• Heartprints

    Helping Your Children Learn to Read the Bible on Their Own

    Teaching our children to love and value the Word of God is a noble desire. But how do we do so when so many things seem to fight for their attention? The newest iPhone app, TV shows, video games, et cetera! In a world that’s so busy, how do we teach our children to quiet their hearts before the Lord? There are no fool proof methods to short circuiting the Spirit’s work in their hearts, but here are some helpful practices: 1.)  Lead by Example—The number one reason I developed a consistent personal devotion time as a young child is because I saw other family members doing it. They never…

  • Heartprints

    Conversation Starters with Kids

    Whether you have kids, or you teach kids, or you just simply know kids, questions come in handy. If you’ve ever struggled with getting to know a child better, perhaps some of the following questions may work as great conversation starters.

  • Heartprints

    Teaching Our Children the Importance of Church

    Author Shane Claiborne has said: “The church is like Noah's ark. It stinks, but if you get out of it, you'll drown.” Simply put, church can get messy. And, that’s probably part of the reason why I’ve heard many of my fellow millennials make excuses for avoiding church—“I’m too busy,” “I’ve been hurt by other Christians,” “churches are full of judgmental people,” “people are hypocrites or insincere,” etc. We live in a society that increasingly seems to disparage church attendance, a sharp contrast to the psalmist who said, “I was glad because they said to me, ‘We will go to the Lord’s temple’” (Psalm 122:1). Now, going to church, of…

  • Heartprints

    Helping Children Worship God Through Music

    When God calls a young child to himself, it’s a beautiful thing. I marvel at how the gospel message is so complex, yet at the same time simple enough that even a toddler can be convicted unto salvation. I’ve observed the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of several children, but one girl stands out in particular in my mind—sweet little Caroline. As a three-year-old, she always knew the answers to every Bible question thrown her way and loved to praise the Lord in music. One Sunday morning, I watched her stand up and raise her palms as she sang quietly to the Lord. Her spontaneous gesture was short-lived,…

  • Heartprints

    A Family Gospel Devotional from 1 Corinthians 15

    Holy week has commenced and Resurrection Sunday draws near. And, if you read blogs, my guess is that you also use other forms of social media and are probably drowning in Easter activities via Pinterest, Facebook, etc. I mean did you know you can even make a tomb out of a donut and an Oreo? Yeah, neither did I until everyone posted it on Pinterest. These activities bring fun and joy, but if you only do one Easter activity with your family this year, I challenge you to make it a gospel devotional based on 1 Corinthians 15. Preparation: Get your family Bible and read 1 Corinthians 15:1–8, 53–58 out…

  • Heartprints

    My Least Favorite Question

    Sometimes, life gets crazy.  Wait…scratch that thought. Life is usually crazy for most of us. #homework #classes #babies #toddlers #blogging #churchactivities  #solvingminorworkcatastrophes #busymom #seminarymom #lifeiscrazy We manage to stay busy and with our business often comes an array of emotions. Perhaps sadness at an unexpected car accident, sudden illness, fight with a spouse, betrayal from a close friend, or even loneliness. And, if you are anything like me, you might experience all of those feelings in one day. (#truestory) At the same time, perhaps you feel happiness and relief when no one is injured in a car accident. You thank God for medicine and good doctors. Maybe you cry tears of…

  • Heartprints

    Three Quicksand Dangers in Kid’s Ministry

    Quicksand is weak, unstable, and liquefied soil that traps and submerges people slowly into impending death. Normally, people get trapped into quicksand unknowingly, and are not purposely walking into it. Life turns into immediate panic when someone realizes they are trapped in an almost hopeless situation. Signs are posted to warn people of quicksand areas in order to keep others alive and avoid the horrendous situation. I want to ‘post’ a warning sign regarding three types of kid’s ministry quicksand: (1) Church-ianity; (2) Bible-ianity; and (3) Christianity. Interestingly enough, I think many others have already posted warning signs, and maybe this post is more so regurgitation. Future post will offer…

  • Heartprints

    A Worthy New Year’s Resolution: Be Steadfast, Immovable

    Life is a fight, and it's a fight to stay alive. Children's ministry is no different. There are times of abundance and times of scarcity. Either abundance or scarcity can become two great powers pulling attention away from the true power of the gospel (c.f. Romans 1:16). We can let abundance or scarcity change us, or we can allow the gospel to transform us from the inside out, building a character of steadfastness and immovability "in the work of the Lord" (c.f. 1 Corinthians 15:58). The New Year of 2014, whether filled with abundance or scarcity, is a time and place to be resolved in the gospel. Paul writes to…

  • Heartprints

    Three Steps for a Decapitated Church

    Is your church decapitated (headless)? If your church is headless, then your kid’s ministry is headless. Without the head, the body is lifeless, including all of its parts. Thus, a church (the body) without Jesus (the head) is headless and lifeless (Colossians 1:18). No matter how one dresses the body, the body is still lifeless. Interestingly enough, many in the church continually attempt to dress the body with budgets, meetings, strategies, payroll, square footage, advertisements, and lists of ministries. Some attempt to place charismatic leaders as the head of the body, creating a really awkward look to any church. Would people come to see a headless church? Sure, as it…

  • Heartprints

    How MEATy is your Curriculum?

    Choosing a children's curriculum can be a daunting task. We begin all our children on the milk of the world, in the hope that we may also begin to feed them meat as we build on their understanding of God’s Word. In light of repeated New Testament analogies (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:11-14; and 1 Peter 2:1-2); concerning milk and meat (or solid food), I will use the acronym “MEAT”. The acronym MEAT is one tool you can use to evaluate the best curriculum for your needs based on four factors: message (doctrine), expense (cost), applications (uses with learners) and teacher-friendliness (ease of use). Message: Is the message doctrinally sound?…