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How video can help your church outreach and evangelism

Using video for evangelism

Here is a simple and effective way for your church to reach more people – create and share videos.

There has been a tremendous growth in the number of videos on the web.  Did you know that YouTube is the 3rd most popular website n the world and the 2nd largest search engine?  Guess who is 2nd?  Facebook and Facebook has a ton of videos.  Yes people are watching a lot of videos.

Did you know your church can use videos to spread the Gospel and grow your church?  With today’s technology it is simple but most churches are not using videos to reach people either in their own community or around the world.  In this post we are going to give you the basics of how to create a video and some ideas on what they could be about.

First know this, they don’t have to be professionally created.  Many videos that go viral with millions of views are shot with a smart phone and have not been edited.  Some of the most popular videos include children, so why not let the children of your church make a few videos.  It is easy and can be done even if you have just a few children.

In a separate video I’ll be covering how to upload the video to YouTube for maximum exposure along with a few ways to promote the video on various social media channels, but today I’m going to cover ideas for your video and what you’ll need.

What should your video be about?

There are lots of great topics that can be used in a video.  Here are a few:

  • Christmas video – What does Christmas mean to you.  A few questions that you could ask kids include:  What is Christmas all about?  What is your favorite part of Christmas?  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  What is the best present you have received?  Why did Jesus come to earth.
  • Valentine video – What is Valentine’s day?  Why do we celebrate it?  What is your favorite thing about Valentine’s day?  You could include facts that show how the origins of Valentine’s day were Christian.  Other questions to include:   What is love?  What does the Bible say about love?
  • Easter – Ask similar questions:  What is Easter?  What is your favorite part of Easter?  Why do we celebrate Easter.
  • Mother’s and Father’s Day – What is the funniest thing you remember about your mom (or dad).  What is your favorite thing to do together.  What makes your mom or dad special?  Is there something you want to say to your mom?  If you are creating this video early enough you should include information about your Mother’s day or Father’s day events along with a link to the church website.
  • VBS or summer events like a mission trip.  I recommend creating two videos.  The first one would be used to promote the event.  Ask kids questions like: How many times have you been to VBS.  What is your favorite thing about VBS and the second one I would do at the end of VBS where you get the kids reactions to the event.  You can either use those clips to create a new video or use them the following year.  If you are creating one for a mission trip you should get some powerful responses from the kids who just returned.
  • End of summer, back to Sunday School – Most churches have a fall kick off and a video could be a powerful way to promote it.  The video would be similar to the VBS one in that you are using it to promote Sunday School and let the kids talk about how Sunday School has had an impact in their lives.
  • Who is Jesus – A few questions to ask could include: When did Jesus live?  Who was Jesus’ mother and father?  What books of the Bible tell about Jesus?  Who was Jesus?  Why did he come to earth?  Why is having a relationship with Jesus important?  This video could go in two directions;  first you could use it to let people know about your church and what it offers for children.  Second you could use it as an evangelism tool.  If you are using it to let people know about your church you’ll want to include information about your church along with an invitation to come visit.  If you want to create it to share the Gospel you should link it to a site that gives more information about knowing Jesus.  One that I recommend is Steps to Peace with God by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  Another one is NeedHim and finally we created one on Memory Cross.

Here are two videos that will give you some idea of how they might look.  The second one was created with Animoto.  It allows you to create professionally designed videos without any knowledge of video editing and with very little work.  There is a cost but it is as little as $8 a month at the time of this writing for a personal plan.

