There are lots of great resources for Youth and Family Ministry that you can borrow from the Youth and Family Ministry Library at the Synod Office. Call or email Allie Colp (902-789-3481 or if there is something you are interested in checking out, or if you are looking for some suggestions. On mobile devices, the links below may not work correctly.


Children's Ministry & Sunday School



Connect Sunday School Curriculum – Sparkhouse (2013)

  • Every Connect lesson follows a three-part sequence: See, Explore, and Make. Each week, tweens focus on and reinforce a theme by watching a witty video, exploring biblical text, and creating projects that range from games to art and more.

  • 10 Units, 5 lessons each for grade 5 & 6 students

    • DVDs, Leader’s Guides, and Learner Packs available for all units.


Frolic Nursery Curriculum – Sparkhouse (2016)

  • Frolic is a suite of early childhood resources that uniquely helps churches support children and their families as they take their first steps in faith.

  • Available components:

    • Posters

    • Story books

    • Frolic First Bible

    • CDs

    • Board Books

    • Nursery Cards


Holy Moly Sunday School Curriculum – Sparkhouse (2014)

  • A two year Sunday school curriculum designed for grades primary to 4. Uses a video and paper-craft based activity each week. Divides children into grade primary to 2,  and grades 3&4 or pre-reader and reader.

  • Could be tweaked for one room school house – same video, different activity.

  • Available components:

    • Year 1 Unit 1

      • DVD

      • Leader Pack

      • Learners Packs

    • Years 1 & 2 Unit 2

      • DVD

      • Leader Pack

      • Learners Packs

    • Year 1 Unit 3

      • DVD

      • Leader Pack

      • Learners Packs

    • Years 1 & 2 Unit 4

      • DVD

      • Leader Pack

      • Learners Packs

    • Year 1 Unit 5

      • DVD

      • Leader Pack

      • Learners Packs


It Is Easy Being Green: 60 Bible Stories and Crafts With the Earth in Mind by LeeDell Stickler – Abingdon Press (2011)


Spark Story Bible – sparkhouse 2015 – Boldly and brightly illustrated Bible stories, which each end with a question for children.


Connect Bible NRSV – sparkhouse 2012 – Has lots of space in the margins for notes and/or drawing and reflection activities throughout. Used with Connect and Holy Moly.


Spark Bible NRSV– sparkhouse 2009 – Has questionsabout passages of scripture and how that connects to other aspects of life, definitions in the margins, highlighted key verses, and interesting “Did you know?” pieces that relate to people, places, things, or events in the Bible.


Whirl Lectionary NRSV Bible – sparkhouse 2014 – Has the Revised Common Lectionary readings all marked and colour coded, and includes sections for personal reflection.


Whirl Story Bible – sparkhouse 2014 –A collection of illustrated Bible stories inspired by readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. Features two characters that provide humour, comments, and explanations.


Handbook of Children’ Religious Education edited by Donald E. Ratcliff – Religious Education Press (1992)


PrayerWorks: Prayer Training and Strategy for Kids by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick with Amy Parker – Kendrick Brothers (2015)


More Bible Time With Kids: 200+ Bible-Based Activities to Use with Children by Cindy Dingwall – Abingdon Press (2006)

For Leaders


20 Ways to Use Drama in Teaching the Bible by Judy Gattis Smith – Abingdon Press (1975)


100 Creative Teaching Techniques for Religion Teachers by Phyllis Vos Wezeman – Twenty-Third Publication (1989)


Art, Kids, and Christian Education: How to Use Art in Your Christian Education Program by Ardys Koskovich Sabin – Augsberg Fortress (2001)


Children and Grief by Joey O’Connor - Fleming H. Revell (2004)


Games, Kids, and Christian Education by Susan Lennartson – Augsberg Fortress (2001)


Pioneers of Faith: Dramatic Monologues for Church Groups by Marian W. Bluxton – Judson Press, Valley Forge (1984)


Puppet Plays for “New Creatures” by Rick and Debe Weiss – Standard Publishing (1985)


Children’s Ministry That Works! edited by Mikal Keefer – Group Publishing (2002)



And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell – Little Simon (2005)


At Your Baptism by Carrie Steenwyk and John D. Witvliet – Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (2011)


The Family Book by Todd Parr – Little, Brown and Company (2003)


I am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer – Second Story Press (2016)


In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek – Abrams Appleseed (2013)


It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr- Little, Brown and Company (2009)


Let There Be Light: The Story of Creation Retold by Archbishop Desmond Tutu – William Collins (2014)


Old Turtle: A Story by Douglas Wood – Scholastic Press (1992)


What is Peace? By Wallace Edwards – North Winds Press (2016)


When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown – Little, Brown and Company (2009)




