They Are Not JUST Kids!

My friend, Mike Johnson (Director of Childhood Leadership Development at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX) recently posted this message.  It is a powerful reminder that every parent has the small window of opportunity to impact their kids for the Kingdom.  In fact, the window is even smaller than you might think.  Enjoy this message from Mike and be CHALLENGED to make the most of every opportunity you have with the children you serve!

Interview With Dan Martin: “Kids And Pornography”

I had such an overwhelming response to my post last week on helping parents deal with catching their child viewing pornography.  It’s a tough issue that many parents must face.  I saw this video the other day and felt like it would be a major blessing and help to many of you.

Praying for each of you to be anointed of God to lead parents who lead kids to become strong men and women of integrity with strong and biblically healthy sexuality.

My Child Was Caught Looking At Pornography! What Do I Do?

I received a tough email from a ministry friend this week.  It said, “I found out Sunday night that an 11 year old girl from my children’s church is addicted to porn. I am totally shocked because she seemed so quiet and shy, I would like to know how to approach her and minister to her.”

Unfortunately, this is a situation that happens more often than we would like to admit.  With the literal explosion of technology (including hand-held mobile devices) in the world of kids in the last five years, children are being exposed (sometimes even accidentally through pop-ups and spam links) to pornography at a very young age.

As Kids Ministry Leaders, it is our responsibility to help parents be prepared for the most likely inevitable moment when their child is exposed to pornography.  It can be devastating to both child and parent.  Some things to keep in mind:

1)  DON’T overreact!

Don’t scream and yell at your child.  They are living in a hyper-sexualized world!  They are being fed a lie every day by society that sex is supposed to be dirty, twisted, and prevalent in their lives.  Is it any wonder that they are drawn to this?  Rather than overreact, have the conversation with them.  Ask questions like “Why do you think your parents don’t want
you to view that sort of stuff?”  “What kind of damage do you think it can
do to your mind and your heart?”  “Do you think viewing that sort of stuff
is pleasing to God or part of His plan for your life?”.  By freaking out, you will cause your child to shut down rather than open up.

2)  Talk about GOD’S design for sex

Sexual urges are not abnormal.  Kids are not “weird” because they were lured into pornography.  God created us as sexual beings.  It wasn’t some sort of accident.  He has a plan for us to enjoy sex in the context of marriage.  He wants us to be wise about our own sexuality and control those urges just as we do other urges (hunger, anger, passion, etc.).  With God’s help, we can grow to become strong men and women who enjoy healthy sexuality as married couples.

3)  Set firm boundaries/systems to prevent recurrence of the issue.

Make it a conversation.  Ask the child, “What are some things we can do to keep this from happening again?”  Perhaps limiting the hours and/or locations of internet usage is a start.  There are also some filtering/accountability software options for parents out there:

http://purehope.net/resources/

http://www.epicparent.tv/free-book/

http://www.covenanteyes.com/services/internet-accountability/

4)  Provide hope for the child.

Remind the child that God’s grace is big enough to cover this sin and provide breakthrough and freedom.  Point at that God wants to empower them and “lead them not into temptation, but deliver them from evil.”

5)  Pray with the child.

Pray with your child.  If it was purposeful and willful act, pray with your child in asking God’s forgiveness for this willful act.  Pray that God will minimize the affects on their mind, spirit, and life.  Pray that God will protect them from exposure to porn in the future.  Pray that God will give them the strength to resist temptation when it comes their way.

What about you?  Are you finding this to be something that is a growing issue?  Is it “not as bad” as I make it sound?  What are your thoughts?  Share in the comments section!  What are some of the things you are doing to help kids and parents deal with this issue?

How To Improve Safety And Security In Your Kids Ministry

One of the greatest needs and focuses of any Kids Ministry should be that of safety and security.  After all, we are entrusted with the most precious lives that mean the world to every parent who drops them off in our care.  If we do not do our due diligence in providing a safe a secure environment for the children, then we are not demonstrating the value that we claim to place on them.
Many of you are aware of my friends at KidCheck.  Well, they have developed a powerful child safety video and guide for organizations caring for children.  These tools are designed to provide actionable, specific best practices and suggestions that can easily be put into practice to improve child safety and minimize any possible safety and security issues.
The video “Improving Child Safety in Your Organization” and companion “Child Safety and Security” guide discuss the leading concerns around child safety to help organizations create a safe environment for the children in their care.
Topics include:
  • Creating a Security Team
  • Securing Your Facility
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Volunteer/Staff Policies
  • Emergency Situations
  • General Childcare Safety

Here is the best part:  they are providing it to you for FREE!  All you have to do is click on the video below and watch it yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

New “Kid Bible Heroes” App – Kids Just Can’t Put It Down!


The Kid Bible Heroes interactive app for kids features youngsters living out grown-up faith that will build your kids’ trust in God. Each narrated Bible story pauses for games, fun sound effects and interactive animation. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

With the Kid Bible Heroes app, your kids can learn about ordinary kids in the Bible who were used by God to do extraordinary things.  The app features five Bible stories about everyday heroes like David, Miriam, Samuel, Mary, and the young boy with the fishes and loaves.  Through their interactive stories, your kids will learn about God’s plan for their lives, trusting God, having courage, listening to God and being willing to step out in faith.

WANT YOUR KIDS TO EXPERIENCE THE BIBLE LIKE NEVER BEFORE?

