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 October issue, on the theme of the Golden Rule in weekly segments.

Week One:

Read: Honest to Goodness (pages 2-4)

Discuss: Carrie thought she was following the Golden Rule by telling her sister how bad the sweater looked, but was she? What could she do differently? How do you tell people you think they should know but they might not want to hear?

Pray: To speak kindly to others

Do: Make Easy Pumpkin Cookies from page 16 to share.

Week Two:

Read: The Random Kindness Test (pages 10-12)

Discuss: Have you ever done a random act of kindness for someone? What did you do? Has someone ever done one for you? How did it make you feel? Do you think Erik and Kyra’s kind acts will spread to others?

Pray: To notice opportunities to do kind things for others

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

Week Three:

Read: The Ripple Effect (page 32-34)

Discuss: Did Brittany do anything wrong when she repeated what she had heard to her friends? How did her actions hurt Danielle? How did they hurt Brittany? Can you think of a time when something you told someone spread in a way you didn’t intend? What happened as a result? How did you feel?

Pray: For the strength to resist the temptation to gossip

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

Week Four:

Read: Making the Team (pages 44-46)

Discuss:  Why did Ethan choose to help Joe? If Ethan hadn’t made the team, how might he have felt about helping Joe? Have you ever done something to help someone you didn’t really like? Was it hard to make that choice? What helped you?

Pray: To follow the Golden Rule, even when it’s hard

Do: Make the Golden Rule Snack Mix (p. 24) and put it in small bags or jars to hand out to people in your church.

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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