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?
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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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”
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