WNMD Kids Ministry Blog

Blog for the Wisconsin/ Northern Michigan Ministries Network Children's Ministries

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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A New Attitude


I was reading a very good article today on ministry philosophy as it relates to camp.   James Rock wrote the article titled Old School, New School in Insite Magazine.   It is a publication for the Christian Camping and Conference Association.  The point of the article is comparing our camping programs to Late Night TV.  It showed how David Lettermen and Jay Leno treated guests and how the new breed of Jimmy Fallon and James Corden treat guest.  The main point is that Jay and Dave seemed to make sure they were seen as the snide comedians who had fun at their guest expense, whereas Jimmy and James make their guest much more welcome.   I'm not a late night TV show watcher but I get where James Rock is coming from.  The campers who come to our camps deserve from us a new attitude toward them and ourselves.   Being sarcastic and making jokes at someone else’s expense is not making our campers feel welcome and accepted.  For as long as I can remember one of the most important attitudes we promote toward campers is that "Camp is for the camper."   That is not a new attitude it is the same one we want to have all the time.  Here are some things that Rock says emphasizes this new attitude.

1.  Smile until it hurts.  --- Let the campers see you smile.   It is infectious

2.  Be enthusiastic. -- It may not be your everyday attitude, but let this week be a new start.

3.  Focus on them, not you.  --- Can I rephrase that, "Camp is for the camper."

4.  Make the camper look good.   -- This is so important.  Make each camper feel special and never use a situation to humiliate them.

5.  Have fun for fun's sake. -- They are here to have fun.   Get the sleep you need so you can run all day.

6.  Keep it short.  -- Make a lot of transitions during the day and evening.  Change things up.

7.   Prepare, prepare, prepare-- read the counselor manual, watch the videos, ask questions at meetings, take the counselor quiz.

8.   Focus on the positive.  -- There is always a positive outcome.  Watch Pollyanna again.   

9.  Share it with everyone. -- Don't let camp be exclusive let everyone be a part of the group.

I hope these little nuggets get in your heart and help you have a great week as a camp leader.

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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. http://www.wnmdkids.org/index.php/kidmin/kids-camp

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Are You Excited for Camp?

2015 exuberant

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How can I prepare MYSELF to help parents or counselors register? (1) Read through the parent/staff FAQ pages. Find it Here (2) If you are serving as a camp counselor or if your own children are attending, use online registration—your experience will help you guide others. Even if you have no reason to register personally, explore the sites and start a registration so you can see how easy it is—information remains saved but incomplete if you do not submit and is easily deleted. (3) Call or email us with any questions.   

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Bunk Notes

Bunk Notes



We are excited to tell yhou about our continued partnership with Bunk1, allowing you to send "Bunk Notes" throughout your child's week at camp.  Using a secure login, you'll be able to send a "Bunk Note" to your camper at any time of the day and it will be delivered with the regular mail the very next day.  No need to wait for USPS to deliver!   


Download our Parent and Camper Information sheet for more information.  Download Here.

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What Should We Pack For Summer Camp?

What Should We Pack For Summer Camp?

Just what should you pack this summer for your kids great week at Spencer Lake.  You can find the whole list in our parent packet, however here is a quick cheat sheet.






Spencer Lake Kids Camp Packing List.

 Sleeping bag or bedding & pillow
 Bath towels & wash cloth
 Pajamas
 Jeans, modest shorts & shirts
 Modest one piece swimsuit
 Beach towel
 Socks & underwear
 Bodywash-shampoo-toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
 Hand Soap
 Tennis shoes for recreation 
 Rain poncho 
 Sweatshirt or jacket 
 Extra pair of shoes 
 Plastic bag for wet/dirty clothes 
 Flashlight 
 Bible 
 Notebook and pen
 Spending money 
 Medications and prescription information for nurse—see note below

DO NOT BRING: Absolutely no fireworks, firearms, stink bombs, tobacco, weapons, alcohol, drugs, pets, or hair color spray (due to air conditioner damage)

MEDICATIONS: Bring in original container/label in a plastic zip bag to the Nurse’s Station upon arrival. Include: 1) camper name, 2) doctor name, 3) prescription number, 4) date prescribed, 5) medication name, 6) dosing. All meds go to camp nurse upon arrival. It is camper’s responsibility to go to the nurse for meds at prescribed times. Changes in health and medication info must be mailed in with parent signature or provided at check-in.


