No matter how organised or prepared your kidmin programs may be, there may come a time when you need to occupy a child or some children for a short period of time. Check out some of these games, quiz or activity apps. Be prepared- download a couple now so you're ready for any need. They would also be great for a fun segment for families to included in their family devotion time. Click on the links or images for more information about each app. Children's Bible Game
s: 5 exciting games- puzzles, seek & find, Bible stickers, colouring, memory. Dot to Dot Bible Stories:
Complete the dot-to-dot puzzle and the picture comes to life with animations and sounds. Pictures can also be coloured. Bible Word Scramble
: Use your knowledge of the Bible to solve hundreds of word puzzles. Bible Stories Hidden Objects
: 10 puzzles.. new one opens on completion of previous game. Christian Bible Heroes
: 5 different games, animated animal reward stickers Bible Colouring Book
: includes 12 stories to colour and more books available to download. Bible Pairs
: Find the matching pair. Some are simple, others require greater Bible knowledge. Bible Quest- Just for Fun
: Unusual or funny questions from the Bible.. just for fun. (If you cannot see the gallery of app images, click HERE to view the post in your browser.)
We are obsessed with time. It's been said that time is what we want most but use worst.
Time, or a lack of it, is the topic of everyone's conversation and every family complains of a frenetic family calendar and schedule.
In children's ministry, there is a huge pressure to produce and use time wisely. After all, there is always the next lesson to prepare, event to organise, family to contact and meeting to attend.
But there are a number of helpful programs and apps that can simplify your life and organise your time. Check out the following list. What programs do you find helpful?
For more ideas, check out this article
to structure in a productive day.
ASTRID.. a great little program and app that I use to list my tasks. I can also use it to change my emails into tasks and appointments. (Any.do is also good.)
CATCH.. a free app to capture ideas and turn them into action.
eWALLET.. stores important personal information passwords, cards etc. (256-bit AES encryption)
TRIPIT.. organises all your trip details- flight info, hotel reservations, excursions, rentals, meetings etc.)
NAMERICK.. if you forget the names of parents and others, this is for you. SHOEBOXED.. take a photo of your receipt and Shoeboxed copies the date, total, payment type, store and category. Keep track of your expenses.
Recently, I learned of a couple of children's ministry volunteers who were tired and discouraged and pulling out of the team. I had worked with these people a few years ago and known them to be fun, enthusiastic, passionate volunteers. What had happened? Family concerns? Health issues?
Sadly, no. It was something simple- a basic but ongoing issue with systems and structures. There weren't any.. or rather, the structures weren't very stable. Lesson materials and resources were provided late or missing crucial elements. Sign-in sheets for parents went missing. Broken equipment was never fixed. New programs arrived late and volunteers had to improvise, and team communication was sporadic. Discouragement had set in.
In other words, there were some serious problems with the planning and organisation within the team leadership.. with tragic results. If you struggle with this issue, then help is available.
Start FRESH today, and restructure your systems and planning with a special Children's Ministry Planner Pack.
We've created a pack filled with planning materials and resources for all your children's ministry needs.
You'll find included:
* weekly ministry planner
* daily ministry & personal planner
* blank personal planner
* ministry event planner
* budget planner
* research sheets for noting and recording worthwhile websites and apps
Download and print these resources now.... $9.95 for the full pack.
(The next blog post will include some additional apps that you may find helpful for planning and organising your ministry and daily tasks.)
Mother's Day- that special time of the year when we remember and celebrate mothers and their important role in our lives and families.
Promote your special kids ministry Mother's Day events with your church family using a Mother's Day powerpoint slide.... we've provided a couple of choices below to download and personalize. You can easily make your own, though, with the help of a couple of resources that we've listed below.
The first image and slide was created using SmileBox. We've highlighted SmileBox before and find it really helpful in creating graphics and movie clips quickly and easily. See here
for more information about SmileBox.
We used a simple little app called BubbleFrame to make the second image. It takes a few minutes to become accustomed to the controls but you can quickly make attractive little designs to use on your powerpoint slides. Check it out here.
You also might like to check out and download some free Mother's Day fonts and there's a wonderful little list of these at Krafty Cards etc
. A special font can really make a difference in a design or any of your promotional materials so check them out....
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is a great little program and app that allows you to clip and store information, ideas, videos, pictures and more that you find while searching online. This information can be stored in various notebooks and kept private or available to share with others. If you're not using it yet, you might like to check it out. It's an easy way to share information and ideas with your team.
It also allows you to embed a notebook in your website or blog as another way to share this information. And so, I thought I'd try it with this post.. hope it works!
I've gathered a small collection of interesting apps that you may find worthwhile for your children's ministry or for your own family. You should be able to click on the image for more information with a link to the source.
You also might like to check out previous posts of other potentially useful apps. * Apps for children's ministry.. * Ten more apps you may have missed * Pick Me app * Family & ministry magazine apps
Bullying is a sensitive topic for many kids struggling at school, in the playground, with classmates and sometimes even at home. It's not something that we can or should avoid discussing with kids and there are an increasing number of programs that you could consider using in your kidmin programs. Below, I've listed just a couple.
But you also might like to consider the 'Truth or Trash' iPhone app, from iKAN Ministries, to use in conjunction with your programs or discussions. The game app was produced to help kids discern the difference between the potentially harmful opinions of others and real truth. It also includes a Scripture reference after each question/answer.
