Monthly Archives: December 2014

  1. New Year’s Resolution for Parents

    ID-10057556 As a parent, have your child’s behavior and spiritual condition ever caused you to be concerned about how this will reflect upon you personally? Whether or not you are into the idea of making resolutions for the coming New Year, every parent should resolve to put away any notions of “reputation-based” parenting. What is reputation-based parenting? Consider these thoughts:

    Reputation parenting is primarily concerned with the spiritual reputation of the parent. You do what you do as a parent with the goal of having others see you as a respectable Christian parent.

    We seek compliments from others for how great a parent we are and how well behaved our children are. Those words ensnare our hearts and build pressure in the lives of our ... More

  2. Children and Youth in a Digital Age

    ID-100189240 Now that Christmas is over, there will probably be new digital gadgets visible everywhere—including in the hands of your children and students. As parents and teachers, let’s be very careful how we navigate the waters of the digital age. ... More

  3. Mid-Year Refresh

    Yes, it’s almost time to celebrate the new year, but for many Sunday school teachers we are closing on “mid-year”—the halfway point of the school year. Don’t miss out celebrating this milestone. Consider having a mid-year “refresh” get together for your children’s and youth ministry teams. As a teacher, I have always found this gathering to be a great encouragement. Elements you may want to include during this time…

    • corporate worship through the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
    • a short message reiterating what it means to be “vision-driven” in ministry (see video below as an example)
    • a time for testimonies recalling evidences of God’s grace in the classroom
    • breakout training sessions for specific classroom roles (teachers, worship leaders, small group leaders, etc.)
    • round table to share ongoing concerns and possible solutions
    • concerted
    ... More

  4. Christmas Carols as Opportunities for Teaching Great Truths

    ID-100152931I don’t know about you, but all the children I know love to sing Christian Christmas carols. The familiar tunes and the special events surrounding the Christmas season give these carols a special place in their hearts. Most children are able to memorize the verses with amazing ease. But let’s not miss a great opportunity when we teach children these carols. Many carols (and the kind I would recommend) convey big truths—truths that we should take the time to carefully, yet as simply as possible, explain.

    Singing hymns about the coming of Jesus Christ is one means of education. Children are made aware of the weighty dignity of great themes, learning the meaning of words in their context. And it doesn’t matter if these things take time to absorb. It was T. S. Eliot who ar ... More

  5. The Gift of Scripture Memory

    On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me nine Fighter Verses…Actually, this year you and your loved ones can learn more than 50 Scripture passages together with help from the Fighter Verses Scripture memory app for mobile devices. The Fighter Verses app is being featured as the ninth of 10 key apps to help you follow Jesus more faithfully this Advent and in the year to come on the Reformapp.net website. Click here for more information on the Fighter Verses app, and go to Reformapp.net to see the other nine apps being featured this year. ... More

  6. Christmas: News and Joy

    http://vimeo.com/113740189 Here is a helpful message from John Piper, “Make This Christmas Special.” In it, he gives some very practical advice for parents about how to focus on what is most important at Christmas. ... More

  7. Will Our Children Know What Truth Is?

    ID-100291434 Here is a simple exercise to do with your older children and students this week: Ask them: “What’s the truth?” Write down their answers. Next, read Steven Lawson’s great post at Ligonier Ministries titled, “The Moment of Truth: Its Reality” in which he notes and defines eight characteristics of truth. After doing this, go back and discuss your children’s answers in light of his article. Here is a summary of his eight points:

    Truth Is Divine

    God is the author of all truth because God is the truth. All things are measured by God Himself—by Himself—to determine what is in conformity with truth ... More

  8. A Crying Baby in a Manger

    ID-10029114I have a confession to make: For the past two decades I have tampered with the words of a beloved Christmas carol. Well, to be honest, I’ve only changed two words, but those two words are significant in my mind and drive home a huge theological truth.

    The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

    But And little Lord Jesus, no such crying He makes… Baby Jesus crying just like any other baby who is startled by a load noise. Not a sinful type of cry that comes from frustration or anger, but simply a human baby communicating. Amazing truth:

    Baby Jesus, fully ... More

  9. Not All are Merry

    ID-100155720 As we minister in our classrooms this Christmas season, it is important that we recognize that not all children may be merry. Some have experienced terrible loss that will be felt by the whole family—maybe the recent death of a beloved grandparent. Others will feel the turmoil and stress of a broken home or fighting parents. Maybe daddy has lost his job and money is tight. A few might be fearful and lonely because daddy is a soldier, fighting a war far, far away—he won’t be home for Christmas. Whatever the source of their sadness, here is a good reminder from Dr. Albert Mohler:

    Is Christmas also for those who grieve? Such a question would perplex those who experienced the events that night in humble Bethlehem and those who followed Christ throughout his earthly ministry. ... More

  10. Much More Than a Story

    ID-10015132 These days it has become very commonplace to describe the Bible as a “story.” God’s own story. One great interconnected story from beginning to end. An absolutely true story. The story of how God sent His Son into the world to rescue sinners like us. The Gospel story. The most important story ever told…All these statements are true. So yes, let’s be diligent to teach children the story of the Bible. But let’s also be very intentional to teach our children that…

    The Bible is much more than a story—it is God’s authoritative Word. Why is this distinction important? Here are a few reasons:

    • The Bible describes itself in terms that go beyond its story-like nature. For example:

    ... More

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