Placed with Joy

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You must rise in the presence of an old person and respect the elderly. Leviticus 19:32a

Serve: elder care facilities

Connect: children won’t have a heard time imagining a time they have felt bored, encourage them to think of something that would have made that time more joyful (reading a book, playing a game, drawing a picture, etc.); explain that at many elder care facilities, older adults eat together and often wait quite awhile before being served, which we might imagine can get boring; challenge children to think of how something as simple as a placemat could make waiting more enjoyable — what can they do to turn an ordinary placemat into something an elder may enjoy?

Materials

Directions

  • give each child white placemats to decorate
  • if close to a holiday, challenge kids to decorate the holiday theme
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Welcome Kids *Special Tip for New Appointments*

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When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13

Serve: children visiting church for the first time

Connect: help children imagine going to a new place filled with strangers and how they may feel, even if the place is a church; invite them to share ideas about welcoming first time visitors to your church; then challenge children to think about a special welcome for other children to help kids feel extra special when they visit

Take the next step: encourage children to serve as greeters to help welcome all guests to church

Materials

  • cello bags with twist ties (available online)
  • stickers
  • sharpened pencils
  • dumdum lollipops
  • thin markers for writing
  • “One Thing” card, 4 per page (printable)

Directions

  • before class, print the “One Thing” card onto heavy paper and cut to create four cards
  • give each child a “One Thing” and a thin marker
  • read children the question “What is one thing about God’s love you want another kid to know?”
  • encourage children to think about things they enjoy at church to help them learn and grow in God’s love
  • ask children to neatly write their answer in the space provided
  • combine the following in a cello bag
    • “One Thing” card from child
    • 4-5 stickers
    • one sharpened pencils
    • one dumdum lollipop
  • close each bag using the provided twist ties

Tip: If your church gives first time visitors welcome materials (like a bag or mug, etc.), then be sure to show those to the kids and explain that every guest receives a welcome gift.

Special Tip: As United Methodist pastors begin new appointments, this is an excellent way to introduce themselves to children. Make one of these simple bags for each child and present it during the children’s sermon or as you visit with children in other settings. After you introduce yourself, explain that you hope to teach them a lot about God’s amazing love and the first thing you want them to know is written no the card inside.

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
  • no-slip 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
    • no-slip 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

 

*check out this great post by Hardly Housewives to learn how to make these no-slip 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