When we teach children, we tend to simplify things. When we teach children about God, we want them to understand the truths we are communicating on their level in a way that is comforting, helpful, and life-giving for them. Today, I would like to propose that we use the “big words” of our faith when we teach our kids, preteens, and teenagers, whether that be in the home, in the church, or in a school setting. When it comes to terms like justification, sanctification, absolution, incarnation, Law, Gospel, atonement, resurrection, ascension, and so on, which ones have you taken the time to use and define with the young people in your life?
The den of our home features a set of large windows. Aside from the aesthetic beauty of their shape and design, the windows also let in a more-than-ample amount of glorious sunshine throughout the year. Little compares to napping in the easy chair with beams of solar warmth pouring over you. The only downside to so much light is that the illumination mercilessly reveals the dust all over the furniture and television and even floating through the air. I just dusted yesterday! Light is glorious except when it reveals imperfections.
The Lord speaks to His people through the prophet Malachi in the fifth century before Christ regarding a similarly thorough revelation.
This summer at Vacation Bible School, we’re covered in Jesus’ grace! Our theme for this year, God’s Living Water: Covered in Jesus’ Grace, is inspired by 1 Timothy 1:14, which says, “The grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” Each of the lessons focuses on biblical accounts that emphasize the Living Water, Jesus Christ. In this post, we’ll break down how to use the curriculum for Vacation Bible School.
At Halloween when I was a child, one of my brothers and I would trick-or-treat in the apartment complex where we lived. One year, we were both costumed as characters from the television science-fiction program Battlestar Galactica, which was popular at the time. But every year, we made the most efficient use of our time by starting out the moment trick-or-treating hours began, trying to garner as much candy as possible by hitting every apartment with its light on.
When I was growing up, my parents gave me an allowance so they could teach me how to manage money. They taught me how to use a bank account, save for big purchases, and tithe. It was not an extravagant amount of money. I remember when my allowance was a single dollar. On Saturday night, I would set out a dime by my church dress before going to bed. Then I’d put the dime in the offering plate at church the next morning. Now, parenting my own children, I feel at times that I am much less organized than my parents were. I have only recently started talking to my children about finances, and the fact that everything is digital and automated today makes it harder for me to model money management to them in ways they can visualize.
In January 1977, newly-elected President Jimmy Carter traveled down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC on his way to the White House. Yet this time, things were different; President Carter, his wife, Rosalynn, and his nine-year-old daughter, Amy, were walking. Carter was the first president to exit the motorcade and walk during the inaugural parade. Previously, newly-elected presidents had ridden coach or driven down the passage, presumably in reaction to the January cold and for the sake of protection from would-be assassins.
Last month, we considered Joel 2:17–19, 24–25, in which the Lord promised to restore what was consumed by the locusts. Recall that the swarm of locusts destroyed not only what was needed as food for the people but also the same for the livestock. What is more, without grain or livestock, the people had nothing to offer the Lord in sacrifice. In mercy, God restored what was consumed, pointing to His provision of the greatest sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
Confirmation is a big step in our church journey. It is meant to prepare believers for future living and learning. But confirmation isn’t just a one-time process; rather, it encourages continual growth and lifelong learning. The Enduring Faith Confirmation Curriculum does just that. Read on to see everything the curriculum offers!
It is that time of year in Indiana when the air is not only warm but also annoyingly full of flies and mosquitos. There are measures one can take. Diligently close doors and windows, hang fly paper, spray insecticide, remove standing water, wear insect repellent—the list goes on. There is no perfect solution except for winter. One way or the other, we can’t escape summer without a few mosquito bites and flies in the food.
My mother once said, “The best children’s ministry a church can have is a solid, pastor-led adult Bible study.” Since that conversation, I’ve contemplated her words often, reflecting on the positive trickle-down effect of an adult Bible study in the life of families and congregations.