Archive for the ‘urban children’s ministry’ Category

Camp Faith on All Camp Day

All Camp Day


All Camp Day is the most important day of the summer. All seven summer camps in our ministry join together for a day of competition, songs, games and Bible lesson. Each camp dresses up in their camp color, we have a camp mascot and vehicle, and camp song. It’s very competitive and winning the “Golden Crate” (a basket full of candy) gives you bragging rights for an entire year. This year our mascot was Captain Crunch, the kids dressed up as pirates and our camp song was soooo good.

“We just havin’ a good time,
The devil tryin’ ruin it,
Shout out to to the fact that we the
youngest camp doin’ it!”


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Summer staff 2010

My summer staff – StreetLeaders and Interns (minus a few). We got along really well! There’s a great wall of graffiti near the skating rink and Camden and it’s tradition to have our staff group photo taken there.

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I have really neglected this website. I haven’t been super busy, just focusing on other things. Here’s what we’ve been doing in urban children’s ministry during the last three months:



We had two major snowstorms, getting something like 20″ one week and then another 15″ inches the next week. There was heaps of snow around Camden and the streets were extremely difficult to drive upon. We had several dozen snow fights and used a snow mound as a ski slope. I found some sleds in the basement and the kids had fun sledding!

Watch the video here.




We had our annual Martin Luther King Jr speech competition. Kids in 3rd-9th grade wrote speeches about civil rights leaders that they admired. Staff members coach the kids and help them with their speeches. I coached three boys and two of them earned 1st and 2nd place! I was shocked my third boy didn’t get a place (he’s the one in the picture with his hands extended as if to say “Oh well!”). It was fun and the kids wrote some hilarious and slightly offensive things. 🙂

Watch the video here.


My staff and I had a sleepover on campus. Well, it was more of an all nighter since we didn’t go to sleep until 5am. We played an almost two hour game of hide and seek that was hilarious. Great time of bonding with my high school staff!


Five of my kids went with the president of our ministry to speak at a church. I was really proud of them. Future leaders of America!

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Please support this trip! For more information, leave a comment or email me!

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To  be honest, I’ve kind of shyed away from trying to convert people.  I guess I was burned out from years of evangelistic ministry, coupled with the realization that God saves people, not me.  And the organization I work with isn’t in your face preachy, which I appreciate, but the downside is that sometimes the “personal relationship with Jesus” thing gets pushed to the back of my mind.  I think about how the kids I work with need love, education and justice, but….Jesus?  Yeah, I guess they need him, too.

But, yesterday, as I was counseling a kid I found myself frustrated because I didn’t know how to help him.  He wasn’t having family problems, things were fine at school.  He was just kind of being a jerk and doing and saying inappropriate things.  When I got home I realized  that this kid needs Jesus.  He’s not being abused or neglected, but he needs a heart change.  Only having a relationship with Jesus will transform him to not want to make dirty jokes or be mean to people.  He needs a new way of thinking. I can mentor him and encourage, we can educate him, but the thing that will transform him is Jesus.

So, I guess I’m praying for salvation for this kid. Not because of fear of hell fire and brim stone, but because he needs to be transformed.

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I’m not a paranoid right winger, but I have to admit I haven’t heard a lot about “Christmas” this holiday season. I recently went to a teacher supply store to look for bulletin board decorations that said “Merry Christmas.” And you know what? I couldn’t find any! I thought that was kind of weird.

I definitely want the kids I work with to know that Jesus is the reason for the season. We started laying a foundation for Christmas back in October, as each week in Bible class we’ve been learning about Jesus – how he came to earth, what his life was like, etc. And we’re also doing the following activties:

1. Advent Calendar

Explaining to the kids every day what we’re waiting for, excepting, hoping for, celebrating – the arrival of Jesus on December 25th. (Yes, he’s arrived already, but you know what I mean.) I bought a Advent Calendar house at a thrift store and in each little door is a scripture and thought about Jesus and a surprise (piece of candy, money, balloon). The kids love it and remind me about it when I forget. 🙂 This is a simple, easy way to remind the kids every day that Jesus is the reason for Christmas.

2. Telling the Christmas Story Interactively

Our interns got a bunch of props together and told the Nativity scene while the kids acted it out. Afterward, they asked questions and clarified points. The 3rd and 4th graders seemed to really *get* it, too. It was a special time.

3. Writing about the Christmas Story

We found booklets on the internet with pictures of the Nativity scene that they can color and also write about what happened. It’s a good reminder, but also using literacy skills! And they can take it home and re-read it later.

4. Christmas Crafts – Building a Manger

I previously linked to a website where you can find a bunch of different ways to make a Nativity scene. It’s fun and Biblical!

It might seem like we’re overdosing on the Biblical narrative of Christmas, but I don’t think it’s possible. If you use a variety of ways to communicate the message, the kids won’t be bored.

At our Christmas party we’re still having a surprise visit from Santa Claus (even though I don’t think most of the kids believe in him anymore) because I think it’s important to keep imagination alive. It’s an important part of childhood! But, I want the kids to have a foundation and ingrain in them the reason Christmas started in the first place, you know?

If you have any ideas how to remind kids that Jesus is the reason for the season, leave a comment!

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I was searching the internet for ideas on how to make a Nativity scene for our afterschool program art class and came across a great website called Artists Helping Children. It has about a dozen different options of how to make a Nativity scene using different forms of art media. I wish I had discovered this website first – I would’ve saved a lot of time!

The finished result :

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