Blogroll: Children Desiring God

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 36 posts from the blog 'Children Desiring God.'

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God Centered Resources for the Next Generation
Updated: 56 min 16 sec ago

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 10

Thu, 25/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 10

Psalm 63:1-4

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

 

Take the challenge. Intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for your children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27
Day 5: John 15:5
Day 6: Psalm 119:33-39
Day 7: Philippians 4:8
Day 8: Colossians 3:1-2
Day 9: Proverbs 6:20-23
Day 10: Psalm 63:1-4

 

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Resources to Help You Pray for the Next Generation

Thu, 25/05/2017 - 13:00

Resources to Help You Pray for the Next Generation

Thank you for joining us in our Praying for the Next Generation challenge over the past week. We hope that this time of praying through Scripture has been an encouragement to you as you have sought God’s guidance on how to build a spiritual foundation for your family and have prayed for God’s redeeming work in your children’s lives. As this 10-day challenge comes to a close, may this be the continuation of treasuring God’s Word as you come before our Father on behalf of your children and the coming generations.

Here are some resources to help you integrate prayer into different areas of your life, both at church and at home, and to help you teach your children about prayer.

 

A Sure Foundation Nursery CurriculumA Sure Foundation Nursery Curriculum

For churches
The verses and designs from this challenge are an element of our newly refreshed and expanded A Sure Foundation: A Philosophy and Curriculum for Ministry to Infants and Toddlers. It is designed to help you transform your ministry to infants and toddlers into an integral beginning—a place of prayer for young children, a place where they hear foundational Bible stories, and a place where children learn simple truth statements and begin to memorize Scripture as they form their language skills. Emphasis is placed on creating an environment of prayer for babies and strategically praying for each infant and toddler by name each time they are in your care.

 

Praying for the Next GenerationPraying for the Next Generation Booklet

For parents, grandparents, pastors and children’s ministry leaders and volunteers
What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children? Through your faithful prayers, you can leave a spiritual inheritance. Praying for the Next Generation will equip you with a method for using Scripture to pray for your children, grandchildren, or the children in your church. It includes 12 specific prayer topics for children with verses to pray through for each topic.

 

Utter Dependency on God, Through PrayerUtter Dependence on God, Through Prayer Booklet

For pastors and children’s ministry leaders and volunteers
The first part of Utter Dependency on God, Through Prayer is primarily directed to adults for their growth in the faith. The second part provides practical guidance to those who lead children in prayer—primarily in the classroom, but also in the living room. Eleven strategies for integrating prayer into your interactions with children will serve as a springboard for creative and visionary thought as you meditate upon Scripture, seeking God with all of your heart, through prayer.

 

Lord, Teach us to Pray Intergenerational Curriculum

For families, small groups or Sunday school classes
The purpose of prayer is not to change God, but to change the person praying. Through prayer, God reveals our sinful hearts, makes His will known, discloses His kingdom purposes, and reveals Himself to His children. True prayer is getting to know God better. When Jesus responded to the disciples’ request to teach them to pray. He gave them the Lord’s Prayer as a model. In it, Jesus shows us what should be in the believer’s heart when he comes to his Heavenly Father in prayer. Lord, Teach Us To Pray is not about the correct formula for prayer—it’s about God’s children learning to fellowship with Him in prayer. Lord, Teach Us To Pray is a 13-week, intergenerational study for families on prayer. The full study is great for summer Sunday school classes and family small groups or families can go through the Family Devotional Guide together.

 

PrayerPraying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers Seminar

For children’s ministry leader and volunteers, parents and pastors
In this seminar, Kristin Gilbert discusses some of the obstacles we face that prevent us from having a fervent prayer life such as wandering minds, fear, laziness and busyness. She equips you with practical steps to fight these obstacles and encourages you to pray through specific areas of your children’s ministry as she shares testimonies of answered prayers in her church.

