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SSTN # 28 - March 3, 2003

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--> Buggie For Jesus - VBS or Midweek Fun

1) World Prayer Team   03-03-03
2) Security Procedures?
3) Confused...what to do?
4) Burned Out

--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

5) Burned Out
6) Fruit of the Spirit?
7) Serenity Bracelet?
8) New Techniques for Memorization?


9) Stations of the Cross for Kids?   
10) Dead sea scrolls
11) Burned Out
12) Rotation Pros and Cons

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Buggie For Jesus - I'm A BEE-liever!

Reproducible buggie crafts, games, lessons, and yummy devotions
to coordinate with your summertime VBS programs, or midweek classes.

In the Curriculum section: 

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1) World Prayer Team   03-03-03

The World Prayer Team calls on all Christian churches and individuals to
set aside at least 3 minutes to pray at 3:33 PM in their time zone on
PRAYER FOCUS: Pray that the armies of heaven will push back the powers of
darkness in the Middle East. Pray that Saddam Hussein will leave the
country before war is required to remove him from power. Pray that a
spiritual shield will contain hostilities within the Iraqi borders (if war
cannot be avoided), such that it doesn't spill over to the entire Islamic
world. Pray that weapons of mass destruction, if they are deployed on any
side of the battle, will be powerless. Pray that this date, rather than
being a focal point of darkness, will be overwhelmed by the Light of God
through the worldwide prayers of His people.  www.worldprayerteam.org

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2) Security Procedures?

I would like to ask others what sort of security procedures they use
for their Sunday school programs: checking in children, identifying
parents and identifying special needs for children.  Our church uses
numbered tags (parents get one and an identical one is attached to
the child) but there has to be a better way.  The numbers get lost
and are a real pain to match up when we get a pile of left overs.
Any ideas would be helpful or suggestions for websites.

Stephanie in Tennessee

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3) Confused...what to do?

I know this is'nt really a "teaching" need - but I didnt know what other
site I could submit this to...My husband and myself have recently found
ourselves in a position where we feel that we may need to leave our
present church and find something else.  We have been going to this
particular church for almost four years and feel that we have not built
one solid realationship with any other members or attending families.  My
son recently graduated from the pre-school program into the elementary
program..and the focus on this particular program is lacking in interest
by the congregation and he is honestly getting nothing out of his classes
to the point where he does not even like going, and he has always loved
attending church up until this point.  I have served as the pre-school
director for around two  years and have recently resigned due to our
turmoil with leaving as well as some othe issues that I wont go into
detail about.
Our thing is...how can we honestly feel that we belong to this
congregation when we have been there as long as we have and have not even
one time in this period even been invited to another members home for
dinner?  We have had several famlies and couples over to our home for
dinners and games, or have invited their children to parties and
sleepovers.  We have offered help with special events such as VBS and have
served on several, most, of the church ministry teams.  As I mentioned
earlier, I worked with the pre-school for a period of time and my husband
taught a Sunday school class for over a year...but not one hint of actual
friendship has ever been extended outside of our hello's and goodbyes on
Sunday morning.
I'm not sure how this sounds to others..but what I need to know is if we
left the church...are we leaving for the right reasons?  And, are we blind
in thinking that a church family should be more than just a casual hello
and goodbye...that there should be that opportunity to build relationships
with other families and members outside of the events surrounding the
church itself?  We have been struggling with this for several  months now
to the point where we have to push ourselves to even attend church at this
point..and this is not the place that we want to be.  We want to look
forward to attending just as we did when we became new members at our
church..and we want out kids, and ourselves, do learn and grow by
attending the classes and services.
Any advise or personal expierences are more than welcome...we are praying
and keeping our eyes open.
Thank you to all.

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4) Burned Out

re. Jan 3, HELP ME burn out #1
After praying about this, the Lord brought to mind something that a fellow
Christian once told me.  It was this:  God has something for a number of
people to do.  And, if you respond too quickly, it is possibly taking away
the opportunity for another person to serve.  They might be slower to
respond than you are, and when the position is filled, they simply sit
back and say nothing.  God be with you - you are in prayer.

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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) Burned Out

Dear Burnt Out,
    I coodniate Junior Church at my church. Everyone stays in the santuary
for at the begining of the service (excapt nursery). This gives the whole
family a chance to worship together. After the worship songs and offering
the children for junior church.  This gives the teachers a time to praise
God and the children a taste of adult church.
    We divide the children into two groups: age 2 thru 5 and Kindergarten
thur 2nd grade.  Both rooms have a teacher and a helper.  We purchased a
curriclum that can be photocopied, because we use a 4 week rotation
As coordniator, I copy the material for both classes. I usually copy a two
month suply of lessons. I give each person a schedule and the two lessons
that they are to teach.
If a teacher can not teach on the assigned day, she simply switches days
with another teacher.
    For the preschool class we use two adults. This is because of "potty
runs".  The older class has an adult and a teenager (We even have a
& wife team.) . We found that teachers don't burn out as quickly and the
children love having a variety of teachers.  We did have to find two
that were willing the be with the preschoolers every other week.  This
them a sense of stability and cut down on crying.
  It takes a little organization to do it this way but you seem like an
organized person.  We also have a nursery coordinator that rotates
volunteers in a similar fashion.  It is a little more work up front but
get to enjoy the time that you do spend with the children so much more.
you have any questions you can e-mail me at marilynr@zoominternet.net.

