VERY BIG SPORTS CAMP - VBS ALTERNATIVE




Very Big Sports (VBS) Camp

Submitted by Justeen Hill

One year, instead of the usual VBS we introduced Very Big Sports Camp. We rented a junior high for one week which offered a large gym, small gym, tennis courts, track field, swimming pool, soccer field, etc.

The day began with wacky games in the big gym and then the kids were able to sample a sport of their choosing for one hour. The sport was staffed with volunteers from the church. Fun was emphasized rather than drills and skills.

A snack was then served and then on to the gym bleachers for the Bible lesson.

We closed the day with a 15-minute message from a well-known Christian athlete who highlighted the importance of keeping one's Christian integrity and attitude while playing sports.

The event pulled in kids who normally would never have attended a regular VBS.

T-shirts were included in the $25.00 registration fee.

VBS SUMMER CAMP



Lawrenceville First United Methodist Church Summer Camp offers children an exciting summer full of fun, and nurtures spiritual growth in a loving, Christian environment. They balance arts, crafts, recreation, and sightseeing with nature, reading, relaxing, and devotion each week to ensure variety and a great time for all.

Summer Camp is open to children ages 4-13 who will be entering grades pre-K through 8th. It runs from 9:00 am. to 4:00 pm. Extended care hours are available at no additional charge. Children may come as early as 7:00 am. and stay as late as 6:15 pm.

Campers are placed in appropriately sized groups according to age. The Pre-K / Kindergarten group consists of 4 & 5 year-olds who learn to sing, play, and grow together through the summer as they participate in art, recreation, rest time, story time, play time, and an occasional field trip!

While they provide plenty of activity, they also bring puppet shows, storytellers, bubble fun, and a whole lot of laughing to them.

Their daily routine is one of comfortable structure and is sensitive to the needs of these younger children.

The Elementary ages (grades 1-5) are always on the go! Each age group participates in arts & crafts, recreation, and devotion on a daily basis, and goes swimming and on 1 or 2 field trips each week in conjunction with weekly themes!

Each grade's schedule, trips, and curriculum are unique and tailored to the needs of that particular age group. These groups develop lasting friendships and make great memories as they go through their summer camp adventure together!

SUMMER FUN WEEK - VBS Alternative



Another name for VBS.

The week is packed with games, crafts, music, and creative learning opportunities.

Each day, children learn a different truth about God, Jesus, and the Bible.

PRAISE & PLAY - Preschool VBS Alternative

Summer camp for preschoolers with a program including Bible stories, crafts, music, outdoor play, observing nature in God's great world, and guided indoor play.

Jerusalem Markeplace VBS



Jerusalem Marketplace immerses learners of all ages in Bible-times culture. Preschoolers through adults taste and smell new foods, explore new traditions, and discover new talents as they try their hand at arts and crafts.


At Jerusalem Marketplace VBS, you'll be a part of:

Bible Times Experience–Participants step back in time and discover the incredible accounts in the Bible really did happen.

They'll:
• build strong relationships with other tribe members
• explore authentic traditions
• create handmade projects
• taste and smell exotic foods

Life-long Bible Learning–It's a multisensory experience! Jerusalem Marketplace uses all five senses–see, hear, taste, touch, and smell–to create Bible encounters participants can't wait to share with others! Plus, you can send guests home with Bible Memory Makers and Family Devotional Kits–tools to reinforce learning.

KIDVENTURE -- VBS Alternative

Summer day camp program.

Sometimes all you need to do is change the name -- think out of the box -- get out of your comfort zone.

Kidventure sounds SOOOOOOOOOOO much more fun than Vacation Bible SCHOOL !!!!!

Camp MAD - VBS Option

Camp focused on Music And Drama.

SUPER SATURDAY SPECTACULAR - Outreach

There will always be a select group of children that will not make it to an event unless it is in their backyard or at least in their neighborhood. This is the group that the Super Saturday Spectacular reaches.

An event is heavily publicized in a target area.

On that day a team sets up the portable stage while another team goes out to bring people in. The
crowd that gathers is then treated to an entertaining show, Gospel presentation, games, and prize drawings. Depending on the area, this can also be combined with a food giveaway or free lunch.

WEE SIZZLE - Preschool Summer Activity


Summer activity for preschoolers including swimming, games, crafts, snacks, and DVD.

SUMMER READING CLUB


Outstanding method for getting kids to read good Christian books during the summer. Perhaps a pizza party at the end for all who participated, with special prizes for those who read the most books.

SUMMER ADVENTURE DAYS



An opportunity for elementary children to serve in a variety of ways, at such places as health care centers, day-care centers, and community centers. Select a day of the week that works best for both children and adult sponsors.

Allow time prior to each activity for orientation, explaining to the children what to expect and what will be encountered. For example, prior to visiting a health care center you may want to play “The Aging Game”with the boys and girls. Children try on sunglasses with petroleum jelly
smeared on the lenses to experience what it might be like to not have clear vision. Place cotton in their ears to help them understand what happens when a person can’t hear well. To understand what people with strokes might feel like when they walk, tie an arm close to the body of
the child. If possible, let each one ride in a wheelchair and use a walker. Participating in these activities will make the children more sensitive in their ministry efforts.

Communication with agency representatives is vital in setting up this program. Everyone needs to be clear on time of arrival; what types of projects the children can be involved in; and how many children will be participating.

Always have a back-up plan. Even after careful planning, your schedule or activities may change due to uncontrollable circumstances.

KIDS IN MISSION

Summer service project fun for children in grades 1-5.

This 5-week program runs Tuesday –Thursday with Bible studies, crafts, and project work focused on specific community needs.

END OF WEEK CELEBRATION



Fifth and sixth graders celebrate the end of the week with crafts, games, and pizza! Themed parties occur one Friday a month with such events as: World’s Record Party; Creative Crafting; Sports Night; Movie and Games Night; Toilet Tube Mania; It’s a Mystery Party; Maze Craze; Putt Putt.

SHOWING CHILDREN YOU LOVE THEM


The need for love is the greatest of all human needs. Children who don't receive love cannot fulfill their God-given potential for a fulfilling, contributing life. While children's workers at church spend relatively brief amounts of time with children, our effect on boys and girls must
not be minimized.

Small tokens of love from a children's teacher can sometimes have an impact way out of proportion to the significance of the event. Here are 10 simple ways to show your children you love them.

1. Learn their names.
This isn't always easy, since we often have the children for only a brief period once a week. Help your memory by using nametags for the first several weeks of class. Constantly review children's names. Mentally try to link the child's name with something Memorable about him or her. For example, "Melody is miniature size," or " Ben has brown hair" or "Sam's smile is sensational."

2. Be a patient listener. Let's face it. Children's narratives can sometimes be tedious, filled with long pauses, repeated words, and more details than anyone really cares to hear. However, really LISTENING to a child says, "I care. I'm interested in you." To show that you are listening, it sometimes helps to interject a question or comment in the narrative. For example, "That must have been a lot of fun," or "How did you feel when your brother did that?"

3. Make eye contact. While you will want to avoid prolonged stares, making brief eye contact with a child communicates that you are listening and attentive.

4. Remember birthdays and other special events. Send greeting cards and small, inexpensive treats. Recognize birthdays in your classroom. Take photos of the children during activities and display these in the classroom or give them copies.

5. Occasionally attend something of importance to the child: sports events, musical recitals, school events.

6. Welcome children warmly when they come to class, and give them time to share the events of their week. Questions I like to use are: "How was your week--good, bad, or average? What was the best thing that happened all week? What was the worst thing that happened?" As children respond, rejoice or commiserate with them as appropriate.

7. Remember the children who always come. Absentees often receive postcards or phone calls urging them to return to class. By contrast, regular attendees can sometimes be overlooked. Occasionally call or write these children to express your appreciation for their regular attendance and participation.

