Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thanksgiving Lessons

Day 31 of 31

As we head into November, it's time to focus our hearts on thankfulness....

We are preparing a series on being THANKFUL for our sparks AWANA program.... so I thought today I'll share with you the Pinterest Board I'm pinning ideas to!

Often I don't like the lessons completely from other websites,books, resources... they are cheesy, don't use enough scripture for me, won't work for the age group or time limit I have in mind, etc... But they are a great catalyst for ideas and creativity... so we use them as a sounding board.  

It's time for you all to meet my partner in all this whispering... My husband, Roger, a high school business and math teacher, who has been roped into training elementary age kiddos because that's where our kids are AT and because his wife is a little crazy passionate about children's ministry, but a little short on time to DO IT ALL. So we team up together, I often write the plans with his input, and then I get the materials ready, and he goes and presents to the kids.... and these days I hang out with our precious Princess....who is 2 years old and a very random napper, but not really ready to go to AWANA and not get in the way!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Whispers from the web....

Day 30 of 31...

The Dig for kids is an e-book devotional for children!   My 10 year old enjoys it and shows his 21st century kidness by reading it on the kindle and using the Bible on his ipod to read!   It still amazes me to see people using 'books' in e-version which also proves that I'm quite the hypocrite because while I still love the feel of a 'new' paper book that my highlighter can drag across, that I can write a note in, or make a question mark, or record a thought.... I do LOVE the ability to read the WORD on my ipad or kindle and have a million references at a glance....

Anyway... the whisper for today is a series on being faithful as parents in the Word... from the author of the Dig for kids... I'm really enjoying his simple posts and the reminders (and learning) I gain from them...

I encourage you to follow along!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reading Strategies....Recipricol Teaching

Day 29 of 31 days...

It is important that our kids not just read the Word of God, but that they begin to understand or comprehend it, so that they can apply the truth they are consuming to their lives.   But how do we help them to comprehend?  Reading is a complex process, but research has shown there are a few strategies that can improve a student's reading immensely! If used regularly children can grow 2 grade levels. So why aren't we connecting these strategies to the reading of God's Word?  We can and should!

Once the children are reading the text smoothly (around 2-3 grade typically), a process called Reciprocal Teaching can be modeled for children and they can easily learn to use independently.  Sometimes these are called the Fabulous Four (predicting,questioning,summarizing,clarifying)  or the Super Six:  (add evaluate and connecting). 

Here are some printable posters that I love to use! Here are some letters for parents that explain the strategies!

Here is a video for primary children that might help you see what it looks like...

here is another one with older students (who are leading it a bit more independently). 

Once you are aware of the strategies to think about and model. It is easy to use them as you read your Bible.  I actually find that if I have a bookmark with the strategies, I find them helpful in my own personal Bible study.  (tomorrow an example!) 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spiritual Formation

Have you ever thought about how kids develop spiritually?  

How does it mirror their physical, emotional, mental growth?  

It is key to being ready and able to reach children to start with what they can understand. 

Did you know that D.L. Moody came home from a tent meeting, and reported that he had 2 1/2 converts that evening.  Asked? 2 adults and 1 child? He replied- No 2 children and 1 adult.

He understood the value in a child's heart changed early on, and the impact that could have for eternity!

Some basic concepts...

Think developmentally—
where have they come from-where are they going?   
How am I modeling that these things myself? 

0-5 age

Need places and people to provide, safety, security and trust

6-11 age

Deeper questions about God- whether things are fair or not, learning to read/write, 
heading to small muscle coordination, memorization is easier, 
What can I do? What am I good at?  

12-18 age

Discover your identity by serving others!! 
(Who am I phase?)  what can I do? 

19-35  (good to remember that we grow in age and opportunity!)

discovering intimacy and life purpose- what can I give my life for? 

 What will I commit to? (in to me see= intimacy) 

Over 35—  

Do you realize we can still change or reinvent ourselves!

comes back to issues from other stages in life…   

we go back into other phases… 

Rooted and Grounded Part 3

 Notes from Dan Smith's presentation at Emmaus Bible College Chapel, Fall 2012
Introducing our theme for the year of Rooted, Grounded and built up.... 

I think these are key truths to teach ALL children (as a formal lesson and as we live...)

