Blog

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  • Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Volunteers
    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
    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
    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 . . .
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Immanuel & Friend - Kids Devotions
    11-26-19
    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. Explain that you need a v...
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  • Christmas Praise - FREE Christmas Devotion
    Christmas Praise - FREE Christmas Devotion
    11-25-19
    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 moments about Chris...
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  • If Your Volunteers Wrote a Christmas List
    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
    Gift Ideas for Kids
    11-19-19
    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-approved and parent-a...
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  • Love Defined - Free Devotion
    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!
    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
    Celebration Station - FREE Kids' Devotion
    11-12-19
    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 does it mean to share...
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  • A Child. A Son. A Savior. - Christmas Devotion
    A Child. A Son. A Savior. - Christmas Devotion
    11-11-19
    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 with me that birth is a miracl...
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  • Peace on Earth--for Everyone!
    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
    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
    I'm Speechless - a free Advent devotion
    11-04-19
    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 1:20 ESV).  ...
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  • Top 5 Gifts for Christmas Visitors
    Top 5 Gifts for Christmas Visitors
    10-30-19
    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, the men’s ministry coat drive,...
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  • Count Your Blessings - Thanksgiving devotion
    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
    Peace on Earth - a free devotion for Advent
    10-28-19
    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 silence at noon...
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  • Women's Ministry: How to Raise Money
    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
    A Kidmin Devotion for Thanksgiving
    10-22-19
    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? Listen to responses. I sometimes thin...
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  • Right this Very Minute - Free Advent Devotion
    Right this Very Minute - Free Advent Devotion
    10-21-19
    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 every childhood year. The hours creep by ever so s...
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  • FREE Christmas Tea Event Outline
    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
    30 Days of Thanksgiving
    10-15-19
    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!   Print the calenda...
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  • Where God Is Seen - Free Devotion
    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
    The Rise of Bivocational Pastors
    10-09-19
    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-new push-and-pull that’s dri...
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  • Practical Multiplication
    Practical Multiplication
    10-08-19
    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’s ministry is that ha...
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  • Perfect Light - Breast Cancer Awareness
    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
    Hope in Suffering
    10-02-19
    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 gift to you. He’...
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  • Planning a Children's Christmas Program?
    Planning a Children's Christmas Program?
    10-01-19
    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’ ministry Christmas program. Here are some or...
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  • Right On Time - A Free Devotion
    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
    9 Ways to Help Kids Build Bible Skills
    09-24-19
    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 fierce wars, devastating human disappoint...
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  • M Is For . . .
    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
    Called to Be, Called to Do - A Free Devotion
    09-23-19
    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 variety of service—essen...
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  • 11 Do's and Don'ts of a Women's Retreat
    11 Do's and Don'ts of a Women's Retreat
    09-18-19
    By Kristin Schultz Retreats are powerful times of spiritual growth and personal connection. And you work hard to make your retreats this powerful! You definitely know how much work goes into plann...
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  • Preparing for Christmas? Start Here!
    Preparing for Christmas? Start Here!
    09-17-19
    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 wants to help you share the joy of Ch...
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  • Not All That Glitters Is God - A Free Devotion
    Not All That Glitters Is God - A Free Devotion
    09-16-19
    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).   “Not all that glitters is gold...
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  • Get Everyone Involved in Pastor Appreciation
    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!
    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
    Even When - A Free Devotion
    09-09-19
    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).   It&rsquo...
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  • 30 Days of Prayer for Students
    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
    Promote Multigenerational Ministry
    09-03-19
    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 in your ministry! Multigenerational...
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  • Unwrapping Our Gifts - Devotion
    Unwrapping Our Gifts - Devotion
    09-02-19
    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 crafts and snacks to ...
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  • Senior Volunteers: The Most Underutilized Resource in Ministry
    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
    Jesus Brings S'more Joy - a free devotion for fall festivals
    08-27-19
    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 the word JOY in large lett...
