Retro Post: How to tweak minute to win it games for kidmin

We started doing minute to win it games as a way to transition to different parts of our service and build excitement at the same time. We do three rounds of boys vs. girls whichever team wins gets 100 bonus point to our Uptown Store. The kids love it! It adds a great level of predictable unpredictableness.

Bobble head –

1) After the headband/pedometor is on the head, the device is set to zero in steps mode.
2) When the clock starts, , player may begin head and body motion without touching the pedometer to register “steps.”
3) If the pedometer/headband moves, the player may stop motion to prevent it from falling off, re-adjust the headband, then continue.
4) To complete the game, player must record 125 “steps” within the 60-second time limit.

Instead of kids banging their heads we have the put the pedometer on their pocket and jump up and down.

Loner –

1) Set up the pencil on it’s unsharpened end 15′ away from the foul line.
2) Player begins game lying down on their stomach behind the foul line.
3) When the clock starts, player may begin rolling marbles 1 at a time with 1 hand towards the pencil.
4) Player must release the marble behind the line. If a marble released across the line knocks over the pencil, the game is over.
5) To complete the game, player must knock down the pencil with a marble that’s released within the 60-second time limit.

Kidmin tweek – We use a marker and a pingpong ball not a marble and a pencil

Keep it up –

1) When the clock starts, player may release two feathers and begin to blow on them to keep them in the air.
2) If the feather touches any part of the player’s body, or touches the floor, the game is over. Incidental contact on the face is allowed.
3) To complete the game, player must use only his or her breath to keep both feathers from touching the ground for the 60-second time limit.

Kidmin tweek We use three balloons instead

Bite me –

1) Set up the game by cutting each grocery bag to a different height (10″, 8″, 6″, 4″, and 2″) on the floor, right side up.
2) When the clock starts, player may attempt to pick up the tallest bag and may only touch the floor with his or her feet.
3) If player touches the ground with some body part other than the feet while attempting to grab a bag, he or she must reset by standing up before making another attempt.
4) To complete the game, player must have all 5 bags concurrently on the table within the 60-second time limit.

Kidmin tweek – We make the heights of the bag higher than they do on Minute to win it.

Retro Post: Guerrilla Parenting: Tattling vs. Telling

Chris Spradlin over at wrote a great post about Tattling vs. Telling. I love his take in encouraging our kids not to tattle we need to also let them know when to tell.Read it here.

I have had a few parents ask abou the issue of tattling. I thought I would address it in my Guerrilla guide.

At the Luce house you are tattling if you are telling Mom and Dad about something that you haven’t tried to resolve first. In our quest to be fair and keep the peace with our kids we are not teaching our kids to be problem solvers. What we are teaching them to be are whiners.

What does this look like?

Boy #1 is repeating everything boy #2 is saying. Boy #2 is frustrated and he comes and tells mom and dad that Boy #1 won’t stop copying him. Dad says “Did you tell him to stop” Boy #2 “No” – That in our home is tattling.

Boy #1 is repeating everything boy #2 is saying. Boy #2 is frustrated and he comes and tells mom and dad that Boy #1 won’t stop copying him. Dad says “Did you tell him to stop” Boy #2 “Yes and he still won’t stop” – That in our home is telling. Totally permitted. Teaching kids to speak up does two things. It teachings the kid who is frustrated to learn how to create boundaries. It helps the kid who is being annoying that they need to respect others if they are going to achieve anything in life.

We need to give our kids the tools they will need in life and help them be problem solvers. Stepping in and solving conflict FOR your kids helps no one.

Retro Post: The Children’s Pastor score card

My friend and fellow blogger Kenny has been doing a great series about the getting a job in children’s ministry and sharing a bit of his journey. I interned as a youth pastor and thought I was hired to be a youth pastor but due to semantics and devine providence I became a children’s pastor through a  less than traditional path. I thought what might have helped me and may help you is a score card to know if your are called to kids ministry. It is pretty simple really the higher you score the more likely you are ment to work with kids. There are a few ministry score cards out there. The most famous being the Metrosexual Worship leader. I thought that children’s ministry deserved one.

The Children’s Pastor Scorecard.

You have bought your body weight in candy at wal-mart = +2 points

You can name more than two makers of glue sticks = +3 points

You find puppets disturbing = -2 points

Part of the interview process you ask if the church has a choir = +1 point

You can juggle = +1 point

You can juggle on a unicycle = +3 points

You wear a scarf with a tee-shirt = -3 points

You know what american apparel is = -1 point

You can recuit volunteers and do prison ministry at the same time = +2 points

You watch cartoons for fun = +1 point

You have a gotee = -2 points

You call church “big church” = +2 points

Two weeks before VBS people avoid you (no seriously they see you and walk on the other side of road) = +3 points

You know any lyrics from any Fergie song = -4 points

You know all the lyrics from the pirates who don’t do anything = + 4 points

You have ever wore a Bob the Tomato tee-shirt in public = +2 points

You use product = -3 points

You have no idea what “product” is = +3 points

You can turn any object around you into a lesson with a biblical basis = +5 points

