All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Faithmapping for you and for your kids.

“It’s the whole business of the whole church to preach the whole gospel to the whole world.” Charles Spurgeon

Sojourn Pastors, Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper, have recently released their book Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas For Your Spiritual Journey. The book unpacks our vision and mission–to see the whole gospel form us as a whole church and send us to the whole world. Faithmapping is available in paperback and Kindle here, as well as many other retailers like Crossway and Westminster Bookstore. You can take time to read the introduction to the book at Pastor Daniel’s personal blog. 

Even if you’ve heard about Faithmapping, you may not know that Sojourn already has two books for children that unpack the whole gospel (in three perspectives) and the whole church (in five identities). If you’d like to pass on the truths that your learning in Faithmapping to your kids, you should check these out:

What is the Gospel? by Mandy Groce teaches children the message of God’s kingdom accomplished through God’s cross by God’s grace. This whole gospel is given to us as one beautiful mosaic. Our hope is that this little book will help children to see this from their earliest years. The book is now available for order from Amazon.com and the WTS bookstore. The book has been published by Christian Focus Publications.

What is the Church? This is Sojourn’s second children’s book, written by Mandy Groce and Bill Bell.   What Is The Church? was written to teach preschool children that the church is not a building. It is a people that God has called together and made alive by faith. Purchase the book online here.  Pick up a copy at the book table.  It is now available for order from Amazon.com and the WTS bookstore. It has also been published by Christian Focus Publications.

By the way, a big thanks to the Hankins family for the helpful review and critique of What is the Gospel? We’re working on a gospel tract for kids that uses the same three perspectives. It will definitely include verses. :) Another big thanks to Tony Kummer for blogging about the books and making a great little promo video. Thanks Tony!

Coaching “Impressionable Young Boys”

I love sports, and some of my best friends are coaches. I just read a great new book, Heisman: The Man Behind the Trophy (Howard Books, 2012). It’s a biography of the famous Georgia Tech coach, John M. Heisman, after whom the college football player of the year trophy is named.

Here is a quote from Coach Heisman about the influence coaches can have on impressionable young boys. It got me thinking about the importance of godly influences for our kids outside of our immediate families. I pray that my children will be surrounded by men and women of character. Enjoy this quote:

Whatever the coach says goes with the impressionable young pupil. The coach’s word is the law and the gospel, and not merely as regards football but as to most anything under the sun. At that age a boy’s mind is plastic. Certain things are much more apt to get control of his mind, his heart, his emotional nature than others. One of these is football, and through the medium of this wonderful game the coach, quite unintentionally, gets control fo the boy. The coach says, “Do this!” and the boy does it, though his own father or mother might not have been able to get compliance. And so it comes that that boy at just that time of life is likely to be taught things by the coach and to get into habits engendered and fostered by the way his coach acts and thinks that will stick to him for the remainder of his life. If the coach is a worthless, reprehensible fellow, a man of bad character or none, he is bound to to the boys enormous harm. If, however, he is a high type of man with lofty ideals and firm principles of right and truth, one who recognizes his power and responsibilities, then it’s well he coaches football and it’s well for the boys that play football under him that they went to that School. Such a man will do more downright character building for the boys than will 19 ministers out of 20 or 99 fathers out of 100. Why? Because he has the influence over them that counts at the impressionable age.

Student Baptism Class on Sunday, December 2nd. RSVP here!

SojournKids and S2 will host a Student Baptism class on Sunday, December 2nd from 5:00PM until 6:30PM in the 3rd floor classroom of the Midtown Campus at St. Vincent’s (1207 S. Shelby Street, 40203). This class is for students and parents with questions about salvation and baptism. This class is required for students ages 10-18 who want to be baptized at Sojourn.

RSVP Here!

FAQs: How Do You Plan a Child Dedication Service?

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One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, “How do you plan a child dedication?”  The most recent to ask it was Pastor Daniel Davis at Covenant Community Church in Pearland, TX.  Well, our plans aren’t perfect, but we’re happy to share the strategy and documents that have been helpful to us. Here is our planning checklist with some helpful items for those planning a dedication service for the first time–or just revamping your planning.

12 weeks prior:

  • Design web banners and posters.  Here are some of the designs that we’ve used in the past:   
  • Secure event organizer/service coordinators
  • Secure pastor for the services—(typically the campus pastor)
  • Secure teachers for the dedication class. At Sojourn, we make this a pre-requisite for baby dedication
  • Reserve classroom/time and do event setup request for the First Steps class Continue Reading…

Why Do We Do Child Dedication Services?

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He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded the fathers
to teach to their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children not yet born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their hope in God
and would not forget his works
but keep his commandments.

—Psalm 78:5-7

Dear Parent,

In Psalm 78:7, we see God’s desire for every generation.  God wants every generation to know and trust in Him—not forgetting what he has done to rescue and save, but remembering Him and keeping His commandments.  This is God’s desire, and we know that it is likely your desire as well. But how will that desire be fulfilled? The first six verses of Psalm 78 show us that God has given us this responsibility. God commands us, parents, to teach our kids about him. The primary context for your child learning about God is not in our children’s ministry on Sundays. It is in your home, in your car as you drive along the road, at your child’s bedside, and at the breakfast table. It happens in those planned moments when you pull out a Bible storybook. And it happens in those unplanned moments when your child has sinned or is heartbroken and you give correction and comfort. Teaching children about God can’t be done in one hour each week. It involves people—ideally parents—giving kids the gospel and their lives as well.

While Psalm 78 makes clear that we are responsible for teaching our kids about God, it doesn’t leave us alone in this responsibility. The psalm is also tells us that God gave his law and testimonies in the context of a believing community. Training kids is a community project. It is the role of the whole church. After all, we need each other. We need one another’s encouragement, one another’s accountability, and one another’s eyes to see what we can’t see.

So, these are the reasons that we do child dedication services at Sojourn. First, God wants our kids, and ultimately their hearts and lives belong to him. So, we confess together, “God, all we have—even our children—belongs to you. All we have is yours.” Secondly, we don’t just dedicate our children. We dedicate ourselves. We do this because we recognize our God-given responsibility as parents. Third, we come to ask for help in the form of a commitment from our church, the believing community.