Tag Archive: Children

  1. IGNITE Conference 2018

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    What a great weekend it was at IGNITE!

    Over 200 Baptist children’s and family ministry leaders gathered together with nearly 900 other like-minded leaders on Friday and Saturday.

    We heard from engaging keynote speakers, Chelsea Follet and Cath Tallack, as well as joined in on over 60 electives on how to welcome, disciple and serve kids and families in our churches and communities.

    It was great to meet so many of you for the first time, so thanks for stopping by the QB Kids booth! If you took a ‘free coffee’ card, and would like a visit this year, we are keen to come to you. We will be planning our trips and trainings over the next few weeks, so keep an eye on your emails!

    We can’t wait to see you all again at Ignite & Ignite Summit next year, but until then, stay tuned for more opportunities to hang out together. We are busy planning our next event – on how we can partner with & serve foster kids in our communities- for April 19th. Save the date!

    If you are chasing resources you saw and loved at Ignite, remember to check out our resources tab in the top corner of our website, or email qbkids@qb.org.au.

    Looking forward to 2018 with you!

  2. QB Kids & ARK Australia Event

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    QB Kids & their families is proud to partner with ARK Australia.

    Your church can bring hope and a future for a child in foster care.

    Ark Australia – QB Kids Event – Thursday 19th April 2018 from Queensland Baptists on Vimeo.

    There are over 46,000 children in Australia living in out-of-home care. There’s 9103 children in Queensland who are living separated from their families. Many of these children have suffered heart-breaking separation and trauma. They are in need of love, rescue and healing. They are in need of hope and a future.

    We know our God has called us to be a voice for the voiceless [Proverbs 31:8-10], and has told us that whatever we have done for the marginalised in society, we have done in service for Jesus himself [Matt 25:40-45]. We know he has a heart for the lost, the heartbroken, the abandoned and the forgotten in our world. We know He has a plan for each of these children. That He has made a way for the lost to hear about the hope we have in Jesus. And we know that plan is us, the church.

    It is our God’s desire that each child He has created be given ‘a hope and a future’ [Jeremiah 29:11]. It is the Lord who dictates the steps of His children – not the world. And it us, the church, who He has charged with the mission to carry this hope into the darkest of places.

    QB Kids & their Families is hosting a day with ARK Australia, an organisation that works alongside churches and families to provide homes and support for foster children, families & communities. We are hosting a morning or afternoon tea, where you can come hear from Lucas & Heather, from ARK Australia & Crossway Baptist. You can hear about the difference the church family can make in the lives of these children. How we, the church, are bringing healing and hope to their hearts.

    We are inviting pastors, church leaders and all those interested in rescuing and renewing the hope for foster children, to join us at our free event in April. It’s not a program to run; it’s not more resources to buy. It’s a chance to for us as the church to learn how we can step in and make room for these children in our church families, that we may show them God’s plan for them – a hope and a future.

    REGISTER HERE:-

    NORTHSIDE- Morning Tea

    SOUTHSIDE- Afternoon Tea

  3. Faith In the Home – Taking Everyday Opportunities to Pray

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    Taking Everyday Opportunities to Pray

    We, as families, are busy. In addition to working long hours, our schedules can be full of homework, sports, arts, and music. Many parents are exhausted!! The very last thing we want to do is to make them feel guilty about yet another thing to have to fit into their busy family life. The solution is to equip parents to take opportunities that they already have in the time they spend with their children to teach them the importance of prayer and how to pray. As we get them up in the morning, drive them to school or other activities, as we sit around the table for dinner and as we tuck them into bed, we can be praying for and with our children, all the while building and strengthening their faith.

    Praying with our kids about things that really matter to them shows them that the great big God of the universe cares for them. When kids get in the car after a full day of school, they often have a story about something. Sometimes, it’s a fight with another child, a hard project they need to complete or news of a sick classmate. Praying about these things before bed at night, or better still, then and there, not only sends a message that the parents care about what is going on in their child’s life but that God cares. When a child understands that God in heaven cares about their “little” (big to them) problem at 6, they also learn that he will certainly care about the bigger life issues at 18 and beyond.