 

Take the challenge. Intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for your children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27
Day 5: John 15:5
Day 6: Psalm 119:33-39
Day 7: Philippians 4:8
Day 8: Colossians 3:1-2
Day 9: Proverbs 6:20-23
Day 10: Psalm 63:1-4

 

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 9

Wed, 24/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 9

Proverbs 6:20-23

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27
Day 5: John 15:5
Day 6: Psalm 119:33-39
Day 7: Philippians 4:8
Day 8: Colossians 3:1-2
Day 9: Proverbs 6:20-23

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 8

Tue, 23/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 8

Colossians 3:1-2

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27
Day 5: John 15:5
Day 6: Psalm 119:33-39
Day 7: Philippians 4:8
Day 8: Colossians 3:1-2

 
 

Categories: Christian Resources

Parents: Have a Date Night on Us

Tue, 23/05/2017 - 13:00

 Have a Date Night on Us

Here is a wonderful idea for an inexpensive (as in “free”) date night with your spouse. Put the kids to bed, grab some popcorn or other treats, and watch Russell Moore’s seminar, “Training Parents How to Discipline Children with the End in View.” It’s funny, biblically instructive, practical, encouraging, convicting, and oh so timely—no matter what age your children. He covers a wide range of parenting issues as he relates real-life scenarios, giving parents wise counsel and hope as they persevere in keeping the end in view—raising children who will live as faithful disciples of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 7

Mon, 22/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 7

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27
Day 5: John 15:5
Day 6: Psalm 119:33-39
Day 7: Philippians 4:8

 

Categories: Christian Resources

The Lasting Gift of Encouragement

Mon, 22/05/2017 - 13:00

Children Desiring God Blog // The Lasting Gift of Encouragement

In my home office, I have a folder file titled, “Encouragement.” In it are notes—simple, handwritten notes from children I have taught throughout the years in Sunday school and midweek classes. Typically, I was given these notes during the last weeks of the class year. Some notes made me laugh. Some made me cry happy tears. Each note is precious. Each brings to mind a memory. Each is a source of lasting encouragement to this teacher.

So parents, don’t underestimate the power of your 5 year old’s barely legible “thank you” to a Sunday school teacher on a note card with accompanying car stickers or hand-drawn flowers. These notes are a valuable source of encouragement. Teach your children to be encouragers. Set an example of showing thankfulness to those who have served you. Use the next few weeks as an opportunity to encourage those who have served you and your child this past year.

Philippians 2:1-3—So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:11—Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Romans 15:5-6—May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 6

Sun, 21/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 6

Psalm 119:33-37

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! 37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27
Day 5: John 15:5
Day 6: Psalm 119:33-39

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 5

Sat, 20/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 5

John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27
Day 5: John 15:5

 
 

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 4

Fri, 19/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 4

Proverbs 4:20-27

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. 24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11
Day 4: Proverbs 4:20-27

 
 

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 3

Thu, 18/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 3

Psalm 119:10-11

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13
Day 3: Psalm 119:10-11

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 2

Wed, 17/05/2017 - 18:30

Children Desiring God Blog // Praying for the Next Generation: Day 2

John 1:12-13

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Join us as we intentionally pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation each day for 10 days!

Day 1: Psalm 1
Day 2: John 1:12-13

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Reflecting on the Year’s Children’s and Youth Ministries

Wed, 17/05/2017 - 13:00

Reflecting on the Year's Children's and Youth Ministries

As we quickly come to the completion of another school year, it’s a good time to look back and evaluate our ministry experience with children and youth. One way to do this would be to gather your ministry teams together and talk through the following questions:

  • Was the Bible central in all of our teaching?
  • Was God the main focus of every lesson?
  • Was the Gospel proclaimed?
  • Was Jesus made much of in our classroom, and did we feel His abiding presence from week to week?
  • What evidences of grace have we seen God work in the lives of the children and youth in our classroom?
  • How has God caused me to personally grow this year as I have taught and led these students?
  • Have the students seen the love of Jesus through my demeanor, words, and actions?
  • Did I spend time in faithful prayer for myself, the other teachers, and my students?
  • What has been the greatest joy I’ve experienced this year in ministering to these students? Have I shared that joy with others for their benefit and God’s praise?
  • Have we established good lines of communication with the parents?
  • What has been my biggest challenge this year? Are there steps that I (and others) can take to help overcome this challenge?
  • What would I have wanted to do differently? Why?
  • Is there anything that we would want to communicate to the leadership?

