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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…)

Midyear Refreshment for Ministry Volunteers

In the month of January, the days are short and the nights are long and cold (for some of us). The busy holiday season is over, and many of us feel tired and worn down. Sometimes this attitude carries over into the classroom. The eagerness and energy of the school year’s beginning has diminished. What’s a teacher to do to fight against the midyear doldrums? (more…)

The Fruit of Vision-Oriented Children’s Ministry

Having a long-term, God-centered, Gospel-focused vision is crucial for discipling children and youth. The fruit of leading and teaching with this vision is illustrated well at North Wake Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Stephanie Jackson, children’s ministry director at North Wake, shares how vision has shaped the past decade and a half of ministry to children there: (more…)

The Enduring Power of Christmas + Free Lesson/Devotional

There is wonderful variety displayed in the Christmas celebrations of our churches and families. Some are shaped by years of special traditions. Some are unique to our cultural backgrounds. (more…)

The Life-Transforming Gift of Bible Memory

No one wants to give boring presents for Christmas, especially not to children. But there is a gift that is often overlooked in its ability to captivate our minds and hearts. It is a one-of-a-kind gift that is beyond exciting because it is…

…sweeter than honey; more valuable than gold; a lamp and a guide; a hiding place and shield; a sword and strong defense; always right, true, and trustworthy; powerful; life-giving; hope-producing; more satisfying than food; unchanging; eternal; and more.

No other gift can compare to God’s Word! As we quickly approach Christmas and the coming new year, we have a wonderful opportunity to inspire families and the wider church body to pursue an intentional plan for reading and memorizing God’s Word together. (more…)

Cultivating Contentment at Christmas

In a child’s mind, the thought of Christmas often conjures up the anticipation of gifts—lots and lots of gifts. “Can I get ____ for Christmas? Which presents are mine under the tree? When can I open them?” While there should be a sense of excitement, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to give gifts to our children, it can often serve as a great challenge to the heart. (more…)

Teaching Rich Truths Through Christmas Carols

Recently, I listened as children from our church practiced singing for their Christmas program. I was delighted as the director carefully explained, stanza by stanza, the meaning of the words of a familiar Christmas carol. As a young child, I remember memorizing this carol with ease, but I had no clue what many of the words meant. Unfortunately, that was true for most of the Christmas carols I sang. (more…)

Great Books at Christmas Time: The Prince’s Poison Cup + Book Offer!

Are you looking for something to occupy your children through the long, cold winter days? Wondering how to keep them busy during the coming school break? Have you considered how you can make Christmas more spiritually significant? One answer to all these questions is to give the gift of great books! One such book is The Prince’s Poison Cup by R. C. Sproul. (more…)

Raising Thankful Children

Imagine giving your children a beautifully wrapped package. They eagerly tear off the wrapping to find the treasures inside. What do they find? Simple cards with these words: A breath, A heartbeat, Air, Sunshine, Rain, A glass of water, A piece of bread…What might their reaction be? Would a smile come to their faces? Confusion? Disappointment? Complaints? Yet each of the cards should be a humble and joyful reminder of the daily, and even moment-by-moment, generous and gracious provision of God. (more…)

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