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Children need the Lord...teach them about Jesus! 

Issue #7 - February 23, 2009              For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. ~ Jesus

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In this issue of the SSTN Newsletter:   
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No Passion for Kids
Alleviating Teacher Burnout
3) Getting through to 5th-6th graders
4) Taking Away Tickets
5) Easter Gift for Kids to Make and Give

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6) Easter Gift For Children To Give
7) Volunteer Job Description 
Easter Gift For Children To Give
Easter Gift For Children To Give
10) Summer Curriculum

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1) No Passion for Kids

Hi Lorraine 

In working with your Sunday School teachers, encourage them as much as you can. You say they cannot appreciate change, if you have teachers meetings, try getting them to suggest changes to the Sunday School program, and work in a way that makes your changes seem like theirs, don't just push your ideas down their throats. Maybe they are not motivated because of the type of program being used at present, and you may be surprised, some of them may have some interesting ideas. Don't knock them just yet, continue to pray for guidance as you lead the this important ministry of bringing young ones to a knowledge of Christ. Also try encouraging some of your young teens to work as teacher assistants. You may just find a lot of hidden talent there.


Alleviating Teacher Burnout

At our church, teachers teach in teams of two and rotate every other month with another team of teachers. This gives our teachers the opportunity to attend worship every other month. We've been doing it like this for years--it works great!


3) Getting through to 5th-6th graders 

I love this age group. I taught fifth and sixth grade Sunday school, all boys for about eight years, and all girls for two. The boys required a totally different approach to teaching than the girls. With the boys, we did a lot of very active lessons with games to reinforce them. In fact, many of the active, in-class games at were created as a result of teaching this age group! eg. Missing the Mark, Four-Square on God's Word, Bible Books Race, etc. available at:

My husband, "The Enforcer" helped me too. Tell you the truth though, he often became one of the boys in that class! Not too helpful at times. ;o) With the girls, they were much quieter, and didn't require the bold approach. One thing the boys and girls loved doing was acting out Bible Skits, and then videotaping and watching them. Also, many people think boys at this age don't enjoy crafts or food devotions, but this wasn't true in our experience. 

A reward system goes a long way to improving behavior. Kids can earn points or Bible bucks to win a pizza party or other fun event. Sometimes local companies, such as ice-cream shops or arcade game centers, are willing to give discount or free coupons, which can then be handed out to children who've earned good behavior. 

I also emailed the kids during the week to keep in touch, and to give them a question or two for the next class. If they replied to the email or came to class with the answers, they would earn points toward a reward. 

Another silly thing I did was toss small candies to the ones who answered correctly during the lesson. At times it seemed like I was tossing fish to seals, but the kids, especially the boys, loved it! 

This is such an important transition time in the lives of children. May God grant you wisdom to know how to grab their hearts for Jesus!

Serving the King together,
Sarah Keith <>< 

4) Taking Away Tickets

This is in response to "getting through to 5th-6th graders"....i don't think it's a good idea to take tickets away (if i'm not mistaken, i believe the education/psychology literature states this as well). once the child has earned the ticket it should not be taken away. another consequence may be given instead (loss of privilege, etc). our Sunday school uses bible bucks as an incentive. all ages enjoy earning the bucks from their teachers for memorizing a verse, attendance, etc. we open a superstore once a month and the kids actually save their bucks to get the item the long for. i believe this age group is looking for age appropriate lessons/games/songs, etc. teachers ought to look into the current trends to get into the child's world. using real life examples or tv shows to relate the message is also a good idea....

God's joy,


5) Easter Gift for Kids to Make and Give

I don't know what ages you are interested in, but depending on how complex you make this you can fit it to a wide variety of age ranges. Fill inexpensive plastic Easter Eggs with folded notes containing an appropriate bible quote, inspirational thought or prayer the children either write, color on or decorate and perhaps a Hershey's Kiss or Hug or candy coin. The kids can even sign their note, so the person receiving it knows which child made it. 

6) Easter Gift For Children To Give

How about if they made cards out of a heavy white paper they folded and then cut around in a circular shape like the large stone that covered the grave of our Lord. Then they could put a dark paper inside and glue it at a corner or two, so they have to open it, signifying the effort it takes to stoop down and look inside, and inside the card they could write "He is not here but is risen." or "He rose that I might get up again.", or "Because he lives we have hope that we should never loose." or "Because he lives we can go on." or "He lives to perfect us." etc.

Maybe they can suggest a few as they make their cards and the teacher could put those on the board for them to use. They could color the front to look like a stone. Because he arose we will all see him again.

7) Volunteer Job Description 

Re.. SSTN #6, 2/16/09

This may be a little different than what you're looking for, but could be adapted perhaps. Our Church has a Safe Sanctuary course that is mandatory for anyone over age 18 to assist with any children or youth activity. It focuses on issues such as not being alone with a child to prevent molestation issues or accusations of it. There are finite guidelines of expected behaviors (or unacceptable ones). The course is 1-2 hours only and then there is a form to be filled out that asks about past history, 3 character references, and asks basic questions related to the persons goals in helping with the ministries, etc. Even those who are school teachers, older folk that have work with kids for years, etc. are required to go through this process so as not to single anyone out. I don't know if this helped or not. I can try to get more info, if you're interested.


8) Easter Gift For Children To Give

Re. SSTN #6 2/16/09

I have seen folks use the palm leaves and make a cross from them. Once kids are shown how to do them, they seem to learn easily. The key would be finding someone who can show them how...

--from SSTN: the instructions for the Palm Cross is in the Christian Crafts - Holidays section. Scroll to the top of the newsletter to find the Christian Crafts link in the bright, green box.


9) Easter Gift For Children To Give

A couple of years ago, we bought several bags of the colored eggs that pop open. Our children greeted the adults after church and said "Happy Easter!" while handing them an egg. The adult would naturally open it and most would look puzzled and say something like "it's empty." The child would reply "that's because the tomb is empty! Jesus is alive!" If the adult didn't respond to the empty egg, the child would say "the egg is empty because the tomb is empty! Jesus is alive!" Then the child asked the adult to pass the Easter message on to someone else. 

Another year, we printed out a scripture Matt 28:5-6.... "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said." 
We let the children insert the scripture in the egg. During our Sunday School time, we took the children on a field trip around the neighborhood where they knocked on the door. When someone answered the door, they offered them the Easter egg and said, "Happy Easter! I wanted to tell you God loves you!" This was a very successful project as the children experienced the opportunity of witnessing to those who did not attend church on that Easter morning.

Shelia, Indiana


10) Summer Curriculum

We used a curriculum called "FLIPT" from Willow Creek Church. It is a 10 week, DVD/teacher interactive (Large Group/Small Group). We extended it to a 13 week program by having what we called "Flipt Rewind Sunday" where we would review the lessons at the end of each month by playing the learning games again and adding some special things. It didn't take too much extra preparation and gave the kids the needed time to really learn some of the concepts.

Our kids loved it. We used it in the fall instead of summer although it is designed for summer to give your workers a bit of a break. We kicked a totally new Sunday School off with this program and it kept the kids coming back. I highly recommend it.

Tammie Jones 

--from SSTN: you can find FLIPT in our bookstore. Just type the title into the search box:
Another great DVD series is The 24/7 Experience. It is listed on the main page of our affiliate bookstore.

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