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2016 Volunteer Training Video now available

2016 Volunteer Training Video now available

We are so excited to have the 2016 camping season right around the corner.  It won't be long and we will be putting our inflatables out on the water.   Many of you just signed up to help your church be a camp counselor this summer.  You may be wondering just what does it mean to be a camp counselor?  What do I need to know?   

We've made it easier for you to be better prepared for this years camps.  We have all new camp videos that explain your role as a camp volunteer.   They are short and to the point.  Speaking of points, you can also earn points for your color team this summer.  Just go on over to www.wnmdtraining.org and sign up to view our training videos.  If you watch all of them you will receive 100 points for your team.  When you are done reading the camp counselor manual and watching the videos you can take a 25 question quiz.  If you get all of the questions right you will receive 250 points for your team.  Don't worry if you miss a couple, we give you 10 points for every correct answer.

So go ahead and go watch the videos.

We can't wait to see you this summer.



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WNMD Kids Social Media Pages

WNMD Kids Social Media Pages

We are consolidating our Social Media pages so that we can better serve the churches in our network.  All of our social media pages are now going to feature the WNMD Kids name.


1.  Twitter – wnmdkids  -  @wnmdkids

2.  Facebook – WNMDkids   https://www.facebook.com/WNMDKids-800758833322910/?fref=ts

  We will still maintain a Facebook page for kids blast and for kids camp  however they will mostly be for the events.  All promo will take place through wnmdkids at Facebook

3.  Youtube  WNMD Kids Ministry Channel.  (it’s not up yet but will be soon.)

4.  Pinterest  WNMD Kids Ministry – has pages for crafts, outreach, conferences, Ministries.   Make lots of suggestions to help out your fellow ministers https://www.pinterest.com/wnmdkids/


5.  Vimeo.  All of our downloadable videos are available here: https://vimeo.com/channels/818589

Of course the main webpage of http:// www.wnmdkids.org is the best place for all things WNMD kids.   If you would like to be a guest blogger on there let me know.

If you use any of these services, please sign up and follow these accounts.  I will be having a contest for those who sign up.  I will announce it soon.

Is there another way you want us to communicate.  I personally use instagram.   

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Kilcoyne Christmas Greeting

Kilcoyne Christmas Greeting

Our family wants  to wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I watch my small family each and every year get a little older and a little closer to our kids leaving the home and tackling the adventures that God has for them.   Each Christmas is a reminder to me of the blessing God has brought into our families and the gifts he gives us each day with their presence.  

 As I travel throughout the network it is also a  blessing to be reminded of the family we have in Christ spread throughout our region.  Men and women who honor Christ by serving Him through the local church.  Throughout the year I have had the privelege of working with leaders in the local church who serve as elders, deacons, teachers, nursery workers, small group leaders, etc.  Each time I visit with a local church and those who serve I am reminded that we all serve in our various places of ministry to further the Kingdom of Christ.  

I am also reminded as we enter in the Christmas season of how Christ came into this world as a child.   He humbled himself and became the least in this world.   This world is filled with 2.3 billion boys and girls between the ages of 4 - 14.   It is during this age range that most people come to Christ.   It is the most critical age group in the world.  It is also one of the most impressionable age ranges as well.  This is the age group that we can bless with our presence as men and women of God.  These boys and girls need an authentic Christian who will invest in their lives and give them the hope that is in Christ.   In my office I have overseeing my desk a picture of a man and a boy herding sheep as they go down a road.  Together they are moving the sheep to their new pasture.   When I dream about the possiblity of reaching boys and girls I think about this picture.  I think about the sheep, but I also think about the mentoring process we can do with our own children.  I often tell those who teach kids to bring their own children with them as they teach.   Teach them to be teachers.  Teach them to be shepherds.   One of the best gifts we can give them is the gift of finding their purpose.   I don't know if my kids as they leave our house will follow the same calling as I have, however, I hope that we have done minstry together and that I have mentored them in how to be a man or woman of God.   How to care for God's people and how to care for the least of these.

As you gather with your families this Christmas I pray that you cherish the time you have with them.   As you gather with those who are part of the family of God I pray that together you realize the blessing God has given each of us to be working together to further His Kingdom.

My wife Deb and I and our kids Mark and Anna are blessed to work with such a wonderful group of men and women.   I pray that as we continue to work together that our efforts will grow the Kingdom of God and deepen our commitment to one another.

