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SSTN # 74 - August 18, 2004

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--> "His Name Shall Be Called..."

1) Children in Worship
2) Behavior?
3) Children In Church
4) Rally Day & 40 Days of Purpose?

--> Spirit Gifts...An Introduction For Children

5) Teaching Memory verses
6) Children's day at church
7) Lock-In Ideas
8) Children's day at church

--> Curriculum for Fall Session

9) Needing Used VBS Materials
10) Sheep Olympics
11) Bible songs in Sign Language
12) Right date for VBS

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--> "His Name Shall Be Called..."

The God of the Old and New Testament is known by many names. These names
help us to understand his nature and reputation. They define him as
Protector, Defender, Friend, Advisor, Judge, and Savior to name just a
few. The Third Commandment says, "Do Not Misuse God’s Name". It is my
desire that this study will help you to teach respect and honor for God to
the children in your ministry. Free USA shipping!

To learn more, go to this page:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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1) Children in Worship

>I've read many comments on children in worship and I thought i might as
>well add my own. I feel like a lot of children have a hard time
>understanding >(even if they try) the sermon that the minister intends
>for the adults in the congregation. During the worship service the
>children at our church go to a

Our chapel decided last year that the children were not getting anything
out of the service and they were preventing their parents from getting
anything either.
We have children who now get up on Sunday morning and ask the parents if
it is time to go to church yet. What a great testimony. Make learning
about God fun and the children will want to learn!

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2) Behavior?

I'm really enjoying the information shared in this group, and getting to
know some of you off the newsletter.  I teach Sunday School for the 9-12
age group and enjoy it very much.  There's a 10 y/o girl who was coming
sporadically, but now that I've started the class for this group she's
coming more often.  She's really delightful as far as personality, but
there are some issues with her behavior.  Every time she comes to class,
she brings something to attract the attention of the other kids.  Last
week it was a canteen, this week it was a bag of candy, etc.  The
beginning of class is usually kind of crazy anyway because the
superintendent misplaces the offering basket and attendance cards.  When
I ask her to put her things away for now she does, but every week it's
something else.  I teach very "hands on" concepts.  I use lots of visuals,
but I also have the kids read out of their Bibles and I ask them
thought-provoking questions for discussion.  I want to keep class fun,
while still keeping the focus on the Word of God.  Despite my trying to
keep things interesting, she almost always disrupts the class.  This week
she actually put her head down on her desk and began sleeping.  When one
of the other girls nudged her and told her to stop it, she loudly
announced how tired she was.  She interrupts the discussions to talk about
things that are completely irrelevant to what the group was talking about,
and if I'm not careful she'll just take a monologue and run with it.  When
there is something to read, or a worksheet to complete that takes a bit of
thought, she gets tired of it quickly and begins talking and distracting
others from what they're doing.  The others in the class are starting to
get annoyed with her behavior and are acting negatively towards her.  I
gather that she is craving attention and acceptance from her peers, but as
I am relatively new to children's ministry I am wondering how to
accomplish giving her some of the attention she needs while keeping her
from monopolizing everything, and while staying in the lesson and on
Thanks in advance!

--from SSTN: while you wait for replies, check the archives for some
helpful advice:

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3) Children In Church

>Our services start at 10:30.  Babies to seniors are all in one big
>room...and we are all taught the SAME LESSON, at the SAME TIME.
>Babies to school age... play with their own toys brought from home, while
>schoolage to teens have WORKSHEETS to do.

>>Wow it almost sounds like chaos with even babies in the room.  I am glad
>>that it works for you, but it would drive me crazy and I am not a senior
>>yet, but getting close. (58)  Also don't the children and teens get tired
>>of doing the same thing every week? (worksheets) It seems like they

How will babies/children ever learn to sit for more than 5 minutes without
being entertained if we never give them the chance?  I have a 1yr old girl
and a 3yr old boy.  At our usual church, there is SS all year because we
have lots of kids.  However, this past weekend, we attended at my in-laws
church, since we were visiting them, and there is no SS in the summer
I got numerous compliments on how well-behaved my children were.  My
secret? Discipline and cheerios in a snack cup.  My children did not "drive any
one crazy", the one time my daughter did fuss I just took her out of the room
for a minute.  I don't think it is too much to expect kids to sit for an
hour or two ONE day a week to worship God.  They can do crafts, videos,
etc. at home too, I am all for making learning about God fun for kids, but
give them a little credit.  Do YOU get tired of doing the same thing every
week? If children are brought up in the way they should go, inclusion in worship
will be a normal part of their life, from babyhood on.  My son LOVES SS
class, but he understands that sometimes there isn't one, and that he has
to sit and be quiet, because we are in God's house.  The baby has toys,
but he understands that he is a big boy, and he may look at the song book
or his picture bible, but not play.  I don't understand why this is such a
novel idea.  Think about Jesus in the temple as a child!

In Him,
Kristine Bell

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4) Rally Day & 40 Days of Purpose?

