The conference wants to help churches provide meaningful experiences for growth for our young people while preparing them for life as adults and as disciples of Jesus Christ. Check this page for resources meant to help bolster kids and family ministries in your local churches.

Please check here regularly for resources meant to help you and your church provide effective children's ministries. Share your ideas by clicking the link on the right.

If you have questions related to children's ministries, please feel free to contact the Rev. Melissa Collier Gepford, our intergenerational discipleship coordinator.

What's on this page




Faith Formation at Home


Leadership Development

Ministry Leadership Initiative offers cohort training, coaching, and consulting services for youth, children’s and congregational ministry. MLI offers a two-year commissioning program, with monthly support, for youth and kids ministry staff and volunteers.,  out of the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College, offers online courses related to Youth, Children, and Retreats. Online Certification in Youth Ministry is also available in collaboration with Ministry Leadership Initiative.

Ministry Architects offers training and resources for healthy KidsMin systems and innovative change for the future of the church.

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Mercy and Justice

Superhero Family Serve Day

Gather people of all ages into one room to learn the same thing and participate in the same activities. Make sure the activities are missionally minded, and then let your imagination run wild with fun themes. In this resource, you'll find everything you need to host your very own Superhero Family Serve Day, where you and your crew will train to defeat the Hunger Villain! Enjoy!

Beloved Community

Use this resource as Sunday School curriculum, faith at home resource, or a special intergenerational event to learn more about celebrating diversity and beloved community!

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Ministry Management

Nuts and Bolts Drive

Templates, articles, and downloads for Kids and Family Ministry management all in one place for you to navigate here!

GP Kids & Families Collective

Join our mailing list of over 500 ministry leaders in the conference! Each month, you’ll receive an eNewsletter full of devotions, articles, curriculum, grant opportunities, and Great Plains Kids & Families news. Subscribe here.

Great Plains Discipleship Facebook Group

Articles, events, webinars, Live events, and more in our official Facebook group!

Top 3 Needs of Children in Rural Communities

By Rev. Seulki Choi

Raising children in a rural community can be tough, but the church is uniquely positioned to offer a guiding light to children in need. Read the Rev. Seulki Choi's top three needs of children in rural communities.

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Safe Gatherings is the Conference-wide training required for all people engaged in ministry with kids, youth, and vulnerable adult populations. Be sure you and every volunteer is Safe Gatherings certified.



Advent and Christmas

Church is certainly different these days, and the beautiful thing about it is we can share the Good News in new and fresh ways. We are offering you "Advent in a Box" and "Christmas in a Box" resources for you to share with those in your church and community. You may use this and adapt as you see fit for your ministry context from Advent through Epiphany.


Happy New Year! (Bitmoji classroom): Send this Bitmoji classroom to your families to reflect on the past year and learn about Epiphany!

Lent and Holy Week

  • Lent in a Box
    • This resource, produced in partnership with the Michigan Conference, is kid-friendly, but is also appropriate for youth and adults. Ministry leaders can click the link above to find:
      • Planning guide for Ash Wednesday (Choose Your Own Adventure style)
      • At Home Ash Wednesday Ritual
      • Five weeks of prayer practices
      • Suggestions for how to utilize this resource
  • Holy Week in a Box
    • Like Lent in a Box, this resource is adaptable for individuals and families of all ages and any ministry context. In the above link, ministry leaders will find three ways to utilize this resource and a simple daily devotion guide. Participants will read scripture, affirm a truth, embody a tangible ritual, wonder about the story, and pray.
  • 10 Ways to Observe Lent


Ordinary Time

Summer of Kindness: Use this resource over the summer as a family handout, Sunday School curriculum, VBS supplement, or special intergenerational events!

All Hallows Eve: Send this Bitmoji classroom to your families to learn more about the spiritual roots of Halloween and All Saints Day!

Gratitude Bingo: Send this Bingo card to your families to cultivate gratitude during November!

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Special Events

Back to School Blessing for Kids & Youth Ministry Volunteers

By the Rev. Rebecca Hjelle and the Rev. Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson, regional children’s ministry coordinators for the Great Plains Conference

The start of the school year is brings the opportunity to offer a blessing for our kids and youth as well as the volunteers who shape our kids and youth ministries! In this resource you will find a Back to School Blessing, along with some ideas for sharing it with your congregation. As always, feel free to get creative and make it your own! 


Bible Presentations

Kids Bible Journey (Bitmoji classroom) – Send this Bitmoji classroom to your families after third graders receive their first Bibles!

Virtual Vacation Bible School

In times when children can't gather for Vacation Bible School, what can you do to continue to teach about the good news of Jesus Christ to His youngest disciples? Here is what one church — Basehor United Methodist Church in Kansas — did. They have provided links to their first day of activities so you can get a feel for how they made a virtual event seem like the activities were right there in the kids' living rooms. View their first-day video.

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Children's Messages

Developing an appropriate children's message every week can be challenging, especially when one is beholden to the lectionary readings. Some scriptures will resonate with children more than others. Ministry Matters has a free weekly series called "Worship for Kids" designed to help pastors and children's ministry leaders teach youngsters using the lectionary readings. Author Carolyn C. Brown is a certified Christian educator who has written many books on how to include children in worship. Articles are released weeks in advance to allow leaders plenty of time to prep their children's message.

A Primer on Worship

Send this resource to families for them to explore the different elements of worship and have some fun next time they worship online or in person!

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