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That first youthgroup meeting February 24, 2007

Posted by David in Children, Christian, Church, church-kids, Teenage ministry, Youth clubs, Youth ministry, Youthwork.
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Tim Schmoyer has an interesting post on what to do at the very first midweek youth meeting. Whether it be because you have moved to a new area, or because it is your first appointment as a youth pastor.

The best way I’ve found to build trust is to model vulnerability and let them see that you’re a real person who is not afraid to be open and authentic. If they see that you can be that way, they’ll feel safer doing the same with you and will naturally be more trusting.

There are some good suggestions on surviving the first few sessions, and is well worth a read.

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Healthy Children’s work February 21, 2007

Posted by David in Bible, Children, Childrens ministry, Christian, Church, Church School, church-kids, Sunday School, Teaching.
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Robin Khoury on the Church Central site writes about three tips for a healthy children’s ministry. Although the points themselves seem straightforward, the way she expands on them is very helpful.

  • 1. Include families
  • Pray for guidance
  • Each ministry is unique
  • Go and read the article so that you can see her points.

    Using maps at Sunday school February 14, 2007

    Posted by David in Bible, Children, Childrens bibles, Church School, church-kids, Sunday School.
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    Maps are a great way to start a discussion with children in Sunday school and I have just discovered a website which uses google maps to map the location of places in the bible.

    The website is called Bible Map and each mention of a place is hyperlinked to the satellite map. It is not complete, but it contains some fascinating information.

    All I need now is wireless broadband at church so that I can share this with the kids in my Sunday school class!

    Found via: NMBC Bible Fellowships

    How to praise children effectively February 14, 2007

    Posted by David in Children, church-kids, Encouragement, Motivation, Parenting, Sunday School, Teaching.
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    There is an excellent article on encouraging and getting the best out of children called: The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids

    It basically explains that certain types of praise can be detremental.

    When parents praise their children’s intelligence, they believe they are providing the solution to this problem. According to a survey conducted by Columbia University, 85 percent of American parents think it’s important to tell their kids that they’re smart. In and around the New York area, according to my own (admittedly nonscientific) poll, the number is more like 100 percent. Everyone does it, habitually. The constant praise is meant to be an angel on the shoulder, ensuring that children do not sell their talents short.

    But a growing body of research—and a new study from the trenches of the New York public-school system—strongly suggests it might be the other way around. Giving kids the label of “smart” does not prevent them from underperforming. It might actually be causing it.

    Go and read the article, it is long but extremely interesting.

    Bible versions for children February 4, 2007

    Posted by David in Bible, Childrens bibles, Christian, Church, Church School, church-kids, Faith, Religion, Sunday School.
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    Which bible version should you choose for your Sunday school class?

    • Should you use the version that the adults use, and explain any difficult terms, no matter how disruptive this may be?
    • Or do you use a junior version, such as a specialist children’s bible?

    At home, my six year old has a special children’s bible that I read from that he knows is his. He is still too young to tackle dense biblical prose as yet so I tend to do the reading, which he enjoys. When I was a little older than him, I had a Good News Bible, which I is still popular for children.

    But for Sunday school, I have been copying and pasting verses from an online bible into self-created worksheets for the kids on Sunday. This way I can change difficult words, and make the typeface or font large enough and spaced out enough to make it easier for the children to read. Also splitting it into chunks, so the children share the reading.

    But someone said to me that I should encourage the children to search and read directly from the bible and this got me thinking, as I can see that this is a valid point.

    What do other people do, or is it really a case of considering the age-group that you work with?