Pastor Appreciation–Kid Style

October is pastor appreciation month and it’s a great time to connect the children in your church with your pastor and other staff. Here are some ways that children can show their appreciation:

1) Present the pastor with a collection of his favorite something. Have your class collect as many as possible of his favorite candy/beverage/gum and present it to him as a group.

2) Decorate his office with pictures from the children or if they are older, have them write words that describe him on post it notes and “decorate” his office with all the notes.

3) Make a video to show before/after a service or take a picture of your class that goes in a PowerPoint presentation with them holding a sign encouraging the pastor.  You could use the picture in your bulletin, church newsletter or local paper as well.

4) Have your class memorize scripture in his honor and plan a special time to share it with him. You could invite him to your class or surprise him during another time.

5) Do a project around his house…collect leaves, sweep his driveway, decorate the front porch for fall, take over a meal the children helped prepare.

Help children develop a relationship with your pastor and, if possible, plan a personal time for him to say thank you. This could be a time for him to share with younger children about what a pastor does. It could also be an opportunity for him to present the gospel to the older children.

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Be Intentional about Evangelism

Most children’s ministries desire to see children come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but are we planning to make that a reality?  Here are some keys to making evangelism intentional:

  1. Train your leaders in sharing the gospel in age appropriate ways. Those who feel prepared to share are more likely to do so.
  2. Offer classes teaching parents how to have faith conversations and to lead their children to Christ.
  3. Have a plan for how often you expect the gospel to be presented with an opportunity to respond in your ongoing ministries (such as Sunday school, discipleship classes, children’s worship, etc.).  So many lessons can lead directly into a chance for children to respond to the gospel but because it is not directly written in the lesson plan, we don’t pursue it.
  4. Broaden the scope of the gospel and special events.  If you are having a fall festival, how many times could they hear they gospel before they leave? Can we increase that number? During VBS, do we offer children opportunities other than the “ABC” day to respond?
  5. Train your older children in sharing their faith and provide opportunities to do so. Children and preteens are naturals at sharing their faith with their friends.  By giving them the skills and opportunities evangelism becomes a part of their lives naturally.
  6. Pray. Ask God to guide you as you seek to share His word and love with those He has called you to minister to.  He has a plan and is at work, if we listen, we will naturally know how and when to respond.
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Connecting Parents to Sunday School

How can you get parents involved in what their children are learning in Sunday School?  Send parents a notecard with a pre addressed envelope.  Maybe even go ahead and put a stamp on the envelope to make it easier for parents to drop it in the mail.  Encourage parents to write their child a note regarding the application of the lesson they will learn in Sunday School that week.  For example, as we learn about the Bible in the month of September, parents could write to children about why the Bible is important to them.  Tell parents to keep it a secret from their child and mail it back to you before that Sunday’s lesson.  Use the letters from the parents during class time.  Kids will be excited that their parents are involved in what they are doing in class.  Be sure to write a few letters for children who might be visiting or for children whose parents forget to send the card to their child.   Make it a quarterly or monthly activity to help keep parents aware of what their children are learning in class and to help them get involved in what their children are learning.  In our busy and modern lifestyles, there is not often any spiritual discussion at home.  This could be some of the only times that children hear spiritual advice from their parents.  Throughout a year, you could help children save these letters by allowing children to put all of the letters into a created scrapbook.

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What to Do With My Allowance

A Facebook post pointed me to a ‘Time Moneyland’ article by Brad Tuttle.  He suggests that 65 percent of parents give allowances and the average allowance is $780 a year.  Yet, he states that 99 percent of children do not save any of this allowance.  You can find this article here:  http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/27/monkey-see-monkey-do-just-1-of-kids-save-any-allowance-money/
He emphasizes the need to teach children not just about money but about values.  This is where the church can help families.  Teaching children the Biblical model of tithing what you have and then giving generously from what they have can be an important lesson.  I heard a speaker recently say that the average given among church members is 4 percent.  The value of tithing is something that is lacking among most church members.  Wouldn’t it be great if the children of the church could lead the adults of the church in a renewal of the spiritual discipline of tithing?

