creativity

November 2, 2015

An Illustrated Advent: Engaging Activities for the Season

[guestpost]Today's post is a guest post by my friend, Adam Walker Cleaveland.  Adam is a pastor, artist and blogger. He lives in Chicago with his wife (also a pastor) and their almost–4-year old son, Caleb. You can find Adam online at awcillustrations.com or adamwc.com.[/guestpost] After working with children and youth for over twelves years in four different churches, I was beginning to feel called out of parish ministry and into something new - something different. Around that same time, I began to rediscover my childhood love of art, drawing and watercolors. It had been probably twenty years since I’d sat […]
September 3, 2015

3 Practical Keys That Will Transform Your Kids Church Experience

As Kids Ministry leaders, it’s our passion to help children become life-long followers of Jesus.  It’s about getting kids excited about the Word of God.  After being in kids ministry for over 23 years, I’ve also developed a passion to equip other teachers to present God’s word with excellence so that it leaves a lasting imprint on the minds and spirits of the children we minister to.  In order to do so, we need to work with a curriculum that holds keys to unlock doors of opportunity to create a transformational kids church experience. The big question is: What makes kids […]
May 1, 2015

Are You Teaching Your Kids A False Gospel?

I am at Awana's "Vantage Conference" and had the privilege of listening to a legend of Children's Ministry, Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales and What's In The Bible?).  Phil told a story that gripped my heart. Ted Turner (media mogul and founder of CNN & TBS) is an outspoken critic of Christianity.  Most people know this.  In 1990, speaking before the American Humanist Association, Turner proclaimed that "Christianity is for losers"...and this isn't nearly the most provocative thing he has said about Christians.  Many know this about Turner, but not many know the story behind his anti-religous sentiment. Ted Turner dreamed […]
April 15, 2015

How To Lead A "Creative Team"

Ten years ago, when I first began creating High Voltage Kids Ministry curriculum, I remember being scared to death.  I had never tried ANYTHING like this before and had put it off for many years already.  You see, I had felt God leading me in this direction but wasn't willing to take the leap.  When I finally decided to jump, I assembled a team of 10 of my best leaders in a room, and we proceeded to craft the very first High Voltage release, "Got Questions?"  It was a wonderfully collaborative process, and the end product was amazing. When it […]
February 16, 2015

"All About Time Change" (parody of "All About That Bass")

Every year, our church does a great job at poking fun of Time Change Sunday (the day that clocks Spring an hour forward and for some reason people freak out because they are losing an hour of sleep).  To keep people from forgetting and ultimately being late for church that day, we create crazy videos to remind everyone. The last few years, we have done parody songs and videos of the hottest pop songs of the day.  Well, this year is no different.  For your entertainment, here is a parody of "All About That Bass" (yes, we are fully aware […]
July 7, 2014

Kids Ministry "Meatloaf"

A mother was making meatloaf with her teenage daughter, a ritual they've been doing together for years.  As part of the tradition, the two chefs cut the end off one side of the meatloaf before putting it in the oven.  One day, the teen asks, "Mom, why do we cut the end off the meatloaf before we put it in the oven?" Taken by surprise, the mom began to think.  She really wasn't sure of the reason, but she had observed her own mother do this many times when she made meatloaf.  So, the teen and the mother called up Grandma to […]
June 23, 2014

Get A FREE Copy Of My New E-Book, "Kidminnovation"

I have been waiting on this day for a long time!  Today, I release my brand new e-book, "Kidminnovation."  (#Kidmin + Innovation = Kidminnovation)  The message of this book has been building in me for many years.  I had the opportunity to speak at INCM's "CM Leaders" event two years ago on this subject.  Ever since, I have had many Kidmin Leaders asking me to write more about it and help them unlock the creativity inside of them. The premise of the book is that EVERYONE has creative potential.  In Kidmin today, I see so many people falling short of their creative […]
June 19, 2014