I have been involved in children’s and youth ministry for more than 25 years, and I can honestly say that no two years are alike. Every year brings new mercies, joys, challenges, and even some regrets. Taking “inventory” helps me to reflect back and thank God for what He has graciously done, and it also causes me to humbly acknowledge my weaknesses so that I might call on Him to replenish my soul. It also can serve as a time of encouraging one another as a team, working to problem solve, and providing the leadership with important feedback for future planning and training.

What’s a wonderful way to end this discussion time with your ministry team? Have a time of praise and prayer to the Lord using Ephesians 3:14-21 as a guide:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)

Categories: Christian Resources

Praying for the Next Generation: Day 1

Tue, 16/05/2017 - 18:30

Praying for the Next Generation Challenge

As parents, children’s ministry pastors and volunteers, we have am amazing opportunity to help build a foundation of faith in our children’s lives by intentionally praying for them. All of our teaching, modeling and interaction with children will have no effect on their hearts if God does not call them to Himself. It will all fall on deaf ears and hard hearts unless God does a redeeming work in them. If we spend hours pleading for the souls of the next generation, what might God be pleased to do in their lives?

Many scripture passages can easily be turned into prayers. By turning the keys ideas in a passage into prayer topics, prayer can become more focused and very powerful. As we pray scripture, we can discover God’s heart as revealed in His Word and we can confidently pray for God’s purposes in the lives of our children.

Will you join us over the next 10 days as we intentionally take the time to pray through a passage of scripture for our children and the next generation? Each afternoon, we will post a foundation verse taken from our newly refreshed nursery curriculum, A Sure Foundation, here on the blog. You can also follow along with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to be reminded each day to pray for the next generation.

 

 Day 1

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

 

 

 

Categories: Christian Resources

NOW AVAILABLE: A Sure Foundation

Tue, 16/05/2017 - 13:00

A Sure Foundation Nursery Curriculum

So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “see, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”—Isaiah 28:16

Nurturing the faith of the next generations begins with the youngest in your church. The A Sure Foundation curriculum will help you develop a ministry steeped in prayer and overflowing with foundational Bible stories, truth statements about God and Scripture memory. We have refreshed and expanded this curriculum to equip you and your teachers to minister to children through the infant and toddler years.

The expanded A Sure Foundation now includes four parts:

  1. The Fragrance of the Knowledge of Christ establishes the philosophy of ministering in infant nurseries and creates on environment centered on prayer for each baby.
  2. Young toddlers, 18-24 months, are taught four repeating Bible stories and monthly memory verses along with truth statements about God’s character in The Wonders He Has Done.
  3. The Older Toddler Volume 1 Teacher’s Guide, His Praiseworthy Deeds, reviews the four stories already learned, teaches 24- to 36-month-old toddlers nine more foundational stories and completes the monthly memory verses.
  4. For toddlers 36 months and up who have not graduated to a preschool class, the NEW Older Toddler Volume 2 Teacher’s Guide, Set Their Hope in God, introduces 16 additional Bible stories with accompanying memory verses for each lesson.
Discover What Is Refreshed and Expanded! SF_OlderToddlerVol2TeachersGuide_1New Lessons

Set Their Hope in God is a brand new volume for older toddlers with 16 additional lessons that go more in depth on several key Bible stories and introduce toddlers to new lessons. Additional activities such as finger plays, customized songs, games and actions are included to emphasize key themes. If you do not have separate older toddler classrooms, these new lessons can be used in a midweek setting or in a cycle with the Volume 1 lessons on Sunday mornings.

Refreshed Lesson Format

Teacher’s Guides have been reformatted to better aid teachers with prompts for visuals and actions clearly marked in each lesson. Coloring pages and Growing in Faith Together: Parent and Child Resource pages have also received a fresh look

A Sure Foundation Curriculum - Resource PacketRedesigned Resources

The Resource Pack has an all new look and some additional features for your classrooms. The packet includes 17 prayer signs and matching prayer cards to teach caregivers how to pray through Scripture and specific topics for each infant or toddler in their care. It also includes color-coded signs for all 28 memory verses along with coordinating designs for you to create flash cards and magnets to be used in class or sent home with families. Each verse has a simple illustration to help children identify and remember the verse.

