Be Careful of the “We” Word

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Have you ever said or heard these kinds of phrases in the classroom…?

 We believe that God sent Jesus into the world to save us.

We trust Jesus, and He has forgiven us for all our sins.

We love Jesus and want to do what He commands.

When we die, we will go to heaven and live with Jesus forever.

 True statements, correct? Well, each statement is true for those who have come to true saving faith. But in most classrooms, it is highly likely that there are also unbelieving children and youth present. So using the term “we” may be inappropriate and even dangerous. “We” may serve to communicate a false sense of assurance to unbelieving students. Therefore, be careful in using inclusive language in the classroom. By being careful about the way in which we say the above statements we not only affirm and encourage true believers in our classrooms, but we also challenge those who haven’t yet come to saving faith. For example, a teacher could say… Continue Reading…

Help, I’m a Substitute!

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As wonderful as it would be to have the same consistent Sunday school teachers and small group leaders every week, we all know there are times when substitutes are necessary. Most of the time, an absence from the classroom is planned well in advance, and adequate arrangements can be made to prepare a substitute. Other times, however, a last-minute need arises, and there is little time to prep the substitute. In either situation, we have found that providing substitutes with a “quick guide” to the classroom schedule, curriculum, lesson, etc. is a valuable resource. That is why all of our newly revised curricula contain a 2-page “Quick Guide for Substitute Teachers and Small Group Leaders” in the appendix section. Here is the quick guide for Jesus, What a Savior, but you can adapt this format for your own classroom setting and curriculum choice.

(Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

 

 

Will Our Children Know and Treasure the Great Hymns of Faith?

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It is amazing to me how many times—especially in life’s most difficult situations—the words of great hymns come to mind to guide my thoughts and emotions.

…though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet…Jesus who died shall be satisfied, And earth and heaven be one. (This is My Father’s World)

 …The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him—His rage we can endure, For lo his doom is sure: One little word shall fell him. (A Mighty Fortress)

 …Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love: Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above. (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

 …Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face. (God Moves in a Mysterious Way)

Great hymns are those that communicate the excellencies of the triune God and sound doctrine, encourage a right heart response, and do so in an appealing and enduring musical form. From childhood, these hymns were graven in my mind and, after Christ brought me to saving faith, these hymns became graven in my heart. Will this be true for our children, too? Continue Reading…

Are They Really Worshipping God?

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As much as I delight in watching a roomful of 6- and 7-years olds jubilantly singing songs of praise to God in the classroom, I am reminded of these important words from worship leader and song writer Bob Kauflin:

“Worshipping God” means different things at different ages. Younger children, who may not know God yet, may still participate enthusiastically in various external forms of worshipping God. However, we want their worship to be from the heart, and not simply a matter of conforming. They need a clear knowledge of who God is and what He has done. That includes His nature, His attributes, and His works, especially our redemption through Christ. As the Holy Spirit enables them, they will become increasingly aware of their sinfulness before God, accept His gracious gift of forgiveness through the Gospel, and be included among those who will forever be growing in their love for and worship of God. In the mean time, our job is to help them be “dazzled” by the glory of Jesus Christ (quoting Paul Tripp). For one thing that means using more songs that tell us about God than how we feel about Him.

Continue Reading…

Join Children Desiring God at IMPACT: Chicago

Children Desiring God Blog //  IMPACT: Chicago Conference

Join Children Desiring God at the IMPACT: The Next Generation conference to be encouraged and equipped for training the next generation.

Three plenary sessions will explore the biblical foundations for discipleship of children and youth and present a vision for God-centered worship, biblical literacy and encouraging faith in the next generation. Then, select two of our nine interactive seminars to learn practical skills for your specific role at home or in the classroom.

Conference Details

Friday, November 7 from 7–9pm  (Registration opens at 6pm)
Saturday, November 8 from 8:30am–4pm

Wheaton Evangelical Free Church
520 East Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL 60187

Register Online

Early Bird Registration: Individuals–$50 or Couples–$75 (Register by October 15 for special pricing)

Standard Registration Rate: Individuals–$60 or Couples–$85

 

Questions? Contact Betty

 

 

Now available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together App

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together AppAs Sunday School is starting this fall, Children Desiring God is excited to offer a new resource to help parents and churches partner together and extend learned beyond the classroom. Our new Growing in Faith Together App is now available for both iPhone and Android!

