Helping kids develop a faith that's big enough to deal with the realities of this fallen world is part of our role as faith nurturers. Last night I found this article posted on my facebook wall, Talking With Children about the Boston Marathon Bombings... and Listening! and I wanted to pass it along.
When I think of Sunday school I think about telling God’s stories and sharing God’s love. But we’re also passing on a faith tradition. With that in mind, the songs we sing with kids and the variety of music we use is significant. It can help or hinder our efforts to enculturate them into the full life of the church.
A few weeks ago one of Faith Alive’s editors received a voicemail from a classis leader. He was calling to ask if the churches in his region should continue ordering from Faith Alive, or if we’d soon be closing our doors.
As educators we know that people learn best when their senses are engaged. Theresa Cho draws people in using color and sound, texture and scents, reflection and interaction. The experiences she creates are memorable, personal, and communal.
Resurrection eggs are a carton of 12 colorful plastic Easter eggs each containing a little trinket that symbolizes some aspect of the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Each egg helps families focus their attention on this important story during Holy Week.
It’s been a couple weeks since the premiere of the BIBLE on the History channel. I’ve heard a range of opinions, some hating it, some loving it. Last night I caught a rerun of some of the first and second episodes. I have to say that it was better than I expected, and it made me wonder what other Sunday school teachers are thinking.
Last week Mark DeVries, president of Youth Ministry Architects and author of Family Based Youth Ministry posted this video on recruiting volunteers. He is so confident it will work that he offers a $100 guarentee!
Why does your Sunday school or children's ministry program exist? The answer to that question could help motivate leaders to join the ministry, parents to send their kids out, and the church to invest in the next generation.
This fall Tyson Capel he asked each high schooler at his church to invite an older member of the congregation to study the book of Acts with them. The teens decide who they would like to ask and then they ask that person to meet with them regularly throughout the school year to study the Bible . . .
I'm very thankful for all of our Sunday School teachers. They are all gifted people and they sacrifice their time to disciple our children. However, I'm concerned about the long-term health of our Sunday School program. We are often short of teachers and our overall program is not unified. I...
In the book Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids, Chap Clark and Kara Powel talk about flipping the 5:1 kid-to-adult ratio. Rather than one leader for every five teens, what if every child and teen in our churches had five adults who were investing in their lives?
If you are a church educator, Sunday school coordinator, minister of faith formation, or director of children's or youth ministry, it is time again to join or renew your membership in the Association of Christian Reformed Church Educators. Members receive an annual selection of new resources from Faith Alive, membership in the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators, and a subscription to The Advocate, a quarterly journal focused on topics relating to faith formation.
Come to Me, a unique family “prayer book” now in development by Faith Alive, is an exciting new venture designed to bring families closer together and closer to God. We’re looking for families to field-test a sample of this book, which makes spending time with God a natural, doable, and meaningful part of family life.
What should fifth grade children know about the Bible and about God? What values should Christians embody by the time they reach adulthood? These are interesting questions without easy answers. ..
I just got a phone call from a man named Peter in Florida who is hoping to teach No Easy Answers with 9-12 graders. He wants to speak with someone who has taught it and can give him some advice on teaching it. It's one that I haven't taught. Please let me know if you'd like to help Peter out....
For Sunday school coordinators and teachers New Year’s brings a sigh of relief… ahhh, you’re halfway there! You’ve survived the fall recruiting crunch, the kick-off chaos, and the Christmas celebration. Like a Sabbath on the first day of the week, take a little time to catch your breath, reflect, and regroup for the New Year...
Just a couple weeks ago a friend mentioned how sad it is that her five year old son has code red drills at school. They practice hiding and staying quiet “in case a bad stranger comes,” he told her. Now our hearts grieve with the families in Newtown.
This Sunday at Prairie Edge CRC a barren tree stood on stage in the worship center. Later that night kids, teens, and adults came together to sing, share a meal, and reflect on the promise of God to send a savior. . .
Last week I visited Fourth Reformed church on the northeast side of Grand Rapids. It’s a busy place, buzzing with ministry. Sunday school coordinator’s Tom and Norma Boehm showed me around the building and talked with me about the children’s ministry. They face the same challenge that many of us...
We tell a lot of stories about persecution in Sunday school. But our North American kids don’t experience the daily persecution faced by Christians in other parts of the world. It is easy to forget their struggle and to think of these stories as ancient history.
We love our kids and want to protect them. We implement policies like team teaching, windows in classrooms, safety screening, video cameras, and more to keep them safe. Is there more that we can do?
Recently I asked Laura Brink, Children’s Ministry Director at Cascade Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, what she has done to encourage and equip her volunteers. Her church offers Sunday school, children and worship, and midweek programs, so there are teachers, leaders, and helpers who minister to the same age group of kids at different times throughout the week.
The song “When I am Afraid I Will Trust in You” played softly in the background as we scrawled pictures of things that scare us (mostly monsters). Seven-year-old Justice was eager to talk about her picture—a scene from a movie she’d seen on TV. “The man was running to get these people,” she said, eyes wide, and voice getting louder with each word.
I’m on a mission to connect with children’s ministry directors, Sunday school coordinators, and teachers to see and hear what God is doing in their midst. I’m hoping to highlight a new idea or best practice each week. Here is a fun one that's easy to implement at any time of the year. . .
Volunteers are BUSY—it’s getting harder and harder to get everyone together for training and encouragement. Brian Bierenga, the Children & Youth Ministry Coordinator at Brookside CRC uses weekly email to encourage his youth team. His formula is simple . . .