Making God Famous for Kids! - Pt. 2

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

In my previous post, I wrote about the central role God’s fame must play in the formation of our children.  In this post I want to show you how we seek to apply this truth both in our children’s ministry and in our homes.

In our children’s ministry:

Lesson Summaries: We train our teachers to summarize each Bible lesson in three or four sentences. We keep God at the center of these lessons by making him the main character in these story summaries (e.g., Goliath hated God’s people.  God chose David to fight Goliath.  David trusted God.  God saved His people by killing Goliath.). Our preschool teachers are encouraged to review these sentences at every point in their class schedule—welcome, story, snack, craft, etc.

Singing to God: We sing to God every week, and we choose music that praises God for his attributes—his goodness and greatness. Kids need to praise the mighty Creator for all of His dazzling greatness!

Excellence in Everything: We strive for excellence in everything we do — to the glory of God.  We want our teaching, singing, and administration to be done with excellence because it is a reflection of God’s excellence.This means listening to one another and providing regular, godly critique. We communicate a lot not just in what we teach, but in how we teach, lead and organize.

In our homes:

God Moments: Teaching moments happen all the time. They can happen while driving down the road, walking through the zoo, or sitting around the kitchen table. As parents, it is a part of our nature to capitalize on opportunities to tell our children what they should do or how they should grow in character. But we often overlook opportunities to teach kids about God’s fame. “God Moments” are those opportunities in the course of everyday life that we can redeem by turning our kids’ attention toward the beauty of God and his work in our world and lives. These “God moments” aren’t something to be scheduled, but instead must be discovered while going through life with your children. Therefore, we must always be on the lookout for these moments and be willing to take time and redeem them when they arise.

Family Worship: Scripture is clear that parents should be their children’s primary source for biblical teaching (Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78). We encourage family worship (or family devotions) as a practical means for fulfilling this God-given role. By family worship, I don’t mean a rote one-hour worship service in your living room every night. I just mean setting designated weekly time for the family to gather to pray and study the Bible together. In our family, that means being intentional about having excellent children’s music in our minivan, reading a Bible story around the dinner table once each week, and praying blessings over our kids before they go to bed at night. I’m encouraging weekly family worship, because most families have a regular weekly routine based around their work and school schedules. So, designating a weekly time and putting it in your weekly calendar is the easiest way to make teaching your kids about God regular and consistent.

Sojourn's Vision & SojournKids

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

Sojourn's vision is to see the gospel transform everything--ourselves as individuals, our church, our city, and our world. By 2020, we desire to see that vision expressed in our church as a body of 7,500 people, gathering in 5 locations, and planting churches all over the world that draw many more un-churched people into a relationship with God. SojournKids' vision is to see the gospel transform the next generation. By 2020, we desire to see that vision expressed in our church with 1,200 children (ages 0-5th grade) and 1,000 students (6th-12th grade), gathering in 5 locations, and equipping churches all over the world to train up the next generation in the gospel.

How will your giving enable us to seek after this vision?

Moving into St. Vincent’s expands our capacity for welcoming children and families into attractive environments–more and better classrooms, more and better check-in/hospitality space,  and upgraded space for nursing mothers.  Renovating at the East campus allows us to use that facility to its full potential.  Your giving on Commitment Sunday, May 9th, will enable us to press forward in this gospel vision and meet the challenges we'll face with resources and strength.   Come on Sunday prepared to worship and give!

Sojourn's Vision & Teaching Stewardship to Kids

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

Dear Parents, During the month of April, we've been teaching Sojourn's kids about giving and stewardship.  We've used the story of the seven year-old king, Joash (2 Kings 11-13; 2 Chronicles 22-24), to highlight stewardship principles for the kids.  See the lesson here. God used Joash and the wise priest Jehoiada to turn Israel's hearts back to him and away from worshiping idols.  When Joash became king, God's temple had fallen into disrepair.  So, Jeohiada made a collection box by boring a hole in the top of a chest and put it beside the altar in the temple.  Israel brought gifts for the temple along with their regular sacrifices.  Even though he was just seven, God used Joash to make things new again in Israel!

Sojourn's vision is to see the gospel transform everything--ourselves as individuals, our church, our city, and our world.  SojournKids' vision is to see the gospel transform the next generation.  Part of seeing kids grow up to be a new people made alive by the gospel is teaching them how to participate in regular Christian practices.  We're intentional about teaching kids to pray, sing, respond, and read their Bible.  We also want to be intentional about teaching them to give.  During SojournKids' regular gatherings, we have a basket ("with a hole in the top just like Joash’s box"). When we gather together on Sundays, kids can bring money to put in the basket.  These gifts support Sojourn's vision of gospel transformation as part of our regular budget.

There is great joy in participating in God's work by giving sacrificially.  And kids will be excited about supporting this work through giving a portion of their allowance.  Even if they aren't excited, this is a great way to teach them about stewardship and generosity.  God has graciously given us all things.  Now, we can return thanks to him by giving of our money and ourselves.

