Family Event – Lego Party

LegoParty10

Four times a year we do an event that is meant for families to do something together.

Gingerbread Party – to kick off the Christmas Season
Princess Party – in the winter
Family BBQ – during our EPIC kids summer camp week
Lego Party – in the spring

Here are some pictures of our Lego Party and what we did.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • I had someone build this lego wall using a 4×8 sheet of wood & 15 base plates.
  • I found some lego masks online that kids could cut out & put on.
  • We had a photobooth where people could take their family photo.
  • Lego Coloring Pages for those who like to sit and color.
  • Yummy treats are always very popular.
  • I made Rice Krispie squares and added food coloring.  Then I put Smarties to match on top while they were still warm.  We cut them in rectangles and they looked like lego blocks.  (Smarties are only available in Canada).  Don’t worry, we had healthy snack options available too!
  • Families could pre-order a lego kit (I gave them a choice from 6 different kits that I ordered and they paid for) or they could bring their own lego kit.
  • Then together, they built their lego kit.
  • We had some blocks that they could build with at an activity center.
  • We had a bouncy castle so they could burn off some energy.
  • Our Indoor Playground was open for kids to play on.
  • Our Lego Decor was made from styrofoam blocks & styrofoam circles.  We painted them with regular wall paint.

We had 350 people come to this event.  It was a great opportunity for families to spend time together.  It was also a great opportunity for people to invite their non-church friends to come to visit our church.

 

 

 

How I use Evernote in Kids Ministry

Evernote
Kids ministry is full of a zillion details, and Evernote is a great way to keep everything organized and easily accessible. What I like about Evernote is, it syncs with all my devices. When I am working on my computer in my office, I can make notes on things that I can access later on my iPhone, and vice versa. Here are some of the ways that I use Evernote.

Sunday Morning Notes – I connect with a lot of people on Sunday, and often my conversations require an action step. Writing a note on Sunday and tagging it “follow up” allows me to follow through with the details that I said that I would do. I carry my phone with me on Sundays, so it’s easy to make a note in Evernote using my phone. Then on Monday morning, I check my follow up note, and cross off things as I get them done.

Recruiting – I make a note for each person that I connect with about volunteering in Kids Ministry. I add to the notes as they complete various steps in the screening process, such as completed interview, completed police check. This helps me remember who still needs what when it comes to their on-boarding process.

Meeting new people – When I meet new people, I make a note in Evernote to remember their name, and something about them. Depending on the situation, I might even ask someone if I can take their picture, so that I can study the info and remember a face with a name. This was particularly helpful at our family dedication class. I met many new parents, and took their picture, so that I would remember their name at the family dedication event.

Receipts – If I want to get reimbursed for things I purchase for the church, I need to hand in a receipt. Sometimes I purchase something online, and I’m not near a printer to print the receipt. Keeping a list of receipts helps me to remember what I need to hand in at the end of each month.  You could also take a picture of your receipts, and keep them in a notebook.

Business Cards – People give me their business cards, and I can never really remember where I put them.  I scan the card with Evernote, and can always find the info when I need it.

To Do Lists – Writing everything down helps me keep track of what I need to do, and stay focused on it.  In the office or on the go, my list will sync with my devices, so it is always current.

Scripture Verses – Keep track of your personal Bible reading, or verses that are important to you.

New Ideas – I love to visit other churches & learn from their kids ministry.  Taking a picture of things, or writing down a few words in a note of the things I see helps me keep all the ideas in one place, and I can easily refer to them when I am ready to try something new.

Collecting Research or Information – I love to keep learning about leadership, kids ministry (and Disney).  As I search the internet, I can clip ideas or pages using the Web Clipper, and refer to those later on.  Articles, books, or blog posts can be saved in one notebook and organized together.

I’m sure there are many other uses for Evernote, but these are the ones that I use the most.
If you don’t have Evernote, it can be downloaded for Free!  You can find it at evernote.com.

Kids Church Reward System

PingPong1

When I was visiting The Grove Community Church in Riverside, California, I saw a system that they used to help motivate kids to listen & participate.  They used ping pong balls to give to the kids when they brought their Bible, or a friend, etc.  At the end of the service, the kids could put the ping pong balls that they earned into their display box.  The group who filled their box first was rewarded with a pizza party.  I liked that the reward system was visual for the kids, and they worked together to achieve a goal.

