Category Archives: Children’s Ministry

Shouldn’t Church Be Fun?

Growing up, I loved going to McDonald’s. I loved the play area, the Happy Meals and the Happy Meal toy. In other words, I wanted the “Mickey D’s” experience because I knew it would be fun, I would get fed and I would leave with something. Shouldn’t the church be the same way?

Jelani Lewis on

via Children’s Ministry Magazine July/August 2011 pg. 22


Kids and the Gospel (video)

I’m a children’s pastor, so I’m supposed to emphasize the value and importance of children in God’s kingdom. But I’m in good company. Jesus did as well (actually, I did as well, Jesus was first!).

via Ministry-To-Children
source YouTube

Need Help Starting a Conversation With Kids?

For some of us, it has been a long time since we were a kid. And in the words of an epistle writer, most adults have put their childish ways behind them. So how do you converse with children (especially today’s children!)? What do you say? What questions do you ask?

This is a great resource for starting a conversation with a kid: 100 Questions to Start Conversations

HT Ministry-To-Children

Are We Doing the Right Things? (video)

Wow… convicting. I was talking with a friend the other day about the evolution of my thinking as a pastor. More and more I’m asking myself the question: “Is what I spend the majority of my time doing, what I should really be doing?” I spend a lot of my time planning events, curating and studying content and resources for teaching venues, archiving and linking video, curriculum and graphics, and other “computer” stuff. It seems to me that the organizational beast needs to be uniquely fed to continue to work. Most of the articles and thinking out there is on how to feed the beast, rather than asking: “Should we be feeding the beast?” Or “are we feeding the right beast?”

Another question: “Is what we are doing in children and youth ministry helping to disciple kids and teens?”


via Ministry-To-Children
source YouTube

Passing on the Faith to the Rising Generation is Worth It! (video)

This video speaks for itself. But if I can say at least this: the time spent investing in the life (spiritually, emotionally, and playfully) of a child or teenager is time well spent.

via Kidmin1124
source YouTube

Memories | Kids Camp 2011 (video)

Jessie is a high school student who has helped out for years @ Kids Camp in the Crafts arena. She took some great pictures over the week of Kids Camp 2011 that we used to show the campers on the last morning of camp.

via YouTube

Thursday @ Kids Camp 2011 (video)

In light of “rainy” Wednesday, Thursday @ Kids Camp 2011 was incredible. It turned out to be a cool day so we didn’t do Water Wars in the morning like we had planned, but we ended up in the rec field and Mr. Dixon led the campers in Pom-Pom Pull-Away, Mob Tag, and a couple of Noodle Races. We still pulled out the Slip -n- Slide for those die-hard swimming fans!

Thursday evening we did the Dodgeball Tournament and Campfire w/ Smores (always a hit)! John cabin dominated the boys and Eve cabin won the girls, and John cabin won the showdown between the girls and the boys! Then John cabin went on to beat the staff (with a little help from me turning things in their favor… JAILBREAK!).

via YouTube

Talent Show @ Kids Camp 2011 (videos)

Normally we do the Kids Camp Talent Show on Thursday night, but due to the rain we moved it up to Wednesday night. The students always seem to pull out funny and off the wall acts and performances. We were able to catch most of them on video. Enjoy!

Pig Sweaking
Laik R. performs his lifelong dream!

Keys to the Kingdom DANCE
Brady C. wows the crowd with an impressive dance number!

I’m a Little Tea Pot RAP
Suzanne F. and Laik R. bring a new twist on an old song.

Plastic Cup Ping Pong
Cody and Zak play a round of invisible ping pong on stage!

You Are My All in All
Lindsay and her cabin sing a song on the guitar and do some motions.

Oboe Solo

Leg Flexibility Tricks
Gabe K. shares a very “flexible” talent!

The Invisible Bench Skit
An invisible bench makes an “appearance”!

Dropped Skit
I don’t know the name of the skit, but a girl gets “dropped” in it!

Awesome God
Lindsay plays the guitar and some campers sing and share some motions to “Awesome God”.

