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 December issue, on the theme of Waiting and Welcoming, in weekly segments. In addition to the activities below, you can do the devotions on pp. 22-23, 26 in your group.

 

Week One:

Read: One Star Too Many (pages 2-4)

Discuss: What Christmas traditions are really important to you? Why? How does it feel when a tradition you care about has to change? What can help you be open to changes, even if you don’t really like them?

Pray: For families getting ready to celebrate Christmas

Do: Make the Holiday Gumdrop Jewels on p. 13 together.

 

Week Two:

Read: The Dinner (pages 10-12)

Discuss: What did David learned from his experience? How do you think Luke felt in the story? What do you think he meant at the end when he told his dad he was surprised?

Pray: For people in your community who struggle to get enough food

Do: Collect items for your local food bank. If possible, deliver them in person.

 

Week Three:

Read: My Christmas-Spirit Tree (pages 34-36)

Discuss: Why were Allison’s family and her friend surprised that she was being helpful and kind? Are you nicer to people around Christmas time? What can help you remember to keep your Christmas spirit all year?

Pray: To keep the spirit of kindness and helping others going all year long

Do: Check out p. 21 and write Christmas acrostics. (If you want to, send your acrostics to us at Pockets, P.O. Box 340004, Nashville TN 37204-0004.)

 

Week Four:

Read: Mom’s Christmas Magic (pages 44-46)

Discuss: Is it easier to notice the good things or the bad things about other people? How does that change the way you interact with them? How do you feel when you realize someone has noticed one of your good qualities or something nice you did?

Pray: To notice the good qualities of other people

Do: Make a note card for each person in your group with his or her name at the top. Pass the cards out so that no one has his or her own card. Give everyone a brief time to write one positive thing on the card about that person. Pass the cards around until every group member has written on every other group member’s card. Let everyone take their own card home with them.

 

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.
 

Send Us Your Stuff!

Your Bible verse, joke or pet photo could be chosen for the Pockets website! What would you like to send us?