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6) Fruit of the Spirit?

We are just starting a unit on the Fruits of the Spirit and I wanted to
share with you what we are doing.  Since there are 9 "fruits" we are
doing the unit over 9 weeks - one fruit each week.  After alot of
internet researching and pulling together various ideas, I have come up
with the following crafting idea.  The children involved in our
Children's Ministry are from JK (age 4) to Grade 6 (age 12).  We have
two classes but I often try to have similar (or the same) crafts for
each.  Sometimes it's really hard to come up with something that a young
child can make but an older child can be interested in.
So, following along the same lines as a Jesse tree, we are making a
fruits of the spirit tree.  Each week the children are making an
"ornament" to represent the "fruit" of the week out of craft foam.  On
the last day of the unit (Palm Sunday) and after our Palm Parade, we
will be making the actual tree.  By taking a tree branch, placing it in
a can (that the children will decorate) and by pouring either plaster of
paris or concrete in it to hold the branch upright.
I'm still working on what some of these decorations will be, but so far:
Love - from "Making Friends" a Love-in-sign-language heart
Joy - an angel with real feathers for wings and "JOY" written on in
glitter glue
Peace - a white dove perched on a blue globe with green "bits" glued on
to look like the world and "PEACE" on a ribbon banner across the dove
Patience - flowers on a stem in a pot-shape
Kindness - ?
Goodness - ?
Faithfulness - open face bible with ribbon book marks
Gentleness - lamb from white craft foam, covered in cotton balls
Self-Control - ? something with the circle around it and a line through
it - like "no smoking" signs
If anyone has any ideas to complete these crafts I'd really appreciate
it. Once the tree is set in the can, these "ornaments" will be hung to
remind them of the good tree bearing good fruits.
Diane, Ontario

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7) Serenity Bracelet?

I was wondering if anyone  had the directions to making a Serenity
Bracelet. I saw one at a Curves I went to, it had the colors like in the
Jelly Bean Prayer and a note telling what each color meant. If anyone has
the directions I would love to have them,,,,,thank you,,,,,,,,Diana

--from SSTN: the Colors of Christ craft may help you:

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8) New Techniques for Memorization?

Once a month our Sunday School kids get a missions lesson. One teacher
tells a missions story (either about an unreached tribe or a missionary),
another one teaches a memory verse, another one puts together a craft or
game that will help the children relate to the culture and finally, we
feed the kids a food from the country or culture being evangelized. This
is the children's favorite week of the month. They all know when it's
Mission Sunday. I've taught for over 30 years and normally teach a co-ed
group of 5th and 6th graders. But for Mission Sunday I have kids from
K-6th grade. This time I'm teaching the memory verse. I've done rhythm
clapping, hang-man type games and so on. What's another method? I'm flat
out of ideas! --Pat

--from SSTN: Here's one I like: write out the entire verse on a chalk
board. Have the kids repeat it 3-4 times. Then erase one word from the
verse. Continue repeating and erasing a word from various parts of the
verse. The kids "fill in the blanks" by saying the missing words and
eventually the entire verse is erased and the kids can say it. It is very
effective. ysic, sarah <><

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When assembled, New Life Puppets 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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9) Stations of the Cross for Kids?   

I have been looking for the "Stations of the Cross for Kids" that was
previously mentioned, but was unable to find it.  Could anyone be of help?

--from SSTN: it is no longer for sale through my site. In fact, it may
even be discontinued entirely. Maybe someone has a used copy? ysic, sarah

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10) Dead sea scrolls

Here is a link with ideas:

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11) Burned Out

I too understand the burden that God lays on one's heart to serve the
But, I admit, there have been a few times that I have prayed and asked God
if HE is sure HE spoke to the right person :o)

I believe that Satan will most definitely attack obedient servants with
fatigue or "burn out" ---- why would he leave effective Christians - doing
God's bidding - unchallenged? If Satan can "take out" a bold and obedient
servant - it can effect a lot of tender hearts, at a crucial time in their
spiritual lives. We ARE an important part of God's strategy in Spiritual
warfare! And we must count it an honor to be a threat to Satan's plan for
young souls. (That thought keeps me going at times.)