8. Notice things about your children. Is Jana wearing a particularly attractive dress? Tell her so. Has Nathan lost a tooth? Let him tell about it. Is Joshua sporting new shoes? Admire the special features he points out. This attentiveness tells children they are important to you.

9. Praise good work, good behavior, and good effort. According to some specialists, it takes several positive remarks to undo the effect of one negative comment. Some children hear mostly commands and negatives: "Sit up straight." "Why can't you . . .?" "You never . . . ." or " You always . . . ." Help to balance these with honest praise of the good things you notice: "You're doing a great job on that picture," "Thanks for waiting so patiently for the tape." "You're really improving in raising your hand before you talk." When praising a child, ALWAYS be sincere, and be SPECIFIC about what you praise.

10. Say good things about a child to his or her parents, in the child's hearing. A few weeks ago, my children made gift soaps for their mothers for Christmas. They were busy wrapping their packages. One child had not attended during the early weeks of this extended project, so he did not have any. Another child had decorated more soap bars than the others. When I asked her, privately, whether she would be willing to let the first child have a couple of soaps, she readily agreed. Without complaint, she gave him bars, including one she described as "the prettiest." I lost no time telling Mom and Dad about her generosity--to the delight of both parents and child. It doesn't take a lot of time, or vast amounts of money, to say "I love
you" to a child. Time and sincere interest speak volumes and may help a child with negative self-image to realize that he or she matters to you and to God.

11. Visit the child where he or she lives.
A. Establish who you are: “Hi! I’m Betty Robertson, Sherri’s Sunday School teacher.”

B. Indicate why you came: “Sherri was absent this past Sunday from my class and I really missed
her.”

C. Try to get a reason for the absence: “I hope she wasn’t sick.”

D. Relate depending on response:

(1) If sick: “I’m sorry to hear that. Does she still have the flu?”

(2) Out-of-town: “She is such an important part of our class. It’s not quite the same without her.”

(3) Just didn’t want to come: “She is so special. I really miss her when she’s not in my class.”

E. Talk with the child: “Your Mom tells me _____________.” I miss you when you are not in our
class. (Give some assignment.) Would you be willing to complete this puzzle and bring it
this week? I’d like to use it as an answer sheet.”

S.O.L.I.D. - Children's Service Project

Seek Out Leaders In Discipleship

Service projects include packaging Bibles that are mailed around the world; working with food-service agencies who have helped feed thousands of people; sharing out love with elderly people; planning for and leading Sonshine clubs; and painting churches.

PAPER PICK-UP -- Service Project


Churches always seem to have trash that accumulates both inside and out.

Children can serve the church on a regular basis by picking up paper.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD


An exciting program that demonstrates God's love through gift-filled shoe boxes. Each year caring individuals, families, churches, schools, businesses, and other groups fill shoe boxes with toys, school supplies, and other items, and send them to Collection Centers operated by Samaritan's Purse, the Christian relief and evangelism organization.

The boxes are delivered worldwide to millions of children affected by war, poverty, disease, and disaster. These shoe boxes open doors for presenting the Good News of Jesus Christ through Children's literature, personal witnessing, and evangelistic programs, and many lives are changed for eternity.

For the church, Operation Christmas Child is a hands-on missions project that every member can participate in, and it is a great way to draw a congregation together. The purpose is to share the
joy of Christmas and the love of Jesus Christ with suffering children around the world.

Everything you need to know about how to pack the boxes, drop-off locations, and promotional Ideas to use in your local church are available on the web site:

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/OCC.asp?MPGID=1

KIDS TEACHING KIDS

Older children can share object lessons or short stories with boys and girls in younger classes.

All S.T.A.R.S. - Service Project

Students Trained And Ready to Serve

Designed to train older children to become servant-helpers and participate in various service projects.

TEACHING CHILDREN TO USE THEIR HAND AS A PRAYER REMINDER


Sandra Brooks authored a book that is now out of print.She has given permission to share her idea for children to use their hand as a prayer reminder

THUMB -- reminds you to pray for everyone you love such as mom, dad, relatives, friends.

INDEX FINGER -- sometimes preachers and teachers point with this finger and this reminds us to
pray for them.

MIDDLE FINGER -- stands high above all the others and serves as a reminder to pray for the President and people in government.

RING FINGER -- weakest finger so is a reminder to pray for the sick.

LAST FINGER -- pray for yourself last.

IDEAS OF THINGS FOR WHICH CHILDREN CAN PRAY


Teaching children to pray is not so much "how" to pray, but "what" to pray for. Provide children with ideas of things for which they can pray for on a regular basis, such as the following:

Church Members

Make a list of people in your church who are homebound, ill, or bereaved. After praying for these individuals in your class, let the children make cards that might say: “We prayed for you in our class today.”

Class Members

Focus on the everyday concerns of the children in your class. What are their burdens? What are their worries? What are their fears? What are their concerns? What are problems? What are their needs? If your class is not used to sharing their feelings, use feeling cards. Draw large faces
and give one a smile; another a frown; another a puzzled look; etc. Ask which face they feel like and why. This often promotes conversation that leads to prayer.

News Items

Make children aware of news stories that touch the heart. Some of these may have happened in your community, while others will be events that have been reported on television. Praying for these situations will also turn children’s feelings of helplessness about what is happening in the world toward God.

Our Country

Monday: President - difficult decisions he makes on a daily basis.

Tuesday: President's staff - they will give godly advice and wisdom.

Wednesday: Senators and Congressmen - guidance in making laws

Thursday: Policemen, firemen, and rescue workers - safety and protection

Friday: Military - safety, wisdom in decision making, courage

KEEPING PRAYER A PRIORITY IN YOUR CHILDREN'S CLASSROOM



1. Be sure children understand what prayer is.

Prayer is talking to God in an ordinary manner, out of the depth of your heart. Talking to God is Just like chatting with a friend.

2. Keep prayer a priority in your classroom each week, not just when you have lessons on prayer.

Knowing about prayer, thinking about prayer, and even thinking up prayers are not the same as actually praying. There is no substitute for praying. Use a prayer chart or a prayer box.

Try a wall of prayer. Hang a piece of newspaper (end rolls from local papers may be free) or you can use butcher block paper. Allow the children to write their prayer requests on the paper after they have shared their requests with the class. It is a faith building visual reminder of the prayers and allows for great follow-up on prayers when they get answered.

Talk about problems people have. Encourage the boys and girls to name people they know that have problems or have choices to make. Children may mention divorce, a move, job loss, illness, or other needs. Have children print needs on cards and place them in the prayer box or attach them to
the chart. Display the chart or prayer box in a prominent place in your classroom. Each week pray for the requests listed.

Talk often about praying for forgiveness. Be alert to children who are ready to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Be aware of opportunities for children to pray and accept Jesus as Savior. When 1,000 Sunday School workers were asked when they prayed and accepted Jesus as Savior, 500 said it was between ages 9-12.

3. Provide tools that will make it easier for children to pray at home.

Encourage boys and girls to find a time and place at home where they can pray each day. Children need to know that communicating with God on a regular basis is important. Have each child think through what will be best for him. Daily time with God makes a difference. Even young children
can develop the discipline of daily prayer.

PRAYING FOR TEACHERS


Find people within the congregation willing to be a prayer partner for each Sunday School teacher.

Also, provide these individuals with the names of each child in that class and challenge them to pray daily.

LABOR FORCE PRAYER TEAM

Lexington Baptist Church, North Carolina has a Labor Force Prayer Team.

This team is ready to "stand in the gap" for parents experiencing the birth of a child.

A prayer support team prays for parents from the time they enter the hospital until the birth of the child.

PRAYING FOR UNBORN CHILDREN


Lexington Baptist Church, North Carolina has a prayer time for the unborn child.

At the Blessing of the Baby, family and friends gather around expectant parents and pray for an unborn child’s physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual development.

Expectant parents call the church office to schedule a time after a Sunday morning worship service for their special prayer time for their unborn child.

