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Monday, December 29, 2014

Sunday School Helps

The amazing prop room at ITG
When I went to In The Gap last year I learned so many valuable ways to communicate truth to children. We never taught a lesson without some kind of visual, hands-on activity, song, poem, or object lesson. Children simply don't want to listen to a 30-45 minute lesson, they want to see, feel, and touch. The more they can experience it themselves the more they will remember it and they more it will make sense.

Now that I am teaching Sunday School at my church I have tried to apply this to every lesson to some degree. Oh how I would love to have In The Gap's prop room at my house or church but since I don't, I have had to come up with my own resources.  Flannel graph is used every Sunday morning in children's church so I avoid using it to give the children variety. Some times it is hard to come up with ways to make the lesson come to life and since I have been using curriculum that has already been used years ago I don't have all the recourses that came with it.

So here are two recourses that I have found to be very helpful in preparing my Sunday School lesson.

Creative Object Lessons e-book
This  one isn't free, but it can be used over and over. I've used some of the object lessons they recommend and it has helped me come up with my own. When you run out of ideas and imagination, this book can spur on new object lessons.

Free Bible Images
This has to be one of my favorite (and most used) recourse. Before I found this website I would spend so much time looking for images to print up for my lesson. Some of the images would be to cartoonish, some were too small, while others weren't descriptive enough. This website offers 8x11 colored pictures that can be opened up by several different files and printed right at you home. They cover every aspect of the lesson and have such great detail. They always have more pictures than I would ever use so I pick and chose which ones I want. Just for the story of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream there are 14 full size pictures. They also have a collection of real life photos if you prefer not to use the illustrated stories/ clipart. It's great! But I have noticed that I can't use these every week because the children will get bored after a while. I still have to incorporate new ways of keeping their interest.

Did I mention that they had EVERYTHING?

It was even organized!
 This week I was reminded to do everything with my whole heart. "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." Col. 3:23. I realized that for so long I had unconsciously  interpreted that to mean all my energy or effort, but there is a big difference between effort and heart. There are many people who can do something very well because they see it as their duty or because they are trying to please someone, but doing it with heart takes love, compassion, and commitment.

You may not teach Sunday School or help out in any children's ministry, but there are things you can do with all your heart. Find a way you can help out in church and do it heartily as too the Lord!

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