Yesterday’s post pointed to the meaning of Christian discipleship in our parenting and teaching. With that in mind, it becomes extremely important to choose resources for the home and church that serve to foster discipleship.
At Children Desiring God, we want the next generations to be serious, passionate, joyful disciples of Christ, who are fully equipped and prepared to deny themselves, take up their cross and daily follow Jesus. To that end, our curricula emphasize a discipleship orientation that fosters life-long instruction in and practice of the Christian life. We aim to accomplish this through the following:
- developing a carefully designed scope and sequence of teaching content that progressively moves children and youth toward greater spiritual growth.
- using a relational, interactive teaching style in which the evidences of Christian discipleship are clearly communicated, visibly demonstrated, and faithfully encouraged.
- intentionally providing resources and training for the home that promote and equip parents for their responsibility in discipling their children.
Here are three specific examples that demonstrate this discipleship orientation in our curricula:
- In the lessons, teachers are encouraged to give brief, appropriate personal examples of how a specific biblical truth convicted, corrected, guided, and counseled them in a real-life situation. Biblical instruction leads to heart transformation, which leads to following Jesus’ in word and deed.
- Lessons include an Application section that aims to encourage students to personally respond to the truth. Here is a sample of an Application point from The ABCs of God:
Point out that most people in the world do not celebrate that Jesus is exalted far above anything and anyone else. Many of these people do not even know who Jesus is or what He has done. What should those of us who know and love Jesus do so that others will see how great and exalted Jesus is? For example, if you score the winning goal for your soccer team, is there a way that you could point to Jesus as being great and not yourself? What about people who have heard about Jesus but don’t like it that He is exalted above all? Is there a way that we can help them? [for example, pray for them and keep pointing them to Jesus]
- Lessons include accompanying GIFT Pages (Growing In Faith Together) or Parent Resource Pages that are sent home, giving parents opportunities to help their children apply lesson truths. Here is a sample from The ABCs of God:
Read Ephesians 6:1-3a and ask the following questions: What is God commanding you to do? What does He promise as a reward? But what about when you are told to do something that you think is unfair? What would it mean to trust Jesus in this situation? Explain that trusting Jesus means that we obey His commands even when something is hard or seems unfair, because we trust His word. Another example would be 1 Peter 5:6-7.
This week, with your parent’s help, make a list of 3 or 4 things that you are having a hard time trusting God with, as evidenced by disobedience to specific commands of God. Each night before going to bed, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart and give you the desire and strength to do things Jesus’ way instead of your own way.