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Musical Mention: Turn It Up – Kidspring

*Musical Mention posts are more of a highlight feature rather than a source of no holds barred critical review. If you would like to suggest an album for a Music Moment feature then please comment below.

It was a normal day just scrollin’ through the twitter feed when I am confronted with this:

So I jumped right on it to iTunes and check it out.

Turn It Up

“Turn It Up” is the newest album from KidSpring, the children’s ministry at NewSpring Church. It’s a two-disc set, featuring songs like Wise Up, My Faith is in You, and When I Look. Whether your kids are preschool or elementary age, they will love learning about Jesus as they sing along! “Turn It Up” will be available on iTunes and at any NewSpring campus on March 1!

First of all, 21 tracks… calm down… that’s just showing off.

Tracklisting

1. When I Look
2. Pirate Party
3. Do Not Give Up
4. Wiggle Worm
5. We Are Royalty
6. We’re Not Scared
7. You Are The Treasure
8. 1. Timothy 4:12
9. Jesus Love Me (The Bible Tells Me So Remix)
10. Love Will Never End
11. Detective Shuffle
12. Praise The Lord
13. Wise Up
14. Another Level
15. Set An Example
16. Away We Go
17. My Faith Is In You
18. Royalty
19. Clean Up Rap
20. Eyes On You
21. Love Will Never Fail

THOUGHTS

Having a listen through I recognised a few tunes like ‘We’re Not Scared’ which we used at Hillsong Kids as a memory verse song a few months ago. It looks like this is a perfect example of what I think more Churches should do, put together a bunch of songs that the kids have been singing at Church, there is a fantastic mix of early childhood songs, primary/elementary songs, praise and worship, and even program songs like a clean up rap.

NOTE: At Hillsong Kids we have the tidy up song which you can get right here, and use every week at Church, and I love this Clean up song they use at Kidspring!

FAVOURITE SONGS

It’s a real mix that everyone should check out and grab to use with their Church ministry, or even at home… you know you need a clean up song right?

Clean Up Rap – Get it for Church, get it for home.

Eyes On You – This is a bit of music producer talk, but I love a half time chorus and this song will rock for your preteen kids at Church.

My Faith Is In You – Rock and roll praise done well declaring great things about God!

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Another reason to visit Worshiphousekids

I have been working behind the scenes for a while to partner with WorshipHouseKids and get some Hillsong Kids Content up there. Over the last couple of years this resource has become a real goto site to grab videos, songs, and inspiration from quickly. They really understand the digital realm and give you video files that just work!

Our first bundle has been uploaded and you may find it very helpful:

  • Birthday Song – It’s the Happy Happy Birthday song for preschoolers and toddlers. Birthdays are significant for your children. Celebrate with them by singing along with this video and making them feel special!
  • Countdown – A 3 minute high energy, dynamic countdown that will get your kids ready to start Church! Your kids will love learning the dance moves on screen.
  • Game Loop – The answer to creating atmosphere while your kids are playing games or having free time. At over 7 minutes it’s long enough to energise your latest and greatest new game.
  • Ministry Song – The answer to creating atmosphere in your service for praying and ministering to children. Run this beautiful guitar led worship song in the background while you pray or even sit quietly in response to our awesome God.
  • Tidy Up Song – Are you frustrated at having a messy room while you try to teach the kids at your Church about Jesus? Play this song when it’s time to transition your kids and see the difference music can make.

Check them out!

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The 2014 Top Kidmin Blog Post

As I get older (and grumpier), I find my the voices that I am listening to (not the ones in my head)… whether about leadership or the Bible, ministry or culture shrink a little. I am still on the hunt for fresh insight and perspective for sure, but especially last year I noticed the kidmin blogging world stayed pretty steady with the tried and true writers.

So this is not a top ten list but I just wanted to highlight a post that I think was the most helpful, insightful and reflected a blogger who has a lot to offer our little community of ministry leaders!

But before we get there here are three runners up:

Does the church still matter? from Sam Luce

Doing what only I can do from Kenny Conley

Rebranding our Kidmin also from Kenny Conley

It feels like Dale Hudson has a team of excellent researchers and writers working on his blog with the amount of engaging content and spot-on culturally relevant posts he writes. I read this post and it really helped confirm a focus that we have at our Church, but also cause me to want to double down on our efforts to see kids leading  in every area of our ministry. It’s not a deep theological discussion, it’s not even a new idea, it’s simply one of the most important things we can be doing as ministers.

