All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Making God Famous for Kids! – Pt. 2

In my previous post, I wrote about the central role God’s fame must play in the formation of our children.  In this post I want to show you how we seek to apply this truth both in our children’s ministry and in our homes.

In our children’s ministry:

Lesson Summaries: We train our teachers to summarize each Bible lesson in three or four sentences. We keep God at the center of these lessons by making him the main character in these story summaries (e.g., Goliath hated God’s people.  God chose David to fight Goliath.  David trusted God.  God saved His people by killing Goliath.). Our preschool teachers are encouraged to review these sentences at every point in their class schedule—welcome, story, snack, craft, etc.

Singing to God: We sing to God every week, and we choose music that praises God for his attributes—his goodness and greatness. Kids need to praise the mighty Creator for all of His dazzling greatness!

Excellence in Everything: We strive for excellence in everything we do — to the glory of God.  We want our teaching, singing, and administration to be done with excellence because it is a reflection of God’s excellence.This means listening to one another and providing regular, godly critique. We communicate a lot not just in what we teach, but in how we teach, lead and organize.

In our homes:

God Moments: Teaching moments happen all the time. They can happen while driving down the road, walking through the zoo, or sitting around the kitchen table. As parents, it is a part of our nature to capitalize on opportunities to tell our children what they should do or how they should grow in character. But we often overlook opportunities to teach kids about God’s fame. “God Moments” are those opportunities in the course of everyday life that we can redeem by turning our kids’ attention toward the beauty of God and his work in our world and lives. These “God moments” aren’t something to be scheduled, but instead must be discovered while going through life with your children. Therefore, we must always be on the lookout for these moments and be willing to take time and redeem them when they arise.

Family Worship: Scripture is clear that parents should be their children’s primary source for biblical teaching (Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78). We encourage family worship (or family devotions) as a practical means for fulfilling this God-given role. By family worship, I don’t mean a rote one-hour worship service in your living room every night. I just mean setting designated weekly time for the family to gather to pray and study the Bible together. In our family, that means being intentional about having excellent children’s music in our minivan, reading a Bible story around the dinner table once each week, and praying blessings over our kids before they go to bed at night. I’m encouraging weekly family worship, because most families have a regular weekly routine based around their work and school schedules. So, designating a weekly time and putting it in your weekly calendar is the easiest way to make teaching your kids about God regular and consistent.

Sign Up Now for the April 22 Baby Dedication!

We celebrate baby dedication services at Sojourn because we recognize our God-given responsibility as parents, and because we know that our home needs God’s help.  We dedicate our kids because we want to partner with our church family–making a commitment to raise our children in light of God’s promises. Our next Baby Dedication service is April 22nd. To participate, sign up below for the April 15th First Steps Class. The class is a learning experience designed to prepare you for what will take place during the dedication service. And it is also a party—a celebration of the gift of life that God has given you in your new child!

 Sign Up Now!

 

Last Sunday: God Provides a Substitute

Have you ever noticed how substitutes get the worst treatment? When you are in grace school, having a substitute is a perfect excuse to goof off and pull out the paper airplanes and the gags. Last Sunday at SojournKids, we learned about how God called Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. He called Abraham to do the unthinkable in complete obedience to his command. But then God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac. The substitute ram took death so that  Isaac could go free.

Download our SojournKids At Home sheet to review the full story with your kids.

5 Take Home Sheets for Genesis

In December and early January, SojournKids studied through a unit of curriculum on the chapters 3-11 of Genesis. Over five weeks, we put together 5 lessons with 5 memorable images–the fall, the brothers, the flood, the rainbow, and the tower. Each lesson was illustrated by Sojourn member, Birttany Jarboe Jennings.  Here are the five SojournKids At Home sheets for these five lessons along with a brief description of the theme for each:

The Fall
Satan tempted Adam and Eve to believe that God did not love them. Even though God had given them wonderful things—a garden filled with all kinds of food, one another, and a perfect relationship with him—the snake told Eve that God was strict. Satan lied and told Eve that God was keeping back his best

The Brothers
Cain could not hide his sin from God. God found him, and he could have killed him since the right punishment for our sin is death. But God had mercy on Cain. He asked questions to show Cain the sin in his heart then he let Cain live. Even though we are angry and jealous like Cain, God has mercy on us. Our brother, Jesus Christ, was killed on the cross to take away our sins.

The Flood
God showed his friendliness and grace to one man, Noah. God was Noah’s friend. So, he told him what he planned to do, and he saved him from the flood. God told Noah to build a gigantic boat (bigger than a football field). The boat would save Noah, his family, and the animals from death.

The Rainbow
God remembered Noah and all of the wild animals that were with him in the ark. He made the boat stop on dry land, made the waters drain away, and commanded. Noah to come out. Then, God made a covenant promise to Noah. He promised not to flood the earth again. And he put the rainbow in the sky as a sign of his promise. The sign would remind Noah of God’s love and faithfulness. Noah could trust God, because God always keeps his promises.

The Towers
God wanted the people to scatter throughout the whole earth and make him famous—because he is the biggest and best! So, God confused their language. The people couldn’t understand one another any more. Then, God sent them out. Sometimes, we can be like those people. We want others to see how great we are, but God is bigger and better than us. He made us to tell others about him.


Life Lessons from Kentucky’s President, Honest Abe

It’s President’s Day, so I thought it would be good to glean a few life lessons from the one president born in Kentucky (not Illinois!), Abraham Lincoln. So, here are four quick lessons from Honest Abe.

  • No prophet is accepted in his hometown. Abraham Lincoln was born here, but it didn’t gain him much politically. In 1860, two Kentuckians ran for president—Lincoln and then VP, John C. Breckenridge. Neither candidate won their party’s Blue Grass presidential primary.

  • A friend sticks closer than a brother. Louisville’s Speed Art Museum was named for James Breckinridge Speed, the nephew of Abraham Lincoln’s best friend, Joshua Speed. Speed was courting a gal named Fanny Henning, but Fanny’s uncle, who was her guardian, was so talkative that the couple had little time together. One night, Lincoln joined Speed on a visit to the Henning home. Abe was a Republican, but he pretended to be a Democrat and engaged Fanny’s uncle in a heavy political argument so that the lovers would have a chance to be together. That night, Speed proposed and Fanny accepted. Continue Reading…