Archive - June, 2015

Technology and our Souls


Just the other day, I overheard a conversation in which Sally Michael was highly recommending Tim Challies book: The Next Story: Faith, Friends, Family, and the Digital World. Here is a description of the book as it was posted on Amazon:

Even the least technical among us are being pressed from all sides by advances in digital technology. We rely upon computers, cell phones, and the Internet for communication, commerce, and entertainment. Yet even though we live in this “instant message” culture, many of us feel disconnected, and we question if all this technology is really good for our souls.

Sounds like a good read for all of us—especially parents, teachers, and ministry leaders as we navigate the use of technology in our homes and classrooms.

(Image courtesy of Ambro at

Doctrinal Summer Camp for Parents and Teachers

Systematic Theology

In my experience in the classroom, I have observed many gifted teachers who are able to connect and communicate with children and youth in amazing ways. But, along with those gifts, it’s important to have the ability to communicate the right things well—right doctrine. And though it may seem strange to some, teaching young children right doctrine well actually requires you have a better grasp of those doctrines. How so?

It takes as much or more understanding of a biblical doctrine to teach it to children than it does to teach it to adults. If you understand a thing well, you can usually make it plain for ordinary people and children. But if you are fuzzy in your own understanding, you will generally be overly complex in your explanation.

A great hindrance to the salvation and the growth of our children is the weakness of our own grasp of the full range of biblical truth and the unity of the whole counsel of God. I am overwhelmed at what children can absorb and retain when they are repeatedly and systematically and progressively instructed in the great doctrines of the Bible.

(John Piper, “Let the Children Come to Me,”  ©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Website:

Therefore, as you consider your plans for the coming months, how about increasing your grasp of biblical truth and the whole counsel of God so that you will be better prepared to teach the children and students in your care. A great place to start is by reading a good systematic theology. At CDG our favorite is…

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

Although this book can look intimidating at 1,000+ pages, it is structured into well-defined topics and is written in a manner that the “ordinary” lay-person can understand. However, if this book feels too overwhelming, try the closely related, summarized version:

Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith

Beyond “Something” for Youth


Summer is often a great opportunity for scheduling special events for youth. Without the demands of school many students have more free time on their hands, so it’s important that the parents and ministry leaders do “something” to keep youth interested and involved with church-related activities over the summer months…right? Well yes, but how about aiming higher than merely “something”? Maybe think in these terms instead:

How can we…

Glorify God and increase joy in Him by planning events that…

…will display the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior (1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

…will cause His Word to dwell richly in His people by His Spirit (Colossians 3:16-17).

…deepen the relationship between Christ and His church and build relationships within the believer’s household (Psalm 25:4, 14; Philippians 3:10).

…make disciples of Christ and work to bring them to maturity in Him (Colossians 1:28-29; Titus 2:3-8).

The above reflects the aim of Betty Dodge’s informative and inspirational seminar, “Reinforcing the Vision with Events and Programs.” Her handout, available here provides a wealth of information to help parents and ministry leaders with a step-by-step process for planning special events. But also listening to her seminar here will give you even more encouragement and helpful ideas.

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