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 August issue, on the theme of Peace, in weekly segments.

 

Week One:

Read: Maggie in the Middle (pages 2-4)

Discuss: How do you try to help when friends or family members are fighting? What are some things you can do to be a peacemaker?

Pray: To be peacemakers in our everyday lives

Do: Collect school supplies for kids in your community whose families can’t afford to buy the supplies.

 

Week Two:

Read: Treefrog Trail (pages 17-19)

Discuss: Why was it hard for Zoe to tell Nana that she shouldn’t change the wedding plans? What are some ways to respectfully disagree with another person?

Pray: To be kind and respectful when we express our opinions

Do: Read The List (page 7) and talk together about other ways to be a peacemaker.

 

Week Three:

Read: This Is War (pages 32-34)

Discuss:  How did things get out of control with Dani and Geneva’s pranks? What happens when you try to “get back” at someone? What are some other ideas for responding when someone does something mean?

Pray: To forgive and make peace

Do: Take the “Are You a Peacemaker?” quiz (pages 42-43) and talk about your answers.

 

Week Four:

Read: Gator Boy vs. the Bully (pages 44-46)

Discuss: Have you ever shown grace to someone who had been mean to you? What did you do? How did the person respond? When has someone shown grace to you?

Pray: For the strength to show grace to others

Do: Make bookmarks with favorite Bible verses on them. (Let each group member choose his or her favorite, but have some familiar verses ready for those who can’t decide.) Send one to each homebound member of your congregation.

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?