Discipling Our Children

Originally Posted on September 16, 2020

Webinar Transcript

– Jeremy Carroll is with LifeWay Kids, and he works particularly in childhood discipleship, and he’ll introduce and tell his title. I think it’s changed over the past few weeks and months, so he can tell us what he’s doing and about himself. I got to be with him last October in Nashville, I got to know him, he’s a great guy, and he actually served in the state of Alabama for a while, at First Baptist Tuscaloosa. So we’re gonna welcome him back tonight. Let me just open this up with prayer, when I finish Jeremy, you can get started. Dear gracious, heavenly Father, we just thank you so much for this day that you’ve provided, and just Lord for this mode of technology, that we can meet together even when we’re in our own homes and offices, and we can still learn how we can disciple children in our communities, in our churches, and Lord, we just are blessed with that resource. Lord, I just ask you to be with Jeremy tonight as he shares with us and help us to learn a lot, and help us to use what he teaches us, and take it back to our churches, and really with a purpose of drawing kids closer to you and becoming disciples of yours. In your name, I pray, Amen.

– Yeah, thank you, Belinda. Well, I am glad to be with you all tonight. I’m very, very grateful for the opportunity. Tonight’s really gonna be kind of split into two. This main part is gonna be split into two sections, three if you count the Q&A at the end, and so this first part we’re gonna kind of talk about the why of discipleship. What is discipleship? You probably know those answers already, but I wanna lay the foundation for where we’re headed before we get into the resources, and so then after we talk about that, we’re gonna get into the resources. I’m gonna show you a few things that you may or may not be aware of that we have at LifeWay, but then highlight some of the things that we really try to put into our resources that explain to you why we put them in. Hopefully you’ll see that as we go through, and then as we get there, you’ll maybe have a filter, so that you can, as you’re evaluating other resources, ’cause there are a lot of other great resources other than just the ones that LifeWay produces. We know we’re one of many great resource providers out there, and so that’s the goal of today is to provide an idea of discipleship that you can use as a filter when you’re looking at programming and resources and curricula and other things, so let us jump in. I’m going to flip over here to share my screen, hopefully this is gonna work. We did some testing, but in my experience, everything fails when you try to start in something live. So hopefully what you’re seeing is some slides, it says discipling our children, and that’s what we’re gonna be dealing with tonight. So as Belinda already introduced me, but I wanna make sure that you have my contact information. You can always feel free to contact me. I am with LifeWay Kids, jeremy.carroll@lifeway.com. I’m gonna be talking some about kidsministry101.com. That’s not just my website, that’s our portal of service to you, as ministry leaders. You can also find a curriculum and resources at lifeway.com/kids, and then there’s some other ways you can reach out to me, should you have follow up questions or have trouble finding resources, or anything like that, that a way that I can serve you. I wanna make sure you have the ability to reach out to me. Now, this is my crew, just by way of introduction, my wife and I, my wife on the far side of the screen from where I am. My wife and I will be celebrating 21 years of marriage in January, and we are so, so excited about the journey that God’s brought us on. You can see there, if you lost count at five, you were trying to count on your hands and fingers, we do have six kids. This is a picture from last year. Actually this was picture early quarantine. Now that I think, it sure feels like it’s been a full year ago, but this was early, this was around Easter of this year, and so about where we are right now, so we’re mid-year, mid-August. I’m gonna use the other… So all of my girls, you see my girls there. I got three girls they’re all about to have birthdays. So when they all have birthdays, even my wife, when they have all birthdays, my kids were gonna be ranged on the low end, the baby that my wife’s holding, he’ll be two years old. My oldest daughter just started her senior year and she’ll be 17 next month. And so two to 17 and we’ve got them all around in all different kinds of ages, but those are our kids. And needless to say, never a dull moment in my house. So discipling kids, let’s start with the question. What does discipleship, what does this mean? Now, this is a huge word, in fact, in some ways, it even, it’s kind of impossible to define because there are nuances to every definition. You have discipleship within families. You have discipleship within church. You have discipleship and you’re old enough to know discipleship training as a program from years and decades gone by. We use this term and we have a lot of different meanings for it. But if we boil all of that down, I really wanna get us asking this question. Here’s the question think about it. Why do ministries make poor disciple makers? Why do ministries make poor disciple makers? Here’s the answer. The reason is because ministries or disciple-making really is a relational thing. Discipleship if you boil it all the way down, discipleship is relationship. So the reason why that ministries make poor disciple makers, and I use that terminology just a little bit of shock there because as ministry leaders I’ve been in, Belinda