All posts by 215Kids

Our Purpose


Today I woke up and combed my hair with a fork, blew my nose on sandpaper, put the bread in my shoes to make toast, poured milk in my car to make it run, and put the butter in the oven to keep it cold. “Am I crazy?” you say. Of course not. I just didn’t use things for what they were created. 


For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10


Everything has a purpose. Milk can’t make your car go any more than an oven can keep your butter cold. You may be able to halfway comb your hair with a fork, but that’s not its purpose. As a believer God has some purposes for your life as well: evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, service, and worship. Did you know that you will never truly be fulfilled as a Christian until you are operating in all five of these areas? Also, how can you pass along to your students what isn’t already present in your own life? Today do you feel like anything is lacking in your life or your walk with Christ? 

Your thoughts?


God had plans for your life before you were born. Walk in them. 

Fun Hair Night

You Will Need: 

  • Cosmetic Items to create fun hair-dos
  • A Bible marked at Acts 10:1-19


Take turns creating fun, new hair-dos for your family. Your kids will especially enjoy doing this to you! If you want, you might even want to purchase some temporary hair color to add to your kid’s hair. (Walmart sometimes carries some, but if you do this be sure to read the directions carefully.) 

SAY—In a little while, we will all look a bit different but this change won’t last. But when Jesus comes into a person’s life, He brings a change that lasts forever.

ASK—How do you think Jesus changes people’s lives? (He forgives their sins, takes away the guilt of sin, gives people a new life; they can know for sure they’re going to heaven; people live differently when they are walking with God.)

Read Acts 10:1-19 from your Bible.

ASK—What difference do you think Jesus made in Saul’s life?  (Saul had hurt, mistreated, and even killed Christians, but after he committed his life to Christ, he became one of the greatest heroes of the Bible. He spent the rest of his life sharing Jesus with others and God used him to write over half of the New Testament. What a difference!)

SAY—Jesus is so great, who wouldn’t want Him in their lives!

PRAY—List prayer requests and thank God for the difference Jesus makes in life. 

Verse of the Week

Discover some of the key words from this week’s verse:

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path.”

Race against your family to see who can find all the words the fastest and share this verse each night with your family to help you memorize it.

Dino Game, part 3 – Let’s Go Faster!

Did you know that Dinosaurs are in the Bible?

Yes, there are dinosaurs in the Bible!

Read about another one in Job 41. What kind of dinosaur do you think this was?

God’s Word is true and it has the answers we need.

Each week check back to learn more about Dinosaurs in the Bible…


Challenge: We have sped up the Dino Game. See how far you can go. And if you want to play slower versions, go HERE and click on any of the previous weeks.

How to play

  • Use the space bar or up key on your keyboard to jump over the obstacles.
  • The down key lets you crouch under the overhead obstacles.
  • When viewing from mobile tap on the game area to jump.
  • Each week the speed will increase…Have fun!

Caught – Not Taught

I was in a small church on a Sunday evening and one of the youth said to me, “Do you know why they ask the youth to take up the offering on Sunday nights?”

“What do you mean?” I replied.

She answered, “It’s because none of the deacons are here.”

As I looked around I realized there was a great amount of truth in what she said. Only two out of ten or more deacons were present that night.

It’s amazing how students can pick up on just about everything we say or do. They know when we’re in worship service and when we’re not and if we’re absent they wonder why. They watch from a distance and soak in all that happens with us. They listen as we talk with other adults and many of them are watching to see if what we have is “real.” Consider the best teachers you ever had: What do you remember about them? Probably not a single lesson they taught, but you remember their passion, how they treated you, your relationship with them, how you felt important when you approached them with a question, etc. Life’s best lessons are not taught—They are caught.

What are your students catching from you? What do you want them to catch from you?

You are a living testimony to those around you—Make sure yours is a life worth catching.

Control Tools

A control tool is a powerful re-focusing tool. It is a way of drawing children back into a small or large group discussion without having to say, “Listen up,” Hush,” or “Eyes up here,” and it is a great transition between activities. The most common and most effective control tool is any question you ask the kids to which they give a response. They might yell some responses, whisper others, and might even use an accent or a funny voice. Control tools re-focus the kids on the leader, teaches them an important point, and is a thousand times better and more effective than shushing your kids.