    Recognising and celebrating when God answers prayer is also an important way parents can be intentionally pointing to God. Sometimes when God answers a prayer, we ring a friend, and make sure we tell the Pastor on Sunday, but do we celebrate it with our children? Do our kids witness Him at work in our everyday lives? Sometimes God comes through with an answer for a family in a really BIG way and this creates a rich opportunity for families to not only celebrate it when it happens, but to mark the anniversary in years to come. When miracles happen to parents, children in the family also own that faith story. Just as the people in the Old Testament remembered God’s faithfulness, celebrating His faithfulness reveals His relevance for our children today. Noticing the big and the little answers to prayer teaches our kids to trust our faithful God.

    Being intentional about looking for opportunities to pray with our children, and encouraging them to pray themselves, empowers them to develop their own deep relationship with God. It gives them confidence in being able to open their heart to God at any time, day or night – not just on Sundays. When we habitually pray for and with our kids, it is only natural that they will want to pray for us. Allowing them to do this and telling them our prayer needs (being age appropriate), we are sending a valuable and strong message to our kids that we not only trust them, but we affirm their faith is real and God hears their prayers as much as He hears ours. Developing the confidence to pray for others empowers our kids to have faith and equips them for a lifetime of relying on God. Prayer in the home is central to building families with strong enduring faith.

    Ps Tracy Valentine, Generations Pastor, Gateway Baptist

     

  4. Playing For Keeps

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    Recently I was in the USA, specifically Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennesee for a children’s ministry conference called CM CONNECT conference. (Check out CM Connect here: cmconnect.org). It became abundantly clear to me that God was calling us to prioritise reaching families, specifically parents, to help them disciple their children.

    Sunday school teachers (or kids church ministry leaders) have on average, 1-2 hours a week with our kids. Families have the rest. A lot can happen in a week. Here’s a quote from my favourite book at the moment, Playing for Keeps by Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy.

    Several years ago, we handed out jars of marbles to parents and to leaders who work with kids and teenagers. There were 936 marbles in each jar. 936 is the estimated number of weeks between birth and high school graduation. Parents and leaders were challenged to reduce the number of marbles in the jar to match the actual number of weeks they had left with each child. Then they were given a simple assignment: Remove one marble each week. Over time, the practice of losing marbles had a strange effect. It reminded them to value their time. It made each week matter a little more. It reinforced a simple principle: When you see how much time you have left, you tend to do more with the time you have now.

    “What are we doing with the time we have now? The reality is, children have a ‘best before’ date.”

    There comes a time when a child is no longer a child. And research indicates that once a child hits that date, they are no longer as open to the Gospel. 43% of all Americans who are Christians made decision to become a Christian before the age of 13, and 64% made the decision before the age of 18. Nine out of ten church leaders became Christians before they were 18. Evangelism is most effective amongst kids. (Check out the article here: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/196-evangelism-is-most-effective-among-kids#.VUmdsFwRrVp) It is true that whatever we learn as a child affects us into adulthood. The good and the bad. Things we are intentional about teaching children, and things we aren’t. Our time is precious, and short. So are we really going to relinquish all the time we have to teach them about the Gospel to the one hour a week that their Sunday School teachers have? (Note: Sunday school teachers totally rock for dedicating their time and energy into this one hour, and if you see a Sunday school teacher, you should definitely hug them, or high-five them, or whatever is appropriate according to your child safety policy. Just appreciate them!)

    “The point is, if you are investing in a kid or teenager, you are already making history every week. The problem is, when you’re making history, you usually don’t know it…Let’s think about it another way. Most kids don’t know what you’re doing this week is going to be a formative part of their history. They are just kids. They only see “now”. To them you just… built a sandcastle. Took them to swim lessons. Played basketball in the driveway. Saw a movie. Ate some pizza… But you are an adult. You see yesterday, today and tomorrow. So you should know better. You should realise by being present in their life week after week in a variety of different ways, you are actually making HISTORY.”

    The QB Kids and their Families team is passionate about awakening parents and church leaders to their calling to impact children for the Gospel. We are passionate about not just running ‘Sunday School’ programs (seriously, who wants to be at school on a Sunday?!) but reaching our young people, who are the most receptive to the Gospel, for the Gospel. To raise a generation who know the importance of life-long faith, not just church attendance.

