Bright Ideas For Children’s Ministry

I was recently asked to contribute to a new book that was being released for Children’s Ministry leaders and volunteers. This book is full of tried and tested ideas for Children’s Ministry – Object Lessons, Crafts, Games, Leadership, Missions, Teaching Activities, Technology, and Worship.

50 ideas in one volume – that’s a resource that anyone would want!bright-ideas-cover-md

This book is available on kidology.org.

And even better – here’s a code to get $5 off if you buy the book before the end of the year – SAVE5JH

Check it out and consider adding it to your resource library!

 

Curriculum Review – What’s in the Bible? Church Edition

What’s a testament? Why are there so many different books in the Bible? Who wrote the books in the Bible? Is the Bible a book of stories or a book of one big story?

What’s in the Bible? Church edition is a brand new curriculum for elementary age children created with the purpose of helping them see the Bible as one big story – the story of God and His people.

Beginning in Genesis and continuing through to Revelation, this 52 week media-driven curriculum gives kids the big picture story of the Bible. It helps them see that the Bible is one big story, not a bunch of unconnected stories. If you are looking for a curriculum that will take your students through the Bible in a purposeful, orderly manner, then this may be the curriculum for you.

Along with the 13 volumes of Genesis to Revelation curriculum, there are two special volumes that can be added. Four weeks of Old Testament review and 4 weeks of special Christmas curriculum designed for fewer volunteers and more guests.

Here’s a video of Phil Vischer talking about this new curriculum.

This curriculum is a unique combination of video and small group segments. Each lesson is designed in four sections. Each section includes a video lesson and group activity. The group activity includes games, discussion, and Bible study.

If you are familiar with the What’s in the Bible? DVD series, you will recognize some of the videos. The two teaching videos from each section are taken from the What’s in the Bible? DVD series. The other two videos are getting to know each other and review created for this curriculum.

Things I Like About This Curriculum

Its Focus on Biblical Literacy

I love the focus on Biblical literacy. This curriculum contains the whole narrative of the Bible, not just highlights. I also really like that repetition and reinforcement are built into the lessons and units. This curriculum was designed to give kids a big picture view of the Bible and to help them understand how it all fits together.

Its Customizability

This is a truly customizable curriculum. All material is on disc or DVD. The leader’s guides and take-home papers are available as pdf or as word documents. This means that leaders or teachers can go into the lesson guide and make changes as necessary. Customizable take-home materials allow leaders to add notes to parents about upcoming events and projects and memory verses.

I think this is a truly fantastic aspect of this curriculum and I hope other curriculum providers follow suit.

Leaders can also customize the format. It can be used in a large group/small group format or a traditional classroom format or whatever format works for your situation. The only limitation is the number of screens you have to show the videos on.

The Combination of Bible Story and Bible Skills

I really like the combination of Bible story and Bible skills in this curriculum. Each lesson, the students are encouraged to read and study their Bibles. They hears stories from the Bible and they are taught important Bible skills like how to read a reference and what a testament is and the books of the Bible and how they are organized.

 

I encourage you to check it out! Click here for free samples of What’s in the Bible? Church edition.

And for a limited time What’s in the Bible is offering 40% discount on your entire order. Visit this page for more information and for the discount code.

 

As a thank you gift for writing this review, I will be receiving a DVD and poster from What’s in the Bible?.

 

 

The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook – Table of Contents

When I go to a book store I like the flip through the table of contents so that I know the book will cover the topics that I want before I buy it. So here’s the table of contents for my book.

