Posts Tagged "Prayer"

Teaching Kids How To Pray (Children’s Ministry Think Tank)

think-childrens-ministry

I was asked to provide my answer to the question for Children’s Ministry Think Tank #6 over at Ministry-to-Children.com.

The question for this installment was:

“How do you teach children to pray? How do you approach this differently with children you know to be unconverted? How do you encourage kids to develop self initiative in their own prayer lives?”

You can get there by clicking on this link or clicking on the logo above.  Make sure you check out the contributions from the other authors!

Read More

As A Little Child (Synopsis of Come Ye’ Children – Chapter 6)

chs-gray

Introduction

Spurgeon begins this chapter by reiterating several of the points which made in previous chapters.  He then tackles some of the objections that adults raise regarding whether or not children can truly accept Christ as the Lord and Savior.  This is not the first time in this book that Spurgeon tackles this subject, and it is clear that it was a personal quest of his to dispel adults of any notion that kids are not a vital component of the kingdom of God.

This chapter marks the continuation of Spurgeon’s exposition of the following verses from Mark 10:

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.  [Mark 10:13-16]

Read More

Blog Patrol (June 30, 2009)

police-fish

BIG NEWS ABOUT THE BLOG PATROL

The Blog Patrol is now three months old, and I have had a great time putting together every week. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve found a lot of great blogs out there, and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. So…I’m changing it up.  The truth is, this one weekly entry takes up a large chunk of my time. That time is starting to take away from my priorities in life…my God, my family and my ministry to kids. So, I’ve decided, at least temporarily to change things. Going forward, The Blog Patrol will be a monthly series rather than weekly. I can’t promise how soon after the end of each month I will get it out, but I am going to do my best. Also, over the last several months, The Blog Patrol has become increasingly focus on the issues of children’s ministry, kids and parenting. Without intending it, my love and God’s will for my life has had a significant impact on this series. So, I’ve decided for the time being I will be limited the monthly Blog Patrol to articles related primarily to those three topics. I still follow a lot of other non-Children’s Ministry related blogs, and if I see something particularly appealing, I will be sure to pass that along. So, with that out of the way, let’s get on to the last weekly installment of the Blog Patrol. By the way, if you have any feedback about the change in format, I would love to hear about it. Enjoy!

Since last week was dedicated to articles about parenting, kids, and children’s ministry in honor of Father’s Day, there are a lot of stragglers this week. I tried to limit it to the “best of the best!”

Stragglers

These are the stragglers from the prior week which I either didn’t receive or find in time to add to last weeks Blog Patrol. Enjoy!

How Much Of What We Believe Is From The Bible?

  • This articles asks the pressing question, are there doctrines you hold fast to that are not actually in the Bible. May favorite is, “God helps those who help themselves.” I’ve looked – it’s not in there!

On Disciplined Reading (Pt. 3): How Should I Read? Tips on Getting the Most from Your Reading

  • Bruce Ashford’s series on reading continues with this article with tips for getting the most out of what you choose to read.

On Disciplined Reading (Pt. 4): Why Should I Read? Other Advantages of Reading

  • I didn’t want to leave you hanging on this series. In this installment, Bruce Ashford looks at other benefits of reading.

Discerning Idolatry in Desire

  • In this article subtitled “12 Ways to Recognize the Rise of Covetousness,” John Piper looks at warning signs that your desire is turning into covetous idolatry.

8 Traits of Effective Church Leaders

  • Thomas Rainer looks at 8 qualities that are necessary to be an effective leader in a church.

On Disciplined Reading (Pt. 5): Questions, Answers, and Concluding Thoughts

  • In this final post in his Disciplined Reading Series, Bruce Ashford addersses some of the questions he received while writing this series.

On Disciplined Reading

  • I love a bulleted summary, and Between Two Worlds offers this bulleted summary of the points raised by Bruce Ashford in his series on reading that we’ve been following here on the Blog Patrol!

Ohio: The state of tightrope walkers and acrobats

  • Being from Ohio, I felt morally bound to add this article to The Blog Patrol. I’d love to meet the collective genius that came up with this tourism plan! 

How much do you matter?

  • From Children’s Ministry Online, Kenny looks at 11 reasons you matter if you work in Children’s Ministry.

Twitter thought

  • In this short post, David Wakerly offers a unique twist on how to think of Children’s Ministry.

