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SSTN # 19 - February 14, 2003

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--> Hearts Pencil Holder

1) HELP ME!!! Burned Out
2) Western/Frontier VBS 2003   
3) Rotation Pros and Cons
4) Help Me - Burned Out

--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

5) HELP ME!!! Burned Out
6) Explaining Dinosaurs
7) Adult bulletin board idea  
8) Teaching about dinosaurs   

--> W.W.J.S.? Gospel Catchers

9) Burned Out
10) Burned Out
11) Explaining Dinosaurs   
12) Explaining Dinosaurs   

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--> Hearts Pencil Holder

Check out the Hearts Pencil Holder idea in the crafts section at:


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1) HELP ME!!! Burned Out

Dear Burned-out,
I, too, am 45 and took over the preschool/toddler ministry because of a
of leaders. I, too, have been driven crazy by these young, exuberant
children. Unlike you, through prayer, I have found that God has called me
this ministry and this is absolutely where I am supposed to be, regardless
of where I what I would choose for myself.
I would encourage you to pray for God's wisdom and direction, as it is
you are not meant to stay where you are currently serving. Sometimes the
business of church gets in the way of true calling and maybe this is more
about others in your church, than you. My belief is that you should follow
your calling, once you determine what that is. Hopefully, this will
encourage others to step forward and become responsibile for seving where
needed. I'll be praying for you!

In Christ's love,

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2) Western/Frontier VBS 2003   

My daughter attended this them Bible school a couple of years ago.
Loved it!!!

Covered wagons made out of boxes were put in doorways for entrances.
Golden nuggets (gold painted rocks) used for incentives to be redeemed
Straw bales outside for sitting on during game time or any outside times.
Bandanas with names written on them worn as kerchiefs for name tags.

Sheila from NE

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3) Rotation Pros and Cons

This is in response to "Be-bop Grace"(SSTN#13) and her questions about the
rotation workshop.
We are in our second year of rotation and I am one of the curriculum
writers.  Most people-parents and children-love this program far more than
what we were doing before.  The pros I have seen and heard are:
1.  The children look forward to sunday school much more than before
2.  There are 4-5 weeks of repetition of the same story, therefore they
hearing and hopefully learning it better.
3.  There are now several styles, mainly hands-on, that the kids are
learning in, therefore we should be able to reach each child in their own
4.  You don't need teachers for the whole year anymore, just for one
rotation, or more if they desire.  Therefore, teachers are easier to
5.  There is alot of variety for teachers and children.
6.  It's so much easier for teachers to teach since the curriculum writers
write the lesson plans and get the materials.
7.  It's just alot more exciting and fun than it ever was!

1.  Make sure you have a coordinator(Hopefully a paid one!), otherwise
of work can fall on a few shoulders.
2.  Getting "new blood" to step forward.  They need to see how much easier
it is to teach now.

That's about it.  We are still working out some kinks, especially as our
coordinator left us unexpectedly right before our second year began.   I
would just suggest that you check out all the available websites for
guidelines and inspiration (by doing a search) before you begin.  I would
also suggest you make the rooms as exciting and thematic as possible.  For
example, my room is "Pharoah's Pflicks", a movie room.  We have movie
posters and playbills on the walls of anything that I could find.  We also
have real movie reels all over.  Hanging from the ceiling we have popcorn
boxes and lengths of film. We have a popcorn machine that we use each
and bean bag seats to sit on.  We also were fortunate to have a big screen
TV (60inches!) donated this year by one of our members.  The kids get the
whole experience, and they love it!
Hope this helps, and good luck!!

Melissa at Vernon Lutheran Church in Mukwonago, WI

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4) Help Me - Burned Out

I have been in Children's Ministry for the past 30 + years, I am our
local Children's Director and District Children's Director.   My heart
went out to you and knew just where you were coming come.  I love
Children's Ministry and love the children and  I could never stand to see
a need for a children's class or ministry and not step in and help if I
could.  I would always say yes, I would do it.  But I have been learning,
that there are times I have to say No and it is OK!  The thing I found
out that, if I always filled the need then No One else would step in and
volunteer.  If you are really feeling like you need to back away from the
Nursery on Wed. night, then do it!  It takes a lot of courage, but if
there is no Nursery for a few Wed. nights and there is a need, someone
will step up to the plate.  But as long as you fill that need, no one
else will volunteer, maybe the young mother's of the nursery babies could
takes turns.  If they all have positions, some churches do hire someone
to do the Nursery at the times they can't get someone to fill that
position.    Tell your pastor or children's director when your last night
will be and stick with it.  Don't feel guilty, let God lead you and stick
to the ministry you feel like God is calling you to do.  My husband is a
pastor, so I know your pastor  will appreciate your being honest.  And if
he will announce "there will not be a Wed. Nursery until we have someone
to fill that position,"  it won't be long and someone will step forward
to fill the position.   If not then that is a ministry that would not be
offered by your church. Try it, it works!  I'll be praying for you.

