Palm Sunday Photo Blog

Easter Video: God’s Wonderful Surprise

Sojourn’s first published book!

Sojourn’s first children’s book, Our Home is like a Little Church, (formerly titled Pastor Daddy), written by Lindsey Blair and Bobby Gilles with illustrations by Tessa Janes, is now available to pre-order from Amazon.com.  The book has been published by Christian Focus Publications.  There will be lots more information to come both here and at http://ministry-to-children.com as we head toward a more official release.  And the book will be available at the book table on Sundays soon as well.  We’re excited!  Teaching the truth that the church is like the home is one of our top priorities as a children’s ministry, and we think this will be a useful tool both for our own church and for other churches.

Our Home is like a Little Church was written to teach preschool children the Christian truth evident in its title–that the home is a “little church” where the father teaches his family God’s commands and leads them to worship the one true God.”

Here is what others are saying!

Our Home is like a Little Church beautifully illustrates the Biblical role that each father is called to play  in the lives of his children.  The apostle Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 2 that he has dealt with the Thessalonian church the same way that a father deals with his children….”encouraging, comforting and urging [them], to live lives worthy of God.”  I pray that every father that reads this powerful  little book will have the courage to lead his family to live life for the  Glory of God and nothing less.  I LOVE the book because it provides a  beautiful picture of what it looks like for a father to be the spiritual leader in the home.  It simplifies this profound truth in a way that can be easily understood by everyone in the family.–Jason Houser, Seeds Family Worship, Nashville, TN Continue Reading…

Thursday Book Club: The Very First Easter

The Very First Easter by Paul L. Maier, (Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 32 pages.

This is a good resource for teaching younger grade school children about Easter.  Paul Maier is an historian who has given the church excellent editions of the writings of both Josephus and Eusebius (I used the Eusebius text when I taught 8th grade Christian history). In recent years, Maijer has also written six children’s books on the Old and New Testaments.

In this edition, Maier tells the story of holy week from the gospel of Luke.  As you’d expect from a great historian, there is great teaching material here about the differences between ancient and modern culture.  In the book, the Easter story is narrated by a father to his son, Chris.  Maier uses the family interactions to answer questions that any listening child is bound to ask.  One of the best instances of this storytelling technique comes on page 14:

“Judas then marched into the garden leading a group of armed men from the temple guard.  Judas had told them, ‘The man I kiss will be Jesus.  Seize Him!””Judas kissed Jesus?  Yecch!” muttered Chris.

Mom smiled.  “In those days a kiss was a way to greet someone,” she explained.  “This kiss would let the soldiers know which man was Jesus.  After all, Jesus’ picture would never have appeared on TV or in a newspaper.”

Overall, this is the book’s best quality.  It explains the Easter story’s historical setting in very simple terms.

There are a couple of downsides to the book:

  • On page 12, there is a confusing interchange of God the Father for “God” in a comment of Luke 22:41-42.  Maier misses an opportunity here to teach kids about the Trinity.
  • In many of the illustrations, the Bible characters appear with Western rather than Middle Eastern or Jewish features.   This can be confusing for kids.

But, overall, I think this is a very helpful resource for Easter.

SojournKids Music for Palm Sunday

This Sunday is Palm Sunday.  Most classes are studying the Jesus’ Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:28-40) or Jesus’ Death (Matthew 26-27; Luke 22:63-23:56).  Each class will keep in mind the day’s main theme—that Jesus is God’s King, sent to deliver his people from sin and death. Here is the cool part!  Each child will receive a palm branch to take home after the service.  And some classes (ages 4-grade 2) will be led in a “Hosanna” parade into the adult worship gathering.  Kids will run down the aisles shouting Hosanna then gather at the front of the auditorium to help in singing this song with the gathered community! Then, they’ll gather upstairs with the entire children’s ministry for the following liturgy: Continue Reading…