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SSTN # 22 - February 21, 2003

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--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

1) Help me-burned out
2) Rotation pros and cons
3) Upbeat children's songs
4) Parent's night

--> Custom Stencil Design

5) Burned Out   
6) Rotation Sunday School   
7) Help Me! I'm Burned Out
8) Parent's Night

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

9) Incentive rewards?
10) Pray before war begins
11) Father's and Mother's Day ideas
12) A Heartfelt Thanks

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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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1) Help me-burned out   

I really dont think that age has anything to do with getting "burned out"
in relation to helping at church.  I also come from a small church - we
maybe have 60 people if we're lucky on Sunday morning.  About three years
ago I took the pre-school director position because the person that was
doing it, that was getting paid to do it, decided that she didn't like
working with kids any longer (she is younger than me and had no children
of her own, I had two).  Because I had one in that age and another that
would be shortly I didn't want this position to be left open, and agreed
to take it on.  My husband and myself then during this three year period
were asked to lead or participate in several other organizations such as
youth group (for the older kids), adult ministries, Sunday school classes,
church programs or presentations, and so forth....needless to say, we
agreed to all due to the fact that there was just no one else that was
interested in putting forth their time for any!
of these needs.  It seemed as though the two of us, along with two other
young couples, were heading up almost every ministry and program that the
church offered, with little or no assistance from the other members.
Needless to say, one of the couples left the church about a year ago....we
are in the process of looking for a new place of worship for our family,
which now consists of three children rather than two, and the other couple
is still serving the church to their full extent, but recently mentioned
moving out of state.
Is it that we dont want to serve - no....is it that we dont feel that we
should serve - no!  We want to and feel that all members of church should
serve in some way...its simply this - especially when it comes to small
churches, there are so many people that DO NOT want to dedicate their time
and energy on these ministries and programs that the ones that do get
asked to do EVERYTHING.  They soon begin to feel that church is a second
job rather than a plce to worship and socialize with other Christians..and
they get BURNED OUT.  The elders of the church and the pastors can be
aware of this - but what are they to do? All they can do is wait for
another member to agree to take over..and until that happens they simply
have to rely on the existing members to carry the load.  I have put out
flyers asking for help, I have put announcements in the bulletins, I have
had special pre-school programs and events trying to recruit help - it
just doesnt work.
I have no answer for help when dealing with getting burned out as a member
that is involved in so many different parts of the church...I would love
for someone to give me one as well.  We just now know that where ever we
end up - we will be focusing on limiting our involvment so that this does
not happen again...and with three young children and us both working full
time jobs - limited means one ministry for each of us to focus our time
and energy on rather than six, seven or eight for us to try to fit into
our own schedules.
It may sound bad....and I'm sure that there are those that will say that
God wants us to help in all areas that are needed - but if trying to  help
in these areas is pushing us away from the Lord and our church rather than
helping to bring us or others closer - I would rather focus on what we can
give our time to while allowing ourselves time to enjoy our own worship as

--from SSTN: even big churches have this problem. ;o(

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2) Rotation pros and cons   

We have seven teachers for our pre-school sunday school class.  we each
teach one month at a time with a youth (13 and above) serving as our
assistants (they also do it monthly).  This has worked in our church for
several years now....the trick is having enough people interested so that
the teachers are not scheduled every three months or so - right now we
have a nice seven month break between each of our months.

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3) Upbeat children's songs

we use a cd from a VBS theme that we did a few years ago "Jesus to the
Rescue".  the songs are fun and the kids and teachers love to sing and
dance to them!  my kids have favorites that they will request to hear in

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4) Parent's night   

>Thinking about having a Parent's Night for our Kids Club

We recently had a parent night fr our midweek children's group, and like
you stated alot of the parents do not come out to church. We did a 1 1/2
hour, where the children performed a couple of their favorite songs( with
actions, of course), Then we had our pastor do a short devotional. After
this we proceeded to do a craft, something that the parent could help
with, and hopefully keep,( ours was at Christmas, and we made a candle
holder with 1/2 of a styrofoam ball, beads and pins), but there are lots
of great craft ideas on the internet, for whatever the occasion. Then we
had a lunch with sandwiches, cookies and  a big  cake. Tea and coffee for
the parents.It was a big success.All the parents comented on how much they
enjoyed the evening. It doesn't need to be fancy or expensive. The most
important thing is making everyone feel welcome, Have the leaders and
helpers in your group introduce themselves to parents as they mingle,
during the lunch.
hope you have a great evening.
In Christs Love.
Tammy White

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Custom Stencil Design - by Sarah Keith

Allow me to design a custom stencil to decorate your home, church, or
business. To learn more, go to the following web address:


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5) Burned Out   

My heart goes out to you!  At one time I was so
over-committed that I was at the church twice on
Sunday and all but one night all week!  I want to
compliment you on your prayer being for God to change
your heart.  You are certainly starting in the right

I was burned out and ready to quit everything,
including regular services.  I wanted to move to a
town where no one knew my name!  God really ministered
to me and let me know that it was okay to give up some
things.  Not only did I need a break, time to learn
and grow myself and fellowship with other Christians;
I truly believe that I was occupying someone else's
place in ministry and thereby "robbing" them of the
blessings of service.  God also revealed to me a
personal lack of faith that He could provide people to
fill those positions, and a pride issue, after-all,
someone else might do it, but not as well as me! (so I
thought in my deepest secret thoughts.  And I kind of
enjoyed the martyrdom.  I was really serving from the
wrong motivation, to say the least!)

