Two Tools Tuesday 1_16_18


The cellphone is such a game changer in so many ways.  I remember many years ago my senior pastor said he thought the cellphone would have an even bigger influence even when compared to the personal computer.  Now I know a cell phone is basically a computer, but what he was saying was how it would be used.  The cellphone is everywhere.  In 2014 we officially had more cellphones than people.  We haven't looked back.  There are lots of reasons to be concerned, but this is not the intent of this post.  Instead, I will focus on two apps that can make the cell phone something better for those who serve in kidsmin.



1.  Superbook Radio

Superbook radio is produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network and is designed for kids.  It is available for download on the Apple Appstore the Google Play Store.   It can also be found online as well.  They have great family, kid-friendly music and between all the songs there are scripture verses and great spiritual encouragement.  This is not kiddy radio.  This is contemporary and features great artists.  Looking at the recently played list you will find, Rend Collective, Switchfoot, Britt Nicole, Crowder, Skillet, etc.  You can leave comments and even suggest a song.    The radio app is just a part of a larger website called   From there you can play games, learn how to know God, participate in contests, watch videos, read the Bible, watch Super Book Episodes.  It's very nice.  

In focusing on the phone app, Superbook Radio is also part of a larger network of radio pages run by CBN.  I have a few favorites, for example, I really like the CBN News channel and the Cross Country channel where Country meets the Cross.  But in focusing on Kids, Superbook Radio is awesome.  This is fun upbeat music that encourages kids to follow Christ.      I'm listening more and more to Superbook Radio as I work at my desk in the office.  It is just plain encouraging music.  


I give the app 4 hearts.  


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2.  Superbook Kids Bible App

I thought I would keep on the Superbook train.   I really like their Superbook Kids Bible App as well.   It is available in a number of languages and can be used on your Apple, Android, or Amazon devices.  

There is a lot to like about the app.  There is a full-text Bible available.  That is huge.  So many times kids Bible apps only give Bible stories and not a full-text Bible.  This one is different.  I appreciate that.  It's nice to be able to read a full-text Bible.  It also says to kids that the Bible is more than a storybook.  It has instruction and teaching that isn't necessarily a story.   

In the app there are Bible questions and answers, there are games, videos, and you can watch Superbook episodes.  Superbook is a great way to listen and watch the great stories of the Bible. The animation is beautiful.  This is not the Speed Racer animation from back in the 80's.  No this is modern animation and great storytelling.  What is really cool is that they can be downloaded to your device so you can watch them off-line.   Not all episodes are on the app, but enough to know you might want to get their other episodes.   There are also daily quests. These make kids want to come back for more.  I really like what they have done with this app.  If you don't have a favorite kids Bible app, this one is worth checking out.  

Here is a link for more information:


I give this app 4 hearts.  



There are so many great apps for your smartphone.  I'm sure in the future I will be giving more time to these.  For now, these from CBN are a great start.


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Two Tools Tuesday 1_10_18


In starting the new year I had a couple of thoughts about starting the year right.  Of course, prayer is one way to start the year right.  In church, we have started with a week of prayer.  It is a great emphasis.  I know many of these saints who are part of this concerted prayer effort don't just pray during this one week.  They are ready to pray every week.

Although this is not a tool, we should be utilizing and mobilizing the efforts of these prayer warriors.  

So here are the tools or ideas for today.



1.  Kidmin Prayer Team


There are men and women in our churches who maybe can't help in kidmin on Sundays, but they are willing to help throughout the year by praying for your kids and ministry.   Maybe they are older and don't have the energy needed for preschoolers, but they can pray.  We all need prayer covering and support.  When people pray for your ministry they hear from God.  They get a heart of compassion for the kids.  They become advocates for what God is doing in the kids ministry.   

Every time there is an event, mobilize the prayer team with information about the upcoming event.  They will pray.  When I bought one of my vehicles a few years ago I opened the gas tank cover and inside the cover was a round sticker.  It just said every time you are filling your car with fuel, take a moment and pray for the organization that sponsored the sticker.  What a great idea.  You could give all of your prayer team one of these stickers and encourage them to place them inside their gas tank cover.  

This leads me to the second tool for Two Tools Tuesday




2.  Club 52


Club 52 is an idea I have implemented at a couple of churches.   This is a club for people who want to be advocates for the kids ministry.   These are men and women who again may not be regular parts of the kids ministry and yet they may be.  They agree that for 52 weeks they will pray for the kids ministry and they will partner with the kids ministry by supporting the ministry.   How do they do that?  Of course through prayer, but then they can also participate by agreeing to give $1 dollar a week for the year.   In the end, they will give $52.  Most people just make out a check once.  With those funds I let them know that we will use them for outreach to kids in your community and help kids get to events like Kids Blast and Kids Camp.  When people know they are helping with those events, they are often very happy to help out.  Then about once a quarter I would send them out a newsletter letting them know about our needs in the kids ministry so they can pray.    The commitment is for one year.   After the year you can start again.   I think it helps to do it starting in January.   Especially during the week of prayer.  

