Visitor Greetings

Visitor Greetings
Keep loving each other like family. Don’t neglect to open up your homes to guests, because by doing this some have been hosts to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:1-2

Serve: first time guests to church

Connect: children are often shy or uneasy when visiting a new place and meeting new people; through this mission project they are reaching out to warmly welcome church guests who may also feel anxious or uneasy about coming to a new place

Materials

  • construction paper
  • markers, crayons, etc.
  • stickers, etc.
  • pictures of kids

Directions

  • give each child a piece of construction paper to make a paper card
  • on the front have children write “Welcome” or “Join Us”
  • on the inside right panel, ask kids to write one thing they enjoy about church
  • have kids sign the card with their first name only and age
  • on the opposite side, glue a picture of the child
  • distribute cards to first time guests as part of an overall welcome to the church

Birthday in a Hat

Birthday in a Hat

The Lord your God is in your midst… God will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

Serve: residents at a local nursing home on their birthday

Connect: children enjoy receiving gifts on their birthday and through this mission project can bring birthday cheer to senior adults who may not be able to spend their birthday with family and friends

Materials

  • party hats
  • plastic wrap
  • materials to make a card
  • tissues
  • several pieces of sugar free candy
  • travel size bottle of lotion, donated by members
  • nonskid socks (optional)*
  • curling ribbon

Directions

  • have each child make a birthday card with no numbers or names
  • be sure they write “made by…” with their first name and age on the back
  • combine inside a party hat:
    • card
    • package of tissues
    • sugar free candies
    • bottle of lotion
    • nonskid socks (optional)
  • with the point side down, gather plastic wrap around and up the birthday hat
  • tie off the the plastic wrap with curling ribbon

 

*upcoming: how to make homemade non-skid socks

Missions: Kids Style

Missions Kids Style

I was overjoyed to find some of your children living in the truth, just as we had been commanded by the Father. – 2 John 1:4

Every child has the power to change the world through serving others. By offering fun, exciting, service opportunities, churches can help kids understand they are on a mission too. And involving children in missions has a direct impact on their future. By training children up in doing the work of the church, we instill in them the importance of serving and prepare them to accept even greater opportunities to serve as adults.

Missions: Kids Style is new series dedicated to offering church leaders in ministry with children a mission plan to engage children in hands-on service projects. Each project takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be easily incorporated into an existing discipleship programs, like Sunday school or children’s church. The first project will post on January 21.

Many of the materials are readily available craft supplies, or may be purchased at a local dollar or grocery store. If a project calls for items in bulk or more specialty supplies, links are provided as a suggestion.

Each mission project is selected for it’s ability to serve a specific group in the church, community, or around the world. Some mission projects will offer opportunities to partner with other organizations to get the completed materials to the people in need. And others take on a holiday theme as way of celebrating the festivities while still emphasizing the Biblical model of serving others. Many of the ideas started with something on Pinterest and have been adapted for the local church to serve as a service project.

Have fun serving in ministry with children and help them to fully live into their place as participants in the work and mission of the church!

Peace,

Danyelle

Building Excitement

Guess Photo

Easter Sunday is a great opportunity to build excitement for upcoming programs. To draw attention to Faith Builders, our summer Sunday school program for children K-5th grade, we are hosting a “Guess How Many Bricks” competition in the main entry to our building. Combined with activity books and crayons handed out to every child on Easter (another one on Mother’s Day), we are sure to catch the attention of members and guests alike!

 

Faith Builders 2.0

Faith Builders 2.0 Graphic

In January, I came across David Henderson’s incredible idea and lesson sequence to combine Bible stories with LEGO builds called “Faith Builders.” I loved the idea of engaging children through interactive lessons using something they already enjoy: LEGO bricks! But I knew I needed a more fully developed resource to make this work in ministry with children. So, I expanded on Henderson’s work to develop lesson plans for a one-room, 13-week fun, Bible-based program for classes with children ages 5 to 12 called “Faith Builders 2.0.”

Whether children in a combined class are age 4, 12, or anything in between, these 13 interactive lessons will help kids experience the wonder and adventure of the Bible. Each lesson has minimal preparation and includes a fun LEGO build. Lesson reproducibles compiled from public domain sites are also available to ease preparation and provide leaders with extra time activities (of course, kids could always build more with LEGO bricks!). With step-by-step instructions, it’s easy to teach children about God’s Word through creative play with LEGO bricks. Their lives will never be the same!

