Category Archives: Outreach

Planning An Easter Party

Easter parties are great events to have for children in your ministry. Here some things to consider.

When will you have the party? Easter Sunday after church is not a practical time. But you could have the party during church on Easter. Or you could have the party after church on Palm Sunday. The Saturday before Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday are good times to have it as well.

What type of party will you have?

Easter Egg Hunts:  These are very popular, but they have drawbacks. You need to have church property large enough to hide the eggs to make if fun. If you don’t, look for a park or a parent’s yard where you can hide eggs. Don’t use real eggs. Buy the plastic eggs from the dollar store and stuff them with candy or toys you can buy in bulk. Or you can put tickets in the eggs the children can use to purchase prizes. That way, each child gets prizes. You’ll also want grand prizes you can give away to children who collect the most eggs. Easter baskets work good for this. In some areas of the country, snow and rain are problems at this time of year. If that’s the case, make sure to schedule a rain date.

Easter Carnival: A carnival can work well even indoors. Call your local carnival rental place and see if they’ll donate the games for the carnival. Some places will if the games aren’t being used. Also if you have a carpenter in your church, consider having him make some games you can use. You can give out tickets, candy, or prizes for each game won.

Fun Sunday: If you have the party during or after church on a Sunday, consider having pizza, pop, and treats for the children. You could also show an Easter movie in the sanctuary on the “big screen” like in a movie theater. You could have gospel illusions, games, crafts, and other activities.

How Will You Present The Message:  An Easter party is a prime opportunity to present the message of salvation to children. Think of a gospel illusion, story, or object lesson you can use for a short 5 minute message.

Get Donations:  Contact pizza places, bowling alleys, skating rinks, and fast food restaurants to see if they’d be willing to donate free gift certificates to their establishments that you can give as door prizes. Most businesses are willing to do this.

Plan Ahead:  Get the workers you need. Decide how you’ll spread the word. Find people to set up and do follow-up. The better you plan ahead, the better this party will go.

Pray:  This is a great opportunity to reach unchurched children. Pray for God to move during this party.

Fun Sunday Themes

Eagle in flightFun Sundays are a great evangelistic tool. Read more about them here. Here are a few themes you can use for Fun Sundays.

Flying High Fun Sunday:

Verse: Isaiah 40:31  But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Bible Story: Peter was a chicken before the Holy Spirit came. After Pentecost, he was able to soar to new heights by preaching in front of crowds.

Craft: Make and decorate kites. You can buy kites to decorate here. You could also color fliers that you can buy here.

Activity: Fly kites.

Back to School Fun Sunday

Verse: Colossians 3:23  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. 

Bible Story: Joseph worked hard even though he wasn’t rewarded for it. In the end, God blessed him.

Craft: DIY Journals. The children can decorate the covers. You can find them here.

Activity: You can find 10 Back to School Minute to Win It games here.

Superhero Fun Sunday:

Verse: Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Dress Up: Have children dress up as their favorite superheroes.

Song: Sing Jesus You’re My Superhero.

Bible Story: Hebrews 11 – Heroes of the Faith

Activity: Play your student’s favorite games giving them superpowers to help them win.

 

Sports Fun Sunday

A Fun Sunday based on sports is a great idea. Most of the students in your children’s ministry participate in sports.

Theme: Being a Winner in God’s Kingdom

Verse: Hebrews 12:1 (NIrV)  A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. Let us keep on running the race marked out for us.

Theme Song: All Star (Uncle Charlie’s Made 2 Praise Vol. 5)

Decorations: The decorations for this theme are easy. Just use a variety of sport’s equipment.

Bible Story: Talk about how Paul ran the Christian race.

Message: Talk about how to get into the race (salvation), how to train for the race (Bible, prayer, church), how to lay aside the obstacles (sin), and how to run the race.

Here’s some link to free children’s ministry lessons about running the race that you can use.

Run the Race

Running the Race Slide Share

Here’s a couple of links for video clips you could use in children’s church that day.

The Big Race

I Run

Bus Racing Game

Possible Activities:

Sports Activities:

Relay Race

Baseball or Basketball

Tag

Snacks: You can make the lunch easy but include healthy foods athletes might eat. Peanut butter sandwiches work because they have protein. You can also serve fruits and vegetables. Sugar cookies could be shaped like tennis shoes.

Craft Ideas: Here’s some links for craft ideas that will even work for people who aren’t crafty.

Wild Monster Feet

Footprints

Evangelistic Fun Sunday for Children’s Ministry

Fun Sunday are themed events to get children to invite their friends to church. Lots of children’s ministries do a variation of Fun Sunday, but this is the way I did it.

Theme: Every Fun Sunday has a theme from the moment children’s church starts until the event ends.

Children’s Church: Children’s Church has an evangelistic message that goes with the Fun Sunday theme.

