Article by Sue Jakes
Christian Education and Publications’ 2020Vision is a series of conferences, local church training events and resources designed to assist the church in ministry to youth and children. We are challenging the local church to consider these questions:
- Does my church have a vision to see disciples grow up from our children and youth by the year 2020?
- How well prepared are the parents to disciple their children?
- Are the lives of our church leadership being transformed by the gospel so that we may be models for the next generation to follow?
- What steps must I (we) begin to take to develop a 2020 Vision?
Answering these questions together encourages us to become very intentional about the kind of ministry we will pursue in the next decade to realize our vision for the year 2020 – His church filled with strong Jesus men and Jesus women! Consider having a 2020Vision training event in your church or presbytery. The focus is on uniting the church and home so that we may together pass the faith on to the next generation.
2020Vision RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:
The newest children’s books at www.cepbookstore.com
by Sally Michael
This new book from P&R is a great tool for parents and teachers who want to have interactive dialogue with children as you discover God’s character together. I say “together” because the parent and teacher will probably learn more than the child in these short, yet rich, messages focused on the names of God and their meanings. The learning is interactive because each chapter is filled with questions. The questions are answered as you study and discuss the nature of God.
Jehovah-Rohi – The Lord My Shepherd
Do lions need people to take care of them? How about monkeys, whales, snake, or eagles? They don’t, do they? God has made these animals so that they can take care of themselves. But sheep are different. Most sheep need someone – a shepherd – to take care of them.
This is just part of one lesson as the parent/teacher leads children through this mini-primer on the character of God as revealed by his names.
If you want to interest your children in Christian biographies, these books published by Christian Focus are the place to start. Each book has ten short stories with an added “Fact File”, “Keynote”, “Think”, and “Prayer” addendum to encourage children to ponder on what they have learned through this person’s life. Have you ever read about Betty Stam, Bethan Lloyd-Jones, Isobel Kuhn? These more obscure biographies are included along with Ruth Bell Graham, Amy Carmichael and Corrie Ten Boom. Children will want to learn more after reading these short stories, thus beginning a journey into following the lives of the saints who have gone before us. eading these books gives you a wonderful introduction into the lives of those who have not made the history books but should have.
THE FAITHFUL PARENT: A BIBLICAL GUIDE TO RAISING A FAMILY
by Martha Peace and Stuart W. Scott
After clarifying the goal for parenting and the basic biblical responsibilities of the parent and child, Peace and Scott dissect the lives of our children and give practical instruction as it applies to the infant, toddler, preschooler, school-age and teenage child in the home. For a parent crying out, “Just tell me what to do!” this book is a wonderful answer to the cry for help.
My favorite chapter, however, is entitled Parents Who Provoke. I’ve heard sermons preached from the Col. 3:21 passage. “Father, do not provoke your children lest they become discouraged.” But these authors bring understanding to all of the ways that we might provoke our children by defining sinful attitudes that teach our children more than we would like to think. Take a look at this list: The Despairing Parent, The Controlling/Angry Parent, The “Guess What the Rules are Today” Parent, The Exaggerating Parent, The “Must be Perfect” Parent, The “Fear of What Others Might Think” Parent. The list goes on and on. This section of the book helps to identify sinful behaviors in parenting that so easily entangle us all.
These authors do an exceptional job, responding to all of the most-asked questions of parents with sound biblical answers. The book closes with a wonderful instructional prayer and a directive on presenting the gospel with detailed scripture references.
If you are parenting or giving counsel to parents, this is a valuable tool for your ongoing study. Its eleven chapters full of questions to ponder and discuss would also be effective as a small group study on parenting.
The following 2020Vision resources were reviewed in Issue 4/2010 Equip:
by William P. Farley
This book is being used in many of our churches as a tool for training parents in a small group setting.
COVENANT DISCIPLESHIP PARENTS’ HANDBOOK
By Richard L. Burguet and J. Ed Eubanks, Jr
A parent/student handbook which is an alternative to the traditional age-based Communicant’s Class, offering Reformed and Presbyterian churches of any size a way to bring students into the church as communing members when they are ready.
THE JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
If you do not yet own this children’s Bible, you have missed out on the top-seller in children’s books in the last two years.
(Sue Jakes is an educational specialist for CEP focusing on Children’s Ministry).