Recommended by Sunday School Society for Ireland and Church of Ireland Children’s Ministry Network
We have selected a number of ideas & resources for Lent & Easter services for use over the coming weeks. These could be used in All Age Service talks, Assemblies and Children’s Club and can further support your ministry with children. The resources have come from a number of different groups, individuals & sites which are all mentioned and linked. Some have been augmented or added to for the purpose of this resource.
Idea for Lent: Give Up, Take Up, Lift Up, Look Up…Zip Up!
See the attachment of the Kids Wall Planner. Your Church can sign up to www.40acts.org.uk and receive a daily challenge by email to undertake each day of the week. The children’s resource can be given to families from the front with a talk entitled: ‘Give Up, Take Up, Lift Up, Look Up and Zip Up’ this Lent.
The following could be explored in relation to Sunday Before Lent: 1King 19:1-16; and Ash Wednesday Isaiah 58:1-12; we Give things Up not just as a challenge to ourselves but to stand with those who don’t have enough;
Give up: Sweets, chocolates, fizzy drinks – put the money save in the ‘Blessings Jar’. You could also talk about giving up indifference and apathy.
Take Up: Doing kind things for family, friends and neighbours – see 40acts.
Lift Up: Those who are poor, weak, suffering, sick through keeping them in our prayers, visiting them if possible and choosing a charity to donate our ‘Blessings Jar’ money.
Look Up: There is a saying ‘is it Just Us? Or Justice? When we look down, everything becomes about Just Us. When we look up, keeping our eyes on God, then our lives become about Justice – those who are being bullied or who don’t have the chance to go to school. The injustices they live under become important to us because they are important to God. There is a brilliant talk with visuals exploring how when our hands and heads are full of other things such as holiday plans, sleepover ideas, favourite TV programmes, we’re not able to enjoy the real meaning of Easter. Sometimes we need to put things down to give our focus to God.
Zip Up: This can be included if you are exploring 1Kings 19:1-16 during the week before Lent. Not only does God give us the strength we need for the 40 days of Giving up, Taking up, Lifting up and Looking up but if we learn to be quiet and listen (Zip Up!), he speaks to us in the stillness. Slowing down, removing the clutter means we can hear his voice more clearly.
More Ideas for Lent: Turning Around
1st Sunday in Lent 1 Peter3:18-22. God waits patiently for us. A version of this can be found on SPCK website:
You will need a Map, a timer (stopwatch on phone), the story from the web link and a Bible passage such as Hosea 12:6 or 2 Samuel 24:10
Has anyone ever needed to follow a map to find out where they are going? Has anyone ever decided what way to go and then realized later that they were looking at the map wrong? It can be so annoying. Especially when you have to admit to the other people with you that you got it wrong and got them lost!
All of us make mistakes. All of us forget about God and about being good to each other from time to time. The real problem comes when we can’t admit we have made a mistake and turn back to listen to God and show love to others. When we can’t say ‘I was wrong’ we keep going in the wrong direction, further and further away from the right path. The quicker we can say ‘I’m going the wrong way’, or ‘I’m living the wrong way’ and turn around, God is right there to help us onto the right path. Lent is a good time to think ‘Is there anything in my life that is going the wrong way?’ The way I treat my parents or siblings? How I include other children in my playtime? How I share? How I take time to talk to God? ‘
Ideas for Mothering Sunday/Mother’s Day: The Sayings of Carers
What things do grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, people who care for you, say all the time?
Examples: ‘What part of ‘no’ do you not understand?’
‘You have no idea how easy you have it’/when I was your age….’
Download Youtube clip of the ‘Moms Song’ with
lyrics (lyrics are also attached to this email)
and watch for ideas of the things Carers say on a daily basis. It’s busy and exhausting caring for others! Sometimes you have to keep reminding people over and over how to behave!
Jesus is the Great Carer. He had some very special sayings that people remembered and tried to follow. Can anyone think of any of His sayings?
- And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
- I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Matthew 25
- ‘Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.’ Matthew 23:12
- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:38-40
Let people try to remember sayings of Jesus, prompt them with the Beatitudes and the Our Father and some of the above. Choose one saying of Jesus and then say ‘Imagine if we all lived by this saying, every day. What would that look like?’ Explore life lived as Jesus said. Explain that Jesus didn’t just tell us, he showed us by how he lived and died.
Ideas for Easter: Imagine the Shock!
We first heard of this sermon from Rev Janice Aiton who did a version of it for the Nativity story at Christmas showing all the people who were shocked by the Birth of King Jesus.
(Bigger versions of this game can be bought but the standard size will work just fine if there is a microphone to pick up the BUZZ)
Invite 2 or 3 people up to play the game.
After Jesus died, people were heartbroken. Not only had they lost their teacher and their friend, but they had lost their hope in a better future. Imagine their shock when they realized that he was alive?!
You can choose a few characters from the Easter story who were shocked when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them. If you want you can tie it into the letters of a word or phrase such as ‘Easter’ or ‘Christ’ or ‘He is Risen’ or you can just pick some people who were shocked and overjoyed – the women who went to the tomb, doubting Thomas, the disciples on the road to Emmaus etc. Imagine their SHOCK!
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