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Like A Farmer

Visuals All Around the House u train DVD

If you’ve discovered that a picture really is worth a thousand words, information pills then you know the value of a visual in children’s ministry (and ministry in general for that matter).

Downside to that fact:

  • Visuals can get expensive.
  • Ordering the props and visuals in time to arrive before the class means you've got to plan ahead. Which for some of us is difficult. Especially if your creativity goes into overdrive at the last minute.

 

Solution:

  • Organization is essential to save money and equip yourself with great props that facilitate the learning process.
  • By planning ahead you have time to look for the best prices.
  • Be creative. Use stuff you already have on hand for your visual. You can find them in the kitchen, the toy box or at your local resale shop.

And that’s my favorite kind of visuals…the ones that don’t cost any money or hardly any money. Now don’t misunderstand me, I love tricks and grand props as well, but some of my favorites are novelty items or stuff from my pantry.

Maybe you’re thinking what kind of  visual can I find in those places?

It's amazing. Visuals are all around you!

  • Do you realize that anything and everything can be a visual?

Start with the end in mind.

  • What do you want to teach?
  • What is your goal?
  • What do you want the class to take away from your teaching?
  • Then what do you have that will visualize that truth?

But I realize seeing is believing.

That's what I've done dozens of times in conferences all over the country. I show you how to use stuff from your pantry, your child's toy box and thrift stores as a visual to help your students understand the principle you are trying to communicate.

Now we have produced the video from a workshop that I taught in Virginia.

So I can show you how you can save tons of money and have great visuals too.

This video  is just one visual after another, that I have used to teach children. I include a brief description of how to use the object to illustrate a spiritual truth.

It will jump start your brain and get you thinking about how to use the junk, I mean wonderful treasures at your house that you’ve been hoarding…I mean saving because you are such a resourceful teacher!

This is a great video that you’ll want to share with all the teachers in your church. Use it at your churches next teacher’s meeting. Just encourage them to bring a notebook cause there’s 30 great ideas to jump start their personal creativity!

Some things to remember when using a visual.

VISUALS

  • Can the visual be seen?
  • Can it be passed around the room, so everyone can see it better? Or is it something that would cause too much distraction to pass it around?
  • Do you need make a close-up video of the visual to project make it bigger?
  • Can you move closer to the class, then move across so the visual is seen by everyone?
  • Is the visual attractive?
  • Is the visual colorful?
  • Is the visual culturally relevant?
  • Does the visual reinforce the message?
  • Does the visual take away from the message?

Teacher Training to help Sunday School teachers, Children's Pastors, volunteers and Christian Education Directors that will equip, inspire and develop strong teaching and leadership skills.

Visuals All Around the House u train DVD

If you’ve discovered that a picture really is worth a thousand words, and then you know the value of a visual in children’s ministry (and ministry in general for that matter).

Downside to that fact:

  • Visuals can get expensive.
  • Ordering the props and visuals in time to arrive before the class means you've got to plan ahead. Which for some of us is difficult. Especially if your creativity goes into overdrive at the last minute.

 

Solution:

  • Organization is essential to save money and equip yourself with great props that facilitate the learning process.
  • By planning ahead you have time to look for the best prices.
  • Be creative. Use stuff you already have on hand for your visual. You can find them in the kitchen, information pills the toy box or at your local resale shop.

And that’s my favorite kind of visuals…the ones that don’t cost any money or hardly any money. Now don’t misunderstand me, ask I love tricks and grand props as well, but some of my favorites are novelty items or stuff from my pantry.

Maybe you’re thinking what kind of  visual can I find in those places?

It's amazing. Visuals are all around you!

  • Do you realize that anything and everything can be a visual?

Start with the end in mind.

  • What do you want to teach?
  • What is your goal?
  • What do you want the class to take away from your teaching?
  • Then what do you have that will visualize that truth?

But I realize seeing is believing.

