It’s Sunday morning and as you walk past a classroom you hear:
The last book of the Bible – Revelation!
The Son of God – Jesus!
A title for a king of Egypt – Pharaoh!
The kids are playing Bible Blurt!
Bible Blurt is a card game that can be played with a large or small group of kids ages 8 and up. Bible Blurt is a fun way to review what the kids have been learning and to have fun together. Bible Blurt is great to play with kids who have grown up in the church and with kids who have never read the Bible before. Unchurched kids will not feel left-out as there are plenty of questions that don’t require Bible knowledge.
Here’s how you play:
The official card game rules state that the object is to collect 10 cards by being the quickest to blurt the answers to 10 definitions. The cards are passed around and a definition is read. The child who blurts the correct answer first gets the card. Play continues until someone has 10 cards.
My husband taught a grades 4-6 class and he introduced this game to his students. He came up with some fun ways to vary the game.
He taught in a theatre-like classroom with stairs so he stood at the top of the stairs. The class stood at the bottom. Anyone who shouted out the correct answer moved up one step.
He also played a team version of the game. He split the class into 2 teams and read out definitions. The team who blurted the answer first got the point.
Bible Blurt is available for purchase on amazon.ca for less than $8. You can also make up definitions yourself and play with your class. You can make it specific to what you have been learning and to the kids in your class.
I recommend Bible Blurt. It’s fun, it’s Biblical, it gets everybody involved and doesn’t leave anybody out.
If you are looking for a fun, inexpensive game to play with your kids, check out Bible Blurt.
I have just finished reading the best material I have seen on teaching children how to respond to conflict.
The Young Peace Maker – Teaching Students to Respond to Conflict God’s Way by Corlette Sande was published in 1997. It and the accompanying student activity books are well-written, biblical, and age-appropriate.
This material includes 12 lessons for kids in grades 3-6 on responding to conflict God’s way. Kids deal with conflict every day – at home, at school, at play. It is vital that they learn how to handle conflict. Knowing how to handle conflict the right way brings glory to God and ensures healthy relationships.
This material helps kids to understand why we have conflict with each other, how to prevent it, how to deal with it when it happens, how to accept responsibility for our role in conflict, and how to give and receive forgiveness.
The following 12 key principles are expanded upon:
Conflict is a slippery slope.
Conflict starts in the heart.
Choices have consequences.
Wise-way choices are better than my-way choices.
The blame game makes conflict worse.
Conflict is an opportunity.
The 5A’s can resolve conflict.
Forgiveness is a choice.
It’s never too late to start doing what’s right.
Think before you speak.
Respectful communication is more likely to be heard.
A respectful appeal can prevent conflict.
I particularly like the way lessons are laid out in this material. The author begins each lesson clearly stating the key verse, lesson goal, lesson objectives, key principle, and lesson needs. The lesson is then presented in a logical, easy-to-follow manner. And then the author includes a lesson summary that briefly describes the main points of the lesson.
These lessons can be daunting – they are long and there is a lot of material to cover. However, the author has laid out the lesson very well; especially the lesson outline and the lesson summary. I would suggest using the lesson summary as a way of customizing the lesson. Write out the main points as outlined in the lesson summary and write the key principle at the top of the page. Now fill in each section with the lesson material. You can customize the lesson further by using examples that your students are familiar with or situations that have occurred in your classroom.
Some of the lessons are quite long (especially if you are using this material for Sunday School.) You may want to separate a lesson into 2 lessons if there is a lot of material to cover and you don’t want to rush it. For example lesson 8 “The Freedom of Forgiveness” is a very long lesson but it is full of excellent material. It can easily be separated into 2 lessons. There are 6 objectives for this lesson. One lesson could cover objectives 1-3 and a second lesson could cover objectives 4-6.
