Children Desiring God is excited to announce the release of two, brand new booklets for parents, pastors, and those involved in ministry to children.
Jesus is opening His arms and inviting children to come to Him. One of the ways we reflect this truth to our children is by welcoming them into the most central, most regular, most valuable, and most corporate activity of the church. When we encourage families to worship together, we communicate to the children that they are a part of the congregation and, as such, should be included when the church gathers to worship. The presence of children also serves as a reminder to the church of its responsibility to nurture the faith of the next generation. Children and the Worship Service begins by taking a look at Biblical and historical norms for children joining the corporate gathering of God's people and the philosophical shift that has happened to move away from this. Then, David and Sally Michael cast a biblical vision for why children should participate when the church gathers for worship. In part two, parents are equipped with practical strategies for engaging preschool and elementary aged children in corporate worship gatherings.
You will receive guidance on how to initially train your children to sit through a service, prepare for Sunday mornings, set behavior expectations, help children learn how to properly participate, utilize active listening techniques, and more. The third part provides pastors and leaders tools to casting a vision for their own church to encourage parents to include children in the service and practical ways pastors can acknowledge, engage, and incorporate meaningful child participation in the service. The booklet pairs perfectly with the My Church Notebook: Come Into His Presence which is a tool to guide elementary aged children to participate in the church service and apply what they have heard at home. The notebook includes prompts and questions to answer as well as space for further notes or drawings.
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus gave every Christian in every century a commission with eternal significance:
..."All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."—Matthew 28:18-20
Our calling is very clear, to "make disciples." This is the greatest work in which we can invest our lives! For centuries, the church responded to this mandate by providing catechetical or doctrinal instruction through the use of a catechism. Over time, the church not only moved away from using the catechism, but in many cases also from any form of intentional doctrinal instruction. In Discipleship through Doctrinal Teaching and Catechism, Sally Michael helps parents and children's ministry leaders revive in our homes and churches the use of the catchism—this timeless and effective tool for imparting eternal truths to the next generation. The booklet includes a sample discipleship plan, recommendations on choosing a catechism, and examples of how to review and discuss catechism questions and answers with younger and older children both in structured teaching times and casual interactions.