On the Seesaw By Yourself (Why Doing Ministry Alone Doesn’t Work)

Trying to do ministry alone is kind of like trying to play on a seesaw by yourself. It may sort of work for a little while, but eventually, your thighs are burning and there’s not much payoff. Just like a seesaw, when you do ministry alone… You burn out! I know “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) but it’s just not healthy for you or your ministry. Carrying the weight of every responsibility will leave you feeling worn out, overworked, and constantly behind. You’ll be jumping as hard as you can on that seesaw but will only go so high, wasting a lot of energy in the process and not getting much accomplished. Before long, you won’t be able to keep up the pace you’ve set, and everything (your family, your ministry, your sanity) suffers. You leave out! Maybe there’s someone else on the playground who wants to...

“Is this Event Worth It?”

As we head into the time for planning your fall fest, Trunk or Treat, and general fall season, you may be wondering if all the time, energy, and money you spend on your special fall events are worth it. Here's some encouragement from one of our DKM Vendors, Meghan Clayton from Meghan's Ministry:  Recently, I coordinated an event that was an absolute disaster on my end. But the kids had the most fun they have ever had. When I arrived at the church three hours prior to the event, everything went wrong. All of my setup took ten times longer than planned. Items I had set out were stolen, my technology did not work, and I was an absolute mess. I closed all my activity rings on my watch before the event even started because I was running around the church trying to troubleshoot everything that went wrong. As a type A personality who typically has...

Defining Identity

As kids get into the groove of the school year with new classes, friends, sports teams, and more, they will probably come up against questions - asked in their own minds and by those around them - about their identity. Who are they? WHOSE are they? Where do they belong? I'm excited to share this week's guest blog post from Christie Penner Worden from Raise Up Faith about helping define identity with kids:  How do we help kids truly know who they are, rooted in identity, and confident children of God? How do we tell them the truth without pretending the world around them won’t answer what we struggle to talk about? The word “identity” has caused confusion over the last number of years. And I wonder if we have been part of the problem, as the Church, misusing or abusing the word, from a place of misunderstanding, fear, or even bias?...

6 Tips for Talking With Parents About Their Child’s Misbehavior

Are all the kids in your ministry perfect angels who sit quietly for the lesson and immediately obey any instructions? No, doesn't like your Sunday morning? You're not alone. (And honestly, if you did have perfectly behaved children 100% of the time, I'd think something was wrong.) We all have behavior issues that arise in our ministries, especially as we enter back-to-school season and return to routines after the summer. If you haven't yet, at some point you'll have to talk with parents about a child's misbehavior. That can be an intimidating and uncomfortable task, but you don't have to go in unprepared.  Check out this guest blog post from David Rausch, creator of Go! Curriculum and a DKM Vendor, with 6 tips for talking with parents about their child's misbehavior: "Yay! I get to tell a parent about their child's misbehavior," said no...

What is Digital Discipleship?

What comes to mind when you hear "digital discipleship"? When I asked this question in a few different Facebook groups, most of the answers mentioned Zoom, online classes, or YouTube channels. But digital discipleship is so much MORE than live-streaming your children's ministry. So what exactly IS digital discipleship? Here's an excerpt from my new book Time to Update that defines digital discipleship and why it's something every kidmin leader needs to integrate digital discipleship into their children's ministry strategy: We update everything in our lives and ministries. We regularly update our phones and computers to keep them running correctly. We update the worship songs we use and the curriculum we teach. Even when transitioning from one teaching series to another, we often update the physical environment of the children’s ministry...

5 Creative Ways to Use Media Content in Your Kids Worship Experiences

This week, I'm excited to share a guest post from Jason Noble, a team member over at Twelve Thirty Media. With my book, Time to Update, releasing next week, this post about creative ways to use media in your children's worship experiences was perfect! Learn more about my new book here, and keep reading to learn how to effectively utilize media with kids.  We live in a media-driven world. The children in your kid’s ministry are surrounded by media everywhere they look. The question is how do we effectively use media in our kid’s ministry experiences? Media cannot and should not ever replace leaders, or just be turned on to babysit children. A phrase that literally drives me crazy in the church world is “childcare”. Daycares do “childcare"; churches do “ministry to children.” Effective ministry to children must be...

