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Share Jesus with the Next Generation this Summer

Pages from VBS posters, etc 2.10.09

As summer quickly approaches, your church may be looking for resources to use in child outreach and evangelism, whether it be through a Backyard Bible Club or Vacation Bible School setting. Children Desiring God has 4 titles to offer, each focusing on a different theme, while presenting the Gospel clearly and accurately to children in K-6th grade.

Here are some things to know about our BYBC/VBS materials as you consider your needs: (more…)

Now Available: God’s Wisdom + Giveaway

God's Wisdom Cover_blogEvery day children are confronted with the call of wisdom and the call of foolishness. Which call will they answer?

God’s Wisdom, a newly released book by Sally Michael, uses the words of Proverbs to explore these two paths. As parents guide their children through this book, they will discover the joys of wisdom and discern the destruction of foolishness.

Each person starts out on the path of foolishness because we are born with foolishness in our hearts. Only God can incline a child’s heart toward the path of wisdom—and he can use your example and diligent instruction to do it.

Sally Michael seamlessly weaves New Testament and Old Testament stories together to teach biblical wisdom in a way that is clear, fun, and engaging for children. Her compelling word pictures and analogies make difficult concepts easier to grasp.
—Marty Machowski, Pastor, Author of Long Story Short and The Gospel Story Bible

Once again, Sally Michael has used her fervent love for Christ and her keen understanding of the Scriptures to help parents and children. . . . I’m very excited to put this book into the hands of parents.
—Deepak Reju, Associate Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.

God’s Wisdom is a full-color, illustrated book that includes 26 chapters with application questions and activity suggestions. The stories are written to elementary aged children. This is the fourth book in the Making Him Known series, which also includes God’s Names, God’s Promises, and God’s Wisdom.

To learn more about God’s Wisdom, read the first chapter or take a look at the table of contents. If you want to help children find the path of wisdom, order a copy now.

Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of God’s Wisdom, Children Desiring God is giving two winners a signed copy of God’s Wisdom. Use the widget below to enter!

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3 Resources for Singing Scripture

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This week, we have been discussing the importance and value of singing the Gospel with children on our Lullaby Theology blog series. The other day I was playing with a friend who is six, and several times she broke out into song. It was not the latest animated movie theme song she was belting though, it was her memory verse set to song and her favorite hymn. This was an encouragement and challenge to me to incorporate more content-rich music into my life.

For some of you reading this, music comes naturally, and it is easy for you to find hymns and worship songs to teach children, but some of you may be like me—I need help. Here are three Children Desiring God resources that will help you and your children start singing the Gospel.

Let the Little Children Sing

Scripture SonglistThis Scripture Songbook helps children hide God’s Word in their hearts through song. Let the Little Children Sing contains 90 Scripture songs for use in Sunday School classes, children’s choirs and at home. Lyrics, sheet music and a piano accompaniment CD are included. Click here for song samples and to order the book.

Fighter Verses Songs 

FESE5-front-webFighter Verses Songs CDs coordinate with our Bible memory program. The song lyrics are word-for-word Bible passages, and the musical styles vary between folk, jazz, pop, doo-wop, choral and more. Sets 1 and 3 feature verses about fixing our hearts on the character and worth of God, battling the desires of our flesh and rejoicing in the work of Christ in the Gospel. The Extended Set 5 goes through the entire Sermon on the Mount. CDs can be ordered here or the songs can be downloaded from iTunes.

Leading Children in God-Centered Worship

Pam Grano, who has been leading worship in Sunday school classes for years, led a seminar on worship at our national conference last year. She reviews what Scripture says about worshipping “in spirit and in truth,” involving both a child’s heart and head in worship, structuring and planning age-appropriate worship times, using instruments and movement, selecting songs and more. You can listen to the audio and download the notes here.

 

 

Free Christmas Lesson

12-13 Blog Post 300During the month of December, it is easy to get pulled in a million different directions…school programs, shopping, parties, decorating the tree, traveling, visiting family, wrapping gifts, building snowmen…but it can be difficult to find time to focus on the true reason for Christmas.

