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SSTN # 24 - February 25, 2003

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--> NEW-LIFE PUPPET patterns 

1) Prayer Ideas
2) The Lord's Prayer   
3) Salvation help   
4) Banner for 3rd/4th grade

--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

5) Blacks in the Bible   
6) Disruptive children saga   
7) Leaders in Training
8) Mother's - Father's Day   

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

9) John 3:16 Valentine?
10) Burnout   
11) Lessons about the disciples
12) Rotation Pros and Cons
13) Banners for 3rd & 4th Grade
14) Child Accepting Christ   
15) Twelve Disciples   

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When these puppets are assembled they turn inside out to change from a
tadpole to a frog, or a caterpillar to a butterfly. They're easy-to-make
and children will learn about becoming new creatures in Christ! Get a free
puppet skit too! In our Curriculum section:


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1) Prayer Ideas

I have found a very helpful puppet play for teaching on the Lord's prayer.
It is a "fun" skit, but at the same time brings out the real meanings
behind the words.

The play is titled "Don't Interrupt me" and can be found in the "Prayer"
section of www.puppetresources.com

Maurice Sweetsur

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2) The Lord's Prayer   

I was on-line last week, and found a really fun version of "The Lord's
Prayer" that was paraphrased in such a way that children could easily
understand it.  I thought it was on your site, since I listed it under
"favorites", but now cannot find it.  Can you direct me to this?
Anne Marie

--from SSTN: you might try the Archives List:
and the sermon's page:

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3) Salvation help   

Sarah,  I agree wholeheartedly with your response to Karla regarding the
little girl whose mother didn't think she was ready to accept Jesus into
her heart.  I just wanted to let Karla know that she, the mother and the
little girl will be in my prayers.  This is a very serious matter and not
to be taken lightly.  The perceptions of a child can follow them through
life, as well as cause them to stray from the truth.  This child could
even lose hope.  Karla is a wonderful teacher to be so concerned.  I hope
she will update us when God has straightened this situation out.  In His
Service, Nancy - New Mexico

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4) Banner for 3rd/4th grade

>I've thought of a banner, perhaps something to do with the
>church year.  I'd like them to be able to use their drawing abilities.

One thing I have seen used, and have used myself.  Say you're studying
Moses.  You get some white butcher paper (inexpensive) and as the lessons
progress, the students draw the lesson(s) on the butcher paper.  It's rolled up and
ready for the next week.  At the end, you have a "study" made banner that
can be hung in the room or the outside hall and the students can see and
remember the lessons they learned each week.

Prayerfully yours,
Linda Rife, Tennessee

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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) Blacks in the Bible   

Simon the Cyrenian who was compelled to carry Jesus' cross is understood
to be black.  I did a quick search on Yahoo with "Simon Cyrenian" and came up
with a number of references.  I did not take time to look at all of them.
Two at the beginning of the list are:



I would suggest you also try a search on Ethiopian Eunich, Moses 2nd wife
(yes, she was dark skinned), and the Shulamite.  I believe that the dark
skin in Song of Solomon refers to the Shulamite laboring in the sun in the
vineyards and not necessarily being African (Song 1:5,6).  I could be
wrong, though.  After all, Solomon certainly did take many wives and concubines
from other countries to strengthen his diplomatic ties.  She is a
Shulamite (What does that mean?)--interesting study.

Hope this is helpful.


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6) Disruptive children saga   

Theresa in South Africa
Could you send me information to download the PDF file on what children
can do at specific ages.
Thanks & God Bless
Valerie McFadden

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7) Leaders in Training

> >Is anyone aware of resources to train teenagers to be leaders in
> >children's ministry?  >>

My daughter went to a 2 week training called "Christian Youth In Action"
(CYIA) put on by Child Evangelism Fellowship. It was an intensive training
for the 1st week on all kinds of things - how to make a Bible story into a
Bible lesson by having an opening, getting in all the Gospel points with
scripture, and an application for the unsaved and also for the saved.
learned how to lead a child to Christ, how to explain songs, teaching
verses, review games, counseling & discipline, and missions.  The 2nd week
they all went out and put all this work by conducting a 5 day club with
children in neighborhoods.  I think every state has a Child Evangelism
Fellowship chapter, and most offer this CYIA training.  It has helped my
daughter tremendously!  She is very confident, and is grounded much more
her faith.  Email me if you would like more info for your state.  I might
able to find it.  We live in Kansas and have a very good one in Newton.  I
also know that CEF has teacher training courses that they can conduct in
your church to train teachers (youth or adult) and it is very worthwhile!
harder@wheatstate.com   Brenda

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8) Mother's - Father's Day   

I made up a poem for Mother's Day a few years ago that you are welcome to
use. It's most appropriate for preschool-third grade. What I did was have
the kids make a card and tape a package of flower seeds to the front and
the poem inside:

These seeds are here for me and you,
And, mommy, here's what we can do:
Together we'll look until we've found
A spot to plant them in the ground.
With rain and sunshine, don't you know,
Our flowers, like our love, will grow...
A beautiful reminder our flowers will be
That I love mommy and she loves me!

Here are some links you might try for Father's Day Activities:


And here are some for Mother's Day:


Hope this helps you! :o)

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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) John 3:16 Valentine

I am trying to find the verse John 3:16 that has the letters in the verse
V A L E N T I N E  encased in a heart . They are highlighted out of the
verse to spell valentine. Do you know where I can find it on the web?
Thank you ,
Sandra Hardy

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10) Burnout   

>>because no one would take the nursery on Wednesday night,  I also
>>somehow got that job.  I feel like every time I go to church I am
>>babysitting children I have expressed this feeling to my Pastor and
>>he tells me to pray that someone else steps forward.

