Blog

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  • Equip Families to Share Jesus in Their Neighborhood
    08-13-20
    By Gail Marsh   Have you ever wished for a targeted plan—a coordinated effort that helped families easily share Jesus within their neighborhoods? Wish no more! CTA’s new group or...
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  • God Takes Care of Us--A Fun Activity
    08-12-20
    By Gail Marsh   What You’ll Need Pine cone, one for each child Gallon-size zip-top bag, one for each child Paper plates, one for each child Suet bird food Plastic knives Birdsee...
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  • How to Plan a Safe Women's Retreat This Fall
    08-11-20
    How to Plan a Save Women’s Retreat This Fall By Cyndee Ownbey The coronavirus has impacted fall retreat plans for every women’s ministry leader I know. Thankfully, instead of cancelin...
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  • Different Story. Same God.
    08-10-20
    By Alison Zeller   The story of Moses parting the Red Sea is quite familiar. Far fewer people remember that Joshua parted the Jordan River in a similarly spectacular way. But he did!  ...
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  • 3 Ideas for Getting Men Together for Activity
    08-06-20
    3 Ideas for Getting Men Together for Activity   Isolation isn’t good for anyone, and even though you may have heard a few men around you joke that they were made for social distancing,...
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  • Ocean Charades
    08-05-20
    By Alison Zeller   Before you begin, brainstorm ocean creatures for a game of charades, write them down, and put the slips of paper in a bowl. Here are some ideas to get you started: octopus...
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  • Back to School
    08-04-20
    Back to School Since the COVID-19 outbreak, students and teachers have remained in isolation at home. Classrooms have been shuttered, bells and playgrounds silenced. Hopefully all of that will cha...
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  • Making a Difference . . . Inspiring Lives
    08-03-20
    By Gail Marsh   How many kitchen countertop appliances can you name? There are, of course, the standard “must have” appliances: mixers and toasters, can openers and coffee machin...
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  • Play to Your Strengths
    07-29-20
    By Kristin Schultz If the last few months have taught ministry leaders anything, it’s that plans change. We put hours of preparation into Easter services and celebrations then had to scrap t...
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  • 3 New Types of Volunteers
    07-28-20
    This summer it hasn’t been common to see VBS helpers with children crowded around them but that doesn’t mean volunteers were missing from the scene. The effects of safety restrictions a...
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  • Strong and Courageous
    07-27-20
    By Jane L. Fryar   If you were a parent of children born before the 1960s, baby-proofing was probably not part of your vocabulary. Car seats had just been invented and parents had absolutely...
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  • Men in Service
    07-22-20
    Looking for ways to help the men in your church serve during this time? Here are some options (check them against your local government’s recommendations): Deliver groceries (use a no-cont...
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  • The Gospel Story by Shapes
    07-21-20
    Create a number of colorful geometric shapes on construction paper or poster board. Include simple shapes younger children will be able to name (for example, circle, square, triangle). Also include...
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  • Praying the Scriptures
    07-20-20
    By Susan L. Fink   Heavenly Father, . . . Exodus 34:6: Thank you for being slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness. 1 John 3:19–20: I praise you whenever my heart cond...
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  • Safety for Volunteers
    07-15-20
    As you think about a women’s event for the fall, whether it be in person or online, keep your volunteers in mind: Ask them to let you know their level of comfort regarding social contact. ...
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  • Power Up with Jesus!
    07-14-20
    By Jane L. Fryar Jacob and Joanne were brother and sister. Jacob was in third grade and Joanne was in fifth. One day, while Dad was working in the garage, Jacob and Joanne sat at the kitchen tabl...
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  • Focus: Seeing Jesus Clearly
    07-13-20
    By A. Trevor Sutton   According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the average attention span of an adult is eight seconds. Several years prior, before smartphones and social media, the aver...
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  • Kids and 2020
    07-08-20
    By Tim Wesemann   As you make plans for how children’s ministry will look during the rest of 2020, here are a few ideas for activities and planning:  Ask children to draw pictu...
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  • Dive into God's Word, A Conversation with Children
    07-07-20
    By Julie Heath   I love going to the library because I like learning about new things—and reading books is a great way to do that. A few days ago, I found a book on oceans. It’s ...
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  • Forgiven and Free
    07-06-20
    By A. Trevor Sutton See if you can figure out the following riddles:   What travels around the world but stays in the corner? A stamp. Forward I am heavy, backward I am not. What am I? ...
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  • Finding Joy
    07-01-20
    By Cherie Werner   Have you ever found a penny while walking?  It doesn’t happen often but it happened to me this morning and I am always surprised. I am still amazed by the fact ...
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  • A Gratitude Calendar
    05-27-20
    It’s not always easy to be grateful, but experts are recommending that daily gratitude is one healthy approach to making it through difficult times. It is important to acknowledge the gifts G...
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  • 31 Days of Prayer for Spiritual Renewal
    05-01-20
    Thursday, May 7, is the National Day of Prayer. With that in mind, please pray with us all throughout the month of May for spiritual renewal and revival in our country, churches, families, and each...
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  • A Fun Spring Time Lesson Plan: Mud
    04-30-20
    A Fun Spring Time Lesson Plan Mud   Find a warm day to make some mud outside or bring some into your bathroom or area that can get dirty. Let your children play with their hands and maybe b...
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  • Who, Me?
    04-01-20
    By Gail Marsh   Yes, you! You have been chosen to organize this year’s women’s retreat. Before you turn on full panic mode, stop! Take some deep, cleansing breaths. There you go ...
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  • Warriors of Faith - a devotion for kids
    03-31-20
    What superheroes do you know? Let’s see how many we can name. (Let volunteers do so.) Why do you think we like these superheroes? That’s right! Kids and adults, too, often like to read...
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  • The Wonder of Re-Creation
    03-30-20
    By Jane Fryar   For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV).   Every day, Jana’s mom pac...
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  • Any Church Can Be a Welcoming Church
    03-25-20
    By Kristin Schultz   There are endless articles and books about why your church and ministry should be welcoming to visitors—especially at popular holidays like Christmas and Easter. Y...
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  • 8 Ways Leaders Can Feed Their Faith
    03-24-20
    As a leader, you spend a lot of time in God’s Word preparing to serve. You also no doubt share your faith with your coworkers, friends, and other people you meet during the day. What a joy it...
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  • The Definition of Making a Difference
    03-23-20
    Laughter surrounded the dinner table. Good food. Good friends. A good time. Nothing beats a good meal shared with friends—in this case, friends who in recent months had become even closer tha...
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  • 5 Ways to Keep Volunteer Enthusiasm Soaring
    03-18-20
    By Jane Fryar   In some groups, the atmosphere is electric. You walk into the room—and sense the excitement and purposefulness shared by the volunteers there. Some groups, though, neve...
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  • Warriors!
    03-17-20
    By Gail Marsh   Over the past several years, movies have featured Batman, Captain America, Superman, Cat Woman, Iron Man, and Green Lantern, just to name a few warriors. We enjoy watching th...
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  • The Wonder of Our Creator
    03-16-20
    By Jane Fryar   God is clothed with awesome majesty. . . He is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate (Job 37:22, 23 ESV).   What makes a painting grea...
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  • More Than a Sacrifice
    03-11-20
    The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 ESV).   What You’ll Need * Space for small groups to...
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  • Changed for Good
    03-10-20
    I’m so glad you came today! To start, let’s think about what it means to change. Let’s say that you move into a new house. The walls in your new room are painted a dark grey. You ...
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  • Compassion - a free Lent devotion
    03-09-20
    By Jeff Cloeter   Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy for another, accompanied by a desire to help. In the New Testament, the Greek word for compassion implies a feeling in the gut. Com...
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  • 6 Distractions that Steal Your Time
    03-04-20
    By Kristin Schultz   Do you ever waste time? Whether you’re overwhelmed or bored or just feeling a little more distracted than usual, you’ve probably fallen into one of these tim...
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  • Jesus Lives for Me - a free kids' devotion
    03-03-20
    Before beginning, print a picture of a very strong man. You can do an internet search for “world’s strongest man” and come up with several options. Also have a picture of Jesus av...
