On Gospel Driven Children’s Ministry, I’ve written an extensive guide to VBS 2008 Themes and Curriculum. I have links to all the major VBS 2008 publishers. This one page overview will be very helpful when choosing your VBS theme for next summer.
Let me introduce you to my new website. After loving WordPress for about 2 weeks I decided to venture off to my own domain. Here are the results. I will leave this site up for achieve but I will be posting all new articles there.
- Free Sunday School Lesson Plans for Children’s Sunday School Lessons
- VBS 2008 Guide – Vacation Bible School 2008 Themes and Curriculum
- Guide To Baby Dedication and the Baby Dedication Service
- Children’s Ministry – Ministry to Children Ideas Resource
- My researching into home school curriculum
Many parents are brokenhearted and completely baffled by their unbelieving son or daughter. They have no clue why the child they raised well is making such awful, destructive decisions. I’ve never been one of these parents, but I have been one of these sons. Reflecting back on that experience, I offer these suggestions to help you reach out to your wayward child.
- Point them to Christ.
- Acknowledge that something is wrong.
- Don’t expect them to be Christ-like.
- Welcome them home.
- Plead with them more than you rebuke them.
- Connect them to believers who have better access to them.
- Respect their friends.
- Email them.
- Take them to lunch.
- Take an interest in their pursuits.
- Point them to Christ. (reprise)
Here is an interesting summary of the New England Puritan’s approach to family life by Kerry Ptacek. The more I read about church history, the more I am convinced that we can learn a great deal from the former generations. Their conception of the Father’s spiritual duty is alien to most of today’s dad. Reading this has encouraged me to be more faithful as a father. I would encourage you to read the whole article here. They have many similar articles on their church website. Here is an brief quote:
The Puritans viewed the male head of the household as the one Biblically responsible for commanding and instructing the family in the way of the Lord. Historians of New England agree on the prevalence of this pattern in the 17th century. According to the standard work on this subject: “Every morning immediately upon rising and every evening before retiring a good Puritan father led his household in prayer, in scriptural reading, and in singing of psalms” (Morgan, pp. 136-137).
New England Puritans, like their counterparts in England and Scotland, did not view family worship as a rival to congregational worship, but rather as its complement: “Domestic instruction and worship was considered indispensable to the success of the weekly services in the church, for religion was too important a matter to be left to weekly lessons” (Morgan, p. 139).
Earlier this year, I invented this little game for our older elementary small groups. Kids need to see how God has given them talents and skills — to glorify Him. But in the process I thought it would be cool to have them do this by focusing on others. Glen Woods has a similar game on his blog. Here is how my game worked:
Children’s Ministry or Vacation Bible School Encouragement Game
- Have the children sit in a circle on the floor.
- Use an object to designate which kid has a turn to speak – like a ball.
- Model the game by sitting in the circle with the children.
- Have them complete this sentence and then pass the object to the child they were talking about — “You are really good at ________________ and I can imagine God using your to _____________.“
- The child who receives the object will go next. Instruct them to not repeat until every has had one turn.
- It creates a little surprise to see who they are talking about. You may need to redirect the comments if they become redundant or negative.
- Example: “You are really good with babies and I can imagine God using you to be a good Mom.” Then hand the object to Sara.
- Example: “You are really good at talking and I can imagine God using you to be a teacher.
Look for teaching opportunities. Play the game along with the kids. You might get encouraged yourself.
I’ve transfered this article to my Child Ministry website.
This is the final of three posts from the book of Jonah. You can read the first one here and the second one here. If you have enjoyed this series please Subscribe in a reader or sign up for updates by Email.
The Hand Of God In The Book Of Jonah
It is striking how many times God does things in this little book. Reading a typical Children’s Story Bible you might not realize how God-centered these few pages of your Bible are. Consider some examples of God’s hand in the book of Jonah.
- God sends His Word to Jonah in 1:1-2
- God hurls a great wind upon the sea in 1:13
- God makes the storm worse in 1:13 (implied)
- God causes the storm to cease in 1:15
- God appoints a fish to save Jonah in 1:17
- God hears Jonah’s prayer in chapter 2 (implied)
- God speaks to the fish in 2:10
- God sends His Word to Jonah a second time in 3:1-2
- God appoints a plant to shade Jonah in 4:6
- God appoints a worm to attack the plant in 4:7
- God appoints an east wind in 4:8
- God questions Jonah in 4:9
- God explains his salvation of Nineveh in 4:10-11
As you can see the book of “Jonah” could easily be called the book of “God.” He is the main character. From start to finish this book is about God. He is at work (despite his reluctant prophet) to save a wicked people. In this, God brings glory to himself and shows mercy on the great city of Nineveh.
So when you teach Jonah – make sure you teach about God and not a fish.