I enjoy working with teenagers in ministry and believe that teen discipleship is so important because they are at a pivotal point in their walk with God. By this age, teens have heard a lot of information from the many influences around them, including parents, youth pastors, peers, music, media, teachers, and education, and they are coming to their own conclusions about life. If they do not have the foundation of knowledge about what they believe, coupled by a growing personal relationship with Jesus, they are more apt to fall away from their faith.
Every year as Christmas creeps closer and closer, I am filled with anticipation for the joy of the season, but also anxiety sets in as I wonder if I will be able to get everything done in time. From preparing kids for Christmas plays, to hosting and attending parties, to determining the perfect gifts for each family member… it’s a crazy time of year!
What do your kids love about Christmas? Mine love decorating the Christmas tree (my husband’s least favorite part), making, icing, and eating Christmas cookies, and spending time with their cousins… Christmas is fun and full of exciting activities, but with so much to look forward to, if we are not careful, it can become easy to loose sight of the main reason for Christmas.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… a time we can bring God so much glory by enjoying the love story between Him and us. A story we want to share with our kids over and over every Christmas because it’s the greatest love story ever told- that the God of the universe would want to come down from Heaven and be with us!
Working in preschool ministry, I get an interesting perspective of Santa at Christmas time. Leading worship, it is my goal to encourage the preschoolers to get more excited about Jesus than anything else in their life. When I ask the preschoolers what they are excited about at Christmas time, this is what I often hear…
With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s fun to think of something special to give our kids to celebrate the occasion. I enjoy giving my kids Thanksgiving books and books about thankfulness. Reading books together on thankfulness is a great way to encourage our kids to be thankful and get them excited about celebrating Thanksgiving!
When I was in the first grade, I remember an interesting story that occurred in my class about lunchbox notes. We would bring our lunches to school every day and eat at our desks, while our teacher would eat at her desk. One day, a girl named Emily went up to our teacher with a small folded note and asked if she would read it to her. The teacher looked over the note and began to read it in front of the class. It was a sweet note written by Emily’s mom. Emily beamed while the teacher read her note and proudly sat back down at her desk to finish her lunch.
Now we will discuss a final way to reach our children’s hearts and that is through prayer. In Acts we learn that the early disciples devoted themselves to prayer. (Acts 2:42) We also know that the prayer of a righteous (mom) is powerful and affective, so praying for our children’s hearts is arguably the most important thing we can do.
Today we will be discussing a fourth way to reach our children’s hearts: Teaching a Dependence on God.
We live in an independent world where we grow up in a culture with a “Do it yourself” mentality. Independence is seen as a strong, desirable trait, and dependence as a weak one. But in the Kingdom of God, things are reversed. God’s Word says to rely on the Lord for everything. In fact, this builds our relationship with God when we depend on Him.
Distractions can keep our children from loving and following God with all their hearts. The first type includes things that are good but that can become idols. For example, when our kids are more focused on their peer-group or favorite activities than on God, it is easy to let these “good things” become number one in their life and take the place of God.
The second type of distractions include negative influences that can lead our children into sin or believing things contrary to God’s truth. If our children are around these type of influences, the enemy can use them to pull our kids away from their growing relationship with Christ.