Explore the Beatitudes With Your Kids!

Faith Case:The Beatitudes, the latest kit in a DVD-driven children's church curriculum, introduces your kids to new characters Super Agent Man SAM, and cadets Ayliana and Riley. These investigators-in-training, along with the help of SAM and the Commissioner, learn what living for God really looks like and discover the incredible truths behind each "blessed are."

9 sessions cover:
  • Living for God
  • Asking for Help
  • Admitting My Sin
  • Letting God Control Me
  • Hungering for God
  • Meeting Other's Needs
  • Keeping My Heart Clean
  • Choosing Peace
  • Doing What's Right

Video clips, object lessons, and games help tie lessons together. This exciting video-based children's church curriculum for grades K-6 requires only one leader, making it ideal for churches of all sizes. Everything you need comes in one cool briefcase. Learn more and check out a free sample.


Believer Bands are Here!

Take advantage of the latest craze of rubber band bracelets your kids are collecting. Believer Bands have a twist—they help kids share their faith!

"God with Us" Believer Bands are great giveaways, and you can use them to teach the Christmas story too! Simply print off the downloadable nativity scene. Then parcel out the bands to your kids. As you share the Christmas narrative, have the children bring their bands up, one by one, to add to the nativity scene.

Not only are Believer Bands a fun, interactive way to teach the good news of Christmas, they make it easy for kids to share the Gospel of Christ.

We also have the "He Is Risen" series and "Live the Call." 

"He Is Risen" is perfect for Easter. Beginning with Jesus riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday, these bands take you through the last supper, betrayal, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. Use them to help tell the Easter story.

"Live the Call" are perfect evangelism tools. These bands represent essential Christian teachings that will remind believers to live up to the calling of Christ.

See them all here!


Advice to Polish Your Christmas Program

The year is flying by and Christmas will be here before you know it. As you start your planning for this year's program, we hope you will keep this advice from other children's and drama leaders in mind:

  • Choose a program that is multi-generational, to aid in teaching and control.
  • Create characters you believe in, but more importantly that you love.
  • Always invite the Holy Spirit to move in, because His presence will make up for mistakes
  • Keep it simple, based on your resources. The only ambition you should have is to please God.
  • If you have a budget and/or professionals in your congregation, try to get skilled people involved.
- Steven Feldman, Nashville, TN

  • Don't rely on oral communication for anything - use flyers and emails.
  • Purpose to inspire and utilize new student talent. It takes more work but yields a broader blessing.
  • Don't leave any young students on the stage for more than three minutes without a line, movement, or something!
- Danny Middleton, Mesa, AZ

Break the rehearsal schedule down so that only those children who are absolutely necessary are at the rehearsal. This will keep you from having a group of kids sitting around getting bored while waitng their turn on stage. Have parents sign up to help supervise the kids.
- Paula Parker, Tullahoma, TN

DO make sure the parents are willing to help.
DO have a tight schedule so kids are kept busy.
DO have a sense of humor and the patience of Job.
DO know your church's, your cast's, and your own limitations.
Find teachable moments. Make sure the kids know proper stage directions and other lingo. Encourage their imaginations. I often have the cast participate in fun improv activities before the rehearsal starts, just to get everyone loosened up and ready to take the stage!
- Sharyn Kopf, Jamestown, OH

Organized activities at every rehearsal! Anytime kids have down time is a potential disaster.
- Sandra Turley, Springfield, MO
BelieverBands are great gifts for the cast!


Parents are a Necessary Part

Evidence is overwhelming that parent involvement is the most significant factor in all educational questions, but  too often Christian educators do no better than schools to get parents involved. When you think of all the children and young people in your Sunday School and other church activities, how many of their parents are involved in the true sense of the word? What energies to we put into getting all parents involved? A key value in people building is: All parents are valued and are the focus of our ministry. Focus requires intentional action.

Focus on Parent’s Needs

Parents need biblical guidance.
Although the Bible gives direct advice and commands about child rearing, until recently the church did little in directed parent education. Now, with decreasing family stability, we know many parents are left without models and guidelines. They need help. Secular parenting classes are not the answer. The major need is for parents to model and teach Christian principles of love and living. Parents need Bible teaching applied to parenting.

Parents need support for their values.
Christian parents need the reinforcement of having their children hear from others what the parents teach at home. Teachers who communicate and honestly involve parents help build healthy families. Parents and teachers who unite in concern for young people give them strength to resist outside forces.

Parents need group influence and interaction.
Sunday School provides an ideal support group for parents. Three powerful elements of group membership contribute to its success. First, there is inspiration and encouragement as parents discover biblical principles that apply in their specific situations. Second, parents exchange experiences and ideas. They learn from each other. Third, they develop emotional and spiritual strength and empathy as they pray together and work toward similar goals.

Envelop Parents In Love
Involve, in modern English, means to include as a relevant or necessary part. In real life no one is more involved than parents. They are necessary to their children. If we care about children, we will understand that parents are an important part of our ministry. We will act on another term related to involvement. WE will envelop them. WE will wrap them up in our love.

Billie Davis
© 2010 General Council of the Assemblies of God


Sunday School Offers What Parents Want Most for their Children

When we focus on what parents are looking for, we can help them find it.

Most parents want help. I felt newly convinced of this as I viewed the amazing array of materials on parenting themes in a large bookstore. I counted 31 different periodicals and 875 book titles! Such a market exists because parents feel uncertain and are reaching out for advice on how to raise their children.

Looking at the book titles and article topics I noted many repetitions of certain questions and concerns. I found myself making a list of “what parents want for their children.” I realized with growing excitement that if the church would use its full potential we could do more than any other agency to help parents find what they are seeking.

Through Sunday School we could provide every item on my list of what parents want for their children:

1. A spiritual dimension
Even non-Christian parents express a remarkably consistent desire for their children to have exposure to teaching about moral and religious values. They sense that kids need a “spiritual dimension” in life to help them develop character and personality.

2. Positive Influences
Parents want their children to be protected from negative influences of media and social trends that devalue morals, to have healthy friendships and peer groups, and to have strong adult models.

3. Socialization
Learning how to get along with others, resolving conflicts without violence, and respecting legitimate authority are major concerns. Parents want help with relating to teenagers, understanding them, and keeping their respect.
4. Caring, Sharing, and Giving
The popular magazines devote many pages to raising kind, caring kids, encouraging empathy, and discouraging selfishness. Parents ask how to get young children and teenagers to appreciate what they have and be willing to share with others.

5. Responsibility
Responsibility is a major topic in parenting literature. Parents want their children to be responsible for their own actions and learn to take the consequences for their choices. They agonize over questions of how to set limits and teach principles of right and wrong. They recognize that children are confused by too many temptations, that they need structure.

6. Discovery and Development of Talents
Children and young persons need opportunities for self-expression. Parents want them to use their natural talents and gifts in ways that contribute to healthy self esteem and afford pleasure to others.

7. Safe and Uplifting Recreation
Parents want a safe environment where kids, especially teenagers, can have fun without being pulled into temptations involving alcohol, drugs and sex. They ask about how to provide wholesome entertainment and social events.

A good Sunday School provides support and direction in each of these categories, and also offers parents what they need for themselves:

1. Support for Their Values
Parents need the outside reinforcement of having their children hear from others what the parents teach at home. No one can provide better support for parents than a respected Sunday School teacher.

2. Sharing With Other Parents
A major benefit of parenting classes is the exchange of experiences and ideas. Regular Sunday School classes can give parents this opportunity.

3. Parenting Helps in the Curriculum
Every teacher of adults should be aware of parents’ needs and look for opportunities to make lesson applications that are helpful to parents. Every teacher should pray for parents in the class and encourage them to express needs and ideas.

4. Prayer and Support in All Situations
Teachers should keep parents aware of the Sunday School as a partner. Be alert and sensitive to the needs of single parents and those with particular problems.

Sunday School is the Parents’ Best Partner
With God’s help we could make a CONTRACT WITH PARENTS to provide what they want for their children and what they need for themselves.

Billie Davis
© 2010 General Council of the Assemblies of God


Discipline Policy for Children's Ministries

Classroom management is a crucial skill every teacher needs. These 11 tips can help you cut down on discipline problems before they happen. Check them out and share any we've missed.

1) The use of corporal punishment is expressly forbidden for all children’s workers, including parents who serve in a classroom with their own children.

2) Establish the three-person policy—insist on having three or more people present in every worker-child encounter. Disruptive behavior is to be handled in the classroom, not in isolation with worker and child alone. The children’s pastor should provide two or more workers in every room.

3) When it is evident that you have an extreme case which cannot be handled by classroom workers, contact your ministry coordinator for assistance.