Our challenge for your family is to set aside an hour in the next two weeks to learn about the miraculous event of Jesus the Savior being born. In most Christmas stories, the focus is always on the tiny baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Children relate well to that vision of God as a small, touchable and knowable baby Jesus. But, it is not the end of God’s revelation of His Son. Baby Jesus will grow up into a Man, the perfect Son of God, and His obedience will lead Him to a most painful, undeserved death on the cross.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.—Matthew 1:21

To help you and you family focus on the bigger picture of Christmas, Children Desiring God is giving you a free copy of “Jesus the Savior is Born” which is a lesson in our revised version of Jesus, What a Savior. This lesson focuses on three main ideas:

  • God loves His people and desires to save them from their sin.
  • God was faithful to send Jesus as the promised Savior.
  • God reveals His greatness to humble people.

The free lesson can be downloaded as a PDF here: Jesus the Savior is Born. We pray it will be a blessing as you and your family celebrate our Savior this Christmas.

This free lesson includes the Lesson Material, Lesson Visuals, Student Workbook, Optional Activities and Growing in Faith Together pages. You may print out or make copies of this lesson for use in you home, church or school. Enjoy!

 

 

All New Visuals for Jesus, What a Savior! + Giveaway

 

Last month, Children Desiring God released the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior! This 40-week curriculum teaches kindergarten students about redemption. One of the main elements of our curriculum revision is a complete redesign of the Visuals Packet. Teachers use the visuals in this resource during the lesson to capture students’ attention, visualize Bible stories, and emphasize key points of the lesson.

The vibrant, full-color visuals include a variety of original Bible story images, photographs and illustrations. The Visuals Packet is available either as a pre-printed resource or as a printable PDF file on the Resources DVD in the Teacher’s Kit. To learn more about the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior!, view a sample of the lessons.

 

Jesus, What a Savior! Giveaway

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To celebrate the release of Jesus, What a Savior!, we are giving away a free Teacher’s Kit and 5 Students Workbooks! Be sure to enter our contest by the end of December!

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Please note: This is a continuation of the giveaway started on December 2. Don’t worry, if you entered this giveaway on our previous blog post, your entries are already included.

 

Being Good is Not Good Enough

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If you did not heard our exciting news last week, we have officially released the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior!

Jesus What a Savior! is a 40 week Sunday school curriculum designed to teacher Kindergartners about Redemption. In the curriculum, author Jill Nelson shares why she wrote the curriculum.

A few years ago, I asked a class of first grade children, “How does a person get saved from their sin?” Many eager hands went up. The responses of these eager children? “By obeying God,” “By being kind to people,” “By being real good.” Not one child made reference to Jesus’ death on the cross for sinners. It was not that these children did not know about the cross and its message, but it was not on the front burner of their hearts and minds. And so, the curriculum, Jesus, What a Savior! was born.

In Jesus, What a Savior!, children are presented with these main themes:

  • The incomparable greatness and worth of God, who is to be desired and treasured above all things (represented by a silver heart).
  • The desperate condition of sinners who have fallen short of treasuring the glory of God and are totally helpless to save themselves (represented by a darkened heart).
  • The all-sufficient work of Jesus on the cross to save sinners who put their trust in Him (represented by a red heart).

This is the glorious Gospel of Jesus! Salvation from sin cannot be found in any other person or place. Obeying God will not save us from our sin. Being kind will not save us from our sin. Being good will not save us from our sin.  Only Jesus is able to save us from our sins.

 

Now Available: Jesus, What a Savior! Revised

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Children Desiring God is excited to announce the release of the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior! This 40-week Sunday school curriculum is designed to teach Kindergartners redemptive history. We have been working hard to improve the ways in which our curriculum equips teachers, engages students and impacts families:

  • Updated lessons provide teachers with devotionals and prayer points, incorporate more teacher-student interaction, maintain a consistent length and are formatted in a cleaner format that is easier to teach from.
  • New and expanded application questions help small group leaders guide children to apply truths taught in the lesson to their hearts. Questions complement the Student Workbook which has been redesigned to be more interactive for children.
  • Original, full-color visuals capture the attention of young learners and help teach important truths of the lessons.
  • Optional Activities to help teachers with longer class times reinforce lesson themes and encourage Scripture memory in interactive ways.
  • Growing in Faith Together: Parent and Child Resource Pages prompt spiritual conversations and help parents fulfill the calling to shepherd their children.

Visit the following links to learn more about the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior!:

Learn more about available products and place your order!

View a sample of the curriculum and the curriculum Scope and Sequence.

Do you currently own a copy of Jesus, What a Savior!? Read about upgrade options or call customer service at 800.477.1414 to place your upgrade order.

