Archive - April, 2013

Ministering to Children from Non-Christian Homes

Having children and youth in your classroom from unbelieving homes provides both unique opportunities and challenges. For example, your words, demeanor, and actions can serve as a beautiful demonstration of the Gospel. At the same time, you may need to deal with issues that arise from children who are not being spiritually nurtured in the home, requiring a greater investment of your time and attention. Below are some suggestions for ways to maximize the potential for spiritual impact on these students:

  • Understand that children from both Christian and non-Christian homes have the same basic spiritual need: They are sinners in need of a Savior. Do not assume that a child from a difficult home situation has a heart that is any more desperate than a pastor’s child. Both children need to hear and respond to the same biblical truths. (more…)

“Spring Inventory” for Children’s and Youth Ministries

In the northern United States, the coming of spring brings many wonderful changes. We are pleased to finally see new green growth replace the melted snow. Indoors comes the traditional “spring cleaning”–making everything clean and fresh again. But it’s also a good time to conduct a “spring inventory”–seeing what supplies we still have on hand and deciding what needs to be replenished. This is a great time to apply this concept to our children’s and youth ministries. Maybe this week would be a good time for you and your ministry team to thoughtfully take inventory by asking some of the following questions…

  • Was the Bible central in all of our teaching?
  • Was God the main focus of every lesson? (more…)

Why Our Kids Need Big Truths

Watch this inspiring testimony of how the teaching of big biblical truths prepared a family to stand strong in faith amid profound suffering:

The Watters’ Story

Also, you might want to take a closer look at the curriculum they were using—My Purpose Will Stand: A Study for Children on the Providence of God.

The Parent-Church Partnership

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Many years ago at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, John Piper presented a sermon series titled “Education for Exultation.” In one particular sermon he focused on Psalm 145:4,

One generation shall praise your works to another, And shall declare your mighty acts.

In the sermon he stated the following important reminder,

Foundational to all our ministry to children and young people is that God’s ordinary way of shaping children into radically committed, risk-taking, countercultural, wise, thinking, loving, mature, world Christians is through parents who teach and model a God-centered, Bible-saturated worldview to their children. Why do we start with that conviction? Because Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up….”

The Biblical pattern is for parents, especially fathers, not to relinquish their role as the primary teachers and shapers of their children’s mind and heart – not even to the church. The Biblical pattern is for parents to impart to their children a God-centered, Bible-saturated vision for all of life.

But his next point was the important role that the church plays in partnering with parents. He then gives 5 practical reasons:

1) Some children don’t have believing parents;

2) some single parent homes are so stressed and overworked that they need all the help they can get;

3) there is a whole range of competencies in moms and dads that may need supplementing in the world the way it is (if not the way it should be);

4) even the best home-teaching will benefit from reinforcement in a corporate setting; and

5) some aspects of God’s character may be caught better in a larger corporate setting than at home.

These are important words to keep in mind. Let’s not partake of the “Home vs. Church Wars.” Parents, let’s acknowledge and humbly accept the equipping power of the church. Church, let’s proclaim and affirm the primary role of parents, and then do all we can to assist them.

Do you see God’s GOOD design in children with special needs?

Imagine a new child coming in to your 4th grade Sunday school class. He has a motorized wheelchair. He cannot speak intelligible words. His eyes, when open, seem to wander aimlessly. But every once and a while he seems to focus on a face or a sound. He smiles. Sometimes he lets out an excited “Ha, ha!”

Are you ready and willing to welcome him?

Are the other students in the class ready to welcome him? (more…)

A Father’s Blessing

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One of the most significant and defining events in our children’s lives occurred every night at bedtime. My husband would take Sarah and Jacob aside and have a time of prayer with them. At the end of the prayer time, he would lay a hand on each bowed head and pray a “blessing” over them. Throughout the years, on good days and bad days, each day ended with a tired father calling out to God to bless his children. It was amazing to see how that blessing time served to calm troubled hearts and reconcile broken relationships. The impact on both father and children is immeasurable. Our children treasured that special time with their dad.

(more…)

Sunday Morning Liberators—Encouragement for the Front Lines

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Ever feel weary going into the classroom on Sunday mornings?

Ever feel like the “good” stuff is happening down the hall in the adult classrooms?

Ever feel like your ministry to children is seen as glorified babysitting by some?

Do you and others on your ministry team need some encouragement this week? (more…)

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