Category Archives: Discipling Children

Church Based After School Ministry: Presenting the Gospel to Children

As you begin a  new school year are you prepared to present the gospel to your children?

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KidTrek – After School Ministry: Are You Providing Relational Ministry?

motherdaughter  IS THE STAFF AT YOUR AFTER SCHOOL MINISTRY PREPARED/TRAINED TO RELATIONALLY MINISTER TO THE CHILDREN?

Imagine that someone came running in yelling,

“Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming!  He’s going to be over at the park

on ______________________.”

Some of you would rush out because you would really want to see Jesus.  Wow!  What an exciting afternoon.

Others of you know this is going to be a juicy afternoon.  The Pharisees are going to be there!  Will they be able to trap Jesus this time?

Can you picture Jesus sitting there on a rock?  The crowd is seated down all around him and there is a sense of excitement.

How will Jesus answer the difficult questions that the Pharisees are putting to him?

 The air is filled with tension!

Jesus is calm.  He knows that He has the answers and He gives them slowly and deliberately.  You marvel at how He never falters.  The Pharisees are never able to stump Him.

A baby in his mother’s arms begins to whimper.  He has been sick for more than a week.  She has taken him to all the doctors.  She has done everything that everyone has suggested, but still the baby has become more ill.  She looks down at the pain-filled face of her precious infant thinking,

 “Oh, if only I could have Jesus lay His hands on my baby.”

The mother looks at the crowd that is between her and Jesus.  A shiver runs down her spine; she knows what she has to do, but she is afraid.  What will people think?  What will the Pharisees say when she interrupts?

The baby whimpers again.  The mother knows she must get her baby to Jesus.

She stands and begins to move, cautiously at first.

Then a father on the other side of the crowd sees her and, looking at his sixth grade son thinks, “Oh, if I can just get my son to Jesus, perhaps He’ll pray for him; then I know he

               will be less rebellious.

Suddenly others see and join them, pushing forward with their children, wanting so badly to bring their children to Jesus.

 BUT – there is a barrier!  How do they get past those 12 men?

“Don’t bother Jesus with the children.  Can’t you see He is in an important debate right now?  Take the children away,” one of the men shouts.

“Move back!  Move back!  You are disrupting things!  People can’t hear with your crying baby. Take it to the back where it won’t be disruptive!”

Can you hear the rebukes of the disciples as they push the people back?

But listen to Jesus’ words:

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Look what happens next!  It says so much about the importance of our ministry to the children.

Jesus took the children in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

Jesus didn’t minister from a distance.  He did not hold his hand out and bless the mass of children from afar.

No, He took the children in His arms.  He touched them!  He held them!

Can you see the mother as she lays her precious infant in Jesus’ arms?  Jesus looks gently down at him and smiles.  He softly touches the baby’s forehead.  What sweet words of blessing is Jesus praying over the child?

Watch for a few moments as Jesus takes one child after another and blesses them.

As you begin a new school year how are you going  to bless the children? What does relational ministry mean to you?

Contact me at wanda@kidtrek if you need some help to think this through. How much of a difference do you want to make in the lives of the children you serve in the coming year?

Church Based After School: Emotional Needs of Children

   This is the story of a church-raised child – how much more devastating this would be for one of your kids in your after-school ministry.

Nine-year-old Marty loved Bill his Sunday school teacher.  On Sunday mornings, he could hardly wait to get to church to be with Bill.  Bill would call from time to time, and they would chat on the phone, or Bill would send him a postcard just to tell him how special he was.

One Sunday when Marty arrived at church, Bill was very excited.  He told Marty that he had just purchased a new fishing pole and was planning to go fishing the following Saturday.  He invited Marty to go with him, if his parents consented.

Marty was so excited!  After Sunday school, he made a mad dash to find his mom and see if it would be O.K.  Marty’s parents knew Bill well, and they were excited that he wanted to spend a day with their son, so they told Marty that it would be great.  Marty ran back into the room to tell Bill that he would be able to go with him.

Bill was also excited and they made arrangements regarding their day of fishing.

Marty could hardly wait until Saturday morning.  He told all his friends at school about his great Sunday school teacher who was going to take him fishing.

Friday evening rolled around and Marty’s family went out for dinner.  When they returned from dinner, there was a message on the answering machine.  It went something like this.

“Hey buddy, this is Bill.  I really hate to do this to you, but I know you’ll understand.  I was just given tickets to the UCLA – USC football game tomorrow.  I know you were really counting on going fishing but we’ll do it another time, O.K., buddy?  Love ‘ya.  See ‘ya Sunday.”

Marty’s mother told this story.

She had just read a brochure on the emotional needs of children.  After reading the brochure, Marty’s mom said that it was at that time that Marty suddenly changed his attitude about going to church.  She hadn’t made the connection before.

As we prepare to provide the most excellent ministry we can for the children whom God sends to us it is vital that we consider each child’s emotional needs.

 WHAT ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS
OF THE CHILDREN?

Church Based After School: Is It Worth It All?

    When you begin to wonder, IS IT WORTH IT ALL?