    So we need to equip families to disciple their kids. And we want to help you do that. Here is a really great list of places you can start to learn more about equipping families to be Gospel-centered in their homes. To be investing time into making history. To disciple their kids in the short time they have, so that ‘when they are old they will not depart from it.’ (Proverbs 22:6).

    Start here. Start now. And if you want to know more, email qbkids@qb.com.au.

    Two books you can read:

    • Playing For Keeps by Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy: orangebooks.com/books/playing-for-keeps-losing-your-marbles
    • Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: www.koorong.com/search/product/parenting-beyond-your-capacity-reggie-joiner-carey-nieuwhof/9781434764812.jhtml

     

    Or read access helpful resources here:

  5. Easter Resouces – The Best of the Best (And they’re FREE)

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     Easter is just around the corner, so I have rounded up my FAVOURITE FREE Easter resources, and posted links to them HERE IN THIS POST…

    It’s that WONDERFUL time of year we get to reflect on the cross, talk about the gospel, and how great Jesus is – on a national holiday! WOO!

    So here are some GREAT & FREE downloadable resources, I have researched my favourites, so HERE YOU GO! Take and use! And focus on what’s important this year at Easter!

    From LifeWay Kids (lifeway.com/kidsministry)

    • 3 Free LESSON PLANS, find them HERE: http://blog.lifeway.com/biblestudiesforlife/spring-2014-kids-grades-1-6-extra-helps-and-bonus-easter-sessions/

    o Jesus Triumphal Entry (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5atuxzpf5U)
    o Crucifixion and Resurrection (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKLoOm83pTg)
    o Jesus Gave Hope (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZfjiLK_17w)

    Find the Bible Story Videos for these weeks on Youtube^^

    • Additional colouring sheets here: http://www.lifeway.com/kidsministry/2014/04/11/free-easter-coloring-pages-2/
    • Additional activity sheets: http://www.lifeway.com/kidsministry/2014/03/28/free-easter-activity-pages/
    • Easy Easter Craft “Lamb Of God” http://www.lifeway.com/kidsministry/2014/04/14/easy-easter-craft-the-lamb-of-god-2/

    From What’s In the Bible (whatsinthebible.com)

    • “What is the Gospel?” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uppjUEzOwOg
    • “Were You There?” Hymn video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tCMW5Fxtmo
    • What Is Easter? Colouring Page: http://whatsinthebible.com/activity-library/what-is-easter-cover-coloring-page/
    • Jesus is Risen Colouring Page: http://whatsinthebible.com/activity-library/jesus-risen-coloring-page/

    All resources are FREE to download, but check out both these websites for more resources to buy and use ALL YEAR round!
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    Footnotes: • http://www.lifeway.com/kidsministry/ AND http://whatsinthebible.com

    Post date: 18/03/2015Post Author: Sally Contessi

  6. IGNITE CONFERENCE 2015: HOW TO INNOVATE (in case you missed it)

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    What a day! IGNITE Children’s Ministry Conference and Expo is the annual training event for our leaders of children’s ministries, or for anyone who wants to be empowered to disciple kids…

    Ignite gathers children’s ministry workers of all denominations across our state, and brings them together to hear inspiring key note speakers, empowering electives, as well as encourage attendees and leaders alike that we really are working together to make disciples of children in our homes, churches, schools and communities.

    Over 700 people attended Ignite this year– each year us Baptists take up the greatest cohort of these delegates, and it is such a great time to connect with each other, encourage each other and learn from each other.

    The theme of Ignite this year was INNOVATE. The dictionary defines it like this:

    “to introduce something new; make changes in anything established.”

    Change is hard! New ideas don’t always come easily! But in today’s ever-changing culture, we were reminded that it is important to stay relevant. Our key note speaker, David Wakerley, Kids Pastor at Hillsong church innovator-extraordinaire said, “Being relevant to kids means being where the kids are. If the kids are into video games, or whatever it is, that’s where we’ve got to be, because if we aren’t there, someone else will be.” It was a great challenge to our leaders and kids’ workers – are we meeting the kids where they are? Are we being innovative?

