Great resource for Middle School Games

How to tweak them for Kidmin

Finding fun games for any age is never easy. Most of the time you get in a game rut and play the same ones over and over. We have a few favorites that we have either come up with ourselves or tweaked or straight up stolen from others. In looking to expand our game options for our Middle School ministry and for Children’s Ministry I stumbled upon a YouTube channel that is a goldmine.

One note for kidmin leaders out there the best ideas for games are not on kids ministry sites they are on youth ministry sites. The problem is they are often complex or physically demanding. This is an easy fix. You just change the rules. If the game says crab walk with a spoon in your mouth with a raw egg on the spoon for youth kids. To make it kid friendly do hard boiled eggs and have them walk with the spoon. Take the idea just change the rules.

One of the games on the above mentioned YouTube channel that is solid gold is called Puck of Destiny. It is amazing. Cudos to whoever thought it up, simple fun and cheap.

10 Things Back To The Future Got Right.

Happy Back To The Future Day!

One of the things about getting older is every day something happens that makes you feel older. Today it’s the reality that I was a teenager wondering about how amazing life would be like in 2015. I remember adding up and realizing that I would be 40 years old and thinking “That’s old.” The future is here and as Marty would say it’s heavy. It feels weird that we are living in the day that Marty only spent a short time exploring and trying not to mess up. So today being Back To The Future Day make sure you watch out for a silver Delorean materializing out of nowhere. One of the things they missed in 1985 was the massive popularity of infographics as well as the insane power of beard toting hipsters that being said here is a great infographic on 10 Things Back to The Future Got Right. Enjoy.
bttf-2015_930-e1445369767384

Via Glow New Media.

3 ideas to make church fun for kids.

fun

I am all for kids being grounded in the word. I regularly go over catechism questions with my kids because I want them to have a theological framework born out of a biblical world view. But I also believe church should be fun.  In kids and family ministry we generally fall into one of two categories biblically driven of fun fanatics. We have to continually fight to be what we are not. Fun is important because fun creates memories fun creates the containers that hold truth for a lifetime.

Here are a few things we are going to try to make things fun in Uptown.

Jim Wideman Google Easter Egg

Google Search

I have always found Easter Eggs in video games and movies fun. I stumbled upon an easter egg that had to have been put there by Jim Wideman. Searching google for the answer will do two things 1. You will be trusted by Jim Wideman – He trusts no one who hasn’t Googled at least once today 2. You will find out the answer to a question Jim asks often. “What is the loneliest number?”

The Jim Wideman Google Easter Egg – Google “What’s the loneliest number”

Here are a few others I thought were fun.

Tilt – Type in the world tilt in your google browser and see what happens.

Firefox logo in a wheat field. Type 45° 7’25.87″N 123° 6’48.97″W  in your google browser then switch to satellite view.

Find any actor or actress bacon number – 

Six Degrees Of Bacon is a popular game where people try to guess how actors are connected to Kevin Bacon through movies they’ve been in. Now Google is making it easy with a new “bacon number” search.

To get the “bacon number” of any actor, simply start your search with “bacon number” followed by the actor’s name. For example, “bacon number Jim Carrey”

No Chuck Norris? – Is it possible?

Google “zerg rush” to play a video game with your search results.

Gravity – Google “Gravity” and click on the first link.

Here’s one for Kenny Conley – Walking directions in google maps from “The Shire to Mordor”

Google space. The Google meets Angry Birds.

Google sphere. Pretty straight forward.

Epic Google. Think Google is getting to big for its own good? You may enjoy this one.

 

Why we wrote our own Easter Curriculum?

(This is a Repost of a blogpost I did last year I am going to re-do the whole seises as people in #kidmin are starting to plan for Easter. Hope this helps!)
I want to start this post by saying I do not know everthing there is about curriculum production, and I in no way am thinking of one curriculum company as I write this post. My goal in this post is to hopefully create a diolog, or even to get us as children’s pastors to ask hard questions of ourselves and of the curriculum we give our teams to teach our kids each week. I personally believe that there is some problems that are systemic in the children’s ministry curriculum arena. I have been a kids pastor full time for nearly 14 years and have used every curriculum under the sun. Here are some of the problems that lead to a few of my fellow kids pastors and I writing our own curriculum for Easter.
1. Kids curriculum typically falls in two camps. Fun or Biblically accurate  – rarely does a curriculum do both well. – This to me is very said because it says that the things we are using to teach our kids this precious hour we are given each week are not engaging nor are they transformational. The end result is a watered down weak, uninspiring introduction to the most engaging transformational person in human history.
2. Too safe – I sadly get the feeling that most curriculum is made way to safe so it appeals to every type of church in America. – The problem I have with this is not that people are trying to make money selling curriculum it’s that they are leaving out some really important stuff to broaden their appeal. For example there is rarely a mention of the Holy Spirit in any kids curriculum  out there. I know there are some abuses in peoples Theology when it comes to the Holy Spirit but he is the third person of the God head. There are definitely some things we can teach kids about the Holy Spirit without delving into strangeness. Other topics I think need to be addressed more to our kids and they arn’t, Jesus in the Old Testament, What is the Gospel, Communion, Baptism are a just a few. My opinion is that if the things you are writing or teaching don’t offend anyone they probably are not Biblically accurate. Jesus offended others with the truth all the time.
3. Scalability – it seems that most people who write curriculum are not from a local church and even though people on staff used to be kids pastors time makes you forget.  There is something about understanding what actives would work best in a class setting in a small church and a large church. Great super creative activities play out differently in a brainstorming session than they do in a room full of 2 year olds.
4. Lack of a Pastor Perspective. –  I am not a professional educator. I have crazy amounts of respect for people who are and routinely ask for their wisdom I would be crazy not to. There is however something to be said for the perspective of someone whose gift is the pastoring of people. This is one of the main reasons people write their own curriculum, and quite honestly the vary people who recognize this problem are typically not the most gifted at writing curriculum. There needs to be better dialog between pastors and writers they need each others perspective to be better at what they individually do best.
5. Lack of Christ centeredness – I think most curriculum tries to be everything to everyone the end result is the gospel message is not clearly communicated. As much as curriculums out there talk about Jesus I am not sure if they communicate the message of Christ clearly enough. If kids know all about the bible but don’t understand the Gospel we have lost a huge opportunity.
6. Moralism – In our quest to teach kids concreate ideas about faith with application,we have to be very careful not to make point of the story about Jesus and not about us. I don’t want my kids to be kind. I want my kids to understand that because of what Christ did for me I am empowered to love beyond my capacity. I want every kid who leaves uptown to understand The Gospel because in my opinion we are seeing kids leave the faith because they never understand what the gospel is. The gospel is compelling. The last thing any of us want to produce is “good kids” because good kids don’t make a difference in this world Christ centered Gospel empowered kids do.

In closing I just want to say that I in no way mean to offend anyone but if you are offended my beef is not with you per se. My goal is to create a dialog for us to ask hard questions so our kids can benefit and Christ can be magnified. I am not selling anything or pushing a particular product. Lastly don’t just complain do something about it be part of a the solution not just apart of the problem. What I am suggesting is whatever you use make it better and push the people who make what you use to make it better because it’s not about you and me it’s about the kids who listen every week to the greatest story ever.