Last Sunday: Responsive Worshipers

This week in SojournKids, we studied the story of Jesus cleansing the temple from John 2:13-25, and we learned that:

  • We worship when we respond to God’s grace with praise and prayer.
  • Jesus calls people to worship God alone.
  • Jesus made the way for us to worship God.

If you didn’t get a chance to grab the SojournKids “at home” sheet, you can download it here.

Thursday Book Club: Children in Paul’s Teaching

In December, I read through the new edition of Andreas J. Köstenberger’s God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation. Even though the book has been justly criticized for its treatment of family ministry in the church, I think it is still most helpful theology of family that I’ve read. One of the best sections is the book comes on pages 105-106, and it is entitled “Children in Paul’s Teaching.”

In this section, Dr. Köstenberger overviews the New Testament’s commands for children to obey their parents (Matt. 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18: 20; Col. 3:20-21; Eph. 6:1).  In Ephesians, according to Köstenberger, “Paul indicates that children’s submission to their parents is a result of Spirit-filling (Eph. 6:1; cf. Eph. 5:18: “be filled with the Spirit”), which suggests that only regenerate children can consistently live out this pattern of relationship in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Continue Reading…

Negotiating with Your Kids

“How do you allow children to negotiate with adults, without allowing them to become obnoxious little princes and princesses who feel the kingdom is entitled to them?” That’s the big question this post seeks to explore.  Here is a helpful excerpt about how to not negotiate by teaching your kids the word “No”:

One of the, if not the, most important things that a parent can teach a child is the word NO.  “No means No” is a pretty good motto for the parent of a toddler, and again as a parent of a teenager (who often act like toddlers).

You want to say “Yes,” but you know better, so you put on a strong front and declare, “No, you can’t.  I’m sorry.”

“Why not, Mommy?” says your beautiful child who you love more than life itself.  You can feel the tension rising fast.  And this is the moment of truth.  What do you do?  How about something like this:

“No – because it’s not safe, and I love you too much to let you get hurt.”

“No – because you are not quite old enough yet, but later you will get to do it.”

“No – because it’s not healthy for you, and I want you to be healthy and happy.”

“No – because that’s not a good use of our money.”

“No – because I love you too much to let you make that grave mistake.”

Notice that each response has a reason attached to it.  It’s not an extreme statement.  You don’t say, “No – because I said so.”  Or “No, because I’m the Dad and you’re the child.” The truth is that just “No” is better than those two lousy reasons.

HT: Doug Wolter

Last Sunday: God’s Grace

This week in SojournKids, we studied John 3:1-21, and we learned that:

  • Nicodemus came to visit Jesus at night.
  • Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.”
  • By grace, Godʼs Spirit makes people new on the inside.

If you didn’t get a chance to grab the SojournKids “at home” sheet, you can download it here.

Thursday Book Club: 3 Family Ministry Books in 2011

To cap off 2010, scholar and Sojourn member, Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, highlighted three family ministry books that he’s excited about for 2011.  These books “not only make the case for comprehensive family ministries but also provide the tools for churches to make the transition to family ministry from current programmatic models.”

A Theology for Family MinistryFirst off, A Theology for Family Ministry from B & H Academic provides a comprehensive look at the problems and the possibilities of doing family ministry in the twenty-first century.

Then, Trained in the Fear of God: Family Ministry in Theological, Historical, and Practical Perspective, published by Kregel Academic and edited by Randy Stinson and myself [Dr. Jones], sets family ministry in its biblical and historical context then shows how the biblical implications can be put into action.

Family Ministry Field Guide: How Your Church Can Equip Parents to Make DisciplesAnd then comes the Family Ministry Field Guide: How Your Church Can Equip Parents to Raise Disciples, a book for vocational ministers and lay-leaders alike that represents the results of a two-year study of what to prioritize in your church’s family ministry as well as what’s most helpful and what’s most needed in the field of family ministry.

Check out some other things Dr. Jones is excited about in his full post at Family Ministry Today.