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Intergenerational Teaching: Why and How?

Intergenerational Teaching: Why and How?

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.—Psalm 145:3-4

Intergenerational classes are a wonderful way to gather families to learn together. It is not the last resort when babysitters are not available, but an opportunity for both children and adults to be teachers and both to be learners.

I think God’s intent for the generations is that we should bless one another, support one another, encourage one another and enrich each other’s lives.

Intergenerational doesn’t mean dumbing down material so that children can understand it but the adults are bored. But it also doesn’t mean teaching a normal adult class with the hope that the children present may get a tidbit.

True intergenerational teaching conscientiously takes into account that there are learners of different ages and experiences present in the classroom and seeks to teach the hearts of all of them. It’s beneficial to the adults and to the children because the uniqueness of the situation provides some opportunities for both generations to understand the material differently and to benefit from a different perspective.

A positive experience in an intergenerational class can encourage a dad who has never lead a family devotional time to launch out at home in bringing the Word to his family.—Sally Michael

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Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers

Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers

Have you prayed for your children today? Do you only pray for them when you are with them? How often do you pray for or with your students on Sunday morning?

“It is easy for us to set our days on cruise control and completely push the Lord out. Prayer is our only vehicle that will give us wisdom, strength and the correct words to reach the next generation.” —Kristin Gilbert

In this seminar, Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers, Kristin Gilbert discusses some of the obstacles we face that prevent us from having a fervent prayer life such as wandering minds, fear, laziness and busyness. She equips you with practical steps to fight these obstacles and encourages you to pray through specific areas of your children’s ministry as she shares testimonies of answered prayers in her church.

“When I step into my office, the first thing I do, before I open up my computer and see the list of emails, is to pray for 15 minutes. Schedule time into your day to pray.” —Kristin Gilbert

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Come Meet with Us

Come Meet with Us

The Children Desiring God Team is excited for some opportunities to gather and meet with you in the coming months. If you are in the area, we would encourage you to come to one of these events:

Children’s Ministry Day

Saturday, March 11  //  8am – 12pm  //  Peru, Indiana
EastPointe church invites parents, Sunday school teachers and other children’s ministry workers to join David and Sally Michael at Children’s Ministry Day. The Michaels will be casting a vision for God-centered children’s ministry as well as providing practical helps in using Children Desiring God resources. This is a free event.
Registration closes March 5.
Register Now!

2017 Ligonier National Conference: The Next 500 Years

March 9-11 // Orlando, Florida
If you are attending the Ligonier National Conference, be sure to look for the Children Desiring God table in the exhibit area. We look forward to meeting you, answering your curriculum questions and showing you our newest resources and curriculum samples.
Registration for this event is full. (more…)

Strategies for Church-Wide Bible Memorization

churchwidestrategies_header

Here at Children Desiring God, we have been excited to see so many churches start memorizing Fighter Verses together as a church this month. It is easy to generate excitement for Bible memory when you are just starting the program or at the beginning of a new year. However, you will want to think of ways to keep Bible memory as an important priority throughout the year.

There are many tangible ways that the pastors and elders can lead the congregation in the desire and practice of Bible memory and ways the church can motivate members throughout the year:

Sunday Morning

  • During the Sunday morning announcements, ask for a volunteer to recite the weekly memory verse. If no one volunteers, ask another pastor or elder to try to recite the verse.
  • Pray the Fighter Verse during the worship service. This could either be prayed as a general request for the congregation, or incorporated into a specific prayer request for an individual or event. (more…)

Now Available: New Fighter Verses Songs

Now Available: Fighter Verses Songs, Set 2

The Fighter Verses Songs are a wonderful tool to incorporate more Scripture into your day and help you memorize and remember verses more quickly. The Fighter Verses Songs, Set 2 album includes word-for-word Bible passages (English Standard Version) set to music to help believers fight the fight of faith.

This CD features 34 songs (over an hour of music) from important and beloved Bible passages from 20 books of the Bible. The songs were creatively written and recorded to make Scripture memorization easy and fun. Musical styles include folk, a cappella, jazz, pop, classical and family songs. Tunes are easy to learn, fun for kids and enjoyable to listen to on repeat. (more…)

Get Ready to Start Memorizing Scripture

Fighter Verses

January 1 is almost here and we cannot wait to start memorizing a new set of Fighter Verses. Whether you have been memorizing with us for years, or are brand new to Fighter Verses, we hope you will join us.

Fighter Verses is a collection of 260 passages broken down into five sets of 52 passages so you can memorize one passage each week. These verses help equip and encourage believers to fight the fight of faith as they focus on 1) the character and worth of our great God, 2) battling against our fleshly desires, and 3) the hope of the Gospel.

