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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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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.

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Shameless they said!

Yeah, one of my hats as a kids pastor is overseeing the creative output of our Hillsong Kids.

The great thing about that is it helps our own ministry and Church campuses grow and lead kids. But also I get to release resources into the ‘wild’ as it were. We are in that season right now with a brand New Big Curriculum ready at the gate for its time in the spotlight. But it’s also hard to talk about without sounding like a shameless plug… but I can say what I like on my own blog right?

Here’s what we know so far –

  • It’s a 9 week curriculum
  • It includes elementary/primary and preschool/toddlers (first time)
  • It’s all about Faith, Hope and Love
  • It will be physical (DVD) and digital (download)
  • Large group/small group (same format as previous curric.)
  • Over 7 hours of media content! (this kinda blew my mind when we added it up!)
  • New website

Here’s what may be announced (wink, wink) –

  • Maybe there will be new worship music from Hillsong Kids?
  • Possible there will be a song to celebrate birthdays in your ministry?
  • I have heard that there may even be animated characters?

But seriously I am very happy with this new series and know that you will love it!

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1 Reason to make a video

As I have stated before on this blog, if I am light on posting it’s probably because of two things a project or a big season in Church life.

Well we have had both of them. Hillsong Conference  (hillsongconference.com), and a brand new resource Faith, Hope and Love. So posting has been very light, but I am feeling full of things that we have tried and would love to share. But here’s a quick recap on what’s been going on.

  • Kidsong conference was just spectacular you can see the first video up at our Hillsong Kids YouTube channel (also it’s this post below).
  • We had a baby! London Brave Jessica Wakerley. My first girl!

  • We are about to release our most ambitious curriculum project to date! It’s called Faith, Hope and Love and it’s coming in August!

Hillsong_Kids_BiG_FHL_DVD

  • So here is the reason to make a video for your ministry. Below you will see the latest video in an almost 10 year series of songs that we call the ‘Three T’s’. It has gone by different names like the Three P’s over the years but it is now an institution in the event known as Kidsong. Out kids watch this is every main session/rally and one of their missions is to memorise it over the conference and recite it back to myself or Funny Man Dan for big points! Anyway, if you have an event like this, a VBS or similar camp then do this! Your kids will love it!


 

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Mike Johnson failed me

So here’s the thing. I love scouring the worlds internets to find music that is created specifically for Christian Kids, especially for use in Praise and Worship during weekend services. You can read all of the musical mention posts I have written in the past few months on the blog.

At Hillsong Kids we have used Elevate Curriculum and I have met Mike Johnson the creator at a CPC conference in San Diego in the past and he an almost embarrassingly generous man. But how did the knowledge of this series of albums pass-by me?

Radio E is the music from the Elevate curriculum series released in a series of collections. Some of the songs are specific to their curriculum, but there is a ton of praise music scattered all over the resource!

But somehow, the obvious extreme marketing efforts have somehow missed me? Here is the description from their website:

Tell the kids in your ministry how they can listen to Elevate music all week long! They can download the same music they hear at church from their favorite online music store! Radio E Music can be found on iTunesGoogle PlayAmazon MP3Spotify and much more. Preschool, Elementary, and generic music graphics available.

You can kinda check out the videos here: www.elevateathome.com/shop/music/ but it doesn’t appear to let you download videos?

So I am going to have to leverage the impressive reach and influence of my very influential blog* to make sure you have all heard about this incredible collection. And also put the pressure on Mike and his team to release lyric videos/backing versions of the praise and worship songs!

My theory is they should put together a collection of the praise and worship songs and create a resource we can use this weekend… (not literally, but soon would be great).

Yours Sincerely,

David Wakerley

P.S. I’m a big fan Mike… and of the producer of this music!

FOOTNOTES

*Not really

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The worst word in kidmin

I present to you, fair reader, the worst word in kidmin:

…’Worksheet’

Doesn’t that just scream fun! Tell me more! I’m in! Yay!

It’s that thing that you hand out to the kids to reinforce the theme/topic you are discovering. It’s that thing the kids do during their small group time, it’s that thing that I just can’t stop calling a ‘worksheet’.

It causes me pain, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement.

What do you call them?

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Musical Mention: Light of the World – Johnny Burns

*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.

This week I highlight an Australian Artist Johnny Burns based right here in Sydney. He has released a bunch of music starting way back in 2000 for kids. Let Your Light Shine is his latest album.

Every song is based on one of my favourite Bible Verses. I guess you could call it “Pop Memory Verses”. The highlight for me in making this CD was doing some vocal collaborations with a range of really cool singers. I have chosen a range of Bible verse, from both the Old and New Testaments, which have really meant a lot to me during my Christian walk.

LIGHT OF THE WORLD

5 Johnny Burns Let Your Light Shine

Let Your Light Shine is Johnny’s 4th children’s album. Working with his long time friend and producer, Wayne D’Chong, the two have delivered an album full of catchy songs teaching the Word of God.

Special guest vocalists joining Johnny on the album include Colin Buchanan, Rob Smith, Alanna Rodgers (from GarageHymnal), Dave Hanbury (from Revive), and the beautiful harmonies of Jacqui, Katie & Christine Host.