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  • Ready and Waiting - Free Devotion
    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
    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
    Spending Time with Your Best Friend
    08-20-19
    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 you are excited! You will talk and lau...
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  • I Do It - a free devotion
    I Do It - a free devotion
    08-19-19
    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 2:8–9 ESV). ...
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  • 5 Reasons Why Women Aren't Joining
    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
    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
    Amber - a free devotion for men's ministry
    08-12-19
    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 were a ...
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  • 2019 Christmas Service Available Now
    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
    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
    In Charge - a free devotion
    08-05-19
    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 1:22&ndash...
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  • Don't Leave Your Teachers in the Dark!
    Don't Leave Your Teachers in the Dark!
    07-31-19
    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 make a difference? Training! Many church l...
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  • Jesus Is Nuts About Me - fall devotion for kids
    Jesus Is Nuts About Me - fall devotion for kids
    07-30-19
    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 squirrel puppet or picture....
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  • Children of God - a free devotion
    Children of God - a free devotion
    07-29-19
    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 for supper. A warm ...
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  • 4 Ways to Boost Teamwork
    4 Ways to Boost Teamwork
    07-24-19
    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 chanted it a time or two in...
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  • Need Help with Your Back-to-School Party?
    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
    In - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    07-22-19
      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 langu...
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  • Hop Aboard the Bus for Fall Ministry!
    Hop Aboard the Bus for Fall Ministry!
    07-17-19
    By admin “I’ll do it!” Becky declared. Her face radiated joy and enthusiasm. Becky liked to help out, especially at church. Talkative and always smiling, she always encouraged ot...
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  • Back-to-School Splash!
    Back-to-School Splash!
    07-16-19
    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 back-to-school season! Wi...
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  • Together: Living as Christ's Church devotion
    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!
    Host a Grace-Filled Craft Party!
    07-10-19
    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, and disappointment creep into th...
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  • Planning a Year of Prayer
    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
    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
    Calling All Teachers! Books to Read This July
    07-03-19
    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 read this month, consider throwing in one or two b...
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  • Before You Start VBS
    Before You Start VBS
    07-02-19
    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 can be a bit daunting, ...
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  • Divine Silence - free devotion
    Divine Silence - free devotion
    07-01-19
    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, thank them for t...
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  • On-the-Go Christian Gifts for Summer
    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
    Fearbusters! - a free children's message
    06-25-19
    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 thought of school, Sophie worried. Some d...
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  • Unlikely Followers - free devotion
    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
    Word Power
    06-19-19
    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 you’re ...
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  • Know Each One - Children's Ministry Strategy
    Know Each One - Children's Ministry Strategy
    06-18-19
    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 you meet today,...
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  • Serving and Being Served - free devotion
    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
    Add a Pop to Your Ministry this 4th of July
    06-12-19
    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 “pop” to your ministry and “...
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  • Mission Trips: Don't Forget Your Journal!
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    A Prayer for Memorial Day
    05-24-19
    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 holiday is all about—r...
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  • End-of-the-Year Evaluation: Are You Experiencing Burnout?
    End-of-the-Year Evaluation: Are You Experiencing Burnout?
    05-22-19
    By Gail Marsh Burnout happens to the best of us, because the best and most productive people in ministry are the ones Satan targets most. Burnout is real. It happens with alarming frequency amon...
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  • Start a New Adventure with the FREE Super Servant Calendar
    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
    The Lord Is My Rock - a free devotion for Father's Day
    05-20-19
    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 water. But the builders...
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  • Help When You Need it Most
    Help When You Need it Most
    05-15-19
    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 receded. Her mom, who had watc...
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  • Dive into God's Word - Free Devotion
    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
    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
    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
    A Children's Message for Mother's Day
    05-07-19
    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! Today is Mother’s Day. Did you kn...
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  • Glorious - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    Glorious - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    05-06-19
    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 God whisper...
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  • It's Time for Last-Minute Mother's Day Planning
    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
    Father's Day Four Ways
    04-30-19
    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 might get some new ideas! D...