And this being Wisconsin and we are surrounded by Clay Mattews jerseys, it would help to promote your Club 52 by wearing that around when you ask people to join the club.  

One thing you will want make certain of however is that your senior pastor is on board.  I don't see this being an issue, but others might want to use this idea for their ministry and it could become an issue.  So tack and partnership may be a good idea.   


I can't think of anything so important as bathing your ministry in prayer.   Get people involved.   Let them share the blessing.  I know their hearts will be changed and I know it will make a difference in your ministry.  People will be seeking God on your ministries behalf.  When their heart is in it they will be proactive to see you effectively reach the kids of your community.   


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Two Tools Tuesday 12_26_17


It's getting close to the new year and it is that time when New Year's resolutions become a part of everyone's thoughts.  In the next couple of Two Tools Tuesday's I will be focusing on tools for the new year.  One of the resolutions I make every year is to read the Bible through the year.  I also like to explore new devotional guides for the year.   For this Two Tools Tuesday, I am going to focus on two Bible apps.  Both are by the same organization but serve two different clientele.  



The Bible App

The first tool is the YouVersion Bible App.  It can be downloaded for your phone, for your tablet or your computer.  I use the app every week and love it.  You can take God's Word with you where ever you take your devices. It is a free app and it is free from ads.   It has been installed on nearly 300 million devices.  That is a lot of devices.   I install it on nearly every device I have.   As a leader for kids, you can't teach from what you don't know and what you don't experience yourself.   God's Word needs to be the source of which we understand God and communicate His love to others.    

Here are a few things I really like about the app:

1.  Bible Versions - Pick your favorite version of the bible and download it to your device.  Regardless of whether you have internet or not,

you can read God's word on your favorite device in the version you prefer.

2.  Devotionals/ reading plans - There are hundreds of devotionals and or reading plans to choose from.  You can read the bible in a year, you can choose a devotional for a season in your life.  You can have multiple reading plans that fit where you are.   

3.  Verse of the day -  I can't tell you how often the verse of the day was just what I needed for the day.  It has been powerful and helpful.

4.  Share Verses.  You can highlight verses, take notes on verses and copy verses to take notes while you are listening to a sermon.  Keeping up with your pastor is easy.  I like to use Evernote to take notes and go to the Bible app to copy the verse references made by the pastor.   I have created a workflow that is fast and later in the week I can review the pastor's notes from the sermon.  It makes taking notes in service easy.  

5.  Events - One feature that I find to be under-utilized is the church events tab.  Pastors can put their sermon notes in the events section with key points, Bible references, an outline.   It is a nice feature, but I don't see many people using it.

One thing that is nice but I'm not so sure whether I like it or not is the bible book function to look up verses.  It is all alphabetical on my phone.  It is not separated by Old and New Testament.   It sure makes it easy, but I don't know if it helps when you open a paper bible.  

I give the Youversion Bible App 4.5 stars.




The Bible App For Kids


The final app for this Two Tools Tuesday is the Bible App for kids.  


Again it is available for phones and tablets.  It is created by the same group that produced the Bible App, Life Church.  One Hope has also contributed to making this app available all over the world.   It is a kids bible that is animated and is told in Bible stories.  As you finish a story there is an award for your accomplishments.   You download each story and it can be read to you and you can complete an activity with your children.  You can choose which stories you want to read with your children.  

I also like the fact that they have questions that check for understanding.  That is a nice tool and helpful in working with your kids.  

It is a bible story app.  It contains stories.  As such it is for younger children and not for older kids.   The graphics are great and the stories aren't too long.  However, it is not a verse by verse bible.  It is a collection of Bible Stories with activities.   For younger children it is great.  

You can download the app in the apple store, or the Android Store, or on Amazon.  

I would give the app 3.5 hearts





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This week in TWO TOOLS TUESDAY I want to focus on two productivity tools that I am currently utilizing and find helpful in specific situations.




The first tool I want to mention is  Doodle makes scheduling meetings a snap.  Instead of going back and forth with emails with everyone telling you what days they can't meet, doodle lets you poll your participants and find out what day works best for everyone.  You can see in real time what the best day/time is for your meeting.  It really works well and is quick to set up

Screen Shot 2017 12 19 at 12.40.25 PM


I've used it to find out peoples preferences for outings during our Kidmin retreat.  You can be creative.  You can make a quick poll for most anything you want.  There are other tools out there and I am also partial to Survey Monkey.  But this is great.  It is quick and it looks great.  In Kidmin it is a great way to set up meetings with your leaders.  Your leaders don't need an account and it will integrate with most calendars that are out there.  I use it and I like it.  There is an app for android and IOS.  It is slick and quick.

