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Christine has over 20 years of children's ministry experience. She's the author of 10 books and hundreds of articles related to children's ministry. It's no wonder she enjoys an almost-daily latte to keep her going! She is also the executive editor of Children's Ministry Magazine and serves as Group's children's ministry champion, responsible for research, development, and innovation in children's ministry resources. 

12 Days of Christmas for Children’s Ministry: Day Three Giveaway

UPDATE December 9, 2011: Congratulations Suzanne Olmsted Thorenson! Suzanne, you won the bulk subscription to Children's Ministry Magazine!

Posted at 00:55

12 Days of Christmas for Children’s Ministry: Day Two Giveaway

Update December 8, 2011: Congratulations goes to Diana Scarberry! Diana, you won the One Starry Night product!

Posted at 21:10

12 Days of Christmas for Children's Ministry: Day One

Christmas Giveaway** UPDATE Dec. 7th, 2011: Congratulations to Joy Feemster! Joy won the Nativity: Lights! Camera! Action!" kit**

Posted at 20:41

Say Thanks to Your Volunteers

Gracias! Dankeschon! In any language, these ideas will help you express your gratitude to volunteers' hearts!

Here are some of my favorite ideas for saying thanks from the "98 Thank Yous for Volunteers" by Mary Van Aalsburg in Children's Ministry Magazine.

1. Write three to five quick thank you notes each week.

2. Give a video rental coupon and a bag of microwave popcorn.

3. Give a long-stemmed chocolate rose.

4. Feature a teacher each month in your church bulletin, newsletter, or worship folder.

5. Make button pins for all your volunteers: "KIDS LOVE ME!"

6. Place classroom supplies such as stickers, stamps, and stamp pads inside a basket and wrap it in colorful cellophane.

7. Set up a Sunday Siesta Section in a quiet room, stocked with flavored coffees and teas, bagels or muffins, and inspirational music.

8. Leave a plate of homemade cookies in each classroom.

9. Volunteer to take leftover "gift with purchase merchandise" off a department store's hands to use as thank you gifts.

10. Find a prayer partner for each volunteer. Send this card: "Pray-er's name is praying just for you and Jesus' kids!"

11. Leave gold-wrapped chocolate coins or Hershey's Kisses® with this note: "Your work with children is more precious than gold. Thanks!"

12. Thank all volunteers with a children-hosted "After-Holidays Open House." Serve appetizers and festive punch or hot apple cider.

13. Surprise a volunteer with a balloon bouquet.

14. Have children complete "You're special to me because…" slips. Then present the slips to teachers.

15. Surprise each volunteer with a gift subscription to Children's Ministry Magazine (

16. Take class pictures. Frame them and have kids sign each frame.

17. Develop a "Homeroom Parent" program to help teachers with tasks such as attendance, follow-up, encouragement, and snack preparation.

18. Provide a place and time for prayer with volunteers before the hectic morning begins.

19. Make a mural with candid shots of teachers and children.

20. Give a gift certificate for dinner out.

Want the other 78 ideas? Click here:

Posted at 21:58

Operation Kid to Kid: Looking Back

We're back in the states now and it's hard to communicate our experience to people. I wondered often about the difference we were making in kids' lives. And I think the DR Compassion Communication Director helped me get a glimpse of that at our last meeting.

He said so often these kids are pushed aside at home, in the streets, everywhere they go. But then a group of 30 people come to town and what they most want to do is spend time with them. We loved them, gave to them, photographed them. Yes, it was brief. But for a day we gave them a happy time. He said that communicated to these kids that "I really am important." That's pretty cool!

The other thing I think I'm impacted by is that I need to think globally in my actions. As we drove through neighborhoods, I started to judge the people who were just sitting around not being productive. And God convicted me that I spend a lot of time doing nothing...just sitting by the side of the road. How can I be more productive to give more, serve more, pray more? I'm asking God to change me in this area.

If you are looking for a great mission trip experience, I just want you to know that I highly recommend LifeTree Adventures (that's the group that organized our trip). It was safe, well-organized, and meaningful. Check it out at The trip was worth every penny!

Posted at 14:27


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