Monthly Archives: August 2013

  1. Fall Gear Up: Prayer—What if...

    In his booklet Utter Dependency on God, Through PrayerPastor Bud Burk beckons us to consider some "what if" questions regarding prayer in our classrooms. Here are a few of his "what if..." What if the prayer environment in our classrooms (like Sunday school) was real and growing to the degree that parents began to ask a second question next to the first after each class time, the first being “what did you learn today”? What if they began asking questions like, “were you with God today—did you spend time with Jesus—what did the Spirit say to you while in prayer and in the Word”? What if children knew that we expected God to be present in our classroom, because our expectation shaped how we prayed while among them? What if the ministry to the next generation God has placed you in was known for its obvious God-glorifying

    • Word ministry: We teach children the Bible.
    • Prayer ministry: We help children listen to and pray to the God of the Bible in Jesus’ name.
    • What if your ministry could be summarized by Psalm 119:2, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,”?
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  2. Take Heart, Trouble’s Coming

    The title of this post is my effort to offer a word of encouragement and hope for those who are getting ready to launch another season of ministry with children and youth. The rest of this post is for those who having difficulty finding encouragement and hope in the title. I am taking my cues from the Lord Jesus, whose final words for his disciples span chapters 14-16 in gospel of John. One clear message of this discourse is that trouble is coming.

    I am going away,” (14:28) “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming.” (14:30) Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (15:13) "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (15:18) “I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (15:19) “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (15:20) They will put you out of the synagogues…” (16:2) “…the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” (16:2) "A little while, and you will see me no longer…” (16:16) “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament,...You will be sorrowful,…” (16:20) “….you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone.” (16:32)

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  3. Using Truth78 Curriculum for Home-School

    As parents, we have the incredible privilege and responsibility of instructing our children’s minds, engaging their hearts, and nurturing their faith. Using Truth78 materials at home can be an effective tool in teaching and applying the most important truths that our children need to know and embrace—the truths communicated in the Bible. Although our materials are designed for use in the church, we believe there are many advantages of presenting this material in your home:

    • Children have more time to listen, absorb, and interact with what they’ve been taught.
    • Parents are best suited to make the most meaningful application of these biblical truths when, as a family, they “walk by the way” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
    • The whole family can learn together, providing opportunities for children and parents to encourage and minister to one another.
    • Fathers and mothers can work together in their God-given roles as they train
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  4. What is a Team Leader? (Part 2)

    Fall Gear Up

    This is the fourth in a series of posts to help you prepare your staff, volunteers, classroom, and parents for fall Sunday School. Jan Golias has served as Team Leader in a Sunday School classroom for over 15 years. We asked her a few questions about the role of Team Leader and her experience in the classroom.

    Q: What challenges do you face while serving as team leader?

    Team Leader

    A: It is really important for the church to partner with parents, ... More

  5. Setting Your Goals Beyond "Something"

    Ministry leaders and parents: Here is a word from David Michael reminding us about the importance of being "vision-" oriented rather than activity-oriented. See the full seminar here. ... More

  6. Fall Gear Up: Let's Pray!

    Fall Gear Up

    This is the third in a series of posts to help you prepare your staff, volunteers, classroom, and parents for fall Sunday School.

    At our 2013 Conference we were amazed at the number of comments we received regarding one seminar in particular: Bud Burk's teaching on Utter Dependency on God, Through Prayer. Listen to what people had to say:
    God stirred my own heart in so many ways. One great challenge was PRAYER—Bud
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  7. Fall Gear Up: What is a Team Leader? (Part 1)

    Fall Gear Up

    This is the second in a series of posts to help you prepare your staff, volunteers, classroom, and parents for fall Sunday School. Jan Golias has served as Team Leader in a Sunday School classroom for over 15 years. We asked her a few questions about the role of Team Leader and her experience in the classroom.

    Q: Jan, how would you describe your role as a Team Leader?

    A: As a team leader in a first grade Sunday school class, I focus on showing Christ’s love to my team. (My team consists of two teachers (co-teaching the lessons), one worship leader, seven small group leaders, and two helpers, all of whom work together to serve a class of ... More

  8. Have You Considered Intergenerational Studies?

    The term “intergenerational” conjures up all kinds of meanings—and all kinds of misunderstandings.  First of all, intergenerational does not mean “dumbing down material so that children can understand it but the adults are bored.” But it also does not mean “teaching a normal adult class with the hope that the children present may gain a tidbit.” Rather, intergenerational teaching consciously takes into account that there are learners of different ages and experiences present in the classroom and seeks to teach the hearts of all. This is beneficial to adults and children alike, because the situation provides opportunities for both generations to understand the material differently and benefit from a different perspective.  The young learn from the old, and the old learn from the young. ... More

  9. A Question for Every Parent: Is My Child a Christian?

    Child This question is the title of a great article by Brian Croft posted at The Gospel Coalition’s website. Here are some important highlights from the article:

    As parents, we all wrestle with how to answer this question, and I've found there are usually two extremes that need to be avoided. The first is made worse by a lack of discernment shown in many churches when they routinely extend altar calls to 4- or 5-year-olds, ask them to raise their hands if they love Jesus, and then baptize them as converted followers of Christ. The second is often a reaction against the carelessness of the first. This extreme prevents both parents and also pastors from being willing to affirm a child's conversion until they are adults, independent of their parent's authority and care. While reluctance on both counts is somewhat warranted, I believe a middle ground must be approached in order to discern clear biblical evidence that a child, teenager, or young adult has become a new creature in Christ.
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  10. Parents and Teachers: Good Curriculum is Not Enough

    As much as we care about good, God-centered, Christ-exalting curriculum at Children Desiring God, the curriculum itself is only a tool. The heart of the one using the tool is of utmost importance, too. Here are some wise words from Tedd and Margy Tripp:

    Our homes are the laboratory of life for our children. They will believe that Christian faith is the genuine article if we know God—not just know about God. As children grow to young adulthood in our churches, they are searching for a faith that has warmth and vitality of close relationship with the living God, and the sure footing of sound doctrine that will stand the storms of life. Relationship with God is the passionate assurance that the Sovereign God of the Bible can be known by his people in all the experiences of life. Our relationship with God will beckon our children to draw near to him as their source of comfort and rest. (Instructing a Child's Heart, copyright 2008, page 29)
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