Though there are other milestones, there is a uniqueness and connection between child dedication and baptism.
The dedication of children anticipates their baptism. Parents dedicate their children in the hope that they will “belong wholly to Jesus Christ forever” as explained in Dedicated to the Lord. One of the promises that parents make is to regularly pray that, by God’s grace, their child “will come to trust Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of his/her sins and for the fulfillment of all His promises to him/her, even eternal life and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey His teachings.”
As a Sunday school teacher, I have always approached the last weeks of the school year with mixed emotions. Was I faithful week to week in teaching God’s Word? Did my students “get it”? Do they give evidence of faith in Jesus? Have I seen any spiritual fruit? What about that child who seemed bored all year? What about the one who was often disrespectful in class? What should I have done differently?... The list of questions goes on and on. At times, it’s easy to lose heart when I don’t see spiritual fruit coming about in the manner I expect. Parents often struggle with these same questions and emotions regarding their children’s spiritual condition.
Perspective for the teen years along with eight ways to guide teens toward a deeper relationship with God along with training and resources.
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.
In one sentence Romans 1:21 summarizes and explains so much of the world in which we live. It answers a myriad of difficult and confusing questions regarding why people act as they do apart from Christ. See how you explain the meaning of this must-know verse with a concrete illustration.
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.
Some of the most unusual church experiences I’ve ever encountered took place within the context of youth ministry—wacky games and activities, students playing foosball during the Sunday school hour, edgy (but shallow) teaching, sleep-deprived retreats (with no parents allowed), and more. All done in the hope of being “relevant and fun” so youth would want to keep coming back. Yes, some students kept coming back, but many grew up and left the church—untouched by true saving faith and maturity—when the fun stopped.
That is why I found a recent article by 19-year-old Sara Barratt so refreshing. Here is her observation:
Instead of undiluted biblical truths and concrete theology, many [teens] are fed a watered-down message. They’re entertained at youth group and isolated from older, wiser Christ-followers. They’re drawn in with pizza parties, games, and programs, but leave with the burning issues of their hearts still unanswered.
She points to four core topics teens need to hear:
Our children and youth are going to interact and engage in the world in which they live—a world increasingly hostile to anything remotely “Christian.” So, the question becomes: How will they interact?
What if you were to ask your teen the following questions: