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As the end of the summer approaches, kids start thinking about the changes ahead. Entering a new grade, attending a different school, making friends and getting to know an unfamiliar teacher are all significant changes in the life of a school aged child. And, depending on the programs offered at church, children may be considering changes that will be happening there too. This week I came across two wonderful ideas for ways that God’s family can encourage those school aged kids this fall. 

  1. The first idea involves setting up a chalkboard on which everyone can print their prayers for the school year. Build a Back to School Prayer Station describes setting up a community chalkboard for that purpose outside of the church building. I love that idea but I also wonder what it might look like to set one up inside the sanctuary so that, in addition to adding their own prayers, kids can watch God’s family print and offer prayers for them.
  2. The second idea is for churches where children will be remaining for the full worship service for the first time. In A Letter for Parents Whose Children Will Be Staying for the Sermon for the First Time, church educator Carolyn Brown provides leaders with an excellent way to support families as they nurture the faith of their children.

What ‘Back to School’ ideas for encouraging kids and families have you or will you be trying this fall in your congregation?


I love these ideas, Karen. Thanks for sharing them! I was just thinking last night about how to encourage my kids as one of them is going back to school next week. I was thinking of having a "prayer meal" where everyone has the opportunity to talk about what makes them anxious or sad about going back to school, and what makes them happy or excited about going back to school during dinner, and afterward we take some time to pray about them for each other.

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