mentioned, I’ve been on staff in Alabama, Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas. I’ve been on church staff and I wholeheartedly believed in ministry programs in ministry strategies that include discipleship, every ministry, discipleship… Every ministry program and resource and strategy and schedule and all of those things, really, they have to, they really need to have discipleship as a key ingredient. So I’m not saying ministries should not disciple when I asked the question, why are they poor disciple makers. But the reason that ministry struggle with discipleship is because discipleship is relationship and ministries are institutional by their nature. They are part of an institution, the organization, the organism of the church. And so that’s what, that’s the big obstacle that ministries have in terms of discipleship. So where does that leave us? Well, that leaves us with what is our goal. And when we think of, thinking from a ministry standpoint, what is our goal? Well our goal has to be more than just discipling kids. Our goal has to be connecting with both kids and their families. And I think we have probably in the, if you’ve been in ministry for any length of time, we’ve probably not seen this level of emphasis on connecting with kids and their families as we have in the year 2020. Rewind back to March and overnight, overnight almost so many kids’ ministries went from programming in the building to, Oh no, we don’t have a way to minister to kids because they’re not physically here. And that was an extreme challenge for many, many of us. And so the goal of connecting with kids and their families helps us move in the right direction. And many ministries, perhaps yours has been doing that all along. Some ministries that I know of, that I’ve talked with kids, pastors and kids’ ministry leaders that really struggled early on in this crisis pandemic mode was because most of their emphasis was internal. They weren’t focused as much on equipping families as they were about bringing kids in. And there’s nothing wrong with bringing kids in. But if that’s where all of your focus or the majority of your focus lies, there was struggle early on this year. But then we also see that we’re missing part of it because while you can have relationship with your kids and your volunteers and whoever’s on your team can have relationships with their kids. And those are critical relationships, don’t misunderstand me. Those are critical relationships, but they are once, twice, maybe three times a week, right? So we need to thus invest more deeply into the relationships that are the primary relationships of the kids in the kids’ lives. So what does that mean? Well, I’ll put this sentence on the screen, parents are the primary disciplers of their kids. If we had the opportunity, if we were all able to raise our hands here and see each other, you probably all would say yes, absolutely. Even before the crisis and the pandemic, you probably all would have said that. That is something that many of us believe and have preached and have said, and for good reason, for good reason, because that is part of the scriptural mandate all throughout, all throughout scripture. Think about the primary scriptures that come to mind. Some of them probably already came to your mind. How about Deuteronomy chapter 6:4-9, “Talk about loving the Lord, your God, and repeat these things to your children. Talk about them in the house, on the road. When you lie down, when you get up.” This is an emphasis on that parenting relationship. How about Psalm 78 that talks about, “we’re gonna tell a future, tell the future generation, we’re gonna invest our energies into making sure that the future generation, the children have the mysteries, they’re presented with the mysteries and all of the wonders that God has done.” Speaking primarily of parents in that passage. As we continue to think about discipleship is relationship, when we move into the new Testament, we see that Jesus, He based His inner circle, his 12 disciples on relationship. He said, “come follow me.” And they went and they followed Him. And I love Mark 1, where after Jesus called the fishermen and in Mark 1:29, it says, “they,” all of them, “they left the synagogue, they went to Simon and Andrew’s house,” okay? You invite people over to your house if you have a relationship with them. The relationship was a foundational piece of that circle of Jesus’ disciples. We move into Ephesian 6:4, speaking very specifically to relationships, to parents, “to bring children up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” We think about Colossian 3:17-23, this whole section about relationships. So discipleship is relationship. So we have a pretty big obstacle when we think about it in terms of ministries. But I wanna rewind just a second, ’cause I don’t want us to miss something really important about all of these, these passages we just covered because the church is in the mix too. The churches in the mix to think about these passages, Deuteronomy 6 and Deuteronomy 5:1, guess what happened? “Moses summoned all of Israel,” that command in Deuteronomy 6 was given to the entire nation, the congregation, the assembly to everybody. Yes, there was a target direction to parents, but it was given in the context of the assemble. When we think about Judges 2, there’s a specific, one of the most devastating verses that I have ever read my life, judges 2:10-11, they talk about, “another generation rose up who didn’t know the Lord. Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.” This is devastating but again, we’re talking about, this is an entire generation, an entire congregation, an assembly, a church as it were, who are being addressed here. It’s not just saying, well, the parents didn’t do their job, these kids are rascals and running around. No, it was a generation grew up, this entire generation across the people of Israel. We go back to Psalm 78, the Psalms is a book of worship, was read often and sang often in corporate worship. Again, the assembly is a vital part of what’s being referred to in Psalm 78. Specifically thinking about Psalm 78:4 begins with we. “We the assembly will not hide from our children. We will tell our future generation.” Books of Ephesians and Colossians, these are what? They’re letters. They’re letters to whole churches. It wasn’t that Paul penned a letter to this parent or to the kid’s pastor and says, Hey, make sure you make copies of this and send it on to the parents. No this is an entire congregation address. Yes, there are applications for parents, and yes, there’s emphasis of parents on that relationship, but don’t miss the fact that the assembly, the congregation, the church has always been in the mix. We don’t wanna miss that. Part of the problem that we have though, and you’ve probably seen this in your own ministry is that many parents while they understand and even more so this in the past several months understand that they’re the primary disciplers, they have a picture in their mind that may be similar to what you’re seeing here on the screen. They think if it’s gonna be a spiritual holy time, in my child’s life, this is what it’s gonna be. Well, as we know, prior to the pandemic in particular, but even more so as life starts to resume, too many times, the family table looks like this. Families are not, they’re in relationship, but they’re not investing in one another as we hope that they are as the church. So what does that mean? We know that parents in the church wants to disciple their kids. They just simply don’t know how, they don’t know what it should look like. That’s where the church comes in. The church comes in to help them, to resource them, to equip them, to encourage them, to challenge them, to realize that, you know, this may not be the best picture of what a family discipleship looks like, it may look like this. This was actually when we lived in Alabama, my kids, this was several years ago. Sometimes our family devotion times, they look like this. Kid’s upside down, sometimes kids running around in circles. You know what, we need to let parents know that that’s okay. Especially if the kids are involved in play, because we probably know that kids when their brain is involved in play, when their bodies are involved with play, their brain is involved in learning. And so kids they’re learning as they’re playing. And so just as parents, we tend to think, Oh, if we’re gonna have this super spiritual devotional moment, it has to look like this. When in reality, we need to release parents and say, you know what? It’s okay if it doesn’t look like that all the time, it’s not too bad. Now, how can we come alongside parents and help them. One opportunity would be a checkpoints strategy. Now you may have never seen this before, but maybe you have. I put the kidsministry101.com link down here at the bottom, you can see that. I had mentioned that before, if you go tokidsministry101.com and go to our blog, I wrote about this last summer. And there are several posts that are involved that unpack this. And if you’re, if you happen to be coming to our edge conference, which is why list edge down there are our family ministry conference that we do at LifeWay, it’s all virtual similar to this year, but I’m leading entire breakout session on this life checkpoints, this checkpoint strategy. But what this checkpoint strategy does is allows us to come alongside families and to encourage them and to equip them with what they need for life’s race. And so I use this checkpoint terminology because I love the idea, even scripture paints, “life is a race,” in Hebrews 12:1-2. And so we think about these idea of checkpoints. Checkpoints what are they? They’re times in a race where runners can, they can rest, they can refocus and they are ready to reenter the race. That’s what the checkpoint strategy is for the church. You can maybe, hopefully you can read some of these things that are on the screen. Checkpoints that that deal with when new children are born or adopted into a family, family dedications, or baby, or parent dedications. Those are opportunities that are natural rhythms of life, that you can walk alongside families and help encourage and equip them in their family life. Checkpoint two talking about moving up to big church and learning to read, that may be a Bible presentation. Checkpoint three is growing in your faith. Talk about new Christians class and specific training on baptism and the Lord’s supper. Checkpoint four is our next step, so this is where deeper discipleship happens. And that’s somewhere where we’re gonna get into here in a little bit later and graduated into a new age group. What the checkpoint strategy does is it really it’s kind of indefinitely. Like you can make more checkpoints, you can have extra applications, there’s all kinds of things you could do with this strategy. But what is the goal of the strategy is simply for you as the ministry leader to start thinking, what are some natural rhythms of life that I can come alongside and I can be in relationship with parents and their families. Remember the goal is to connect with kids and their families. So how can I do that? The checkpoint strategy is just one of those things. So again, if you go to kidsministry101.com into our blog, you can search just search checkpoints, and you’ll find several of those posts, if