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From Starred Photos
Daniel and the Lions Den.
Here’s a new short song I’ve written for younger children titled. “3 Big Lions”. The song uses the tune “5 Little Ducks”
You can use this very flexible game to introduce your teaching/Bible theme for the day.
Devise matching pairs of words related to your theme for the day and write them on individual sticky labels which can be stuck to children’s backs. For example, for a discussion on attitudes and behaviour you could choose the words good/bad; love/hate; generous/selfish etc. First show children the word, then stick them on their backs, then challenge them to find their opposite or matching pair by looking at the words on the other children’s backs, without talking. When the children are all paired off gather them and talk about each pair of words as it relates to your theme.
I saved this link some time ago after I made my own calender. I thought that the PDF template could be copied and adapted as a craft activity with older children to make a 12 sided memory verse reminder or possibly photos.
I just had this worship idea which is untried as yet. For those churches which have a data projector. Early in your worship service ask for some volunteers- adults, children or family groups. Two or three groups. Send each group of 2-3 people out of the service with a digital camera and ask them to return within 10-15 minutes. They are charged with taking photos of “God’s beautiful creation”, shots of the local community: shops, school, street names … or photos which evoke praise and thanksgiving. The people may even like to be in the photos themselves. When the groups return plug the cameras into a PC USB port and display them on the screen as part of a prayer response, bible reading or play some music as a background and invite people to pray silently or out loud.
- Perhaps someone out there in ‘Blogland’ could try this idea and give us some feedback?
- Share teaspoon prayers… Give everyone a teaspoon and explain that a short way (abbreviation) of teaspoon is TSP.
TSP prayers include Thanks God , Sorry God , Please God
- Hand of prayer…
Pointer finger- reminds us that our lives should point to God to thank and praise Him.
Tall man (finger ) -The biggest finger reminds us to pray for people
who are leaders …ministers, Sunday school teachers, teachers, Prime Minister/President…
Ring finger – reminds us to pray for people you know who need prayer…parents, family, friends, missionaries, sick people.
Little finger- reminds us to pray for ourselves, to ask God to be with us , to help us and to give us what we need to love and obey Him.
- Silent hands confession
With short silences and closed eyes move through this three-part confession.
Fists should be clenched to help bring to mind wrong things we hold on tightly to .
Turn fists downwards and open hands as a sign of letting go the things we are sorry for and repent of.
Turn hands upward, with palms open, as a mark of receiving Godâ€™s forgiveness.
- Arrow Prayers ( You will need cardboard arrow-shapes; pens)
Sometimes when you’re in a difficult situation, feeling frightened or nervous, there’s no time to kneel and pray or to wait for a quiet time at the end of the day; you simply have to shoot an arrow prayer to God right away. Try to give your group some examples of when they might want to pray instant on-the-spot prayers. For example: whe you’re facing a fierce dog, when you’re nervous about reading something out loud. Talk about Nehemiah’s short prayer in Nehemiah 2:4-5 before he spoke to the king. Give all the children a cardboard arrow shape and encourage them to write the words of Psalm 31:22 along the shaft as a take home reminder that God hears even the shortest prayers.
I was involved in a mission to a large school with children aged 5-12 years. As part of that mission week one of the Christian teachers devised a series of bookmarks (in PDF format) with Bible verses on to be given to children. These are available to be downloaded here. Bible Verse Bookmarks
|Rich man Poor manÂ Â based on Mark 10:17-31You could have a narrator (or chorus), Jesus, & a Rich man to read the various parts.As Jesus was starting out on his way
A man ran up and called out “hey
Good teacher tell me what must I do
To receive eternal life that’s true ?”
“No one is good ‘cept God alone..
Keep the commandments that you’ve known.
“Teacher, I’ve tried since I was small
To obey the Law. I’ve kept it all !”
Jesus looked him in the eye.
With love he said, “Now you must try,
Sell all you have; support the poor
Your rich reward’s in heaven stored.
Sell all you have. Come follow me.
But rich man turned reluctantly.
The kingdom of God is hard to attain
Wealthy people will grapple to gain.
Can’t push a camel through a needle’s eye,
Many first will be last when they die.
Who can be saved ? Can you see ?
“Sell all you have. Come follow Me !”