The giving, giving, giving of yourself.

STOP and take a few minutes to write out the little changes you have seen in kids over the past year.

Here are a few from directors I’ve trained.

Keon, 7 years old, used to get in fits and crawl up in a ball and hide in the corner. He would get mad if things didn’t go his way or if he had to do his homework. After one month of having people pray for him daily this behavior stopped. He hasn’t got in a ball like that in months. He has learned to be more responsible according to his teacher and grandmother.

WHEN YOU RUN UP AGAINST A DIFFICULTY WITH A PARTICULAR CHILD ASK AT LEAST THREE PEOPLE TO PRAY EVERYDAY FOR THE CHILD. SEND THEM A DAILY EMAIL DETAILING HOW TO PRAY.

A mother’s statement about her son with fetal-alcohol syndrome, “In all the years my boy has come to church I’ve NEVER seen him grow so much as he did this last year at the center. Thank You.”

IT WAS THE CONSISTENCY
OF DAILY BEING CHALLENGED TO FOCUS ON THE TRIUNE GOD.

We have a six-year-old who believes in God with her whole heart and is completely unashamed of the Gospel. She includes God when she is playing with her friends; I overheard her the other day laying out the plan of salvation as she and another child played. She concluded with, “At the center we learn about God. EVERYTHING is ALL about God!”

DON’T DO TUTORING AND STICK JESUS IN,
DO JESUS AND STICK TUTORING IN.

What At-Risk Kids can receive from adults committed to intentional, individualistic Discipleship.

Church Based After School Ministry: What Is/Is Not Relational Ministry?

Relational Ministry isn’t  easy – you must continually set aside what is easy and comfortable in order to minister to REAL NEEDS.

there are so many needs!!!

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this,
that someone lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:12-13 ESV)

RELATIONAL MINISTRY

Relational Ministry is Deuteronomy 6:4-9 put into intentional practice.

It will never happen unless verse 4 is a desire of your heart.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV)

I would love to hear some of your stories of relational ministry meeting REAL NEEDS.

Church Based After School: PUT JESUS FIRST

WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE MEAN?

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”  John 12:1-8 ESV

When you know the entire Word of God you KNOW that it is not an excuse to ignore the poor. The Bible is full of commands to care for the poor.

Our first responsibility is to care for the poor within the Body of Christ.

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40 ESV)

 We are also challenged to care for the alien — those who aren’t part of the Family of God.

And you shall not strip your vineyard bare; neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:10 ESV)

So why did Jesus say, “The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” 

I’ve prayed over this a lot because I have seen ministries over and over ignore the guidance of scripture to ease the struggle of the poor. I tell of one such story here.

 I believe that Jesus is saying, don’t worship the
poor always put me first

How do we worship the poor?

When we get so caught up in “fixing things” for the poor that we ignore what God tells us in His Word, we thumb our nose at God. We choose to disobey God because we KNOW what this person needs. In so doing we make that person more important than The Triune God.

In the story of Tommy the adults working with Tommy ignored God’s directions in regard to the nurture of children.

           Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord(Ephesians 6:4 ESV)

 In other words we are to provide training and discipline that will provide healthy growth and development. The adults serving Tommy did not do that. He was never taught how to live a disciplined life, he was never challenged to work hard because everything was given to him – he became a sluggard. The adults wanted Tommy to “feel good,” and in so doing their actions said they knew better than God what was best for Tommy.

“The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.(Deuteronomy 8:1-6 ESV)

God knows that it is best for us to walk through very difficult times.

 If the adults had put God before Tommy,
Tommy would have been the winner.

 This is just one example of how individuals put the poor (in this case a poor child) before God. I have seen it happen over and over and over. I believe it is a big reason why, though there are thousands and thousands of ministries serving the poor across America, we are not seeing greater results.

When the poor are put before God, before Jesus, it is the poor who suffer

Church Based After School: Teaching Kids To Make Choices Begins With You

When you make a split second choice what is it based on?

Most likely it is based on who you truly are. Not what you live on the outside but who you truly are on the inside. What is most important to you? What do you believe? WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?

WHO IS TRULY YOUR GOD?

If you want to train the kids to make wise choices you must begin
by taking a good look at yourself.

If we attempt to make choices in a vacuum without an awareness of who God is, we are going to be overwhelmed.  We will cower and take the easy way out each time.

 However, if we stop and acknowledge who God is, we will be empowered.  We serve the God of the Universe; He can make the sun stand still; He speaks and the seas are calmed; He can bring a human back to life and He can be everywhere at the same time.  Yet, He loves you so much He sent His only Son to earth to pay the price for your sins.  Almighty God wants to have an intimate relationship with you.

Do you believe God can overcome any obstacle in your life?  Do you believe He will do for you what you need done?

Think back over the past year; how have your beliefs affected the choices you have made?  Have you walked by faith or by sight?  Do your choices clearly tell the world who your God is?

This week you will guide the kids in discovering who the false gods are in their lives.  But they must first know who the one true God is.  Who/what are the false gods in your life?  Ask the Lord to show you.