sermon notes & school lunches

i believe children can participate, contribute, and learn in corporate worship. i also hate sitting behind the desk in my office all day. how do these things go together? i call it the sermon note school lunch tour.

ellie lunch

each week children can pick up special worship bulletins just for them. the folded bulletin addresses the same topic as the pastor’s message for the day. then, inside is a half sheet (front/back) to guide the child’s participation in worship. here are some of the things it includes:

  • a picture of the previous week’s winner.
  • a worship challenge. (i.e. go introduce yourself to someone you don’t know in the greeting time, as you sing the worship song think about what that song is saying about or to God, practice the church’s monthly memory verse, etc.)
  • the scripture passage for the day so they can look it up and follow along.
  • three to four questions, activities, opportunities to draw, apply, and share what they are learning through the sermon that day. (i get the pastor’s sermon points ahead of time so i know what questions or activities to provide.)

what does this have to do with school lunch? well, i love to meet kids on their turf during the week, but i want to be careful about “picking” kids to eat with to avoid showing any favoritism. so, each week the names of children that turn in sermon notes are put in a pile and i pick one. i make arrangements for my assistant and me to meet them at school for lunch and the rest is an adventure. the lunch table is always interesting and i enjoy meeting other children and then having some focused time with one of my church kids. these brief visits begin to foster a relationship that carries back into the church walls. honestly, it is like my favorite part of the week!!!

as children become consistent with their sermon notes we give them a celebration tag and recognize them in a church publication when they reach 25, 50, 75, and 100 completed notes. truth is, it isn’t about the number of sermons they take notes in during  church. my goal is to build stronger relationships with them outside the church walls and for them, after hearing God’s Word, respond to it and apply it to their daily lives.

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3 Comments

  1. Jill Connelly September 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I am incredibly impressed! What a huge impact you are having on these kids! I wish more people like you would invest their time in children in such a way.
    I have read several books on the increasing number of youth that are leaving the church and their faith. The reasons for this growing trend seem varied. But as I look at my own 4 children ranging in ages 6-12, I wonder and worry about their future and the choices they will make. The biggest thing God has laid on my heart is that I begin to be aware and intentional about modeling and teaching them that church is relevant to their life.
    For the past 3 years, I have brought my children into the “adult” worship service with me. Each week, we prepare in advance by obtaining a list of the songs that will be sung and the Scripture text that will be preached from. We sit off to the side of the sanctuary where I feel a little more free to whisper to my kids occasionally during the sermon and where I don’t have to worry so much that they aren’t always able to sit perfectly still.
    They love to take notes! Then, as a family, we have this common corporate worship that we are able to draw on through out the week. Church is relevant!
    I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog and post. It was greatly encouraging to me! You have left an unmeasurable imprint on so many children! Keep it up!!

    Reply
    1. danielle September 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      wow, jill thanks so much for your encouragement! love reading about your heart, too!

      Reply
  2. Kimberly Allen September 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Love this idea regarding sermon notes! Many of our kids take notes during the worship service and it’s pretty interesting to see how they hear the pastor’s message. Having served many a lunch duty during my teaching ans school principal days…lunch time conversation is SO interesting. Sounds like you’re having a blast! See you in 2 weeks!

    Reply

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