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SSTN # 116 - November 12, 2003

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--> Christ-filled Snowflake Ornaments

1) Creative way to learn the books of the Bible   
2) Parent's Day Out?
3) Good Stewards?
4) Joseph Craft Activities   

--> Hands On Lessons of the Bible

5) Interesting ways to learn the books of the Bible
6) Discipline?
7) Fruit of the Spirit?
8) Ten commandments lesson they won't forget

--> Instant Christmas Plays

9) Isaac as sacrifice - teaching "safe" Bible Stories
10) Does Isaac sacrifice = child abuse?   
11) Youth leader and mother
12) Not telling stories   
13) Establishing & Growing A Children's Ministry
14) Establishing and Growing a children's ministry   

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--> Christ-filled Snowflake Ornaments

Great for Christmas gift-giving or family crafting fun.
Get a free sample too! Click on "Chrismon Snowflake Ornaments"
in the Curriculum Creatives section at:


Order in time for the start of Advent!

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1) Creative way to learn the books of the Bible   

    This is in response to Debbie's question about learning the Books of
the Bible. I taught a class to 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders last year. We
memorized  the  books of the Old Testament to the tune of Petula Clark's
song, "DOWNTOWN".  The song  is upbeat, it works, and with dramatics, such
as shouting out "Joshua" with arms opened wide, the kids responded real
well.  In fact they still ask to sing it, and I find myself singing the
song when I need to look up a Bible verse.
    Simply start with Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers
Deuteronomy......Joshua! in place of the words to "Downtown".  Good luck!
Jane in PA -

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2) Parent's Day Out?

I am in the process of putting together a "Parent's Day Out" where the
parents can go Christmas Shopping without their children. We have
scheduled this for Nov. 22 and in 2 days have had 14 children sign up. We
are charging $3.00 per child and it will run from 1PM - 6PM and include 8
workshops in total. We will be teaching the story of the birth of Jesus
from different perspectives (eyes of Mary, Joseph, Angels, Animals, etc).
We will be including workshops of Cooking, Puppets, Art, Science, Drama,
Games, Movies, And Storytelling. The question I have is has anyone done
this before in his or her church and if so, what pitfalls did you run

We have advertised through our local stores, our local newspaper is doing
an article and we will be passing out flyers at trick-or-treating to the
parents. Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated!

In Christ
Nancy Fidler
Sunday Kids Club Director

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3) Good Stewards?

I am hoping that someone will have some ideas about how to teach / reach
high school kids on the topic of good stewardship. To show Stewardship as
a response to God's love for us, a way of life, not just a dollar amount.
I am looking for resources to inform and enable discussion.  These kids
don't have much in the way of money - but they have big hearts and a lot
of caring and we would like to help channel those energies toward the
church and the community.
Thanks for any input.

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4) Joseph Craft Activities   

This is in response to craft activities that can accompany a Joseph
lesson. I recently taught such a lesson to my 3 to 5 year old class. The
story was broken up and in the first week they coloured in Josephs rainbow
coat. The second week they decorated outlines of the camels that Joseph
travelled on to Egypt. The camels were colured in and then glitter was
added. Material squares could also be added to show the camels saddel.
Hope this will Help

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--> Hands On Lessons of the Bible

KID-tested and teacher approved! Can be used with rotation-type programs!
Learn more at:  http://www.christiancrafters.com/curriculum.html 

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5) Interesting ways to learn the books of the Bible   

A way that I was taught the books of the Bible when I was in Sunday School
was that we learnt the sign language for each book name. As I have an
interest in this area I have always remembered these lessons. God bless as
you minister to your kids.

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6) Discipline?

