Exploring the Fullness of the Whole Counsel of God
We know many of you are not able to join us in person at the National Conference this week, but we don’t want you to miss the wonderful training we will be hearing on teaching the whole counsel of God to children.
You are invited to join us on the conference LIVE STREAM!
For the very first time, Children Desiring God is providing you special, free access to the three Foundations of God-Centered Children’s Ministry sessions and all five plenary sessions. Watch the blog Thursday for the Live Stream link, or simply visit Children Desiring God.
You can also join in the conversation online by using the hashtag #CDGNatCon on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Don’t Forget to Reserve Your Conference Seminars!
We are excited to have are over 60 seminar options for you to choose from at our nation conference, including both classic favorites and brand new topics. You will be able to attend four seminars and receive practical training on the ins and outs of children’s ministry, teaching and parenting. Our incredible line up of seminar presenters include pastors, authors, teachers, children’s ministry leaders, youth pastors, parents, an engineer, missionary and college professor who are all passionate about teaching the next generation to set their hope in God…and equipping you to do you same.
Seminars seats are filling up quickly! If you are registered for the conference, be sure to reserve your seminars now to make sure you can attend your first choices. Seminar selections must be chosen by March 31.
Download the Scheduling Worksheet to help you determine your choices and plan your seminar schedule. Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggested seminar tracks to get you started.
Not registered for the conference yet? Register today and save!
Hi, my name is Mark Vroegop and I am privileged to be the lead pastor at College Park Church in Indianapolis. I’m also privileged to be one of the plenary speakers at the Children Desiring God National Conference coming up April 14–16.
The theme for the conference is really important. We will explore how to connect the whole counsel of God to the next generations. In the book of Acts, chapter 20, the apostle Paul said to the Ephesian elders that he did not shrink from declaring to them the whole counsel of God. What that means is that over a two and a half year period, Paul helped the people of Ephesus understand the significant realities of who and what God is, as communicated through the revealed Word of God. And it means that creation, the fall, redemption and restoration are key themes that are woven throughout all of Scripture.
The teachings of the Bible should not be viewed as little marbles in a bowl, but rather as a string of pearls all connected together. As it relates to children, it is incredibly important that they understand who God is as their creator, the nature of the fall, and that they are sinners. Then, that they would know the connectedness between their own sin and the need for a savior through Christ–and also that there is coming a day when Christ will return and restore everything that is wrong in the world and make it all right again–that Jesus is indeed coming again. So all of these themes–creation, fall, redemption and restoration–are part of the whole counsel of God. A child has to know that God is creator and that they are accountable. They have to know they are a sinner and that they need a savior.
You know, my wife has been teaching our kindergarten Sunday school class here at our church for a number of years. In particular, one of the lessons that she teaches is on the Ten Commandments. It is remarkable–when she comes home from teaching that very first lesson, she reports that when she has asked the children “How many of you know that you are sinners?”, invariably, the vast majority of them do not know that they are sinners. But you know what they do know? They do know that their brother or sister is a sinner. The reason we need the whole counsel of God is to help little children be convinced that they, in fact, are human beings who are in rebellion against God. What’s more, in order for them to know that, they need to know who God is and know the beauty of what the cross is all about. The Bible is more than just a collection of stories or an encyclopedia of biblical truth. It is theology stacked on theology stacked on theology stacked on theology. It is the whole counsel of God.
We are going to dig into that theme and see the significance of not only what it means for the Bible to be the whole counsel of God, but how vital it is that our children understand that truth from a very early age. I hope you will come and join us because this theme, this concept of the whole counsel of God, is vital for the health of the church, for the spiritual life of our children and because our culture needs the next generation of believers to understand the whole counsel of the Word of God.
We are excited to welcome Mark Vroegop as one of our keynote speakers at the Children Desiring God National Conference. He will expound on this topic as he teaches on Declaring the Whole Counsel of God to the Next Generation. We are also thankful for the generosity of Mark’s church to host our conference and are excited for you to experience College Park Church’s hospitality. We hope you will join us April 14-16 in Indianapolis! Learn more and register now!
Yes! This is your last chance to save with the early bird discount! Join your fellow children and youth ministry pastors, leaders and volunteers at the Children Desiring God National Conference.
The conference is the perfect place for you and your ministry team to gather for practical training, spiritual encouragement and networking with other children’s ministry leaders.
Over the three day conference, you will experience five thought provoking keynote sessions exploring the importance of teaching the whole counsel of God to the next generations; chose from over 60 practical workshops covering every aspect of ministry to children, youth and parents; gain a Bible-based vision for children’s ministry; glean ideas from experienced pastors andSunday school leaders; and join others in worshiping our great God.
Early bird registration closes tonight, January 31, at 11:59 pm (CST)!
We can’t wait to meet you in April! Don’t forget to:
- Reserve you Seminar Selections. Use your confirmation code to log in and select the 4 seminars you want to attend.