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  • Forsaken - a free Lent devotion
    03-02-20
    By Jeff Cloeter   A little girl fell asleep while her father was singing to her. She drifted off during “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” As her breathing became rhythmic and deep...
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  • Outreach to the Homebound
    02-26-20
    By Gail Marsh   Shut-in. Convalescent. Housebound. No matter what label you assign, there are probably at least a few fellow church members that are unable to leave their homes. Recovering f...
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  • Teaching Kindness
    02-25-20
    By Cherie Werner   We have a very creative God! He has made so many interesting and unique animals, plants, places, and people . . . including all of the people he placed in your classroom t...
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  • The Wonder of Re-Creation - a free devotion
    02-24-20
    By Jane Fryar   For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV).   Every day, Jana’s mom pac...
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  • An Easy-Peasy Preschool Craft
    02-19-20
    Preschool teachers are always on the lookout for fun and easy crafts. This craft fits the bill! It’s a “smudge cross” and it will remind little ones of Jesus’ glorious resur...
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  • The Sunday Morning Miracle
    02-18-20
    Before you begin this kids’ devotion, practice creating “Fireworks in a Jar.” Here’s how: Fill a clear bottle about 3/4 full of warm water. Into a small dish, pour three...
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  • The Beginning - a free devotion for youth
    02-17-20
    Many Christians around the world observe a season called Lent. Traditionally, the six weeks of Lent are set aside for reflection, for thinking about our sins and about the sacrifice God made in sen...
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  • It Just Keeps Getting Better
    02-12-20
    By Gail Marsh   Can you think of something that just keeps on getting better and better? Perhaps the Easter story qualifies. Every time you hear the story of Christ’s resurrection, a l...
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  • Get Your Easter Party Started!
    02-11-20
    Now is the time to start planning your Easter outreach event! Save planning and prep time by downloading CTA’s The Sunday Morning Miracle event outline. It’s packed full of ideas for Bi...
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  • A Welcome Wave - a free Lent devotion
    02-10-20
    By Trevor Sutton   “I just mow lawns.”   Whenever people would talk about the ways they served at the church, Harold would always say, “I just mow lawns.” He w...
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  • 40 Days of Praise
    02-05-20
    By Cherie Werner   The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26 this year. It’s a six-and-a-half-week period leading up to the celebration of Easter (April 12). Lent is gene...
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  • A Kids' Devotion for Valentine's Day
    02-04-20
    Today we are going to learn about some amazing things. Who knows what amazing means? (Let volunteers share ideas; affirm definitions like “wonderful,” “unbelievable,” and a...
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  • Salvation - a free devotion
    02-03-20
    By Jeff Cloeter   Countless TV shows and movies focus on “getting the bad guy.” I think of the 1980s version of MacGyver because lately I’ve been watching reruns. MacGyver ...
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  • Retreat Dreams
    01-29-20
    By Gail Marsh   Tulips and daffodils. Warm sunshine and green grass. Fresh, clean air carried along by a gentle breeze.   These images conjure up thoughts of spring. Dreaming about sp...
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  • Let's Get Together!
    01-28-20
    By Kristin Schultz   Spring is a fun time in women’s ministry. You may be planning a retreat, new Bible studies, Mother’s Day recognition events, and other spring get-togethers. ...
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  • Masterpiece - a free women's devotion
    01-27-20
    Optional: Plan a way to project two or three paintings by an “Old Master” onto a screen or wall where everyone will be able to see them during your introduction. Be ready to name the ar...
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  • Humor for the New Year
    01-22-20
    By Tim Wesemann   Let’s start the New Year off right—with smiles created by our Savior through his gift of humor! We serve a gracious and good God. What a joy! As you serve the L...
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  • Struggling as a Christian Teacher?
    01-21-20
    By Cherie Werner   Have you felt it?   The frustration you feel when you’re wondering about what to do about the child who is angry all the time, the child who fights you at eve...
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  • Forgiveness to the Fullest
    01-20-20
    By Jeff Cloeter   For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:34 ESV).   Under normal circumstances, amnesia is a bad thing. In this verse, i...
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  • Where in the World?
    01-15-20
    By Gail Marsh   It’s Sunday morning and time for ch_ _ ch. Who’s missing? U R, Millennials. This is no joke! Millennials have left the building. Just look around at your church t...
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  • Forgive - a free Lent devotion
    01-13-20
    By Jeff Cloeter   In a family with children, two words often echo across the house: “Not me!”   “Who left their dirty clothes in the bathroom?” A chorus of voi...
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  • Spiritual Growth in the New Year
    01-08-20
    By Cherie Werner   It’s a new year! Have you thought about how you want this year to be different or better than last year? A new year is an exciting time full of promise and hope. It ...
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  • Can Your Volunteers Answer 3 Questions?
    01-07-20
    By Alison Zeller   The New Year is here, ushering in a new year of ministry programs. Are you reorganizing any of your programs this year? Trying out something new in worship? Looking to cen...
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  • Buried under My Stuff - a free devotion
    01-06-20
    By Jane Fryar   [Jesus said,] “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV).   Mine!   The moment an infant learns to say, “Mama,&r...
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  • To Theme or Not to Theme?
    01-01-20
    By Gail Marsh   That’s a good question! As you stand at the beginning of a New Year, you may have asked that very thing. Before you answer the “Can churches really benefit from a...
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  • Drawn to Jesus - a devotion for kids
    12-31-19
    By Cherie Werner   Hello, everyone! It is good to see you! I am glad you are here. Will you please pretend with me for a minute?     Let’s pretend that it is a dark ni...
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  • Switching Teams
    12-30-19
    By Jeff Cloeter   Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power (Ephesians 3:7 ESV).   Paul, by all a...
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  • A Christmas Prayer
    12-25-19
    By Jane Fryar   Tender Jesus, you are the Light of the World, the light no darkness can overcome. You came into our darkness on that very first Christmas night, scattering that darkness and ...
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  • On Christmas Morn - Joyful
    12-24-19
    Today, I want to tell you about Mitchel. One day, just at Christmastime, Mitchel walked into the toy section of the store with his mother. Suddenly, music began to play. All kinds of important peop...
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  • It's Time
    12-23-19
    By Jane Fryar   It’s time! The preparations are finished, the gifts wrapped, the decorations hung.   It’s time! Time to kneel. Time to adore. Time to worship.   Lis...
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  • Ornaments Give Hope to Grieving Families
    12-18-19
    By Alison Zeller   Christmas, nicknamed “the most wonderful time of the year” in a popular holiday song, is all about candy canes and sugar cookies for some. But, for families wh...
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  • The Present Is His Presence
    12-17-19
    By Cherie Werner Before you start:  Wrap a large box like a present. Make 2 large signs. On sign 1 write the word: PRESENT and display a picture of a gift. On sign 2 Write the word: PRESENCE ...
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  • The Christmas Light
    12-16-19
    Open your phone or tablet to today’s news on a national (or local) news site or have a copy of this morning’s newspaper. Be ready to describe examples drawn from your source at the appr...
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  • Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Volunteers
    12-11-19
    Throughout the year, volunteers work tirelessly behind the scenes—directing the choirs, organizing children’s ministries, leading Bible studies, and so much more. Your Christmas list mo...
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  • On Christmas Morn' - the Humble Donkey
    12-10-19
    Boys and girls, this is an exciting time of year! It’s the time when people all around us are getting ready for Christmas. What do people do to get ready for Christmas? (Invite a few voluntee...
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  • Blessings of Peace
    12-09-19
    Peace on earth. Really?! This year, of all years, seems like a poor time to be talking about that. Just look around. Do you see peace on earth? Or is the earth, rather, in pieces!?   Everywh...
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  • I Wonder . . .
    12-04-19
    By Tim Wesemann   I’ve realized there’s a lot to wonder about as we take our annual journey toward Bethlehem—toward the manger and the Savior lying there.   ...
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  • Host a Post-Christmas Parent's Day Out
    12-03-19
    By Kristin Schultz The presents are opened, the toys are assembled, and while parents may have to go back to work, kids will enjoy the next week and a half on winter break. Don’t let the par...
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  • His Name Is Jesus - a free devotion
    12-02-19
    Have you ever known anyone whose name didn’t quite fit? Someone who didn’t really look like an Erica or a Robert? Sometimes we use nicknames for people like that. Sports arenas and lock...
