Nothing is more important than leading your kids to Christ. When I think about my priorities in life they always start off the same. My first priority is to Love God with all my heart, my soul, my strength, and my heart. My second priority in life is to my family. To be a good and honest husband, and to be a Christlike father for my children. I’m sure that many of us have similar priorities. And when we think about our spiritual lives it’s easy to think all about me. Have I read my Bible today, Have I spent adequate time praying, How can I serve, and How can I grow closer to God. These things are not necessarily bad things to think about at all. We need to grow closer to God each and every day. But, what I would like to talk about is how we are doing with our 2nd priority, our families. And more importantly leading our families.
There is nothing better than having a close knit family that loves each other. I think we all long for that and want our children to grow up with the same spiritual values that we have. And for those of us who have children it seems like they grow up way too fast.
In George Barna’s book “Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions” he talks about the probability of people accepting Jesus Christ as their savior for a lifetime relationship. His research puts the probability at:
36% for children between 5 and 18 years old, 6% for people 19 years and older.
So, for us parent’s it’s easy to see that Barna’s research concludes what the Bible has already taught for years! Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
My favorite professor in college always said, “There are two mission fields that you drive to every day: The one at work and then your family at home.” That is so true. It’s easy for us to think about our friends and colleagues at work, but forget our own families.
These are some practical things that we try to do and accomplish through our own family. In no way do we do all of things right or in the right way. But we do try our best because we know our children grow up way too fast.
These are some ways we practically share our faith with our own children.Church. Know what your child is learning on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Hang up artwork they bring home. Write the memory verse of the month on an index card to go over together. Pray together. It is vital that your family pray together. When children are first beginning to talk, their prayers can be, “Thank you for Daddy and Mommy.” Begin the habit of praying before meals, before leaving on a road trip, and for each other when hurt or sick. Teach your child that they can pray where ever they are, or even silently. Prayer board. When our children were younger we covered a small bulletin board with fabric and placed pictures of family and friends on it. This is a visual way younger children can remember who to pray for. Read the Bible as a Family. Every night before bed we gather as a family to read from this Bible. Make sure your child has a Bible of their own that they can bring to and from church each week. Some Bibles that we recommend would be: God’s Story for Me Bible, The Adventure Bible Storybook, The Read and Share Bible, and the Adventure Bible. Scripture memory. It’s amazing how easily children can memorize scripture, and how they earnestly want to learn more. We chose verses that are easy to understand and ones that we want to impress on our daughter’s hearts. Here are some of the verses that we have used: I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 Do all things without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14 When I’m afraid I will trust in you. Psalm 56:3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. Matthew 22:37 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son. John 3:16 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5 Tithing. Every week we give our girls 10 dimes to divide into three small plastic containers: tithing, saving, spending. The first dime “goes to God” (tithing). The next three go to saving, the rest to spending. They put their tithe in the offering at church each week. Music and Movies. Children listen to everything that is said, this includes what they hear on the radio. Our girls love watching movies, and we like them to watch quality entertainment with Christian values. Ones we recommend for preschoolers are Boz the Bear, Nest Bible series, The Story Bible series, and The First Noel (Christmas story). Quality Time. Nothings says “I Love you” more than being there for your family. And you can’t say “I Love you” if you are not around. Many children just want to spend time with their Daddy or Mommy. They don’t care about what present you bring home or how big of a party you can throw for them, they just want you. Our children definitely see Christ in us when we are home for dinner, or are present at their school activity, and home for their bed time. Teaching Moments. Make every moment a teaching moment. It’s tempting as a parent to let things slide, ignore the mean word spoken to a sibling, give in to whining, but it is not how we should parent. Make every moment a teaching moment by speaking to the heart of your child, using scripture and Bible truths. Serving Others. We want our girls to have a servant’s heart, but this takes practice and training. Some simple ideas include: drawing a picture for someone who is sick, help prepare a meal for a family with a new baby, pick up trash in your neighborhood, visit a nursing home, or donate outgrown clothes or toys.
Praying the Scriptures over Children is a powerful way to lift up children of any age. This is the last of three blog posts where we try to give you some practical verses to use.
Prayers for Children in tough situations
Heavenly Father: Watch over ____________’s life. Do not slumber or sleep, but keep her from all harm. Watch over her life, her coming and going, both now and forevermore (Psalm 121:3-8)..
Heavenly Father: Lord, you have summoned _____________ by name and he belongs to you. When he passes through the waters, be with him; when he passes through the rivers, do not let them sweep him away. When he walks through the fire, do not let him be burned. And when ____________ emerges from these trials, let him know that you are the Lord, that you are his God, that you are the Holy One of Israel, and that you are his Savior (Isaiah 43:1-3).
Heavenly Father: As we pray for _____________, do not let us be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let us always remember to present our requests to you. And let your peace, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
Praying for your child’s relationships
Heavenly Father: I pray that _______________ would choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray (Proverbs 12:26).
Heavenly Father: Surround ___________ with friends who will sharpen her as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).
Heavenly Father: Shape ________________ into a friend who loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17).
Prayers for children and their families
Heavenly Father: Give ____________ and his siblings endurance, encouragement, and a spirit of unity as they follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth they may glorify you, precious Lord (Romans 15:5-6).
