Did you know that memorials are not a human concept. Nope! God started this and we have many memorials we learn about in the bible. Do our children understand what a memorial is? Do they know that they have biblical memorials still today? Are they being taught in a manner so they don’t fall on the same path as the Israelite’s who so many times were found worshiping the memorial instead of using it only as a reminder to worship God?
Teaching kids about God’s memorials
Downloadable Memorial Day Lesson & Activity is available for you to use as it is or modify to best fit your kiddo’s. It teaches kids what a memorial is and the most important memorial Christians have today. Then, there’s a suggestion for an activity allowing kids to think about what reminds them of God and then mold their very own memorial out of clay. (You can use Play-Doh for the younger kids.)
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Need modeling clay? Here are a few options to make it easy on you, but look around. There are a ton of choices! I am purchasing a colorful one today for my class. Remember, clay is hard so kids will need to use their muscles and soften if to mold something amazing.
YIKES! School’s out, the kids are home and parents need ideas! Lot’s of ideas!
Summer is a time when the kids are home, they quickly get bored and plant themselves in front of the television. Parents need fresh ideas. They want to be good parents. They want to spend time with their kids (well, at least some of the time), but they don’t know what to do without breaking the bank or without fighting their kids by acting as the T.V. police. So it has to be fun, something kids get excited about.
Be a hero with parents, the kids and with God! You have the solution right here, 25 fun activities for the summer. There are many activities kids can do by themselves or with each other to have fun outside of television, but the idea is for parents to spend quality time with their kids. Time together builds up a child’s self-esteem and makes them more comfortable going to parents with problems as they get older. None of these are very expensive, and many are free! So, print off “25 Summer God-Approved Family Activities” and send home with your bible class kiddo’s. (If you are tech savvy, download it and send as an email attachment.)
Encourage parents to try a few of these ideas and most importantly, have fun with their kids. They do grow up fast and they remember the time spent together. Encourage parents to consistently remind their kids that God gave them each other, loves each of them and will be the focus of the family.
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Is Easter really the Super Bowl for churches? Does attendance increase enough to make a noticeable difference? You bet it does! So what are you going to do about it? How are you going to encourage those annual visitors to return more frequently? Do you need a creative give away, a bribe?
Well let me tell you, God doesn’t need gimmicks. He needs His church to act like a church. People need people. They desire friendships. Just go back to the garden to see this, “It is not good for man to be alone.” When you see a visitor, go to them. Talk to them. Ask them about them. Invite them to an Easter egg hunt or lunch during the week. Get their contact information and follow up! You do not need a gimmick to be a friend and this is what most people really seek!
According to a study by Barna Group, only 38% of Americans say they go to church weekly. Compare that to the many other studies showing over half the population of Americans attends church services on Easter. This tell me that Americans fell some sense of spiritual obligation, but they are not finding the piece that brings them back on any given Sunday, the piece that lets them know God’s church is a family they want to be a part of.
Many churches have tried creative ways to entice the non-church goers to return. They send home welcome packs, drop off a gift at their door or mail a postcard. These are great works and I think we should keep doing them, but I have yet to come across an outreach idea like these that consistently and effectively turned visitors into regular church goers. I will be providing all kids in attendance with crayons and a color sheet focused on Easter. We will have an Easter egg hunt following services full of candy and goodies! But I do not expect these ideas to be what draws families back week after week.
So what’s missing? Connections! Easter provides and incredible opportunity to put this theory to the test. Try it this Sunday! Talk to a visitor. Get their information and have coffee or send a note. Invite them to your small group bible study. If they have kids, send some stickers during the week showing you noticed them too. You are establishing a relationship. When people have friends they are more likely to participate. We love talking to and being with our friends. No, God does not need gimmicks. He needs us to show we are Christians by our love.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner everyone’s asking for some unique Valentine’s Day card or gift ideas for their children’s ministry. I have a couple of ideas for you that the kids are going to love. What kid doesn’t love a bouncy ball or a flashing light at their fingertip? Even better, these ideas are extremely inexpensive. Watch the video on DIY Valentine’s Day Cards for Children’s Ministry to see how it’s done. Then simply print the PDF version of the card you’d like to use. And to make things super easy for you, I included links to the products I used on Amazon.com. (I do receive a small commission if you use this affiliate link. These are the products I ordered and used for my kiddos.) It includes free two day shipping for Prime members which I absolutely love!! If you stick around you will notice I use Amazon for just about everything! If you use one of these, I would love to hear how it turns out for you in your ministry.
You can easily use this Valentine as a community outreach give away. Add information about your bible classes to the other side and hand out in area neighborhoods or host a community children’s valentine party with activities and refreshments. It would be memorable.
Wow! I cannot believe how fast Christmas is coming this year and gifts are on top of my mind! I made pumpkin bread for all of our church leaders, but wanted something for my teachers that wasn’t edible. Several of my teachers are on strict diets… so I figured food might not be a good gift in this case. Trying to find something affordable, but nice, was not easy. I did it though. (Well, I’m guessing God had a hand in it.) I thought I’d share in case you found yourself in the same predicament.
If you haven’t bought your teachers a Christmas gift yet, here are a couple of ideas:
This Christmas, I’m giving all of my teachers a Kindle book, Pocket of Prayers by Max Lucado. It’s only $2.99 on Kindle! At the holidays everyone gets so much “stuff” so I think a Kindle book is perfect! Give them a nice Christmas card but really, all you need is their email address. Amazon let’s you send it as a gift making it so easy! Then, they can read it from their smart phone, tablet or computer. It’s perfect!
Another suggestion, one I’m saving for mid-year as a teacher appreciation gift, is a potted succulent plant with a message, “Thank you for helping our kids grow in God’s love!” It costs a little more per teacher, about $5 each for 5 teachers or order another set of plants and it ends up being $3.50 per teacher. The plants come in sets of 5 while the pots come in 10. You can order what you need from Amazon and it’s super simple! I can manage to kill just about any plant, so I like these low maintenance plants. Plus, they are great for the teacher with allergies.
I hope you find this helpful. I would love to hear your ideas, things that have worked well for you at the holidays!
As a kid in bible class each week, did you ever wish God would talk to you like He did with Adam in the garden? Or like Moses from a burning bush? Or perhaps like Jesus did with the 12 apostles? These people got to talk to God and God worked through them. I admit, I also wished I could be an angel at one point and wondered if there was a way. My point is, God did great things through these people! As I got older I remember learning how God used normal people, people with fears and deficiencies ti love out His plan. Why couldn’t that be me? Then, as I was working with kids at church, I realized He was working through me. This was empowering and an answer to my prayer. There is a point to my ramblings.
Christmas is around the corner and then it’s time for those New Years resolutions. Will we go into 2018 with big dreams for the spiritual welfare of our children and their families? As children’s ministry leaders we can’t help ourselves. We want great things for our children. Like the great leaders of the Bible, hopefully like them, we begin with God. This is His church after all and we are merely allowing our amazing God to work through us to shape His children, the future of His church. What an awesome thought! Think over scripture and remember the men of the Old Testament, how they went to God before tackling problems. When they did, God gave them success. When they didn’t start with God, they often failed. Let’s learn from them. Let’s begin with prayer and let’s remain humble. God is using us and it’s not to the reverse.
I will leave you with this thought from 2 Kings 6:17 – Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Can you imagine Gods church, its unshakable faith, when God answers our prayers to open the eyes of our children to see and know Him, to know the love He has for us and what that means for them? We serve an amazing God and I believe He will guide us in our endeavors as children’s ministry leaders.