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  • 5 Tips for Planning Holiday Service Projects
    11-27-19
    By John Richardson   The holidays are a wonderful opportunity for your men’s ministry to serve other people and, in doing so, share the hope of Jesus. The holidays tend to both intensi...
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  • Immanuel & Friend - Kids Devotions
    11-26-19
    Immanuel & Friend What You’ll Need   Small bucket or other container Small toy block Bible   What You’ll Do   Place the bucket and block on the table. Explai...
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  • Christmas Praise - FREE Christmas Devotion
    11-25-19
    Christmas Praise If you will indulge me, I would like to try a thought experiment. Will you help? (Pause briefly for nods of agreement.) Then I invite you to close your eyes and think for a few m...
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  • If Your Volunteers Wrote a Christmas List
    11-20-19
    By Gail Marsh Most kids will studiously prepare a Christmas list, an expansive list of the toys they hope to receive. Adult family members may come up with a detailed wish list, too. Even worldwid...
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  • Gift Ideas for Kids
    11-19-19
    Gift Ideas for Kids By Cherie Werner   Christmas is coming! Do you want to do something special yet inexpensive for the children you work with each week? Here are more than a dozen teacher-...
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  • Love Defined - Free Devotion
    11-18-19
    By Jeff Cloeter Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2 ESV).   After the call from Ephesians 5:1 to imitate God...
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  • All Aboard for Christmas!
    11-13-19
    By Gail Marsh All aboard! You won’t need a ticket to ride this train. It’s CTA’s Celebration Station—a delightfully designed, one-hour Christmas event for children! Kids in...
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  • Celebration Station - FREE Kids' Devotion
    11-12-19
    Celebration Station For today’s devotion, you will need a Celebration Station craft kit for each child.   I’d like to share something special with you!   But first, what ...
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  • A Child. A Son. A Savior. - Christmas Devotion
    11-11-19
    A Child. A Son. A Savior. Think about the first time you experienced a birth—maybe the birth of kittens or puppies, maybe even the birth of your very own son or daughter! Would you agree wit...
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  • Peace on Earth--for Everyone!
    11-06-19
    By Kristin Schultz   “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace” (Luke 2:14 KJV). The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas feels hectic for almost everyone—churc...
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  • His Name Is Jesus - FREE Devotion
    11-05-19
    Today I want to play a game. I’m going to describe a person and I want you to tell me who it is that I’m describing. Ready?   This person works in a classroom and helps people le...
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  • I'm Speechless - a free Advent devotion
    11-04-19
    I'm Speechless By Jane Fryar You will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time (Luke 1...
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  • Top 5 Gifts for Christmas Visitors
    10-30-19
    Top 5 Gifts for Christmas Visitors The holidays are upon us! You know very well that your church is about to be a lot busier. The kids’ Christmas program, the youth group’s bake sale, ...
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  • Count Your Blessings - Thanksgiving devotion
    10-29-19
    Before you begin, collect 3 of each: plates, cups, forks, and napkins. If space allows, consider setting up a small table.   Hi! You’re here just in time. Some friends are coming for ...
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  • Peace on Earth - a free devotion for Advent
    10-28-19
    Peace on Earth Each year on September 21, many people around the world commemorate the “International Day of Peace.” Organizers encourage every person on earth to observe one minute of...
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  • Women's Ministry: How to Raise Money
    10-23-19
    By Kristin Schultz Giving of ourselves to help people in need is one of the ways we share God’s love with our neighbors. Christmas is a popular and appropriate time to donate to those in nee...
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  • A Kidmin Devotion for Thanksgiving
    10-22-19
    A Kidmin Devotion for Thanksgiving By Cherie Werner   Supplies Needed: One Thankful Turkey Activity for each child   Hold up the turkey. What do you think of when you see a turkey? L...
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  • Right this Very Minute - Free Advent Devotion
    10-21-19
    Right this Very Minute - Free Advent Devotion By Jane Fryar Now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV). Waiting for Christmas. For many children, it’s the hardest challenge of eve...
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  • FREE Christmas Tea Event Outline
    10-16-19
    This Christmas, share the grace and peace of Jesus in a special way with the women in your church—and in your community! The Savoring Grace Christmas Tea Event Outline provides the planning s...
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  • 30 Days of Thanksgiving
    10-15-19
    30 Days of Thanksgiving By Cherie Werner Are you looking for a way to help your worshipers become more mindful of God’s great blessings? Use this prayer calendar: 30 Days of Thanksgiving! ...
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  • Where God Is Seen - Free Devotion
    10-14-19
    By Jeff Cloeter   In [Christ] you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22 ESV).   God is not found in the most stunning cathedrals in...
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  • The Rise of Bivocational Pastors
    10-09-19
    The Rise of Bivocational Pastors By Alison Zeller The concept of bivocational pastors is nothing new—God gave us several biblical examples. However, in today’s world, there is an all-...
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  • Practical Multiplication
    10-08-19
    Practical Multiplication By Stephanie Jackson   It’s no secret that running a large ministry program solo is a challenge. But what I’ve learned through my 16 years in children&r...
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  • Perfect Light - Breast Cancer Awareness
    10-07-19
    By Gail Marsh   The Lord came from Mount Sinai and dawned upon us from Mount Seir; he shone forth from Mount Paran and came from Meribah-kadesh with flaming fire at his right ...
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  • Hope in Suffering
    10-02-19
    Hope in Suffering Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles (Psalm 119:49–50 NLT).   Hope. It’s God’s gif...
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  • Planning a Children's Christmas Program?
    10-01-19
    Planning a Children's Christmas Program? By Gail Marsh It’s never too soon to think about Christmas! Especially as we get into October, it’s never too soon to plan your kids’ m...
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  • Right On Time - A Free Devotion
    09-30-19
    By Jane Fryar   But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son (Galatians 4:4 ESV).   No one decorated cookies or hung garland on heaven’s mantel. But it wa...
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  • 9 Ways to Help Kids Build Bible Skills
    09-24-19
    9 Ways to Help Kids Build Bible Skills By Gail Marsh It’s been burned, banned, smuggled, and memorized. It’s been the source of peace and calm, even though it chronicles decades of f...
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  • M Is For . . .
    09-25-19
    By Gail Marsh   M is for maturing and making the most out of the life God’s given to you. And that’s why M is for mentoring! It’s time to match up your mature Christian wom...
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  • Called to Be, Called to Do - A Free Devotion
    09-23-19
    Called to Be, Called to Do By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz The Holy Spirit entrusts a variety of spiritual gifts to individual members of God’s family, the Church. These gifts enable a va...
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  • 11 Do's and Don'ts of a Women's Retreat
    09-18-19
    11 Do's and Don'ts of a Women's Retreat By Kristin Schultz Retreats are powerful times of spiritual growth and personal connection. And you work hard to make your retreats this powerful! You defi...
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  • Preparing for Christmas? Start Here!
    09-17-19
    Preparing for Christmas? Start Here! Messiah. Emmanuel. King of kings. Savior. His name is Jesus! Each of these names says something about what the Baby born on Christmas Day means to us. CTA...
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  • Not All That Glitters Is God - A Free Devotion
    09-16-19
    Not All That Glitters Is God - A Free Devotion By A. Trevor Sutton Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them (Deuteronomy 11:16 ESV...
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  • Get Everyone Involved in Pastor Appreciation
    09-11-19
    Did you ever wish you could bless the life of someone who has helped you grow closer to Jesus? Your pastor, perhaps? Or someone else on the staff at church? Then, stay tuned! In a moment, we’...
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  • S'more Jokes and Fun!
    09-10-19
    Nothing says fall more than a campout and s’mores served over a campfire!   If you’re looking to host a fall outreach event there’s still time! Download CTA’s FREE Je...
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  • Even When - A Free Devotion
    09-09-19
    Even When By Jeff Cloeter   But God . . . even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4–5 ESV).  ...
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  • 30 Days of Prayer for Students
    09-04-19
    By Cherie Werner   The beginning of a new school year is upon us!   Students of all ages face many pressures, dangers, and difficulties when starting a new year. We encourage you and ...