Page #
Introduction 1
Part 1: Vision, Purpose, And Mission 3
Introduction 5
Chapter 1 Vision 7
Chapter 2 Purpose 15
Chapter 3 Mission 19
Chapter 4 What To Do Once You Have A Vision, Purpose, And Mission 23
Part 2: Programming And Curriculum 27
Introduction 29
Chapter 5 Children’s Ministry Spectrum 31
Chapter 6 Disciple-Making Strategy Overview 35
Chapter 7 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #1 – What A Growing Disciple Looks Like 39
Chapter 8 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #2 – Scope: What Should Be Taught 45
Chapter 9 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #3 – Sequence: To Whom And In What Order The Scope Should Be Taught 61
Chapter 10 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #4 – The Program: When It Should Be Taught 103
Chapter 11 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #5 – Measuring Growth 105
Chapter 12 Curriculum 107
Chapter 13 Choosing And Evaluating Curriculum 111
Bonus Chapter: Choosing Curriculum For Toddlers 119
Chapter 14 Getting The Most Out Of The Curriculum You Have 121
Chapter 15 Programs – VBS 125
Chapter 16 Programs – Sunday School, Children’s Church, And Nursery 129
Chapter 17 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Worship 137
Chapter 18 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Bible Memory 149
Chapter 19 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Missions 159
Chapter 20 Writing SMART Goals 163
Chapter 21 Program Evaluation 165
Part 3: Volunteers 171
Introduction 173
Chapter 22 Recruiting Volunteers 175
Chapter 23 Training Volunteers 205
Chapter 24 Encouraging Volunteers 217
Chapter 25 Supporting Volunteers 221
Chapter 26 Retaining Volunteers 225
Part 4: Administration 227
Introduction 229
Chapter 27 How To Do Children’s Ministry Administration Without Going Crazy 231
Chapter 28 Safety Guidelines 239
Chapter 29 Forms And Records 253
Chapter 30 Working With Others In The Church 259
Part 5: Teacher Training 265
Introduction 267
Chapter 31 Understanding Age Groups 269
Chapter 32 Teach One Thing 275
Chapter 33 Lesson Preparation 281
Chapter 34 The Lesson – Getting Attention 287
Chapter 35 The Lesson – Bible Study 289
Chapter 36 The Lesson – Application 293
Chapter 37 How To Ask Good Questions 307
Chapter 38 Teaching Bible Skills 309
Chapter 39 Sharing The Gospel With Kids 313
Chapter 40 Storytelling Techniques 333
Chapter 41 Object Lessons – What They Are And Why You Should Use Them 341
Chapter 42 How To Use Games To Help Drive Home Your Key Theme, Learn Bible Verses, Or Develop Bible Skills 347
Chapter 43 How To Teach A Multi-Age Class 351
Chapter 44 Classroom Management 355
Chapter 45 Discipline 365
Chapter 46 Safety Guidelines Refresher Training 373
Chapter 47 50 Pop-Up Training Ideas 379
Conclusion 407
Appendices 409
Recommended Books For The Sunday School Classroom 411
10 Essential Classroom Supplies 415
How To Put Together The Best Prop Box Ever 419
Bible Story Box 421
Praying For You, Your Team, And Your Kids 423

To buy the book on amazon, click the book cover below.

TheWellEquippedVolunteerChildrensMinistryHandbook

 

It’s Published! The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook

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After a year and a half of intensive writing and editing, I’m excited to announce that my book is finally published! The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook has everything you need to lead Children’s Ministry in your church. It’s a 400 plus page manual for Children’s Ministry leaders and volunteers to help them start and grow a thriving Children’s Ministry.

The book brings together everything I’ve learned in my 17+ years in Children’s Ministry. The book is divided into five parts:

  1. Vision, Purpose, and Mission: This helps you build the big picture of your ministry.
  2. Programming and Curriculum: Develop a disciple-making strategy; learn to analyze curriculum; and build programs that meet the needs of your church and community.
  3. Volunteers: Learn to recruit, train, and retain volunteers.
  4. Administration: Develop effective safety guidelines, create a budget, and work with others in the church.
  5. Teacher Training: This section has over a dozen detailed training topics (like lesson prep, sharing the gospel with kids, and discipline) to enable leaders to train their volunteers.

Check out this post for the table of contents.

To buy the book on amazon, click the book cover below.

TheWellEquippedVolunteerChildrensMinistryHandbook

Is it okay to change Sunday School lessons?

Have you ever wondered if it’s okay to make changes to the Sunday School lessons you are teaching?

Let me tell you a story…

I am a Sunday School teacher in a 4&5 year old class. I love it! I teach from the curriculum given to me by the ministry leaders.

A little while ago I was preparing for Sunday School and saw that the lesson was on a relatively unfamiliar Old Testament story.

The curriculum provided this story on cd so the kids could listen to it. I thought that was a fun way to change things up and encourage the kids to use more of their senses.

So I listened to the story. The story was well done with sound effects. The total story time was 5:04. The kids were encouraged to be involved physically and vocally in the story. They were encouraged to pretend to taste, pretend to smell, pretend to see, kick, make sounds like various animals, and listen.

Having kids involved in the story is a good thing and I try to do it as often as I can. Encouraging kids to use various senses is also a good idea.

But all the involvement the kids were encouraged in was focused on a part of the story that had nothing to do with the key theme! All of this involvement took 2:40. Almost half of the story was used for this!

Unfortunately, the kids were taken out of the flow of the story. All the involvement was actually a distraction.

In the end, I did not use the story provided. The recording had been done with sound effects and an animated voice, but no visuals were provided.

I told the story myself. I found visuals and props and I choose to stay focused on the main theme of the lesson.

So, let me get back to the question I asked at the beginning.

Have you ever wondered if it’s okay to make changes to the Sunday School lessons you are teaching?

Keyboard with Customize Orange Button.The answer is yes! If the story as written is going to end up causing distraction, then yes, change it! There are times when the curriculum as written is going to need some customizing.

If you do end up customizing curriculum, here are some tips to make it the best you possibly can:

  1. Always make the Biblical text your priority.
  2. Stay true to what the Bible says. Don’t try and make the Bible say what it doesn’t say.
  3. Keep the lesson focused on the key theme.
  4. Look for ways to get the kids involved in such a way that they are focusing on the key theme and discovering Biblical truth for themselves.
  5. Customizing sometimes means getting rid of things that don’t highlight the key theme or could end up being a distraction.

Remember, you’re the teacher! Take the time you need to prepare every week and make each lesson the best it can possibly be!

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