Download this free Summer Road Trip Activity Book! Print it out or use it digitally to document your road trip. Click here to download.
Churches throughout the Southern Baptist Convention will celebrate children’s ministry (ages birth—preteen) on Sunday, July 18, 2021. This is a great day to thank God for the ministry your church provides to kids, their families, and volunteers. Use this day to remind kids of their importance to the church and to honor kids ministry volunteers who invest in the lives of kids and their families. Recognize and honor kids ministry volunteers who invest in the lives of children and their families.
Here are some ways to celebrate Children’s Ministry Day in your church:
- Appreciate volunteers by using the downloadable ideas provided.
- Enlist a kid, volunteer, or family to share a testimony in the Sunday service.
- Include kids in opportunities to serve in church such as reading Scripture, praying, etc.
- Lead a parenting class using the resource Settle for Nothing Less (virtually or in person).
- Recognize events that have taken place during the summer such as VBS and camp. Share with the church how these events fit into the overall strategy of your children’s ministry to share the gospel with kids.
- Create and share a video highlighting the different parts of kids ministry.
- Recognize how kids, their families, and teachers ministered to others in the church and community during the last year.
- Remind parents of ways the children’s ministry continues to provide resources and curriculum for their children (in person or digitally).
- Use the provided object lesson and sermon outline in church services.
By Alyssa Jones
Make a plan to read God’s Word with your family in June. This month, read selections from the Gospels and Acts. Read in the morning around the breakfast table, in the car on the way to school, after dinner, or at bedtime. Read the Scripture directly with your family, or retell the story in your own words. This tool includes questions according to kids’ ages and understanding. Allow kids to color in a day on a calendar after reading and discussing. End your reading time in prayer.
Download and print these fun coloring sheets to get kids (and adults!) excited about VBS! This is also a great activity for families to do at home. You can share this download link with parents via email or social media.
Print out these fun coloring pages for church or home! Encourage kids to hang up their artwork (with a parent’s permission) somewhere they will see it often to help them memorize scripture.
Coloring pages by Sarah Humphrey. Sarah is a wife and homeschool mom to three kids while also working as an artist, author, and voice actor. Her writing and doodling can be found in her devotional, “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” and her voice in several commercials, children’s books, and audiobooks.
ETCH Family Ministry Conference is back—live and in person—with the opportunity to attend in Nashville or online via live simulcast. We’re looking forward to REUNITE together in person in the safest way possible. To that end, we’re limiting the number of attendees for the in-person event. ETCH 2021 will sell out, so be ready to reserve your spot as soon as registration opens! Although space is limited for the in-person event, there are no limits for the simulcast. So if you can’t make it to Nashville, we want you to join us from your neck of the woods!
You’ll have two options to attend: (1) Bring your team to Nashville. We’re so excited to be back together again with you! (2) Gather your entire team and watch the simulcast together live. (Special pricing is available for churches hosting a watch party.) You can’t go wrong with either option! Both will allow you to participate in breakouts (in-person attendees will get to choose which breakouts to attend), worship together, learn from age-group ministry experts, be challenged by great Bible teachers, hone your skills, and equip your entire team for the next season of ministry.
2020 was a difficult season for everyone. It’s time to come back together. It’s time to celebrate. It’s time to REUNITE. It’s time to praise God for His faithfulness through the difficult times and to celebrate coming together again as the body of Christ!
The focal passage for ETCH: Reunite is Ephesians 4:4–6: “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
As we study Ephesians 4 together in the main sessions, you will be challenged to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). As you attend breakouts, it is our hope that you will be equipped for and reenergized in your calling.
Whether you choose to join us online or in-person, we hope you will reunite your team and experience ETCH together.
Get your tickets today at etchconference.com
Melita Thomas serves as Lifeway’s VBS and Kids Ministry Specialist. For the past 14 years she has also been an editor of Lifeway’s VBS resources. Melita holds a masters degree in Childhood Ministry from Dallas Baptist University. A passionate advocate for kids ministry in the local church, Melita enjoys teaching kindergartners and preteens at Nashville First Baptist Church.
This easy craft helps kids understand the faithfulness of God! As kids do the craft, discuss the story of Noah and how God promised never to flood the earth in the same way again. Download the Noah’s ark craft here.