If anything I wish it had more bells and whistles.  But for the graphical feedback it is good.  

Check it out at

I give 3 hearts out of five.

three heart

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The next tool that I use when I'm not using doodle to poll people is Survey Monkey.  They have sooo many tools to make a great survey.  Founded in 1999 they have been around a while and they claim to be the largest free survey tool on the internet.  I don't know that for sure.  But I do know they offer a pretty good free plan.

For free you can send out professional surveys, get great looking results and data and share the results easy enough.  For free you can send out an unlimited number of surveys to 100 people or less.  That is pretty good and for many kidmin purposes that is all you need.   

With the free plan, you can set up surveys with 10 questions or less.  That again is a great number.  Who likes to sit and fill out really long surveys?   With the paid plans, of course, there are more bells and whistles and in total transparency, I've never found the need to have a paid account.   

There are mobile apps for Android and IOS and this is a great way to track your results or even set up an on the fly survey.   

And unlike doodle, there are over 13 question types and over 40 short survey templates come with the free account.  You can insert video and image questions, you can create rating questions, you can create quizzes, matrix questions, you can randomize questions.  It is a robust tool.  

So in the spirit of Two Tool Tuesday, I've created a two-question survey on Survey Monkey.  (actually, it's three questions) You can take the survey at:

Survey Monkey is great.  I give it 4.5 hearts.


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What keeps you up at night?  Not much for me.  I go to sleep right away.  But if something has me thinking late into the night, it is the 4/14 window.  It is the opportunity we have to reach kids for Christ.  I'm also aware that the window is getting smaller and younger.  To finish well, we must reach this age group and we must reach their parents.  Today I discovered something that shocked me and kinda shook me a little.  I'll explain just a little later.  But first, here is a quote I have been pondering this week.



Twenty years ago, the phrase was, ‘If you don’t reach a young person by 18, you probably won’t reach them. Now, atheists and agnostics have the same access to your kids as you do; it’s just one click away. The Internet has leveled the playing field, and now if you don’t reach a child by their 12th birthday, you won’t reach them.”  - Josh McDowell


The 4/14 window is real.   We need to reach kids now.   I'm so appreciative of the 4/14 movement men and women who continue to keep this before us as  minister to kids.  Just this past week I had the awesome opportunity to preach at one of our churches in  our network.   One topic that I never get tired of talking about is reaching kids.   As we get near the end of this year we realize that our opportunity to make a difference in 2017 is coming to an end.  We had all the Christmas programs and are getting ready for our Christmas services.  

From the 10/40 window to the 4/14 window.   

In 1989 Dr. Luis Bush described the 10/40 window and it was an inportant concept in world missions.   What he basically said was between 10 degrees north and 40 degees on the equator lies the greatest unreached peoples of the world.  90 percent of that population is non-Christian.  What a great missions opportunity.

In 2008 Dr. Bush spoke of a new window - the 4/14 window.  Between the ages of 4 and 14 nearly 85% of the decisions for Christ are made.  It is also maybe the largest unreached group in the world.  Over 2.4 Billion people are between this age.  Unfortunately, it has been reported than only 3% of our world missions is spent in reaching kids.  

This has to be an area of concern.  So I'm thinking on this


2.  Video 

Here is a great video on the 4/14 movement



This opportunity to reach boys and girls is shrinking and just today I realized that we all need to do our part and be a part of this movement.  Just today I went to go on the and realized that the website is closed.  It has expired.

I started thinking about our part in reaching this generation.  I pray that when families who have kids in this age group, when they show up that we are available to share the Good News with them.  

I have sent a Facebook message to their Facebook page.  I hope this is just a temporary situation.   I realize that websites come and go, but it hit me today.  I want to be there for this age group.  I don't want our ministry to this age group to expire.  We need men and women to champion the cause of Christ by reaching this group. Maybe you will be that one!


4.  The Source


The source is a great opportunity to bring your whole children's ministry team for connecting with other kidmin leaders, being equipped for ministry and being inspired. 

It is because of the Source I know that we are equipping leaders to reach this 4/14 window. 

We have classes for elementary leaders, small group leaders, preschool.  

January 12 & 13
Fox Valley Christian Fellowship
1200 West Kimberly Ave, Kimberly, WI
Learn more at:

5.  Tru Fire Demo

Finally, we have a fantastic presentation of the Tru Fire curriculum at The Source.  If you are using the curriculum and want to learn more, or if you are thinking about using the curriculum this is a great opportunity to hear Alycia Horn from the National Children's Ministry Leadership team give a great demo.   If you are just interested in learning some new techniques to add to your kids ministry group, you won't want to miss this.  
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We've entered into the final month of 2017.  Here are a few thoughts as we get ready to finish the year. 



