Godly Play 3-day accredited training course

As well as the Basic Skills In Godly Play day offered here at Old Alresford Place on 15 October, Sue North-Coombes is offering a 3 day accredited Godly Play training course at the Ottershaw Diocesan Godly Play classroom, Ottershaw, KT16 0PB.
When? Wed 3 October to Friday 5 October 2012
Led by? Peter Privett and Rebeccan Nye
Cost? £280

Further details are available on the Godly Play website

Little people, big worship


Can you really engage under 5s in worship? Simon Parry (from Childrenswork magazine) says you can – and tells you how…

It was one of those Sundays where I was a little stretched, a few leaders down and juggling a few roles. Sound familiar? I looked at my watch and realised I was meant to be in our other church building leading worship with three and four year olds. I had one of those moments when I thought: ‘Will they miss it?’ ‘Will they manage without?’.

I decided I should go – so I walked in with my guitar on my back and was greeted with a cheer (I felt a bit bad). As I looked around, all 18 kids were smiling at me (I felt even worse!). We stood up and sang ‘Bigger than Big’ (which is one of our favorites in the under 5s group) and it went brilliantly. I thought, ‘I know, I’ll get some kids to suggest their favourite songs. So seconds later we were singing ‘Great Big God’. ‘This is going well’, I thought. So again I asked, ‘ OK, Tom, you pick a song’. Tom thought for a moment, and then said with an enormous smile, ‘Can we sing “Man in the Mirror”? It’s my favorite song’. Genius! We all laughed so much. We did sing a little bit of it and then we sung ‘The Lions Roar’.

It hit me that when leading worship with children, we so often feel we need to stoop to low levels of musicianship, style and content. Sure, Tom wouldn’t understand all the content of ‘Man in the Mirror,’ but he clearly loved the melody and the fun in the song (and he also had really good taste). I’m reminded of this as I watch my own children pick up songs and dance routines (‘High School Musical’ being one of their big ones for inspiration). They sing it with such passion and enthusiasm. I sometimes wish this were the case in adult churches.

Read the full article here.


5 ways to reach more children for Jesus…

Mimi Bullock writes on the Ministry to Children website:

When the scope of your ministry needs enlarging you have to do more than pray kids into the pews. Put shoes on those prayers and get out into the community to reach more kids.

Expand your Christian ministry by moving into these five areas of ministry. They don’t require expensive equipment or a committee of public relations people. Get back to the basics and reach the kids just on the edge of the ministry. I’ve implemented these ideas myself and have seen notable results. They could work for you too!

Read more here

Preteen emotional challenges and how you can help

Nick Diliberto from PreteenMinistry.net writes:
Preteens are in transition from childhood to adolescence. As a result, undergoing massive amounts of change on all fronts – spiritually, socially, mentally and emotionally. Let’s take a look at some their emotional changes and what you can do to accommodate those changes.

Emotional changes of preteens:

1. No filter between emotion and mouth
One year for camp, I was busy helping parents check in students and coordinating our departure from the church to camp. It was hot, and I was juggling three or four things all at once. So, I was a bit stressed out. A preteen standing next to me blurted out, “Mr. Nick, you smell like a wet dog and you’re sweaty! Gross!” Preteens speak their minds. They feel an emotion, in this case a yucky feeling, and don’t hesitate to communicate it to everyone around them.

What can you do? Click here for the rest of the article on the Ministry to Children website.

Screen time: how much is too much for your kids?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children aged two years old and younger be completely screen-free. All other children should get no more than two hours a day. That might prove difficult when households, on average, have eleven consumer electronic devices, according to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. That means TV sets, tablets, gaming …

Read more here

New book titles

All Age Lectionary Services Year C
Scripture Union has published its third volume of all-age services using the lectionary readings. Each week has a host of ideas for engaging people in prayer, scripture, reflection, response and more.  Well worth investing in.



Communicating with Children when a parent is at the end of life
Rachel Fearnley talks about the importance of listening to the words, actions and attitudes of children who are facing the death of a parent. It’s written for professional carers and supporters, but has some useful vignettes and questions that could be used beyond the professional audience. The place of faith and spirituality are restricted to one paragraph in the whole book – so for people of faith it doesn’t quite give an holistic picture.

It’s your move
The transition from small primary school to large secondary can be a challenging one. For the last 12 years, Scripture Union have published It’s your move to help youngsters handle the changes they will face with a new school. Completely revamped for this year, it has real life stories, puzzles, Bible material, space to reflect and more. If you know someone who’s about to change schools, it’s a great gift.
£3.50 (or packs of 10 for £14)