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  • Promote Multigenerational Ministry
    09-03-19
    Promote Multigenerational Ministry By Cherie Werner Sunday, September 8, is National Grandparents Day. What a great opportunity to begin making links between the older generation and the children...
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  • Unwrapping Our Gifts - Devotion
    09-02-19
    Unwrapping Our Gifts By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz For years, Stella had led VBS at her church. She loved being with the kids. She loved telling Bible stories. She loved thinking up games and...
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  • Senior Volunteers: The Most Underutilized Resource in Ministry
    08-28-19
    By Alison Zeller   How old is too old when it comes to volunteers?   According to a study by the Pew Research Center, “old” happens at age 68. But the vast majority of peo...
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  • Jesus Brings S'more Joy - a free devotion for fall festivals
    08-27-19
    Jesus Brings S'more Joy By admin If your group will be fairly small, prepare a note card to use as you speak. If your group will be fairly large, use a piece of poster board. On one side, write t...
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  • Ready and Waiting - Free Devotion
    08-26-19
    By Jane Fryar The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1 ESV).           ...
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  • 10 Characteristics of a Powerful Women's Ministry
    08-21-19
    By Kristin Schultz As a women’s ministry leader, you have been blessed with the opportunity to share God’s love and grace in Jesus. You have the awesome responsibility of connecting wo...
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  • Spending Time with Your Best Friend
    08-20-19
    Spending Time with Your Best Friend By Cherie Werner Today is the day! You get to spend time with your best friend! It doesn’t matter what you do, just being together is what you want and y...
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  • I Do It - a free devotion
    08-19-19
    I Do It By Jeff Cloeter For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8&ndash...
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  • 5 Reasons Why Women Aren't Joining
    08-14-19
    By Gail Marsh You put a lot of time and effort into planning a great women’s event. You urged current members to invite a friend. Yet, as you look around the meeting room, you see not one ne...
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  • Start the School Year with 30 Days of Prayer
    08-13-19
    By Cherie Werner Do you have your No. 2 pencils, your three-ring binder, and your scented markers ready?! It’s time for the first day of school!   The first day of school is always ex...
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  • Amber - a free devotion for men's ministry
    08-12-19
    Amber By Trevor Sutton   So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36 ESV).   Drip, drip, drip.   Sap flows from a broken tree limb as if it ...
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  • 2019 Christmas Service Available Now
    08-07-19
    By admin   Immanuel. King of kings. Shepherd. Friend. What do you call your Savior? His name is Jesus!   All of these names tell us something about our Savior. And, with the His Name ...
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  • Faith at Home - a letter for parents
    08-06-19
    By Gail Marsh As you kick off another year of ministry, it’s time to remind families about the importance of bringing faith home. Children are at church for an hour or two each week, but the...
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  • In Charge - a free devotion
    08-05-19
    In Charge By Jeff Cloeter [God] put all things under [Jesus’] feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all (Ephesians...
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  • Don't Leave Your Teachers in the Dark!
    07-31-19
    Don't Leave Your Teachers in the Dark! By Gail Marsh   When does 45 minutes seem more like 45 hours? When teaching Sunday school!   It doesn’t need to be like this. What can ma...
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  • Jesus Is Nuts About Me - fall devotion for kids
    07-30-19
    Jesus Is Nuts About Me By admin   Bring a squirrel puppet or a picture of a squirrel to show the children.   Do any of you have squirrels in your backyard? (Draw attention to the squ...
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  • Children of God - a free devotion
    07-29-19
    Children of God By Jane Fryar   To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12 ESV).   Picture this: It’s time fo...
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  • 4 Ways to Boost Teamwork
    07-24-19
    4 Ways to Boost Teamwork By Gail Marsh   “We’ve got teamwork! Yes, we do! We’ve got teamwork! How about you?”   It’s a catchy cheer. You may even have c...
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  • Need Help with Your Back-to-School Party?
    07-23-19
    By admin It’s back-to-school season—let CTA help you celebrate! CTA’s downloadable Back-to-School Celebration event outline will help your church become the back-to-school gathe...
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  • In - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    07-22-19
    In   By Jeff Cloeter Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3 ESV).   Prepositions are funny little pieces of the English l...
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  • Hop Aboard the Bus for Fall Ministry!
    07-17-19
    Hop Aboard the Bus for Fall Ministry! By admin “I’ll do it!” Becky declared. Her face radiated joy and enthusiasm. Becky liked to help out, especially at church. Talkative and a...
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  • Back-to-School Splash!
    07-16-19
    Back-to-School Splash! By admin Have you seen CTA’s splash-tastic kids’ event outline Dive into God’s Word? This jam-packed, Bible-based event is perfect for celebrating the b...
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  • Together: Living as Christ's Church devotion
    07-15-19
    By admin I walked into the doctor’s office, and everyone in the waiting room was on his or her phone. I took my child to karate, and all the parents sat nearby, engrossed with their phones. ...
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  • Host a Grace-Filled Craft Party!
    07-10-19
    Host a Grace-Filled Craft Party! By Alison Zeller God’s grace is all around us—every day! But, in the busyness of life, women often lose sight of that grace. In its place guilt, shame...
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  • Planning a Year of Prayer
    07-09-19
    By Alison Zeller Take a moment and think about the members of your church. Even if you don’t have a school or childcare center, there are probably a good number of children in your group. Wh...
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  • Merry Christmas! - free devotion
    07-08-19
    By Jane Fryar Come, behold the works of the LORD. . . . He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire (Psalm 46:8–9 E...
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  • Calling All Teachers! Books to Read This July
    07-03-19
    Calling All Teachers! Books to Read This July By Cherie Werner As a teacher, summer is the perfect time for the three Rs—rest, relax, and read! Along with all the fun things you plan to rea...
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  • Before You Start VBS
    07-02-19
    Before You Start VBS Before You Start VBS – the tips and encouragement you need most By Cherie Werner Are you helping with VBS this year? Are you feeling nervous? Just the thought of VBS c...
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  • Divine Silence - free devotion
    07-01-19
    Divine Silence By Tim Wesemann Editor’s note: We encourage you to share today’s devotion with those in your ministry who are members of the military community. This Independence Day, ...
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  • On-the-Go Christian Gifts for Summer
    06-26-19
    By Alison Zeller   While you’re having fun in the sun this summer, don’t forget about evangelism! See what these customers have to say about CTA’s convenient on-the-go gi...
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  • Fearbusters! - a free children's message
    06-25-19
    Fearbusters! - a free children's message I have a story for you about a first-grader named Sophie. Sophie loved school, and she was so excited to be in first grade this year! But even so, when she...
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  • Unlikely Followers - free devotion
    06-24-19
    By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz And [Jesus] said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:19–20 ...
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  • Word Power
    06-19-19
    Word Power By Gail Marsh Can you identify the company or products represented by the following mottos? Give it a try! It’s finger lickin’ good! The quicker picker upper Because y...
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  • Know Each One - Children's Ministry Strategy
    06-18-19
    Know Each One By Jane Robinson   Try this today: First, write down the names of the people you talked to yesterday and one thing you noticed about each person. Next, for every person ...
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  • Serving and Being Served - free devotion
    06-17-19
    By Jane Fryar He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters (Psalm 23:2 ESV).  Our relationship with Jesus is deeply personal. “The Lord is my Shepherd,&rdq...
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  • Add a Pop to Your Ministry this 4th of July
    06-12-19
    Add a Pop to Your Ministry this 4th of July By Cherie Werner Bang! Bang! Boom! Can’t you just hear it? It is almost time for fireworks again! The 4th of July is a perfect time to add some &...
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  • Mission Trips: Don't Forget Your Journal!
    06-11-19
    By Gail Marsh Overheard in the airport terminal as the church mission team returned: “I’m not sure who learned more—me, or the people we served!” It’s good to hear a...
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  • The Giver - free devotion
    06-10-19
    By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz Generous. It’s a description most of us covet. We would like others to think of us as generous. Generous people give, and while money may come first to mi...
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  • Packed with Love - 4th of July Care Packages
    06-05-19
    By Alison Zeller The upcoming 4th of July holiday is the perfect time to send care packages to members of your ministry who are deployed in the military. Packing care packages is easy and it cou...