' Imagine a day in your life when you are not longer affected by what others think or say about you. Throughout your life many people will have their opinions of you. It's hard at times not to feel rejected or worthless. This game is designed to help children and adults quickly recognise the difference between someone's opinion, general facts and what is really true.' Check it out here...
1. The Protectors
... Comprehensive Freedom-From-Bullying Programs and Resources
2. Stop Harassing Me Postcard program
... an effective program to reduce instances of cyberbullying for older students.
3. Comforting Kids in Crisis.
.. practical ways to help kids through their greatest challenges.
4.Fez and the Big Bad Bully
.... a Bible memory buddy book from Group about standing up to bullies
5. StarShip Alpha
.... a five-week program from LifeChurch dealing with the topic of bullying.
6. The Great Race
.. a program from Elevate about Nehemiah. Week 3 deals particularly with bullying.
7.Truth or Trash.
.. app as above
Motivation is when your vision puts on work clothes.
I really wish I had an amazing formula to generate continuous energy and enthusiasm for the challenging work of children's ministry. Let's face it- the work is constant, demanding and endless.
Special events and programs are rewarding but exhausting, and preparations for regular mid-week and Sunday programs still continue. So..what happens when your motivation wanes and enthusiasm dips?
Make sure that you are maintaining your time with God and His Word and your prayertime. Ensure you are allowing yourself some downtime, some time for yourself. Don't fill every waking moment with activity.
As a leader, you must ensure that you are spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically replenished. You need to fill your own tank before you can effectively give to others! KidsKount
produce some bite-sized (2 minute) video segments to help you do just that... Lead yourself! It's worth checking out..
But it's also helpful to keep in mind that energy and enthusiasm is not required
before you start working. In fact, hard work comes before
the feeling of enthusiasm. Motivation is largely a myth.. it's activity that inspires us. Don't waste time waiting for enthusiasm to return; work harder even it you don't feel like it. You'll find your motivation returns as you accomplish those tasks you've set yourself. Stay faithful to the work God has given to you to do. And, praise Him as soon as your motivation catches up.
I don't sing because I'm happy. I'm happy because I sing.
We overestimate what we can do in the next year... and underestimate what we can do in the next 15 minutes.
But, on a practical note, there are some things you can do that will help you complete your tasks:
1. Exercise. 15 minutes a day exercise will help you have more energy and be more productive.
2. Many find it helpful, sometimes, to work away from the usual working environment. Go to the library.. spend the morning at a coffee shop.
3. Play some background music.
4. Make use of the many task management programs and apps to keep focused. I've listed some of the popular ones below:
: simple to-do lists, works on all platforms, tasks can be shared, create tasks from email
powerful task and note-taker app, add reminders, repeats, alarms, add to folders, filter, tag and tweet your completed tasks
cloud sync, voice recognition, share tasks, email intergration, add to calendar
* Remember the milk
. Simple list creation, available across platforms
Create tasks and sub-tasks, lists, calendar integration, templates, repeating tasks,
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While every children's ministry coordinator is aware of the need to maintain good communication with their team, individuals and families, it is much harder to put this into practice. It's time-consuming- working out your content, ensuring you've included all relevant information, maintaining all your contact details. And, you want any message to be well-presented; to stand out from the sheer volume of information most people receive daily, and catch the attention of the recipient.
High Impact eMail app may be well worth investigating. This app provides quality email templates for any occasion- casual messages, newsletters, announcements, events- that are easily customised for your individual use. You can add your own images, alter template text, insert links and more.
You can also create an unlimited number of email groups straight from your iPad contacts list or add the information manually. And, you can set up your own profile with logo and contact information to be included automatically in your emails. Once you have sent your email, share it easily on Facebook and Twitter.
Check out here
for more information.
Just as a quick update on Advent Calendars following our highlight of the Friends and Heroes online advent calendar (here)
... check out the Advent Calendar apps listed in our Family blog here.
You might also want to check out and sign up to receive the digital Advent Calendar from Thriving Family. (see below). Remember also, to download the Thriving Family free magazine with great ideas and content for families. (more)
The advent calendar explores the names of Jesus and provides faith activities for your kids. Click image.
Check back each day to unlock a new Christmas printable to download and gradually create a Christmas diorama for your mantelpiece or tabletop.
Click on the image for the link.
The Gospel Project- the big picture of God's story.
If you haven't had the opportunity to check out LifeWay's curriculum, 'The Gospel Project', please take a few moments now to do so.
Currently, LifeWay is offering a month of free access to the materials for you to peruse including materials for Preschool, Younger Kids, Older Kids, Students and Adults. You'll find lesson materials, Key passage posters, Bible story videos, Video countdowns, Mission videos, Timeline maps, Worship songs and song videos, Big picture questions, Parent resources and Family Journal pages. Evaluate the material and provide feedback to LifeWay.
The material is available in digital or printed format which is a big plus from my perspective, since postage costs to Australia are excessive. I also appreciate materials with all age-groups dealing with the same content- great for families to talk about and discuss at home. You'll also find promotional material (logos, posters, list of themed decorating ideas) and training helps (guides and videos).
The Christmas lesson material is included in this preview material and includes video clip, lesson material, journal pages, key passage posters, activity sheets and nativity figures printable.
And the Gospel Project app is also available for iPhone and iPad with Volume 1 FREE to preview.
Each downloaded volume presents weekly lesson material for families to review at home and includes games, videos (Bible story- see sample,
discussion starters), timelines and music.
The weekly lesson presents a calendar of suggested family activities for each day to reinforce the lessons- great idea!