Rooted. Grounded. Built Up.
Ephesians 3: 14-21
Colossians 1: 21-23

Colossians 2: 6-7

Be rooted in
·         Love
·         Christ          Foundation                Build Up
·         Faith

Be a hardhat for Jesus” on the “construction site”
Decide what you want to build
Find the architect – this will lead you to a blueprint
Find other construction workers and be one yourself – follow the blue print
            Workmen (construction worker) don’t decide where stuff goes – the architect does.
We have to follow the blue print, or the construction worker could mess up and have to start over.
Blue print = The Bible
Architect = Jesus Christ
Construction Worker = Us. Fellow Christians

*Get a foundation in Christ, and build up according to the plan.

Workmen must work with precision according to what the blue print is to be.
“correctly handles the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15
            If you distort the scripture you are mishandling the scripture. This can happen if you have
            Issue of Character:
1.      No discipline
2.      No ballast (Stability)
3.      No law

Side Note:
            Every day you are building a resume 
            On judgment day will you stand approved or ashamed?

Final thoughts:
·         Follow his blueprint
·         Build for him, not for yourself.
·         Hear him say “Well Done”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Whispering the Word in Children's Ministry...

Day 27 of 31....

Somehow I got so busy I forgot to get all my posts up each day! So here I am editing and publishing a few more to catch up....

I've been sharing my IDEAS on whispering the Word to children... next semester I will (Lord Willing) be teaching a children's ministry course at Emmaus.   It is my dream to share and LEARN from others how to be sharing scripture with kids in ALL the avenues we can... 

So I thought I would share my course description and some big questions to help organize the learning in our course... I'd love input or feedback if you have a change or see something I'm missing!   

Course Description:
This course will begin to prepare the learner for ministry to children in a variety of settings (local church, Para church, home).  This course will help the learner get a broader perspective of the knowledge, skills, and resources used in current children's programming, and will help the learner develop a philosophy of children's ministry.   Special attention will be given to the spiritual formation/development of children from birth-grade 6 and how to meet children where they are at.  Teaming with parents in equipping children to think Biblically will also be emphasized.  Goals will be that the learner can identify, adapt or create developmentally appropriate Biblical and theologically sound lesson/programs.  The learner will choose their focus for children's ministry and will research through that perspective (local church, outreach, para church, home, camp... ministry).  

Big Questions to guide the course:

  • How do we help children think Biblically?
  • What part do we (kidmin people) play in raising spiritually minded kids? 
  • How do we help to equip kids to know, love, serve, and glorify God from childhood on?
  • How do we partner with parents to share in the Deuteronomy 5:6-7 commands and help the ones most connected/relevant in their kids’ lives make meaningful biblical connections with their kids?
  • What do we need to know about kids’ developmental/spiritual formation to reach them where they are at? 
  • How do we select the BEST resources/curriculum/materials/programs that fit our Christian worldview, theology/doctrine, the children’s needs, and that are fun, engaging, and learning oriented?

Rooted and Grounded Part Two

Notes from the message by Dan Smith at Emmaus Bible College, Fall 2012
8-29 & 8-31 are the original messages--- you can download or stream from itunes U!   A bonus lesson on Psalm 1 is also listed as 9-07

An introduction to our theme for the year as students, faculty, and staff... I suggest you listen to it online, Dr. Smith is much more articulate than I am!  The image ARE the same corn and stalks he held on stage during this talk.  I think these visuals are so powerful for children AND adults!   We need to reminded!

Rooted & Grounded

Ephesians 3:14-17 

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Colossians 2: 6-7
 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Illustrations of these... see 

Be rooted in love,
            These roots will produce nutrition for your life...

Some lessons from science/nature....

The plant that lacked roots:
·         Short plant
·         Dry leaves
·         No fruit
·         No prop roots to help keep it stable

The plant that had roots
·         Tall plant
·         Full green leaves
·         Good and healthy fruit
·         Had multiple prop roots.
o   Help keep it upright

Both plants:
·         Same field
·         Same seed
·         Same time
·         Same weather
·         Same fertilizer
But yet so different when compared to each other


·         Germination – new generation of life
·         Give nourishment for growth
·         Give nourishment for health
·         Stability (via prop roots)
·         Nourishment for fruitfulness
·         Nourishment for stability
·         Nourishment for propagation