Prizes: Have prizes for visitors and for children who bring visitors. You could have a drawing that visitors have to sign up for. When they sign up, you have a record of their information to invite them to the next event. If your church doesn’t have a lot of money to spend, try going to pizza places, ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and roller skating rinks. Most of them will donate free coupons.

After Church Event: Fun Sunday works best if you continue it after children’s church is over. Tell the parents to pick their children up in two hours. Tell them that this gives them a chance to have a peaceful time at a restaurant. Plan activities that go with the theme, and serve an inexpensive lunch to the children. If you have more than ten children to a group, have a rotation between the activities.

Workers: It’s easier to get workers if they know they’re only doing one activity in their area of interest. They might want to do games, crafts, lunch, skits, balloon animals or a variety of other activities.

Follow Up: Make sure to follow up on the visitors who don’t attend regularly and the children who got saved.

The next post will give suggestions on themes for Fun Sunday.

How Children’s Ministers Can Get God Back in the Schools

Partner with schoolsToday, I asked Ingid Dedecker, the director of Partner With Schools, to write a post on how children’s ministers can get God back in our schools with this effective outreach tool.

 

Get God back into Public Schools !

by Ingrid Dedecker

Tag.  You’re it.  A game played every day in school yards.  I wish finding christians who are willing to share the Good News in public elementary schools were this easy.  Yet it’s not only permitted but even welcomed by schools.  And three quarters of the students usually get saved.  The girl in the picture up front asked with wide and hopeful eyes: “ Is it really true that God will forgive me of all the bad things I have done?”

Amazing Opportunity to reach your Neighborhood.  Research shows that kids can reach their parents much better than pastors can.  Showing the love of God to students often brings the rest of the family to church.  It’s only one hour per week for eight weeks  per semester, with amazing results.  Elementary School students are still open to the love of God.  Let’s reach them before they become troubled teens.  85% of people who get saved find God between the age of 5 -14.

Partner kids

Voluntary After-School programs for which parents sign a permission form are within the legal framework of the school.  A school  which has any other activities such as after-school enrichment programs must allow a Bible club as well.  This even holds true for flyers and announcements as all clubs have to be treated equally.

Sixteen Federal Agencies call upon Faith-based organizations!  All children who attend the local church also attend the local school.  Parents of those children are deeply connected to both institutions.  What other local organization has such a direct link to the school.  That is why the Department of Education, The White House, via it’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and 14 other Federal Agencies promote student achievement by connecting schools and community-based organizations, both secular and faith-based.

Fourteen Churches, on average exist for each school and yet it’s difficult to find churches willing to get involved in their local school.  No need to fear the ACLU.  The ACLU usually focuses on the establishment clause of the First Amendment which makes sure that religion is not officially established in schools.  That’s why the ACLU often challenges official prayer or religious symbols in schools.  However The ACLU has never taken a school to court over a Bible Club, and due to numerous recent lawsuits won by students whose schools denied clubs, an increasing number of principals are now focusing on their student’s right to Free Speech.   In prior decades schools focused almost exclusively on upholding the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause but in recent years the shift to also  uphold the First Amendment’s  Free Speech Clause has brought much balance to the issue of  Church/State Separation.  Yes, schools still don’t endorse religion but they now also enforce student’s rights to practice religion in schools.

The ACLU of Tennessee,  just in March 2014,  decided to actually defend a student who was forced by teachers to stop reading the Bible in an After School program.  In the letter sent to the school, the ACLU requests that the school train it’s teachers on religious freedom rights while at the same time  not imposing religions on students.  Hedy Weinberg, executive director  for the ACLU’s Tennessee branch, additionally said in a statement that the goal of their letter was to: clarify how constitutionally-guaranteed religious freedoms work.

Neither School Administrators nor Church Administrators are fully aware of the recent case law opening up schools to churches.  That’s why it’s important to gently inform schools that over 7000 elementary schools nationwide have Bible Clubs in schools;  and many more Middle and High Schools.

Partner with Schools provides pro bono help to churches in getting into their local schools.  We set up partnerships between local schools and local churches and provide teacher’s training and ongoing coaching to keep the church’s school outreach ministry motivated.   You will find more information at:  www.partnerwithschools.com   A school principal from Akron City Schools in Ohio said: “ Thank you for impacting our school so much for the las two years.  We are so glad you’re here!”

Blessing not only the students but also to the school.   Schools are mandated to teach character education.  Since the Bible is full of character education we might as well help schools fulfill that mandate.  Character Counts is one of the two primary character education programs.  Since schools recognize that program we incorporate Character Counts into our curriculum.  It takes up less than 10 minutes of the class and the rest of the class focuses on faith-based character education via Bible teaching, fun activities, songs, and memory verses.

IngridIngrid DeDecker, Director of Partner with Schools, is available for meetings and church presentations and can be reached at: 330.309.5333 or dedecker@partnerwithschools.com