Blog

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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 - a free devotion for kids
    Dive into God's Word - a free devotion for kids
    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 - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    Thank You for Serving with the Joy of Jesus - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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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  • Hurry! It's Time for Last-Minute Mother's Day Planning
    Hurry! 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 - a free devotion for Mother's Day
    Abundant Grace - a free devotion for Mother's Day
    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 - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    Abundant Grace - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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 - a free devotion for teachers
    My Child, Be Strengthened - a free devotion for teachers
    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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  • Prayer Challenge! 31 Days of Praying for Families
    Prayer Challenge! 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 - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    Made and Reclaimed - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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! a free kids' devotion for Easter
    Jesus Lives for Me! a free kids' 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 - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    Gifts, Gifts, and More Gifts - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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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  • Created for Community - Leaders Need Community, Too!
    Created for Community - 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! - a free kids' devotion for Easter
    The Easter SurpRISE! - a free kids' devotion for Easter
    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...
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  • 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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  • Your Go-To Guide for a Fresh Workspace in 2019
    Your 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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  • A New Year of Worship - a free devotion to start 2019
    A New Year of Worship - a free devotion to start 2019
    12-31-18
    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 life-changing ways. No...
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  • A New Year of Smiles
    A New Year of Smiles
    12-26-18
    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 into 2019, we give th...
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  • God's Promise Came True - a Christmas devotion for kids
    God's Promise Came True - a Christmas devotion for kids
    12-25-18
    “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 promise is a promise!” ...
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  • A Prayer for Christmas Eve
    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
    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 - a free Christmas devotion for kids
    Jesus Is the Sweetest Gift - a free Christmas devotion for kids
    12-18-18
    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 Christmas tree, bringing it home, a...
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  • Glad Tidings, Great Joy - a free devotion for Christmas
    Glad Tidings, Great Joy - a free devotion for Christmas
    12-17-18
    By Jane Fryar “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10 KJV). This Scripture verse has become the basis for dozens of Christmas carols...
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  • Make Somebody's Day!
    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!
    End-of-the-Year Outreach with Winter VBS!
    12-11-18
    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 this year’s children’s Christmas s...
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  • This Gift Is for You - a free Christmas devotion
    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
    Finding Identity - Put on Love
    12-5-18
    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 one of this series, we looked at ...
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  • Tips for Putting on a Kids' Christmas Program (without Pulling Your Hair Out!)
    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 - a free Advent devotion
    Come to Bethlehem and See - a free Advent devotion
    12-3-18
    In the 1989 movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold festoons his house with 250 strands of lights - 100 bulbs per strand. That’s 25,000 bulbs in all. ...
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  • Finding Identity - Wrapped Up
    Finding Identity - Wrapped Up
    11-28-18
    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 identity and things that show oth...
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  • A Sweet Way to Tell the Christmas Story
    A Sweet Way to Tell the Christmas Story
    11-27-18
    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 them for the first time?” “...
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  • The Joy of Christmas - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    The Joy of Christmas - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    FREE! CTA Advantage
    11-21-18-BLOG
    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 resources. And now, we ha...
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  • Christ the Savior Is Born! - A free Christmas devotion for kids
    Christ the Savior Is Born! - A free Christmas devotion for kids
    11-20-18
    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 to act out the following.)...
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  • Joyful Thanksgiving - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    Joyful Thanksgiving - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    11-19-18
    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 is holy to our Lord. ...
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  • FREE Family Advent Devotions - Christ the Savior is Born
    FREE Family Advent Devotions - Christ the Savior is Born
    11-14-18
    By Kathryn Featherstone There are many things that vie for our attention during the Christmas season - cookies, gifts, concerts, parties - we could go on and on! Now is the time to enco...
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  • CTA Helps Create a Christmas to Remember
    CTA Helps Create a Christmas to Remember
    11-13-18
    By Alison Zeller First Presbyterian Church of Napa, California, is like many other churches on Christmas - the worship service is packed! This uptick in attendance is especially significant wh...
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  • Christ the Savior Is Born! - a free Christmas devotion
    Christ the Savior Is Born! - a free Christmas devotion
    11-12-18
    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 smile to your face? One? Te...
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  • The Way Home
    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!
    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
    A Child Is Born - a free Advent devotion
    11-05-18
    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 police officers all w...
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  • Faith at Work
    Faith at Work
    10-31-18
    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 believers blend thei...
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  • Count Your Blessings - A Thanksgiving Activity for Families
    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
    In the Stillness - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    10-29-18
    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 parent or teacher, you ...
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  • Thanks-Living Tips for Early Childhood Ministry
    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
    Be a Spark in the Dark - a free fall festival devotion
    10-23-18
    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 the children. What is ...
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  • No Collection Record - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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!
    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
    5 Simple Bible Literacy Tips for Children
    10-16-18-BLOG
    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: “Bible literacy is knowing the co...
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  • Travel Checklist #2: Contacts - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    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
    FREE Christmas Resources for Kidmin
    10-09-18
    Children’s ministry leaders have raved about CTA’s FREE Christmas resources in the past, and this year, CTA won’t disappoint. Everything is back again for this Christmas! Fr...
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  • Overflowing Hearts - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    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
    5-Minute Games to Get the Wiggles Out
    10-02-18
    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 little kiddos, play a quick game at the b...