VeggieTales All the Shows: Volume Two 2000-2005 – Big Idea Entertainment (2013)

Youth Ministry




21 Jump-Start Devotional by Miles McPherson – Bethany House Publishers (1998)


Alateen: Hope for Children of Alcoholics – Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters (1990)


Burst: Topics for Today’s Teens – Bullies and Mean Girls by Kara Lssen Oliver – Abingdon Youth (2010)


Burst: Topics for Today’s Teens – Green Church by Tim Gossett – Abingdon Youth (2010)


Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith by Jim Candy, Brad M. Griffin, and Kara Powell – Fuller Youth Institute (2014)


echo the story: Youth – Sparkhouse (2013)

  • A 12 session series that invites youth to explore a biblical story by connecting it to other stories and their own lives. Encourages creativity and reflection. The curriculum includes a DVD, a leader’s guide, and sketch journals for participants. Each week follows a similar pattern, and there are lots of materials to help leaders prepare for and lead the sessions.

  • Ideal for youth group, but could be used as part of confirmation prep or tailored for an older Sunday School class

  • Available components:

    • Leaders Guide

    • DVD

    • 5 participant sketch journals


Games (& Other Stuff) for Group Book On1 by Chris Cavert and Friends – Woods ‘n Barnes Publishing (1999)


Go Deeper Retreats: 12 Life-Changing Weekends for Youth Ministry edited by Kelli B. Trujillo – Group Publishing (2002)


The Hundredth Monkey: Activities that Inspire Playful Learning by Nate Folan and Friends – Project Adventure Inc (2012)


Nooma Series by Rob Bell – Flannel/Zondervan (2005)


On the Spot: No-Prep Games for Youth Ministry edited by Steve Parolini – Group Publishing (2008)


Sticky Faith Teen Curriculum: 10 Lessons to Nurture Faith Beyond High School by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Brad M. Griffin- Youth Specialties (2011)


Synago: Light in the Dark by Karen Kluever – Abingdon Press (2001)


For Leaders


Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker: A Theological Vision for Discipleship and Life Together by Andrew Root – Baker Academic (2014)


Branded: Adolescents Converting from Consumer Faith by Katharine Turpin – Pilgrim Press (2006)


The Complete New Testament Resource for Youth Workers Volume 1 edited by Jack Crabtree- Youth Specialties (2009)


Deep Ministry in a Shallow World: Not-So-Secret Findings About Youth Ministry by Chap Clark and Kara E. Powell – Youth Specialties (2006)


The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry by Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster – Upper Room Books (1998)


Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin – Baker Books (2016)


Middle School Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide to Working with Early Adolescents by Mark Oestreicher and Scott Rubin – Youth Specialties (2009)


A New Kind of Youth Ministry by Chris Folmsbee – Youth Specialties (2007)


Open to Outcome: A Practical Guide to Facilitating and Teaching Experiential Reflection by Micah Jacobson and Mari Rubby – Wood N Barnes (2004)


Relational Youth Ministry: A Core-Team Model by Mark C. McCann – St Mary’s Press (1995)


The Search to Belong: Rethinking Intimacy, Community, and Small Groups by Joseph R. Myers – Emergents YS Books (2003)


Sex Matters by Jonathan McKee – Bethany House Publishers (2015)


Soul Shaper: Exploring Spirituality and Contemplative Practices in Youth Ministry by Tony Jones – Youth Specialties (2003)


SoundBYTE Spirituality: Sayings to Awaken Faith by Brett C. Hoover and Frank Sabatte – Paulist Press (2002)


Sticky Faith by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Dr. Chap Clark – Zondervan (2011)


Sticky Faith: Youth Worker Edition by Dr. Kara E. Powell, Brad M. Griffin and Dr. Cheryl A. Crawford


Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries – InterVarsity Press (2008)


This Way to Youth Ministry Companion Guide: Readings, Case Studies, Resources to Begin the Journey by Duffy Robbins and Len Kageler – Youth Specialties (2004)


Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches: Secrets for Cultivating a Dynamic Youth Ministry by Rick Chromey and Stephanie Card – Group Publishing (2009)


Unsung Heroes: How to Recruit and Train Volunteer Youth Workers by Les Christie – Youth Specialties (1987)


Urban Ministry From Start to Finish: How to Develop and Maintain a Balanced and Life-Changing Urban Youth Ministry by Jeffrey Wallace – Group Publishing (2011)


The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis by Rich Van Peltand Jim Hancock – Youth Specialties (2005)






Church Family Gatherings: Programs and Plans edited by Joe E. Leonard – Judson Press, Valley Forge (1978)


Splash! – Augsburg Fortress, 2011 – 3 sets of monthly parent’s newsletters to send to new parents. The first set is 1-12 months, then 13-24, and 25-36. Every newsletter is geared to that month of infant and toddler development, and includes reflections, suggestions for prayer, and ideas for fostering connections with family.  Each set comes with a CD. 


