Worship Service Booklet for Kids

Having kids in the service is great, but it’s easy to lose their interest fast because the service was not designed for them.

Sermons are usually 20-30 minutes long (some a lot longer!!) The songs we sing contain a lot of symbolic and abstract language. Baptism and communion are symbolic acts that kids have a hard time understanding.

But these are only reasons for us to try harder to include children in our worship services!

I have created a worship service booklet for kids to help them focus and become active participants.

I have created it as a booklet. Page one is focused on singing, offering, etc. and page four is focused on the sermon. The inside pages are for drawing pictures.

Here are a couple of things I kept in mind when designing this resource:

  • This resource is for kids from Grades 1-6 so I kept reading to a minimum and left it open to each child to choose how much they wanted to write.
  • I tried to include as many aspects of the service as possible so the kids are encouraged to actively participate during the whole service.

MyWorshipBooklet_WellEquippedVolunteerHandout

Page 1

On page one, kids are encouraged to sing as well as listen carefully to the words of the songs. Singing is a form of worship so the kids are asked to circle which attributes of God were highlighted in the singing. Also on page one, active listening during the whole service is encouraged as kids are to mark down whenever they hear these four words – God, Jesus (or Christ), Holy Spirit, and Bible (or Scripture).

Pages 2 and 3

On pages two and three, kids are invited to draw pictures of the Bible story they heard during the Scripture reading and to draw a picture of their favorite part of the service.

Page 4

On page four, the focus turns to Scripture and the sermon. Kids are asked to make a note of the Bible passage that was read and are encouraged listen for keywords from that passage. Again this encourages actively listening as well as following along in their Bibles (it’s easier to pick out the keyword(s) when reading along. As kids listen to the sermon, they are encouraged to write down words they hear that they don’t know. Then they are told to look up those words when they get home. This encourages investigation during the week as well as family conversations. Finally, kids are asked to record what they though was the most important thing they learned from the sermon. Again, this encourages active listening, but it also provides great opportunity for parents to have conversations with their children at home.

Download your copy of “My Worship Service Booklet” and start using it this weekend!

Encourage kids to be actively involved in the worship service with these worship service booklets for kids! Having a resource like this available shows kids and parents that kids are welcome in the worship service!

New Year Resolutions

It’s a New Year! Have you made any resolutions? Children's Ministry Planning

People make personal resolutions at the beginning of a new year.

Children’s ministry leaders can take the opportunity to make ministry resolutions as well.

Do you have goals for the kids in your ministry? Now is the time to start planning. It is so important to take some time and plan out what you want kids to learn this year and in the years to come. Without a plan you end up with haphazard learning.

Take a few hours and look at the curriculum you are using for this year and the next few years. Does it have a clear scope and sequence?

Does it clearly show what is going to be taught and what order it’s going to be taught in?

Scope is the extent of content to be covered in a curriculum at any one time. That could mean one week, one year, or the whole of a child’s life. Sequence means the order in which this content will be presented over time.

How easy is it for you to see what the kids will be learning over the next months and years? Is there order and context?

Whatever format your curriculum takes, it’s important for you to have a plan for using it. Any good plan will include goals.

Goals are important because they give you something to work towards and a means of measuring success.

The ultimate goal in children’s ministry is to make disciples. In order to reach that goal, you need to take some time now to plan out the year and the next few years. What are the kids going to be taught and when are the kids going to be taught it?

Take some time at the beginning of the year to plan out your curriculum.

Christmas Conundrum – Sunday School Teachers & Gifts

gift box in handWhen the Christmas season arrives, Sunday School teachers face a particular conundrum – whether or not to give gifts to their Sunday School class.

This can be a tricky situation for Sunday School teachers. They want to be generous and show their students that they care about them, but some classes are large and the teacher may not be able to afford gifts for everyone. Or maybe they are stuck in a situation where some of their students have siblings in other classes. Will those teachers give gifts? Is it fair for one child in a family to receive a gift from their teacher and another does not?

Situations

There are a number of situations possible. Maybe you can relate to one of these.

The children’s ministry department has a budget for gifts for the children but the leader has not communicated this to the volunteers. Or the children’s ministry department expects the teachers to give gifts to their own classes but have not communicated this to the volunteers.

A Sunday School teacher has the desire to give gifts to the class but cannot afford to, while other teachers have the capability to give gifts to their class no matter how large. As a result, some children in the Sunday School receive gifts, while others do not.

Some Sunday School teachers give big gifts to their classes while others give small gifts. Children may end up thinking Sunday School is unfair because a sibling or friend got a much bigger gift then they did.

Whichever situation you find yourself in, it can be hard to figure out what to do.

Solution

The solution to all of these situations is the same – communication.

Leaders, communicate with your volunteers! Let them know if there is a budget for gifts at Christmas or if you plan to give out treat bags. Let them know what the policy is for gift-giving at Christmas.

Teachers, communicate with each other! Talk freely about what you have done in the past and what you plan to do this year. This is especially important for new teachers who may not know how this issue has been handled in the past.

In the end, it’s not imperative that teachers give gifts to their students. What is imperative is that you love them and share the good news that Jesus came to save His people from their sins. Jesus is the best gift anyone can receive!

