Wednesday, January 12, 2022

EDUCATION: Bible News is now available!

My congregation had the wonderful opportunity to read the Bible in chronological order this past year and many succeeded. In order to make things less confusing for them I created the BIBLE NEWS for all 66 books. There is so much information that we don't have when we start reading the Bible; especially the Old Testament. There are all kinds of commonly used terms that we aren't familiar with, ancient Hebrew poetry (what's up with that?), themes that span the whole Bible that we should be looking for, common misconceptions, and situations with the prophets that we don't know. This information definitely deepens our understanding as we read. Researching and writing them was a great blessing to me and I hope they are to all who use them as well. Interested?




Friday, January 7, 2022

PODCAST: 3rd Graders - Ready? Set? Teach the Faith!

 Introducing BIBLE INQUIRY!! If you know a parent or teacher who wants to know how to effectively teach the faith to 3rd graders? Here you go! Episode 9 of To Cause to Learn: Effective Teaching in the Church. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

PODCAST: Children's Messages

To Cause to Learn - Episode 8 

If you want to know the truth about effective children's messages check this out! 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Thursday, November 11, 2021

PODCAST: The new Teaching the Faith Podcast

 Hey all, I decided to start a podcast. It's called To Cause to Learn: Effective Teaching in the Church and it follows my book, The Art of Teaching the Faith: Preschool through Adults. I'm disappointed in the editing of the first edition so the second edition will be out in a couple of weeks. The podcast, however, is a lot of fun and full of information. You can find it on Spotify and on Anchor using this link, and on Google Podcasts. 

So far, there are 7 episodes and number 8 will be out this weekend. The episodes are: 

Episode 1: Why be a great teacher of the faith?

A lot of people think they're already good teachers and some think they're good enough. It's a lot of work to be a great teacher. Why be better? Friends, the faith or the Bible is the most important information we learn or teach.
 

Episode 2: The Brain and Learning

We know SO much about how the brain learns and changes as we grow. It's truly amazing and the more we know, the more it can help us be better teachers of the faith. What was it the Maya Angelou said? When we know better we should do better.
 

Episode 3: Boys and Girls and Brain Development

By the high school years this doesn't make much difference, but did you know that male and female brains mature at different rates and the areas mature in a different order? They catch up in or by high school, but it can sure make a difference with the young ones for us to know more about how each gender's brain develops.
 

Episode 4: Narrative Stage: Preschool and Kindergarten

The Narrative Stage in faith education is the years from preschool to second grade. They're the years when kids learn a lot from stories and this podcast talks about kids in preschool and kindergarten and shares information that would help both Sunday school teachers and parents teach the faith well to these adorable tots.

Episode 5: Narrative Stage: Fabulous First Graders!

Oh, the first grade years. They're learning to read! How do we teach the faith to kids who love stories and are learning to read? How can we teach so that it's meaningful at this age? 

Episode 6: Narrative Stage: Let's Get Serious About Second-Graders

There's a reason I separated first and second grade. There's a lot going on with young kids and they change a lot every year. Second-graders are different from first-graders. Yes, their skills are growing and they can read more fluently, but they also have a tendency to be more serious and thoughtful. How can we teach them the faith effectively?

Episode 7: Narrative Stage: Storytelling! 

Yes, it's important to know the kids we're teaching, but it's also important to make Bible stories as interesting and meaningful as they are! How can we make Bible stories come alive for young kids when the Bible isn't written with detail and some of the concepts are challenging? Listen to this and find out. 

Episode 8: Narrative Stage: Children's Messages 

Coming soon!



Tuesday, October 5, 2021

ADVENT: The Old Time Radio Show

Last year, thanks to Covid-19, we had to get creative about our Advent services. We didn't want to do a typical online service and wanted to include some drama. What did we come up with? I wrote an Old Time Radio Show called Journey to Christmas. (Get a sample of the script here.) The plan was that the youth would come in to the sanctuary and record it live while the congregation tuned in at home and listened. There were a few times when kids ended up in quarantine so we had them "phone it in." When doing the live feed we used the slide below. We did not show the kids presenting the show because we didn't want to lose the illusion of radio. Also, nearly every parent who came to sit in the sanctuary said it was more fun listening at home. 


Christmas is not just about Jesus’ birth. It’s about the journey of salvation from the beginning of time to us today. Similar to the Sabbath, Advent is the time before we celebrate Christ’s birth for us to remember what the Lord did for His people throughout the Old Testament. We think about the question, why do we need a Savior?

With both truth and humor,
Episode 1 briefly tells the stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Isaac;
Episode 2 briefly tells the stories of Jacob, Joseph, and Moses;
Episode 3 briefly tells the stories of Joshua, Saul, David, and Solomon; and
Episode 4 is the story of Christ’s birth until the departure to Egypt. The last section contains the story of the Magi, which takes place some time after Jesus’ birth and in a house in Jerusalem.

The script is written for an Old Time Radio Show because as a radio show it’s not necessary for players to wear costumes, props are not needed, and memorization is unnecessary, though familiarity with the script helps. The radio drama can be done in front of a congregation, but it’s much more authentic having them listen online or even in the sanctuary without watching the action. With a little tweaking the script can also be used as a regular in-person drama. 

Each Advent episode has three advertisements similar to those heard in old time radio shows. There is a list of characters and possible sound effects at the beginning of each episode as well as a list of electronic sounds and what we did for in-person sounds, which are much more fun than electronics. I found great sounds online for free at ZapSplat.com

In order to stream the show with good sound a microphone is needed at the sound table for all sounds made in person and should be used with the speaker on the PC. Keep in mind that it's not necessary for good sound in the sanctuary, but for all sound to come through balanced online or on the recording. It is wise to rehearse with only sounds before you add them to the dialogue and to have someone on the soundboard to adjust volume as needed. Both the pastor/narrator and God had their own microphones, we had two standing a distance apart for the kids to share, and one at the sound effects table. The sound effects table was in front of the sanctuary because watching the kids do the sounds is part of the fun for those in the sanctuary. It also helps if they have to jump up and read a part. The microphones were not facing the congregation as it made the kids more comfortable not to face them. The narrator for the ads was not the same person as the narrator for the show. 

You can purchase the script below and I'll email it to you. Wow, those Paypal buttons are huge. I hope they work...



Sunday, September 26, 2021

CONFIRMATION: Respond to a Meme or a Picture

Below you'll find the memes included in THE ART OF TEACHING CONFIRMATION RESOURCES Leader's Guide for use for warm-ups. You can also search for images or memes in your browser. 

Intro & Bible



Ten Commandments







Lord's Prayer







Confession and Forgiveness