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SSTN  # 55 - May 28, 2002

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1) Sunday School Kick-off?
2) Armor of God VBS?
3) No building...can't decorate...what to do?

-> Summer Sale On Curriculum Items!

4) Master Life
5) Father's Day Snack Jars   
6) VBS Sonrise Balloon Adventure
7) Animal Songs

-> Interactive Lessons for Youths

8) Motivating My Teachers?
9) Children's Church
10) Psalm 23 Activity?
11) Animal Songs
12) Why have Children's Church

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1) Sunday School Kick-off?

I know it is still a little  ways off yet, but I was looking for ideas on
how to kick off the new Sunday School year in September.  We don't have
Sunday School in the summer, so I would really like to do something
to start the Sunday School year off right as we together again.  Our
is  pretty small and we already have a picnic at the end of the Sunday
School year and a breakfast for the kids in the Spring.  Does anyone have
some different ideas.  We usually just meet with all the adults and kids
together, sing a few songs, and introduce the teachers.  Thanks for your

Burke, VA

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2) Armor of God VBS?

Dear People,
I am interested in gathering material on The Armor of God for a possible
Vacation Bible School.  Material relevant to all age groups would be
greatly appreciated.

--from SSTN: definitely check the Archives List:
the Sermons section:
and the Bookstore-Games section:

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3)  No building...can't decorate...what to do?

Hope someone can help here. I attend a small church that started last
fall. We don't have our own building, but rent a few rooms from another
organization. My problem is that I can't decorate a room, or set up
learning centers or have anything permanent. I have to haul my supplies
and materials back and forth every week. I teach the children during
church services and so  do not get to church on a regular basis. There is
a Wed. night study, but it usually runs so late that we don't attend
because of our child's need to get to bed for school the next day. I've
considered attending another church on Sat. nights, but we are dealing
with an elderly family member and by 6:30 on Sat. night we're pretty well
shot. I'm running out of steam and ambition. Maybe I don't need advice so
much as I would appreciate your prayers for wisdom. I'm not sure my age
group (2-7 yr. olds) is getting the best teaching they can get and I think
that basics are so important at this age.
Dorie- Wisconsin

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Summer Sale On Curriculum Items!

Buggie For Jesus - I'm A BEE-liever! and the VBS FUNPAK
are NOW on sale for the summer! Get them at:


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4) Master Life

I just came across my Masterlife books, to assist one of your readers who
had inquired about them.  It is a set containing videos and 4 workbooks,
in which each book covers 6 weeks with a reading and assignment for each
day.  It focuses on our vertical relationship with God and the Bible and
our horizontal relationship to witness to and serve others.  The ISBN# is
0-7673-2640-7.  Kathy Griffin <><

--from SSTN: I did attempt to find these for the bookstore...but they were
not available through my affiliate B&N site. ysic, sarah <><

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5) Father's Day Snack Jars   

An idea for Father's Day could be "Snack Jars".  I did this with my
1st-3rd grade Kids Club for Christmas for the Dads.  We took quart size,
wide mouth canning jars and filled them with different snack foods:
M&M's, peanuts, pretzel nuggets, goldfish crackers.  Put the heavier items
on the bottom, peanuts or M&Ms and then layer the rest of the items.  Put
the lid on the jar and tie a ribbon around the top.  This was an easy
project for the kids to do and I got many comments from the Dads that they
liked this gift.
Hope this helps!
Laura, St. Paul's, Maumee

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6) VBS Sonrise Balloon Adventure

Hi all
What a blessing this ministry is - It's wonderful to know help is only an
e-mail away.

We are doing an old VBS Sonrise Balloon Adventure - we couldn't get all
the stuff, anyone who has done it, please contact me, I need reasonably
cheap ideas for decorating. We couldn't get the teacher resource book for
any age group so we are struggling a little. If someone who has done it, I
can probably get ideas from them.

Thank you again for all your wonderful encouragement.

Theresa in sunny South Africa.

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7) Animal Songs

> I am looking for a theme song (mostly 8-12 year olds) that will keep >interestand talk about more than 1 animal and not really center on Noah.

I use a song with my Junior choir.  It has TONS of animals in it and it's
theme is one where everyone does their part in the choir.  My kids love it
because it is quick and catchy.  It is titled "A Place in the Choir" by
Bill Staines.  I got it from the " 2000 Ark Avenue" VBS curriculm.  If you
cannot find it, let me know and I will fax you a copy.  It is copyrighted
by Mineral River Music.

Take Care and keep 'em singing!
Amy Asmus

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Interactive Lessons for Youths

13 Interactive Lessons and Personal Devotions. Kids Learn by
Thinking and Doing.  Reproducible and kid Tested Activities. Topics
include studies of the book of John, Acts, Romans, Galatians, Psalms and
In the Christian Education section of the bookstore:


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8) Motivating My Teachers?

