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SSTN  # 36 - April 12, 2002

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1) Drop-Off Kids
-> VBS Buggie For Jesus - I'm a BEE-liever!
2) Children's Church   
3) Jesus to the Rescue ideas   
4) Teacher longevity   
-> VBS Funpak
5) Children's Church Program: Wiggly Giggly Stories
6) Teacher Longevity
7) Basket Ideas
8) Tricks vs. Miracles
9) Treasure Hunt CD/tape?
10) Teaching teens?   
11) The lost Sheep Parable
12) Send it On Down
13) Old VBS material?
14) Calling All Boys

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1) Drop-Off Kids

Regarding the "drop-off" kids, we have a couple of these, and they are the
ones I'm most delighted to have in class because these are the ones we
really need most to reach.  The children of regular church members have
solid Christian backgrounds and support at home, but the "drop-off" kids
usually do not.  Since my class is generally the "meat and potatoes"
session, I put a lot of planning and energy into making Sunday school a
fun place to go to as well as relevant to issues kids are facing today.
I'm delighted to share with you that some of the parents of these
"drop-off" children are now venturing into church.  Because their children
feel so comfortable with us and are so obviously enjoying what they are
learning, the parents are curious about who we are and feel more
comfortable joining
us.  Praise God!

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

26 reproducible buggie crafts, games, lessons, and yummy devotions
to coordinate with your summertime VBS programs.

In the Curriculum section: 

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2) Children's Church   

My wife and I are the leaders for our children's church.  Our program goes
from preschool to 5th grade.  Sometimes we keep the group together in one
large group and other times we divide them into two groups.  We tried
Faith Weaver's Children's Church curriculum, but it really did not work
well for us.  We now write our own lessons.  For our lessons the last 5
weeks we have relied heavily on a website called Education Patterns for
Children.  This website has some great lesson that include visual learning
and hands-on activities.  You can cut out the sections that you do not
want and have a good lesson.  The address for this website in found in
Sarah's links page it is www.edupatterns.com.  Check out some of Sarah's
other links to help you plan your lessons.  These have been a wealth of
good ideas for me.  Hope this helps.

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3) Jesus to the Rescue ideas   

Dear Julie,
We used Jesus to the Rescue last year as our VBS. I am sure I have more
info than what I can type here. You can respond to me at
bjmsimkins@yahoo.com for more
info.  We had a different rescue worker each night. Our first night was a
fire truck to kick off the event.  The kids got to climb around and look
at the different instruments. Some Bible stories were the "fiery furnace",
Queen Ester, and Noah (flood).
We had a "Rescue team" of kids that helped to sing the songs and teach it
to others. I do have lots more info. E-mail me if you or anyone else wants
more. Good
Luck and blessings.  Barb

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4) Teacher longevity   

I have taught kids from toddlers to my current youth class and all ages in
between.  As a teacher, there are just some ages that you can reach better
than others.  By keeping one teacher with the same group of kids, you
deprive them of the opportunity to be with a teacher that can more
effectively reach them at the different stages of their life.

I find that personally I relate better to the "preteen" group I teach now.
There have been times when I haven't wanted to stop teaching a certain
group of kids, but you also have to leave go of them and let them grow. As
a teacher you "know" certain things about each students behavior patterns.
These things should be passed on to the next teacher so he/she can begin
where you left off.

Just because you stop teaching a certain "group" of kids doesn't
necessarily mean that you have to totally let them go.  You can keep them
uplifted in prayer.  Explain the situation to the parents, and let them
know that changing teachers can be a very uplifting experience for their

We usually do a "Sunday School Graduation (promotion) when a child is
ready to leave one class and go into another.  This gives the child a sense of
accomplishment and pride.

Sis. Le Ann

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Get three great VBS resources at one reduced price!

