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 June issue, on the theme of Finding Balance in weekly segments.

 

Week One:

Read: Peas in a Pod (pp. 2-4)

Discuss: Do you and your friends like to do all the same things? What’s one thing that you like to do that most of your friends don’t care about? What happens when friends don’t like the same activities?

Pray: A prayer of Thanksgiving for your friends (Give group members a chance to name friends aloud if they wish.)

Do: Read about the new contest on page 24 and start working on your entries.

 

Week Two:

Read: Pirate and Me (pp. 10-12)

Discuss: Have you ever had trouble balancing something you want to do with something you know you need to do? What’s hard about that? What helps you do the things you know you need to do?

Pray: To be able to keep wants and needs in balance in our lives

Do: Make Frozen Peanut Butter Pie and share it.

 

Week Three:

Read: The Yes Mom (pp. 32-34)

Discuss: Have you ever felt the way Evan did? What did he learn about why his mom said no to some of the things he wanted? What do you do when your parents say no to something you want?

Pray: To make good choices

Do: Take the quiz (pp. 42-43) and talk about your answers.

 

Week Four:

Read: Tree Frog Trail (pp. 17-19)

Discuss: Do you like to be busy with lots of activities, or do you prefer to have lots of free time? Why is it important to have both planned activities and free time?

Pray: For those who are volunteering in programs for children this summer

Do: The activity on page 31 and talk about what you learned from it.

 

 

 

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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