    I’ve talked before about the greatness of Generation Z. They are ‘doers’. They don’t just want to sit on the sidelines of life and learn by observation, they want to be involved, giving it a go, and getting their hands dirty. Research states, “Typical training style preferred by Gen Z is interactive and multi-modal, while their key communication tools involve hands on learning and participation. Their leadership style is through consensus and feelers, their influences and values are global and short-term wants, while their management approach is involving and revolving around the statement ‘here’s what I think’.”(generationz.com.au) So to keep up with this active, involved, ‘here’s what I think’ generation, we need to be constantly innovating new and engaging ways to involve kids in our ministries. Jesus literally placed a child ‘in their midst’ when He was teaching His disciples (Matthew 18:2). This was astounding in Jesus’ time! No one looked to children as ‘the greatest in the Kingdom’ – they were the ‘least’ ! Surely Jesus is the greatest example we have for being innovative – His teachings turned things upside down! So how can we be ‘innovative’ and ‘challenging’ in our own culture, as Jesus was, to be engaging this generation of movers and shakers?

    To be innovative like Jesus, we need to see kids in the light that Jesus did. Literally, “in our midst.” There are kids in our homes, kids in our streets, kids in our schools, kids in our churches, kids in our communities, kids everywhere. They are in our midst. And they all want to be involved. If we are going to be making any kind of difference, if we are going to try and innovate a way to reach kids for the gospel, we need to find a way to get them involved. Moving their faith from head-knowledge, to heart-felt faith and then seeing their hands move into action. If we are going to be relevant and reach kids of Generation Z, we need to involve them!

    We need to focus on making disciples who are making disciples. We need to communicate to kids that we don’t just ‘cater’ for them at church, but that they are vital members of our church and that they can be involved in the church’s mission. Michelle Anthony, author of “Dreaming of More for the Next Generation” says we can teach kids… “how to look like a Christian in 10 easy steps…because good behavior looks so much like faith on the outside. The children look well-mannered, they go to church, they bring their Bibles, they memorize their verses, they say they’re sorry when they’ve hurt someone, they may go on mission trips, they may give some money as an offering, and they participate in selfless acts of kindness. When we’ve taught them these things, it’s tempting for us to say to ourselves, “Good job! Look how spiritual my child is!””. But Jesus doesn’t kids to look like Christians. He wants us to make disciples, who make disciples.

    When we are discipling kids, we want to give them opportunities to put their faith into action – to do great things! To see them leading each other in worship, talking to their friends about the gospel, welcoming people to church, serving other kids and adults in the church and community- this is the goal of discipleship! To see heartfelt, passionate faith in action, to see disciples of Jesus make disciples! Kids today are asking for the opportunity, so let’s give them the chance to be involved. Let’s be innovative enough to foster a culture that not only teaches children to serve others, but also gives them a chance to do that. When Jesus was speaking to His disciples about going on to make disciples of all nations, He told them they would go on to do greater things than He! Jesus gave opportunities for His disciples to not just serve others, but set them up to do them greatly! (John 14:12.) This means giving kids opportunities to serve, the responsibility to lead, and the authority to have influence for the work of the gospel. It’s time for us to step up and be innovative. To “introduce something new; make changes in anything established.” If we truly want to see children as disciples of Jesus, let’s make disciples who are equipped and empowered to make disciples. They are ready. Are we?

    “Many things can wait. Children cannot. Right now their bones are being formed, their blood is being made, and their senses are being developed. To them we cannot answer “Tomorrow.” Their name is Today.” Gabriela Mistral, – Their name is Today

  7. Lost Sheep Resources

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    When Jesus wanted to change lives he told stories. That’s what we do at Lost Sheep — and at the centre of our stories is Jesus. Some stories are about him, some are by him, but all of them point to him. We take the spirituality of children seriously but also believe the gospel is fun. Lost Sheep create resources to assist parents, teachers and children’s workers build the faith of kids in Aus!

    Why not purchase a Church Membership and receive multi-person instant access to all the Lost Sheep stories, activities and resources.