In the Curriculum section: 

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5) Children's Church Program   

Hi Sandra "Sam" Dermott

I am in charge of Children's Church at my Church The Salvation Army.  We
are using Wiggly Giggly Bible Stories From the Old Testament along with
Wiggly Giggly Bible Learning Centres for Preschoolers.  They are simple
little lessons adaptable for any age.  As well they take almost no time to
prepare.  You choose the centres you want to use for the week. I hope this

Blessings in Christ
Christa Jenn
Nursery Coordinator-Kelowna Community Church of The Salvation Army

--from SSTN: Wiggly Giggly Bible Stories are available in the Bookstore.
Just type the title into the search box:

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6) Teacher Longevity

Responding to the question regarding teacher longevity. The curriculum we
use is designed to keep youth groups together as units for two years with
their leaders, so they become comfortable with discussions about things
that are relevant in the lives of young teens. Unfortunately  this has
never worked out as someone always drops out

Our senior Youth group leaders have the youth from sophomore through
senior year and they develop a strong bond of trust and faith. The only
stipulation is when the youth groups form in high school they have the
finally say on parents being teachers. Our curriculum does not recommend
it unless the group agrees. They have a rule of confidentiality which
guards their privacy. The only exceptions  to the rule is when something
that is shared would endanger the lives of others or themselves.This
exclusive rule requires parents to be in total support  of  the youth
leaders . They must feel comfortable entrusting them in other adult
"care."  They travel on mission trips , spend many hours together
discussing the issues of young teens.
Recruitment is the toughest issue I am facing as a Christian education
director and one which requires much discernment and prayer. I have had
people make "bargains" with previous directors who were desperate and it
has caused major problems. Parents who demanded their children be in their
class, even when they 're not old enough. This alienanted other families
who's youger childern were not allowed to participate in Youth group
My advice would be to keep looking for other leaders who do not have their
own agendas, but rather are on God's agenda which is what is best for all
in your ministry

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7) Basket Ideas

> i have many of the little green baskets . . .

Hi...I love all the basket ideas you have come up, but you can also go
another direction.  "A mission project."  In additional to teaching third
grade Sunday School, and having a full time job, I volunteer with Project
Wildlife, where we rehab and release injured and orphaned wild animals.
If you have a wildlife organization in your area they would love to have
the baskets for all the babies birds that come in, in the spring and
summer.  We put toliet paper in the baskets and put the baby birds in and
feed them. (It's like a make-shift nest for them) By the way, birds have a
poor sense of smell, so mom doesn't care if you have touched them. That's
an old wives tale. So unless the baby is injured or orphaned put it back
in the nest. Mom will come back.  Sermon of the week.  :o)

God bless,
Joni in San Diego

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8)  Tricks vs. Miracles

I really appreciate your ideas & hints.  At least, I usually do.  But I
really question the value (or the honesty) of teaching children that Jesus
performed tricks not miracles.  If anyone can duplicate what Jesus did
(turning water to wine, for example) then it wasn't a miracle, and we are
lying to the children. Please reconsider these "teaching" tricks.  I, for
one, heartily object!
In Christ, 
Diane Jones,
Vancouver, Canada

--from SSTN: Diane makes a very good point. I guess the best thing would
be to point this out to the kids, so that they understand these are
"tricks", but Jesus REALLY did "miracles". Knowing the heart of so many of
you in SSTN, my guess is that most of you have already pointed this out to
your children. ysic, sarah ;o)) <><

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9) Treasure Hunt CD/tape?

Does anyone have the CD or cassette tape from the old VBS program entitled
"Treasure Hunt"?  My church would like to use the songs, the kids just
loved them, and we lost our tape.

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10) Teaching teens?   

I have recently started teaching sunday school.  I started out with the
preschoolers, and was then put in with the teens.  We have only a few
right now, hopefully we will grow.  My question is, what are some ideas to
keep their attention and get them more excited?  I'm going from coloring
pictures of Jesus to talking to teens about what we have just read out of
the bible, and not knowing what to do visually or with their hands to
reinforce what they just read.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

--from SSTN: check out the Curriculum Creatives page and the
Bookstore-Christian Education areas in the site:

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"Get em' in the LOOP!" 

