Parents, if you aren’t already doing so, sing God’s truth over your children. Consider including it in your bedtime routine. Sing over them when they are fearful and troubled. Sing over them when their hearts seem far from the Lord. Sing over them in times of celebration—always pointing them toward the unshakeable, all-satisfying, unending joy found in God alone, through Christ alone. Sing!... More
The challenges facing the coming generations are perilous, and many of the factors feeding this generational frenzy seem insurmountable. How can Christians and churches reverse the effects of social media? How can Christians show coming generations the glory of family and recapture the spectacular gift of children? How can churches convince sexualized teenagers that God’s design for sex is the pathway for true flourishing? How can anyone stop the floods of secularism and liberalism converging in on America’s coming generations?... More
I am an avid gardener. But last summer I was laid low by knee surgery, so I simply planted my garden in late spring and then “let it go” for the rest of the summer, thinking that a couple of months of neglect wouldn’t matter too much. It’s amazing how many weeds can take root and take over a garden in a short period of time!
How about the “garden” of children’s discipleship? Will it be okay to take a few months off from doing any kind of formal biblical instruction due to the seemingly overwhelming obstacles related to our current circumstances? Should we just let children’s ministry “go” this fall until we can all get back on track as a church and in our families?
With all the uncertainties due to COVID-19—the cancellations, disruptions, anxieties, stress, lack of people willing to volunteer, and parents feeling overwhelmed by added responsibilities, etc.—some may conclude, “This year could prove to be a disaster for children’s discipleship.” But I want to encourage a second type of response.... More
“Wisdom” is a term that is not used much in contemporary culture. And, looking around at what is happening in our world, its practice is even more scarce. However, this must not be the case in our homes and churches. Our homes and churches, by God’s grace, should be “wisdom factories” for the glory of God and the joy of our children. But what exactly is wisdom, and why is it important for their lives? How does wisdom take root and grow? Shouldn’t we just keep focusing children on the gospel?
Recruiting volunteers for children’s and youth ministry has always been challenging, even downright difficult. This year, there is an additional hurdle: Many faithful volunteers had their service completely upended this spring when lockdowns were fully implemented. In the midst of this upheaval to the church at large, many people became less fully engaged with the body of Christ and with their specific ministries. Some have gotten used to a new “normal.” That is why now, more than ever, children’s and youth ministry leaders need to earnestly remind the church of our sacred calling to disciple the next generation—pandemic or not.
This coming year, there is no “one size fits all” regarding programming and resources for churches and homes. Some churches will be offering in-person classes. Will there be additional midweek programs, or not? Some will have their teachers video lesson presentations for viewing in the home. Some churches will come up with other creative solutions. But, when all is said and done, committing to the essentials is what is most important. Let’s refocus our efforts this year on the comprehensive discipleship of our children and youth.... More
It’s now mid-July, and we still don’t know what the fall may bring. Cancel everything? Press on as usual? Take the resources we have and configure them in a new way? Whatever the way forward for your church and family, now more than ever, it’s important to keep the ultimate goal front and center!... More
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?... More
What is the ultimate reason for discipling the next generations? To what end should parents, ministry leaders, teachers, and volunteers devote whole-hearted effort?... More