Read More

22 Ways to Teach Kids HOW to Think And Not Just WHAT to Think

Google Heart

I recently read a statistic about the overwhelming number of kids that grow up in church then leave as soon as they graduate high school.  It got me thinking.  Why are kids leaving the church in droves?  Should we just blame it on the evil influences of culture?  Are those of us who work in Children’s Ministry failing to give them enough information?  Are we not praying for them enough?  Is it just inevitable?  What are we doing wrong?  Most importantly, what if anything can we do to fix it?

One problem I have observed with many kids in our society is that they are taught WHAT to think and not HOW to think.  We live in a time and a culture where many people just do not possess the mental skills to critically think through an issue and come to a conclusion on it.  This failure to teach our kids how to think is a serious issue in the secular world where indecisiveness seems to be a virtue.  But, it is critical in the spiritual realm where we must teach our kids that faith in Christ is not a blind faith but a considered faith.  Faith is not a leap so much as it is a choice.  In order to teach them these truths, it is critical that we teach them more than just who Jesus is or how to accept him – we must teach them how to question their faith and determine for themselves what they truly believe.

Both in Children’s Ministries and with our own kids as parents, we often focus on filling our kids’ minds up with information.  We tell them the stories of the Bible, we encourage them to memorize scripture and we try to lay a foundation of facts.  Sometimes we try to fill their hearts up with emotions.  We teach them about the love of God and how to love other people.  And, while all of this is necessary in the spiritual growth of our kids, I wonder sometimes whether we are missing the forest for the trees.  Are we teaching our kids in a “just the facts” dragnet style?  Are we emphasizing moral lessons to the determinant of the gospel?  Are we teaching our kids what to believe without encouraging them to question their beliefs and figure out why they believe what they do?  In my spiritual walk, I have found that two things solidify God’s truths in my mind and heart more than anything else.  The first is teaching God’s truth to others.  The second is critically working through challenges to my faith.  Those challenges come both from other people and from me.  A faith that is untested tends to wither and die.  A faith that weathers the storm of critical analysis grows stronger and more enduring.

So, how do we encourage our kids to think about God and analyze their faith even at a young age?  How do we teach them the critical skill of questioning their faith and working through the answers?  How do we teach the essential skills of critical analysis?  Here are twenty-two ideas for elementary age kids:

  1. Encourage questions. Every week in our Children’s Ministry we have some time for small group discussion or a craft for the kids to complete related to the lesson.  Over the last year or so, there have been a number of times when we have asked the kids to draw or write something about their own lives related to the topic we discussed that weekend.  And, every week, there are a number of kids who can’t think of anything to write or draw.  By way of example, last weekend we learned about having faith in God when we are afraid.  I had at least two kids explain to me that they have never been afraid of anything.  By far the easiest week we ever had was when we asked kids to write down their questions about heaven.  Rather than struggling to come up with questions, most of the kids were struggling to decide which question to ask.  The point is clear – kids have plenty of questions!  That is true in everyday life, and it is definitely true when it comes to matters of God and spiritual things.  We should always encourage kids to voice their question.  You never know when the answer may be the one the forever deepens the faith of a child.
Read More

Blog Patrol (June 9, 2009)

police-fish
This is the Happy Birthday to the Ministry-To-Children.com blog. They turned two this week. The terrible twos – I can’t wait to see what that brings! Seriously though, when it was just Tony writing over there the sight showed up regularly in the Blog Patrol. Now that they have a slew of talented writers, I have to force myself not to include all of their blog posts. Anyone in children’s ministry or interested in children’s ministry should definitely add Ministry-To-Children to their favorites and their blog reader. That said, here is a rundown of this week’s favorite blog posts (and, yes, there are a lot from Ministry-To-Children.com).

Stragglers

These are the stragglers from the prior week which I either didn’t receive or find in time to add to last weeks Blog Patrol. Enjoy!

Parents Rethinking Parenting, and Other Partially Encouraging Developments

  • This article from Owen Strachan looks a a growing trend in parenting in today’s society.

Tuesday Talk: Brent Weber

  • Brent Weber asks the question “How do you make worship something kids look forward to instead of something they dread?”

Tuesday (June 2, 2009)

10 Things Every Kids Pastor Should Know about Pixar’s UP.

  • I went to see the movie Up with my eight-year-old last Friday. It’s a good movie. This article looks at how you can use the movie in your Children’s Ministry.

Funny Job Requirements for Children’s Ministry

  • Tony Kummer from Ministry-to-Children.com summarizes a thread from cmconnect.org that looks at some real world requirements for working in children’s ministry.

Your first 12 months in children’s ministry

  • Ryan Frank offers up ten things that a new person in Children’s Ministry should focus on in their first twelve months.
Read More