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?
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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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Does your church offer special programming for Advent?
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.
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?
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.