‘We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but keep his commands…’ Psalm 78:7-7
We’ve been thinking about good news as we’ve been reading Matthew, and as the children have been learning about Paul’s mission. We rarely hesitate in sharing good news. Exam results, a new job, birth announcement, we can’t wait to announce the news by text, facebook, telephone and All Saints News! The assumption in Psalm 78 is that we will tell the next generation about all our great God has done, and we are commanded to teach our children so they ‘would put their trust in God…and keep his commands’. In Deuteronomy 6:5-8, we are urged to impress God’s commands on our children, we are to talk about them ‘when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up’. Teaching our children about Jesus should be a natural part of our lives. What an awesome responsibility we have as parents, grandparents, and church members to teach the next generation about Jesus. Please pray!
At All Saints we are blessed with many children and great teams of leaders who work in partnership with parents to teach our children so that they might grow to maturity in Christ.
We want to be well equipped for our work so our teams attend regular training events. Last Saturday twelve Good News Club leaders joined with hundreds of others at the ‘Hand in Hand’ Conference in Eastbourne for some training. Seminars ranged from toddler groups as mission, teaching new songs, understanding how children learn, and engaging with the digital generation.
Whether you are a youth or children’s leader, parent, grandparent, someone who loves Jesus and loves children, you might like to join us for our next training event on Saturday 23 March, 9.30am-1pm at Christ Church, ‘Exploring the New Testament with Children and Young People’.
If you would like to share in teaching children about Jesus, put 10-12 April in your diary, our Holiday Club for 2013!
Further details next week.
There is a simplicity about a child’s faith in God which is deeply refreshing. As leaders we have seen this at Jaffa Club this term. It has greatly encouraged us.
Jaffa Club (Jesus A Friend For All) meets each Wednesday at Lindfield Primary School. We have 13 children who come for games, craft and teaching from the bible. Some are from Christian homes; others have no church background.
This term we have been looking at the Psalms and the amazing truths they teach us about God. At our last session the children were asked to write their own Psalm. We had doubts about setting this task.
But, without hesitation, a group of seven year olds penned the following:
‘When I am in trouble, you are always there to help me.’
‘You give me happiness.’
‘You are so powerful that I can never be more powerful than you.’
‘When I awake in the morning you are with me - day and night you always help me.’
‘You help us and never sleep or doze.’
It’s not far off King David’s best, and like his, it flowed straight from their hearts.
Children often grasp more easily than adults the incredible truths about God. When we asked them what do we need God’s help for, one child replied, ‘We need God’s help for everything’. We asked who they would go to if they had a problem. Most put God first on their list.
As leaders we have needed God’s help too. In September we started with just me and Oli Taylor leading. But after much prayer God provided two more leaders, Gemma Sawyer and Lizzi Green. We have also seen the difference prayer makes. When we pray together before Jaffa, and especially when First Priority prays for us, the children are calmer, the conversations deeper, the attitudes gentler. When we pray, God works.
Please do keep praying for Jaffa and the other work going on in our schools. Please pray that God would keep stirring the hearts of the children and drawing them closer to Him.