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Talking With Children about the Boston Marathon Bombings

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. 

Children's Ministry
Blog
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The Songs We Sing

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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The Future of Faith Alive

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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The BIBLE on the History Channel

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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We DON'T Call It Mentoring

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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A Community for Every Kid

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?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Is ACRE For You?

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. 

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

For Sunday school coordinators and teachers New Year’s brings a sigh of relief. 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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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How Do We Help Kids Feel Safe Again?

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Special Events: Advent

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. Does your church offer special programming for Advent?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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More than Policies

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?  

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Table Topics

I asked Laura Brink, Children’s Ministry Director at Cascade Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, what she has done to encourage and equip her volunteers. Here's her answer.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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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

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