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Romeo and Juliet. Gospel and Doctrine.

Romeo and Juliet. Gospel and Doctrine...and the importance of catechism

Simplifying the Gospel is like simplifying the story of Romeo and Juliet. If you simply tell the story as “Two mixed-up teenagers fall in love and end up dead,” you loose the depth of the story. The background of the feuding families, the secret marriage, Romeo’s banishment and the sleeping potion Juliet took gives the story meaning and heart.

If we fail to teaching the whole counsel of God to the next generation, we remove the depth and meaning from their faith. If all they have is simplistic Bible truths—just love Jesus and believe in the cross—how will our children’s faith stand strong when they are confronted with the skepticism of our culture?

In our zeal to preach the gospel, we can often overlook or ignore the doctrinal foundations that lead to an understanding of the preciousness of the cross. In our zeal to evangelize, we must not forget that the main purpose of the organized church is to make disciples who will evangelize the nations.

One of the best ways to teach children solid doctrine is through catechesis. This is an intense, intentional, systematic, doctrinal teaching which imparts our beliefs about God, our communion with God and our obedience with God. Catechetical instruction normally employs the Socratic method of teaching through questions and answers. By utilizing the art of asking questions to stimulate critical thinking, the resulting discussion can encourage reasoning, the discovery of logical relationships, the illumination of further understanding and ultimately, the embracing of the truths discovered.

There are a variety of catechisms which present a series of questions and answers pertaining to Christian faith. Almost all of them are based on the creed and confessions of the church and they communicate these truths—what the church believes to be true about God, the Bible, the message of the Bible and its major themes about man, Christ and salvation.

Catechetical teaching is not boring, rote memorization. It is designed to not only teach the mind, but to effect our heart, affections and actions. Studying a catechism with your child will encourage you both in critical thinking, discussion and investigation of the Bible. If taught properly, it will not leave your children with parroted answers to random questions, but an understanding, learning and embracing of the truth of the Gospel and the doctrines of the Bible.

To learn more about catechism and how to teach it, watch to Sally Michael’s complete seminar:

Catechism: Out of Date or a Tried and True Teaching Tool of Eternal Truths

Watch Seminar

Download Seminar Handouts

Sally Michael Quote on Catechism

Round-Up: Encouragement for Teachers and Parents of Youth

Youth Ministry

Here is a collection of our favorite articles written in the past few years to encourage youth pastors, mentors and parents. Check out the links below for advice on partnering with parents, developing a vision for your ministry, fighting the fight of faith and planting roots of faith that will last beyond the teen years.

Youth Ministry as a Bridge

What Will Win Your Youth?

Centering Youth on the Word

A Genuine Parent and Youth Ministry Partnership

The Importance of Parents in Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry: Set Apart or A Part

Already Relevant

Abusing “Jesus Loves Me”?

We Need the Wisdom of the Past

Preparing Teens for the Great Battle

 

 

Now Available: The Fighter Verses Study, Part D

Fighter Verses

The Fighter Verses Study, Part DDo you long to have the Word of God engraved on your soul; to be instructed, counseled, and convicted by Scripture; to have your worldview shaped by the Word, and not by the World? Memorizing the Word makes it possible to meditate on the Word, which carries the potential of shaping our thinking and our affections.

The Fighter Verses Study is a devotional for families, small groups, classes and individuals. Each week’s lesson is based on a verse or short passage that will equip you to “fight the fight of faith.” A series of questions, which can be answered personally or discussed in a group, will lead you to a better understanding of the verses. You will be challenged with application questions, inspired by prayer points and encouraged to journal and memorize the passage.

The Fighter Verses Study, Park D is the final quarterly installment of the year-long study and includes 13 lessons. The verses studied, which mirror Set 1 of the Fighter Verses Bible Memory program, include:

Titus 3:4-6 (Work of Christ)
Isaiah 46:9-10 (Sovereignty of God)
Proverbs 1:10 (Battling Sin)
Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trusting God)
Proverbs 19:11 (Battling Anger)
John 15:5 (Life in Christ)
John 14:2-3 (Eternity)
Psalm 125:1-2 (Trusting God)
Psalm 141:3-4 (Speech)
1 John 1:8-9 (Battling Sin)
Psalm 23 (Guidance of God)

Each quarter of The Fighter Verses Study is a stand alone part that can be done in any order. Feel free to start with Part D to coincide with the Fighter Verses schedule, start the year-long study now or pick and choose the a part that features your family’s favorite verse or a theme you want to study together.

Learn more about The Fighter Verses Study

Download a Sample of the Study

View the Scope & Sequence for Part D

Order Now!

We pray that The Fighter Verses Study Part D will help you, your family or your small group discover the joy of mining the Word of God as you learn together to observe, interpret and personally apply it. And may God’s Word be imprinted on your mind and firmly established in your heart!

