Resources

Don’t Recruit Disunifying People

Don’t Recruit Disunifying People

I made a significant mistake early on in my ministry career. I made several decisions that were unpopular — but that was not my mistake. We are going to make decisions that don’t please everyone. That is a good case of the normals. My mistake was in recruiting some individuals who were vehemently opposed to the changes that I was making. My mistake came when I thought about the old axiom, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” Of course I don’t want to view these individuals as my enemies by any stretch of the imagination! However, I thought...

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God Made Me Unique

God Made Me Unique

Children are naturally curious about others who are different. Although their initial reactions can seem rude or embarrassing to parents, children need to know it’s okay to ask questions. In the book God Made Me Unique, author Chonda Ralston shares how one Sunday School teacher helps students learn the value of every person regardless of their appearance or ability. Chonda and I served together as editors and contributors on numerous Joni and Friends resources over the past decade. This picture book is part of a series from Joni and Friends with New Growth Press. I wrote the adult study, The...

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Making God Part of Your Family

Making God Part of Your Family

The hustle and bustle of everyday life challenges us to find quality, uninterrupted time to spend with our family. Even in many Christian homes, we let society dictate what is right and wrong instead of the standards established by God. It is imperative that we spend time together as a family and teach our children God’s way. I believe parents must ensure their ideas and influences are given more weight than those of their children’s peers or society. Even more important than our own opinions, is God’s message to us. Sharing His truth is essential in our time together as...

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The Huge Intangible of Children’s Ministry

The Huge Intangible of Children’s Ministry

When asked to summarize his theology, Karl Barth, the prolific Swiss theologian, was said to have simply replied, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Now the question is, “How do we get that message to children?” Often this question has been answered through program and curriculum, and the challenge becomes to make the program fun, jazzy, and exciting enough that kids will want to be there. That just may be getting more difficult all the time as children are growing up in a world where they have access to all kinds of exciting things...

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Talking to Children about Prejudice

Talking to Children about Prejudice

Preschoolers in a Dallas church opened their Christmas program with greetings in seven languages. In San Diego, Spanish, Sudanese, and Cambodian pastors are regular visitors in children’s Bible classes. These young global Christians are learning to look on the heart rather than outward appearances. (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT) Children are not born with prejudices. Preschoolers may notice physical, family, and religious differences, but they naturally accept them. It’s often in elementary school that children come into contact with negative attitudes toward those who are different from themselves. When children witness hurtful prejudice, teachers can help them respond with accurate information,...

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