add a little ORANGE

November 22, 2010

I love that family ministry is so hot right now in kidmin.  Whether it’s Orange or something else that has inspired you to think family, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the stuff we think we should be doing. If you’ve been doing this gig for long enough then you’ll know that trying to do it all at once is a recipe for disaster… so here’s my strategy…

add a little ORANGE

We look at what we are already doing and… add a little ORANGE!


  • Guy Fawkes – rather then just doing an EPIC and Urban event on a Friday night, we added a little orange and opened it up to families.  We had a wide range of ages there, young families spent some quality time together without having to organise something themselves or spend much money, new families connected well with existing families, families invited other families. All round a winner I think!
  • Sunday services… while the way we do church on a Sunday is not very “orange”, we managed to reintroduce the (once dreaded) Family Service. Traditionally in our church this means putting kids on stage cos they’re cute and making everyone cringe with hideous puppets and awful songs and making everyone that is not a parent feel out of place… not very orange really.  We added a little orange and had an “All In” service were the main goal is for families to have a meaningful time in church together and people of all ages to be contributing in different ways.  I think this was fairly successful and I’m looking forward to doing it again!
  • Revo Film Festival – this wasn’t my doing, it was opened up to the whole church (used to be just youth and students) and families took their own initiative to add a little orange. Kids were involved in some of the films and a few of them even got dressed up and came along to the Roscers.
  • Project Solution also used to be a youth and students thing but was opened up to the whole church.  Adding a little orange meant that kids wern’t involved in a project just as part of LifeKids but as part of their family.  I really believe that families are called together, not just called as individuals.  Serving their community together is very orange indeed.  Very cool I think.

We’re just beginning, only scratching the surface really… baby dedications is something else on the cards to get the orange paint bucket out for, and we’re going to paint E-Nights orange by developing two night courses for parents around spiritual parenting.

It’s actually fairly simple when you take something your church is already doing and add a little orange!


November 21, 2010

How did we ever survive at LifeKids without bubbles?  Especially in Pips and Sprouts (2-4 year olds)

Here are some of the ways that we’ve been using bubbles recently…

  • During Part at the Start – free play time.  We’ve made giant bubble wands plus a variety of other bubble wands.  It’s proven to be one of the most popular activities, especially for the girls but boys enjoy it too.
  • Break the ice with new kids, particularly really young kids.  It’s not uncommon for new kids to feel quite anxious about talking to someone new.  Blowing bubbles for them to catch – get them laughing and moving helps them feel more at ease.
  • Distraction for preschoolers.  Our team bring out the bubbles when they know the kids are about to loose it and it’s very effective.  They literally could spend the whole session blowing and chasing bubbles!
  • Connect with kids before church in the foyer and give them something fun to do while their parents talk and sign them in.

Someone asked my why I don’t get a bubble machine.  Apart from the fact that I quite enjoy being a human bubble machine, the opportunity to connect with kids while holding a bottle of bubble solution and a bubble wand is something that couldn’t be replaced with a machine.

Here’s a good recipie…

1 cup detergent

2 cups water

1 tablespoon glycerin (just ask at your pharmacy)

Stir gentley, try not to make too many bubbles when you’re mixing it.

Play around with the recipe, you could get away with using less detergent depending on what brand and how strong it is.  We have a bunch of bubble mixture bottles that we just keep refilling.  Another way of blowing bubbles is with a straw, just make sure the kids don’s suck the mixture… they’ll learn fast if they do!

My Beef with Bieber

November 20, 2010

I’ve got to start by saying that I know Justin Bieber isn’t the first to do this, it’s just that I’ve come back from school camp.  3 hours there and 3 hours back with a whole lot of short trips in between with the constant nag… “put on Justin Bieber”, and “no this music is stupid, I want Justin Bieber”.

This kid is only 16.  I know that he probably doesn’t write his own songs, but I find it weird that EVERY song on his album is about girls.  Half of them about how he is jealous that his ex girlfriend is seeing someone else now. In “Baby”, Ludacris’ rap starts with… ‘when I was 13, I had my first love…” don’t ask me to quote the rest… I’m ashamed to admit I actually could though…

So, here’s my beef… the kids in my car that were into this “artist” (?!?!?!?) range between 8 and 10 years old.  Almost every 10 year old wants to be 13, probably older.  Many readily take on these messages as cues as to how they should behave.  We’ve got kids this age in “relationships” that mock 13 year olds that mock 18 year olds… the copy the dance moves, wear the clothes and make up, use the language… they’re just growing up so fast, they have such a small window of being a kid.  Add to that the fact that they are not as emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually developed as the adults they are trying to be.

The thing that I care about the most though is the words and how they effect their hearts and minds.  Words are powerful.  Words in songs are very powerful, especially when sung over and over and over and over… the songs that kids listen to, even though the messages can be subtle effect the way they think and feel about what happens around them and to them.  Do we REALLY want our kids hearts and minds to be impacted these sorts of words of a grown up sung through a kid?

Justin Bieber isn’t the first I know.  When I was a kid we were also listening to the same sorts of messages, but the difference was that adults were singing them.  This is not kids listening to adults singing about adult things, but KIDS singing about adults things.

So… how do we approach this?  Half of me just wants to run…


November 20, 2010

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything… perhaps it’s time for a little update.  Here’s what I’ve been up to…

  • Writing our own curriculum… we’ve been using stuff we’ve bought mostly this year, so the stuff we’ve written ourselves has had a lot more go into it then what we used to do.  Our kids have responded very well to it. The funest part has to be making videos… it’s loads of work but worth it… I am however very glad for our friends at Hillsong Kids and 4 who write awesome stuff… makes the rest of the year loads easier!
  • The birth of my second niece, Chloe Eileen Thompson in October.
  • My Birthday in October, I had a great time with family and friends
  • All In Sunday – probably the best “family” service we’ve ever done.
  • Double in a Day – we went nuts promoting this with our kids and did a huge push to get them to bring their friends.  We had quite a few new kids.  It was like LifeKids on steroids, heaps of fun!
  • School camp – I had the privilege of going to St Leonard’s School camp with Megan and Owen.  I really enjoyed getting to know some of the parents and the teachers.  A great bunch of kids too, they really look out for each other.
  • We’ve been rocking the face painting recently… at every opportunity it comes out. Kids love it… and  Parents love it a little more then they used to now that we ditched the cheap face paint and invested in some good stuff.  No matter how cheap it is, NEVER buy face paint from the $2 Shop, you mind as well use poster paint!
  • We’ve also been going a little crazy with the BUBBLES!  I don’t know how we did kids ministry without bubbles before.  I love bubbles so much I think i”ll write a whole post about it…
  • Fireworks this year were fantastic.  We took the opportunity yo combine with Urban Youth and have a family event.  It was easy to run and had a great atmosphere.
  • A team from LifeKids went down to Balclutha for the Clutha Youth Trusts Guy Fawkes event.  Dave and I had a slot on the stage, the first time we’ve ever done that outside of our own church.  And yes… we did face painting… and also the bubbles 🙂