PARENTS PRAYING FOR THEIR CHILDREN GROUP


 Contributed by Stephanie Harris

The purpose of this group is to bring parents together on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to pray Specifically for their children. This has proven to be a powerful tool for building the faith of parents, providing parents with a Christian support group, and establishing a foundation of prayer for children.

As you organize a "Parents Praying for Their Children" group in your church:

1. Keep the group small. Four to six parents in a group is ideal. If you have more parents who are interested, organize more than one group.

2. Encourage parents to keep a prayer journal. Each time parents meet, they log the requests and concerns of other parents in the group. This allows parents to pray specifically for those requests throughout the week.

3. Keep the format for each group simple and flexible to meet the needs of the parents involved. Plan to meet at the church or in homes.

PRAYER PHOTO JOURNAL

Nothing helps the children under your ministry as much as your prayers. Think about it! It's your time with God in prayer for each child that allows Him to guide you in ministering to their daily and immediate needs. He knows exactly what is going on in their homes, schools, neighborhoods, etc., so cover each of them with your prayers.

Create a prayer photo journal of the children. Obtain permission from parents to take pictures.

During your devotional and prayer times, pull out the album, and pray over several of the children individually. By spreading the children out over the entire week or month, you'll be easily able to pray for all of them.

Plus, imagine how they will feel knowing that you spend time each week praying specifically for them.

Other options -- For the small group, you may want to use a digital camera and put the kids
pictures onto your computer's wallpaper or screensaver. For the extra large group, consider recruiting some of your senior citizens to join you in being prayer warriors for your kids. Divide the pictures up into several albums, labeling the pictures with the child's name, and give an
album to each of your partner prayer warriors.

A HABIT -- Getting Prayer Needs of Children


Make it a habit to ask boys and girls, “What’s happening in your life or family that I can pray about?”

Also regularly ask parents, “What can I pray with you about?”

Write these immediately into your Palm Pilot or organizer and follow-up.

Boys and girls will not remember much of what we teach them, but they WILL remember how much you cared by praying for their needs.

If you want to make a listing difference in the lives of boys and girls, pray for them regularly!!

PUTTING GOD FIRST - Your Personal Devotional Life


1. PERIOD (an interval of time that is meaningful for listening, praising, sharing personal requests with the Lord)

Unless you schedule a regular time with the Lord, how easy it is to neglect it. It doesn't make any difference if it is morning, evening or some time in between. For some people, early morning is best, before outside impressions have a chance to clutter the blotters of their minds.

The Psalmist said: Each morning I look to you in heaven and lay my requests before you, praying earnestly (5:3).

Isaiah 50:4-5 reads, "He awakens me morning by morning, awakens my ear to listen like one being taught."

The words "Spiritual Streakers" titled an article which suggested many believers of Jesus run out of their homes in the morning without wearing Christian clothes. The devil sees us walking around spiritually naked and he laughs knowing we are defenseless against his strategies and tricks.

Each morning before Dr. Charles Stanley puts a foot on the floor, he deliberately imagines putting on each separate piece from the wardrobe closet of Ephesians 6:10-18. Dr. Stanley says he does this conscientiously each day and his life has been revolutionized.

You may be a night person and be more awake and aware then. Jesus is recorded as praying both in the evening and in the early morning. Whether you have your devotions morning, noon or evening is not as important as the fact that you do establish a PERIOD - a regular, meaningful time when we LISTEN.

Proverbs 1:33 says, "But he who LISTENS to me will dwell secure and will be at ease."

This period of praying for personal requests and listening is not to be confused with the admonition in Scripture to "pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads" (Eph. 6:18) - being in an attitude of prayer which means that when you stand in the checkout line at the grocery store, rather than getting impatient you pray for the checker. . . . . . pray for the little old lady who is fumbling in her purse to find the needed change . . . pray for the TV celebrity whose name has just made the news . . . the neighbor boy with lunch box who waits on your corner every day for the bus . . . the family who is suffering when you hear the siren on an ambulance or emergency vehicle . . . requests which the Holy Spirit brings to your attention throughout the day.

2. PLACE

Jesus expressed the time of individual prayer as "going into the closet" (Matt. 6:6). The Amplified Bible expresses it: "And when you pray, go into your most private room and closing the door, pay to your Father who is in secret.

The Living Bible paraphrase sheds further light: "But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your father, who knows your secrets, will reward you."

The word "closet" in the original Greek text referred to "a chamber on the ground floor or interior of an Oriental house generally used for storage or privacy. It was a spot for retirement; a secret chamber, closet, storehouse."

The key word is privacy.

Let's look at some possibilities. They may notbe ideal, but the Lord does not have prerequisites as to where He wants to meet with us. We choose the time and place and He will be there.

One mother with young children asked her husband to stay with the children while she spent an hour in the public library conversing with the Lord. I have heard many different people report they resort to the privacy of their bathroom to be uninterrupted. One mother hung a little sign on her door which read, "Thank you for not disturbing." The family then knew she was having her devotions and not to bother.

Author Donna Leonard says that a love seat in their bedroom at the back of their home is her sanctuary.

Rhonda Downey, a lady who regularly attends the prayer group I lead each Sunday morning during the regular S.S. time has her place out in the patio (during good weather) - she takes several translations of the Bible, her dictionary, a notebook, pen, sun glasses. That's her "closet."

Consider this an appointment with a friend and mark it on personal calendar as such. Often business men will tell their secretary's to hold all calls during a lunch break or another designated time and to tell callers that he is in consultation.

It is reported that Suzanne Wesley, mother of 21 children, would simply place her apron over her head. This was a signal to her children that she was talking to God and was not to be interrupted.
You may find it difficult to find a place by yourself, but remember that the LORD does not require ideal conditions. YOU demand that. God will meet you even when others are around.

3. PREDETERMINATION (To settle or decide in advance)

A. Deciding in advance not to let physical distractions stop you.

The distractions will always be there!

If you are on your way to the place in your home you have selected for your private sanctuary with the Lord and distractions reach out to grab you as you are headed there - it may help to picture the Lord waiting for you to come. Consider this an appointment with a friend and mark it on personal calendar as such.

If you PREDETERMINE (settle/decide in advance) to give God top priority, the reward of His presence is incomparable.

B. Determine to let mental distractions stop you.

When we wait in quietness before the Lord, how easy it is for our minds to focus on other things and take snapshots which catch our attention. The easiest way to solve this problem is to take pencil and paper and jot down those distractions - those things you ant to be sure and remember or
those ideas which come that you don't want to forget.

C. Committing to make devotions a habit in your life.

Sociologists tell us that it takes about 21 days to break a habit. It takes about 21 days to form a new habit. The reason many rehab programs fail is because they are only 21 days. They are working on breaking a habit.

But if something is removed - there needs to be something to fill that void. There needs to be another 21 days to form a new habit.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. If we are trying to break a habit of NOT having regular devotions, we need 21 days. If we are trying to form the NEW habit of having devotions regularly, it takes an additional 21 days. SO - 42 days are needed consistently - NO breaks.

The KEY to making this 42-day principle work is ACCOUNTABILITY. Find someone - preferably not a spouse -- not a parent (do not want to set yourself up for the "nags") - but a friend who is willing to let you be accountable to them. This simply means you tell your friend you have made a predetermination to have devotions for 42 days straight without a break so you can from the habit of having them on a regular basis. You would like for them to contact you daily - or weekly and ask, "How are your devotions going?"

When you know you have the obligation to report and be answerable to someone -- this adds the ingredient of MOTIVATION to your predetermination.

4. PLAN

The phrase is trite -- but true! "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Often not knowing WHERE you are going to read the Word of WHAT you are going to pray about become obstacles.

Regular Bible reading and prayer will both enhance our relationship with God. They are interrelated. The WORD is food for the body. PRAYER is digesting the Word into our systems.

A. Bible Reading

2 Timothy 3:16-17, TLB says, (Reading the Bible is ) "useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God's way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone."

Paul's testimony was, "This is why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength" (2 Cor. 4:16, Phillips).

