HeartShaper Resources

Instilling God’s Word in every child’s heart
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Training for Teachers

New to HeartShaper Children’s Curriculum? Not quite sure how to use the different parts of the curriculum? Never taught before? Haven’t taught for a while? If you answered yes to any of these questions, take time to go through the overview for your age level.

Feeling confident about using the curriculum will help you as you shape hearts and change lives for God. Be sure to have your curriculum materials with you as you go through the overview.

Recruit Classroom Volunteers and Introduce the Importance of HeartShaping 

Learn How to Reach Toddlers & 2s 

Learn How to Reach Preschool Children 

Learn How to Reach Elementary Children 

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Special Needs

Whether you know it or not, there are probably kids with special needs in your Sunday school program. Children with auditory, visual, or other physical challenges. Kids who have developmental dealys or are on the autism spectrum. Children who struggle with learning for a variety of reason.

With HeartShaper, you can discover every child’s special needs—and their abilities. You can make a difference—in a child’s future, in a family’s worship experience, and in your church community.

HeartShapter provides the resoruces you need to adapt lesson activities and include kids with special needs in your Sunday school.

*Note: Special Needs Helps previously included on the age-level CDs are now provided with the Resources digital files.

Special Needs Podcast Episodes

Host: Vangie Rodenbeck
Vangie discusses how to develop an approach that fully considers all parts of the ministry equation: people, programming, and prayer. In this episode, explore inclusion and self-contained models of programming, prioritizing a “strengths” approach to disability ministry, ministering with people who have disabilities, and surrounding your ministry in prayer.

Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Deborah Dennis Vangie and Deborah share their ideas on what to consider when evaluating which curriculum to use, and they give tips for adapting activities for kids with special needs. In this episode you’ll get helpful tips and advice—especially if your congregation is just starting a special needs program.
Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Amy Dolan Vangie continues the conversation about adapting your current curriculum for children with special needs with guest Amy Dolan. Amy is founder and lead consultant for Lemon Lime Kids. She shares insights from her ministry experience with Willow Creek Community Church and Willow Creek Association.
Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Barb Newman Vangie talks with Barb Newman, director of Church Services Division for CLC Network. Their discussion includes classroom placement, talking to kids about disabilities, facilities for special needs ministry, and volunteer education and training.
Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Katie Wetherbee Vangie and Katie discuss adapting events at church to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. Learn how to address issues that may prevent those with disabilities from participating in events such as church picnics, Christmas concerts, and mission trips. Listen to learn how to anticipate needs, communicate with families, and modify activities so that everyone can worship and serve together.
Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Harmony Hensley Vangie and Harmony Hensley unpack strategies for training your volunteers that will empower them to step out in faith and shape a special heart! Harmony Hensley has a background in vocational ministry, as well as a dual degree in ministry leadership and biblical studies from Cincinnati Christian University. She has a passion for helping churches to engage families affected by disability.

Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Jolene Philo
Vangie and Jolene talk about practical strategies churches can employ as they come alongside families in periods of crisis.

Jolene Philo was a teacher for 25 years. She is the author of five books, including: A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Children with Critical or Chronic Illness and Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs. Jolene speaks at regional and national parenting and special needs ministry conferences.


Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Katie Wetherbee Vangie and Katie discuss why the holiday season often brings additional stress to families with special needs. They give practical suggestions for how families can manage the holiday stresses, and they offer ideas for accommodations churches can make to include these families in Advent activities, Nativity pageants, and Christmas parties.
Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guests Joe and Cindi Ferrini Vangie spends time with the Ferrinis, who share valuable perspectives as mom and dad of a child with special needs. Listen to the episode to gain insight and hear their wisdom gleaned from an unexpected journey.
Host: Vangie Rodenbeck with guest Marie Kuck Vangie and Marie, from Nathaniel’s Hope, discuss the Buddy System. Many churches have found this relational, friendship-based approach vital in supporting children, teens, and adults who have special needs. Hear practical elements of training, as well as success stories about how a buddy can make all the difference!
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Puppets are integrated in Toddlers & 2s, Preschool, and Pre-K & K lessons to help teach meaningful Bible truths and engage children in Bible learning. Use these patters to create puppets you can use with your lessons.
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Holiday Helps

Looking for fun holiday or seasonal ideas to use in the classroom? These craft ideas are simple, festive, and sure to be a hit!

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For Families

Help parents continue conversations with their children all week long about what they’re learning in their HeartShaper Sunday school class.