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 . . .
It’s been a few weeks now since Sunday school began. You’re getting to know the kids and getting comfortable with the curriculum. Now is just the right time to pause and consider what’s going well, and what could go better . . .
This webinar was recorded on: Wed, 10/03/2012 This webinar will give you the tools you need. From understanding the basics of ASD, to employing strategies for including individuals with ASD, to managing difficult behaviors, you’ll learn how to form an action plan and get started.
Bullying. Just say the word, and most people have a story to tell. So what can you do to ensure that bullying doesn’t happen on your watch? Here are some pointers gathered from organizations that have studied the issue of bullying and its effect on kids:
On Wednesday October 3 at 12:00 EDT Nella Uitvlugt of Friendship Ministries will be presenting a webinar on the topic of "Autism and Children's Ministry." This webinar will give you the tools you need for understanding the basics of ASD, to employing strategies for including individuals with ASD...
In Sunday school, we want to create an environment where everybody belongs and everybody learns and grows together. What does that mean for kids with visual impairments? Check out these helpful ideas from Sister Barbara Cline, the Director of the Office of Faith Formation for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.
Calling kids by name sends them the message that they aren’t just one of the crowd, but are known and valued individually (not only by you, but also by God). Use these easy ideas to get to know the kids in your group.
As a busy ministry season kicks off, it’s tempting to skip the face-to-face time with our team. After all, we have bright leaders. We have a slick system for passing out supplies. We’ve chosen material that is easy to use. Why not just pass out the leader’s guide and send everyone off with a smile and a pat on the back?
As a new Sunday School coordinator, I'd like to find a project or cause that the kids could learn about and contribute to throughout the year. (In the past few years, they've already done Free a Family, Water for Life, and AIDS from http://www.crwrc.org/pages/crwrc_childrensresources.cfm so I'd...
Now that you’ve had a little break from regular programing, think back on what stands out about last season. Consider sending out two questions this week to all of your leaders/teachers and parents... ....... Consider sending out a two question survey this week to all of your leaders/teachers and parents
Depending on where you live, your VBS program is likely to be somewhere between VERY HOT and UNBEARABLY HOT. Kids and leaders need relief from the heat. Try these ideas to keep everyone cool(er), and happier too.
You might have a slew of new music, books, and photos waiting out there in the cloud for you to access and enjoy... but who are the people in your cloud that will cheer you on and inspire you in ministry this season?
After writing for the network for over a year, this is my last post as a guide for the Sunday School network. This has been a great opportunity to articulate some of the things a church educator like me thinks about on a weekly basis. Being a guide on the Network has helped me examine the work that I do and think about it in relationship to the whole CRCNA.
Sandra McCracken has recorded a new children’s album with songs that are appropriate for children without dumbing down the theology or the music. The songs have melodies that kids will remember and enjoy singing.
It is easy for us to let our kids and teens think that we have it all together, with lists of things to do and with quick answers to complex questions but lives are much more complicated than that.