resources for effective children's ministry
In this issue of "About the Children's Department", we have added two new areas - "Teacher Builders" - reviews on resources that will help "build" teachers and help them grow in their own walk with the Lord - and "Kid Stuff" - resources designed to help kids grow and learn more about their walk with the Lord. Be sure to take a look at these sites and let us know what you think!
Children's Ministry has changed a lot over the past 10 years - one of the most jarring examples of that change is that now we must have policies in place to protect our children from abuse and our church and volunteers from liability. In this issue I am reviewing two excellent resources to help you evaluate where your church is at and help you put together an effective policy to protect everyone at your church.
We will also take a look at resources to help your families spend time together in God's Word as well as review some great music resources! In January we will have a special VBS preview issue!
As always, if you have any questions or ideas that worked in your children's ministry, e-mail them to me - I love to hear from you!
Feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bibles for the World
Phone - 1-888-68-BIBLES
In our last issue I included information on this organization, but wanted to do so again because of the tremendous response I have seen in my own children's ministry with this Bible mailing ministry. Our children's mission project for the school year is to purchase and mail Bibles around the world through Bibles for the World. For every $4.25 brought in through Sunday School offerings, each class is then able to pay for one Bible and the postage to mail it. The kids actually get to wrap and address the package so they know exactly who the Bible is going to!
Favorite Features -
Bibles for the World's Bible mailing project is one of the best kids missions project I have come across! I highly recommend it!
Family's Funniest Home Video & Pie Bake Off Nite
As the winter months drag on, it can be fun to plan a special event to bring families together for a special evening. We all have enjoyed the video show on TV, but when the funny videos have people you know in them, you have the makings for a terrifically funny time building memories as a church and families together!
The following schedule should help you plan this event.
Helping Kids Through Tough Times
Author - Doris Sanford
This book provides reproducible "help" sheets to aid parents and/or teachers in guiding children through difficult times. Issues covered include, Foster Care, Adoption, Cults, Prejudice, Drug Abuse, Depression and divorce to name a few. For each topic there is a sheet for the adult who is helping the child and another for the child. The Adult's sheet helps them understand the child in relationship to the issue covered, provides ideas on ways they can help the child, conversation starters and ways to point the child to God.
The child's sheet talks about why the topic is hard, how other kids feel in the same situation, provides a space for them to write how they feel, ways they can help themselves and make good choices as well as how they can trust God to be there for them.
I recommend this book as a good resource for every children's ministry. Nicely done Doris and Standard Publishing.
Music can be a great and fun way to teach children! There are many excellent music resources available - the following are just a few of the many, but before we look at them, I would like to say again that VBS music is often one of your best children's music resources. Each year the publishers put out fantastic music to go with their VBS - we will be looking at VBS in a special issue in January - so when you decide on VBS this year, buy everyone's music as there is no other time in the year when you have such a wealth of music resources available to you as you do at VBS time!
Publisher - Gospel Light
Available at your local Christian Book Store or by calling 1-800-4-GOSPEL
Gospel Light's music has a great variety of types of songs with catchy tunes and words that reinforce the lessons in Gospel Light Sunday School Curriculum. Kids love these songs! "Bible in your Brain" is comprised of songs made totally of Bible verses set to music specifically geared for 5th & 6th grade pre-teens.
Favorite Features -
I recommend this music as a must have resource for every children's ministry! Well done Gospel Light!
Publisher - Group Publishing
* Group's Singable Songs for Children's Ministry
* Accompaniment and
Leader's Guide - $24.99
Each tape or CD includes 16 songs - some classic songs, some contemporary songs and some new songs. These songs are great for Sundays, Wednesdays or anytime you want kids to sing for fun or to help them learn a spiritual truth.
Favorite Features -
* split track
I recommend these resources as a great addition to any children's ministry! Well done Group Publishing!
I became aquatinted with Jerry Jacoby's ministry when he came to my church to present our end of the school year program. He utilizes stories, songs and comedy to teach kids "the good stuff" - honesty, respect, courtesy, responsibility & forgiveness. Jerry is available for concerts and school assemblies by calling 1-517-529-9110. His videos and tapes are available by calling the same number.
* Video - "Real Character
is no accident"
I highly recommend Jerry and his music as both kids and adults will love the songs, enjoy the comedy and learn "good stuff" at the same time! Well done Jerry!
Children's Ministry Liability
This next area of reviews is a difficult one for us all. We all want to believe that the children and volunteers in our churches are safe - and in most of our churches, they are. However, that is not the case in every church. I am no lawyer and I am not giving legal advise in this review, I just want to let you know of two excellent resources that are available to help you protect the kids and the volunteers in your ministry.
The Good Shepherd Program
Authors - William Stout and James Becker
This is an extremely comprehensive and thorough resource. The package contains:
for those of you who, like me, are not lawyers this resource goes through, step by step, the issues related to creating a safe environment for kids. It will help you educate yourself to the issues and components for child safety in your ministry. It's stated purpose is, "to help churches and other ministries develop programs to reduce the risk of abuse or injury to infants, children and youth who participate in their programs. The Good Shepherd Program is about stewardship of one of God's great gifts - children and teens". The objectives are:
*Although this material is very complete the authors recommend that you still consult with legal counsel familiar with laws that apply in your own community - this is good advise.
This is an extremely well designed resource that should help you develop a safe ministry. I highly recommend it as a must-have addition to your children's ministry! Well done NEXUS & Group.
How to Protect Your Children's Ministry from Liability
Author - J. David Epstein J.D.