You have ever seen an episode of the “Jersey Shore” = -3 points

You have ever used a video clip from “Jersey Shore” to set up your bible story = -6 points

You have ever said “Lets say the verse so loud they hear you in Big church” = +1 point

You print money with Jesus’ face on it and don’t think twice about it = +2 points

You want to put your fist through someones face when they say “They are just kids” = +4 points

You blame the youth group for anything that goes wrong at church = +2 points

You own a pair of designer jeans = -2 points

You own a pair of girl’s designer jeans = -10 points

You have more kids music than adult music on your iPod = +1 point

You have stayed at the church cleaning up after a Halloween alternative till 3:30am = +2 points

You think finnis and ferb are Greek gods = -2 points

When you hear the orange you think of fruit = -3 points

You can keep 140 kids entertained for and hour with a piece of felt, a picture of Jesus and a rock = +4 points

When talking to adults in “big church” you refer to them as boys and girls = +3 points

You have ever received a pie in the face = +1 point

You can turn any piece of cloth into an impromptu puppet = +2 points

You work full time at a secular job so that you can do what you are passionate about, teach the next generation that God loves them and has a plan for them = +50 points

You are just being the kids pastor to get experience so you can one day be a youth pastor  = -50 points

You can name all the characters on Yo Gabba Gabba = +3 points

You just said Yo whaty what? = -3 points

You have seen Phil Vischer at a conference and tell him who your favorite talking vegetable is and why = +4 points

You had no idea vegetables could talk = -4 points

You have built something using PVC pipes = +1 point

You dry heave at the sight or mention of “goldfish crackers” = +2 points

You have been known to wear fanny packs on mission trips. = +2 points

You have visited Disney world more than 5 times = +2 points

You tweet the hashtag #kidmin more than Perry Noble tweets about food =  +3 points

You eat coco crispies for breakfast = +1 point

You eat cold pizza for breakfast = -1 point

You have ever worn a pair of sunglasses indoors ever = -4 points

You think ultimate frisbee is awesome = -2 points

You think can remember the last 5 years worth of VBS themes from group but don’t know who won the superbowl = +10 points

You think let people volunteer based on their vibe and think background checks are over the top = -20 points

You have ever had to coax a kid out of the churches indoor playground using food = +3 points

You get an instant migrane when your phone rings before church = +1 point

You own a marshmallow gun, tee-shirt canon or fog machine = +3 points each

You can do at least three different voices on command = +3 points

Have ever dreamed of switching places with the speaker in “big church” and going 20 minutes longer because you had one last good story = +5 points

Can turn a snack into a craft and explain the resurrection of christ to a 2 year old  all in 10 minutes. = +3 points

When the guest speaker asks when he is suppose to finish and you yell something other than “right now” = -5 points

You have used the letter Z instead of the letter S in the past 2 years = +4 points

You thing it’s weird that youth pastors are so fixated on the letter X. = +4 points

If you have ever felt the pressure that your kids have to be perfect because you are a “kid professional” = +5 points

If you remember Kidology’s logo before it was a lightbulb = +1 point

If you don’t know what Kidology is because you think you might have skipped that class in school = -3 points

If you have ever told a bible story to a group of kids with a Starbucks in your hand = -2 points

If stuck on an deserted island even though you lack the skills to survive more than 3 days within 1 hour you have 2 crafts, 3 object lessons and 4 bible stories using just 1 coconut. = +5 points

If you have ever taken a job because the pastor hired you to work with “youth” and you thought he ment teens so you move 3,ooo miles to find out when he means teens he says “young people” = +100 points

Add up your score.

0-25 You are not a kids pastor you are a youth pastor who received this link from your kids pastor.

25-50 You are a summer intern who is working with kids because you think it will help you score points with the ladies. Well your cover is blown. You have two choices grow a gotee and work with “young people” or buy a pair of women’s designer jeans and a scarf and start leading worship.

50-100 You are starting to learn the ropes you still tell people that you are a youth pastor. You haven’t fully embarrassed the christian sub-sub culture that is children’s ministry. You have one foot in kids ministry and one in youth ministry. You could go either way.

100+ – You are a die hard veteran, you live and breath all things kidmin. When you cut you bleed marshmallow. You can name every character on ever veggie tales movie. You are crazy enough to  think that the future of the church is located in the basement of the church. That the future of the church depends on the church learning to equip, train, lead and inspire a generation of kids.

Retro Post: Why are kids pastors so lame?

I want to attempt to answer my own question, Why do most young people going into the ministry want to be youth pastors? But first a couple of your responses.

From He had lots of other great thoughts check out his whole post here.