Don Stott, Feb 2003, http://eliab.com
I have just written a short children’s puppet script based on Peter’s denial of Jesus (based on John 18). It involves a rooster puppet and an interviewer or ventriloquist. Peter’s Denial Puppet Script I used it today with a group of boys in a chapel service a long with a video and short talk and it went down well. Feel free to adapt it to your setting if you find it helpful.
Probably one of the best list of Easter resources for children’s ministry online.
If you’re looking for some ideas for a christian children’s program on the Olympic Games then check out this free resource for a children’s holiday program titled “Champions” – Discovering the heart of a champion (written by Liz Campbell). There are loads of ideas, scripts, games and Bible resources to use.
A story to share at Easter
He died for another
Over two hundred years ago, the French Revolution brought fear and terror to France. Rich and powerful people – even the king and queen -were killed by the revolutionaries. Every day, hundreds of people were arrested, dragged from their homes and flung into horrible prisons. They were given hardly any chance to defend themselves, but were sent off to the guillotine to be killed.
Some of those who died probably deserved to be punished, for they had been cruelly thoughtless of the poor and hungry peasants and city workers. But in those terrible days, many good and honest people suffered, too.
Francois-Simon Liozerolles was a young man of twenty two when he and his father, General Loizerolles, were arrested.
First, young Liozerolles was tried. The case went against him and every morning he wondered if it would be his last.
One afternoon, tired and miserable, he flung himself on a couch to rest. His father sat beside him and talked calmly till he fell asleep. When he awoke he looked around for his father and excitedly asked some friends what had become of him. They told him.
While he slept, the tumbrils* had arrived and the warder entered with the list of those who were to die. The name of Francois-Simon Loizerolles was called. The General promptly stepped forward, saying, “I am Loizerolles”. He walked out and climbed in to the cart and was carried away to die.
It was then too late to correct the error. Within a week the reign of terror came to an end and young Loizerolles walked out free!
But he was a changed man and for him the world was a changed world. Everything seemed different after that awakening. He went to sleep, unwilling to die and longing to live. We awoke to love life less and understand it more, because by dying in his place, his father had shown him how to live. All his days he lives as a man for whom another gave his life.
(*Tumbrils were carts used to take prisoners to be executed.)
Hosanna ! Hosanna !
Hear the people cry.
Riding on a donkey
The King is passing by.
Riding to Jerusalem
Wave those palms and cheer -
Jesus the Messiah
The “promised one” is here.
Crucify ! Crucify !
Hear the people shout !
Tell governor Pilate
To bring Jesus out.
Crucify ! Crucify !
Hear the people cry -
“He claimed to be our king,
Now he must die !”
“Forgive them ! Forgive them !
They don’t know what they do
I’m willing to die
On this cross for you.
I’m your king, Lord, Messiah.
It is finished ! I cry -
For your sins to be forgiven
God’s Son must die “
He’s risen ! He’s risen !
See the joy on Mary’s face.
She came to the tomb
And now she must race
To tell the disciples -
“We don’t need to fear,
Jesus has been raised to life .
He’s alive ! He’s here ! “
(c) Don Stott, Feb 2002
See more Easter Chants, stories and Easter Puppet skits at http://eliab.com
The background for this poem is Matthew 1:18-25 . It was used as part of a sermon on this passage and was read with an improvised piano backing.
The Carpenter’s Cradle
Timber now fashioned, and rough sanded down
With piles of fresh shavings strewn on the ground.
The carpenter ponders each joint and straight edge
Puts down his tools upon the work ledge.
With things to ‘consider’ he returns to ‘his wood’
And enquires of the Lord, ‘What’s for the good?’
The angel commanded him,”Mary must stay”.
It’s now clear his fear shouldn’t stand in his way.
With each hammer and join, things start to take shape
He’s resolved to move forward, he can’t hesitate.
Shifting his stool, he then starts to plane.
Sometimes it’s hard to go ‘gainst the grain.
Finally he smiles, ‘It’s all God’s design.’
His weathered hand feels what’s smoothed, now fine.
This small baby Jesus, a gift to mankind
Will no longer rest in a meagre old manger
But will peacefully rock in this carpenter’s cradle.