(1) Which Bible will you be reading from?

(2) What will you be reading?

The Psalms can be completed in a month by reading 5 Psalms a day. One method is to read every 30th Psalm:
Day 1 - Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, 121
Day 2 - Psalm 2, 32, 62, 92, 122
Day 3 - Psalm 3, 33, 63, 93, 123

The wisdom of God can be gained by reading one chapter of Proverbs each day. There are 31 chapters. This book was "written to teach people how to act in every circumstance (Prov. 1:21, TLB)

(3) Make an accountability chart

This is the accountability factor which we've talked about. Also a great motivational tool. Some people just use their daily calendar - a put some kind of a mark on each day showing they have done their Bible reading.

You may prefer making some other kind of chart to keep in your Bible. It's so easy to miss a day - and then another day - and another. And we don't realize how much time has gone by since we last opened out Bibles to read. By having a chart - or marking a calendar -- it's before us as a constant reminder. In any relationship, communication is vital.

If you have difficulty communicating with God through prayer -- it may be as simple as needing some ideas on HOW and WHAT to pray for:

(1) ACTS

Adoration - worship God - tell Him how much you love Him - praise Him
Confession - acknowledge how much you need Him - open up your heart to Him
Thanksgiving - express gratefulness for WHO He is - what He has done
Supplication - petition Him for specific needs

(2) The Lord's Prayer can be used as a guide.

Praise ("Our Father in Heaven")
Repent ("Forgive us as we forgive others")
Ask ("give our daily bread")
Yield ("your kingdom come, you will be done)

(3) Prayer list

It is in praying for others that the joy of interceding is found. As you record answers, you will feel a new excitement as you realize God is real in your life. You can know the thrill of watching His perfect timing.

5. PURPOSE

Why have daily devotions?
(a) To connect with God
(b) To develop an intimacy with God
(c) To get to KNOW Him.

Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all your ways acknowledge - KNOW (in Hebrew) Him."

Can only come to KNOW someone when you spend time with them. (Cannot do this in your own strength - yield/surrender your desire to have time with Him and He will help you accomplish the desires of your heart.)
2 Peter 1:5 says, "You must learn to KNOW God better and discover what He
wants you to do" (TLB).

OVERWHELMED WITH PROBLEMS? What To Do


Submitted by Rev. Earl Paul Robertson

A Biblical Pattern for Prayer: II Chronicles 20

1. Go to God first (v. 3) Jeremiah 33:2-3

Do not wait until you are emotionally exhausted by worry and anxiety, then go to God.

2. Enlist pray support (v. 4) I Thessalonians 5:25

Do not try to be a "lone ranger", ask friends to pray with and for you.

3. Focus on God and His mighty deeds (vs. 5-9) Psalm 77:11

Builds your faith. If God did it before, He can do it again.

4. Spread it out before the Lord (vs. 10-11) 2 Kings 19:9-14

Usually problems pile up. Break them down into discernible segments. Pray for one problem at a time until you get assurance from God that He will take care of it.

5. Humble yourself before God (v. 12b,c) James 4:6-7

We have no power and we have no plan.

6. Fix your eyes on the Lord (v. 12d) Hebrews 12:1-3

When we focus on Him our problems are seen in their right perspective.

7. Wait in the presence of the Lord for guidance (vs. 13-16) Psalm 33:20-22

Do not rush into action, wait to receive His guidance.

8. Remember Whose battle it really is (v. 15) Deuteronomy 20:4

The battle is not yours but the Lord's. If you have surrendered your life to God, the battle becomes His responsibility.

9. Hold steady (v. 17) Ephesians 6:13

Stand firm and see His deliverance.

10. Remember Who is with you. (v. 17) Hebrews 13:5-6

You are not alone.

11. Worship the Lord (v. 18) Psalm 95:6

After you have assurance God has heard you, worship Him

12. Praise the Lord (vs. 19-23) Psalm 22:3

V.22 - In the process of praising, while they were praising, the Lord brought the victory. God inhabits the praise of His people

13. Have a victory celebration (vs. 27-28) Psalm 145:7

YOU'VE MADE A DIFFERENCE - Teacher Appreciation Poem


Copyrighted by Linda J. Stevenson.

May copy for local church use.


Thank you for the time you give
To each child who looks to you;
You truly make a difference
By all you say and do.

For as you touch each tender heart,
You leave your imprint there;
And always they'll remember you--
How much you really cared.

Keep on loving, keep on caring,
Sharing Christ as you do,
For one day they'll return to say,
“Teacher, I do thank you.”

“You've made a difference in my life.
I'm who I am today,
Because you gave your time to teach
And show to me God’s Way.”

"YOU'RE A TREASURE BEYOND MEASURE" - Ministry Staff Appreciation Idea

Submitted by Barb Patton

Use a treasure-type theme.

For gifts, take a plastic ruler, use double-sided tape and secure Nestle's Treasures chocolate candy onto the rulers and attach a card with the theme.

YOUR CARING & SHARING IS A WORK OF HEART - Ministry Staff Appreciation

Submitted by Barb Patton


We decorated with heart items. We did this in March, and found Valentine's Day leftovers at various stores for 75-90 percent off. I filled little heart containers with candy; had a breakfast with heart-shaped pancakes; used heart balloons for centerpieces, etc.

THANKS FOR PLANTING SEEDS - Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Idea

Submitted by Barb Patton


We decorated with a gardening theme. The kids presented the teachers with a pair of gloves, little garden shovel, packet of seeds, and watering can magnet. We did a children's sermon by actually planting a few seeds and discussing how the teachers take the kids as babies in the nursery, nurture them and help them grow. We then had a small plant and continued the story that as the kids grew a little older, the teachers continued helping them grow by planting Bible stories and important Scripture in them, and finished with a large plant that represented them as they were 6th Graders moving onto Youth. Their growing had come along way with the love and guidance of many people, but that they would continue to need more love and guidance as they continued to grow into adults. We talked about the one constant thing they always had as they grew in different stages was God's grace, love, etc. For decorations, I made a poster with a large flower. The teacher's name was on the center and each child's name in their class was on each petal. This looked really nice when they were all displayed.

THANKS FOR BEING AN IMPORTANT PIECE - Staff Appreciation

Submitted by Barb Patton

Everything had a puzzle theme.

I gave each teacher a small potted flower with a wooden pick in it.

At the top of the pick was an actual wooden piece of a puzzle that had their name painted on it.

I contacted local merchants and had almost 30 gift certificates donated.

I then cut paper into puzzle shapes, numbered each one with a number between 1-29.

Each teacher selected a puzzle piece out of a basket. I then numbered all the certificates 1-29, and gave them to the corresponding teacher. This was really fun as I announced what the certificate was for and then called the numbers. Everyone was in anticipation.

For the invitations to them prior to the luncheon, I typed them out on the computer and then cut them into puzzle shaped pieces. They had to put the puzzle together to read the invitation.

The kids spelled out "teacher" on large sheets of poster board. I had them do a little poem "T" is for the Time you gave. Each letter had an important trait the teachers displayed.

THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR COMING TO EARTH - Christmas Monologue


Monologue from Shepherd's Viewpoint

I have been a shepherd since I was a young boy. During the day, the sheep wander up an down the grasslands of Judea. We are always moving closer to Jerusalem where the sheep are sold.

One night, it was my turn to watch the sheep during the night. The other shepherds were asleep. It was pretty cold that night so the sheep were all bunched together trying to keep warm.

All of a sudden the night sky lit up just like day. his woke up all the other shepherds. Our eyes were round with fear -- our hearts beating really fast. We had no idea what was happening. The light as so bright we had to put our arms over our eyes. The sheep were so scared they started running in tight circles, which they do when they are afraid of something.

The angel said, "do not fear."

Yeah, right!

The angel continued talking, "Listen. I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born tonight in Bethlehem. How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!"

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a lot more and they were all praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven," they sang, "and peace on earth for all those pleasing him."

