|1. || |
Everything you do in children’s church should emphasize the theme or objective of your session, including room decoration.
|2. ||Teach for a response. Be very specific in what you want the children to pray about. Watch the clock and allow enough time for children to pray without interruption. |
|3. ||Send notes of appreciation to each child, letting him know you are glad he comes to children’s church. |
|4. ||Make a chart of prayer requests and answers and refer to it before prayer time. |
|5. ||Sing songs, hymns, and choruses that are sung in the adult worship service. This allows them to participate when they are in the service with their parents. |
|6. ||Keep a notebook file of what you do each Sunday, including what story you used, what activities were done, what songs were sung, who prayed, and attendance. Also record response of the children and suggestions or recommendations for future improvement. |
|7. ||Create an interest in missions by dressing up in the clothes of another country. Or ask the children to come in dressed as people from other countries. |
|8. ||Spend a session emphasizing music and singing. Involve the children. Ask them to sing solos or duets or in small groups, play instruments, work the puppets who sing a prerecorded song, be worship leaders. |
|9. ||Honor your children’s church workers. Select one person each month to receive special honor. Present the honor in front of the children to let your workers know how you feel about them. |
|10. ||Sing songs that are Scripture to music. Let the children look up the references in their Bibles. |
|11. ||Offer 2– to 6-week electives during children’s church. Begin with large group worship and then dismiss the children to their classes. Classes can be conducted on water baptism, doctrine, preparation to attend the adult service, music, special craft or research projects, being a new Christian, Bible study, a study of prayer, or learning more about the work of the Holy Spirit. |
|12. ||When missionaries or other guests come to your church, ask your pastor if they can come talk at children’s church prior to the time they are to speak to the adult congregation. You may need to rearrange your children’s worship service but the rewards will be great. |
|13. ||Ask the children to come dressed as their favorite Bible character or animal one Sunday. Let the children describe who they are. |
|14. ||Pray for missionaries during children’s church. Once a month select a missionary family that your church supports and pray for them. |
|15. ||Develop a monthly point sheet for helpers. At the end of the month honor the helpers based on the number of points they earned. |
|16. ||Have the kids sponsor a child from a children’s home or an adult in a nursing home. Pray for that person, prepare gifts and cards, and have small groups of children take turns visiting the person or mailing the packages. |
|17. ||Play Bible Ping-Pong to help the kids learn the books of the Bible. Divide the children into two groups. A child on one team starts with Genesis and points to a child on the other team who then gives the second book. That child points back to a child on the first team. No one goes twice until everyone has had a turn. Continue until someone misses. Then the play starts again with Genesis. || |
|18. || |
Have a “Christmas Around the World” children’s church program. Divide the kids into groups and have them rotate to different areas to do crafts, watch a video, play games, sing songs, and eat food from different countries.
| Put offerings toward special projects. For example, your children may adopt a missionary’s child and decide to buy the child a new outfit. You could borrow a child mannequin from a department store, and as money comes in, outfit the mannequin with the clothes you are going to send. |
| Give a “Tour of the Holy Land” over a period of several weeks. For example, one week you might “visit” Nazareth and let kids discover events from the Bible that took place there. Dress in a Bible costume and set up your room to look like a kitchen from that time period. Ask someone who has been to the Holy Land to show pictures. |
|21. || Invite parents to share in children’s church what type of work they do and tell why it is important to God’s kingdom. |
|22. || Read exciting Bible related stories to the children. Stop at a cliff hanging spot and say, “To be continued next week.” |
|23. || |
Involve the whole group to help tell Bible stories. For example, in Noah and the ark, select the characters (both people and animals). The remaining children can make sound effects for the story (rain, laughing, yelling for help, etc.).
|24. || |
Have an open house one Sunday after church and invite parents and other pastoral staff.
|25. || Choose different children each month to serve as ushers, pray for each other, or collect the offering. Use children to give testimonies, sing, and share other talents. |
|26. || |
Allow children to perform short skits. Have a worker choose the needed number of children at the start of the program and then practice during the preliminaries.
