Click below to download this fun Easter craft!
Click below to download these fun Scripture reminders for your desk!
I have learned so much working with the Bible Studies for Life: Kids team this year and had such joy helping produce this ongoing curriculum for preschoolers and children. One of the most valuable resources we produce for teachers may be the least known — the leader pack. Of the many questions I receive from teachers new to our Bible study curriculum, I often hear these two: “What is a leader pack? Is it worth the extra cost each quarter?”
My answer is always a resounding yes — Leader packs are so valuable for teachers in the classroom! The challenge we face is to engage today’s visual learners and spark their imaginations with art and other engaging visuals that capture the attention and engages preschoolers and children to go deeper into understanding Bible Stories and how they apply to them. The leader pack helps us engage the visual learner.
Leader packs also make teaching easy. They are designed to go hand in hand with the leader guide, providing colorful pictures, posters, and other visuals that support teaching as well as games and materials that are connected to activities teachers will lead each week as part of their Bible teaching. Here are some details that show how valuable this resource is.
Teaching Pictures: The leader pack contains a teaching picture for every Sunday of that quarter. Teaching pictures bring alive the Bible story for children with an engaging visual of biblical art. Pictures are suitable for hanging on your focal wall and holding as you tell or review the Bible story. Our philosophy is that teaching pictures are not something just to be gazed upon (although they should be intriguing, beautiful pieces of art) as if kids will learn all that need to know on their own simply by looking, but they are to be engaged with interaction between teacher and learner (what are they thinking? what are they feeling? at what point of the story do you think this happened? what happened next?) so that kids understand on a deeper level what is happening in a Bible Story.
Memory Verse and Visual Posters: Each quarter kids’ packs will have three unit verse posters, one for each unit verse, making it easier to post on your focal wall for that month to help kids memorize it. Many age groups also have other unit posters that can be added to the focal wall to engage learners.
Teaching Aids: The leader pack contains many of the go-to teaching aids each week that connect back directly with activities in the leader guide and make teachers’ preparation easier. These colorful, creative items engage kids with that week’s Bible story and real life application.
Ultimately leader packs, through engaging visuals and teacher aids, help us reach our goal in Bible Studies for Life — for kids to receive the gospel message and to apply what they are learning to their lives each day.
William Summey is the Publishing Team Leader for Bible Studies for Life: Kids. He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Vanderbilt University. William lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Christy, and their two sons.
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered chronological Bible study for babies-adults. On today’s podcast, Brian Dembowczyk, managing editor of The Gospel Project, shares the vision of The Gospel Project and why sharing the gospel with children is of the utmost importance.
Brian Dembowczyk is the Managing Editor of The Gospel Project, a Bible study curriculum used by over one million people each week, and the author of Gospel-Centered Kids Ministry: How the Gospel Will Transform Your Kids, Your Church, Your Community, and the World and Cornerstones: 200 Questions and Answers to Learn Truth. Prior to being the managing editor, he served as the Publishing Team Leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to Lifeway Christian Resources, Brian served in local church ministry for seventeen years, primarily in family ministry and discipleship ministry. Brian earned a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He, his wife Tara, and their three children live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Many KidMin leaders agree that it is critical for us (adults) to begin now helping lay a solid theological foundation in the kids we serve. We want kids to have a right understanding of who God is, what He has done, and what He is doing according to solid biblical truths. But how?
One approach to systematically teaching theology that has seen renewed interest over the last several years is a return to a question-answer format. In this approach, kids are taught to respond to a specific question with a formulated, concise answer. For example, when prompted with the question “Who is God?” Kids would respond with “God is our Creator and King of everything.”
Is a question-answer format the right approach for you? Here are three reasons a question-answer format encourages theological learning.
Bonus: Employing a Q&A approach can be fun for kids. With just a little bit of effort, a Q&A format can quickly:
To equip church leaders and parents who want to implement a question-answer format for teaching theological truths, the team behind The Gospel Project for Kids has developed Big Picture Questions and Answers for Kids. This resource contains over 70 big picture questions and answers organized into six categories: God, People, Jesus, The Bible, The Church, and The Christian Life. Click here to learn more about Big Picture Questions and Answers for Kids.
Jeremy Carroll is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to Lifeway, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.