4) Establish simple rules for your classroom. State these positively. General rules for very class are:
  • Respect those in authority.
  • Speak and walk softly indoors.
  • Put materials away before beginning a new project.
  • Use words to solve problems.
  • Leave room and equipment better than you found it.

5) Be consistent in enforcing your classroom rules.

6) NEVER threaten a child!

7) Always maintain self-control. Never shout or exhibit angry behavior toward the children. If you feel you are losing control, contact your children’s pastor or ministry coordinator for assistance.

8) Never embarrass a child with words or actions.

9) Here are some things to do when a child becomes disruptive:
  • Restate the rules to the entire class.
  • Gain eye contact with the student.
  • Lightly touch the child on the shoulder, letting him know that you care and are aware of his behavior.
  • Redirect the child’s actions.
  • Change your activity. Perhaps the child is bored.
  • Move the child to a different location in the classroom.

10) Preschool: When a preschooler continues to disrupt class, follow these steps:
  • Move the child to a time-out chair. The time-out chair should be placed where the child can readily observe the rest of the class. This is not a tool of humiliation.
  • Tell the child how long he will be in the chair and briefly remind him why he is being disciplined. A good rule of thumb is one minute per year of the child’s age.
  • At the end of the time-out, the worker will approach the child in a spirit of forgiveness and invite him to reenter the classroom activity.

11) Elementary: Here are a few ideas to remember when ministering in a positive way to
the individual who continues with disruptive behavior:
  • Encounter him on an individual level. Take him to the side or back of the room for discipline.
  • Explain the broken rule. Help the child to understand which simple classroom rule was broken and the importance of following all rules.
  • Encourage repentance. Repent means to turn around. With God’s help, any child can choose repentance and experience a dramatic change in behavior.
  • Engage in prayer. Pray with the child.
  • Expect God to work in the child’s life.

by Dick Gruber, former Children’s Ministries Consultant for the Assemblies of God National Sunday School Department

© 2006 Gospel Publishing House. Taken from Childrn's Ministries Help Sheets from the Children's Ministries Agency of the Assemiblies of God. Used by permission. Permissoin to reproduce for local church use only.


Guard Your Heart: Teaching Kids to Be Pure in a Promiscuous World

Young children are designed to mimic and follow the examples they see: it’s how they develop basic skills such as talking and walking. But in a world that persistently devalues God’s truths and exalts immorality, our children must quickly discover that all influences do not exist for their good. Unfortunately, the age at which children must make that discovery is getting younger with each generation. How can we as ministry leaders address purity with children and help them protect their God-given innocence?

It’s never too early.

If we wait to instruct a child in purity until they begin having questions about sexual activity, he or she may already be losing the battle to remain pure. Teaching young children they are part of God’s creation, plan, and purpose encourages them to recognize the value of personal purity. Our guidance can make them more attentive to the choices they make. As children mature, that truth grows into adolescents and teenagers who more carefully consider the potential consequences that result from individual choices.

Be proactive.

The battle for purity begins with a proactive mindset. God provided us with His perfect Word of instruction so we would learn to live in ways that are pleasing to Him. By our example, we need to teach our children to consult the Bible every day and for every question. When their eyes are shaded with knowledge from the Bible, children at an early age can distinguish what is holy and pure.

In addition to setting their minds on truth, we should teach children to guard their hearts. It can be a challenge to help children really understand the need to guard their hearts since so much of childhood focuses on managing outward behavior. At the earliest age possible, we can share that the Bible tells us our hearts are the source of behavior and attitude, a wellspring of life. Out of our hearts flow everything of value and importance and, therefore, should be carefully guarded (Proverbs 4:23).

Show that God’s love is in His boundaries.

Sometimes we can be so intent on children remembering the guidelines God has set for us that we forget to reveal the reasoning and love behind them. We can teach children that purposeful boundaries are the framework for fulfilling God’s will in their lives. The truth is, boundaries are designed to increase our enjoyment of life, rather than limit it. Through respecting God’s principles we can experience life at its fullest. The child who learns to view God’s boundaries as protective rather than restrictive will grow to appreciate and embrace them.

Prepare children to stand out.

God’s perspective will always oppose a worldly point of view. Children should realize that thoughts, choices, and actions that are pleasing before God will not reflect those of the world. We can consistently encourage children to position themselves on the side of God’s truth and help them understand that a lifestyle reflecting the pursuit of purity will not look the same as peers who live according to the standards of the world. When we teach children how to make that stand with love for their peers, we have not only equipped them for purity, but also for evangelism.

Be an example of God’s grace and forgiveness.

