Middle School Sunday School youth ministry help
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Practical Tips to Help Grieving Parents


Grief and Loss

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As a Christian dad in the 1990’s, I occasionally filled in for my kids’ Sunday School teachers teach sunday schoolwhen the regular volunteers needed assistance. The call to teach didn’t come until after the tragic death of my teenage daughter, Catherine. Though I loved and appreciated both my children, I did not understand what Chap and Dee Clark would later write in their 2007 book Disconnected“Your child is not a problem to be solved but a creative, talented, and unique gift to be understood, embraced, and ultimately set free.”

What began as a search to fill the void left by Catherine’s death has evolved over the last ten years into my ministry, Sunday School Lesson Connection. My mission is to equip kids with a firm Biblical foundation for a faith that will withstand life’s storms. While the internet has allowed this ministry to flourish as an online community, the next logical step is a printed publication, containing easy teaching instructions, leaders’ guides, and lessons that can be torn out and copied. The harried volunteer looking for a Sunday School lesson for teens on a Saturday afternoon will have everything they need for Sunday morning.

When I began teaching, I was unable to find a curriculum that met the needs of my kids or fit my style of teaching, so I simply wrote my own. My biggest fear was ‘going blank’- having my brain Sunday School Lesson planfreeze in the middle of a lesson. I have found that to be a common fear among Sunday School teachers. My Bible lesson handouts are aimed specifically at facilitating discussion-type studies while providing clear and simple directions to keep everyone on track.

In 2007 I created a website called www.sundayschoollessonconnection.com and posted dozens of free lesson plans for others to use. Five years and over 170 thousand visits later, my lesson plans have been downloaded in 180 countries, translated into several languages. I have received many encouraging emails like these:

"I am so grateful for your website. I am a new youth leader and was a little nervous
about doing the lessons. Last week I did Families-Getting Along, and it was
awesome. I made a few changes (mostly to make it a little shorter) but it gave
me what I needed to get started. I am not a teacher, so building a lesson from
scratch is beyond me. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you and may God bless
you for providing such a wonderful resource to people."

"Your lessons captured my attention since I also teach high school students
during the day. Good topics applying to today!! We taught years ago when
we were much younger but even then struggled to find things kids could learn
from the Bible and apply it today! Again, thanks!"

The website serves as a hub for the ministry, with links to Group Magazine, Simply Youth Ministry, and other youth ministry resources. The tried-and-true lesson blueprints are already being used around the world, easily modified by teachers to suit their group’s particular needs. Though some churches have professional youth pastors on staff, there is a great need for volunteer Sunday School teachers, especially for older kids. These saints work at regular jobs all week, whether in the home or out of the home, but they all have one thing in common: they don’t have time to read volumes on how kids think or to wade through pages of instruction. Small wonder my website has by far the most hits every Saturday. They have one day to find a lesson and prepare to teach. My readers know they can connect to my site and find a leaders’ guide and a study that is Biblically sound, easily understood, relevant to the teenagers of today, and will promote discussion and growth in knowing and loving Jesus.

sunday school classCreated for volunteer leaders with easy-to-understand  instructions and Biblically sound studies, anyone can lead these studies, including the kids themselves. After having been “talked at” all week by teachers and parents, these lessons give them the opportunity to dig through the Bible and discuss their findings. They come away feeling valued for their opinions, hardly realizing they have been led into right thinking because their research boundaries always fall within the Word of God.

For more Sunday School lesson plans and Youth Group information visit my website "Sunday School Lesson Connection" by typing http://sundayschoollessonconnection.com/ into your web browser.

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066283: Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World
By Chap Clark & Dee Clark / Baker

Your teens live in a MySpace® world with different sorts of challenges than you faced. In Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World authors, parents, and family experts, Chap and Dee Clark help you understand your teen. They describe how things have changed since you were a teenager and offers you ways to build your relationship with your teens while instilling in them the values they need to survive and thrive in their world.
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