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The final quarter is upon us and there’s no better time than now to start planning for the remaining events on the 2014 calendar. In addition, as we head into the final quarter, I want you to challenge yourself (as I have) to give our children their best experience of church ever.
If you are a leader or teacher, one way to do that is by creating engaging Sabbath School, Children’s Story time, Children’s Day and other ministry opportunities. In case you missed it, have a look at my last post with tons of great ideas on how you can add some enjoyment to your teaching
Kids need Jesus, and we as children ministry leaders, teachers, and parents have a responsibility to lead them to the kingdom where the Bible tells us they shall inherit and lead. I want to be in heaven with my children, both birth and ministry adopted. Don’t you? So let’s start training them right, to be compassionate to others, and to grow in favour with God and man. I’m excited. What about 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 start 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 the Ministry -to-Children website.
Parents’ Month Programme Ideas
November is Parents Month.
Plan to celebrate and include parents in your Children ministry this month. 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). Do a craft related to the story, and have parents join in.
5. Establish a Parents Prayer Circle and one weekend after the Divine service, have everyone form a circle (you can put the children inside if you prefer) and have three parents volunteer prayers for your children ministry leaders, children and parents. Keep the Parents Prayer Team around 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
Outreach is one of the amazing ways that you can teach children to care about ministry from early. Many churches do a weekly or monthly outreach project where children share love for others, many times the less fortunate. The return satisfaction and blessing will boost children’s self-confidence, and increase their compassion for others. It is also a great way to teach children to appreciate what they have, and even help form a stewardship habit that may ease their transition into tithing and service when they are older. Here are two ministry ideas that you could consider, more as an outreach. It could help children reach otherstudents like themselves.
3. Text Book Ministry
Start a textbook ministry in your church by inviting other students from your local congregation and the wider community to donate and exchange used texts they no longer use in school.
My Ministry did a similar drive at our Back-to-School Fair held at the end of August. Scores of parents received many expensive books (presently worth over $1000 and up in the bookstores) 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 your Book ministry display 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. This is a ministry, remember, so it’s most important that the people who stop by is invited to church or given a track to learn about Jesus. You can also slip a few tracts in the books as well. Use your church stamp to mark all books so beneficiaries get a frequent reminder of the Source behind the kind gesture.
4. Clothes Bank
Another great ministry idea to start is a Children\s Clothes bank. Of course, you’ll need storage containers and space. We used freight barrels 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 may have to define ‘gently-used’ for some folks.
Don’t accept hand-me-downs that are not in good condition. Ask for volunteers to help sort, wash, iron , inventory and arrange the clothing you receive. Post notices for needy persons to come and select from your ‘store’.
PRIVACY NEEDS: Some folks with real needs may not want to access your bank in full view of other community folk. You can make allowances for these shy folks by posting your contact details so they can contact you. Your ministry contact details can be posted on your flyer, email or Facebook status post if you choose to use these communication routes. Another way this could be done is put a Request box in the store where folks can drop their request lists and contact numbers. Thus, you’ll be able to facilitate these persons, some of whom have genuine needs but are ashamed of their poverty and the scoff of community gossips.
SABBATH SCHOOL TEACHER TIPs
How are you Rewarding Your Children?
Do you have a reward system for your Children?
Rewards can be used to
Incentives are one type of reward system that teachers can implement. Incentives don’t have to cost much. They can range from simple affirmations or praise, a pat on the back to goal charts and stickers. Go for incentives that are inexpensive and get kids excited to earn them. I mostly use stickers, but in the past I’ve have used Bible Bucks. I purchase the book of stickers 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! and so on.
How to Use Them
These are some recommendations from GraceLink. net Primary Treasure author … Sox on how you can use them in class weekly for lesson study reinforcement:
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
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
Do you remember that old saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away? As a child, I really did believe it. As an adult and a mother, I now know that it takes more than an apple to keep the doctor away. As parents, our children’s health are important to us, but how educated are children about the health choices they make? With diabetes and cancers affecting more children than ever now, isn’t it time we brought up the awareness level of our children?
Now thanks to KibsBibleInfo, 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.
Each podcast is narrated by children and just about two minutes in length. So when next you do family worship, why not try to include one of these vital clips
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:
Teachers, use this valuable resource as a discussion starter in your Sabbath School classroom, in a Children’s Ministry Small group fellowship event, or 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
As I go, I can’toveremphasis the power of music and play in helping children learn. Make sure everything you do in your ministry has these elements. Here’s a song you can hum along with and teach your kids this weekend! It’s an old favourite I just rediscovered. Hope you and your class or family will enjoy it as much as I did.
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Copyright Karen Taylor 2014