you wanna know a little bit more about that. So parents struggle because they don’t know how. I mentioned that a minute ago. Well, how about this, this is from the nothing less study that LifeWay kids did a couple of years ago that only 29% of parents say that faith is the most important influencer on their parenting. What that tells us is that while maybe if you more look into that now, because of the pandemic, it’s still probably a relatively low number that the parents may not be asking you the questions. They may not be looking for you to run alongside them on the race of life. So what do we need to do? We need to have strategies that have line up and to help them get there. The church and the Bible, they rank low on lists of where Americans are looking for parenting advice. You can see these numbers here. Again, they’re not looking towards the scriptures. They’re not looking to the church, so they’re not gonna be running to us asking us, how can we do it? How can we do it in most cases? So how can we help them? Again that’s kind of what we’re talking about I’m setting the stage, this is what we’re talking about. Remember, we’re talking about the why of discipleship first. Now, one of the things, if you’ve read this book, or if you’ve seen our research on this, you’re gonna know that we developed, or we didn’t develop 15 key influences of a child’s spiritual health, rose to the surface throughout this study. Wanna look at the top five because one of the things that we really try to do at LifeWay is we try to bake these five things deeply into every resource that we provide. Every resource that we create now, depending on the resource, some things are gonna be a little elevated than other things, but it’s important for you to know, as we’re talking about equipping families and discipling kids, our parents need to know this. Our parents need to recognize and see the influence or see the emphasis of these things. Let’s look at the first five. The first one is a child’s regular, children are regularly engaged with their scripture, with their Bible. Now, for young young kids, preschoolers that maybe a board book or a storybook of some kind. As kids get older we need to provide them with scriptures or reading it on their own, a reading plan. As we move on into older elementary years, are we making sure they have a Bible reading plan that they can follow. That they can walk them through books of the Bible, that can really help equip them. Are they engaging the scripture? Are they going to the true source of all truth? Then the next four are prayer, service, worship or music and missions. These are what rose out of the study, that we found that kids who have grown up, kids who have owned their faith, these five things were the biggest influencers on their life is when they were a child to their adult spiritual life. And so we wanna make sure that we’re emphasizing these things as we’re dealing with discipleship, these five things are so, so important. Now here’s where I wanna go. Can we overcome the challenge? Can we overcome the challenge? That’s where I started. Discipleship is relationship. And because of that, ministry is having an obstacle because we are, while we strive for relationship, when they’re with us, especially over the last several months, they haven’t been with us. So how can we continue to minister to them? What can we do to provide to parents who may be scared, or they don’t know how to minister nor disciple their own kids? What can we do? So here are three just real simple things of things that you can use for your ministry, but also you can pass along to in some sort of teaching and guiding capacity to parents. We wanna start small. If you’re not doing anything to disciple your kids, don’t decide you’re gonna make a commitment to do a Bible study of a full chapter of the Bible every night of the week. That’s too big. You’re gonna get to one or two days into it. You’re gonna, most parents are gonna bail out. So we wanna start small. The idea here is that the tallest skyscraper starts after the excavation, starts with a single block, right? We have to start somewhere. We start until we can manage more. And so we start with a single block, we start small, and the goal here really just get started, do something. And so we’re gonna look at some of those resources as in just a few minutes, but we wanna encourage families to do something, to start small and just get into it. But make it the right size for getting started. The next thing start small we wanna dig deep. So after we’ve started small, we don’t wanna just leave it at surface level. We wanna encourage our families to dig deep into scriptures. We wanna encourage them to challenge their kids, to dig deep on their own into scriptures and not just the scriptures, but in prayer and service and worship and missions, all of these things, which I know that some of those things are a little challenging right now, due to your church may or may not be meeting, but there’s so much importance to making sure that our families understand that, yes, we start small, but we don’t stop there. We don’t start small and just, okay, we laid that first block and we just, Oh, that’s a nice block. No, we keep building, right? And so in just a flip of the analogy, we wanna dig deep into scripture. We wanna dig deep into other new resources and encourage families to continue to do that. And then the third thing I wanna say here is just keep on. Keep on I got the little engine that could hear, right? I think I can, I think I can and sometimes we just have to remember, we have to keep going. We start small, we dig deep, we keep on going. We keep on going because it’s so important