I’ve never been popular. In fact, I would probably say that I’m more liked now than I ever was as a child. I had a few friends, but I just wasn’t the most popular kid. I was an easy target. I wasn’t athletic and I did pretty well in school. I didn’t hit a growth spurt until I was in my late teens. At times, I was bullied. Probably due to certain personality traits, I was able to endure bullying with relative ease.
My situation is not true for everyone. Many kids really struggle with bullying and I totally understand why. Having your peers attack your worth as a human being is demeaning and crippling.
As I have gotten older, I feel like I’ve come to understand bullying from different angles. I can think back to situations where I was clearly bullied, but also I am ashamed to admit I can think of times where I was a bully.
If you think about it, there are probably those situations for you in your life. I think that we all have some level of bully in us, and if we are willing to admit it, there have been times that we have felt bullied. The smart person can bully the person who understands things more slowly. The athletic person can bully the person who just isn’t interested in sports. The theologian can bully the a person of opposing views.
We would love to introduce you to “Bully or Bullied” by FLYTE. It’s a great resource for helping your preteens understand the impact of bullying in hopes that they will be more able to cope with bullying in the future. Using solid biblical teaching, preteens will learn about people in the Bible who were both bullies and bullied. This resource is available digitally and can be downloaded today!
Jeff Land is Publishing Team Leader for Bible Studies For Life: Kids. He holds a BSW from Mississippi College and a MACE from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeff has served as children’s pastor and currently teaches second graders each week at his church. Jeff, his wife Abbey, and their four sons live in Coopertown, TN.
Social media can be a scary, overwhelming place at times, especially for people in ministry. Often there is so much negativity and anger rippling through our social media feeds that we wonder if there is any way to redeem these tools for kingdom good.
Well there is. Do not be discouraged.
Children’s ministers: the parents of the children in your care are on Facebook, Instagram, and other such platforms. Through social media, you have the ability to minister to them and equip them to minister to their children beyond the doors of your church building.
But you’re busy and there are so many options. I know. Here are a few ways you can get started:
1. Start a Facebook page for your children’s ministry.
Hopefully your church already has a Facebook page, but if you serve a large number of families and it is sometimes difficult to figure out the best way to keep in touch, a Facebook page (combined with a Facebook group, mentioned below) may be the best way to communicate vital information with people.
Starting a Facebook page for your children’s ministry can serve a number of important purposes like giving you a way to communicate with families in your church as well as giving you an opportunity to serve families in your broader community.
2. Start a Facebook group for your children’s ministry.
A Facebook group is different from a Facebook page in a number of ways. Because Facebook groups tend to be more private, you may not want to use a Facebook group to reach families in your community (see Facebook pages for that).
A Facebook group would be helpful for having a way to instantly communicate schedule changes or other important announcements to the families who regularly attend. This is a space where you could share prayer requests and coordinate meals for families in your church.
Facebook pages and Facebook groups are both important, but they do serve different purposes: pages are more public and groups are more private.
3. Share biblical parenting resources that may encourage and equip your parents.
Whether you decide to create a Facebook page or a Facebook group for your children’s ministry, one of the best ways to serve the families in your church is by providing biblical parenting resources that may encourage and equip your parents.
The job of church leaders is to equip the church to do ministry. Through social media outlets, like Facebook, you have the opportunity to share biblical parenting resources like blog posts, videos, or other content that may help the families in your church and your community point their kids to Jesus.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed by all of this. It’s OK. Take a deep breath. If you aren’t sure where to start or you have more questions about how social media can help children’s ministry, I can point you in the right direction.
I help Christian leaders use social media to serve people all the time. It’s my job. In October, Lifeway is launching a service called Lifeway Social to help Christian leaders like you use social media to serve the people in your churches and communities.
The Lord has given you good gifts and he has given us tools like social media to share the good news of the gospel and to equip the saints for ministry. Don’t be overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. Let Lifeway Social help. Learn more at LifewaySocial.com.
Chris Martin is Co-Creator of Lifeway Social and an Author Development Specialist at Lifeway. He loves helping Christian leaders use social media to serve the Church. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisMartin17.
We believe it’s essential to begin teaching Bible skills from a very young age. As kids learn the different divisions and structure of the Bible, they will understand God’s Word more clearly, providing a foundation for heart transformation.
We’ve developed a free Bible Skills Activity Guide for families and groups. Fill out the form below to download the guide and make copies for every family in your ministry. Parents will love the help as they seek to disciple their kids this summer.
