Easter Gifts

There’s more to Easter than eggs
And here are some gifts to help show it

 Kids, in my experience, ask a lot of questions. If you know a child between two and 10 you’re undoubtably answering a lot of questions – and as frustrating as that can be; it’s a fantastic thing! If you find yourself answering a lot of questions about God try  Rob Willoughby’s So, Who Is God? Answers to Real Questions About God.

As the subtitle of Rob’s book suggests this book aims to cover the specific and the theologically challenging from “Does God live in the sky?” to “What is God’s real name?” I really appreciated how the answers include Bible passages, often one OT and one NT, a relevant anecdote from Church history and an application.

You can pull the book of the shelf when a child asks a stumper or you can read your way through; one question a day, and it works equally well. It could be useful at home or for a Sunday School teacher who knows a question is going to come up with this weeks passage and it’d make a great Easter gift for a curious kid.

This book I gave to my 7 year old nephew and would do again. It’s a similar style to the popular Tom Gates series (think an easier to read and more creative Diary of a Wimpy Kid) well-loved by my secondary school reluctant readers as well as primary aged keen beans. Instead of being a fictionalised version of a school kid – it’s the diary of Dr Luke as he investigates the life of Jesus. Luke’s gospel rewritten in a fun, engaging and appropriate manner – what more could you want.

There’s also a £1 snippet of Diary of a Disciple which would make great gifts/prizes for a Sunday School class of 6-10 year olds.

For teens try The Action Bible it’s a comic book style retelling of the Bible, compelling, visually stunning and historically accurate in terms of costume and architecture. Great for full-of-energy-can’t-sit-still-and-read types. There’s also a collaboration with the NIV Study Bible for those who want an actual Bible but one that highlights the awesome and exiting rather than looking serious and stuffy. I’d recommend for girls who want a teen appropriate study Bible without the pink, handbags and ‘hanging out at the mall’ feel.

There’s an Easter Story version that is downloadable as an ebook, at 17 pages long and 99p it would be great for teens that can’t stop looking at their phone/tablet.

Want to give a non-egg but know a book won’t be appreciated? Try some music!
For kids – or church leaders looking for Biblical children’s music – I love Colin Buchanan (you may have noticed) and he’s conveniently compiled his most Easter-y songs into one album Boss of the Cross.

 

Or for an older teen how about the ever hip and enthusiastic Rend Collective. Their latest, Good News, is celebratory and sad, thoughtful and foot-stomping, moving and carries the message.

 

Just so you know; I don’t make money of recommending these to you – I do it ‘cos I love them. Click on the title of each product to be taken to a webpage where you can buy – where I can I’ve used the original publisher’s site or a Christian company to make sure that these people can keep producing excellent products which can help us share the gospel.

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A Certain Brightness

Depression and Hope

and discussion starters

According to the BBC 1-in-4 girls and 1-in-10 boys aged 14 show signs of depression. That means there’s probably someone in your youth groups who is suffering.

The good news is Jesus is Good News for all your young people. If you want to start the discussion off can I suggest my friend Philippa’s blog – A Certain Brightness – as a great place to look for the interplay of hope in times of depression. She’s very real and very excellent. Worth checking out.

Trick or Treat?!

What to do

When something horrifying turns up at your door

It’s nearly 31st of October and it’s my first Halloween in America; they take it a lot more seriously here then they do back home. Last Friday I suggested some things you could do at a Light Party if you wanted a fun alternative to Halloween. This week it’s about what you can do when the party comes to you…

Be prepared! There are very few Trick-or-treaters out there who actually want, or are even prepared, to trick you. They just want copious amounts of sweets. I suggest having a supply of individually wrapped sweets near the door and maybe something like glowsticks too. Parents are going to love you for not getting their kids hyped up on sugar and the kids will still enjoy them. Try and avoid nuts in the sweets you give out to be on the safe side and I suggest having identical sweets so that no fuss-pot child spends 10 minutes trying to find the one they want.

The other thing you may want to give away is a small tract that explains the gospel. Again it’s sugar-free so likely to be popular with parents and the ones aimed at the younger kids have wordsearches and puzzles inside to draw your reader in. Here are my faves; you can buy them in bulk right here.

Tract Dressing up

 

“The Dressing Up Box” uses the theme of dressing up to show how God knows what we’re like underneath, but that he can forgive and change us. For younger children.

tract a friend in the dark

 

 

 

“A friend in the dark” is based on Jesus’ words “I am the light of the world” in John 8:12. Comes with puzzles. For 6-12’s.

 

 

Tract the fright

 

 

This colourful tract focuses on the power and glory of Jesus Christ. For teenagers.

 

 

 

 

Now that you know what great stuff you’re handing out you just need people to turn up at your door. Get praying that they’ll ring your bell and that they’ll read these leaflets and want to learn more.

Thinking about adopting…

Home for Good’s new study

aimed at those thinking about future adoption

This isn’t strictly a Sunday School matter, but it matters to me and I imagine to most people concerned with teaching children faithfully and seeing them trust Christ at a young age.

Home for Good works to support foster and adoptive parents, looked after children, and their churches. Read more about them here.

The Foundations Course, coming soon, is a study and aimed at those looking to adopt either now or in the future. Take a closer look and sign up for notifications here.

Even if you’re sure that’s not you, take a look and pass it along: there are 4000 children in the UK waiting for adoption and maybe you know their future parents.

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