Performance skills – 101 Sharpening your skills to use in every aspect of your program

November 28, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, Kids Ministry Revolution is proud to present a guest post from children’s comedian, trained thespian, member of the amazing Hillsong Kids team, author of The Thursday Blog and proud new father… FUNNY MAN DAN!

One of my greatest frustrations is that only in the church world do people think that performing, reaching and mc’ing are a natural gift. This belief means that (1) those who believe that they don’t have this gift are excused from any of the aforementioned tasks and (2) those with the gifts just have to keep performing and they will get better and better.

This concept is absolutely ludicrous. It is the same as a man saying “I have always naturally been good  ith my hands, I am going to start practicing operating on people and I am sure I will get better”. Even in the world of fictional TV shows this would be too far of a stretch. Doogie Howser MD was a wizz kid and   doctor by 16 but he still did all of the study and training…

A football team doesn’t just play games to get better but they run specific drills to improve specific  kills that will help them with the game. This is what I believe we need to start doing.

In this episode we are going to look at one skill that is crucial in on-stage speaking. In fact if I could only tell you one thing that most help you it would be this:

Truth by Vibration!

The year was 2002 and I was in a theatre class. I was performing a piece from the “Dead Poets Society”  ith a girl in my class, and I had to confess my love for her. We got to the most crucial part where I said with all my acting skill – “I love you”

The teacher stopped me and told me he didn’t believe me and to try again.

“I love you”


The teacher tried to help. He told me to just say the line. I said with no effort “I love you” and he said  PERFECT – that is it” and told me to do it in the scene. I got to the part again, I said my perfect line and he said “CUT”

Over the next 30 mins it was really painful. He got me to stop and start 20 times speaking the line and getting it perfect, then performing it and failing. After the 30 mins I still didn’t get it. I had no idea what he was saying because to me they sounded exactly the same. It wasn’t until a few months later I found out a secret that has changed the way I have performed ever since.

I went to a voice training class and the speech specialist said during a routine exercise “Truth is communicated on Vibration”.

Every time you speak, sing or make a noise a vibration is made in your body. We generally talk with a bit of chest vibration and a bit of throat vibration but when we get on stage for some strange reason most people’s voice gets a little bit higher and it goes straight to the throat. This is the easiest way to tell the difference from a preacher that has been preaching for years and a rookie. The rookie’s voice is always a little bit higher than they normally speak.

When I perform my voice goes high, goes low, goes all over the place for the enjoyment of the crowd, but whenever I want to communicate a message I make sure my chest vibrates.
Professional performers are trained to speak on vibration (that meaning in the chest) because it sounds more confident, it is more relaxing, and you can speak for as long as you want and your throat will not tire. The other main reason is that if you don’t speak on vibration people will not believe you.

So give it some practice. It is a learnt skill that takes time. It is not speaking in a deep voice but it has certain feel that has to be learnt.
The best way is to practice your message with your hand on your chest and focus on getting the  ibrations lower.

If you look at all the great preachers, performers and mc’s, you will notice that they speak very similarly to when they are off-stage. They may not realise they are speaking on vibration but have just developed that over the years. If you adopt this specific training you will find that you advance a lot quicker than those who have gone before you.

Have Fun


Performance skills – 101 Sharpening your skills to use in every aspect of

your program.

The Test

November 26, 2009

I was reading Matthew 4 the other day.  It struck me that Jesus must have been really really hungry.  I’ve never done an absolute fast for 40 days but I imagine that He was probably more then sell your birthright for some stew kinda hungry.  The devil really appealed not only to what Jesus wanted but what He needed, everything in His entire being wanted food, and here was an opportunity.

But Jesus knew better.  He said NO!  And He stood on the word of God as He said it.

Then again the devil offered to give Him everything in the whole world if He worshiped the devil.  Hmm.  Jesus knew that He would one day He would have all that stuff.  But He also would have understood that there would be a huge cost to get there.  But He weighed it up and once again said NO! The scriptures say worship the Lord and serve only Him!

Sometimes in life we really really want something with everything in our being.  And sometimes there is an option put infront of us that will be a quick fix but we know it’s not God’s best for us.  Maybe it’s hanging out for a ministry oppertunity that God has spoken to us about for years, maybe it’s a relationship or something else.  But whatever it is, Jesus has been there and passed the test.  And the same spirit that lives in Him lives in you and me!  We can pass the test with flying colours cos He’s on our side and His way (though often the long and hard way) is always the best and by far the most rewarding.

