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SSTN  # 57 - May 31, 2002

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1) Promotion Sunday   
2) Teaching the Trinity?   
3) Promotion Sunday   

-> Destination Unknown...Mystery Trip

4) Don't "BUG" Your parents
5) Promotion Sunday
6) King David ideas
7) The Lord's Prayer

-> "Get em' in the LOOP!"
8) Animal Songs - If I were a Butterfly...
9) Faith Mountain ideas: Joseph, Samuel, and Joshua   
10) Why have Children's Church
11) Contemporary Worship   
12) Children's church & contemporary songs   

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1) Promotion Sunday   

Hello;  When I took over the Children's Ministry a few years ago, I
instituted a "graduation" for those children moving from the CM to the
Youth Group.  For us this occurs when they graduate from grade 6.  At
church at the end of June, I present a certificate that I have printed up
with my computer, which I and the pastor have signed, stating ___(name)
____ has completed the Children's Ministry classes and have the date.  I
also give them a small gift.  (Last year I was able to get some Chicken
Soup for the Teen Soul through the school for  about 1/2 price and gave
them each a copy.)  This is all presented in front of the congregation.
We also have a cake after church that day that includes any other
graduates, (high school or college, etc.) and we honor them all at the
same time.  Hope this helps.  Toye, Lethbridge, Alberta

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2) Teaching the Trinity?   

I would appreciate comments and suggestions on teaching the Trinity.
Although the Holy Trinity is  incorporated and highlighted throughout the
liturgical year, I find specific teaching is really lacking in my program.
I've depended alot on using various three in one themes ... like a clover
leaf ... and a little science experiment ... water/steam/condensation ...
which do work well but  this is such a difficult mystery for the young and
so important that they be offered a strong foundation to build on.
Reference articles, activities and your hands-on, tried and true practical
tips  will be of great help!


--from SSTN: this has been discussed a lot lately. You may want to look
through back issues of SSTN in the Archives List:
Also, check out the Sermons page:

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3) Promotion Sunday   

I attend a United Methodist Church in Parkton, MD and we have a Promotion
Sunday every year for our Sunday School Classes.  We present each child
with a certificate for completing the year along with a bookmark or pencil
or something small during the church service on Promotion Sunday.   It
also marks the time of year that children may graduate up to the next SS
Class according to grade level.  After church, we love to have a picnic
with everyone, all families, friends, etc.. and we play games like how
well do you know your pastor, and bible trivia, etc...  It is great
fellowship and we always look forward to it every year!!

Hope this helps!

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Destination Unknown...Mystery Trip

50 Quick Mystery Trips for Youth Groups: Youth programs with a twist. The
teens go to an unknown destination which opens up a new dimension of
relating the Bible to life. Destinations include a courtroom, a rooftop,
an emergency room, a cornerstone, a garden, a potter's shop, and many
more. Ideal for both small and larger groups.
In the Christian Education section of the bookstore:


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4) Don't "BUG" Your parents

Howdy Sarah - Thought I would share the opening poem I wrote for our first
"Buggie for Jesus" class. We will use our antennae at the beginning of our
JR Church program each week. If you want to use this little poem I wrote
or share it - you have my permission. And if you don't think it is
something anyone else would want to use - that's ok too. I realize that I
do get a little over zealous at times. :o) By the way, our first week, we
chose to highlight NOT to "BUG" our parents. Our scripture:
"Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Ephesians 6:1

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Do you want to 'BEE' BUGGY for JESUS? Well, then, put on
your Buggy Antennae AND your listening ears! Whenever you hear the word
“BEE”--- Let’s all BUZZZZZ together.  B z z z z z z z z z z z z z z

I want to BEE like JESUS!
I want to BEEcome honest, kind, and strong.
If I BEEhave and obey my parents I won’t BEE doing things all wrong!
If I fail to BEE listening, I will BEE missing something good.
If I BEElieve the Bible, I will BEE doing as I should!
So I’ll BEE “bizzz-y” everyday.
I’ll BEE very kind to others.
I can BEE strong and honest.
And obey my Father and my Mother!

