3 Lies Parents Believe About At-Home Discipleship (And the Truths You Can Help Them Discover)

I've been eyeball-deep in research about today's parents - specifically Millennial parents - lately, and a common factor among parents is a list of reasons why they can't disciple their kids at home. But in reality, those reasons are often lies, and as children's ministry leaders, and we can help parents replace those lies with important truths about their role as primary disciplers of their children. To speak into this discussion, I'm excited to share this week's guest blog post from Christie Thomas, author and one of our DKM Vendors, all about the 3 lies parents believe about at-home discipleship and the truths we can help them discover: If your efforts to equip families with the best family discipleship resources aren’t well received, know this: The answer isn’t to send home more resources to gather crumbs in the minivan, but to take one...

5 Things KidMin Leaders Must Do To Effectively Partner with Today’s Parents

If you’ve been serving in children’s ministry for longer than a week, you’ve realized that children’s ministry is not just about the children. It’s about the parents and grown-ups in a child’s life too. That's why we'll be focusing on partnering with parents for the next 4 weeks and diving deep into how to effectively minister to this generation of parents.  To kick off our month-long discussion, we have to identify WHO today's parents are, and surprise: they're Millennials! Millennials may spark a variety of stereotypes in your mind: entitled young adults who eat avocado toast for breakfast and still live with their parents. But in reality, we Millennials are all grown up. The Millennial generation includes anyone born between 1981-1996, which means that in 2024, Millennials now range in age from 28 to 43 years old. (We're getting...

3 Tips for Celebrating Easter as a Family When You’re in Ministry

Ministry life means holidays look different for leaders and our families. You're at church earlier (and later) than everyone else. Special meals and gift times are shifted to accommodate service times. The days surrounding a holiday are often filled with leading special events you've spent months planning. So this week's guest blog post focuses on you, kidmin leader, and how to honor your family in the midst of a ministry holiday season. This week's guest blog post comes from David Reneau of Lead Well Ministries, and he shares honestly about his experiences and lessons learned when it comes to celebrating Easter as a family when you're in ministry...  Imagine: it’s the Friday before Easter. You’ve been busy with all the marketing, event planning, service prep, and inviting. You’re probably a little tired and the light at the end of the...

Interactive Bible Storytelling Technique: Treasure Hunts

You know I'm all about interactive storytelling, especially with today's digital native kids. That's why I'm excited to share this week's guest blog post from Jennifer Lake all about incorporating a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt into your Bible lesson: Bringing the Bible to life is not something new to any ministry leader, but finding innovative ways of engaging your audience is always a win. Treasure/scavenger hunts are both fun and interactive, helping younger learners deepen their knowledge of the Bible. Treasure hunts offer an immersive learning opportunity by inviting kids to hunt for something (an object, a picture, etc.) that relates to the story or helps tell the story. They are also a great way to explore deeper biblical themes and symbols. When you incorporate scavenger hunts into your teaching time, you bring the tapestry of...

18 Egg Hunt Alternatives

I've seen lots of questions in various kidmin Facebook groups this year about alternative Easter event options different from the typical egg hunt. I love the creativity those conversations are sparking! Based on the conversations I've seen with ideas from leaders like you, here are a few alternative egg hunt ideas to help you and your families celebrate Easter! Neighborhood Egg Hunt or Around the Town Egg Hunt - This idea requires neighborhood involvement, but it's so fun! Encourage families to hang a printable/poster of an Easter egg on their front doors. They could even have kids cut and color the Easter egg sign out of poster or even printer paper (craft time!). Then, as families walk around the neighborhood, they can “hunt” for the eggs on the front doors of their neighbors and see how many they can find. Find 5 free egg coloring...

10 Non-Candy Valentine Gifts for Kids

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With Valentine's Day falling on a Wednesday this year, you may be considering a simple Valentine gift or treat to share with the kids and families in your ministry. But if you've worked with kids long, you know giving a room full of kids a bunch of sugar can lead to complete chaos. So I've been researching, and here are my 10 favorite non-candy Valentine gifts for kids along with some links to the printables when possible! (Trust me, the parents in your ministry will appreciate the non-sugary gift!) Scripture Valentine Cards + Heart Stress Ball (Kids are dealing with a lot these days! Remind them that they are loved and that they can count on God with this simple idea!) "I'm Stuck on You, Valentine" + Sticker Pack (Kids love stickers! Use Generic stickers or Valentine-themed stickers) "I think you are...