Tracklisting

1. Let your light shine – Matt 5:16
2. Light of the World – John 8:12
3. If – 1 John 1:8-9
4. The Wisdom Song – Jam 1:5
5. May I never boast – Gal 6:14
6. Clap your hands – Psa 47:1-2
7. The Lord looks at the heart – 1 Sam 16:7
8. Love Love Love (One Another) – John 13:34-35
9. He is good – Psa 145:8-9
10. Ask, seek, knock – Matt 7:7-8
11. The plans I have for you – Jer 29:11
12. Your word is – Psa 119:105
13. Seventy times seven – Matt 18:21-22
14. Trust in the Lord – Prov 3:5-6
15. Holy holy holy – Rev 4:8

THOUGHTS

This album was released in July 2012 and like the rest of Johnny’s releases is a mix of live instruments and electronic instruments. The mixes are quality and the lead vocals are never lost and clear as a bell (important for kids). Having Colin Buchanan, the ultimate Aussie kids performer on the album brings the guitars out and they wield the country lick with class.

Now one of my big focuses as always is can you use this music for praise and worship with your kids and a really great way is to produce ‘lyrics videos’ to use on your weekends. It’s a bit of a necessity these days and I would love to see these produced, even sing-a-long versions like previous albums.

I seem to say this a lot, but they have nailed the kids choir recording, it’s tight and sits well in the mix.

To get a hold of this album check out emumusic.com or iTunes.

FAVOURITE SONGS

All these songs a based on scripture, but rather than a direct quote from scripture (very hard) he has built a song around the concept of each verse and that is a great way to write songs for kids.

The Plans I Have For You (Jeremiah 29) – The melody works really well on this track with lyrics that come pretty closely from the Bible.

Holy Holy Holy – This is a really nice worship song, and the lead vocals work really well

Ask Seek Knock – Rock ‘N Roll pure and simple, but it’s just really well performed and a great arrangement.

Here are some more thoughts on the album biblesociety.org.au/news/music-that-has-kids-jumping-to-gods-word

 

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First ever post

In Nov 2004 this was the first post I wrote on this new blog.

It was short and not very deep but it’s still relevant!

 

WE HAVE THE ANSWER

We (the church) – have the answer, we may not be perfect or even close but we know someone who is perfect.

We have the answer!

I may feel inadequate when a child misbehaves or is going through a tough time.

I may feel like I have nothing to give – but we do – do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded (Heb 10:35)

We actually have the answer!

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Musical Mention: Look Up – Gateway NEXT

*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.

Gateway NEXT is the worship ministry that is changing and impacting thousands of young lives weekly during Gateway Church services in multiple locations throughout North Texas. This worship team is from Gateway’s Amazing Kids ministry. It aims to inspire more people, especially children through music.

Inspired by this goal, Gateway Next has come up with its first project, an album entitled Look Up. This project was created to minister to the next generation, to the things that are happening every day in the lives of our young children. Music is a very effective means of reaching them and touching their lives.

LOOK UP

Look Up by Gateway NEXT is an uninhibited, pure and sincere brand of worship songs, full of life, energetically responding to the call of our loving God. (1 Samuel 3:8).

Look Up is filled with songs and words of declaration inspiring young hearts to be bold in their response to the voice of God that speaks openly with them. This first album will capture the attention of the next generation that is already changing their present world with their boldness, while building up their faith to be the catalyst for change tomorrow.

These original songs have been written and recorded with the same heart that comes from the leadership of Gateway Worship, and their powerful expression of worship. Look Up serves as a glance into their journey of discovery and understanding of the power and presence of God in their daily lives.

Tracklisting

  1. We Are
  2. Look Up
  3. You
  4. How Great Your Love Is
  5. One Way (All the Way Out)
  6. Gonna Love You
  7. Living For You
  8. Secret Place
  9. My Heart
  10. Masterpiece

GATEWAY NEXT WORSHIP – LOOK UP CD PROMO from Gateway Worship on Vimeo.

“GatewayNEXT’s album “Look Up” has gone from Dove nominated to Dove winner! So grateful for the support of our Gateway Church family and proud of every single person who was involved.” – Gateway Church

THOUGHTS

This really is the Kids Worship album of 2013! It is from a local Church team working together to produce something that will reach the hearts and minds of kids. This is a Church that obviously has it’s eyes across the whole breadth of ages. There are resources oozing out on their store at gatewaycreate.com for all ages. It is just simply refreshing to see a Church who have brought out so much for adults and teens focus on kids, I love it!

Look Up contains 10 new worship songs written by the Gateway team of songwriters. Featuring Kari Jobe. These songs from gatewayNEXT hit the preteen age perfectly and there is a nice mix of live/rock tracks with pop/dance tracks.

Looking forward to much more of this in the future and I would love to to see a live recording, there are videos online of a performance from a Church service, but it would be great to see a full album!!

REVIEW

Some of these songs lean toward the ‘performance zone’ rather than a congregational vibe, which gives the album a high replay edge so after multiple listens in the car the repeat button stays on. The Gateway kids worship pastor Dana Johnson has not only written some great songs but also bought the best of Gateway Church Worship to create worship that kids all over the world can relate to!

More info at JesusFreakHideout