Hi dear readers,
October was a difficult month for me. I caught the Chickungunya virus that has been plaguing my country for the last month, so I’ve been ill; hence, you did not receive this newsletter as expected on the fortnightly schedule I had set.
The Cover to Cover Part 2 series I had promised to continue also suffered because of my illness. I will be posting this next weekend.
I hope you had fantastic Children’s Week of Prayer and Children’s Day programmes in your various Churches. I managed to get both programmes off the ground and they were a blessing. I’ve posted about it on the blog.
October is almost ended, and there are at least three events of interest on the calendar Children Ministry should be planning for.
It’s also elections time in our churches. Many of us may keep our Children Ministry offices; while some of us will move onto other ministries. Wherever you go, keep working hard for the Master. I will continue to maintain this blog as long as I am physically able. That’s one of the plusses of having a blog. You can still minister whether you are elected Children’s Ministries leader or not! 🙂
Brethren, the harvest is ripe and the field is vast. Do not limit your influence and your passion for mission to your congregation, your community or even your country. The new media available to us allows us to spread the word of God far and wide. I have readers on this blog from as far away as India.
Use your writing skills. Let the internet be your lectern. If you are not reelected next year, I encourage you to continue to lead kids to the kingdom. Smile at a child, be kind to them, protect them and help keep those in your neighbourhood and meet on the streets safe. Take the time to show Jesus to a child.
God bless you.
1. Day of the Pastor
Get your children to join with the church to say thanks to your Pastor on October 25, Day of the Pastor. Children can create and give hand-drawn pictures, Pastor appreciation colouring pages, write poetry, do funny sketches about your Pastor, make and laminate a book marker or present him with a special order “Best Pastor in _______” T-shirt, cap, or plaque, and present it with flourish.
Inform your children about your plans, brainstorm ideas together and starting collecting whatever resources you’ll need to execute the ideas. If you’re doing a sketch, give children their parts and the scripts and start rehearsals in advance so that they can be ready when the day arrives.
If your church is having a specially scheduled programme for the Pastor, you may want to inform the Elder and chairperson in charge as early as possible. If your Church is not doing anything special, then use your Children’s Story Time to make your presentations. But don’t forget to notify in advance the one person who must be there: the Pastor. Keep mini-programmes (if you’re doing skits and singing with a presentation) short and sweet, not exceeding 8-minutes.
I found these free Pastor appreciation colouring pages on this Ministry -to-Children website.
Note also that Creation Day is the same day. Keep reading for ideas on how you could highlight this.
Parents’ Month Programme Ideas
November is Parents Month.
Plan to celebrate and include parents in your Children ministry this months. Here are some ideas on how you can do this:
1. Schedule parents to do the Children’s Story each week for the month.
2. Plan a Parents Support Group Night, where parents come together and talk and give advice to each other about parenting problems, practices and solutions. You can invite a family counsellor to speak and provide professional feedback to the group’s questions as well. Invite your empty-nesters and grandparents in your church who you believe would be able to share their best experiences with less experienced parents. If your pastor and his wife have kids, draft them from early as well.
3. Turn the Storytime Table on Parents. At Children’s Story time one service this month, have a child tell the story and invite parents instead of the usual practice of children coming to hear the story. Have the child do the same routine adults would do when they are presenting stories to the children. At my church, we get chuckles when the storyteller greets adults ‘Good morning, boys and girls.’ Parents may imitate the children, sticking their hands up during the call for volunteer prayer at the end of the story. Sure to provide a lighthearted moment for the entire congregation.
4. Invite parents to your Sabbath School class. Present a summarised version of your usual lesson activities: present the weekly Bible story, sing fun action songs, show a short Grace link video (See my last post) and a craft related to the story, and have parents join in.
5. Establish a Parents Prayer Circle and one weekend after the service, have everyone form a circle (you can put the children inside if you prefer) and have three parents volunteer prayers four your children ministry leaders, children and parents. Use the Parents Prayer Team after November to pray for your different events and children prayer requests they collect from your Children Prayer Request Box.
