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Welcoming Children with Special Needs

Imagine a new child coming to your fourth-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 and the children of your class ready to warmly welcome him? Are you prepared to include him, as much as possible, in various classroom activities? Do you see this child as a blessing from the Lord? Do you delight in the opportunity to serve him? Do you look forward to how this child can help you and your class become more like Christ? (more…)

What’s Absolutely Astonishing in Your Classroom?

Children’s and youth ministry can be characterized by many different kinds of activities and programs. It’s often tempting to focus much of our weekly planning on things like being sufficiently staffed, offering fun activities, and providing child-friendly worship music, a Bible lesson, and a snack. All of these things are good—in right measure. (more…)

10 Tips for Answering Hard Questions in the Classroom


One of the great joys of teaching or leading a small group is when children ask amazing questions. Many prove easy to answer, but some are very difficult. (more…)

Helping Children to Interact Redemptively with the Culture

Our children and youth are going to interact and engage in the world in which they livea world increasingly hostile to anything remotely “Christian.” So, the question becomes: How will they interact? (more…)

Be Encouraged: God’s Eye Is Upon His Own Work

One of the most discouraging things for a teacher or small group leader during a lesson is the perception that your students are not personally engaged with what is being taught. Here you are, teaching the most important truths in the universe with heartfelt passion, and some children seem completely disinterested, entirely inattentive, and utterly bored. Furthermore, your creative efforts to gain their attention and involve them in the lesson fail. At times like this, it’s tempting to ask: “Are they even listening? Is any of this truth reaching their minds and sinking into their hearts?” What’s a teacher or small group leader to do? (more…)

The Enduring Power of Christmas + Free Lesson/Devotional

There is wonderful variety displayed in the Christmas celebrations of our churches and families. Some are shaped by years of special traditions. Some are unique to our cultural backgrounds. (more…)

The Life-Transforming Gift of Bible Memory

No one wants to give boring presents for Christmas, especially not to children. But there is a gift that is often overlooked in its ability to captivate our minds and hearts. It is a one-of-a-kind gift that is beyond exciting because it is…

…sweeter than honey; more valuable than gold; a lamp and a guide; a hiding place and shield; a sword and strong defense; always right, true, and trustworthy; powerful; life-giving; hope-producing; more satisfying than food; unchanging; eternal; and more.

No other gift can compare to God’s Word! As we quickly approach Christmas and the coming new year, we have a wonderful opportunity to inspire families and the wider church body to pursue an intentional plan for reading and memorizing God’s Word together. (more…)

Cultivating Contentment at Christmas

In a child’s mind, the thought of Christmas often conjures up the anticipation of gifts—lots and lots of gifts. “Can I get ____ for Christmas? Which presents are mine under the tree? When can I open them?” While there should be a sense of excitement, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to give gifts to our children, it can often serve as a great challenge to the heart. (more…)

Teaching Rich Truths Through Christmas Carols

Recently, I listened as children from our church practiced singing for their Christmas program. I was delighted as the director carefully explained, stanza by stanza, the meaning of the words of a familiar Christmas carol. As a young child, I remember memorizing this carol with ease, but I had no clue what many of the words meant. Unfortunately, that was true for most of the Christmas carols I sang. (more…)

Great Books at Christmas Time: The Prince’s Poison Cup + Book Offer!

Are you looking for something to occupy your children through the long, cold winter days? Wondering how to keep them busy during the coming school break? Have you considered how you can make Christmas more spiritually significant? One answer to all these questions is to give the gift of great books! One such book is The Prince’s Poison Cup by R. C. Sproul. (more…)

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