The 2014 top kidmin blog post of the year is…

 

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Andy’s Got Training!

Andy Kirk from ACCkids is building a most excellent resource at their website.

There is a bunch of really helpful videos from a series featuring a panel of pastors from all over Australia some of my friends that I look up to and hang on every word!

Andy got us recently to talk about areas that are near and dear to our hearts and they are beginning to go up online. From Frank Bealer (Elevation Church) and the Pauls from Planetshakers here in Australia we hopefully give you both inspiration and practical how-to’s!

Check them out here.

HINT: You can download the FREE resource pack offered to attendees of the Kidshaper conference in 2014. (Shhh… even if you didn’t go get on there and download it) :)

2015 Panel Session – Worship – Dave Wakerley from ACC Kids on Vimeo.

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19 of the Most Extreme Reactions to the VeggieTales Redesign

It’s great to have fans. Fans are passionate and care about what you are doing. VeggieTales has legions of fans all over the world that have been watching the series for over 20 years.

But recently Big Idea, the owners of Bob and Larry have created a new series to be shown on Netflix – and redesigned the characters for the show. It’s a reboot for the franchise and a chance to reach a new generation of kids.

But what no one expected was the extreme level of reaction sparked off online, especially on Facebook. There is even a Don’t Change VeggieTales page!

To their credit Big Idea probably loves the attention in some way. The phrase “there is no such thing as bad publicity” probably applies here. Hundreds of comments for each post, and lots of shares around the Facebook world can’t be bad. Now you and I probably have to deal with potentially letting down millions of fans, but in our ministries the people who speak up both negatively and positively are the people who care, and in our world of distraction and abundance we need people to care.

So I present to you 19 of the most extreme reactions to the VeggieTales redesign:

1. Patti thinks that the Veggies have gone all commercial:

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2. The Veggies has alienated their entire fan base! It’s the beginning of the end:

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3. The fans are getting brushed off! Oh and the eyes are demon-possessed!

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4. More possession from Ben:

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5. Now Juniors voice is digesting??? Digesting what… a cheeseburger?

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6. And now they’re stoned!

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7. Wait, Larry wants you to get plastic surgery?

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8. Yep, plastic surgery… oh and Larry is now sexy:

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9. Edwin wants the haters to stop! Evil is in the air:

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10. Horrible says Hannah and scary… true, have you even tasted a brussels sprout!

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11. It takes two to stare Karen… now you are feeling sleepy…. zzzzzzz

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12. It’s getting serious, a boycott is happening! By an adult… of a kids program?

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13. Howard will pay your redundancy pay for six months…

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14. Christian finds them obnoxious and ugly… FACT!

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15. Look out Larry is on a Bender… tomato juice? (also Moose Lake? Activism?)

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16. Bloody murder – loud noises – screaming!

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17. Boo! Jenna is having bad dreams!

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18. Howard is back – this children’s cartoon should not be shown to kids!

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19. Let’s leave Justin running terror!

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After all that excitement:

Let’s leave the last word to Phil Vischer, the creator of these nightmares :)

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Okay… one more.

veggie20

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The Ultimate Kidmin Conference Cheat Sheet

I spent a very quick few days in Columbus Ohio last week speaking at the Kidmin conference. Apart from feeling the jet lag a little more than in the past I found myself in a brand new conference experience put on by Group Publishing.

The amount of training that happens is astonishing in it’s variety and sheer volume requiring a telephone book sized yellow sheet just to recap all the topics and sessions! So with that in mind, here are some tips to help you survive the experience.

1: Find a friend and organise a buddy system. Perhaps you could create code names for each other like ‘Alpha Moon’, ‘Tomato Bob’ or ‘Larry Cucumber’ that you can yell out in an emergency. Here I have pictured two men doing just that. Wayne Stocks from Dad in the Middle Blog and Michael Chanley from CMConnect are now establishing contact with each other and assigning codes… I believe Michael went for ‘Louisville Kitty’.

ohio-chanley

2. Find people with similar hairlines to your own. This is myself and Steve Adams from Saddleback Kids very relieved to have found each other and realising that both our hairlines have seen better days. Steve has teenagers and so has progressed towards complete cue ball faster than me, but I have no doubt that I will catch him up at some point. You can just make out Michael Chanley photobombing at the back still nervously looking.