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Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

Ten Egg-shaped cards that tell the Easter Story - When the cards
are cut, colored and assembled, players can play Easter Egg Scramble and
learn the Easter Story! Reproducible so your whole class can make a set!

In the Curriculum section: 

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5) HELP ME!!! Burned Out

>Please Help Me, I attend a very small country church. I have been
>in teaching youth and children for the past 26 years.  I love my Lord

I also belong to a country church and we seem to have the same problem
with the nursery. Only 1 or 2 people would keep it faithfully.  We ended
up not having anyone for it. Now the mothers are teaching their children
to sit quietly in church and taking them out of church just when they are
fussy.  If you feel that you are needing some time to hear the preaching
by all means tell your pastor.  Maybe with your stepping down the mothers
of the children will see just what an important job a nursery worker
is..they may even organize among themselves to keep the nursery. By all
means, get some time for yourself to hear the word of God preached.  The
reason we go to church is to praise the Lord and to learn form His word.
May the Lord bless you many times over for the work you have done.
Terri in SC

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6) Explaining Dinosaurs

I encourage you to research this either through reliable resources on the
Internet or organizations that specialize in creation research.  There's
much Biblically based information available about this.  After I did
research so I could teach this in Children's Church, I found there is no
conflict between the Bible story of creation and
the existence of dinosaurs.  The creatures described in the Bible in
chapters 40 and 41 in the book of Job are what we call dinosaurs and
dragons.  The term "dinosaur" didn't even exist until the 1800's.

The best resource I've found for teaching about dinosaurs is information
the website:  www.answersingenesis.org.  They also have a wonderful book
video that I've used to teach this in Children's Church.  It's called "D
for Dinosaurs".

Dinosaur tracks have been found in a riverbed alongside human footprints.
This disputes what’s being taught that dinosaurs existed before man.  It’s
also very likely that dinosaurs were on Noah’s ark.  You can find out more
about all this by doing some research.  There
are several good resources on the web.

I hope this helps.  It sure helped me when I needed the info to teach the
children at my church.  It really opened my eyes to how we've been
by the world when it comes to dinosaurs and, now that I've learned this
information, there are no longer any missing pieces to the puzzle
dinosaurs and creation.

God bless,

Cathy Bodell,
Benzie Area Church of Christ
Frankfort, Michigan

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7) Adult bulletin board idea       

My husband (60) has always claimed Hebrews 13:8 as his favorite verse -
"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." That would be
a great theme for an adult bulletin board project. By using old photos of
the adult congregation in their baby, youth and teenage years and choosing
appropriate scriptures to denote each time era, you would not only be
showing the provisions of Christ throughout our lives, but also bring
humor and interest among the church family as well. You could also add and
"older person's section - using members grandparents, great-grands etc.

Use newspaper print to cover the bulletin board. Mount the photos on brown
or black construction (depending on the age of the photos) - and more
colorful mounting as the photos seem more up to date. Write out (or
computer print) the scriptures and their reference and also mount them on
construction paper, displaying them above the appropriate section of
photos. For example,  Proverbs 22:6 comes to mind for the "baby years" -
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not
depart from it."

Another thought is to number the photos in the display. If you should have
a fellowship and the display is in the area, have a paper ready - listing
the categories of photos (baby, youth, teen and adult) for those
attending. Have them guess who the babies, youth and teens are - if only
thegrandparent section is used - have people guess who the grandparents
(etc) in the photos belong to.

You know, this sounds like a fun project --- I think I will suggest it for
our church soon! Thanks SSTN, for stimulating my thoughts in this

Joyfully Serving HIM,
Emmalea Butler
Trafalgar, IN

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8) Teaching about dinosaurs   

Teaching about dinosaurs can be a very touchy subject since there are
several different viewpoints held by Chrisitians.  I'm not sure what your
kids are asking about dinosaurs, but, to be sure, we know that they did
exist at some point in time.  Usually when I come upon a controversial
subject like this, I tell the kids all the different viewpoints that
different Christian people hold.  For example, for me, it's not difficult
to reconcile because I am an "old earth creationist".  But i would also
include the "young earth creationist" viewpoint.

