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Posts tagged "children"


Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You - Sarah Condon

Incoming! Continuing on with videos from this year’s phenomenal Mockingbird conference in Tyler, TX, themed “The Future of Grace,” here’s the Rev. Sarah Condon discussing fighting in school, early puberty, Curious George, the hardships of growing up in the world, and the child inside all of us.

Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers - Adventure One: Creation

Pleased to announce that StoryMakers’ first kidzine has landed and is available through our online shop and StoryMakersNYC.com!

When we give kids stories that spark the imagination, we aren’t giving them distractions to tide them over until they can handle “the big stuff.” Stories ARE the big stuff. And the story of our rescue by God is the biggest story of all and for all. StoryMakers offers a new approach to drawing kids into this ultimate story—and helping them find their own stories within it.

Many of us remember getting a heaping dose of LAW as the first part of our early spiritual formation as children. In fact, the church has confused generations of children by leading them to believe that Christianity is all about following the golden rules of life in order to earn God’s favor. When young people come out of their church experience associating the Christian faith solely with moralism, two types of adults emerge—pharisees or burnouts.

At StoryMakers, we recognize that kids (and their grown-ups) need GRACE first and foundationally. So how do we help young people connect to this grace? We tell them the stories of the Bible, all of which are ultimately the love story of Jesus, the one who created us, loves us, and is actively redeeming us! We introduce them to a person, not a list of rules.

And by giving our kids the chance to engage the stories of the Bible through imaginative creation and play, we tap into their developmental forte. Kids don’t need to take a giant leap of faith to envision the stories of the Bible, so we use their natural curiosity, creativity, and imagination as the pathway into a lifetime of being known and loved by God.

Our first Adventure is an immersive experience all about Creation. Children will discover that God is the Creator of all, the ultimate StoryMaker, and faithfully shows mercy to us from the very beginning. Through our visuals and activities, StoryMakers will experience the progression of Genesis and will be given a glimpse into God’s promises to Creation.

  • The zine explores a story of the Bible over 12 weeks and includes art, fun facts, interactive play, and thoughts to ponder. Every chapter includes a 6-page spread, so there is plenty of detail to dig deep. ($20, or save 25% on 5 or more)
  • The teacher’s guide helps grown-ups use the kidzine with their children and students. Sometimes it is hard for adults even to know where to begin teaching the old stories with our little ones. Our Creation guide is available to support our StoryMakers along the way. It includes: Fun Facts, Deeper Thoughts, and Activity Instruction. The guide is perfect for any grown-up hoping to connect and discover God’s love and mercy alongside children. ($15)
  • The memory cards use visual prompts to turn memorization into a fun game. Order this set of memory cards and get to know Creation and God’s words of hope in the midst of the Fall. Each card is visually compelling with cues to help your StoryMaker internalize God’s story. ($12)
  • The playbook is tailored to help children enjoy Creation by playing all the characters in the story. You can use your puppets, or jump into costumes and play all the parts, to get to know Genesis in a new way. ($10)
  • You can purchase the entire creation zine set together. Each kit includes a zine, a teacher’s guide, our memory cards, and the playbook. Every piece enhances the StoryMaker experience and will bring Creation to life. ($50)
  • Last but not least, you can also download 12 printable posters, drawn from the beautiful zine illustrations. ($5 each)

ORDER YOUR FIRST ADVENTURE TODAY!

A Very Brady Holy Week

A Very Brady Holy Week

The most famous episode of The Brady Bunch is the one where Marcia takes a football to the nose.[1] In the beginning of the episode, she is asked out by the school’s star football player and breaks off a date with her friend Charley, a rather unremarkable suitor by comparison. In breaking off the date, […]

My Daddy Is Big and He Can Carry Me

My Daddy Is Big and He Can Carry Me

This sweet reflection comes to us from Juliette Alvey. This picture was drawn by my daughter, Devyn, and the words she expressed are very literal. My husband is 6’4” and is strong enough to pick her up and carry her (or even swing her upside down). She says she loves him because of this, which […]

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Last Saturday, my son accompanied me on my typical weekend errands, and after he patiently endured the tedium of Costco’s packed aisles and long lines, we were finally en route in the Dodge Millennium Falcon to an impromptu father-son lunch date. As we approached our destination, he randomly blurted out, “Dad, remember that time last […]