We all started talking at once: "Come on! Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

We asked a few to stay and guard the sheep and the rest of us starting running across the dark, grassy valley and up the sides of the hills.

When we finally arrived in Bethlehem, we walked quietly down the path to the stable.

Joseph told us we could go on in.

We went to the manger and knelt beside it. I couldn't take my eyes off baby Jesus. I felt so happy inside. Finally I leaned over, took his little hand in mine and said, "Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth.

JESUS HEALS A PARALYZED MAN - Drama / Skit - Bible Story



Luke 5:17-26

Man: I have been paralyzed for so long. I can't even sit up or move my legs and arms. I am here day after day after day and wait for my friends to bring my food. Today, I heard some people outside my window talking about Jesus being in Capernaum. When my friends come today, I am going to ask them if they can take me to see Jesus.

Friend # 1: Hi! We've brought you some food.

Man: Thank you!

Friend # 2: Is there anything you need while we're here?

Man: I am thankful for you all. But more than anything else, I want to care for myself. I have heard Jesus is in Capernaum. Do you think He could help me?

Friend # 3: Actually, we also heard about Jesus and we've been talking. We have a plan.

Friend # 4: We want to take you to see Jesus.

Man: You know I can't even walk one step...

Friend # 1: We are going to carry you on your bed!

Teacher: Each of the four friends took a corner of the mat on which the man lay and carefully carried him out of the house. Very slowly they walked through the narrow streets until they came to the house where Jesus was. There was a great crowd of people in the house and all around
outside.

Friend # 2: What are we going to do?

Friend # 3: There is not enough room for us to squeeze through the crowd.

Friend # 4: Perhaps if we wait until the crowd leaves, we can see Jesus.

Friend # 1: That will be very late. Our friend is not well enough to stay out here until evening.

Friend # 2: I have an idea! Let's carry him up the outside stairs to the roof. Then we can open up the roof and see Jesus.

Teacher: The four men carried their friend up the stairs to the roof. Carefully they made a hole in the roof and laid aside the pieces of tile so that the roof could be replaced later. They tied ropes to the corner of the mat and slowly let the man down, down, down, right in front of Jesus. How surprised the people in the house were to see a man coming down through the roof on his bed mat! But Jesus was not surprised! He looked up at the four men on the roof and then at the man on the floor. He could see that the four men had faith to believe He would help their friend. Then He said to the man, "Your sins are forgiven. Get up, take your mat, and go home." The man jumped to his feet. He rolled up his mat and started to walk to the door. The surprised people stood back to make room for him.

Man: Jesus has forgiven my sins and He has made me well!

JESUS CALLS HIS DISCIPLES - Interactive Bible Story


John 1:36-50

Assign Parts: Narrator # 1, Narrator # 2, Narrator # 3, John the Baptist, Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathanael, person in crowd, shopkeeper, boy.

John the Baptist: Look! There is the Lamb of God!

Andrew: What did John just say?

Person in Crowd: He said that Man over there is the Lamb of God.

Andrew: Let's go over closer.

Person in Crowd: Okay.

Narrator # 1: The two men walked along with Jesus and spent the rest of the day with Him. When they left, they were convinced that He was the Messiah.

Andrew: I am so excited that I have found the Messiah! I can't wait to
find my brother, Peter. Peter! Peter! I've got some wonderful news!

Peter: Where have you been? I needed help fixing this net.

Andrew: Oh, Peter! Just wait unto you hear what I have to tell you.

Peter: Well, help me with this net while you talk. Now, what is so exciting?

Andrew: I have found the Messiah! You must come with me to meet Him!

Peter: Andrew, we must clean these nets before tonight.

Andrew: Peter, please. Just come with me to see Jesus.

Narrator # 2: So Peter went with Andrew. When he met Jesus, Peter saw something very special about this Man. He was different from anyone Peter had ever met before. So he decided to leave his nets and fishing boat and follow Jesus.

Narrator # 3: The next day as Jesus walked toward Galilee, He saw Philip. When He called to him, "Follow Me," Philip accepted the invitation. Before the day was over, he too had decided to become a disciple of
Jesus.

Philip: I can't wait to find my friend Nathanael. I want him to meet Jesus. Have you seen Nathanael?

Shopkeeper: No, not today. I'm sorry.

Philip: Have you seen Nathanael?

Boy (out of breath): Yes, I just passed him up on the road as I was running by.

Philip: Nathanael! Resting under a fig tree, huh? I've been looking all over for you.

Nathanael: It's good to see you! Why have you been looking for me?

Philip: Nathanael, I have found the Messiah . . . the very person Moses and the prophets told about! is name is Jesus, the Son of Joseph from Nazareth!

Nathanael: Nazareth is a small town. I've never heard of this man. I know everyone who lives here.

Philip: Please, Nathanael, come and see for yourself.

Narrator # 1: Nathanael got up and went with Philip. When they came near, Jesus said, "Here comes an honest man, a true son of Israel.

Nathanael: How do you know what I'm like?

Narrator # 2: Jesus replied, "I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.

Nathanael: Sir, you are the Son of God, the King of Israel. I am going to follow you.

Narrator # 3: As these men walked with Jesus, they learned about His love. The disciples shared that love with everyone they met.

BIBLE VERSE HOPSCOTCH - Scripture Review


Draw a hopscotch pattern on the floor with chalk or masking tape.

Place words cards in every box.

Secure them to the floor with tape.

Children take turns hoping through the grid while everyone in class quotes the verse as they hop.

REVIEW AUCTION - Creative Bible Learning


Give team 100 points with which to bid.

The teacher states a question and takes bids from 1 to 10 points for the answer.

The team with the highest bid is allowed to answer.

If the answer is right, the points are added to the score.

If the answer is wrong, the number is deducted.

Questions answered incorrectly return to the auction block and bidding starts again.

BASE PROGRESS - Bible Lesson Review Game


Set up four chairs around the room to represent the bases on a baseball field.

Give each team a name.

Label the easiest questions as "singles"; harder ones, "double"; tough ones, "triple"; and really difficult ones as "home run."

The teacher reads the question.

If the pupil answers correctly, he goes to the proper base.

After three outs, the next team is up to bat.

Determine how much time the game will take or how many innings will be played before starting.

MUSICAL REVIEW GAME - Bible Learning


Chairs set up like musical chairs.

Questions written out on 81/2 x11 sheets of paper.

Each question is numbered.

Music plays.

When music stops, teacher calls out a number.

Child standing by that number -- and pupil to his right and left "confer" for correct answer.

Continue playing until all questions have been asked.

ROLL IT AGAIN - Bible Review Game


MATERIALS NEEDED:

Six stacks of 3x5 cards with questions on back and numbers 1-6 on front.

HOW TO PLAY:

Roll a number cube (dice).

Team takes question card with that number on it.

If they answer correctly, may roll dice again and the team gets that many points.

THUMBS UP/DOWN - Review Game


Children put their hands behind their backs.

The teacher asks a question and then says, "Answer Please."

If the answer is "true", children put their thumbs up.

If false, thumbs are down.

YES / NO - Sunday School Lesson Review Game



Each pupil is given a card.

Front side says "Yes" -- back side says "No."

Teacher asks question and says, "Answer Please."

Children hold up either "Yes" or "No".

BALL PASS - Bible Review Game


Teacher claps hands while pupils pass ball around circle. OR play music on a CD player.

When clapping or music stops, child who has the ball and the person to his left team up to answer.

BALL TOSS - Bible Review Game


Teacher tosses ball to child. For older children, use a football.

That child and the child to his right team up to answer.

TUNA CHEESE BAKE - Quick & Easy Recipe

1-8 ounce package noodles
3 eggs - beaten
12 ounce can Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon minced onion (optional)
1 small can tuna
8 ounces Cheddar cheese - shredded.

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.

Mix all other ingredients with noodles.

Bake in 8" x 8" or 9" x 9" square pan for 30-35 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

TERRIFIC CANDY - Kids Love This Recipe!