This material is not expensive and therefore a good option for church’s with a limited budget. The teacher manual costs $19.95 (US.) A set of student activity books is $14.95. There is also a 4 poster set available for $5.95. The student activity books are the most expensive part of this material. One option would be to purchase one set for the class rather than a set for each child (that could get very expensive!) There is good stuff in there for you to use. The cartoon version of the story gives the kids something to follow along with as you tell the story. There are activity ideas as well that are not in the teacher manual.
Resources are not included with this material, but it is easy and inexpensive to create visuals and memory aids of your own. An important teaching tool used to explain our reactions to conflict is called “The Slippery Slope.” A copy of this is available in the teacher’s manual and the student manual. You could enlarge this poster and maybe have your class color it and attach it to a larger colorful piece of poster board. This can be put up in your classroom area for the entire series as a great reminder of how we react to conflict.
Another idea is to make posters of the key principles from each lesson and put them up in your classroom to help the kids remember what they are learning. Here is an example of a poster I made for lesson 1 – Conflict is a slippery slope.This is a poster idea for lesson 2 – Conflict starts in the heart. They are not high tech or complicated, but they are effective in reminding kids of the important things you want them to know.
Also consider making posters of each key verse and hang those in your class.
This material can be used for Sunday School, summer programming, mid-week club material, small group material, or even mentoring material.
I really liked this idea given in the teacher’s manual:
Set up a Peace Table or Problem Solving Corner where students can go to resolve their conflicts after they have learned how to do so. When they come to tattle on each other, simply send them to the peace table to work out the problem. Then have them report back to you as to how they resolved the conflict. (page 15)
This material is available from www.peacemaker.net. You can also find it on www.amazon.ca and www.christianbook.com.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9
Here are my last 10 top picks from Sovereign Grace Kids. To see the first 10 click here.
1. Good & Gracious (To Be Like Jesus cd)
This is an upbeat song that focuses on the fact that God is good and gracious. God is good all the time and God is gracious to us. Children may need an explanation of what gracious means. As with many SovereignGraceKids songs, the gospel is highlighted in this song. Because God is good and gracious, He sent Jesus to die for our sins. “Good and gracious; You’re our Creator. Good and gracious to all You’ve made. Good and gracious; You never change. There’s goodness in everything You do.”
2. Make Me Wise (Walking with the Wise cd)
This is a fun song to sing with kids about the need for wisdom when making choices every day. This is something kids understand. They make choices everyday – good and bad. Teaching them that God will help them to make good choices; that God will give them wisdom if they ask for it is important. “Make me wise. Make me wise. Let me see through this world’s lies. There are so many paths to follow and I don’t want to compromise. Make me wise. Make me wise so I’m pleasing in Your sight. Lord, I want to bring You glory, so I’m asking You to make me wise.”
3. I Don’t Have to Hide (Walking with the Wise cd)
This is a good transitional song – to help you move from high energy songs to slower more worshipful songs. ‘I Don’t Have to Hide’ is a song that highlights the mercy of God. We are all sinners. We have all tried to hide the wrong we have done or hide from the consequences of our sin. The wonderful news proclaimed in this song is that because Jesus died, we don’t have to hide anymore. “If I confess my sins, I’ll find mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord and admits his sin. Blessed is the one who trusts the Lord, who alone forgives. Jesus died so I don’t have to hide anymore.” There is little that needs explanation in this song. Make sure you talk with your kids about what blessed means and about what mercy means. This song is based on Proverbs 28:13 “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
4. You Are Always With Me (Awesome God cd)
This song is sung as a prayer and is based on Psalm 139. “You are always with me, Jesus. Where could I go? Where could I hide? You are always with me, Jesus. Where could I go? You never leave my side.” This is a song of hope for kids to remember that as followers of Jesus, they are never alone. Jesus is always with us. This is an upbeat song, but not high energy. It’s a good transition song.
