Not far from our home is a vast national soccer complex where children and youth from all around the country—and even the world—play and compete. I often drive by and am amazed to see hundreds of parents sitting there sweltering in 90-plus degree, humid temperatures to watch their children play. That takes some kind of devotion from both parents and their kids! (Not to mention the investment of time and money.)
Sports is just one example of things families are “devoted” to…a list could go on and on, including academic achievement, music, travel, hobbies, etc. But parents, what do you want your family to be devoted to more than anything else? What alone will bring your children ultimate satisfaction and indestructible joy?
The startup of fall Sunday school and midweek classes is just around the corner. Children’s ministry leaders and thousands of volunteers are gearing up. Hopefully, every church is inspiring, equipping, and training these volunteers for the critical kingdom work of proclaiming the majestic and glorious deeds of the Lord to the next generations so that they might hope in God through Christ.
If you’re using Truth78 curricula, you will want to start by taking advantage of our free Core Training Series, designed to help inspire, equip, and train volunteers for a variety of specific and age-assigned roles.
Five years ago, I never could have imagined this scenario: My young grandchildren going to an extended family gathering, which included a “transgender” woman (a biological woman who identifies as a man) who also happens to be “engaged” to a woman. Whatever happened to this basic truth,
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
I can still remember cringing when I heard this announcement from the pulpit one Sunday morning long ago:
We need more workers for children’s Sunday school. If you’re interested, there is a table in the hallway where you can sign up to help.
Does that kind of recruitment pitch sound at all familiar? I hope not. Needless to say, I don’t think that particular announcement got anyone excited to give up their Sunday mornings in order to serve in children’s Sunday school.
Do your children and students understand the meaning and significance of this text? Do they grasp how it daily applies to the Christian life?
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)
The people who have the most access, the best opportunity, and the greatest potential influence—not to mention the biblical responsibility for helping children walk in the truth—are their parents. My plea to parents and grandparents is that they make the most of the fleeting opportunity they have.
The life of a parent today can quickly become consumed by so many good things that there is little time left for what is most important. Parents must not trade the greater things for lesser things.
At Truth78, we talk a lot about the need for “biblical literacy” for the next generation. But biblical literacy is more than just acquainting children with as much of the biblical text as possible. Yes, reading through the entire Bible by the time they reach adulthood is a worthy goal for our children. But we must also train them in how to study the Bible. What’s the difference, and why is it important?
Joe Carter has provided a really helpful article on this topic.
…while encouraging our children to read the Bible and teaching them how to do it well are necessary tasks, they are not sufficient for spiritual development. We also need to teach them how to study Scripture so that they “may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17).
…Two key differences between reading and study are pacing and focus. When we read the Bi
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:
Years ago I watched a movie that, in a sense, took my breath away. It had beautiful imagery and a storyline that gripped your heart and swept you into the characters’ thoughts, feelings, joys, and sorrows. However, this particular movie told a story that, when examined with a discerning eye, made sin appear beautiful and satisfying. Hence, great storytelling can be a powerful gift, but we must be aware of its potential dangers.
We must especially keep this in mind when evaluating Bible story resources for children.
When I was younger, I yearned to go to the Grand Canyon. I read books about it, watched programs, and listened to others tell of their experiences visiting the Grand Canyon. But I wanted to see it firsthand for myself—and once I did I was utterly amazed by its beauty and grandeur. Before, I was only able to share secondhand accounts. Now, I can share from personal experience. It makes a huge difference!
What does all this have to do with teaching preschool? Good question. I share this illustration because there is a common question or concern noted about Truth78’s preschool curricula—He Established a Testimony and He Has Spoken by His Son—which together present 116 chronological Bible stories.
Why aren’t the Bible stories written out for the teachers? It would be so much easier to teach!
Yes, in a way, it might be easier to simply read a pre-written story to a group of presc