Using that frame of heart - even the highest ranking officials in warfare
take a little R&R. In the spiritual sense - that could stand for Refill
Recommit - rather than Rest and Relaxation :o)

If that sounds like a plan for you, a suggestion to receive a little "R&R"
might be to present your ministry - for a period of time - by meeting once
or twice a month - while you "refuel" your Spiritual Tank. Set your
to give you time to refocus - yet still stay involved. Not only would this
allow you to feed your spirit in adult worship time - but also will allow
the individual families to "enjoy" their children as a family unit in the

During the time that the children's ministry is "refueling" - perhaps a
in the program, to the congregation, might be an effective way to generate
some interest in help for the ministry program - something like ....
"We welcome the younger members of the JR. Church program to our worship
service today. We appreciate their good behavior as the sit with their
family and allow the Ministry Leader to worship with us as well. If anyone
would be interested in joining this exciting and valuable ministry team -
please see the Pastor today!"

SSTN members have shared a lot of other great ideas to help the "Tired and
Weary Warriors" of Children's Ministry. I pray that perhaps this basic
may also assist in sparking new strategies to emerge.

Be sure to continue to share your ideas with SSTN -- and pray for one
another - as we serve together in God's Mighty Army .

Joyfully Serving Him .... and plumb-tuckered at times too :o)
Emmalea Butler
Trafalgar, IN

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12) Rotation Pros and Cons

We have been using the rotation model for 2 1/2 years now and it has
enriched and blessed not just our children's ministry, but also our entire
congregation.  It is NOT for everyone, but the ideas and thought behind it
can be used in any Christian education ministry to make it more effective.

The people who have already written have expressed some of the major pros
and cons.  The pros and cons are not really black and white -- they are
really entwined together.  Here are some things we have discovered:

a.  Requires more volunteers to run -- This is certainly true!  Actually,
this was my greatest fear when we began.  Everyone told me how much easier
teacher recruitment would be, but I could do the math (8-12 teachers per
year in our old method compared to 8-12 adults per MONTH in this model) --
but it really is easier!   That is because people are MUCH more likely to
step up to volunteer when the commitment is shorter (teaching is not a
life-sentence), they teach in an area in which they are gifted or
passionate, and they teach the SAME lesson (just with some age-appropriate
modifications) several times to different groups of children.  We
have people seeking us out and asking to teach now.  That definitely never
happened before!

b. The number of stories you can teach ARE limited -- This is certainly
-- but this is not necessarily a "con."  One of the positives of rotation
that it forces you (and your Christian education team) to be intentional
about what stories you really want your children to learn.  That is a GOOD
thing.  The benefit is that whatever stories you choose, you can be much
more sure that your children will actually LEARN them!  The repetition and
multiple learning styles utilized help to cement the stories into their
hearts and minds.  Also, one of my pet passions is that to teach in a
rotation model well, you must have more thorough background information.
you are teaching a story for 4-6 weeks, the children will quickly learn
basics -- then you use the background information to add depth and details
to it.  Our kids who attend all 4 weeks of our rotations know the story in
more depth than the majority of adults in our congregation!  We made the
choice to teach LESS, understanding that the children would really learn

c.  Space issues -- This includes modifying existing space for new uses
(drama room with stages, props and costumes; art room with a sink
paint and supply storage; computer room, video room with seating (real
theatre seats are really FUN), video storage, and a popcorn maker is
cooking area (or just use your church kitchen), etc. etc.   While this can
seem overwhelming, most churches find that it pulls their congregation
together -- many people get involved who have not participated in the past
-- to help build a stage, paint a room, sew costumes, paint murals, or
donate needed items.

One of the biggest challenges to overcome is sharing space with weekday
programs -- such as Scouting, preschools, afterschool care, etc.  This
requires good communication and flexibility and it CAN be done -- it is
a bit more challenging.

While redecorating rooms can be a large undertaking, it is so rewarding!
Boring, cluttered classrooms speak volumes to children and families about
what we value.  A creative, exciting environment is not the main focus --
but it is a tool to accomplish our end -- quality, life-transforming

d.  Curriculum - Finding good, quality curriculum is essential.  There are
published curricula available for purchase.  Many churches modify the
curriculum they currently use to this format.  And many churches write
own.  The rotation.org website that was mentioned in an earlier post is a
treasure trove of information including hundreds of free lessons that you
can download and use in your ministry!

e.  This is not a lone ranger project!  One person with a vision cannot
implement the rotation model!  It must be a team effort!  One person with
vision can certainly share that vision and get others on board, but if you
don't have a core group of committed folks, you will quickly burn out and
your children will suffer as a result!

We LOVE the rotation model and are passionate about it at our church.  We
have offered training workshops to folks in our area and are sponsoring an
additional workshop on [b]March 15[/b].  If anyone is interested in more
information about that, please write me directly at <jderden@chartertn.net>.

There has been such a demand for rotation information in our area that I
now offering my services as a consultant to churches interested in
implementing the model.  I will come to your church and meet with your
ministry team, do a workshop, or provide assistance to you.  I also
regularly correspond with people through e-mail and am happy to share and
offer advice based on our experiences.

Also, please visit our church website at www.state-street.org.  Click on
G.R.E.A.T. Adventure (the name of our rotation SS) and view dozens of
photos of our rooms and our kids actively involved in learning God's Word!

Sorry for the length of this post.  Blessings to all,
Jaymie Derden
State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

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