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It has been 19 days without coffee.   I have friends who are supporting me by waving coffee mugs infront of my face.  Thanks for that Rich Lemberg.  Then I drive through town and realize the cozy coffee shop downtown is CLOSED.  I think it is CLOSED for good.  I know I didn't purchase that much coffee there.  Oh my.   

But it is all for a good cause.   We are raising money for missionaries who need critical supplies to reach their communities.  I'll drink coffee again.  But this is a minor sacrifice so that boys and girls around the globe can hear the Good News of Jesus.   

If you would like to join me by giving up a cup of coffee for one day.  You can join me at--


By donating $5 you can give 15 Books of Hope to a boy or girl who has never heard the message of Jesus before in their lives.

Last year One Hope reached an incredible milestone.  They gave out their 1 Billionth Book of Hope to a young girl in China.   The Book of Hope is a small booklet that gives a clear message of Christ in their native language and in a fun kid friendly way.  

Thanks for joining with me in this endeavor.



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Ten Worst Mistakes You Can Make in Kids Ministry

Ten Worst Mistakes You Can Make in Kids Ministry

This is a highlight of what Dale Hudson stated on Relevant Children's Ministry.  I think all ten points are worth remembering.  You can read Dale's comments on each one by clicking the link.


1.   Not running background checks on all volunteers.
2.   Begging for volunteers
3.   Not partnering with parents
4.   Placing a volunteer alone in a classroom
5.   Being a one-man show
6.   Placing volunteers where you need them
7.   Doing too many programs
8.   Not aligning with the vision and direction of the church
9.   Not partnering with student ministries
10.  Not giving first-time guests a great experience

Tell me what you think.  Are there others that are more important to you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Children's Ministry in the Rural Church

Children's Ministry in the Rural Church

I read a thought provoking article on ministry to kids in the rural church.   There are unique challenges to ministry in these rural settings. 

 The article was called 11 Tips for Serving A Small Country Church.


I will highlight the 11 Tips.  I think they are helpful for all of us in ministry but it is especially helpful for those who serve in the rural church.

 11 Tips for Serving in this Setting:

 1.  Take Charge:  If a ministry does not exist – and it needs to – you may be the one to start it.

2.  Be Aware:  Sin is prevalent as much in the country as it is in the city.  Take security measures and precautions accordingly to protect each child in your ministry.
3.  Effect Change Slowly:  Work with the church and not against it. We have a whole article with ideas for dealing with stubborn people.
4.  Draw on Unique Church Family Dynamics:  Have a farmer tell and demonstrate the parable of the soils.  Offer cooking, sewing, woodworking, and outdoors
classes for kids.  Provide opportunities for homeschoolers to get together such as field trips, workshops, and co-ops.
5.  Teach on Location:  Use unique settings for lessons such as a field, barn, stream, hiking trail, hill, forest, camp, etc.  Connect the location to scripture.
6.   Don’t Assume Anything:  Many children in this setting have been raised in the church.  They know the language and the Bible trivia.  However, some of them do not have relationships with Christ.  Continue to teach salvation and discipleship.
7.  Incorporate Multi-Generational Ministry:  Use retired teachers to work in children’s ministry. Enlist the elderly in a vibrant prayer ministry.  Start a pen pal ministry for children and shut-ins.  Make cookies, cards, or crafts for the young or old.   Go caroling at any time of the year. 

8. Creative with the Budget (or Lack Thereof):  Use free lesson plans, do supply drives, recycle, talk to larger churches about using their curriculum when they are finished, and ask local businesses for donations.
9.  Set a Healthy Pace:  Most likely, small country church ministry leaders are volunteers and have full-time jobs elsewhere.  Establish priorities, find balance, and don’t go this alone!
10.  Encourage Diversity:  Through books, media presentations, day trips, child sponsorship relationships, or mission trips, teach your students how to relate to others of varying cultures and backgrounds.
11.  Make Sundays Count:  Many children and their families are not able to attend mid-week services due to long distance drives and the price of gas.  Capitalize on the time that they are there!


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Introducing NOvember

Introducing NOvember

I'm giving away a BGMC coffee mug. One lucky winner will win this coffee mug just for liking this post on facebook.  Yes that's right just like this post and you might win it. I'll ship it to you when I let you know you've won.  You can like it right from this page.  Look at the bottom and click the Facebook like button.   

