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.
Ideas for Ascension and Pentecost
You can find a focus on these festivals in many of our books. Check out:
- Creative Mission - Windmill fiesta - p. 150 (Pentecost)
- Messy Church 1 - Unit 12: New life in the Spirit - download for just 99p! (Pentecost)
- Not Sunday, Not School! - Theme 8 (Ascension and Pentecost)
- Creative Ideas for All-Age Church - Themes 5 and 6 (Ascension and Pentecost)
- Messy Church 3 - Session 5: The Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
- Few Children, Great Opportunities - 12 sessions on the character of God/gifts of the Spirit
- Where in the World? - There's a wealth of ideas here to explore how the Christian story has spread throughout the world following the birth of the church on the first Pentecost. It would make a great focus for your church or children's group. Check out the free ideas linked to the book too.
Ideas exploring God's great love
We've added two new outlines this month, both of which focus on Jesus stories that the first Christians might well have used after Easter to remind themselves and others of God's great love:
- Jesus and the leper: To whichever of the stories of Jesus you turn, it seems that you encounter the whole gospel! The account of how he dared to touch the man with a skin disease and brought healing as well as inclusion surely sums up what is meant by God's grace. This is a simple way to tell that story.
- Exploring forgiveness: Being told we should always be ready to forgive those who hurt us is all very well but it's just not that simple! This is at the heart of the very practical question that Peter put to Jesus once, as recorded in Matthew 18:21-35. The parable Jesus then tells about the unforgiving servant is a focus for this idea.
New ideas to celebrate Holy Week and Easter
Check out these two new ideas:
- Celebrate Holy Week - This storytelling idea focuses on the parable Jesus told about the 'rejected stone'.
- Celebrate the Last Supper - This simple outline focuses on the moment when Jesus chose to become the household slave and wash the disciples' feet, giving them an example of how they should love and care for others.
Get ready for Easter
Lent is approaching fast. Perhaps you are planning a new series with your group or maybe you are looking for material for some spring all-age services. Traditionally, 'getting ready for Easter' takes six weeks - and many Christians use this time to 'journey with Jesus' towards the cross and resurrection. Barnabas in Churches has lots of tried-and-tested material to help you do just that, so take a look at:
- Praying a special prayer for Lent
- Lent and Easter - ideas to use at home
- Countdown to Easter
- A labyrinth for Lent
Setting out on a new journey
Our new idea this month is a bit different.
Taking as its starting point the story of The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, this outline explores how you might unpack the journey of faith with a group via a series of simple activity stations, perhaps over one or more sessions, on a special activity morning or as an all-age event.
There are Bible story links of course and activity suggestions to keep everybody worshiping and learning with and from each other.
... is always a challenge, whether at work, in school, with daily routines, or for your weekly or monthly programmes through church. There are of course great stories in the Bible that can help you and your groups meet this challenge. See, for example:
Joshua 1 -The succession: This story from Joshua 1 is a springboard to start your group talking about change and new beginnings.
Or explore Jesus' words about being the first and the last, as you embark on the New Year together, in:idea
Let's Get Together
This is an exciting mix of creative ideas designed to encourage the whole church family to relax and have fun together in a variety of situations. The resource includes themed starter activities, Bible-based storytelling, action-packed drama, punchy puppetry, instant crafts, team games, reflective prayers and take-home Bible challenges.book
For your all-age carol service
Three new ideas this month open up windows on how Christmas is celebrated around the world. This material is ideal to use as part of a special feature in an all-age carol service, or as the focus for a Christmas assembly in a school, or as a weekly session in a global Christmas project for your Sunday group or in the classroom during Advent.idea