I have gotten lots of good info from a ministry entitled"Reasons to
Believe", with Dr. Hugh Ross.    I know they have a website.  They also
have  a cool comic book for kids to explain things like creation, UFO's,
evolution, ( why evolution can't be true) etc.. from a Christian
physicists viewpoint.  I especially like it because they are "old earth"
scientists, so explaining dinosaurs doesn't pose a problem for them, but
they also hold to the biblical view of creation.  They also deal with the
subject of "cave men" from a Chrisitian perspective.  Again, we know they
existed well before Adam and Eve, so we need to be prepared with a
Christian response.  Their motto is that Christianity and science do not
have to conflict.  It's quite fascinating!

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W.W.J.S.? Gospel Catchers

There's something much worse than cooties...it's called sin!  Now kids can
make Gospel Catchers rather than Cootie Catchers! A fun and innovative way
for kids to learn to share their faith with their friends!  Includes 4
Gospel Catcher patterns to make: the Colors of Christ (Gospel Colors), the
Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the Promises of God. Follow this
link to learn more:


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9) Burned Out

Hello, I hear your frustration regarding the lack of children workers in
your small church.  We are a small church of approx. 100 people on a full
Sunday and we have only two kids classes--Preschool for 0-5 and then Elem.
for 6-10 years olds.  I am in charge of the Children's Ministry and what I
decided to do was first pray for God to bring the people to be involved in
this vital part of any church. I told the congregation that the pastor and
were praying for God to speak to the hearts of His people that He wanted
to serve Him in this area.  Then I set up an info meeting after church to explain the
curriculum-=-Group Publishing's Hands On Curriculum--which is very user friendly and not too spendy. Also
I set up a rotation of two teachers per class every month so burn out was
not an issue.  The two teachers are critical because it make the load easier
and the safety issue is unfortunately  one that cannot be ignored.
The rotation is appreciated by all and the focus in  that this is a
ministry to our kids and not babysitting!
Dear ones like you that take on and fill in the gaps are precious
but your needs are not being met and I think if you communicate to your
pastor and to the congregation as a whole the need to fill in this
area, things may get better. But Prayer is the beginning and communication
of the need.

I hope this helps!
In Christ's service,
Julie  in Vancouver, WA

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10) Burned Out

Dear 'burned out',
I can sympathize with your feelings.  I have been in the same situation
for almost as long as you have.  However God has led me to several
solutions that have helped.  First, remember that as long as you do it, it
is possible that no-one else will.  As was indicated to me, 'they do not
feel they have the gift of teaching'.  Number two, when I was totally
blessed with my first grandchild this year, I needed some personal time to
help out and be with her.  I was able, with the Lords leading, to arrange
someone else to teach the class one Wed. night per month - the lesson
could be of their own choosing or simply a 'book' to be read (childrens
Bible Story).  Giving of your time is certainly sacrificial, but if it is
not with a cheerful heart, perhaps you need a leave of absence.  It is
hard to be happy to be there all the time if you are exhausted. Arranging
someone to 'help' you when you are in the classroom is also a way to tr!
ain someone...who may find a new calling.
God Bless you

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11) Explaining Dinosaurs   

John N. Clayton, a converted atheist, has a book entitled Dinosaurs-One of
God's More Interesting and Useful Creations. He has been to our church
several times presenting his message of how science supports God and His
creation. He has several other books for children about creation and mails
out a little journal entitled "Does God Exist?". Check it out at
www.doesgodexist.org .

Eric Manlove
Central Church of Christ
Wichita, KS

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12) Explaining Dinosaurs   

I began to look for answers about dinosaurs when my son, who attends a
Christian school, came home with books from the school library that said
things like, "Millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth..."
best resource I found was a Christian organization called Answers in
Genesis. The web site is answersingenesis.org. Some books I found are
Dinosaurs of Eden, Dinosaurs by Design and many others. They may even be
available in Sarah's bookstore. Remember we don't have to prove things in
order to believe them; however, there is much proof available to
substantiate what we already know simply because the Bible says so!

--from SSTN: thank you, yes you can find them in the Bookstore. Just type
the titles into the search box to find them:
ysic, sarah <><

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