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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…)

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.

 

 

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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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…)

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?  (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.

 

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…)
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