1.  Dan Gable

Yes, it's wrestling season and I'm excited to watch high school and collegiate wrestling.  The guy who I always equate with finishing strong in wrestling is Dan Gable.  Gable only lost one match in college. As a matter of fact, he went 64-0 in high school and 117-0 in college.  He had already won two NCAA titles and he was prepared to finish the season undefeated and a three-time NCAA champion.  But the unspeakable happened.  Maybe the largest upset in wrestling history.  Gable lost his last match.  So how is that finishing strong?  Let me fill in a few details.  There was this guy Larry Owings who knew that if he wanted to be known as the best he had to beat Gable.  He dropped two weight classes to wrestle Gable.  He came with one thing in mind, beat Dan Gable.  So on that fateful day on March 28, 1970, going into the final period Gable was leading 10-9.  Gable didn't want to win by one point he wanted to pin Owings.  Gable went for it but then Larry Owings did a move on Dan Gable he had never done in a college match before.  He completed a leg sweep on Gable and exposed his back for points.   Owings went on to win 13-11.  The watching world was astonished.  They came to crown Gable but the tables were turned by the giant killer Owings.  Gable was stunned and received his second place award with his head lowered and a tear in his eye.   He felt he had let everyone down.   But the crowd kept cheering.  One of Gable's teammates told him they won't stop until he raises his head.  He raised his head and the crowd stopped.  That moment as hard as it was defined Gable.  It is the stuff of legend.   

Gable later said,“I say that I went undefeated for seven years, lost a match, and then I got good,” 

Gable went on to defeat Owings later for the US Olympic team.  Then he went on to win the Gold medal at the Olympics in 1972.  He went the whole tournament not being scored upon.  In world competition that is so impressive.  He went on to be a legend as a coach and a competitor.  He didn't let that last match defeat him, he finished strong.  As 2017 is in the last period, it is important to finish strong. 

"Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts." - Dan Gable


picture perfect32.  Thanks for a Picture Perfect Year!

The servant leaders in our ministry need to know that they are appreciated.  Actually, it needs to be done often.  But at the end of the year, it is a great time to show appreciation to those who work so hard throughout the year.  This is a great time to head out to the store and buy popcorn tins and other items as appreciation gifts.  They don't have to be expensive but they can say a lot to our leaders.   If you look at Pinterest there are so many appreciation ideas.   Here is one link that has about 150 ideas to show appreciation to our kidmin leaders.

No matter what time of the year it is appreciation is important.   Although I like the big appreciation banquet, it is not the same as weekly giving an encouraging appreciation.  Various little reminders like the ones shared on the Pinterest page are a constant reminder that you thought of them during the week.  If I'm going to finish strong in ministry I have to appreciate the team that serves with me.   In kids ministry, it is often people who are not even in the same room as me.  They may be down the hall working in the nursery or the pre-school.  They don't see me.  They need me to be intentional in sharing my appreciation.

Another element of appreciation is finding out birthdays and anniversaries.   One thing I have always appreciated about our Superintendent Larry Liebe is I know I will receive a phone call on my birthday.   It's something that is not really big and certainly not expensive, but it is relational.  And relational ministry is a ministry that lasts.  






3.  It's the end of the year as we know it.

One of the tasks can get away from me if I don't take the time to plan ahead is the BGMC year-end.  We have been having a good year in BGMC and this last month can get away from us if we don't plan ahead.   Some churches hold their BGMC offering until the end of the year.  So it is important to talk to your treasurer about getting a check out for our missionaries.  Mary Boyd has put together an article about some last minute items that you may want to consider for the end of the year.  

You can read the article here:



As a network, we have helped our missionaries all over the world.  It has not gone without notice.  I hear from missionaries often how they received the necessary funds to fulfill a project in their ministry.  This has come through the help of boys and girls throughout our network and throughout the country.  As we get to the end of 2017 let's make it a great finish in BGMC! 





The source is a one-day training for your entire kid's ministry team.  This year for the kids ministry training we have preschool training and classroom training for teachers whether they lead a small group or a small ministry.  It is a time to come and connect with other leaders in our network and on your own team.  It is a time to be equipped and a time to be inspired.

We are excited to announce that one of our kidmin breakouts will feature a demonstration of the TruFire Curriculum.   This will be taught by Alycia Horn who is the Children’s Ministries Director of Discipleship for the Assemblies of God Children's Ministries Department.

