Tag Archives: Kid’s ministry

5 Ways To Teach Kids Thankfulness

24 Oct

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Thank you

A simple phrase that we love to teach our kids or students. It is a respectful response that should be used often.

However, thankfulness goes beyond the words and phrases we use. Instead, a thankful posture grows out of a heart of gratitude. Below are 5 ways to help your students or children mature in gratitude and move beyond a simple phrase into a constant state of thankfulness.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Prayer is a simple yet powerful way to teach thankfulness. The next time you pray with children, lead them in a prayer of thanksgiving. The format for this style of prayer is to have the child list something or someone they are thankful for and say, “God, thank you for ______”. You continue the prayer until the child has run out of people or items for prayer. For concrete thinkers (elementary age) give them a goal to reach, such as to thank God for ten people or things in their life.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1

Thankfulness Board

Grab a whiteboard or large sheet of paper and set it around your home, classroom, or church. Allow kids to write and draw pictures of what they are thankful for on this board. Incorporate the board in a weekly routine so that children are constantly engaging with their creative side while striving to grow in thankfulness.

Thank You Cards

Anytime your child receives presents for Christmas or their birthday, sit down with them and help them write thank you cards. As a Sunday school or classroom project, set aside some time to write thank you cards for police officers, fire fighters, soldiers, government officials and local businesses. Don’t have the budget to buy cards? You can print some for free on Greetings Island Thank You Cards

Gratitude Walk

The next time you take kids on a walk, go for a gratitude walk. As you stroll to your destination, have kids point toward objects around them and say “I am thankful for _____”. For kids that may have a harder time staying focused on this activity, make it into a Gratitude I Spy Game by stating, “I am thankful for something that is the color _____”. After a kid guesses the correct object, have everyone proclaim together “We are thankful for ______” (the object just guessed).

Local Thankfulness

Bake a tray of cookies and buy a simple box or bag from the dollar store that can be decorated by kids. Package up the cookies and take kids on a trip to a local business or government building. Go inside and have the children offer the gift of cookies to an employee by sharing how they are thankful for that person or business. It is a truly sweet moment when you can see the shock on an employee’s face at the practice of gratitude by a child. Several stores that have worked well for me in the past include: City Hall, YMCA, Recreation Centers, and Small Retail locations.

By putting some of the above activities into practice, you can teach children that thankfulness goes beyond a simple phrase and is a lifestyle that comes from a heart of gratitude.

Looking for another “No Mess” way to teach children about Gratitude? Check out our Gratitude Object Lesson Blog Post.

Time to Write A Resume? 10 Things NOT To Do.

29 Oct


I’ve looked at close to 100 resumes hunting for just the right person. Here are some things that I’ve found that resulted in the resume making its way to the trash can or the applicant not making it past a phone interview. I want you to succeed. So please seriously consider these deal breakers:

1. Don’t use a selfie for your picture on your resume.

2. Especially don’t use a selfie of your family in pajamas in front of the Christmas tree.

3. If you don’t capitalize “God” it tends to stick out like a sore thumb on a ministry resume.

4. Have someone proof your resume and cover letter. In fact, have about five people proof it. One spelling mistake I can overlook. . .two. . . tells me you don’t care.

5. Under interests. . . maybe cleaning isn’t the best one to put for ministry. Janitorial, yes. But maybe not ministry.

6. When asked what you read. . . comic books are fine but don’t lead with that and then try to entertain me for five minutes about your 1000 comic books. Maybe start with someone like Francis Chan or C.S. Lewis and throw in the comic books at the end just for fun.

7. Don’t put a 2.65 GPA on your resume for a degree in children’s ministry. Just don’t. I know you might have worked hard for it and if you tell me that I will honor that work. But let’s not put that on the resume without explanation.

8. When asked what you do best . . . don’t write “hit the snooze button.”  Please don’t ever do that. Even if you are kidding.

9. Don’t even think about doing a phone interview without at least looking at the church website. Show you care enough to take a few moments to learn something about us.

10. Don’t try to put every job you ever had on your resume. Clean, crisp, visually pleasing resumes stick out. Show me that even if you don’t know graphic design you can find someone who does. Get them to help you. In ministry it is important to know how to find someone to do the skills you don’t have.

Children and student pastors. . . you are professionals. Give me a resume that shows your professionalism. Hire someone to write and design it for you if you need help. Practice phone interviews. Take this process seriously. I promise we are and we want to give you an opportunity. Make it easy for us to choose you.

Turning Disappointment Around: Singing in the Rain

4 Mar

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Storyline conference in San Diego. Excited to go would be an understatement. Not only was the content of the conference exactly what I was looking for. . . I love San Diego. The ocean, the sun, the food, the flowers blooming in February, the palm trees, the green grass.

I boarded the plane leaving behind this.  That would be  3 feet of snow in my front yard. And yes, it was -15 and yes it felt like -35.

ImageWhen I got to the conference, it was not sunny 75. Nope, it was 60 rainy, windy, dreary, drizzly. I came into the meeting room wet and irritated. Not exactly the trip I had imagined.

And then. . .this.


Gene Kelley Singing in the Rain

As we entered the room sopping wet, the screen was full of rain and happiness.  Watch the video here.

My mood changed. The room changed.

Suddenly the rain looked like a gift. Which to Californians. . . it definitely was in this drought season.

Sometimes it takes so little to turn a disappointment around.

What can we do in kid’s ministry to turn something around? What can we do as parents? Next time a disappointment happens look at it from a different perspective. Refocus the kids attention to something else. Realign our own thinking.

Rain can be a gift. Even when you wanted the sun.