Listen to the following audio session and keep reading below:

Sample Control Tools

SAY: When I say, “Who should be number one in your life?” I want everybody to say, “Jesus!”Other Samples

  • Leader–“God’s got a gift…” / Students–“For me and it’s free!”
  • Leader–“The truth is…” / Students–“Jesus lives!”
  • Leader–“What are you?” / Students–“I’m Special!”
  • Leader–“Who does Jesus love?” / Students–“Meeeeeeeee!”
  • Leader–“God’s got a call…” / Students–“For us all!”
  • Leader–“What’s life all about?” / Students–“It’s all about Jesus!”
  • Leader–“Big or small” / Students–“God cares about it all.”
  • Leader–“God loves who?” / Students–“You!”
  • Leader–“Keep your eyes on…” / Students–“Jesus!”
  • Leader–“Have no fear…” / Students–“Jesus is near!”
  • Leader–“Listen…” / Students–“And obey!”
  • Leader–“Who is Jesus?” / Students–“Jesus is the way!”
  • Leader–“Heyyyyy!” (“Hey,” just lengthened) / Students–“Hoooo!” (“Ho,” just lengthened) / Both–“Jesus is in my soul. Huh!” (with a kick on the “Huh!”)

Almost any key point can be turned into a control tool. Have fun with them. Include accents in them. have some that are slow, some that are fast, some that are whispered, and some that are yelled. Have kids compete to see which side can be the loudest. Remember, an effective children’s ministry isn’t always a quiet children’s ministry. Or, have the boys verse the girls in a loudness competition. And you can also tell the kids that anytime you see them for the next month you might ask them the question of the month–i.e, “Who should be number one in your life?”

“You might be walking down the hall and suddenly I might be right there in front of you and I might ask you this question…You might be picking your nose and suddenly I might be right there in front of you and ask you this really important question…Or, you might be crawling out of the bathroom and suddenly I might be right there in front of you. I might even kneel down (kneel down in front of a girl and put my hands together and ask you this very, very important question…and no, it’s not, ‘Will you marry me?’ I’m going to say,  ‘Who should be number one in your life? Jesus! Now, let’s have a boy verses girl competition to see who can say it louder. Are you ready, boys? Who should be number one in your life…”

Week 1—No, Ma’am. I won’t–Ever


I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was in his mid- 70’s with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit. 

Many times in the past I had invited him to come. Several other Christian friends had talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the Good News with him. He was a well-respected, honest man with so many characteristics a Christian should have, but he never “put on Christ,” nor entered the doors of the church. 

“Have you ever been to a church service in your life?” I had asked him a few years ago. We had just finished a pleasant day of visiting and talking. He hesitated. Then with a bitter smile he told me of his childhood experience some fifty years ago. He was one of the many children in a large, impoverished family. His parents had struggled to provide food, with little left for housing and clothing. 

When he was about ten, some neighbors invited him to worship with them. The Sunday School class had been very exciting. He had never heard such songs and stories before. He had never heard anyone read from the Bible. After class was over, the teacher took him aside and said, “Son, please don’t come again dressed as you are now. We want to look our best when we come into God’s house.” 

He stood in his ragged, unpatched overalls. Then looking at his dirty bare feet, he answered softly, “No Ma’am, I won’t—ever.” And I never did,” he said, abruptly ending our conversation. 

There must have been other factors that hardened him, but this experience formed a significant part of the bitterness in his heart. 

I’m sure that Sunday school teacher meant well. But did she really understand the love of Christ? Had she studied and accepted the teaching found in the second chapter of James? What if she had put her arms around that dirty, ragged little boy and said, “Son, I am so glad you are here, and I hope you will come every chance you get to hear more about Jesus.” 

Yes, I saw him in the church house for the first time on Wednesday. As I looked at that immaculately dressed old gentleman lying in his casket, I thought of a little boy of long ago. I could almost hear him say, “No Ma’am, I won’t—ever.” 

And I wept. 