Fun Excuses to Talk About God: 48 No-Fuss Family Devotions by Joani Schultz – Word Publishing (1991)

For Leaders/Families


The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family by Dr. Kara E. Powell – Zondervan (2014)

All in the Family: A Survival Guide for Family Living and Loving in a Changing World by Betty Jane Wylie – Key Porter Books (1988)


Caring Together: Faith Hope, and Love in Your Family by Jan and Myron Chartier – The Westminster Press (1986)


Scrambled Starts by Jenny Youngman – Upper Room Books (2015)

Young Adult Ministry

Hemorrhaging Faith: Why and When Canadian Young Adults are Leaving, Staying and Returning to Church, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, 2012

  • A Canadian study looking at young adults who were raised in the church and may or may not still be involved with the church. With broad implications, this study explores the importance and impact of discipleship, belonging and community, mission and leadership, parenting, and strategies for youth ministry. It is a long report, but is very worthwhile wading through.

Fun, Games, and Debrief Tools

Throw & Tell Balls – Group Publishing Inc.– Inflatable balls with questions, conversation starters, prayer prompts, etc. Great to use as an ice breaker, or for a break during a confirmation class or bible study. Works for all ages, but littler kids may need help reading the ball.

  • Prayer

  • All About Me

  • This or That

Webbing circles – Strongly woven fabric tied into a circle that can be used for numerous games and activities. Most activities that these are good for are based on team work, balance and cooperation, so they have lots of potential applications. If you borrow one of these, we also have acticity and debrief suggestions that go along with them.

Pick a Postcard –Jen Stanchfield, Experiential Tools - Conversation starter/reflection tool. A set of 30+ postcards with different images on them. To use them, ask a question and invite those gathered to choose a card to reflect their answer. A helpful tool for visual people who might struggle with words, but can connect with an image.

Lycra Tube – Exactly what it sounds like, as strange as that may seem. A huge piece of super-stretchy lycra sewn together to form a tube. Great for energy burning and team building games.  Comes with suggested activities and debrief questions.


Feelings Marketplace – ERI Press, 2006 – A set of 140 cards, each with a different feeling on it. Can be used with groups or individuals of any age in a variety of creative ways, including an acquaintance activity, a method of processing or bringing closure to the group or team or a way of dealing with feelings or experiences. Set includes suggested activity cards.


Prayer Stations Kit – Various resources that can be used to set up contemplative prayer stations for children and youth of all ages. Includes a binder with explanations of what else is in the box, and ideas for more prayer stations.


Ubuntu Activity Guide – High 5 Adventure, 2014 – Contains an expanded variety of activities that will unite your group and help them find common bonds. The book will help you use Ubuntu cards (also available) to start meaningful conversation and reflect on shared experiences.


52 Fathoms – High 5 Adventures, 2014 – Playing cards with different prompts and images on them that can be used for a variety of activities to learn about each other, ourselves, and community.


Church Seasons



Peace Hope Light: Reflections on the Writings of C.S. Lewis by Dr. Joel Heck – Creative Communications for the Parish (2016)


Let’s Go See the Savior! By Lois Scheer– Creative Communications for the Parish (2016)


Best of Blessings: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany edited by Ginny Arthur – Anglican Book Centre (1998)


The Wonder: A Christmas Program for Children by Carol Pirtle – Augsberg Fortress (2003)



Best of Blessings: Lent, Holy Week and Easter edited by Ginny Arthur – Anglican Book Centre (1998)



50 New Prayers from the Iona Community selected by Neil Paynter – Wild Goose Publications (2012)


Making Worship Real: A Resource for Youth and Their Leaders by Aimee Wallis Buchanan, Bill Buchanan, and Jodi B. Martin – Geneva Press (2001)



Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Naida Bolz-Weber – Convergent Books (2015)


Already Missional by Bradley T. Morrison – Resource Publications (2016)


Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer by Rowan Williams – Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (2014)


Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown – Avery (2012)


The Entitlemnt Cure by Dr. John Townsend – Zondervan (2015)


Executing Grace by Shane Claiborne – HarperOne (2016)


The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes bny Diane Ehrensaft, PhD – The Experiment (2016)


The Gift of Hard Things: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places by Mark Yaconelli – Formatio (2016)


Grounded: Finding God in the World, A spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass - Harper Collins (2015)


The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne – Zondervan (2015)


We Should All Be Feminists by Chiamanda Ngozi Adiche – Anchor Books (2014)

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