Healing in the Middle

Healing in the Middle

This piece comes to us from Andrew Taylor-Troutman. When I say Asa, I sing Asa – Bry Webb, “Asa” Our middle child is named Asa, which means Healer in Hebrew. His biblical namesake was the fifth ruler in the House of David, the third king of Judah. In his two and a half years, our […]

Of Millstones

Of Millstones

One of the most stark and terrifying verses in all of the world’s religions is attributed to Jesus not once, nor twice, but three times identically in three different gospels: “Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he were thrown into […]

How to Draw a Crowd on the Playground

How to Draw a Crowd on the Playground

On Fridays I mentor a fifth-grade boy at a local elementary school. The hour we spend together begins in a classroom where he eats his lunch and we work jigsaw puzzles, play board games, and build race cars out of Legos. But when lunch is over, this boy cannot wait to go outside. You can learn […]

The Myth of the Happy Parent

The Myth of the Happy Parent

This one comes to us from our friend, Samuel Son. We just threw a sixth birthday party for my third and youngest (and last) child. It got me thinking that in the last ten years of my life, raising three tiny human beings, I had been tempted to drive away to Costa Rica–or the bordering state–drive off […]

What Children Teach Us About Love (and God)

What Children Teach Us About Love (and God)

Chalk it up to feeling a bit sentimental as my wife and I enter the final stretch of waiting for baby number three (most likely our last prenatal go-round). Or maybe it has to do with the increasing number of conversations I’ve been having with young couples perplexed by why anyone would ever want to reproduce, given […]

NYC Breakout Preview: Faith through Imagination

This begins our series of previews for our Mockingbird NYC Conference this April. It comes from the one and only Melina Smith.  

Until a character becomes a personality it cannot be believed. Without personality, the character may do funny or interesting things, but unless people are able to identify themselves with the character, its actions will seem unreal. And without personality, a story cannot ring true to the audience. – Walt Disney

We can all recall being small people and being captured through imagination. For me this experience came through vivid stories and films my father shared with me as a child. I can honestly say faith did not come through Sunday School. I can recall being disappointed in the presentation of your average Bible story– they came across as stale, rigid, and lacking in any creativity. As a child I preferred being in the big church; it was there, at the very least,that I heard more compelling and imaginative readings of the Bible. Sunday School felt like a threat–a boring one.

Walt-Disney-and-Mickey-Mouse-at-Disneyland-walter-e-disney-6626898-400-512Fast forward to 2007 when I find myself in the basement of the church, working with a couple of volunteers to create Sunday School programing. I call upon my own childhood, remembering the felt board Jesus, watching Salty, and reading through the KJV. I knew going forward we would not be using materials I grew up with. As our small team continued, we bought curriculums, and worked with Godly Play, the programs we used were good, but I found something was missing.

Why is it that in the Christian subculture we miss our opportunity to capture the imaginations of our youngest members during the time when its development is MOST vivid? As children we are not bound to what’s “real”–we are open to story. Take Walt Disney for instance: you could argue the world of Disney is its very own religious sphere. Disney said, “Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” He was onto something here. Disney understood the power or imagination, he knew how to communicate the impossible with the hope of plausibility.

Children and grown-ups are captivated by the strength of a story. Sure, the Bible may not include singing lobsters, but each story includes enough drama and risk to capture any listener, if the story is told well.

Join us for “Faith Through Imagination” at the 2015 Mockingbird conference. Jackie DeMarco and I will share how our team has created programing that captures the imaginations of our youngest members. The imagination is the natural way to the heart of our youngest members. Can you imagine creation, the stormy story of Noah, and Jonah’s time in the belly of a whale? Children can so long as the story is told well. Join Jackie and I as we share our process, our vision, and hope for sharing the Gospel through story.

Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination. But just as a muscle grows flabby with disuse, so the bright imagination of a child pales in later years if he ceases to exercise it.

Waiting for a Baby: Pregnant at Christmas

Waiting for a Baby: Pregnant at Christmas

This is the second time in my life I have been pregnant during Christmas. With the first, I was only a few short weeks into the process and so mostly just doe-eyed, exhausted, and power-eating Chick-fil-a. This go-round though, I’m at 18 weeks and still running for the toilet every time I eat anything with […]