The History of Bob and Larry? Controversy!

Wow, fascinating podcast from Phil Vischer!


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!


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!


Four kidmin leadership panels you should watch today

Andy Kirk is a champion.

Full stop.

I don’t know how he does it… family, ministry, entrepreneur…

But he does it and he does it well.

He oversees Kids R Us in Australia here and I think you should get to know him, connect with him, and at some point meet him and ask him questions! A good place to do that is at the annual Kidshaper conference.

He got together myself, Nathan Mclean and a few legends from Australia to talk about #kidmin and leadership etc. for a panel discussion. I love this style of learning and leadership and I think you should watch them! I just rewatched them and it reminded me of so much and kept me thinking about the things that are important!

You can find them in the resources tab at the KidsRUs website. Or head over to their Vimeo Account for more!

Kids R Us – Leadership Panel – Session 1 from Kids R Us on Vimeo.



Kidsong Big Messages

At Kidsong 2013 this year we have a number of ‘Big Message’ Videos that cover the topics we are investigating for the week.

They follow a similar style to our Big Curriculum resources, but on a smaller budget (as in $0, although I bought a bunch of whiteboard markers and some McDonalds at one point).

Firstly our Primary/Elementary ages:

The format is:

  • Intro segment (short and the same for every video)
  • ‘Draw my life’ style (main story/fun overview)
  • Wrap up (summarise the main point of the episode)

This is not meant to be a full exposition on scripture but fulfils three main goals:

  1. Gives the kids a shared media experience (unity)
  2. Sets up the speaker/preacher
  3. Hopefully gets a laugh (when you’re laughing you’re learning)

Secondly our Jr/preschool-ish ages:

The format is very simple and the language/style is perhaps modelled on the ‘tone’ of Playschool (preschool TV show in Australia).

Similar goals, but not as much humour. If you want to get a laugh with this age group you need slapstick!


Escaping from Church

I’m sure you have had kids in your Church who don’t really enjoy themselves from time to time, well it probably didn’t get this bad.

TurboDally posted this news report over the weekend about a seven year who hated church so much, he did just that, stealing his dad’s Dodge. Police were called when a witness saw the kid driving through a stop sign.


New Leaders Training

So here’s the thing. I have tried to film at least 5 different new leaders training videos over the last few years. But seriously it seems like every time we try something happens. We have hard drives fail, lost footage, evil clowns steal tape (not really).

It felt like there was a spiritual battle going on for the soul of our new leaders and powers beyond my understanding were working against me to stop this video from being created – (“what do you mean exaggeration???”)

But instead of deterring me, my resolve only got more resolved, and my gumption got more gumptionfied – I cast out the demons of fear and loss and tried again 🙂

How you start something is very important and I want to give our new team members the best start possible.

I believe that in our multi campus Church that including this video with all of our new leaders applications will really help give them that great start. This is one part of getting new team involved.

Here is the video:

Hillsong Kids New Leaders Training


7 Billion

What kind of world will our children inherit?


7 Billion, National Geographic

With the worldwide population expected to exceed seven billion in 2011, National Geographic magazine offers a 7-part series examining specific challenges and solutions to the issues we face. The magazine introduces the series with its January cover story “7 Billion,” offering a broad overview of demographic trends that got us to today and will impact us all tomorrow. The first in-depth story will appear in the March issue, focusing on humans’ impact on the planet’s geology. Other stories will follow throughout 2011.


Kidsong – The Mystery Part 2

Part one is here.

So on the first day all of the small groups (each child is in a small group of kids with a leader) got a ‘Cloodle’ which was a record of all the clues that we left around the Kidsong venues. Some were written in chalk in random places, some were read out from stage, some were texted to leaders and some were handed out on bits of paper. There were 18 clues in all and they had to fill out all the clues because on the last morning we revealed the final meta puzzle.

A letter out of each of the 18 clues was needed to create a final sentence to unlock where the ‘treasure’ was ultimately hidden.

One of our challenges each year is to create an exciting prize for the winning team (every child is allocated a tribe/pod for the conference). It’s hard on a limited budget to get a prize that is valuable for a few hundred kids and doesn’t cost your whole budget.

Every year we produce ‘trading cards‘ (coming in part three of this series) that we release each day and the kids go nuts trying to collect them all. Some are rarer than others and this year the rarest of all turned out to be the hidden treasure on the final day. We produced doxycycline order online an unannounced 11th card for the winning team ONLY.

There were only a few hundred of this card and not many kids outside of the winning team would have got one. So after announcing the winning team and revealing the meta puzzle we produced the MAP and the winning team went to dig up their treasure.

Funny Story: My esteemed collegue Nathan Mclean, whom I charged to bury the aforementioned tresure only hours before it was revealed is still at the conference site looking for one of the packages (two primary school age groups = two different treasures). One thing I know, I will never let him forget his disastrous treasure finding abilities.

(Even with one lost we had enough to go around thank goodness).

Thanks to Elisha Suarez and her team of thespians who wrote our Mystery script, she did an absolutely magnificent job and I could not have imagined a better video series! Also thanks to our editors Logan, Eric, Josh and Nathan who did post audio! It all worked out in the end!

Here is part three of the video:

This is part four:

And here is the final wrap up of the whole thing, where the kids get to see all the secrets. This is shown on the final night of conference and recaps the entire week.

Coming in part three: The designs of the trading cards and the ‘cloodle’.

Plus other highlights from Kidsong World 2010!

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Why Use Media Pt 2

Here is part two of my little series on using media with kids. Part one is here.

I have seen many moments of beauty and love often perpetrated by apparent pre-followers of Jesus (‘pre’ as in God desires that all should receive salvation).

Now how can someone show compassion and love but yet not be a ‘Christian’. The truth is that love is not exclusively the domain of the follower of Jesus, BUT God IS love and so all acts of love emanate from God.

All beauty comes from God. There is no beauty that does not come from the Father through Christ, Himself the embodiment cymbalta order online of all beauty. St Augustine, Confessions

I firmly believe that all beauty comes from God. There is no second source for kindness and goodness, so no matter who is doing the act they are, and can only be inspired by God. That goes for the depiction of the loving sacrifice of a father for a son, the compassion of a warrior for an enemy, the integrity of a businessman in the face of corruption.

But no matter how brilliant movies are and how beautiful the moment, it is often in the context of a lifestyle contrary to the word of God — opposite to His Kingdom.

So the sacrifice of a father is surrounded by revenge, or unfaithfulness. The love of a couple results in immorality and adultery. No matter how moving the story lines and how teachable the moments the world view of the story teller is important and affects the story.

As a parent you would most likely be wary of movies promoting a Hindu or Muslim view of the world, but we are used to watching media that represents the family unit as dysfunctional and completely incompetent. Or enjoying with our family a movie about High School Students obsessed with relationships and being ‘fabulous’.

Could you imagine a world where the media we watch reinforces the teachings of Jesus and sets up ideals that our kids aspire to… and… doesn’t… suck.

It is a rare movie that accomplishes this without being preachy and cringe-worthy.

Find the song, the movie, the media that does this well and show your kids!

P.S. One of the most important skills the 21st Century kid needs is to be able to recognise and filter out this media (I did enjoy High School Musical), so I am not saying get rid of the TV and move into an Amish community, but what a blessing it is to consume media that doesn’t give you heartburn and indigestion on the way down.

P.P.S. The Church stopped creating culture and started consuming culture many decades/centuries ago. I have great hope this is the generation that will reverse this!