Growing in Faith Together: Parent and Child Resource Pages (GIFT Pages) have been created to help parents interact with their children about the spiritual truths taught in Sunday school. (In our original curriculum, these have been known as Parent Pages or Take-Home Pages.) These GIFT Pages, which correlate with our elementary curriculum, provide parents a summary of what children are taught in class, discussions questions to help lead children to a heart response and an activity suggestion to reinforce the lesson themes or memory verse.

The GIFT App is a great tool for weekly discussions at home or on the go and keeping your children caught up if they are sick or traveling and miss Sunday School. GIFT Pages can also be used as a discipleship or devotional tool for parents even if their children are not currently studying a Children Desiring God curriculum.

 


 

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together AppWhere can I download the Growing in Faith Together App?

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together App

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together App

 

 

 

What curricula are available on the Growing in Faith Together App?

The GIFT app currently includes our three revised curricula:

We will be adding additional titles as our revised curriculum is released.


Growing in Faith Together App Features

Lesson Overview

GIFT Pages start by providing the Main Ideas of the lesson, a Memory Verse for the week, Scripture the lesson is based on, a Summary of the lesson and Prayer Points. These resources help parents know what was taught in Sunday School and review the themes with their children. Children Desiring God Blog // New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App

Discussion and Action

The As You Walk by the Way section provides discussion questions to help you  interact with your child about the truths learned in class and study them at a deeper level. The Action Step challenges children to act on the truths they learned in the lesson.

Children Desiring God Blog // New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App

Curriculum Specific Activities

Each curriculum features a special activity for children to do or for families to do together. Activities include Scripture memory, journaling suggestions, real-life stories and more. Finally, the interactive Share Ideas and Get Ideas function allows parents to submit their ideas and suggestions related to the lesson with other parents.

Children Desiring God Blog // New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App

The GIFT App is a free viewer. Please enjoy reading the curriculum overviews and GIFT Page samples for Lesson 1 of each study. Complete studies include 40 GIFT Pages and are available as an in-app purchase of $1.99 for each study.

 

 

Making the Most of Your Sunday School “Transition Time”

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Making the Most of Your Sunday School "Transition Time"

“Transition Time” is the time period at the beginning of class when children begin arriving. It is often characterized by children arriving at varying times. Depending on your classroom structure and routine, this time may be only 10 to 15 minutes in length. What happens during this time is important as it often sets the tone for the rest of the class session. Therefore, we would like to encourage you to carefully plan and prepare meaningful, God-centered, faith-nurturing activities. Here are a few suggestions:

Small Group Activities

At the beginning of the year, divide the class into groups of 5-8 children, each assigned to an adult small group leader throughout the course of the study. As soon as the children enter the classroom each week, they immediately go to their assigned group. This option maximizes the time that the children spend with a faith-nurturing adult who comes to know the children in his group on an increasingly familiar basis. The children feel welcomed and have a place to belong, and the setting is ideal for doing the following kinds of activities: Continue Reading…

What Do Our Children Need from Us?

Children Desiring God // What Do Our Children Need from Us?


Consider these words from Dr. Joel Beeke,

The salvation of our children is priceless; their spiritual needs far outweigh their physical needs. They need our prayers—our earnest prayers with hearts aflame, both for their initial repentance and coming to Christ by faith, and for their life of ongoing growth in faith. Matthew Henry rightly declared that it is of far more value for parents who die to leave behind a treasury of prayers for their children than it is to leave behind a treasury of silver and gold.¹

 

¹From Praying for Our Children’s Salvation, ligonier.org

Reading the Bible through the Right Lens

Children Desiring God Blog //  Reading the Bible through the Right Lens

If you have attended the preconference at one of our Children Desiring God national conferences, you probably remember the teaching emphasis that “the Bible is first and foremost a book about God.” This emphasis can revolutionize the way you teach the Bible to children. But, has it also revolutionized your time with God in the Word?

In her book, Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin talks about “getting things backward” in her reading of the Bible. She states, Continue Reading…

Starting with Prayer

The beginning of a new Sunday school year is always filled with a mix of joyful anticipation and…well, let’s just say chaos! Often there is an assortment of new teachers, rooms, curricula, and students. Careful planning and preparation can help minimize problems, but there are always bumps in the road the first few weeks. One thing I have found most helpful is the importance of praying together as a teaching team before we open the doors and let the children come in. Making it a habit to gather together for 5 – 10 minutes of prayer before class is an invaluable means of crying out to our heavenly Father for His help. For example, we pray that… Continue Reading…

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