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 September issue, on the theme of Honesty, in weekly segments.

Week One:

Read: Yours Truly, Liar Lindy (pages 2-4)

Discuss: Why did Lindy lie in her letters? Have you ever exaggerated or lied because you thought someone would like you better? Do you think Lindy and Jillian could become real friends if they kept lying to each other? Why is honesty important in friendship?

Pray: To be an honest friend

Do: Make the Energy Bites to share. (Consider trying a few of the variations and letting everyone vote for their favorite.)

Week Two:

Read: Just Kidding! (pages 10-12)

Discuss: What’s the difference between kidding around and lying? Is it ever hard for you to tell the difference? What can happen when you cross the line between joking and lying?

Pray: For help in being trustworthy

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

Week Three:

Read: The Way I Roll (pages 30-32)

Discuss: Can you think of time when you chose to be honest even when people told you it wasn’t that important? How do you feel when you make an honest choice? Why is it important to be honest in your everyday choices?

Pray: To be able to make honest choices every day

Do: Do the quiz on pp. 42-43 and talk about your answers.

Week Four:

Read: The Truth about Sarah (pages 44-46)

Discuss: Is it ever possible to be too honest? How can you tell whether something is honest and needs to be said, or mean and unhelpful?

Pray: For the wisdom to speak the truth in love

Do: Read “Speaking the Truth in Love” (page 22) and talk about the difference between saying something that’s honest but not helpful and “speaking the truth in love.”

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.