Joyfully Serving HIM,

--from SSTN: Dear Emmalea, WOW, that was great! Thank you for sharing your
creativity and for adding to the series! For anyone interested, you may
find the Buggie booklet in the Curriculum Creatives section of the
website. It's on sale too! YSIC, sarah <><


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5) Promotion Sunday

>like to have a promotion Sunday for them to honor this milestone in their
>life.   Since the church has not done this before and I am new to the
>Children's Director role, we are bit lost as what we want and should do.

We are a small church also, but we are having a promotion Sunday for
everyone all at once.  --- Kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade, High School
and College.

For the first time this year, we are having a '5th grade' Bible Class
which is a special 6 week course specifically for those 5th graders who
will be entering Middle School next year ( and those that just stay in the
same school to)  (see my other post on Lord's Prayer) -- the special class
is an overview of the Bible - old and new testaments, content, major
themes - Ten Commandments, Psalms 23, Lord's Prayer, John 3:16 as memory
verses and it's also special because it's taught by an outstanding couple
in our church elders, and very involved in pastoring (but not pastors) and
not currently teaching in the children's program.

Many churches do a Bible class for 3rd graders -- we choose to do it for
5th and then the presentation of their personally engraved Bibles will be
part of the in-Service celebration for all "grads"  (I think the children
will be singing the Lord's Prayer that Sunday) and the sermon is going to
tie it all together or so we are planning.

Last of all, we hope to have an away from the church (at a local park)
celebration for all our grads later in the day!

Hope this gives you some ideas.

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6) King David ideas

Check out http://mssscrafts.com/oldtestament/kingdavid.htm
the whole mssscrafts.com website is full of lesson plans and activities
for all ages for a variety of Bible stories.
-Nora 3-K Ohio

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7) The Lord's Prayer   

>>>ideas on The Lords Prayer, maybe games we can play to help them
>>>memorize the scriptures, and a few craft ideas!  

A few things I use .... the age range in my group is 3  to 10 yrs

When we pray the Our father, we pray each line ... slowly
and we also have used the leader/response format.

We use actions:

With both hands raised :  Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your
With arms crossed in front: Your kingdom come.
With arms stretched out at sides: Your will be done on earth as it is in
With arms stretched out at sides everyone joins hands: Give us this day
our daily bread.
Shaking hands with one next to you: Forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us.
With hands folded  in prayer: Lead us not into temptation,
With both hands raised:  but deliver us from evil. Amen

These actions along with the words are put up as a poster , a copy of this
is also sent home with each child to put up in their bedroom or family BB,
and  a little booklet  using pictures of these actions and the words of
the prayer is created by each child to take home ... copies  can also be
used by a child who likes to "read" along with prayer.

A fill in the blanks
Scrambled lines to cut and paste in order
Colouring pages with the text of the prayer.

As each child  learns this prayer by heart, they begin to  take the
leaders' role in the leader/response format, and to work one to one with
another child who is learning.  When the prayer is learned, prayed by
heart and the child shows  an understanding of the petitions,  they are
given a copy of the Lord's Prayer, along with a meditation on this prayer,
rolled up and sealed like a scroll.

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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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8) Animal Songs    If I were a Butterfly...

For Jenni looking for an animal theme song--how about The Butterfly Song
by Brian Howard? REALLY cute and a catchy melody. It would also lend
itself to body motions (elephant raising it's trunk, hopping kangaroo,
wiggling worm etc.). You can hear the music and read the lyrics at
http://www.dltk-kids.com/bible/butterflysong/ Hope this works for you!

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9) Faith Mountain ideas: Joseph, Samuel, and Joshua   

I have taught all three of these topics to 3 and 4 year olds and the
following ideas worked well:

Joseph-  Make a "coat" that the kids can wear.  Take a paper grocery bag
and slit it up the front.  Cut a round hole in the bottom of the bag that
connects to the first slit.  This hole is for their head.  Cut two holes
on the side.  These are for their arms.  And you have a coat /vest that
they can decorate.  We decorated by painting school glue on and applying
strips of  different colored crepe paper and tissue paper.