Kindred Creative: It's Like Having A Full-Time Graphic Artist For Your Ministry

If you are like me, you are ALWAYS in need of great artwork and graphics!  Many kids are visual learners and need to be immersed in their environment to really experience the truth we are presenting.  Well, as Kids Ministry Leaders, you know how hard it can be to have a professional brand and online presence in ministry.  It's expensive, resources are difficult to find, and frankly, its confusing! Well, not anymore!  Enter "Kindred Creative" - owned by a good friend of mine, Kate!  Kate and her husband are full-time ministers (church planters, even) who had these same frustrations 8 years […]
May 15, 2014

YOUR WINNER: Here's The Cover Of My New Book: "KIDMINNOVATION"

Thanks to the scores of people who took time to vote on the "Pick My Book Cover" contest earlier this week.  It was overwhelming - you chose #3 (pictured above). This is a book that I believe will inspire many Kidmin Leaders to become more innovative in their approach to ministry.  It will enable many to rediscover the creative person that God created them to be!!  Keep your eyes and ears open for future information regarding release date and how YOU can get a copy!  Coming SOON!    
March 3, 2014

Our NEW Kidmin Stage - Why We Did What We Did

Four weeks ago, we tore down the Kidmin stage we had used for the past decade.  It was a tough decision.  So many memories of many kids' lives being changed around that stage.  However, it was time.  If you want to know WHY we tore down what seemed to be a perfectly good stage, see THIS POST. Yesterday, we unveiled our NEW Kidmin stage.  It is a significantly different approach.  Many have asked what made us go the direction we went, so I thought I would document our thoughts here.  Of course, I understand that every environment depends heavily on […]
February 24, 2014

The Key To Limitless Creativity

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I like to write about creativity.  It's a passion of mine because I know so many people who sell themselves short when it comes to creativity.  Many have decided that "creativity is a gift reserved for the few."  This is simply not true - not if you serve GOD! Even the most creative human minds are finite.  The term finite means “having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.”  But God is infinite.  He is “far above all,” not limited by any boundaries at all.  When we draw […]
February 5, 2014

Why I Destroyed My Kids Ministry Stage

This past Sunday, at the end of our Kids Ministry service, I had over 50 volunteers grab sledgehammers, jigsaws, and various other power tools - then DESTROYED my Kids Ministry stage.  We did this even though we had one of the coolest, most colorful, thrilling Kids Ministry stages out there.  In fact, when other Kids Pastors learned I was destroying it - they couldn't believe it!  They said, "Why would you want to do this?  Kids Pastors come from all over the country to check out your stage.  It is overwhelmingly powerful in its presentation.  It's something that most of […]
January 31, 2014

FUN FRIDAY: Delta's On An 80's Trip!

I love creativity!  I especially love when someone can take something that has been around for years and give it a fresh, bold, creative twist so that it piques the interest of the audience once again. Delta has done exactly this with their "in-flight safety" instructional video.  Being a child of the 80's, it was fun to identify all of the wacky 80's references they showed:  ALF, Teddy Ruxpin, Rubik's Cube, Devo, and more!  See if you can find them all! Ask yourself, what is something in your Kids Ministry that can use a new dose of creativity?  What activity, […]
June 17, 2013

Five Tips To Instantly Improve Creative Output

Creativity is an elusive thing. For most people, it doesn't just happen. Although, I am a firm believer that every one of us has enormous creative potential (check out my post on "Kidminnovation"), there are definitely times when creativity just doesn't seem to flow. If you find yourself struggling in your creative realm, try these tips: 1) Start "scratching" Twyla Tharp, author of The Creative Habit, talks about the act of scratching. She writes, "You know how you scratch away at a lottery ticket to see if you've won? That's what I'm doing when I begin a piece. I'm digging […]
April 16, 2013

Three "Creativity Killers"

Creativity is a MUST in Kids Ministry.  It takes creativity to capture attention and illuminate the gospel to a young mind that is bombarded with flashy, glitzy attention-grabbers all day from a world whose message is less than spiritually healthy. We all want to be more creative, but we often fall prey to one or more of the three CREATIVITY KILLERS in ministry... 1)     PROCRASTINATION There’s an epidemic of procrastination in Kids Ministry.  I can’t believe how many times I hear people saying that they don’t even begin to start their preparation for Sunday until Saturday Night. Nothing will kill […]
March 6, 2013

Another "Time Change Sunday" Parody - "Call Me, Maybe!"

