KidTunz

Songs for Kids to Grow On!

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16 More Songs for Maker Fun Factory VBS

The Maker Fun Factory VBS is packed with creative lessons to teach kids that God built them for a purpose. Take a look at the trailer to catch a glimpse of it for yourself!

The VBS kit comes with volunteer manuals, DVD’s, music and tons of other resources, but if you want to incorporate even more music into the week, we’ve compiled a list of 16 KidTunz songs that match each day’s theme to play during the pre-service, rotation transitions, craft time or other VBS moments!

 

Day 1 – God Made You

“Because you made me”

“God made me special” 

“God made you”

 

 

Day 2 – God is for you

“Power Up! Jesus helps you”

“You can talk to God” 

“God sees”

 

Day 3 – God is always with you

“Be Brave! Be strong!”

“God is always with us wherever we go”

“Do not fear”

 

Day 4 – God will always love you

“God would still love me”

“How great is the love?”

“The Source”

“God loves us all the same”

 

Day 5 – God made you for a reason

“God’s plan is perfect”

“A fruit that grows”

“Construction Zone”

Have fun making and creating! We’ll talk to you soon!

How to Communicate to Attract Ministry Volunteers

Communicating intentionally is a simple way that any ministry can work to expand their volunteer base. How we talk about things makes a difference, so here are a few things to keep in mind as you talk to individuals/couples/families about your search for fabulous ministry volunteers.

Set the expectations up front

Consider what the other person hears if you ask, “Do you want to help in the kids’ ministry?” When asked this vague question, individuals are left to fill in the blanks of what exactly you mean in terms of their role, time commitment, and other expectations.  In light of the fact that many families in churches would consider themselves to live at a “busy” pace, ambiguity is likely to lead to a polite but quick “no”.

Instead of asking church members to “help in the kids’ ministry”, consider asking more specific questions that can fit within a variety of time commitments and giftings, such as:

  • “Would you like to help set up the kids area for 30 minutes before church for a few Sundays?”
  • “We are currently on the search for summer Sunday school teachers for 4th grade. They commit to teaching the kids a pre-prepared lesson during the first service with a co-leader and also attend once-a-month meetings for an hour. What would you think about trying it out for the summer?”
  • “What would your thoughts be regarding leading the kids in worship time once a month for the fall?”

Each of these questions/statements have clear expectations of the time commitment and also an end-date, giving people flexibility should they want to try it out for a set period of time. And as they try something simple, such as setting up chairs, they will be exposed to other roles that they may want to explore later on.

Focus on opportunity and growth, not on need

Consider the following two questions:

  • “We really need people to work in the children’s ministry, so can you help?”
  • “The children’s ministry is growing so much as we’ve increased our neighborhood outreach! Would you be open to hearing about the opportunities we have to be a part of what’s happening?”

The first question places pressure on the listener, as the ministry seems like it is falling apart, or is at the least stretched thin, and it seems that if they agree, they may be stretched thin, too. The second question, however, demonstrates that the ministry is outgrowing the current number of volunteers (a great problem!) because it is effective and thriving. And people want to be apart of things that work, where they know they will be helping build something meaningful that can outlast them.

Even if you feel desperate for help, using that desperation as a selling point in recruiting volunteers doesn’t set an expectation of thriving for their time moving forward. Focus on what they will have the opportunity to invest in, not on how they will be depended upon to meet a certain need.

Know and communicate that you can hire and fire (with kindness)

When you ask people to invest in children’s ministry, you are advocating for the development of your church’s next generation. You are not wasting anyone’s time, nor are people doing you a favor when they volunteer.  Because of these things, you have the ability to recruit volunteers and also to “fire” them, if they are not contributing to the building of the ministry.

Sometimes people make mistakes, and it is important to be willing to coach people as they grow.  However, the issue is when individuals are being divisive or view their volunteer work in the ministry as a major favor.  Perhaps when you observe this behavior, you can help these individuals to find a ministry that will challenge and engage them at a deeper level. The kids are valuable, and when people volunteer to disciple them, those people are the ones that are laying the foundation for what the kids believe about who God is and who they are in light of him. That’s important enough to be choosy about who teaches them week-in and week-out.

Communicate the big picture & progress indicators

Working hard at a job that doesn’t seem necessary can be an automatic turn-off for volunteers. It is hard to donate time and effort that doesn’t really seem to make a difference to anyone.  Consider the difference between these two scenarios:

  • You teach Sunday school each week with the ministry’s vision in mind of training up young men and women in your neighborhood who are 1)sensitive to the Spirit and 2) love following Jesus and his Word. You know what you’re working toward and the part you play in the church because the other leaders talk about the goal and provide feedback to one another about what works as they move forward.
  • You teach Sunday school each week and have somewhat of an idea of how you fit into the “Big C Church” picture, discipling kids, but tend to teach your class and leave. You talk to the other teachers, but there is not a particular ministry “vision” you’re working toward, no beginning or end to seasons, no measures to evaluate whether you are being effective or growing.