5 things to expect as a LifeKids leader…

November 24, 2009
  1. Expect to be there for the kids. Don’t just be there, BE there.  From the moment you walk in to help set up to the last second of the debrief at the end it’s all about the kids. You’ve got all week to catch up with your mates on fb, go out for coffee, meet in your life group, talk on the phone and text if you must… so  resist the urge to huddle in a sharing circle with your friends in the foyer when you should be meeting kids as they come in, or stand facing the wall trying to hide the fact that your texting as you supervise a game. Get amoungst it, kids love it when they’ve got your full attention.  I reckon thats why kids liked being around Jesus so much, He didn’t get distracted with othe stuff when they were hanging out.
  2. Expect to be seen. Kids notice everything.  If you pick your nose, they’ll see.  If your having a good day they will see.  If you’re having a bad day they’ll see.  If you’ve got at stinky attitude they will see… and we know that monkey see, monkey do.  Quite often if kids are having an unsettled day it reflects whats going on in the adults around them so often there are things that we need to check at the door. Know that you’ll be noticed and that can have a huge impact on the kids you lead.
  3. Expect to grow. I think it’s easy to approach kids ministry like primary school – I’ve been through it and passed all the tests, there’s nothing more I can get out of it now.  We can come along thinking that we’re the experts and the kids need to hear the vast expanse of all we know.  But the cool thing about what we do at LifeKids is that we expect our teaching to not just be information but relvelation, where God takes the information and flicks on the light bulb and kids have that, “A ha!” moment.  If our ears and hearts are open to being challenged by God then any message, regardless of how well you know it you can also have those A ha! moments and cause you to grow.  Grow with the kids, dont just tell them to grow.
  4. Expect to meet God. I love this! There is something special about meeting with other followers of Jesus and worshiping Him together.  He is there in a special way.  And we can’t spend time in the presece of God and walk away the same.  Expect to meet God and expect our kids to meet Him too.
  5. Expect to be lead. A really famous person who I can’t exactly remember but probably John Maxwell once said, “to be a great leader you must be a great follower”.  As a team leader when I’m looking to give more oppertunites to people on my team I’m looking for the ones who follow well.  I know that I can trust them to carry the vision and heart for LifeKids.  I know that they’re not going to go off on some wacky tangent.  If you want to be a good leader, learn to be a good follower.

Defeating the giant of FAILURE

November 8, 2009

giantLast night at Revo James preached a whopper: Defeating the giant of failure! You can listen to it here.

We’ve got this saying at the moment… when someone does something that was obviously stupid and the result was… somewhat less then desirable… just to rub it in, someone else sarcastically declares FAIL.  It’s funny how it’s easy for our jokes to be negative, pulling others down. Why can’t we be positive? Why can’t we say SUCCESS every time someone does something right?

Failures can be anything from failing an exam, messing up a friendship, dropping your toast on the floor (jam side down), getting into debt, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, crashing the car… to things that you don’t even have control over – parents split, loosing your job, praying for years and not getting the answer you’d hoped for.

The Bible is filled with failures… Adam and Eve – kicked out of the garden – FAIL. Noah – gets drunk and naked – FAIL. Joseph – brothers throw him in a pit and becomes a slave – FAIL.  David – sleeps with woman, kills husband – FAIL. Jonah – heads the wrong direction – FAIL.  Jesus – conceived out of marriage, lives in a town that “nothing good could come from”, picks up fathers trade (not chosen to follow a Rabi) – FAIL

Yet in each of these stories there are huge victories, Jesus’ victory being the ultimate!

We looked at Luke 15, the parable of the lost son.  What was the son’s problem, why didn’t he just come home the moment he knew he could no longer make it on his own?  I’m sure you will know from your own story that the problem was PRIDE.  Pride inflates the giant of failure… “if you turn back now you’ll be admitting you’ve made the wrong choice”… “everyone will know that you’ve failed”… ever heard those words in your own mind?

So how do we deflate this giant? With HONESTY and HUMILITY. We need to be honest about our failures, not become experts at covering them up.  Admit that you’ve messed it up, don’t wait for someone to declear FAIL! And humility… check out James 4:

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

I like this! The devil is also known as the accuser – the one who makes you feel really stink about your failures.  When we humble ourselves before God, honestly admit that we’ve messed it up, the devil has to flee!  He can’t accuse you when you’ve been honest and accepted God’s grace.

What a good message!  Well done James on hitting the nail on the head yet again!