Some great Bible stories to teach children the value of money would include Deuteronomy 24:19-22.  These old testament instructions taught the Israelites to not be greedy but to leave behind some of the harvest when it was collected..  Another story of generosity is how Boaz instructed his workers to leave behind extra grain for Ruth to collect in Ruth 2.  Luke 12 shows the foolishness of storing up for yourself and the danger of not being rich toward God.  Mark 12: 41-45 tells of the generous and sacrificial giving of the widow who gave everything she had. Using what you have correctly can be told through the story of Jesus and the money changers at the temple in Matthew 21:12-13.   God’s Word holds the answers to teaching children about money.

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It’s Time to Buy Beach Balls!!!

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the clearance aisles at my local stores. You can find great things for so many aspects of ministry. This time of year, I stock up on beach balls. There are so many ways to use them in classes of all ages. Here are some of my favorites:

1) For preschoolers, use clear packing tape to attach pictures of things God made to the ball. As you roll the ball back and forth, talk about the pictures and offer simple prayers of thanks to God.

2) Make a “My Favorites” ball-this is great for getting to know new students. Choose from the following and use a permanent marker to write one of these on each section of the ball: movie, food, book of the Bible, color, room of my house, school subject, animal. Have the children toss the ball and tell their favorite ___________________. They have to tell the subject that corresponds to where their left thumb lands on the ball.

3) Create a game to help with learning different books in the Bible by using a permanent marker to create different sections on the ball then write any combination of these letters in the spaces (these are all letters that books in the Bible start with–you can make it as easy or difficult as you chose based on your class): A, C, D, E, G, H, I , J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T , Z. For younger children, a child can pick a letter and tell you a book of the Bible that starts with the letter. For older children, you can put all the letters and have children find the letter for the book of the Bible that comes next as they say them in order and pass the ball.

4) Make a Bible story review ball by writing each of these questions in a different color section of the ball:
Who was in today’s lesson?
What book of the Bible was today’s lesson from?
Where did the story take place?
What is an important word from the lesson?
What do I need to remember?

5) Use a beach ball to assign prayer partners for the week. Write the name of a different child on each section of the ball and they pray for the person whose name their hand lands on when they catch the ball. This same principle can be applied to praying for different missionaries, church staff members, community leaders…let your setting help determine the possibilities.

6) Another idea for using a ball to develop Bible skills is to write the books of either the old or new testament on the ball. Then when the ball is tossed to a student they have to look at the book their thumb is closest to and tell what book comes after it. You cam also develop other skills by having them tell the division the book is in. This can be simplified by writing a mix of old and new testament books on the ball and the students has to identify which testament the book is from.

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First Grade Survival Kit

Looking for a fun idea to highlight the kids in your ministry promoting to first grade?  Here’s a Survival Kit you can use – just put the items in a small gift bag and attach the explanation card.

First Grade Survival Kit

 Crayons                           To thank you for coloring our world with love

 Eraser                              To remind you that it’s okay to make mistakes

  Band-Aid                         To remind you that your hurts will heal

 Toy                                   To remind you to have fun as you grow up

 Prayer                              To remind you that God is always near and ready to help you

 Mint                                 To remind you of how much you “mint” to us

 

Prayer

 God be in my head

And in my thinking.

God be in my eyes

And in my seeing.

God be in my mouth

And in my speaking.

God be in my heart

And in my understanding.

 Adapted by: Sarah Toast

 

 

 

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School Prayers

One of the best ways to minister to parents as they send their kids back to school is to encourage them to pray for their kids.  I’ve seen several churches in our area ministering to parents by providing a place for parents to join together and pray after they drop off their child at the first day of school.  I love this scripture based prayer found on www.relevantchildrensministry.com

A Prayer to Pray FOR Your Child for School
Father,
Enable _______________ to stand strong in Christ.  (2 Timothy 3:10-12)
Give him/her a hunger for learning.  Enable him/her to use his/her ability to think and learn. (1 Samuel 2:10)
May he/she study and work with diligence. (Proverbs 10:4-5)
I pray that he/she will develop healthy relationships with others. (Proverbs 13:20)
Show him/her how to relate to others with compassion, respect, and understanding. (Ephesians 4:32)
I ask that he/she will have good relationships with the teachers and the administration and show them respect. (Romans 13:1)
I pray that Your Holy Spirit will do a powerful and gracious work in his/her heart. (John 16:7-11)
May he/she love You and follow You with all his/her heart, soul, and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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