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|Sabbath Activities for Children|
Someone could certainly wonder why the Lord, who gave us the seventh day Sabbath to enjoy as a day of spiritual rest and holiness, wasn't more specific regarding how the day should be kept with small or school-age children.
There might be several reasons for this silence. I would like to share with you a thought I considered while thinking about the subject.
It might be that the Lord wants His people to use their own thinking and reasoning abilities (as the Holy Spirit directs) to consider the best ways to keep the Sabbath holy, without making a lot of exacting rules which could easily cause them to slip into various forms of legalism, and thereby lose its true meaning and wonderful blessings.
In order to stimulate some feedback a letter from our site was sent out. To those who responded to this request last year many thanks are extended.
It is hoped that the information provided here will provide some help as you consider new ways to apply God's eternal principles to this important subject.
Please keep in mind that what has been included in this article represents only general guidelines for consideration and is not intended to become a binding rule (like the law of the Medes and Persians), to be accepted, or used, in all places, at all times, by all Christians, observing God's special day.
As you find new and more interesting ways to make the Sabbath a blessing for children we would like to hear from you, so please keep Visda Point on your mailing list. We will add to this article as new ideas come to our attention.
Perhaps you would like to know more about the Bible's teaching regarding God's Sabbath. Please feel free to ask. There are many references we would be happy to send that you would find of true value. Submit your questions to the e-mail address listed at the end of this page. We'll be happy to respond to your request.
May God bless your faithful efforts for Him.
Visda Point's Request Letter
We at Visda Point are expanding our efforts for Christian spiritual development, outreach, and service, and would like to request your assistance.
Could you send specific suggestions, ideas, thoughts, experiences, etc. that would assist children and young people to enjoy the hours of the Sabbath more fully, and "keep it holy" as God has asked of His people?
As you who are parents have probably
already experienced, inspiring children of school age to rest one day in seven
can become the major challenge of the week. Busy minds and bodies know little about
slowing down or stopping the regular day's rush once the Sabbath begins.
How to fill Sabbath time with acceptable
activities and keep them interested
from week to week is essential for spiritual health and development. We're
looking for ideas (both new and old) on ways this can be accomplished.
Many books have been written which provide extensive details to prove which day the Sabbath is, and show that it should be observed; but very few things have been written regarding how to assist children to keep God's special day.
We are looking to help parents, teachers, and especially children and youth expand their horizons for learning and enjoyment during Sabbath time. Your help is needed.
If you have a thought or suggestion please send it to us so we can compile the information and make it available to others who are interested in this important subject. Every idea has potential value and will be considered for publication on the Visda Point website, and possibly as a newsletter, or book, as time continues and the Lord gives the grace to do so.
Every participant who responds to this request will receive a copy of the final publication via e-mail when it is completed; so if you're interested in your children and this subject, please send your ideas and suggestions to us quickly. The sooner we receive your responses we'll be able to make the final publication available.
Pass this request for assistance, as far as it can go to generate thought on the subject.Think about ways you wish would have been suggested when your children were young and just learning to read and write, or had reached the 13-19 age interest level.
The ways of the world are fast overtaking our children and
youth these days. Helping them to establish spiritual interests and enjoy the teachings,
and ways, of God while they are still young, is
essential for their future.
Happy Sabbaths every week are one way to provide toward this spiritual success. You can help make the Christian life for children and youth a greater blessing.
Will you write to us today?Thanks for taking the time to help in this worthwhile project.
Bible References to Help Teach Children
Remember the sabbath day,
to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour,
and do all thy work:
But the seventh day
is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:
in it thou shalt not do any work,
nor thy son,
nor thy daughter,
nor thy maidservant,
nor thy cattle,
nor thy stranger
that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven
and all that in them is,
and rested the seventh day:
wherefore the Lord blessed
the sabbath day,
and hallowed it.
Train up a child in the
way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD
our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God
with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day,
shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 6: 4-7
O that there were such an heart in them,
that they would fear me,
and keep all my commandments always,
that it might be well with them,
and with their children for ever!
Regarding the diligent
to be paid to God's Commandments
these words were repeated again:
And ye shall teach them your children,
speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house,
and upon thy gates:
That your days may be multiplied,
and the days of your children,
in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers
to give them,
as the days of heaven upon the earth.
