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SSTN # 59 - May 12, 2003

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--> Buggie For Jesus - VBS enrichment or Midweek Program

1) Small Church VBS
2) Old Church curriculums needed   
3) Encouragement to Dee
4) Small Church VBS
5) Ten commandment ideas for 2-4 yr olds?

--> Sword of the Spirit - Bookmark

6) Women's Group
7) Song for Mother's Day?
8) How do you handle VBS?
9) Two & Three Yr. Olds

--> NEW-LIFE PUPPET patterns 

10) Unforgiving Servant Parable
11) Patriotic Skits   
12) Unforgiving servant
13) Bible Coins
14) Painted wall murals?

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--> Buggie For Jesus - VBS enrichment or Midweek Program

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) Small Church VBS

>"I belong to a small, rural church that is experiencing some growth.  My
> question is about vacation bible school..."

Our church sounds very similar to yours.  We have had an evening VBS for
past several years for the reasons you sited.  The result has been a
mediocre response and a steady decline in unchurched children attending.
Even an attempt to develop an "outreach" approach left us with no bridge
the weekly programs, resulting in no visible benefits.  Parents were not
included in the event, and that was part of the problem.  We had to
determine our purpose, face some hard facts and cancel VBS all together.

Our solution (this year)has been to pump up the Sunday morning Children's
Ministries to be more "like" VBS.  We are using David C. Cook's "It's a
Thing!" curriculum which uses interactive skits and dramatic storytelling
present the Bible story of the week and one of the application workshop
ideas during first hour(large group) and then breaking into smaller groups
and using the rest of the suggested activities as rotating workshops
second hour. We are modifiying the format to fit our space and staffing.
Because the adults are meeting in Adult Bible Fellowships during the
hour, we expect to see even more church growth and long-term results from
ministry to the entire family.  After some initial resistance, the idea
really caught and we are fully staffed for the summer-and everyone is

Other options we considered:  1) "Family VBS" where parents attend with
children  2)  combined VBS with another church to pool resources
"Family Night" activities where church members can invite friends with
children.  Our parents (Christian and pre-Christian) are seeking wholesome
activities for their children to develop healthy relationships and
in a post-modern culture, and we are seeking ways to respond with Biblical
solutions as God provides.  Good luck in seeking God's plan for your
ministry in this area.

Modesto, CA

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2) Old Church curriculums needed   

I am a youth leader who is looking for used church curriculum(s) for ages
6 to 12.  If you can help me please respond to my e-mail at
ldlonon@hotmail.com.  I attend a very small church approx. 75 members.
The budget is very slim.  Our youth are in real need for something
structured during the weekday bible study.  Thanks for your help. YSIC
--Bren in Atlanta GA

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3) Encouragement to Dee

>We too find that we are in hot water with some who attends our church
>we allow the children to do something that is not the norm. I, along with
>another lady in the church, have the youth. I have decided that I would
>not let this problem hinder our ministry any more. If we get a bad

I do not know what type church you attend, but at our church the pastor
makes the decision as to what is acceptable and what is not. In other
churches the church board makes the decisions.  We never leave that up to
the teachers or the youth directors.
We are also very selective about music. We do not follow the trends of the
world, since we are in the world but not of the world. So called gospel
rock is not in at our church.  We do have a very dedicated group of young
people.  Anyway, I said all that to say this -- work within the guidelines
set down by your church.  Don't take on the members who don;t like what
you are doing. That is not your place, it is the pastors/church boards


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4) Small Church VBS

I'm writing on the V.B.S. question. We are a small church too. We do ours
in the day time from 9:00 a.m. til 11:45 a.m. with very little amout of
people to run it. We use CEF materials to do so. They have everything you
would need for the program except the materials you need for crafts. As
far as the teachers you would need are only a few. You would need one for
the pre-school thru K., and then the main teacher for the rest of the kids
for the Bible story. You also need a game director with a helper and at
least two foe each grade for teaching the Bible verse, a snack person, a
craft person. My husband and I are the director and co-directors of he
Bible school, so we do the main things . I teach the Bible story and he
does the games. It is really great. Hope this helps you. And if you need
to ask me anything esle just e-mail me at clownbootsie@aol.com   Joelene

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5) Ten commandment ideas for 2-4 yr olds?

I am looking for lessons on the 10 commandements suitable for 2-4 year
olds. I was hoping to find or get directions to make something that shows
the 10 commandments in picture form so that with a bit of help even the
littlest ones can understand.
Also does anyone know where I can find patterns to make bible character
puppets? Jesus, Noah, shepherd/David, a king (all purpose) , Mary,
assorted bible animals like sheep or camel .  We want to use them in bible
story lessons   I have and can use a sewing machine  but am not the most
skilled seamstress!
God BLess!   Scarlett , Middletown , RI

--from SSTN: check out "You Can Do Christian Puppets" in the Games
& Skits section of the bookstore:
For anyone else responding, make sure you give product code (ISBN) for our

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Sword of the Spirit - Bookmark

The Old and New Testament books are listed on either side of the sword's
blade. A great Scripture memory tool from ChristianCrafters.Com.

Children can make it and take it home. Print out as many patterns as you
need for a one-time fee of only $3.00. To see a picture and to learn more,
go to the following webpage:


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6) Women's group

For Deb,
A small group of women in our church have recently started a women's
school class for women who want to study and grow together.  I think the
class will help us to discover the needs for women's ministry in the
church and be a point of contact for women to participate in church where
they might not otherwise do so.  I am planning to make "business cards" to
invite women to come to the class, telling them where and when the class
the meets.  The card may help them to remember that someone cared enough
to take the time to share the opportunity to attend.

