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 New Beginnings, in weekly segments.

 

January

Week One:

Read: Happy New Year, Julian (pages 2-4)

Discuss: Do you ever find it hard to talk to friends about what you believe about God and Jesus? What makes that hard sometimes? What helps you? How does being a Christian change the choices you make every day? Do you think others can tell by your actions that you believe in God?

Pray: For new Christians

Do: Read The List (page 7) and talk about any changes group members want to make this year and how to get started.

 

Week Two:

Read: Never Say Never (pages 10-12)

Discuss: Has someone ever treated you the way Lara’s brother treated her? Why do you think people act that way? How do you respond when someone is mean to you? Why do you think Lara was nice to her brother after he had been mean to her? Would that be hard to do? What could help you?

Pray: For siblings who have a hard time getting along

Do: Make Ginger Snaps to share.

 

Week Three:

Read: Where in God’s World? (pages 28-30)

Discuss: What was your favorite fact in this article? Which of the countries mentioned would you most like to visit? Why?

Pray: For peace in the world

Do: Collect winter supplies (socks, gloves, hand warmers, etc.) for a local charity. If possible, deliver your donations in person.

 

Week Four:

Read: Tree Frog Trail (pages 17-19)

Discuss: Marcos was mad about the way Zachary and his cousins messed up the frogs’ habitat. How did he and his friends decide to respond? What do you think would have happened if he had yelled at Zachary instead?

Pray: To forgive people as God forgives us

Do: Decide on an earth-friendly project your group can do in your community.

 

February:

Week One:

Read: New Year, New Plans (pages 38-39)

Discuss: Did you pick anything that you wanted to change or do differently this year? If so, has it been hard or easy to make the change? Since God offers us the chance to make a new beginning anytime, is there anything you’d like to change or do differently?

Pray: To make positive changes

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

 

Week Two:

Read: Faith Heroes (page 41)

Discuss: How does God call us to stand with those who are discriminated against or treated unfairly? What does it mean to work for justice and fairness in our everyday lives.

Pray: For the courage to stand up for those who are treated unfairly

Do: Identify some Faith Heroes you know. Talk about what makes them heroes and how kids can be faith heroes in their everyday lives.

 

Week Three:

Read: The Last Laugh (pages 32-34)

Discuss: What did Andrew learn about reaching his goals? What are some of your goals? How do you work to achieve a goal?

Pray: For those who help you reach your goals

Do: Check out the reader photos on pages 14-16 and devise a photo scavenger hunt for your group.

 

Week Four:

Read: Inside Out (pages 44-46)

Discuss: What did Annie learn from her cousin? What do you think it means to “do the Bible-type of love” to everyone? What are some ways you might do that at school? At home? In your community?

Pray: For help to see people as God sees them.

Do: Make cards of appreciation for community workers (firefighters, police, EMT’s, librarians, etc.)

 

 

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?