 

 

What you will need

Making good videos has become so much simpler over the last 5 years.  All smart phones can now take very good videos.  A few things to keep in mind are:

  • Lighting – make sure you have enough light and be aware of natural light coming in from windows.  Shoot a quick video of the room to see if you have anything that is going to be causing you a problem.
  • Sound – Be aware of any background noise since it will be picked up by your phone and can ruin the video.  Stay 3-5 feet from the person you are videotaping.  If you want to back up further consider a inexpensive corded mic.  I bought one from Amazon which was under $20 and works great.  You might want to pick up the extension cable also.
  • You can either pause the video between kids or stop it and then put it together with a video editing program or Animoto or any of the video editing software programs available.  If you don’t have someone who can edit the video and don’t have $96 for Animoto then pause the video between shots.  You can still get a pretty nice video without any editing. There are also a number of apps available for Android and Apple products  (Apple: iMovie, Video shop, Fast Edits)
  • Finally keep the sections short.  I find under 15 seconds per “scene” works best.  You want to keep the video moving.

Give it a try.  Most of your kids will really enjoy making the video.  Next blog post will cover where to upload and how to tag it so the video gets found.  Comments?  Leave them in the box below.

7 Resources Teaching Children about the Birth of Moses

Birth of Moses

Resources in Teaching Children about the Birth of Moses

Teaching Children about the Birth of Moses

Via churchmice253.wordpress.com

The birth of Moses and how he was saved from the ruthless hands of Pharaoh (Exodus 1:22-2:10) is one of the most known bible stories in the Old Testament. I learned about the life of Moses back when I was very little while attending our church Sunday School. And we could agree that the story of the life of Moses is indeed very interesting, it teaches so many lessons about God’s protection, a mother’s love for their child, a miracle that God can do, and a lot more. I had a really great teacher back then and that Sunday School teacher has helped me learn so many bible stories.

Bible teachers – may it be a Sunday School of a VBS teacher needs to be able to know how to spike interest in their students when teaching bible stories. Some children already know the bible stories that we’d teach and may sometimes spoil other kids during bible lesson time. But there are ways to still have them listen to the bible lesson even if they already know what the story is all about but that doesn’t come easy – that requires a teacher to do further extensive research on how to teach the lesson, what tool to use and how teach the story to the students.

Nowadays, we are blessed with so many resources around us. Some we can access in just one click online. There are many resources we can use in teaching children about the birth of Moses and most of them are free! These companies that offer free resources online aim to help bible teachers around the world deliver their bible stories in a more interesting and fun way. Here are some of the websites we can use to help us teach the children about the birth of Moses:

1. Ministry to Children

Ministry to Children offers a complete help for all bible teachers. Their website is packed with bible stories complete with lesson plans, suitable songs, printable lessons and activities. The story of Baby Moses on their website can be easily accessed with its 60 minute target time frame for children.

2. Kids Sunday School

Kids Sunday School offers a suggested skit for children that you can use if you want a more interactive bible story time and if you want your students to get involved in the story telling. The skit will need 5 participants (Mother, Miriam, Narrator, Maiden, and Daughter) to reenact the bible story for the other kids to enjoy. This skit will have a completely different environment in your class. It’s best to use older kids to do the skit that way all of them can easy read or memorize the lines in the script. The script will only last for about 10 minutes and aims to help teach the kids about faith, God’s protection and trusting God.

3. Calvary Curriculum

Calvary curriculum aims to support the child ministers. They offer resources like Bible curricula, trainings and other helpful materials. They have Audio trainings and teachings, forms and flyers as well as VBS materials. They have really nice coloring page, ready-made test paper and puzzles you can easily download for your children’s activity after your bible lesson about the birth of Moses.

4. Garden of Praise

Garden of Praise is also a good resource in teaching children about the birth of Moses. It is an educational website created in 1999 by a veteran classroom teacher with 35 years experience. It has slideshows and audio available for teachers to use in their classes. It also has printable and online activities such as tests, jigsaw and crossword puzzles, word search, coloring and other worksheets available for use.

5. Youtube Bible Story Videos

Many children loves watching movies and videos, we can make use of that interest in our classroom to teach bible stories. Youtube, the most popular video streaming has so many videos we can use to teach our children about the life of Moses depending on the age group of students you’re teaching. Here are a few online videos about the story of the birth of Moses uploaded by different Christian channels to help the teachers: WordActionPublishing, The Holy Tales: Bible, Moody Bible Stories (for older kids), and Sabbath School.

