Looking at letters
Helping kids access non-narrative texts
They’re one of the things we spend most of our time on in Church and Bible studies, they’re where most of our theology comes from and they’re crucial to how we interpret the Bible. Yet the New Testament letters (19 out of 27 books) are infrequently covered in a way that’s appropriate for children.
The next three first person story and worksheet help to bridge that gap. While it’s not comprehensive; it provides age appropriate context and application for the theology Paul (in this case) teaches. It’s a start! I particularly love the character of Philippa I created to help kids get to grip with … wait for it … Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
If you want more on Philippians check out this Sunday School series covering the book in more detail.
All about Paul
Although Paul would probably like me to point out it’s actually all about Jesus
We’re starting the year as we mean to go on: overlong blog post subtitles and excellent new material to help you prep for your Sunday School classes.
This first in the new series features A Scary Day for Ananias – subscribe below to catch the rest of the series inspired by Paul’s letters!
Each lesson in our four-part series includes a first person description, great to read or to act out as a monologue, and a worksheet that covers story elements; has an engaging activity to complete & allows children to consider how they figure in this story: what more could you want.
And, yes, Paul would be happy: through him and his interactions we get to see Jesus.
Remembrances and resolutions
For the blog and for your Sunday Schools too
It’s nearly 2018 – in case you hadn’t noticed. And everybody is in that ‘fresh start’ mode whether it’s buying gym memberships, taking up veganuary or resolving to read their Bible more often. We’re also looking back at 2017 and evaluating the good and bad in ourselves and in the world. If you’re keen to do some of that with your young people and children here are three options:
This brand new session plan for children to get them counting their blessings.
This Bible study for teens on what it means to be a new creation
This easy to adapt weekend away plan, inspired by Joshua, focusing on looking back in thanksgiving and looking forward in dependence.
For this blog: I’m thankful that I get to reuse and rethink children’s work I’ve created in the past and that it can be useful for others out there. And I’m resolving to plan what I’m going to post in advance: It’s definitely not my strength but his grace is sufficient for me, for his power is made perfect in weakness.
The Power of Stories
to change people’s lives
I was a visitor in a small village church this Sunday and something said in the sermon struck me: about the terrorist attack in Manchester last week the vicar asked, ‘What was this young man’s story that lead him to this point?’ That was not something I had considered before, but how did he become radicalised? At what point had he decided that this was to be his path?
What difference does the gospel make to people’s stories? We never know the ‘what ifs’ but what if someone had shared the gospel with him? What if he had met the risen Lord Jesus? What if I hadn’t become a Christian – what might my life look like?
We make massive changes in people’s lives when we share God’s good news with them. Whether it is our friends and family, the children and youth that we teach, or a stranger who we took the opportunity to talk to. Jesus had among his twelve closest disciples Simon the Zealot who fought against the Roman government: his chosen messenger to the gentiles was Saul, a man whose religious beliefs led him to persecute others. We know Jesus changed their stories and the stories of countless others. Let’s pray for him to continue to do so.
I’ve added another parable: The Rich Fool. Someone who did not let God change his story and never even considered the possibility. I don’t want that to be anyone I know so hard as it is, Lord, would I be courageous enough to give everyone I know the chance to hear of you and to make their decision. Amen
Things that are lost and found
And heavenly parties: lots of them!
I really love planning a party! Usually more than I enjoy actually being at said party. However, celebrating with Jesus when someone else comes and joins the family is one set of parties I’m really looking forward too (assuming that Jesus doesn’t come back first and we skip straight to the wedding feast – aka BEST PARTY EVER!)
Here’s the Lost Coin and the Lost Sheep – an explanation of how helpless we are in our lostness and just how much we’re loved! I’m praying that the children we teach might soon be the cause of another heavenly party as they put their trust in Jesus!
Dealing with Exam Stress
and more on Parables
So exam stress first: GCSEs started this week which means plenty of stressed out teenagers. Here‘s a study that aims to put exams in their proper place with a bit of Biblical perspective.
I’ve also updated the parables I posted last week. They now have a full complement of games, talk, prayer and songs to go with the dramas I put up already.
Subscribe if you like them as there will be more parables in the coming weeks; and more studies for youth looking at living as a disciple of Jesus in a fallen world.
Just in time
Some stories for advent
I’m writing four scripts for advent one linked to each Sunday of advent. These are probably my favourite things to write: first person accounts. Just for a little while I get to imagine what it would have been like to be there, to see this, be visited by angels, to be waiting for the coming Saviour.
I ask myself how would I have reacted, as humble as Mary, as understanding as Joseph, as excited as Elizabeth or as doubtful as Zechariah, as scandalised as Mary’s mum, as scared as a shepherd or as scornful as Herod? These different reactions are great, we learn as much from the pharisees as we do from the disciples and they challenge us – which are we really more like? Plus it’s more fun to write as a bad guy!
Enjoy these and two more next week!
Complete the set!
The rest of the armour is here
I’ve uploaded the rest of the talks in the Armour of God series. Please enjoy! That is it for Ephesians for now but I will be returning to it later.
Here’s what was my computer background for ages because I love both Narnia and being a well protected soldier of God, (as the youth work section of this site shows).
Finally finished Philippians
Sorry for the delay
Back on the blogging bandwagon and here to stay! Check out the latest and last chapter of Philippians and keep your eyes peeled (the easiest way to do this is to subscribe).
Next week: WOT A way to pray! One way to help kids pray. See you then.
Busy, Busy, Busy!
Apologies for a super late post.
I have been holiday-ing and holiday clubbing and holiday club prepping (not in that order) and I’m afraid that you may well have been waiting longer for this blog post than the 1st cenury church were waiting for Paul’s letter. And if I think I’m busy I imagine it’s nothing compared to the apostle’s work load! It hasn’t taken prison to slow me down enough to write this up at last but a bee sting to the face and the fact that the right hand side of my lip is trying to occupy the space where the left hand side of my mouth normally is #troutpout.
I, like many of you, am back to school this week bringing the joys of teenagers, paperwork and (unless the swelling goes down soon) jokes about insect instigated cosmetic surgery. Check this out if you’re looking for something on new beginnings.