My family enjoys camping…old-fashioned tent camping. We have a very large tent that my children affectionately call the “Taj Mahal”. The frame of the tent is a series of poles that must first be assembled and then threaded through the proper sleeves of the tent fabric. This takes time. There is no short-cut. But when every pole is properly in place, you simply pull on the guide ropes and the tent goes up and takes its proper shape.
This illustration can be helpful in demonstrating the importance of communicating the Gospel within the whole counsel of God. There are “poles”—key doctrinal truths—involved in properly understanding the significance of the Person and saving work of Christ. As parents and teachers, we should consider how
One of the new seminars at this year’s national conference was on using catechisms for teaching children—especially in the home. In the future we will have this seminar by Sally Michael available on our web site. But until then, here is an excellent article for parents (take note fathers!!!) to encourage you to get started: “The Importance and Practice of Catechism: Fathers-Instruct Your Children”1 by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger. He concludes his article with these practical reminders:
First, be consistent.
First, be consistent.
I have never run a marathon–nor at this age, do I ever plan to–but I have heard from others that setting the right pace is key. It’s not a quick sprint in which you expend all your reserves in a mere minute or two. There is no quick and easy path to the finish line. You must keep your eye on the prize and keep moving with a steady, disciplined pace.
This is a helpful illustration for children’s and youth ministry workers and parents. Especially for the many of us who have recently returned from our national conference in Indianapolis. The topic, “Persevering in the Whole Counsel of God: What’s
We were honored to have Mark Vroegop launch our Children Desiring God conference with his message on Declaring the Whole Counsel of God to the Next Generation. Mark guided us through six ways we can model our ministry after Paul's ministry. Video of the conference keynotes will be available at a later date.
This passage is important because in the final moments of a person’s life, you hear the distillation of his ministry to a people. What do we hear from Paul in these moments? How do his words relate to ministry to children and youth?
Spring time is a super busy season for those of us who garden. But before I begin to plant, there have been weeks of assessment: thinking back to what I planted last year—what worked, and what didn’t work. Why didn’t a certain plant grow well? What changes will I make this year?
In a similar way, spring time is also a great time to assess your children’s and youth ministry programs, curriculum, etc. What in particular needs assessing? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Recently I have been reading through a newly released book for Christian parents by Natasha Crain titled, “Keeping Your Kid’s on God’s Side–40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith.” It’s not often you find a book on Christian apologetics written specifically with kids in mind, so this book has me intrigued. I hope to post a thorough review in the near future. At the end of the book, she gives “10 Tips for Having Deeper Faith Conversations with Your Kids.” I found these to wise and practical—something
Welcoming children into the corporate worship service is such a huge blessing for children, parents, and the congregation as a whole. But we sometimes forget that the word “welcoming” is an active word—not a passive one. It is not merely acknowledging the presence of children in worship. Rather, it is seeking ways to intentionally connect them to the worship experience: singing, prayer, reading of Scripture, offering, preaching of the Word, etc. Writer and pastor’s wife Megan Hill has some great advice—a few, simple things that the church can do to welcome children.
I make no claim that the following suggestions are an exhaustive list of how to welcome children in local church worship. They are simply four things which have been a blessing to my family.