Mar 4, 2021

Worship Music for Kids by Travis August

Last year at a church where I was speaking, God crossed my path with Travis August.  

Travis is an incredibly gifted artist and is making an impact around the world.

Here is an example of one of his music videos.

 

Travis has a special place in his heart for kids' ministry and he agreed to partner with me to produce 12 brand new, original kids' worship songs.  The songs line up with our Connect 12 curriculum.  You can see more about the curriculum at this link.

These are songs that kids will actually sing.  Much of what churches are trying to get kids to sing today are adult worship songs that are too long and too complicated for kids to worship to.  This is why you will see many kids just standing there during worship.  But when you sing the songs that Travis wrote, you will see kids singing...even the 4-5th grade boys! 

Click here and you can see samples of the songs.  

You can get the entire album of 12 songs for only $39.00 or $9.99 per song when bought individually. 

When you purchase the songs, you get...

  • worship video with vocals
  • worship video without vocals
  • worship song with vocals
  • worship song without vocals
  • song lyrics
  • motion video led by Travis
Bring some new songs into your ministry. The kids will love it!

Mar 3, 2021

The Toys That Are Big Sellers During the Pandemic

Kids have obviously been staying at home more during the pandemic. 

And this means they've had more "playtime."

But what toys are they playing with?  

Now before we jump into the toys, I want to remind you of something.  You may be asking, "Why do I need to know what toys kids are playing with?" 

The reason we need to know what toys are popular right now is because we are missionaries to kids. 

When a missionary goes to another country, they seek to learn all they can about the people that live there and their culture.  What are their traditions?  What foods do they eat?  What kind of clothes do they wear?  What traditions and holidays do they celebrate?  

You and I are missionaries to kids.  Which, BTW is the greatest mission field in the world.  So it's important to learn all we can about what they like and don't like. 

Here's the challenge.  Take these toys that are hot sellers right now and bring them up in casual conversation with the kids you minister to.  It will put you on common ground and the kids will be impressed that you took the time to enter their world.  This will open their hearts to your message. 

So without further ado, here are some of the top selling toys during the pandemic.

Barbie Dolls

Nintendo Switch 

Magna Tiles

Bath Bombs

Extra large craft paper

Amazon Echo Dot

Water Beads

Kiddie Pool

Giant Pool 

Dot-to-Dot Markers

Dinosaur Board Book 

Bounce House

Mini Trampolines

Kinetic Sand 

Light-Up Bath Cubes

Jigsaw Puzzles

Legos

ECR4KIDS Quad Seesaw Teeter-Totter

My Little Sandbox

Inflatable Splash Pad

Sidewalk Chalk

Wobbly Worm game

Fort Building kit

Wowmazing Giant Bubble Want Kit

GoSports Tabletop Boar Game 

Hot Potato Passing Game

Little Tikes Pirate Ship

Giant Connect 4

Beaker Creatures

Spike Ball

Scavenger Hunt - Seek and Buil9

Do a quick Google search if you want to know more about any of these toys before you talk about them with the kids.

Mar 2, 2021

20 Keys to Keeping the Kids at Your Church Safe

Life can be a scary place for today's kids.  They are growing up knowing they could be attacked anywhere they go. 

At...

school

parent's work

store

movie theater

concert

and yes...even at church.

And then there is the pandemic.

Parents are on high-alert when it comes to their kids being safe while they are at church. 

Churches that want to reach families in today's culture must have a clear safety and security plan.  They must also have a way to keep Covid-19 from being spread at church.

And this plan should be communicated to new parents as they are checking in and and being walked to their child's classroom / environment.  This will help new families feel more comfortable leaving their children in your care. 

These 20 keys are locks that you can use to keep the kids in your ministry safe.  None of them are foolproof when used alone.  But the more locks you add, the safer the kids in your ministry will be. 

These 20 keys can help you create a safe place for kids while they are on your property.  

Ready?  Let's check them out.

Background check.  Every person who serves must first have a background check ran.

Reference calls.  Yes. You need to actually call the references.  I was recently at a church where the previous pastor committed adultery and was dismissed from his role.  He went straight to another church and the same thing happened there as well.  This could have been avoided if the second church had simply picked up the phone and asked a few pertinent questions before hiring him.

No one ever alone with a child.  Not in a classroom.  Not in a car.  No place.  No exceptions.  I was recently made aware of a very high-profile church where a child was abused in the bathroom.  The volunteer should never been alone with the child.

No one go in the bathroom with the child.  This goes back to the previous point about not being alone with a child.

Minimum of 2 volunteers in each room (husband and wife doesn't count as two).  The volunteers in the room should have been through training and know the safety precautions they must take.

Lock the children's ministry doors once service begins.  Ideally, lock the hallway doors or entrance doors that lead into the children's ministry area.  At a very minimum, lock each classroom door once service starts.  This will slow down a shooter that is targeting that area.

