Thursday, December 20, 2007

Children's handouts free

Free Children's handouts that follow the RCL for various ages including colouring in sheets and puzzles are available at;

Also take home family devotion placements based on one of the readings for the Sunday available at:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Understanding Christian freedom

Christian freedom is something many Christians hold tightly to...
Saying it is one thing, understanding it is another!!!

Jeff Silcock a lecturer at Australian Lutheran College has written a paper that is easy to follow and may help understand and even help you explain what Christian Freedom is about.

The paper is available at

Monday, December 17, 2007

A simple approach to mission

This Christmas why not encourage families as they gather for their Christmas meal,
to grab a bible
and before they begin to read and reflect on the Christmas story as found in Luke 2:1-20 or Matthew 1:18-2:12

with more and more families being a mix of people who are Christians and those who are not, what a simple approach to sharing the Good News and reminding people why we are here...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Something to consider

Rather than ask what we would like to do as a congregation/parish....
how about considering/asking what does God want us to be doing in this place....
influenced by the book the Living Lutheran and its author Dave Daubert

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Church revitalisation, renewal, replanting

This topic will probably not close:

Here is some more resources on revitalising congregations a web site that backs up the book with more resources including books, web sites and stories.

Here are some must reads suggested by two church revitalisation consultants before attempting to replant or renew:
  • Guder, Darrell L., ed.Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998.
  • Malphurs, Aubrey.Pouring New Wine into Old Wineskins: How Change a Church without Destroying It. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993.
  • Schwarz, Christian A.Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches. Carol Stream, Ill.: ChurchSmart Resources, 1996.
  • Southerland, Dan.Transitioning: Leading Your Church through Change. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000.
  • Van Gelder, Craig.The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000.
  • Wood, Gene.Leading Turnaround Churches. St. Charles, IL: Church SmartResources, 2001.
  • Schwarz, Christian A., and Christoph Schalk.Implementation Guide to Natural Church Development. Carol Stream, Ill.: ChurchSmart Resources, 1998.
  • Rainer, Thom S. and Eric Geiger. Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2006.
  • Reeder, Harry L., III and David Swavely.From Embers to a Flame: How God Can Revitalize Your Church. 2004.
  • Alan Roxburgh, Fred Romanuk, and Eddie Gibbs The Missional Leader. 2006.
  • Schwarz, Christian A.Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches. Carol Stream, Ill.: ChurchSmart Resources, 1996.
  • Stetzer, Ed and David Putman.Breaking the Missional Code. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2006.
  • Towns, Elmer and Ed Stetzer.Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church. Chicago, Moody Publishers: 2004.

plus a web site or two

Monday, December 10, 2007

Free discussion guide and bible study for Golden Compass

Concordia Publishing offering a free discussion and bible study guide at

for the movie the Golden Compass.

This is a movie that has been highly criticised by Christians. Find out why and discover what maybe a worthwhile response.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Children's ministry and mission ideas

In the book 'Comeback Churches' they highlight research that suggests that one of the significant characteristics of churches that turn around is that congregations who grow and turn around focus on children's ministries.

Now even a brief look around congregations sees that there are many ways to approach children's ministry. Below are a few resources to broaden your view, to help you and to even give you some resources.

Evangelizing through Children's ministry
An introductory article highlights how children's ministry can be away to reaching not just children but also families...There are some suggestions and food for thought
And another article to generate some thoughts

Resources for parents... Crucial to children's ministry are parents, so it is great to see a resource provided by WELS call Parents Crooslink that helps and equips parents for their critical role as parents. There are family devotions, chat rooms, free online courses, articles and more

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Children's Ministry web site includes details of Children's Ministry resources, training, projects, leadership, rally days, plus a newsletter

Youth and Family institute The Youth & Family Institute follows a vision to strengthen congregations and families to nurture faith, pass on faith and live well in Christ. Their ministry focus include Peer Ministry, Coming of Age Ministry, Milestone Ministry, Couple Care, Marriage Ministry, Wellness Ministry and Clown Ministry. On their web site you will also find free articles and information, details of events, resources and the weekly take home faith resource following the lectionary.

