Friday, January 31, 2014

Win Shout Praises Kids Prizes & FREE Music for Everyone!

I'm happy to let you know today about a fun contest for you and the children in your ministry . . .
you, and they, could win music from Shout Praises Kids and a link for everyone to receive FREE videos and MP3's from Shout Praises Kids! So, first, allow me to provide the details about how you and the children in your ministry can enter the contest to win a Shout Praises Kids music party and more!

VBS Give-Away - Arrow Island Kit!

I'm happy today to announce another VBS give-away . . . Regular Baptist Press is giving me
one of the VBS kits for one of you to win! On Arrow Island, "children will learn to make good choices and discover the importance of choosing obedience, godly friends, kindness, courage and active faith." With a strong evangelism focus and a new emphasis on equipping children to go and do so they are able to live what they learn, Arrow Island is an excellent resource for VBS, Summer Sundays, Mission Outreach, Mission conferences and many other settings where you might use it in your church and community! You'll find my full review of Arrow Island at this link.

If you live in the USA, are over the age of 18 and would like to be included in the drawing for the Arrow Island VBS kit - which will be on February 7, 2014, please comment below to let me know how choosing to follow God has changed your life; for me, this choice has brought me so much joy! Serving and following God is not a burden; rather, it is the source for joy!

Take the Time to Support and Appreciate Your Vacation Bible School Volunteers!

There are so many things to think about and do when it comes to getting ready for your Vacation Bible School, but I want to add one more thing to your list. Don't worry . . . this thing is so much fun! Plan now to implement a complete volunteer support and appreciation ministry! In this day and age we are all so busy . . . and yet, in spite of being busy you have people who have volunteered to serve on your VBS team! We do not need any other reason to support and appreciate our volunteers!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Have a Winner & Another Give-Away in Two Days!

I'm happy to say Missy Copeland is the winner of the Game On! Digital Curriculum! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Missy for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address by February 6, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you NextGen4Christ for making it available for me to give away!

Be Sure to Train Your Volunteers for Vacation Bible School!

I absolutely understand how difficult it is to get volunteers to attend teacher training . . . we are all so busy! But, when it comes to presenting the best, most effective VBS it is essential your volunteers are trained; so schedule your training now and be sure to communicate to your volunteers the training is an absolutely essential, not-to-be-missed event! Consider the following . . . 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Today - January 29, 2014 - Frames Live - FREE On-line Conference from Barna!

Frames Live
Last night I received an email with info about a FREE conference which you can "attend" on-line from George Barna . . . FRAMES Live! It looks really interesting; and like there will be a wealth of excellent and helpful information, so even though it is extremely short notice, I wanted to let you know in case you are able to watch at least some of it!

I Have Two Winners & Another VBS Kit Give-Away!

I'm happy to say Gina Ingram is the winner of Rivet the Puppet and Krystle Heath is the winner of The Story of the Holy Land: A Visual History! (You'll find the reviews at this link and this link) Thank you Gina and Krystle for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address by February 5, 2014 so I can have them sent to you) and thank you Cokesbury and Kregel for making these available for me to give away!

VBS 2014 - Promoting Your Vacation Bible School

So, you've spent time reading Vacation Bible School reviews - such as the ones you'll find on Ministry-to-Children and here on my blog . . . look under the tab at the top entitled VBS - and plan to sign out a couple kits on consignment from your local Christian bookstore. You've evaluated the themes and scope based on your vision and goals for your unique children's ministry and have selected the kits you want to use in VBS and in other ministries; so what can you do to promote your VBS so the children and families in your community know when and where they can go to participate? Consider the following . . . 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Have Four Winners & Two More Give-Aways Tomorrow!

I'm happy to say Debbie Ketcham is the winner of one International Spy Academy Super Starter Kit from Answers in Genesis! (You will find the review at the following link.) Thank you Debbie for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address at by February 4, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Answers in Genesis for making this kit available for me to give away!

I'm also happy to say, Werner, Karen from MN and Sarah from MI have each won one of three autographed copies of Tales of the Defended Ones from Standard Publishing. (You'll find all the review at the following link.) Thank you Werner, Karen and Sarah for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address at by February 4, 2014 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Standard for making these books available for me to give away!

Plan Your Vacation Bible School Volunteer Recruitment!

Once you decide which Vacation Bible School resource is the best "fit" for your unique ministry it is time to begin sharing your goals and vision with the people in your church and start thinking about the important and fun "task" of finding your volunteers! Look in your director's manual and you will probably find well thought-out and designed recruiting information - everything from how to determine how many volunteers you need to specific "job" descriptions for each position you need to fill. Sit down and spend some time familiarizing yourself with these "positions" and then pray. Ask God to lay on your heart the people who He would have serve in those positions. Involve the people of your church by sharing your vision/goals and ask them to pray God will lay on the hearts of all of them exactly how they may best be involved.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Look at These Fun Give-Aways - VBS kits, a Puppet and Books You Could Win!

