Monthly Archives: November 2015

  1. The Need for Illustrations in Teaching

    ID-10085795--cropped As a curriculum writer, one of the most difficult aspects of developing a lesson is coming up with appropriate, concrete illustrations. Why bother with these illustrations? Why not just stick to the Bible text? Ligonier Ministries recently posted an article by R. C Sproul on this very subject, “The Need for Illustrations in Preaching.” Notice how much of what he points out also applies to teaching children, as they are especially in need of bridging the gap between concrete and abstract thinking:

    [Martin Luther]…said that the makeup of the human person is an important clue to preaching. God has made us in His image and has given us minds. Therefore, a serm ... More

  2. Meditating on the Word in a Sound-bite World

    ID-100289338As someone who is passionately committed to teaching children the Word of God, I have grown more and more concerned with the effects that the frequent use of digital media may have on our desire and/or ability for sustained concentration and deep, analytical thought—the type of concentration and thought needed to rightly study, discern, and apply the Word of God. As tempting as it is to use a growing number of videos, apps, and other digital tools in our teaching, I would caution us to pause and seriously consider the long-term effects. Please understand: I am not advocating that digital media never be used. Rather, I am saying that we should be careful in choosing and using these so that we do not inadvertently undermine our students’ growth in sustained, critical thinking. Reformation 21 has an important and tho ... More

  3. Growing Up in a World of Terrorism

    ID-100116532 As parents, we long to protect our children from a myriad of dangers. And, in increasing measure, western affluent cultures have minimized these dangers through the development of safety innovations: car seats, cordless blinds, baby monitors, etc. All are good and helpful for keeping our kids safe. But as recent world events attest, the world is still a very dangerous place. What’s a parent to do? Erik Raymond, a pastor and father of six, has a helpful article titled, “What Do You Tell Your Kids About ISIS?” Although not comprehensive in scope or depth, the article provides parents with 10 very helpful basic discussion points. Here is his introduction:

    Christian parents are called to help their children to think about, interact with, and evaluate current issues from ... More

  4. Why I Bought The Fighter Verses Coloring Book

    This fall was a big transition for our 4-year-old grandson. Because our church strongly encourages families to be together in corporate worship, childcare during the worship service ends at age 4. My husband and I, and David’s parents gladly affirm and embrace this policy established by our pastor and elders! So now David is with Daddy and Mommy during the entire service. However, getting used to sitting quietly is not the easiest discipline to master for an active little boy. Help! Help is on the way…That is why I have already put in my order for The Fighter Verses Coloring Book, a b ... More

  5. A Child, Catechism, and Cancer

    ID-10086627 In his article, “In Peace or Crisis, Instruct Your Children in the Lord,” William Ross makes a heart-felt and biblical plea to parents to take seriously the catechizing of their children:

    Most days my wife would review a chosen verse, helping our son, Amos, remember and recite it, and each night we worked on one of “his questions” before bed. Nothing complicated, just a simple “repeat after me” approach in small chunks at a time, reviewing the ones we’d done already. He absorbed them much faster than we expected. By June Amos could zip through a handful of Bible verses, and no fewer than 30 catechism questions and an ... More

  6. Helping Us to be On Guard Against Sexual Abuse in the Church

    51jxZCUkl9L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Sexual offenders are not dumb. They are deliberate and calculating. The very things Christians see as strengths—love for others, a trusting disposition—perpetrators see as weaknesses on which they can prey…Many perpetrators know that churches are struggling to find volunteers to help in children’s ministry, and they want to exploit that fact fully. This statement from Deepak Reju’s book, On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church ... More

  7. Responding to Discouragement

    [caption id="attachment_6731" align="alignright" width="200"]John Angell James John Angell James[/caption]

    Every cause which is worth supporting, will have to encounter difficulties—and these are generally proportionate to the value of the object to be accomplished.— John Angell James This is especially true when the value of the object to be accomplished is something of immeasurable greatness and worth, namely, proclaiming the glorious deeds of the Lord to the next generation so that they might set their hope in Him! If we are faithful to do this in our Sunday school classrooms, we should not be surprised when we encounter difficulties. Although written almost 200 years ago, John Angell James’ insights are as true and helpful today as th ... More

  8. Serving Special Needs Families

    ID-100147050 I am very thankful for the growing number of churches that are creating a welcoming, loving, well-thought-out, helpful ministry for children with special needs. How is your church doing in this regard? In his article, “Three Ways The Church Can Better Serve Special Needs Families,” Chris Hulshof gives the following general advice:

    1. Create a climate of inclusive hospitality.

    ... If a family has a child with a cognitive disability, who will be responsible to welcome the family, access the need through parental conversation, and suggest a suitable plan for the service? ... More

  9. Now Available: The Fighter Verses Study!

    What could be more valuable than teaching families not only to know the Scriptures, but also to linger over them as they discuss and color, and to pray them into reality.” -John Piper, founder and teacher, desiringGod.org
    The Fighter Verses Study will help guide you through key Scripture passages and arm you with tools to strengthen your faith in Christ and equip you to fight the fight of faith. The study can be used as a family devotional, small group discussion or personal study. Thought provoking questions throughout each lesson will spur you on to dig deeper into Scripture as you support and encourage one another through the battles of life. The y ... More

  10. Voices from the Past

    [caption id="attachment_6731" align="alignright" width="200"] John Angell James[/caption] From The Sunday School Teacher's Guide by John Angell James in the year 1816:

    The ultimate object of a Sunday School teacher should be in humble dependence upon divine grace, to impart that religious knowledge; to produce those religious impressions; and to form those religious habits, in the minds of the children, which shall be crowned with the SALVATION OF THEIR IMMORTAL SOULS. Or, in other words, to be instrumental in producing that conviction of sin; that repentance towards God; that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; that habitual subjection in heart and life to the authority of the scriptures, which constitute at once the ... More

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