An Illustrated Advent: Engaging Activities for the Season

Today’s post is a guest post by my friend, Adam Walker Cleaveland.  Adam is a pastor, artist and blogger. He lives in Chicago with his wife (also a pastor) and their almost–4-year old son, Caleb. You can find Adam online at awcillustrations.com or adamwc.com.

After working with children and youth for over twelves years in four different churches, I was beginning to feel called out of parish ministry and into something new – something different. Around that same time, I began to rediscover my childhood love of art, drawing and watercolors. It had been probably twenty years since I’d sat down with pen and paper and spent time drawing.

Illustrated Children’s Moments began when I started drawing illustrations to give kids during children’s sermons/moments at the church I was serving as associate pastor. Kids really connected with the style of my sketches, and parents told me that their kids were bringing up the stories throughout the week – more than they normally would. You can see some examples of the types of illustrations I create for this use here, or check out the images below:

EXAMPLES

A few months ago, I began to wonder how I could create something for churches and families to use during Advent, that would help bridge the gap between church and home. Everyone who does done work in children or youth ministry know that the bulk of spiritual formation that happens for kids really happens at home. Parents obviously spend much more time with their kids than children’s ministry volunteers, and so however pastors and churches can support families in that role is crucial.

On November 16, I’m going to be launching An Illustrated Advent: Engaging Activities for the Season. There will be two editions: the Church Edition and the Family Edition. There will be some overlap between content, but they are meant to be used together. A church might use some of the activities during worship or their Sunday School programs, and then kids would have other activities throughout the week at home to do with their families.

I’ve also created a series of Advent coloring sheets that are designed to be used for each of the four weeks of Advent (Hope, Joy, Peace and Love). I decided to enlarge one to 4’ x 3’ and my 4 year old son took it to his preschool Sunday School class at church a few weeks ago, and the kids all had a blast coloring on it.

Coloring

 

Sheets

My hope is that through this new venture, I can create original and fun artwork that will appeal to young children, and provide ways to support parents trying to find ways to continue the spiritual formation in their homes.

The best way to stay updated with everything is to join the email newsletter list at Illustrated Children’s Ministry. If you sign up – you will receive five free illustrations so you can get a sense of the style and how you might use them at church, home or school. You can sign up here.

Adam Walker Cleaveland is a pastor, artist and blogger. He lives in Chicago with his wife (also a pastor) and their almost–4-year old son, Caleb. You can find Adam online at awcillustrations.com or adamwc.com.

FREE Christmas Resources From OneHope

OneHope Christmas

Hey everybody!  Christmas is only one week away!  Can you believe it?  I know that many of you are working hard at putting the fine touches on your Christmas service this Sunday!  My friends at OneHope.net want to help you out by providing FREE resources for you.  Just go to http://onehope.net/feature/christmas-resources/ and check out what they have provided.  There is everything from coloring pages to parent resources.  Merry Christmas, everybody!

Family Advent Project: “Christmas Prayer Chain”

Christmas Prayer Chain

Looking for a great and easy-to-do project for your family this Christmas?  My wife, Cherith, started this Christmas tradition in our family when my kids were just babies.  It has meant a lot to our family, and I hope you will find it meaningful as well.  I have had several requests to post this again, so here you go:

“CHRISTMAS PRAYER CHAIN”

What you need:

25 strips of construction paper (approx 2 inches wide and six inches long); a sharpie marker; glue

What to do:

1)  Prior to Dec. 1st, gather your kids together and take turns naming the name of someone the family will pray for (friends, family, pastors, teachers, and others)

2)  Write one name on each strip of construction paper, then glue each strip together end-to-end, linking each to make a long paper chain (see graphic above).

3)  Place the Christmas Prayer Chain on the mantle or on the Christmas Tree

4)  Starting Dec. 1st, gather the family together to remove one link of the chain and pray together for the person listed on that link.

5)  This is a wonderful way to countdown the days until Christmas and have meaningful family prayer time.

May you and your family enjoy your Christmas holiday!

Merry Christmas – A Gift For You

 

Christmas is a time to gather the family and friends and celebrate the birth of our Lord.  It’s also a time to express love and appreciation to those who mean a lot to you – and even give gifts.  So, I wanted to express to my friends and family in the Kidmin Community how much I appreciate each of you!  Thanks for the support and participation which make Brian’s Blog such a valuable tool for Kids Ministry Leaders around the world.

I would like to give all of you a special gift.  Here is a FREE download of a brand new song from my alter ego, “Skittles.”  It’s an incredible dubstep remix of his song, “Yah-Way!”  I hope you and yours enjoy “rocking around the Christmas tree” to this tune!

God bless you all – and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FREE SONG!

FUN FRIDAY: A “Redneck-a-fied” Duck Dynasty Christmas

Today marks the start of a new feature on my blog:  FUN FRIDAY!

Every Friday I will share something with you that I think is either fun or FUNNY!  It may be a video, a picture, a joke, a story, you never know!  Should be FUN!

Today, it’s a video that my church did for our Christmas Production this year.  It stars my two kids and several of their friends.  My son, Jordan, plays Phil Robertson.  My daughter, Ashton, is playing Willie Robertson.  It’s a video to depict what the Christmas Story would be if told with a redneck twist (and added lots of LONG beards).  Hope you love it!

The 12 Deals Of Christmas

START SAVING ON DECEMBER 1st!!!!

Christmas comes but ONCE per year – and the same goes with High Voltage Kids Ministry’s now famous “12 DEALS OF CHRISTMAS” promotion.  They have been making a list and checking it twice!  The good news is – you can ALL be on the NICE LIST!!!

They are so thankful for each of you who partner with them in ministry to children!  That’s why they have chosen some of the BIGGEST deals of the year, wrapped them up with a bow (well, sort of), and got them lined up for TWELVE BIG DAYS of savings!

So, in order to be IN THE KNOW – you have to go “like” their Facebook page (click here) OR follow them on Twitter (click here).  They will be sending out Facebook and Twitter updates DAILY to tell the world what the deal of the day is.  Don’t be on the outs, or you might end up with a lump of coal instead of a stocking full of Children’s Ministry goodies!

You could save up to 50% OFF Select Curriculum, Videos, Music, and more!

Great Family Project: “The Christmas Prayer Chain”

prayer chain christmas

Looking for a great and easy-to-do project for your family this Christmas?  My wife, Cherith, started this Christmas tradition in our family when my kids were just babies.  It has meant a lot to our family, and I hope you will find it meaningful as well.

What you need:

25 strips of construction paper (approx 2 inches wide and six inches long); a sharpie marker; glue

What to do:

1)  Prior to Dec. 1st, gather your kids together and take turns naming the name of someone the family will pray for (friends, family, pastors, teachers, and others)

2)  Write one name on each strip of construction paper, then glue each strip together end-to-end, linking each to make a long paper chain (see graphic above).

3)  Place the Christmas Prayer Chain on the mantle or on the Christmas Tree

4)  Starting Dec. 1st, gather the family together to remove one link of the chain and pray together for the person listed on that link.

5)  This is a wonderful way to countdown the days until Christmas and have meaningful family prayer time.

May you and your family enjoy your Christmas holiday!