Archive for June, 2011

Camp Illustrations I’m Using

Posted on 30. Jun, 2011 by .


So many of you were very kind to give me lot’s of great ideas for camp. The ideas you all send me help spark my imagination and bring me different ideas… and sometimes the idea you bring to the table is exactly what I need.

So, here’s what I’ve settled on using.

Initially, I asked for three wise men. I got a couple of offers and several fell through. When I began to see that I might not get my hands on one, I realized that I better come up with a plan B. Actually, the plan B is turning out to be a really good solution. I’m doing a live nativity… kids always love seeing their leaders act stuff out. I might have access to a non-illuminated set that is close to the camp… so I might use that along with the live nativity.

I also asked about an illustration of misfits and brokeness. I actually fell in love with the idea of getting actual car parts… like some doors. I think that with a little more time, I probably would have gone after that. This one was still really tough. Eventually, I found myself in Hobby Lobby and came across some colorful and decorative metal buckets. It’s not perfect, but I feel that they will get the point across well.

Lastly, I asked about symbols of “defining” God and friendship. Many of you had some great ideas… but one came to me while searching the web and the other while I was just sitting around. For defining God, I ordered this off Amazon. Pretty cool huh? Friendship was tough. many of you suggested friendship bracelets or jewelry and I just didn’t think that was big enough for the setting. I spent a lot of time thinking about friendship and finally the though came to mind.… Read the rest

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Off to Summer Camp

Posted on 30. Jun, 2011 by .


They say that Disney is the “Happiest Place on Earth.” That may be true, but I think that summer camp comes pretty close. I think though that when you add in the life-impact that so many kids experience, Disney doesn’t have anything on camp.

So, I’m extra excited because I get to go to camp twice. That’s right. I’m the Camp Pastor for two Pre-Teen camps for Camp Zephyr in Sandia, TX. I got to speak last summer (at the one Gateway’s kids attended) and this year I’m speaking next week when Gateway is there and the following week as well. I’ll be speaking 9 times during the first week and 7 times during the second. I must say that I’m super excited!

So, what am I teaching? Well, I’m really excited about this as well. We’re using “Chase the Light” by reThink. It’s solid curriculum for sure. The videos that accompany are top notch and the theme is PERFECT. If you’re looking for a GREAT summer curriculum, you should check out “Chase the Light.

So, I took the script and modified for our needs. The theme is “Chase the Light” with the verse John 8:12.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The fun part is we’re teaching what happens to a person when they chase the light. We see how seemingly misfits turn the world upside down. We have three powerful evening session plans:

  • See that God is choosing me and he wants me to follow him. Even though I may not think that I’m much of anything, I’m a masterpiece… a work of art. I’ve believed lies about who I am or what I’m not and I’m going to name those lies and recognize that they are lies and no longer believe them.
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Kidmin Leadership Give-Away

Posted on 29. Jun, 2011 by .


So, Brother Jim sent me a box of books to give away. I’m leaving for Camp on Tuesday, so I want to get them out in the mail to you on Thursday. So, I’ll be scanning the #kidmin hashtag looking for your tweets. The first 2 people to tweet this message gets a copy of the book:

“Check out the newest leadership book for #kidmin!”

For the remaining three books, I’m going to randomly pick a winner. However, to increase your odds you can do two things.

  1. Post the above quote. For each time you post it today, you’ll get your name in the “hat” (limit of tweeting the above line 3 times).
  2. Post the quote below up to 3 times to get your name in the “hat” three more times.

“Join @jimwideman at the @Illumin8Conf #kidmin Conference in Austin and Birmingham. Price goes up on Fri. Register today!”

Hopefully I’ll announce some winners on Thursday and get the books out before I go to camp.

Thanks!… Read the rest

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Kidmin Leadership

Posted on 29. Jun, 2011 by .


I must say, this is a smart kid… and I’m not just saying that because he’s mine. Check out what he’s reading. Yeah, you guessed it. It’s the newest book published by my friend and mentor Jim Wideman. It’s called Kidmin Leadership. Jim’s first Infuse group put this book together and I think it’s worth picking up a copy. Can you find better leadership books out there? Yup. But what’s so unique about this book is that it’s one of the very few books specific to leadership in Kidmin. Also, what I enjoyed even more was about how you picked up an learned concepts the Brother Jim has taught for years through the filter of experience from others who have put it into practice in their own ministries. A very cool concept.

So, pick up a copy of the book right here. You’ll be glad you did!… Read the rest

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Birmingham Illuminate Conference: Coming Soon!

Posted on 29. Jun, 2011 by .


In case you missed it, Illuminate is a new conference specifically targeted to volunteers. We’re bringing the best in Kidmin to local communities for an affordable but powerful conference. Read more about our plans for Illuminate here.

So, Birmingham is rapidly approaching. The Early Bird price actually expires on Thursday. So if you live in the Birmingham area and you are planning to attend the conference, be sure to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing right now!… Read the rest

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Do you use Things?

Posted on 26. Jun, 2011 by .


I don’t mean to confuse any of you with the title. More than likely only some of the Mac users understood my question right away. I’m wanting opinions and thoughts on the task management software – Things. I remember hearing many say good things about it in the past, but I wanted some details. Anyone using it now who swears by it? Is it worth the money? Why is it better than Remember the Milk or other similar systems.

I just finished a good book on productivity and I want to take my to-do list to the next level and it looks like Things could help me do what I need it to do (with tags and such).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!… Read the rest

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Illustrating God and Friendship

Posted on 20. Jun, 2011 by .


