Wow, Christmas sprang up fast this year! It seemed like just yesterday we were enjoying the first days of summer, and now, here in Erie, we’ve had our first snow! Are you struggling with the idea of a Christmas play this year?
I spotted Group Publishing’s Instant Christian Pageant “The Not-So-Silent Night” last year and decided to give it a try. I’m always a little skeptical about “instant” programs — they usually make up for the lack of practice time with poor content, shallow story line, and not much “wow” factor. I have to report, this was not the case with “The Not So Silent Night”. The first “practice” was a little rough as I tried to explain to everyone that we were pantomiming along with the CD, not actually saying the parts. A few kids needed one-on-one help really getting into their role, and the usually last minute drop-outs threw a few kinks into the program. However, despite all that, the program was a HUGE hit.
We heard comments like, “For once, I could finally hear the play!” “My kids didn’t have time to get stage fright, because they had to keep up with their part.” ”The CD made practice so much easier!”
This year, we started with “Operation Baby King”, another of Group’s Instant Plays. The story line was a bit too complex for our group of kids, so we quickly switched to “A Mouse’s Tale”. Things have been going well. We’ve had about three practices so far. The format certainly isn’t “instant” — you have to break the kids up a bit so they can practice their parts before trying to do a big run through. Otherwise, everyone gets confused and bored.
Overall though, a great resource for small/mid-size churches who want a great Christmas program, but might not have a lot of resources to pour into it.
You Might Also Like:
Birthday Party for Jesus
10 Christmas Tradition to Draw Your Family Together
This week, task #9 in the Ministry Blogger Challenge is this: Join a Forum and start participating. Darren says this:
Spend some time today searching for forums in your niche. Once you find them, join up and start participating. The key is to spend time being as useful as possible to the forum. Your main activity should NOT be leaving links to your blog but answering questions, making connections, and generally being as useful as you can to other members of the forum.
Some of the best forums I’ve found have been at Ministry to Children and Kidology. At Kidology, you have to be a member to participate, but you can get the free membership and start chatting. I’ve met a lot of great Children’s Ministry people on these forums, so in addition to building your blog, you’ll meet some great new friends.
So what are you waiting for? Get on out there and get started!
Found this while browsing through an old issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine.
Seemed like an appropriate time to share!
Flickr by BeInspiredDesigns
Highlight Biblical Examples of Thankfulness
The Bible is full of great examples of gratitude: Joseph’s brothers when they realize Joseph isn’t going to hurt them (Genesis), mothers who are blessed with children (Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth). Paul’s letters often begin and end with messages of thankfulness (Ephesians, Philippians) and the Psalms are filled with thanksgiving for God’s goodness.
Express Your Thankfulness
Whether your a parent or Children’s Ministry Team member, there are times when you learn a lot from the kids around you. Be open with your thankfulness towards them, whether they have helped you with a task or given you a new perspective on something.
Lead Thank You Activities
Think about the people in your family, church, or sphere of influence who would appreciate an unexpected thank you. Ask your kids for creative ways on how to do so. Kids can deliver cards, a prayer, a skit, or a song! You could even make a slideshow or power point presentation if you want to get all tech-fancy! Be sure to thank God for all He’s done as well!
Got a few extra minutes in Kids Church? Try one of these games!
Have kids join hands and spread out in a circle. (May want to draw circle with chalk or masking tape). At the signal, everyone runs clockwise and tries to tag the person in front of them. When a player is tagged, they drop out and stand in the center of the circle. The last player in the chase is the winner.
Jump the Shot
Plays form a circle sufficiently large so that each can be free to jump. Swinger stands in the middle of the circle. He has rope with a towel knotted at the end of the rope. The Swinger starts swinging and the players jump over the towel as it passes them. A player cannot step out of the circle to avoid the towel. When someone misses, they step out of the circle until someone else misses. The first player then returns to the circle.
Have You Seen My Sheep?
One player, who is the shepherd, stands outside the circle. He taps on someone’s back and says, “Have you seen my sheep?” The tapped player, who is a housekeeper, ask “What does he look like?” The shepherd then describes another child by saying something like “He has brown shoes, a red shirt, and brown hair”. As soon as the sheep realizes who the shepherd is describing, he gets up and starts to run around the circle. If the housekeeper realizes who the shepherd is describing first, he can tag the lost sheep before he has a chance to run. Otherwise, the housekeeper has to chase the sheep around the circle. Great tie-in to Luke 15.
Guess the Letter
This is one of my favorites. All you need is a marker board, a marker and some eager kids. We play this Wheel of Fortune style. I think of a phrase (usually tied to the lesson) and write out the corresponding blanks on the board. We divide the kids up boys vs. girls and take turns with each team picking a letter. Each letter is worth 100 points. And if they guess a whole word, that’s worth 500 points. The kids love this one too — they are always begging to play it at the end of the lesson.