6. Host a Parents’ Day Potluck or Lunch. Have parents either bring dishes for a Parents potluck after a special service for parents, or have your children ministry teachers and committee members prepare a Lunch meal with children’s help for parents. Involve your children in decorating the eating area and serving their parents. If it’s available, schedule this event for the last weekend in the month to give yourself and the children enough time to get funds or food donations together. It;s a great celebratory way to end the month as well.
MISSIONS/ OUTREACH IDEA STARTERS
3. Text Book Ministry
Start a textbook ministry in your church by inviting other students to donate and exchange used texts they no longer use. We started this at our Back-to-School Fair held at the end of August. Many parents received scores of expensive books (worth $1000 and up) for pennies. Use as a fundraiser by asking all persons receiving books to make a small donation to the ministry. After the fair, we still had excess books, so we promoted it in church and the community by posting an inventory of the textbooks we have in stock on the church noticeboard (if you can afford it, do up flyers and issue them) inviting church and community kids to stop by our Books table which we put out on Saturday nights after Youth Service. You can ask for a $100 donation on each book . Exchangers can pay $50.00 per book exchanged. Keep revolving the ministry with book collection drives, and Book ministry table. Take the ministry into the community sometimes, are there is bound to be those who are too shy to come to your church, can’t come at the time your ministry distribution is on, or who never heard of the ministry.
As with any ministry activity you do, use the opportunity to put a bible study guide or church invitation in the hands of the children and parents who come by.
4. Clothes Bank
Another great ministry idea to start is a Children’s Clothes bank. Of course, you’ll need storage containers, hangers and space. We used barrels used to carry freight from overseas donated by church members. Launch and promote a collection drive stating what you want through your weekly church bulletins and other media you have at your disposal. You might have to define ‘gently-used’ for some folks. Don’t accept hand-me-downs that are not in good or repairable condition. Ask for volunteers to help sort, wash, inventory and arrange the clothing you receive. Post notices for needy persons to come and select from your ‘store’.
SABBATH SCHOOL TEACHER TIP
How are you Rewarding Your Children?
Do you have a reward system for your Children?
Rewards can be used to
- encourage children to practice essential spiritual habits or actions that will help them grow like Jesus
- reward children when they achieve goals
- reinforce the habit or practice you want to become a habit.
Incentives are one type of reward system that teachers can implement. Incentives don’t have to cost much. From simple affirmations and praise to goal charts, to stickers, incentives you use must be inexpensive and get kids excited to earn them. I mostly use stickers. I purchase the book from Sangsters Bookstores and they last all year. They are colourful and have motivational words or phrases such as Wow! Jesus loves You! You are Special! First Place Winner! and so on.
How to Use Them
These are some recommendations from GraceLink.Net Primary Treasure on how you can use them in class weekly:
Ask children the following questions:
1. How many days did you study your lesson (Affirm any response, encouraging them to try for daily study.)
2. Did you read the lesson from the Bible? (This is an important part of lesson study)
3. Can you remember last week’s text? (Affirm their effort; assist them if necessary.)
4. How did you do the sharing activity for last week’s lesson? (Remind them what it was.)
Other ways that I use stickers are to
- encourage children to carry their Bibles and quarterlies to Sabbath school
- reward children who know their weekly memory verse
- reward punctuality to Sabbath school
MORE CHILDREN MINISTRY RESOURCES
Kidmin Around the World
Want to see what other children ministries are doing around the world, check out Kids News Zone magazine for mission stories.
Healthy Lifestyle audio series for Kids
Is sunlight healthy or harmful to our skin? Why do we need to drink water? Are you monitoring what your children are having for lunch at school? Is it healthy? Our children’s health are important to us, but how educated are children about the health choices they make.? Now you can teach your kids about the value of exercise, rest and healthy habits. I just discovered this great resource at the General Conference website. It’s an audio series on healthy living for kids. They are narrated by children and just about two minutes in length.
To listen to the entire audio series, go to http://www.gcchildmin.org or KidsBibleinfo.com.
Here’s one on Healthy Meals.
A BRAINSTORM TIP for Children Ministry Teachers:
Use this valuable resource as a discussion starter in your Sabbath School classroom, in a Children’s Ministry Small group fellowship event, when next you have a health talk or on any of these upcoming Sabbaths:
October 16 – Fruit, Vegetable and Grain Day
October 25 – Creation Sabbath
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Happy Sabbath to you and your family,