Alycia will also be teaching a session on ministry to children. She is formerly an elementary and middle/high school educator who had the opportunity of working in both a Christian and public school setting. She was distinguished as Southern Indiana’s outstanding educator when receiving the Teacher of the Year Award and Kentucky’s WHAS ExCel Award for her innovation and enthusiastic teaching methodology. She’s worked in youth and children’s ministry for 16 years and counts it a privilege to be apart of helping kids fall in love with Jesus. One of her greatest passions is mentoring young girls and holding Bible studies in her home. Alycia and her husband Ryan, of 15 years, reside in Springfield, Missouri.


You can find out more about THE SOURCE at the studentmin website:


christmas xmas family holiday winter PR2MBHU


5.  Family

The final month of the year is often filled with all kinds of buzz and excitement.  There are kids programs, church programs, school programs.  The month can be a program.  One of the things not to neglect in this final month is our family.  Our family can often take a backseat if we let it.  During the end of the year, it is time to finish strong.  Every year at the beginning of the year I plan out my calendar.  This month I put on the calendar a couple of weeks of vacation. If I don't plan it, it will get away from me. 

Finish strong and keep your family dear this December.



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Two Tools Tuesday - 11_28_17


It's another Two Tools Tuesday and I have been thinking about this next tool all through the Thanksgiving Holiday.  



The first item I want to mention is RIGHTNOW MEDIA.  This is a great option for offering to your leaders and parents great kidmin videos.   This is a virtual video library for the entire church to utilize in discipleship.  There are great book studies available.  Nearly every popular Christian teaching book has a companion video in the library.  It is a gift that you can give to your families and leaders.  It is a great way to have a leaders bookstudy.  Give everyone a book and then have them watch the videos at home or at the church.  Leaders can watch the lessons online, on a smart tv on their phone, on a Roku device.  It is widely accessible.  

Then there is the Kidmin portion.  Nearly every Christian kid's series is available.  The boys in my Royal Rangers class get to watch about once a quarter an animated Bibleman video.  It is only about 12 minutes long and they love it. 

The material is customizable for your church and I think it is a great option.

For a monthly fee everyone in your church gets free access to the video library.  Watch this video for a quick explanation.

Check out all the options at:



I travel to a number of kids churches throughout our network and see so much creativity.  Sometimes some of the great creative material I see is the use of pop culture video clips.  These are clips for TV and movies that kids are already talking about.  Many of these clips are downloaded from Youtube and shown in the church.  One thing I would urge caution about is using video clips and/or whole videos without a presentation license for the church.  Maybe you have a movie night at the church.  You should have a video license.  With a Church Video License, you can legally show videos in your church.  The resource that we utilize is CVLI.  

They have two packages.  One is the Producer Package that covers over 1,000 studios and producers.  They also have a cheaper package that covers only Christian studios and producers.  With your license, they have something called ScreenVue.   They give you over 7,000 video clips that are packed with ideas and cover themes that save you time looking for that perfect illustration.  They package it all.  You start with your theme and use their search engine and you can download a clip right from their site.  The great thing is the clip is licensed and you don't have to worry about wondering about your legality.  It is really nice.  

Check it out at:




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FINISH STRONG - 11-23-17


It's Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for.  I know that I do.  Being thankful is such an important element of ministry and kids ministry.   Today I have 5 things that I am thinking about Thanksgiving that relate to ministry.


1. “It’s one thing to be grateful. It’s another to give thanks. Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.” –Tim Keller

I really like this quote.   As a leader and a children's leader, I think it is important that we show thanks not only to God but to those with whom we work.  Thanksgiving is more than a feeling it is an action.  It is with word and deed we thank those with whom we work.



I was pretty surprised and amazed the other day.  I showed a picture of Bob and Larry from Veggietales to my Discovery Ranger boys on our club night and they had no idea who they were.   So this is probably new to a lot of people.  It is the Thankfulness Song from "Madame Blueberry."  It is an entire lesson on Thanksgiving.  This one minute song is appropriate for today.  I would suggest anyone who has not seen "Madame Blueberry" check it out.  It is one of my favorite Veggietales episodes.  



3.  Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him."



4.  Thanksgiving can be a fabulous time to bring our families together to give thanks.  It can also be lost in the eating lots of food and watching endless hours of football.   It is important to remember the origins of Thanksgiving.  David Barton of Wall Builders has a short article that reminds us of our first Thanksgiving.



I am so thankful this year and I just want to say how thankful I have been to serve under the leadership of many men and women of God.  I am particularly thankful this Thanksgiving for the ministry of our District Superintendent Larry Liebe.  After 40 years serving in our district office, he has announced his retirement to start in June.  He has been a great leader and knows how to show thanks to those with whom he works.  Thank you, Larry, for your leadership and example.

