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… Continue Reading…

Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Children Desiring God Blog // Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

One of the most difficult jobs in children’s and youth ministry is recruiting a full staff of volunteers who are not only joyfully motivated, but also adequately trained and equipped. Along with that is the challenge of retaining these volunteers from year-to-year, if at all possible, so that there is a stable, spiritually mature core in your ministry team. How does a ministry leader do this?  Continue Reading…

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: Continue Reading…

Navigating the Changes in the Nursery Curriculum

Children Desiring God Blog // Navigating the Changes in the Nursery Curriculum

There are some wonderful updates in the newly revised A Sure Foundation nursery curriculum, but some of our customers have had questions about what to order from among the various resources offered. See this blog post for specific information on how we have refreshed and expanded our nursery curriculum.

Some of our customers have asked what they should order to add to their current resources. Many appreciate the new format (with thumbnails of visuals and actions clearly marked in each lesson) and choose to replace their original leader’s editions with the updated Teacher’s Guides. Others decide to continue using the original leader’s editions and just want to add the new material. We have created a “Nursery Coordinator’s Volume 2 Supplement” to make this an easier option. The Nursery Coordinator’s Volume 2 Supplement contains:

  • 1 Older Toddler Volume 2 Teacher’s Guide (with the 16 additional lessons)
  • 1 Nursery Coordinator’s Brochure
  • 1 updated Curriculum Resources DVD, including the following PDFs:
    • Coloring Pages
    • Growing in Faith Together: Parent and Child Resource Pages
    • The Resource Packet
    • Truth Statement Posters
    • Story Pictures (for Young Toddler, and both Older Toddler Volumes 1 and 2)
    • The curriculum logo
    • A training video
    • Other teaching materials

The new 16 lessons in the Older Toddler Volume 2 can be used in a variety of ways. It was designed for toddlers 36 months and older who have not yet graduated to a preschool class. If you do not have a separate older toddler classroom, or do not need additional lessons for your Sunday nurseries, Volume 2 can be used for older toddlers as a midweek curriculum, for childcare during a women’s Bible study or small group time, or during VBS.

Another new item is the “Starter Kit” for those just beginning to use our nursery curriculum. This is a great option for those who want to use each of the refreshed Teacher’s Guides and the new visuals on the Resources DVD, and for those who prefer curriculum using the English Standard Version (ESV) translation of the Bible.

As always, if you need help deciding what to order, please contact our customer service team at 1.877.400.1414 or info@childrendesiringGod.org. Also, you should know that some past purchases may qualify for discounts, so please ask us about these options.

 

 

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. Continue Reading…

Will Our Children Know and Treasure the Great Hymns of Faith?

Children Desiring God Blog // Will Our Children Know and Treasure the Great Hymns of Faith?

It is amazing to me how many times—especially in life’s most difficult situations—the words of great hymns come to mind to guide my thoughts and emotions.

…though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet…Jesus who died shall be satisfied, And earth and heaven be one.—This is My Father’s World

 …The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him—His rage we can endure, For lo his doom is sure: One little word shall fell him.—A Mighty Fortress

 …Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love: Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.—Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing Continue Reading…

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.
Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

Unchanged…or Changed?

Children Desiring God Blog // Unchanged or Changed?

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.—James 1:22-25

How easy it is for us to read the Bible, close the pages of this life-changing book…and walk away unchanged. Our response to God’s Word is much like a man who looks at himself in the mirror and forgets what he looks like.

When a man forgets his reflection in the mirror, is it because there something wrong with the image reflected in the mirror? Is the mirror faulty? No, and neither is God’s Word faulty, though we walk away unchanged. The problem is with us. We read but we do not apply; we do not consider what God’s words mean for our everyday lives.
Continue Reading…

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