How to Engage Your Kids in Online Church in 3 Easy Steps

perfect family doing church at home

Read on for 3 steps to helping your young family truly get the most out of online church! This morning my family sat in the basement during our livestream church, and in the course of the hour-long service, one or more of my boys participated in the following: asking for snacks flipping through a photo album playing with the dog racing back and forth across the basement hiding under a blanket climbing the telepost begging for a kids show It’s not that my kids are “bad”, and it’s not that our church service was boring. It’s that…well, they’re KIDS. And most kids aren’t great at sitting still through a whole sermon, even when it’s on TV. The novelty of “church-on-TV” seems to have worn off, at least for my boys. I wish my family looked like this while doing church at home: But we were definitely not on our best … Read More

VOILA! A Disappearing Sin Object Lesson

object lesson on sin

You can use this disappearing sin object lesson for children’s ministry or at home with your kids! I have three boys, and they each approach sin in different ways. One is incredibly aware of his sin – he lashes out in anger and is usually called on it right away. We’ve have many conversations about sin and forgiveness and freedom in Christ. The wonderful thing about him is that while his sins are obvious and numerous, he repents easily and I’ve seen a lot of growth over the past few years. One of my other boys naturally has an easier temperament, so his sin is more hidden. It’s harder to point out things like pride and sullenness, but they’re definitely there. Thankfully, he’s also a sweetheart and I’m learning how to parent him with the gentle touch he needs. Saying that our kids SIN feels harsh sometimes, doesn’t it? But … Read More

Fun Christian Easter Activities for Families

Fun Christian Easter activities for kids

The following is a list of do-able crafts, simple snacks, Easter egg hunt additions, and Easter books will help your family celebrate a meaningful Easter in a fun way. Without further ado, here’s the list of fun Christian Easter activities for families and children’s ministries! I worked in paid children’s ministry for 15 years, and before that I was a volunteer for many years. I also have kids of my own that I have experimented on extensively. 😜 These ideas are ones that I think would work well in either a children’s ministry or home context. Contents: Teaching the Easter story Easter Crafts Easter Snacks Christian Easter Egg Activities Object Lessons and Experiments Teaching the Easter Story Let’s start with the basics – teaching the actual Easter story. Here are several ways to do it: Directly from the Bible (that’s the easiest place to start!). You can find the Easter … Read More

How to explain the resurrection to a child

How to explain the resurrection to a child

INSIDE: how to explain the resurrection to a child, and a free printable conversation guide! Resurrection Sunday happened shortly after my kidney surgery. I went to church to see my kids in the choir, but this year I observed much more than I participated.  Here’s what I saw: Incredible joy permeated the room. In a church that normally needs serious incentive to clap, there was spontaneous clapping, hand-raising, and even a bit of whooping. Have you ever felt like whooping and clapping and praising when confronted with the truth of the resurrection? Why does Jesus’ resurrection make us feel this way? I’m not sure most of those in the room could really put a finger on the reason they felt such joy, but they were feeling it most profoundly.  But in order to bring that joy into our daily family life, we need to poke a little deeper. How does … Read More

How A Foot Washing Ceremony Can Be a Highlight of Your Easter (+ Easter Reading Plan)

Foot washing ceremony - Jesus washing feet of person in jeans

The smell of little boy feet and soap suds mingled with giggles in my kitchen. I gently tugged off a sock, then placed one of their feet in the warm water that filled my roasting pan. He tugged his foot away, but I guided it gently back into the water.  I squirted soap on the cloth and rubbed the little sweaty foot, then towel dried each toe.  After being washed, each boy picked up the cloth and washed the feet of their mom or dad.  The activity was both silly and sweet, tangible and touching (with a touch of ticklish).     Why did we do this foot washing ceremony? The idea for this ceremony comes from John 13:1-17. In this passage, Jesus was celebrating an ancient festival with his disciples, called Passover. The Passover (or Seder) meal was the lynchpin in this feast, as it carried so many reminders … Read More

Yes Mama, you can be a spiritual leader in your home

Moms can be spiritual leaders too!

If you grew up in the evangelical, North American church, we were probably filled with the same teaching about a wife’s place in the home: second place. Our husbands were told to make every final decision, and to be responsible for the spiritual lives of their whole family. If they DIDN’T do that, their masculinity was questioned. Our job as wives was to be meek helpers. If we DIDN’T do that, our femininity was questioned. Can I say something without you totally freaking out? I don’t believe that anymore. And while that thinking was fully embraced in the past because it was culturally enforced, our Western world is changing, and roles are less defined now. If we try too hard to hold onto an old model, we create a new problem: I think that as moms, we have too often let our families slide far away from God because we … Read More

9 totally awesome ways to read the Bible with your kids

9 ways to read the Bible

Imagine this…you pull out the Bible, and all your kids groan. (Honestly, you do too. Deep down.) It’s a fight every day to read the Bible and make it seem applicable to your child’s life. They squirm, they roll their eyes 🙄 or they simply wander away. 🏃🏽 Does this happen in your home too? It used to happen in mine! But it doesn’t anymore. (mostly. let’s keep it real!) It is possible to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives, while letting them be wiggly. Would you fall over in shock if you kids begged to read the Bible with you? With the ideas below, you could:  learn how to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives. take that squirminess and put it … Read More

Can preschoolers celebrate Lent?

This year, for the first time ever, I’m trying to do a bit of teaching on Lent with my kids. We talked a bit about Ash Wednesday and how people put ashes in a cross shape on their face. When they went to bed I traced a cross on their foreheads with my finger, which got a little weirded-out chuckle from them. BUT they did remember it for a few days! 😉 The next day we started our own version of “giving up for Lent”. Every time they do something kind or sacrificial for someone they get to put a dry bean in a jar. The plan is that the jar will be full of beans by the time Easter comes around. They are really getting into it, and both older boys got to add a couple beans today. At supper, Daddy accidentally knocked over the salt, and Dodger (age … Read More

Explaining The Bible To A Child…Starting With Jesus

explaining the Bible to a child

Explaining the Bible to a child (or teaching the Bible to a child) can seem tricky, but it gets easier when you start near the end: with Jesus. Read on to find out WHY you should start with Jesus, HOW to start with Jesus, and some great Bible-teaching resources to use with kids. Why explaining the Bible to a child is so hard… If you’ve ever tried to sum up a novel, you’ll have a small inkling of why its difficult to explain the Bible to a child. For starters, it’s ridiculously long. The Bible is so long that people often commit to reading it in a year…and fail because there are just SO many words. The Bible isn’t written as a single narrative, which makes it far more complex than any other book you use in teaching your child. The Bible contains poetry and story and wisdom literature and … Read More

Help your kids learn to write their letters AND hide God’s Word in their hearts…

A big thank you to Mindy Baker for this article! Mindy is the author of Mouse’s Christmas Gift, published by Zonderkidz in 2018. If you are anything like me, you want your kids to learn about God, and you are also concerned about their academics. Home preschool was a thing in our house. Nothing super formal, just a lot of mommy and kid time, and a mix of reading aloud, crafts, practicing our letters and numbers, play-dough, and anything else we thought up. Writing was actually something my child wanted to do, and she liked to practice it. One day I had the idea of having her practice writing with a verse. At the time, she couldn’t write out an entire verse, but she could write a reference, or a main word in the verse.  One of my greatest treasures is a little book we made about John 3:16. Chelsea … Read More