Our new preaching series is called “Rich Towards God” – a phrase Jesus used in several parables. So what’s it about?
One of the biggest struggles today for our children is their exposure to media and the voice of the world. In watching cartoons and most television shows, it’s sad to hear how often our Lord’s name is used in vain. With that in mind, and as Jesus taught in the Lord’s Prayer, we focused this last Sunday on understanding the brilliance of God and how His name is to be praised.
We focused this week on how there is incredible power and life in God’s name, and so instead of using it in vain we should use His name to speak life into all areas of life. We taught the children that praying in Jesus’ name carries power and the miraculous can happen in His name. The encouragement is that in our words and actions, God’s name should be honoured.
Please spend time this week reminding your children about how awesome God is and how His name should be honoured and praised. Please be cautious about what children are watching on television, as using God’s name in vain is becoming more and more prevalent. Explain to your children how and why using God’s name incorrectly is harmful and dishonouring to God. Jesus taught us to praise God because of who He is and what He has done – let us use His name in respect and awe.
Some classes made musical instruments to praise God with. Please see past the noise and enjoy their efforts to worship!
We are loving this term with your children. Please contact us if you would like further conversation.
– The Cornerstone Kids team
On 4 May, we re-launch our Love Joburg Equipping Course. It will be a 12-week (two term) course where we will learn how to live a lifestyle of evangelism.
We’ll be publishing a series of posts that are adapted from the new material that will be made available when the course begins. In this part, we want to highlight some of what we’re doing – trying to create a lifestyle of evangelism, rather than evangelism that is ‘event’ based.
A lifestyle of evangelism is simply living out our faith and sharing it with others. Evangelism is a fruit of our faith and our genuine love for God and others. You don’t need to hype yourself up for it. Evangelism is actually not an event, a programme, but a lifestyle. It’s not calendar-driven, it’s relationship driven.
Here are some interesting stats that support the point. In a U.S. survey of 15,000 people, the following statistics showed the primary influence in conversion:
1% were converted at ‘crusades’ (a large, tent-based outreach event)
1% were converted at a ‘visitation’ (door-to-door evangelism or something of that kind)
1% were converted due to some kind of crisis
3% were converted due to some kind of ‘cold church contact’ (a face-to-face discussion, a pamphlet )
3% were converted at some sort of event (outside of a ‘crusade’)
5% were converted in or through Sunday School
6% were converted due to having a relationship with a pastor or some-or-other ministry leader in the church
80% were converted through a friendship with a Christian.
Most people, in a similar survey in the UK, had a gradual conversion to Christianity (69%), while others were converted in a ‘crisis moment’ (a Biblical example of this would be Paul). This shows that people do need time to come to Christ – you don’t need to convince them in one conversation!
Interestingly, of the factors involved in conversion, almost 0% was due to a TV or radio programme.1 Why this is interesting is it shows that some of our evangelistic strategies that require the most financial investment might bring very little result. Ultimately, the best results come through your relationships.
Relational evangelism is far more effective than any other kind of evangelism. Your relationships.
People really are interested in the gospel, if they’re told the gospel and not something else. Which is why we really do need to know the gospel, and you really need to understand how key your friendships with others are in presenting the gospel. In our Love Joburg course, we want to cover this in more detail.
It was so exciting to see the children recall memory verses and recite the Lord’s Prayer. Well done mom and dad on following up in the week!
This week our focus was on “Our Father, who is in heaven”. What an incredible truth. God wants us to believe that we are His children, and that is what we are (1 John 3:1). Along with explaining the concept of God being our Father, we also emphasised how prayer is just like breathing. We should aim to pray constantly and understand that prayer helps our spiritual life.
This weekend we looked at the idea of God as our Father. Some classes saw how God is such a perfect example of a father, how wonderful and perfect His love is for us and how we can always speak to Him. Our memory verse this week is 1 John 3:1, emphasising the Father’s love for us.
We looked at the story Jesus teaches on the Pharisee and tax collector praying (Luke 18:9-14). We explained how prayer is not a way to show off or impress people. It does not need to be shouted out for all to hear. Rather, prayer is to be honest between you and the Father. Prayer can take place silently in your heart, whispered in your room or even out loud, humbly, with friends and family.
We encourage you, mom and dad, to continue to encourage your children to pray. Ask them what they feel like praying for and pray along with them. Praying with someone definitely helps build confidence to pray. We know your children will love the idea of praying with you.
Please remind them of the memory verse (and don’t forget the actions). As mentioned, the idea of God wanting to be known as a loving Father is vital. Spend some time this week to explain this truth.
A craft may have been done to help the children remember some of the key ideas from Sunday. They look beautiful, so put them somewhere for all to see.
Again, thank you for this privilege!
– Children’s Ministry Team
It was so exciting to kick off the new Children’s Church term this weekend across our sites. We truly count it a privilege to walk this journey with your children.
This term we are focusing on understanding the Lord’s Prayer. We are looking at what Jesus teaches us to pray for through the verses found in the prayer.
This past weekend, we looked at how Jesus is our teacher. Our children heard how God sent His Son, Jesus, to come to earth and teach us His ways. Our children heard how Jesus would often spend time praying and how He prayed. They were taught that prayer is not complicated language but rather talking to God. As Jesus pursued constant prayer (communicating) with the Father, so should we.
Spend time this week looking at the Lord’s Prayer with your children. Replace the difficult words (e.g. art= is, hallowed= praise to, thou= your). Using some of the points to pray for, pray with your children and encourage them to pray.
Remember: God longs to hear us speak to Him. It doesn’t have to be eloquent, poetic or in depth. Start with a simple prayer if need be, e.g. “Father, thank you for a wonderful day and keeping my family safe. Amen.”
Also, emphasise to your children how Jesus is a teacher and that we are to look at how He lived and follow his teachings.
Your child may have created a prayer rock. The rock is there to encourage your children to remember to pray. Keep the rock on their bed so that they can pray at night. Place it on the floor so that in the morning they can pick it up and pray again. Let’s see how this goes.
We thank you for trusting us with your children, and look forward to partnering with you this term!
– Children’s Church team