How often do we access daily news media sources and learn of dangerous situations needing the help of emergency services? Whether it's police, fire and rescue services, ambulance, Life Guards, SES, St John's, Rural Fire Brigade... these organisations provide help and assistance to many, often without thanks or real appreciation.
You may wish to take the opportunity, as a church or a children's ministry, to invite members from these groups to a special 'thank you' family service or event. A simple postcard-style invitation has been included in the file below plus a couple of decorative pieces- bunting, small labels for attaching to packs of chips or drinks, cupcake toppers. When we contacted these organisations, some offered to bring along their emergency vehicles, much to the delight of the kids! We also painted up some cardboard boxes as firetrucks and emergency vehicles and held races for the kids.
You may wish to present a special certificate to all the emergency service personnel present. A simple certificate is available below. Another gift suggestion is to present each organisation with copies of the popular movies Fireproof and/or Courageous.
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Easter is less than a month away and I'm sure the preparations for your children's ministry Easter events are well underway. You may be thinking about some early promotion of these events and so I've created a simple Easter slide that you may like to use.
The wording may be altered to suit your own needs. I created the design using Smilebox. I've mentioned this great little program before but in case you missed it, use the link below to find out more.
I've also include a little promotional movie clip, also created with Smilebox, for our Kids Club program so that you can see how it can be used. Smilebox makes it easy to share invitations, slideshows or clips via Facebook, twitter or your website/blog. It probably took about 15 minutes to create the clip.
Find out more about Smilebox here...
Are you using social media as tools for your ministry? Are you uncertain how to begin? Would you like someone to guide you through the process? Then this may be just for you.
Nils Smith is a web pastor, author and blogger and will be presenting an online training event for ministry leaders based on the core principles of his soon-to-be-released book- The Social Media Guide for Ministry. The five days of training start March 4th (3 sessions daily), with sessions lasting 45 minutes and will include include training from Nils Smith, interviews with ministry leaders and social media experts, and live chat Q & A.
The daily topics include: Social Media Basics, Facebook Foundations, Twitter & YouTube Techniques, Blogging, Pinterest and other Networks and Online Church.
For more information, download a flyer or register for this event, visit the site here...
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Our B2S Sunday is a special event for families with a focus, naturally, on school but we also take the opportunity to highlight the support and midweek programs that our church family offers kids and families.
This year we will be giving out small stationery packs to each child and we've used the idea from Family Crafts (see here
) to create mini backpacks from coloured paperbags to hold the stationery. They are easily made with a backpack print-off attached to the front and ribbon straps attached for handles.
We added in some bookmarks, and you could add your church contact details to the back of each before laminating them. For a bit of fun, we also added some packs of 'bookworms'. You can find the file for these below. It's a perfect time, too, to include information about upcoming events.
And... finish with a Back2School cupcake... see here
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Australian schools resume following the Christmas/New Year holidays in the last week of January. If you're planning a special event to highlight 'Back to School' with your children's ministry, you may find some of these ideas helpful.Promotion
Use this free powerpoint slide to promote your special 'Back2School' event. Just add your own logo, date and times. The file can be found below.Welcome Back Pack
Buy inexpensive backpacks or totes and fill them up with goodies. Burn CDs with new kids’ church music or video of a recent, fun service. Add some hard candy, pencils, erasers and inexpensive Bible coloring books. Prepare enough for every child. Notify the kids by mail that in order to get their ‘welcome back packs’ they will need to attend on a specified date. (from ministry-to-children.com )Back to School GamesPencil Sweep Relay
Form teams of four or more. Designate a goal area at one end of the room. Have teams line up at the other end of the room. Then give each team a pencil and a broom. The first person on each team sweeps the pencil to the goal and back. The next person in line does the same thing until everyone on the team has had a turn.Pencil Sweep Relay
Form teams of four or more. Designate a goal area at one end of the room. Have teams line up at the other end of the room. Then give each team a pencil and a broom. The first person on each team sweeps the pencil to the goal and back. The next person in line does the same thing until everyone on the team has had a turn.(from Children's Ministry )Extra Fun by the Numbers:
have some age-specific games for the kids. For instance, for those going into third grade, have kids run a three-legged relay. For fourth graders, have them try to balance four eggs on spoons in their mouths.. and maybe run the length of the room.Letter Hunt
for the younger grades, put flashcards on sticks )giant paint stirrers would work well) in the yard and assign each kids 4-5 letters to find. First one done wins. (See here)
| |Back to School bulletin board idea
.. see Back to School colouring pages
Use these printable pages as discussion starters with your kids. (more..
