Using Pockets

Though Pockets is primarily a resource for children’s personal use, the magazine can be used in groups as supplemental Sunday-school material or with weeknight groups or Pockets clubs. Here are some suggestions for using the May issue, on the theme of Family, in weekly segments.

Week One:

Read: Synch or Swim (pages 2-4)

Discuss: What are some times when you might argue with a sibling (or a friend)? Do you think that person would defend you if someone else was picking on you? Why or why not? Would you defend that person, even though you might get mad at them sometimes?

Pray: For new siblings and step-siblings

Do: Make Enchilada Stacks from page 13, or another snack, to share.

Week Two:

Read: Not My Job (pages 10-12)

Discuss: Do you think you would have felt the way Elijah did in the story? Was Grace being fair? What do you think about how Elijah decided to get back at her? How do you think things will be different after Elijah and Grace talk to their parents?

Pray: For families struggling with economic changes

Do: Take the quiz on pages 42-43 and talk about your answers together.

Week Three:

Read: The Right Answer (pages 30-32)

Discuss: How does it feel when you know you’ve disappointed somebody who cares about you? Have you ever worried that you might have “messed up too bad” and your parents or someone else won’t feel the same about you? How do you know that your family will always love you? How is that like the way God loves us?

Pray: For someone needing forgiveness

Do: Read about the contest on page 24 and work on your entries.

Week Four:

Read: Make Up Your Mind! (pages 44-46)

Discuss: Is it ever hard for you to be patient with a sibling or other family member? What makes it hard? What helps you to be patient? How do you feel when others are impatient or frustrated with you?

Pray: For patience with those in our families

Do: Read the family poems written by Pockets readers (pages 6 and 37) and write your own poems about family.

Though Pockets is created for children’s personal use, there are many ways parents can use the magazine with your children at home.

  • The last page of each issue features a family activity. Set aside time during the month for the family to do this together. Share a simple snack while you do the activity and conclude with a prayer thanking God for your time together.
  • Read Pocketsful of Scripture together and talk about the brief scripture readings. This can be a good way to end the day together.
  • Check out Do 1 Thing. This feature encourages children to do one “small” thing each week in a different category (i.e. for your family, for the world, etc.). Talk to your child about his or her “one thing” for the week. Consider having a family “one thing” for each week, as well.
  • Look at our Check It Out page together. Visit the suggested website to learn more about a different charity each month. Consider journaling together or discuss the journal prompt together. Add the Dates To Remember and prayer suggestions to your family calendar.
  • Read a story together and discuss it.
  • Read “Where in God’s World?” and together learn more about the featured country. You may want to plan a family night around that country, including trying your hand at preparing a traditional dish from the country.
  • Read about the month’s Faith Hero and together learn more about that person. Have a family discussion about what makes a person a faith hero and some faith heroes that you know in your church or community. Talk about ways each of you can be faith heroes or incorporate a family practice of taking turns finishing this sentence: “This week I felt like a faith hero when I…”
  • Use our special seasonal features, such as the Lenten intercessory prayer calendar, the Thanksgiving prayer calendar, the Advent calendar, and the Advent devotions. Make these part of your worship together as a family.

Churches have various ways of using Pockets in their children’s ministry. Many provide the magazine for children to take home to help the children in their spiritual formation throughout the week. Many use it in bags or packets provided for children to use during worship. Others use the magazine as supplemental Sunday-school curriculum or for Wednesday night programs or other activities. Some even have Pockets Clubs that organize their meetings around the contents of the magazine.

But there are also ways to use Pockets beyond your church to reach out to children and families in your community.

Here are some ideas:

  • Place a few copies each month in the waiting room of your local hospital or health department or doctors’ or dentists’ offices. Attach a sticker to the front with information about your church.
  • Offer to provide some copies to the after-school tutoring program at your church or another church in your area.
  • Take copies to children who are in the hospital or at home sick.
  • Donate copies to a food bank or shelter in your area.
  • Take some along on outreach visits to families in your community as a way of letting adults know that your church values children.
  • Order extra copies to give to children at community-wide events where your church is represented.
  • Order extras for seasons when you know the church will have many visitors so that visiting children can take their own copies home.
 

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