What They Didn’t Teach Me in Seminary

I recently shared during a seminary childhood education class about how God is working powerfully in the lives ofGraduates children. I shared about how the Holy Spirit gifts them and uses them in powerful ways. I even showed them videos of children ministering and teaching.

A student walked up after the class and said, “I just cannot believe this. I have three education degrees, and I don’t believe that kids can do these kinds of things.” I told her, “I am sorry to hear that, but remember God can do what He wants in the life of a child.”

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As you may know, children’s ministry can be a lot of fun and very challenging at the same time. What happens all too often is a few voices turnDont Throw in the Towel the whole ship. You already know who I am talking about. Those complaining voices seem to always get their way.

Let me explain what I mean. You see, in the ministry God calls you to, He gives you a vision. That vision might require you to step completely out of what is normal and go in a totally new direction. When you do that, you will seriously rock the boat for a lot of folks. You will likely hear, “We have never done it that way!”

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Defining Discipleship

If you are like me, you have searched high and low for the best curriculum you could find for teaching children in the different churches where you have served. I found myself looking for a resource that was developmentally appropriate for each age group.
Discipleship vs Christian Education

I quickly learned if the cover looked fantastic it did not mean that the curriculum was fantastic. Many times, the nicer-looking covers resulted in the shallowest materials. In all my efforts, I discovered that most resources are developmental- and education-based. How do I know? Because we divide up our church into age groups and teach in a classroom setting, just like the school system.

Discipleship is not knowledge-based; it is relationship-based.

We can have all of the knowledge about God but have no relationship.

Jesus came to Earth to restore our relationship with God through His death on the cross.

At the point of salvation, the believer in Christ—including children—moves from sinner to saint.

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What Does Acts 1:8 Have to Do with Preteens?

At a former church where I served in Fort Worth, Texas, there were large banners standing by each exit door. On them was the verse Acts 1:8: “But you2008 02 23 00.50.16 2019 03 07 18 15 54 UTC shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Little did I know at the time how that applied to the kids in my church.

One spring at my church, I felt led by the Lord to take our preteens on a mission trip. We took time to train and prepare them for the mission trip. We taught them songs and motions to go with them. They learned the different crafts and games the children would play. Then we taught the preteens how to teach an evangelistic Bible study. Yes—they were going to do all the teaching. This was a first for me and my leadership.

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