That's what I've done dozens of times in conferences all over the country. I show you how to use stuff from your pantry, your child's toy box and thrift stores as a visual to help your students understand the principle you are trying to communicate.

Now we have produced the video from a workshop that I taught in Virginia.

So I can show you how you can save tons of money and have great visuals too.

This video  is just one visual after another, that I have used to teach children. I include a brief description of how to use the object to illustrate a spiritual truth.

It will jump start your brain and get you thinking about how to use the junk, I mean wonderful treasures at your house that you’ve been hoarding…I mean saving because you are such a resourceful teacher!

This is a great video that you’ll want to share with all the teachers in your church. Use it at your churches next teacher’s meeting. Just encourage them to bring a notebook cause there’s 30 great ideas to jump start their personal creativity!

Some things to remember when using a visual.

VISUALS

  • Can the visual be seen?
  • Can it be passed around the room, so everyone can see it better? Or is it something that would cause too much distraction to pass it around?
  • Do you need make a close-up video of the visual to project make it bigger?
  • Can you move closer to the class, then move across so the visual is seen by everyone?
  • Is the visual attractive?
  • Is the visual colorful?
  • Is the visual culturally relevant?
  • Does the visual reinforce the message?
  • Does the visual take away from the message?

Teacher Training to help Sunday School teachers, Children's Pastors, volunteers and Christian Education Directors that will equip, inspire and develop strong teaching and leadership skills.

This is written for a teacher to use in their class. For visuals, web you will need your favorite candy bar in two sizes, check a bite sized and the biggest size you can find. The sad thing is you won't get to eat the big one, information pills you will be giving it away. Think of it this way, it’s better to give than receive or you just saved yourself from eating a million calories. Print out three words strips in 125 font or as big as you can make, “Better in God”; "Bow Inspect Give"; and "Believe in God". Fold each word strip so only the letters B I G are showing. Study the story line and have some fun with this illustration. But everything in the biggest bag you can find.
Storyline:
I have two candy bars. (Pull them out of as you talk.) Does anyone here like this candy bar?(Describe the candy bar and explain why you love this one so much!) Would anyone like to have one of these candy bars? (Select a child and offer him/her choose the candy bar.) Which one would you like? (Offer the tiny one and try to convince them to take it.) This little bite-sized one is so good. It has gooey caramel, creamy nougat and crunchy peanuts. Are you sure you don't want this little bitty guy? You want the big one? I thought that might happen. I guess I'll left with the little one. You know big is better.

 

And what about the rest of you. If you had your choice which would you choose? If you go to your favorite pizza buffet and you see your very favorite pizza on the buffet, fresh out of the oven, do you pick a tiny little sliver or do you go for the big piece? I go for the big one. My favorite is the spinach pizza with lots of jalapeños.
Why do we do that? Because most of us believe big is better. We like big amusement parks, big toys, big allowances, big television screens...because we believe big is better, more valuable, more filling, more fun, and more satisfying.

 

But somehow our craving for more isn't being satisfied...the more we have the more we want. We want more and more games to play even though the cabinet is bulging with old ones. The bigger amusement parks leave us tired and irritable at the end of the day instead happy. The big pizzas and candy bars leave us fat and unhealthy. I'm not bashing big, I'm just saying maybe the real problem here is not the big we have, but the BIG that we neglect is the real problem.

 

Sound confusing? Let me explain...(Show the  BIG strip, then open it to show Better in God.) Things and stuff will never satisfy you...but God can. Jesus purchased your salvation, your joy, your peace. He offers unconditional love and a relationship that is out of this world, literally! Then when He reigns as King or boss of your life, you understand how to really enjoy the things you have. When you understand the Better is found in God, your big just got bigger and better. Not always easier, but better.
How do you take yourself off the throne in your life? Here's another BIG. Bow. Inspect. Give.

 

Bow: Surrender to God. God I don't want to boss my life. I want to do what pleases you.

 

Inspect: Father, what is an area that I am ignoring your rules, the Bible? Where am I missing your best?