Which ministry would you rather be a part of?
When individuals volunteer, it is important that they know the role they play not just in their particular setting, but in the ministry’s big picture. Why does their work matter? What concrete difference does it make? And how can they maximize their work and gifts to be even more effective? Or summed up, how can volunteers grow as they help the children grow?

Communicating specific effectiveness indicators in the ministry can build unity as kids’ ministry leaders work together toward a specific goal and can observe progress along the way.  These indicators could be how often kids tell stories of praying for people during the week or times they knew Jesus spoke to them, memory verses learned, observations of how kids interact with each other in class or with their parents, etc. They don’t necessarily have to be numeric. They just need to be a few different areas in which leaders can observe and discuss progress together.

Last thoughts

Church members are saturated with messages about how they can spend their time. When you solely talk about need, you can’t expect people to see golden opportunity. The truth is, how you talk about the ministry will shape how people view it and whether or not they want to be involved. It is wonderful to pray for more volunteers, but it is also critical to lead the way in creating the kind of environment people want to be a part of. And sometimes, creating that environment that will attract solid volunteers simply begins with a few changes in your own communication.

 

How do people talk about the children’s ministry at your church? How do you talk about it? How is this affecting your volunteer base?

 

13 Snappy Songs to Enrich KidMin Science “Faith Lab” VBS

KidMin Science produces an exceptionally creative VBS called  “Faith Lab” that is “science-inspired and Christ-focused”!  The week’s curriculum tackles 5 subjects that are based on the word FAITH: Faith, Almighty, Influence, Temptation and Heaven, with a daily devotion and kid-friendly science project(s) for each.

Faith Lab includes an album of music with songs that correspond to each devotion by Lantern Music, but if you want to add even more songs to the week’s activities, check out this list of 13 KidTunz songs specifically compiled to enrich “Faith Lab” lessons!

Day 1: Faith

1. “God’s Way” by Phil Reynolds

2. “Believe in God” by Phil Reynolds

 

3. “Forgiveness” by John H. Morton

Day 2: Almighty

4. “God Created It All” by Phil Reynolds

 

5. “Faith Is…” by John H. Morton

 

6. “God’s Power is Greater” by John H. Morton

 

Day 3: Influence

7. “Let Your Light Shine” by John H. Morton

 

8. “Light of the World” by Sarah Moore

 

Day 4: Temptation

9. “When I Follow Jesus” by John H. Morton

 

10. “The Lord Looks at the Heart” by Sarah Moore

 

11. “The Great Transformer” by John H. Morton

Day 5: Heaven

12. “Treasures in Heaven”  by Phil Reynolds

 

13.“No Eye Has Seen” by John H. Morton

 

Have fun experimenting!

5 Ways to Help Kids Be Explorers & Try New Things

Children start their life with a natural, innate curiosity. Think of how many times a two-or-three year old asks, “Why?” All those questions and experiences help make the connections in the brain that become the basis of knowledge for the rest of life.

As children grow, though, their environment affects that curiosity. When they are encouraged to explore and try new things, the curiosity rockets onward laying down a rich web of brain connections. However, if curiosity is criticized, condemned, punished, or unstimulated, fewer brain connections form.

Brain connections equate to knowledge, experience, critical thinking, worldview, self-image, etc. The richer the environment and opportunities the greater the depth of development.

So how does one promote exploring and trying new things in children? Here are 5 easy ways to try.

(1) Model the behavior you want to see in your child.

If you want them to explore, then YOU explore. If you want them to try new things, then YOU try new things. This sounds simple, but it’s really the gatekeeper of your effectiveness. Your children WILL imitate you, so be what you want them to become. There’s really no other way around this.

(2) Be a scaffold, not a guy wire.

You’ve seen a tall radio tower. As the builders add section after section, they attach “guy wires.” Those wires help the tower grow taller and remain stable. What happens when the guy wires are taken away, however? The tower cannot stand on its own. By design, it relies on the guy wires.

By contrast, when builders begin constructing a skyscraper, they create scaffolds to help add floor after floor. They supply the temporary support until the building can stand on its own. Eventually, the scaffolds come down, but the building remains.

That’s nice in theory, but how do I scaffold my child’s development? Let them do things on their own. Challenge them to do things that are just a little beyond their ability. Stretch them. And when they accomplish it, tell them how proud you are of them making the effort. Be careful to praise the process NOT just the product. Praise them for trying, not just for succeeding. Remember, we have to try a lot more than we actually succeed. You want them to always be willing to try, regardless of the outcome.

(3) Read, read, and read some more!

Before your child learns to read, YOU read to them! Read to them every day. You will both love the time spent together. Go to the library and choose books together. A website or video reading a book to your child is better than nothing, but YOU reading to them is the best.