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  • Two Families - Free message for Father's Day
    06-04-19
    By Cherie Werner Good Morning! I am so glad to see you today. Today is such a great day! We get to celebrate some pretty important people. What is special about today? (Allow time for volunteers...
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  • Ask! A free devotion for this week's meetings
    06-03-19
    By Jane Fryar Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession (Psalm 2:8 ESV). Nothing takes our Lord by surprise, least of all, the rage and reb...
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  • A Few Laughs for Father's Day
    05-29-19
    By Tim Wesemann While we pray June holds many blessings for you, we also hope you will take time to celebrate the gift of dads and the blessings that come with Father’s Day. As you celebra...
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  • It's Time for a Change
    05-28-19
    By Gail Marsh You may be surprised to know that just three little letters, V.B.S., are enough to spark fear and trembling in the hearts of many churchworkers and volunteers. Vacation Bible schoo...
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  • A Prayer for Memorial Day
    05-24-19
    A Prayer for Memorial Day Memorial Day is a quintessential summer holiday, but amidst all of the barbeques, pool parties, and fireworks, remind your worshipers to take time to remember what this h...
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  • End-of-the-Year Evaluation: Are You Experiencing Burnout?
    05-22-19
    End-of-the-Year Evaluation: Are You Experiencing Burnout? By Gail Marsh Burnout happens to the best of us, because the best and most productive people in ministry are the ones Satan targets mos...
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  • Start a New Adventure with the FREE Super Servant Calendar
    05-21-19
    By Cherie Werner Oh, if only you could be a kid on summer vacation again! Remember sleeping in late, waking up to long days filled with fun and adventure, and finding new opportunities and specia...
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  • The Lord Is My Rock - a free devotion for Father's Day
    05-20-19
    The Lord Is My Rock Be prepared to show a picture of Predjama Castle to your group. In medieval times, empires built castles in strategic places—on hilltops or in locations surrounded by wa...
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  • Help When You Need it Most
    05-15-19
    Help When You Need it Most A little girl ran down the beach and stood at the edge of the water. Never having seen the ocean in person, she marveled as the waves washed up near her toes and then re...
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  • Dive into God's Word - Free Devotion
    05-14-19
    For this message, you will need a kid-size tote bag and several small rocks. Begin Bible time by asking for a volunteer from the group of children. Choose an older student, one that likes to talk...
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  • Thank You for Serving with the Joy of Jesus
    05-13-19
    Do you remember your list of chores from childhood? Think about the chores your parents made you do before you could play outside or go over to your friend’s house. Take out the trash, clean ...
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  • A Prayer for Graduates
    05-08-19
    Graduation is the celebration of the end of a journey: all the hard work has paid off and the graduates have successfully reached their goals! But of course, it’s also the beginning of a jour...
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  • A Children's Message for Mother's Day
    05-07-19
    A Children's Message for Mother's Day By Cherie Werner I am so glad you are here today! Does anyone know what is special about today? (Allow time for children to respond.) That’s right! ...
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  • Glorious - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    05-06-19
    Glorious By Jane Fryar The glory that you have given me I have given to them (John 17:22 ESV) Tender. Sweet. Uplifting. Whispers can be all these and more. Throughout Scripture, the one true G...
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  • It's Time for Last-Minute Mother's Day Planning
    05-01-19
    May 12 is quickly approaching. But you still have time to put the finishing touches on your Mother’s Day celebrations! Are you looking for that one thing that will make Mother’s Day ...
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  • Father's Day Four Ways
    04-30-19
    Father's Day Four Ways By Alison Zeller How do you celebrate Father's Day (June 16) at your church? Read on to see how these four churches honor fathers (and all men) on Father's Day--you migh...
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  • Abundant Grace - free devotion
    04-29-19
    Abundant Grace Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this: You’re at your favorite restaurant. Your closest friends and family members are gathered around the table. There is a great f...
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  • Time to Get it Done! Top 10 Productivity Tips
    04-24-19
    By Gail Marsh “No time to say ‘Hello. Goodbye.’ I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” You probably recognize these frantic words from Alice in Wonderland&rsqu...
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  • Celebrate! It's the end of the year!
    04-23-19
    Celebrate! It's the end of the year! By Alison Zeller Soon school days and ministry gatherings will be replaced with pool days and BBQ gatherings--summer is coming! As you prepare to wrap ...
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  • Abundant Grace - free devotion
    04-22-19
    Abundant Grace By Jessica Bordeleau Some words are always welcome . . . I kept your supper warm. Have a chocolate? We’re almost home. I love you! Perhaps the sweetest, most welcom...
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  • My Child, Be Strengthened - Free Devotion
    04-17-19
    By Jane Fryar You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1 ESV). Titanium strong? NFL or WWF strong? Monster-truck strong? Nope. Not even close...
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  • Prep for Mission Trips - It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
    04-16-19
    By Gail Marsh So you’re thinking about your upcoming mission trip . . . wondering how this year’s trip can leave a lasting impression on the people you’ll serve, as well as imp...
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  • Lamb and King - a free devotion for Holy Week
    04-15-19
    Lamb and King It’s an explosion of color. Disorienting. Dizzying. Your kids have just dumped all the puzzle pieces on the table. You turn them over one by one. Once they are all turned ove...
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  • Women, Wives, Moms - Celebrating Mother's Day
    04-10-19
    By Jane Fryar It’s no secret. Ministry in most congregations would soon shrivel if wives, moms, and single women alike suddenly stopped teaching classes, visiting residents in care facilit...
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  • 31 Days of Praying for Families
    04-09-19
    By Cherie Werner From the very beginning of time, God has been creating families. He made Adam and Eve for each other and blessed them with children. God’s love is seen in families of all ...
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  • Made and Reclaimed - Free Devotion
    04-08-19
    By Jane Fryar Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself&...
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  • Spring Outreach - Organize a Prayer Walk
    04-03-19
    By Cherie Werner The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 2. This year’s theme is Love One Another. If you don’t have any prayer events planned yet, there’s still time! Goi...
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  • The Very Best Morning - a free Easter devotion for kids
    04-02-19
    Let’s talk about ice cream! Who likes ice cream? (Allow children time to raise their hands.) What if I gave you a scoop of ice cream right now—that’d be pretty good, right? What...
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  • Woven - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    04-01-19
    By Jane Fryar You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows...
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  • 99 Ways to Appreciate Volunteers
    03-28-19
    This list of 99 ways to appreciate volunteers is slightly adapted from the Indiana 4-H program. Even though 4-H is not a religious program, its work is largely dependent on volunteer leaders. The...
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  • 6 Weeks until Mother's Day - Start Planning Now!
    03-27-19
    6 Weeks until Mother's Day - Start Planning Now! Some words are always welcome . . . I kept your supper warm. Have a chocolate? We’re almost home. I love you! ...
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  • Jesus Lives for Me! Free Devotion for Easter
    03-26-19
    Jesus Lives for Me! Before beginning, print a picture of a very strong man. You can do an internet search for “world’s strongest man” and come up with several options. Also h...
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  • Gifts, Gifts, and More Gifts - free devotion
    03-25-19
    Gifts, Gifts, and More Gifts By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz “That child is truly gifted!” It’s one thing when enthusiastic grandparents or a doting aunt says someth...
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  • Serving Together (and Liking It!)
    03-20-19
    By Gail Marsh Co-workers. What thoughts come to your mind when you hear that word? Do you imagine highly energized people, excitedly working together with a single goal in mind? Or, do...
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  • Easter Made Easy!
    03-19-19
    “He is not here: for he is risen” (Matthew 28:6 KJV). What a powerful message - our Lord and Savior has defeated death! The Easter message is filled with triumphant joy that’...
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  • Through the Fire - a free devotion for Lent
    03-18-19
    By Jane Fryar The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit (Galatians 6:18 ESV). On March 25, 1911, a roaring blaze gutted the top three floors of a New York City high-rise s...
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  • An Egg-cellent Way to Thank Volunteers
    03-13-19
    An Egg-cellent Way to Thank Volunteers By Gail Marsh They say it “takes a village” - well, you might say it takes a mean, lean, ministry team - to successfully host an Easter...