Before serving at a children's ministry activity, be aware of allergies to peanut butter.

3 cups cereal flakes, any kind
2 tablespoons peanut butter
6 ounces butterscotch morsels.

Melt morsels and peanut butter over very low heat.

Stir in cereal flakes.

Spoon out on greased surface.

Chill.

SNACK MIX - Kids Love This Recipe!

1/2 cup butter or margarine - melted
2 tablespoons Cocoa
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups Apple Cinnamon Cherrios
4 cups Crispex
1 cup Almonds - slivered
1 cup raisins

In 4-quart microwave-safe bowl, melt butter.

Stir in sugar and cocoa.

Add cereals and almonds.

Stir until evenly coated.

Microwave on high 3 minutes, stirring every minute.

Stir in raisins.

Microwave at high 3 minutes more, stirring every minute.

Cool completely and store in airtight container in cool, dry place.

PITA MELT - Quick & Easy Recipe

Pita Pockets
Thinly sliced ham or turkey
Swiss, Mozzarella or Provolone cheese

Line Pitas with cheese and stuff with meat.

Put on microwave-safe plate and cover with Glad Wrap.

Microwave one minute, thirty seconds.

Cook each Pita that you are making separately.

HEALTHY SANDWICH

Recipe for 1

1/2 medium apple - chopped
1/8 cup raisins
1/8 cup cheddar cheese - grated
1/8 cup pecans (optional) - chopped
Miracle Whip or mayonnaise as needed.

Mix together thoroughly.

Serve on wheat bread, hamburger buns or pita pocket.

GOULASH - Quick & Easy Recipe

1 package macaroni
1 teaspoon minced onion (optional)
1 pound hamburger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cans tomato soup
1/2 cup Cheese Whiz or 1 can Cheese soup

Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain.

Brown hamburger, drain and rinse thoroughly.

Mix macaroni and hamburger together.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Simmer until heated.

FRUIT TOSS - Quick & Easy Recipe

1/2 cantaloupe - small pieces
1 bunch seedless grapes
1 small can pineapple chunks - drained
1 large banana - sliced

Toss fruit together, except banana.

Chill.

Add banana before serving.

FANTASTIC FRUIT SALAD - Quick & Easy Recipe

2 or 3 oranges - diced or a large can of Mandarin oranges
Large can pineapple tidbits
2 bananas - sliced

Chill oranges and pineapple.

Add bananas and serve.

EASY-TO-MAKE SALAD

1-20 ounce can pineapple chunks - drained
1 can cherry pie mix
1 cup smallmarshmallows
2 bananas - sliced.

Mix together.

Chill.

CHUNKY SOUP OVER NOODLES - Quick & Easy Recipe

Any chunky soup.

Any size package noodles.

Cook noodles as directed on package.

Heat soup.

Serve chunky soup over noodles.

CHILI - Quick & Easy Recipe

1 pound hamburger
2 cans tomato soup
2 cans chili beans or kidney beans
1 teaspoon minced onion (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
Chili power (to taste)
1 can water.

Brown hamburger and drain; rinse with hot water.

Add all other ingredients. Simmer until heated thoroughly.

CHERRY DESSERT - Quick & Easy Recipe

1 can cherry (or any flavor) pie filling

1 Jiffy white or yellow cake mix

1/2 stick butter or margarine

Pour pie filling in 8" x 8" pan.

Put dry cake mix on top.

Pour melted butter over cake.

Bake for 1 hour at 350.

ICE CREAM BALLS - Easy Refreshments

Make balls of vanilla ice cream.

Roll each ball in chopped pecans.

Freeze until ready to serve.

Before serving, drizzle with butterscotch or chocolate ice cream topping.

BEEFY TATERS - Quick & Easy Recipe

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 package frozen tater tots

Brown ground beef and drain.

Mix in soup and salt.

Spread in 7" x 11" x 1" baking dish and cover with tater tots.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

GIANT BOARD GAME


 
From a cardboard box, cut and tape together a cube. Make dots with a marker to resemble a die.

On sheets of paper, write instructions: Go back one space; lose a turn; roll again; go back to start; etc.

Lay game spaces in any design on the floor.

Cans from the kitchen cupboard can be used as playing pieces.

PRETZEL FUN

Soften package of yeast in 1 l/2 cups warm water.

Add 3/4 teaspoon salt; 1 l/2 teaspoons sugar.

Mix in 4 cups flour.

Knead into a soft, smooth dough.

The children can roll and mold to their hearts content.

Place shapes on a cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

HIDE & HUNT - Bible Memory Fun

Suggested Bible Verse: "The Lord will hear when I call to Him" (Psalm 4:3b)

Materials Needed: 12 paper plates; markers

Activity: Write one word from the verse on each plate. Write the scripture verse on a separate plate. Decorate the plates. Put the plates in correct order and read the verse together several times. Choose one family member to hide the plates while everyone else hides their eyes and counts to 50. Find the plates and place in correct order. Repeat the verse each time the plates are found.

KNOCK DOWN - Scripture Memory Activity


Suggested Bible Verse: "Do not fear, for I am with you" (Isaiah 41:10)

Materials Needed: 9 cardboard toilet paper tubes; small rubber ball; markers

Activity: Write one word from the verse on each tube. Write the scripture reference on a separate tube. Set the tubes on end, six inches apart. Everyone takes turns rolling the ball, trying to knock down one tube at a time. Repeat the verse each time the ball is knocked down, until no tubes are standing and the verse is being said from memory.

PLACE MATS - Bible Verse Activity


Suggested Bible Verse: "Trust in Him at all times" (Psalm 62:8a)

Materials Needed: Construction paper; markers or crayons; scissors; clear contact paper (optional).

Activity: Use a marker or crayons to write the Bible verse on the paper. Decorate as desired. Laminate (optional) place mats or cover with clear contact paper. Review the verse at mealtimes.

BALLOON HUNT - Bible Memory Fun


Suggested Bible Verse: "The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9b)

Materials Needed: 12 balloons; slips of paper

Activity: Write the words to the verse on slips of paper. Place the first word in the first balloon, the second word in the second balloon, and so on. Blow up balloons and fasten with knots. Hide balloons. Let children search for them. Break the balloons and put the words of the verse in order. Read together six times. Now, remove one word. Say the verse together. Continue to remove words until there are none and the verse is being said from memory.

BEAT THE CLOCK CLEANUP SUNDAY SCHOOL CLEANUP


Cleaning up after Sunday School, VBS, mid-week, or anytime can be fun when the children participate and the effort is made into a game.

Give specific assignments.

Set an alarm clock for 3-5 minutes and challenge the children to beat the clock in cleaning up.

INDOOR SCAVENGER HUNT / BEAT THE CLOCK

a. Make a list of items for the children to find. Be specific: red sock, black comb, box of Wheaties cereal, etc.

b. Keep track of how long it takes everyone to find these items and how long it takes to put back in the proper places.

c. Use the same list again. See how long it takes a second time to find the items and then replace them.

d. Keep the list and play again.

ZACCHAEUS - Interactive Bible Story


INSTRUCTIONS: Boys and girls work in their own personal space and do motions and movements to everything they can. No talking, only movement.)

The news spread so quickly! People told everyone they knew! Jesus was in town!

Zacchaeus, the tax collector, heard the news. He got up from his tax-collecting table so quickly he spilled his money. He bent down to pick it all up.

Then he ran to where the crowd had gathered.

He had to get to the very front or he wouldn't be able to see Jesus because Zacchaeus was very, very, very short.

What was he going to do?

He tried squeezing between people but nobody would budge to let Zaccheaus through.

He tapped a man on the shoulder and said, "May I get through please?" but the man shook his head no.

Suddenly Zacchaeus had an idea!

He ran and ran and ran along the edge of the crowd.

He found a large sycamore tree with big branches all the way across the road. He climbed up the tree and crawled across the branch that stretched over the road.

His knees got scratched but he didn't care. Now he'd see Jesus!