    There are digital stories for the big screen that will transform you into a storytelling dynamo. Activity books bursting with 600 printable activity sheets. And, if you feel you don’t know enough to teach the kids, check out the ‘Sheepdog school’ biblical background materials. Lost Sheep resources are excellent for Sunday schools, all age ministry, messy church and outreach.
    Download a free Cecil the Lost Sheep Storytelling kit, Sheepdog School and 32 page Activity Book. Test them out on the kids and oldies at your church.
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    Footnotes: http://lostsheep.com.auTry these resources for FREE! https://www.lostsheep.com.au/free-cecil/

    Post date: 18/02/2015Post Author: Sally Contessi

  8. Ministry Focus: Brigades in Our Communities

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    Dr Wess Stafford, former president and CEO of Compassion International writes in his book Too Small To Ignore, “No matter what the setting [of society], children seem to be a second rate mandate…

    Dr Wess Stafford, former president and CEO of Compassion International writes in his book Too Small To Ignore, “No matter what the setting [of society], children seem to be a second rate mandate. No matter what the ill of society, it tends to downward spiral and eventually land with its cruellest and most smothering impact on our littlest citizens. Small, weak, helpless, innocent, vulnerable and trusting, they are waiting victims for our simple neglect and most evil abuse. No matter what goes wrong, the little ones pay the greatest price…Our most vunerable citizens have become the world’s most disposable commodity.” (Too Small To Ignore, 2005, page 3).

    Children are often left voiceless in our society. They rely on us, the adults of the world, to be their advocates. So often we do a terrible job of protecting them, and our ‘advocate’ status translates to nothing more than ‘child-minder’; someone baby-sitting the children until they grow into someone who can really ‘offer something’. But it is clear from Jesus example in the Gospels, and all throughout the Bible, that we are charged with being the ‘voice for the voiceless.” Followers of Jesus are to reach out to those who cannot speak up for themselves, and to fight for them.

    A few months ago I met with the state co-ordinators for Girls and Boys brigades. Both Girls’ and Boys’ brigades do an amazing job of reaching children of the community, investing in them and their families and training them to be influential Christ-followers in their own communities. Brigades across our state are gathering together in many shapes and forms to give fathers to the fatherless, mothers to the motherless, to build leadership skills and invest in children so that they know their worth isn’t in what society tells them, but in the love of Jesus Christ. I was encouraged to hear stories of boys without dads who came to brigade and now have godly men investing time into their lives and showing them what a good father can be like. There are stories of girls who have been bullied at school coming to brigades to find a place where it doesn’t matter what clothes they wear or how good they are at something, but find worth in knowing godly women want to spend time teaching them about Christ.

    Brigades of this state are doing a wonderful job of not just advocating for the importance of investing in young people in our society, but also reaching the community in a tangible and effective way so that churches have a way they can connect with families and build meaningful relationships with them. I was so encouraged by meeting with these passionate leaders of brigades that I asked them to share some of their experiences so that you too could see the difference they are making. Below is a story from Glenda Brooks, the state co-ordinator for Girl’s Brigade.

    “During the first week of January, 145 girls and 50 leaders from all over Australia congregated at the Currumundi Campsite on the Sunshine Coast. The theme for the week was “Rise, Shine for your Light has come.” from Isaiah 60:1. As part of the activities for the week, the girls were challenged in the “Shine” sessions by Chaplain Jess Currie to rise, shine and let the Light take over the dark areas of their lives.

    At least ten girls made first time commitments and for many the comment was “I have not been walking very close to God but this week has re-awakened my desire to get close to Him again.” Girls’ Brigade is a ministry within seventeen Baptist Churches around Queensland.”

    If you or your church is involved with Girls’ and/or Boys’ Brigade, be encouraged that what you are doing is not out-dated or unimportant. You have a real and exciting opportunity to invest in the children of our society and to teach them about Christ and the worth they have in Him, in a way that truly shows Jesus’ love. I hope that this article encourages you as much as meeting with these leaders encouraged me, and that you are led to pray for, invest in and partner with those who are reaching the marginalised in our society. It’s what Jesus did, and it’s what we are called to do. (Luke 19:9-10)
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    Post date: 14/05/2014Post Author: Sally Contessi

  9. What is “fruit that will last” ?

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    A question I am often asked about children’s ministry is “what program do you use for your ministry?”. 

