Often, when a family is looking for a new church they will inquire, "What kind of programs do you have for children at your church?" Wouldn't it be great if you could respond something like...
A Vision for God-Centered Worship in the Next Generation from Children Desiring God on Vimeo.
Learn more about using a vision orientation to plan "something" for children.
As we state in the introduction to our curricula, the Small Group Application Time at the end of each lesson is designed to help students see how God might have them respond to the truth they have heard. To aid in this process we provide several possible "spring-boards" for small group leaders to use to encourage heart response and application. Here is a helpful list from Sally Michael of many other possible applications to consider as you prepare to lead a small group.
Do the truths presented call me to respond with a...?
What do you specifically pray for before you teach your students? Here are two beautiful examples from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:
Oh God, please help me to believe what I teach! Grip me with it and humble me with it, and help me exalt in it until I am lost in wonder, love, and praise. For Jesus’ sake!
Oh God, please help me give these young people a sense of You and Your presence when I teach. Help me to give them a glimpse of Your glory and majesty, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the Gospel, for Jesus’ sake!
Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)
Here are nine good reasons for using a catechism with children:
[caption id="attachment_5358" align="alignright" width="131"] Original Title Page of the Heidelberg Catechism[/caption]
I echo this observation that Starr Meade makes in her article, "Evangelism Starts at Home":
My consistent experience has been that children raised in Christian homes and Christian churches do not clearly understand the gospel. Yet it is the gospel God uses to save people of whatever age. Our church children, like everyone else, must understand the gospel. Lest you think I expect too much of children's capabilities, try asking the same children about their favorite sport or computer game. You may have to fish a little and you will need to use vocabulary they understand, but they will answer your questions in intricate detail. Why are our churches' children so incapable of explaining the basics of the gospel? My observation is that Christian parents tend to assume that Christianity will sort of "rub off" on their children. They sign their children up for formal instruction in computer, sports, or music, and, in many cases, they insist that their children spend time practicing these disciplines. When it comes to Christian truth, however, we fail to provide our children with the deliberate, thorough instruction they receive for other things...
These words by Jason Helopoulos are a good reminder not just to homeschool families, but to all Christian families.
I love my family. I love being a husband. We celebrate sixteen years of marriage this week and I can’t imagine living life with anyone else. I love being a father. I have two kids that delight my soul. I can’t wait to see them in the morning before I head off to the church and I am always anxious to see them in the evening when I return. There are few things I enjoy more in this life than being a father. I love my family. However, having said that, I want to be on guard against loving them inordinately.
This is a good question to ask because the answer will determine what we emphasize to our children and students. Here is Paul Tripp's answer:
If we could wish one thing for our children, what would it be? Deeper than houses, cars, jobs, and mates, more fundamental than the location and situation, what kind of person are we working so hard to produce? Deeper than where they are and what they will do, what do we want them to be?
I know that I have posted this exhortation from John Piper before, but it is a great ongoing reminder for those who minister to children and youth week after week. And parents: consider sending these words along to those who minister to your children...it would be a great boost for their souls!
When I look back at my journey from a new "green" teacher to a more experienced and mature one, it wasn't mainly the books I read or simply "doing it" that caused me to grow and develop. In fact, before I ever taught a single lesson to a classroom of children, I spent a year simply observing a wonderful teacher. It was the beginning of my mentoring.
Last week, Children Desiring God released the revised version of How Majestic Is Your Name! This 40-week curriculum teaches 5th grade students about the name and character of God. One of the main elements of our curriculum revision is a complete redesign of the Visuals Packet. Teachers use the visuals in this resource during the lesson to capture students’ attention, visualize Bible stories, and emphasize key points of the lesson.
The vibrant, full-color visuals include a variety of original Bible story images, names of God signs, photographs and illustrations. The Visuals Packet is available either as a pre-printed resource or as a printable PDF file on the Resources DVD in the Classroom Kit. To learn more about the revised version of How