Did all that effort pay off? YES!

Jesus looked up into the tree and told Zacchaeus to climb down out of the tree.

Jesus went to Zacchaeus' house and his life was changed. He invited Jesus into his life.

He went from being a bad tax collector who cheated people out of their money to a person who ws honest.

DAVID AND GOLIATH - Interactive Bible Story


INSTRUCTIONS:

Divide the class into 6 groups:

Group 1: Goliath - (when you hear his name called in the story, stand up tall like a giant!)

Group 2: David - (when you hear his name called stand up and move your arm in a circle)

Group 3: Saul (he was a king - when you hear his name called stand up and put your crown on your head)

Group 4: Sheep (when you hear that word go stand and go baaaa)

Group 5: Lions (when you hear that word stand and make a lion sound)

Group 6: Bears (when you hear that word stand and make a bear sound)

STORY:

Saul called David before him. David said to Saul, "Why do you fear Goliath? I, David, am willing to fight Goliath."

But Saul said to David, "You cannot fight Goliath. You are only a boy who tends sheep. Goliath is nine feet tall. Goliath is a great warrior who has been fighting his whole life."

But David said to Saul, "Once, when I was tending the sheep, a lion and a bear stole a lamb from the flock of sheep. But I followed them. When the lion and the bear fought me, I killed both the lion and the bear and saved the sheep. So Goliath will be like the lion and bear. Goliath has defied the army of the living God. And as God protected me, David, from the lion and the bear, he will protect me from this giant Goliath."

Saul said, "Go. And God help you."

And God did just that! David killed the giant with a sling and stone with God's help.

WHEN THEH BODY MOVES, THE BRAIN REMEMBERS


Bored kids and teachers
Declining attendance
Drab classrooms
Church basement mildew 
Lifeless lessons

Exciting electronic explosions evolve daily in our present high-tech, borderless world. Resources are literally at our fingertips.

Consequently, we must bury our past one-dimensional, tame teaching techniques . . . and we must bury the beige, boring classroom in a blizzard of creative, kid-oriented design.

Classroom learning is now hands-on, active, and multisensory, using developmentally appropriate methods to discover biblical principles and having children apply these principles for spiritual growth.

Public schools refer to participational learning as TPR: Total Pupil Response.

In Christian Education, we now call it Interactive Learning (learning by doing) or "When the Body Moves, the Brain Remembers!"

The old fallacy said: Students learn best when seated upright at a table or desk.

Research through the years has concluded: The stress on the tissues of the buttocks often causes fatigue, discomfort and the need for frequent postural change.

The old fallacy said: Students who do not sit still are not ready to learn.

Research concludes: When permitted to move from one instructional area to another to learn new information, the youngsters achieved statistically better than they did when required to learn while remaining seated."

When the body moves, the brain remembers.

Every time we move in an organized manner, full brain activation and integration occurs, and the door to learning opens.

After 30 days, students remember: 10% of what hear; 15% of what see; 20% what hear and see; 40% of what discuss; 80% of what they do.

VBS - Theme Idea


Theme: Orbital Journey Through the Explorations of God's World

Purpose: To discover that God in His creativity made the world and all its surrounding
heavens, topped off by creating man.

Blast-Off Time: 7:00 p.m. each evening

Re-Entry Time: 9:00 p.m.

Length of Journey: August 3 - 7

Launch Pad: Arvada First Church of the Nazarene

Mission Control Director: Betty Robertson

NASSA Personnel: Trained and qualified workers

Astronauts: Directors and special visitors

Fueling: Refreshments

Control Center: Church Office

Cost Per Tax payer: Offerings will be taken each night

Splashdown: 9:45 a.m. Sunday, August 9, featuring a special program for children,
parents and friends

Outer Space Inhabitants:

Preschool I - Neptites from Neptune

Preschool II -Jupits from Jupiter

Primary Boys - Mercurites from mercury

Primary Girls - Saturlites from Saturn

Middler Boys - Uranilings from Uranus

Middler Girls - Venusteens from Venus

Junior Boys - Martians from Mars

Junior Girls - Plutonians from Pluto

ROARING RELAYS - Games


Anything Goes. No team member may duplicate what someone else does. The first child may run; the next hop; the next skip; the next run with arms out; etc.

Backwards Walk. Walk backwards to the goal line and backwards to the starting line.

Ball Bounce. The first player bounces the ball to the goal line and back.

Ball Kick. The first child kicks the ball, with one foot, to goal line and back again, tagging off number 2 who does the same.

Birthday Line-up. The children line up according to their birth dates. Younger children will need help.

Balloon Break. Each team member runs to goal line where there is a chair; sits on a balloon until it breaks; and runs back to tag next one in line.

Crab Walk. Walk sideways to goal line and back.

Duck Walk. The children bend down and walk like ducks, without bending the knees.

Elephant Walk. The children bend over, hold hands together with arms hanging in front, like an elephant. They walk this way to the goal line and back.

Height Line-Up. The boys and girls line up according to height.

Hop and Run. The first child hops on one foot to the goal line.. He then runs back and tags off the next team member.

One-Legged. Hop on one leg to goal line and run back to tag the next person.

Over and Under. An inflated balloon is passed over the head of the first child; between the legs of the second; and so forth.

Skip and Run. Skip to goal line and run back.

Wheelbarrow Wobble. Each child finds a partner. One is wheelbarrow and walks on his hands while the other child holds up his feet, parallel with the ground. Each "wheel-barrow" goes to goal line and back.

VBS - Healthy Refreshments



Be alert for any food allergies children may have.

Ants On A Log. Spread peanut butter on celery; top with raisins.

Bagels. Some shops will donate day old bagels, which are still good!

Banana Popsicles. Cut each banana in half. Dip in a mixture of half lemon juice and half water. Insert a popsicle stick into each banana. Roll it in crushed Grape Nuts. Freeze.

Bananawich. Slice bananas thin and place between two vanilla wafers to form a sandwich.

Cheese and Crackers. Cheese with whole wheat crackers is delicious and easy to fix.

Cinnamon Graham Crackers and Milk.

Jello Cones. Make Jello. When it sets, cut into small squares. Fill ice cream cones. Top with whipped topping. Insert a plastic spoon.

Kix Balls. Melt 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips. Pour over 5 cups of Kix cereal. Stir gently to coat the cereal. Form into balls. Place on waxed paper. Chill for at least 24 hours. Makes about 60 balls.

Microwave Popcorn. Always a big hit because the kids can smell it throughout the building! A great item to purchase at a wholesale club or have parents donate.

Muffin and Milk.

Peanutwich. Spread peanut butter on Ritz crackers. Top to form sandwiches.

Popcorn in a Cup. Pop popcorn and put into a large paper cup.

Popsicles. Make with fruit juice.

Pretzels.

Pudding Treat. Follow instructions on the sugar-free pudding package. Pour into Styrofoam cups, about half full. Top with whipped topping. Insert a plastic spoon.

VBS - How to Increase Enrollment



Person-to-person contact. There is no greater communication system than one person telling another. Get the boys and girls excited so they will invite their friends. Be sure parents and adults in the church are aware of your program and dates.

Telephone. Call all Sunday school members and attenders of last year's school and let them know about the exciting, upcoming VBS. Extend a personal invitation to attend. Talk with parents to see if transportation is needed or if they can be involved in helping.

Promotional flyers. Send out at least two colorful, attractive publicity flyers.

Operation: Invasion. The Saturday prior to the opening of the school, distribute promotional flyers within a 3-mile radius of the church, at shopping centers, play-grounds and parks. Enlist commitments from children and parents by pre-registering the boys and girls.

Pre-registration. The week prior to VBS, start pre-enrolling children in their Sunday school classes or at a special booth set up in the church foyer. This not only reminds the boys and girls of the upcoming event, but serves to eliminate Free gifts. In your VBS publicity, announce a free gift to all who attend the first session.

Radio spots. Send basic information to the "community calendar" of your local radio station, including the who, what, when and where details of your event.

