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SSTN # 120 - November 21, 2003

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--> Christ-filled Snowflake Ornaments

1) Ant Skit
2) Discipline
3) Discipline 6th-8th graders   
4) Jesus Birthday Party?

--> Christmas FunPak...Order now for the holidays!

5) Story of the Sacrifice of Isaac
6) Discipline   
7) Teaching Sacrifice of Isaac   
8) Good Stewards / Teens   

--> Super Heroes of the Bible

9) Fruit of the Spirit
10) Good Stewards
11) Isaac sacrifice and child abuse
12) Fruit of the Spirit
13) Thwarted Festival   
14) Fall Festivals during Halloween?

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--> Christ-filled Snowflake Ornaments

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


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1) Ant Skit

I wrote a skit for my kids to do to lead into our lesson this week about
Christ, the Living Word, how God came and was made manifest to show us
what He is like.

If you can use it, you are welcome to it.
In Christ,
Helen Setser

<--------- Ant Skit ------------->

Bob--What are you looking at down there, Bill?

Bill--Huh?  Oh!  I was just looking at those cute little ants running


Bill--Well, I love ants!  They are always busy and sometimes they try to
carry loads bigger than they are.  Look!  See that one right there?  He is
trying to get over that big twig and he can't find his way over it or
around it. I'll just move it for him.
(reaches down and acts like he is moving twig)

Bob--I wonder what that one over there is carrying?

Bill--Boy, it's bigger than he is.  It must be something he found to
eat.  Oh!  I have a cookie.  I am going to give him some
crumbs.  Bet he'll like that. (Pretends to drop crumbs)

Bob--Look at him eat!  He really likes that!

Bill--Yeah. I wish there was some way I could tell him how much
I like him.  I could help him sometimes when he can't carry
his load himself.

Bob--Um-m. I can't think of any way to tell an ant you care about

Bill--I guess not.  If I could become a tiny ant like he is, I could
tell him, but I can't.

-- Explain how God came down and became one of us so He could
tell us how much he loves and cares for us. (John 1:1-2, 14)

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2) Discipline

>we have the worst discipline problem with our 6th - 8th graders.  They
>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

What we do with our teenagers is involve them in teaching of the older
children. They are actually the helpers for the younger age groups which
really keeps them busy and the younger kids really enjoy learning from the
older kids - the older kids really enjoy helping with the younger kids.
Also, at the beginning of the year each of the kids also were required to
sign with their parents a covenant (promise) which outlined the
consequences of their behaivor. If you would like information on this - I
would be happy to provide it.

In Christ

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3) Discipline 6th-8th graders   

This message is in response to O.G. concerning discipline. The middle
school age group is a trying age to be a part of. They think they are too
old for authority, but we all know they are too young to live without it.
Creating lessons that appeal to them with graphics, relationship to real
life activities, and small group settings will make the class appeal to
them more, so will an informal setting with a non-threatening authority
figure who will not only be in charge, but also serve as a friend to them.
Students in this age-group have been around a school setting (whether
Sunday School or otherwise) long enough to know what basic behavior is
expected of them, and what is unnacceptable. Regardless, they should be
reminded of this, with their parents present, and you may even want to
consider handing out a behavior contract (like almost every school does)
for them to sign. When approaching the issue of behavior, it should be
made clear that you are not just being bossy, but that guidelines are in
their own interest to ensure their health, safety, and a good time. I
think that the parents should be told, because there may be problems in
some of the homes that you are unaware of, or the students may be having
adjustment issues with the teacher(s) of their ministry. If this is the
case, you should really pray on the whole issue and get Gods opinion on
the matter. It may simply be a matter of the wrong teacher serving in the
middle school ministry. The other thing that you mentioned about teachers
who are reluctant to teach really concerns me a great deal. No one who is
reluctant to teach should be in a children's ministry. Children can sense
relunctancy and as a result, they will feel uneasy, but also feel like
they can get away with anything, because all the teacher in the room wants
is for the clock to hit the time-to-go hour. Praying on the whole issue
sounds like a really good idea. Pray that God would give you the wisdom to
make staffing changes where neccessary, and pray that He would reveal to
you who should be on the staff, and who that is currently on the staff
could better serve Him elsewhere. My heart is really in the children's
ministry, and I know from past experience how much a reluctant person in
the ministry who does not want to be there really drains those who love
serving the Lord through the children. Love in Christ, Sarah in California

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4) Jesus Birthday Party?