5. A Generous Heart (Walking with the Wise cd)
‘A Generous Heart’ is a transitional song that focuses on our God being the giver of all good things. God is a generous God and loves those who are generous. “God loves a generous heart. Cause that’s a heart like His own heart.” This song reminds us of just a few of the things God has generously given us – reminding us that God gave us Jesus who went to the cross to take the penalty for our sin.
6. Make Me Faithful (To Be Like Jesus cd)
This is a high energy song that I have sung often with kids. It is a lot of fun to sing and full of important truth. The focus of this song is Jesus. Jesus is faithful – He does what He says He will do; He keeps His promises; He follows through. When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives, we become faithful like Jesus. “I want to be like You are. I want to be faithful. Help me to be like You are. Oh make me faithful.”
7. Who Can Say? (Walking with the Wise cd)
Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?” I love that this song makes the connection to Jesus. Jesus is the only one who is without sin – Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross so that we can have new life. It is a song of praise for who Jesus is and what He has done. This is a slow song – “Jesus, Jesus, only You did everything right. Jesus, Jesus, died and rose so we could have new life.”
8. Where it All Begins (Walking with the Wise cd)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10) The fear of the Lord is an important concept for kids to understand. Kids need to know that God is worthy of our deep respect. I like this song because it doesn’t back away from a potentially difficult subject – instead it sticks to scripture and explains what it means to fear the Lord. It is my prayer that our kids will stand in awe of our great God!
9. Forever God (Awesome God cd)
This is a fun song – there is some repetition, but it serves to highlight the focus of this song – “Forever You remain unchanged. And though all else will fade, You will be the same. You go on and on and on and on and on. On and on and on and on. Forever You are God.” This is an upbeat song that focuses our attention on the eternal, unchanging nature of God. Our God is a forever God!
10. Sovereign One (Awesome God cd)
“When I am alone and afraid I will trust in You for You watch over my ways.” This song immediately grabs attention because feeling alone and afraid is something that every child can relate to. Giving our kids the truth of a big God who is in complete control and who is always with them is so important. I love this song! Using music to teach big truths about God is a great idea. As kids learn this song, they will also be learning what it means that God is sovereign. This is a slow song and because it is sung as a prayer, kids have the opportunity to truly worship as they focus on God. “Sovereign One, You work all things to Your plan. Sovereign One, You hold all things in Your hand.”
I had to stop myself at 20 – SovereignGraceKids have produced excellent cd’s that can be listened to at home and music that can be sung together at a worship service. Finding good music for kids that they can relate to, that is God-centered and gospel-focused is not always easy. I highly recommend SovereignGraceKids – you will find music that kids like, and songs that truly engage our hearts in worship of our great God!
It can be hard to find good music for kids – especially when you are looking for music to use on Sunday morning. A lot of songs are just silly or are too vague and symbolic for kids.
But there is good music out there – songs that kids can understand; songs that teach kids something about God; songs that remind us of just how big & magnificent & awesome our God is; songs that lead kids to worship.
If you are looking for good music to use with your kids on Sunday morning, then I highly recommend SovereignGraceKids. www.sovereigngracemusic.org
In 2004 SovereignGraceKids released “Awesome God,” their first kid’s album. They have since released 2 other albums, “To Be Like Jesus,” and “Walking with the Wise.” SovereignGraceKids have created music for kids that is fun, engaging, God-centered, and gospel-focused.
Here are my top 20 picks from Sovereign Grace Kids:
1. Jesus Came to Earth (Awesome God cd)
This is a joyful, high energy song. ‘Jesus Came to Earth’ is a song that celebrates Jesus as our Savior! It tells the story of Jesus, the Son of God who left the glories of heaven to come to earth, live a perfect life, die on the cross, rise from the dead, and return to heaven. It tells the gospel in simple language and then gives praise to Jesus. This song requires little explanation for kids. It was obviously written with kids in mind – the language is appropriate, the vocal range is right for kids, and with the first verse teaching the words and then sung again with the kids repeating, it is easy for the kids to learn. I love that this song focuses kid’s attention on Jesus!
