Helping Kids Live for Jesus

by DiscipleLand Staff Children's Church, Curriculum, Discipling Resources, Family, Online Resources, Teaching Tips

Living For Christ

In the 1800s, God prompted Rev. E. P. Scott, a missionary in India, to undertake a dangerous task. Against the advice of his fellow missionaries, Scott set out alone to visit a remote village. He was determined to share the Gospel with a notoriously savage tribe.

Just before Scott reached his destination, fierce warriors surrounded him and pointed their spears at him. Expecting to die, Scott took out his violin (which he always carried with him), closed his eyes, and began to play and sing “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”, in the native language of the warriors.

Opening his eyes he saw that the natives had lowered their weapons and some were in tears. E. P. Scott spent the rest of his life ministering to these primitive people.

Kids can live courageously, victoriously, and in the POWER of Jesus’ name, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Children’s Ministry: Secret to Recruiting Volunteers

by DiscipleLand Staff Children's Church, Church Resources, Curriculum, Leadership, Online Resources, Teaching Tips

Recruiting Tip

People don’t buy bulbs, tires, or cars. We buy light, safety, and experiences.

When recruiting volunteers, how you position your ministry is important. For instance, you could say, “We need your help with the kids today.” Or you might try, “Did you know that nearly 50% of all Americans who accept Jesus as their Savior do so before reaching the age of 13? We need two leaders willing to make an eternal difference in the hearts and lives of kids.”

Which appeal sounds more compelling to you? Motivate your people by emphasizing the eternal benefits. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ideas for Parents- Leading Children to Love God’s Word

by Jen Galley Discipleship, Discipling Resources, Family, Online Resources, Parenting

My husband and I want to lead our children to love God’s Word. We want our girls (ages 4 1/2 months, 3yrs and 6 1/2 yrs) to love it, understand it, apply it, memorize it, speak it out loud with confidence, and run to it to find answers to their questions. We’re right in the middle of the high demands of parenting young ones, but this is an area that is going pretty well. Believe me, we’re not perfect, so as you read on, keep in mind that we do this to the best of our ability- and our little angels are, well,  not always angelic. But they DO love their Bibles. Read the rest of this entry »

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Free Desktop Wallpaper

by DiscipleLand Staff Church Resources, Online Resources

Desktop WallpaperEnjoy this image of Jesus and His disciples, courtesy of the ProvidenceCollection.com. Download as desktop wallpaper for your computer by selecting one of these four image sizes (for different monitor resolutions):

To download: right-click on a link above and then select “Save Target/Link As…”

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Announcing DiscipleLand Rewards

by DiscipleLand Staff Curriculum, DiscipleLand Products, Online Resources

Announcing DiscipleLand Rewards!

We appreciate each and every one of our DiscipleLand churches and we want to help you save money! We are launching new online reward program that will help you meet your children’s discipleship goals while earning Reward Points each time you purchase DiscipleLand products. You’ll be able to redeem Reward Points for discounts on subsequent orders. You’ll also earn Bonus Rewards when you order regularly! Start saving on all your curriculum needs!

Learn more about Reward Points >>

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FREE Recruiting Remedy Book

by DiscipleLand Staff Church Resources, Leadership, Online Resources

MAYBE IT IS EVERY DAY YOU GET A FREE BOOK! Every month anyway.

In case you missed the last FREE BOOK offer, here is yet another from DiscipleLand!

THIS BOOK IS FREE until February is over!

In Your Recruiting Remedy, by Judy Wortley, you’ll learn field-tested recruiting strategies that really work! Take a fresh look at the recruiting process to find techniques that will help you succeed!

You may also find the companion electronic book helpful as well: The Training Remedy, available as well.

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FREE Training Remedy Book (limited time)

by DiscipleLand Staff Church Resources, Discipling Resources, Leadership, Online Resources, Teaching Tips

IT’S NOT EVERY DAY YOU GET A FREE BOOK!

Your Training Remedy, by Judy Wortley, a classic children’s ministry leadership resource, helps you develop a consistent and well-planned program of teacher training that motivates, encourages, and informs your volunteers.