This is also a comphrensive resource designed to help you learn how to:
This resource is comprised of a video seminar led by attorney J. David Epstein and a reproducible syllabus. The video should be reviewed by your church board and staff as well as all volunteers. It covers:
This resource also recommends that you consult legal counsel - that is very good advise.
This is an extremely well designed resource that unfortunately is needed in our churches today. I highly recommend it as a must have addition to your children's ministry. Well done David and Gospel Light!
Apple for the Teacher Appreciation dinner
I came across this idea in The "SUPER" (published by: Christian Education
Department, Evangelical Covenat Church) and absolutely loved it! I have
long believed in the value and importance of putting on a teacher
appreciation dinner at the end of the school year to thank your
volunteer staff. There are many ways to do a teacher appreciation
dinner - the most common are -
The Apple for the Teacher Dinner is different in that it involved your entire church in presenting the dinner for the teachers. All non-teachers bring the meal - "pot-faith" with a theme for the main dish i.e. chicken, or Italian or Mexican, etc. , desserts, bread, veggies and the best part is that the kids get to present their teachers with "apple" gifts! The gift could be an apple, apple pie, apple mug, apple pin, apple tie tac, wooden apple, cross-stitched apple, - - - whatever they want! The following schedule should help you plan the event!
or send snail mail to:
About the Children's Department - Bright
I will include as many as I am able to in future editions of About the Children's Department. Thank you for your help!
Sunday School Specials
This book provides 13 lessons for kids ages 4 - 12 in combined classes and allows you to teach the same Bible lessons with all the children together.
There are three books in this series and I highly recommend them as a great resource for your children's ministry. Well done Lois and Group!
If you have a question, please feel free to e-mail it to me and we will do what we can to find an answer.
or send snail mail to:
About the Children's Department - Help
I will include as many as I am able to in future editions of About the Children's Department.
Fun Excuses to Talk About God
Author - Joani Schultz
This book provides 48 devotions that everyone in the family will look forward to! Each devotion begins with "Our Family Stories" - a time to talk, laugh and think together about special times in your lives - - - you might talk about a time when you made a mistake, or make your family's own top 10 list or talk about a time when you felt loved. After you set the pace and begin thinking about the topic for the week you'll move on to the "Today's Memory Maker" where you do an activity together as a family, such as talk about how a telephone can help you understand prayer better or learning how love rubs off on each other by making crayon rubbings or by playing a game with shoes to "walk a mile" in each other's shoes.
After the memory maker comes "Today's Bible Insight" where you read a Bible passage and then talk together about what the verses mean and practical ways family members can love them out in their day to day lives. Then it is time for "Our Family Prayers" where you do another activity together to help apply the lesson and to help you pray together. This brings the day's study to an end, but this is not the end of the study as there are additional ideas to help your family continue to learn together "During the Week".
This is one of the best family devotionals I have come across! Families will not be bored or discouraged with this devotional and will really learn together! I highly recommend this book as a must have resource for all families and encourage you to recommend it to the families in your ministry! Extremely well done Joani and Group Publishing!
Teachers are a gift from God
See BRIGHT IDEA! for a combined artical.
In this section we provide ideas on ways to support and encourage your teachers. If you have ideas that you have utilized with your teachers we would love to hear them! Please e-mail them to me at Teacher Support & Encouragement Ideas at email@example.com Thank you!
Author - Karin Klein
This book provides 36 reproducible 2-sided newsletters that cover topics such as Christmas, friendship, laughter, prayer and stress - just to name a few. If you have or are thinking of beginning a family newsletter, these newsletter are a great resource to help you with your mailing to the parents of your Early Childhood Ministry.
I recommend this book as a good resource for your children's ministry. Nicely done Karin and Standard Publishing.
Face to Face - Praying the Scriptures
Face to Face - Praying the Scriptures for
Intimate Worship #1
These books by Dr. Boa are two of the most unique and genuinely life "Challenging" as well as life "Changing" resources I have had the pleasure of utilizing. these books guide you through scripture passages to help you pray the scriptures.
Favorite Features -
My husband and I are using these books together and are greatly enjoying it! I highly recommend both books and excellent, must have resources for every believer! These books were written to help people learn to "confidently pray the scriptures" and to take developing a prayer life from being a burden to being a vital, joyful part of our lives! I enthusiastically encourage you to use these books and to in turn encourage all of your volunteers to do the same! Extremely well done Kenneth and Zondervan Publishing!
More Power to Ya -
The Petra Devotional
This is an excellent devotional for pre-teen boys and girls as it tells about the scriptures behind 52 of Petra's most popular songs and will challenge kids to develop their own walk with the Lord. As our older elementary age kids become interested in music, if we can help them find groups who truly love God and whose lives and music show that love, this can be an excellent influence on our kids. If you take a look at the music Petra sings and the message in that music you will see that their lives genuinely reflect that message.
This devotional is an excellent resource for your older elementary pre-teen kids. I highly recommend it as a must-have resource for your kids. Extremely well done Bob and Standard!
40 Days With God: A
This excellent devotional is also a great resource for pre-teen kids. You will find 40 studies that teach some of the scripture Rebecca's songs are based on as well as provide space for the kids to write what they are learning. It also includes a bonus CD-Rom with five of Rebecca's songs on it. Again, this is an excellent resource to help our pre-teen kids grow by having their own time of Bible study as well as help direct them to music that reinforces the truths taught in Scripture, sung by people whose lives reflect the values we hold dear.
I highly recommend this devotional as a must-have resource for our kids. Extremely well done Rebecca and Standard!
About The Children's Department - Volumn 1, Edition 4
Copyright © Lynda Freeman
Last Updated Dec. 21, 1997
Web Page by Lynda Freeman
Send an e-mail to Lynda at firstname.lastname@example.org Back to Home Page