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What About Halloween?

Children Desiring God Blog // What About Halloween?

Halloween is fast upon us. In the United States, the celebration of Halloween now rivals Christmas in the amount of money spent per household. As a child, I was one of the many excited, costumed children who went through the neighborhood collecting a sack full of candy…I’m not so sure my parents were so excited to have their four kids return home with a year’s worth of sugar! But when I became a parent, my husband and I made a major shift in how we view Halloween. We started asking questions like: “How should we view Halloween from a biblical perspective? Are there any practices we should refrain from? Are there ways in which our participation could be a light in a dark world?


Spiritual Parenting

Children Desiring God Blog // Spiritual Parenting - Pursuing the Greater Joy

One of my favorite sermons by Pastor David Michael is titled, “Spiritual Parenting: Pursuing the Greater Joy.” I whole-heartedly believe that it will be a blessing and encouragement to every Christian parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, mentor, teacher, small group leader, children’s and youth minister—every believer.



God’s Holiness in the Classroom

Children Desiring God Blog // God's Holiness in the Classroom

What might happen in our classrooms if we took these words by David Wells to heart:

Until we recognize afresh the centrality of God’s holiness, until it once again enters into the innermost fibers of evangelical faith, our virtue will lack seriousness, our belief will lack poignancy, our practice will lack moral pungency, our worship will lack joyful seriousness, our preaching [and teaching] will lack the mordancy of grace, and the church will be just one more special interest pleading for hearing in a world of competing enterprises.

 (God In the Wasteland,
© 1994, page 145)

The centrality of God’s holiness…Does it enter into the innermost fibers of our classrooms? If so, how? First of all, we need to define God’s holiness. Here is a helpful summary:

…the word signifies everything about God that sets Him apart from us and makes Him an object of awe, adoration, and dread to us. It covers all aspects of His transcendent greatness and moral perfection, and is characteristic of all His attributes, pointing to the “God-ness” of God at every point. The core of this truth, however, is God’s purity that cannot tolerate any form of sin (Hab. 1:13), and calls sinners to constant self-abasement in His presence (Is. 6:5).

(from The Reformation Study Bible,
Ligonier Ministries © 2005, page 168) 


Helping Children See the Glory of God

Children Desiring God Blog // Helping Children See the Glory of God

Ponder the words of the psalmist for a minute,

One generation shall commend your works to another,
        and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
        and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
        and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
        and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Psalm 145:4-7 ESV


Giving Children a Great Vision of God and His Word


Children Desiring God Blog // Giving Children a Vision of God and His Word

For some, an initial review of our curriculum and resources might evoke the following:

Why use curricula that is so doctrinally weighty for children?

Why such serious and challenging Bible teaching for young minds and hearts?

 Here are two short videos from Ligonier Ministries that succinctly clarify what is at stake:

Do You Have an Inadequate Understanding of God?” by John MacArthur

Don’t Ever Be Cavalier About the Truth of God” by R.C. Sproul

That is why Children Desiring God is committed to developing resources that present our children and students with a great vision and understanding of God, and a serious study of His Word.


Labor That is Not in Vain

Children Desiring God Blog // Labor that Is Not in Vain

Another Sunday school year is upon us. For those of us involved in children’s and youth ministry, we have another season filled with opportunities and responsibilities to teach the next generation the glorious deeds of the Lord. Yes, this is joyful ministry—at least it should be—but when done with the diligence it deserves, it is also hard work. Here is a great reminder from Jerry Bridges:

A farmer plows his field, sows the seed, and fertilizes and cultivates—all the while knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependent on forces outside of himself. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate, nor can he produce the rain and sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. For a successful harvest, he is dependent on these things from God.

Yet the farmer knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant, fertilize, and cultivate, he cannot expect a harvest at the end of the season. (more…)

Hope and Help for Leading a Small Group

Children Desiring God Blog // Hope and Help for Leading a Small Group

In my opinion, being a small group leader entrusted with leading application after the Bible lesson is the most challenging role in the Sunday school classroom. So much depends on following the lead of the Holy Spirit as you try to discern the thoughts and attitudes of the students and then encourage their responses God-ward and heart-ward. And what a challenge that can be…with a group of seven wiggly first graders or a group of seven sports-obsessed fifth-grade boys! So maybe this year you have found yourself in this new role and are not sure what to do. Maybe you even feel frustrated and are ready to simply let the students have their way and be squirrel-y or talk sports. Don’t give up! There is hope and help.

Here is the hope: While it is challenging, being a small group leader can also be one of the most rewarding roles in the classroom.

Here is the help: You can grow in your ability to effectively lead a small group.

Here are a few pointers… (more…)

Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Children Desiring God Blog // Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

One of the most difficult jobs in children’s and youth ministry is recruiting a full staff of volunteers who are not only joyfully motivated, but also adequately trained and equipped. Along with that is the challenge of retaining these volunteers from year-to-year, if at all possible, so that there is a stable, spiritually mature core in your ministry team. How does a ministry leader do this?  (more…)

Encouraging Children in Prayer

Children Desiring God Blog // Encouraging Children in Prayer

What kind of pray-ers will our children be? That is a great question to think about. If we want them to be serious about prayer, they must not only be taught but also shown how prayer is to be woven throughout everyday life. Here are some practical tips from Sally Michael to encourage your children in prayer.

  • Gather your children when you hear of a prayer need and ask them to pray with you.
    • EXAMPLE: When a problem comes to your attention, pray about it… “Susie, let’s pray for the people who were in the earthquake.” ™
  • Take advantage of unexpected moments for prayer—spur of the moment prayers.
    • EXAMPLE: When you see an ambulance, pray for the person who has the medical problem.
  • Ask your child to pray for you. Give him specific things he can pray for.
    • EXAMPLE: “I’m having a hard time with a project I am working on for my job. Would you pray for me?” ™
  • Give your child a list of topics to pray for. (more…)

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

Children Desiring God Blog // Will Our Children Know and Treasure the Great Hymns of Faith?

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 (more…)

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