Are you ready to start memorizing Scripture? Here are soon tools to help you get started:

  1. Install the Fighter Verses App for the best tools and resources to memorize, study and review Scripture wherever you go. The app includes the core Fighter Verses Set, Extended Fighter Verses, Foundation Verses for kids and Children Desiring God curriculum verses. Available for iPhone, Android and Kindle. (more…)

How to Help Children Memorize Scripture

How to Help Children Memorize Scripture

Children can memorize almost anything very quickly and easily, but they need encouragement and support from you as they memorize Scripture. Parent and teachers are crucial in challenging children to continue pursuing Scripture memory, developing a memory routine and helping children understand and apply the verses they learn. The best way to memorize is through repetition. There is no substitute for reviewing a verse repeatedly. However, specific memorization techniques can vary from age group to age group. The following are ideas that we have found helpful.

TIPS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

youngkidsmemorizequoteMemorizing by repetition works well when teaching verses to young children:

  • Say the reference: First, clearly pronounce the reference (“address” may be easier for some young children to understand than “reference”). Then have the child repeat the reference.
  • Repeat the passage in sections: Say the passage in several bite-sized sections, having children say each section after you. Repeat the sections.
  • Repeat the reference again.
  • Review the passage several more times, lengthening the sections each time.
  • Discuss the passage. After the passage is remembered (usually in 3-4 repetitions), it is good to dissect it. Discuss the meaning of unfamiliar words. Rephrase the passage and try to help the child discover how the passage applies to his life.

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8 Practical Ideas for a Purposeful Thanksgiving

8 Practical Ideas for a Purposeful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and many of you have probably spent hours cleaning your home for company, preparing the perfect turkey, planning a dozen side dishes, setting a beautiful table or traveling across country to grandma and grandpa’s house. But, have you spent any time planning how your family is going to worship God during your Thanksgiving day.

Here are eight practical ideas requiring little to no preparation to help your family have a purposeful holiday as you thank God for the blessings he has given you.

1. Anticipated Thanksgivings

This is one our staff loves to do together each year. Look back at your year and reflect on three to five things you are thankful for. Next, create a list of 3-5 anticipated thanksgivings—specific things you are committing to praying for over the coming year with the hope that next Thanksgiving, you can praise God for the answered prayers. Be sure to capture everyone’s answers (possibly in a journal or create a small booklet) so you can be reminded to pray throughout the year and down the road you can look back to see the evidences of God’s grace in your family’s life over the years.

2. Verses of Praise

Have your children create place cards for each person coming to Thanksgiving. On the back, have them write out a verse of praise for each guest to read during the meal. Great Thanksgiving verses to start with include: 1 Chronicles 16:8-9; Psalm 7:17; Psalm 79:13; Psalm 86:12-13; Psalm 100:4-5; Psalm 106:1; Acts 17:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 3:15-17; and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

3. Hymn Sing

Close dinner with a short hymn sing. A newer favorite by Keith and Kristyn Getty is My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness or sing For the Beauty of the Earth, a classic hymn by Folliot Pierpoint and Conrad Kocher.

4. Look Deeper

When thinking of what we are thankful for, it is easy to focus on the practical—family, friends, a warm home, good food or fun toys. While these are all wonderful things we can thank God for providing, take time to help your children think deeper to what they have been learning about God in family devotions or Sunday school. Encourage your children to think of an attribute of God, name of God, promise God has given us, Bible story or other truth they have learned that they are thankful for. Or, have your children recite Bible verses they are thankful to have treasured in their hearts.

5. Centered on Thanks

While you are waiting for the turkey to bake, work as a family to create a special centerpiece focused on thanks. If you have a pumpkin, take turns writing what you are thankful for on the pumpkin with a sharpie (a gold sharpie looks great on a white pumpkin). Or, cut out tags or leaves to write on and hang them on a garland or small tree. If you have a kids table at your family celebration, cover it with paper and supply the kids with markers or crayons to color pictures of what they are thankful for.

6. Nature Walk

After dinner, go for a family nature walk and look for things in creation that show the greatness of God. Thank God for creating the items you find from the biggest and most beautiful to the smallest or most simple.

7. Read the Easter Story

No, I did not get my holidays mixed up. The greatest gift we have ever been offered is the gift of salvation. Spend time reading about the crucifixion from the Bible or a children’s story book. Thank Jesus for taking the sacrifice for our sins and giving us the gift of eternal life.

8. Plan a Family Service Project for Christmas

As your family spends the day reflecting on all of the blessings you are thankful for, think about how you can share the overflow of your blessing with others during the upcoming Christmas season. Spend time as a family discussing a service project you could do together to help people in need. Here are some ideas for blessing friends, neighbors and those in need: go caroling at a local nursing home, volunteer at a local ministry, donate supplies to a crisis pregnancy center or food shelf, make a meal for new parents, include international students or someone with no local family into your Christmas plans, shovel your neighbors sidewalks, bake cookies for friends who need some extra encouragement or decide to set aside money from your family’s gift budget and donate it to a missionary family or international ministry.

Do you have any family traditions that help you focus on the goodness of the Lord in your lives? How do you share your thanksgivings? We would love to have you share those in the comments below.

