

I also like the fact that they have questions that check for understanding.  That is a nice tool and helpful in working with your kids.  

It is a bible story app.  It contains stories.  As such it is for younger children and not for older kids.   The graphics are great and the stories aren't too long.  However, it is not a verse by verse bible.  It is a collection of Bible Stories with activities.   For younger children it is great.  

You can download the app in the apple store, or the Android Store, or on Amazon.  

I would give the app 3.5 hearts

threehalfhearts

 

 

 

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TWO TOOLS TUESDAY 12_19_17

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This week in TWO TOOLS TUESDAY I want to focus on two productivity tools that I am currently utilizing and find helpful in specific situations.

 

PRODUCTIVITY

doodle

The first tool I want to mention is Doodle.com.  Doodle makes scheduling meetings a snap.  Instead of going back and forth with emails with everyone telling you what days they can't meet, doodle lets you poll your participants and find out what day works best for everyone.  You can see in real time what the best day/time is for your meeting.  It really works well and is quick to set up

Screen Shot 2017 12 19 at 12.40.25 PM

 

I've used it to find out peoples preferences for outings during our Kidmin retreat.  You can be creative.  You can make a quick poll for most anything you want.  There are other tools out there and I am also partial to Survey Monkey.  But this is great.  It is quick and it looks great.  In Kidmin it is a great way to set up meetings with your leaders.  Your leaders don't need an account and it will integrate with most calendars that are out there.  I use it and I like it.  There is an app for android and IOS.  It is slick and quick.

If anything I wish it had more bells and whistles.  But for the graphical feedback it is good.  

Check it out at http://www.doodle.com

I give doodle.com 3 hearts out of five.

three heart


survey monkey 520x200

The next tool that I use when I'm not using doodle to poll people is Survey Monkey.  They have sooo many tools to make a great survey.  Founded in 1999 they have been around a while and they claim to be the largest free survey tool on the internet.  I don't know that for sure.  But I do know they offer a pretty good free plan.

For free you can send out professional surveys, get great looking results and data and share the results easy enough.  For free you can send out an unlimited number of surveys to 100 people or less.  That is pretty good and for many kidmin purposes that is all you need.   

With the free plan, you can set up surveys with 10 questions or less.  That again is a great number.  Who likes to sit and fill out really long surveys?   With the paid plans, of course, there are more bells and whistles and in total transparency, I've never found the need to have a paid account.   

There are mobile apps for Android and IOS and this is a great way to track your results or even set up an on the fly survey.   

And unlike doodle, there are over 13 question types and over 40 short survey templates come with the free account.  You can insert video and image questions, you can create rating questions, you can create quizzes, matrix questions, you can randomize questions.  It is a robust tool.  

So in the spirit of Two Tool Tuesday, I've created a two-question survey on Survey Monkey.  (actually, it's three questions) You can take the survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T6875QZ

Survey Monkey is great.  I give it 4.5 hearts.

fourhalfhearts

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Two Tools Tuesday - 11_28_17

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It's another Two Tools Tuesday and I have been thinking about this next tool all through the Thanksgiving Holiday.  

1.  KIDMIN VIDEO OPTIONS

rightnow

The first item I want to mention is RIGHTNOW MEDIA.  This is a great option for offering to your leaders and parents great kidmin videos.   This is a virtual video library for the entire church to utilize in discipleship.  There are great book studies available.  Nearly every popular Christian teaching book has a companion video in the library.  It is a gift that you can give to your families and leaders.  It is a great way to have a leaders bookstudy.  Give everyone a book and then have them watch the videos at home or at the church.  Leaders can watch the lessons online, on a smart tv on their phone, on a Roku device.  It is widely accessible.  

Then there is the Kidmin portion.  Nearly every Christian kid's series is available.  The boys in my Royal Rangers class get to watch about once a quarter an animated Bibleman video.  It is only about 12 minutes long and they love it. 

The material is customizable for your church and I think it is a great option.

For a monthly fee everyone in your church gets free access to the video library.  Watch this video for a quick explanation.

Check out all the options at:

https://www.rightnowmedia.org/home

 

2.  LEGAL THOUGHTS ON VIDEO

I travel to a number of kids churches throughout our network and see so much creativity.  Sometimes some of the great creative material I see is the use of pop culture video clips.  These are clips for TV and movies that kids are already talking about.  Many of these clips are downloaded from Youtube and shown in the church.  One thing I would urge caution about is using video clips and/or whole videos without a presentation license for the church.  Maybe you have a movie night at the church.  You should have a video license.  With a Church Video License, you can legally show videos in your church.  The resource that we utilize is CVLI.  

They have two packages.  One is the Producer Package that covers over 1,000 studios and producers.  They also have a cheaper package that covers only Christian studios and producers.  With your license, they have something called ScreenVue.   They give you over 7,000 video clips that are packed with ideas and cover themes that save you time looking for that perfect illustration.  They package it all.  You start with your theme and use their search engine and you can download a clip right from their site.  The great thing is the clip is licensed and you don't have to worry about wondering about your legality.  It is really nice.  