2020 was a challenging season for ministry—and 2021 is (so far) proving no less difficult! But that doesn’t mean we can continue to delay or postpone strategic ministry opportunities until a time that is (hopefully) more convenient. Ministry to children cannot be deterred or deferred. It’s simply too important! For most churches, 2020 meant that they couldn’t conduct regular church programming and special events in the same ways as usual. Sunday School went virtual. Worship was livestreamed. There was certainly a learning curve, but many churches saw that once they broke out of the same old mold they’ve been using for years, their creativity kicked in and the work of ministry continued in new, fresh, and exciting ways.
It’s time to do the same thing for Vacation Bible School! VBS is one of the largest evangelistic outreaches of the year for many churches. It consistently accounts for one-quarter of ALL baptisms in a given year. It has the potential to open more doors in your community than any other single week on the church calendar. That’s why it’s so important to say YES to VBS this summer—no matter what it looks like! You can have a VBS in-person, in the park, in the home, or any way in between. Where and how doesn’t matter … it’s the WHY that counts. It’s worth it to your kids to say yes to VBS this summer! It’s worth it to your community to say yes to VBS! It’s worth it to the kingdom to say yes to VBS!
This summer, whether you’re in person, online, or somewhere in between, Lifeway wants to help you say yes to VBS! We’ve identified four creative (and safe) ways VBS can happen in 2021 and a whole set of resources to help you be successful, no matter which option you choose. I’m particularly excited about the new resources designed especially for virtual VBS, which include:
- Daily Bible story videos (5 for preschoolers, 5 for kids)
- Virtual VBS Directors Guide (with activity adaptations for Bible study, rec, and crafts)
- Family Connection Bundle (take home resources for families to do together)
- Kids Craft Bundle (individual, pre-packaged crafts for each day)
- VBS at Home on Ministry Grid (videos and written prompts to equip parents to lead a VBS experience at home)
The time to say yes to VBS is now. Pick a format and commit to it. Begin preparing now so that you are well positioned to pivot as needed. Remember, no matter how you say yes to VBS this summer—Lifeway’s got you covered! Learn more at https://vbs.lifeway.com/yes-to-vbs/
These days, especially these days, our kids can easily isolate themselves in their rooms, on their screens, doors shut, earbuds in. And sometimes, it’s just easier that way, isn’t it? Not having to confront them with hard conversations; not asking a question, only to be the recipient of an eyeroll or a heavy sigh. And they’re thinking the same thing on the other side of that door. It is a lot easier.
But easier is not better.
It’s time to take a risk of rejection and start pursuing our kids. Truly pursuing them.
Today’s generation is said to be the loneliest generation ever. (I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty lonely right now, myself.) We can do our part to help them through this, by letting them know we care, that they’re loved, and that they’re important. And maybe even letting them know we actually LIKE them!
- Timing is everything. Find times that your kids are at ease and more open to a little conversation. This could be at dinner, in the car, at bedtime. You’ll know when.
- Have some questions in mind to get discussion started.
- What was your favorite part of the day?
- What was the hardest part of your day?
- If you could stop doing one thing forever, what would it be?
- What’s something that you’re looking forward to?
As time goes by, doors will open for deeper discussions. But caution! Don’t try to jump there too quickly—they’ll get suspicious and ask what you’ve been reading. (I speak from experience!)
I read recently that the entire Bible is the story of God pursuing us. Don’t you love that? Doesn’t it make you feel loved knowing that God desires a relationship with you? Imagine how your kids will feel when they realize that you truly desire a relationship with them. Start showing them now.
Enjoy the pursuit! It’s worth it!
Klista Storts serves as an Editorial Ministry Specialist for Lifeway Kids. Before coming to Lifeway, she served as the Weekday and Preschool Specialist at the Tennessee Baptist Convention and as Director of Preschool Ministries at churches in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Klista has a passion for equipping leaders to share the love of Christ and lay foundations for conversion in the lives of kids.
Print out the tags below. Attach them to carrot-shaped cellophane bags filled with candy and hand them out on Easter to teachers or volunteers. If your church is meeting virtually, consider a porch drop-off for volunteers.