Are You Prepared to Fight the Fight of Faith?

Fight the Fight of Faith

My main reason for memorizing Scripture is not to teach anybody anything but to fight unbelief in my life. To fight discouragement in my life. To handle the sorrows that come across my life.

The devil is constantly shooting at me to be discouraged about myself, my family, my church, and the world. And the only way I know to fight back is with truths from God that counter that.

—John Piper, Desiring God

Those of us who believe in and receive Jesus as Savior are brothers and sisters in the family of God, fellow workers in God’s kingdom spreading His glory and the message of salvation from generation to generation to the ends of the earth, and fellow soldiers fighting the fight of faith.

As we are engaged in the ongoing battle of continuing in the faith, every Christian must speak truth to his soul, fighting not only the temptations of the flesh but also battling for faith. The assaults of the enemy come in the form of lies which threaten to diminish the joy of our salvation and our love for the gospel, belief in the promises of God, a hunger for God, single-minded devotion to Christ and our appetites for the spiritual rather than the temporal.

The Fighter Verses program is designed to equip you to fight the fight of faith by memorizing God’s Word. Each week individuals, families and churches are all encouraged to memory a verse or short passage of Scripture together. Are you prepared to fight the fight of faith?


Fighter Verses

Verse Collections

Fighter Verses Collection

This core memory program of 260 passages is broken down into five yearly sets with one verse or passage to be memorized each week. The verses chosen for this collection focus on 1) the character and worth of our great God, 2) battling against our fleshly desires, and 3) the hope of the Gospel.

Extended VersesExtended Memory Collection

The Extended Memory Collection is designed for those who wish to memorize longer passages of Scripture. Still structured as a five-year weekly memory program, this collection encourages you to memorize Philippians, James, Romans 5-8 and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), plus an additional set of larger passages from various books of the Bible that are considered key to the life of faith.

Foundation VersesFoundation Verse Collection

The Foundation Verses are 76 verses of foundational truth designed with toddlers and pre-readers in mind. The collection includes verses designed to lay a firm scriptural foundation of basic biblical truth that will pave the way for faith response along with illustrations to help children remember each verse.

 

 


Fighter Verses WebsiteGetting Started

Are you excited to start memorizing Scripture? Begin by visiting FighterVerses.com to learn more about Fighter Verses, discover how to get your whole church on board and find tips on how to memorize and review verses. You will also find our weekly devotional blog there. Feel free to jump in and start memorizing along with us…we are just finishing up Set 1. Or, start preparing to begin a new set in January.

The Fighter Verses AppNext, download the Fighter Verses App for iPhone or Android. This will give you a wide array of resources to help you memorize wherever you go or whenever you have a few spare minutes. You will find all of the verse collections, quizzes, songs, study resources and an in depth review function to help you keep verses memorized.

For additional help in memorizing, check out some of our other Fighter Verses resources:

Fighter Verses Songs

The Fighter Verses Study

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.—Ephesians 6:10-12

Resource Update: We are excited to release the Fighter Verses Songs for Set 2 on CD and iTunes in early 2017! Watch the blog for more details.
Unfortunately, we are not able to release Set 2 of the Fighter Verses Study this year. We hope to provide more study resources for Fighter Verses in the future.

Celebrating the One Who Is Most Special

Jesus Is Most Special

One of the most special times of years is quickly approaching. How will you help your children be captivated by the joy and wonder of Christmas?

Jesus Is Most Special, by Sally Michael, is the perfect way to share the story of the birth of Jesus, along with its context in the Bible, with young children. Through reading this book over and over, even the youngest children will be motivated to retell this all-important story to others after they have learned if for themselves. Though the facts are important for children to remember, it is even more important for them to understand the message of the birth of Christ, God’s Son, the Savior of the world, the King of all Kings, who is most special of all.

Jesus Is Most SpecialEach right-hand page of the book tells a part of of the Christmas story, starting with God’s promise to send a Savior. Prompts indicate when key characters are introduced so children can act the story out using a nativity set as they share the story with others. The left-hand pages incorporate supporting Scripture and lyrics to Christmas carols to reinforce what children are learning, help them reflect on the meaning and stir their hearts to worship.

For churches or schools, the main text of the book provides a great base for the narration of a short skit as children act out the story. The accompanying verses can be interspersed as additional readings and the carols can be used to complete the christmas program.

Jesus Is Most Special is the perfect book to add to your Advent and Christmas traditions. You can look inside the book and order a copy today to receive it in time for the start of the Christmas season.

This Christmas, may you and your children worship Jesus, the Savior of the world, the King of Kings, who is most special of all.

The simplicity of this book mirror the plainness of the biblical story. Carol lyrics waft beside the brief, deep Scriptures that inspired them. In these pages the Savior is clearly worshiped—the story of his arrival touched me yet again.”
—Steve Estes, Author of A Better December

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