Hearts and Ashes: Navigating Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday in Your KidMin

As we gear up for February, we find ourselves facing a unique and exciting overlapping of two significant events on the calendar: Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday. This year, these two special days fall on the same date (February 14), creating an opportunity for a rich and meaningful exploration of God's love and compassion.  Valentine's Day, traditionally celebrated as a day of love and affection, may seem worlds apart from the solemn observance of Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season. But as they coincide this year, it gives us a great opportunity to help children understand the connections between these seemingly unrelated occasions. Valentine's Day evokes hearts, candies, and talk of love of all kinds. In children's ministry, we can focus on God's love and sharing that love with others. Ash Wednesday invites...

4 Strategies For Supporting Young Parents in Your Church

As a young mom, Sundays are hard. Managing to get all of us dressed, fed, (and sometimes dressed again if breakfast took a turn) and out the door on time is a true feat of willpower, focus, and detailed scheduling. That's why I'm so thankful for leaders who are intentional about creating strategies that support and encourage young parents. We need it! :) This week's guest blog post comes from Susan McPherson from Esther Press as she shares 4 strategies for supporting young parents in your church... As a church leader, your dedication to the body of Christ correlates with a calling to encourage and support fellow believers. Young parents in your church can especially use this support as they navigate the new world of parenthood. As you welcome young families into your church, the best way to strengthen relationships with them is by offering...

2024 Word of the Year: Habits

Do you have a word of the year? I used to think it was silly, but now I love it when God gives me a theme to shape my year. I use the word to guide my learning, my goals, and my daily interactions. My 2024 word of the year is habits. I've been praying about my 2024 word of the year since November 2023, asking God to reveal what He wants me to focus on. I threw around a few ideas and tried to give God suggestions of my own, but they were all grand words with grand expectations that just didn't seem to fit. When God whispered "habits" into my heart, my first thought was "God, that's not big enough." But once He placed the idea there, the word kept popping up everywhere and reminding me that small habits often have the biggest impact. My goals and desires for 2024 may not be as grand as they have been in the past (like writing/publishing a book,...

Habit Tracker Guide + Printable

Use this Habit Tracker to identify, track, and solidify the habits you want to commit to each day, week, or month. When you complete the task or habit, color in the box. Choose 1 consistent time each day to update your habit tracker (when you get in bed, when you brush your teeth, right after dinner, etc.). Consider the questions and resources below to help jumpstart your habit evaluation and goals. Download the Habit Tracker Guide + Printable Here! Consider these questions: What habits do you want to form this year? What habits do you want to break this year? What habits do you want to see formed in the families you serve? What habits do you want to develop or encourage in your volunteers? What spiritual disciplines (holy habits) do you want to emphasize this year? Books I'm reading...

Building Altars: Marking the Moments of God’s Presence

During naptime the other day, I heard a loud, crashing THUMP come from my 3.5-year-old's room. She's at the age where naptimes when she actually naps are few and far between, but she still takes time each afternoon to spend an hour or two in her room for quiet time. This day's "quiet time" had been anything but quiet. There was singing, playing her toy xylophone, shaking and banging on her tambourine, knocking on her window to wave at the people passing by on the sidewalk below, and general merriment. Sitting downstairs, I tried to focus on my work while (unsuccessfully) balancing tuning out the noise and keeping an ear out for her safety. When I heard the loud THUMP I decided it was time to investigate. I walked upstairs, opened her door, and saw the 75+ books in her room scattered all over the floor. There wasn't even a place to step...

Altar Moments List Guide

What is an Altar Moment? An altar is a place of sacrifice, worship, or prayer, and several people in the Bible built an altar to mark a celebration of God’s presence and work in their lives (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, etc.). An altar moment is a moment when you see, experience, and feel God’s presence at work in your life or your ministry. Altar moments may be big, or they may be small, but either way, they are stacked together as powerful reminders of God’s love and presence. They’re an overlap of God’s kingdom in your everyday life. When we experience an altar moment, we are filled with a sense of hope, joy, and renewed faith. Download the Guide Here! Why Create an Altar Moments List? Leading a ministry is hard, lonely, and sometimes discouraging. Creating an altar moments list allows you to document and remember God’s...