- Make your travel arrangements. We have rooms set aside for attendees at a variety of area hotels as well as discount codes for airline tickets and car rentals.
- Join the Children Desiring God Facebook Group to get to know other attendees before the event. Feel free to connect here to find people to share travel arrangements.
What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing the Evangelical Church in 2016?
In a recent Ask Pastor John segment, John Piper shared his thoughts on the biggest challenges facing the evangelical church this year. Here is an excerpt:
…if you start at the beginning, the first and great commandment says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). So I would think, since that is the first commandment, that is the first challenge in every generation. Does the church and does the world love God with all their heart and all their soul and all their mind and all their strength? …if we don’t know God, we can’t love God.
Our worship to glorify God must be based on what we have seen of God, what we know of God, what he has revealed of himself. If we are just worshiping a haze, God is not getting a lot of glory from the warm feelings that we are having in our hearts because of the ignorance of not being in our heads because of the haze over our lives.
I have got this picture in my head of somebody who runs up to me on the road and says, “Here is $10,000. Please go put it in my bank. Here is my pin number, and here is my account number.” And I say, “I don’t even know you. What are you doing?” He just says, “I trust you.” I say, “Why do you trust me?” He says, “Oh, I don’t know. I feel inside like I should trust you.” My response is not to be honored. I feel like this guy is a nut.
However, if he runs up to me and says, “Here is $10,000 in cash. Please, here is my account number. Here is my pin number. Would you deposit it for me?” And I say, “Look, I don’t even know you. Why do you trust me?” He says, “Oh, I know you. We work in the same building. I have been watching you for a year. You are trustworthy. I will trust you, because I know you.” Then I feel honored.
That is the way it is with God. If we say, “Oh, I am just coming to God. I trust him. I don’t have any reasons for trusting him. I don’t need that theology stuff.” God thinks we are nuts. We are not honoring him. We are honoring a haze. And so knowledge really matters underneath the commandment. You have got to love God with all your heart and soul.
So today I think the biggest challenge is: Do people know God? Do people have a knowledge that is trustworthy? Therefore a huge issue is: What is the role of the Bible in the church today and is it trustworthy and are people basing their lives on it in their preaching on it? Are they getting the whole counsel of God so that they can love the whole God?
What Does this Mean for Children’s Ministry?
We are excited to have Pastor John and others join us to help us explore the topic of teaching the whole counsel of God to the next generations at the Children Desiring God National Conference, April 14-16 in Indianapolis. Our Keynote Sessions will include:
- Declaring the Whole Counsel of God to the Next Generation // Mark Vroegop
- Exploring the Fullness of the Whole Counsel of God // Bruce Ware
- Holding Fast to the Whole Counsel of God Under Pressure to Conform //Albert Mohler
- Believing the Whole Counsel of God: How Our Children Can Know the Bible Is True // John Piper
- Persevering in the Whole Counsel of God // David Michael
We hope you can join us in learning how to teach the whole counsel of God to the children in your church so they can wholeheartedly love God in response to this knowledge!
Register by 11:59pm (CST), January 31 to receive Early Bird Pricing!
1. This theological theme is incredibly timely
The church in America and around the world is under extreme pressure to conform to the social and cultural norms of the day. We must lovingly declare the whole counsel of God and be transformed by the entirety of God’s Word. Everything God gave us in written form is from Him and for us. John Piper, Al Mohler, Bruce Ware, Mark Vroegop and David Michael will deliver inspiring and challenging messages bringing you into the glorious depths of God’s Word as they challenge you to embrace the whole counsel of God.
2. The next generation needs you
We have been called by God to declare the truth about God, His Word and our rightful response to Him, to the next generation. We share this passion and this challenge–that the reality of our calling extends beyond the next generation. Those we serve now, who embrace God and His Gospel, will reach the generations yet unborn.
3. This conference will equip you
The plenary sessions will equip you theologically, but that is not where the equipping ends. You will choose four (out of 60) breakout seminars in categories of Vision and Leadership, Classroom Training, Youth and more. Seminars will be led by experienced and passionate presenters whose mission is to inspire, encourage and equip you with ideas for practical application of the biblical principles they present.
4. We want to encourage you
We are aware that ministry to the next generation, along with its joys, presents many challenges:
You are shepherding, instructing, and nurturing faith in children of all ages including youth. Some children are joyfully submitting to Jesus and many are not.
You have an enemy. Your position in Christ and your ministry to the next generation, causes this ancient enemy to rage against you as he prowls around like a lion seeking to destroy you (1 Peter 5:8).
You incur a heightened degree of criticism. Sadly, in conversations with others in ministry to the next generation, it is likely that you are not insulated from criticism, even from within your church.
So, the idea of encouraging you in your role is very sweet to us.
5. You are not alone
Whether you minister as a lone volunteer in a church or are part of a team…at this event, you will be part of a large group of people who have a similar calling to serve the next generation. We want you to take advantage of the many opportunities to learn from each other. And it may not end at the conference. Our past events have served as a catalyst for “regional type” gatherings that continue into the future.
