Hello, my name is Karl Bastian.Children’s Ministry is something I’ve been passionate about since, well, when I was a kid! I got my call to kids ministry in an evangelistic meeting by a man who is now one of our Kidology Coaches. My entire life has been devoted to children’s ministry since a very clear and defined Life Mission Statement began to steer my life at the age of nineteen.
Last year at Yosemite Summit, I lost my journal. On the very last day as we were doing a final group photo I had set it down on the ground while working with the camera on a tripod. Then a nice stranger offered to take the picture for us, so I ran to get in the picture. Afterward, he walked toward us to return the camera and I forgot I had set down on my journal. I have written in this journal for the past 10 years on every visit to Yosemite, so you can imagine there is a lot of sentimental value in that one book. I did not notice it missing until it was too late. I registered it missing with the park’s lost and found service, which usually only makes you feel better, but rarely brings results. I prayed for a miracle.
My Miracle came in a man named John, who found my journal. He called the phone number inside, but because I completely unplugged for the entire week, my voicemail was full. He resorted to email. We did not connect until after I was back home in Colorado. KHe kndly mailed me the journal, and said the only reward he wanted for finding and returning it was to meet me in person. He lives near Sacramento where we fly in every year. So we planned to connect this year on my 11th annual Summit to Yosemite. Yesterday, I got to meet my Miracle.
John added a self-portrait on the envelope with the card he sent to me with the journal. We also both agreed to wear obnoxious shirts to make it easier to spot each other. I had a lot of fun holding up the picture comparing it to everyone who walked into the restaurant where we agreed to meet. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a pretty good self portrait.
Here we are, reenacting the returning of the journal. I still can’t believe that it was found and that I got it back. I have written in this not only at every Yosemite Summit, but also on some other trips there with family and with friends. There’s a lot of reflection and history in there, including just practical summaries of what hikes we did on each year and tips I learned along the way.
John is a real character. My friend Pat was with me, and we both really enjoyed his wacky and edgy sense of humor. His adult daughter came with him, and it was obvious they have a really fun relationship. I now have a new friend Sacramento and our paths will cross again.
This experience was yet another reminder of how easy it is to be an answer to prayer if we are ready and available to put others first when the opportunity presents itself. John certainly didn’t have to pick up the journal or go through the extra effort to track me down and return it. The result is some great fellowship, a new friendship, and a reminder that the body of Christ includes people all over that we would never meet unless we are always ready and available to be a part of God’s unfolding story.
Thank you John for being my Miracle last summer. It was nice to finally meet in person.
Last year from Mother’s Day I wanted to help the kids at my church relate to what a typical day is like for their mom, but in a fun way. So I created The MOMstacle Course!
It was a race featuring the type of things Moms have to do on a regular basis. It included putting Band-aids on boo-boo’s, walking on Legos, matching socks and more – and ended with sitting down to enjoy some tea.
I can’t wait for the 2nd Annual MOMstacle Course this Sunday!
This is a recruiting e-mail I wrote for the parents of my church. I made it more generic for posting here – obviously it had more specific info about our ministry needs, but posting here for others to use/edit/modify. If used, credit can simply be Karl Bastian/Kidology.org
Are You a V.I.P.?
Children’s Ministry is serious business. Don’t let the fun and games you see at church fool you – we are doing a serious job. It’s no secret our culture is attacking our kids. Sin is being normalized – even celebrated while morality is mocked. Let me be blunt. This is spiritual warfare. Yes, we strive to make church fun – because we want kids to learn in an age-appropriate environment and enjoy learning about God and His Word. We want church to be a Christ-centered oasis in a world that has not only rejected Christ, but is out to eliminate His influence on our children.
Here is the hard reality: We get only an hour or two a week at church to combat the barrage of ungodly messages kids are being exposed to every week.
That’s why we need VIPs – Very Intentional Parents – whose eyes are wide open to the importance of what we do at church. We also must have Very Involved Parents if we are to push back the lies the world is trying to advance into the hearts and minds of our kids.
Can I be even more blunt? We are struggling in the battle. We don’t have enough parents helping in the children’s ministry. We need every parent involved. We have troops on the sidelines while a small battalion is fighting for their kids.
This is serious. I’m not asking for help with child care – I’m asking for parents to be a part of the battle for the hearts and minds of our kids. Are you a part of the solution?
It’s fun. It’s easy. But it’s deadly serious. You do not need to be a teacher. You just need to be willing to help. No matter the role: check-in, greeter, security, small group leader, helper, teacher… each is critical to the battle.