Last year my husband and I took over (were given) the Church School
ministry. We have worked really hard at choosing curriculums and teachers,
who are reluctant to teach but do it because no one else will.  But we
have the worst discipline problem with our 6th - 8th graders.  They don't
want to be there, they are rude and noisy, worst of all they are
disrespectful  and we have no idea what to do.  I want to bring the
parents in and speak to them collectively.  My husband hesitates, but I
think they need to hear it. If it were public school they would be told.
Our volunteers are hard enough to recruit and keep without the added
aggravation.  Can anyone help us? We would be so appreciative.
Love in Christ,
O. G.

--from SSTN: If it were my child I would expect and want to be told. Also,
see the archives for some helpful advice:
Use keywords: "discipline", "problem" and "disruptive".

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7) Fruit of the Spirit?

I was wondering if anyone has a Bible story to go along with each piece
of the Fruit of the Spirit.   I plan to teach them to 7-9 year olds
either this quarter or next.  Any other ideas for teaching them are
welcome as well (decorating, games, object lessons, skits etc.)

--from SSTN: check the archives, there are a lot of resources there:
Also, see the "Fruit of the Spirit Bingo" game at:

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8) Ten commandments lesson they won't forget!

Teach this sentence first:
"Our God now shows his kids about sin with commandments."

Note the first letter of each word: o, g, n, etc...

Teach these clues:
O=other G=Graven N=name s=sabbath h=honor
k=kill a=adultery s=steal w=witness c=covet

Once they learn these clues and memorize the sentence, they will know them
forward and backward. I did this at church camp. I would ask what is the
3rd. commandment? they went over the sentence in their heads, picked out
the 3rd. word, now, remembered the clue, name, and knew Thou shall not
take the name of the Lord in vain. It was amazing how easy they were to

I made a poster with the sentence, and gave the beginning letters a
different color. After learning the sentence well, I added the clues in
small print under the letter. Then we started reading the commandments in
the Bible, and put it all together.

* The first 4 commandments teach us how to treat God, the last 6 teach us
how to treat others.

I had my kids to dress up like Moses, long robe, and we passed a staff
around, and each time the child held the staff, they had to say a
commandment, or answer a question, like, "what does the n stand for in our
sentence, or what is the 8th. commandment....

If time permits, a game could be easily made for the kids to unscramble
sentence on cards, match the clue letter to the clue word then to the
commandment it represents.

I took as many weeks as I needed to teach this lesson at my church
I too have a varied age group. It is such an important lesson, so I didn't
rush it at all. You could put the sentence poster up and just repeat it
for a few weeks at the beginning of your other lessons until they are
ready to move in to the clue learning.

This was just a wonderful way to learn it. I wish I could remember what
site I found it on, but I cannot.

--from SSTN: for anyone looking for more info on this, just type the
sentence into a search box on the web and you'll find many sites with this
information...even the SSTN archives from a few years back has it

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you help to keep SSTN and the website alive! Tell your friends, won't you?

Thank you!
Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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9) Isaac as sacrifice - teaching "safe" Bible Stories

I really don't understand how this lesson could be related to child abuse.
(My previous  answer was highlighted.) I emphasized the positive act of
obedience in waiting for a child as well as being willing to follow God
even when He asks hard things of us. Isaac was not going to be tortured by
a parent - this was a test of obedience and trust on Isaac's part as well
as Abraham's. If we keep tip-toeing around these hard issues, and only
teach Noah's Ark or Birth of Jesus - we are wasting our time and are not
giving a true idea of God's Plan for our lives. Our local community is in
the process of banning certain books from the English curriculum of
local schools. If we keep coating things in sugar we will be raising a
bunch of people who don't know how to think for themselves - either in the
Church or in the school system. Many will not agree with me, I know, but
we must teach the whole Bible to our children and not pick and choose
certain "good time" stories. It is all in the presentation.(If children do
not understand the Old Testament's view of sacrificing to God, then Jesus'
Sacrifice doesn't make sense.)

Thanks for listening. 
Joys in Jesus - Nancy <><

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10) Does Isaac sacrifice = child abuse?   