 

Reaching the Heart + Friday Contest

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When children come to Sunday school, we hope they will learn many things about God. While facts are good and important for them to learn, head knowledge is not the ultimate goal of our curriculum. We want to help children move from head knowledge to heart knowledge. Children not only need to know the truth of God’s Word, but more importantly, they need to respond to and act on it.

Students Workbooks are the tool we have designed for this very purpose. Not only do workbooks help reinforce the main ideas presented in the lesson, using them in a small group setting will help engage children and enhance the application process.

In the revised Jesus, What a Savior! Student Workbook, kindergartners will enjoy hands-on activities such as Dot-to-dot, coloring, matching, mazes, tracing letters, and cutting and pasting. While children are completing the workbook pages, small group leaders engage them in discussion based on questions provided in the Teacher’s Guide.
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What is in the Box?

JWS Proofs

There is something special about receiving a package and experiencing the excitement of slicing through the tape or ripping the tab off in order to get the first glimpse of what is inside the box.

At Children Desiring God, hearing the UPS lady walk through the door to our offices always gets everyone’s attention. Undoubtedly, someone will ask her the big question, “What is it?” As she attempts to catch her breath after hauling our boxes up the steep stairs to the third floor, she will respond with something along the lines of: “How would I know? You are the ones who ordered it. All I can see is the box.”

The box—a dirty, travel-worn and sometimes damaged package.

In a way, our hearts are like the cardboard boxes that arrive dirty and travel-worn because we are all born with darkened, sinful hearts that fail to reflect God’s perfect righteousness. We are damaged, and there is nothing we can do in our own power to change that. But, God can! God in His mercy sent us a perfect “package” that is the only solution for our sin problem. The gift is Jesus, the Savior! Because of Jesus’ perfect righteousness and His death on the cross, He can make our sinful hearts new so that we might reflect God’s glory as we should. These are some of the truths kindergarteners are taught in our curriculum, Jesus, What a Savior!

So, back to the UPS delivery. Last Friday, when we received our deliveries, the exciting answer to “What is in the box?” was: proofs from the printer for the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior!

We are so excited to have this first set of proofs in hand after working diligently over the past two years to revise Jesus, What a Savior! What’s different about the revised version? While the truths being taught to kindergarteners will remain the same, we added many improvements:  lesson content, format, and illustrations have been updated making the lessons easier to teach; the visuals have been replaced with more colorful, original artwork; and the workbook is more interactive for the needs of young children.

We are now in the last stage of our publishing process and we are working hard to ensure that all of the details are in place so the curriculum will be ready for your classrooms.

We hope that you too will soon have the excitement of receiving a box in the mail, full of the revised Jesus, What a Savior! curriculum. Since you will have to wait a little longer before you can place an order, we want to give you a sneak peek inside the box. Have fun looking at a Sample of the revised curriculum, as well as the Scope & Sequence which will give you an overview of all the lessons. More information about the revision process is also available on our Revised Curriculum page.

Be on the lookout over the next few weeks for more information about Jesus, What a Savior! and for the official curriculum release date. Also, check back Friday to enter to win a special prize we are giving away in the Friday Contest.

The Struggle Toward Conversion

The Struggle

Does this story sound at all familiar?

A nine-year-old child, who has always shown an interest in spiritual things and a tenderness toward the Gospel, suddenly gives evidence of disinterest or even unbelief. He may even begin to voice antagonism toward prayer, Bible reading, going to church, etc. What’s happening? Should you ignore this as simply a “stage” he is going through?

In our resource, Helping Children to Understand the Gospel, Sally Michael explains the spiritual struggle that many children experience sometime during the ages of 7 to 12 years old, and she offers some wise counsel about how we can help and guide children through this struggle.

Remember that conversion does not always happen instantaneously but often involves a journey of questioning, evaluating, struggling, and learning to trust. Conversion is a process. The struggle is good—the ugliness of the human heart needs to be experienced and grieved over.

Often at this stage, our temptation as adults is to be impatient and jump to the resolution of the struggle—to “insure salvation for the child.” Hence, this is where our faith as sowers is really tested: do we trust God to bring the child through victoriously? Will we trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God? It is at this time of waiting that our sin nature tempts us to take things into our own hands and push the child to make a commitment that he may be unprepared to make. We fear the outcome of the child’s struggle and we want to secure the desired result. But we need to let go—to guide, encourage, point to Jesus by all means, but also to let go and let the child deal with God, and God with the child. We must not try to manipulate a response.
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