Wednesday @ Kids Camp 2011 (video)

Wednesday @ Kids Camp 2011 turned out to be rainy, yet fun. I guess it’s required “surprise” programming for any camping experience!

via YouTube

Tuesday @ Kids Camp 2011 (videos)

The second day @ Kids Camp 2011 tends to run pretty smoothly. Campers are settling in to the routine, they’ve got some exploring still to do, games are fun and exciting, swimming is awesome, etc. It helped that the weather was incredible! I got a sunburn on the top of my head (which isn’t unheard of!). It was a great day!

via YouTube (1), YouTube (2)

Monday @ Kids Camp 2011 (video)

This is the recap video for the first day of Kids Camp 2011. It’s been an interestingly good week so far. Good because we have 78 campers who are excited to be here along with a capable staff of 35-40 (I forget the exact number). Good because my friend Suzanne Fisher is speaking/teaching us this week using the Jump Curriculum from Orange. Interesting because we’ve already lost a couple of campers due to homesickness. Interesting because gained two more campers on Tuesday. Interesting because the weather in Northern Wisconsin has been questionable over the last couple of months, but it seems like this week of camp has turned out to be gorgeous!

via YouTube

Permission, Waivers and Release Forms (video)

Oh how I love having parents sign Permission and Release Forms! I wonder if some parents think that I relish the opportunity to get them to re-fill their information (child name, date of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, medical info, emergency contact, and on and on) many times!

Now I am NOT a lawyer, so please do not take what I do as the truth or defensible law. Nor is the Church Law Group your lawyer, so make sure you do your own important homework with these things.

I appreciated the advice and recommendations put forth in the video and in practice have used this same advice and warnings in our ministry setting with children and youth. We regularly and with prudent diligence obtain written permission from parents to transport and care for children and youth offsite. It is not always fun (and I know because we do a lot of offsite activities!), but it is extremely necessary. I’ve actually had to use the forms on a couple of occasions to bring children to the hospital, and they worked.

These are always tricky things to navigate and I wish there were clear-cut solutions, but when dealing with the courts and the legal system, things are far from clear-cut. What I’ve learned is that you do your best and try to safeguard the best you can and then go from there should the need arise.

HT Relevant Children’s Ministry
via YouTube

OREO Bible Quiz

At the end of the school year, we have what we call the “OREO Bible Quiz” in Main Street. It’s a blend of an end-of-the-year party along with assessing what the students learned as we navigated through the stories of the Bible the past year. And we leverage the ever-popular OREO cookie to accomplish this.

This year there were 50 questions in the quiz on the stories we covered in Main Street – Year 2. We divided them into two teams. We would ask a question, then whoever stood up first on one of the teams got to try and answer the question. If they get it right, that person comes up front and grabs one OREO cookie out of the box and places it on a table or chair. If the person gets it wrong, then it goes to the other team, and back and forth until one team gets it right. When a team places 5 OREO cookies on their respective table or chair up front, then the whole team gets to come up and grab 1 OREO cookie to eat (we also had milk in the back of the room if anyone wanted to compliment their OREO eating experience the right way!). When a team places the next 5 cookies (which would total 10), then the team gets to grab 2 cookies. All in all, the students ate roughly 5-6 OREO cookies that morning. Not too much!

If my memory serves me well (and sometimes it doesn’t!), we have done this tradition for the last 5 years. The students really like it and the tradition has grown to become a highly anticipated event at the end of the year.

Tweeting @ Kids Camp 2011

Okay, so I’m gonna try and experiment. The Twitter.

I don’t use Twitter very much because the people in our area (and the teenagers) do not tend to use it. I do have a Twitter account (@jdmavis), but it is mostly filled with my blog posts that some people find helpful to receive through the Twitter feed.

This summer, however, I plan to use the Twitter for Kids Camp 2011. In an effort to connect with parents back home who might want to read and hear (and possibly) see what their kids are up to, I plan to post and update thoughts and happenings @ Kids Camp.

So if you want to “follow” me on the Twitter and get updates throughout the week from Kids Camp 2011, click on @jdmavis (I’ve already started!).

Followers | The EDGE Waterpark Adventure (video)

The Followers students venture up to The EDGE Waterpark in Duluth, MN on Sunday, May 22, 2011. We spent the entire afternoon and evening @ the waterpark which included the bus ride there and back. Good times!