ISA VBS LogoI have some great give-aways in the next couple days . . . and you still have time to enter these give-aways! 

Tomorrow, January 28th, I'm giving away one International Spy Academy Super Starter Kit from Answers in Genesis. This is an actual VBS kit and it tied for second in my Top Ten VBS for 2014 - it is EXCELLENT! If you do not plan to use it for VBS, it would be a wonderful resource for mid-week or Summer Sundays or . . . any place you want to use it!  You will find all the details about this VBS at the following link.

I'm also giving away three autographed copies of Tales of the Defended Ones from Standard Publishing tomorrow. You'll find all the details about this book at the following link.

Let's Get More Out of Our Vacation Bible School Resources . . . Mid-Week Children's Ministry All Year Long!

When you evaluate Vacation Bible School curriculum, be sure to think about how VBS resources might give you the tools you need for your mid-week ministry to children! You won't necessarily need an entire kit, but if you have the Bible lesson, games and craft books as well as the music you'll be able to expand the lessons by using one lesson for two weeks and find you have enough resources for ten weeks! Run your mid-week ministry similar to your VBS and the enthusiasm you have with your VBS can transfer to your mid-week ministry! Three resources will give you enough materials for one year of mid-week ministry so think about the curriculum scope and your vision/goals for your mid-week ministry then see which VBS resources give you the tools you need.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Have Four Winners!

Jump Start KitI'm happy to say Tracy Stokes, Pam, Heidi and Iszie Yang are the winners in my LifeWay's Agency D3 Jump Start Kit Give-Away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Tracy, Pam, Heidi and Iszie for reading About the Children's Department (Please email me your address by February 2, 2014 at so I can send your prize to you) and thank you LifeWay for making these available for me to give away!

Let's Get More Out of Our Vacation Bible School Resources . . . Mission Trips and Back-yard Bible Clubs!

Today I'm going to share some ideas on how to re-use the VBS resources you select for your VBS . . . a great way to get more out of your CE dollars . . . and another way to expand your summer children's ministry by using an additional VBS resource!

Many, if not most, churches plan a mission trip for their teens during the summer. Some are quite the major undertaking - even on an international level - while others may be more locally based. My daughter and son went on mission trips each summer with their youth group - mostly to other areas of the country - but they also went on additional mission trips with groups like Reign Ministries (my son went to Nepal/Thailand, England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece and the Island of Rhodes), Youth for Christ (my daughter went to Mexico) and ZJAM (my daughter went to Costa Rica). I strongly believe in the value of teens being involved in summer mission trips big and small. When youth groups plan a mission trip, typically there is a component of their trip where the teens work with children . . . this is the ideal opportunity to re-use your VBS resources! If your church's VBS is before the mission trip, the teens can help with your VBS - great opportunity for them to prepare for their mission trip and more importantly, helps communicate to the teens serving is not just something they do once a year on a mission trip, but is something they can do in their own church all year!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Have a Winner - and Another Give-Away!

Puppet Resources
I'm happy to say Lea is the winner in my Feathers the bird puppet Give-Away! (You'll find the review at this link) Thank you Lea for reading About the Children's Department (Please email me your address by February 1, 2014 at so I can send your prize to you) and thank you RBP for making one available for me to give away!

Join the Rescue!

I recently wrote on my other blog,, about how I have been incredibly blessed by God; both in intangible things such as my family, friends, the joy, peace and love I have from God and others and tangible things as well. No, I don't have piles of money, do not live in a McMansion, or drive new cars, but I have the money I need to do the things I need to do; and often have some for an "extra" or two now and then.  I have all the clean, safe water I need; and more than I need at the turn of a facet. I have all the food I need; and more than I "need" as I am able to buy food I like and not just what I "need". I live in a house which is warm and dry; and has more room than I actually "need". My husband and I have one car; it is a 2003 and while it isn't "new" it is nice. I think I live a life which is like the lives of most people here in the USA; we have the things we need, and often more than we need. We are certainly incredibly blessed people.

However; in many places around the world there are people who do not have the things we have; they, in many cases, do not even have the things they genuinely need. This is likely true - for the most part - for the children in our ministries as well. As they up, we want them to be children and then adults who are truly thankful for their many blessings, who have a heart for others and who focus on helping and serving those in need. Part of what we do in children's ministry should be to help them grow to be people who do these things!

We can do this by providing opportunities for children to learn of needs people around the world have and give them projects which they can work on so they are able to help and serve people in need. It is for this reason I joined the blogging team at WorldHelp. Each month I'll share an opportunity to get involved and help others; starting this month with their Operation Baby Rescue initiative in Uganda