Just released—Mission Accomplished: A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional by Scott James.
Here is Sally Michael’s endorsement:
Scott James has provided families with an easy-to-use, yet spiritually enriching Easter devotional. Starting with the events leading to the cross through the ascension of Jesus, families are encouraged to read the corresponding Scripture, discuss the passage, and make application through questioning and activities. In addition, many selections include a rich hymn to use in family worship. This little book
One thing I always look for in reviewing Gospel resources for children—whether books, tracts, music, video, or curricula—is to see how the resource deals with sin, because if it doesn’t get sin “right,” it will probably have a distorted view of the Gospel. Overstatement? Here are some sobering words from D. A. Carson:
There can be no agreement as to what salvation is unless there is agreement as to that from which salvation rescues us. The problem and the solution hang together: the one explicates the other. It is impossible to gain a deep grasp of what the cross achieves without plunging into a deep grasp of what sin is; conversely, to augment one’s understanding of the cross is to augment one’s understanding of sin.
One of the most encouraging things we hear from teachers and small group leaders who use our curriculum is how much they are learning as they study the lessons. It may be that some biblical truth is being explored for the first time or in a different way. But more often, I think it’s a certain truth being explained in a way that is more easily grasped. I know this is true for me. For example, appropriate visuals and illustrations used for teaching children help me to more fully comprehend abstract or difficult concepts. Careful, accurate, yet simple definitions and explanations lead me to a deeper understanding of the text. When I understand something more fully, it helps me communicate to the children I lead. It also guards me from being simplistic in my teaching. Consider these words by R. C. Sproul:
Do you desire your children and students to celebrate this coming Easter in a more significant manner, exploring the deep meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection? Here are a few resources you might want to take a look at:
I believe that it’s never too early to expose children to systematic theology. And what better place to begin than teaching children the doctrine of God? Even toddlers can be introduced to God’s attributes, such as His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, etc. Here are six simple board books by Carine Mackenzie to help you get started in your own home or in the Sunday school toddler room:
Know any unbelieving children and teens? Does one of them live in your own home? Is there any greater sorrow for a Christian parent than having a child who rejects the Gospel? Here is an important article by Burk Parsons, “Hope for Prodigal Children.” This article is not just for parents. It is also important for teachers. One of the most dangerous things we can do concerning prodigal children and students is to deny their unbelief and pretend that everything is okay. As teachers, it may be that we are prone to assume belief in our students—especially children from “good Christian homes,” or children who seem to know all the “right answers” during the Bible lesson. Whether our own children
Looking back through the past two decades, I am so thankful to God for a church family and pastoral leadership that encouraged families to worship together in the corporate church setting. One of the things that helped both old and young to be “comfortable” together was wise worship leaders who had the foresight to point us beyond musical styles. Consider these thoughtful words from Bob Kauflin in his article, “The Legacy of Asaph—Learning to Sing in the Same Room”:
How many of our thoughts about music and worship revolve around what we like, what we prefer, what interests us, and what we find appealing? And how often is that attitude passed on to the next generation,
One of the great benefits of ministering to children is the way God uses them to minister us—for example, their wonderful excitement over simple gifts of God, gifts like blowing bubbles. Oh, that we might express that much excitement and give thanks to God for every good gift! There are also times that children are like “mirrors of the heart,” showing us things we, as sophisticated adults, have learned to cover up with proper and respectable outward behavior.
This hit home the other day as I observed my 3-year-old grandson. He had been over for a visit when his mother informed him it was time to put on his jacket and get ready to go home. He didn’t want to, and he proceeded to have a “melt-down,” evidenced with all the characteristic actions of a child who wants his own way. When his mother reminded him of Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (ESV) David’s response was to
I am an enthusiastic proponent of giving our children and students a biblical worldview. They should know how the Bible is relevant to all of life. They should be taught to think biblically about everything: education, government, music, technology, sports, culture, other religions, etc. I am all for using solid resources that train and equip our children in this endeavor. But here is a really good reminder from Stephen Altrogge:
…the older I get, the more I realize that it’s not enough to give my children a biblical worldview. I’ve seen too many of my childhood friends grow up to reject the biblical worldview that was so furiously drummed into them as children. I’ve seen too many people make choices that they know are in direct contradiction to the worldview they
Here is a book I highly recommend for every parent and teacher: What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert. As I read it, I gave up putting Post-it® Notes on pages to mark memorable quotes—too many! Pastor Gilbert carefully explains the essence and “essentials” of the Gospel. In doing so, he also reveals some important “blind-spots” in how the Gospel is sometimes understood and communicated. In my experience, many of these blind-spots are often found in children’s resources. For example, he highlights the necessity of communicating the truth of God’s Creator rights from the