Inspire teachers to be and do their best!

For a LIMITED TIME – through the END OF JANUARY – this downloadable book is your for FREE! It will be $9.95 in just a few days!

DON’T MISS IT!

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How Biblically Accurate Is Our Christmas Teaching?

by Karl Bastian Online Resources, Teaching Tips

As most biblically trained Christians know, there are a lot of subtle unbiblical elements of the Christmas story that have snuck into our culture, even into our teaching at church. Mary on the donkey, the Inn Keeper, the “Three Kings” etc. Most of these “errors” are minor or harmless, but they do reflect a tendency toward laziness when it comes to teaching the Bible. Below is a link to a video that points out a few of those errors, while at the same time honoring the Christmas story – rather than just knit-picking, as I’ve often seen done.

Retooning the Nativity (opens in new window)

Funny story – I got in a lot of heat one year for having the Wise Men in the Navity Scene of the Christmas play. It had never crossed my mind before. I was told “that is why the wise men are always placed at a distance away from the actual manger scene, they were on their way.” Duh, silly me, I had no idea they walked so slow and were two years away in all those lawn nativity scenes.

However, when I wrote Hark, from the Herald (the Christmas play in the Kidology.org store), I decided to make it accurate, so when the reporter back in time (investigating the true meaning of Christmas) finds himself by the wisemen, I had them invite him on their journey, but when Hark (from the Herald) asks them their ETA (estimated time of arrival) they explain two years, and Hark opts for the time travel machine instead, with a polite, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ It was my attempt to include them but be biblically accurate for the first time in my ministry. (well, on that topic at least)

Interested in how others include them but keep it accurate. I don’t think it’s too critical with young children. I do have a whole kids church unit on the wise men free for members of Kidology: Wise Kids Still Seek Him
that attempts to be pretty accurate as well, if you are looking for options.

What are your thoughts on teaching Christmas accurately? Or do you let kids figure it out as they get older?

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Another Discipleship Blog

by DiscipleLand Staff Discipling Resources, Online Resources

If you have an appetite for blogs related to discipleship, be sure to check out the new blog at GCSSA.org

GCSSA (Greater Chicagoland Sunday School Association) has been committed to equipping leaders and lay people in teaching and discipleship for decades. They host several annual conferences in English and Spanish in the Chicagoland area.

According to GCSSA.org:

GCSSA is working hard to help teachers and disciple-makers achieve God’s call in their lives.

  • Encouraging their work for Christ
  • Helping them understand God’s Word, how to study it, and how to prepare to teach it
  • Helping them develop key ministry skills which will help achieve discipleship ministry goals
  • Helping them learn the newest ministry approaches to helping others grow spiritually

With contributors like Bill Allison, Dr. Gregory C. Carlson, Paul J. Loth, Ed.D., Dr. James Renke, Mickie O’Donnell and others coming soon, you may want to snag up the RSS feed so you don’t miss a post!

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Discipleship Master Plan

by DiscipleLand Staff Discipleship, Discipling Resources, Online Resources

Do you have a Master Plan for how your Children’s Ministry is forming disciples? Life long disciples are not made by accident – they are a result of careful planning and strategic ministry.

Check out the Discipleship Master Plan PDF on DiscipleLand.com It is sure to stimulate your thinking and help you better plan for the ultimate goal of your ministry – making disciples!

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Use the Internet to Connect with Kids

by Karl Bastian Discipling Resources, Family, Online Resources, Parenting

Kids are on the Internet. Whether we like it or not, the Internet today is not something kids are fascinated with, it is simply a part of their life. It’s not “new” to them, it is just their world. Being online is normal for them. In fact, if you aren’t online, they may almost wonder what’s wrong with you. While we can decry the dangers of the Internet (as we should!) and provide advice on use and filters (and we should!) one of the best ways to address the problem is not to only fight it, but redeem it.

The Internet provides incredible opportunity to connect with kids during the week and in the home. And DiscipleLand has jumped on this opportunity and added a FREE service for DiscipleLand teachers to connect with their students and for parents to invest computer time into more spiritual beneficial activities.