Once they learn to read, support their efforts by supplying them with books. Get them their own library card or form a book cooperative with some friends where you trade books. Visit the used bookstore often. Books make great gifts and rewards.

If you have older children, encourage them to read to younger siblings as well. There may even be a “big brother/big sister” reading program at their school where they read to younger students. Check into it. Suggest it.

Reading promotes achievement in school—not just in language arts, but in math, science, social studies, and arts as well! Promoting reading at home is one of the best investments you can make in your children.

(4) Limit screen time.

An hour a day of TV or Video or tablet or phone is plenty. Explorers are active. They move. They go outside. They go to the park. When the brain sees, hears, touches, smells, and tastes, the learning is much deeper. Those experiences are all wired into different brain systems and then connected. Remember, the more connections…

Explorers are active. They move. They go outside.

(5) Expect them to explore and try new things.

Make that expectation the “norm” in life. Give them many chances. Don’t settle for less. Communicate your expectations in positive ways. “Wow, we ‘get’ to try new food from another country tonight!” Rather than, “You will try this or you’ll be punished.” Or “I know it looks gross, but do you want to try it?” Be positive and expect exploration.

These are five ways you can promote that natural curiosity that God has wired into all of us. You’ll be glad you invested and took the time to make explorers who love to try new things.

9 Kids-Church Ideas for Summer Adventures

What better time to make adventurous memories than summer? Here are a few easy ways to incorporate meaningful exploring and adventure into kids church, to combine discipleship with summer fun!

Explore Time

Choose a time period from the past and immerse the kids in sights and sounds from that period, incorporating a couple of stories of men, women or children who lived boldly for God in that era.

  • Find clothing from the 50’s or 60’s, inviting a fun grandma or grandpa from the same city/town as the church to share a couple of kid-friendly stories about what it was like for them to go to kids church during that time.
  • Dress up and act like missionaries from the past, “visiting” the kids to tell them stories from life in other parts of the world
  • This one is for any young readers in your ministry! Ask a few kids that enjoy reading to read about a Christian man or woman from history and/or the Bible and then briefly interview them for a few minutes at the beginning of service like a talk show about that person. This will not only encourage them to learn on their own but will also be engaging for the other kids to hear these stories from friends closer to their own age.

“Time Stone Travelers” by John H. Morton

Explore Culture

We can learn so much from people of different cultures, so finding adventures that train kids to be open to people and experiences that are different from them can benefit them at church and beyond!

  • Find some foods from other cultures that are very different from what the kids are probably used to eating. Set up a table at kids church and have a few kids participate in “Will You Try It?” where they try various foods that may seem odd!
  • Invite the children’s ministry leaders from a neighboring church that is predominantly of another culture to co-host a kids’ event with your ministry, inviting their church’s families along. It could be a back-to-school barbecue, a summer outing, or a Sunday service. It’s a great way to not only share resources but also build bridges in the community.
  • Find a large map and play, “Can You Find…?” Each month can have a prayer focus for a particular continent or region. Before prayer each week, you can take a few minutes to have a volunteer see if they can identify countries in that region as you say them. Each meeting could include a focus on a specific country in the region, connecting kids with parts of the globe that are very far away from them, but still close to God’s heart.

“Love in Any Language” by Phil Reynolds

Explore Creativity

Chances are, there are many different gifts and abilities represented in your church, and many different kinds of creativity. Here are a few ways to incorporate adults that work in kids’ ministry and other parts of the church to foster bold creativity in the kids.

  • Host a community “Creativity Day Camp” for a few days (or even just one day!) where kids will be able to try out different creative tools. Invite adults and young people from the church to volunteer to teach kids pottery, dancing, various instruments, drawing, songwriting, coding, singing, painting, woodworking, photography, or any other gifts that are represented in your church. Kids can sign up in advance for which class they would like to take and pay a small fee if needed.
  •  Make a piece of kid-community art. Perhaps the kids have just finished school or will be marking another milestone soon. You can explore creativity by working together to make a piece of art that will remind everyone of a particular event or holiday. The kids can all press their thumbprint or decorate hearts to piece together into a mosaic, or each draw something they like on a canvas. Though this can be as simple or as complicated as you like, it can take some creativity to organize a project like this.  However, it is worth the time when the kids are able to see something they accomplished together. You can even make something with a nearby elderly care home or other group in mind to encourage them.
  • During downtime for older kids or before Sunday School, create a “Summer Invention Corner”, where students can tinker with miscellaneous items simply to see what they can create or invent. (Of course, discernment is important in determining what kinds of items the kids can handle.) This invention corner can show children that they can worship Jesus by using the mind he’s given them to invent and create, even if it doesn’t seem directly church-related or “spiritual”. And while they are at school and home, they’ll know they can worship him in everything they do!

“Wuh-Wuh-Wuh Work” by Mark & Lori Lawley

What is your ministry looking forward to this summer? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments. 🙂