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3. Get your selfie on with a guy in a mohawk. Jeff from JumpStart3 was an ever present presence in the resource area and a guy with big dreams and the guts the go after them. Which brings me to the guy on my left.

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4. Bring along the legend that runs Hillsong Music. We just recently released Faith, Hope and Love a 9 week curriculum for both Preschool and Primary/Elementary and it’s awesome (I haven’t really mentioned it on the blog strangely). Tim Whincop and Josh Olson both were with me and made the Hillsong Kids stand happen.

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There were many moments that happened at Kidmin conference meeting people like Wayne Stocks and Gina McClain both bloggers who I have been following for a long time! Meeting Christine Yount Jones the editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine and seeing her enthusiasm for helping leaders in kidmin. I did want to catch Dale Hudson who writes probably the most consistent kidmin blog there is and I did see Anthony Prince in passing at some point. But next time I do this I think a blogger meetup would be in order!

Thanks Kidmin, we had a great time!

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The History of Bob and Larry? Controversy!

Wow, fascinating podcast from Phil Vischer!

FROM THE DESCRIPTION:

It’s been an interesting week for Bob and Larry in veggie-land, inspiring Phil to tell the whole story of how he and his characters parted ways, and the many attempts made over the last decade to bring them back together. It’s a story we guarantee you’ve never heard before!

As a student of kids entertainment over years and also the fact that I am fascinated by the business of entertainment this was one of the most interesting videos I have seen in a long time.

ALSO - let’s talk about the redesign of the VeggieTale characters. It’s a veg-apocalypse! It’s the end of the world!

According to Breathecast it’s causing a big uproar all over the place!

“I greatly appreciate the work that they have put into this new show but the characters are very odd looking. It’s not just that they’re different. They have a disturbed look on their faces and the eyes just make them feel creepy instead of kind and easy to love,” a commenter on Facebook said.

Me? I am waiting to see the new show for the review!

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1 reason to visit Columbus Ohio

As you travel the world, one destination towers over the rest in the search for international prominence.

Columbus.

It screams out from brochures, demanding your attention as you forget about Paris, London and New York. Drowning out your reservations with “We have a replica of Christopher Columbus’ historic ship the Santa Maria“. 

So I am sure there are lots of reasons to visit Columbus Ohio, but to be fair, there is only one reason I am here.

It’s the KidMin Conference by Group Publishing and Children’s Ministry Magazine.

I had a walk around the city this morning, grabbed great bacon omelette (international travel rules dictate, in the US? eat bacon) breakfast from a tiny little place around the corner from the hotel suggested by this great blog Breakfast with Nick. And then had a stroll around the rather massive count of high-rise buildings in the downtown area.

Seriously, there is a lot of tall buildings for 800,000 people (Apparently lots of state government departments are here).

But let me get serious for a moment. I am quietly excited about this conference. I have never been a part of an event run by Group before so I will be learning all I can, about how they do what they do. There are friends here and new friends to be met. If you are at the conf. come by the Hillsong Kids stand and check out some new resources!

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Kidshaper Conference Highlights

Kidshaper conference was a fantastic event in August.

We try and get as many of our team to attend as possible knowing that it will be a time where we get to be inspired, encouraged and perhaps most importantly hang out together without the pressure of task and ministry.

Andy Kirk is a champion with a very special place in my heart. His rebranding of the event makes me happy, his passion for ministry makes me happy, his innovation and the inner workings of his brain make me happy.

He is an absolute gift to the ACC in Australia. In short, when he asks me to jump, I ask how high? 

Kidshaper 2014 Highlights from ACC Kids on Vimeo.

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Is it a dusk or a dawn?

When people write about puppets in ministry the article title will be a variation on this; “Puppets – why we use them”. 

When you write ‘why’ in the title of an article you are doing it for a couple of reasons – either explaining a brand new concept or method to an audience, OR explaining just why a certain idea is still relevant when it seems to be declining.

I love the muppets. But even in their franchise ‘reboot’ movie in 2011 they had to prove themselves that puppets could still be funny.

Spend your energy on the new dawning idea rather than the idea in the twilight of it’s life.

P.S. I cried from overwhelming waves of nostalgia about 14 separate times in the Muppet movie. I like my puppeteers like I like my parents – they were around for my childhood.