Volunteer security team.  Enlist a team of volunteers who help with these steps.  Checking doors.  Making sure exit doors are secure.  Walking hallways. 

Hire a policeman.  You may think having a policeman in your kids' common areas is overkill.  Actually it is not.  Parents (whose number one concern is the safety of their children) will welcome this.  The officer should be in uniform.

Personal interview with each potential volunteer.  Sit down with them and ask the hard questions.  If you'd like a list of the questions I ask, email me and I will be glad to send it to you.

Ratios.  Proper ratios are crucial to keeping kids safe at church.  Putting 2 volunteers in a room with 30 preschoolers is not a good thing when it comes to keeping kids safe.  In this article, I share what the ratios should be for each age group

Put alarms on each door.  Place an alarm on each door that is not supposed to be gone through.  This will help you and your volunteer know if some is trying to access or leave through a wrong door.

Security name tags (check-in and check-out)  Establish the rule that no one (no exceptions - not even the pastor) can take a child without having a matching name tag.  This must be a non-negotiable.

Check the bathroom before a child goes in.  Have the child wait outside the bathroom while you take a quick step into the bathroom to make sure no one is in there.  The best plan is to only let kids use these designated bathrooms (kids' only sign on door).  Of course, the best scenario is to build bathrooms in your children's ministry areas so they don't have to leave the kids' areas.

Security cameras.  Install security cameras in each classroom and record when the children are present.

Only allow people with a security tag inside your children's ministry area.  Ask to see their security tag before they enter. 

Stay connected to the parents during the service.  This will allow you to contact them as needed.  You can use a pager system, text to a cell phone, numbers on the screen, etc.

Don't allow men to change diapers.  This one is pretty straightforward.

Have a lock down plan in case of an active shooter or intruder.  Train each leader about what to do in this type of situation.

Each room should have a window so people can see inside the room from the hallway. 

Ask about allergies.  Most parents will tell you, but play it safe by asking each new family if the kids have any allergies that you need to be aware of. 

When you follow these steps, you will create a safe place for kids and families.  Parents will feel comfortable enough to leave their child with you.  And your church will begin to reach and keep more young families. 

Your turn.  What else do you do to keep families safe at church?  Share your thoughts and insight in the comment section below.

Mar 1, 2021

The Generation to Come

This past weekend, I spoke at a church in Erwin, Tennessee.  I brought a message in the Sunday morning service entitled "The Generation to Come."  I'd like to share a few thoughts from the message in this article.  

"Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:  Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.  We will not hide them from their children, shewing to THE GENERATION TO COME the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He hath done.  For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make known to their children:

That THE GENERATION TO COME might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments."   Psalm 78

We are in a battle for the heart and soul of the next generation.

Gen Z (born between 1997 - 2010).

Gen Alpha (born between 2011 - 2025)

Today's Kids:

You were a child but you've never been a child now.  Today's kids face things we never faced.

  • 8 second attention span
  • spend 7 hrs. 3 min8 minutes a day with digital media / they are immersed in it
  • interact with up to 5 screens a day.
  • on demand
  • terrorism - they realize they could be shot at school, mall, places of buiness...even at church

By 2025, there will be 2 billion Gen Alpha in the world. What an incredible mission field they are. 

"Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let the face away your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children and to their children after them."  Deuteronomy 6:9    

"For generations to come, we are called to lovingly and courageously do whatever we can to pass along the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light."  1 Peter 2:9      

 Churches must reach and disciple the next generation or they will eventually not be a church.

 If there are no children in your ministry, your church is terminal.

We must be intentional about reaching the next generation.

"After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things He had done for Israel."  Judges 2:9

1. Pass them God's way of salvation.

The Gospel is the greatest thing you could ever pass on. 

2. Pass them God's wisdom so they will know how to make wise decisions.

3. Pass them God's Word.

The next generation is watching you.

 "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children."

Your greatest accomplishment will not be something you do but rather someone you raise.

 4. Walk the talk.  You teach what you know.  You produce who you are.

5. Parents - you are your child's first and most influential teacher.

6. 4 times you can invest in your children in an average day.

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." 

Home Time

Drive Time

Bed Time 

Morning Time

7. Make Jesus the center of your family's life. 

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous and all these things will be added to you."    Matthew 6:33 

  A legacy is not what you leave for people, it's what you leave in people.                             

8. Just show up and be there. 

9. Invest in what really matters.

10. Serve the next generation.  Invest your time, talent and treasure into them. 

Would you like to have Dale come to your church and invest in your leaders and get your church excited about reaching the next generation?  You can get more info. at the link below.  Dale offers both in-person or online trainings for children's ministries.

https://www.buildingchildrensministry.com/speaking-training