I am retiring this year as Sunday school co-ordinator at our church after a joyful decade in that role. I want to make sure the hand-off to our new co-ordinator is as smooth as possible -- that I offer guidance/help where needed, while giving grace and space for the new co-ordinator to put her...
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?
With food allergies on the rise, are Sunday school snacks worth the risk? Check out these lists of safe snacks that Community Reformed put together for their children's ministry. What are you doing to keep the kids in your care safe?
VBS is a special time. Try these ideas for building a summer ministry team and planning an unforgettable week for your kids!
Looking for a way to ease the August stress of searching for volunteers? Check out this blog post from veteran children’s minister, Linda Freeman, who offers week by week ideas for planning a month long focus on volunteer recruitment.
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. . .
A brunch, a blessing, a bowl full of chocolate—how will you thank your team at the end of this season? Check out these fun ideas I found on Pinterest. Here are a few of my favorites...
I just spoke with a Presbyterian pastor who is interested in using clips from the History channel's The Bible show as part of his adult education class. He is looking for a study guide or questions that he could use along with clips to spark discussion and help everyone reflect on the stories....
As the sun begins to shine and you spend more time outside, it’s easy to let thoughts of September slip out of mind. But a little preplanning now could go a long way in saving you money and time next season. Consider these ideas for stretching your Sunday school budget:
Here is an easy tool you can use to give voice to your leader's joys and concerns! You may coordinate the program, but unless you're in the classroom each week it's hard to know exactly how things are going. This simple questionnaire, adapted from the one in Sunday School That Really Works by...
As the Sunday school season wraps up it's fitting to ask, what will next season look like? What could be new, different, fresh? What should remain the same or be enhanced? As you evaluate your programs and dream about the future consider...
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. ..