Our church is participating in the 40 days of Purpose this fall. We will
be having a Rally Day the Sunday prior to our kick-off. Does anyone have
any suggestions for intergerational activites or children's games for our
Rally Day based on the 40 day theme.
I'm also looking for Biblical finger puppets. Does anyone know where I can
buy some?
My e-mail is lvanepps@hotmail.com
Blessings, Lexis

--from SSTN: for those responding, please remember, if you reply
off-network the other teachers will not benefit from your knowledge. ;o)

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--> Spirit Gifts...An Introduction For Children

An inspirational midweek program that contains a variety of fun lessons,
crafts, and games to teach the children in your ministry about the
following Spirit-filled Gifts: FAITH, WISDOM, MIRACLES, HEALING, 

To learn more, visit this webpage:

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5) Teaching Memory verses
I believe that one of the most important things we can do in our
children's groups is to effectively implant God's word into their lives.
There are many ways we can teach Scripture to children, but In my
experience, the most effective method I have come across is to use
"Diminishing words." This is very simple and easy to prepare, but children
really enjoy it because they think that they are fooling "teacher."
Write out your memory verse about 6 or 7 times on pieces of cardboard (or
paper). However, each time you write, gradually make the words smaller.
The words on your last card should be as small as you can possibly write
Show your first card (Biggest words) to your group, and have them say the
verse. Then simply work your way through to the last card - children
repeating the words each time. As you get to the smaller words, start to
compliment the group on their eyesight. Act amazed when they manage to
"read" your last card. Then say "I think you are trying to fool me. I
don't believe you can really read this last card. I think you have
memorised the verse. I think you can repeat the verse without any card at
all" - And they will!
I have recently drawn up a list of fifteen 'fun' ways of teaching Memory
verses. If anyone would like a copy, please email me at
mnmsweetsur@xtra.co.nz  If you are a regular reader of my monthly
Newsletters, you will automatically receive this as part of Newsletter 25.
Maurice Sweetsur.

--from SSTN: you may find Maurice's list posted at:

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6) Children's day at church

Here's what I would do in your situation:

Come up with a theme~ Fruit of the Spirit would be good!
Advertise the service with nice posters and in your church bulletin.
Find or make up a skit that involves the help of adults and has to do with
your theme. You may want to ask the adults ahead of time, or it may be
funnier if they "volunteer" at the time and read their parts with funny
hats or costumes on! I think a play on the Fruit of the Loom characters
would be hilarious!
Choose a song that would have some favorite adults (pastor, etc.) come up
front and act a little silly.
If you'd like to share some scripture, ask a teen or a parent to share
something that has to do with your theme.
Pass out scriptures for the congregation to read out loud at the right
time. (Attach a piece of fruity candy, like Starburst or a small box of
Plan a quiz-off between adults and kids using the Fruits of the Spirit.
Give each player a fruit roll-up and the winning team a bowl of fruit to
Take up the offering in a fruit basket.
Decorate the windows/tables, etc. with fresh fruit and encourage the
congregation to help themselves to the fruit as they leave :o)
If possible, get someone to video tape the children or members of the
congregation in action, exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit! Love, joy,
peace, patience...etc.! Let us know how it goes and what you decide to do!
Sounds nerve-racking, but fun!

Angie <><

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7) Lock-In Ideas

>I am having lock-in at church before school starts back for pre-school
> thur 5th grade.I am looking for some activities and games.

An idea we used was the hunt for breakfast! We tied small boxes of cereal
little jugs of milk, spoons, and plastic bowl(put a hole in them with a
hole punch). We tied these to trees and bushes all over the campsite and
the campers had to forage for breakfast, one year we even tied bananas!

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8) Children's day at church

>Hi, In October our children's Sunday school class is supposed to do the
>church service!!!! The problem is the children's class is very small.
>Two faithful members and 5 to 6 others that randomly attend.....

This message is in response to the posting about a Children's day at
church. It sounds as though the children are participating (running) the
entire service. If this is the case, maybe you could have them do the
Lords Prayer Candle Lesson as a message, and they could lead the church in
praying the Lords Prayer for prayer time. This could be brought across as
"the way the Bible teaches us to pray" and the "way we learn to pray in
Sunday School". Songs that show Gods love for children "Jesus Loves The
Little Children" or "Jesus Loves Me" might be a good way to go as well.
The kids could also stand at the doors before church and shake hands and
say hello to people entering church.
Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,

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--> Curriculum for Fall Session

What will you be teaching this Fall? Why not choose from one of the
"Hands-on Bible Lessons" (for Kindergarten - 5th grade)? They are easy to
implement and are great for midweek lessons. They can be incorporated into
rotation-type programs too!

Available at:   http://www.christiancrafters.com/curriculum.html   

All sales help to support SSTN and ChristianCrafters.Com.

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9) Needing Used VBS Materials

I am writing in hopes that someone has expired VBS materials that they
would be willing to donate to our congregation.  I have responded to
offers in the past but have not been the recipient of the materials.  I am
very thankful there is a network of people who recognize the importance of
children in worship and pray that we will be able to host a VBS next
year.  Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely - Shannon Graham, First Congregational Church of Laingsburg
(please enter VBS in subject field so that I will know to open the mail)

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10) Sheep Olympics

In a recent posting, a sheep Olympics was mentioned but the author noted
that she didn’t know how to find the information on the web again.  After
a bit of searching, I think I found the resource materials for the sheep
Olympics.  They were posted by Hilliard Presbyterian Church, Hilliard,
Ohio, are found at http://www.rotation.org/hpc/vbs/sheep1-4.htm

Denise S.

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11) Bible songs in Sign Language

For Bible songs in Sign Language, check out the book "With Heart And Hands
and Voices: Songs with sign language for Sunday School, Choir, and
Worship" by Deborah Tyree published by Abingdon Press. ASIN: 0687089921.
Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

--from SSTN: you can find this book in our bookstore by typing
"With Heart And Hands and Voices" in the search box at:

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12) Right date for VBS?

Is there such a thing as THE right date for VBS. One of the things we
considered in choosing the date was the figures for church attendance for
each week in the summers past. We choose August as church attendace was
higher then.  It took 3 years at the same date before the congregation
started to plan it into their summers. We are now thinking of moving it
later in the summer as we are noticing a trend for families to take
holidays the first 2 weeks of August.
Attendance usually averages around half the amount of our Sunday school
enrollment and that is okay. Summer is a busy time and a family time.
You are doing alright.

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