Posts Tagged "Salvation"

The Children's Ministry Blog Patrol (July 2009)

Childrens Ministry Blog PatrolWelcome to the unveiling of the new format for the Blog Patrol. What started as a weekly feature summarizing some of the best articles from the Christian Blogosphere has morphed into a monthly feature focused on Children’s Ministry. Thus, you will note the new name (The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol) and the new graphic.

I haven’t worked out all of the particulars about how this might look each month, but I hope you will find the articles linked to in this feature useful. In addition to articles directly related to Children’s Ministry, this blog will also feature more general articles on children and parenting from a Christian perspective. I haven’t set a schedule in stone yet, but I’m hoping to publish each month’s blog patrol on the first Tuesday of the month.

With that introduction, let’s have a look at some articles you might have missed this month:

Blog Series

Many articles are published as series. This sections of the Blog Patrol is dedicated to such series from the prior month.

Group Review of Too Small To Ignore

In a significant group blogging project over at Elemental Children’s Ministry, a series of authors offered a chapter-by-chapter review of the book Too Small To Ignore by Wess Stafford. I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but I appreciate these summaries. Enjoy

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Do Not Hinder the Children (Synopsis of Come Ye’ Children – Chapter 2)

chs-gray
In the last chapter, we looked Jesus’ command to feed his sheep, a child’s profession of faith, what kids should be taught and the rewards of teach children.  Now we find ourselves at

Chapter 2 – Do Not Hinder the Children

Part 1 – The Christian Education of Children

In the first portion of the chapter, Spurgeon addresses the issue of the Christian education of children head on.  As regards the church, Spurgeon reminds his readers that preaching and teaching in such a way as to be understood by children is a badge which we should wear proudly.  He explains:

“I think nothing greater than to win the hearts of the lowly. So with regard to children. People occasionally say of such a one, “He is only fit to teach children: he is no preacher.” I tell you, in God’s sight he is no preacher who does not care for the children.”

Spurgeon contends that pastors should include something in every sermon for kids.  This is obviously not as big an issue today with the advent of Childrens’ Ministry.  However, the point is the same.  Churches should be sure that they focus on kids just as much as they focus on adults.

Likewise, parents who hold the ultimate responsibility for the spiritual development of their kids must pay close attention to where and how their kids are educated.  The spiritual education of our children should be a paramount concern, and they should be taught the things of God from a very early age.  Spurgeon explains,

“As we sow we reap. Let us expect our children to know the Lord. Let us from the beginning mingle the name of Jesus with their A B C. Let them read their first lessons from the Bible. It is a remarkable thing that there is no book from which children learn to read so quickly as from the New Testament: there is a charm about that book which draws forth the infant mind. But let us never be guilty, as parents, of forgetting the religious training of our children; for if we do we may be guilty of the blood of their souls.”

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Feed My Lambs (Synopsis of Come Ye' Children – Chapter 1)

chs-grayBrief Background on Spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon lived from 1834 through 1892 and is known as “The Prince of Preachers.”  He was the pastor at New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years beginning in April 1854 at age tender age of 19.  A prolific writer and preacher, Mr. Spurgeon authored over 3,500 sermons, numerous books, letters, and much more.   He is most well known for his voluminous sermons, his commentary on the Psalms called “A Treasury of David” and his Mornings and Evenings Devotionals.  Mr. Spurgeon was a master teacher, and he held a special place in his heart for children.  He built an orphanage for boys and girls, promoted the teaching of God’s Word to young children, and generally held children in rather high esteem for his day and age.

At some point in his preaching career, Mr. Spurgeon wrote a small book titled “Come Ye’ Children” named after the well known scripture from Psalm 34:11.  The book is subtitled “A Book for Parents and Teachers on the Christian Training of Children” and is recognized as one of the most valuable books ever written on the subject the Christian training of Children.  It has been used in seminaries since Spurgeon penned it for instructing students on the conversion of children.

Over the next twenty-plus weeks, we will look in depth at this gem handed down to us from the “Prince of Preachers.”  We will see that, although written over 100 years ago, Mr. Spurgeon offers timeless truths and practical ideas for teaching kids about Christ gleaned from the Word of God.  I hope that through this rather detailed synopsis, a whole new generation of Children’s Pastors and Children’s Ministry workers will benefit from the biblical wisdom Pastor Spurgeon offers in this work over 100 years ago.  I am passionate about working with children, and I have included many editorial comments in this synopsis which support or, hopefully, expand on Mr. Spurgeon’s original words.  I have included a link at the bottom of each post to the original text for each chapter.  I hope that will help you to distinguish between my thoughts and those offered by Mr. Spurgeon.  With that said, let’s get started with Chapter 1!

Chapter 1 – “Feed My Lambs” – How to Do It

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The Ultimate Goal in Children’s Ministry

woman_at_wellI was reading through the gospel of John the other day in my continued study of the teaching methods utilized by Jesus. As I was reading through John 4, I was struck by one particular verse. Amongst a well-known story not commonly associated with children’s ministry, I found the ultimate goal of Children’s Ministry (or any ministry) in the most unlikely of places.

John 4 is the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well. For those who may not be familiar with the story, Jesus traveled through Samaria (a no-no for any Jew at the time). He met a women Jacob’s well in Sychar (another big no-no as Jews did not associate with Samaritans). Then he proceeded to engaged her in conversation and lay bare her sin (i.e., that she had been married five times and was now living with a man who was not her husband). Despite some vain attempts on her part at changing the subject and debating theology, she soon came to the realization that Jesus was the Christ and went back to tell her acquaintances from the village where she lived. Many were converted by her testimony. It is at this point in the story, that we find John 4:42. The converts from the Samaritan woman’s village exclaim:

They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” [John 4:42]

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Do You Know Whether Your Child is Saved?

As a parent, my biggest wish for my kids is that they will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  I pray for it almost every night.  As a worker in Children’s Ministry, my prayer for the kids in my class is exactly the same.  So, how do you know that your child is saved?  Can you know for sure?

Tony Kummer (from Ministry-to-Children.com) posted an excellent article today on just that topic.  You can find it here:

http://ministry-to-children.com/know-children-saved/

Tony offers a list of seven practical signs to try to discern if your child is saved and invites readers to supplement the list with any additional ideas.

I would also encourage you to read the article from Justin Taylor which is linked from Tony’s site  (http://theologica.blogspot.com/2007/09/questions-for-kids.html).

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