All posts by Jim Ellis

A HollandsKids “Did You Know” Moment

One of the best ways to follow the happening’s in and around HollandsKids is through our social media accounts (see the links at the bottom of the page).  We have four…

download (5)Our Facebook is a private page and requires approval before you can enter.  Facebook is the place to find photos, Sunday School bible verses/LifeApps, and other information about our ministry.  Since it is private and we can screen the creepy people from entering, it has become the place to show ALL of HollandsKids.

You can also follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram for schedules, LifeApps, bible verses, videos, conversation starters, relevant blog and podcast links, as well as other children’s ministry nuggets.  Remember, your child’s Christian education remains largely irrelevant without intentional continuing education at home.  I only see your children about 40 hours per year.  So, tapping into these social media outlets provides the tools to be successful at home.



Our Village Needs More Villagers

download (3)The etymology of this phrase is likely derived from an old Nigerian proverb.  The historical communal nature of African tribes lends itself to a village mentality for, not only raising children, but also foraging, hunting, building, farming, or any activity a community would need to survive.

As a society, we have outsourced every activity on this communal list; even raising children.  We send them to daycares and schools.  Some who can afford, hire nannies or babysitters on a regular basis.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate for date nights and maintaining a strong bond with your spouse (I’ve even written about it…read here) and I’m not being critical of this outsourcing mentality.  We do it at my house, too.  The point?  If we spend our time and money on outsourcing the care and education of our own children, we certainly aren’t focused on other people’s children.


Especially in a Christian environment where, statistically, half of the children we see in Sunday school won’t continue their faith passed 12th grade.  We need MORE adults in our kids’ lives, not less.  My goal for each child is, through the years, they come to know and trust 4-8 adults to be mentors and stand-in parents.  These relationships foster a watchdog and nurturing mentality that every parent should want for their kids.  If you think you should parent by yourselves, then you are missing an amazing opportunity for your child to know love from a multitude of different people.  Jesus did say, “…and most importantly, love.”

The next time you see one of our Sunday School volunteers, thank them.  They are the boots on the ground, soldiers for Jesus adults with whom they have begun to create these critical early faith journey relationships.  Continue to encourage and foster these relationships because without them, your child may end up on the dark side of the 50%!

Jim Ellis

What is Orange?

Orange is the robust, #AuthenticFaith building, mega-awesome curriculum from the reThink Group in Atlanta.  They developed a program that revolves around a partnership with parents.  Your church leaders will see your child about 40 hours per year, while you see them about 3,000 hours.  Soooooo, it’s pretty obvious, right?  In order to be effective in our leadership,  parents MUST be plugged into our teachings…every week.  Starting in preschool all the way through high school, Orange provides the information, tools, and fun to make that happen.  Our job is to lead them and you through that.

indexThe First Look curriculum works to incite wonder by helping preschoolers embrace a God who is bigger than their imagination.  Here we introduce Bible stories, ask key questions and work to memorize a new verse every month.  Before they leave First Look, the kiddos will know that God Made Me, God Loves Me, and Jesus Wants to be My Friend Forever.

indexStarting in kindergarten and ending in 5th grade, 252 Basics aims to provoke discovery and invites kids to a new understanding of how to grow in a relationship with Jesus.  It is here that we believe the story of God reveals the character of God.  Bible stories and principles anchor this curriculum to help kids discover Jesus and reflect his character to the world around them.  Each month we feature a Life App where our lessons show children that what they are learning applies to their everyday lives.  Before they leave, 252 Basics, the kiddos will know that I Need to Make Wise Choices, I Can Trust God No Matter What, and I Should Treat Others the Way I want to be Treated.

indexAs they enter middle school, their world changes very rapidly.  XP3 attempts to maintain a consistent message through those tough years by fueling a passion for Christ in the heart of a teenager.  This is the time to lead our young people from spectators to participants.  The content and conversations elevate to a deeper sense of purpose while helping youth leaders grow their influence with students, leaders and parents.  Upon graduation, we expect our kiddos to know they are Created to Pursue an Authentic Relationship with Their Creator, Belong to Jesus Christ and Define Who They are by What He Says, and Exist Every Day to Demonstrate God’s Love to a Broken World.

Our effort isn’t about one person, or about you…it’s about what we can do together.  Each phase of Orange encourages communication and tools for parents called a Parent Cue.  You can currently find them by hard copy, e-mail, social media, and SOON text.  We are still developing that process so much more to come!

Thanks for your interest in our children’s and youth ministries.  If you have further questions about 5th grade and below, e-mail Jim Ellis at  For questions about middle and high school programs, e-mail Susan Wright at

Orange also provides a curriculum for Marriedpeople.  Coming soon to a Holland’s United Methodist Church near you!