So, I started by looking at my spiritual gifts, my
God-given ministry desires, my talents and abilities.
Then I prioritized, sort of in reverse.  I asked
myself "If I had to give up just one, what would it
be?"  Then I went to that ministry leader and gave
them a time-frame.  I continued until I only had one
ministry obligation and attendance at services and
events.  God has really taught me to focus, and the
phrase "do one thing, do it well".  I have moved into
2 ministries now, but I am very careful not to
over-commit and to have one as my primary ministry.

It's not easy, specially in your case where your
pastor wants you to find your own replacement.
Continue to pray for God's direction and that He will
bring a solution.  If you feel peace and that it is in
line with Biblical submission to your pastor, I would
go to him and restate your desires and tell him you
are willing to stay until X date, and that you will be
praying that a replacement will be in place by then,
but you will not be able to stay past then.

If you want to talk to me, you can e-mail me directly
at noelgiger@yahoo.com.  I'll be praying that you find
refreshment and your best place in the service of our

Noel Giger
Education Director
Christian Center Church
Farmers Branch, TX

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6) Rotation Sunday School   

BeBop was asking about the rotation model of Sunday School.  We have used
it for several years and it works great.  It is a lot of work and takes a
lot of dedicated helpers.  Our Children's Education ministers have shared
our strategies at different conferences.  We break ours into preschool and
elementary.  I work with preschool and commit to the entire year, as do
the shepherds.  Elementary rotation teachers commit to the unit, usually 3-5
weeks. Elementary shepherds commit to the school year.  The rotation
model, typically, allows children to learn the message in ways that connect with
their learning style.

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7) Help Me! I'm Burned Out   

I felt compelled to respond to you regarding being burned out.  It is no
surprise that you are because it does not sound like you are being
spiritually fed.  Have you ever received any formal congregational
recognition?  My suggestion is to let your Pastor know you are taking a
sabbatical from teaching to reignite your fire for sharing with the
children.  While it may sound drastic it will open up the door for others
who may be intimidated by your length of teaching/experience and will
light a fire under those who have taken your talent and commitment for
granted.  Even Christians become apathetic to those who are always there
to serve.  You are in my prayers-I have been where you are and found that
once I "left" to nourish myself, those who needed their own volunteer
commitment level increased had to step forward.  And those who felt unable
to co! ntribute for whatever self esteem issue blossomed.  All this was
through prayer and action-I pray this for you.  A Sister in Ohio

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8) Parent's Night

For Christmas, our children put on a program where they sang for our
church. My parents, who do not attend church, came to see their
grandchildren sing. Maybe you could have the kids do a skit or sing some
songs, something light hearted that the parents could watch their children

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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) Incentive rewards?

I teach Children's Church K-6 on Sunday mornings.  Attendance is around 20
each Sunday.  I would welcome any advice on how to use incentives in my
classroom.  I have  the Christian trinkets on hand, but am not sure how
easy or difficult they should be to attain.  Should the children be
rewarded when they answer correctly, on one Sunday a month, every Sunday?
How should they be used?If a child wins a lesson review game, or a team
wins should there be a reward for the winners?  If not, what should I say
is the goal?  Learning of course is the goal, but to children, how
exciting should I make it?  I don't want the kids to be dependent on
always receiving a reward.
  Also how do I address fairness regarding rewards?  Is there such a
thing?  How do I handle crying(1st grader) when didn't get a reward?

Thank you!
In His Service,
Joyce Moldenhauer

--from SSTN: check the Archives List too. There have been many postings
regarding "Rewards" and "Incentives":
ysic, sarah <><

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10) Pray before war begins

A torch has been lit today to be passed along to your e-mail
friends...asking them to pass it along....and along....and along.  We can
do something about the threat of war; both in Iraq and with terrorists.
In the Old Testament, God's armies were always led by the priests.  When
the waters parted in the Jordan, it was the priests' feet which first hit
the turbulent river.  In the New  Testament, Christians are also referred
to as priests...all Christians.  We must, therefore, go in first and PRAY.

Pray for two things: (1) that the enemy leaders become confused,
disoriented, and distrustful of each other; that their entire system of
attack falls apart, and (2) that in God's wildest ways, these enemies
would become aware of His deep love for them and the war Jesus has already
fought for them, personally, on the cross.
God had Gideon reduce his army from 32,000 to 300 men.  He then equipped
them with nothing but trumpets, pitchers, and torches.  What an odd
combination to fight off well-armed soldiers.  When Gideon gave the
command, the Bible says the enemy fled crying and turned on each
other...all because God messed with enemy plans.

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11) Father's and Mother's Day ideas

I used a poloroid camera and took pictures of the kids and we made
popsicle stick frames to decorate for Father's Day. For Mother's Day we
traced our hands and cut them out and glued them to a folded piece of
paper then we cut out paper flowers to make a bouquet to hold  to make
"Mom" a card. The kids really liked it. You can add scripture verses
easily in the card and on the frame you can just write the book,chapter
and verse. Hope this helps.

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12) A Heartfelt Thanks

Please thank everyone that has given me ideas for my sunday school class,
you have no idea how wonderful it makes me feel to know I have help from
people I don't know in person but feel I do in hearts.  Thanks again In
Jesus Love Myrtle

--from SSTN: Thank you. I think everyone seconds that emotion! ;o))
ysic, sarah <><

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