Samuel- Make a blanket for Samuel by rolling a piece of paper and
flattening it.  Take a picture of a boy and attach it to a craft stick and
slip it into the "Blanket". Now Samuel can pop out of his blanket when he
hears God calling him.  The kids can decorate the "blanket" and color

Joshua-  We made our own walls out of grocery sacks or lunch sacks stuffed
with newspaper.  I'm not sure which the kids liked better, stuffing the
sacks or building the wall and causing it to fall down.  We also made a
trumpet that was megaphone shaped out of construction paper that the kids

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10) Why have Children's Church

>I am interested in the rational behind pulling the children out of the
>regular worship of the church into a so called children's church.

As a Children's ministry worker and a parent I can definitely see the
benefits in having a separate service for young people.  From a practical
stand point this type of services offers young people to learn about God
and express their feelings about in in a matter that is on their level.  
I can see the positive results in my four year old son Joshua.  Children
learn things from repetition of information Children church provides an
opportunity to teach God's word in smaller pieces so that young people can
grasp the true meaning and have something to keep with them throughout

All the efforts given by children and youth workers are without avail if
there was no support from parents at home so parents still play a curial
role in training a child in the fear and admiration of God.  Follow up at
home is key to retention so in answer to your question no the parenting
never stops.  We make sure that each child has material to take home for
review with their parent as well as encourage the parent to challenge
their child with a review of what they have learned. 

Also having a separate children's church allows the parent to give their
undivided attention the message God has sent to them by his servant.

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11) Contemporary Worship   

Hi, I've been reading all the responses about Contemporary worship.  Most
of them seem good, but there are a few I am concerned about.  Some people
seem like they are saying that a contemporary worship style is inferior to
a "traditional" style, by having it on a different day/night, or by having
someone other than the pastor preach every week.  We have contemporary
worship Sunday mornings... everyone's there... young and old.  Most people
had never had true worship until we started our contemporary services.  Be
careful not to downplay the importance of this type of worship... It's
Great and it is for everyone!
Ellia McKenzie

--from SSTN: our recent poll within ChristianCrafters.com shows that 83%
of those voting believed it was important to have both kinds of music
(traditional and contemporary) offered during a worship service. About 8%
thought there should be separate services for both. This poll changes
every month. You may find the current topic at:


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12) Children's church & contemporary songs   

I pastor a church in Nebraska,  we run about 85-90 every Sunday.  I find
all this input having to do with children's church & contemporary songs
interesting.  Some for and some against.  Wouldn't it be nice if we
could all be open to new things that God is doing and be comfortable
with what he has been doing for years.
I honestly don't feel that any of us wants to be stuck in a rut.  How
many of us still watch a black & white tv.  We like the tv, it's only
better in color.  Black & white will work, but...  Remember back when
radio was the thing.  Some people felt that tv would never catch on.
How many of us are still cooking on wood burning stoves?  Not very
many.  We are still cooking, only it easier now.  So what is wrong with
following the Spirit of God and seeing where God will take us.  That's
not to say we need to leave our roots, only that from roots comes new
growth.  Peter had to step out and do something that he had never done
before, but because his heart was right, Jesus was there to catch him
even when he was sinking.  The dying last words of a church is, "We have
never done it this way before".

Now, about children's church.  First of all, I feel that everybody has
the right to have the Gospel presented to them at their level of
understanding.  I don't see that we are dragging our children out of the
church service, I feel that we are presenting a church service at their
level of understanding to them.  I have been involved with churches that
have had children's church and found that instead of parents taking
their kids to church, the kids are getting the parents to bring them to
church.  In children's church, they have their own singing and preaching
to them in a way that they relate to and like.  Look at why a lot of
people come to church;  because they enjoy the service.  Now, let's look
at why people don't come to church; they don't enjoy the service.  Well,
I'm starting to see a pattern here.
We will always have the same MESSAGE, but the METHOD will change with
the people that you want to reach.
God Bless,
Pastor Duke

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