“She will give birth to a Son and you are to give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Looking for an Interactive, Practical Safety Policies & Procedures Seminar?

Dchildrens ministry classroom managemento any of you struggle with providing training on safety policies and procedures that is fresh, interesting, practical, and engaging?

I do. That’s why I have created this training seminar that you can use. It’s best used as a refresher seminar, but new volunteers will learn a lot from it as well.

This seminar will take an hour. You can make it longer or shorter as necessary. You can also add or change scenarios to make them very practical to your situation.

The seminar attendees should be in groups of 2-6, ideally around a table to allow for easy discussion and note-taking.

Each table should have a one or two scenarios, pens/pencils, a green sign, and a red sign. (The number of attendees you have will dictate how many scenarios each table gets.)

The signs can be as simple or complex as you want them. A sheet of construction paper cut into four pieces could make four signs. Tape one piece to a jumbo popsicle stick and you have a sign.

The leader needs to have a copy of the scenarios, as well as the additional scenarios, and a copy of the church’s official policies and procedures.

Group Activity

Step 1. Scenario review: Each table will be given one or more scenarios. They will read the scenario together and decide what they would do in the situation described. 5 minutes will be given to complete this activity.

Step 2. Presentation and voting: Once the activity is completed, the leader will ask one table at a time to read out their scenario and their response to it. The other tables will vote on the correctness of the response by holding up the red or green signs provided.

Step 3. Additional discussion questions: Then the leader will ask the accompanying group discussions questions (Scenario 1-1.) The leader should address these questions to the whole group.

Step 4: Policy review: The leader needs to listen carefully and make sure that all policy points are covered in the discussion. Once they are, the leader can move on to the next scenario.

I have created a Leaders Guide and Scenarios Handouts  for you to print off and use at your next training seminar. The leaders guide includes instructions for leading this seminar as well as the scenarios that will be used and the followup group discussions questions. The Scenario handouts contain two scenarios per page for you to print off, cut, and give to your seminar attendants. Freshen up your safety policies training and get your volunteers talking!

Permission to End a Program

childrens-ministry-cancel a programI was involved once in a club program that was going really well. We had a club for kids in grades 1-3, for girls in grades 4-6, and for boys in grades 4-6.

The clubs were well planned and purposeful. Kids from the church came and they invited their friends. Kids from the community were coming too. We were building relationships with kids and introducing them to Jesus. It was great!

There was one major problem. As time went on we lost volunteers—lots of volunteers! There were plenty of reasons: job changes, school, other ministry responsibilities, etc, etc. We got to the point where we couldn’t safely or effectively run the program anymore.

So, what did we do? We started praying for wisdom and more volunteers. We also got the word out. We talked with parents and the congregation to let them know of the need for volunteers in our club ministry.

Parents were concerned…they loved the club program and wanted it to continue. However, we ended up losing a few more volunteers.

So, we choose to end the program. It was a hard decision, but it was the right one. We couldn’t effectively run the program with the volunteers we had, so we shut it down.

A year or so later, our church got involved with a breakfast club program at a local school. I was pretty excited. This was outreach! We may not be running an outreach club anymore at the church, but we were involved in outreach through the breakfast club program. We were meeting children in the community and building relationships.

Let me give you permission right now to end a program that is not working in your children’s ministry. It’s okay! It’s not a sign of failure and it’s not a sign that you don’t care about the children in your ministry. Sometimes, it’s a necessity. And sometimes, it’s the necessary start to something better.

1. Consider carefully why you are ending a program

There are many good reasons for ending a program. But keep in mind that sometimes we can be discouraged and begin to doubt the effectiveness of a program. Your discouragement is probably not a good reason to end a program. It is something that needs to be dealt with though.

Here are some reasons to end a program:

  • You already have programs that are fulfilling the same purpose.
  • You don’t have enough volunteers to effectively run the program.
  • You don’t have a leader to run the program.
  • The program is not effective.
  • There are not enough children attending.

This list is not exhaustive, it’s just a sampling of legitimate reasons to end a program.

Consider carefully why you are ending a program and be able to articulate the reason to those who ask.

2. How to defend your position

People will probably want to know why you are ending a program (especially if it seems to be going well.) It will be easier to defend your position if you have made communication a priority during this program.

Parents and the pastor or elders should already know what’s going on in the program. Why you run it, who’s attending, and its effectiveness.

How do you defend your position to parents? How do you defend your position to the pastor and elders?

Most importantly, people will want to know that you made a carefully considered, prayerful decision. Let them know about the process you used to get to your decision. And let them know what your plans are for the future.

3. Consider the future

Replacement of a program is not always necessary. If you have an effective program for outreach, then you probably don’t need a new one.

Sometimes an alternative is the answer. At the beginning of this article, I talked about a club program we had to shut down because we didn’t have enough volunteers. The idea was good, the purpose was outreach, the kids were having fun, but we didn’t have enough volunteers. One solution could be to shut down that particular club program and find an alternative idea that doesn’t require so many volunteers.

Maybe you are ending a program because you have an idea for something new. That’s okay. Communicate your vision to the pastor and parents. Make sure you have a solid purpose and plan for running the program.

Here’s a program evaluation tool that will be helpful in making the decision to end a program.

Here’s a blog post I wrote about using the program evaluation tool.

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