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  • Lesson for Lent
    03-12-19
    Lesson for Lent By Cherie Werner Materials needed: white boards, permanent markers (any color), dry erase markers (preferably red) Start your lesson by discussing and acting out sins....
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  • Ever Ready - a free devotion for Lent
    03-11-2019
    Ever Ready By Rodney L. Rathmann (Before beginning, read Matthew 24:36–51.) Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10 ESV). It is said that...
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  • A Prayer and Reading Guide for Lent
    03-06-19
    A Prayer and Reading Guide for Lent By Cherie Werner Today, Christians around the world celebrate Ash Wednesday and officially begin the season of Lent. Lent treats the six weeks leading up to Ea...
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  • Connecting to Your Community
    03-05-19
    Connecting to Your Community Today’s blog was originally published by Travis Spencer and our friends at KidzMatter. I love my community. When I drive up and down the streets of my tow...
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  • Pain and Victory - a free devotion for Lent
    03-04-19
    Pain. We’ve all experienced it. From the bodily pain of arthritis that makes simple chores difficult to the emotional pain of rejection that causes us to pause before we send a text. Pai...
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  • Easter Gifts to Send Home the Gospel Message
    02-27-19
    Easter Gifts to Send Home the Gospel Message Children love Easter! The suspense-filled egg hunts; the intricate process of egg dying; the ooey-gooey chocolate bunnies; the crisp, new Easter Su...
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  • 8 Ways to Teach Kids about Friendship
    02-26-19
    8 Ways to Teach Kids about Friendship By Cherie Werner Good friends are one of the greatest blessings in life. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to find a good friend and sometimes...
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  • Punishment and Freedom - a free devotion for Lent
    02-25-19
    Picture a shipping dock in the dead of night. Fog fills the air. A criminal stands there, surrounded by shipping containers. Some are open, others closed. All of them are rusted. Then he hears...
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  • Leaders Need Community, Too!
    02-20-19
    Leaders Need Community, Too! By Kathryn Featherstone What have the relationships with people in your church meant to you? Was there a person who brought you a meal when you were sick? ...
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  • VBS: A New Take on an Old Idea
    02-19-19
    By Gail Marsh Did you know that the first vacation Bible school took place 125 years ago? It’s true! Hopedale, Illinois, Sunday school teacher, Mrs. D.T. Miles, felt more time was ne...
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  • This Is Personal - a free devotion for Lent
    02-18-19
    How important is it that the gifts you receive are selected just for you? How important is it that the award your company gives for that tenth or twentieth anniversary is chosen with care, cho...
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  • Fall in Love with CTA Advantage
    02-13-19
    Fall in Love with CTA Advantage Have you checked out CTA Advantage yet? You might fall in love at first sight! When you subscribe to CTA Advantage . . . You’ll love lifting ...
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  • The Easter SurpRISE! - free kid's devotion
    02-12-19
    Before beginning, make two colorful signs, large enough to be read by everyone who will be in attendance. Use the same size poster board for each: Sign 1 (Navy blue letters): SURPRI...
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  • All That Remains- a free devotion for Lent
    02-11-19
    All That Remains By Rodney L. Rathmann You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they wi...
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  • The Heart of the Matter
    02-06-19
    By Gail Marsh Take heart! Yes, February is American Heart Month. It’s the perfect time for you to host a heartfelt outreach event for the people in your church family, as well as th...
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  • 13 Ways to Show God's Love on Valentine's Day
    02-05-19
    By Cherie Werner Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Colossians 3:12 ES...
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  • Guilt and Innocence - a free devotion for Lent
    02-04-19
    Imagine walking into a mall. As you pass by a digital advertising display, you hear your name. The advertisement asks you how you enjoyed the jeans you recently purchased. Then, it suggests a s...
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  • Welcoming Guests to Your Church
    01-30-19
    By Kathryn Featherstone A couple of months ago, our family moved to a new community. I have been winding my way around town using Google maps, trying to find good doctors for our family, a...
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  • Fresh Tips for Easter Prep
    01-29-19
    Fresh Tips for Easter Prep By Gail Marsh Even though Easter comes “late” this year (April 21), don’t delay your planning! Start organizing children’s events, volunte...
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  • Your Kingdom Come - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    01-28-19
    By Jane Fryar Worldviews provide a framework, a lens through which people make sense of the countless, confusing, often random details in life. Psalm 2 provides that kind of lens. It divi...
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  • Don't Miss the Boat
    01-23-19
    Don't Miss the Boat By Tim Wesemann January may seem like an odd time of year for a conversation about boats, but we just cruised into 2019, and I already anticipate times in the coming yea...
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  • Jesus Lives for Me! - a free Easter devotion for kids
    01-22-19
    Jesus Lives for Me! Prior to your devotion, print a picture of a very strong man. You can do an internet search for “world’s strongest man” and come up with several options. A...
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  • Prepare and Watch - a free devotion for Lent
    01-21-19
    Sometimes a person’s whole life is gathered up into one moment. I heard a story about a couple, Eduardo and Maria. They had just received news from the doctor. The results were ...
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  • Growing Community in Your Church
    01-16-19
    Growing Community in Your Church By Kathryn Featherstone The woman who leads the kitchen and hospitality ministry at our church recently made a comment that captures the heart of growi...
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  • Personalized Promotion for Your Kidmin Program
    01-15-19
    Each children’s ministry event is a great time for fun and learning about Jesus. But, it’s also a great time to promote your kidmin program! CTA’s Custom Connections offe...
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  • Questions - free devotion for Lent
    01-14-19
    By Rodney L. Rathmann But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive ...
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  • A Go-To Guide for a Fresh Workspace in 2019
    01-09-19
    By Gail Marsh To rev up your enthusiasm for ministry this New Year, consider the basics. We’re talking the basic basics - your physical work environment. Choosing to upend your offic...
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  • 5 New Year's Resolutions for Kidmin
    01-08-19
    By Alison Zeller 2019 is here! What do you have planned for the new year of kidmin? As you consider the upcoming year, don’t simply focus on the things written on your calendar. C...
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  • Death and Glory - a free devotion for Lent
    01-07-18
    “A picture is worth a thousand words,” they say. But I think they have seriously underestimated the value of a picture. There are some pictures you will never be able to put into w...
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  • Off to a Great Start!
    01-02-19
    By Gail Marsh Did you get what you wished for this Christmas? Retailers hope your wish list originated with their advertising campaigns. Online ads. TV and radio commercials. Mailed adver...
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  • The Name That Means Love - a free children's devotion for Valentine's Day
    1-1-2019
    (Before you begin, cut a large heart and a large cross from construction paper. For each child, prepare a goodie bag, like this one from You are God’s One-of-a-Kind Valentine. ...
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  • A New Year of Worship - a free devotion to start 2019
    12-31-18
    A New Year of Worship By Tim Wesemann The Christmas season is glorious - but busy! Through the many events, especially the special worship services, our Lord comes to us in powerful and...
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  • A New Year of Smiles
    12-26-18
    A New Year of Smiles By Tim Wesemann Blessings on the upcoming New Year! I pray you had a wonderful journey to the manger celebrating the birth of the Christ Child. As our Lord leads us...
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  • God's Promise Came True - Christmas Devotion
    12-25-18
    God's Promise Came True “A promise is a promise!” Have you ever heard that or said that? What does it mean? (Invite one or two volunteers to comment.) When we say, “A prom...
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  • A Prayer for Christmas Eve
    12-24-18
    Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from Shaped to Serve, a devotion book for Christian teachers, volunteers, youth workers, and anybody else who serves the Lo...
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  • Listen to the Voice of Love
    12-19-18
    By Kathryn Featherstone Merry Christmas, friends! During this busy ministry season, I want to invite you to be still for a moment. When I think of Christmas, my heart is drawn again and ...
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  • Jesus Is the Sweetest Gift - Christmas Devotion
    12-18-18
    Jesus Is the Sweetest Gift Be sure to have a classic candy cane at your side before you begin. What’s the most exciting part of Christmas for you? Some people enjoy finding the Christm...
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  • Make Somebody's Day!
    12-12-18
    By Alison Zeller Have you ever had a day when you felt so busy, so rushed, and so underappreciated that you wanted to curl up under your desk and hide? Working in God’s Kingdom is rarely...
