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SSTN # 67 - July 29, 2005

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Chalk-It-Up ... Encourages creativity in kids! 

1) Together Time Totes
2) Talking in front of adults
3) Fear Factor ideas
4) Fear Factor
5) Temptation Island
6) Trouble speaking to adults


7) Trouble speaking to adults
8) Watermelon lesson
9) Family Sunday Service
10) Trouble speaking to adults

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Chalk-It-Up ... Encourages creativity in kids! 

Have fellowship fun with 22 Awesome Outdoor Games Kids Draw With Chalk.
Fun and wholesome activities for parties, icebreakers, and friendship
building! Use them at church, school, youth groups or for family time
get-togethers! The book comes with a pack of giant sidewalk chalk, a
recipe to make your own chalk and directions to make some unique game
accessories. Includes games for older and younger kids (K-5th grade)! Get
two sample games and learn more at:


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1) Together Time Totes?

I am a preschool teacher/assist. director of a small Christian Childcare
Center. My boss is a very Godly man. One desire he has had is to equip
parents to disciple to their children. We tried last year to send home
togetherness totes. These were small bags that had maybe a book or video,
with a craft or an activity, and maybe a wee memento (the books and videos
came back and all material was rotated among the families) (all biblical,
not secular)for the parents to do with their children. These went home
once a week, for a week. We would include a little card of what to look
for and discuss with your child from the book. They will be starting up
again in Sept.We want to do more?? We just feel we are snacking at this
and not quite getting the meal. Not all our parents are Christian and in
all the families, both parents work. We don't want it to be too much that
they feel like they are doing a full bible story but we want this nugget,
this morsel to be choice. Has anyone ever do
ne anything like this? Any ideas?? We are on a very tight budget, aren't
most programs, but would appreciate any and all ideas.

Diane aka Mrs.B

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2) Talking in front of adults

>" Does anyone have any suggestions that might make talking in front of
> large groups  of adults easier?"

Hi.  I have recently developed and facilitated a small group experience at
our church that I call VOICE.  Validation, Oration, Influence, Confidence,
Empowerment.  It is a group that is designed to get people more
comfortable with public speaking whether it be on the phone, one to one, or even in
front of the congregation to read scripture or a sermon.  One thing we
have found in the first four weeks of the six week sessions is that we often
struggle with the "authority" issue and "responsibility" issue.  We often
feel unworthy or like we lack the authority to be speaking or interpreting
things with regard to our faith, and often feel "responsible" for other's
experience while at a service in our church or their involvement in a
Sunday school activity. 

I talk over our weekly sessions a bit with our pastor each week since this
is the first time I have led the group and I developed it as an experiment
to increase laity involvement so I want to be sure I am on the right track
each week.  Our pastor gave me two great things to think about with regard
to authority and responsibility in particular.  The first is...we were
given the authority to speak God's Word through our baptism.  We are
destined to bring others to Christ, it is our duty and privilege to do so.
Further, we are not responsible for the experience of other's during
worship.  It is up to them and God to make that connection.  So if you
mess up a word or a statement, it isn't going to ruin the activity or worship
service.  I believe that if it ruins it for someone, there is something
wrong with their faith relationship...if we try, we can feel God's
presence anywhere and feel the joy we are intended to feel from it.  These two
statements have helped me tremendously as I too have difficulty from time
to time but have battled my fear because, like you, I love to teach and
love to share my love of God and my faith.  I don't want anything to get
in the way of my being able to share the joy God has given me and gives me
every moment of every day.  One thing I would suggest is that you don't
let these other adults take that away from you.  It is your right and you are
in the right place to express it.  If these others felt the way you do,
they would be taking the reigns and leading the way you are willing to.
The fact is that they are probably just as happy that someone else is
doing it and not them.  They are likely using their own talents in other ways.

We often blow things out of proportion in our own minds.  We have also
found that what we feel while speaking will be a huge deal is really just
going to be a blip in the day...not the catastrophic event we believe it
will blow up to be.  It is important to know what you are talking about,
so be sure to read the material you are going to share and have a good
understanding of it.  Also, remember that we all interpret scripture
differently.  We have seen that in the debates over children in worship,
and sparing the rod and spoiling the child right here in this newsletter.
There is never anything wrong with saying to a child "I don't really know
that, shall we look that up together?" or ..."I haven't ever really
understood that one either, what do you think it means?"  So, don't be
afraid to do that with adults either.  I do this with the older kids in my
youth group and with other adults who ask me about my perspective quite
often.  And remember....MOST IMPORTANTLY....You can do all things through
Christ who strengthens you!!!  (Phil 4:13)

In His Service,

T-burg UMC

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3) Fear Factor ideas

For the person needing Fear Factor ideas... we did fear factor for our
youth lock in. It was a big hit with gross foods and ideas. we also
alternated bible questios in between the gross things. we had relay races
while carrying boiled pigs feet and pig ears... in their mouths... to make
it look even worse we sprinkled  cooked rice on them.... lots of other
things... to many to list. if u wanna email me please feel free...
Good luck.

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4) Fear Factor

Last year for VBS we also did fear factor.  The children were blindfolded
and had to eat gross things -- eyeballs were actually grapes.  I used
Chinese noodles and told the children they were fried brains.  Sardines
were sushi, and I had a jar of pickled pig's foot which I said was pickled
pig's foot--really grossed them out.  I also had them peel a banana with
their feet (all things are possible with God) and then they each washed
each other's feet (an act of servant hood).  My kids were all 9 and 10
years old. 