Thank you for all your wonderful help.  We are growing a country church
and Sunday School.  This we we are planning a Happy Birthday Jesus Party.
We plan to have those in the Sunday School bring gifts of canned goods for
the local food bank and a small gift for the children that are in the
orphanage that our missions supports.  We are using the theme
of the wise men. Do you have any suggestions for games for adult through
children aged 2 years?  And party favors?   Thanks for you help.   Gloria
in Arizona

--from SSTN: check out the Christmas Games in the Bible Games section at:

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--> Christmas FunPak!

Great for gift-giving or Christmas crafting fun. Click on the "Christmas
FunPak" link in the "Christmas and Advent" section at:


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5) Story of the Sacrifice of Isaac

I have been interested in this discussion because we taught the story of
Abraham this fall in our Elementary SS.  We do workshop rotation, and
write our own lessons.  We did not teach the Sacrifice of Issac.  This was
a topic of discussion in our lesson writing meeting.  We all felt that,
while as adults, we know the story
points to the sacrifice of Jesus, that elementary age children are too
young to understand this concept.  It is not until about 5th grade that
children begin to think is abstract terms, for some children it is even
later.  I think this is a valuable story to teach, but to an older
audience - junior high and older.  Just wanted to add my 2 cents!

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6) Discipline   

God Bless,
I had the exact same problem i stopped many class activities right in the
middle and i would pray putting my hands over them and i would rebuke
and all spirit that was attacking them at that moment, and after a few
weeks things got back to nomal. Praying and rebuking is very important, it
is our tool.

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7) Teaching Sacrifice of Isaac

In response to not teaching the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac to
children . . .

The thought of parental abuse had never crossed my mind; I think that's a
little far-fetched.  Our class had that exact lesson a few weeks ago (3rd
and 4th graders).  The points stressed in the lesson were (1) faith - God
ALWAYS keeps his promises.  And he works in his own mysterious ways to
keep his promises.  We may not see, at the time, what he is trying to do,
but we must have faith in Him.
(2) sacrifice - are we willing to sacrifice everything we have for God?
He sacrificed his own son for us - he LOVED us (even though sinful), and
GAVE us his only son (even while sinful) to SAVE us!!  How great and
wonderful, indeed!  I asked each student in my class to bring something
special with them to Sunday school on that Sunday to share with the class.
They had fun doing that.  But then I told them I wanted them to give me
their items that they brought with them.  They reluctantly did so.  I told
them I would be keeping them for a week - which I didn't actually do, I
just wanted to see their reaction.  We did all this BEFORE the story of
Abraham and Isaac.  After the story, they realized that giving up their
most prized possession (for only a week) wasn't that big of a deal
compared to what Abraham was willing to give up for God.

I don't believe any Bible story should be "left out" of teaching to any
age group.  Each child/adult will get out of a story whatever they can
comprehend at their age.  If they have questions, they should be able to
ask them.  (I've never had a child ask about parental abuse in relation to
this story.) What else would you eliminate from teaching?  Maybe the
calling of the disciples, because leaving their families was abandonment?
Or what about the virgin Mary - becoming pregnant BEFORE she was married?!
Don't try to read into the Bible something that is not there.  Instead,
pray, and study the Bible even more, especially those stories your church
doesn't feel are "appropriate".  God gave us the good news in the Holy
Bible for everyone to read, learn, and benefit from, beginning to end.
Don't try to take it upon yourselves to make a determination of which
stories should be told and which should not.  You and your congregation
are in my thoughts and prayers.