I was honored to be interviewed at #CPC18 during one of the general sessions last week. While this was an amazing honor, the bigger honor was the friends cheering me on from the front row. While I was being interviewed about what I’ve learned from 50 consecutive CPCs – from my Big Mistake at my first CPC to sharing some advice for the newbies – the greatest honor was not being on stage, it was seeing the joy my team and friends got seeing me up there. They knew, as I do, that they are Kidology as much as I am.
Kidology truly isn’t about me. It is the incredibly humble, loyal and dedicated friends who have made Kidology.org what it is for over two decades. It is the friends who care nothing for the spotlight, who have no aspiration to be on stage and need no public recognition because they serve the Body of Christ through Kidology.org behind the scenes with no thought for ‘what’s in it for me.” They genuinely enjoy the applause I received knowing that they share with me the joy of why we do what we do. While some are on my staff, there are many more who have quietly and with the same steadfast devotion served me and the countless kidmin leaders and volunteers who have turned to Kidology every day for over twenty years to be Equipped and Encouraged.
Several were there to enjoy the interview, but there are many more who share the credit for all that we have accomplished. While I enjoyed the acknowledgement that was kindly shown me by CPC, my heart was bursting with gratitude for the friends who have been with me through thick and thin and who I know will continue to help us serve others through this ministry God led me to start back during the dawn of the Internet.
Enjoy the interview, but know that I am keenly aware of how important my friends and staff are and what an incredible role they have played in allowing me to do what God called me to do. So to past, present and future friends, staff, board members and partners in ministry, please accept my deepest THANKS for all you have done for me and through Kidology to bless countless kidmin leaders and through them only God knows how many children!
Because Jesus Loves Children,
Pastor Karl Bastian
PS – Since I get asked often, for those curious how I was able to attend 50 consecutive CPC’s when neither I nor CPC are fifty years old, I attended 1 in 1994, 2 for the next 20 years of which 6 had three! The last three years had only 1. Yup, that’s a LOT of CPCs!
PPS – I’ve made SO many friends over the years. If you are one of them, there is a good chance you are in this video. I made a few years ago.
There is an amazing new animated movie coming March 2018 that will only be in theaters ONE WEEKEND! I got to enjoy a an early screening with my family and it is amazing!
Imagine Frozen, Lord of the Rings and Narnia blended into a wonderful children’s story that is a beautiful parable of the importance of not forgetting ancient Truth. It has adventure, catchy music and a powerful message for all ages.
A fallen angel is trapped in the form of a dragon, known as the Ice Dragon, banished as long as the people remember the Song their Creator gave them. But as time goes by, Truth fades into legend with only a few believers left – and the dragon breaks free! How will the villagers defeat the mighty dragon? You’ll have to find out for yourself!
From the creator of God Rocks comes this delightful story that was written by the creator, Bruce Stacey, decades ago for his own children and has now been brought to life in a spectacular animated film.
As children’s ministry leaders – we need to both celebrate and support creative efforts like this to engage our culture and share the Good News! Instead of just lamenting the drivel and morally deprived content that is being pushed on our kids constantly, get out and show your support for this incredible film!
Not only will it appeal to both boys and girls, but the message will engage adults and provide a launch pad for some spiritual conversation.
ENJOY THE TRAILER:
I’ll be promoting this at my church and attending with parents and kids from my church – and you should do the same!
Let’s help make this movie a success! I’d love to see sequels and additional resources become available to build upon this delightful story – but it starts by a strong box office boost on the weekend of March 24-26th, 2018.
Watch the trailer and learn more at icedragonmovie.com If you are a leader download the media kit to promote in your ministry.
Fun to make another blog list – and I feel lucky since I’ve kinda been slackin’ off on my blog this past year. This listing even points out (rather blatantly) that I have averaged two posts per month.
Time to step it up again! Though, my blog is really just a side outlet for writing, most of the content I create goes on Kidology.org – but after my Blog Challenge, I should get some more content ideas for this New Year.
Thanks for reading and providing me an opportunity to serve YOU through this blog.
At the bottom of this blog post is the most incredible truth you will ever read. It will change your life. You you will never be the same. By now, you’ve skipped down there are read it and returned to here. Why? You couldn’t handle the anticipation of that it might be!
Anticipation is a lost art. In so many areas of life, the anticipation is a huge part of the enjoyment – at times it even surpasses the final reality. Star Wars fans know well the power of anticipation. So much hype and speculation goes into the next instalment of Lucas’ space saga, that many whinny YouTubers can’t hide their disappointment at each movie. Were the movies truly as bad as some say, or was the anticipation greater than the final result?
Anticipation can result in disappointment, if the end result isn’t worthy of it, but it also increases interest, engagement and participation. People who anticipate invite others to join them. It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools, beat only by sex appeal and dire warnings of gloom and doom!
Whether it’s a new iPhone that drives people to wait in lines to be first, or that moment that lingers right before the first kiss – Anticipation is when the world stops and everything swirls around what is about to happen.
