Baptism Guide for Parents

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sometimes parents wonder whether their child is ready for baptism or not. Share this guide with them to help parents talk with their children about baptism and discern if their child is ready to take this important step of faith.   Not sure YOU know how to talk with kids about baptism? Read tips for you as the leader here.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2="Want to teach a full lesson on baptism?" h4="Use this Easter season to do just that! " txt_align="center" color="sky" add_button="bottom" btn_title="Show me the baptism-focused Easter unit! " btn_color="sky" btn_align="center" btn_link="url:http%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fsqueaky-clean-4-week-easter-unit%2F||target:%20_blank|"]The 4-week Squeaky Clean Easter unit closes with a special lesson on baptism, teaching kids what it is, why it's...

Talking with Kids About Baptism

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Baptism isn’t just taking a bath at church or playing in Holy Water fountains; it means so much more! When we are baptized, it is an outward sign of an inward change. We know that when Jesus died on the cross, He wiped away our sins and made us clean. Baptism is our way of showing others that we have been wiped clean of our sins. But baptism happens AFTER we have given our lives to follow Jesus. Your heart changes first; then you are baptized to symbolize the change in your heart. Seems simple, right? Then why is baptism often so confusing for kids? Kids are concrete thinkers and have a hard time with abstract ideas, so trying to understand that the baptism symbolizes our death to sin and new life in Christ can be tough! Kids often hear "baptism" and "becoming a Christian" as interchangeable phrases,...

Small Groups vs. Stations

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Most curriculums offer a large-group, small-group format for Sunday mornings, but as a mobile church with limited time, space, and resources for creating an exciting environment, I had to come up with a way to make our mornings more engaging for kids. So I adapted the big-name curriculum we were using to fit a new format: large-group time, then stations. Kids LOVED it! Stations allow more movement throughout the morning and mean that you need fewer supplies since only one small group will be doing the activity at a time. Since each station lasts 10 minutes, that one kid who HATES crafts knows that a new activity is coming soon, so it helps eliminate disengagement. Kids go through the stations in the same order each week, but start at a different station, leaving enough structure for stability but enough...

You’ve Been Egged – A Creative Way to Invite the Community to Your Egg Hunt

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Two years ago, I decided I couldn't be the only one inviting families to our Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt each year. But how would I involve families in the process without adding stress to their schedules and without taking a big chunk out of my ministry budget? Thus, Easter Egging was born! It's simple, it's cheap (you only need some colored paper and plastic Easter eggs), and most importantly, it's so fun that kids will WANT to invite their friends this way![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="I want to egg someone!" color="sky" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fyouve-been-egged-printable%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]Here's how it works... Print and copy the free download, double-sided, on fun colored paper. Then make a plan of which families you want to egg. I...

Volunteer Dove Chocolate Valentine Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Give your volunteers some love this Valentine's Day with a simple gift. It's always a good time to let your volunteers know how much you appreciate them, and with this week's free printable, it'll only take you a few minutes of prep work to thank them for being the heart of your ministry. I heard about this idea at a breakout session with Kathie Phillips, the brilliant KidMin leader and author behind KidMinspiration. What you need: Dove chocolates Glue Dots DKM Volunteer Valentine Printable Just print, cut, stick on the chocolates, and you're ready to go![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title="Help me love on my volunteers this Valentine's Day!" color="sky" align="center"...

The KidMin Supply You Need But Probably Don’t Have

We've all been there. You turn around for one second and sweet little Johnny in the preschool class pours the bowl of glue all over his hands and is proceeding to lick it off his fingers. (You're also sure the 1 tsp of glue you put in the bowl has somehow multiplied in a twisted Jesus-feeds-the-5,000 kind of way.) Or you're cleaning up the elementary craft area and you have to throw away 3/4 of the glue sticks because the caps are either missing or not tight enough to keep the glue from drying out. The ones that ARE left are covered in hair, yarn, and every kidmin leader's favorite: glitter. Well hold onto your craft supplies, my friends, because these little inventions will change your life. Glue Dots are exactly what they sound like: small adhesive dots of glue that can be used for crafts, gifts, and so much more. They're like the...

How To Make A Prayer Labyrinth

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Last week, I shared 10 Prayer Station Ideas, and one of them included a prayer labyrinth. A labyrinth is a special kind of maze historically used to promote deep thinking and soul-searching. I like to use it to help teach kids (especially those who like to move) about prayer! What You Need: King size flat sheet Pencil Tape measure/ruler Sharpie (regular and thick) You'll need to do some measuring, but don't worry, I've done all of the calculations for you! Mark your checkpoints in pencil, lightly sketch the maze paths in pencil, then trace over the path marks with Sharpie. Add any extra details you want (I like to add directional arrows and a title, but that's the extent of my artisitc ability). Throw the sheet in the wash to erase any stray pencil marks, and your prayer labyrinth is ready to...

10 Prayer Station Ideas

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This Valentine’s Day, don’t just talk about God’s love; help kids experience God’s love through prayer stations (aka worship response stations). A prayer station is an activity that allows children to express their responses to God about what they are learning and who He is. Each station looks different and gives the child an opportunity to respond to God in a different way.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Give Me 10 Prayer Station Ideas" color="sky" align="center" link="url:http%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F01%2FDKM-Prayer-Stations.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][vc_single_image image="3729" img_size="large" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]Some churches leave these prayer or worship response stations up in their children’s area all the time and use them weekly. As a mobile...

