repost for cpc friends

twice a year i teach a two week Gospel class for children that are seeking answers to what it means to be a Christian. at recent workshops i have taught several people have asked for the outline of this class. i thought it would be easiest to share the information here. this will be a three part series. here is what will be covered in each post:

part 1 – the what, how, and guidelines for the class
part 2 – what is covered the first week of class
part 3 – what is covered the second week of class.

005567177the entire class is based on the amazing resource from the Gospel project kids curriculum, “the Gospel God’s plan for me.” you can learn more and purchase “the Gospel God’s Plan for me” booklets here. each participant receives this booklet week one to take home and read with an adult.

here is the heart behind the class –
i believe that parents want to be an active part in leading their children to Christ. i also find it incredibly rewarding when a child prays to receive Christ with their parent/guardian/grandparent instead of me. so i began to wonder, how can i partner with parents/guardians to help them talk about the Gospel with their children and begin to understand if their child is ready to make this commitment of faith? i want authentic interaction between parent/guardian and child, because we often know that as kidmin leaders, we get sunday school answers. parents/guardians know their kids best, so i wanted to give them a chance to grapple with the Gospel truths. this is the very reason why i require an adult to attend each class with their child.

the model of the class –
during the class we study the five truths outlined in “the Gospel God’s plan for me.” i teach each truth straight from God’s Word. (i even have them turn to the scriptures in the Bible and mark them.) children and adults then experience each truth through engaging, hands-on activities. lastly, the children and their adult discuss each truth. i provide several questions and while i have their captivated attention, i have them turn to one another and discuss these truths just taught and experienced in a safe setting.

when the class is offered – 
i have traditionally offered the class on sunday evenings at five, but due to busy schedules i have moved the class our early service time on sunday mornings. parents seem to like the class in the mornings. they can attend my class and still attend small group and one of our other two worship services.


here are the links to part 2 and 3 in this series.
part 2 – what is covered the first week of class
part 3 – what is covered the second week of class.

[box type=”bio”] for a chance to win a free copy of this book, comment below and share why you would like to read this book during this season of your ministry. all names of those that comment will be entered into a random name picker for a chance to win this book free. winner will be announced on my blog on friday, january 12.[/box]

i don’t read nearly as much as i should. i know, i know a real leader is always a leaner. i want to learn, i just find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time. 🙂 so let me just say when i come into a dawson kids staff meeting with a book that we are all going to read (in addition to the book the ministerial staff is already reading), they know it must be important. that is how i feel about “sustainable children’s ministry”. i was so glad to get an advance copy of this amazing resource (it releases at the end of the month) and here is my endorsement found in the book.

[box] “in a ministry culture where gimmicks and entertainment can overshadow the reason we serve, it is refreshing to read a book that keeps the essentials and the eternal front and center. whether you are new to ministry or a seasoned pro, “sustainable children’s ministry” is for you. proven, practical steps mixed with just enough real-life ministry examples provide the reader with a resource to build a ministry from scratch, evaluate an existing ministry, or tweak a program to make it strong until the end.” danielle bell, minister to children, dawson family of faith, birmingham,[/box]

so for a chance to win a copy of this book, i am asking you to comment and share how this book would help you in your season of ministry. for me, after 20 years in kidmin, i need help seeing things i can no longer see – things too familiar to be recognized. as our team reads this book i will challenge us to look closely at our policies, systems, lack of systems, etc. to see where we fall short. in areas where we are a last minute team, i want us to find ways to build structure to be ahead of the game instead of arriving right on time. i am a visionary and details don’t come naturally to me, so as i read i want to leave with two solid changes i can make in my planning. that’s just the beginning, i am hoping this book delivers even more of a push to more quality backbones that support our Gospel-centered ministry. what about you?

[box type=”bio”] for a chance to win a free copy of this book, comment below and share why you would like to read this book during this season of your ministry. all names of those that comment will be entered into a random name picker for a chance to win this book free. winner will be announced on my blog on friday, january 12.[/box]

kids are the church of today and if we give them a chance to actively participate in prayer we may just be blown away. this is a post from my archives about kids and prayer.

last night our church hosted a night of dedicated prayer to take place in over 40-50 homes all over the city of birmingham. while prayer is probably my weakest spiritual discipline, i was so looking forward to this night for several reasons. the first is that the night was all about prayer; not fellowship and food, which are two things baptist have seemed to master. secondly, these groups were a great mix of people from all ages and walks of life. lastly, the kids weren’t dropped off at a nursery or childcare, they were invited to the night of prayer. it was quite a night. let me just say, we had church!

as a ministry leader, i learned that we are setting the bar too low for kids and prayer. oh i get it and i understand the questions. several people asked me for confirmation that kids were really invited. i immediately exclaimed “yes, we are having church like in Jesus’ day. gather together and hear and seek him and not divide into age groups scattered all over buildings.” then there were those who doubted kids would be able to focus on prayer for a whole hour. to be honest, i wondered that myself. (i don’t sit still well, and let’s just say i may have wiggled more than the kids at my designated home.) and next was the question we all knew was coming (this time from a child, but we can imagine some adults were thinking it, too) “do we have to pray out loud?”

after a solid hour of praising God for who He is, thanking him for all He has done, silent confession, and intercession for others, i was reminded that i would take a house of praying kids over an adult house any day. here are just a couple of things i heard from the mouths of babes:

  • “God let the lost look to You and bow down to You.”
  • “may the adults in this room be as bold about sharing Jesus as kids are.” (that one stung a little, but i knew it to be true with the crowd of kids that surrounded me in prayer.)
  • “thank you for Jesus.” (amen.)
  • “thank you for butter.” (i mean really, i loved this and wondered when was the last time i thanked God for butter.)
  • “God help me have the courage to share my faith at school even when others make fun of me.”
  • “thank you for our sunday school teachers.”
  • “thank you for clean water.” (obviously they have been listening, as we partner with countries to bring clean water to those in need.)
  • “help me be kind to others even when they are not nice back.”
  • prayers for the homeless in need of shelter.
  • prayers for our new pastor (we are in the search process) and the search team.

i could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point — the kids got it. one of the sweetest things to hear was the kids continually thanking God for things throughout our prayer time. when we changed gears to confession or intercession, they weren’t bound to only these types of prayers. thanksgiving prayers were still being uttered aloud as people were silently confessing or audibly interceding for others. (“thank you for science. thank you for math.) they knew all things were from Him and came prepared to thank Him. these kids boldly approached the throne of grace and not one (from the smallest preschooler) complained about us praying for a solid hour. one child at another home said at the end of their time that “it just felt like 10 minutes.” again, they get it. doesn’t time spent with someone you love and you know loves you, just fly by?

so as a kidmin leader here are my takeaways.

  • prayer shouldn’t just be something we use as a transition pieces in our lesson/classes. prayer can be the lesson.
  • we underestimate and often undervalue kids when we limit prayer to a short amount of time because we think kids can’t handle long periods.
  • kids pray as Jesus taught, to the point without a lot of show for attention. so, how can we intentionally guide them in more prayer times?
  • kid’s get it. they can boldly and transparently lay their requests before a loving Savior. instead of taking so long for prayer requests, why don’t we simply teach them to pray?
  • kids are listening to what is being taught. let’s make time for intentional prayer after the lesson and allow kids to talk it over with the Father.

i am done with expecting less of kids because they are younger. really, in my experiences, we should expect more. so no more settling, i am setting the bar high for kids and prayer and i am going to sit back and watch the Lord work.

this picture was form another prayer house, but i love it. just look at how excited and attentive they are.

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