L-eading kids to Christ,
O-ffering advice
O-pen discussion forum
P-roviding free resources

Invite your friends, pastors, and coworkers
to join our discussion in SSTN.


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11)  The lost Sheep Parable

>I am looking for a video about the parable of the lost sheep for our
>children's church program (ages 3- 10).  Does anyone know of such a video

I just finished doing this parable in Children's Church with the exact
same ages you have. I couldn't find an appropriate video. While I was
hunting in my local Christian bookstore a pastor overheard me talking to
the clerk and he told me that he thought it was on the "Jesus video that
contains Luke's gospel". I still couldn't find it!  I used a picture book
called "Jon and the Little Lost Lamb" by Jane Latourette, published by
Concordia in 1965 (sorry, Sarah, I don't have the ISBN!).  We made sheep
out of white pom poms and black pony beads and played a game similar to
"Concentration" where they tried to find the sheep pairs. From there I
moved on to Psalm 23.  If you are thinking along those same lines, I
suggest the Little House on the Prairie episode video entitled "The Lord
Is My Shepherd". I had some misgivings about using an "old-fashioned"
video but once they got caught up in Half-Pint's story they were
hooked--it was one of the rare times parents had to wait until their
children were finished in Church!  I began that day by constructing a maze
using masking tape on the floor of the biggest room in our Church
basement.  The kids tried to get through it to find their lost sheep (me
with a sheep puppet, baaing to beat the band). Once inside the maze, they
braved a wolf (one of our youth who really got into his part!) and a
mountain lion (another great youth actor).  It didn't seem to matter how
many times they went through the maze, they never got tired of rescuing
that sheep at the end of the line.  I love my job, can you tell? I'm
moving on now further into David's life: his friendship with Jonathan,
becoming King and of course, Goliath.
Blessings, Zoe Doyle
Thompsonville (IL) Church of God

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12) Send it On Down

>Part of it goes:
>Send it on down, send it on down,
>Lord let the Holy Ghost come on down.>>

I, too, have heard this song.  I believe I heard it on a Gaither Vocal
Band cassette tape.  The cassette was probably published around 1999-2000.
I'm sorry but I can't remember the specific name of the cassette, but I'm
fairly sure the group was the Gaither Vocal Band (different from the
Gaither Homecoming stuff).

Pikeville, KY

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13) Old VBS material?

Hi Sarah I am not sure if I am sending my question to the right place If I
am not I'm sorry. I love your site it has been A great blessing to me. I
was wondering if anyone has any old VBS material that they don't need
anymore. My e-mail is knr1127@bellsouth.net. Thank you Robin

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14) Calling All Boys

Why not peek teen boys' interest in the scriptures by assigning a research
project of looking for the names of cars in the Bible? They would need to
give references and be able to tell a quick reference to the story the
"car" was mentioned. Check with local car dealerships that may donate
keychains for prizes, to those finding the most references. Here are some
examples for you to start your search "engines --- see how many more you
can find to add to the fleet. <E><

Check out Genesis 27:44, in search of a Plymouth model. Rebekah hoped to
protect Jacob from the Fury of Esau.

Psalm 83:15 refers to a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to
"pursue your enemies with thy Tempest and make them afraid with thy

Look for the Dodge pickup trucks in Joshua 6:5, where Moses' followers are
not to go up a mountain "until the Ram's horn sounds a long blast."

In Psalm 25:2, Joshua asks help from the possibility of a Triumph
overwhelming him.

The Apostles hinted at perhaps preferring a Honda when the scriptures
report in Acts 2:1, "When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were
all with one Accord in one place."

Have fun and "Happy Motor-ing"
Joyfully Serving Him,
Emmalea Butler
Trafalgar, IN

--from SSTN: very cool! Thanks for sharing it, Emmalea!
ysic, sarah keith <><

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