“Let’s Build Something New!” Embracing Creativity and Experimentation in KidMin

"Now let's build something new!" says my toddler after we just completed the coolest freeform Lego treehouse that ever existed. "Don't you want to play with this awesome treehouse we just made?" I ask, not sure we'll ever be able to top the masterpiece in front of us. (It even had a garage.) "No Mommy, let's build something new!" Toddler responds. It's a true test of my creativity to come up with varying Lego layouts of a treehouse. But because my daughter loves building with Legos and enjoys the times we get to build together, I take a deep breath and we tear down our Lego masterpiece to start all over again. Leading children's ministry presents a similar challenge. We may be comfortable sticking with what we've got, doing what we've always done, and hosting the same events year after year in the name of tradition and comfort. But...

10 Verses to Pray Over Kids as They Head Back to School

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Praying for the kids we lead is one of the most important things we can do as children's ministry leaders, especially during seasons of transition like back-to-school time. So mark off time on your calendar or to-do list this week, and spend at least 5 minutes a day praying these 10 scriptures over the kids you lead. Ephesians 4:32 – Ask God to help them be kind. Joshua 1:9 – Praise God for always being with them. Proverbs 10:9 – Ask God to help them walk in integrity this year. Psalm 56:3 – Ask God to help them put their trust in Him. Philippians 4:6-7 – Ask God to help them not worry. Luke 2:52 – Ask God to help them grow this year. Proverbs 17:17 – Pray for their friends. Colossians 3:23 – Ask God to help them work hard. James 1:5 – Ask God to give them wisdom. ...

Backpack Blessings Relay Game

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Ready to play the Backpack Blessings Relay Game? It's a great, active way to celebrate the start of a new school year with a focus on Scripture![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Game Instructions here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2023%2F07%2FDKM-Backpack-Blessings-Relay-Game.pdf|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="107033" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/product/back-to-school-4-week-curriculum/"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]This game comes from the Back To School 4-Week Series that uses four different passages and school subjects to encourage children to share and show their faith as they head...

The Power of Little Moments: 10 Ways Parents Can Nurture Faith in Children At Home

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Earlier this spring, we dedicated our youngest in a Sunday morning church service. It was a sweet moment when even our toddler was included in the charge to raise up our daughter in the Christian faith. We stood before the church, the pastor held our baby girl to show her off to the congregation, and he shared words of wisdom, advice, and encouragement. We prayed together, asking God to help us as parents lead her into a life-giving relationship with Him. And I of course took lots of pictures of her in her sweet little dedication dress.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="107370" img_size="full" alignment="center"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="107368" img_size="full"...

Certificate of Dedication

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A family dedicating their child to the Lord is a special time of celebration for the church and the family. Many families may want a keepsake of the day. Use this free certificate of dedication to share with your families and help them remember this special time.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Certificate Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2023%2F07%2FDKM-Certificate-of-Dedication-Freebie.pdf|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="102800" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/product/parent-child-dedication-milestone-class/"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]Want to help parents understand the true meaning...

5 Practical Tips for Leading Kids in Worship

This week’s post comes from my friends over at Seeds Family Worship and 12:30 Kids Media. They're both leading creators in the world of media and music in children's ministry, and I so appreciate their willingness to share these practical tips for leading kids in worship... For all of us who minister to children, we see firsthand the challenges kids in this generation face. There are so many things coming at them from all directions in this fast-paced, high-tech, unfiltered culture… and their parents are facing the same pressures. How can we make the most of the limited time we have with these precious children and point them to Jesus? How can we come alongside their overstressed and overwhelmed parents and help them teach their kids about Jesus in their homes? I (Josh from Seeds Family Worship) believe one of the most powerful ways...

The Chips and Salsa of Sunday Morning: Leveraging Arrival Time to Minimize Chaos

When you go to a Mexican restaurant, what is always brought to the table immediately upon sitting down? Chips and salsa! When kids walk through your doors on Sunday morning, there should be 2 things readily available: 1) a volunteer and 2) an activity they can dive right into. Your volunteer is like the waiter at the restaurant, helping kids settle in and get comfortable and sharing options for ways to dig in. The activity is like the chips and salsa of your ministry time. It gives kids a taste of what's to come while also occupying them until everyone arrives and the morning officially begins. And it's OK if it's a game - kids need time to build relationships with each other before diving into a deep, spiritual lesson. When you have leaders and activities ready to go, there’s no time for kids to plunder the room because there is...