Check it out at:http://us.cvli.com/

 

 

 

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TWO TOOLS TUESDAY - 11-21-17

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Periodically on Tuesday, I will be posting two tools that I use.  These may be personal productivity tools.  They may be tools I use in Kidmin.  They may be tools I use in other ministries.  It may just be a plain old tool I find cool and useful.   

Personal Productivity Tool


Evernote

EVERNOTE

Just about every week I use Evernote.  I have tried so many different note-taking apps and Evernote is my go-to.   It is cross-platform and can be used on my desktop, my phone, tablet.  Just about anywhere!  So what can you do with Evernote?

  • Evernote is designed as a digital safe deposit box.   It contains notebooks, and topics and you fill those notebooks with notes.  
  • You can write notes
  • Search all your notes for a key phrase.  Boy, that is always helpful.  You can also have tags that you can use to sort like-minded notes.  
  • You can create checkbox todo lists,
  • you can use a chrome extension and save helpful articles from the web
  • The ability to attach files to notes as well as picture

 

It is so good and it is free.  There is a paid version but the free one is probably more than most need.   

 

So what would be a few good uses in Kids Ministry?

1.  Quotes - find a quote and write it down.  Find it later in your digital brain.  If you are at a conference take you notes at that conference give them a tag.  Tags are awesome.  You can group all your quotes into certain tags.  

2. Volunteer Gifts Ideas -- See an item while you are out shopping or online.  Download it to Evernote.  Save it for later.

3.  Articles - Find a super great article on nursery care.  Put it in Evernote.  Give it a "nursery" tag and you can find it later.  Maybe you want to share it with your nursery coordinator.  You can do all that in Evernote.  Maybe you can't read the article right now but need to later.  Save it to Evernote.  I did this just recently.  I'm glad I did.  I had children's pastor call me and ask about the very subject I just stuck in Evernote.  I was able to share the article and recall where it was because Evernote had it waiting for me.  

4.  Remember where you parked -- Are you out at the MegaMall and can't remember where you parked?   Take a picture of it in Evernote and there it is.

5.  Business Card Reader -- Take a picture of the business cards you get at a conference.  The OCR reader in Evernote will read the text of the cards meaning you can search for that person later.  You can give them a tag and then they are cross-referenced to the conference.

6. Kidmin Shopping List -- Do you have shopping to do for next Sunday?  Put it into Evernote give each item a checklist and off you go.   I know I often write things on a scrap of paper and lose the paper. 

7.  Meeting Notes.-- In staff meeting and taking notes?  Evernote is a great note-taking app.  So you get tired of writing?  I do as well.  Take a picture of whatever is on the screen and put it into your notes.  Evernote is great for this.  It's cross-platform so when I go to my desktop all of my notes are there as well.   That is awesome. 

8.  Tax Exempt Form --You are out at the MegaMall and need to make a purchase for your kids ministry.  But you left your tax exempt number and form at the office.  Take a picture of it in Evernote.  I've used it many times this way and it has saved me a few times.  Maybe it is the combination of the closet you hardly ever open.   It remembers.

9. Voice Memos-  Out for a walk and need to make a note.  Make it a voice memo.  

10.  Prayer Journal - Kids give you prayer needs?  Write them in Evernote.  Keep a running log.  Mark when they are answered.  

 

Those are just 10 ways to use Evernote.  Send me a note telling me how you use Evernote.   I think it is awesome and I use it every day.  You can take a look at Evernote at the link provided. https://evernote.com/

 

Tool Box Tool Number 2

Story Telling

story

I am so enthralled by good storytellers.   If there is one tool that I want to continue to work on it is storytelling.   I think it is one of the good keys to being a great kidmin communicator.   Sometimes I will be visiting a church and they will want me to come into the kids church and "do something"  I may not have brought anything with me.  There is where a good story comes in handy.   Just this past Sunday I was in a church for some consulting and they asked me to "do" something in the kids church.  So I was able to do a story in about 5 minutes.  With the story, I did a little paper tear as well.  It went well and they were pleased with the story and it led to an opportunity to pray for the boys and girls.   

As I write the Two Tools Tuesday articles one thing I will be searching for is good storytelling resources.  Today I want to highlight 2.

 

1.  Evernote. -- Evernote is a great place to store your stories.  You can give each story multiple tags and when you need to have a good story it is right there to refresh your memory.  

2.   Tim Sheppard.  Tim is a storyteller from England and he has a website that deals with storytelling.  The helpful link on this site is the storytelling FAQ.  There are a ton of storytelling resources there.  Check out his FAQ at:http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/faq.html  The other page that he has that is very helpful is this resource page for storytelling: http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/

 

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