SF_TruthPosters_1New Truth Statement Posters

These 12 posters each feature a simple Bible truth such as we need God, God is strong, God is good, we love Jesus and Jesus is my friend. These truths are built into lessons and can be reinforced by caregivers in all nurseries and toddler classrooms through casual conversation. The posters have been redesigned with new, original illustrations that will capture children’s attention and show God’s glory.

Learn more about the lesson themes in the Scope & Sequence.

See the refreshed and expanded lessons and resources in the Curriculum Sample.

Learn more and place your order for A Sure Foundation.

 

If you own the original version of A Sure Foundation, please contact our customer service team at 877.400.1414 or info@childrendesiringGod.org to discuss options for completing your curriculum or transitioning to the refreshed material. You may also give us a call if you want to chat about how to implement our curriculum in your church setting, are not sure what you need to order or if you just want to say hi!

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Living Out the Gospel at Home

Mon, 15/05/2017 - 13:00

Living Out the Gospel at Home

Living Out the Gospel at Home

Parents, ponder this statement from Chap Bettis for a moment:

The first place we live out the gospel is in our homes.

A simple statement, yet amazingly profound and instructive—encouraging and convicting. For our children, how we live out the gospel at home will give them a lasting impression of what it means to be a sinner saved by grace and a disciple of Christ.

Bettis goes on to say:

If we’re honest, however, home is often the most challenging place to live out the gospel’s implications. We say things to our children that we would never say to anyone else. We express anger to our spouses that we hide from others. Laziness others don’t see is obvious to them. Family relationships, which God intended to be a blessing, can become a war zone.

These words are from Bettis’ article, “Home Is the Front Lines of Christian Living.” To help parents strive toward living out the Gospel in our homes, Mr. Bettis provides parents with five practical steps to take. Here is a summary:

Living Out the Gospel at Home

  1. Receive your children and spouse as God-given instruments to shape you into Christlikeness.

Trust that God is working in small (or large) family trials to conform you to Jesus. 

  1. Slow down and observe your own actions and reactions.

When our families are running from event to event, it’s easy to minimize self-reflection. Blowups are quickly forgotten. Slowing your pace of life allows for deeper self-reflection. 

  1. Stop excusing your sin.

It is easy to blame our reactions on others. But we must realize no one causes us to sin. How we treat our families exposes our “real” selves and how much we love God (1 John 4:20). Even when we’re sinned against, we can still learn to please our heavenly Father (1 Pet. 2:233:9). 

  1. Search the Scriptures.

The Bible speaks to the issues you’re facing at home. Simply reading James 1 with your family in mind, for example, will remind you that you need wisdom, as well as the need to remain steadfast in trial, to be slow to speak, to be a doer of the Word, and to bridle your tongue. 

  1. Know your children are watching.

Hypocrisy from spiritual leaders—including parents—is the number one reason prodigals give for leaving the faith. Our children are watching how we act under the pressures of home to see if our Savior makes a real difference in our lives.

(www.thegospelcoalition.org)

Categories: Christian Resources

Thank You Mom, for Praying this Prayer Over My Life

Fri, 12/05/2017 - 13:00

Thank You Mom, for Praying this Prayer Over My Life

Motherhood is full of ups and downs. It’s the excitement of seeing your first ultrasound and the desperation of not knowing if you can make it through that last month of pregnancy. Motherhood is the joy of hearing your baby giggle for the first time and the sadness of having to wipe away your toddler’s big alligator tears…being two is very hard. It’s the fun of seeing your child constantly learning something new and the feeling you are saying “No, don’t do that!” a thousand times a day. Motherhood is the fun of baking the perfect construction site birthday cake to make your son smile and feeling buried under endless loads of laundry…sorry, I have no idea what those stains are.

