Spiritual Gardening—Nurturing One Plant at a Time by Mark Steiner

Imagine the delight of a gardener carrying hard-earned baskets of carrots, tomatoes, beans, or potatoes into the house. The diligent labor—preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and cultivating the plants—is finally rewarded when family and friends sink their teeth into the fresh produce. Nothing is more satisfying. Discipleship is very similar to gardening. Children are like seeds that eventually grow into mature plants that produce …

ABCs of Family Discipleship—Love God Passionately

Discipleship Truth: Jesus summed up all 613 Old Testament laws into two: love God and love people (Mark 12:30-31). But beware of the simplicity of Jesus’ words. To love God with ALL the heart, soul, mind, and strength does not mean “business as usual.” Loving God demands effort, passion, and action. True Story: Children can gush with excitement over food, friends, games, or a favorite …

God Talks to Us

—by Ruth Hubbard, Wycliffe Bible Translators God speaks to us through His Word. It’s a love letter and a life guide; a collection of spectacular stories, mysterious prophecies, and delightful poetry—all of it pointing to Him. Think about all the ways that God has wowed and wooed you through the Bible. Now imagine your life without the Word or its impact. Dismal? Discouraging? Disconnected, perhaps? …

When Kids Tend to Blame Others

Instead of taking responsibility for their own mistakes, children readily shift blame. How do we teach kids to admit their faults and humbly apologize? Dr. Scott Turansky, co-founder of National Center for Biblical Parenting, offers these insights.   It’s not my fault! Isn’t it amazing that some children seem to be able to see every factor that went into their current problem except their own …

ABCs of Family Discipleship—Know God Intimately

Discipleship Truth: God has given parents primary responsibility for the spiritual training of their children. But few dads and moms know where to begin. Proverbs 1:7 provides the answer: start by teaching kids to fear the Lord. To know God, students must establish a healthy respect for Him. That’s the foundation stone for training children. Until kids genuinely respect and fear God, they cannot learn …

Preschool Pointers—12 Learning Center Ideas

Create a lively classroom environment in your ministry by adding new learning centers! Learning centers energize learners and create the feeling that there are many things to do. Centers come in handy when children arrive early, when parents pick them up late, or when some students finish another task more quickly than their peers. Learning centers are topic-specific stations set up in a small area. …

Whacking at the “Roots” of Children’s Ministry by Mark Steiner

Yep—I’m “seasoned” enough to be an eye-witness to much of what has taken place during the last 30 years of children’s ministry. Nope—this article is not about the history or “roots” of ministry to kids. That’s a topic for another day. Instead, I’d like to take a whack at the “roots” of “who we are”—our very identity. Have you ever cut down a tree? Generally, …