Children’s Ministry Workbook
88 INTERACTIVE MESSAGES FOR CHILDREN
FROM EVERY BOOK OF THE BIBLE
JOYCE MARSH PERRY EDWARDS
USING THIS BOOK
Targeted Age Group. The messages are written for children ages 5 – 11 although much of the content is appropriate for youth. However, youth need to be treated differently if they are included in the group. One way to engage them is to employ them as the teacher’s helpers; one for each younger child would be quite helpful. Also, they can be readers when the message calls for a single reader or persons to read parts in a dialogue. Setting. As written, these messages are intended for use in the sanctuary during Sunday morning worship. However, they also may form the bases of children’s Bible lessons in Children’s Church or in Bible Study sessions. When the message is used during worship, have the children stand or sit facing the altar. Having them to be seated is preferable. If possible, reserve the front pew(s) for the group. Users: Users may be clergy or Christian educators who are willing to use time and thought to study and prepare a children’s message for their anticipated group.
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NRSV
A Doctrine of Religion in the Protestant Tradition
THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES FOR SALVATION The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scriptures, we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
Joyce Perry Edwards, M. Christian Ed., Ph.D., wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister and niece of ministers, a retired superintendent in the public schools of North Carolina, university professor and dean in teacher education, lifelong Christian educator, writer for the Department of Christian Education of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, has studied multiple ways children learn best. She has many years of experience teaching and studying ways to effectively teach all age- and grade-levels in both secular and Christian education. In this publication, Dr. Edwards uses practical design and methods in 88 messages for children’s faith development. She includes a theme for each message and a corresponding Scripture, which provide a focus on what God requires of His children. She uses the storytelling approach which challenges students to listen, think before and after each message, and apply to the best of their abilities, what “thus saith the Lord.” With the use of these messages, clergy and Christian educators will encourage children to learn about God, know Him personally, learn His will, and develop the desire to do His will through reading and studying the Scriptures. And importantly, they will learn about God’s love for all his children.
Dr. Edwards shares methods that her parents and other Christian educators used in her early years to help her develop a relationship with God. Each message contains materials needed, a Scriptural reference, key verse, the message with the opportunity for group discussion—a time of sharing and learning from each other, and a concluding prayer. Many children learn by doing, and the methods employed in these messages encourage children to utilize their own perspectives and abilities as bases for getting to know God personally, getting to know each other, and the importance of treating each other in accordance with God’s word!
Additionally, she uses her knowledge of learning processes to encourage the development of narrative, listening, thinking, and comprehension skills. Experts realized that storytelling can help children boost their confidence, develop empathy, and deal with trauma. Of course, the value of listening, thinking and comprehension skills are of inestimable importance. Thus, the curriculum content and strategies of these 88 messages will help children build a relationship with God, which will last throughout their lives, during the good and bad times. As one prepares and delivers these powerful messages, resonating throughout for the Christian educator and parent alike is the instruction found in Proverbs 22:6: Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” (NRSV)
Brenda L. Galloway Smith, EdD, LHD, General Secretary Department of Christian Education African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church