Motherhood is the blessing of hearing your 10-year-old daughter stand up during the church service to recite the Fighter Verse and the sorrow of watching your child have a hard heart towards the Lord. It’s commissioning your youth for their first short-term mission trip and the bewilderment of all the new things you have to learn to help them survive the teen years…oh social media. Motherhood is staying strong as you watch your young adult move away for college and then answering their call at midnight when they need someone to listen. It’s letting go as you watch your son marry the love of his life and then starting all over when you meet your first grandson.

Mom, thank you for all you have done, both what has been seen and all the unseen, and for all of the adventures we have had together. But, most importantly, thank you for taking on the calling to raise your sons and daughters to be men and women who know and cherish Jesus Christ as the only One who saves and satisfies the desires of the heart. Mom, thank you for praying this prayer over my life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

A Mother’s Prayer by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Fionan de Barra

Before you close your eyes to sleep
I have a promise still to keep
As I hold you in my arms.
I pray your little frame grows strong
And that faith takes hold while you are young;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I’ll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
May you trust Him ‘til the end.
May you trust Him in the end.

This world is not as it should be,
But the Savior opens eyes to see
All that’s beautiful and true.
Oh may His light fill all you are
And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I’ll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
He is with us ‘til the end.
He is faithful ‘til the end.

You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach
As the road will rise to lead your feet
On a journey of your own.
May my mistakes not hinder you
But His grace remain and guide you through;
This is my prayer for you.

Take His hand
And go where He calls you to.
And whatever comes, seek Him
With all your heart;
This will be my prayer for you.
mmmm Father, hear my ceaseless prayer;
Oh keep them in your care.

Children Desiring God Blog // Thank You Mom, for Praying this Prayer Over My Life

Categories: Christian Resources

The Great Work of Setting a Foundation

Wed, 10/05/2017 - 13:00

The Great Work of Setting a Foundation

Often nursery workers are seen as “baby-sitters” whose main job is to merely provide a safe environment for little ones while their parents are involved in the “real and important” ministries of the church. May these words from John Piper be a reminder to the church:

Jesus took the child-belittling culture of his day which defined “greatness” to exclude “receiving children” and he turned it upside down. He said: “Receiving children in my name is the world’s least, and the world’s least is my great.” So wherever the Spirit of Christ pervades, the people who receive children will no longer be the “least.” They will be “great.”

Really? Why? Because to receive a child in Jesus’ name (i.e., out of love, in his strength, and for his glory) is to receive Jesus, and to receive Jesus is to receive God the Father. Which means that the nursery may be more full of God than any other room in the church.

(By John Piper. © Desiring God Foundation. Source: desiringGod.org)

As we receive these infants and toddlers into the nursery, the best foundation we can lay for them is the sure foundation of Jesus Christ. Everything else will crumble. The nursery ministry is just the beginning of leading a child to Jesus. Much of the work is hidden, and the fruits of this ministry may take years to see, but God is faithful. In constructing a building, the labor of digging holes and pouring footings may look unimportant to the untrained eye, but without a sure foundation, the building will not stand the test of time and the stress of adverse conditions.

So it is in the life of a child. The foundation of prayer, blessing, a godly atmosphere, and simple biblical truths may look unimportant to the untrained eye and may even be forgotten when the child matures, but a sure foundation can be the means of salvation for a child.

So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”

A Sure Foundation

 Philosophy and Curriculum for Ministry to Toddlers and InfantsWe are excited to announce that a refreshed and expanded version of A Sure Foundation will be released next week! This philosophy and curriculum is designed to help you transform your ministry to infants and toddlers into an integral beginning—a place of prayer for young children, a place where they hear foundational Bible stories, and a place where children learn simple truth statements and begin to memorize Scripture as they form their language skills.

The refreshed material includes sixteen new lessons for toddlers 36 months and older, features reformatted lessons to simplify teaching, and brand new truth statement posters, prayer signs, and memory verse resources.

Take a sneak peek of the refreshed curriculum and learn more about the new lessons.

 

Categories: Christian Resources

“Let Them Come”—Help for Church and Parents

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 13:00

"Let Them Come"—Help for Church and Parents

The other night, my husband and I had dinner with our daughter and son-in-law. They made a special dinner and had the table set with the “fancy” tableware. But there was one hitch to this elegant dinner—4 children were included, too, our grandchildren, ages 1 to 5 years old. Let’s just say that the children put a distinctive twist on the ambiance of the meal. Even with all the challenges and distractions, we were glad they were there…It was a joyful mess! Their parents have employed a type of “system” for mealtime that helps both children and adults.