So many of you watched our other "Time Change Sunday" Parody Video ("On Time Style" and asked, "Do you have more?" Well, yes we do! Here is a great parody of the big hit, "Call Me, Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. This one stars our Preschool Coordinator, who apparently broke her alarm clock and wants you to "Call Me, Wake Me!" so she isn't late for church on Time Change Sunday! Enjoy! [wpvideo 7BUz2gYU]
March 5, 2013

Funny Way To Remind Your Church About "Time Change Sunday"

Every year, my church does CRAZY videos to remind people to set their clocks forward an hour for Time Change Sunday. Well, that is THIS Sunday, March 10th. So, don't miss it! Enjoy this - featuring our Worship Pastor! [wpvideo XgEQo8R6]
November 12, 2012

Becoming A "Kidminnovator"

I was privileged to be invited to speak at INCM's CM Leaders Conference this past September.  My topic was "Kidminnovation:  Unleashing Creativity in Kids Ministry."  For those of you who were unable to attend or watch it on their LIVEstream, here it is: [wpvideo q902UIKv] After you watch the video, please share your thoughts in the comments section.  Thanks!
October 8, 2012

Thinking For A Change

Some of us haven’t made any changes to the way we approach our ministry in a long time.  If you are still doing ministry the way you were the first year you started, then it’s time to think differently.   "Thinking For A Change" takes some intentional focus.  Here are a couple of thoughts to help you become a better thinker... How to be a better thinker: 1.    Set aside thinking time. You will never be a good thinker unless you plan to.  You need to set aside time in your schedule that is distraction-free.  Take the time to think through […]
May 29, 2012

Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt 3)

And now, the exciting conclusion to the blog post series, "Six Questions To Ask Yourself Before Implementing A New Idea In Your Kids Ministry."  Here's what we covered in pt. 1 and pt. 2 of the series: 1)  "Have I Prayed About It?" 2)  "What Does My Pastor Think About The Idea?" 3)  "Does The Idea Resonate With The Hearts Of My Team?" 4)  "Do I Have The Support Of The Parents In My Ministry?" QUESTION #5 - "Do I need God's power to accomplish this idea?" This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself as you evaluate […]
May 21, 2012

Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt. 2)

In my last post, I shared the first two of the Six Questions to ask yourself before implementing a new idea in your Kids Ministry: 1)  "Have I Prayed About It?" 2)  "What Does My Pastor Think About The Idea?" Now, we continue with Questions 3 & 4: QUESTION #3 - "Does the idea resonate with the hearts of my team?" After your pastor gives you the go-ahead, consult with your ministry team.  These people have the same passion as yours to impact the lives of the children in your church and community.  Share the plan with them while your […]
May 15, 2012

Six Questions To Ask Before Implementing A New Idea (pt. 1)

Sometimes, we overestimate our own creativity and cleverness.  We think we’re so smart that we know exactly what we need to do in a given situation without consulting God or others.  It's a sad situation that I see repeated over and over in Kids Ministry. This post will be the beginning of a series of posts dealing with SIX QUESTIONS we must ask ourselves before implementing a new idea.  Often, we can get in such a hurry to implement a "crazy clever" or "amazingly creative" idea that we have for Kids Ministry.  I have had many such ideas end up […]
May 7, 2012

Four Words You Should NEVER Say

I hear it all the time from so many Kids Ministry leaders.  It's the four words that should NEVER come out of your mouth…“I’m just not creative.” Sometimes it comes in more subtle ways such as, “How do you guys do what you do?”“I could never do that!”  “I wish I could be more creative, but I don’t have it in me.” “Why are some people creative and others aren’t?” The truth is everyone has creative potential.  We sell ourselves short thinking that creativity is some mystical ability that few are blessed with. A large part of the problem is […]