sharing God’s Word doesn’t have to be hard.  since beginning events with t-shirts i wanted to ensure a way for children to share in their sphere of influence the life-changing word of God.   (i believe the day will come soon where scripture and Christian t-shirts will be banned from many areas.  some may exists outside our region now.)

we keep it simple.  we print the event logo on the front and the theme scripture on the back of the shirt.  then after the event, we challenge all the kids to wear their shirts to school.  this year we asked parents to post pictures of kids in their shirts on our ministry facebook page.  wow, what a day.  i was giddy throughout the day as i saw picture after picture of kids boldly wearing their WORD shirt to school.

schoolshirtsthree of our dawson kids proudly wearing their WORD shirts to school.

one of our parents volunteers sums it up best in a post she shared on Facebook after seeing all the kids in their shirts.  we have much to learn from the children – the church of today!

“As a leader @ 24Hrs4Him, I can say it was an EXHAUSTING 24 hours, but totally worth it to share the love of Christ and His Word with the children! We laughed, played, studied, worshipped and prayed and the weekend was worth it for me when my daughter’s sweet lifelong friend made her public profession of faith. However, watching my FB newsfeed blow up with pics of all these kids wearing their shirts to school today, reminds me how big our GOD is. Those 24 hours are spilling into schools all over town today and affecting who knows how many more people. Danielle Bell was correct when she reminded us that these children are not the FUTURE church, they are TODAY’s church, and I am inspired by their joy and enthusiasm to tell everyone they know about Jesus! I hope it reminds all us “old fogies” to do the same! WORD!”
– Marty Dunn 2nd grade 24 Hours 4 Him leader & 3rd Grade dawson kids investor

introducing. discipling. digging deeper.

introducing, discipling, and challenging families to dig deeper into God’s Word are the aspects that make up our “confident in Christ” discipleship strategy at dawson kids.  several times a year we offer the following classes to 1st-5th graders on sunday evenings.  i have the privilege of teaching these classes, but i believe the element that truly takes these classes beyond the church walls and into the fabric of each child’s faith is the intentional part their parents play in each study.

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 8.43.33 PMGospel class (introducing)-  this interactive class is designed for kids that are asking questions and seeking to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior. this is a two week class for parents and children to attend together.  using the Gospel project’s “God’s plan for me”, we explore each of the five Christ-centered, clearly stated Gospel points this resource provides.  after introducing each truth, we creatively experience them in concrete ways to build a bridge to these glorious abstract concepts. Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 8.53.54 PM then parents and children work through a series of questions together (in class) about each truth.  this sweet time provides an open, honest dialogue between parent and child. parents not only personalize these truths with parts of their own spiritual journey, but they also get a glimpse of where their child is in his/her spiritual journey.  when the teaching and activities are over and the parent/child conversations begin, i sit back and take in the precious sight of parents being the primary faith trainers for their children.  it is by far my favorite part of this class! each family also receives their own copy of “the Gospel God’s plan for me” booklet to read, study the scriptures, and continue the discussion at home.

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 9.01.06 PM“i’m a Christian now” class (discipling)- this five week class (four weeks of workbook material) is designed for kids that have made a profession of faith. (we strongly encourage parents to have their child complete this class before baptism.) parents are asked to attend the first class (many stay for all five) and also complete the daily homework each week with their child. during class we don’t just review the facts in the homework, we experience these life-changing truths through hands-on activities and discover how they apply to our daily lives. we fall off tables for faith. each child literally gets their hands dirty when learning about sin and forgiveness. we march around the room to visualize repentance.  there is a tour of the church and baptism areas.  we also participate in prayer using the a.c.t.s. model, kids write out their testimonies, and much more.

digging deeper into God’ Word c.l.a.p. (digging deeper)-  i love devotional books for kids, but i am also passionate about kids learning to read, study and apply God’s word for themselves. i have had the pleasure of attending several of anne graham lotz’s Bible studies and have loved her sessions on how to study God’s Word.  as i began to practice her “3-question method” in my own quiet time, i was burdened to introduce it to the younger generations.  i decided to teach this method to my senior high girl’s small group.  they renamed the method c.l.a.p. (content, lesson, application, and prayer) and committed to giving it a try. we walked verse-by-verse through ephesians and hosea and i have never experienced such authentic share times.  lessons that could not be taught through workbook studies were coming to life as we simply sought God’s Word and what He had to say to us individually and as a group.   i know i am a children’s minister, but those sunday nights with that small group of youth girls and God’s Word are some of my favorite ministry memories. after teaching them, i knew i had to challenge the younger kids to begin to study God’s Word on their own.  we first incorporated c.l.a.p. in a children’s fall retreat, but it has since become a class i offer to parents and kids.  families come together for two weeks and learn this method and then practice at home.  i wish you could have been in my last session of this class.  i had several “chill bump moments” as i listened to families share what God said to them through a specific passage and how they were applying it to their families and individual lives.  glory!