2. Your Love (Awesome God cd)
This is a fast, high-energy song that focuses our attention on the love of God. I have sung this often with kids and they love it! “Your Love” is about the never-ending love of God. God loves us with an awesome, forever, everlasting love. God showed His great love by sending Jesus to die for our sins. One thing I love about this song is the focus on how God loves us even when we sin. Kids need to understand that God is faithful – He loves us and will forgive us if we admit our sin. This is a big issue for kids – they are well aware of the fact that they do wrong. This song reminds them that God loves them and will forgive them and will help them grow to be more and more like Jesus.
3. Almighty Creator (Awesome God cd)
This is a high-energy song that praises God for being our Creator. It tells of the mighty power of God. It reminds us that we have been created to love & worship God. It also talks of the gospel truth that because of Jesus we can be made new as children of God. This song requires little explanation for kids. In the chorus we sing, “All glory to Your name!” Talk with your kids about what it means to give God all the glory.
4. Who is Like You? (Awesome God cd)
This is a slower song that focuses on who God is. When we think about what God is like the appropriate response is worship. This song does require some explanation. There are words used to describe God that kids may not be familiar with. Also, rhetorical questions are used in this song. It is important that kids understand what that means. The first time you sing this song with kids you may want to read a couple Bible verses that describe the majesty and wonder of God. “Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11) The wonder in this song is that this great big wonderful God loves us!
5. Mighty, Mighty Savior! (Awesome God cd)
‘Mighty, Mighty Savior’ is a joyful song of praise to Jesus, our Mighty Savior! It is a great song for kids. This song describes our state as sinners and our hope for salvation through Jesus who can take away our sin. This is a good song to use when transitioning between high energy songs and slower worship songs.
6. For You Are Holy (Awesome God cd)
This is a slow worship song that focuses on the holiness of our awesome God. It describes what God is like in words that kids can understand. When reminded of who God is and what He is like the natural response is worship. This songs reminds us that no one is like our God; no one can compare to Him – Only He has no beginning, is truth unending, is always wise. Only God has never sinned, cannot be tempted and can never die. This great God is holy and totally worthy of our worship!
7. To Be Like Jesus (To Be Like Jesus cd)
This is a fun, high energy song about following Jesus. Followers of Jesus grow to be more like Him. Evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives is more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control. This song proclaims the desire to live life as a follower of Jesus. This is one of my favorite songs to sing with kids. I love this song and kids love it too! “I want to be like Jesus! To walk and talk like Jesus. I want to live like one who follows Him!”
8. Because You First Loved Me (To Be Like Jesus cd)
This is a good song to sing as you transition to slower songs or as a commitment song – one that you sing to declare your intention to live a certain way or to behave a particular way in the upcoming days. This is a song about loving others the way God loves us. This is a great song for kids because it addresses a very real issue – showing love to others. This is not always easy. But because God loved us first and showed us how to love, we can love others. Showing love is what disciples of Jesus do and this song is an encouragement to kids to be like Jesus by loving others.
9. Joy (To Be Like Jesus cd)
This is a high energy song that teaches the difference between joy and happiness. God gives us joy no matter what the circumstances. “You fill me with joy, Jesus. You are always with me. You alone can give me joy.” Our joy comes from knowing and trusting Jesus!
10. Peace (To Be Like Jesus cd)
This is slow song that I love to sing with kids. Kids understand being afraid and will find great comfort in knowing that God will give them peace. They do not need to be afraid because God is always with them. We can trust God to give us peace and to be with us always. This song talks about storms – many children are afraid of the dark or thunderstorms. The song reminds us that Jesus calmed the storm and raging sea with a word. The first time you sing this song, you may want to read that story to the kids and ask them to listen for it in the song. At the end of this song, 4 different children quote Bible verses about peace. I love this verse: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
The last 10 top picks from SovereignGraceKids will be in the next post. Come back soon!