Â© Don Stott, 2005, http://eliab.com
I have just added some Christmas quotes and thoughts on my other website Christmasplus.blogspot.com
Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help in trouble.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies…
Jesus supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited…
JESUS stands at the door of your life and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa…
JESUS is as close as the mention of HIS name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap…
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girls, what’s your name?”…
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does he know our name,
He knows our address too.
He knows our history and future and
He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly…
JESUS offers a heart full of love.
All Santa offers is HO HO HO…
JESUS offers healing, help and hope.
Santa says “You better not cry”…
JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”
Santa’s little helpers make toys…
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but…
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree…
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.
Yes, Jesus is better, he is even better than Santa Claus.
It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.
Christmas trees originated in Germany. The story is told of St. Boniface who travelled from England centuries ago to tell the good news about Jesus to the German people. One dark night he and some of his monks carrying candles, came across some people deep in the forest. They had tied a boy to a bare oak tree ready to sacrifice him to their god, Odin. Boniface freed the boy and chopped down the tree. Then he showed them a fir tree pointing up to the sky. His followers put their candles on the branches and the people gathered around the tree and listened as Boniface explained how God had sent his son Jesus to bring light to the world.
I’ve just posted a reworking of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with Christmas words
After hearing the Christmas story, and singing “Silent Night” a Sunday School Class in Sao Paulo was asked to draw what they thought th Nativity Scene might have looked like. One boy did a good likeness of Joseph, Mary and the infant, but off to the side was a plump roly-poly figure.
The teacher, afraid that he had somehow worked Santa Claus into the scene asked who that was. She wasn’t sure whether she was relieved or even more worried when the boy responded, “No that’s Round John Virgin.”
A few years ago I wrote a small 12 page PDF booklet called Christmas is Coming! It includes a number of original Christmas puppet scripts, stories and chants. It’s available for download for $10 USD via PayPal. I also have a number of other Christmas scripts and stories available free at Eliab.com
Christmas-1st Corinthians 13 Style
- If I decorate my house perfectly with bows,strands of twinkling lights and shiny baubles, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
- If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas biscuits, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtimes, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
- If I decorate the Christmas tree with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
- Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
- Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband or wife.
- Love is kind, though harried and tired.
- Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has co-ordinated Christmas china and table cloths.
- Love doesn’t yell at the children to get out of the way.
- Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
- Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of God’s love will endure.
I have just posted my new short Christmas puppet ( or vent) script. It’s called “Carolling Christmas”. Ricky can’t get to sleep because he has Christmas carols going around in his head. He comes to hear about the Nativity and gets excited that God’s son has come to earth.
Helen Aberg used to give generous Christmas gifts to her several grandchildren, but the children never sent thank you letters, despite the urgings of their parents. But then, one year, things changed. Grandma sent a hundred dollar Christmas cheque to each grandchild. The very next day, each child came over in person to thank her. She was telling this to a friend of hers, who said, “How wonderful! What do you think caused them to become so polite?
“Oh,”said Helen,”it was easy. This year I didn’t sign the cheques.”
Are you looking for ideas and resources for Christian clowning with children?
Check out the following online resources…
Worship Drama and Dance scripts and skits (some clown skits included)
A mission team back from Peru writes. “We performed the mime “King of Hearts” in town squares and it has a powerful impact…without words. Very relatable to everyone. The gist: 4 individuals all dressed in black except for a shattered heart on each’s chest- the glamour girl, the fighter, the clown and the hypocrite. Each act out their roles, but take turns lowing their masks to reveal what’s really going on inside: the glamour girl has a very low image of herself, the fighter is scared, the clown is suicidally depressed and the hypocrite is blind. Then Christ enters, shows that he died and rose for them, and in turn pulls a shattered heart off to reveal a whole heart and each in turn is transformed.”
Here are some resources for using puppets in Christian ministry with children -
Free Christian puppet scripts ( Eliab.com free scripts mainly for use with one puppet and an adult)
Puppetresources.com (Huge resource of Christian puppets scripts)
Bob Snook Puppet and Drama Scripts ( hundreds of scripts – highly recommended)
The website The Way 2 Go has great flash presentations for children.
The Way 2 Go aims to provide an introduction to Christianity for children in the 8 to 12 age range. Pages included in “The Hub” also include information about- Creation, Jesus, Justice, Knowing God and Data bank.