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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

Travel to the Mediterranean with Paul

Some of you may be travelling to Europe during the holidays, so here are two new ideas to explore Pauls' travel with the gospel to Mediterranean islands:

These build on some existing ideas on the Barnabas in Churches website about Paul's missionary journeys in Greece:

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We are Family conference

BIC_WeAreFamilyWe are Family - a joint conference from CGMC and The Methodist Church - is taking place on 11-12 September 2015 in Liverpool.

Find out about this groundbreaking project that is looking at the current shape of work with families across the church in the UK.

  • How is the Church working with families today?
  • What does this ministry look like?
  • What training and resources are available for those working in this field?

Core Skills for Family Ministry

For more information and to book, click here.

August sees the publication of Core Skills for Family Ministry - a new training resource in the same series as Core Skills for Children's Work, written by an experienced team of practitioners from across the denominations. This new publication will be launched at the 'We are Family' conference, so do pop along to the BRF stand and check it out.

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Ideas for June

Here are some new ideas for June:

  • Giddy Giddy Gideon: Gideon was an unlikely hero of God. He came from the smallest family of the smallest tribe of Israel and he was full of doubts about his ability to do what God asked of him. This version of the call of Gideon is one you can use with young children.
  • Simon says: Jesus is invited to a dinner party that is interrupted by an outsider who gives him the love and welcome he should have received from his host. This version of the story is a performance piece for an act of worship or a reflection on welcome, love and forgiveness.
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Celebrating the Holy Spirit

The church is the people of God, filled with the life of the Spirit, following the way of Jesus and working together for God locally all around the world. Each person has a gift and ministry in this church. Our new idea this month is an all-age celebration outline that draws on St Paul's teaching in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4.

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Focusing on fatherhood

Some churches use the Sunday of Father’s Day in June (in the UK) as an opportunity to celebrate the fatherhood of God and also to encourage a positive relationship between human fathers and their children. This outline for a group session focuses on a father who came to Jesus for help because his son was very ill. It could also be adapted as a framework for an all-age celebration in church.

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Reflective story for Easter

Our new idea this month The new beginning is a reflective story that has been used regularly by the Barnabas team as a presentation of the life of Jesus that links Christmas to Easter. The fact that these two major festivals are often only months apart can be confusing for some. It's an ideal story to share with your group or in church over the Easter season.

Our second new idea this month The feeding of the 5000 is a participative version of the miracle of the five loaves and two small fish that turned a surprise picnic with Jesus into an unforgettable feast.

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New ideas for an Easter service or special event

For those thinking ahead and preparing an all-age service to celebrate the mystery of Easter, here is a new idea you might like to try out:

  • Easter cross words: this contains a simple illustration for turning hate to love via the cross

And for an outline for a more general all-age service or special event, then take a look at the following:

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Easy-to-use ideas for the New Year

  • The baptism of Jesus - it's no accident that many churches begin each new year by reminding us of the story of Jesus being baptised in the River Jordan. Everything starts and is grounded in the knowledge that God loves us first and foremost. This storytelling idea could be used in a Messy Church celebration, within an all-age worship service or with a children's group at the beginning of the year or a term.
  • The temptations of Jesus - the three temptations faced by Jesus in the desert both define his future ministry as well as challenge us as to the best way to make a difference in this world for the better. This storytelling idea could be used for a school assembly, a Messy Church celebration, within an all-age worship service or with a children's group at the beginning of Lent.
  • Celebrating variety and difference - why not share this version of 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and 13:13 with your team as a way of valuing everyone's contribution to the children's and family ministry at your church.
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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

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Visit the Messy Church website

Messy Church - the growing network of all-age church

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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

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Visit the Local Church Local School website

Local Church Local School - nurturing positive relationships

Visit site

Have you read?

Find out more about Parachute Fun for Everyone

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.

Find out more

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.

More about Martyn


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