Do you know anyone who doesn’t like free stuff? I seriously doubt it! Every children’s pastor that I know—in fact, every human being I know—loves anything preceded by this magical and irresistible word—FREE.
Even though I’m blessed to work at a church that highly esteems children’s ministry and provides everything that is needed for us to thrive, it’s always a happy day when I discover a high-quality resource that saves me time, enhances the quality of my work and costs me a sweet nothing.
In this post I’d like to share with you 10 of my all-time favorite free resources that I use on a regular basis. My ministry has greatly benefited from these treasures. This is my way to acknowledge the wonderful people who make them available and also to remind us of the beautiful truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
#1: CROSSROADS KIDS CLUB
Crossroads Kids Club is the children’s ministry of Crossroads church in Cincinnati, Ohio. They produce their own music, videos, parent resources, and lesson plans (small group/large group format) for four different age groups—two year olds, preschool, K through 2nd grade and 3rd through 5th grade. And the best part—they share it all for free.
To check out their lesson plans, click on THIS link. In the top right corner you will notice a search field. Enter a keyword (for example, Lazarus, Easter, worship, courage, etc.), press ENTER and see the results. From there, download the PDF versions of the lesson plans you’re interested in and use them as you please.
My personal favorites are the many awesome videos that the Croassroads team is producing. I am a big fan of their God’s Story video series and their music videos. Their Vimeo channel makes it very easy to go through the videos and download them. Recently they started translating their videos into different languages (French, Chinese and even my native Russian—yay!). Keep this in mind as you prepare for your next international missions trip.
Click HERE to check out Crossroads Kids’ Club Vimeo channel. Be sure to bookmark it or follow their channel, because something tells me you’ll become an instant fan, just as I did. Oh, and don’t forget to check their training videos. They might come in handy as you get ready for your volunteer training.
#2: JESUS FILM PROJECT
Do you know the Jesus film? You may not want to answer, because it will likely reveal your age. The Jesus film was created in 1979 with one goal only—to bring a biblically accurate depiction of the life, ministry and death of Jesus to the big screen. The Jesus film is based on the Gospel of Luke from where most of the film’s dialogues were taken. This is a straightforward Gospel account with minimum special effects and zero deviations from the storyline. Wherever I take our children through the life of Jesus, I often insert short clips from the Jesus film to visually transport them into the times of Jesus.
Short clips from the movie can be found HERE. The full film and several other productions can be found and downloaded HERE. (Be sure to check out My Last Day, a moving anime depiction of Jesus’ last hours on the earth and His life-changing interaction with the thief on the cross.) All of the Jesus Film Project films can be shown to as many people as you like as long as you do not charge admission to view them.
Fun fact #1: It is the only film that has been dubbed into more than 1,000 languages of the world. As of now, more than 1,560 languages spoken all over the world have the Jesus film, including in all the major languages of the world.
Fun fact #2: Over 490 million people accepted Jesus as their Savior following a film showing.