Here are a few ideas to help start a conversation about trusting God as a new school year begins.
- What about going back to school is the most exciting?
- Does anything about going back to school make you worry?
- What would happen if God didn’t give us schools and teachers?
- What can we say to God as a pray when going back to school?
If you're looking for a special teaching program for your special back to School event, check out the free program from LifeChurch. more...Back to School party ideas
This week's freebie is a simple still motion- a welcome slide for Christmas. Use it to welcome families and introduce a special Christmas event or a children's church Christmas program.
It is available as a Powerpoint 97-2003 presentation format or 2007 presentation file.
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Looking for a clip for Christmas? Check out these 3 different styles of retelling the Christmas story. Two of these are available from WorshipHouseKids.com
while the other one, Go Tell It on the Mountai
n, comes from ElevateatChurch.com (see here
) The True Meaning of Christmas is a 2 minute mini-clip from What's in the Bible
. The Christmas Story, a production of Cherub Wings, is a longer 5 minute animation. Check them out.
Order of service
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Last Sunday, we held our 'One Starry Night'
family service and encouraged all the families from our kids' club to attend.
Since many of these families have had little or no previous contact with church events, we presented a simple service with a strong focus on families and included plenty of kids' involvement and highlights the One Starry Night kids' club event. We also used some of the great Christmas resources available and I've listed these for you to check out. (The hard part was choosing which resources to use!)
I've included our schedule/order of service. I used a Microsoft template for this and there are many available ready to download and personalise. See here..
Save some time and use these templates when you need to create a form or presentation for your team. It does make a difference; it highlights the importance of what you are doing and, it saves you time.
We introduced the service with the free clip from Friends and Heroes- a simple, animated presentation in music of the reason
we celebrate Christmas. (See resources.)
I used Animoto
to create the clip of our One Starry Nigh
t outreach event. We used Group's music clip No Greater Gift
as backing for the kids' item. (Available as worship dvd in the Faithweaver Praise and Worship music
; these are great!)
Our Christmas story, The Christmas Miracle
, was told by puppets which held everyone's attention. We used the pre-recorded skit from Instant Puppet Skits.
Everyone joined in singing Silent Night
while the clip played (see below) while some of the children handed out the M&Ms Christmas packs to everyone. A printable for this is available from the list of resources included.
Wow! What a week! Our kids' club program concluded for the year with all the excitement of 'One Starry Night' where kids and their families experienced Mary and Joseph's journey to the manger. This was a different style of program from our usual kids' club afternoons, so we were interested to see the reaction of children and families. We included a few additions: Bethlehem passports with stickers and stamps for them to collect at each activity station, and a combined large group session to start the evening off with some carols, a special welcome to all the parents who had joined the evening events, a special Christmas clip of the Christmas story and the opportunity to highlight the family service on the following Sunday. We also concluded the event with a festive buffet-style dinner for everyone.
But, it was a terrific night with more kids than we expected turning up and many bringing along their parents. If you haven't checked out this Christmas outreach program, then click here
for more information.
I've included a short clip below of highlights of our One Starry Night event- kids at various activity stations, leaders dressed for the part in Bethlehem garb and parents getting involved with their children in some of the activities. See below. I'll briefly outline the One Starry Night Sunday morning family service, with the resources and elements we included in my next posting.
Minute to Win It
series has been hugely popular, possibly because everyone likes a challenge but they are task challenges that everyone can attempt at home. Naturally, there are spin-off board games, dvds and card games and you can check out the NBC list and instructions of their Minute-to-Win-It games here.
is offering a special downloadable collection of 110 'Minute-to-Win-It' games for children's ministry for $97. (See here.
.) The downloadable pdf includes Game title, Supply list, Instructions and possible discussion topics. They include a sample that you can download before you purchase and I've included one of these sample games below.
But if, like me, you can't afford the cost of this downloadable, there are other options.
Parent Information Centre has a list of Minute to Win It party games for kids that you could use and adapt for your purposes. See here..
Summer Camp Program Director lists their Top 10 'Minute-to-Win-It' games that are perfect for games at camp ... see here
Ministry-to-Children have their own list of top 'Minute-to-Win-It' games.. see here..
And.. here is another list of Minute-to-Win-It party games that you can use with kids... see here..