Heavenly Father: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of ____________’s mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).
Heavenly Father: Cause _________ and her siblings to be devoted to one another in brotherly love, honoring one another above themselves (Romans 12:10).
Heavenly Father: Let ______________ love his siblings, for love comes from you. Remind him that everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God, and that whoever loves God must also love his brother (I John 4:7, 21).
Heavenly Father: I pray that _____________ will do everything without arguing or complaining (Philippians 2:14).
Praying the Scriptures over Children is a powerful way to pray. This is part two of some practical scriptures you can use.
Praying for Children’s Spiritual Growth
Heavenly Father: Let ____________’s light shine before others, that they may see his good deeds and praise you, our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Heavenly Father: I pray that _________________ would always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks her to give the reason for the hope that she has, and cause her to speak with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15).
Heavenly Father: Let _______________ sing of your great love forever; let him make known your faithfulness through all generations (Psalm 89:1).
Heavenly Father: May ______________ never be ashamed of the gospel, but let her recognize that it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
Heavenly Father: Let _____________ become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, and let __________ shine like a star in the universe as she holds out the word of life (Philippians 2:15-16).
Heavenly Father: Whenever ______________ opens his mouth, give him the words to say so that he will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
Heavenly Father: Fill ________________ with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that she may live a life worthy of you and may please you in every way: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of you, Lord (Colossians 1:9-10).
Praying for Child’s Health and Safety
Heavenly Father: I pray that ______ will enjoy good health and that all will go well with him (3 John 2).
Heavenly Father: Don’t let ____ be wise in her own eyes; rather, cause her to fear you and shun evil. You have promised that this will bring health to her body and nourishment to her bones (Proverbs 3:7-8).
Heavenly Father: When ________ is set upon by bullies or assaulted by other wickedness, please help him and deliver him. Deliver him from the wicked and save him, because he takes refuge in you (Psalm 37:40).
Heavenly Father: Let ____________ take refuge in you and be glad; let him ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over _________ that he may rejoice in you (Psalm 5:11).
Praying the Scriptures over Children is extremely important. This is the first of three blog posts where we try to give you some practical verses to use.
Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is alive and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword. God’s Word IS powerful and we should remember it and USE it when we pray. There are many great books that teach a lot more than we could in a simple blog post. What I want to do though is give some practical verses you can use in your children’s ministry and also encourage parents in your ministry with.
Prayer for your child to love the Word of God Heavenly Father: Let ___________________ keep your words and store up your commands so that he will live. Cause him/her to guard your teachings as the apple of his/her eye, and let them be written on the tablet of his/her heart (Proverbs 7:2-3).
Heavenly Father: Show ______________________ that your way is perfect and your word is flawless. Be his/her shield as she takes refuge in you (2 Samuel 22:31).
Heavenly Father: Show _____________________ that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
Prayers for your Child’s Salvation Heavenly Father: Remove the veil from ________________’s eyes so that he/she can see the light of the gospel. Shine your light in his/her heart to give him the light of the knowledge of your glory in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).
Heavenly Father: Open _____________________’s eyes and turn him/her from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that he/she may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18).
Heavenly Father: Don’t let ______________________ be haunted by his/her past. Remind him/her that if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Children’s Ministry leaders get asked a lot of questions each week. Some of them don’t make any sense at all or really aren’t important. But one question we never want to avoid is when a child asks, “Can you teach me more about giving my life to Jesus” or “What do I need to do before I’m baptized?” In a similar way parents will ask, “Do you have anything that will help me lead my child to Christ?”
If you are looking for a resource to put in the hands of parents and children looking to learn more about baptism this will be a great resource for you. It’s a children’s ministry baptism booklet that comes with a student journal and parent guide. It’s a complete guide you can reproduce at your church for your families.
I get asked all the time, “What are your favorite Children’s Ministry Memory Verses?” Learning and memorizing scripture is essential to anyone’s walk with Christ, no matter their age. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden you word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Memorizing the scriptures was important for Jesus as well. You might remember in Matthew 4 Jesus was tempted three times. Each time He face temptation by using scripture.
So, I compiled a list of memory verses that I’ve used in our children’s ministry. This is not a perfect list by any means. There are literally thousands that you could add. It’s my list that i’ve used before and will hopefully aid you if you are looking for some.
One last thing – this is more of a personal soap box. I am a strong component of children actually memorizing verses. That’s why I used these verses for every event, camp, vbs, and curriculum we did. So much so by the time kids entered 4th grade they were actually tired of these because they knew all of them. I am not a strong component of finding one verse that fits your curriculum for that week, then you call it a memory verse, use it, but never bring it back again. If you really want children to memorize verses then use them often. So, here is the list:
TOP 5 Memory Verses for Kids Genesis 1:1 Matthew 22:37 Psalm 119:11 John 3:16 Philippians 4:13
Memory VersesGenesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God; Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God 1 Corinthians 16:14 – Do everything in love. Philippians 4:13 – I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men… James 1:22 – Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Others Psalm 150:6, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23, John 14:6, Matthew 22:37, Psalm 119:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11, Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 21:22, John 15:7
Longer Memory VersesTen commandments in order (Exodus 20) Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6) Psalm 23