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  • Promises and Promises - free devotion for this week's meetings
    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?
    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
    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
    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
    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?
    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
    Everything - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    09-17-18
    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 surprised to ...
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  • FREE Download! Pastor Appreciation Prayer Cards
    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
    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
    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
    Fostering Bible Literacy in Your Church
    09-05-18
    By Alison Zeller The statistics are alarming: the majority of Christians today don’t read the Bible. Notice, that didn’t say “Americans” or “unchurched individ...
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  • The Pumpkin Prayer - a free fall festival devotion
    The Pumpkin Prayer - a free fall festival devotion
    09-04-18
    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 from the Resource...
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  • Soaring at Work - a free devotion for Labor Day
    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
    20 Easy Snacks to Serve at Your Fall Festival
    08-29-18
    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! Here are 20 easy ideas that are sure to please t...
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  • Whooo Are You? - a free devotion for kids
    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
    Text Me! - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    08-27-18
    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 complicated...
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  • Pack Your Fall Festival Goodie Bags with CTA!
    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
    6 Ways to Make Students Feel Special
    08-21-18
    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 lockers. You have a list of their name...
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  • Thank You for Serving the Savior - free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    FREE Fall Festival Resources
    08-15-18
    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 along the way! Event ...
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  • Fearbusters: Never Fear! Jesus Is Here! - a free fall festival devotion for kids
    Fearbusters: Never Fear! Jesus Is Here! - a free fall festival devotion for kids
    08-14-18
    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. S...
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  • The Prayer of a Modern-Day Prodigal Son
    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
    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
    10 Ways to Start the School Year on a Positive Note
    08-07-18
    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 classroom will be alive with the joyful sounds of a new grou...
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  • Hearty Service with a Smile - a free devotion for Christian workers
    Hearty Service with a Smile - a free devotion for Christian workers
    08-06-18
    By Gail Marsh “Company’s coming!” These words quickly launch many of us into motion. “Company’s coming!” That often means a frenzied trip to the grocery stor...
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  • Your Ministry in a Nutshell
    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
    5 Games for Rally Day
    07-31-18
    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 section below. And, be sure t...
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  • Stored Goodness - free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    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!
    Go Out with a Bang!
    07-24-18
    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 summer event for your ...
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  • Thanks for Your Thankless Work - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    It's Time for a New Year
    07-18-18
    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. While your enthusiasm for...
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  • You Can Turn VBS Attenders into Church Attenders!
    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
    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
    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
    10 Ways to Make Sure Children Don't Get Out of Hand at VBS
    07-10-18
    By Cherie Werner VBS is a wonderful opportunity for sharing the Gospel with children of all ages and backgrounds. Wouldn’t it be great if the children who came to VBS were fully enga...
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  • Peace on Duty - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    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
    Abundance - a care ministries devotion
    07-04-18
    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 days of my lif...
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  • 7 Ways to Get the Whole Church Involved in VBS
    7 Ways to Get the Whole Church Involved in VBS
    07-03-18
    By Cherie Werner There is something very exciting about sharing Bible stories with those who don’t know much about Jesus. The joy and wonder on the face of a child who learns ab...
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  • Independence Day Prayer - a free prayer for this week's meetings
    Independence Day Prayer - a free prayer for this week's meetings
    07-02-18
    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 can copy and insert in thi...
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  • Is Your Church a Community Church
    Is Your Church a Community Church
    06-27-18
    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 fair? Should you open up a food p...
    Read More »
  • 6 Steps to Avoid the Fall Frenzy
    6 Steps to Avoid the Fall Frenzy
    06-26-18
    By admin It’s deep summer - hazy and perhaps a bit lazy. But not yet crazy! Before you face the time crunch of late August . . . Before recruiting volunteers for fall programs p...
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  • Prepared for Heartfelt Service - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    Prepared for Heartfelt Service - a free devotion for this week's meetings
    06-25-18
    By Gail Marsh Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the devotion book that accompanies one of CTA’s staff and volunteer appreciation themes, Thank Yo...
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  • The Valley - a care ministries devotion
    The Valley - a care ministries devotion
    06-20-18
    By Karen Kogler Editor’s note: CTA author Karen Kogler has been caring for her elderly mother-in-law for the past seven years. Through the challenges and joys, Karen is constantly leani...
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  • Easy Ways to Create Kidmin Excitement
    Easy Ways to Create Kidmin Excitement
    06-19-18
    By admin Are you knee-deep in planning another year of kidmin programs? Don’t get lost in the details! Before your new year begins, take a day to plan a few simple activities that will c...
    Read More »
  • Praying the Lord's Prayer . . . on the mission field
    Praying the Lord's Prayer . . . on the mission field
    06-18-18
    By Tim Wesemann Editor’s note: This in-depth version of the Lord’s Prayer is slightly adapted from CTA’s new book, On a Mission: My Mission Trip Journal. This book feature...
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  • Recruit vs. Invite- The difference matters to volunteers
    Recruit vs. Invite- The difference matters to volunteers
    06-13-18
    By Kristin Schultz It is with great joy that we announce the marriage of our daughter. You are cordially recruited to attend. Have you ever received a wedding announcement that said that? O...
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