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Flash Paper Stories

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So it’s clear from being at the brilliant Activate Conference with Tammy Tolman that there a lot of people in Kidmin that have a story about the infamous flash paper.

Flash Paper to Coin from Nathan LeGros on Vimeo.

So if you have ever used flash paper and lived to tell the tale, please share below…

I will share a fellow kids pastor experience of using a candle to light the flash paper and getting a small amount of wax on the paper which ended up on the youth pastors face after being thrown into the audience.

Share away! (Especially you gospel type illusionists/magicians)

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Bad Language

Forget about tradition for a moment. Don’t think ‘but that’s the way we’ve always done it’. Ignore the fact that your Church is probably comfortable with things the way they are.

I want to talk about your bad language.

  • You call your kids spaces – Classrooms! – Huh? Do kids really want another day of school?
  • Your ministry is called Sunday school! – Wah? Again, why another day of school?
  • Kids Church!! – Wha?? Way to reinforce the myth that ministry to kids is separate to the rest of the Church
  • Workers! - Man, when I think worker I imagine a coal mine and chimney sweeps.
  • What about all the adults in Big Church – I know it’s cute… but seriously, this is not playhouse Disney
  • A CRY ROOM?? – For the love of all that is holy!! You know words are powerful right? Why just not call it the unsettled and annoying baby room!

You are not building a Church in the 1950’s, most of us function in a post Christian world where a lot of children have not even heard of Jonah, Moses and all the other stories let alone have any connection to the Christian-speak you use. WOW – take the opportunity and reinvent yourself!!!!

You are also completely missing the cultural impact of branding, by using generic names you mark yourself and your ministry as boring and irrelevant!

Stop it!

A role of the leader is to communicate… sometimes you need to communicate CHANGE… this is one of those times.

In conclusion, corporations spend millions of dollars crafting just the right phrase to communicate their brand and product – why don’t you sit down and spend a few minutes choosing the words that communicate and reinforce the vision and mission of your Church.

Get rid of your BAD LANGUAGE and replace it with helpful/good/inspiring/innovate/interesting language.

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I didn’t want to hear that

There are a number of phrases you don’t want to hear as a leader. I heard one of them last weekend.

“My friend put in a new leaders application and she hasn’t heard anything”.

Ouch.

If there is one thing you want to get right is making a process of becoming one of our team easy. One of your goals as a leader is too eliminate these utterances through a process known as communication — Don’t say much, but say it often!

Some other deadly sentences include, but are not limited to:

“No I didn’t get into a service this weekend, dilantin price I just served”

“But this has been happening for ages”

“I didn’t have my team leaders phone number”

“My tee-shirt is in the wash”

“There was a team meeting this week?”

“Yes there was a lot of blood, but it didn’t look too serious” (okay, that one has never happened to me)

Are there any phrases you don’t like to hear as a leader?

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Contribute

So last week I started this post in my drafts folder all about how I thought we were starting to see some real traction in the social media/internet world with relation to the non-geeks starting to use technology tools to communicate. But then Sat night happened… I cut back on the amount of blogs I read dramatically. I have done this once before, but didn’t touch the Children’s Ministry ones because I kinda felt I wanted to keep up with all of them… those days are over.

I made some tough (well not really compared to fighting in world war 1), decisions and just stopped following about half the CM blogs I used to (I follow them in Google Reader).

Having blogged for many moons now I have seen the landscape change and shift; in obvious ways like the rise of twitter, and in watching blogging grow, plateau and maintain.

But blogging still seems to be the way that great leaders can communicate, converse and contribute to a wider conversation – and spreading it through twitter.

So I wonder if the little niche of ministry cytotec order overnight to Children has reached its peak with blogging contributors and time will soon present a much more mainstream option?

The bottom line is that we should have FAR more people involved in contributing! Too many leaders doubt their experience and feel like they have nothing to say. Everyone has something to contribute.

Leader: Don’t waste your experience. Grow your influence.

You are already giving out to your team, just make that content go further, find a way to share! Believe me, as you give you will receive, pressed down, shaken together… you know the rest.

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Why Use Media?

I would love to highlight one of the main reasons we use media with our kids during weekend services.

When I grew up in New Zealand there were only two TV channels, the appropriately named One and Two, so my friends and I watched the same TV programs:

Macgyver and Knight Rider

(I cried when Kitt ended up in the acid pool and they had to remake him. Episode 314 Junk Yard Dog).

It united us as kids and has given us a common language and reference.

This has all changed with the stunning width and breadth of media available today. Our media choices are used to differentiate and separate us into tribes/groups. Are you an emo kid, do you like Hip/Hop, or are you a fan of [insert pop princess of the moment]?

One of the many reasons we use media in our services is to create a shared experience.

