3 Things We Want for Our Children that are Wrong

Culture has invaded the church in so many ways that sometimes we get locked into certain phrases that sound good but go against the Word of God. Here are five of them.

God wants you to be happy. Parents and teachers don’t normally say this because it doesn’t sound spiritual, but they act like it is true. They encourage children to do things and follow paths that will make them happy. In a way, this is true. The problem lies with finding our happiness through the things of the world. The world can never satisfy us, and the happiness it gives is fleeting and depends on circumstances around us. God doesn’t want our children find their happiness in anything except for Him. God wants us to have the joy of the Lord because through that joy, we find strength and living water that will refresh us regardless of the circumstances.

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Being popular/successful/liked is important. We never tell our children this, but we all want our children to be successful. We encourage them to make the best grades, to go to the dances and proms, to play on the sports teams. We even encourage our children to do these that go against God’s Word to be popular. I’m sure many of you are thinking you would never do that. So let me ask you a few questions. Do you allow your child to play on a sports team that will consistently keep him out of church? Do you allow your child to read books, play video games, or watch TV programs that are popular yet have occult references or go against God’s Word in another way? Is your child allowed to spend the night at a friend’s house on Saturday night when it means not going to church? Have you ever kept your child home from church to do homework?Do you ever encourage your child not to make waves when the school or another secular activity is teaching him something contrary to God’s Word? There is nothing wrong with being popular, successful, or liked provided your children put God first and don’t pursue those things.

John 12:42-43 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.  

Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a tservant of Christ.

A blue person stands out in a crowd holding a sign with the word God on it, spreading the holy teachings of the church and trying to convert others to a belief or faith

Follow your dreams/heart. The idea here is to encourage children to follow after what they want in life and to not let anything stop them. If we want our children to be committed to God, we need to teach them to seek what God wants for them, to follow God’s dreams and plans for their lives, and not to let anything stop them. We need to teach them to follow hard after God.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

3 Steps to Teaching Children How to Pray for Missionaries

Little girl wishing on white background

Teaching children how to pray for missionaries is not always easy, but here are a 3 things to help.

Give the children Prayer Maps from Every Home for Christ. They are free and will give the children areas of the world to pray for every day of the month.

Teach the children what to pray. You can’t go wrong if you teach children to pray for missionaries to have boldness, for their safety, and for God to meet their needs. Here are verses to go with those prayers.

Boldness: Acts 4:28-29 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.

Safety: Isaiah 54:17  “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me,” says the Lord.”

Meeting Needs: Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Teach children about specific missionaries. The more children know about real missionaries, the more likely they are to pray for them. This Assemblies of God site has stories about missionaries. You can also find some stories at this site about Christian children in non-Christian countries.

10 Things to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

At some point in every overworked children’s pastor’s life, he or she will become overwhelmed with a number of major issues and projects at one time. Summer is one of the busiest times on the children’s ministry calendar and can make a children’s pastor want to run away to some tropical island that doesn’t have children.

Help is on the way. Here are ten things to do when the pressure of an overloaded schedule bears down on you.

The questionnaire1. Make A To Do List: Write down everything you need to do no matter how small or large. Just having it written down in black and white will relieve some of the pressure because you don’t have to remember everything.

2. Pray Over The List: Before you start tackling your to do list, lay hands on it and pray for God’s wisdom and guidance. Prepare to be amazed at how much this will help.

Priority Rubber Stamp Shows Urgent Rush Delivery3. Cross Off Unimportant Items: Look through the to do list. Cross off anything that doesn’t have to be done. You may want to color code your puppets and alphabetize your object lessons, but you don’t need to do that. Say no to the perfectionist within you. But don’t stop there. Any projects, events, or meetings that aren’t essential should also be crossed off or rescheduled for when you have more time.

4. Procrastinate: Write a new to do list of items that can wait until this crisis period is over. There are things that need to be done but can wait. During crunch time, only do what you have to do now. After making your procrastination list, file it. Then write on your calendar the date you’ll pull out the wait to do list.

5. Delegate: This is the time to rally the troops. Check every item that can be done by someone other than you. Then call in your family, friends, and children’s ministry team and be brutally honest. Tell them you’re in over your head and need their help during this short-lived busy season.

Health Work Career Friends Signpost Showing Life And Lifestyle Balance6. Prioritize: Look at the list you have left. Group like jobs together to make them easier. Then number the list in order of importance.

7. Limit Interruptions: Tell friends and co-workers you’ll be unavailable except during certain times. This will give you large chunks of time to get busy on the to do list.

8. Have Fun: After tackling some of the jobs, take a break and do something relaxing and fun. When you get back to work, you’ll be relaxed and better able to handle the stress.

9. Take Care of Yourself: Exercise and healthy eating help you keep down your stress levels which will help you work faster and be more productive.

10. Unwind: After the crisis period, take a little time to yourself to unwind before tackling the jobs you put off. It you don’t allow yourself downtime, you may find yourself burning out.

Saturated by the Holy Spirit Children’s Ministry Object Lesson

Here is a great object lesson to illustrate why we need to be filled and saturated by the Holy Spirit.

Supplies Needed: flat sponge, bowl of water

Ephesians 5:18 Do not be drunk with wine. That will ruin you spiritually. But be filled with the Spirit.

The Bible talks a lot about being filled with the Holy Spirit. The word used in this verse for filled means being continually filled. That means being filled, and filled, and filled again. It means to keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.

(show flat sponge) Can anyone tell me what this is? (If the children don’t know, let them know it’s a sponge that has never been wet. It’s called a flat sponge. Talk about how useless this sponge is without water just as the Christian is useless unless he’s filled with the Holy Spirit.

The sponge is hard. God doesn’t want us to have a hard heart toward Him. He wants to fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel 36:26  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

This sponge is dry. Without the Holy Spirit filling us, our lives and passion for God can be dry. God wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that rivers of living water can flow out of us.

John 7:37-39 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

This sponge can’t wash or clean anything. Being filled with the Holy Spirit keeps us cleansed from sin.

John 7:38  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’

Romans 8:2 Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Object Lesson Experiment:

(Dip the sponge in the bowl of water so it is a little wet. Let the children make observations on how the sponge has changed. It is wetter, bigger, softer, more useful. Dip the sponge again until it gets saturated.)

The more this sponge gets saturated with water, the more useful it is. The more we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the more useful we are to the Kingdom of God.

If I were to leave this wet sponge on the shelf, what would happen to it? It would get dried out and hard again. That’s the way we will get if we don’t continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Free Children’s Ministry Materials for Independence Day Weekend

0305-4th-july-1100021042-10182013Here are a few free resources to help you plan children’s church for Independence Day week-end. Have a great 4th of July holiday.

 

 

Children’s Sermons & Object Lessons:

Equipped for Battle Children’s Sermon

Are We on God’s Side Bible Story

Independence Day Lesson

Free at Last Children’s Sermon

Freedom Isn’t Free Children’s Sermon

Children’s Ministry Activities:

Independence Day Craft – Firecrackers

7 Great Ideas for the 4th of July

Living Out Our Liberty Craft

Fun Independence Day Games