A Toast To Volunteers

Ideas are meant to shared. There are great ideas and terrible ideas but you learn from the good and the bad ones.  This is a idea that we have found to be a good one, it’s called a “TOAST BAR.”

Each Sunday morning our volunteers get up early to come serve  at our church. Most of the time it’s so early that breakfast is not an option. They get their kids out of bed and jump in the car using all the energy they had saved up. They deserve to know that we as a church has their back and that we try to think through everything.  So our children’s ministry team has set up a simple, easy to maintain, inexpensive bar of bread, jellies and more.  Each week gathering together to pray and eat. they walk away feeling informed, loved and part of a team making a difference each week in the lives of these kids.


Great ideas are meant to be shared. Here’s a TOAST to all Volunteers. Thank you!


10 ways to never grow up



Someone recently asked me ” How did you stay so relevant in Children’s Ministry for over 15 years?”  and got me thinking so I have compiled a list:

10 ways to never grow up and think like a kid so that you can stay a relevant Kidmin.

1. Learn Patience!

2. Window shop at Toys-R-Us monthly.

3. Watch cartoons.

4. Have  kids of your own

5. Pull out your old GiJoes, Barbies, Transformers, Baseball cards and Pogs just to “reminisce your childhood”

6.  Color with crayons and/or paint with your fingers.

7. Watch Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards Show in March

8.  Play video games that are popular with the kids (Minecraft, Angry Birds, Just Dance etc…)

9.  Explore go on hikes to discover new things.

10. The most important one of all:  Get involved in kid’s lives and learn to ask.





When you’re on the journey of life sometimes you have to cross bridges that you never saw coming. Sometimes the bridge to what lies ahead is concrete, solid and you are sure of it and your ability to make it across. Then you get to some that are rickety, full of gaps and scary looking. Those are the steps that are the hardest to take.  This week I was able to finally tell others of my next FAITH STEP. It is a bridge that looks scary but I know to get to the place God has for me this is the bridge to take. In fact I am positive this is the bridge because of the certainty I get from seeking God.

Here it is: I am making a transition to a role within my church that is much needed  —> Pastor of New Media and Communications. I am excited because I get to help communicate  the vision, mission and culture of our church and I get to invest in the leaders of our church. This is a HUGE Step of faith for me. I have been in Children’s Ministry for 15 years and have seen God work through all of it.  But God is clearly asking me to follow His leading. So I step out in faith.

My family and I are really excited to be taking this step and look forward to what God has for us. Over the next couple blog post I want to share more of what I am learning as I am taking some steps of faith. Stay tuned….

Here is a video explaining this step of faith to the volunteers of our children’s ministry.  


Super Sheep

super sheep headerThis week I had the chance to speak to a big group of kids at a local Christian School in the area. I love to speak to kids and make the Bible come alive in their eyes. I spoke on Psalm 23 and how awesome it is to have a Shepherd that loves us and provides for us and that we as sheep have everything we need. Our goal is to remain faithful, remain in the flock and allow the Shepherd (Jesus) to lead us.  I have had a few request to see this so I thought I would post it online not only for my mom, haha but for you as well. I hope it will encourage you to remain focused on making our Lord Jesus happy and be “Super.”

I would love to hear your feedback, feel free to leave a comment below. Have a great day, BE A SUPER SHEEP!

Volunteer at Orange


Bringing it back….

Last year I was asked to write a post about why I volunteer at the Orange Conference each year rather than paying to attend.

I Volunteer  |  Apr 15, 2013

My name is Ben Fowlkes, I am the pastor of children’s ministry at a large church right outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I have volunteered at The Orange Conference not out of need but out of the desire to grow, learn, network and for pure enjoyment.

I volunteer because I get to spend quality time with many of the speakers, vendors and Orange staff. Even while working behind the scenes to make this exciting week happen, they make time to talk and laugh with you. After many years of volunteering, we take time to catch up from past years.

I volunteer because I stand behind this concept of Family Ministry. I see daily the benefit of families coming together with the church to make a greater impact on children. I want to do whatever I can to see many others grasp this concept and put it into action at their churches.
I volunteer because it is FREE! Yes, let me be the first to admit I like FREE. Not only do I get the chance to surround myself with thousands of people in the same walk of life but I get to help others discover new things! As I serve, I walk away more fulfilled and challenged than if I were to pay for a ticket and participate in every breakout session. Every year, I walk away with a free T-shirt, free knowledge, free friendships and free happiness that I get from serving.
I volunteer because I desire to learn and meet new people. Every year, I leave the conference with new lifelong friends in ministry. I get joy from scanning a tag at a breakout room door, helping someone find a seat or just answering someone’s question.
I volunteer because I believe in Orange as a way of life in both ministry and with my family, and I want to be able to help others implement it in their lives as well.
See you this year at The Orange Conference! I will be volunteering and would love for you to join me!
Sign up online for 2014 Orange Conference to volunteer  HERE

Mind*Craft: Christlike Thinking

mindcraftAbout a year ago was sitting with an injured kid at Kid’s Camp and I listened to him explain this game called Minecraft He would go on and talk about scenarios and tricks for an hour and a half. That was the first time I had heard of Minecraft and from that point I begin to see kids playing it and talking about it and it has become a phenomenon. Then it really sunk in my 3rd grader started to play and she began to discover things and everyday she would show me her new discoveries.

This got me thinking: What if kids were as passionate at “crafting” and building a life that make God happy as they are to craft and build in this game. I began to work on this one week series helping kids on their level remember the ways we need to think in order to become more like Him, based off of the Bible and Philippians 4:8.

If you know me you know I love slime so anytime I can incorporate slime into something I will and I did just that. In this series I reveal a NEW WORD “THRPLA-EW” pronounced (thurpla-ewww).  In Philippians it says to think about things that are True, Honorable, Pure, Right, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent and Worthy of Praise. They loved it and I had small and big kids alike memorizing this scripture in less than an hour.  One of my goals as a Children’s Pastor is to make learning about Jesus memorable. I want to make memories that will last a lifetime and I pray that these Biblical truths will stick with them through their lives.

Mind*Craft Sunday was a hit and I hope you would give it a try. You can download all our lesson plans, graphics and videos HERE.