• Heartprints

    The Absolute Easiest Way to Touch Anyone with Truth

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27   In His image. Three words we are so used to hearing, they may not really register anymore. Take a minute to let them soak in once again. Every person. Every single one is an image bearer of the King. Let’s do a quick rundown of who this includes:   • you   • your spouse  • each member of your family  • the widow next door  • the homeless man downtown  • the wealthy Hollywood starlet    • the self-destructive addict  • the politician…

  • Heartprints

    For Heaven’s Sake, Spit in the Coke!

    The week had come to explain to how Jesus solved our sin problem. We had spent weeks laying a solid foundation for our kids: God created a good world; mankind blew it; in His mercy and justice, God revealed a beautiful rescue plan. In the large group lesson I explained that Jesus willingly hung on the cross. I showed in a tangible way that my sin was transferred to Jesus. There was absolutely no way for me to get rid of my own sin. Jesus had to take it and conquer it as only He could. Then the kids went to their small groups. The small group lesson was written…

  • Heartprints

    Are You Investing Wisely with Your Kids?

    What are you investing in? Most of us spend the time (and money) for our kids' extra batting practice, swim lessons, and homework tutors. These things are great, but none of them are as valuable as time spent hiding God’s word in a tender young heart. Which of these activities will sustain them when a family member is diagnosed with a dreadful disease? Which will guide them when peers are pressuring them to do something they shouldn’t? Which will lead them toward a relationship with the all-knowing Creator of the cosmos who happens to be crazy in love with them?   Right now, if your children are young, you are…

  • Heartprints

    How to Help Kids Find Their True Identity

    Ask anyone who Eve is (even those who don’t claim to be especially religious) and 9 times out of 10, you’ll hear that she’s the one who ate the forbidden fruit. Everyone knows that, right? Eve’s identity is: the first sinner. And sin, as we know, leads to death. Eve’s decision led everyone toward death. So that has become Eve’s identity. But that’s not the plan God had for her–far from it. Eve’s very name means “life.” God created her, unique from Adam, to be the means by which every other human being would come into existence. She would birth the very first babies on earth, and all other children would come…

  • Heartprints

    Keep It Simple When Teaching Kids

    Our kids' ministry team has a favorite saying. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times. “If you give them too much, they’ll walk away with nothing.” And it bears repeating one more time. “If you give them too much, they’ll walk away with nothing.” This could be said of any age group, but we have found it to be particularly true for teaching kids. You’ve certainly heard of this experiment: Put twenty random items together on a table. Have someone examine the contents for thirty seconds. Then have him close his eyes, wait a minute, and then list the items. The average person can recall a…

  • Heartprints

    One Trick to Make Kids Stop and Listen

    You have a really important point to make to the group of kids you’re teaching. The truth you are about to share is a life-changer. You want to be sure the kids take hold of and remember these words. So how do you grab their attention and make your point stand out? When you have something important to say… whisper. Doesn’t a whisper always catch your attention? When the Pharisees heard the masses whispering about Jesus, it sure caught their ear – and struck fear in their hearts (John 7:31-32). Perhaps the most famous whisper of all is found in 1 Kings 19:11-13: “Go out and stand before me on the…

  • Heartprints

    Confessions and Cleansing: Laying it All Out for Our Kids

    “When I was about your age I had a terrible habit…” These words are bound to catch the attention of any child. It happened several weeks ago when I was an extra set of hands for a small group of 5th grade boys. The large group lesson taught that day was about Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night. As usual, Jesus cut to the chase when He announced that this learned old man must be born again in order to reach the Father in heaven. So the small group lesson was all about the one way to reach God. As always, we use discussion questions to lead kids in small…

  • Heartprints

    How to Help Kids with Disruptive Behavior

    Years ago, comedian Mark Lowry told his story of growing up in a less-than-happy home. He was hyperactive and most adults did not know how to handle him. He was constantly in trouble at home and at school. He joked that his dad worked out a “two for one deal” with his teacher. When he got a paddling at school for misbehaving, he would get one at home as well! While Mark has many stories of the teachers who were endlessly frustrated with him, he recalled one teacher’s assistant who had a very different reaction. When Mark was fidgety or disruptive, this sweet older lady would take him for a…

  • Heartprints

    Bless the Child

    Someone once asked Michelangelo how he was able to craft the magnificent sculptures he chiseled out of stone. “In every block of marble I see a statue as though it stood before me, shaped and perfected in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” Somehow, in his mind’s eye – in his imagination – Michelangelo could see the completed statue before he ever touched the massive block of stone. In a way, he could picture the beautiful future of the stone. Then he would simply chisel away everything that…