Why am I doing this? Well, I don't need the mug right now. I've given up coffee for the month of NOvember. Yes, NOvember. NO coffee in NOvember. I'm fasting coffee for the month to help raise money for missionaries all over the world. Through BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge) we are provided critical materials for missionaries to reach people everywhere with the Good News of God's great love. Sometimes your gift provides a cup of cold water in Jesus' name.

So I'm giving up coffee for a month. It's really not a lot, but I'm challenging all my ministry friends to help me reach my goal. If you would give up one really nice specialty drink or coffee, let's say a $5 cup you can help me reach the goal. We have set up a website where you can join the coffee cover-up.

You don't have to give to have an opportunity to win the mug, you just have to like the post.

BUT if you would like to donate a $5 coffee break, go to the website provided.


I will give away the mug at the end of the month of NOvember.


Just a reminder this challenge goes all month.   Although I am having a cup of coffee on Thanksgiving.  Then on Black Friday I'm having a black dark roast Karuba blend.   Then it's back to finishing the month

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New BGMC Missions Manual is now available - Learn how to get it free!

New BGMC Missions Manual is now available - Learn how to get it free!

I just received my new 2015 BGMC Missions manual on two DVD's.  Wow, it is a wealth of resources for teaching boys and girls the ministry of BGMC.   They now include a 5 in 1 powerpoint that is a complete BGMC lesson for 12 countries of the world.  Once a month you have an entire service worth of lessons to teach the importance of missions.

The 5 in 1 lesson includes a countdown video, a Go 360 video clip about the featured country, a true missions story with audio, Scripture picture and digital verse traxx.   There are also newsletters you can send home and a bonus DVD with activities, clip art, thank you letters, etc.   

Many of you already have your DVD's because you received them as a church that participates in BGMC.  Yes that is right.  If you participate in BGMC you get the curriculum for free.  So here is an idea.  We want to see everyone get on-board with BGMC.  It's super easy to get started.   Just receive a change offering in the service and send it into BGMC.  It can't be simpler than that.  With that one change offering you will receive all the curriculum you need to utilize BGMC throughout your children's ministry.

I was pretty excited to see they also have lessons for younger kids called "little buddies."   

I think every church in our network should partner with BGMC to see our missionaries prayed for, equipped and to inspire our kids to be life long missions supporters and as we know some of them may be called to go as well.

You can copy the DVD and share it with all of your teachers and leaders and let them use it in their services.   

So, let's all get on-board with BGMC and see what we can do to help our missionaries.

If you receive a coin offering and you haven't participated in BGMC previously we would love to get you more materials.  Drop me an email and I'd love to send you some supplemental BGMC materials.

email me at: mark@wnmdag.org.  

you can send your BGMC offering to: 

1445 N. Booneville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802

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What Is the Bible? - What Kids Need to Know

What Is the Bible? - What Kids Need to Know

Jon Bloom has written a great thought provoking artilce on "Desiring God" website. He has identified how to be ready to answer your kids questions about the Bible and deals with some specific questions that are excellent. Every kids pastor and every parent should know this.

Here are the relevant questions:

How do we know the Bible is reliable? (Reliability)

Who decided what should be in the Bible? (Authority)

How do we know the Bible has no errors in it? (Inerrancy)

Who can understand the Bible? (Clarity)

Why do we need the Bible to know God? (Necessity)

Does the Bible tell us everything we need to know? (Sufficiency)


You owe it to yourself and those you teach to check out this article and wrestle with those questions.  Kids need to know this and I know they are wondering about it.





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Welcome to the New Website

Welcome to the New Website

E-Discipleship is now wnmdkids.org.   We are moving all of our kids ministry content to this new website and moving all of the pastoral development materials to wnmdag.org.  So you will find information regarding Next Level Workshops and Leadership Development Networks on the new www.wnmdag.org


All of the children's ministry events, ministries and training for children's ministry can be found on this new website.  You will want to come back often to see new content and to find up to date information on all upcoming kids ministry throughout the Wisconsin/No. Michigan Ministries Network.  


We will keep the blog updated with new information and kids ministry insight.   If there is a category that interests you, you might want to subscribe to that channel and then you can receive information that pertains to that topic.


In the meantime we are getting this site up.  We have a couple of new characters who appear throughout the website.  I don't have names for them as of yet, but thought you might want to help name them.


Here they are.


Send me an email if you have come up with a good name for them.



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