Saturday, August 19, 2017

Building Through Bowling

An important aspect of children's ministry is spending time with the kids outside of church. We took our Sunday School kids bowling over spring break.

Why are times like this important? Kids need adults in their lives - and 60 minutes on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night is not enough.

Spending time with children outside of church helps you to get to know them better, and it helps them to get to know some adults better. Studies show that kids who connect with 5 adults in the church other than their own parents are more likely to stay in church when they grow up. George Barna found as few as one adult could make that difference if they had a close personal relationship with a child in the church. It is a chance for us to be faith influencers.

So how is this extra time so powerful with the kids? Well, they just might see you doing something like I did in the video below when we took them bowling. They loved it! It made me "real" to them. Be willing to laugh with the kids, and even at yourself when the situation presents itself.

Want to hear more? Read Melissa J. MacDonald's book, Missing. It was one of Melissa's seminars that inspired us to plan this event.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Esther and Purim, the Jewish Mardi Gras


Esther is the perfect story to teach children (and adults) about God's sovereignty. From Esther's becoming Queen to the king not being able to sleep the night before Haman plans to have Mordecai executed you can trace God's hand all through the book.

Why didn't God just prevent the whole thing in the first place you ask? Well, then we really wouldn't know very much of God's power and the wondrous things he can do.

To teach the story, I used Free Bible Images "Esther" Power Point. There are several to chose from here. I used the one that Sweet Publishing contributed.

Before we heard the story, we made groggers. Groggers are noise makers. Traditionally the Jews make them to celebrate Purim (also affectionately known as the Jewish Mardi Gras). The video below shows how to make the groggers. I got my ideas from Design Megillah's site. Rita made lovely groggers on her site.

Esther groggers from Joan Eppehimer on Vimeo.

Then as I told the story of Esther, the children shook their groggers every time they heard the name Haman to try and drown it out.

I also created a throne room so that we could act out the story, but we did not have time to do that. I give full instructions on a DIY throne room here. Here is this year's throne room:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

DIY Foldable Bible Flashcards for Story Telling

Remember the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words."? Well, maybe you don't and I am really showing my age, but the point is truer than ever today. This generation is by far the most visual there has ever been. Whatever the cause is, the fact remains, you should use visuals when you teach.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

His Love Never Gives Up - Hosea for Kids

I had a seminary professor who said if he ever went back into the pastorate he would preach through the Bible chronologically. Well, today many of us are TEACHING through the Bible chronologically, which recently brought me to the book of Hosea...for kids. And I couldn't have been more thrilled with the truths I discovered in the book...for kids.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dunkin In the River with Namaan

Any Bible story with a visual "change" in it is candidate for a magic "change" bag. Namaan's leprosy is a perfect match. Here's how I told the story.

First, I made some cardstock figures. You can back these with flannel and use a flannel board. I simply used a pocket chart to save the extra work of backing them. These printable Bible character figures are free at

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to Showcase Your Children's Ministry

Sunday School 2016 by Julia from Joan Eppehimer on Vimeo.

We made this video last year to show in church as a way to keep the children's ministry before the congregation. As many of you know, you never know how many children you will have on any given Sunday. This was a great way to let people see the whole picture.