Well-intentioned parents become overwhelmed with trying to juggle a myriad of other responsibilities, and regular devotions never get off the ground. Some parents desperately want to start a regular habit of devotions but simply feel ill-equipped for the task. Others begin family devotions with eagerness but slowly give up over time when things don’t go as planned.
As a parent and grandparent, there is a special joy that comes from watching your family grow and mature. But amidst all the joys experienced with my grandchildren as they reach various milestones in life, there is a verse that comes to mind that reorients my joy and makes me long and pray for something much deeper for their lives as they grow up…
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children [grandchildren, students] are walking in the truth. (3 John 4)
Thankfully, many churches have been able to resume a more normal schedule for children’s and youth ministry this year, including special events such as youth retreats, holiday celebrations, and more. These events can be wonderful additions to the regular, ongoing discipleship programs of the church. However, it’s important to create and plan these events within the overall vision in mind.
One of the great joys of teaching or leading a small group is when children ask amazing questions. Many prove easy to answer, but some are very difficult.
At first glance, illustrations in a lesson may seem unnecessary and time-consuming for a teacher, but good illustrations done well can serve as springboards to helping children understand God’s truth.
Think about your or your child’s Sunday school classroom for a moment. What characterizes the overall atmosphere of the classroom from beginning to end?Is the classroom characterized by an atmosphere of serious joy in God through Christ?
In most classrooms, it is highly likely that there are believing and unbelieving children present. Unbelievers are reminded and implored to turn to Jesus as their only hope. Believers are reminded of God’s sure promises that are secured in Jesus and are implored to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Bottom line: We must always keep in mind that we are likely ministering to both the lost and found in our classrooms. We are tasked with evangelizing the lost and discipling the found.
As you have probably gleaned from recent posts, we believe that our classrooms should be structured to maximize two basic things: biblical instruction and spiritual discussion. That said, there are ways and means to do these more effectively. How do you instruct the mind with biblical truth a way that doesn’t simply come across as “dry information”? How do you initiate and foster conversations that really engage the heart and point a child to genuine dependence on Christ?
“Catechizing” is almost exclusively used in reference to the tool by which Christians carefully teach and firmly ground people, including children, in the essential truths of the Christian faith. Thankfully, many churches and parents are diligently and earnestly pursuing this crucial task. But others are a bit more relaxed about it, not seeing an urgency or, perhaps, believing that children and youth should not be weighed down by too much formal instruction and doctrine.