This week, I am on vacation so I have invited some of my friends and colleagues in ministry to write a few articles about their experiences with children’s ministry. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.
Today’s post is from Matt Doane. Matt serves at Lyons Creek Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee as Pastor to Students and Families. Matt is married to Katherine and enjoys reading, coffee, and most outdoor activities. You can follow him on Twitter or at his blog.
I recently took our children to a camp called “Crossings,” which is located in Bagdad, KY. Crossings is a summer program that offers camps to children and youth. If you are a children’s/student minister, I highly recommend this camp. I specifically like the fact that the camp focuses on three things: the Gospel, Relationships, and Excellence. I had the privilege to enjoy afternoon activities with the kids such as: fishing, zip-lining, swimming, etc. Kids could choose activities they wanted to participate in during the week, but what took place at the end of the activity took me by surprise. The counselors who were in charge of the activity would ask the kids how they could tie what they had just done to the gospel. The counselors would allow time for the kids to come up with answers to how fishing, zip-lining, swimming, etc. could be used to explain the beautiful news of Jesus.
I was extremely surprised with the kids’ answers on how a simple activity they had just completed could relate to God’s plan of salvation. This activity made me think about the importance of relating that story into everyday life. I serve at a church as Pastor to Students and Families. I work with children and youth, and I desire to see them live gospel-centered lives. However, The gospel should be at the forefront of conversations with students. I was inspired from Crossings camp to relate the gospel to everyday life for our kids so in return they will be able to have a biblical outlook on everything. The gospel should be taught in a way that it is central in a child’s life. Having gospel-saturated conversations can ensure that a child will grow up relating it to all aspects of life.
How can you implement gospel conversations with your children? A great way to is first explain what exactly the gospel is. The next step is to reinforce the truths of it over and over. There is power in repetition when it comes to teaching children in their everyday lives. This might look like asking your child to relate the gospel to something that happened at school that day. It may also mean doing an activity, with the end goal to have your child relate the activity to the gospel. Whatever it may be, remember that there is power in the good news of Jesus. In order to raise up disciples, the gospel must be at the center of everything.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (ESV)