Newspapers. Let people in the community know you care about their children.

Sign. Place an attractive sign in your church yard.

SCRIPTURES WHICH TEACH VALUES



Value: Principle (a fundamental truth) or standard (a measure to conform by)


Romans 12:9 Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:27 Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

Deut 6:18 Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight.

Heb. 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what
you have.

Col. 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for
the Lord, not for men.

Ecc. 9:10a Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

1 Cor. 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the
glory of God.

2 Cor. 9:7b God loves a cheerful giver.

Prov. 17:17 A friend loves at all times.

Ex. 20:12 Honor your father and mother.

Ex. 20:13 You shall not murder.

Ex. 20:15 You shall not steal.

USING CREATIVE DRAMATICS - Creative Teaching




WHY CREATIVE DRAMATICS SHOULD BE USED WHEN TEACHING CHILDREN


1. Captures attention and helps students remember. After 30 days, students remember: 10% of what hear; 15% of what see; 20% what hear and see; 40% of what discuss; and 80% of what they do

Every time we move in an organized manner, full brain activation and integration occurs, and the door to learning opens.

2. Causes Bible stories and characters to come alive. (The boys and girls in the picture above are getting ready to perform the story of Naomi and Ruth) The information presented in a transforming way! Drama helps children become emotionally involved with Biblical characters. This attachment helps them experience the Bible characters feelings and decisions and then apply those situations to every day life.

3. Creates enjoyable learning. Proverbs 15:2 (TLB) says: "A wise teacher makes learning a joy."

4. Apply the principles:

a. Plan thoroughly.
b. Promote involvement (children are born actors! some may just need encouragement)
c. Praise repeatedly.
d. Participate with.
e. Peruse (examine in detail) pupils (know them!)
f. Prepare questions (for follow up) How would you feel if your best friend needed help, but there were lots of people in the way? How did the man feel as he was lowered to Jesus while everyone was watching? How would someone who was listening to Jesus have felt about such a major interruption?
g. Pack ideas (collect/file)

REVIEW GAMES - Principles

by Betty B. Robertson

A Calvin and Hobbes cartoon pictures Calvin sitting in class, eyes half closed, about ready to drift off to sleep. Suddenly he sits upright and screams: Boring! Uninteresting! Ho-Hum!

The child who sits in class like a zombie, showing no interest, will become almost automatically drawn into a Bible game. Or Joe Cool who wouldn't be caught dead singing or participating in any way, can't resist participating in a game.

"A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down," sang Walt Disney's Mary Poppins. Her point, of course, was that even things which are distasteful can be made pleasant - in fact, downright fun.

This same principle applies to Christian Education of children. The primary purpose of Bible games is to review Bible facts, verses and concepts. Educational experts tell us that one-third of our teaching time should be spent in review! Application of knowledge is important for utilization. Reviewing helps learning become a meaningful part of a child's life.

1. Write your questions in advance keeping in mind your objective which is to review and re-emphasize.

The questions used in the games determine their effectiveness as a teaching tool. Always think FIRST of what you want to accomplish with the children.

Review questions fall into two basic categories:
(a) Bible truth: facts, truths and verses
(b) Bible application: applying truths and concepts to life. Encourages children to use the facts he knows and apply to life in problem solving. Examples: Is it all right to cheat on a test if you have been sick and could not study? What would you do if your best friend told a lie about you.

2. Try out the game ahead of time and think through potential problems, so the purpose for playing the game is not lost.

Our purpose as teachers is not playing the game itself, but to review. If the children will be tossing for points, how far back should they stand? Is it best to place it on the floor or on a table? What happens if they miss? How many times can they try again?

3. Do not embarrass pupils.

Use pairs or teams. If you have pupils who come irregularly and were not present when some of the
bible material was taught, team them with pupils who do come regularly. This will save an irregular attender from embarrassment and allow him to enjoy the Bible game.

4. Emphasize cooperation rather than competition.

5. Rotate games so they will stay new and fresh.

THINK IN FRESH, NEW WAYS AS A CHILDREN'S TEACHER



I Want To Stay In My Box
(Tune: I Have the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy)

I want to stay in my box where I've always been.
It's so comfortable!
It's so comfortable!
It's so comfortable!
I want to stay in my box where I've always been.
It's so comfortable!
I don't want to have to change.

The Box

This enclosure with flat sides, known as a box, is:
1. Confining
2. Restraining
3. Has limited boundaries


The Sides of the Box

The sides of the box can be made of various things, including:
1. Tradition
2. Lack of ideas
3. Limited funds
4. Complacency (Content to teach boring, uninteresting, non-life-changing lessons week after week after week.)


The Challenge

1. Fling out your arms.
2. Knock down the walls of your box.
3. Step out of that suffocating enclosure.
4. Take a deep breath of the fresh air of creativity and new ideas which literally surround you the moment you step away from your box.
5. Stretch your mind to think and learn in fresh, new ways.
6. Accept the challenge to be an adventurous, daring, dedicated, zestful children's teacher - teaching from the natural outflow of what God has done in your life and making a significant difference in lives tomorrow.


SURVIVAL GUIDE - Children With Aging Relatives


Written by Betty Robertson

Have you ever been on a camping trip or a family hike? Anyone who goes on such adventures knows of the need to "be prepared" for an emergency. This means thinking through, "What will I do if..."

It also involves being prepared with useful items of equipment. A wilderness survival pack might include a first aid kit, compass, up-to-date map, pencil, a good knife, small flashlight, food and water.

The idea of survival includes more than being lost in the woods. Survival can mean handling a difficult situation such as grandparents who are showing signs of aging, a loved one who is ill or a relative who is sick and near death.

If you have an aging relative, you will need to have a special survival pack that includes a pencil, notebook, Bible, binoculars and thinking cap.


What are you feeling about your situation?

Dig out the pencil from your pack. Circle each emotion you are experiencing: anger, confusion, embarrassment, helplessness, loneliness, rejection, resentment, sadness, scaredness, worry.

Look in your survival bag for your thinking cap. Put it on. Try to figure out WHY you feel the way you do.

Are you angry because this has happened to your relative?

Are you confused because you do not understand what is happening?

Are you embarrassed about your loved one's behavior or because your friends don't understand what is happening and poke fun?

Do you feel helpless because you cannot fix the situation?

Are you lonely because the relative who used to spend so much time with you is now sick?

Are you feeling rejected because your loved one is having to spend so much time with someone else?

Does the resentment come from all the changes taking place?

Are you sad from the loss of a relationship that was important to you, or because things are not the way they used to be?

Do you feel scared about whether your loved one is going to die?

Are you worried about what will happen to your relative?

If you are experiencing any of these emotions, signal for help. Talk to a caring adult, such as your mom, dad, pastor, Sunday school teacher, family doctor or some other adult friend. These people can give you valuable information and answer questions you may have.

Communicate honestly about what you think. Discuss your difficult feelings. It is okay to share what you feel.

Get your notebook and pencil from your survival pack. Write out your feelings. This is called journalizing and is a private outlet for expressing yourself.

A journal can be told things that cannot be said to anyone. Write whatever you are thinking - your frustrations, fears and wishes. Jot down your thoughts every day.

Remember, your situation is not unusual. There are many children who have grandparents who need help with activities of daily living; relatives who can't always remember things; and loved ones who are very sick and may die soon.

Unpack the Bible you placed in your survival kit. Reading God's Word will help get you through this difficult time.

God cares about your feelings. He understands your problems. Talk to Him every day.

Perhaps you would like to write a letter to God. Get a piece of paper and pencil and find a quiet place to think and write.

Grab the binoculars from your survival pack. Look around.

What tasks can you do to help a parent or grandparent? Try to cheerfully handle these new responsibilities.

Make a list of things you can do to help.

Try to understand what is wrong with your loved one. Put your thinking cap on. Imagine what it would be like to be in his or her condition. How would you feel? How would you want people to respond to you?