In her interview for CREDO magazine, Sally Michael was asked:
In all your years of ministry, what is the #1 mistake one might make when structuring and developing a children’s Sunday school curriculum in a church for the first time?
Here is her answer:
I think the number one danger is making a curriculum choice based on the “bells and whistles” that make children’s Sunday school fun at the expense of good content. To evaluate material based on interesting graphics, video content, or the number of activities, rather than on evaluating the biblical content of the material and how it is presented is to err on the side of entertainment, rather than focus on real learning. Real learning involves engaging the mind, not
On a recent podcast, Dr. Russell Moore answers the question: Should I Get My 12 Year Old a Smartphone? Every parent should carefully listen to and consider his 8-minute answer here.
(As a side note: Our daughter is now in her 30s and has never owned a smartphone. Our son didn’t get one until his mid-20s. We are happy to report that they have both survived.)
(Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
Are you looking for some dynamic new teaching device or technique to transform your Sunday school classroom? Is there a new model of youth ministry everyone is raving about? Is your church thinking about revamping family ministry to appeal to a more media-driven culture?…It does the church good to be thoughtful and forward thinking in our approach to ministry. But sometimes we forget that the most important wisdom regarding these questions and decisions comes by looking backward, and not by what’s trending around us. How so?
In preparation for an upcoming seminar titled “Catechism: Out of Date, or a Tried and True Teaching Tool of Eternal Truths?,” Sally Michael has been reading
Many of you are already familiar with our curriculum and are using it in your churches. And a growing number of you are familiar with the books from the Making Him Known series published by P&R. But did you know that each title is based on a specific Children Desiring God curriculum? Therefore, each book makes a wonderful home devotional companion to its corresponding curriculum.
God's Names was adapted from the How Majestic Is Your Name curriculum.
Here is a great reminder from Timothy Paul Jones:
Every child is an eternal soul whose days will long outlast the rise and fall of all the kingdoms of the earth. They, their children, and their children’s children will flit ever so briefly across the face of this earth before being swept away into eternity (James 4:14). If these children become our brothers and sisters in Christ, their days upon this earth are preparatory for glory that will never end (Daniel 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:17–5:4; 2 Peter 1:10-11). That’s why our primary purpose for the children that we educate in our churches and homes must not be anything as small and miserable as earthly success. Our purpose should be to leverage children’s lives to advance God’s kingdom so every tribe,
One of my concerns with the current emphasis on “seeing Jesus in all of Scripture” and of focusing Bible teaching almost exclusively on what it says about Jesus is this: Are we inadvertently minimizing the essential doctrine of the Trinity? Please don’t misunderstand: I am NOT saying that we should minimize Jesus! Rather, I am wondering if, in doing so, we have sometimes failed to show our children and students the importance of recognizing and understanding the triune nature of God and why it is essential to the Christian faith. As Dr. Bruce Ware has stated,
This doctrine is, at one time, a very significant distinguishing doctrine of the Christian faith. In another sense, it is a doctrine that is crucial for us in understanding much other doctrine of the Christian faith.
If I would have changed just one thing in my parenting, it would be this: I would have prayed more specifically focused prayers for myself, my husband, and our children. What do I mean by this? Here is a wonderful article by Gregory Harris that I highly recommend for every parent. Here is how he begins,
As with most items related to discipleship—and parenting is definitely a God-ordained and commanded aspect of discipleship (Eph. 6:1–4)—prayer plays a vital role.
When our children were younger, they would frequently accompany me many places I went, including the seminary where I taught. I was asked dozens of times, “How do you get kids at
I once saw two different posters depicting runners. One pictured a man confidently running down a sandy beach with the caption,
Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
Now compare this to the second poster I saw. It depicts a runner sitting on a bench in obvious despair, with his head in his hands. The caption reads:
Failure–When your best just isn’t good enough.
On the face of it, these two posters seem at opposite ends of the contemporary focus on self-esteem: high self-esteem vs. low self-esteem. But as strange as it may seem, they are really just two sides of the same coin, because they both have a common focus: SELF. Just as high self-esteem is dressed-up pride, low self-esteem is dressed-up
Read on, he is not talking about the little baby boys in our nurseries:
As I’ve observed, many seminary students and other brothers aspiring to pastoral ministry are always on the lookout for opportunities to serve in the church. Regrettably, I think sometimes we have our sights set on only one type of service—public teaching. Of course, nothing is necessarily wrong with desiring to exercise your gifts, putting them under the evaluation of the church, and cultivating pastoral skills for future ministry. The problem is that many aspiring pastors fall into the trap of thinking this only happens by engaging in the adult teaching ministry of the church.
Serving in the nursery may not feel like a time to cultivate your pastoral gifts, but