3 Things Every Child Needs To Know About Christmas

There are a lot of things kids may know about Christmas and the Christmas story, but if you had to choose just 3 things, what would you choose? I'm excited to share this week's blog post from Dave Ray from Doorpost Songs that emphasizes three things every child needs to know about Christmas: Christmas isn’t a monolithic monument, standing alone on a pinnacle. It is a junction on the journey of God’s love for His people. A road runs into it. A road runs out of it. And each of us must walk this road in its fullness to understand God’s extraordinary love for ordinary people. In light of Christmas as more than just a season, here are three things we want every child to know about Christmas: Christmas Means God Keeps His Promises - The story of Christmas doesn’t begin with the words, “In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a...

Hope Has a Name

As we begin this season of Advent, I'm excited to share this guest post from Christie Penner Worden at Raise Up Faith:  Hope has a name. I’ve seen this phrase a lot lately. Not nearly as often as I have seen evidence of hopelessness in this season, I’m afraid. But in our clamoring for what’s next, for change, even for what’s required to get through the day, hope can seem dim, faint, even fading. Hope has a name, and as followers of Jesus, we know it to be His. But in a recent deep dive into the book of Hebrews, I found that Hope is not only rightly named, it is so clearly defined that to miss it would be, well, hopeless. “Because God wanted to show his unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to...

Advent Devotional for Kidmin Leaders Free Sample

Many of our resources and freebies are geared toward the kids and families in your ministry, but this freebie is for YOU, kidmin leader. Here’s week 1 from a 4-week Advent devotional written specifically with children’s ministry leaders in mind. So block out 20 minutes on your calendar this week, grab your Bible, print the following pages, and spend time with Jesus this Advent season. Praying for you as you place your hope in Him. Download the Advent Devotional Sample Here   If you enjoyed this Advent devotional, download the full month (4 weeks + Christmas Eve/Day)...

Last Christmas

🎵 "Last Christmas, we shared these ideas & freebies, but some of you weren’t here. This year, to save you some time, I’m bringing them back in case you missed them." 🎵 Ok, so maybe those aren’t the lyrics, but it’s true! (And you already have my heart anyway, kidmin leader.) Here are our top posts and freebies from Last Christmas! Keeping Christ in Christmas (Without Overwhelming Families) I’m excited to share some thoughts from Christie Thomas, author and one of our DKM Vendors! Here’s what she has to say about keeping Christ in Christmas at Home (without overwhelming families). Help Families "Treasure These Things in Their Hearts" This Advent Season After Jesus was born, the Bible tells us Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). As children’s...

Counting Down to Christmas: 3 Simple Ways to Focus on Advent in Your Children’s Ministry

It may only be October, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And with Advent only a month away, we're already thinking about counting down to Christmas. That's why I'm excited to share this week's guest blog post from Courtney Weaver at David C Cook all about 3 simple ways to focus on Advent in your children's ministry. P.S. Find all the Advent resources you'll need here!  As a children’s ministry leader, you know that the importance of the Christmas season can easily be drowned out by Christmas trees, presents, music, and other exciting indicators of the season. That’s why your children’s ministry and the curriculum you teach should prepare hearts for the holiday. We all need to be reminded of the gift of Jesus–kids, families, and leaders alike! Advent is simply a time of preparation for the celebration of Christmas,...

3 Goals for Building Faith in Families

As children's ministry leaders, we know we're supposed to equip parents to build faith at home. But how do we actually do that? In this guest blog post from Vanessa Myers of Family Faith Builders, Vanessa shares her journey to make family discipleship a priority in her ministry, and she lays out the 3 goals she has when equipping families with at-home resources. Find all of Vanessa's resources on Deeper KidMin here.  "Building faith in families." That was a phrase that wasn’t on my radar when I first began serving in children’s ministry. I thought my focus was just on teaching kids God’s Word. I really didn’t think about helping parents build faith together at home with their children. Not that I didn’t see it as important, but I honestly just didn’t think it was something I needed to do. And then God spoke to me and helped...

10 Fall Ideas for Your KidMin

Last week, I co-hosted another KidMin Leadership Gathering where we shared training, connections, and ideas. Part of the day involved local kidmin leaders sharing their fall ministry ideas! So here are 10 fall ideas for your children's ministry from the amazing kidmin leaders at the South Carolina KLG. Fall/Holiday KidMin Leadership Team for events (create a special team of leaders to help plan, prepare, and run your fall and holiday events) Student-ministry-led pumpkin patch for kidmin Harvest Hangout (candy, games, fellowship) Service Project Bingo (They must have downloaded this resource!) Community Carnival (Trunk-or-Treat, rides, food, and games) Hope Harvest Festival (A festival event that presents the hope of the gospel) Grateful Gathering (family-led stations with a focus on thankfulness) Great Pumpkin Race...

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...