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 January/February issue, on the theme of Think about These Things (see Phil. 4:8), in weekly segments.

February:

Week One:

Read: Tree Frog Trail (page 17-19)

Discuss: Why did Zoe feel frustrated with Mr. Kurtz? Have you ever known anyone like him, who seems to focus on all the bad things that happen? How do you feel when you’re around someone like that? How did Mr. Kurtz help Zoe when the storm came? Do you think they would get along better in the future?

Pray: For people dealing with the effects of storms

Do: Make the Valentine Scones (page 16) to share.

 

Week Two:

Read: The Flying Math Test

Discuss: How do you think Eva helped Kennedy? Do you think Kennedy might do better in math after their conversation? Why or why not? How have you helped someone else with a problem in school? How has somebody helped you?

Pray: For people who have a hard time in school

Do: The game “A Little Thought” on page 30 and talk about how you will live out Philippians 4:8 this week.

 

Week Three:

Read: Faith Heroes: Sojourner Truth (page 41)

Discuss: How was Sojourner Truth a hero? How did her faith help her?

Pray: For the courage to stand up for what’s right

Do: Identify some Faith Heroes of your church. Talk about what makes them heroes, and how kids can be faith heroes in their everyday lives.

 

Week Four:

Read: The Boots (pages 44-46)

Discuss: Mark and his friends were mean to Tytan, but Tytan helped Mark. Do you think that would be hard to do? Have you ever helped someone who wasn’t very nice to you? How did you feel about it? How did the other person respond?

Pray: To do the right thing, even when it’s hard

Do: The game “Something to Think About” on page 37.

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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