Download the activity page below to do with your kids and preschoolers!
By Shelly Harris
You know you’re in kidmin when …
- You come home from church with the security tags you collected from parents stuffed in your pockets.
- You get excited when someone buys Crayola crayons and markers for the kids (and you!) to use.
- You know that you can fit 50 2-liters in one shopping cart.
- You smile when you see a clean, organized Resource Room or Closet.
- You peruse the dollar spot at Target, the entire dollar store, and the sale aisle at Hobby Lobby just in case you might find something you can use for a game or craft … one day.
- You watch the cashier scan 150 foam paint brushes/folders/glue sticks individually while the people behind you sigh.
- You’ve had at least one conversation with the custodial staff about glitter.
- You loaded an entire cart full of cheese crackers and counted the number of people who said “Wow! You must love cheese crackers!” or “You must be really hungry for cheese crackers” as you strolled to the front register.
- You cringe slightly when the phone rings on Saturday night. Not another call out!
- You have been VBS tired.
- You have at least one craft that you will NEVER do again.
- You love the smell of freshly sprayed Lysol.
- You have prayed for a child’s pet to get well soon.
- You have more than one favorite Bible story.
- You can say the Books of the Bible in 60 seconds.
- You have researched allergen-free products so all the kids in your ministry can be safe and participate.
- Your heart breaks for the kids in your ministry.
- You wake up in the middle of the night thinking about that family who is going through a tough time.
- You cherish the moment you see a kid understand the gospel for the first time.
- You would do it all again because this is where God has called you, and there is nowhere else you would rather be.
We all like things that are easy. The only evidence we need to support this claim is that they put peanut butter and jelly into the same jar for us. Come on, really? Is it that difficult?
Quite often, when I see people looking for new curriculum, one of the criteria they have is that it is easy. But should it be? Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with easy, but when it comes to teaching kids the Bible, easy might not be that great after all.
Curriculum should not be easy, but simple.
For something to be easy means that it requires little to no effort. But teaching the Bible should never be easy like that. Teaching requires some level of effort. Even the best curriculum will not be plug-and-play because every church context—indeed every kid in a group—is unique. A teacher has to work, and work hard at times, not only to understand what is being taught, but how to help it connect to each kid and for each kid to apply it to his or her life.
But at the same time, a good curriculum should not make life needlessly difficult for a teacher to prepare. Rather, it should be as simple as possible. The leader guide should not be difficult to follow. Hours should not be needed to gather obscure supplies. Activities should not need elaborate set-up. All of these things should be as simple as possible so that the teacher’s prep time is invested where it should be—praying earnestly for each kid and working hard to customize the content for his or her unique setting.
Curriculum should not be easy, but clear.
Not only should curriculum be simple, but it should also be clear. I have in mind the Bible content itself here. Each session should have a main idea that is not difficult to understand. And everything in that session should connect to that idea. A teacher should not have to wonder what an activity has to do with the Bible content or how the main idea is connected to the Bible story. A good curriculum will take even the more complex teachings of Scripture and present them in a clear and compelling way.
Curriculum should not be easy, but effective.
Good curriculum should be simple to use and clear to understand. But more than anything else, it should be effective. We want all three of these, of course, but if something has to give, that something should never be effective. A curriculum that is simple and clear but fails to point kids to the gospel is not going to foster discipleship. We can’t forget our goal of discipleship. There isn’t anything easy about discipleship. It takes time and energy. It can be disappointing and even frustrating at times. It requires that we repeat ourselves over and over. But it is what we are after in partnership with parents.
When it comes to curriculum, then, give me simple, give me clear, and give me effective, but you can keep the easy.
Download and print these tags to celebrate July 4th!
Remind your volunteers how much you appreciate them! Download instructions and tags here.
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.