TradingCards19 copyover 15 years ago, when i was just beginning in the kidmin world, i had such a burden for children to be given the opportunity to participate in an event that was intentional about Bible study and discipleship.  i knew their youth world would be scattered with “disciple now” type events, but why not provide a one night event for children where they are brought together to:

– study God’s Word in a interactive way
– worship God in a kid-friendly setting
– be poured into by passionate adults and youth
– build relationships with their peers in a safe environment
and more.

so, from this vision came 24 Hours 4 Him – a spring discipleship event that begins at 6p.m. on a friday night and ends at 6p.m. on 24hours07logosaturday night.  yes, the kids sleep.  we even put them to bed in order of their age.  no, we don’t sleep in family homes.  we nestle down right in church classrooms so we don’t lose anytime driving back and forth to the church.

Screen Shot 2012-01-30 at 10.40.07 AMour themes come from great sources like northpoint’s superheroes curriculum, children desiring God backyard Bible club lessons, orange’s past vbs curriculums, and more.  the entire 24 hours revolves around the theme in hopes of not only helping children understand these truths with their head, but to grasp them with their hearts and then apply them to their lives.

the schedule usually looks something like this:GodWins3.C


  •  children arrive, report to BIble study rooms, and play a get-to-know-you game
  • dinner
  • Bible study (by grade)
  • worship
  • 1st & 2nd graders go to bed while 3rd-5th graders participate in special areas (i.e. cooking, crafts, drama, puppets, secret service, etc.)
  • 3rd & 4th graders go to bed while *5th graders have a special late night event.
  • bedtime


  • wake up
  • breakfast
  • morning celebration
  • quiet time
  • Bible study
  • lunch
  • BIble study
  • recreation
  • Bible studyWisdom3
  • clean-up, pack-up (kids help put the church back together for sunday morning.)
  • closing worship (parents are invited to attend with their children.)
  • go home

24truthlogonoverseadditional information

  • Bible study leaders are parents, college students, or older youth.
  • parents come and help serve meals and also make goody buckets for each of the Bible study leaders.
  • we have a designated first-aid/meds person that handles any medicine brought by parents for their children during the weekend.
  • we bring in a special speaker and worship leader for the worship sessions.  (children also get the chance to lead in worship.)
  • children receive a t-shirt from the weekend and we encourage them to wear it to school the next week.
  • parents receive an immediate email after dropping their children off that shares with them what the children are studying that weekend and ways to continue the learning at home.
  • *the late night 5th grade activity is fun activity where children make bridges out of various random supplies. (i.e. straws, legos, rubber bands, paperclips, etc.) then, we talk through how Jesus alone is the bridge between our sinful selves and our Holy God.  children then fill out a questionnaire about where they are spiritually, so that we can more effectively minister to them in their remaining months in kids ministry.

i have been blessed at both of the churches i have served at with pastors that understand the importance of children’s ministry and take time to promote andScreen shot 2011-03-09 at 11.02.28 AM share the vision with others.  below is an excerpt of what my current pastor, dr. gary fenton, is sharing in next week’s church newsletter about dawson kids first ever 24 Hours 4 Him.

“Speaking of children… as we do frequently at Dawson, because ministry to children, preschool, middle and high school students are a priority… this Friday, March 01 6:00 pm to Saturday 6 p.m. will be one of the more important 24 hour periods in the church this year. We will host “24 hours 4 Him.” This is an intentional step toward healthy Christian discipleship that involves interactive Bible Study, age appropriate worship and teaching for grades 1-5. In the last several years several books including You Lost Me and Almost Christian have documented that a large number young adults 18 to 30 indicate that their faith is not relevant to the issues they face in life. Many of them have not totally abandoned their faith in God; but they are unsure if and how it relates to their daily life. The Christian faith is unfortunately too often seen as a ticket to heaven, rather than a way of life. Some who drop out may have had experiences with God but have never learned about a daily walk with God. Others may have just heard enough to be confused. During 24 Hours 4 Him children will learn about heroes of the Old and New Testament as the Bible stories will be taught in an age appropriate ways. This is not a child evangelism program but an opportunity for spiritual preparation. 

Still speaking of children…If you sense excitement on my part, you are right. The first time I heard of 24 Hours 4 Him I thought it was probably a children’s version of a lock-in during which exhausted kids would be manipulated into some type of emotional decision. Then my first grade grandson participated in one in another state and I saw how helpful and healthy it was for him to hear Bible stories. I learned sleep and rest were built into the program. It was like spending the night at Christian friend’s house that involved healthy Christian teaching. I invite you to be praying this wonderful foundational discipleship event.”

i so look forward to what next weekend will be and what God will do at dawson kids first 24 Hours 4 Him.  for those of you who want more info, i have provided some links to some promotional and leader information from our present 24 Hours 4 Him.  

24 Hours 4 Him registration 2013
24 Hours 4 Him leader guidelines

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