Christian Education

Vacation Bible School

Save the Date & “Look What I Did” Fridge Magnets
At their Lenten Fair, St. John, Nashua, Iowa, had the kids make fridge magnets with the VBS logo on them. Also available were registration forms and “save the date” postcards. The kids made the fridge magnets and were given VBS registration forms, the post card, and a coloring sheet to take home. They were instructed to save the magnets to display the art and important papers they would bring home from vacation Bible school. This activity can be adapted to promote any upcoming event.

How to Make the Fridge Magnets
Items Needed: Clothes pins, glue dots, magnets, “Look What I did” cards, laminate paper (optional), Sharpies or markers

Format the cards that say “Look what _______________ did! on the computer. Print them on card stock, one for each child. Cut to size, 1 ¾ by 4 ¼ inches. Have the children write their names on them. Laminate if desired. Glue the card onto a clothes pin. Glue a piece of magnet on the back of the clothes pin. Put on the fridge and display kids’ art work. Make an extra one for Grandma and Grandpa!

VBS Promotional Postcards
VBS Promotional Sign

Promoting Vacation Bible School
A step-by-step guide offering curriculum resources, recruitment incentives, publicity samples, and a plan for follow-up evangelism to new families.

How to Make Vacation Bible School a Powerful Evangelism Tool
Best VBS Ideas
Save the Date Reminder Card

Sunday School

LoveShare the Love Offering
During the preschool-third grade Sunday school opening at Bethlehem Lutheran, Cedar Falls, children sing an “offering” song, “Love is Something if You Give it Away,” while one of the children collects the offering in a small wooden church. Leaders ask if everyone has an offering, and those who don’t receive a paper heart with love written on it that they can put into the church for offering. Even if they have no money, they always have love to share–a great lesson in and of itself–and the children without cash or coins don’t feel left out.

Graham Cracker Banquet

As part of the milestone for three- and four-year-old children entering Sunday school, families are invited to attend this banquet of frosted graham crackers, fruit and juice. The children are blessed during worship, introduced to their teachers and join in some icebreakers and mixers.

Teaching Prayer

Prayer Lantern
SkyLantern3Here’s a tool to teach prayer and use with the Lord’s Prayer to conclude or start an event, such as a confirmation program, annual meeting, etc. Order a paper lantern online. Do a devotional or prayer about being sent. Have everyone write their prayers, hopes, or dreams with markers or sharpies onto the lantern (be sure to tell them to be somewhat gentle). At night, launch the lantern. Encourage everyone to pray as it is being lit and filling. It takes a few minutes for the lantern to fill, but it will eventually gently float away.

Prayer Toolbox  
PrayerBoxA toolbox designed to hold a Bible, devotional resources and candle for family devotions.
Building Instructions
Prayer Toolbox Note

Teach Us to Pray
St. John Lutheran of Nashua, Iowa, invited parents to join their preschool and kindergarten children for a “Teach Us to Pray” milestone ministry focusing on prayer and talking with God.

Families came forward during worship to receive a blessing, a special prayer pillow, and prayer booklet. The families also participated in the Sunday School Hour to experience talking with God together.

PrayerPillowsm_smallThe church’s WELCA quilters made the 12 x 12″ pillows, each with a pocket sewn on front to hold the prayer booklet. It is hoped that the gift of the prayer pillow will help parents talk with their children about the importance of prayer in all of our lives and encourage their children to talk to God, even at such a young age.
Prayer Event Letter to Parents
Teach Us toPray Bulletin Insert
Prayer Booklet




After-School Programs

Kids Klub
Bethlehem Lutheran of Cedar Falls shares some curriculum from its Wednesday night after-school program, Kids Klub.


Confirmation Festival
The Wartburg Conference of the Northeastern Iowa Synod shares some of the materials used to plan and host a conference confirmation festival.
ConFest  Notes
ConFest Flier
Confest Worship
Confest PowerPoint

Confirmation Helps from Old Lutheran
Confirmation resources for students and leaders

A Confirmation Day Skit
A skit about life after confirmation

Mentoring Resources
Boundaries for Mentoring Relationships
Characteristics of an Effective Mentors
Introductory Meeting for Mentors

Here We Stand
A confirmation curriculum that combines Web and traditional print resources

Confirmation students learn about their spiritual gifts
SpiritualGiftsCardExEach member of the confirmation class took the spiritual gift assessment on the ELCA website. The assessments were scored and collected, andthe results were charted on a business card-sized document. The largest circle in the middle of the chart shows the person’s biggest gift. Four other circles show the person’s strong gifts, and the four smallest circles show the complementary gifts. The cards were then laminated and given to each student as a gift. This exercise gives the students confidence and helps them think about where they can use their gifts.”

Drama & Devotions
Every Sunday during education hour, junior high students meet for this fun group, “Drama and Devos.” We start each time with singing, using some of the group’s favorites and letting a student or two pick a song they want to sing. Then we do a lesson, generally based on one of that week’s lessons, involving a short Bible study and discussion. We also usually do some type of activity to go along with the lesson, whether it is a group builder or game that we can tie into our discussion.

Then we have the group’s favorite part: we rehearse and prepare a short skit or drama to present at the confirmation opening time on Wednesday nights. We have even presented dramas to the congregation at two worship services. The students love the chance to act and share what we have been doing with their friends. At the end, we share highs and lows for the week and pray together. It is a great opportunity for the junior high kids to spend time with each other, get a little silly sometimes, and learn more about God and each other.

Here’s what some of our regular attendee’s have to say about Drama and Devos:

“The skits are really fun. It’s fun to hang out with people and you learn a lot” – 7th grade boy
“My favorite things are the singing, friends, acting, and learning about God. It’s FUN!” – 8th grade girl
“I like the friends, skits, and the treats. It’s FUN!” – 7th grade girl
“For me, the singing, skits, friends, and learning more about God are the best parts of Drama and Devos.” – 8th grade girl

— from Christine at St. Paul’s Lutheran, Waverly