Archive - May, 2014

Giving Our Children the Gift of Memorials

And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” (Joshua 4:5-7 ESV)

Memorials are important reminders of great things—things that should not be forgotten, things to reflect upon and consider. A pile of stones became a reminder of God’s power, faithfulness, and lovingkindness to His covenant people. The stones became a reminder for future generations to trust, worship, and obey the one true God. (more…)

Encouraging Volunteers to Stay

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Yes, it’s almost the end of another school year, but that big “R” word often looms in the minds of children and youth ministry leaders. Recruitment. How will you go about recruiting joyful, Christ-exalting, servant-hearted, well-trained volunteers to fully staff your classrooms for the next school year? One answer is to consider how you might encourage your current volunteers to return in their current roles. In his seminar “Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers,” Pastor Gil McConnell suggests ways to do this by emphasizing the benefits of a long-term “investment” mindset within the same ministry team: (more…)

Give Your Children the Gift of Pondering

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Back in the days when I taught science classes to homeschooled children, I used to emphasize the importance of careful observation. As an example, I would have each child choose a flower or a single leaf, and have them quietly study it for at least 30 minutes and record everything they could about it—size, shape, colors, texture, fragrance, etc. It’s amazing what comes to light about something when you really stop to ponder it. “Ponder—to think about, give thought to, consider, mull over, contemplate, meditate on…” The word “ponder” is not often used anymore in this fast-paced, sound-bite, digital media culture. So a verse like this is often readily passed over: (more…)

The Importance of “Formative Instruction”

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I find these words from Tedd and Margy Tripp to be very helpful in thinking about intentionality in our teaching. Or, another way to say it is that they are challenging us as teachers and parents to have a definite “vision-oriented” approach to instruction. (more…)

New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App

Children Desiring God Blog // New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App
UPDATE: The Growing in Faith Together App is now available for both iPhone and Android. Learn more about the updated app.

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

 

 


 

Children Desiring God is excited to announce the launch of the Growing in Faith Together App for iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini. The partnership between churches and parents is one of the key elements of a purposeful children’s ministry. Each of our revised, elementary Sunday School curricula feature Growing in Faith Together: Parent and Child Resource Pages (GIFT Pages) to help parents interact with their children about spiritual truths taught in Sunday School. These GIFT Pages provide parents a summary of what children are taught in class, discussion questions to help lead children to a heart response and an activity suggestion to reinforce the lesson themes or memory verse. As you diligently interact with your child about these truths in daily life, you may see your child grow in spiritual understanding and faith.

In the past, GIFT Pages (or take-home pages) were only available in the Classroom Kit to print for or email to parents. Now, with the revised curriculum project, GIFT Pages are also available in a bound booklet and the brand new GIFT App!

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.

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

 

GIFT Pages on the app are now available for the revised versions of My Purpose Will Stand and Jesus, What a Savior!. Additional curriculum titles will be added as the curriculum is revised.

The Growing in Faith Together App is available for iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini through iTunes. Once the free viewer is downloaded, you will be able to view samples of the GIFT Pages that are available for an in-app purchase of $1.99 per study.

Expressing Appreciation to Your Volunteers

Children Desiring God Blog //  Expressing Appreciation to Your VolunteersI have a cupboard overflowing with mugs. And although it might make sense to get rid of a few in order to make more room for other things, I don’t have the heart to do that. You see, these aren’t just “any” mugs. Each was a special gift representing another year of ministering to the children and youth of our church. These words are clearly printed on the back of each mug…

Spreading a passion
for the supremacy of
God in all things for
the joy of the next
generation.

Children Desiring God Blog // Expressing Appreciation to Your VolunteersI also have a small clay pot sitting on my desk just waiting to be planted with some herb seeds. It’s from Jan Golias, a 1st grade Team Leader, given to each member of her team of volunteers. The pot is beautifully hand-decorated, and various attributes of God (from The ABCs of God curriculum) are written on it as well as this verse:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
(Psalm 34:8, ESV)

These little gifts of appreciation mean a lot to me. They are daily reminders to this coffee-drinking gardener that I am part of something grand and glorious. I am part of a community of believers who have joined together in the awesome responsibility and privilege of telling…

…to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. (Psalm 78:4 ESV)

How could you express your appreciation for your ministry team and volunteers that you have ministered with this year? Or, as a parent, how might you encourage those who have faithfully ministered to your children and youth this past year?

Here a just a few ideas to consider:

  • Communicate words of appreciation to each volunteer, in person.
  • Send a special note via the mail (“snail mail”) to each volunteer, or each person who has ministered to your child.
  • Have special events that recognize and honor your volunteers (e.g., a year-end dinner banquet and program).
  • Have the church provide a uniquely designed yearly gift for each volunteer (e.g., a coffee mug, t-shirt, calendar, etc.).

 

Family Night Devotional and Activity on Prayer

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Here is a simple and creative devotional from Sally Michael that can help your family (or classroom) better recognize our need to “stop and pray.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss: “Look at the Book”

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In a recent Desiring God blog post titled, “The Legacy I Want to Leave,” John Piper shares the following sentiments:

When I think of the coming generations, I am not content to only leave them a deposit of books and sermons that celebrate the glories of God and the wonders of Christian Hedonism. A great teacher once told me to ignore the conclusions of commentaries, and only look for their arguments. I have tried to give good arguments. (more…)

Share Jesus with the Next Generation this Summer

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As summer quickly approaches, your church may be looking for resources to use in child outreach and evangelism, whether it be through a Backyard Bible Club or Vacation Bible School setting. Children Desiring God has 4 titles to offer, each focusing on a different theme, while presenting the Gospel clearly and accurately to children in K-6th grade.

Here are some things to know about our BYBC/VBS materials as you consider your needs: (more…)

Thoughts from a new mom-to-be…

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Corn chips next to my bedstand. Almonds in-between calls at work, and egg sandwiches for breakfast. I’m just 4 weeks pregnant, but it seems like my body has already determined what it wants to eat at any given time during the day! This is all a brand-new experience for me as a first-time mom. Some people have asked me how I feel knowing that there is a new life being knit together inside of me. I can think of one word in particular: peace. (more…)

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