 

 

 

Introducing a NEW Resource for Families: My Church Notebook

INTRODUCING

My Church Notebook

My Church NotebookChurch services give us the opportunity to come into the presence of God with other people of God, both young and old. As children observe the example of their parents and join believers in worship, they learn to concentrate on God and see His greatness.

Children are more likely to cherish and delight in the worship of God if they witness that heart for worship in the church. When they see their parents and other adults bow their heads in earnest prayer, or lift their hands in praise, the genuine worship they observe can stir their hearts to worship. Children can observe parents listening intently to the sermon, taking notes, and processing the truth they are hearing. They observe this hunger for the Word of God which can stir the same longing in their own hearts.

My Church NotebookMy Church Notebook will guide your elementary aged children to participate in the service. It teaches them to actively listen to the sermon, take notes, recognize key points, and ask questions. In response to what they hear, children can determine what God wants them to think, be, or do. With God’s help, children can discover who He is, understand more of His Word, and grow in their love for the truth.

My Church Notebook helps children to concentrate on God as they come into His presence.

Learn More

Order a My Church Notebook for your children today and discover the vision for including children in the worship service!

 

 

 

The ABCs of God: An Inside Look at Application

The ABCs of God

In a Sunday school class, application discussion is vital after the lesson because it is in this time that the children are most personally challenged to embrace the truth with their hearts and respond to it in their lives. Biblical truth is not meant to merely remain head knowledge, but is meant to transform the heart. Small Group leaders have the privilege of leading this application time as they serve as mentors for a group of four to eight students during the year.

In the revised curriculum, The ABCs of God, the application section has been rewritten to better equip small group leaders. Each lesson includes four to six topics, based on main ideas in the lesson, to choose from and discuss with their students.

During the week, leaders are encouraged to study the lesson and pray through the questions to determine which are appropriate for their group. The aim of the discussion is not merely to see whether or not children remember the lesson, but more importantly, to help children focus on the heart issues and ask how the truths presented in the lesson personally apply to their own lives.

The Student Workbook is another valuable tool to use during small group time. The activities directly tie into and enhance the discussion questions leaders will be asking as they review key points of the lesson. The workbook also encourages students with different learning styles by providing a visual and tactile outlet to help process what they are learning.

Look inside the curriculum and see the changes! Here are several examples of the new workbook pages and a sample of the Small Group Application from the lesson on Incomprehensible.

 

 

Lesson 2: Incomprehensible
God is more than we can fully understand.

Workbook

Ask the children to recall the letter of the alphabet that was introduced in today’s lesson. Instruct them to look in the workbook for the page with the large letter “I.” Read the memory verse from Job 37:5 and encourage the children to recite it with you. Point to the words “cannot comprehend.” Then help the children trace the word “COMPREHEND” where indicated. Explain that these two words together mean “incomprehensible.” Give the children markers, crayons, and/or stickers to decorate the letter.

Knowing God

Ask the children to each tell you one or two things about their parents. Do the children know everything there is to know about their parents? Even though they don’t, do they still know enough to love their parents? Next, ask them to tell you something that they know about God.

What does it mean for us that God is more than we can fully understand? However, can we still know enough about God to love and trust Him? Yes!

Read John 20:31 and explain what God has made known to us from the words of the Bible.

Learning about God

In what ways does God help us learn more about who He is? [through the Bible, by seeing what He has made and done, answers to prayers, testimonies of other Christians, etc.]

Talk about ways in which the children can specifically learn more about God. [e.g., listening carefully during Bible teaching time in Sunday school, during the worship service, parents’ teaching, etc.]

Always More to Learn about God

Ask the children what it means if someone refers to another person as a “know-it-all.”

Can any of us be considered a “know-it-all” about God? Does that include adults and older people, even Sunday school teachers or pastors? Will any of us ever be able to completely know and understand the answers to the questions “Who is God?” and “What is God like?” Why is it a good thing that God is incomprehensible, and what should that encourage us to do? [e.g., God is greater and more wonderful than we could ever imagine. Every day we can learn new things about God. God will never get “old or boring.” We don’t need to feel frustrated or give up because we can’t understand everything about God, etc.]

Loving and Trusting God

Point out that even though God is incomprehensible, He makes us able to understand enough about Him to trust and love Him (1 Corinthians 2:12).

Do you want to understand more about who God is and what He is like? Why or why not? Why is it important that we learn about how great God is?

Give practical suggestions about how they could learn more about God in the coming week (e.g., having daily Bible time). Pray with the children that you would have hearts and minds that would desire to learn more about God this week.

Responding to the Greatness of God

Have you ever been amazed by something you have seen? Give an example of something amazing you have seen that you have not fully understood (e.g., a beautiful sunset). How do people usually respond to something amazing, that’s too wonderful to completely understand? How should we respond to the “more than we can understand” greatness of God?