Anticipation is powerful. And ought to be a tool in kids ministry!
How can we use Anticipation to generate excitement in our ministry? Can we get people eager for what is next? Do we know how to give just glimpses of what is to come? Do we allow some leaks to generate curiousity? Do we offer limited access or pre-registration because it’s going to be so amazing you might miss out due to demand?
Kids love to look forward to things! Plan ahead and promote ahead of time in teaser trailers.
“There is going to be fire and explosions at our church in March!” (Because Josh Dehart is coming)
“I might just get a red mohawk haircut to be as cool as the guy who’s coming to our church.” (If you have Jeff coming)
“I might lose my job over this one…”
“It’s going to be so EPIC so can only handle 30 preteens at the event.”
“Our next family event you’ll want to sign up the day regitration opens, we had a waiting list last time after three days…”
Steps to Fostering Anticipation in your ministry:
Plan something worthy of anticipation!
Don’t give all the details at once!
Tease with the date and something that makes them curious.
Keep leaking details until registration or sign ups starts.
Save some surprises they won’t discover until they are there, that builds anticipation for next time.
WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS ANTICIPATING?
The Quote of Quotes: Since Adam and Eve, people have jumped ahead if there was a promise of something better. You skipped ahead to read this, didn’t you?
You do a lot of planning in children’s ministry – likely more than any other ministry leader, except perhaps the senior or executive pastor. Perhaps you have lamented, “No one knows all that goes into kids ministry.”
Part of the problem may be that you don’t communicate it. Not in a complaining, poor me way – but in strategically making known what your goals, objectives, and current and upcoming projects are.
You have goals. Does your boss know?
As a children’s pastor, I always made sure my boss knew clearly what I was working on, what was completed, and what was next. Many times I was told by a senior pastor or executive pastor that I provided more helpful info than any other staff member. Some even said, “I really have no idea what (another staff member) is up to.” I made sure that was never me. I’d rather over-communicate than allow my ministry to be a mystery.
I was prompted to write this post today while helping a friend who is becoming a new children’s director and starting his first ministry. I offered to share one of my planning documents with him and thought you may enjoy seeing it too.
NOTE: The PDF linked below is UN-EDITED from 2003. I decided to go back in time a bit to show you what I presented to my leadership every year. I chose this one because it was in the middle of my tenure at that church.
It shows the goals and priorities I established at the beginning, what was already done, and what I was still planning to do in the future. It provides accomplishments but also shows that I was as committed five years later to advancing the ministry as I was when I was new.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you create something like this for your ministry. Kidology Online Training can help with the planning process, or Kidology Coaching would be even better. The key to this document is getting it to ONE PAGE. (No one reads more than that.) There is much more documentation behind it, but this executive summary won major points with whatever boss I served.
By the way – it doesn’t matter if your boss is asking for advance planning or not. It is something you initiate. You may just find that elevates the strategic planning of the entire ministry.
Here is an excerpt from a quote he gave me for my resume after my ministry there was concluded.
Karl did some incredible ministry at the Village Church. Karl’s ministry here was marked by innovation and creativity. He is a gifted communicator and trainer. He worked well with the rest of the staff and always had clear objectives and plans. He led our children’s ministry in some great evangelistic events as well as raised the standard for the ministry in general. We were fortunate to have his ministry here for many years.
– Rev. David Barber 2008
I deleted some of the really nice stuff – because my point isn’t personal praise, but that my senior pastor noticed and appreciated the advance planning and that it raised the bar for the entire church.
There are nearly 24,000 Zone Posts on Kidology.org with ideas, lessons, crafts, games and more. One of the most popular for years has been my Super Bible Bowl. It is actually the 282nd Zone Post – so that tells you how far back it goes! (It was first published in 2003, but created long before that.)
As I was reviewing it recently I realized it was still made up of OVERHEAD PROJECTOR slides since I created it so long ago. Who uses those anymore? So all the graphics were portrait instead of the landscape format we use today.
It was time to update!
I updated the images, the lesson, tweaked the rules, and even included all the Bible trivia questions you need so you don’t have to collect those to play.
Illustrated lesson on sharing the Good News of Jesus, using the game of football as an object lesson.
All needed graphics for a giant football playing board.
Posters with the rules for easy reference.
PowerPoint to go along with the lesson.
Complete rules to the Kidologist’s fun, interactive game of Bible Football.
A collection of PDF files to download and print for both the lesson and the game.
Nearly 300 Bible trivia questions organized by topic and difficulty
Whether you want a special lesson on Super Bowl Sunday, or have a special program where you need to provide kids programming, or for one of those 5th Sundays where you want to break the mold, The Super Bible Bowl will be a winner with your kids!