Imagine a new child coming to your fourth-grade Sunday school class. He has a motorized wheelchair. He cannot speak intelligible words. His eyes, when open, seem to wander aimlessly. But, every once and a while, he seems to focus on a face or a sound. He smiles. Sometimes he lets out an excited “Ha, ha!” This young boy was in my class many years ago. And his presence, while challenging at times, turned out to be a precious gift to me and his classmates.
Even though it’s still early in the summer, many churches are beginning to plan and prepare for the new school year. At the top of the list of priorities is choosing resources that maximize biblical instruction and spiritual formation and are grounded in a larger vision of the comprehensive discipleship of children and youth. Which particular Truth78 resources will be the best fit for your church? Although, we can’t factor in all of your specific variables for the coming year, here is a list of helps and accompanying links to guide you through some common questions.
One of the most difficult jobs in children's and youth ministry is recruiting a full staff of volunteers who are not only joyfully motivated, but also adequately trained and equipped. And one of the best ways for pastors and ministry leaders to recruit a team of dedicated, Jesus-loving, God-honoring volunteers during this time is to diligently…
I have spent the past 35 years teaching children. But looking back on the first five years of that time, I now realize that the resources I was given and the training I received were not designed to reach the WHOLE child. Yes, I provided some biblical teaching (i.e., the curriculum included a summarized Bible story to be read), but it didn’t seem as if I was actively instructing their minds with the Bible, engaging their hearts in a meaningful way, or encouraging and challenging them to specific steps of faith-dependent obedience. I grew increasingly frustrated. Something was missing.
Summer is a wonderful time for children to go on new and exciting journeys—parks, zoos, museums, vacation destinations, or they can simply have friends over to enjoy playing a new game in the backyard. But it’s also an ideal time to take children on a much more exciting journey to discover and better understand the gospel of Jesus. That is why the little booklet, The Greatest Treasure was written.
Children are hungry to be welcomed again. This provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to invite them to learn about the One who eagerly welcomes children into His glorious and eternal Kingdom. One way to welcome children to this gospel hope is by hosting a Backyard Bible Club. Just think, your own backyard, no matter how big or small, can serve as a place to welcome children in Jesus’ name and teach them about His marvelous love, power, goodness, mercy, and redeeming work.
When teaching children the Bible, it's often tempting to look for resources that are “easy-to-use” and require very little preparation time for parents or classroom teachers. But even when using the best Bible resources available in terms of Bible content and teaching methodology, there is an essential preparation component that is often glossed over or minimized. What is it?
I was recently talking with a mother who is daily reading to her children from More Than a Story—Old Testament. She commented on how much her children were enjoying the resource, but even more so how much it is feeding her own soul. For one thing, the Old Testament reminds us that there is “nothing new under the sun” in terms of experiencing life in a fallen world.
It is amazing to think that it has been one year since “normal” life and ministry was suddenly uprooted. For some of us, we are essentially in week 52 of a “two-week lockdown to flatten the curve.” What has it meant for those of us who are committed to the comprehensive discipleship of the next generation? Adaptability for one thing. Yet, the events of the past year have also sharpened my focus and zeal knowing that, whatever the circumstances, the end goal is still the same, and almighty God is still at work.
The older I get, the more I have seen this and wept – young adults, raised by godly Christian parents and who grew up in vibrant churches – simply walk away from Jesus. Some of these wayward children do so in dramatic overt rebellion, rejecting any semblance of the Christian faith. But others still display an outward appearance of godliness yet have no true love for Jesus. In either case, it’s tragic. What’s a parent to do? What’s the church to do?