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Major Fail & What I Learned From It

Major Fail & What I Learned From It

Lesson learned after a big fail this past Sunday. I oversee the kindergarten through fifth grades, an age group that is very easy for me to work with. They are a great group of kids. I recently took over a combined group that is supposed to be 4 years through third grade, but it was clear I had a handful of three-year old’s too.  Apparently, their parents feel they are too advanced for the 18 months to three year old group, so they just moved them up. (Insert heavy sigh here.)  And I was told there are usually eight to ten kids each week.

So, on week one, I had ten kids, just as expected. I realized very quickly I needed something more hands on and engaging the next week to capture the attention of the youngest to the oldest; after all, my third graders are about to move on the fourth. They begged for Bible Science (we do this on Wednesday evenings). Alright, for a group of ten or so, I decided to make slime to accompany our bible lesson. We’d mix it, let it set during a few songs, the go back to the slime and learn our bible lesson. I brought in a couple of extra helpers since I had a few younger kids that would need help. So far it all sounds good, right? WRONG!

That Sunday, kids just kept coming. I had 20 kids! That’s double what I had planned for. And to make matters worse, the worship leader let them out earlier than usual so I was not even down to my area yet. I had kids racing past me. Yikes! We gave it a shot though. What a mess! Glue mixtures everywhere, including on the little kids Sunday (best) clothes. The one positive, I had the attention of EVERY kid. Turns out, I had the attention of some parents too… and their faces did not look happy.

What did I learn from this embarrassing experience? First, lots of prayer! Then, prepare for more kids. This is an awesome “problem” to run into. Enlist more help for the children who are too young to be there, but I do not want to discourage it; after all, their parents are bringing them to learn about God. And I learned to divide to divide kids up in to the “Little’s” and the “Biggie’s” so each are engaged with an age appropriate activity. I will have them together for songs and prayer but separate for the lesson and activity. We will see how this goes. We live an learn. This was a messy learning experience but I’m excited to try this new approach next week, hoping parent will bring their kids back.

I’d love to hear your experiences. What crazy fails have you run into? And how have those of you with a wide age range handled them?

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This One Event Grew Bible Class by Over 300%

This One Event Grew Bible Class by Over 300%

Bible Science is my favorite time of the year because it is so much fun, kids beg for it and it brings children to church that might not have come otherwise. We saw an increase in mid-week attendance of over 300% on our first night! Sounds really cool when I put it like that! We typically have about a half dozen kindergarten through fifth graders on Wednesday nights during the school year. The first night of Bible Science brought in 20 kids.

Wednesday nights during the school year are hard for parents of elementary children.  By the time evening rolls around, they are worn out! Then there’s dinner to prepare. Did the kids finish their homework? Project? Did one of the kids just say they have a project due tomorrow? Then there’s bath time and bedtime. Whew! And that’s if there aren’t any sports practices or games that night too. Needless to say, getting kids to bible class during the week is not high on the list of things to do.

But that’s during the school year. Summer is a whole other story! They will come, but only if there’s something compelling them. For me, it’s Bible Science.  Every summer I host an 8-week series, one and half hours a night on Wednesday nights. We start with sugar free snow cones on the playground followed up with a hands-on science experiment, applicable bible lesson and a game. Kids beg for it all year long! This gives parents enough time to run an errand, relax, or attend a class for them.

Bible Science is easy. Just pick an age appropriate experiment; Pinterest is full of them. Make sure to test if first. Tie it to a bible lesson and you are ready to go! I have a Bible Science Creation series that I put into a course and it will be available July 1, 2019. You can download the curriculum, watch the experiments, get ideas for how to structure your program for your size and budget, and learn ways to promote your program. Run an 8-week series like me, set up a day camp, or more. Link to purchase coming soon.

This is not part of the Creation curriculum, but it’s one you can try with your kids to see what you think. I have one student that asks all the time if we can do this one again!

Sparkling Wool: “Spread the Word” (Acts 13:49; Luke 6:12-16 – 12)

NOTE: This experiment should be done outdoors on solid ground such as a parking lot or sidewalks (not grass). Also, you may want to have a fire extinguisher on hand (although we have never come close to needing it).

Supplies:  Steel Wool , Aluminum Foil, 9V Battery (Kids may share)

  • STEP 1: Make sure everyone has their supplies: Steel Wool and Foil (Don’t pass out batteries until you are ready for them to use them.)
  • STEP 2: Begin splitting apart the steel wool, loosen it up, spread it out.
  • STEP 3: Now, wrap it up into a loose ball
  • STEP 4: Place in the center of your aluminum foil. STEP 5: Now, pass out batteries. Touch the end of the battery to the steel wool in a few places. It will begin to spark. (Pass the battery to the next person for use.)
  • STEP 5: Stand back and watch the sparks spread all over the wool. What just happened? We transferred the energy from the battery to the steel wool. This created sparks that kept traveling all throughout the steel wool.

 BIBLE LESSON: In Acts 13:49, we read, “The word of the Lord spread through the whole area.” What spread? God’s word!

Now we will learn about some very special people who made it their mission to spread God’s word. We are learning from the New Testament book of Luke. Luke is one of the four gospels that teaches us about the life of Jesus.

At about that same time Jesus climbed a mountain to pray. He was there all night in prayer before God. The next day he summoned his disciples; from them he selected twelve he designated as apostles: How many did he choose as his apostles? 12

Jesus gathered his disciples together and from those, he picked 12 for a special job. After Jesus had died and risen from the dead, this was the mission he gave them (Mark 16:15-16): 15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. What was their mission? To tell the whole world about Jesus.

The names of the first 12 apostles were: Simon, whom he named Peter, Andrew, his brother, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon, called the Zealot, Judas, son of James, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

BIBLE APPLICATION In our experiment, the steel wool is all the people in the world around us. The battery is us. When we touch one person with the word of God, it starts a chain reaction. That spark creates another and another and another. This is just like when we share God’s love with someone. They get excited and share it with someone else and that person shares it with another and it just keeps going. Who can you share God’s love with? (Family, friends, neighbors….)

If you try this, I would love to hear how it went!

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