Is Pokémon Go Safe for Kids?

Is Pokemon Go Safe for Kids?

Is Pokémon Go safe for kids? That’s the question on the minds of numerous parents and ministry leaders. To be honest, there are multiple factors involved here on both sides of the argument.

First, if you don’t completely understand the concept of the game, take a look at the article What is Pokémon Go? Also, I won’t be addressing whether or not Pokémon is inherently good or bad, as you can probably do a quick internet search and find articles on the topic. I just want to address this most recent phenomenon and its effect on our kids.

Ready? Let’s take a look at both the positive and negative elements of the game:

What is Pokémon Go?

What is Pokemon Go?

What is Pokémon Go? You may be thinking to yourself that this game seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Well, actually, you’re right! Pokémon Go was launched at the beginning of July 2016 and grew massively popular within just a few days. How popular? Well, the mobile app has hit the top of the App stores, and the Pokémon Go server has shut down several times, due to the high number of people registering to play the game. In just over a week, it has amassed enough users to rival Twitter for number of active daily users.

So what is this massively popular game, and why is it so popular? Pokémon Go is a free-to-play augmented reality mobile game for iOS and Android devices. It’s the first game to be launched (at this level of popularity) where players actually have to go out into the real world in order to play the simulated game.

10 Dangerous Apps for Kids and Teens

10 Dangerous Apps for Kids and Teens

If you’re a parent, then helping your kids and teens navigate the digital world can seem like a difficult task. There are many safe apps and websites available for your kids, but there are also many dangerous apps for kids and teens as well.

Many social media channels have age requirements that are ignored. Some apps, such as Instagram and Twitter (which both made the list) have many safe functions for your kids, they also contain ways to access some dangerous sexual context.

Are you ready to parent well in the digital age? Good parenting involves educating yourself about the apps that kids and teens are using. You can begin educating yourself by starting with this list of 10 dangerous apps for kids and teens:

10 Keys for Evaluating Children’s Ministry Curriculum

10 Keys for Evaluating Children's Ministry Curriculum

When was the last time you evaluated your children’s ministry curriculum? If it’s not quite as effective as you would like, then perhaps it’s a good time to take a look at other curriculum options. If you’re not sure where to start, then take a look at these 10 keys for evaluating children’s ministry curriculum:

1. Scope and Sequence. What is the game plan of the curriculum? Every good curriculum has a scope and sequence, which should include a breakdown regarding topics and Bible passages covered. If it’s not posted online, then a quick email to the company will usually allow you to take a good look at the scope and sequence.

2. Biblically-focused. Does the curriculum focus on the Bible? It might sound like the Bible should be an obvious part of any children’s ministry curriculum (and you’re right), but not all curriculum focuses on the Bible. A good curriculum bases every lesson on Scripture.

How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics

Book Review: Talk Now and Later by Brian Dollar

How to Lead Kids Through Life's Toughest Topics

Are you ready to talk to your kids about life’s toughest topics? In Brian Dollar’s latest book, Talk Now and Later: How to Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics, Brian shares great principles and stories that will help you initiate and navigate important conversations with your kids.

Just look at these topics from the table of contents:

  • God
  • Death and Tragedy
  • Sex
  • Self-Image
  • Making Wise Choices
  • Divorce
  • Friendships
  • Money
  • Bullying
  • Restoring Broken Relationships

Looks pretty interesting, huh? I have personally read through this book, and it is a great read! Here’s some more information about it:

How To Set Up Parental Controls on Your Child’s Smartphone/Tablet

How To Set Up Parental Controls on Your Kids Smartphone_Tablet

Have you ever set up parental controls on your child’s smartphone? If you haven’t, then you are leaving your kids at risk for exposure to millions of other people, some of which won’t have good intentions for your children. Keeping your child safe is important, so setting up parental controls on a smartphone or tablet is essential in the technological world of the 21st century.

Maybe you’re not convinced.

Think about taking your kids to the mall to shop. Now, imagine that the mall was filled with tons of stores. Except, most of the stores are pornography stores.

Woah, what?!

That’s right. The internet is flooded with dirty sites, and it is becoming easier and easier for kids to stumble upon these websites. In fact, 66% of kids who have seen porn in the past year first stumbled onto these websites accidentally, according to a study done by researchers at the University of New Hampshire.

Some research indicates that the average age a child is exposed to pornography is eight years old, according to Focus on the Family.

The Latest Research Findings on Children’s Ministry

Book Review: The Gospel Truth about Children's Ministry

The Latest Research Findings on Children's Ministry

Have you heard the latest findings on children’s ministry? My friends and colleagues at Awana decided to ask hundreds of children’s ministry leaders three important questions.

What these children’s ministry leaders said may change everything.

4 Ways to Increase the Impact of Your VBS

4 Ways to Increase the Impact of Your VBS

It’s summer! Is it time to roll out your VBS yet?

A summer VBS program can have an incredible impact on a child’s life. How are you getting ready to take advantage of this week to help your kids have a blast and learn about Jesus?

Whether this is your 1st year or 30th year of VBS, maybe you would love to incorporate a new idea or two to increase the impact of your VBS. If this sounds like you, then take a look at these 4 ways to increase the impact of your VBS:

Friendly Gluten-Free Options for Children’s Ministry

Friendly Gluten-Free Options for Children's Ministry

A big thanks to Katie Knight for today’s guest post on friendly gluten-free options for children’s ministry.

Food allergies. They make us all a little nervous. Just when we thought we had the peanut allergies down, then came another big one – gluten!

What is gluten? Gluten is the protein found is certain kinds of grains, including wheat, barley and rye. Any traditional wheat products (bread, pasta, crackers, etc.) contain gluten, in addition to other products that may contain traces of gluten.

Coming from a person who was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease four years ago, I can testify that it can be tough to find gluten-free, affordable, and tasty food. If you’re really uncomfortable dealing with this topic, then one of the best ways to handle this in a children’s ministry is to ask one of the mom’s of a child in your ministry. These moms are usually happy to help.

However, with a little research, you can handle providing gluten-free options very easily on your own!

Is Sunday School Dead?

Is Sunday School Dead?

USA Today recently published an article entitled “Has the Sun Set on Sunday School?” The author proposes that Sunday School as we know it is dead. However, she shows a certain lack of knowledge of evangelical Christianity with her comments, proposing that Christians are turning to other learning methods on Sundays, including studies on books such as the Qur’an.

Wait, what?

Although the USA Today author didn’t exactly get everything right in her article, she raises an important question.

Is Sunday School dead?