By signing up for this Bible Skills Activity Guide, you will also receive free access to preview sessions of Explore the Bible. Every session of Explore the Bible: Kids brings the Bible to life through rich study and engaging objects, equips kids with foundational Bible knowledge and skills, and encourages them to live what they learn everywhere they go. Try sessions out with your kids, and watch the Word come alive.
Easter not only provides us with the opportunity to share the gospel message with our guests, but with our regular attending kids as well. One of the greatest joys of kids ministries is seeing our kids grow and reach the point where they can respond to the gospel by trusting in Christ. And the great thing about our regular kids is that we don’t have to contain the Easter story to just one Sunday—we can spread it out over several weeks and go even deeper to help move our kids toward saving faith in Christ.
The Gospel Project for Kids team has just released a new Easter Bible study resource called The Big Picture Easter Bundle. If you currently use The Gospel Project in your ministry, you will have an Easter unit included in your Spring 2017 content. However if you do not currently use The Gospel Project, and would like to experience a gospel-centered Easter resource, this may be just what you are looking for. This five-session digital resource can be used in your preschool and grade school classes all five Sundays in April to share the compelling story of the final week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, His crucifixion, resurrection, and appearances to His disciples.
Each session is designed to last one hour and includes downloadable Bible story videos, songs, music videos, leader guides, activity pages, posters, coloring sheets, cards, and more. The Big Picture Easter Bundle includes all of that for preschool and grade school and more for just $74.99. Churches can print as many of the resources as they need for their leaders and kids, making this a one-size-fits-all resource!
The five sessions include:
Each of the sessions will help share the Easter story with your preschoolers and kids, with each one pointing directly to the good news of the gospel through a Christ connection. If you are looking for Easter content to share with your preschoolers and kids, our hope is that The Big Picture Easter Bundle would be a resource that you could use to show your kids God’s love made known to us in His Son, Jesus Christ.
To learn more about The Big Picture Easter Bundle, visit www.gospelproject.com/easter.
Brian Dembowczyk is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. He served in local church ministry for over 16 years before coming to Lifeway. Brian earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his family live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
My grandmother was a first grade teacher for 39 years. She taught classes as large as 40 kids how to read. Amazing! In her free time, my grandmother also loved to collect samples of different primers that had been used through the years. She proudly showed me these readers one day and explained how the first source of reading for school children was the Bible itself. Many children learned to read for the sole purpose of reading the Bible.
I’ve thought about this fact through the years and love the idea of beginners starting to read with the Bible. But how do you pick the right passages? How can they understand it? And how can you build consistency? These are all valid questions.
Many of the guidelines for great kids’ devotions start with a level of simplicity that we as adults sometimes take for granted. Ten minutes is a great goal for a beginner’s devotion time. Consider the following 4 basics when encouraging kids toward establishing a 10-minute devotion time.
Basic 1: Kids can read the Bible. We take this fact for granted. The fact is that for centuries people did not own Bibles. Now we have Bibles in a variety of formats for all ages and kinds of people. Kids should primarily read the biblical text, not just commentary or stories.
Basic 2: Kids can learn to apply Bible teaching to their lives. God will use the Holy Spirit to draw kids to God, convict them of sin, and affirm the truth. This is where explanation and devotion—which makes the Bible real and applicable to the everyday life of your child—is crucial.
Basic 3: Kids can learn truths about God and Jesus. In other words, our children can also be little theologians. They can talk about God, learn what the Bible teaches, and share the gospel message with others. They can build faith as they spend time with God each day.
Basic 4: Kids can pray to God (talking and listening). Think about it. The Supreme God of the Universe wants to keep an open line of communication with our kids. Teach kids to talk to God and listen.
For additional helps, we recommend our line of kids’ devotionals, featuring 10-minute devotions for your children each day: a Scripture passage, devotion, prayer, and Bible-learning activity or fun fact. Just right for your kids and their daily time with God! There are three monthly magazines:
More for kids ages 4 to 7—Perfect to use together to model personal devotion time until your child is ready to have a devotion time on her own each day.
Adventure for kids ages 7 to 10—For your confident reader to read on his own each day or part of family devotions.
Bible Express for preteens 10 & up—In a flip-book format, one set of devotions for girls, and the other for boys, plus feature articles that will speak directly to your preteen’s daily life.
You can order or learn more at lifeway.com/devotionals.
William Summey is the Publishing Team Leader for ParentLife, kids devotionals, and short-term products. He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Vanderbilt University. William lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Christy, and two boys