With great admiration and sometimes great sympathy, I have watched families with young children participate together in the corporate worship service. Many parents and churches already know the incomparable value of having children present during the service. But there are parents who need some extra encouragement and practical help—especially those with younger children. Or maybe your church has not encouraged the presence of children and you want to revaluate that decision? In either case, here is both inspiration and practical help.
In the month of January, the days are short, and the nights are long and cold (for some of us). The busy holiday season is over, and many of us feel tired and worn down. Additionally, another wave of COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses are affecting many homes and churches. Hence, the eagerness and energy of the school year’s beginning have diminished. What can parents, children’s ministry leaders, and volunteers do to fight the midyear doldrums and discouragements?
When churches memorize Bible verses together, they take great strides toward glorifying God. Twenty-five years ago, on January 5, 1997, John Piper invited his congregation at Bethlehem Baptist Church to join him for church-wide Scripture memory with the Fighter Verses. He said then that a believer’s purpose is to glorify God and to not sin against Him. The way we do that is by treasuring His Word in our hearts:
A new year is upon us and—no surprise—our world is in upheaval. No matter how much we as parents and a church community try to absorb or deflect the societal conflicts on behalf of our children, there is no way to completely shield them from the realities in which we now live. Nor, should merely shielding our children be our top priority. Rather, let us strive to equip our children. We must equip them to live in a fallen world with a strong and sure hope and defense: the Gospel of Jesus.
How can parents, teachers, and the church work toward this end in the coming year? Here are a few New Year resolutions to consider:
What needs are you facing as 2021 comes to a close and you look ahead to the new year? Have your needs shown you how dependent you are on God? In the latest podcast, David Michael and Dan Claassen talk about our utter dependence on God and how that should motivate us to pray big, bold, biblical prayers.
All of us at Truth78 are laboring together in this glorious season, and in every season of the year, for the comprehensive discipleship and ultimate joy of the next generation. We pray that the Lord would bless and satisfy you with all that is ours in Christ Jesus, who came into the world to save sinners. That is the best news ever, and the knowledge of that truth is the best gift that we can give to the next generation.
Are you looking for an easy but meaningful way to help the children in your life better focus on Jesus this Christmas? Do you long for them to grow in their understanding of the events surrounding His birth? Is it your desire that faith in Christ would be fostered and strengthened? Do you want them to be inspired to truly worship the Savior, Christ the Lord?
How often do we read the Word, set it aside, and go about our day without thinking how what we just read applies to life? It’s easy to run the words through our minds, but so much harder to have them sink into our hearts. We can read the Bible and walk away unchanged.
Since traditions can span generations, it is worth the effort to invent and plan them with purpose, content, and clarity. Traditions create memories. So, it is wise to consider what memory we are creating, and if it is a memory we want to reinforce every year.