Author Archives: Tamera Lynn Kraft

Lent for Children’s Ministry

Lent is what the forty days leading up to Easter. Lent this year is March 1st, so this Sunday will be the Sunday before Lent.

Because Easter or Resurrection Day is the holiest holiday in the Christian faith, many churches and Christians use Lent as a time dedicated to growing closer to God. Many fast or sacrifice something for Lent. Although most churches frown on children fasting for any length of time, Lent is a good opportunity to teach children about dedicating this time to focus on their relationship with God. They can also do limited fasting or sacrifice something to encourage them to deny their flesh.

All verses are in New International Readers Version. Here’s some idea for celebrating Lent:

Pretzel Sunday: The Sunday before Lent is called Pretzel Sunday. It’s called that because pretzel were made in Europe many years ago to eat during Lent. The people would fast other foods and only eat bread shaped in the form of someone bowing. To find out more about Pretzel Sunday and the story of the pretzel, click here.

Fasting: Talk to the children about fasting. They may be too young for an extended fast, but they can fast a meal once a week, or they could fast one of their favorite treats such as soda or sweets.

Matthew 6:16-18   When you go without eating, do not look gloomy like those who only pretend to be holy. They make their faces very sad. They want to show people they are fasting. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. But when you go without eating, put olive oil on your head. Wash your face.  Then others will not know that you are fasting. Only your Father, who can’t be seen, will know it. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly.

Sacrifice: Children don’t have to sacrifice food for Lent. They can sacrifice other things in devotion to God. They might want to give up video games or television. This might be a great time for them to decide not to listen to secular music.

Romans 12:1-2    Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him. Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.

Devotion: Lent is a wonderful time to teach children to devote themselves to God. Talk to them about what to do with the time they would normally use to eat their favorite sweet or play the video game they decided to forego. This is the time they should spend devoting themselves to God with prayer, Bible reading, and worship.

Colossians 4:2    Spend a lot of time in prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.

Here’s some links with more children’s ministry resources for Lent:

Lent for Kid’s: Focusing on God’s Time

An Intergenerational Lenten Fair

Lenten Bible Lesson for Kids

 

 

 

 

Word for 2017

There are some years God gives me a word for Revival Fire for Kids. In 2017, He’s given me several words. It has become like an explosion in my spirit. I believe 2017 will be a year like none other. Here are some of the things God is showing me.

Person Holding Sign Spreading Word of GodGod-centered:

John 15:4-5  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

God has been speaking this to me for a while now, and it has revolutionized my understanding of how to “do” ministry. For too long, we have operated our ministries in a man-centered way. Yes, we’ve admitted God is sovereign and in the center of everything, but do we act like this is true?

Do we seek God’s guidance on what to do next and what plans to make and events to have, or do we do what we’ve always done in the past? Do we get our marching instructions by spending time in the presence of God, or do we follow the advice of a “successful” children minister who wrote a new book?

What do we consider successful? To God, success is not measured by the results. It is measured by faithfulness and obedience. Do we strive to accomplish what God has promised, or do we yield and allow God to do it through us. When upsets happen, and they will, do we trust that God has things under control, or do we wring our hands, worry, and try to fix things?

This year, I am determined to abide and yield to God and trust Him every step of the way.

Joy Key Meaning Enjoy Fun Or HappyJoy:

John 15:11   I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” — John Piper

Another word that God has exploded in my spirit is the word Joy.  God is showing me He wants me to be joyful and happy in Him. I’ve heard the catch phrase at times in Christian circles, “God doesn’t care if we’re happy as much as He wants us to be holy.” I didn’t realize how false this statement is.

The truth is He want us to find our happiness and holiness in Him. Isaiah 35:8-10 calls it the Highway of Holiness and says gladness and joy will overtake those on this highway. Only those in the narrow way will be found there. Not only that, there is safety on this highway. No ravenous beasts can be found there.

Isaiah 35:8-10 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

The more time I spend enjoying God, the easier it is to handle the stress within my life. I am learning that finding joy in Him really does give me strength. John Piper calls this Christian Hedonism. You can read more about Christian Hedonism at this link.

