Here are some great resources to help you!
Everyday Talk – the book that everyone seemed to recommend to me that no-one has read.
I HAVE READ IT!!! - I am actually on my second read through and will defiantly re-read in the future as well. This is the second most helpful book I have EVER read on parenting or anything. It is also VERY easy to read.
The basis of the book is to unpack Deuteronomy 6:6-7.
'These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.'
God gives specific instructions for being a parent in Deuteronomy 6. He instructs parents to talk to their children everyday about God and His ways. This book unpacks this and applies it thoroughly, showing how to develop a mindset that uses ordinary conversations to show our children the goodness and wisdom of God.
One area that struck me was how we talk about the weather. What am I saying about God when I complain about the weather?
‘stupid rain – all my plans for the day are ruined’
“These comments communicate to your children (and others) just how well you think Jesus Christ, the Lord of the wind and the waves, is running his world. You are complaining against his decision to bring rain when you didn’t want him to.”
Raising our children as Christians is a huge task. A good friend told me that most parents will read a maximum of two books about raising their child(ren) as Christians (this shocks and saddens me – surely our children’s relationships with the Lord Jesus is worth our time and thoughts) but this book would be one of the two I recommend to everyone.
Equips parents to guide their young children through all major doctrines in an understandable, chapter-a-day format…
Sure, it’s easy to teach your children the essentials of Christian theology when you’re a theology professor. But what about the rest of us?
With Big Truths for Little Hearts, Bruce A. Ware, (you guessed it!) a theology professor, encourages and enables parents of children 6–14 years of age to teach through the whole of systematic theology at a level their children can understand. Parents can teach their children the great truths of the faith and shape their worldviews early, based on these truths
The book covers ten topics of systematic theology, devoting several brief chapters to each subject (an easy read Calvin). With a non-intimidating easy to read and explain to children format, parents will be emboldened to talk to their children about the great truths of the Christian faith —and perhaps learn a few things themselves along the way.
What the back says;
'A theologically rich resource to aid parents in training their children. Anyone who wants to help children grow in their love for Jesus and understanding of the Bible needs this book.'
Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church, Seattle;
'Imagine a respected theologian devoting himself to training a new generation of pastors and scholars in the seminary classroom. Now imagine him driving home at night to teach that profound theology in simple terms to his children at their bedsides. Now imagine this father compiling those bedside conversations into a book available to all pastors, parents, and children alike. Imagine no more. My friend Dr. Bruce Ware has done it.'
C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries
Excellent – Matt Pope!
TOPICS TO PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN
- Why not print this off and pray one a day for you child(ren)
1) Pray that they trust Christ as saviour at a young age and they treasure their inheritance as Sons of God; that they will not accept Satan’s design against them but walk in the light as heirs of the kingdom.
2) Pray that they will hate sin and love godliness.
3) Pray that they will appreciate discipline and instruction, and be quick to repent; that they will be caught when they sin; that they will not be stubborn before they Lord.
4) Pray that they will be protected from Satan and evil Pray that they stand firm in persecution. Pray that they will be patient in affliction and look to God, trusting in His faithfulness when they have problems.
5) Pray that they will be responsible and loving in their relationships with others. Pray that they will walk in humility and look to the needs of others.
6) Pray that they will submit to God’s lordship over them, and those He has placed in authority over them.
7) Pray that they will choose godly influences; that they would be led to good friends and away from bad friends; that they would marry a godly mate.
8) Pray that they would desire inner beauty and godly character, and that they would grow more Christ-like daily; that they and their future mates, will be kept pure both before and after marriage.
9) Pray that they will learn to walk in God’s ways and actively resist Satan in all circumstances.
10) Pray that they would be fully devoted to Jesus Christ and joyfully invested in the cause of the kingdom.
11) Pray that they would grow in faith and obedience and in love for God; that they would ‘love not the world, nor the things of the world.’ Pray that they would love the Lord with all their heart, mind and soul; that they would fear the Lord.
12) Pray that they would treasure God’s Word and stand up for truth; that they would be free from deception and the lies of the evil one, and have great understanding of the word.