Complete Lesson Plans

Lesson Reproducibles

Live Lent Update

prayer pretzel tag

Live Lent was a huge success at my church’s annual Kids’ Spring Retreat! Seeing it in action gave me a better sense of how easy this program is for churches of any size to use. The one place I noted for improvement was in the Cooking Workshop, which needed an extra activity to keep the kiddos from getting restless while their pretzels were baking. And what better than an activity geared to share what they learned with the whole congregation?! Now, the lesson plan includes a fun prayer pretzel reminder craft to assemble to give out on Sunday morning, at an outreach event, or any other time. You can download the updated Cooking Workshop lesson plan with printable tags to complete your Live Lent program.

Cooking Workshop Update

 

Cheers!
Danyelle

 

 

Live Lent

love-life-live-lent

Lent is a special season in the life of the church that helps us prepare for the celebration of Easter Sunday. Understanding and living the practices of Lent can be difficult for many adults, let alone children. Live Lent is a 4-part curriculum designed to help engage children to live lent by learning more about traditional practices and may be downloaded as a PDF.

In four sessions, which may be offered as a half day Lenten Retreat or over the course of four weeks in Sunday school or at a mid-week program, children will discover the rich traditions of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, and burying the alleluia, as well as the scope of practicing Lent. Each lesson includes a hands on activity to further engage children in multi-sensory learning.

Cheers!

Live Lent Lesson Plans

Live Lent Almsgiving Template

A New Direction

Friends,

I am so grateful for all those who have found this blog helpful in ministry with children and I hope that it will continue to be useful in its new capacity. After three years of lectionary based children’s sermons, Little People Big Word will take a new direction. You will find period posts of lessons for children, which may be used in Sunday school, at a mid-week program, or in a special event. These lessons are free for all to use.

While I will not post any new children’s sermons, you can find a sermon for each day of the Christian calendar in the Table of Contents.

Thank you for your continued support as this blog heads in a new direction. I pray the resources I post here will continue to inspire a love and faithfulness in serving with children in ministry.

 

Take care,

Danyelle Ditmer

Posted in Uncategorized

Epiphany 2A

Day: Epiphany 2A

Lectionary Passage: Isaiah 49:1-7

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 49:1, 5

Object: Large mirror draped with a cloth (or a mirror in a bag/box)

Preparation: Keep the mirror hidden behind a draped cloth or inside a bag/box.

Good morning everyone. I’m so glad each and everyone one of you is here this morning. You will never believe who is joining us this morning: The most important people in the whole wide world are just behind this cloth. I’m not kidding. These people are each super special and very important. Should we see who is there? (Pull off the cloth to reveal the mirror so when the children look they will see themselves.) My goodness, it’s you! And you. And you. And you. It’s all of us!

We are the most important people in the world because there is no one else in the whole world who is just like you. (If you happen to have identical twins add: Even the two of you are not exactly the same… mention something about each that is different.) We are all unique. Because that’s the way God made us! Our Scripture tells us that God knew our names and formed us before we were even born. Before your mom or dad or anyone else knew you, God knew you! God made you. And God loves variety. God made each person in the whole world a little different from everyone else. And because God made us, we know we are all very good because God doesn’t make junk.

Let us pray: Thank you God for making us each a little different and loving us for just being ourselves. Amen.

Baptism of the Lord Sunday A

Day: Baptism of the Lord Sunday A

Lectionary Passage: Matthew 3:13-17

Scripture Focus: Matthew 3:13:17

Object: Bleach, dropper/teaspoon, jar, water, and food coloring

Preparation: In a clear jar, add water and 2-3 drops of food coloring.

Hey everyone! Today we are celebrating the Baptism of Jesus. One day, Jesus met up with his cousin, John the Baptist. And at the river Jordan, John baptized Jesus. When Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and God said “This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.” Each year we remember and celebrate this event because Baptism is a big part of being friends with Jesus.

In fact, Baptism is a sacrament. That’s a very big and important word, and really it just means “mystery.” You see, we don’t really understand how baptism works, but we know from the Bible that when we are baptized, we are cleansed of sin.

It’s kind of like this water. Right now it’s dark and stained. Kind of like we can be stained by sins. But watch this (add a teaspoon of bleach to the water and stir it around)… Suddenly the water is clear again! It’s totally clean! When we are baptized, God’s Holy Spirit comes down on us, stirs up some grace inside of us, and cleans us of any sin.

I can’t tell you how Baptism works, that’s a mystery only God can explain. But we do know Jesus asked his friends to be baptized. (This is a good opportunity to quickly mention the baptism tradition in your church – infant, believer’s baptism, or all – and invite the children to learn more about their baptism as an infant or being baptized in the church).

Let’s pray together: Thank you God for giving us the holy mystery of baptism so that we can be made clean of sin to follow Jesus’ way. Amen.