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  • End-of-the-Year Outreach with Winter VBS!
    12-11-18
    End-of-the-Year Outreach with Winter VBS! By Gail Marsh If you listen carefully on December 26 you’ll hear the collective sighs of relief from church workers around the world. Maybe thi...
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  • This Gift Is for You - a free Christmas devotion
    12-10-18
    By Jane Fryar One of the many Christmas traditions Christians have is gift giving. Many of us spend hours planning what we will give and anticipating what we will receive. Giving and receiving...
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  • Finding Identity - Put on Love
    12-5-18
    Finding Identity - Put on Love By Kathryn Featherstone Editor’s note: Today’s blog is the second blog in the series Finding Identity. You can find the first post here. In part on...
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  • Tips for Putting on a Kids' Christmas Program (without Pulling Your Hair Out!)
    12-4-18
    By Gail Marsh It’s that time of year again . . . time to practice for the children’s Christmas service! Take a moment to think back to last year’s rehearsal sessions. Remembe...
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  • Come to Bethlehem and See - Advent devotion
    12-3-18
    Come to Bethlehem and See In the 1989 movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold festoons his house with 250 strands of lights - 100 bulbs per strand. That&rsq...
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  • Finding Identity - Wrapped Up
    11-28-18
    Finding Identity - Wrapped Up By Kathryn Featherstone How do other people know who you are? How do you know who you are? We are all wrapped up in many things, things that give us our i...
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  • A Sweet Way to Tell the Christmas Story
    11-27-18
    A Sweet Way to Tell the Christmas Story By Gail Marsh “How can I tell my students the Christmas story this year? Some have never heard it. How can I convey this beautiful message to...
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  • The Joy of Christmas - Free Devotion
    11-26-18
    When you were a child, what part of Christmas brought you the most joy? We may try to deny or at least downplay it, but as children, one of the best parts of Christmas was getting presents. Eve...
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  • FREE! CTA Advantage
    11-21-18-BLOG
    FREE! CTA Advantage CTA’s core purpose is to support you in your mission to shine the light of Christ in this world. That’s what we hope to do every day with our products and resou...
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  • Christ the Savior Is Born! - A free Christmas devotion for kids
    11-20-18
    Christ the Savior Is Born! When you were born, your mom and dad probably told a lot of people. Who heard the good news first, do you think? (Invite the children to answer and then choose a few...
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  • Joyful Thanksgiving - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    11-19-18
    Joyful Thanksgiving By Jane Fryar “[Nehemiah] said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day ...
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  • FREE Family Advent Devotions - Christ the Savior is Born
    11-14-18
    FREE Family Advent Devotions By Kathryn Featherstone There are many things that vie for our attention during the Christmas season - cookies, gifts, concerts, parties - we could go on a...
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  • CTA Helps Create a Christmas to Remember
    11-13-18
    CTA Helps Create a Christmas to Remember By Alison Zeller First Presbyterian Church of Napa, California, is like many other churches on Christmas - the worship service is packed! This uptick ...
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  • Christ the Savior Is Born! - a free Christmas devotion
    11-12-18
    Christ the Savior Is Born! Think back over the past year. As you perused Facebook or checked your Instagram account, how many infants, newly born to family members and friends, have brought a ...
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  • The Way Home
    11-07-18
    By Jane Fryar In all kinds of ways, this time of year evokes thoughts about the road home. Where does that road lead you? In my own heart, the road home will always lead across a windswept I...
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  • Count Your Blessings - a Thanksgiving party for kids!
    11-06-18
    By Gail Marsh There’s still time to host a Thanksgiving event for kids. CTA has everything you need! Start by choosing the best time to hold your hour-long event. Would the Friday or Sa...
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  • A Child Is Born - a free Advent devotion
    11-05-18
    A Child Is Born They say that clothes make the man. In other words, what you wear tells the world who you are. Kings wear stunning robes. Beggars wear tattered rags. Doctors, nurses, and poli...
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  • Faith at Work
    10-31-18
    Faith at Work By Alison Zeller In early 2018, Barna Group launched a survey of more than 1,400 employed Christians. Their goals were to find out what work means to believers, to see how belie...
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  • Count Your Blessings - A Thanksgiving Activity for Families
    10-30-18
    By Alison Zeller The Sunday before Thanksgiving, plan to host a family Sunday school event. Ask the parents to stay with their children and begin with this activity: As the families walk int...
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  • In the Stillness - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    10-29-18
    In the Stillness By Jane Fryar The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress (Psalm 46:11 ESV). “How many times do I have to say this?” If you’re a paren...
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  • Thanks-Living Tips for Early Childhood Ministry
    10-24-18
    By Gail Marsh Teaching children to be grateful can sometimes prove challenging! That’s because children (just like adults) are by nature self-centered because of sin. So how can teacher...
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  • Be a Spark in the Dark - a free fall festival devotion
    10-23-18
    Be a Spark in the Dark Before you begin, find a light source to use - a small flashlight or candle and matches. Also, mark Ephesians 5:8 in your Bible so you can easily find it and read it to ...
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  • No Collection Record - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    10-22-18
    By Gail Marsh Have you ever collected anything? Very young children often collect stuffed animals. Young adults may collect video games and CDs. Some adults get enjoyment from collecting sta...
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  • Want Thriving Volunteers? Get to Know Them!
    10-17-18
    By Kathryn Featherstone Our ministries are powered by volunteers. Sometimes we feel the need to simply fill volunteer slots, delegate, and then let them do their thing. But as leaders, if we ...
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  • 5 Simple Bible Literacy Tips for Children
    10-16-18-BLOG
    5 Simple Bible Literacy Tips for Children By Alison Zeller Last month, we started a series of blogs focused on Bible literacy. Throughout the series, we are defining Bible literacy in this way...
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  • Travel Checklist #2: Contacts - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    10-15-18
    By Tim Wesemann Technology has made keeping track of our contacts easy. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops make it possible to take our contact list along with us wherever we go. What a blessi...
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  • Real Talk for Christian Veterans
    10-10-18
    The opening paragraphs of CTA’s Real-Life Encouragement for the Military Community are powerful: Thank you! That must be the starting point for any book intended for the military com...
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  • FREE Christmas Resources for Kidmin
    10-09-18
    FREE Christmas Resources for Kidmin Children’s ministry leaders have raved about CTA’s FREE Christmas resources in the past, and this year, CTA won’t disappoint. Everything i...
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  • Overflowing Hearts - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    10-08-18
    By Gail Marsh Quickly pour a carbonated drink into a glass, and almost immediately, the glass overflows! More and more bubbles erupt and run over, even after you’ve stopped pouring! Th...
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  • Team Appreciation - Baseball Style
    10-03-18
    By Gail Marsh Does your ministry team regularly hit goals out of the ball park? Does your staff eagerly step up to the plate to serve others? Have you been looking for ways to show heartfelt a...
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  • 5-Minute Games to Get the Wiggles Out
    10-02-18
    5-Minute Games to Get the Wiggles Out We’ve all been there: children arrive in your Sunday school classroom and they just can’t sit still! Instead of trying to teach wiggling li...
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  • Promises and Promises - free devotion for this week's meetings
    10-01-18
    By Jane Fryar God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns (Psalm 46:5 ESV). How about that?! In just this one verse from Psalm 46, we find three...
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  • Ready for a Road Trip?
    09-26-18
    You don’t have to move a muscle. You’re already on this road trip - the road trip called life! The good news is that we do not travel through this life alone. God directs us in his ...
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  • Lots of Jesus and a Little Bit of Candy
    09-25-18
    By Alison Zeller Guess how much sugar the average kid eats on October 31? Three cups of sugar! That is crazy, right?! Your fall festival doesn’t have to scream candy, candy, ...
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  • Sweet Relationships - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    09-24-18
    There have been many renowned relationships - both real and fictional - throughout human history. Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee shared adventures in Middle Earth. Sherlock Holmes and John Watso...
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  • A Sweet Retreat for Fall
    09-19-18
    Pumpkin pie. Apple cake. Cinnamon streusel. Pecan pie cobbler. Are you hungry yet?! These are a few of the sweet treats that make fall what it is - a season filled with delicious desserts! ...
