I just returned from a great few days at the PCA Children’s Leadership Conference at Ridgehaven Camp in Brevard, NC. This is a yearly gathering of over 200 children’s leaders across the country. It is amazing to see how God is working in PCA churches near and far!
I wanted to highlight a few things I learned and resources I gained from the Committee on Discipleship Ministries. As always, you can go to their website HERE to learn more and find additional links/resources. They work hard to connect people to resources for PCA ministries in general.
I am sending this to the entire church body because all of these can be applied to Christians of all ages! Also, I want you to know what parents are facing and how you can encourage them.
Here are my top 3 takeaways from this year’s event:
1. Telling the story of the bible from beginning to end.
Author Nancy Guthrie was our keynote speaker. She is amazing! Her seminars were on the topic of “Biblical Themes.” We were broken up into small groups and learned how to go into the bible and connect specific themes (i.e. king/kingdom, God’s presence/Tabernacle, Blessing/Curses, Marriage, Light/Darkness, Creation/New Creation, etc) to specific events on the biblical timeline (i.e. Creation, Fall, Abraham/Promise, Wisdom, Prophets, etc). She reminded us that when we don’t understand the complete bible story, we try and make the story about “us” rather than about “Him.”
I was encouraged to study the bible’s themes for myself and relay that to my own children each time instead of constantly separating the bible into individual events and stories. There is great value and understanding in our children knowing the complete story from Creation to Consummation! You can learn more about this in her new book, Even Better Than Eden.
She also hosts a podcast that is excellent. You can subscribe HERE.
2. Training your children for corporate worship.
In a day and age where many churches have moved away from keeping small children in worship, this seminar went through biblical reasons for our children to be with us during worship and how parents (and churches) can be encouraged even when it gets tough. I will work to type up my notes from this seminar and distribute to the children’s ministry email list later this month. Lots of good and practical tips on training your children at home (family worship) and at service (corporate worship).
Here are several books that were recommended to me during this seminar. I have purchased a few of them, and they are on the hallway bookshelf. You are welcome to borrow (just be sure to return).
*Nursery of the Holy Spirit (recommended by Pastor Mike)
*Parenting in the Pew
*Heirs of the Covenant (great for teachers and also those new to covenant theology)
*Let the Children Worship
3. Ways parents can make a plan for technology.
This was number one on my list, as I face these battles myself already with small children. I know many of you will be raising teens in the digital age and aren’t sure what your plan should look like. This seminar was a good reminder that just like we came up with plans for when our kids were potty training or for how we wanted to discipline them, we should also make a plan for how we will use technology in our homes. He recommended two books: “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You” and “Tech Wise Family.” I bought both of these and placed them on the shelf. Feel free to look at those when you get a chance.
Thank you all for being a church body who supports my attending training events like this and for supporting our children’s ministry at Christ Pres. Please let me know if you have any questions or want additional information!