Saturday, May 2, 2015

Dispatch & the Child Safety & Security Audit from KidCheck

This past Winter I was invited to be part of the initial Dispatch Content Team and asked to write about safety in the church and a wonderful resource from KidCheck which was included in the first Dispatch box. If you have not heard of Dispatch yet, you will find information about it at this link - basically they are a box you can subscribe to and then each quarter you will receive a box of "goodies" for you to use in your ministry. Check it out - I'll be reviewing a number of the items in the first box in the coming week.

But today I'm sharing my article about safety . . . 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Help Children Develop an Accurate View of God - God Knows What He is Doing!

Image result for images for boys and girlsI have been talking this week about how we help children develop an accurate view of God in a world where they have anything but an accurate view of Him. Of course, it is essential for children to not just know God loves them, but to fully believe it and they need to know they can trust God's good plan for them if they are going to have an accurate view of Him. But, today I want to talk about how we need to help children not only understand, but to believe and find their joy and peace in knowing God truly does know what He was doing when He created them (Psalm 139).

In our world today, even young children are practically "bombarded" with messages which counter this and leave them thinking they may not be who they were made by God to be. Our culture is very "counter" God's Word and one result is children, youth and adults who are confused about who they are. We need to help the children in our ministries and families believe they can know God knew what He was doing when He created them. They are not an, "accident". They are not a "mistake". They are the boys or girls God created them to be. They can grow up to be godly boys or girls who know, love and walk with God and one day be godly young men or women who know, love and walk with God.

Our world is rapidly moving towards being a society where it is considered "normal" to "change" who we were born as or to have a confused view of who we were created to be. TV, movies and music all present views counter to God's Word as being "truth". These messages are everywhere and can be confusing. It is essential for us to help the children in our ministries and families know, understand and believe the truth; God knew what He was doing when He created them. We can help children with this by . . . 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Help Children Develop an Accurate View of God - We Can Trust God's Good Plan for Us!

Image result for clipart for Jeremiah 29:11I've been talking about how the world today which the children in our ministries and families are growing up is much different than it was when we were children - or, if you are still "young", the one where your parents grew up! While even in Bible times people had the idea they could do whatever they want, this attitude seems to be one which drives the attitudes and actions of our world more and more every year.

So, how do we help children develop an accurate view of God in a world where they have anything but an accurate view of Him? Yesterday I talked about being focused on helping children know and believe God loves them and today I want to look at communicating to children how they can believe and trust God has a good plan for them.

If children grow up in a world where they know they God has a plan for them and they can trust it is a good plan, this can truly change the way they see the world and themselves. So, how do we do this? Consider the following . . . 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Help Children Develop an Accurate View of God - God Loves Them!

Image result for clipart for God's loveYesterday I said; "The world we live in; the one the children in our ministries - and in our families - are growing up in, is a confusing and difficult place. Today the children in our ministries (and families) often grow up with working moms, single parents, divorce and sporadic church attendance. They also grow up with a knowledge of things I did not know about until I was a teen - or older. Children are exposed to so many things; things which were not talked about when I was a child. The world is not the same. The idea we can all do whatever we want to do because being 'happy' is the most important thing."

I asked, "How do we help children develop an accurate view of God in a world where they have anything but an accurate view of Him?" and I talked about three things we need to be intentional about teaching children, beginning with helping children know God loves them.

I do believe it is essential for children to not just know, but to fully believe God loves them. We can not just assume children know this; we need to encourage children with this truth every opportunity we can. Consider the following ways we can do this -

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Help Children Develop an Accurate View of God

Image result for clipart of view of GodThe world we live in; the one the children in our ministries - and in our families - are growing up in, is a confusing and difficult place. When I was a child - quite a number of years ago - nearly all the moms on my street were "stay-at-home-moms". Nearly all the families on my street went to church on Sunday morning. Nearly all the families on my street were two-parent families; I only knew one family where the parents were divorced. Yes, I pretty much grew up in a "Norman Rockwell" picture of a small town with tree-lined streets.

Special Give-Away - To the Sea

I was recently invited to review a new book from Graham Blanchard; since it sounded like a book which would be a wonderful addition to church nurseries and for families to have in their home, I said "yes". They sent it to me, and are making another available for me to give away - but first, here is my opinion of, To The Sea.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Bible Studies for Life: Kids from LifeWay!

Bible Studies for Life: Kids is a Traditional Sunday School curriculum from LifeWay with a strong focus on "providing a balanced approach to central Bible concepts, essential Bible skills and foundational Bible stories for babies through preteens." Bible Teaching for Kids is one of my "best buys" for the following reasons - 
  1. Churches with definite budget issues could purchase just the teacher books for $6.25 per class per quarter.
  2. Churches are able to purchase student materials as their budget allows - student materials for $2.40 per student per quarter. This flexibility provides churches a way to utilize resources with solid Bible teaching and still work within their budgets.
  3. Broadly Graded materials available to combine grades 1-6
Allow me to share with you some information about Bible Studies for Life: Kids!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Curriculum Review - Best Buys - HeartShaper from Standard Publishing!

HeartShaper is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Standard Publishing with a strong focus on "helping you shape young hearts to bring them closer to God!" HeartShaper is one of my "best buys" for the following reasons - 
HeartShaper
  1. Churches with definite budget issues could purchase just the teacher  ooks for $8.49 per class per quarter.
  2. Churches are able to purchase student materials as their budget allows - student materials for $4.49 per student per quarter. This flexibility provides churches a way to utilize resources with solid Bible teaching and still work within their budgets.
  3. Preschool materials include materials for Children's church.
Allow me to share with you some information about HeartShaper!

Curriculum Review - Best Buys - Spark from SparkHouse!

Spark is a Bridge Sunday School curriculum from SparkHouse with a strong focus on teaching God's Word! Spark is one of my "best buys" for the following reasons -
    Spark
  1. Churches with definite budget issues could purchase just the teacher books for $8 per class per quarter.
  2. Churches are able to purchase student materials as their budget allows -   student materials for $5 per student per quarter. 
  3. If budget concerns are a strong factor, a church could purchase just one or two Spark Bibles per class and then have the children share those Bibles in class.
Again, I want to emphasize my "best buys" are those curriculum resources which are the most affordable - I know there are those who believe "you get what you pay for" and the "least expensive is not the best", but I disagree. The curriculum lines I'm designating as "best buys" are well written resources and  are affordable as well. Curriculum does not have to be expensive to be the best and sometimes those which are more expensive are not "better" than less expensive options. Allow me to share with you some information about Spark!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Curriculum Reviews - Best Buys - Adventure Kids and Explorers from D6!

D6 FamilyAdventure Kids and Explorers are Traditional Sunday School curriculum resources from D6 - Randall House Publishers and are "best buys" for the following reasons -
  1. Since it is a Traditional curriculum, churches with definite budget issues could purchase just the teacher books for $7.49 per class per quarter.
  2. Churches are able to purchase student materials as their budget allows - student materials for $4.49 per student per quarter. This flexibility provides a way to utilize resources with solid Bible teaching and still work within your budget.
Allow me to share with you some information about D6's Adventure and Explorers curriculum!