Why most Children’s Pastors wanted to be youth pastors?
Because it’s when we’re teenagers or college students that we really start trying to live out our Christian walk; and the first ‘church’ relationship we ever had was with our Youth pastor. Therefore, making the youth pastor role the coolest one we’ve ever known! On a side note… it could also be that children’s ministry leaves a bad memory for many…

Sarah Thompson had the following to say on her blog.

Did I see that excitement and passion in Sunday School? Nope! Did I see it at Youth Group? Absolutely! Youth Group is where the action happened. It’s where I saw God turn up.

Reasons why do most young people want to be youth pastors and not children’s pastors

1. Teens are more social and youth groups have become more small group socially connected in and out of church.
2. Teens are thinking more about the future and what they want to be is by in large decided more in High School than elementary school.
3. More churches value youth ministry and more time and energy are put into that age demographic
4. College’s and Seminaries have many ministry tracts focused on Teen ministry and very few focusing on ministry to kids.
5. Most kids have a negative or neutral children’s church experience.
6. Youth pastors are just to cool. They are our youth pastor is no exception up on culture, fashion and are typically great communicators.
7. Teens think to be a youth pastor you have to be a retired female teacher or ex-christian school male principle.

What can we do solve this problem.

1. Start off by doing what we can do.
2. Focus on the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of relationships with others.
3. Have small group leaders that take ownership beyond sunday morning.
4. Make every sunday powerful, exciting, different, and FUN.
5. Push the value of kids in every forum God give you.
6. Recognize the gifts and callings God has given kids in your ministry and help the parents develop those gifts at home and in the context of church.
7. Take fashion and culture advise from your local youth pastor. Just kidding sort of.

I would like to add that for me one way I know I am doing my job is when kids that grew up in my ministry that thrive in the youth ministry. I rejoice because I know I had a small part in seeing that kid become whoever God has for them. I truly believe that youth and children’s ministry are inseparable.

Retro Post: Being an abnormal kidmin is ok.

Another list I found enlightening and somewhat professionally satisfying to know that as a children’s pastor I don’t have to fit the mold most people have in their minds of what a children’s pastor should or shouldn’t be.
The list is found in this blog post “an abnormal children’s pastor”. Over at Jonathan has a great blog he has great insight and speaks in a very candid why that I as a new yorker find very refreshing. Go check out his blog good stuff.

I am not sure what his inspiration for this post came from but it reminded me a very funny commercial about a guy explaining why he was proud to be a canadian.

So here’s me. My attempt to explain away my abnormalities.

I am a children’s pastor – never wanted to be one, would never want to NOT be one. I always wanted to be a youth pastor growing up, now would not be anything else. It is a dream come true. to work with kids and families. I LOVE IT.

I am a man – this may seem obvious but there are not tons of us. I found this out the hard way. At a Children’s Pastor conference I went to in the midwest all the men’s bathrooms were converted to women’s bathrooms (ouch) and there were still lines for the ladies room!

I hate flannel graphs – My rule is if you have electricity in your building, city, village. You shouldn’t be using them EVER!

I Love Punk Rock. I know it’s a long way from father Abraham. I like other music to, actually anything but rap or hardcore. I do love worship music as well and my favorite kids worship albums by far are anything hillsong kids.

I think Walt Disney was a genius. – Some people would consider it heresy. I am so amazed at his ability to tap into the child with in all of us and create experiences that are so amazing then when you have kids you want them to share the same experiences you had as a kid. There are definitely some things the church could learn from Walt.

I believe that youth ministry and children’s ministry should be and are inseparable.

I believe that kids ministry today is where youth ministry was in the 80′s – Speaking of which the 80′s was the best decade so far a deadly combination of Hair and spandex. I believe children’s ministry is beginning to move in the minds of the masses from child care to authentic ministry much like youth ministry did starting in the 80′s moving into 90′s.

I like dogs not cats. – Don’t like cats to moody, to freaky.

One day I would love to make a documentary. – it may not be christian or a cartoon and it definitely won’t have Kirk Cameron in it.

David letterman is way funnier than Jay Lenno – even though Jay Lenno is a much nicer guy. Who I met 13 years ago at an in-and-out burger joint in LA.

I think that church should engage each sense in a positive way at every age but especially kids. – Please note positive way and no moth balls are not a positive engagement of the senses.

I believe children’s ministry is the most important ministry in the church.

I read blogs not magazines. – I guess I would chalk it up to interactivity being able to interact with the author of the article something magazines don’t provide.

I have never worn and never plan on wearing a larry the cucumber tie or bob the tomato t-shirt. – actually my favorite clothing store is Guess.

I talk to people like people – one of my biggest pet peves is when I meet someone who can’t turn off they good morning boys and girls voice and they use it in private conversation and when talking to the whole church.

I don’t believe in announcement recruitment. –  I believe in relevant exciting programs, compelling vision, and the power of the “the ask”. Most leaders don’t use sign up sheets, most if not all of my top leaders came because of a personal invitation.

I think creating a fun, holy spirit, life-changing, Gospel Centered, everlasting environment is not about what you have, but who you are and most importantly who you know.