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7) Song for Mother's Day?

I am in search of a special song for the children to perform in sign
language for Mother's Day. The children's age group is Kindergarten - 5th
Love in Christ,

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8) How do you handle VBS

         I have been co directing a VBS program that has grown from  75
children to over 400 in 7 years.  We have a centered based program.  The
children rotate in age groups to craft center, music center, story center
and recreation.  Opening and closing is done as a whole group in the
sanctuary.  Each "teacher" has 6-14 kids, depending on the children's
age.  We have age kindergarten through 6th grade.  That teacher is
responsible for taking the children to the centers, reinforcing what is
taught and establishing a relationship with the children in the
group.  There is also a time where there are together as just a class.  We
found there is less prep time for most of the volunteers, as they don't
have to prepare stories, crafts etc.  We then have teams that do the
centers and prepare for each age level.   Each year, recruiting is very
easy, because everyone has fun and no one is overwhelmed.  During
recreation time,  the teachers leave their children with the recreation
team and the teachers are required to take a break.  We have a break room
with treats.  This is a great fellowship time for the teaching teams.
friendships have been formed during this time.
         There are many great curriculums available.   This really
decreases preparation time.  It can also be very overwhelming to
to come up with ideas on their own. Crafts, stories, and music is all
provided and the themes are fun and easy to decorate the church.    Also,
each class doesn't need a whole room.  We divide our classrooms into 6-8
sections with blankets or something that fits the theme.  Last year, my
son's group met in a life raft in the corner of a room.    The groups are
only together in their classroom 25 minutes since they are rotating
         One more idea that we have found invaluable.  Our program goes
from Wednesday to Wednesday, with no classes on the weekend.  We have
that after 3 days, kids are starting to get tired.  Everybody has the
weekend off to rest and get ready for the next 3 days.  We have also found
it is more of an outreach.  Over 50% of  our program are from outside our
church.  Everyone is invited to come Sunday morning and they sing during
the service.  We feel the families feel more welcome since it is during
program week.  They rest of the congregation that is not involved with the
program also gets to see the church decorated and the excitement that is
occurring during VBS.
                 Each year we learn more and more to make the program
better.  I hope these ideas help you.

Kathy in San Diego 

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9) Two & Three Yr. Olds

2's & 3's; tough crowd, but they can be fun.  I usually follow a theme, i.e.
creation,  while their attention span is only 3-5 minutes I will have for
the entire time a video or CD playing reflecting the theme.  Also when we
sing songs I'll tell them that they are special because God made them so.
Stickers, and toys etc. are nice but they are usually crumpled or lost in
mommies diaper bag.  The theme will usually continue for about 4-6 weeks
so they really learn the songs and the video stories.  Debbi

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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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10) Unforgiving Servant Parable

This is in response to the person inquiring about teaching the Parable of
the Unforgiving Servant to children. An easy puppet skit to use concerning
this topic uses 2+ bird puppets (Larger groups can use one bird puppet for
each child if available), one of the puppets should serve as the king
bird, and the other(s) as the kings subjects. A simple finger puppet bird
puppet can be found at
http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/cutpaste/craft/birdpupt/ if you do not have
a bird puppet(s) on hand.The king bird should be holding a piece of
receipt style paper (or a strip of white construction paper) with the word
DEBTS written on the side that will face the audience. The bird should
hold the piece of paper in it's beak. The bird should mention a few of the
subjects in the kingdom and forgive their small debts to him of a few
worms. The king will forgive all of the debts that are under 10 worms. One
of his subjects has a large debt of 25 worms. The king calls that subject
(we called him Beaky) to his palace (we made ours from a printable build
your own castle kit that can be found at:
http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/birthday/mcastle.html with the finger
puppet sized birds at family fun see link above.) The bird that comes to
the castle and begs for the kings mercy.  The king forgives the birds debt
in total, and the bird leaves the castle. On the way out of the castle,
the castle guard (we used another bird finger puppet), stops the bird
(Beaky) and demands that he pay the king back the worms that he owes him.
The king is amazed and upset that the guard did this and has not learned
how to forgive people, grants the bird an extension on paying back the
debt of worms, and sends the castle guard to jail where the bird will have
time to think about the importance of forgiving others.

If you have a vcr available to you, there is a great lesson idea using the
movie Babe: Pig In The City online that can be found at:
Hope this helps,
Love in Christ,

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11) Patriotic Skits   

In regards to Patriotic Skits, an adorable one can be found at:
http://gardenofpraise.com/patriot.htm complete with costume ideas. Another
organization put it on originally, but they state on their site that it is
free to use in other formats. It can easily be adapted also as we did.
Hope this helps

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12) Unforgiving servant

You may find a story I wrote based on Matthew 18 of help. When I told it
my 1-2nd graders I added some acting and passion. You can find the story
at:  http://www.guyhenry.com/index.asp?pageid=48

There are other stories I've written on the site too. Hope it helps.

Guy Henry

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13) Bible Coins

Coins EARNED should never be "taken back."  Reward the others, perhaps,
for doing what that child was unable to do. The idea of a child having to
lose that which he earned makes me want to cry.

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14) Painted wall murals?

Does anyone know of some good ideas/instructions for wall murals? Our
Sunday School is planning on painting the walls in our rooms and we need
some inspiration. We have already thought of the creation story....can
anyone give me some insight?

--from SSTN: All the great stories of the Old and New Testament make for
great wall murals. Make sure you check the Archives (type "murals" and
"projector") into the search box, also check the links page:

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