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Labor That is Not in Vain

Children Desiring God Blog // Labor that Is Not in Vain

Another Sunday school year is upon us. For those of us involved in children’s and youth ministry, we have another season filled with opportunities and responsibilities to teach the next generation the glorious deeds of the Lord. Yes, this is joyful ministry—at least it should be—but when done with the diligence it deserves, it is also hard work. Here is a great reminder from Jerry Bridges:

A farmer plows his field, sows the seed, and fertilizes and cultivates—all the while knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependent on forces outside of himself. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate, nor can he produce the rain and sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. For a successful harvest, he is dependent on these things from God.

Yet the farmer knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant, fertilize, and cultivate, he cannot expect a harvest at the end of the season. (more…)

Beyond Classroom Management: Training Hearts Toward the Savior, Part 2

Children Desiring God Blog // Beyond Classroom Management - Part 2

Discipline is helping children to grow, not controlling behavior. It is a long process that needs to be mostly positive in nature, but firm and loving. So relationship building is incredibly important.

Managing a classroom—keeping it under control, is something we can do the first time we ever walk into a group of children, and maintaining a well-run classroom achieves another goal—training our children in righteousness:

  • teaching them to walk in a manner worthy of being called Christians
  • having their behavior match their beliefs
  • exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit because their souls have been touched

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Beyond Classroom Management: Training Hearts Toward the Savior, Part 1

Children Desiring God Blog // Beyond Classroom Management - Part 1

Attentive, well-behaved children sound like a teacher’s dream. However, our goal is not simply well-behaved children, but children who joyfully submit to God.

It starts with an understanding of authority structure God has put in place, which brings about calm order and joyful submission. Jesus is the best example of one living under submission (Philippians 2:5-8; Luke 22:42; John 4:34). Resentment toward authority structures is actually rebellion toward God’s hierarchy in creation.

Freedom is not being able to do whatever you want; freedom is knowing and loving God and living joyfully under the authority structures that he has ordained.
Tedd Tripp from the Biblical Parenting Conference
September 19-20, 2008

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Hope and Help for Leading a Small Group

Children Desiring God Blog // Hope and Help for Leading a Small Group

In my opinion, being a small group leader entrusted with leading application after the Bible lesson is the most challenging role in the Sunday school classroom. So much depends on following the lead of the Holy Spirit as you try to discern the thoughts and attitudes of the students and then encourage their responses God-ward and heart-ward. And what a challenge that can be…with a group of seven wiggly first graders or a group of seven sports-obsessed fifth-grade boys! So maybe this year you have found yourself in this new role and are not sure what to do. Maybe you even feel frustrated and are ready to simply let the students have their way and be squirrel-y or talk sports. Don’t give up! There is hope and help.

Here is the hope: While it is challenging, being a small group leader can also be one of the most rewarding roles in the classroom.

Here is the help: You can grow in your ability to effectively lead a small group.

Here are a few pointers… (more…)

Why Students Workbooks?

Children Desiring God Blog // Why Student Workbooks

Student Workbooks are one of the most important tools for you to have in your classroom to teach and train the children in your church or school!

Children Desiring God encourages teachers to center their class on two main elements—teaching and application. To aid teachers and small group leaders with the application time, we have developed students workbooks to accompany each curriculum. Our purpose for workbooks is two-fold:

  1. Workbooks help students synthesize the information they learn during the lesson and cement that knowledge in their minds.
  2. Workbooks are a tool to enhance the application process. Students are encouraged to move from head knowledge to heart application—responding to the truths learned.

Workbook Features

Elementary workbooks include two pages for each lesson. There is a review of main ideas, memory verses and Scripture from the lesson as well as age appropriate coloring and application activities. Here are some of our favorite features and benefits of the student workbooks:

  • Children Desiring God Blog // Why Student WorkbooksWorkbooks—especially in our revised curricula—are integrated into the Small Group Application found at the end of each lesson. Students will need the workbooks in order to complete certain portions of the application section. These exercises reinforce important truths taught in the lesson, encourage Bible memory and help students consider how the concepts learned apply to their everyday life.
  • Workbooks for younger children provide them with opportunities for “hands-on” activity—coloring, pasting, stickers, etc. This helps students focus as the adult leader reviews key lesson themes and leads the discussion time.
  • Workbooks for older children provide the students with a variety of opportunities for note-taking during the lesson, small group and individual activities, personal application and further study.
  • Workbooks provide students and parents with a resource that summarizes the precept-upon-precept study, in its entirety. In other words, if a student misses lessons during the year, he or she will still have a complete outline of the study from beginning to end.
  • Workbooks provide the students with a tangible, interactive resource through which the truths presented in the lesson can be reviewed and remembered.
  • Workbooks in our revised curricula feature beautiful, full-color covers with a quick reference guide on the back to remind students what they are learning and help them review truths about God.

