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Making Room for the Cross Between Palm Sunday and Easter

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Both lend themselves to all sorts of exciting possibilities for the Sunday school classroom — special colorful crafts and activities, joyful and boisterous songs, and an enthusiastic presentation of the biblical narratives. Children love it and churches often go to great lengths to highlight these celebrations in the classroom.

But what about the biblical narrative of the cross? Where does it fit in between these back-to-back Sunday celebrations? (more…)

Guiding Children to Serve and Glorify God In the “Ordinary”

I grew up with a very narrow view of what it means to serve God. Life was separated into two main spheres—the spiritual and the secular. Service to God was therefore limited to using ones gifts and abilities within the church or a specific type of Christian ministry—the “spiritual realm.” Then, as I entered adulthood, there was an additional thrust, namely, that to be a faithful Christian one must do great things for God and go out and change the world for Christ. Sounds like a wonderful challenge to pass on to our children and students, doesn’t it?

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Are There Dangers to the Gospel in Our Classrooms?


This may seem like a sensationalized question, but I would ask you to read on before simply dismissing the question out-of-hand. This came to mind after reading the 9Marks answer to the question: “What are the most dangerous threats to the gospel today?” What is interesting about the answers is how there is often a subtle version of these dangers lurking in children’s Sunday school classrooms—even in many solid, Gospel-exalting churches. (more…)

Planting Seeds of Righteousness

simile: n. a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another
in one respect by the use of “like,” “as,” etc.

The Bible uses similes frequently. They paint pictures for our eyes so our minds can grasp biblical truth. They borrow our familiarity with the ordinary to help us understand the profound. (more…)

An Illustration of God’s Defining Love

God is love. Maybe more than any other statement this has been used to identify God’s basic essence. But if we consider God’s love apart from the totality of God’s nature, our understanding of God will be dangerously skewed. So what does God mean when He says that He is love? Pastor John Piper offers a helpful definition: (more…)

Ministering in Light of the Throne Room

This week, I have a challenge for us, as we minister to children and youth in our classrooms, or as we parent or grandparent. Let’s look at the young faces in our care and imagine them in the midst of this scene in the future:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
—Revelation 20:12-13 (more…)

What’s Absolutely Astonishing in Your Classroom?

Children’s and youth ministry can be characterized by many different kinds of activities and programs. It’s often tempting to focus much of our weekly planning on things like being sufficiently staffed, offering fun activities, and providing child-friendly worship music, a Bible lesson, and a snack. All of these things are good—in right measure. (more…)

10 Tips for Answering Hard Questions in the Classroom


One of the great joys of teaching or leading a small group is when children ask amazing questions. Many prove easy to answer, but some are very difficult. (more…)

Helping Children to Interact Redemptively with the Culture

Our children and youth are going to interact and engage in the world in which they livea world increasingly hostile to anything remotely “Christian.” So, the question becomes: How will they interact? (more…)

Using Fighter Verses to Instruct Children

Fighter Verses™ are a wonderful means to share the Word of God with our children. Breakfast or supper, riding in the car, or any time the family is together is a good time for instructional conversation about the Fighter Verses. Here are a few tips to remember as you share God’s Word with your children. (more…)

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