With all the many worldly traditions that surround the celebration of Christmas, Good News of Great Joy is a wonderful tool to help families prioritize and focus on the incomparable greatness and worth of the incarnation of Jesus! Furthermore, it’s simple to use and reusable from year to year providing families with a meaningful and delightful way to prepare for Christmas.
One of the most discouraging things for a teacher or small group leader during a lesson is the perception that your students are not personally engaged with what is being taught. Here you are, teaching the most important truths in the universe with heartfelt passion, and some children seem completely disinterested, entirely inattentive, and utterly bored. At times like this, it’s tempting to ask: “Are they even listening? Is any of this truth reaching their minds and sinking into their hearts?” What’s a teacher or small group leader to do?
An increasing amount of evidence demands that we take the lack of Christian intellectual faithfulness seriously.
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.