6. Bible for Children

There’s so much to love about this website. It is filled with PowerPoint, tracts and coloring pages for kids – all available for download, isn’t that amazing? It has the story of Moses available entitled “The Prince from the River” to help teachers.

7. Memory Cross

Memory Cross offers an amazing, fun and interesting way to tell your story. They’ve come up with cool foldable visual aids that you can just open from the middle and proceed with your story. What’s great about this is you can be rest assured that you will not get lost on your pictures because they’ve already been arranged for you – gone are the days when you worry about a missing visual aid because they’re all in one. Not only that, it’s so easy to use…it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Here’s a link of a tutorial to walk you through in using the Memory cross gospel tracts.

Via store.memorycross.com

In this present digital age, God is using the internet to help Christian organizations reach out and help the Sunday School teachers, DVBS teachers and even parents at home teach their children. We are blessed to be able to download most of these resources at no cost. If you are into teaching the little ones, go ahead and explore online and you will see so many interesting and new ideas that can help you as you teach these kids who hunger for God’s word. Teachers have a great impact in children. Although our prize for our efforts in teaching these kids are in store in heaven, we can have an early taste of fulfillment here on Earth when we see our students learn and not forget our lessons.

If you have other resources share them in the comment section below.  God used Moses in a special way and through teaching kids about his birth and life we can help them understand that God has a plan for their life too.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

IMG_20150225_153954About:  I am a writer, an essay instructor, and a work-at-home mother.  Most importantly, I am a woman who strives to follow Jesus and honor Him in everything I do. I am a sinner, and I make mistakes, and my salvation lies in Him.  My thoughts on life can be found on my blog:  Little pieces of Happy.

Things You Need to Make Children’s Bible Lessons

Every child needs to know the Bible and the messages that it contains. However, not every child is equipped with the right reading or comprehension skills, and this is why adults – parents and teachers – need to give them proper guidance.

This post is dedicated to you who are eager to make the Bible easier to understand for the little ones. We know that creating children’s Bible lessons is not as easy as it seems! We want them to be easy and engaging enough, but at the same time, we need them to be accurate and truthful. So we might ask: what needs to go into a Bible lessons? Here is our suggestion:

* Prior to the lesson

  1. The first thing you need to do is decide what topic you want to discuss.

For example, if it is the first day of class, you might want to begin with the Creation.

Creation Story origami card from Memory Cross

  1. Next, you need to set clear objectives relative to the age of the children you will teach.

For example, if you’re teaching the Creation Story, do you want the children to know and accept this story as literal and historical? Do you want them to imagine the expanse of God’s power?

  1. Decide on the activities that you want to do and either prepare the materials or inform the children of what materials they need to bring.

* During the lesson

  1. Introduce the topic in an attention-grabbing manner.

This lesson about the First Day of Creation begins the session by giving children play dough and turning the lights off, helping the children imagine what everything must have looked like before God created them.

  1. After getting their attention, engage them by telling them what the topic is about.

Now that you have their attention, introduce the topic formally and point them to where the lesson occurs in the Bible.

  1. Read the Bible together and explain the message.

Open your Bibles and read the relevant verses together. You may either explain the message after you read the entire passage or explain each verse; this depends on the difficulty of the subject.

  1. Discuss what you read and encourage the children to ask questions.
  2. Do the activities that you had planned together. *
  3. Evaluate the results of the activities if applicable.
  4. Recap the lesson and end the lesson with a prayer.

* Suggested activities:

– Memory verse games (We have Blank Scripture Memorization Cards available in our store.)

Blank Scripture Memorization Cards

– Arts and crafts (You can see a list of Easter crafts for Sunday school)

Psalm 46:1 Memory Card

– Praise and worship action songs

– Cooking and baking (There’s a recipe for Empty Tomb or Resurrection Rolls in this list of Easter craft ideas.)