    As the end of the year comes up quickly I am already looking at what programs are available for 2014. There is a smorgasbord of children’s ministry programs available, all fun, vibrant and informative. The choice is tough, because I want to choose one that is equally as fun as it is engaging with the Bible. I want kids who attend our church to know that Jesus is King and Saviour- but I also want them to have fun while they learn. There are so many programs available, I find myself asking what makes one program better than the rest; which would “grow more fruit” than the others.

    But what does it mean to have children ‘grow fruit’? How do you measure the spiritual ‘fruit’ of a child? How do you know when the lesson you’ve taught them has sunk from head to heart? James 2:17 tells us that faith without works is dead. When children start to use their hands to demonstrate what they know in their heart, then we can see real ‘fruit’. But what is this ‘fruit’? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, as in Galatians chapter 5? Is it telling others about Jesus like He says in John 15? How do we know that what we are teaching will last?

    Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Yet statistics in Australia are telling us that once a child becomes an adolescent, they are much less likely to stay at church, and more often than not, leave church altogether. So what is this ‘fruit’ that will last and what do we teach that they ‘will not depart from it,’?

    While many children’s programs and lessons are vibrant, fun and informative, we often unintentionally measure their ‘fruit’ or effectiveness by how much Bible knowledge or moral conscience children have. But knowledge of how many colours in the rainbow in the story of Noah is not enough. Knowing the difference between a ‘whale’ and a ‘big fish’ in the story of Jonah is helpful, but not life-changing. Even memorizing Bible verses each week is ineffective if children have no idea why they are learning them. In a world where children know that there are ten commandments, but don’t know why God’s people were given them, and when children know that Zaccheus was short but not that Jesus forgave his sins, faith becomes little more than head knowledge. In that world, blessings become ‘gold stars’ that God ‘gives’ to ‘good people’ and sin is something that only ‘bad people’ do. There is no need for Jesus in that world – and that is not what we desire. In fact, we desire the opposite.

    We want children to know God. We want them to know that he made the rainbow as a promise to Noah, because God is good and His glory is magnificent. We want children to know that Jonah was swallowed by a ‘big fish’ in an act of undeserved grace by our loving heavenly Father. We want them to know the Bible. But more than that, we want them to know Jesus. Personally and authentically, for themselves. We want to see kids bringing their friends to church because they want them to hear about God’s love. We want to see kids praying for their world because they see the need for Jesus around them. We want to see them worshipping God in song because they are overwhelmed with the grace He has shown them. This is the fruit we strive for. Whether we talk about the ‘fruit’ of the Spirit in Galatians or the ‘fruit’ that is telling people about Jesus, children will only move from head-knowledge to heart-felt action when they are moved by God’s Holy Spirit.

    We are blessed to be able to partner with Him in this ministry. We get to see the Holy Spirit grow ‘fruit’ in children when we cease to try to do it ourselves with only programs. The best way we can make a real difference in the lives of children is to be like Him ourselves. Our love for Jesus should be so obvious in our ministry to children that they want it for themselves. If we want to see children grow ‘fruit’ and have faith that will last – it needs to start in our own lives.

    -If we want to see children passionate for Jesus Christ, we need to be passionate for Jesus Christ. (Be an example)
    -If we want to see children telling others about God’s love, we must tell others about God’s love. (Be an example)
    -If we want to see children praying to their Heavenly Father in all circumstances, first, guess what? We must pray often and with them! (Be an example)

    Fruit that will last stems from a heartfelt passion for Jesus – and that overflows into others’ lives. Children will want to tell their friends about Jesus love when they experience it for themselves. They won’t want to memorise bible verses to win prizes, they’ll be doing it so they can tell their friends at school. Our programs and intentions can be wonderful, but if they aren’t pointing kids directly to the source of the wonder, they aren’t worth the time it takes to photocopy. We need children transformed by Jesus’ love, and they will see this love when we show them what it looks like.
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    Post date: 16/04/2014Post Author: Sally Contessi