Little boy hugging an old bookChrist Revealed:

Matthew 16:16-17  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

1 Peter 1:7-9  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The final word I want to share with you is Christ revealed. Many times, we children’s pastors lament because more children aren’t being saved or baptized in the Holy Spirit. Many live in secular homes. How can we possibly make a difference in their lives in one hour a week? The truth is we can’t, but Christ can. None of us have any chance of knowing Christ, no matter what our background was, unless the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us. The same is true with our students. Don’t strive to be your students’ Holy Spirit. Instead teach the truth of God’s Word and pray for Christ to be revealed in their hearts.

I know this to be true. I grew up in a home that was far away from God. I went to church when I was 13 on a church bus because I heard there were cute guys. One night in a youth service, the Holy Spirit revealed Christ to me, I yielded, and my life was never the same.

Don’t only pray for Christ to be revealed in the hearts of your students; pray for Christ to be revealed in a greater way in your own heart, and watch what happens. That’s my prayer for 2017.

Happy New Year from Revival Fire for Kids!

Merry Christmas

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I won’t have any more posts until after Christmas. I wished you a blessed Christmas and pray God’s reveals His love for you in a new way this Christmas.

This Sunday is Christmas, and I’m sure you want to help children understand the real meaning of Christmas. I hope I can help you. The real meaning comes from John 3:16.

John 3:16 ( ICB ) For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.

God loves us so much, He gave us His only son, born at Christmas, to save us and give us eternal life.

3 Ways to Use Christmas Trees in Kidmin – Free Object Lessons

Red christams roomHere are some ways you can use a Christmas Tree in Kidmin to teach the story of Christmas.

1.  Tell the history of the Christmas Tree and how Christians used it to share the Gospel. You can find the story at this link.

History of the Christmas Tree

2. Use the Christmas Tree for object lessons. Here are a few.

Apples: We hang apples from the Christmas tree because Adam and Eve sinned by eating the apple. Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins.

Evergreen: Just as evergreen trees grow all year long and are always green, Jesus came to Earth to give us everlasting life.

Holly: The holly we hang on Christmas trees is red and reminds us of the blood Jesus shed to save us from our sins.

Tree Top: The tree top is usually an angel or a star. Both were in the sky the night Jesus was born. The angels proclaimed the good news to the shepherds. The star lighted the way of wise men traveling to Bethlehem.

Lights: Jesus is the light of the world.

Ornaments: Round bulbs represent Jesus coming to Earth. Other ornaments represent that God wants to give us good things.

Tree: The tree itself can represent the tree of life that Jesus came to Earth to restore to us. It can also represent the cross where Jesus died for our sins. We cut down a tree for Christmas just as Christ was cut down for our sins. But we resurrect the tree in our homes just as Christ was resurrected after 3 day.

Wreath:  Wreaths are a great symbol to teach children about Christmas. Wreaths are circular. This symbolizes eternal life. It can also symbolize God’s unending love. We usually hang wreaths on the door to welcome guests just as Jesus welcomes us to have eternal life in Him. Wreaths are made out of evergreen symbolizing again everlasting life in Christ.

3. Tell the Tale of Three Trees. The Tale of Three Tress is a folk legend told for many centuries to teach the importance of Christ’s life. The author is unknown. Here’s the link to tell the story in Kidmin this Christmas.

The Tale of Three Trees

Colors of Christmas Free Kidmin Object Lesson Sermon

Certain colors are associated with Christmas. You can use these colors to teach children about Christmas by showing different color ornaments or decorations.

Red

Red symbolizes Christ was born on Christmas so He could shed His blood for the sins of the world.

Romans 5:9 Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him!

196-pack59-021514-tmGreen

Green is the color of the evergreens that last all year long even through the winter snow. It symbolizes eternal life that Jesus came to give. If we believe in Him, we will have eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.

John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

White

White symbolizes the purity of Christ. He lived His life on Earth without ever sinning, He cleanses us from our sins when we become His children. Our sins become as white as snow.

Isaiah 1:18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Gold

Gold symbolizes the three wise men. Some called them kings. They brought gifts Jesus when he was born: gold, frankincense, and myrrh to show Jesus was born a king. He came to this Earth as a baby, but He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.

Silver

Silver has two meanings. It symbolizes the star of Bethlehem that the wise men followed. But it also symbolizes shepherds who rang their silver bells in Bible times to help the sheep find their way. When Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds so they could worship Him. Jesus as our Great Shepherd. Jesus came to Earth to help us find our way back to God.

John 10:11, 14-15 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.