It is a daunting, yet deeply rewarding, challenge to teach children how to live their most spiritually vibrant life—a life of freedom instead of regret. We must reveal to children their soaring potential and at the same time, be quick to show God’s forgiveness when they make a mistake. In love, we can point the way to God’s limitless grace and the abundant blessing along the journey of purity.

Purity, especially sexual purity, can be a difficult topic to address with kids. Consider using HighPoint Purity help you. In Purity, kids discover God’s plan for them is sexual purity. They will explore how to guard their minds and hearts as well as their actions to maintain purity. To learn more about this kit and HighPoint, click here

© 2010 by Gospel Publishing House. All rights reserved.


What Are They Searching For?

YouTube. Google. Facebook. Sex. Porn. Club Penguin.

These were the most popular search terms for 8-12 year olds and those 7 and under, according to recently released research from Norton, provider of virus and Internet security protection.

Shocked? Don't miss the full report here.

But what are the implications for children's ministry?

  • Are you talking to parents about the need for Internet filters on their home computers? About putting the computer in a public place? About social media? No need to cause a panic; just make them aware.
  • Are you talking to kids about their Internet usage? Using it in analogies and examples?
  • More importantly, are you teaching kids about the meaning of Purity - not solely sexual purity, though that needs to be included - but what it means to "Above all else, guard your heart"?
For more information on how you can equip kids and parents in your ministry, see these posts on Internet Safety.

For help teaching kids purity, check out HighPoint Purity. In Purity, kids discover God’s plan for them is sexual purity. They will explore how to guard their minds and hearts as well as their actions to maintain purity.


Toddler Learning Styles

Can one-year-olds learn? Yes,they are learning during every waking moment. The more important question is WHAT will toddlers learn during their group times in God’s house. Toddlers have their own distinct learning style. Teachers who understand toddler learning styles can tailor Bible learning to fit the way toddlers learn.

Toddlers Like the Familiar
Toddlers are happier in God’s house when they know their teachers. If possible, ask teachers to teach at a specified time for a specified period (i.e., during the Sunday School hour for six months). If that isn’t possible, create lesson routines and rituals that will become familiar to the children. Remember, in the toddler years, “familiarity breeds contentment.”

Toddlers Enjoy Ritual
Once toddlers master an activity, they like to repeat it again and again. Their enjoyment of ritual is an expression of their joy in learning.

Toddlers Learn Through Exploration
Plan ways to teach Bible ideas in a box, with a block, with toy animals, with a puzzle, with any safe object a toddler can explore.

Toddlers Learn from Imitation
If a teacher shakes a bell or moves a toy in a way related to a Bible story, toddlers will probably imitate that part of the lesson.

Toddlers Learn Through Repetition

Rather than changing the lesson every time the children come to church, repeat lesson ideas and activities. These young children need repetition to give them time to master new skills. For this reason, consider making lesson activities, complete with instructions, that can be stored in and taught in the toddler room during every service for at least a month.

Toddlers Can Be Passive Participants
From time to time, toddlers will watch the teachers without imitating. During these times, toddlers continue to learn. When they have decided how to imitate(or that it is safe to imitate), they will become active participants.

Toddlers Understand More Than They Can Say
Some educators believe that for every word a toddler can say, he can understand 100 words. Toddlers can follow simple instructions. They can enjoy simple stories. They can also repeat funny sounds and simple words. Their level of understanding lets them learn first ideas about God.

Toddlers Respond Quickly to Music
Teachers can use music to gain (and regain) toddler attention, to gather children for a new activity, or to help children remember Bible ideas. One way to do this is to make up new words to familiar tunes.

Toddlers Need Help to Find Good Ways to Play Alongside Others
Teachers can guide toddlers toward good ways to take turns, to solve problems, to build with blocks, to play instruments, to cooperate, etc. If toddlers come to see grown-ups as people with good ideas, they may continue to seek grown-up help as they grow older. Generally, children who love and trust grown-ups find it easier to love and trust God, too.

Toddlers Learn Through Their Senses
The more senses that teachers can involve in Bible lessons, the more children will enjoy church, remember Bible ideas, and transfer God’s ways into everyday living. So watch for ways to allow toddlers to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell during every Bible session.

“You have known the Holy Scriptures since you were a child. The Scriptures are able to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15, International Children’s Bible)
by Sharon Ellard, Early Childhood consultant

 Looking for a curriculum that addresses toddler's learning needs? Check out Sunlight Kids.

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