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5) Temptation Island

VBS was an exhausting success!  Thanks so much for this idea.  We had the
idea to have teachers & tempters with each class & the different
challenges were different stations & everyone rotated around.  Tempter's
job was to be a little older & "cool" and for them to tempt the groups
accordingly.....take the candy even though they said not to.....smoke a
cigarette behind the church.....steal one of the rewards.......General
idea was to vote the tempters off the island for commencement & grant
immunity necklaces (seashell leis from one of the magazines like Oriental
Trading) for everyone that came to VBS and learned God's way to handle
temptations.   Getting ready for commencement & trying to figure out how
to get the tempters turned around & pointed toward salvation without it
becoming to much like a skit.  Got the torches to extenguish, cut cane
type reeds and covered our carport where the church van gets parked & made
our classroom hut, covered the front porch of the church in reeds (can't
wait to see the reaction from our Sunday morning crowd as we've left it up
for commencement that night :)  Made a dangerous section of our porpterty
into the island complete with flags of temptation.....lying, stealing,
cheating, disobedience, etc... wages of sin skull & crossbones flag, etc.
Guess you can tell we got into it!
Thanks again for the blessing of this idea.
Myra Harris

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6) Trouble speaking to adults

Dear Sarah in California,
My heart goes out to you.    You have provided so much good advice and
encouragement to many of us via this page and at other sites.   And now
you have taken the very brave step of revealing a “hidden” side of
yourself to the whole SSTN, and that is a very good first step. 

There seem to be several different issues in the matters you have

My first advice to you, is - stop forcing yourself to do things that are
causing such adverse reactions.  Anything you do that makes you physically
ill is a strong message for you – your body is trying to tell you
something – it’s saying: “Stop doing this to yourself, it’s not good for
you.”  You need to talk to your colleagues, if you haven’t already done
so, and explain just how you are affected.  

It seems as though the change in curriculum has revived an earlier
unresolved problem of anxiety in addressing a group of adults.   You may
need help to work through this.   However, you share with many other
kids/youth leaders, myself included, the problem of having difficulties in
having adult “spectators” when they are working with a group of children (
and this has been exacerbated by your earlier school experience).  
Perhaps the Children’s Ministry Team as a whole needs to talk over the new
curriculum and work out who are the best people to lead the large group
worship time.   Be frank and say that you have difficulties and need help
if you are to be involved in this part of the program.  (The Children’s
Ministry Pastor’s wife seems to be a particular problem for you.   I
wonder what she would think if she knew she was causing you such angst.)

Another change in the curriculum that seems to be stressing you is the
introduction of shepherds into the individual classes.    What is the role
of the shepherds?   I presume there is a reason for this new innovation
and that everyone is clear about their roles.  I believe that in a
class-room situation, the teacher needs to be the leader of the class,
whatever leadership model is used, and other adults need to respect
this.   I’ve never had problems with adult “helpers” who follow my lead,
but I have found it difficult to work with little ones if, for example,
the other adults talk amongst themselves, bring with them their own
agendas, or favour particular children. 

In summary, look after yourself, do what you do best (using God’s gifts to
you and leaving things you can't do to others), share your concerns and
continue to be your own beautiful self.

Love and prayers,
Helen in Adelaide

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7) Trouble speaking to adults

Speak directly to the kids, ignore the adults. 
Pray that God will give you self confidence. Sounds like the enemy is
trying to make you feel intimidated.You are doing it unto Him (God), not
anyone else.
You can do it!

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8) Watermelon lesson
Use the pumpkin parable and change it a bit.

--from SSTN: you can find the pumpkin parable in the archives:

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9) Family Sunday Service

Have the children perform the parts of the service which they are able to
do, e.g. lead the congregation in reciting the Lord's prayer or leading
the singing of songs that they know.

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10) Trouble speaking to adults

It DOES seem hard sometimes to speak in front of a group of adults.  It
gets easier as you do it more often, though.  Seek out the opportunities
to speak and then practice, practice, practice what you are going to say. 
Just remember this:  You are speaking to a group of Christians, who love
you as a sister and WANT you to succeed.  They are not hoping to catch you
in a mistake, rather they are praying for you and admiring your courage! 
Give a little silent prayer before you start and forge ahead.  God be with

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11) Trouble speaking to adults

I hope my words are of comfort to the young woman with this concern.  
First off, you're very normal -- even adults have fear of talking in front
of large groups, some have fear of talking in front of children.    I also
had this problem -- one of my aunts was very critical of everything I said
or did, so I "learned" that adults other than my parents would be
critical--- but I was wrong.   Practice helped me:  In college I took
speach classes and waited tables in restaurants, and as I became more
experienced talking in front of people, I learned that most are not
critical, but are compassionate and understand that speaking in front of a
group is a challenge.   Further, over time I learned that I didn't care
what they thought!    Their evil thoughts were between them and their
If you find that the adults in your congregation are watching your every
move and word, they are giving you their full attention and respect (which
is better than ignoring you).   And if you screw up -- say "let me start
over" or 'scratch that, I meant ___".     I'm now a successful 43 year old
business executive and I see public speaking screw ups all the time --
those are human accidents that are quickly forgotten.    And, I'm sure the
members of your congregation have compassion, and the knowledge that if
they think any less of you -- God knows what's in their heart -- He's got
your back!  

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12) Trouble speaking to adults

I have the same problem. I am very shy around other adults. Give me kids
over adults anyday! This is what works for me. Don't laugh. I dress up in
costume. It probably sounds silly, but when I'm a clown or a cowgirl, or
something else, it doesn't seem so bad. I'm a totally different person.
The kids love it of course, but the adults are always entertained too.
This may not be the best way to confront my public speaking issues, but it
really helps me. I hope this advice is helpful. If nothing else, take
comfort in knowing you are not alone. May God bless you and your ministry.

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