TEAM-UP - Family

resources for effective children's ministry


The Family Book of Christian Values
Authors - Stuart & Jill Briscoe
Publisher - Chariot House
    In our past issues we reviewed several resources to help parents teach their children right from wrong and encouraged churches to plan and present a "Right from Wrong Campaign" for the entire church.  This book is an excellent additional resource for families to utilize to continue learning more about the things God values.

    favorite features:

  • teaches the personal values of courage, faithfulness, humility, perservance, resourcefulness, self-discipline, wisdom and work
  • teaches the spiritual values of devotion, faith, holiness, joyfulness, obedience, prayerfulness, repentance & thankfulness
  • teaches the relational values of compassion, forgiveness, friendliness, honesty, kindness, love and unselfishness
  • excellent short stories and Bible stories illustrate each value
  • ideal for families to read together

  •     I strongly agree with the Briscoes that the erosion of standards and lack of values in our families and society is due in part because parents have neglected their responsibility to pass on a legacy of faith to their children.  This is not necessarily something parents have decided to do, but if they think it is the church's job to teach their children and do not teach at home as well, they will find it extremely difficult for their children to embrace their own values.  The Briscoes "encourage families to turn off the TV for awhile and rediscover the old-fashioned art of reading aloud . . . and thinking together".  Who of us do not want our children to live by the values of honesty, courage, compassion, self-discipline and all the other values?  This book provides opportunity for families to learn about each value and to really talk about how these values can become a way of life for us all.  I highly recommend this book for parents to utilize with their children.  Extremely well done Stuart, Jill and Chariot House!

        For families who want to spend time together learning how to live their faith in their day-in-day-out lives, there are many excellent resources available to help them do just that.  We will look at a few more in this area.

    Family Night Tool Chest - Christian Character Qualities
    Authors - Jim Weidmann & Kurt Bruner with Mike and Amy Nappa
    Publisher - Chariot/Victor Publishing
        Just as in our children's ministries we need to do the unexpected to capture kids attention and make memorable impressions to be effective, we must learn to do the same at home with our children and help other parents learn to do so as well.  We want to build strong families - our own and in our church and community - and just as anything worth doing takes time and effort, building strong families takes time and effort - only it can be very enjoyable as well!  "Family Night Tool Chest" resources are "designed to make lasting impressions on children of all ages"!

        favorite features:

  • book includes 12 "family night" plans
  • introduction has helpful information
  • eight keys to effective family nights
  • each lesson/activity includes an overview
  • each lesson includes Scripture verses and main points
  • each lesson has a "Life Slogan"
  • each lesson includes space to outline your plan for the evening, space for prayer and praise and to journal any meaningful things that happened
  • session tips - great helpful information
  • warm-up time - begin with prayer
  • each lesson includes two or three activities to pick from - this gives you the ability to use each activity on different family nights to reinforce the main point
  • each activity clearly states it's point, supplies needed, directions, conversation to share, de-briefing questions and Bible passage to learn together from
  • age adjustments information help you make it applicable for teens, too
  • wrap-up time provide an opportunity to talk through the application, learn a new "Life Slogan" and close in prayer
  • includes information on how to lead a child to Christ
  • includes a cumulative topical index for the first three books in the series

  •     If you are serious about "passing a spiritual heritage" to your children and encouraging others to do so as well, this resource is ideal!  It provides active and interactive ways for families to grow and learn together while enjoying themselves and building valuable memories.  These resources would be ideal for a group of parents to commit to utilize each week with their family and then encourage each other to stick with it!  I highly recommend this resource.  Extremely well done, Jim, Kurt, Mike, Amy and Chariot/Victor!

    Laugh & Tickle Hug & Pray - Active Family Devotions
    Author - Julaine Kammrath
    Publisher - Concordia Publishing House
        Family devotions is something most of us would like to do - and yet many of us struggle to be consistent in this important discipline.  This resource is a helpful tool to provide a year of family times together to learn, enjoy and develop some wonderful traditions together.

        favorite features:

  • 52 family devotions - one theme/study each week
  • includes devotions for holidays and special days
  • each devotion begins with "Stop & Think" - a short story
  • "Look & Listen" provides a Bible story time and application
  • "God Sighting" asks a question or gives an activity to live out what is learned
  • "Proceed with Care" gives several activities for the family to do together throughout the week to truly apply the lesson
  • "Go in Peace" provides a final activity to further apply all that was learned

  •     This is a very well done family devotional designed to provide special moments every week for a year for families to grow close together as they grow close to God.  very well done Julaine and Concordia Publishing House!

    Funtastic Family Nights
    Author - Kurt Bickel
    Publisher - Concordia Publishing House
        I am sure all of us would agree that as parents we need to be "faith nurturers" to our children.  I believe most parents want to pass on a legacy of faith to their children.  The problem is that for many parents, they just do not know how to do so.  This is an area the church can step forward and help by showing families how they can spend "funtastic" times together building their faith!  This book is an excellent resource for churches who want to help strengthen families in their church and community!

        favorite features:

  • 19 family night plans
  • great for families with children ages 6 - 12
  • introduction has great helpful information on the need, the whys and hows to hold "family nights" at your church
  • explains the "core concepts" for family nights
  • emphasizes the family's responsibility for nurturing the faith of children
  • explains the plan for each family night event
  • each lesson includes a key concept, Bible passage, objective, materials checklist, activity for families as they arrive, activity for evening or day of event
  • reproducible resources

  •     This resource could be used by a church to help their families learn to learn together - your church family night could be held weekly or monthly - whatever works for your church.  Very nicely done Kurt and Concordia Publishing House!

    My Family's Prayer Calendar 1999
    Created by - Shirley Dobson & Pat Verbal
    Illustrators - Curt Dawson & Jeff Porter
    Edited by - Mary Gross, Linda Mattia & Amanda Abbas
    Publisher - Gospel Light Publishers
        Each year Gospel Light, Shirley Dobson and Pat Verbal develop a new Family Prayer Calendar.  The theme for this year is, "to help children discover God's power to help them in every situation".  families who learn to pray together will grow spiritually as they also grow closer together - this calendar is an excellent tool to help families pray every day with brief, fun, do-able activities.

        favorite features:

  • calendar format - hangs on the wall
  • 99 stickers included for special days
  • 365 activities to help families pray together all year
  • colorful calendar and stickers
  • fun illustrations
  • "how to use this calendar" - helpful information
  • monthly theme verse
  • monthly memory verse
  • "God's Big Family" - involves families in praying for missionaries
  • "prayer tools" - reproducible prayer reminders and encouragers
  • "Family Talk" - involves family members with each other
  • "Kids who Pray" - testimonies from real kids who pray
  • "Obie's Prayer Word" - helps kids learn a new word every month
  • "UBA Verse Master" - encourages Scripture memory
  • "Family Versercize" - encourages Scripture memory
  • space to write prayer requests and truths learned each month
  • information on National Day of Prayer and ideas on ways to participate
  • information on Prayer organizations

  •     This is an excellent resource for families to utilize to help strengthen their relationships and learn to pray.  Very well done Shirley, Pat, Curt, Jeff, Mary Linda, Amanda and Gospel Light!

    Table Of Contents
    About The Children's Department - Volume 2, Edition 4
    Copyright © Lynda Freeman
    Last Updated Dec. 1, 1998
    Web Page by Lynda Freeman
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