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8) Good Stewards / Teens   

We gave our youth a challeng. We put $5.00 into the hands of our teens
with the teaching of the talents. The teens then were to use this $5.00 as
a seed to grow with their talents. They could combine their seeds to do a
large project or try something on their own. They were given two weeks.
The teens came up with all kinds of great things. Ideas they had
were...making ornaments, making stained glass suncatchers, odd jobs for
elderly in the church/neighborhood, foot massages, and face painting. We
had a group get together and put on a dinner and a play. All in all it was
a great experience. We had a special service for the return of the seed.
Each announced how they increased their seed and how it felt to them. This
is a very creative and contructive assignment for the youth and shows they
have talents to put to use they might have never otherwise uncovered!

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--> Super Heroes of the Bible

"Super Heroes of the Bible" is a special midweek program which examines
the lives of some famous and not-so-famous people who had willing hearts
to obey God. And by obeying him, they were used in miraculous and powerful
ways to help change the course of human history. It is the goal of this
series to build FAITH, COURAGE, and OBEDIENCE in the lives of children,
and to change the world for Jesus Christ.

To learn more, go to this page:

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9) 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

I have been teaching on the Fruit of the Spirit for several weeks now.
There are tons of web sites on the internet that are for younger children,
but I have found that Group Publishing's curriculum book called "Kid's
Travel Guide to the Fruit of the Spirit" is really quite good. If you want
to ask specifics you can e-mail me privately.

Lydia in Victoria, BC

--from SSTN: find it in our bookstore by typing the title into the search
box: http://www.christiancrafters.com/bookstore.html 
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10) 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.

Crown Financial Ministries has an excellent study for teens called
They also have excellent studies for children and for adults.
Wichita KS

--from SSTN: type the title into the bookstore search box to locate it:

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11) Isaac sacrifice and child abuse

>It is my understanding that some Jewish sources calculate Isaac's age as
>close to 33 years old. I'm sorry, but I cannot find my source on this
>but it may be worth looking into.

Also the story of Abraham and Isaac can show how Isaac is a "type" of
Christ!  Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice (the duty of a priest)
and Jesus (our Great High Priest, and yet our sacrifice) carried his
Abraham determined to follow God and sacrifice Isaac three days before God
brought Isaac alive again in Abraham's mind.  Jesus died and three days
later was alive again.  Abraham was speaking of the future when Isaac
about the animal to be sacrificed, and Abraham replied "God will provide
himself a lamb"!  The substitutionary ram was caught by his head in the
thorn bush.  Jesus wore a crown of thorns on his head.  Abraham's attempt
to sacrifice Isaac took place on the very place (or close to)  where Jesus

Go ahead and teach the lesson, and don't apologize.  God bless!

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12) 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

Go to MSSS crafts and you will find a chart with the Fruits of the Spirit
listed with a Bible story to go with each one.
In His Service,Donna in Arkansas

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13) Thwarted Festival   

We did something similar at our church and it was a huge success.  We
promoted it as an "outreach" ministry - trying to bring in people from
outside our congregation.  Obviously our congregation came but we also
delivered flyers to local neighborhoods to try and bring in new people.
Our marquee also told the public that it was going on, was free to the
public, all were invited, etc.  This was our second year.  Last year we
had over 300 attendees; this year we had over 400.  Remember Jesus wants
us to reach out to those less fortunate and he wants us to care for the
children and each other.  We are called by God to REACH OUT and this is a
wonderful way to do it.

Feel free to email me at  rmichalochick@vbumc.org
if you want additional information.  God bless you in your efforts.

Virginia Beach United Methodist Church
Virginia Beach, VA

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14) Fall Festivals during Halloween?

I have been reading all the comments about the Halloween alternative
festival. While I am totally in favor of fall festivals, why do they have
to be on Halloween? Why do we feel we simply must have a "Christian
alternative" to this wicked and evil celebration? Wouldn't it be best to
teach our kids the dangers of Satanism and witchcraft, rather than just
try to "clean it up"?

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