So what's the missing word here?
dad and mom?
their financial stability?
their scholastic achievement?
A few years ago, we took some time to evaluate the scope and sequence of our curriculum in light of the "big picture." In other words, we wanted to see if we were including the "whole counsel of God" in our teaching. We made some interesting and helpful discoveries along the way. But our first challenge was understanding what Paul meant in Acts 20:27 where he states:
for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
In his excellent book Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting, William Farley offers these thoughtful and challenging insights that every parent and teacher should consider:
I have heard many fathers say, "I teach, but my teaching is informal. I teach when we are fishing. I teach when we are in the car or at the ball game." Bible teaching should be informal, but we shouldn't use this as an excuse to ignore formal teaching. Some fear formal, structured teaching. If I make my children sit down to rigid, formal instruction, they will reject the faith.
A must read for every parent and teacher is Tedd and Margy Tripp's book, Instructing a Child's Heart. I wish that my husband and I had had this book in our "tool-belt" when our children were young. But even now as I teach in Sunday school, this book has been a valuable resource in shaping how I teach - especially in understanding the importance of looking for opportunities to apply biblical truth to everyday life.
Children need instruction to apply Scripture to issues of authority, ob
Back during Holy Week, we highlighted the message of the Cross and the glorious Gospel of Jesus . We also noted CDG’s resource Helping Children to Understand the Gospel. In this booklet, we outline 10 essential Gospel truths we believe children should be taught. But it’s also crucial to recognize a child's spiritual readiness to actually embrace true, saving faith. Is there any way that we as parents and teachers can discern whether or not our children are genuinely understanding and embracing the Gospel, and not merely acknowledging the facts? In his excellent book The Faith of a Child: A Step-by-Step Guide to Salvation for Your Child, Art Murphy says the following:
Most of us are familiar with these words from Psalm 111:10 and know that the missing word is "fear." But what comes to mind when we read "The fear of the LORD"? Or think about Psalm 96:9 where the psalmist says "Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!" (ESV)
Fear the Lord and tremble before Him. Are we teaching our children and youth these truths? Are we rightly defining what these truths mean and why they are important?
In his book, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, Paul David Tripp challenges us to look at the teen years in a new way,
Last fall I needed two maroon buttons for a jumper I was sewing for my 5-year-old granddaughter, Anna. I went with her and her mother to the one fabric store in St. John’s, Newfoundland to look for these buttons, only to find it had already closed for the day. Later, as I was waiting in the car with Anna while her mother ran another errand, Anna asked me, “Grandma, was it a good thing that the fabric store was closed?”
“No, Anna. It wasn’t a good thing. Now we have to come back tomorrow to get the buttons for your jumper.” (Bad answer.)
Evidently she stopped to consider that, because a minute or two later, Anna commented, “Grandma, I kind of think that it was a good thing that the store was closed…because God made the store be closed…and everything God does is good and right.” (Good answer.)
Teachers change the way you see the world, and they often change the way we understand ourselves (The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters, 2012, page 67).
If this was the only sentence in Albert Mohler’s excellent book, it would have been well worth the price of the book. Even though this may not seem to you like an earth-shaking insight, it gripped me when I read it. Let me explain.
I am reading Mohler’s book during a very significant and heart-wrenching year of “lasts.” I just attended my last staff meeting with John Piper as my 27-year pastoral colleague. I just heard my last sermon from him as my 33-year pastor. He has been a true comrade in ministry. The sound of his absence is deafening.
Are you ready for this coming Sunday? Is your lesson prepared? Have you chosen the worship songs? Is the Bible memory activity ready to go? Do you have that substitute small group leader lined up? But more importantly, have you prayed? Are you praying?
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
(John 15:4-5 ESV)