 

What do you usually do to teach children Bible stories and biblical concepts? Feel free to share with us your ideas for children’s Bible lessons!

SonTreasure Island VBS

SonTreasure Island VBS by Gospel Light takes kids to a tropical island in exploration of hidden treasure.  At SonTreasure Island  treasure seekers will play island games, create colorful crafts and enjoy tropical snacks, but more importantly, they will discover the rich treasure of God’s love through the life of Jesus.SonTreasure Island VBS

Based around 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 kids will discover how Jesus’ life shows us that the greatest treasure of all is God’s love.  Gospel light includes the salvation message in every lesson, complete with daily opportunities to lead children to Jesus every day.  Packed with contemporary, upbeat music, high-energy games, island crafts, yummy snacks and funny skits to make VBS fun for the kids and adults who serve.  There are lots of resources to keep kids engaged in the Bible all week long and help you lead them to Jesus every day.

The program can be designed for daytime, nighttime or a three day weekend adventure.  One of the nice things they offer is free online training at myvbsparty.com which is great, especially if you have a smaller church or you are in charge for the first time.  I know VBS is a big undertaking and they have provided some great resources to make sure your’s is successful.  There are pictures, stories and videos at myvbsparty.com.  Click on the link and see what they have to offer.

SonTreausre Island VBS Daily Schedule:

  • Day one shows how  God’s love is demonstrated in Jesus and is based on 1 John 4:9 which says “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  • Day two is God’s love is patient and kind.  Scripture reference is 1 Corinthians 13:4
  • Day three is God’s love is for everyone and the Scripture is 1 Corinthians 13:5
  • Day four is God’s love is forgiving based on 1 Corinthians 13: 5-6
  • Day five is God’s love never fails based on 1 Corinthians 13: 7-8

There are a ton of resources available from CDs to planning guides.  Gospel Light has always created powerful VBS programs and their 2014 is no exception.  Here is their promo video.  If you would like to know more or order I’ve put a link at the bottom of this page.

 

 

Memory Cross has taken our unique origami design to help children remember 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.  It makes a powerful match to the SonTreasure Island VBS that your kids will love.  We’ve put together a video showing how it works.  If you would like to receive a free sample, click this link and in the comments box put in “SonTreause Island VBS” and we’ll get it out right away.  If you live in the United States we’ll even pay for the shipping.

 

 

For more information on SonTreasure Island 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 Scripture card click here.  It is also available on Amazon which I listed below.

 

769285: VBS 2014 SonTreasure Island - Deluxe Kit VBS 2014 SonTreasure Island – Deluxe Kit

By Gospel Light VBS

SonTreasure Island, 2014 VBS from Gospel Light, Where Kids Discover God’s Love.
Bible Theme: 1 Corinthians 13
Bible Translation: New International Version (NIV)
Ages: PreKindergarten to Grade 6 (ages 3 -12); PreK & K have a dedicated curriculum leader guide & student activities.

Set sail for an island adventure in search of the world’s greatest treasure that is worth more than the purest gold! Feel the ocean breeze, hear the island music, taste tropical fruits, play island games and create colorful crafts. But at SonTreasure Island, there is much more than meets the eye because children discover God’s love is treasure forever! Every day, kids learn of God’s love expressed through Jesus, based on 1 Corinthians 13. Ships Ahoy Maties!

SonTreasure Island Bible Points (and Bible Story): See “Scope & Sequence (PDF)” above for more details.
Day 1: God’s Love is Giving (God Gives Us Jesus – Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:11-2:20)
Day 2: God’s Love is Kind (Jesus Helps a Young Girl & a Sick Woman – Matthew 9: 18-26; Mark 5:21-42; Luke 8:40-56)
Day 3: God’s Love is Caring (Jesus Cares for a Samaritan Woman – John 4:1-42)
Day 4: God’s Love is Forgiving (Jesus Forgives Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10)
Day 5: God’s Love is Forever (Jesus Lives Forever – Mark 14:27-16:20; Luke 22:47-24:53; John 21:15-17)

Son Treasure Island Deluxe Starter Kit includes: See “Contents (PDF)” above for more detailed explanation of what’s included in each item.