Read Psalm 145:2-3.

How can you respond to the greatness of God this week?

Trusting God When Bad Things Happen

Quickly review the “bad” things that happened in Job’s life.

When God allows things to happen to us that are hard to understand, even things that hurt us or cause us to feel sad, is it right to think that we will always be able to understand why God is allowing those things to happen? What did Job find out from God? (Recall Job 42:3b.) How can we trust God when sad things happen? Would it be easier to trust God by knowing Him more or less? Why would it be easier to trust Him more when we know more about what He is like? [e.g., If we know that a man is a trained fireman, we can be more confident of his ability to help us if there were a fire in our home.] How can you learn more about God this week? Is there something that you would like to know about Him that would help you with a hard situation? How can we pray about this situation?

NOW AVAILABLE: The ABCs of God

Now Available: The ABCs of God

The ABCs of God revised curriculum is now here! This 40-week Sunday school curriculum helps first grade children discover our amazing God who is worthy of our greatest love, honor, trust and obedience.

Who is God?
What is God like?
How should I act toward God?

The answers to these questions are of utmost importance in the life of faith for children and adults alike. The ABCs of God uses the framework of the alphabet to introduce children to the attributes of God from Almighty (God is all-powerful) to Zealous (God acts with His whole heart).

Take advantage of this exciting opportunity to teach the children in your church or home about God’s character. Then join with us in our prayer that your children will desperately seek God, passionately love Him, unceasingly trust and obey Him, and forever enjoy Him.

Sample Lessons

Order Now

Our best selling curriculum is now better than ever!

The ABCs of God Classroom KitUpdated Lessons

Lessons have been refined to include stronger illustrations, deeper main points, increased teacher student interaction, detailed instructions for teachers and a streamlined format.

 

 

The ABCs of God VisualsAll New Visuals

The lesson visuals have been recreated to better engage students. Now, there are 334 color pages of original photography, Bible illustrations, eye catching graphics and historical images.

 

 

 

The ABCs of God Student WorkbookExpanded Application

Small group application questions have been significantly updated to help leaders facilitate discussions concerning heart changing topics.

The Student Workbook maintains the classic layout with a letter for kids to color each week, but has been updated with more intentional activities and illustrations.

 

The ABCs of God New ActivitiesNew Activities

Bonus Review Activities have been added to each lesson. These sheets refresh children’s memory of previous lessons as themes build on each other.

Two Optional Activities are provided to fill extra class time with interactive learning. They include games, simple crafts and memory verse activities.

 


See how The ABCs of God can fit into your early elementary classes by viewing the Curriculum Sample. To get your own copy, order online or call our customer service team at 877.400.1414.

Would you like to upgrade you curriculum?

If you currently own a copy of The ABCs of God, you may be eligible for a free or discounted Classroom Kit and/or Teacher’s Guide upgrade. Learn more about our upgrade pricing, then call our customer service team at 877.400.1414 to place your order.

 

 

Do You Remember What You Learned in First Grade?

The ABCs of God Visuals

When I think back to my childhood, there are many fond memories that stick out in my mind. One in particular was from a Sunday morning. I sat in a small wooden chair, surrounded by a couple dozen other first grader students, and gazed at the big, shiny red box at the front of the room. What was inside? My teacher started pulling letters out of the box—16 to be exact—and started to spell a word. What word could be that long? INCOMPREHENSIBLE! What did that mean?

The ABCs of God Visuals

Another day, my teacher decided to make cookies for our class. Yum! Out of the box came sugar and butter and flour and chocolate chips and a bowl and a spoon and a spatula. She set them all out on a table and then just stood there, staring at them. She thought they could turn into cookies on their own. How silly.

The ABCs of God VisualsFast forward a decade later, and I was making new memories—this time as a helper in the first grade class. I remember the day the teacher started pulling out bricks with pictures of the plagues from the same, shiny red box. As she explained each of the ten bricks, she slammed them down on the table. The children gasped as one hit another so hard, it broke in half. There was also the day when there was a beautiful throne at the front of the class. The students were bewildered when they saw the special jewelry box—representing God’s greatness and worth—sitting among a pile of smelly, disgusting garbage, instead of being displayed by the royal throne.

Now, another decade or so later, I get to stop in the first grade classroom and see a child’s jaw drop as his teacher pours an entire box of cereal out in front of him. I also have the privilege of designing some of the visuals for The ABCs of God revised curriculum that will help children create the same memories I have.

The ABCs of God VisualsYou see, these memories are so much more than just some fun moments. When I failed to understand all of the nuances of the sovereignty of God, I remembered those 16 letters. God is incomprehensible, He is more than we can fully understand. When I was being lectured in biology about how the world was made through evolution, I remembered that table full of cookie ingredients and how they were helpless without a creator.

