Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Coupon Code for Our Home is Like a Little Church

This week kicks off the blog tour for Our Home is like a Little Church.   We’ll officially launch sales of the book at Sojourn’s book table for Father’s day, and we’ll give away a free copy to every dad in attendance.  Sojourn’s first children’s book, Our Home is like a Little Church, was written by Lindsey Blair and Bobby Gilles with illustrations by Tessa Janes.  It is now available to pre-order from Amazon.com and the Westminster Bookstore.  The book has been published by Christian Focus Publications.

Giveaway and Coupon Code!
Late last week, I gave away a framed copy of Our Home is like a Little Church to author, Bobby Gilles. Here is a video of the inter-office event:

If you’d like to get in on a giveaway of your own, leave a comment over at http://ministry-to-children.com http://ministry-to-children.com.  Tony is giving away 25 free copies of the book on Tuesday, May 18, 2010.  If you can’t wait for the giveaway, check out the coupon code for WTSBooks at Tony’s site.

Also, Check Out the Blog Tour!

Please encourage these blogging friends of Sojourn  by checking out their reviews too. Their posts offer a good balance on this book and how you might use it in your home or your church. We’ll be update these links throughout the week.

Mother’s Day Coloring Sheet by Mandy Groce

Download and print off this coloring sheet to use with your children around Mother’s Day. It was created by Mandy Groce, an Sojourner, elder’s wife, and local artist.  Mandy will be putting together a number of sheets like this for my friend Tony Kummer at http://ministry-to-children.com. The coloring page features a mother and her son along with the prayer, “God, I am thankful for Mommy!” The scene is framed by a large heart shape.

Directions: Click on the image to the right to download this resource as a printer friendly PDF file. Alternately, you can download the image as a jpeg image file (496K) if you want to re-size or paste it into a Word Document.

HT: Tony Kummer

Sojourn’s Vision & SojournKids

Sojourn’s vision is to see the gospel transform everything–ourselves as individuals, our church, our city, and our world. By 2020, we desire to see that vision expressed in our church as a body of 7,500 people, gathering in 5 locations, and planting churches all over the world that draw many more un-churched people into a relationship with God.

SojournKids’ vision is to see the gospel transform the next generation. By 2020, we desire to see that vision expressed in our church with 1,200 children (ages 0-5th grade) and 1,000 students (6th-12th grade), gathering in 5 locations, and equipping churches all over the world to train up the next generation in the gospel. Continue Reading…

Sojourn’s Vision & Teaching Stewardship to Kids

Dear Parents,

During the month of April, we’ve been teaching Sojourn’s kids about giving and stewardship.  We’ve used the story of the seven year-old king, Joash (2 Kings 11-13; 2 Chronicles 22-24), to highlight stewardship principles for the kids.  See the lesson here. God used Joash and the wise priest Jehoiada to turn Israel’s hearts back to him and away from worshiping idols.  When Joash became king, God’s temple had fallen into disrepair.  So, Jeohiada made a collection box by boring a hole in the top of a chest and put it beside the altar in the temple.  Israel brought gifts for the temple along with their regular sacrifices.  Even though he was just seven, God used Joash to make things new again in Israel!

Sojourn’s vision is to see the gospel transform everything–ourselves as individuals, our church, our city, and our world.  SojournKids’ vision is to see the gospel transform the next generation.  Part of seeing kids grow up to be a new people made alive by the gospel is teaching them how to participate in regular Christian practices.  We’re intentional about teaching kids to pray, sing, respond, and read their Bible.  We also want to be intentional about teaching them to give.  During SojournKids’ regular gatherings, we have a basket (“with a hole in the top just like Joash’s box”). When we gather together on Sundays, kids can bring money to put in the basket.  These gifts support Sojourn’s vision of gospel transformation as part of our regular budget. Continue Reading…

Family Worship: Book of Acts

Here are some simple ideas for studying the Acts 1-9 with your family.  Begin by gathering the family to hear from God by reading His Word then responding to Him through asking, praying, memorizing, and doing.  This brief outline will help you lead your family in short times of family worship.  Children should be involved as much as their age allows. Devotions should last around 15 minutes.   If this is a new experience for your family, keep it very simple. Have the whole family gather in the living room or bedroom, or around the table together. Even the very young children should participate. Turn off any radios or televisions that might be distractions.

Step #1: Hear from God’s Word—Read one chapter each time you gather together.  If your children are confident readers, ask them to read portions of scripture from their Bibles.  Prepare in advance to explain difficult concepts and words.

Step #2: Respond to God—Truly hearing from God involves responding to what he has said.  Here are some ideas for leading your children to respond to God.

  • Ask: Ask your children questions about what you’ve read: Ask about the main characters in the story.  For example, who wrote the Book of Acts? (Luke)  Who did Luke write the Book of Acts to?  (Theophilus).  Ask what key verses stand out in each chapter.  Each night, as your kids to name the three persons of the Trinity. (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit)  Ask your children what happened in the chapter. Chapters 1-9 follow the basic outline below. You can refer back to it as you are asking questions.  Ask your children to remember what God did in the chapter.  Then, praise Him for what He did.The Birth of the Church, chapters 1-5
    –chapter 1: The ascension and replacing Judas
    –chapter 2: The day of Pentecost
    –chapters 3-5:  The church grows as the apostles continue Jesus’ works

    The Church is Persecuted and Expands, chapters 6-9
    –chapters 6-7: Stephen
    –chapter 8: Philip
    –chapter 9: Saul of Tarsus

  • Memorize: Take a month to memorize this key passage as a family.  Repeat the words aloud with your family, and put them in a prominent place in your home (like the refrigerator door) where family members can regularly see them. Acts 1:8 (NIV) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  • Pray: As a way to pray through the Acts 1:8 memory verse, draw a large circle with 2 smaller concentric circles inside the larger circle.   Talk to your kids about what Jesus meant when He told his disciples to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth.   Use a map (found in the back of many Bibles) to point out the areas mentioned in the verse.Jerusalem is where the apostles lived.  Place the name of our city (Louisville) or your neighborhood (e.g. Germantown, St. Matthews, Smoketown, etc.) in the center circle.  Think of the names of three people in your neighborhood that you can pray for.  Put them in that circle.  Pray for them.  Pray especially for those who need to hear about Jesus.  Walk and pray in your neighborhood.  Include your kids in your times of prayer.

    Judea and Samaria
    was the region that Jerusalem was a part of. In the second circle have your children write the name of the state they are in and some surrounding states (Kentucky or Indiana).  Pray for friends and family that live outside of your immediate area (maybe friends across the river).  Pray especially for those who need to hear about Jesus.

    The ends of the earth include the whole world.  Explore the National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers online (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kids-world-atlas/). Have students write in the 3rd circle some names of countries.  Pray for other states and other countries around the world.  Pray for Sojourn missionaries in Ethiopia (the Groce family), in Italy (the Karr family), and in Argentina (the Hess family).

  • Do: The three circles remind me about what happens when you throw a stone in a lake or pond.  There is a ripple effect that happens because the rock hit the water.  It’s the same with the message of the Gospel.  When you and I take that message to others there is a ripple effect that takes place.  As you share with others and they believe in Jesus, they share with others, and the circle keeps growing.  Challenge your family to be intentional about investing in the people on your circle chart.  Invite them into your home for parties, and invite them to celebrate Jesus with Sojourn at a Sunday service.

Resources: Kelly Henderson, “Lesson: Journey through the Book of Acts.”