All parents would do
well to have the same concern
and desire the blessing that the prophet Samuel's
parents had before his birth:
Then Manoah intreated the
LORD, and said,
O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send
come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do
unto the child that shall be born.
And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah;
and the angel of God came again unto the woman
as she sat in the field:
but Manoah her husband was not with her.
And the woman made haste, and ran,
and shewed her husband,
and said unto him,
Behold, the man hath appeared unto me,
that came unto me the other day.
And Manoah arose, and went after his wife,
and came to the man, and said unto him,
Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman?
And he said, I am.
And Manoah said,
Now let thy words come to pass.
How shall we order the child,
and how shall we do unto him?
Contributions & Responses
I was really impressed one Sabbath afternoon when our church family was on a camp-out. Everyone, adults and children alike, went on a hike and each person was to look for something that reminded them of a Bible story, or a spiritual lesson of some kind, and bring it back to share with the others. We were given a time to be back. It really was amazing what even the very young children came up with. Nobody got bored!
Special Bible games are a good idea. Something that is saved exclusively for Sabbath.
How 'bout making "quiet boxes".
Cut out small felts-backgrounds, people, animals, etc. -
that can illustrate various Bible stories. Make them small enough to fit into a handkerchief box or a box that women's stockings come in. (Department stores usually have some that they will give away). Older children can make these for younger children who will sit quietly in church keeping busy with their quiet boxes. This is another thing that is saved exclusively for Sabbath, thereby making it special.
Sabbath is a wonderful day to be a blessing
to others. Think of something you can do to bless someone else-perhaps visit
someone in a rest home. It doesn't have to be someone you know. Just go
to the nearest rest home and ask the nurses who might benefit most from
a visit. Children are often a very welcome and refreshing sight to those
folks. Adopt a grandma or grandpa and visit regularly.
Looking forward to your final publication of ideas! BB
I think you were looking for ways to celebrate Sabbath and to make it special for children. A few things I've seen that may make the Sabbath more special for kids are as follows:
* Special Sabbath rituals, such as lighting candles at sundown on Friday night
* Special - really fun - toys that are used only on Sabbath
* Special food for Sabbath...
* Including young people in church - in a band, in choir
* Have music that appeals to young people and that may allow them to dance a little or at least to stretch some in church
* Special Sabbath services that involve
several churches getting together, so the
young people can meet a lot of other
young people. GS
Make and keep the Sabbath interesting...
not too many rules... and lots of outdoor activities in nature... with children
and their parents together. EW
How about making some inspiring small
pamphlets on gospel related topics (with pictures inside) and distributing
them at hospitals or in old age homes to be a blessing? CT
One good way for children to spend the Sabbath is to hold children's club meetings with the
other kids in the church. They could come up with their own name for it. The object of the club
would be to bless people. If someone is sick, they could pray for that person and make get well
cards. Even collect church signatures for the card. If the kids are not too young they can make
plans to go on Sunday to help someone out who isn't well and needs to have the house cleaned.
They can write letters to isolated members. They could pass out tracts. They could also read
Bible stories to the younger kids. The club would need an adult advisor. The advisor could
arrange that there be a club outing into nature one Sabbath every one, two or three months
(depending on the resources) with a campfire and singing. This kind of activity if made to
be something to look forward to, could really help the kids to bond to each other and to
... Children always need guidance especially when the interact with other children. If there is no one adult who would like to do this all the time, the parents can take turns. We do a lot for our children, but much too little with our children. Thank you for asking. MM
About your request for children's Sabbath-keeping
activities: our children usually enjoy listening
to Bible tapes of the Bible stories, nature walks, Bible charades, Bible studies especially designed
for children or participating in Bible studies for adults, etc. We do like to be active with the
children on Sabbath, and go out in nature as much as possible.