 

Give: I give my desires to you. I want to love the things you love and hate the things you hate.
Understand if you want God's BIG, you must practice another BIG; Believe in God. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He wants to bless you with things that enrich your life, not drain them. Fill your heart with His Word and His promises. Obey His rules. Purpose in your heart that you will have God’s Big that satisfies and not the world’s greed that robs.

This is written for a teacher to use in their class. For visuals, dosage you will need your favorite candy bar in two sizes, pharm a bite sized and the biggest size you can find. The sad thing is you won't get to eat the big one, buy more about you will be giving it away. Think of it this way, it’s better to give than receive or you just saved yourself from eating a million calories. Print out three words strips in 125 font or as big as you can make, “Better in God”; "Bow Inspect Give"; and "Believe in God". Fold each word strip so only the letters B I G are showing. Study the story line and have some fun with this illustration. But everything in the biggest bag you can find.
Storyline:
I have two candy bars. (Pull them out of as you talk.) Does anyone here like this candy bar?(Describe the candy bar and explain why you love this one so much!) Would anyone like to have one of these candy bars? (Select a child and offer him/her choose the candy bar.) Which one would you like? (Offer the tiny one and try to convince them to take it.) This little bite-sized one is so good. It has gooey caramel, creamy nougat and crunchy peanuts. Are you sure you don't want this little bitty guy? You want the big one? I thought that might happen. I guess I'll left with the little one. You know big is better.

 

And what about the rest of you. If you had your choice which would you choose? If you go to your favorite pizza buffet and you see your very favorite pizza on the buffet, fresh out of the oven, do you pick a tiny little sliver or do you go for the big piece? I go for the big one. My favorite is the spinach pizza with lots of jalapeños.
Why do we do that? Because most of us believe big is better. We like big amusement parks, big toys, big allowances, big television screens...because we believe big is better, more valuable, more filling, more fun, and more satisfying.

 

But somehow our craving for more isn't being satisfied...the more we have the more we want. We want more and more games to play even though the cabinet is bulging with old ones. The bigger amusement parks leave us tired and irritable at the end of the day instead happy. The big pizzas and candy bars leave us fat and unhealthy. I'm not bashing big, I'm just saying maybe the real problem here is not the big we have, but the BIG that we neglect is the real problem. 

 

Sound confusing? Let me explain...(Show the  BIG strip, then open it to show Better in God.) Things and stuff will never satisfy you...but God can. Jesus purchased your salvation, your joy, your peace. He offers unconditional love and a relationship that is out of this world, literally! Then when He reigns as King or boss of your life, you understand how to really enjoy the things you have. When you understand the Better is found in God, your big just got bigger and better. Not always easier, but better.
How do you take yourself off the throne in your life? Here's another BIG. Bow. Inspect. Give.

 

Bow: Surrender to God. God I don't want to boss my life. I want to do what pleases you.

 

Inspect: Father, what is an area that I am ignoring your rules, the Bible? Where am I missing your best?

 

Give: I give my desires to you. I want to love the things you love and hate the things you hate.
Understand if you want God's BIG, you must practice another BIG; Believe in God. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He wants to bless you with things that enrich your life, not drain them. Fill your heart with His Word and His promises. Obey His rules. Purpose in your heart that you will have God’s Big that satisfies and not the world’s greed that robs.

In the tabernacle, sildenafil if you move from the brazen altar and then continue to the next piece of furniture you will come to the laver. For a long time this piece puzzled me. The altar was where the sacrifice for sin was made. It is a picture of the atoning and cleansing power of Jesus, the sacrificial lamb. But the laver was a place of cleansing also. Why was the laver necessary? What was God saying to the New Testament believer through this section of the picture of the tabernacle?

