It happens all the time in our ministries—new babies are born, family dynamics change, a time of adjustment occurs, until finally a new normal is established.
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How do youth and children call us to re-imagine what it means to be and do church? What, theologically, does it mean to be a young person in today’s church and world? How should our theology (re)shape the ways in which we minister with children and youth?
The suspense builds as all the barn animals get ready for a special arrival and wonder who is coming. They dust the beams, lay eggs, and make room. At last they welcome Mary and Joseph as each snout pushes in for a better view of baby Jesus lying in Mary’s arms.
Sophie, my fifteen month old daughter, spends two days a week at daycare. I was eager to attend the first parent conference this spring to hear about what she's learning and how they see her developing. What if the same thing happened in our children and youth ministry programs?
Many Sunday schools take a break during the summer months. If yours is one of them, how do you say goodbye to your class as you send them off to enjoy the sunshine? If you’re coming to your last week of Sunday school, consider setting aside time do something special. Here are a few ideas.
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.
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.
This fall Tyson Capel asked each high schooler at his church to invite an older member of the congregation to study the book of Acts with them. He is careful never to talk about this initiative as a mentoring or discipleship program — those words make people feel intimidated.
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, join or renew your membership in the Association of Christian Reformed Church Educators today! Members will receive support, best practices, and new ideas for Sunday school programs.
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.
Scary as they are, Halloween goblins and fictional films aren’t the most frightening things kids and families face today: job losses, foreclosures, abuse, family feuds, and illness. How can we help kids handle the spooky shadows as well as the real turbulence of troubled times?
Encouraging parents in their role as faith nurturers doesn’t have to take a lot of time—it can be as easy as getting resources in their hands. Karen DeBoer plans to share resource ideas that families can use at home to talk about faith and read God’s word together.
After singing the chorus they came to the part that said, “He knows my name”, and the little girl spoke her name loud and clear into the microphone, and passed it on to the next child, who spoke and then passed it to the next. How do you make songs more personal and meaningful to kids?
This activity involves making up a prayer to the tune of a song you know. This is great for kids who are musical or who love to move around, and it works as an individual or a group prayer activity. It also lends itself to a broader conversation about worship and prayer.