  • Director’s Resources:
    • Director’s Planning Guide with CD-ROM (A PDF version of this guide is available in the Reproducible Power Pack)
    • Preview DVD (Includes promotional video, recruiting, training, decorating, and missions projects segments.)
    • Reproducible Music CD (6 songs, 6 split-tracks, 2 preschool songs, and sound effects)
  • Teaching & Leader’s Resources: (book copies only; PDF versions of these items are available on CD-ROM in the Reproducible Power Pack)
    • Assemblies & Skits Guide
    • Bible Games Center Guide
    • Recreation & Snack Guide
    • Island Crafts for Kids
    • Treasure Trove Bible Story Center Guide (Primary) Grades 1-2
    • Treasure Trove Bible Story Center Guide (Middler) Grades 3-4
    • Treasure Trove Bible Story Center Guide (Preteen) Grades 5-6
    • PreKindergarten/Kindergarten Teacher’s Guide
  • Student Resources: Sample Pack of Student Guides (Digital files for all student guides are available in the Reproducible Power Pack.)
  • Decorating Resources: (Digital files for all of these products are available in the Reproducible Power Pack.)
    • Decorating Poster Pack (Theme posters & Daily Treasure posters; 10 in total)
    • Reproducible Resources (Book of decorating ideas & instructions.)
    • PreKindergarten/Kindergarten Teaching Resources (Includes 12 posters, Stand-Up Bible Figures, Scenic Island Block Cards and a Bible Story Big Book)
    • Elementary Teaching Resources (Bible Story & Theme Center – 22 posters in total.)
  • Director’s Sample Pack:
    • Volunteer Pocket Guide
    • Parent Pocket Guide
    • Attendance Chart
    • Also Included are a single Bookmark, Bulletin Insert, Doorknob Hanger, Following Jesus! Discipleship Booklet, God Loves You! Salvation Booklet, Iron-on T-Shirt Transfer, Name Tag, Photo Frame, Invitation Postcard, Publicity Poster, Student Certificate, Volunteer Certificate, and one of each of the Sticker sheets.

Vacation Bible School Craft Ideas

Vacation Bible School Craft Ideas  that Children Love

It’s that time of  year again, Vacation Bible School.  If you are looking for some creative Bible School craft ideas that will  put the VBS message into your children’sVacation Bible School Crafts hearts and minds, we have a few that you’ll want to check out.  Memory Cross makes an card that contains four panels and a very unique fold which children love.  Each panel folds back to reveal the next panel and after folding through the four panels you find yourself back on panel one.

We’ve created hundreds of designs using this unique panel design.  Cards that tell Bible stories, cards that share the Gospel and Scripture cards that help children put God’s Word into their hearts and minds, each using this unique design.  We’ve even created a blank card that you can use for for your Vacation Bible School crafts.  If you have not seen this card before watch the video below which shows how the card works.

Here are a few comments that we have received.

  • I don’t usually use these words but this is the most amazing thing I’ve seen. Phenomenal, unbelievable, astounding. The kids at my church went crazy over these cards. Thanks!!!!” – April Drew
  • “What a wonderful, unique product. I saw the ad for Memory Cross on another website, just days before our VBS. When I decided to order (prodigal son coloring cards), the staff were so helpful and really went the extra mile to process and ship asap. I received the order in two days and the kids had a blast coloring the cards and folding over and over.” – Carol
  • “We got the ABC Coloring Flash Cards for our child care home…so far the employees are so intrigued…cannot wait to present them to the children!!!” – Nancy Tracy
  • “The Memory Crosses are great! I am absolutely delighted and cannot wait until our VBS students can color them as they learn about the Parable of the Good Samaritan!” – Rate Point Reviewer

Besides Vacation Bible School crafts, Memory Cross makes coloring cards that teach Bible stores, Scripture memory cards and Gospel Tracts for kids and adults.   After watching the video  if you would like to receive one of these cards fill out the form to the left.  If you live in the United States we’ll even pay for the freight.  We want you to see for yourself why this is such a great way to share the Gospel with children.

