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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…)

Your Family’s Mobile Classroom

I learned a big chunk of life while riding along in vehicles with my parents. Our blue and brown Pinto station wagon was a mobile classroom of sorts for me and my brothers as our parents drove along the country roads surrounding our hometown in Washington, NC, including the 10 mile stretch into town and the 20 mile trek to church. Whether it was our full-spirited family conversations or the many times that my brothers and I would just listen in on our parents talking, we were a captive audience to observations about life, work, challenges, relationships, and faith. (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…)

Welcoming Children with Special Needs

Imagine a new child coming to your fourth-grade Sunday school class. He has a motorized wheelchair. He cannot speak intelligible words. His eyes, when open, seem to wander aimlessly. But, every once and a while, he seems to focus on a face or a sound. He smiles. Sometimes he lets out an excited “Ha, ha!”

Are you and the children of your class ready to warmly welcome him? Are you prepared to include him, as much as possible, in various classroom activities? Do you see this child as a blessing from the Lord? Do you delight in the opportunity to serve him? Do you look forward to how this child can help you and your class become more like Christ? (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…)

Shepherding Your Spouse and Children

How can dads grow in their role as the shepherd of their family? David Michael offers vision for this role and tools to equip dads in a new podcast interview with Chap Bettis, author of The Disciple-Making Parent and founder of The Apollos Project.

Listen to the podcast.

 

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…)

Be Encouraged: God’s Eye Is Upon His Own Work

One of the most discouraging things for a teacher or small group leader during a lesson is the perception that your students are not personally engaged with what is being taught. Here you are, teaching the most important truths in the universe with heartfelt passion, and some children seem completely disinterested, entirely inattentive, and utterly bored. Furthermore, your creative efforts to gain their attention and involve them in the lesson fail. At times like this, it’s tempting to ask: “Are they even listening? Is any of this truth reaching their minds and sinking into their hearts?” What’s a teacher or small group leader to do? (more…)

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