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Faith and Fear

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?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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What a Great Idea!

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Celebrating Success

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Time for a Checkup

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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What is Your Name?

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.  

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Is Teacher/Leader Orientation Essential?

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?    

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Two Questions to Consider

Now that you’ve had a little break from regular programming, think back on what stands out about last season. Consider sending out two questions this week to all of your leaders/teachers and parents.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Who is in Your Cloud?

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?  

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Moving On

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Living As A Follower Of God

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Shared Lessons

Being a Sunday school teacher involves many skills. From knowing the lesson and the kids in your class, to keeping an eye on the time to make sure you have enough time for snacks. There’s a lot to manage.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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The Bible in Sixty-six Verses

I came across this really interesting blog post called the “Bible in 66 Verses” on the Lutheran Forum. The author, Sarah Wilson, selected a verse from each book of the Bible that summarizes that book’s content.  How could you use this idea?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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A Case Against Perfection

Our worship services would not be as good if we did not allow our members to learn as they do things. We want to let many people use their gifts – including children and teens – and we want to support them so they do well. That also means that sometimes worship will be less than perfect.

Children's Ministry
Blog
306 views
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Telling The Stories Of Sunday School

Leaders of Sunday School need to share and tell the good stories of what is happening when they gather. We can choose to tell the stories of frustration and failure or the stories of how God is powerfully moving.  We have an opportunity to set what becomes the prevailing narrative of Sunday School in our church.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Promises Made in Baptism

One of the things I like about baptisms is that, in addition to the parents making a vow, the congregation does too. The congregation promises that they will love and support this new child and play a special role in her instruction in the faith. It reminds me that we, as a church, take faith formation seriously.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Family Faith Talk

85% of Christian kids never hear their parents talk about their faith.  God’s Big Story Cards are an easy way to engage in faith talk and Bible study. While these cards can be used to build relationships in the Sunday School classroom they also can be used to connect families to the story and connect to each other.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Left Overs?

I thought this was a great idea for what might be extra or unused materials. The kids will be reminded of what they learned over the course of the last year and the parents will be encouraged to share a story that we didn’t have a chance to tell.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Children and the Lord's Supper [WEBINAR]

If your congregation is like many we’re in conversation with, you’re seriously considering Synod 2010’s decision to welcome baptized children to participate in the sacrament of communion. But with change comes challenge—along with the need to replace old processes and practices with new ones. That’s the challenge we’d like to address

EldersChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Lift High the Cross

Every week in our morning worship service, the children in 3rd and 4th grade bring in the Bible and light a candle in the front of church. During Lent, a third child is added to the procession who carries in a cross, holding it up high as the congregation sings “Lift High the Cross”

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Kids' Faith and Adults' Schedules

Sometimes, volunteers are hard to find! There are some people who are just not good working with children or don’t feel comfortable working with kids. But then there are those who are good with children and just do not have the time available to lead on a weekly basis. Sometimes we have difficulty 

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Make and Take Sunday School

If the purpose of the making an item in Sunday School is for the kids to keep the item long term, we are doing a bad job. Most of the stuff kids make and take home barely gets looked at. In fact, much of it barely gets home. So why do we bother?

Children's Ministry

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