When I was a child, and even into my teens, I spent most of my free time outdoors. Whether playing active games with friends, exploring the neighborhood woods, or simply lying in the grass trying to identify different shapes or figures in the clouds, we spent much of our summer disconnected from media or other electronics.
As our churches are reopening, we are hearing plenty about the awkwardness of following distancing guidelines within the church. What is talked about less is the nosier elephant in the room: the kid element. Even while worship has resumed, nurseries and Sunday schools remain closed, leaving parents trying to figure out how to keep kids happy and quiet while attending this strange new model of worship. It won’t be easy, but here are five things churches can do to help families in a stressful season of trying to worship together.
Amid such troubling circumstances in Habakkuk’s day and ours, God speaks through the prophet. Here are three insights that are particularly helpful and applicable to our present circumstances.
We're excited to announce the release of a newly revised edition of In the Beginning...Jesus this August along with an improved poster that's available for use now.
With all the disruptions of the past few months, many churches are just getting started considering options for the coming Sunday school year. One of the biggest decisions is deciding which curricula to use for children and youth. As your church carefully and prayerfully evaluates the various options, we’d like to offer 20 benefits our curricula offers.
Our intergenerational curriculum Lord,Teach Us to Pray provides a timely study on the Lord's prayer and the new Family Kit designed to be used in conjunction with the curriculum provides flexibility for various teaching arrangements.
Without a doubt, one of the most significant and defining events in our children's lives occurred every night at bedtime. My husband would take Sarah and Jacob aside and have a time of prayer with them. At the end of the prayer time, he would lay a hand on each bowed head, and, using a Blessing Card, he would pray a "blessing" over them. Throughout the years, on good days and bad days, each day ended with a tired father calling out to God to bless his children. It was amazing to see how that blessing time served to calm troubled hearts and instill peace.
Last week, I was tempted to lose heart. So much injustice, despair, hatred, lawlessness, and senseless violence on display. Our old Minneapolis neighborhood—the one in which we raised our children—was the scene of massive looting and destruction. Friends reported to us that it now looked like a war zone. It’s enough to lose heart, especially in light of my hopes and prayers for the next generation of children in that neighborhood.
This season has exposed the insecurities in the world - our work, economy, health, and plans are all insecure. What has also been exposed is the desperate need our children have for a hope that is secure, a hope that gives them a firm place to stand when the world all around is shaking, and a hope that is rooted in the truth of God’s Word - where they can see all that He has promised to be for us in Christ Jesus. The need that has always seemed urgent is now even more so. I imagine that you understand and see this need too - in the lives of children, grandchildren, and other children whom you love.
Will you take a few minutes to watch this message about providing the next generation with an unshakable hope?
What is the ultimate reason for discipling the next generations? To what end should parents, ministry leaders, teachers, and volunteers devote whole-hearted effort?