Forming Faith is dedicated to the joyous challenge of forming faith in children, youth and families in and through the ministry of the Christian congregation. As a pastor and a father of two children, the author is passionate about developing communities of faith where persons of all generations can grow together in Christ, and through which families can be resourced and supported as primary units of faith nurture.

FAITHINK currently has the majority of all teens in the Lutheran church involved in a weekly small group model for confirmation and has expanded to include churches from 13 denominations. Thousands of congregations support the project as members and receive resources for a variety of Christian education programs. Thousands of other churches have taken FINK training and are using the systems to bring energy, joy and growth to kids, parents and pastors. Faith Inkubators offers a variety of systems training opportunities, including our FINKthink day-long events, team training event, and our three-day FINK University certification courses. Ever changing, tweaking and improving, FINK’s Faith Stepping Stones, Head to the Heart Confirmation and GIFT resources now include skits, art galleries, Bible studies, Bible verse theme songs, 15,000 PowerPoint slides – approximately 150 per lesson theme – and ten nights of home devotions per theme, making it the most thorough and content-rich curriculum on the market. Currently they offer resources for confirmation, Sunday School, congregational events for growing in faith together and family ministry (ie resources for congregations to help parents in their role of faith sharing)

Kids Kount ministries.... is the children and family ministry of King of Kings Omaha Lutheran Church. It is well worth a visit for ideas. This web site provides details of their ministries to family and children, ministry ideas, outline of their curriculms for Sunday School and Kids Church which are available at (they state that the introduction of this curriculum saw a doubling of the number of children attending kids ministries, ideas for equiiping and helping people involved in children's ministry, plus a range of other helpful things.

Free Sunday School Lessons The Church of the Lutheran Confessions has developed and offers free Sunday School lessons called God's hand in our lives...These lessons cover stories from the New and Old Testament. They could be ideal for the small church/sunday school, where the children listen to the story together and then undertake/participate in activities suitable for their age group....

Children's ministry resource from Luther Seminary A web site that offers courses, a children's ministry blog, web links for just about everything you can think of in children's ministry, videos from their summitt.

Children's Sermons Looking for children's sermons, try some of these sites: , , , ,

Rotation Sunday School This is a different way to approach Sunday School....In a nutshell it works like this: Teach major Bible stories and concepts through kid-friendly multimedia workshops: an Art workshop, Drama, Music, Games, A-V, Puppets, Storytelling, Computers, and any other educational media you can get your hands on. Teach the same Bible story in all of the workshops for four or five weeks rotating the kids to a different workshop each week. And here comes the extremely teacher friendly part: Keep the same teacher in each workshop for all five weeks -teaching the same lesson week after week (with some age appropriate adjustments) to each new class coming in. The results, says Linda Beckham, D.C.E. at Tampa's Palma Ceia Church are astounding. "The kids love it, the teachers love it, and we can't ever imagine going back to the old way." So why not discover more about it at

Come and See Jesus Sunday school material are based on the Revised Common Lectionary and includes, suggestions for:

  • telling the Bible story
  • doing an activity based on the story (Lower and Middle Level)
  • a DIY Bible Study (Upper Level)
  • looking at the story in its Bible context
  • making a craft
  • talking about the story and applying it to children's lives
  • playing a game
  • learning a Bible verse
  • learning church teachings
  • linking the story to what happens in church worship
  • learning about the work of the wider church
  • doing a paper and pencil activity (Middle and Upper Level)

The resources are avilable from Australian Church Resources at

If you have any other ideas or resources please email them to me, so we can share them with others..

Books will appear in a separate entry..

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Congregational life orientated Bible Studies prepared by Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia

The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philedpelphia has prepared 3 bible studies that may help congregations;

Developing a congregational vision includes:
Celebrating history
Follow up and reflect
Looking ahead
a more detailed outline of developing a congregational vision can be found at

The Apostle Paul and discerning God's will in the church:
The aim of this study is:
It is hoped that this study may provide an additional resource for the ELCA in Region 7 as it
continues to deliberate over important issues in its ongoing life, a life that is lived forward in the
hope of resurrection while it responds in trust to the God revealed in the crucified Christ. As Paul put it in 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Rediscovering God's mission
The aim of this study is:
This study is designed to help you think anew what the “mission of God” means to you and your
congregation. We are really talking about a life-long commitment of every believer to "missionhood” in the of Jesus Christ.