Visit our store today.  You’ll see why Memory Cross is a great way to Share the Gospel.

 

Colossal Coaster World VBS

Colossal Coaster World VBS Bible Verse

Memory Cross has created the Scripture card for Lifeway’s Colossal Coaster World.  The verse is 2 Timothy 1:7 which says Don’t be Afraid, Trust God.  For the Spirit God Gave us does not make us timid but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7 Colossal Coaster World2 Timothy 1:7 Colossal coaster World2 timothy 1:7 Colossal Coaster World2 Timothy 1:7 Colossal Coaster World

 

Memory Cross uses a unique for panel design that makes a never ending loop.  The design captures the attention of children and adults.  As they fold through the card over and over again God’s Word will be put into their hearts and minds.  The Bible verse that was selected for Colossal Coaster World is one that can have a huge impact on children’s lives when they internalize it.  It says the Spirit gives us power, love and self-discipline, something that can have an amazing effect on the lives of children.

Some of the benefits of Memory Cross is that children love the design and it will get shared.  Teresa Hacker says “They are fun and easy to use and great to share with friends.”  Because the design is so unusual children will want to show it to their parents, siblings and friends, passing on God’s word to others.  Other card that are available for Vacation Bible School include the Armor of God for Answers in Genesis Kingdom Chronicles.

Here is what a few people have said:

  • “I don’t usually use these words but this is the most amazing thing I’ve seen. Phenomenal, unbelievable, astounding. The kids at my church went crazy over these cards. Thanks!!!!” – April Drew
  • “Memory Cross is a wonderful tool for teaching the Bible.” – Julie Judd
  • “These are very clever origami tracts that fascinate people of all ages–great for getting any message across” – Sandra Edwards

If you have not seen this card before and would like to receive one for free visit our website.  If you like in the United States we’ll even pay the shipping.  Outside of the U.S.A. we will send the cards out for free, you just pay the shipping costs.

Memory Cross creates Christian Tracts, Bible School Crafts and Scripture Memory Cards using this fun and unique design.

The Armor of God

Teaching Children about the Armor of God

teaching children about the armor of God

Memory Cross card contains four panels that make an endless loop.

If you are teaching children about the Armor of God at church or Vacation Bible School, Memory Cross has developed an origami card that makes it fun and easy to help children learn and memorize this Scripture.  Based on Ephesians 6: 11 and 14-17 the armor of God will help children learn these verses.

The Armor of God is being used in Answers in Genesis Kingdom Chronicles.  If your church is using Answers in Genesis Kingdom Chronicles this card is a creative way to help children learn about the Armor of God.  Here are a few comments that we have received from people.

“I got a sample pack in the mail to see how effective they would be with my kids, and My kids Loved Them!!! I’m definitely planning on using them in our children’s ministry program at our church!!!” – Kassandra Tovar

“These Memory Crosses are so neat – from young child to adults, everyone is amazed by them. Our church used the Easter crosses that kids can color as a gift for the kids. Everyone loved them.” – Angie Patterson Curry

“The kids in our Sunday morning program love these. They are fun and easy to use and great to share with friends.”  – Theresa Hacker

We’ve created a video to show how the Memory Cross Armor of God card works.  We’ve included a link if you would like to know more  about how this card can help you teach children about putting on the whole armor of God.  We also have a number of tracts for kids that are creative ways to share the Gospel.

Like to receive a sample?  We’ll send one out for free and even pay the shipping if you live in the United States, just click here.    We’ve written an article about how to memorize Scripture.  It is something that can change a child’s life.