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Periodically on Tuesday, I will be posting two tools that I use.  These may be personal productivity tools.  They may be tools I use in Kidmin.  They may be tools I use in other ministries.  It may just be a plain old tool I find cool and useful.   

Personal Productivity Tool



Just about every week I use Evernote.  I have tried so many different note-taking apps and Evernote is my go-to.   It is cross-platform and can be used on my desktop, my phone, tablet.  Just about anywhere!  So what can you do with Evernote?

  • Evernote is designed as a digital safe deposit box.   It contains notebooks, and topics and you fill those notebooks with notes.  
  • You can write notes
  • Search all your notes for a key phrase.  Boy, that is always helpful.  You can also have tags that you can use to sort like-minded notes.  
  • You can create checkbox todo lists,
  • you can use a chrome extension and save helpful articles from the web
  • The ability to attach files to notes as well as picture


It is so good and it is free.  There is a paid version but the free one is probably more than most need.   


So what would be a few good uses in Kids Ministry?

1.  Quotes - find a quote and write it down.  Find it later in your digital brain.  If you are at a conference take you notes at that conference give them a tag.  Tags are awesome.  You can group all your quotes into certain tags.  

2. Volunteer Gifts Ideas -- See an item while you are out shopping or online.  Download it to Evernote.  Save it for later.

3.  Articles - Find a super great article on nursery care.  Put it in Evernote.  Give it a "nursery" tag and you can find it later.  Maybe you want to share it with your nursery coordinator.  You can do all that in Evernote.  Maybe you can't read the article right now but need to later.  Save it to Evernote.  I did this just recently.  I'm glad I did.  I had children's pastor call me and ask about the very subject I just stuck in Evernote.  I was able to share the article and recall where it was because Evernote had it waiting for me.  

4.  Remember where you parked -- Are you out at the MegaMall and can't remember where you parked?   Take a picture of it in Evernote and there it is.

5.  Business Card Reader -- Take a picture of the business cards you get at a conference.  The OCR reader in Evernote will read the text of the cards meaning you can search for that person later.  You can give them a tag and then they are cross-referenced to the conference.

6. Kidmin Shopping List -- Do you have shopping to do for next Sunday?  Put it into Evernote give each item a checklist and off you go.   I know I often write things on a scrap of paper and lose the paper. 

7.  Meeting Notes.-- In staff meeting and taking notes?  Evernote is a great note-taking app.  So you get tired of writing?  I do as well.  Take a picture of whatever is on the screen and put it into your notes.  Evernote is great for this.  It's cross-platform so when I go to my desktop all of my notes are there as well.   That is awesome. 

8.  Tax Exempt Form --You are out at the MegaMall and need to make a purchase for your kids ministry.  But you left your tax exempt number and form at the office.  Take a picture of it in Evernote.  I've used it many times this way and it has saved me a few times.  Maybe it is the combination of the closet you hardly ever open.   It remembers.

9. Voice Memos-  Out for a walk and need to make a note.  Make it a voice memo.  

10.  Prayer Journal - Kids give you prayer needs?  Write them in Evernote.  Keep a running log.  Mark when they are answered.  


Those are just 10 ways to use Evernote.  Send me a note telling me how you use Evernote.   I think it is awesome and I use it every day.  You can take a look at Evernote at the link provided.


Tool Box Tool Number 2

Story Telling


I am so enthralled by good storytellers.   If there is one tool that I want to continue to work on it is storytelling.   I think it is one of the good keys to being a great kidmin communicator.   Sometimes I will be visiting a church and they will want me to come into the kids church and "do something"  I may not have brought anything with me.  There is where a good story comes in handy.   Just this past Sunday I was in a church for some consulting and they asked me to "do" something in the kids church.  So I was able to do a story in about 5 minutes.  With the story, I did a little paper tear as well.  It went well and they were pleased with the story and it led to an opportunity to pray for the boys and girls.   

As I write the Two Tools Tuesday articles one thing I will be searching for is good storytelling resources.  Today I want to highlight 2.


1.  Evernote. -- Evernote is a great place to store your stories.  You can give each story multiple tags and when you need to have a good story it is right there to refresh your memory.  

2.   Tim Sheppard.  Tim is a storyteller from England and he has a website that deals with storytelling.  The helpful link on this site is the storytelling FAQ.  There are a ton of storytelling resources there.  Check out his FAQ at:  The other page that he has that is very helpful is this resource page for storytelling:


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5 Things To Finish Strong - 11-17-17


Ending the week and finishing strong.  These are 5 things I am thinking about going into the weekend.  These are five tools, thoughts, ideas, books, websites or observations on life that I want to have in my life as I finish the race strong.


