The power of our stories
And some hints on thinking about sharing yours
I have just returned from a women’s weekend away. There was fun, great teaching, weird American food and testimonies of what God has done and is doing in the lives of some of the women there. Some of these were told in full or in snippets from the stage, others as I got to know people and wanted to know how their lives were going or how they’d ended up a sister of mine, some where unthinkingly testimonies as people asked for prayer.
There is real power in hearing what God has been and is doing in people’s lives – when carefully told it counters the conservative tendency to explain the theology without being relatable; the arrogance of assuming we’re somehow better than others; the image of somehow being ‘sorted’ when we still struggle. It emphasis and gives rise to questions about the gospel – forgiveness, adoption, salvation, sanctification, revelation. We can say why we believe and shake people out of their current worldview. We can encourage, instruct and edify each other. There is power in our stories because God is powerful.
On this how to… page are some articles I found useful as well as some tips for sharing your testimony either with your youth group or for getting them to think about sharing theirs.
In Dark Places
An alternative to Halloween
Halloween started as a chance to mock evil and let it have its last moment before the inevitable defeat of the forces of darkness by the King of Light. Therefore, I don’t think there has to be a problem with celebrating Halloween. That said there is a tendency these days to ‘celebrate the dark side’ and ‘let your inner demon out.’
If you want to put on an alternative celebration, and enjoy everything light and right and good with the world then try these ideas for a Bright Lights Party.
Come back for more of our ten commandments series on Tuesday and trick or treat tips on Friday.
Planning All Age Services
and including children and young people
I’ve added a couple of pages of suggestions for how to include children and youth in a church service – any church service really but particularly the kind where Sunday School isn’t on and the kids are staying in. It’s my usual pic ‘n’ mix style so if you’re struggling to get yours serving practically there’s a subheading for that, or if you know that little ones aren’t following the reading let alone the sermon there are ideas for both of those as well: I hope you can find what you need!
Because this is a Sunday School blog my ideas are focused on youth and children, but it also could serve as a good checklist to check you’re celebrating diversity, in race, gender, age, ability and background and creating role models for serving the church while walking with the Lord.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Check out our other pages on inclusion, under the ‘how to…’ menu including this one on hearing impairment and one on helping dyslexics.
Help an anxious child
whether it’s first-day-jitters or an anxiety attack
Anxiety (along with depression) is the most common mental health issue today. Having just read Emma Scrivener‘s latest book A New Day which deals in part with anxiety and receiving some helpful guidance from secular sources because all the schools are preparing for a new intake of students; I thought I’d pass on some helpful tips to you.
Find some ideas on how to fight fear with fear right here. And honestly I cannot recommend Emma’s book or blog enough!
It’s that time of year again
(At least if you’re involved in planning)
The shops may still be packed full of pumpkins and cobwebs but we know that Christmas will be here sooner than you think. There are scripts to find, cast and rehearse. Costumes to make. Copious amount of chocolate coins to buy. Songs to choose. And a theme to link it too.
Let me make your life a little easier by pointing you in the direction of some excellent Christmas scripts. And a How to… full of acting tips.
That’s not all for Christmas but it’s a good start and I hope you find something useful!
Be more inclusive
for those with hearing impairments
I hope these five, easy to implement, tips help with including those with difficulty hearing. I’d suggest trying to do these things even if all the kids in your class can hear perfectly as it may also help those with difficulty listening.
Sorry for the delay in posting I wrote and uploaded this How to… on Saturday and then forgot to tell you about it – disorganised by name and disorganised by nature! I have a church weekend away in two weeks, which will be an awesome time hanging out with my brothers and sisters in Christ, having fun and worshipping God together. I am also co-leading the children’s and youth work for it so I’m well into the planning and preparation stage and, to give you fair warning, will be more erratic than usual when it come to posting in the next couple of weeks. There is an upside: I will blog the church weekend when it’s all over and done (and I’ve fully recovered).