With joy in serving and giving,

Pastor Jared

Vision: Kids Music Liturgy & Bible Lesson

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

This liturgy is a lesson on biblical stewardship in light of Sojourn's vision to see the gospel transform everything--ourselves as individuals, our church, our city, and our world.  To learn more, visit Leader 1:

(Opening call & response from the Catechism for Boys & Girls)

“Who made the world?’ That’s right, GOD made everything!

“Who made you?” (Pause) That’s right, God made you.

Who made me? (Pause) God made me!

“God made us for His own glory!”

“Why did God make everything?” For His own glory. “Why did God make you?” For His own glory.

We are here to sing to God, He made us for His own glory.... to show His beauty and His excellence.

“For His own Glory” means that God has made everything to show His fame, His beauty and His goodness.

Who are we going to sing to today? Are we here to sing to Mr.______? NO!!!! What about Ms.______? No!!!

We are here to sing to God!

Leader 2:

“Everybody Stand up! (Wait)

When I make hand motions you follow me.

Let’s practice.... raise your hand up high.... now put your hands down low.... ok, you’re ready... here we go.....

1. God Made Me, Words and Music by Judy Rogers, As Recorded on Teach Me While My Heart Is Tender © 1995 Judy Rogers

Leader 3:

Everyone sit down in your own spot.  Who is the “Almighty Creator”? (Allow children to answer)  That’s right, God is the Almighty Creator! He made everything we see. And He is still at work making everything new.  What is he making new?  He is making us new.  What else?  (Allow children to answer). He is making everything new—our mommies, our daddies, our friends, our schools, our church, and our neighborhoods!

There’s an example in the Bible in the book of Second Kings [chapters 11-13; 2 Chronicles 22-24] of a boy God used to make things new. His name was Joash. He became king when he was just seven years old!  How many of you are seven?  Now, the people of Israel had stopped worshiping the one true God who made them.  They were serving pretend gods instead.

So, here is what Joash did.  He reminded the people that God made them.  “Who made you?”  (Let the children answer) God.  “Who made everything?”  God.  And, because God made everything, everything belongs to God!  Everything we have belongs to God.  So, Joash put a box with a hole in the top by the door of the temple. He told the people, “Everything belongs to God.”  So, when the people came to the temple, they gave some of their money back to God by putting it in the box.  Joash and the other leaders took that money—God’s money—and they used it to fix up God’s temple because it was old and broken.  Joash was very young.  He was only seven years old, but God used him to help make things new in Israel!

God wants you to help make things new just like Joash. We have a basket with a hole in the top that is like Joash’s box. When we gather together on Sundays, we can bring money—God’s money—to put in the box, and our church leaders will use that money to help make things new in our church, our city, and our world.

Thank you for listening so carefully.  Let’s sing a song to God, who made us, and who is working to make everything new!

2. Almighty Creator, Words and music by Mark Altrogge, © 2004 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), from Awesome God.

Verse 1: Male sings lead

Verse 2: Female sings lead and male sings harmony

Chorus in unison, female sings little echo tags..... sing chorus twice each time.

Leader 1:

The story of Joash is really a sad story.  When Joash grew up, he stopped worshiping the one true God, and he (like the people that came before him) started worshiping pretend gods instead.  God doesn’t just want to use us to help make new things—like new buildings and furniture.   He wants to make our hearts new by taking away our sins and giving us forgiveness.  Who knows what God did to take away sins and bring forgiveness? (Allow kids to answer). He sent Jesus to die on the cross! Jesus’ death and resurrection is the perfect sacrifice to wash away our sins. When we trust Jesus, God makes US new! He makes us new so that we trust Him and obey Him. Thank God for our Savior Jesus!

3. Mighty Mighty Savior, Words and Music by Mark Altrogge. © 2004 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), from Awesome God.

Verse lead: male;  Echo: female; Chorus: both; Hand motions by singer w/o guitar

Leader 3:

Remember, just like God made everything we see, God makes things new and better. He changes people by taking away their sins, and by giving them His Spirit to change them and make them more like Him. There’s a Bible verse we’re going to learn that teaches us this truth.  It is 2 Corinthians 5:17:  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!”  This next song comes from that Bible verse. Repeat these words after me: “If anyone (if anyone) is in Christ (is in Christ), he is a new creation (he is a new creation). The old is gone (the old is gone), the new has come (the new has come). He is a new creation (he is a new creation)!”

4. New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17), words from New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica.  Music by Seeds Family Worship. From Seeds of Faith.

Leader 2: Closing prayer:

We are going to pray. We’re going to fold our hands, be still, pay attention to God and talk to Him:

“Jesus, thank You for coming to earth and dying on the cross for our sins. You are a wonderful Savior. Thank You for what You’re doing to make things new our church and in our city. Help us to know and love You more. And please help other people around us to know and love You too. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

Let’s sing to God and thank Him for being so good to us!

5. Good and Gracious, words and music by Rich Gunderlock and Bob Kauflin © 2009 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).  From To Be Like Jesus.