The Golden laver was only for the priest, after they had ministered at the altar. The ministry at the altar was messy; fire, smoke, blood and ashes. When the priest finished at the altar, he moved to the laver, which was made from the offering of the women’s mirrors. It was highly reflective, so as the priest bent over to wash his face, he could see his face to wash off anything that might be there.
Ministry can be messy. It’s too easy to walk away from ministry messed up, so God has made a provision for you to see what’s going on so you can deal with it. Reflect. Are you feeling yucky? What is the source of that feeling? "Wash that man right outta your hair", sorry that commercial jingle just took over for a minute, but I'm alright now. Go to the laver and wash with words something like this. "Father, I've served your people. In spite of doing everything I know to do there is confusion, mistrust and dishonor. (Or whatever is happening.) Wash me. Heal my hurt. I release this situation into your hands. Give me wisdom instead of pain. Give me love instead of apathy. Give me joy instead of dread. Pray this way until you feel a release in your heart from the heaviness."

In the tabernacle, buy information pills if you move from the brazen altar and then continue to the next piece of furniture you will come to the laver. For a long time this piece puzzled me. The altar was where the sacrifice for sin was made. It is a picture of the atoning and cleansing power of Jesus, viagra approved the sacrificial lamb. But the laver was a place of cleansing also. Why was the laver necessary? What was God saying to the New Testament believer through this section of the picture of the tabernacle?

The laver was only for priest, after they had ministered at the altar. The ministry at the altar was messy; fire, smoke, blood and ashes. When the priest finished at the altar, he moved to the laver, which was made from the offering of the women’s mirrors. It was highly reflective, so as the priest bent over to wash his face, he could see his face to wash off anything that might be there.
Ministry can be messy. It’s too easy to walk away from ministry messed up, so God has made a provision for you to see what’s going on so you can deal with it. Reflect. Are you feeling yucky? What is the source of that feeling? "Wash that man right outta your hair", sorry that commercial jingle just took over for a minute, but I'm alright now. Go to the laver and wash with words something like this. "Father, I've served your people. In spite of doing everything I know to do there is confusion, mistrust and dishonor. (Or whatever is happening.) Wash me. Heal my hurt. I release this situation into your hands. Give me wisdom instead of pain. Give me love instead of apathy. Give me joy instead of dread. Pray this way until you feel a release in your heart from the heaviness."

Driving back roads this Spring, this site to speak in a parenting conference in North Carolina, doctor took me through rich farmland. It was too early to plant, but already the fields were plowed awaiting warmer weather. On another occasion, I remember the sweet smell of plowed fields that filled the air as I drove through Lancaster, PA. I thank God for farmers because I love to eat all kinds of produce.

As I looked at those fields and thought about how much work it must be to produce a harvest, I realized children's leaders and parents are  farmers.

Look at the comparison with me.

1. Farmers observe the seasons.

Kids need more than cotton candy to stay healthy. To be spiritually healthy they need God's Word.It would be a waste of time and energy for a farmer to dig through the snow to plant beans. Beans just don't grow in the snow. Peas need the warm sunshine for growth.

Children don't learn or mature spiritually on our time table. We must learn to reach them at their level where they are spiritually. There will be seasons for you to win their confidence; seasons to break down barriers through fun events and getting to know the child, there will also be tender teachable moments. As a parent understand the power of planting bite sized nuggets in them as you play with them, ride in the car with them and watch television together.

Teaching is much more than following a curriculum step by step. Teaching is building a bridge of  understanding from where there are to spiritual truths that they can apply in their life.

 

Recognize the seasons.

You can't change the season, but you can seize the season.

  • Do you have a child that is ripe to accept Christ?
  • Do you have children going through turmoil that leaves them tender to accept the love of Christ?
  • Do you have a child that is bitter or cynical?
  • Do you have a child that is curious and wants more?
  • Do you have a child that is uninterested?

Be careful that you teach more than a lesson, that you teach students.

  • Answer their questions even if it is off the lesson subject.
  • Be sure the subject is relevant to them and meets a perceived need.
  • Create a greenhouse environment where the child feels loved, significant and accepted.

Teach where they are spiritually, not where you want them to be.

This requires you to be alert and ask God to show you!