PingPong2

Sandals Church in California – Church Tour

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On a recent trip to California, I went to visit Sandals Church.  This amazing group of people showed us around their building & shared their stories of what they are doing to see people come to know Jesus.  Here are a few things that I learned from our visit with them.

1.  Their average weekend attendance is 5799 people and in 2014 they had 3890 first time attenders.  They run 7 services at 2 locations each weekend.

2.  Their kids and youth area were themed in a way that was appropriate for each age group, yet it all tied into the look of the whole building.

3.  They have some creative people on their kids staff who write their own songs & make videos for their kids worship.  It was fantastic!  (Shout out to Andrew & thank you for giving me a jump drive of your videos at CPC.  You rock!)

4.  They had bulletin board for their volunteers where they communicated “stuff” with their volunteers.

5.  Kids got a button on their birthday (just like at Disney!).

 

Grand Opening Ideas for your church

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This past weekend, we had the Grand Opening of our new church building which has been under construction for over a year.  We built a new kids area, renovated our office space, and built a 2nd auditorium that seats 300 people.

Having a Grand Opening creates an opportunity to invite people to come and see your facility & experience a little bit of what your church is like.  Here is what we did for our Grand Opening.

Saturday Open House:  (drop in format & people could stay as long or a little as they liked)

Kids Entertainment.  We had 7 activities or shows happening at various times throughout the kids area which included:

  • Birds Of Prey Show – a Raptor Conservatory that brought live birds for everyone to see
  • Kids Music Entertainer – did 2 interactive shows for families
  • Disney Princesses – 6 teens/adults dressed in costume and looked a lot like the Disney Princesses that you would see at a Disney Theme Park.  Families could meet & greet & take photos with the princesses.
  • Indoor Playground – our newly installed playground was open for families
  • Craft Room – tables, chairs, supplies & craft examples for families to make together
  • Balloon Animals – volunteers made balloon animals/shapes for kids
  • Interactive Electronic Puppet – a software program we purchased from Little Mountain Productions.

Food – Several areas throughout the church had food stations for people to pick up a snack.

Decorations – We ordered punch balloons that had our logo on it.  We started a few days before grand opening to blow up all the balloons.  We used a tree stump as a base, and then attached a pole to the base.  We put the punch balloon elastics over the poles to create balloon pillars.

Give Aways – Kids could take a punch balloon home with them on their way out.

Other Entertainment – The youth band, and a drum circle did several shows in other parts of the building.

Ministry Displays – Many of our ministries made a display for people to see.  This helped give people an idea of some of the programs that are offered at our church.

Sunday Dedication Service – We had a service to dedicate the building.  We invited the trades who worked on the project as well as dignitaries from our area.  We also included a ribbon cutting in the service.

 

 

 

Saddleback Church Kids Area – Church Tour

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am enjoying being in sunny, warm California in the middle of February.  I am attending the Children’s Pastor’s Conference in Ontario, California.  While I am here, I am taking the opportunity to visit churches in the area, and learn from their staff & volunteer teams in Children’s Ministry.

Here are some pictures of the main campus of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest.  Their staff were more than friendly and very willing to share their ideas and information with us.

They have a separate building for their kids ministry.  Around the outside of the building, they have several areas that they can use as teaching spaces.  The tomb & 3 crosses are a great place to take kids to teach them about the death & resurrection of Jesus.  The stone wall with windows make a great backdrop for just about any story.
Each room in the 3 story building, had age appropriate toys, games & interactive spaces where kids could connect before the lesson began.  The preschool room had little doors that could be inserted into the doorway of any regular door.  The older kids area had an entire wall that was a whiteboard.  They did a great job of making each room age appropriate & fun for kids.

They used a WIN system for the volunteers in each room.
W – Welcome – the person responsible for welcoming each child as they enter, & help them get their name tag
I – Integration – helped kids move from the door & get connected with other friends
N – Networking – this volunteer kept everyone on schedule & doing the activities for the service

In the next blog post, I will share pictures & ideas from the student ministries building.