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SSTN # 43 - May 24, 2006

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1) Changing Children's Church
2) Changing Children's Church
3) Youth Group
4) Father's Day

Psalm 23 Keepsake Activity

5) Changing Children's Church
6) Changing Children's Church
7) Friends' Day?
8) Key Bible Stories?
9) Offering Help

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1) Changing Children's Church

People tend not to adapt to well to church.  Prayer about  it,
 and if God has given you this vision go for it.  Will Children
 Church be during Adult Worship service?  If you have to
 pack up and set up each and every time, I suggest getting
 a plastic storage cart on wheels where you can house items
 that you need and can easily transport them around.
 Another idea is to gradually change, do try to change everything
 at once.  You may start with the curriculum for now.

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2) Changing Children's Church

 This is in response to the new Children's Church superintendent.  I have
lead the Children's Churches at our church for 2 years.  Yes, it was
difficult to start a new program and get everyone to see my vision. 
However, I decided that in order to do my best I had to do it my way.  I
have to do things in away that are comfortable for me.  There are enough
challenges with staffing and planning programs without worrying about how
others would do things. 
As people began to see that there was a well planned, organized program. 
Our Children's Church began to thrive. It takes time for some people to
embrace change.  Now many of the parents like to stay because they enjoy
Children's Church and in turn I have all the help I need.
Don't get discouraged.  As long as your doing this for the Lord and for
the children, it will be great!
Ceres, CA

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3) Youth Group

Hi.  I just finished my 4 year term as the youth leader for our 6-8
graders.  Some of the kids' favorite things to do revolved around service
to others.
a. Make Christmas Cookies for those who cannot get out during the
holidays.  This was so easy.  We asked for parents to make a dozen or 2
shaped Christmas cookies and for each of them to bring in their favorite
decoration.  We provided cake frosting and made a couple of different
colors.  We also asked for various packages of holiday cookies so that
when we put the plates together we could toss on some different styles of
cookies to make them look more festive.  We set the kids loose with a
table full of cookies and decorations and frosting and let them decorate. 
We mapped out a route to where the cookies were going and then filled the
plates (paper plates with a snowman on them) nicely, covered them with
festive plastic wrap and put a label on them that we made on the computer
that said Merry Christmas from the UMC Middle School Youth Group!  Then we
had the kids fan out in the community with an adult driver and deliver the
cookies to their doors.  The people were so thrilled to see the kids and
to receive the cookies, and the kids were just elated to do something nice
for them.  It is a favorite!
b. Trick-or-treating for the food pantry.  Get a pick up truck that can
slowly follow the kids around town.  Pick a three block area of a
neighborhood and have the kids go to the door and trick or treat for
canned goods or other non-perishables for your local food bank.  The kids
were hesitant at the first house, not knowing what to say, but people were
so willing to give that it soon became easy to do for them.  People
actually tried to fill the bags, rather than give just one or two items
and soon the pickup truck bed was full of food.  They could really see how
their efforts had paid off.  People were actually thanking them for their
service when they left their doors.  This can be any time of year really,
not just Halloween and adults should always supervise from the road.
I always felt it was important not to just play games or do Bible study,
but to actually perform acts of service.  We are called to care for other
human beings and it's important to get kids comfortable doing that early
on, especially at the age when they have so many other activities that
draw their attention.  They also loved having a lock-in at the church
overnight as well as game nights with board games, and a great hike and
bon-fire as we talked about God's creation and being able to see God all
around us.
God's Peace to you as you take on this amazing ministry.  Teens often feel
displaced in a church and it's important to lift them up.  They are the
future of the church!
Beth, NY

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4) Father's Day?

Our  Childrens' Department (ages 4-10) sang a beautiful song for Mother's
Day.  We are in  need of something to do or sing for Father's Day. 
Perhaps a skit, appropriate song for the age group, etc.  Thanks,

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Psalm 23 Keepsake Activity

Learn more in the "Easy Make N' Take Downloads" section at:


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5) Changing Children's Church

In regards to changing children's church:
If you feel like the members of your congregation are not warming up to
your ideas, maybe this is not the right time to make so many changes.  God
often gives us exciting visions for the future, but often it takes time
and patience for them to start becoming realities.  Let the Holy Spirit be
your guide and try not to get ahead of the other people involved. 
God bless,

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6) Changing Children's Church
Last summer, we began a Children's Church program at our church.  We
started with three "trials" (one during each summer month), and then I
asked the consistory for permission to develop the program into one Sunday
per month.  We are currently selecting lessons from Young Children and
Worship by Sonya Stewart and Jerome Berryman.  We've simplified the
program into singing time to gather the kids, story/lesson told to two
groups while kids sit in a big circle (which makes even the 20-25
preschoolers speechless), fellowship time (snack of crackers & water),
then activity/response time (playdoh, coloring page, drawing paper,
crossword puzzles where kids need to look up the Bible passage for
answers).  The lesson book has patterns in the back for wooden figures
needed for many lessons, so my grandpa has volunteered to make them (at no
cost to the church), rather than the program purchasing them.  This leaves
minimal cost, as you need to purchase felt, etc. for some lessons.
We also have the problem of space used for both Children's Church and
Sunday School.  I purchased a small plastic basket from Walmart for each
story's supplies, and labelled it with the lesson #, story title, and
Bible passage.  The wooden figures, felt pieces, coloring sheets, etc. all
go in one basket, rather than small baskets for each story (as is
suggested in the manual).  The Sunday School teachers have been pretty
understanding, as long as we try to clean up quickly afterwards.  I
eventually hope to have a shelf made in the classroom for these supplies,
but they are currently easy enough to store in my office.
Feel free to email with questions to christian_ed_director@centurytel.net

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7) Friends' Day?

Hi!  I just became the new Sunday school Superintendent at our church and
I don't know what I'm supposed to do. We are a small church without a lot
of extra funds available.  A lot of our promotional material is either
very old or missing components.  I've been looking in the archives and not
having much luck.  Could someone share some ideas on what their church has
done in the past for Friends Day?  I love all the ideas everyone shares
and I'm looking forward to having something to share also.
Marsha Carpenter

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8) Key Bible Stories?

I am looking for a list of key Bible stories in the Old & New Testament
with where to find them in the Bible for parents to use with their
children that have not grown up in the church and are not familiar with
the Bible.  A while back I found one on the internet but can not find it
now.  Can anyone help?  Thanks!  My email is

--from SSTN: get your hands on a Children's Bible Story book, they will
list the major (and possibly some minor) Old and New Testament Bible
stories. An excellent one I recommend is by Tommie DePaola and is listed
on the main page of our bookstore at:
You can even take a look inside of it before purchasing.
Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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9) Offering Help

Shawna , I can look for alot of things that you might need and be more
than happy to. I taught for 32 years children church until---- God Bless
you . MooMaw

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