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Thursday Book Club: Hear, My Son

Daniel J. Estes, Hear, My Son: Teaching & Learning in Proverbs 1-9, (Inter-Varsity Press, 1997), 174 pages.

Over the first quarter of this year, Sojourn’s Student and Family Ministry team has been learning together by reading Dan Estes’ little book on education in the book of Proverbs.  Over the next seven weeks, I’m going to unpack his book chapter by chapter.

Chapter 1 gives an overview of the worldview behind Proverbs 1-9.  The worldview of the sage (the writer of Proverbs) can be seen in three basic statements: (1) God made and ordered the world, (2) God’s order is mysterious but knowable, and (3) People must reverence God with their whole life.

God made and ordered the world. God made the world, and because he made the world, he makes the rules.  There is a common ethical system behind all of creation.  This is why the author of Proverbs is not afraid to use so many illustrations from nature.  We talked at length about whether or not we are prepared to speak about God’s order in nature.  The sage taught lessons based on ants, and the sage taught lessons based on fig trees.  Training our eyes to see God’s order in nature will prepare us when there are teachable moments with our students and children.

God’s order is mysterious but knowable. Since God reveals his order, the student can learn to be skillful in the way that he lives.  Do we focus on teaching our kids how to live skillfully or simply on helping them learn intellectual truth?

People must reverence God with their whole life. We discussed how seeing God’s will in his world requires a radical re-orientation–a conversion.  “The search for wisdom… is not a supplement, but it must be the radical re-orientation of life in which wisdom becomes the prime priority” (31).  Do we help students live in reverence under God’s rule?  Do we help them understand that one day they will stand before His judgment?  What does it mean to help them live in light of eternity but yet by God’s grace?  Thank God that it is our crucified Savior that sits on the judgment seat.

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Sojourn’s first published book!

Sojourn’s first children’s book, Our Home is like a Little Church, (formerly titled Pastor Daddy), written by Lindsey Blair and Bobby Gilles with illustrations by Tessa Janes, is now available to pre-order from Amazon.com.  The book has been published by Christian Focus Publications.  There will be lots more information to come both here and at http://ministry-to-children.com as we head toward a more official release.  And the book will be available at the book table on Sundays soon as well.  We’re excited!  Teaching the truth that the church is like the home is one of our top priorities as a children’s ministry, and we think this will be a useful tool both for our own church and for other churches.

Our Home is like a Little Church was written to teach preschool children the Christian truth evident in its title–that the home is a “little church” where the father teaches his family God’s commands and leads them to worship the one true God.”

Here is what others are saying!

Our Home is like a Little Church beautifully illustrates the Biblical role that each father is called to play  in the lives of his children.  The apostle Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 2 that he has dealt with the Thessalonian church the same way that a father deals with his children….”encouraging, comforting and urging [them], to live lives worthy of God.”  I pray that every father that reads this powerful  little book will have the courage to lead his family to live life for the  Glory of God and nothing less.  I LOVE the book because it provides a  beautiful picture of what it looks like for a father to be the spiritual leader in the home.  It simplifies this profound truth in a way that can be easily understood by everyone in the family.–Jason Houser, Seeds Family Worship, Nashville, TN Continue Reading…