Help Families “Treasure These Things in their Hearts” this Advent Season

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This post is an excerpt from the family devotion included in the Family Advent Calendar Kit from Vanessa Myers of Family Faith Builders.  "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19 When you think about Christmas, what are some things that come to mind? Your first response might be opening presents! Maybe you also said Christmas lights, candy canes, trees, ornaments, baking cookies, or traveling to visit family. How many of you said the birth of Jesus? As Christians, it's the whole reason we celebrate Christmas! We don't celebrate because we get gifts, but we celebrate because Jesus was born on this earth as a gift from God to save us from our sins so we could live forever with Him in heaven one day. As Christians, we also celebrate the season of Advent. This...

Nativity Trail Mix

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Everyone loves snacks, especially around the holidays, so why not share a special snack with your kids and families that reminds them of the nativity? This Nativity Trail Mix recipe and guide provides families with a fun, simple, and tasty way to remember the reason for the season all December long. Make it for them and send it home in goody bags at one of your Christmas events, or send home the printable with families and encourage them to make the snack at home together![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the printable version here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F10%2FDKM-Nativity-Trail-Mix-Freebie.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text]Nativity Trail Mix Ingredients Pretzel Sticks Mini Marshmallows Animal Crackers Hershey Hugs &...

Keeping Christ in Christmas at Home (Without Overwhelming Families)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I'm excited to share some thoughts from Christie Thomas, author and one of our DKM Vendors, today! Here's what she has to say about keeping Christ in Christmas at Home (without overwhelming families)... It was the same every November. The same woman in our church would strike up a conversation, which would inevitably lead to the question, “are you going to run a Christmas pageant this year?” I love a great Christmas pageant and was involved in many large-scale pageants and musicals as a child, but it never felt like the right fit for this church. The desire for a pageant seemed to come from a feeling of nostalgia, which, to me, isn’t a good enough reason to burn myself and our families out at Christmas. (Psst - check out a few reasons you should - and shouldn't - host a Christmas pageant here.) I...

Happy Birthday Jesus Banner Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Share this colorable printable with the families in your ministry to help them decorate for a special birthday party for Jesus this Christmas! Or use the banner in your ministry setting for a special Christmas event/service or a regular Sunday morning. Just print, color, cut, and string up![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Happy Birthday Jesus Banner Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F10%2FDKM-Happy-Birthday-Jesus-Banner-Freebie.pdf|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="89383" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/product/birthday-party-for-jesus/"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]And if you really want to take your...

6 Benefits of Gratitude

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Happy November! This month is all about turkeys, family, and one of my favorite postures to teach kids: gratitude. There are countless verses in the Bible that help us express our gratitude to God, and when we can help kids develop an attitude of gratitude, we set them up for lifelong habits of success in a variety of ways. Here are 6 benefits of gratitude to consider as we head into a month-long focus on thankfulness: Emotional Health: Gratitude makes us more confident, leads to higher self-esteem, and can even improve decision-making. Mental Health: Thankfulness increases mental strength and resilience. It can even help reduce anxiety, a key benefit in a culture where kids and teens are more anxious than ever before. Physical Health: Even though gratitude is an attitude, it can affect our...

Why You Should Host a Children’s Christmas Production – And Why You Shouldn’t

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Were you in the kids' choir at church growing up? I was, and I LOVED it. I even stayed on as an assistant youth director after I aged out of the program in middle school, and it influenced my extracurricular activities in high school. The kids choir was one of my favorite things about church, and the yearly Christmas production was always something I looked forward to. That's why I surprised myself as a children's pastor when I declined requests to put on a children's Christmas production each year. Maybe it was because I knew the amount of time and energy that goes into the programs and didn't feel like I could add that to my plate. Maybe it was because we were a mobile church at the time, and I couldn't logistically see how it would work. Maybe I just knew I didn't have the necessary skills to lead something...

