Why invest in the sometimes tiresome recruitment and training of classroom teachers in children’s and youth ministry? Why use “old-fashioned” teaching methods when high quality lesson videos are available for classroom use? Won’t children and youth learn more through the use of new technology? Here is a really thought-provoking video titled "This Will Revolutionize Education," which I found on Tim Challies' blog:
Although I would not agree on every point the presenter makes, he does challenge us to think about what is at the core of the learning experience and the necessity for personal interaction between students and teachers. As you watch it, think about the following questions in relation to your church’s children and youth classrooms:
Imagine doing the following exercise with a classroom of 16-year-old students:
Summarize and explain the main meaning of Romans 3:21-26. How does this text apply to your own life?
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had
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An important reminder from Pastor Ray Ortlund:
God gave us family. And what a precious gift! But it is a gift, not the Giver. Jesus will not allow himself to be demoted to High Priest in the Temple Of Family Values. When we come to Christ, we leave that Temple behind, never to return, and we spend the rest of our lives recruiting our families to worship Jesus.
(“Family Values”, www.thegospelcoalition.org )
Desiring God originally posted this video poem on January 22, 2013. May it serve to challenge and encourage us today. Here is the prelude to the poem:
God is the ultimate actor in life and in death and after death. And we are created to join him in acting on behalf of the children. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
We were made to rescue the perishing—the guilty perishing from hell, and the innocent perishing from murder. The earliest known Christian document outside the New Testament said, “Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten” (Didache, 2.2).Now is the time to venture something new.
I was 13 years old when the infamous Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the US Supreme Court. Sadly, I don’t remember any response to the decision from the church that my family was attending at the time. For the current generation, abortion has simply been the “law of the land.” But the issue has never really been settled in the hearts and minds of many Americans, as evidenced by ongoing debate, legislation, and a growing prolife sentiment. Underneath all of these efforts, it is crucial that we teach the next generation a biblical view of human life—whether the life of the unborn, the disabled, or the old. Here are some basic biblical truths our children should know:
In 1 Corinthians 13:11, the apostle Paul points to some important distinctions between children and adults:
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (ESV)
As teachers of children, and as parents, we need to think carefully about these words. Understanding the maturity level of children versus adults is crucial in our teaching philosophy and methods. It should also rightly concern us as we seek to lead them in making a sincere profession of faith. Regarding the above text, Pastor Dennis Gundersen offers these helpful observations:
A child speaks less maturely than most adults; so you cannot assume the he means what you mean by what he says, even if he uses
Several years ago, Children Desiring God had the wonderful privilege of doing a conference in the Dominican Republic. One lasting impression of that conference was the conference worship team, which was mainly made up of children and youth. They were extremely gifted and dedicated. After the conference, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk to the pastor who led this student worship team. This was not a worship team brought together just for our conference. Rather, this pastor had a vision for the next generation of worship leaders and musicians and, years earlier, he had begun to intentionally train these students. He had a systematic plan in place. Does your church have such a vision and plan? Read these words from Bob Kauflin:
Where do the next generation of musicians in the church come
You see it in the classroom—the child who always wants to be first to answer the question, or receive the snack, or be chosen to participate in a lesson illustration. You see it in the home—“I want to go outside now!” or “I want more candy!” Desires, cravings, and appetites. Dr. Russell Moore offers some very helpful observations and biblical counsel for parents and teachers about the necessity of disciplining our children’s appetite:
Or, you can watch the entire seminar by Dr. Moore, “Training Parents How to Discipline with the End in View” below:
There is a growing movement in both children’s and youth ministry toward making sure that everything we teach is about the “Gospel” with the goal of encouraging students to make a sincere profession of faith. Yes, our children need to be saved and embrace Jesus as their Savior. That is of greatest importance. But I wonder if, in the process, we inadvertently minimize the need to put an explicit Gospel presentation within the larger context of ongoing, progressive spiritual nourishment. Carefully consider these words by Tedd Tripp,
Let’s rethink this matter of getting your children saved. Perhaps one of the problems with this perspective is that it looks for a major spiritual event of salvation and misses the spiritual process of nurturing your children… Even when
It is the hope and prayer of every Christian parent—that our children would come to embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. As parents, it is to be our greatest duty, privilege, and delight to carefully and intentionally present our children with the Gospel of Jesus. Marty Machowski has created a great tool to equip parents to do just that. His short (24-page) booklet, Leading Your Child to Christ: Biblical Direction for Sharing the Gospel, is solid, balanced, and profoundly simple…without being simplistic! Not only is this booklet all of these things, it is also very inexpensive…under $5. You can also have a look at a PDF version here