In previous posts, we have highlighted the amazing benefits for welcoming children into the corporate worship service. But let’s not gloss over some of the challenges. It’s a little like inviting a group of young children to a fine dining experience—some adjustments have to be made. This should be a loving, cooperative strategy involving both parents and church. Sometimes parents just need some practical help and resources. Sometimes that church needs to make a few adjustments and give the whole church community a vision for welcoming children. Below are some resources that we believe will be helpful:

For the Church

“Let the Children Come to Me in Worship” (video), in which Pastor David Michael lays out a biblical vision and philosophy for encouraging children to be in the corporate worship service.

For Parents

“Strategies for Engaging Children in the Worship Service” (audio), in which Sally Michael gives very practical advice for parents.

8 Tips for Helping Your Child Worship—a free brochure.

MyChurchNotebook_Cover_TNFor Children

My Church Notebook is designed to guide elementary-aged children to participate in the service. It teaches them to actively listen to the sermon, take notes, recognize key points, ask questions, and discover more about God and His ways.

 

Read the Full Children in the Church Service Series
Part 1: A Summer of Worshiping Together—Let the Children Come!
Part 2: Including Our Children in the Central Activity of the Church
Part 3: Inviting Children to Experience Worship of God
Part 4: Inviting Children as a Means of Discipleship
Part 5: “Let Them Come”—Help for Church and Parents

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Inviting Children as a Means of Discipleship

Mon, 08/05/2017 - 13:00

Inviting Children as a Means of Discipleship

It seemed like an eternity at the time—a frustrating eternity—to train our wiggly, always talking, 5-year-old son to sit quietly through a 90-minute worship service. But somehow we all lived through it, and slowly but surely he learned to not only sit and be quiet, but he also began to recall and ponder an amazing amount of the sermon teaching. In turn, this provided us with a springboard for further spiritual discussion and training in the home.

This leads to Pastor David Michael’s fourth benefit for welcoming children into the corporate worship service (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3):

  • It facilitates the discipleship of our children.

Bringing children into the worship service provides an opportunity for them to learn how to worship God and to discover the purpose for which they were created. Lord willing, not only will our children worship God here on earth, but will spend eternity doing so.

Children can be taught to listen and engage with what is being said, even if they do not understand everything. Drawing pictures of what they hear from the preacher, listening for specific words, writing down the words they don’t understand or questions they have, or recording something they learned about God are all ways children can learn to be attentive listeners and interact with the Word being proclaimed. The content of prayers, songs, and sermons give parents the opportunity to discuss, explain and teach truths to their children. Children do understand great truths from the sermon and can become astute students of the Word, especially if they are trained to listen well.

Children also learn how to sit quietly and to submit to their parents during a worship service as explained by John Piper:

 …the desire to have children in the worship service is part of a broader concern that children be reared so that they are “submissive and respectful in every way” (1 Timothy 3:4). To sit still and be quiet for an hour or two on Sunday is not an excessive expectation for a healthy 6-year-old who has been taught to obey his parents. It requires a measure of discipline, but that is precisely what we want to encourage parents to impart to their children in the first five years.”

(John and Noël Piper, “The Family: Together in God’s Presence,” January 1, 1996)

So parents and church, this summer consider these four wonderful benefits for inviting the children into the worship service:

  • There is spiritual benefit for children who participate
  • Attending the worship service involves children in the most central, most regular, most valuable, and most corporate activity of the church.
  • It provides children with an intergenerational experience and thus the opportunity to be influenced by and benefit from the example of others, especially their parents.
  • It facilitates the discipleship of our children.

And let them come!

 

Read the Full Children in the Church Service Series
Part 1: A Summer of Worshiping Together—Let the Children Come!
Part 2: Including Our Children in the Central Activity of the Church
Part 3: Inviting Children to Experience Worship of God
Part 4: Inviting Children as a Means of Discipleship

 

Categories: Christian Resources

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