Tell the pastor you have prayed that someone would step up to the plate
and that you have faith that God's going to do that, but not until you step
down. Give him two weeks' notice. A paid position doesn't ask for more
than that (Remember, you may never get away from the nursery if you don't step
away, but you can always change your mind and come back if the situation
gets desperate.)

Also- I have a five month old baby and I am POSITIVE that I would not want
someone to take care of her who didn't want to do so! I'd much rather
someone be honest with me. You can't possibly give the kids what they
deserve if you're weary! There's nothing wrong with saying no. What will
happen if you miss a week (or a month, God forbid) due to circumstances
beyond your control? Believe me, someone will step up to bat and fulfill
their responsibility!

Most of all, PRAY that God will lead you. Make sure that you're doing what
God wants you to do...Maybe you just need a break! Even Jesus took a break
and rested from his work!

I'm praying for you. I definitely know what it's like to be burned out!
I'm praying that God will refresh you and give you a new vision for him. Don't
feel like you have to fill every vacancy that comes up. His will for your
life is simply this: love God with all your heart and do what He tells you
to do. (Not what other people want you to do or make you feel you should

Many Prayers,
Your sister in Christ,

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11) Lessons about the disciples

>>I teach 5th and 6th grade Sunday School Class and would love to
>>introduce each of the 12 disciples and about each of their lives.

I taught about the disciples last year.  I ended up writing my own Sunday
school lessons.  Each week we had a taught about a different disciple.
Someone would dress up as the disciple and come into the class and tell
the kids about their life in the first person.  The kids looked forward to
each week because we never told they who was coming next.  Then for the
last lesson we brought in Jesus to talk to the kids and have a last
supper.  It was great and the kids really love it.  They are still talking
about it.  If you would like more information just send a e-mail to

God Bless,

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12) Rotation Pros and Cons

We have been using the Rotation Method (www.rotation.org) since September
and I love it - as a teacher, a parent and as the writer of the material.

As a teacher I like having a lesson that I can just tweak each week to
better and not have to prepare a whole new lesson each week. I enjoy
with all the age levels and not have to leave certain children once they
move out of your age grouping as before. My understanding of the story we
are studying expands because I have that much more time to dwell on it and
do extra reading on it - a personal bonus. Because we have 4 workshops but
only three class groupings the teachers only teach 3 out of 4 weeks. They
really like that. And because several new people came on board because of
the change I am able to arrange that a teacher take a month or so off
once in a while. This is great for preventing burnout. We have offered new
teachers the option to just come and teach for one or two rotations.
appreciate not having to commit to a whole year or even half a year.

As a parent I see that my children really enjoy going to SS. They look
forward to certain workshops and teachers.

As the writer, well I just enjoy doing the research through the bible,
resources and on the web to put together the monthly lessons. I wouldn't
able to put this much time into each lesson if it had to be done each
I spend between 15 and 20 hours per month putting together 4 workshops
included children's weekly bulletins. I write the lessons over 3 or 4 days
and then just do each bulletin weekly.If you write your own curriculum you
can save a lot on costs. There is a ton available on the web. And there's
also not all that take home "stuff" that comes with a canned curriculum. I
find that it all just ends up on the floor of the van anyways.

On the con side.....not all teacher's are comfortable with teaching all
age groups. Several of our teacher's were a little leery of that, but have
grown in their comfort level. One regular teacher in particular is not
comfortable with the method or the lessons. I am still praying about that.
She is used to "doing her own thing" and that "thing" wasn't anything like
what we are doing now. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Being the only writer of the curriculum I am finding that by this time of
the year I am feeling the pressure. Usually I teach only September through
January. Now I am having to write and teach for the whole year - there
aren't enough teachers. I may be able to take a few months off the
but the writing must go on. It does get easier and easier as I get more
familiar with things, though, and if we decide to continue next year I
plan to write more in the summer when I have more time available.

All in all, I highly recommend this method. It might just be the breath of
fresh air that your teachers (and students) need.

Check out the website.

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13) Banners for 3rd & 4th Grade

We made a huge banner that says "GOD & ME IN 2003!  We had an adult write
in bold letters the banner and 2-3 kids colored and designed the inside of
each letter or number.  The kids did such an incredible job and it was sooo
colorful.  Now it hangs nicely in the church and the kids tell people, "I
colored the "M"" etc. Jill

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14) Child Accepting Christ   

>I'm afraid that maybe she thinks I lied to her about being a Christian
>she won't listen to the Bible lessons that are being taught in class.
>What do I do?

First let me affirm you in your passion for teaching.  I could tell from
your letter that you have a heart to teach children.  Anyone who starts a
class under the table just because the kids like to be there I commend
you.  (Most people would argue with the children to get them out from
under the table and waste most of their class time doing so.)  You did
nothing wrong in presenting the gospel to this age of children.  Some
people think that a child this old is not prepared to make a decision to
follow Christ, but I disagree.  I work with children preschool through 6th
grade.  Sometimes children as young as kindergarten or 1st grade make a
commitment to follow Christ and understand it.  I wonder if this mother
thinks her daughter is too young to make a decision?  As Sarah said if
this child truly made a decision her life will show Christ in it.  Right
now she is confused about understanding Christ with information from you
and her mother.  Please talk to your Pastor about this.  Let them help you
and this child's mother nurture this young Christian.

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15) Twelve Disciples   

Here is a good link:

Also, I found an idea to teach kids the names of the disciples
used it with great success for grades 1 - 6. First, teach the children the
following pattern:


Next, put the names with the pattern:

Simon, Simon Peter
Thomas, Thaddeus
James, James, Judas, John
Bartholomew, Matthew, Andrew, Philip

The kids couldn't believe they had learned the names so quickly!


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