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May 16, 2013 -- Issue #12 - Volume 14


Today's articles are listed, below. When replying, highlight the text that is pertinent to your response, then hit reply. Title your message to reflect the content.

1) Classroom Disruptions
2) NO To Rewards
YES To Rewards
4) UP Rules for Disruptions
Different Summer VBS
6) Five-Day Clubs
7) Reggie, the Baptized Cockatiel

Summer Bible lessons



1) Classroom Disruptions

I am honored to have led a Bible Club in a public school for 10 years now. We have had an average of 75-80 kids in the 6 week long club that meets twice a year. Over a decade of programming 2 themes a year, the most effective behavior help we have are nametags! 

Each child receives and wears a nametag upon entering the Great Adventure Club snack area. Their name is printed in pretty large letters. (We actually print ours from the computer. First name is larger and last name small. This also helps us learn the names and enables other leaders and myself to refer to kids by name. 

As I teach, it is very easy to direct a question about the lesson to a child in disruptive behavior - for instance, "Bobby, have you ever been frightened?" Bobby (usually) quickly quiets down, and engages in the conversation. 

Many kids have questions directed to them by using the nametags so this doesn't really draw attention to the misbehavior that I have seen going on.

If the offence is a bit more disruptive I will often ask the child to assist me by holding a sign, or even as simple as holding my Bible while I read. Again, I try to use several children during the lesson that are also on good behavior, so this again, is not seen as a way to manipulate the leader. Most of the time, the chatty child is just wanting a little extra attention. 

However, there is at times an annoying disturbance. In this case, another small group leader quietly separates and escorts the child to a specific person that talks with them. (This is usually my husband - a/k/a - Snack Man). 

We have found that if he gives them a paper and pencil and asks them to draw him a picture, they will soon engage with him about problems that are bothering him. There are times that the kids share things going on in their lives that break our hearts but these "set apart" moments give us a basis on understanding the child, a way to pray for them, and an outlet for the child to get the attention they need. A prayer with them to obey and reminder to behave and obey - and a few minutes later - they are back on good behavior. Sometimes they do want to stay with "Snack Man" till the rotation they are in at the time, ends. That is not a problem.

The nametags also serve as help for the kids to receive a special perk. Each club meeting, there is an object lesson prize that serves to help to remember the lesson. The prize is very inexpensive - even as small as a sticker at times. 

The kids can only claim their prize if they have their nametags on their shirts, in the proper place, when they line up and prepare to go home. The object prize is interwoven into the lesson and also in a review in the final rotation of praise and worship before they leave. 

The nametags are collected by the group leaders as they give the kids their object prize. The nametags then become a prayer reminder for the leaders, so they can remember to pray for the kids during the week. 

We make new nametags every week. They are the peel and stick labels. 

For 99.99% of the time we have club - the Nametags work great! 

Emmalea Butler
Great Adventure Club Leader
Trafalgar, IN 


2) NO To Rewards

We don’t use rewards in our program. However, we use lots of encouragement and hope they get intrinsic rewards. Sometimes, especially during VBS, we use “friendly” competition between the boys and girls. We collect an offering for missions during the week, a different coin each day – Monday-pennies, Tuesday- nickels, Wednesday – dimes, and Thursday-quarters. It is boys vs. girls. The reward is bragging rights as all the money goes to help missions. 

At the start of each program year, we do a lesson on covenants in the Bible and then create a covenant with the children for our time together. This hangs in the classroom to refer to whenever necessary and gives the children ‘buy in’ with good behavior. Once or twice each semester, we will provide the whole class with a treat – ice cream bars, popsicles, etc. They really enjoy this. The older children help with the younger ones to help self-discipline. Of course, reminders from the teachers always help!

Andrea Paschal

Acts - Bible curriculum

3) YES to Rewards

I used to have trouble with the idea of rewards - Then someone explained to me that we get paid for work and the children's work is  to learn ( this was in school). I also know that many of the kids today do not come from structured homes and asking them to follow  rules is a new idea. I think rewards are fine if they are planned and consistent. In our midweek group we use Bear bucks - similar to the Bible Buck system.

In Junior church we use a treasure chest with small prizes . Every one writes their name on a ticket and at the end of the session we take out a ticket . If they were good, they get treasure chest if they were not - they do not. It only takes a couple of times for them to realize they need to be good. 

I also use rewards for Bible reading and memory work .  I think it is important for them to be doing these things and if it takes a small reward - that is fine - just so they develop the habit. 




4) UP Rules for Disruptions

We use the UP rules from Child Evangelism. I just add "Give me FIVE!" to it and the kids love it and the rules are easy to learn: ("Look up, listen up, zip up, sit up, hand up.") I rarely have to remind them after the first couple of weeks. Of course it is good to review it at least every other week. 


Armor of God Lessons for Kids

5) Different Summer VBS

I think I wrote about this before, but perhaps sharing again will help someone else this time.

Our church is small ...40-50 people with only 6 children. Within a mile of our church is a large church with an amazing kids ministry. Their VBS programs draw at least 200 kids every summer! SO our pastor had another idea - to help us share the gospel with kids.

With his leadership, we took our VBS on the road! Instead of a week long VBS - we did 6 weeks - of 1 evening a week. We chose to dedicate our regular Sunday evening service to take our SUPER VBS to public parks - a different one each week. Our whole church participated!

An hour before the program began, a team of people went door to door around the park area. They handed out flyers about the VBS in the park and talked with parents and kids along the streets as well. 

Meanwhile another team was setting up shade-awnings and screen tents, getting ready for games, lessons and snacks. Some people engaged in the game area to assist and play with the kids, some talked with parents as some came with their children (understandable). We had a snack team and a clean up team. 

There was a funny science skit that engaged participation from the kids and also set up the lesson presentation. 

Our lesson was done as an Open Air Campaign style painting. Check out for some kids story outlines. The paintings are partially painted before the set up - then completed as the story is told. Its captivating from beginning (trying to guess what shapes are etc) to the end, when the pictures and lettering is complete...sharing the gospel in a unique way. All ages enjoy this unique presentation. Snacks are served at the end - good time to share with parents and kids. 

Our VBS went to several small surrounding towns. The purpose was not to try to get people to attend our church. The purpose for our VBS was to share the gospel with whomever GOD brought us to each evening. Over those weeks, our people really had a great time. We had several children make professions of faith in Christ for Salvation! There was 1 unique evening that had only 1 - 12 year old girl attend. Our 6 kids were there as well. As it turned out - it was this little girl's birthday and the first "birthday party" she had ever had. It was probably our favorite VBS night! She had JESUS at her party....and our little church had the honor of escorted HIM there!

Get out of your box.....there are super blessings waiting for you!

Emmalea Butler
Cornerstone Church
Trafalgar, IN




6) Five-Day Clubs 

You would be amazed at how many people come to us as adults and tell us that they want their child to attend club because they did when they were little - It is a ministry that just keeps on going - PTL!



Digital Bible Curriculum

7) Reggie, the Baptized Cockatiel

". . . should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives" Romans 6:1-4 NLT).

To learn how Reggie was "baptized" and how this applies to our lives, visit the following link for today's devotional: 

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