Idea Evaluation Flowchart

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You probably have and hear a lot of ideas in children's ministry, whether your own or suggestions from someone else. Use this idea evaluation flowchart to help you determine what ideas are valuable for you to pursue and which ones you can let go or table for the future. [/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Idea Evaluation Flowchart here! " align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F09%2FDKM-Idea-Evaluation-Flowchart.pdf|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

8 Ways to Honor Pregnancy and Infant Loss in Your Ministry

Trigger warning: This post discusses pregnancy and infant loss. If you are struggling with a miscarriage or stillbirth, know that we are praying for you and your family.  October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and it's a great opportunity to honor and remember the children who will never step foot in your ministry but whose absence is felt deeply by their families. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over a million pregnancies end in miscarriages or stillbirths each year, which means chances are high that a family in your ministry has experienced this terrible loss. Many families choose not to share about miscarriages or stillbirths, and even when leaders are aware of the loss, we don't often know how to respond when tragedies like this happen. Here are a few ways you and your ministry can support...

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Sympathy Card

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and it's a great opportunity to honor and remember the children who will never step foot in your ministry but whose absence is felt deeply by their families. Use this printable card to encourage and show support to families who have lost a baby. Simply print the following page, cut the page in half, and fold for a quarter-page-size card. Add a note inside and send to any families who have lost a child. Find more ideas for honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss here. [/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Sympathy Card Here" align="center"...

Prayer Pumpkin Activity for Families

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Share this simple but intentional pumpkin craft with your families this fall to encourage them to pray together and consider different kinds of prayer. Using easy-to-find supplies, families will write prayer requests on orange slips of paper and turn those prayers into a pumpkin to display in their home throughout the fall season![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Prayer Pumpkin Activity Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F08%2FDKM-Prayer-Pumpkin-Freebie.pdf|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="39441" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/product/treat-street-to-go/"][/vc_column][vc_column...

10 Questions to Consider When Planning Your Ministry Fall Event

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As we head into the fall season, you probably have some fun fall events planned for your children's ministry (and if not, we can help). As you start the planning process, consider these questions to help your fall event run smoothly! Who else can I bring into the planning and preparation of the event? Who else (staff, volunteers, etc.) need to be involved? Do those who participate/volunteer need to be background checked or complete a medical release form? Do we need to contact the police to request street closures or traffic assistance? How many guests are we expecting? Will we have any additional vendors (bounce houses, petting zoos, etc.)? Are we asking participants to bring anything (donations, supplies, candy, etc.)? What is the flow of the event both physically and schedule-wise? Do...

Turn Over a New Leaf: Fall Resources For Your KidMin

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As we move into a post-pandemic world, use these resources to turn over a new leaf with the families in your ministry this fall! Kick-start your year, bring everyone back together for fellowship, and help families grow deeper in their faith as the weather turns cooler and the leaves change color.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Find a more visual layout of this page here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fturn-over-a-new-leaf-fall-resources-2022%2F|target:_blank"][vc_toggle title="New for 2022"]Click on each image below to learn more about that resource. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title="Fall Events"]Click on each image below to learn more about that resource. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title="Family Resources for Fall"]Click on each image...

5 Essentials for Kids with Special Needs in Your Ministry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Does your ministry have kids with special needs? Even if you think the answer is "no," the answer is probably "yes" to some degree. When I say "special needs," leaders often think of the more prominent diagnoses, like autism or physical disabilities. But special needs ministry can also be relevant for kids with ADHD, dyslexia, and speech-language disorders, which can often be more difficult to identify because they're sometimes not as obvious. Special needs ministry is an area of ministry I do not have much experience or knowledge with, so this week, we're bringing in an expert to share their knowledge and ideas with you. Meet Laura Deeken, the creator behind The Adapted Word and printable resources for special needs ministry. Laura is a speech-language pathologist with 28 years of experience, and she has...

