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Ministering to Children of Divorce

Brian Dykes

Attendance charts are inappropriate for a Sunday school setting. These charts involve listing children's names in a column and giving the children stars for each week of Sunday school attendance. Such direct comparisons can be very hurtful to children whose parents are unable to get them to Sunday school. Imagine how a child with two stars-wedged between children with 10 stars-feels when it's not his fault that he can't be there. Attendance charts don't exactly encourage these kids to come back.

Instead, use an alternative attendance record where the child is rewarded for attending without direct comparisons. For example, during the fall, place a paper tree trunk on a wall. On Sundays, each child places a leaf on the tree. Children participate in the same fun activity of getting to place an object just for being there, and they'll enjoy seeing their tree grow. Use snowflakes in the winter and flowers in the spring.

You could also link attendance with your unit's theme. If you're studying creation, place a large mural-sized paper on the wall. As the weeks progress, children put stars in the night sky, rays of light from the sun, and various plants and animals in the garden. By the end of the unit, the children have contributed to a wonderful visual summary of the creation story.

Susan Steele
Beaver, Pennsylvania

Excerpted from Children's Ministry Magazine. Subscribe today!

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