Something for You, Just out of the Blue Volunteer Appreciation Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]NOTE: This is a limited-time DKM Subscriber freebie! That means it is available to DKM Subscribers right now for free, but will eventually become a paid resource in the DKM Marketplace.  One of the best ways to retain your volunteers is to celebrate them! And what better way to celebrate them than with random, surprise gifts of appreciation? People may be expecting an appreciation gift around holidays or special days, but you can make any day a special day with this volunteer appreciation tag printable! Use this volunteer appreciate tag printable to surprise your team with a little gift "just out of the blue. Choose the printable option you'd like to use, follow the instructions below, and attach the 3x3-inch tags to a blue item (food, candy, ministry merchandise, random blue items,...

Fruit Pizza: Fruit of the Spirit Family Activity

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As you're encouraging families to taste and see God's goodness this summer, share this fun fruit of the Spirit activity with your families to do together this summer![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Fruit Pizza Family Activity Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2023%2F06%2FDeeper-KidMin-Fruit-Pizza-Freebie-updated.pdf"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="13453" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/product/church-take-out-box-fruit-of-the-spirit-edition/"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]Use the second page of this download to share the recipe with your families digitally or as print-outs. And if you really want to...

Taste and See God’s Goodness this Summer

"Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the person who goes to him for safety." Psalm 34:8 (NIRV) Psalm 34:8 tells us to “taste and see” how good our God is. Growing up, I always thought that verse was a little silly. How do I "taste" God? I enjoy a good snack just as much as the next kidmin leader, but this verse talks about more than just food consumption. During my research and lesson prep for this Sundae Sunday lesson, I dove into the meaning of Psalm 34:8 to discover its sweet truths, and God's been showing me how this powerful verse reminds us of His goodness and invites us to taste and see it in our ministries during the summer. Psalm 34:8 encapsulates a profound truth: God's goodness is not an abstract concept but a tangible reality that can be experienced personally. It encourages us to engage with God, to take a...

When You See Fireflies Book Review & Giveaway: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Generation Alpha

In the age of rapidly evolving technology and shifting societal norms, it is crucial to gain insight into the next generation. In Janine McNally's recent book When You See Fireflies, she offers an enlightening and practical exploration of Generation Alpha, providing valuable information and guidance for parents, ministry leaders, and anyone interested in understanding and nurturing this unique generation. This book delves deep into the unique characteristics of Generation Alpha, uncovering their potential and offering actionable strategies for investing in their spiritual lives. Here's a quick glance at 4 things I love about the book: It unveils the world of Generation Alpha - When You See Fireflies starts by introducing readers to Generation Alpha, which includes children born between 2010 and 2025. Through meticulous research and...

9 Ways to Use ChatGPT in KidMin

Technology continues to expand and make our lives easier as ministry leaders. The latest advancement includes AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Google's Bard. When I asked ChatGPT to define itself and its capabilities, it responded: "ChatGPT is an advanced language model developed by OpenAI. It uses artificial intelligence to generate human-like text responses based on the prompts it receives. Essentially, it's a computer program that can have text-based conversations with users, providing information, answering questions, and engaging in discussions on a wide range of topics. Its purpose is to assist users in various tasks, from finding information to creative writing, and more." By using an AI chatbot like ChatGPT or Google’s Bard, leaders can cut their email-writing time in half, streamline the research process, and explore creative series...

Father’s Day Ideas for your Children’s Ministry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Celebrate the dads and men in your church this Father's Day with these fun ideas! TEACHING Father's Day Holiday History Lesson CRAFTS/PRINTABLES Father's Day Coloring Cards Father's Day Dad Joke Coloring Cards Father's Day All In One Pack Father's Day Tie Goody Bag Craft Father's Day Printables Father's Day Tie Craft Father's Day Coupons To the Best Pop (Soda or Popcorn) GAMES Does Dad Have Hair on His Chinny Chin Chin?  Double Vision: Father's Day Name That Super Dad Screen Game Father's Day Minute to Win It Games MEDIA Father's Day All in One Pack  I Love My Dad Because... Mini Movie Things Dads Say Mini Movie  Dad Jokes Mini Movie Dad You're the Best Version 1 (Title Graphics and matching Social Media Graphics) Dad You're the Best...

