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Criminal records bureau checks on Sunday school teachers May 4, 2007

Posted by David in Child protection, Children, Church, Church School, church-kids, Sunday School, Teenage ministry, Youth ministry, Youthwork.
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As part of a church’s work with children and other vulnerable people, it is important that those that deal with children are properly examined to see that they are suitable for the job. And this includes making enquiries with the Criminal Records Bureau.

At our church we have employed an umbrella organisation to aid in the checks for staff as well as helping to make recommendations and assist us in preparing a child protection policy document. The organisation is called ‘The churches’ child protection advisory service‘. (Their page on the CRB website).

The importance of this should not be overlooked, especially in the light of recent news.

Bible studying in Sunday School May 1, 2007

Posted by David in Bible, Children, Childrens bibles, Childrens ministry, Church School, church-kids, Sunday School.
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Nancy Ammerman ponders the amount of quality bible teaching that children receive in Sunday school, since they leave the service before the sermon and often there is no Sunday school during the school holidays.

Also, when children are in Sunday school, free-thinking teachers rarely ask them to memorize anything, lest they be accused of indoctrination. It seems likely that these children’s reservoir of biblical memory will run dry before they ever have a chance to reach adulthood.

In some churches, this pattern is more a matter of neglect than intent, while in others it reflects a genuine ambivalence about teaching children the Bible. Is all that Bible reading and memorization a good thing? Have those biblical images embedded in our brains made us too accepting of patriarchy, too willing to trust authority, too willing to believe? Perhaps. But I am convinced that it need not be so, that when we commit something to memory, it sinks deep and often resurfaces in surprising ways to meet new situations. Biblical fragments (“knit together in my mother’s womb,” “her price is far above rubies,” “plans for your welfare and not for harm”) happily can grow with us, providing both a touchstone to the past and points of connection to new people and new meanings. We stuff our memories with so many things (lyrics to Sesame Street songs, Santa’s reindeer), why worry about adding the names of the apostles and the words of Psalm 23 to the mix?

But I don’t think that churches and Sunday school teachers can take full responsibility for teaching the children. Clearly parents have a responsibility too. And also, Sunday school teachers often do not get the support that they need from the church leadership. And remember it is the pastor who has had bible school training, not usually the Sunday school volunteer. Perhaps churches should invest in their volunteers by sending them to training courses.

Found via: Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island

Reading the Bible with Children April 30, 2007

Posted by David in Bible, Children, Childrens bibles, Childrens ministry, Christian, church-kids, Parenting, Sunday School, Youth ministry.
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Christopher at the TaylorWest blog, gives some insights into how he and his wife read the bible with their children:

When we read the Bible together at night with our children, we read from the ESV. Karis, Isaiah, and Gloria all follow along in their Children’s Edition of the ESV. When questions come up about the meaning of the text, I sometimes have to say, “Well, the meaning of the text isn’t that clear. I believe this is what the author meant, but others take it differently. They think it say this.”

It is tempting to interpret a verse for a child, rather than encouraging them to understand it. But they may not understand it at their age in any case, because they will need more life experience. He further explains their position:

I think this demonstration of humility before the text instils greater trust in the text than if I were to simply say, “This is what the text means.” Especially since later on as they grow in their understanding of the text, they may find that my interpretation was not at all what the text said or meant.

Found via: ESV Bible Blog


Previously: Bible versions for children

Dot to dot pictures for Sunday school April 21, 2007

Posted by David in Bible Games, Children, Childrens ministry, Christian, Church, Faith, Puzzle Creation, Sunday School, Teaching, Youthwork.
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With picturedots.com, you can turn any image into a connect the dots puzzle or just create one from scratch. So, instead of giving the children a picture to colour, you can create a sophisticated join the dots puzzle challenge for them to do.

To find out how to do it, there is a tutorial.


You can also see all the dot puzzles I have created.

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.

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