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Enjoying the Many Benefits of Family Devotions


Parents, what comes to mind when you think about “family devotions”? Does it include regular times set apart for your family to read Scripture? Prayer? Worship in song? Formal Bible instruction with age-appropriate resources? Yes, all these things may characterize family devotions. And all serve to benefit our children as we instruct them in what is most important.

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Guiding Children to Serve and Glorify God In the “Ordinary”

I grew up with a very narrow view of what it means to serve God. Life was separated into two main spheres—the spiritual and the secular. Service to God was therefore limited to using ones gifts and abilities within the church or a specific type of Christian ministry—the “spiritual realm.” Then, as I entered adulthood, there was an additional thrust, namely, that to be a faithful Christian one must do great things for God and go out and change the world for Christ. Sounds like a wonderful challenge to pass on to our children and students, doesn’t it?

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The Paramount Focus of Parenting

We often ask children what they want to be when they grow up. What are they aspiring to? What do they want to achieve? As parents, we also have desired outcomes for their lives—what we want them to be—and devote various resources and time toward achieving those outcomes. Think of the many hours we set aside for our children’s academic, sports, musical achievements, etc. However, we must never lose sight of what is most important for their lives—what they NEED to be more than anything else—and prioritize this above all other endeavors. (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…)

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…)

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…)

Prioritize Family Discipleship in the Year Ahead


Dads, as 2019 is kicking off, how’s your schedule looking? As various work commitments, travel plans, and children’s activities fill up slots, have you been able to protect time for what’s most important? (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…)

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