And…I am so excited that the College Park Worship team is going to lead us in
God-centered, Christ-exalting worship!
And…we will have great discounts on a large selection of books in our bookstore!
And…we will have a curriculum display in which you can interact with others about Children Desiring God Resources!Thank you for sharing in my joy and anticipation for this important gathering of pastors, parents, children’s ministry leaders, children’s and youth workers!
Our hope is that you will make plans today to join us! Our early bird discount is available through January 31. You can register online or call us at 877.400.1414 if you have any questions. We look forward to meeting you in Indianapolis!
Have you been to a past Children Desiring God Event?
Let us know if you are coming in the comments below and share your top reasons for coming back to our National Conference!
This Christmas, may you and your family worship Jesus, the Savior of the world, the King of Kings, who is most special of all.
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
Joy to the world! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
We wish you the merriest Christmas!
David, Sally, Jill, Brian, Terry, Holly, Karen, Betty, Suzy, Nicole, Annie and Rachel
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings… (Daniel 2:21a)
We mark time predominantly in God’s good design of years. This is why, when a year comes to a close, individuals and organizations often look back in a time of reflection. What were our goals for the year? Were they realized? What unexpected events played a major role in the year’s outcome? Was I faithful to influence these outcomes?
It is good for us reflect on questions such as these and recognize that it is God Himself who changes times and seasons. He establishes and removes earthly rulers…God is in control of all things, and He works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
God’s Work for CDG in 2015
One of many ways God worked for CDG this past year was in the establishment of a new nonprofit. Since 1997, CDG has functioned as a division of Desiring God. But in late October, we received notice from the IRS that our application to be an independent tax-exempt nonprofit was approved! Although we are just now announcing this transition, it has been in the works for years. Much time over the last 12 months was spent preparing for this change. On December 2, the Desiring God Board of Directors approved the final steps for CDG to move to a new 501c3 nonprofit organization. For now, we will continue to be called Children Desiring God.
At the December meeting, John Piper expressed his passion for the vision we share for the next generation and the importance of CDG’s work. He reiterated that this transition does not reflect a desire to distance Desiring God from CDG. Rather, these are necessary steps to see CDG flourish in its Gospel mission for the next 50 years.
We want millions of the next generation to know and cherish Jesus Christ as the only One who can save and satisfy their soul. Our calling is to produce God-centered, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting resources to equip parents and churches as they instruct the mind, engage the heart, and nurture the faith of the next generation.
This organizational change allows us to form relationships with individuals who share a passion for the next generation and want to partner together to reach millions of the next generation. As we express our core values of passionate spreading and radical generosity, we acknowledge that this is made possible through partnerships with those who share our vision for the next generation.
Here are just two examples of reaching the next generation that flow from these core values:
In the coming new year, we will continue to share more of these stories with you. We believe that you will be excited to hear about what God is doing around the world through the use of CDG resources. And, we would welcome your partnership in this mission of radical generosity in order to spread this vision. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Next Generation Partner by joining us in prayer and, if you are able, in financial partnership. Visit our Next Generation Partner page, or contact me directly to learn more.
Executive Director, Children Desiring God
It has been a wonderful privilege to encourage you since 1997 to hide God’s Word in your heart through the Fighter Verse Bible memory program.
On January 1st, 2016, Children Desiring God will update all of the Fighter Verses resources in the New International Version (NIV) from the NIV1984 version to the NIV2011 translation. Due to restrictions from the publisher, we can no longer offer the 1984 NIV version after December 31. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you.
The Fighter Verses App
NIV2011 will replace NIV1984 verses in our Fighter Verses App in the next couple weeks. This change will show up on your smartphone or tablet the next time you update your app from iTunes or Google Play.
Fighter Verses, Extended Verses and Foundation Verse Packs
You may purchase NIV1984 Fighter Verses, Extended Verses and Foundation Verses packs from our website through December 31, 2015. Starting January 1, all NIV Fighter Verses resources purchased through our website will be in NIV2011. These NIV1984 resources will be on sale through the end of the year (Limited quantities available).
We know changing or updating translations can be difficult when memorizing. We pray this change will not deter you from the wonderful discipline of Bible memory. Memorizing the Word is crucial to our fight of faith. Consider just a few amazing realities of God’s Word:
Every Word of God proves true—Prov 30:5
God watches over his Word to perform it—Jer 1:12
God’s Word never returns empty—Is 55:11
God’s Word is truth—Ps 199:160
God’s Word is sharper than a two-edged sword—Heb 4:12
People are saved by God’s Word—Jam 1:18
People are sanctified by God’s Word—John 17:17
People have joy through God’s Word—Ps 119:14
God’s Word will remain forever—Is 40:8
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us—John 1:14
At this time, all Children Desiring God NIV curriculum will remain in the 1984 version. Curriculum and Fighter Verses resources in the English Standard Version (ESV) will not be effected by this change.