 

 

To view other workbook samples, download the Curriculum Samples or take a look at the Workbook Reference Copy in your Classroom Kit.

Workbook Formats

To equip you best, we have made student workbooks available in two formats—printed book or electronic download.

Print Workbooks

Our original format is the traditional printed workbook. Each workbook is printed on sturdy, high-quality paper and spiral bound. They are designed to withstand scribbling markers, glitter glue, lots of writing and children’s fingers turning pages over and over through the year. Just write student names on the front and they are ready to go.

We encourage teachers to keep the workbooks in the classroom during the year for children to work on week after week. At the end of the year, the completed books can be sent home with children as a tool for them to review what was learned with their parents.

Electronic Workbooks

The electronic version is a PDF file that you can license, download and print. Each workbook license is valid for one child for one year. This is a great option if you have the ability to print in your church office or if you are a ministry partner outside the United States who wants to save on shipping costs.

We encourage teachers using electronic workbooks to have students keep their pages in a three-ring binder or folder in class through the year so they have a full book at the end of the curriculum. If storage space is not available in the classroom, you can partner with parents and have them keep a binder at home for the weekly workbook pages.

Visitors

You are welcome to make a copy of a workbook page for one-time or occasional visitors. If your visitor becomes a regular attendee, don’t forget to give them their own book or purchase an electronic license for them.

 


 

To learn more about Student Workbooks, visit the curriculum pages and take a look at the curriculum samples. Feel free to contact us at 877.400.1414 or info@childrendesiringgod.org if you have questions about how to best use workbooks in your class, what format is best for you or how to order.

 

The Lord’s Supper and Children

Children Desiring God Blog // The Lord's Supper and Children

Sooner or later, a child who is regularly sitting through a Sunday morning worship service is bound to ask something like, “Why can’t I have a ‘snack’ like everyone else?” So it is not surprising that the second most-frequent question I am asked in children’s ministry is, “When should my child take the Lord’s Supper?”

A General Response 

When people inquire about children taking the Lord’s Supper, I have two perspectives to share with them. The first is that our communion services are open to all present, including children, who are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and the fulfillment of all His promises to us (including eternal life); and therefore, children are welcome to participate in the Lord’s Supper: (more…)

Encouraging Children in Prayer

Children Desiring God Blog // Encouraging Children in Prayer

What kind of pray-ers will our children be? That is a great question to think about. If we want them to be serious about prayer, they must not only be taught but also shown how prayer is to be woven throughout everyday life. Here are some practical tips from Sally Michael to encourage your children in prayer.

  • Gather your children when you hear of a prayer need and ask them to pray with you.
    • EXAMPLE: When a problem comes to your attention, pray about it… “Susie, let’s pray for the people who were in the earthquake.” ™
  • Take advantage of unexpected moments for prayer—spur of the moment prayers.
    • EXAMPLE: When you see an ambulance, pray for the person who has the medical problem.
  • Ask your child to pray for you. Give him specific things he can pray for.
    • EXAMPLE: “I’m having a hard time with a project I am working on for my job. Would you pray for me?” ™
  • Give your child a list of topics to pray for. (more…)

Are We Hindering Children from Coming to Jesus?

Children Desiring God Blog // Are We Hindering Children from Coming To Jesus

In his message “Let the Children Come to Me,” Pastor John Piper examined Luke 18:15-17 and made the following statement,

Disciples of Jesus should remove all hindrances that keep children from coming to Jesus.

He then went on to spell out some hindrances that we should try to remove in ministering to children. Here are excerpts from four of these:

1. Pride …If you are receiving the kingdom yourself like a little child, then you will not do anything to hinder little children from coming to Jesus. But if you are trying to enter the kingdom some other way than by receiving it like a child, then you will probably be a hindrance to children. If you are not childlike toward God, children will probably be beneath you and not worth your time.

So there is a very close connection between your own humility and your ability to lead children to Jesus. The great hindrance to effective ministry to children is pride, and the great gift for ministry to children is humility.
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Inspiring Youth to Be Fruitful

Children Desiring God Blog // Inspiring Youth to Be Fruitful

Parents and Teachers

Here are some great quotes to read and discuss with the young adults in your life:

Be careful young people that you don’t postpone the burden and blessing of fruitfulness in your life because you use the excuse, “I am only a youth.” God said to Jeremiah, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go.” There are some younger than you that you can lead, and there are some older than you that you can serve. But do not say, “I am only a youth,” as though the only thing you are good for is watching videos and playing games, as though there in no ministry for you to do.

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The Most Important Questions

Children Desiring God Blog // The Most Important Questions

At Children Desiring God, we talk a lot about the necessity of teaching our children and youth the whole counsel of God. One measure of how well we have succeeded in doing this is to see whether or not they can answer these crucial questions, with increasing biblical depth, as they age and mature:

  • What’s in the Bible?
  • How should we read and understand the Bible?
  • Who is the Bible about?
  • What’s the main message of the Bible? (more…)
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