Parents’ Night Out – Valentine’s Edition

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]Give parents a break! This Valentine’s Day, give the parents in your ministry a night out without the kids. Host a Parents’ Night Out (PNO) where you have youth or empty nesters watch the children while their parents enjoy 4 hours of children-free time. You basically throw one big party for the kids, use youth as your volunteers, and the parents have a night out for dinner and a movie, running errands, or just relaxing at home with no kids![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Click Here For Details on Planning and Promoting Your PNO" color="sky" align="center" link="url:http%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fparents-night-out-pno-valentine-edition%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text 0=""][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]We always offer the event for free, but we encourage...

The Most Productive Thing You Can Do Today

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This morning I had plans to pull together a lesson, work on another free download for all of you, and read a few chapters for seminary homework. But God kept interrupting my focus with the song below, and He used it to remind me of a lesson I’ve been learning over the past year. I so often confuse productivity with movement, action, and results, which leads me to believe the lie that spending time in prayer is unproductive. I know that’s not true, but there’s often a sneaky little voice in my head that reminds me of everything else I could be doing instead. I’m working on silencing that lie and retraining my brain to accept the idea that creating stillness is a form of spiritual productivity. I’ve learned that when God interrupts my plans for the day, I better pay attention, so I took a break...

3 Sites For Parents to Review Movie Content for Their Children

All parents have concerns about the content of what their children are watching, but no one has time to preview every movie or tv show their child wants to see. Whether your kids are watching on the big screen or a handheld screen, use these sites to find in-depth reviews of any movie's content without having to watch it yourself first. The Dove Foundation - I like this one because it breaks down the movie concerns into different categories: violence, language, sexual content, etc. and even tells you specifically what the instances are.    Plugged In - This site from Focus on the Family is similar to the Dove Foundation, but it is not as easy to read through. One bonus is that it tends to give more details on the spiritual aspects of the movies rather than just a warning of the possible questionable content and offers reviews...

3 Movie Sites to Help You Avoid a #Fail Moment Like Mine

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]At the first Parents Night Out that I planned, I showed the movie Shrek. We were a boy-heavy ministry at the time, and I thought, "Swamps, ogres, dragons... the boys will love it!" Well they also loved it when the characters cussed 4 times - yes, 4 times - throughout the movie and they got to tell their parents they heard a potty word at church. #fail Since that wonderful experience of inadvertently teaching the sweet preschoolers new words, I always read up on any movie I plan to show in my ministry. Using one or all three of the following sites helps make sure I’m not showing anything inappropriate and helps me prepare to address any issues that may arise. Learn from my Shrek mistake, and use these sites to preview movie content before showing it in your ministry. The Dove Foundation - I like this one...

Faithful Finance (Lit Lowdown)

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3703" img_size="medium" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2B6TUaq"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Faithful Finance: 10 Secrets to Move from Fearful Insecurity to Confident Control By Emily G. Stroud My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: January 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you are a Christian who spends money, talking about finances stresses you out (two hands raised over here) but you know you need to know this stuff, or you want a Godly perspective of maintaining your personal finances that is simple enough to understand and apply. My thoughts: I will be the first person to admit that talking about finances gives me heart...

Add Parents to Your Team

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Your ministry team isn’t complete without these important players: the parents. Whether they’re your favorite or your least favorite family (don’t lie, we all have favorites), having parents on your ministry team as more than just volunteers is important. To help give parents a voice in the ministry, better partner with them in discipling their children, and help build trusting relationships, I set up a Parent Council in my 2nd year of ministry and have loved it ever since. What is it? A Council, by definition, is an advisory board of people formally constituted and meeting regularly. A Parent Council is a group of 8-10 parents of your choosing that meet regularly to provide feedback, guidance, and input on the ministry. This is a sounding board for you as you plan as well as an extra team to rely on for...

Be a Parent Cheerleader (Not a Coach)

Ministry with children and youth is just as much about the parents as it is the kids themselves. But sometimes our approach to equipping parents can actually have the opposite result of what we want. In my early years of ministry, I provided resources about how to be the best parent and what the “Christian parent” should be doing in their home, but I quickly learned that sometimes these types of resources created more guilt and shame than encouragement or advice. Moms did not feel they could live up to all of the resources I was providing, and it left them feeling overwhelmed. I have learned to switch my mentality as a children’s pastor from “parent coach” to “parent cheerleader” (especially since I do not have children of my own yet). It may just seem like semantics, but this shift actually creates a brand new mindset to...

It’s a Date! (Calendar Planning Checklist)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Now that the holidays are over, and I’m looking to the year ahead, I created a calendar planning checklist to help me plan out the year without leaving anything out. Planning your calendar year ahead of time helps you see the big picture of what you’re doing in your ministry and stay on top of things (looking at you, procrastinators). When you know what’s coming 2, 3, or even 6 months down the road, you are better able to delegate, plan, focus on your goals, and use your time wisely. So grab your favorite calendar (print or digital), print off the checklist, and plan away! What you need: Goals for the year so you have a direction (Use the DKM Goal Setting Guide to help) Calendar (digital or print) Pencil (never plan in pen!) DKM Calendar...