1.  Quote, I'm pondering this week.  - If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God. -D.L. Moody   Coming From D.L. Moody this is an incredible quote.   Moody was an incredible organizer, an incredible evangelist and here he says what he would do if he had to do it all over again.  As I finish the week I'm also thinking about what it takes to finish the race.  It's why I still volunteer in Royal Rangers.  I can't relive my life so I want to finish it right.  


2.  "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win."  1 Corinthians 9:24

3.  In my Royal Rangers class this next couple of weeks I'm teaching lessons on leadership.  A couple of things that stand out are using a child's name when addressing them.  This is so important.   Kids and adults love to hear their name.  As a leader, we need to use the first name of the boys and girls we lead.  Jesus tells us that a good shepherd knows his sheep (John 10:11).  He calls us by name.  
4.  The boys and girls of our communities are calling on us to be the church.  To be the church we need to connect with Christ and find His plan for our community to reach our communities kids.   I really love the videos that are produced by the Max7 organization.  If you are not familiar with Max7 they are a storehouse for children's ministry materials that are shared with the world of children's ministry leaders.  Here is an excellent video.  I often share this in sharing spreading the word for the need of kids ministry.
5.  This is my last point of this week.  It is my goal to keep writing each week at the end of the week 5 things that are spurring me one to keep running the race.   What is that keeps my wanting to reach kids for Christ?   I will share quotes, scripture, videos, thoughts, other blog posts.  Maybe it will spur you on as well.  I am doing this on my own for my own growth but I want to share it as well.  
I hope to make it a weekly feature, it may not be that.  But if I can I will.   If you would like to subscribe to the posts you can use the subscription button above.  
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Lost Through The Generations


I was watching a sermon online last night by Ray Johnston the Senior Pastor of Bayside Church in California.  It was a message on Three most inportant questions you will ever ask.  These we great and I enjoyed the message, However within the message, there was a thought on 7 things we have lost through the generations.   Ravi Zacharias had a similar post about this as well.  Here is the list of Pastor Johnston.  

 The 1950's Americans Lost Innocence - With the advent of the car and good paying jobs American moved away from home and the generation gap was formed

The 1960's Americans Lost Authority. - Don't trust anyone over 30 became a cultural mantra during this time.  The Vietnam war was televised and trust in government was lost and trust in institutions was lost.  Americans were protesting

The 1970's Americans Lost Love - The decade of Free Love and the sexual revolution redefined for a generation what was love.  

The 1980's Americans Lost Values - In 1980 Ronald Reagan vowed to restore American "Family values."  But yet it was in this decade that the culture continued to lose it once set in stone values.   

The 1990's Americans Lost Faith -  The 90's and 2000's was a time when faith in God, fellow man, and institutions was lost.   Remember Y2K?  There was a lack of faith that we were going to make it.  The rise of the "Nones" in religion was well established in 1990.  

The 2000's Americans Lost Security - The stock market plummeted.  Home values plummeted.  9/11 was devastating to America.  The rise of Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda and terrorism brought a sense of lost security. 

The 2010's Americans Lost Hope - The hope that your kids will have a brighter future than their parents is pervasive.  Higher education the source of hope for so many has become cost prohibitive with prices going up over 1000% over the past 30 years.  The hope of the American dream of owning a house has to be weighed against paying off student loans.  Federal deficits and debt that will likely never be able to be repaid.   Healthcare costs that are skyrocketing and the ever-present threat of terrorism both foreign and domestic.   It leads to hopelessness.

You can disagree with some of the headers and where they land.  You can also disagree whether all Americans feel this way.  I know I have a few thoughts in that regard.  But it got me thinking.  What is next?  Do we have to have a next?   What can we reclaim?  What can we do as Christians and children's ministry leaders to help kids who may be dealing with hopelessness and loss of security being raised by parents who have lost values and lost faith?

What I do wonder and don't want to see is when would say Americans have lost freedom.  That seems to be a path that we are headed toward.   Freedoms, as enumerated in the Bill of Rights and encapsulated in our Constitution, are under siege.  First Amendment freedoms, Second Amendment freedoms are receiving daily challenges.   I'm reminded of the famous quote attributed to Edmund Burke - "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Read more at:

Now is not a time to do nothing.  Paul asserted his rights as a Roman citizen.  We should as well.  Having said that I really don't know what is left to lose.  I suppose there could be more.   The question I wonder is why do we think we have to have a next?  What if we raised a generation of boys and girls who were trained in the way they should go?  What if we were people of hope?  What if we raised our kids in households of faith and hope?  Our faith and hope are found in Jesus Christ.  I think Romans actually offers us a road back to a place where we can have hope again and start reclaiming these lost attributes.  

