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Barnabas in Churches

Resourcing work among children and families

‘And when you welcome one of these children because of me, you welcome me.’
Matthew 18:5 (CEV)

Welcome to the Barnabas in Churches website. We are passionate about bringing the Bible to life for children and families and so, on this site you will find ideas for your Sunday and midweek groups, material for all-age worship, links to our books, resources for training and information about our programmes and ministries.

What's new

Who Let The Dads Out? Christmas Celebration

Who Let The Dads Out? Christmas Celebration 5060316650202

The Who Let The Dads Out? Christmas Celebration booklet makes an ideal gift for all the dads in your church. At only £1.00, this 32-page booklet provides inspiration and ideas for Christmas activities that dads can do with their young children through the festive period. It also challenges them to consider the relevance of Christ's birth.

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New ideas for Christmas

Finding new ways to retell the mystery of the Christmas story is always a challenge. Our first new idea - Christmas cards - uses a selection of playing cards to retell the events surrounding the nativity.

The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is often overlooked in our eagerness to tell what happened for Mary and Joseph at the first Christmas. The forgotten story of Christmas, our second new idea, offers a storytelling template to be used in all-age worship and with children's or family groups.

A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections. The new Christmas craft idea - A Christmas triptych - offers three striking images that you could copy and illustrate in order to make a triptych that can be a focus for telling the Christmas story.

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Hand in Hand 2015

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The Children's and Family Ministry Hand in Hand Conference is the one-stop shop for resources, ideas and inspiration for all who work with children and families in church and community. Whether your role is paid or voluntary, the conference offers a weekend of lectures, seminars and workshops to equip, encourage and refresh you. And an extensive marketplace allows you to browse new resources, chat with other practitioners and catch-up with what others are doing.

The conference takes place from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 February 2015 at the Devonshire Park Complex in Eastbourne. Weekend and day tickets are available.

The focus for 2015 will be on 'Dads and lads' and BRF's Who Let The Dads Out? founder Mark Chester will be a main stage speaker. The conference will look at: how churches can engage with fathers; how they can provide significant male role models, particularly supporting single-mum families; how church can be made more boy-friendly.

But there will still be lots of sessions addressing many different aspects of children's and family ministry, including Messy Church and BRF author Rachel Turner.

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Messy Lyfe

Messy Lyfe

Messy Lyfe is a beginner's guide for families who want to learn how to live closer to Jesus every day.

Using a family-friendly approach, the Messy lyfe material draws all ages into a closer understanding of God's love. Through activities, thoughts to reflect upon and short suggested Bible readings, the whole family is given something to think about, be thankful for, to consider in their own lives. By stripping faith down to the essentials for everyday lives, each member of the family can allow Jesus to be there with them throughout the day.

£4.99 | Find out more

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The story of Joseph

Joseph's story is one of the most compelling dramas in the Old Testament and one that raises lots of interesting questions, such as 'How can we trust in God when bad things happen?' and 'Can we honestly forgive those who have hurt us?' this series of three storytelling ideas explores these questions through Joseph's story:

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Celebrate Bonfire Night

The closest thing to a firework display in the Bible happened on Mount Sinai when God gave Moses the ten commandments. The following outline links Bonfire Night to the story of this event

Celebrate Bonfire Night

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Harvest Ideas

Harvest services and harvest suppers are among the most attended and popular church events of the Christian year. Here are some suggestions for all-age activities that could be part of a church family celebration.

Our Christian harvest festival has its biblical roots in the Feast of Tabernacles. Here are some group activity and craft ideas to create a special prayer space linked to the celebration.

Harvest Craft Idea

Harvest Activity

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Joshua - a reflective story

Starting a new task for God can be daunting. Many Christians in this situation have found inspiration and support from the story of Joshua - who took over from Moses the task of leading the people of God. This reflective story explores how Joshua trusted the Lord.

Joshua - A reflective story

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Keep in touch

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Find out more | Past issues

Have you visited?

Visit BRF Online

BRF Online Shop - packed with resources for your ministry

Visit now

Visit the Bible Reading Notes website

Bible Reading Notes - to help you read your Bible regularly

Visit now

Visit the Messy Church website

Messy Church - the growing network of all-age church

Visit now

Visit the Faith in Homes website

Faith in Homes - nurture your children’s faith in the family

Visit now

Visit the Barnabas in Schools website

Barnabas in Schools - for teachers & schools workers

Visit now

Visit the Local Church Local School website

Local Church Local School - nurturing positive relationships

Visit site

Have you read?

Find out more about Side by Side with God in Everyday Life

Support Barnabas

All that we do is only made possible through the generosity of the individuals, churches and charitable trusts that support our work.

We are dependent each year on the financial support of those that share the vision for these pioneering ministries. Your support for our ministry is therefore vital.

Thank you.

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Meet the Team

Jane Butcher

Jane Butcher is based in Birmingham. She oversees the Barnabas Schools Team, leads teacher training across the UK and heads up BRF's Faith in Homes ministry.

More about Jane


Martyn Payne

Martyn Payne is based in London and is responsible for updating the Barnabas in Churches website.

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Chris HudsonChris Hudson joined the Barnabas Children's Ministry Team in 2007. His particular interest lies in using music, storytelling and drama to help children explore the Bible. He is increasingly spending more time on teacher training, and oversees the Barnabas in Schools website.

More about Chris