This is for Teresa.
No way was Isaac abused.  He was a teenager and willingly laid himself on
the altar even if he didn't understand what his dad was doing. If
presented as it is in the Bible, it can't be misconstrued.

Please don't let political correctness keep you from teaching the whole
counsel of God.
Helen Setser

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11) Youth leader and mother

>I need some help. I am stuck in between my role as a youth
>leader and my heart as a mother.

I have read with interest the answers given to this dilemma. Here are a
few suggestions that may help:

a. You need (and may already have) guidelines in place for your Youth
Ministry (the same applies to Children's Ministry).  These should spell
out exactly what you will do in certain situations (i.e. - abuse,
molestation, etc.). You should have guidelines on informing parents about
certain situations  If this is not in place the youth leader, pastor, and
whomever else in your church makes decisions should sit down together and
draw them up.  Anyone who is in leadership with youth should have a copy
and be aware of what is included.

Why? This protects you and your church in case of a lawsuit.  Are you
aware the parent could file charges against you and the church because you
did not notify them?  That is scary!  I realize many churches do not see
the need for policies in writing, but if you are ever sued, you would
believe in them. We have not been sued, but have friends who were (they
and their church). It is not a pleasant place to be.

I'd like to say thanks to Maurice Sweetsur who has such great ideas and is
always so willing shares them with all of us.

La Marque, TX

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12) Not telling stories   

>As an editor of Sunday school curriculum, I am curious as to how many
>people use the above lesson?  We took it out of our curriculum due to
>the problems of child abuse, etc. We did not want children to think it
>was OK

Hi, Not telling a story that was given to us by God in his word?   I'm
sorry, but I was stunned to read this.   This story is NOT about abuse.
It is a story of one man's faithful obedience to God, and God's response
to that obedience.   No child was injured.  To me the idea of NOT telling
the children the stories that God has given us, is paramont to not giving
children the full story.   Granted, one words it in a way that the child
can understand.  And one does not teach truths that the child is not ready
to here.   But to simply say...we are not teaching this story because it
might teach child abuse....isn't that going a bit over board?    Just
curious about the reasoning here.

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13) Establishing & Growing A Children's Ministry

With regards to this question, I just did this.  My church had practically
no children's ministry at all.  Back in May of this year, I sat down with
my Pastor and presented my vision of children's ministry that I wanted to
implement.  It included 4 parts: 1) A Sunday School based on the Workshop
Rotation model that met BEFORE church (what we had previously was all kids
in one room during the sermon).  2) A program just for K-2 kids during the
sermon.  3) A Wednesday night fellowship program for all ages.  4) A
children's message during the service.

We presented this to the church, and got lots of people involved (everyone
knew that one of the only ways we would grow is if we ministered to the
needs of families).  Volunteers helped conceptualize and write the
curriculum, as well as clean out, paint, and revitalize the classrooms.
Many people were praying for this new program, and God started doing
amazing things.  My pastor kept saying, "Be specific when you ask God for
what you need for this program" and so we were.  We asked for theater
chairs for a movie theater we are setting up, and God provided a theater
that was going out of business, which gave us anything we wanted in the
theater for for free.  We asked God for a large screen TV for the theater,
and within a week someone donated one!  It has truly been humbling to see
God work.

The main things to keep in mind: pray, read what others have done, pray,
get others involved, pray, build excitement for the program by showing
enthusiasm yourself, and pray some more!  God has been blessing us with
increased attendance, and kids who can't wait to come to Sunday School and
Wednesday fellowship.  I wish you many blessings as you start this great
work of preparing God's disciples!


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14) Establishing and Growing a children's ministry   

This message is in response to Celeste who wrote about establishing and
growing a children's ministry. If you have her contact information (e-mail
address), I can send her a bunch of resources that are all in attachment
form that includes everything from selecting curriculum to training
volunteers, to choosing a theme for the children's ministry program. Hope
she left an e-mail address somewhere as I feel that she could truly
benefit from this information.
Love in Christ, Sarah in California

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