Romans 2:5-7

"2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 
5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 
7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die."
We may not be able to individually fix our security but even in the midst of suffering, we can develop perseverance.  That perseverance produces character.  Character is built on our values, innocence, and love.   When we have our character in line with Christ we know that we can have hope in the future.  Boys and girls need to hear the Word of God.  They need to know the character of God and how he offers us hope even in the midst of trouble.   
Our hope is in the Lord.  Boys and girls need to learn how to trust and hope in the Lord.  So do we.  They need to see that modeled in us.  Isaiah 40:31 states,
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  
The picture at the beginning of this post is a picture of what needs to be said.   No matter what generation you are from it is your job to stop the slide.  Invest in the life of a boy or girl.   Live the life of victory in Christ and reclaim what was lost.  America may have lost many things through the years.  We don't have to continue the cultural slide.  We can reclaim it in our lives and by passing it on to the next generation.  I am hopeful!
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Thanking God

Thanking God

Thank God for these pioneering men and these boys who built Royal Rangers.  A Godly legacy!

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Kids Camp Quote

Kids Camp Quote

“If Sunday School was the place where people were built up in the faith, then camp was where they made their decisions about following the Lord.” Henrietta Mears

Boy I liked that quote

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Tru Fire Experience

Tru Fire Experience

Free Tru Fire Demo coming to Wisconsin. Tru Fire is a new children's ministry curriculum developed for the Assemblies of God by myhealthychurch. Having seen it in action there is a lot to like. It is large group/small group - Parents are primary - Each lesson points to God as the central message. Tru Fire creates opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak to kids in creative ways. I really appreciate the time and effort spent in creating interactive response statations for God to speak to our kids. It's an all digital curriculum that you download from myhealthychurch. The demo is Free and lunch is included. Along with the demo there will be an hour long children's ministry training session.
You can register at:

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Crossing The Goal Line (Part 1)

Crossing The Goal Line (Part 1)

It's football season and our favorite teams are hitting the gridiron.  My favorite team is whatever team my son is playing on.  It doesn't matter.  It is the relationship with my son that makes the team important.  My next favorite team is the Green Bay Packers.  Since I was a kid I was a Packers fan.  I've moved all over but the team sticks with me.   When I lived in Chicago during the Bears Super Bowl and the Super Bowl shuffle, I still remained true to the Green and Gold.  I've been a fan a long time.   So what does this have to do with kids ministry?   It has a lot to do with it.   The goal in football is to cross the goal line.   In kIds ministry we want to do the same.  We want to cross the goal line.  I'm excited when my favorite team crosses the line.  That means they've scored.   In life there are many goal lines.  I have personal goals, spiritual goals, financial goals.  When I complete one of those goals. I celebrate.  Here are a few things I think can be learned for Kids Leaders.


1.  Teach with the goal line in mind.    We need to keep moving our students toward the goal.  My goals have adapted through the years.  But when I teach I always think about what the goal is.  What do I want to accomplish?  What is my objective?  These are never to have a cool object lesson, or a visually stunning stage.  Instead it has to do with where I'm leading.   What am I trying to communicate?  What do I want my students to emulate?


2.  Celebrate First Downs.   Not every service is a touchdown.  Celebrate when you move the ball down the field.  Last week I had a class that for the first hour it was not going anywhere.  I think we probably were going backwards.  But the last 20 minutes we were going tsomewhere.  I celebrated those last 20 minutes.  I felt like we moved closer to the goal line.


3.  Fix Fumbles.  Like I said earlier last week we probably had more fumbles than not during the first part of my class.   While I celebrated the last 20 minutes, I am constantly evaluating the fumbles and fixing them.  I try and eliminate them all together, but when I do I need to recognize the fumble and see what I can do to fix it. 



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Kids Blast

Kids Blast 2017 is coming soon.  Make sure that your register your group.  


All of materials for Kids Blast can be found on our website

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What makes camp unique


I found a great article on 4 observations about what makes camp unique.  If you as a parent are concerned about sending your child to camp, you need to read this article.



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Yes camp is right around the corner?

Yes camp is right around the corner?

We are so excited for camp this summer.   Maybe you've never been to camp before.  It is such an incredible time to connect with new and old friends.   You get to use your outside voice.  Yes!   You can experience the most important relationship in your life - your relationship with God.  You can connect with the outside and use that outside voice.  Yes!  If you haven't registered yet for camp at Spencer Lake Kids Camp now is the time.   We have two camps for boys and girls 3rd - 6th grade.  They are held August 8-12 and August 15-19 2016.   Check with your church and find out which week they are attending and register.  If your church doesn't regularly attend Spencer Lake Kids Camp you can still signup. Talk to your pastors maybe they would be willing to send a group.  If not that's ok, you are still welcome to attend the camp.  We'll find a place for you.  After all we'd love to hear your outside voice.  You can find out more about Spencer Lake Kids Camp at.

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Are You Excited for Camp?

2015 exuberant

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