Our local church here... has a young
people's meeting twice a month, with testimonies, songs,
poems, sharing experiences about missionary work, etc. The children enjoy the youth meetings immensely, but even so afterwards we like to go out for a walk anyway, since we need exercise
every day. JE
When I was of grade school age I lived
in................... where it was a common practice for the
church to have a potluck dinner at the park after church every week all summer long. After lunch
one of the church members would load us kids in the back of his truck and we would go for a hike
some where in the area. I realize that this was nearly 40 years ago but I still remember those days
and the people involved. Even though I was only there for two summers I am still in contact with
a lot of the kids from that group most are still in the church. I guess the point that I am trying to
make is the time and effort that we adults put into activities for the young people to be able enjoy
the Sabbath don't go unremembered. Some weeks could be used to pass out literature [extra Little Friends or Primary Treasures every Church has extras that just lay around and collect dust],
organized Bible games that help strengthen their knowledge of the Bible, as mentioned before
going for a hike even the ride to the hiking area can be made fun as most kids enjoy singing.
I also realize that it is more difficult in larger cities. ES
Thank you for bringing back wonderful
memories with your sharing of your youth. I too, remember fondly youth activities
at our church. Vacation Bible school was the highlight of the year. If you
were really lucky you would have some cousins who went to a different church
and some years you'd get to go to two or three Bible schools!!! Ah! That
was some high cotton! BH
...maybe more important is that Christ will remember the fact that you are working to bring His little ones closer to Him and training them in His love. Thank you for sharing with us. I had a good time remembering. <whispering> BTW [By The Way] my mama still has every macaroni picture of the cross and every coloring sheet I ever did at bible school... Thanks to you the next time I go home, I am going to dig that out...and just remember.
P.S. Another thing we did at the beginning was to do a Bible marking of the scriptures that explain the 27 fundamental beliefs [of our church]. The ones who were there every week and marked a Bible got to keep it. BH
Ways To Generate Quality Ideas
Think about your own Sabbath experiences (or those of others you know)
Ask your children for ideas and suggestions (they're a wonderful resource)
Talk to Sabbath School teachers and Superintendents in your church
Ask your church congregation to give you ideas to send to us
Ask your Christian friends to give you ideas
More Sabbath Activity Ideas
Conduct an Interactive Bible study (Designed for the age group doing the study)
View a video program (examples might
include: documentaries on Noah's Ark, Creation vs
Evolution, Bible related stories, etc...)
Draw and/or color Bible, animal, or nature pictures (things related to God and His Creation)
Walk in Nature
Sing songs, and play music together
Enjoy your time together
Do Bible, and Sabbath-related story telling and reading
Write a Pen Pal, or friend, a letter
Call a friend on the phone and talk to them about Jesus
Write to a Missionary working in a far away land
Do a Christian crossword puzzle
Do a nature related jigsaw puzzle
Make a "Thank You" list (count your blessings)
Prepare a Special Youth program to share with friends
Study the Bible or Sabbath School Lessons
Study astronomy and the stars on Friday evening
Write Bible verses in your own words, and discuss their meanings together
Help a handicapped child, or adult, enjoy part of the day outdoors (if possible)
Create a Bible character game (like the 20 questions game)
Vary the Bible game above using plants,
foods, animals, Biblical events, etc. in place of a
Be a blessing to others in need
Jesus said: ... it is lawful
to do well on the sabbath days.
Prove all things; and hold
fast to that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Information & References
Excellent Books on this subject:
Sabbath at Sommerhase (in English)
Lettie Siddens 1989. 128 pages.
An interesting Activity Packet accompanies Sabbath at Sommerhase
(included in the price) Cost: Around $12.00 U.S.
Published by the Bible Sabbath Association
Rd 1 Box 222
Fairview, Oklahoma 73737
Or Order from:
The Bible Sabbath Association,
3316 Alberta Drive
Gillette, WY 82718, USA
Internet address: http://www.biblesabbath.org/descrmat.html
52 Things To Do On Sabbath
Glen Robinson 1983. 32 pages
Cost: About $3.00 U.S. (if still available)
Published by Review And Herald Publishing Association
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
True to the Sabbath; True to Our God
Larry Graffius 1998. 192 pages
Cost: $9.95 U.S.
To read the Preface from Larry's book
on the internet go to: http://www.oocities.com/midcontinentsdb/jan00.htm#1
or use this link
Published by the American Sabbath Tract
and Communication Council
For information contact:
Seventh Day Baptist Tract and Communication Council
Post Office Box 1678
Janesville, WI 53645-1678
Order information on the internet:http://www.seventhdaybaptist.org/pub.html
If you have any questions or ideas regarding
this subject you would like to have considered,
please Contact us. We're always happy to hear from our visitors.
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