Copycats, Imitators, and Lookalikes

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My frustration today…

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Just having been at several conferences recently, I marvel at how much resource providers look alike. In fact, I asked a children's minister how in the world she could tell the difference between VBSes. "I'll tell you how I'm choosing this year," she said. "My husband is a beekeeper…so I'm choosing the one with the bee." "Well, you should try Buzz," I told her. "Nope…my volunteers like what we're using," she said.

So…wait. One decision is based on a bee…the other decision is based on volunteer satisfaction. Not on theological framework or the learning experience.

And that makes me wonder how to do a better job of helping children's ministers have an established framework to make decisions when it comes to selecting resources. It's much more than the art on the box or making volunteers happy. It's about having a strategy and a philsophy of ministry that are build on a mission and values that breathe into every decision. It's about understanding what's behind the box. It's taking a deep look at how kids will learn, what the outcomes will be, how God is revealed.

I just breathe a huge sigh of frustration when I listen to how these big decisions are often made. And, sadly, it's not from a well-informed framework or strategy all the time. And if it's not, how in the world will people be able to tell the difference between copycats, imitators, and lookalikes–deep within where it really matters?

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 26 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as Group’s Children’s Ministry Champion. She’s responsible for development and innovation of new resources.

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