After graduating from college, I volunteered with AmeriCorps VISTA at a refugee resettlement agency in Minneapolis. In my cubicle hung a poster, “In the Name of these Refugees”, originally printed by the Episcopal Church’s Southern Diocese of Ohio in 1938, urging the church to respond to the Jewish refugee crisis coming out of Europe.… Read the rest
For today’s teens, even once you get them to show up to your youth group, it can be even more challenging to keep them engaged and interested in what you have to say.
That’s why Sparkhouse launched T.B.D., a new youth small group that helps teens unpack and take ownership of their faith – diving deep into discussion about topics like prayer and sin.… Read the rest
Every time I teach at a children’s ministry conference, one of the most frequent questions I get is, “But what if we have a bunch of different age groups in one class?” Multiage classrooms, whether used out of necessity or preference, can certainly present a variety of blessings and challenges.… Read the rest
As we swing into the end of summer and the unending advertisements for back to school, you likely heard a few in July – already talking about Christmas!
When you heard “Christmas in July,” what thought came to mind?
“Wow! I need to nab that great deal now!”
“Help!… Read the rest
Each small group is going to look very different to the next. When we ask ourselves, “what works best for small group adult studies?” our minds are filled with several combinations of what will work and what won’t.
In this blog post, we aren’t going to tell you how to spend your time, but instead, learn three key tips to build and strengthen small group relationships so you can have the best time with each other.… Read the rest
I was coming to the penultimate point of my teaching series, something that – as a new youth worker and a new seminary grad – was the pinnacle of my ministry thus far. Now, 15 years later, I don’t even remember the topic (which may or may not have been a sign … ) but in that moment, please know that this teaching series mattered.… Read the rest
In the last installment in the Intergenerational Sunday School series, I want to get practical … really practical.
I’ve shared a lot of tips over the course of this series about choosing or writing curriculum, setting up your space, recognizing generational differences, and considering learning styles when planning intergenerational Sunday School.… Read the rest
This is the first blog post in a series about the ministry of the church nursery as one of the first touch points and spaces your church serves for your youngest members and guests. Our next blog post in this series will be published on August 13.… Read the rest
Before you realize it, kids you raised up in children’s programs become youth qualified for church leadership. It can be incredibly difficult to come to terms with this for a variety of reasons. It’s hard to recognize that they are old enough to be in those roles – and it’s hard to understand that they are adults when you’ve watched them throw temper tantrums, changed their diapers, and rolled your eyes when they just couldn’t settle down during prayer.… Read the rest