Okay, I feel really needy right now. I’m finalizing the last few messages for camp which is coming up in July. One of the messages that I’m really looking forward to is answering the question: Who is Jesus? In the morning we’re looking at Nicodemus who sought out to understand who Jesus really was, so that evening I’m comprehensively explaining who Jesus is. It should be a lot of fun. This is an important message because so many kids follow Jesus early because it’s all they know. Parents, Church, Sunday School and all the other GREAT influences point them to Jesus, so they do. However, at some point a child who comes to faith really early has to transition to where their faith truly becomes their own. They have to understand how Jesus was the plan for redemption. Many 7 year olds can tell you that Jesus died for their sins because they’re repeating back something they’ve heard for years. It’s important that kids truly understand why Jesus HAD to die for their sins.

So, I do have a part of my talk that is very information heavy. Alone, it could be too much. So, I thought I’d pace it using a technique I learned form Aaron Reynold’s “Fabulous Reinvention of Sunday School.” I plan to have 5 podiums on stage with an object on each one… covered by a cloth. Each object will represent a point. They can identify the points to the objects, but it also creates anticipation as they’re anxious to see what I uncover next. This way a 7-10 minute narrative will be more engaging and possibly memorable. So, this is where I need help. I need help coming up with two or three objects. Let me show you what I’ve got and what I’m looking for:

Defining God: (Dictionary) I would begin by defining God as 3 in 1.… Read the rest

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Blue Like Jazz: The Movie

Posted on 20. Jun, 2011 by .


Four or five years ago, many people were telling me about the book Blue Like Jazz, encouraging me to read it. I wasn’t reading an awful lot at that time, so I didn’t ever pick it up. Then in 2008, I heard Donal Miller speak at Orange for the first time. I’ve been to four Orange Conferences and I’ll be honest, the sessions/breakouts I still remember from 2008 was a breakout with Nancy Ortberg, the opening session with Reggie Joiner and the general session with Donald Miller. The stories he told have never left me.

After he was interviewed by Reggie at the 2010 Orange Conference, I finally picked up his books Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in A Thousand Years. His talk about story really intrigued me… and it was the stories he told in 2008 that stuck with me. So, last week I finally finished A Million Miles. Incredible. In a few weeks, I look forward to picking up Blue Like Jazz. It should be interesting reading since A Million Miles was based on the process of creating a screenplay of Blue Like Jazz.

A few months ago is when I learned that they were actually making a movie of Blue Like Jazz as I learned about how they were raising money for the movie through Kickstarter. They raised way more money than they needed and the movie is being made. Over the weekend I saw the first trailer. It looks weird, but I must admit, I’m really excited to see it. It looks like the kind of weird that impacts you significantly. We’ll see. So, check out the trailer below. If you haven’t read Blue Like Jazz or A Million Miles, I encourage you to pick them up for some summer reading.… Read the rest

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An illustration on misfits and brokeness

Posted on 16. Jun, 2011 by .


So, here’s a huge illustration I’m working on and I’m still not 100% sure on what direction I should go. So, please send me some of your ideas. Let me give you the premise.

One of the major themes for camp is about being a misfit. When we “Chase the Light” and follow Jesus, we’re going to be seen as a misfit. The world around us isn’t going to understand or see why we’re doing the things we do. So, we’re playing with the different perspectives of being a misfit.

The initial thought I had was to have a container of tennis balls and another container of ping pong balls… or something else that is even more different than the tennis balls. I was going to illustrate how to the tennis balls, another tennis ball seems normal and acceptable. To the ping pong balls, another ping pong ball seems normal and acceptable. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, if I were to put a ping pong ball in with the tennis ball, the ping pong ball becomes the misfit. It becomes the strange and different item in the batch. In a ways, that is what we are when we follow Christ. We don’t completely fit with the world around us and although media, peer pressure and other factors will push us to conform and become more like the “tennis balls” we have to remember that:

  1. God is calling us to be different. He knows that we’re a misfit and we’re to chase after him in a world of others that don’t always chase after him
  2. Being a misfit is only a matter of perspective. The ping pong ball isn’t a misfit with all the other ping pong balls. Even though the ping pong ball is a misfit with the tennis balls, it shouldn’t forget it’s identity as a ping pong ball.
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Do you know where I can get some wise men?

Posted on 16. Jun, 2011 by .


Okay, my first big request. For Summer Camp I’m using “Chase the Light” curriculum from Orange. Let me tell you, it’s incredible. If you’re looking for some good camp curriculum, some curriculum for the summer break or anything special like that, you can’t go wrong with Chase the Light. I’ve had so much for preparing my messages and I’m excited to speak on these issues in particular. I think it’s going to be a life-changing week for hundreds of kids.

So, the first message in the curriculum is about the wise men who traveled to see Jesus. I’m doing a bit of a fun intro at the beginning and I thought that it would be fun to have those light-up plastic wise men that people loved to put in their yards in the 80’s.. and some of them even now. I was going to set the scene and do it in a funny way explaining how there probably wasn’t just 3 wise men and how they didn’t arrive at the manger scene… just a little historical background information. I thought it would be fun to do with the plastic wise men.

However, what I’ve learned is that these these wise men have become vintage. What you used to be able to buy at KMart for 10-20 bucks will now set you back $40 or $50. So, I figured that I’d throw this out to the wider Kidmin community. Does anyone have some wise men. I could actually use Mary, Joseph and Jesus too… but I need at least 4… maybe 6 individual wise men plastic illuminated things. I’ll be glad to pay for shipping and I’d be glad to ship them back to you. I know that some of you have them in your attics… or your parents do. Let me know!… Read the rest

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