No matter which campus I go to, which of our extension services I attend there will be children who I share a common language with… not about just Disney or Nickelodeon but with our crestor online target=”_blank”>curriculum and the Big Message videos. We could talk about Funny Man Dan and his latest exploits or some song they saw last week and as the media is created to point towards our theme and (hopefully) toward Jesus the relevance to their lives should immediately obvious.

And just like today as the mist of time clouds my eyes as I think about Macgyver diffusing a bomb with a toothpick, or Michael Knight foiling an international plot I hope that our kids today will remember with fondness and hopefully understanding what they experienced as a child.

(This may turn into a series methinks)

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A little Perspective

So I spoke at the Kidshaper conference last week about keeping perspective in our lives… here are some great quotes about perspective and a summary:

  • In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.
  • Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein
  • Every generalization is dangerous, especially this one. Mark Twain
  • I’ve creatine retail price missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan
  • Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
  • A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye. Samuel Grafton
  • When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity. Albert Einstein
  • There is no burnt rice to a hungry person. Philippine Proverb
Contrary to what you think, things are probably not what they seem.

GIDEON: Judges 7:1-8

  • God bought about a victory from an army too small (Midianites 135,000 = 450 to 1)
  • With weapons that were completely inadequate (empty clay jar, a torch, a trumpet)
  • And a leader who was determined but felt completely insignificant (Judges 6:11)
God’s perspective of the battle was assured victory – he used the weak things of the world to confound the wise.
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Twitter. Phenom?

Here’s what I twittered today.

  • The Church used to be great with technology. We nailed it with the printing press. Why are we so slow to see the potential of technology? Link
  • twttr still seems lk the latest thing in the Church but old news 2 the world? Link
  • So 746 Tweets about #hillsong this week. Not bad. 1,097 about #swineflu and 22,309 about @iranelection Link

(In reverse order just like twitter presents them)

Check out this great Time Mag Article: How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live

This is what I ultimately find most inspiring about the Twitter phenomenon. We are living through the worst economic crisis in generations, with apocalyptic headlines threatening the end of capitalism as we know it, and yet in the middle of this chaos, the engineers at Twitter headquarters are scrambling to keep the servers up, application cozaar 25 mg developers are releasing their latest builds, and ordinary users are figuring out all the ingenious ways to put these tools to use. There’s a kind of resilience here that is worth savoring. The weather reports keep announcing that the sky is falling, but here we are — millions of us — sitting around trying to invent new ways to talk to one another.

If your question is: So do you think twitter/facebook/whatever is a useful tool? You are asking the wrong question and have completely missed the point.

It’s not about the specific tool, whether it’s Facebook/Twitter it’s about the technology and the way it changes society and the way we interact/get news/connect/etc. etc.

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Contributing, not consuming

YouTube is a site that creates nothing.

All the creators did (before Google bought the site) was put up a way for people to create content and share it with the world.

I mean its not like a news site where people create meaningful content at the employ of the almighty Goog… it’s just a way to put lame videos that SHOULD have been sent to the funniest home video show of your choosing!

And therein lies the crux.

Millions of people have made YouTube what it is today by creating all the content FOR Google (then they make millions from advertising, which is a whole other rant).

This culture, and the culture of our kids growing up is shifting from ‘consumers’ to ‘contributors’.

I watched Macgyver diffuse bombs using a matchbox and three hairpins growing up, I never really considered it possible to make my own episode… even if I wanted to, film was expensive and forget about editing it!

Today’s culture honours the contributors, the creators, those brave enough to put something out there and they disregard the leechers, the whiners, the critics who have never created anything.

You want to have an opinion that is valued, a voice that commands respect…

CONTRIBUTE!

Networking claritin on sale is not so much just about meeting other like minded people, it’s about the bringing value.

The little community of Children’s Ministry bloggers that has grown and developed in the last four years is full of people that CREATE content.

Are you serious about connecting?

Do you really want to build relationships that sharpen you?

Do you want the generation rising to listen to anything you have to say?

Then WRITE something, FILM something, RECORD something… and put it out there for every person in the known universe to read!

(btw: There are at least 900,000 blog posts every day online.)

Please, for your sake: Move from consumer to contributor!

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Kids Digital Media Savvy

Via Kidscreen Magazine

A new poll shows U.S. parents know how important digital media skills are for their children.

Three out of four parents surveyed agreed that knowing how to navigate various digital media outlets is as beneficial to kids as mastering traditional skills chloroquine prices like reading, writing and math.

A full 67% of parents said they did not think the internet helped teach their kids to communicate more effectively; 87% of parents said they did not believe the internet helped their kids learn how to work with others; and 75% do not believe the web can teach kids to be responsible in their communities.

How important are these skills for children?

We are at the beginning of this revolution that has and will impact more areas in our lives with each passing year… Can we as parents really know how to direct our kids towards the more meaningful skills that will help them in the future?