Increasing Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not the normal human heart condition.  If newborn babies could talk, they would not immediately give thanks to God for giving them life.  They would not offer up praise to their parents for all the amazing food, toys, shelter, and onesies.  As these youngsters grow up, parents fight the constant battle of grumbling, whining, complaining,…

Seminaries for Children

Seminaries for children?  That sounds like cruel and unusual punishment–almost child abuse!  First graders poring over Greek and Hebrew verb tenses.  Kindergartners subjected to medieval church history and systematic theology.  Second graders forced to preach on the circuit and visit the sick.  How is a seminary any place for a child?  By definition it’s a…

Back to Basics: Teaching Children about Sinful Desire

One of Satan’s most devious strategies is to convince people that today’s issues are just too complex to determine whether something is right or wrong, truth or error.  This includes explaining human behavior, which secular professionals have worked overtime to establish as overly complicated.  We are all meant to throw up our hands and surrender our…

Welcoming Children with Special Needs into Corporate Worship

On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer that we would welcome children with special needs to the regular worship of God’s people.  Don’t we want all men and women, boys and girls to be included in the community of worshipers?  Isn’t this what Christianity is all about?  But when we dig a bit deeper,…

Teaching Children to Discriminate

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on homosexual marriage and recent efforts to claim certain legal rights for the “transgendered,” states and cities have responded with proposed laws and ordinances of their own.  Proponents have argued that these are attempts to protect traditional Christian definitions of marriage, as well as the freedom of religion.  Opponents…

How to Provoke Your Children to Anger in Three Easy Lessons

We live in a culture that sends parents multiple, conflicting messages about their children.  On the one hand, children are to be the center of our universe—given all they desire, and praised to the hilt (in order to prevent low self-esteem, of course).  They are to be protected from all sorts of suffering, doted upon,…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 16: Grounded in Compassion

When you come to firmly believe that a vibrant children’s ministry is essential because of the covenant of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will remain grounded in your purpose and mission.  But how will you maintain and sustain the everyday work of the ministry?  It will certainly help if you have dedicated covenant parents who understand the…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 15: Grounded in Covenant

“Why do we have a children’s ministry in the first place?”  This is a question you must always be prepared to answer.  Sometimes it will come even more aggressively, like: “I don’t see children’s ministry in the Bible.” or “The early church didn’t have a Director of Children’s Ministry!”  Before you read on, what answer…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 14: Train for Relationships

If we rightly understand that the local church is a covenant community of believers, then we must always prioritize the development of Biblical relationships.  So what does this particular task look like in children’s ministry?  Do we just wait for our youth ministry associates to do this work, since that’s when children become more interested…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 13: Train for Worship

One critical children’s ministry decision is whether to have some sort of “children’s church” during the Sunday morning worship service, or opt to keep children in worship with their parents.  Ultimately, the pastoral leadership and elders of your church are responsible to cast the vision of what biblical corporate worship looks like, including how children are to be…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 12: Protect ALL Children

It’s a sad reality that we need to devote a lesson in this series to the topic of child protection.  But, we live in a fallen world.  Evil people who want to hurt children.  Churches tend to be “soft targets” where predators have plenty of opportunities.  So your children’s ministry  team must always keep a place on…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 11: Serve ALL Children

After serving just a few weeks at my current post, one of our long-time elders and his wife paid me a visit.  After the opening pleasantries, he threw down the gauntlet with this provocative question: “Are you here to minister to ALL the children of our church, or just MOST of them?”   All sorts of thoughts…