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  • Abundant Grace - free devotion
    Abundant Grace - free devotion
    04-29-19
    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 feast in front of...
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  • Time to Get it Done! Top 10 Productivity Tips
    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!
    Celebrate! It's the end of the year!
    04-23-19
    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 up your year of children’s minis...
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  • Abundant Grace - free devotion
    Abundant Grace - free devotion
    04-22-19
    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 welcome word of all, t...
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  • My Child, Be Strengthened - Free Devotion
    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!
    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
    Lamb and King - a free devotion for Holy Week
    04-15-19
    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 over, you wonder, ...
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  • Women, Wives, Moms - Celebrating Mother's Day
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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!
    6 Weeks until Mother's Day - Start Planning Now!
    03-27-19
    Some words are always welcome . . . I kept your supper warm. Have a chocolate? We’re almost home. I love you! Perhaps the sweetest, most welcome word of al...
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  • Jesus Lives for Me! Free Devotion for Easter
    Jesus Lives for Me! Free Devotion for Easter
    03-26-19
    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 Jes...
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  • Gifts, Gifts, and More Gifts - free devotion
    Gifts, Gifts, and More Gifts - free devotion
    03-25-19
    By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz “That child is truly gifted!” It’s one thing when enthusiastic grandparents or a doting aunt says something like that. It’s anot...
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  • Serving Together (and Liking It!)
    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!
    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
    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
    An Egg-cellent Way to Thank Volunteers
    03-13-19
    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 celebration. Just think of the many, ma...
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  • Lesson for Lent
    Lesson for Lent
    03-12-19
    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. Ask for suggesti...
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  • Ever Ready - a free devotion for Lent
    Ever Ready - a free devotion for Lent
    03-11-2019
    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 we show our...
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  • A Prayer and Reading Guide for Lent
    A Prayer and Reading Guide for Lent
    03-06-19
    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 Easter as a time of repentance ...
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  • Connecting to Your Community
    Connecting to Your Community
    03-05-19
    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 town, I dream of how lives will b...
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  • Pain and Victory - a free devotion for Lent
    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
    Easter Gifts to Send Home the Gospel Message
    02-27-19
    Children love Easter! The suspense-filled egg hunts; the intricate process of egg dying; the ooey-gooey chocolate bunnies; the crisp, new Easter Sunday outfits - and Jesus? This sounds a littl...
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  • 8 Ways to Teach Kids about Friendship
    8 Ways to Teach Kids about Friendship
    02-26-19
    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 it is just as difficult to be a good ...
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  • Punishment and Freedom - a free devotion for Lent
    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!
    Leaders Need Community, Too!
    02-20-19
    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? a volunteer who you partnered ...
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  • VBS: A New Take on an Old Idea
    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
    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
    Fall in Love with CTA Advantage
    02-13-19
    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 your leadership to new levels. ...
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  • The Easter SurpRISE! - free kid's devotion
    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
    All That Remains- a free devotion for Lent
    02-11-19
    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 will all wear out l...
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  • The Heart of the Matter
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Fresh Tips for Easter Prep
    01-29-19
    By Gail Marsh Even though Easter comes “late” this year (April 21), don’t delay your planning! Start organizing children’s events, volunteers, and materials now. Need...
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  • Your Kingdom Come - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    Don't Miss the Boat
    01-23-19
    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 year I’ll miss the...
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  • Jesus Lives for Me! - a free Easter devotion for kids
    Jesus Lives for Me! - a free Easter devotion for kids
    01-22-19
    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. Also have a picture of...
    Read More »
  • Prepare and Watch - a free devotion for Lent
    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
    Growing Community in Your Church
    01-16-19
    By Kathryn Featherstone The woman who leads the kitchen and hospitality ministry at our church recently made a comment that captures the heart of growing community: “For anyone wh...
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  • Personalized Promotion for Your Kidmin Program
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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!
    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
    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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