Hi I have a problem!  I am having trouble motivating my Sunday School
teachers to grow their classes.  I would like them to make visits and/or
call prospects we have gotten over the past year through various events
(and visitors to the Worship service.)  The teachers seem content with who
they have in their classes.  My concern is that they are not reaching the
unsaved. Their level of commitment is not very high.  They do like to
teach, but that's about it.  If you are a leader, how do you motivate your
teachers, and if you're a teacher, what motivates you?  Most of the
teachers have been teaching for at least 5 years. There are about 15
teachers all together (not including helpers)  PLEASE HELP!
-Katie Roberts

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9) Children's Church   

Having a special time just for the children is very important.  At my
church, the children are in "Sunday School" while the adults are in the
santuary.  Children can not always understand the adult message, or there
maybe topics addressed in the adult service that children do not need to
exposed to yet.

Our Sunday School teachers have church with our kids.  They have worship,
prayer, lesson and then craft (if time permits).  It is the parents
responsibility to "train up a child", but what if you have children that
don't have "christian" parents.  It is vital that the child is able to
understand what he/she is hearing.  That is what having "Children's
is all about.

We have services on Thursday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night.  The
children stay in the santuary on Thursday and Sunday night, so they have
the opportunity to be in the santuary w/ their parents.

A few points that concern me in some of the responses is the children
able to "worship with their families".  Worship should not just happen in
the church building, but should be included in the home as well. Some
people responding were concerned about the children being able to respect
the pastor while he is speaking.  Having "Children's Church" is an
excellent way of teaching children to have respect for "The Word of God".
No one is expected to know how to drive a car like an expert the first
time behind the wheel, so why should children be expected to know how to
behave in church unless they are taught?  This way children can be taught
the Word and also taught to respect the Word at the same time without
having distracted parents on Sunday Morning.  Respect for the Pastor will
be encouraged in a child, if respect for the Pastor is part of the child's
life at home.

Sis Le Ann

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10) Psalm 23 Activity?

I am in desperate need for an activity for kids ages 3-12.  The lesson is
Psalm 23.  I do not need a craft idea just a Sunday school lesson, story,
word search, puzzle, game, anything to help then remember the verse. 
Tomi at Blackhorse Baptist

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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)  Animal Songs

>This year we are doing an animal theme (still trying to come up with a
>catchy title). I >am looking for a theme song (mostly 8-12 year olds)
>that will keep their interest

How about the hippopotamus song?  I'm not sure about copyrights, but the
chorus goes
"hip-hip-hip-hippopotamus, hip-hip-hooray God made all of us..."
It details creation, and has other animal references.  There are some
hand actions too.  Good Luck!
In Him, Kristine Bell

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12) Why have Children's Church

I definitely agree that children need to be part of regular worship and
see their parents and other adults worshiping.  It is important to come
together and worship as a whole community and they do need to be taught
how to worship.  However, children need an environment that allows them to
learn and a chance to practice what they’re learning.

I began Children's Church about 7 years ago at our church because parents
were not teaching their children how to worship.  During the adult worship
service, they disrupted the service by talking and going in and out of the
sanctuary, were disrespectful during prayer and communion time, and were
not learning anything from the adult-level sermons.  It’s hard for parents
to have a meaningful teaching time in the midst of an adult worship

At our church, Children's Church meets every Sunday except the last Sunday
of each month.  Our Children's Church, age 4-6th grade, includes all the
elements of adult worship, but is structured to their level of
understanding.  I intentionally include, much in the same order as the
adult service, all the same components.  I remind myself constantly that I
am not just teaching children, I am preparing future adults for worship.

We sing praise songs, we spend time in prayer where the children are asked
if they have any requests and/or answered prayers and then they pray for
each other, we learn a memory verse, we have an offering time where the
children bring their own allowance to give and they take turns passing the
plate (I have Children’s Church graduates now
serving in the adult worship service because they learned how to serve in
Children’s Church), we celebrate communion for those eligible to
participate and they’re learning to show respect for this time, they’re
learning how to find scripture passages and how to read their Bibles out
loud in public.  Then we have about a ten minute Bible lesson and an
activity that reinforces the lesson so they can use what they learn in
their daily lives.

Then, on the last Sunday of each month, which we call Family Sunday (we
have a potluck after morning worship), we are all in church together.  The
benefits of this are:  1.  The children are equipped to participate in the
adult worship service because they’re using what they learned in
Children’s Church and they see a connection to what they’re learning;
2. They benefit from seeing their parents and other adult role models in
worship; 3. There has been a very obvious reduction in the disruption of
the adult worship service; 4. Our adult leaders work very hard to include
the children during that Sunday’s worship service - picking out songs they
know, including them during the prayer time by letting them stand up and
express prayer requests and answered prayers, and the minister tries to
incorporate things in his sermon that will help the children listen; 5.
Parents have told us that their children now want to come to church which
is always rewarding to hear.

Just wanted to share how our church is trying to reach others for Christ.

Cathy Bodell
Benzie Area Church of Christ
Frankfort, Michigan

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