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 Let Your Light Shine, in weekly segments.

Week One:

Read: Locking Down Prayer (pages 2-4)

Discuss: How did Mallory help her friends during the lockdown? Is it ever hard for you to remember that God is with you? What kind of situations make it hard to remember that? What helps you?

Pray: For kids who face scary situations at school

Do: Let each member of your group write a prayer he or she can carry with them to say in scary situations. Provide some comforting scriptures to help guide the exercise. Invite those who want to to share their prayers with the group.

Week Two:

Read: Shining a Light (pages 10-12)

Discuss: Have you ever faced a situation when you knew a friend was doing something wrong or harmful? What did you do? How did your friend respond? How did you feel about the way you handled the situation?

Pray: For courage to speak up when you know something is wrong

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

Week Three:

Read: Silent Lunch (pages 32-34)

Discuss:  Do you know any kids like Rachel who seem to always be in trouble? Do you ever think about why they behave the way they do? Have you ever tried to make friends with someone no one else seems to like? If so, what was that like? If not, what might be hard or easy about that?

Pray: For kids who have a hard time in school

Do: Take the Are You Shining? quiz (pages 42-43), and talks about your answers.

Week Four:

Read: Tree Frog Trail (pages 17-19)

Discuss: Is it ever hard for you to just listen to someone instead of telling them what to do? How do you feel when you want someone to listen to you and they don’t? How can we try to be better listeners?

Pray: To listen well and to speak kind words to others

Do: Make Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Muffins (page 16) to share.

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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