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The Focus of Your Classroom

Children Desiring God Blog // The Focus of Your Classroom

There are a variety of wonderfully exciting and visually appealing resources designed for the Sunday school classroom these days—high-tech digital media being just one example. There is no denying that these types of teaching tools have a special draw for children. But we must be extremely careful. As more than one pastor has cautioned the church: “What you win them with, is what you win them to.”

Recently we received an encouraging note from a teacher, Yvonne, who is using the Jesus, What a Savior curriculum in her classroom. Here is what she said: (more…)

What Will the Next Generations Stand Upon?

Children Desiring God Blog // What Will the Next Generations Stand Upon?

Imagine your children 20 years from now. What do you want them to “stand upon” and have full confidence in? What will provide the only unshakable bedrock for them in the midst of the world’s changing norms and values? What will they hold fast to as they are bombarded with more and more information in our digital age? How will they be able to discern truth from error in a world of competing ideas and beliefs?

In the past few weeks, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation has been highlighted and celebrated. We would do well to pass on to our children and students the importance of this historic event. The very essence of the Gospel was at stake as Luther and the other reformers reaffirmed the eternal truths of Scripture. One of these truths was the importance of the authority of Scripture alone. For Luther, it was truly a matter of life or death. Here is an excerpt from an article titled, “Here We Stand” by Albert Mohler:

Martin Luther’s great moment of theological clarification came at the climax of a command performance. Facing the threat of martyrdom and execution, Luther appeared on trial at the Diet of Worms before the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Asked on what authority he dared to defy the Pope and the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, Luther famously replied: (more…)

Our Children have a Worldview—What will it be?

Children Desiring God Blog // Our Children Have a Worldview - What Will it Be?

We live in an increasingly postmodern world in which truth is no longer valued to the degree it once was. More often than not, people understand “truth” to be relative and self-defined, meaning that each person defines truth in a way that seems best to him or her. Furthermore, the acceptance of “absolute truth” has become a thing of the past—an old notion that is considered to be the source of intolerance and arrogance. Every day we are bombarded by a secular worldview, which is militant to absolute truth. Standing against this tide of postmodernism is the Truth of God—objective, absolute, universal, unchanging, and made knowable through God’s Word, the Bible. And that truth is not only necessary for salvation; it is also relevant for every aspect of life.

In her book Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey recalls the following quote from the late Francis Schaeffer:

Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital “T.” Truth about total reality, not just about religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality—the intellectual holding of total Truth and then living in the light of that Truth.

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What About Halloween?

Children Desiring God Blog // What About Halloween?

Halloween is fast upon us. In the United States, the celebration of Halloween now rivals Christmas in the amount of money spent per household. As a child, I was one of the many excited, costumed children who went through the neighborhood collecting a sack full of candy…I’m not so sure my parents were so excited to have their four kids return home with a year’s worth of sugar! But when I became a parent, my husband and I made a major shift in how we view Halloween. We started asking questions like: “How should we view Halloween from a biblical perspective? Are there any practices we should refrain from? Are there ways in which our participation could be a light in a dark world?

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Spiritual Parenting

Children Desiring God Blog // Spiritual Parenting - Pursuing the Greater Joy

One of my favorite sermons by Pastor David Michael is titled, “Spiritual Parenting: Pursuing the Greater Joy.” I whole-heartedly believe that it will be a blessing and encouragement to every Christian parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, mentor, teacher, small group leader, children’s and youth minister—every believer.

 

 

God’s Holiness in the Classroom

Children Desiring God Blog // God's Holiness in the Classroom

What might happen in our classrooms if we took these words by David Wells to heart:

Until we recognize afresh the centrality of God’s holiness, until it once again enters into the innermost fibers of evangelical faith, our virtue will lack seriousness, our belief will lack poignancy, our practice will lack moral pungency, our worship will lack joyful seriousness, our preaching [and teaching] will lack the mordancy of grace, and the church will be just one more special interest pleading for hearing in a world of competing enterprises.

 (God In the Wasteland,
© 1994, page 145)

The centrality of God’s holiness…Does it enter into the innermost fibers of our classrooms? If so, how? First of all, we need to define God’s holiness. Here is a helpful summary:

…the word signifies everything about God that sets Him apart from us and makes Him an object of awe, adoration, and dread to us. It covers all aspects of His transcendent greatness and moral perfection, and is characteristic of all His attributes, pointing to the “God-ness” of God at every point. The core of this truth, however, is God’s purity that cannot tolerate any form of sin (Hab. 1:13), and calls sinners to constant self-abasement in His presence (Is. 6:5).

(from The Reformation Study Bible,
Ligonier Ministries © 2005, page 168) 

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Helping Children See the Glory of God

Children Desiring God Blog // Helping Children See the Glory of God

Ponder the words of the psalmist for a minute,

One generation shall commend your works to another,
        and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
        and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
        and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
        and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Psalm 145:4-7 ESV

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Giving Children a Great Vision of God and His Word

 

Children Desiring God Blog // Giving Children a Vision of God and His Word

For some, an initial review of our curriculum and resources might evoke the following:

Why use curricula that is so doctrinally weighty for children?

Why such serious and challenging Bible teaching for young minds and hearts?

 Here are two short videos from Ligonier Ministries that succinctly clarify what is at stake:

Do You Have an Inadequate Understanding of God?” by John MacArthur

Don’t Ever Be Cavalier About the Truth of God” by R.C. Sproul

That is why Children Desiring God is committed to developing resources that present our children and students with a great vision and understanding of God, and a serious study of His Word.

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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…)

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…)

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