Guest Blog…Inclusion Fusion Speaker Amy Dolan

We’re honored to have one of the most respected leaders in the world of children’s ministry joining us for Inclusion Fusion. Amy Dolan has served the Curriculum Writer and Programmer for Promiseland at Willow Creek Church, and served in the position of Executive Director of Children’s Ministries for the Willow Creek Association. She is currently serving as Founder, Leader, and Blogger of Lemon Lime Kids – a Children’s Ministry Consulting Company. Director of What Matters Now, and Curriculum Writer for What’s In the Bible?

Amy has been extraordinarily gracious to our ministry team as we’ve sought to build relationships within the children’s ministry community. She’s taking over the blog today to preview her presentation for Inclusion Fusion on Customizing Your Curriculum for children with special needs.

Customizing Curriculum {Step 1}

Thank you, Steve for the opportunity to guest blog today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and your ministry, and to be included in the first annual Inclusion Fusion Conference!

During Inclusion Fusion, I’ll be discussing how to customize your curriculum so that it’s just right for every child in your ministry.  I’m a curriculum writer (my current project is What’s in the Bible?) and strongly believe that my job is to create a lesson foundation, or a starting place so that children’s leaders can have the best possible lesson for their unique group of kids. Church leaders are the experts within their specific context, they know their kids best, so if I create lessons that can be customized then each leader can tweak the activities, theologies, and language to make it perfect!

The first step in customizing curriculum is knowing your kids. This sounds simple enough, but I’m consistently surprised to find church leaders who don’t know how their children learn best, or the specific needs of their children. Spend time observing your children, and asking great follow-up questions to both children and parents. Observe times when your children are quiet or talking (both can be signs of learning), and follow up by asking the children “What were you thinking about during the lesson?” Ask parents, “What did your child say about the lesson on the drive home from church?” As you observe and ask follow up questions, make notes about patterns or one-time-occasions that you’ve seen. Regularly, review your notes and implement tweaks to your curriculum in order to reach each child.

Also, an important note while observing your children: God made every child unique! It’s important not to make assumptions about every child. Spend time getting to know each child as a special and un-repeatable creation.

Blessings as you prepare your next lesson, may God grant you wisdom, creativity, and insight on how to make it great for your specific children. And, don’t forget to join us November 3-5 for Inclusion Fusion where we’ll continue the conversation on customizing curriculum!

Amy Dolan is Leader, Founder, and Blogger at Lemon Lime Kids, a Children’s Ministry Consulting Company (www.lemonlimekids.com). Amy also serves as the Director of the innovative project What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry (www.cmwhatmatters.com) and Director of Curriculum Strategy for What’s in the Bible? (www.whatsinthebible.com). Amy lives in Chicago with her husband Kelly.

Amy will be joining more than twenty leaders in children’s ministry and disability ministry on November 3rd-5th to put on a FREE Special Needs Ministry Web Summit to connect church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers everywhere. That’s Inclusion Fusion, featuring Keynote Speaker Chuck SwindollRegister here for the Summit! 

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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1 Response to Guest Blog…Inclusion Fusion Speaker Amy Dolan

  1. Pingback: inclusion fusion {november 3-5} | Lemon Lime Kids

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