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  • What does Fast Food have to do with Kidmin Volunteers?
    09-18-18
    By Alison Zeller Often, ministry workers are quick to point out how differently they operate than the secular world. Sometimes, though, we miss the inherent similarities. Ministry workers can ...
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  • Everything - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    09-17-18
    Everything By Barry J. Keurulainen Begin by reading 2 Corinthians 5:14–15. Legend has it that a wealthy person stepped into the apostle Paul’s prison cell one day. He was s...
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  • FREE Download! Pastor Appreciation Prayer Cards
    09-12-18
    October is quickly approaching and that means Pastor Appreciation Month is almost here! You can host a cake and coffee reception, give Pastor a gift card, or surprise your pastor with a specia...
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  • Planning a Fall Festival - 5 Tips for Volunteer Coordinators
    09-11-18
    By Alison Zeller Churches across the country will be hosting fall festivals this year, but not one of these events would be possible without volunteers. Whether they are running the popcorn st...
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  • Take Me to the River - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    09-10-18
    By Jane Fryar There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High (Psalm 46:4 ESV). Brooks, streams, and rivers crisscross the pages of the Bib...
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  • Fostering Bible Literacy in Your Church
    09-05-18
    Fostering Bible Literacy in Your Church By Alison Zeller The statistics are alarming: the majority of Christians today don’t read the Bible. Notice, that didn’t say “Amer...
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  • The Pumpkin Prayer - a free fall festival devotion
    09-04-18
    The Pumpkin Prayer Before you begin, choose one of these two options: Make a paper version of The Pumpkin Prayer pumpkin. Point to its features as you speak. You can use the activity page...
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  • Soaring at Work - a free devotion for Labor Day
    09-03-18
    By Tim Wesemann In 2007, the government announced it had taken the bald eagle off the endangered species list. That’s great news! Still, many different plants and animals remain on that ...
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  • 20 Easy Snacks to Serve at Your Fall Festival
    08-29-18
    20 Easy Snacks to Serve at Your Fall Festival What’s left on your fall festival planning list? If you’ve got the games and you’ve got the prizes, now you need the food! He...
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  • Whooo Are You? - a free devotion for kids
    08-28-18-
    Pretend I don’t know you. Suppose I asked . . . (point at a specific child and say), “Who are you?” Ask several children this same question, encouraging them to give both t...
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  • Text Me! - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    08-27-18
    Text Me! By Karen Kogler I knew the world had changed the first time someone told me, “Oh, I never check my voicemail. Everyone texts me.” Communication never used to be so c...
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  • Pack Your Fall Festival Goodie Bags with CTA!
    08-22-18
    The kids at your fall festival will be making crafts, collecting candy, winning prizes, and so much more! It’s obvious that they’ll need a bag in order to carry all of their goodie...
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  • 6 Ways to Make Students Feel Special
    08-21-18
    6 Ways to Make Students Feel Special By Cherie Werner School is coming soon! You are busy getting things ready for your new students. You are writing names on books and desktops, folders and ...
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  • Thank You for Serving the Savior - free devotion for this week's meetings
    08-20-18
    One. It’s not a big number. It’s not a complicated number. Anyone who can talk can count to one! No big deal! The Bible, though, does make a big deal of it - of oneness, of unity...
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  • FREE Fall Festival Resources
    08-15-18
    FREE Fall Festival Resources Have you started planning your church’s fall festival or Halloween Alternative event? Now is the perfect time to start and CTA has FREE resources to help you...
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  • Fearbusters: Never Fear! Jesus Is Here! - a free fall festival devotion for kids
    08-14-18
    Fearbusters: Never Fear! Jesus Is Here! I have a story for you about a first-grader named Sophie. Sophie loved school, and she was so excited to be in first grade this year! But even so, when ...
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  • The Prayer of a Modern-Day Prodigal Son
    08-13-18
    (Begin by reading Luke 15:11–24.) Heavenly Father, you have invited us to call you our Father, and that invitation, based on Jesus’ sacrifice for us, brings us such comfort! You wa...
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  • Must-Have Back-to-School Gifts for Teachers and Students
    08-08-18
    There’s a lot of excitement in the air for back-to-school season. And, you can keep that excitement going throughout the year by ordering personalized gifts from CTA’s Custom Connec...
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  • 10 Ways to Start the School Year on a Positive Note
    08-07-18
    10 Ways to Start the School Year on a Positive Note By Cherie Werner Can it be possible that school starts again in just a few short weeks? The summer has flown by and soon your quiet classro...
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  • Hearty Service with a Smile - a free devotion for Christian workers
    08-06-18
    Hearty Service with a Smile By Gail Marsh “Company’s coming!” These words quickly launch many of us into motion. “Company’s coming!” That often means a fren...
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  • Your Ministry in a Nutshell
    08-01-18
    By Karen Kogler My position on our church staff is not a traditional one and frequently requires explanation. I’m the volunteerism person, but I don’t lead or recruit all our volu...
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  • 5 Games for Rally Day
    07-31-18
    5 Games for Rally Day By admin No Rally Day celebration is complete without games! Check out these ideas and be sure to tell us about your favorite Rally Day activities in the comments sectio...
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  • Stored Goodness - free devotion for this week's meetings
    07-30-18
    By Gail Marsh As you grew up, did you have a hope chest? In recent decades, this once-common custom has become almost obsolete - falling out of tradition since the mid ’70s. But in earli...
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  • 5 Ways to Celebrate the New School Year
    07-25-18
    By Alison Zeller Ready or not, here it comes - a new school year! How is your church going to send off students and teachers? Here are five easy ways you can celebrate the upcoming year and ...
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  • Go Out with a Bang!
    07-24-18
    Go Out with a Bang! By Cherie Werner Summer is almost over, but there’s still time to have some fun and share God’s love! With a little extra time, your church can plan one last s...
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  • Thanks for Your Thankless Work - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    07-23-18
    By Trevor Sutton Jeremy served as an elder, and his work was never done. He visited with new members. He listened to members with complaints. He made a special effort to pray for the pasto...
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  • It's Time for a New Year
    07-18-18
    It's Time for a New Year By admin “Welcome aboard for a new year of ministry!” That’s the message you will want to convey this fall to your staff, teachers, and volunteers....
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  • You Can Turn VBS Attenders into Church Attenders!
    07-17-18
    By Cherie Werner VBS is an event that draws many new people to your church. This makes it an excellent opportunity to welcome families from the neighborhood and begin forming relationships wit...
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  • Heartfelt, Not Forced - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    07-16-18
    By Gail Marsh Many municipalities throughout the country operate a website for hands-on service. The purpose of these online sites is to list the jobs available for court-ordered community se...
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  • Using the Past to Propel the Future
    07-11-18
    By Karen Kogler Several years ago, I had the uncomfortable experience of being asked for a copy of my most recent annual report on church volunteerism when I had never even thought of wri...
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  • 10 Ways to Make Sure Children Don't Get Out of Hand at VBS
    07-10-18
    10 Ways to Make Sure Children Don't Get Out of Hand at VBS By Cherie Werner VBS is a wonderful opportunity for sharing the Gospel with children of all ages and backgrounds. Wouldn’t...
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  • Peace on Duty - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    07-09-18
    By Barry J. Keurulainen Before you begin, read Isaiah 26:3 - 4. “Halt! Who goes there?” These are the words of a sentry on guard. Paul is in prison as he writes, chained to a...
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  • Abundance - a care ministries devotion
    07-04-18
    Abundance By Karen Kogler You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the day...
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  • 7 Ways to Get the Whole Church Involved in VBS
    07-03-18
    7 Ways to Get the Whole Church Involved in VBS By Cherie Werner There is something very exciting about sharing Bible stories with those who don’t know much about Jesus. The joy ...
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  • Independence Day Prayer - a free prayer for this week's meetings
    07-02-18
    Independence Day Prayer By admin How will you encourage your worshippers, small group, or Bible class to pray for our nation on Independence Day this year? Here’s a prayer you c...
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  • Is Your Church a Community Church
    06-27-18
    Is Your Church a Community Church By Alison Zeller What does it mean to be a community church? Should you add the word community to your church name? Should you sponsor the town’s summer...
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