|27. || Ask children to write questions about God and the Bible. Use a mailbox for the children to put letters in. Have a grandpa puppet read and answer the questions. |
Counsel with children on a one-to-one basis who have indicated a desire to accept Christ as their Savior.
|29. || Before children’s church, set up various display tables with objects related to the lesson. Allow the children to examine the objects as they arrive. |
|30. || If your church has a children’s library, feature a book every month Allow the children time to browse through the library and check something out before they go home. |
|31. || Play live tic-tac-toe with two teams and use questions from the story. Tape a large grid on the floor. Children who answer correctly become the markers and stand in a space on the grid. |
|32. || When special events take place in adult worship, take your children to them. |
|33. || |
Give happy face stickers to children who are acting as they should. Helpers can give out stickers while you are teaching. At the end of the session, the children with stickers can receive a treat.
|34. || |
Ask people in your congregation or youth group to dress like Bible characters (e.g., Moses, David and Goliath, Paul) and visit your children's church to tell their stories.
|35. || When children come to children’s church feeling sick, have the other children gather around and pray for them. || |
|36. || Use shadow puppets to present the Bible story. Cut a body shape from poster board and attach it to stiff wire. Shine a bright light from behind the puppet, and its shadow will be displayed on a screen between the puppet and the audience. |
Designate every seventh Sunday as a time for a joint service with parents and children, giving workers and children a chance to worship together.
Have an annual birthday party. Send each child a candle in the mail and ask them to bring it and place it on a large birthday cake. Each child could bring a small gift for a gift exchange.
|39. ||Teach a series on prayer and intercession and ask people to come to children’s church to share their testimonies. |
|40. ||Start a monthly children’s church newsletter and mail it to the children. |
|41. || |
Decide on desired behavior for children’s church. Assign a value to each one. Have a contest for 4 to 7 weeks. Award prizes and certificates to all children based on the number of points they’ve earned. Examples might be 50 points for attending, 10 points for bringing a Bible, 25 points for participating in activities, 25 points for cooperation.
|42. || |
Make signs with “yes” written on one side and “no” written on the other. Ask yes and no questions from the lesson. Have volunteers hold the signs with the answer facing toward the rest of the group. The whole group claps for the answer they think is correct. Then tell the correct answer.
|43. ||To help children memorize a verse, write single words on pieces of cardboard. Scramble the words of the verse. Ask a group of girls to each take a word and stand in the correct order. Time them. Then have a group of boys try it. Another group of girls may want to challenge their time. Then let another group of boys try it. |
|44. || |
Have children wear name tags and call them by name. Encourage your workers to use their names too.
|45. || |
Familiarize the children with the services in the sanctuary. Explain a typical service order. Distribute church bulletins and familiarize children with what’s in it. Encourage children to take notes when the pastor preaches. Tell them they can participate in worship, prayer times, and altar times. Plan a visit together to the service (or a portion of it) as a group.
Have a promotion day for children who are moving out of the children’s church. Make it a special time, recognizing that what they have learned in their elementary years will be the building blocks for the next stage in their youth lives.
|47. || |
Recognize children’s birthdays. It is the most important day in a child’s life. Place a “Birthday” poster on the wall with the names of those children who are having birthdays that week. Give the birthday child a ribbon or pin that says, “It’s My Birthday.” Send a card in the mail.
|48. ||Have a special day to present a new Bible to each child when he or she reaches a certain age (e.g., on the 10th birthday) or promotes out of children’s church. |
|49. ||Study the different aspects of worship. Such things as prayer, worship, praise, songs and their history, music, communion, water baptism, and the baptism in the Holy Spirit could be topics discussed. You may want to study questions like why we have a pastor, why we have an altar, and why we sing songs in church. |
|50. ||Plan your children’s church to include worship, giving, teaching, and prayer. |
© Gospel Publishing House. All rights reserved. 50 Children’s Church Ideas by Dick Gruber
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