Bible Ball Game: Special Needs Resource

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This week we shared 5 essentials for kids with special needs in your ministry from Laura Deeken, and Laura has agreed to let us share a free printable resource to help kids with special needs too! This Bible Ball game is perfect for all kids, but especially great for kids with speech-language disorders. Here's how it works: What You Need: This free download A thumb ball like this one How to Play:  Print on cardstock and laminate. After the Bible story, toss a ball like this one to a child. Match the color their thumb is touching to a color question on the card. Ask the child the corresponding question. Then let the child shoot the ball into a small hoop and use the scoreboard page to record points![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Bible Ball Special Needs Game Here!" align="center"...

3 Keys to Teaching Kids, Not Lessons

What would you say is the most important aspect of your lesson each week? The "hook"? The gamification elements? The life application? Plot twist! One of the most important aspects of your lesson doesn't even have to do with the lesson itself. It's actually the KIDS you are teaching and how well you know them! Effective and creative Bible teachers place as much value on knowing the children they teach as on the content of the lesson.  Yes, solid content and preparation are important, but if you're not taking a few characteristics about the kids you teach into account, your effectiveness drastically decreases. So here are 3 keys to teaching kids, not just lessons. Know your kids relationally. Kids learn best from people they know and love. Build relationships with your kids - both inside and outside of Sunday mornings - to increase...

All About Me Ministry Printable For Kids

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of three keys to teaching kids not lessons is knowing who your kids are and what they enjoy doing! Print off as many copies of this All About Me activity as you need, ask kids to complete the page, then keep them and share them with your team! Use the completed printables to learn about the kids you teach so you can more effectively engage them. And if you're looking for an All About Me Activity for kids to complete and keep for later, check out this free activity +printable for back-to-school season![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Printable Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F07%2FDKM-All-About-Me-Detailed-Printable.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_single_image image="86821" img_size="large" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link"...

4 Back-to-School Essentials for Your Children’s Ministry

Back-to-School Season is here, which means you’re planning how to celebrate this important time in a child’s life. As families are thinking about first-day-of-school outfits and school supply shopping, you can help them think intentionally about how their faith can grow this school year too.  Here are 4 back-to-school essentials to incorporate into your children’s ministry:  A back-to-school gift with purpose, like Backpack Blessing Tags or Back-to-School Bible Verse Cards Something to help families celebrate at home, like a Faith Time Capsule Devotional, a Back-to-School Prayer Journal for Kids, or a Back-to-School Survival Kit. Something special for Promotion Sunday, like a full space-themed lesson that LAUNCHES them into the new year, a Promotion Sunday administrative bundle to help you stay organized or a simple...

3 Steps To Mapping Out Your Ministry Year

The Lord guides our steps, but we can be good stewards of the time He’s given us through intentional planning. Planning ahead allows for a more balanced and sustainable year in ministry, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. So grab your calendar and a pencil (because we never plan in pen), and let’s jump in to map out your ministry year! 1) Start with the big picture. Look at the vision of your ministry and use it to set goals for the year (use our Ministry Goal Setting Guide to help). Then create calendar events that help you accomplish those goals. Our goals give us the direction and boundaries for our calendar. Write down all the big, important, we-do-them-every-year, this-isn’t-going-to-change-unless-the-rapture-happens dates first (Easter, Christmas, church-wide events) so you can plan around those. Also make...

6 People to Celebrate With As a New Semester Begins

At the beginning of the year, I shared that my word for the year was celebration, and I confessed that celebration is a spiritual discipline I often skip over in pursuit of the next goal, event, or task. So this year, I've tried to be more intentional about taking time to reflect and celebrate. Want to join me? As we head into back-to-school season, consider celebrating with different groups of people in your ministry: Volunteers - Weave celebration into every interaction or gathering you have with your volunteers (especially your annual volunteer training!). It boosts morale, reminds them of their purpose, and keeps their enthusiasm for serving high! (More on celebrating your volunteers here.) Parents/Grown-ups - Grown-ups love hearing positive stories about the kids in their lives. Share major milestones and even small wins with the...