 

2. Plow the soil.

Plowing prepares the ground for the seed. Plowing loosens the soil so the tender roots can penetrate the ground to retrieve the water and nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.

As parents and children's leaders, we need to prepare hearts to receive the seed, but how? I have given this considerable thought because I have observed in the last few years a new hardness in children's hearts. This hardness prevents the seed from germinating and taking root in their lives. I believe the spiritual plowing that must take place is prayer.

 

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12 

 

They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.Psalm 126:5
6He who goes forth bearing seed and weeping [at needing his precious supply of grain for sowing] shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Why prayer is crucial!

  • Make prayer an intregal part of your lesson.
  • Prayer is an essential part of seeing children become Christ like.
  • Prayer prepares you and the hearts of your students.
  • Pray that God will lead you.
  • Ask God to prepare the hearts of your students to receive the Word of God.
  • Ask Him to guide your words. Invite Him to be your guest. Children need to experience the presence of God.
  • Pray in your class before you start the lesson.
  • Be careful that the prayer is more than a mindless gesture, but it is a sincere declaration of your dependence on God.

3. Understand the power in a seed.

God's Word is powerful. It has NOT lost its power to change lives.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

 

Nothing looks deader than a shriveled seed. But looks are deceiving. Locked inside that seed is life.

The Bible looks like an ordinary book, black ink, letters forming words that fill the pages. But locked in the sentences are truths that unlock all heaven's resources. It is a map to heaven. It is God's plan of success for people, families, businesses and nations.

A farmer can have truck loads of seed, but he will never have a harvest unless he plants the seed.

What are you planting in hearts of children?

What kind of fruit do you see them bearing? That is a good indication of what is being planted in their lives.

It isn't enough that a farmer have vast acreage as his disposal.  He must plant the seed. It's not enough for you to have a class full of students, you must plant the Word of God in children's hearts. That doesn't mean stand up in your class  or line them up on the couch and read verse after verse to your children.

 

It is far more effective to take one key principle and communicate the message of that principle than to read numerous verses.

Always teach for understanding.

Brain research has proven the brain dumps most of what it does not understand.

Tell Bible stories dramatically.

Use puppets to illustrate memory verses.

The harvest begins by planting a seed.
Observe Paul's stern warning to the young preacher Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1 "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom."

We are going to give an account before God for what we did in the classrooms and in our homes with the opportunity God has given us to impact their lives. Your not just working for a superintendent or pastor, you are God's representative in that class. You may get away with laziness with your pastor, but you won't escape giving an honest report to God.

Parents you will give account to God for how you raised you children. And you don't get a do over. So get it right!

 

He instructs in verse 2 "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching."

4. Watches over the seed.

The farmer still has back breaking labor before he can enjoy the  harvest. He must see that the plants have the proper fertilizer and water. Often that means providing irrigation or hand watering if the rains do not come.  He must remove the weeds that would rob the plants of water and nutrients. Again, responsibilities of a children's leader. Once you have taught a principle, look for ways to reinforce that principle. If you've taught on kindness, look for examples of kindness on display in your class. Comment when you see them put a principle in practice. In the weeks following that teaching ,ask the children to share examples where someone was kind to them. Is there a way that as a group you can put the principle into practice?  Look for attitudes and habits that will hinder them from putting the principle into practice--selfishness, always wanting to be first etc.

5. Reap the harvest.

A few years ago I spoke at a conference held at a private university. All over the campus were orange and grapefruit trees loaded with fruit. All around the tree was rotting fruit. No one seemed interested in the bounty of the harvest. As you pray for the children and precious truths in children's hearts you will impact them deeply. Children need to respond to that touch of God on their lives through prayer. Always give children an opportunity to respond to God in your services. Children need to know Jesus as their friend, not just know about Him. Have a time in your class where children can really talk to God from their heart.

The next time you drive down a country road and see a lush garden,   remember that is what God has called you to do-produce fruit for the kingdom.

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