It’s called DISCIPLEZONE.com

It’s a place for kids to continue learning after church, for parents to connect with their child’s teacher and for teacher’s to have a way to greet their kids during the week an extend the learning process.

And it’s all free!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY IT?

Go to DiscipleZone.com (link opens in a separate window) and click on the KIDS button. Next you will see a fun control panel. This is where kids enter the key code found on the student take-home paper (highlighted by their teacher). It’s a simple code–the first dial is the curriculum level, 1-6. (enter 2 for example) Next is the quarter letter, A = Fall; B = Winter; C = Spring; D = Summer. (go ahead, enter B) The last dial is the lesson number. (for an example, choose any number.)

You will then be asked if you have a Class Code. Here is a trial code you can use: Enter TRTRT

You’ll be greeted by a screen with a Bible passage or story and a collection of buttons the kids can choose from.

Here is an overview of the elements offered to kids in DiscipleZone.

Every element of DiscipleZone contributes to the discipleship process:

DiscipleSkill The printed Disciple Guides offer 24 “how-to” skills for victorious Christian living . To see an overview of the DiscipleSkill development plan, click here
KeyVerse
Children memorize Bible verses that capture the heart of each lesson. Find the KeyVerse on the printed Disciple Guides for each lesson.
XploreMore For each Bible lesson, kids and parents enjoy additional pictures, background information discussion questions, and family activities. Encourage parents to read the text together, discuss the questions, and commit to doing the suggested activities as a family.
WorldWatch
Children meet a new people group each quarter, expanding their focus to regions around the globe! WorldWatch also offers missionary biographies and missions education segments to be taught by teachers or parents. To see an overview of WorldWatch missions education, click here.
SwordWork
DiscipleLand’s Bible Reading Plan. Kids and parents read through a specific part of the Bible each week, based on their grade level. To see the complete reading plan, click here.
HymnNotes
Children encounter classic hymns that have inspired Christians for centuries. For a complete list of hymns studied, click here.
DCP Live These engaging stories, starring Dee, Cy, Paul, and Chip, reinforce each Bible lesson and will help your kids apply God’s Word to their lives. To learn more about Dee, Cy, and Paul, click here.

LEAVE A NOTE FOR YOUR STUDENTS!

One of the cool features is the ability to leave a note for the kids. Be sure to click on the Yellow Note for a note from ME to YOU! (You’ll never know the message until you check!)

There are so many creative applications to this note feature beyond just a nice greeting to the kids. Use it to:

  • Ask a review question that if they bring the answer on a slip of paper, you’ll have a treat for them!
  • Provide a “code word” of the week that if they know it, they get to volunteer in class for games etc.
  • Let them know about class events and activities.
  • Announce who has a birthday this week!
  • Tell them to wear a certain color shirt to church on Sunday!
  • Ask them to bring props that will go with your lesson.
  • BE CREATIVE!

There is enough content for each week for parents and kids to spend 10-15 minutes exploring the topic they learned about in church a little further, as well as learning about missions and some historical hymns, complete with music playing.

DiscipleZone.com equips parents and teachers to use the Internet to build upon the learning that took place at church.

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DiscipleBlog.com Featured on Christine Yount Podcast

by Karl Bastian Discipleship, Online Resources

If you follow this blog, you may have caught the post What Happened To The Bible. It fueled a healthy discussion over on Kidology.org. Then, Christine Yount, editor-in-chief at Children’s Ministry Magazine featured it on her blog.

Then, I was honored when Christine asked if she could interview me for her podcast on the subject. You can listen to the podcast here.

Christine Yount is a leading voice in children’s ministry and someone you need to keep in your virtual circle of advisors. I’m excited to see her blogging and podcasting now. I’ve been listening to her for as long as I can remember and her longevity in children’s ministry leadership is a true mark of someone who is dedicated to a mission, not to a business or just trying to being heard. When Christine Yount speaks, I listen. (That doesn’t mean I always agree – but it does mean she forces me to think and constantly be evaluating. And I love that!)

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