Memory verse printable resources (scroll to the bottom of this page)
Memory Verses Set 1
Memory Verses Set 2
TIPS for talking about the sermon with your children
They sit there next to you and their feet don’t even hit the floor. You’re thinking, “What, if anything of this guy’s sermon is sinking into my kid’s head?” And with that little thought you’ve already decided not to engage your child about the sermon. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let me introduce you to the most important rule when talking to your kids about the sermon: they retain more than you think they do. The second most important rule is like it: they understand more than you think they do.
In the interest of these two truths I’m writing this brief guide on how to talk to your kids about a sermon. I’m writing it both as a preacher and as a parent of four boys under the age of 8. I’ve failed, succeeded, and failed some more at talking to my kids about Jesus. Hopefully the tips you find below will help you as they’ve helped me.
At the heart of the gospel is Jesus introducing us to his loving Father. In worship we get to make a similar introduction—we get to introduce our kids to Jesus. Don’t miss that opportunity.
8 Tips for Talking to your Kids about the Sermon
1. Remember the outline. It doesn’t matter if you keep written notes or not. Remember the gist of what is being taught. If your pastor preaches for 40 minutes, then try to make a mental note of what you’ve covered at the 20 minute point. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get every point. Get as many of the big ones as you can.
2. Know the one, main point. Every passage and every sermon—no matter what your pastor says—has a main point. Grab it when you see it go by and don’t let go. And as a word of caution, every preacher has a bad day. Sometimes the structure of the sermon looks like a piece of abstract art. If so, do the best you can. But don’t let the guy close in prayer without having a main point in your head.
3. How is Jesus the hero? Now that you have an outline and main point, make sure you have Jesus too. How was Jesus the hero of the sermon? Kids are incorrigibly self-centred—and so are a few adults. Make sure you have a ton to say about Jesus, no matter what the passage or where the preacher went with it. Without an emphasis on Jesus your little saints will grow up thinking that the Bible is all about them.
4. Engage your kids with open ended questions. You know the outline and you can keep to the main point. You know you’re going to talk a ton about Jesus. Now engage your kids with any kind of question you can think of… except ones that can be answered, “yes” or “no”. Here are some examples:
- In the story questions: “What would have thought if you were an Israelite soldier and saw big ol’ Goliath walking up to little David?”
- Emotions questions: “If you were blind, how would you feel if Jesus put his hands on your eyes and fixed them so they could see?”
- Leading questions: “The rich young ruler was wrong because he thought he could earn God’s favour. Why is it silly to think we can earn God’s favour by doing enough good things?”
- Action questions: “What would you have done if Jesus had made a hurricane turn into a cool breeze right in front of you?”
- Application questions: “If Jesus has forgiven you, do you think you can forgive Tommy when he wings a Tonka truck at your head?”
- Use your imagination questions: You know your kids best. Make up some questions.
5. Make sure the gospel is clear. Jesus died for sinners. It’s very simple and can get very complex. But no matter the passage, don’t you dare teach your kids moralism. Tell them that Jesus has done everything necessary for them to know that God is overjoyed with them. When you tell them to do something, feel something, or think something, show them how those things are motivated by God’s love and not by fear, guilt, or pride.
6. Be the first to pray and confess. Talking to your kids about the sermon is as much letting them watch you learn from the sermon as it is teaching them about the sermon. If the preacher is helping your congregation diagnose sin, show your kids how it affected you. You could say, “You know, sometimes, daddy struggles with being angry. And it’s then that I realize I really need Jesus.” And when it comes time to pray, let them pray after you. Model for them what it looks like for a Christian to talk to God.
7. Chase rabbit trails. Your kids will lead you down them. Go with them. You’ll find out a ton about how they think. And you may just enjoy the unexpected stroll off the beaten path.
8. Remember the first two rules. After all this, it may be you feel like it was a complete waste of time. It’s at that point you must remember the first two rules:
- They retain more than you think they do.
- They understand more than you think they do.
And I promise you this, they will remember these times with you. They will forget a ton. But they won’t forget Sunday afternoons with daddy and mummy talking about Jesus.