Sunday Celebrations Printable Journal

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As a ministry leader, you probably have a lot of plates spinning on a Sunday morning. From check-in to new guests to volunteers to supply bins, there's a lot to think about. It can be hard to slow down and celebrate the ways God shows up week in and week out. Use this 5-year celebrations journal to help you pause, reflect, and celebrate what God does in your ministry each week, no matter how small the celebrations may seem.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Sunday Celebration Journal Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F07%2FDKM-Sunday-Celebrations-Journal.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text] How To Use: Print off this journal and place it in a 3-ring binder or folder. There are typically 52 Sundays a year. Each page in this journal...

My Favorite Promotion Sunday Tradition in Kids Ministry

Do you have any traditions or special ideas for back-to-school season or Promotion Sunday? Something you do every year that encourages kids to reflect on the past year but also get pumped for the year ahead? A special way to celebrate the start of a school year or moving to new ministry classes/small groups? My favorite back-to-school or Promotion Sunday tradition is much simpler than you might think: showing a picture slideshow or video that recaps the past year. This video or slideshow shares pictures and clips of special events, Sunday mornings, mid-week programs, etc. Set it to an upbeat worship song your kids loved from the year, and you're all set! I like to show this video recap on Promotion Sunday every year and use it as a launching point for small group discussion questions like: What was your favorite thing we did at church...

Back-to-School Worry Wall Prayer Activity

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Kids have so many worries when it comes to going back to school! Their minds are often filled with anxiety about what is to come in the year ahead. Share this Worry Wall prayer activity with kids (send it home or complete it together at church) to help them recognize their worries and bring them to God.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Worry Wall Prayer Activity Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F07%2FDKM-B2S-Worry-Wall-Prayer-Activity-Freebie.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text]This activity is part of the Back-to-School Faith Time Capsule family resource, a family faith kit that will help kids create a time capsule for the new school year that is related to their faith in God. Check out the Back-to-School Faith Time Capsule as well as other...

6 Ideas for Following Up After Summer Events

Summer is often a busy season in ministry with extra events, special services, and even overnight trips. So much planning and preparation go into these events that we can sometimes forget about the importance of following up AFTER the events are over! But we miss out on crucial opportunities to connect with families when we ignore the follow-up opportunities that summer events provide. So here are 6 ideas for following up after your summer event(s). Plan ahead. Make your follow-up procedure part of the planning process for the entire event. So while you're thinking about VBS decorations, volunteer appreciation, and worship playlists, think about how you can follow up with families after your event is over. When you include the follow-up in the main planning of the event itself, it helps make sure follow-up doesn't slip through the post-event...

Special Event Review/Evaluation Template

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Reviewing and evaluating your ministry events can often be just as important as planning them, but sometimes we get so caught up in the event itself that we forget to evaluate! Use this simple and easy special event review template to recap your special events, take notes for next time, and keep a record of your special event details.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Word version here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F06%2FDKM-Special-Event-Review-Template.docx|target:_blank"][vc_column_text]Check out some of our favorite events below! [/vc_column_text][products columns="3" orderby="rand" order="ASC" ids="7039, 49656, 16784, 19953, 84335, 81303, 9476, 22133, 14214, 45338, 76761, 48447, 11075"][vc_btn title="Explore all of our Event Resources...

Share This With Your Families: Kids Bible Experience

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We all know this generation of digital natives requires a unique approach to ministry, and this is especially true for our preteens! I'm always on the lookout for new resources to share with families, and this might be one of my new favorites! You may already know about the Bible App for Kids, but YouVersion in partnership with OneHope has now created the Kids Bible Experience as the next step for preteens once they've outgrown the kid version. Designed for 7-11-year-olds, the Kids Bible Experience is the next level of scripture engagement for kids and preteens. It features new videos, questions, and scripture verses every day to help preteens cultivate daily habits of engaging with God's Word. In the experience, preteens will find… Fun, fresh perspectives - They’ll hear relevant insights from a...