Oh God, help us all—pastors, teachers, parents, to remember the lowliness of the Babe in the manger and help us show forth His love to the lowly, unlovely, and unloved! In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.1


“So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like STARS in the universe.” Philippians 2:15 


What do you think would have happened if the teacher in the story above had put her arms around that little boy and said, “We love you so much and we are so glad you came to church today”? What kind of difference do you think it would have made? As a children’s ministry leader God has given you the privilege of making a positive difference in the lives of kids. In what ways do you desire for God to grow and use you this year? How do you want to “shine”? Are there areas in which you desire to do better as compared to last year (i.e., build stronger relationships with students and parents, do better remembering and recognizing birthdays, do better in attending a ball game or other events that your students participate in outside of church to show how special they are to you, etc.)? 

Your thoughts?


A reflection is only as clear as the mirror is clean. Let Jesus shine in you this week. 

1Shirley Ward, “No Ma’am, I Won’t—Ever,” A. A. Baker, ed. The Christian School Parent (Taylors, SC: Honeycomb Publishing, August 1997), p. 1. 

Build a Fort

You Will Need: 


Have your family “ransack” the house to get pillows, blankets, chairs, and whatever else they can find to build a fort. Take your time making it and let your kids be creative with it. (For example, they might want to make a tunnel entrance.) Build it big enough for everyone to fit inside. 

From inside the fort use your flashlight to read Psalm 56:3.

ASK—What is something you’re scared of? 

SHARE—Share something you were scared of when you were a child.

ASK—What should we do when we’re scared? (Trust God.)

ASK—Why can we trust God? (He’s faithful. He’ll never let you down. He’ll always keep His Word, etc.)

Read Psalm 18:1-2 from your Bible.

ASK—How is God like a fort (fortress, stronghold) for you? (In old days people went inside a fortress to be safe. Its walls protected them from harm. God is a shield for those who follow Him and like a fort, you are safe in Him.)

ASK—Does this mean that bad things will never happen to someone who is living for Jesus? Why or why not? (Bad things still happen to good people, but there’s nothing so bad that God can’t turn it to your good.)

If they want a further answer, explain that sometimes we do wrong things and these bad choices bring “bad” things into our lives. But sometimes we do everything right and someone else does something wrong and we get hurt because of it. Even so, there’s nothing your children will ever do that is so bad that God can’t forgive them and there’s nothing so bad that can happen to them that God can’t turn it around to their good if they love Him and are walking with Him. (See Romans 8:28 for a great promise.)

PRAY—List prayer requests and thank God that He will always take care of you. 

CLEAN UP—After you’re done playing in the fort, feel free to have a pillow fight or time your family to see how fast they can tear the fort down and put everything away. Have fun and enjoy!

A Really Rotten Day

“It’s a happy, shiny, bright, new day.”

The mom said to Jonathan Gray.

“Get up. Get up.” She patted his head.

It’s time for you to get out of bed.

He closed his eyes,

Then jumped up in a dash,

Grabbed hold of his clothes,

And was dressed in a flash.

But after that,

The good was gone.

Everything that happened,

From there went wrong.

He tripped when he walked.

He fell down the stairs.

His toast was burnt,

And he grew nose hairs.

His fingernails turned blue.

“Oh what will kids think.”

Then he smelled a bad odor.

He was starting to stink.

His socks didn’t like him,

So they jumped off his feet.

His shoes just laughed,

And ran up the street.

Then it started raining spaghetti,

Which he thought was quite weird.

Then he had an odd feeling.

He’d grown a pink beard.

Suddenly a hurricane arrived,

And blew his house away,

And there he stood alone.

Poor Jonathan Gray.

Spaghetti covered him,

From his head to his toes.

Then a monkey came from nowhere,

And pinched him on his nose.

Without warning the moon fell down,

And hit him in the knee,

“Ouch!” he screamed,

“Why me? Why me?”

“Its a happy, shiny, bright, new day,”

Jonathan heard his mother say.

“Get up. Get up.” She patted his head.

It had all been a dream,

And he was glad to get out of bed.


The next time you have a really rotten day, remember what the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.” It is God’s will for us to give thanks in everything—not just good things or happy things but in everything, even bad things—not because we like what happened but because not matter what happens we can always trust God. Remember, you can always give thanks in the middle of hard times because Jesus is right there with you and He is bigger than any bad situation you will ever face.