I promised I would write about the Advent plans for Children’s Church, so here goes. I hope this will be helpful to someone looking to add in ideas to their own Children’s Church ministry or Sunday School!
We are keeping to our regular Bible reading, picture study, Scripture memory and hymn singing BUT we are skipping Nature Study for the Advent weeks and instead, trying to focus a bit more on what Advent means.
We have four candles to light over the course of the 4 weeks, along with a Scripture reading for each week.
Week 1 : Candle of Hope (sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle”)
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Week 2 : Candle of Faith (sometimes called “Bethlehem’s Candle”)
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:2
Week 3 : Candle of Joy (sometimes called the “Shepherd’s Candle”)
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from old.” Luke 1:68-70
Week 4 : Candle of Peace (sometimes called the “Angel’s Candle”)
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and laying in a manger.’ ” Luke 2:8-12
In addition to lighting the candles, we have a variety of activities planned:
For the first week, I found some little nativity ornaments for the kids to hang on the small tabletop tree that is in the Children’s Church room. The teacher also read aloud The Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd Jones. It’s a great one for reinforcing : “It’s Time! It’s Time!”
The second week (this upcoming week), we will read aloud The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado and paint an ornament. I found some wooden heart ornaments from Michael’s – the kids will paint one side however they want (maybe throw in some glitter) and then on the other side we will write, “I love Jesus because…”
The third week, we will read The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. I also had the idea from Min to watercolor over a verse from Psalm 139 on watercolor paper, laminate them, put a ribbon on and send them home as a gift from the children to their parents (click on the link above to see her beautiful bookmarks). We are memorizing Psalm 139:1-18 over the year so this will be perfect for them!
The last week of Advent will be reading The Advent Book by Jack and Kathy Stockman. This is a family book that we own, but it is SO great for kids because it is all Scripture and each page is a different door to open telling the Christmas story. The illustrations are truly beautiful. This week, the children will also set up a small nativity in the room.
I am also sending/mailing home all the kids’ nature paintings from the semester along with a Christmas card for each child and an invitation to their family for our Lessons and Carols service on Christmas Eve.
I am excited to see how the kids react to the Advent plans and pray it will be meaningful for them.