Every time I see a brick wall, I am reminded of those plagues and how God is an almighty God. He showed His power so His name could be known throughout the whole earth as the one true God. When I take out the trash, I am reminded that God took the hard path. He took my punishment for my sin to ultimately show His Father’s glory instead of being pampered like a king on earth.

ABCs of God VisualsAnd my morning bowl of cereal? Even though it will only satisfy me until noon, it is a reminder that God is bountiful. He more than enough to satisfy all of my desires. These memories remind me, and children in The ABCs of God classes, who God is, what He is like and how they should act toward Him. These memories help children see God’s greatness and worth every day in the world around them.

Each lesson in The ABCs of God curriculum begins with a concrete illustration like these to help children bridge what they can see and understand with abstract concepts they cannot see or find hard to understand. This deductive teaching style leads children to make observations and draw conclusions as the lesson progresses.

In the revised version of The ABCs of God, we have included 334 pages of new visuals for teachers to use in conjunction with common household items. The visuals assist in telling Bible stories, emphasis key points of the lesson and create illustrations that children will recall in everyday life. Here is a sample of the Visuals Packet:

 

The ABCs of God
The ABCs of God revision will be released tomorrow! To learn more, take a look at the Lesson Samples and view the Scope and Sequence.

 

 

Available July 12: The ABCs of God Revised Curriculum

The ABCs of God Revised Curriculum

Over the past 18 years, churches around the world have been helping their early elementary students answer three important questions: “Who is God?”, “What is God like?” and “How should I act toward God?” Now, we are excited to announce that the revised version of your favorite curriculum, The ABCs of God, will be available July 12!

Over the past year, we have spent time polishing the lessons, adding new application questions, creating over 300 new visuals, illustrating new workbook pages and developing stronger tools for parents. We cannot wait for you to start using this revised curriculum that will better equip your teachers, engage your students and impact your families.

The ABCs of God Revised Curriculum

The ABCs of God is a study for children on the greatness and worth of God. It uses the alphabet as a framework for learning the attributes of God and other terms that describe His character. Through the use of a teaching aid called “The Blessing Box,” students will discover a new attribute of God each week and will be challenged to consider how they should respond to an amazing God who is worthy of their greatest love, honor, trust and obedience.

Sample Lessons

Scope & Sequence

Learn More

Mark your calendars! The ABCs of God will be available to order in just 6 days!

 

 

We Are Moving to a New Office Space

Children Desiring God Blog // Moving

Hello Friends,

We will be moving to a new office space at the end of this week. Don’t worry, you will still be able to find us in all the same places online and over the phone. But, with all of the boxes to finish packing and things to move, our customer service team will be limited over the next week. If we don’t pick up the phone, just leave us a message. If you need a response by a certain time, please let us know. We will be checking voice mail and emails periodically and will try our best to get back to you as soon as possible!

Children Desiring God
www.childrendesiringGod.org
info@childrendesiringGod.org
877.400.1414

 

 

Watch Bruce Ware, Albert Mohler and John Piper Today on the National Conference Live Stream

National Conference

 

Today we have the honor of hearing from Bruce Ware, Albert Mohler and John Piper at the Children Desiring God National Conference. We hope you will be able to join us on the Live Stream!

Join in the conversation online by using the hashtag #CDGNatCon on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Live Stream Schedule

Exploring the Fullness of the Whole Counsel of God
8:30 AM – 10:15 AM
Bruce Ware

Dr. Bruce A. Ware has taught theology for over 30 years in several leading evangelical colleges and seminaries. Since 1998, Bruce has served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, where he is the T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology and chairman of the Department of Christian Theology. Bruce has written numerous books, including his theology book for children, Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God , and most recently The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ . He has served as the president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, as well as the Evangelical Theological Society. Bruce and his wife, Jodi, have two daughters, Bethany and Rachel, and three grandchildren.

Holding Fast to the Whole Counsel of God
Under Pressure to Conform
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Albert Mohler

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. serves as the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, one of the largest seminaries in the world. On his website,AlbertMohler.com , Al writes commentaries on moral, cultural, and theological issues. He also hosts two programs: “The Briefing,” a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview; and “Thinking in Public,” a series of conversations with the day’s leading thinkers. Viewed as a leader among American evangelicals, Al is widely sought as a columnist and commentator by the nation’s leading newspapers and news programs and has authored several books, including Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth . Al and his wife Mary have two children, Katie and Christopher and one grandson.

Believing the Whole Counsel of God:
How Our Children Can Know the Bible Is True
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
John Piper

Dr. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminar. For over 30 years, John served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He’s the author of more than 50 books and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available for free at desiringGod.org). John and his wife, Noël, have five children, Barnabas, Karsten, Benjamin, Abraham and Talitha, and twelve grandchildren.

 

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