Enhance your kids’ Bible knowledge with the Kid Bible Heroes app, a cutting-edge digital resource from My Healthy Church. This series of apps was designed with the next generation in mind, giving kids a fun and interactive way to learn the Bible by simply using technology that they enjoy.

Each narrative story expands kids’ faith and enhances their learning experience by featuring games, puzzles, fun sound effects and other interactive activities to help them discover biblical truths. Let your kids be a part of the story by downloading the Kid Bible Heroes app today.

Visit www.kidbibleheroes.com or click here to download the app!

Should Kids Pastors Talk To Their Groups About “Gay Marriage”?

With the news yesterday of the Supreme Court striking down the “Defense Of Marriage Act”, the topic of “Gay Marriage” is once again a major story in the news.  No doubt, our kids are hearing all about this topic both on the TV and, many times, on the playground.  It’s hard for a Christian parent to control the context in which their child may have conversations regarding this important topic.

I received a question yesterday from a fellow Kids Pastor asking my opinion on whether or not he should “address” his Kids Ministry on the topic of Gay Marriage and/or Homosexuality in general.  I gave him my opinion, so I thought I would share it with you here – in case there were others who were wrestling with this same question.

In short, my answer is, “No.”

I think you have to be careful what issues you are addressing “as a group.”  So many children are at different parts of the journey regarding both mental and emotional maturity.  When you address something as serious as homosexuality and gay marriage to a large group of kids, it is very difficult to do so in a way that is appropriate for EVERY child.

In addition, many parents (as they should) want to be THE ones to discuss topics such as this with their kids.  I understand, many parents DON’T ever discuss it with their kids.  That’s unfortunate.  However, you don’t want to undercut parents by addressing it publicly in a large group of kids.  This should be something that parents include in their general talks about “sexuality” with their kids.

Of course, if a child asks you a direct question about it – treat that just like you do any other question about sex or sexuality.  Answer with, “I would be happy to share my thoughts with you about this subject.  Let’s talk to Mom or Dad when they come to pick you up.  Perhaps together, we can answer your questions in a healthy way.”  Then, follow the cues of the parent.  If they do not wish to discuss it right then and there, follow their lead.  Allow them to do so on their own terms and in their own timing.

An alternative to discussing this with the large group is to offer a special class or “discussion” in which you allow parents to sign their kids up to attend.  Allow parents to attend with their children if they wish.  Rather than coming at the topic in a negative manner (i.e. “We are AGAINST gay marriage”, etc.), discuss the topic within the overall umbrella of God’s plan for our sexuality (“God created male and female to complement one another.  Marriage is the life-long commitment between one man and one woman.”).

The topic of “gay marriage” and “homosexuality” is a difficult one.  It is polarizing.  While we don’t ever shy away from the truth, we also must be wise and careful when dealing with the youngest among us.  We want clarity, not confusion.

Do you agree?  Disagree?  Do you plan to address it as a larger group?  In small group time?  I welcome your thoughts.

Incredible New Album and App By YANCY


Yancy just came out with a brand new CD and now she has an amazing app that accompanies it.  (if you want to get a SPECIAL package deal on this new CD and more, CLICK HERE)

When Yancy recorded her newest album Roots for the Journey she knew these songs were special. The music, organic, unplugged and simple was something that adults of all ages would be eager to listen to again and again. The message in the songs timeless because each song is centered on scriptures from God’s Word. Yancy spends most of her time doing family concerts and making music and worship resources that play in minivans and churches worldwide. So, how could she mix her audience that ranges from preteen all the way down to preschool (through the Little Praise Party series) with this new music she created?

So the idea/dream got a little bigger.  What if she made an app to help parent teach their kids these Biblical truths?  What if we could give parents tools to make these scriptures come alive to their children?  Meet the “Roots for the Journey App” available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

The app provides family devotions, conversations, activities, prayers and more. Being an app, it isn’t just about being at home, in the living room and having spiritual time for a hour. You could do parts of the devotion on the go, in the car, during dinner or whenever your family is gathered together. There are multiple ways you can talk about and reinforce the truth of God’s Word. The song as you listen will help that message be tied to a melody that kids can latch onto and sing. Music is an amazing way to communicate. We remember songs from long ago. The same is true for your kids. So, having the music is a tool that will reinforce the lessons, conversations, activities and prayers. Most importantly we want to help families hide God’s word in their hearts. Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV)

Yancy asked Children’s and Family Ministry friends from around the world to help her make these Biblical truths come alive. The app contributors are:

• Sam Luce
• Ryan and Beth Frank (K Magazine/Awana)
• Gina McClain
• Beth Guckenberger
• Dave & Beci Wakerley (Hillsong)
• Johnny Rogers (KidMo)
• Jonathan Cliff
• Jenny Funderburke
• Jason Martin
• Jen Galley
• Sara Richards
• Brian Dollar (High Voltage)

Amanda White from www.ohamanda.com did all the activities. You will love the way you can do simple activities to illustrate the truth of God’s Word to your kids.

LINKS TO THE APP:

• iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roots-for-the-journey/id647377769?mt=8

• iPad https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roots-for-the-journey/id647377769?mt=8

• Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yancynotnancy.roots462&feature=search_result – t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS55YW5jeW5vdG5hbmN5LnJvb3RzNDYyIl0.

LINK TO THE ALBUM:

• iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/roots-for-the-journey/id643556110

• YancynotNancy.com http://www.yancynotnancy.com/product-category/