When I was a child, my bedtime routine always ended with a story. After dinner, my sisters and I would have about an hour to finish up anything we needed to finish and then the routine would commence. It started with the normal things: showers, hair brushing, teeth brushing, flossing, and so on. Once we were sufficiently clean, my mom would allow one of us to pick out a book from the big bookshelf in the play room, and we would sit at the kitchen table as she read to us. We knew after the story was over, that it was time to go to bed. I have many memories around that kitchen table at bedtime.
My friend’s son is having a hard time with this unique time of isolation. He’s frustrated, angry, sad, and scared. He misses his friends, his school, his Sunday School teachers, and going to the park. Every day in the morning, at meals, and before bed, his mother encourages him to pray for the emotions he is having and for the struggles going on in his little mind. Children are called to participate in the kingdom of God. They are not excluded from Jesus and His ministry.
Easter is always a special celebration of Christ’s victory. This year is no different. Jesus still died on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven—and that’s worth celebrating. It will likely be a different kind of celebration this year, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t exciting.
Full transparency; this is my first year married. When holidays come around, my husband and I have to create our own traditions—traditions that we will hopefully share with our children someday. We both come from families that celebrate holidays in BIG ways. Merging our two families’ traditions has been a great joy! As we look ahead to Easter and how our celebration will look different, I am planning to try some new activities. Some of which can be found in the free Easter activity guide that is linked at the bottom of the article.
I grew up with one Bible in my household. It was a children’s storybook Bible. Featuring over a hundred stories from the Old and New Testaments, it was my only look at the Word of God. It had pictures that had been illustrated by children around the world paired with a short paragraph of text that summarized the story of each specific passage. That version of the Bible was my only way to God’s Word.
I can see how people might be skeptical regarding Scripture. I was, after all. At one point, I truly didn’t know much about the Bible, so the minute someone stated that the Bible wasn’t reliable, it was all the evidence I needed to convince me that the Bible wasn’t true. I didn’t do any research for myself—I didn’t even read more into the claims. Nope. I was simply sure they were right. (Though this is not the case anymore.)
The end of summer and the start of a new school year is a time of great transition. Youth are about to begin new classes and are meeting their teachers for the year. Some may be starting to participate in activities and sports. It’s a whirlwind season. It is a time that feels much like January 1; new goals are formed and strides toward them are being made.
When I started going to church at age 16, church was practically a foreign landscape to me. Having been raised by non-Christian, non-churchgoing parents, I didn’t really know what to expect, and I was terrified of somehow embarrassing myself in that “Christian judgment zone.”
When I was growing up, my family did not attend church regularly, so going to church events was never “automatic.” For me, going to a church event—summer picnics, wintertime sledding, VBS—meant getting an invitation. I didn't know it then, but those invitations were more than just invitations to have some fun; they were invitations to learn about Jesus and other important Bible stories. They were my look into the church. Events like these are perfect opportunities for you to encourage your youth to invite others because those invitations could very well be life-changing for someone (like me).
Children’s ministries are often the first places little ones learn about the love Christ has for them. These programs give opportunities to share Gospel truths through games, crafts, snacks, and songs. To support children’s learning about Jesus, you can provide take-home sheets to help parents bring the Bible lessons into their homes. Here are some things to include on take-home sheets to help parents reinforce what their children learn from your ministry.
The Christmas season brings lots of joy and cheer as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. One of my favorite parts of Advent is the hymns. Advent hymns are some of the most recognizable and well-known hymns, but they can be hard to remember because they are sung only during this time of year. Plus, hymns can be confusing if one is not aware of the Scripture and concepts behind it. That’s why it can be a good idea to create lessons based on the hymns that will be sung this season. Here are ways to teach and discuss four Advent hymns to help your youth understand what they will be singing about.