February 2021

Spring and Summer Are Coming. Are You Ready?

As I write this newsletter, snow is falling again in the Chicago area. It is so cold, and all I see out my window is white and grey. With this view, it’s very easy for me to forget colorful spring flowers and the green grass of summer. Will that ever come? 

Yes, spring and summer are coming, and not just in nature but also in your children’s ministry! That means lots of planning is happening. Lent is already here and Easter is coming. In my conversation with ministry leaders, they have already begun to plan for vacation Bible school or other summer activities for kids. 

This issue of the Children’s Ministry Newsletter includes a variety of resources to use as we look forward to and plan for these activities. Since every state and province has different Covid restrictions, I have included suggestions that can be used in both the home or church context. 

I also want to draw your attention to an upcoming training opportunity. Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year, the Children’s Spirituality Summit and Intergenerate have come together for a combined online conference. Many of us usually cannot afford to go to a conference of this level, but this year, the cost is extremely reasonable: $50 for a three-day online conference (individual registration) or $150 for a team of six. Take some time to explore what this conference has to offer; more details are provided below.

As always, if you have any questions or challenges in your ministry with children, feel free to contact me at

— Mimi Larson, Children’s Ministry Catalyzer

Resources for Lent and Easter

Looking for resources to help families engage in the seasons of Lent and Easter? Here are a few suggestions.

God’s Big Easter Story: A Holy Week Journey for Families provides families with a simple, meaningful way to grow in faith together as they remember the events leading up to Jesus’ death and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Included are eight brief devotions to download/print that encourage families to breathe, read, wonder, and pray together. Kids can add printable story symbols (either full-color or outline-style to color yourself) to a path that follows Jesus's journey from Palm Sunday to Easter morning. 

For hundreds of years, Christians have celebrated the Stations of the Cross by contemplating a series of paintings or sculptures that commemorate the events of Jesus’ journey to Golgotha. The Stations activity outlined in this blog post tells the story from Jesus’ arrest to the resurrection and offers simple meditations and actions that even young children can participate in.

Robin Turner, in her blog Worship with Children, explores three simple actions to engage children in the season of Lent, which she names “turn around,” “lay it down,” and “pick up.” Read her child-focused explanation of each action in her blog post Introducing Children to 3 Actions of Lent.

Summer Ministry Ideas

Since we are still in a global pandemic, your summer ministry plans may look different than in years past. Here are some summer ministry ideas to use whether you are still sheltering in place or are able to host an event in person. 

FFM’s Family Faith Formation Toolkit has a wonderful page on Summer that includes less-programmed ideas for use both in the community and within the home that can open up the opportunities for intergenerational relationship building. 

The Children’s Ministry Toolkit has a section designated for Summer Ministries. Included are ways to reboot your ministry, strategies to ensure all are welcome, ways to tackle the challenges of summer ministries, and programming ideas. 

Take Out Church: A Summer Tool for Home and Traveling is an idea from our friends at Originally designed for a non-Covid world, this idea can easily be adapted to nurture family faith. As they say: “. . . boxes like this are not a substitute for active participation in a worshiping community. Rather, they are a supplement; and a tool for deepening faith.”

You Don’t Want to Miss This!

The Children’s Spirituality Summit is going online this year in partnership with Intergenerate on May 24-26, 2021 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. (CST) daily. Registration for this three-day combined conference will give access to both events, including four shared keynote addresses, 30 workshops addressing children’s spirituality and intergenerational faith formation and ministry, research paper presentations, a time of worship and reflection to renew your spirit, as well as affinity groups discussions for sharing insights and applying the conference ideas and approaches. 

The cost for this conference is extremely affordable at $50 for an individual registration, $75 for an individual registration plus access to ALL of the conference recordings (keynotes and workshops), and $150 for a church or organizational team (up to six people from the same church or organization, including access to all conference recordings). Find more information and register for the Children’s Spirituality Summit here.

Children’s Ministry Virtual Meet-Ups

Would you like to connect with other children’s ministry leaders and share ministry ideas? Do you have ministry questions or challenges that could benefit from the input of your peers? Join us each month for Children’s Ministry Virtual Meet-Ups! These gatherings are a time of sharing, creative brainstorming, and checking in with one another. The upcoming dates include February 16, March 16, April 20, and May 18. Time is 3:00 p.m EST (2:00 p.m. CST or 12:00 PT). Space is limited, so register for the meet-up to join us!

Let’s Be Friends!

The CRC Children’s Ministry Leaders Facebook Group is a place for you to meet others involved in CRC children’s ministry. Join this private group to network, ask questions, share resources, and encourage one another as we seek to build strong ministries that nurture children’s faith.

Faith Formation Resource Corner

Since most faith formation occurs in the home, it’s important for parents to be familiar with the spiritual characteristics of their children. Faith Alive’s four-page resource titled Spiritual Characteristics of Children and Teens can help equip churches and families in understanding how kids and teens grow in the faith. It's free if you want 1-3 copies. Four or more copies will be charged $1 each plus appropriate shipping and handling.

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