10 Games To Help Kids Memorize Scripture

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here are 10 games to help kids memorize Scripture! Use these 10 ideas (and learn about 10 more) with these monthly memory verse cards for kids.  Echo-Game: Say the verse and have the kid repeat each phrase as an echo. To keep it interesting, the leader can use funny voices (loud, soft, sad, excited, tired, high-pitched, funny accents). Hang Man: Write the verse with all blank spaces (except fill in a couple words, such as “and” and “the”) and play Hang Man with the kids guessing letters one at a time to try and figure out the verse. Erase a Word: Write the verse on a chalkboard or white board, and say it with the kids over and over, erasing one or two words each time. You’ll get down to no words written out, and the kids will have to say the verse from memory. Mix It Up: Write or print...

Bible Baseball Dice Review Game

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here's a fun way to review a Bible story, lesson, or series with the kids in your ministry! This game works with any curriculum and is a great way to get kids moving and reviewing![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the instructions and dice printable here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2023%2F05%2FDKM-Bible-Baseball-Dice-Review-Game.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text] Supplies: Bible Baseball Dice Printable, 3 bases and a home plate set up in your space, Scorekeeper, Paper and pen, review questions How to Play: In your space, place the home plate and 3 bases in a diamond. Put the bowl of questions on one side of home plate & the dice on the other side of home plate. Choose a scorekeeper to keep track of runs and outs and give them pen...

Summer Ministry Ideas

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In April, I co-hosted a KidMin Leadership Gathering with Joy Canupp from Simply Joy and Vanessa Myers from Family Faith Builders. It was a 1-day gathering of local children's ministry leaders for training, connection, encouragement, and growth. (And it was amazing. The next KidMin Leadership Gathering will be happening in South Carolina in fall 2023!)  One of the activities from the day was a series of "Idea Dots" - large dot posters around the room where everyone could share their ideas on a specific topic or category. One of the Idea Dots was summer ministry ideas, and there were some creative options! So as we head into the summer season, here are some of the summer ministry ideas from local kidmin leaders, shared at the Georgia KidMin Leadership Gathering: Send kids "happy mail" and postcards...

Dive into these Summer Resources!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dive into these summer resources to make a splash in your ministry this summer! Explore the brand-new-for-2023 summer resources below, but find ALL the summer events, curriculum, family resources, and more here.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Explore all Summer Resources here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fsummer-resources-2023%2F|target:_blank"][products columns="2" orderby="rand" order="ASC" ids="104365, 104647, 93366, 104582, 104624, 104615, 85144, 85245, 104510, 103635, 103637, 103815, 93849, 102938, 98406, 88074"][vc_btn title="Explore all Summer Resources here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fsummer-resources-2023%2F|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

5 Ways to Work With the Youth Pastor For Preteen Transition from Children’s To Youth Ministry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As the end of another school year rolls around, you may be planning the transition of your preteens from the children's ministry to the youth ministry. The transition from children’s ministry to youth ministry should be a collaboration between the leaders of those two ministries, not just a hand-off. So here are 5 ways to work together with your ministry counterpart (the youth pastor) to ensure the transition goes smoothly... Think about what elements of youth ministry can you pull into kids ministry. Consider creating a “hybrid” ministry that pulls in elements of both the children’s and youth ministry for your preteens. This can be as elaborate as a separately-named-and-run ministry or as simple as adjusting small group time. Learn how the small group format works in the youth ministry, and start...

Preteen Transition Conversation Guide

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Helping preteens transition from the children's ministry to the youth ministry requires an intentional approach from leaders in BOTH ministries (children's and youth). Use the following questions to have a discussion with your ministry counterpart and think through the logistics of a smooth transition for preteens from children’s ministry to youth ministry.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the printable version here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2023%2F05%2FDKM-Preteen-Transition-Conversation-Guide-Freebie.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text]Before the Transition What elements of youth ministry can we incorporate into children’s ministry? What are important milestones/skills we want kids to have before entering youth group? What...