that our families don’t lose heart. They need the congregation. They need you to come alongside them. Maybe it’s through checkpoints, or maybe it’s through another strategy within your ministry to come alongside the families. And they need cheerleaders. And they need people helping them find resources, letting them know, connecting them with older parents who have already run ahead of them in the race of life, their kids, maybe they’re empty nesters. They’re all a parent Q&A panel or something like that. Parents need to know in this crazy pandemic world we’re in right now, they especially need to know that, that if they start, they get going and after they’ve moved on, they keep thinking, okay, how can I keep investing in this? How can I keep investing in this? Oh, I’m digging deeper. My kids are starting to grow in their faith, they’re starting to learn. And I even, when it gets hard, we just keep on. Did I miss a week? Yeah, just keep on. Do it again, start again. Did I miss two weeks? It’s okay, just start again. Start where you are, dig deep, keep on. So, these are some of the just guiding thoughts about our resources. Now I wanna give you these two links right here, because we’re gonna talk about a couple of these. I wanna show you some of these in just a minute, but I want you to see them on the screen before we get in there. We have a lot of free resources. There are in fact three primary ones that we’re gonna talk about. When we talk about engaging scriptures, we have a Bible skills for kids resources, as poster, different things that kids can do and things they can can do at certain age ranges, certain skills they can have, Bible skills for kids. We have big pictures questions and answers. Those are kind of a theology question, answer session. So they give you, we give you some questions and you can help encourage families to help these kids, help their kids memorize and learn the answers to the questions. And then now we’ve learned the questions and the answers. We can move into dialogue about those things. And then the third big key free resource we have is levels of biblical learning. This is another way, this is not scripture directly, but it’s developmental. It helps, you know, okay, what can children, what can my kids understand at this age group, at this age level. What are some key biblical truths that my kids need to know at this age? And so that’s, so if, depending on the other resources that you may use in your Sunday morning or other times in your ministry, all of these three, they have some free resources. They also have some parent supplemental things that you can purchase if you wanna, to do that they have free PDFs online at kid’sministry101.com/videos, or if it takes you to a weird page, you can just look for where it says training and I’m gonna show you that page in just a second. Now all of our LifeWay Kids, discipleship resources can be found at this link, lifeway.com/kidsdiscipleship. If you go there and again, I’m gonna show you all of this in a second. If you go there, you will be able to see all of the different short term studies and discipleship resources that we provide at LifeWay. And these are some that you’re gonna see in every one of them baked into it. You’re gonna see Bible reading. You’re gonna see some level of music, probably if it’s not music included, there’s music suggestions, there’s prayer, guiding kids and praying. There’s a service usually, and some connection to missions in the discipleship resources. And so there’s some great studies out there we’re gonna get into that in just a second. Okay, alright, so that’s the end of this part of the conversation. Now I wanna shift gears and show you some of the resources that we have available and then we’ll move into that. So we’re gonna close this out. Okay. Alright. So this page right here is just, it’s the lifeway.com/kidsdiscipleship that I showed you a minute ago. And on this page, most I need, I think one caveat here I need to say is that most of what LifeWay has provided up to this point in our ministry life, most of the resources that we provide have been direct to church resources. But one of just like you as a ministry leader have been adapting during all of the crisis of the past several months, we’ve been adapting too. And I hope you’ve seen some of this through some of your other ways of connecting with our ministries, but we’ve been adapting too, and we are constantly trying to find ways to make sure that these resources that you see here and other LifeWith kids resources are adaptable to home study, that they’re adaptable to online study, and really this idea of doing ministry from anywhere. And so I wanna make sure that you know, that these are targeted. Everything on this page is really targeted at a church study, but each of them have something very specific that we typically call parent pages. And that means that if a family purchased the study, if they’re looking for a home study, there are parent pages that will guide kids through these studies, parent pages guide parents to help lead the studies, if not in a church setting. So of course the parent could use the leader guide if they wanted to, but it’s also available in these parent pages. So here’s just, I’m just gonna show you just a few of them. And then I’m gonna, I wanna hop over and show you the free resources from kidsministry101.com. Again, these are church resources, but they have home application. Here’s Defined, this is a study on identity, it’s an eight week Bible study guiding kids to find identity in Christ. Here’s The Gospel God’s Plan for me. And you may have looked at that and said, Oh, I’ve seen those little pamphlets, those little booklets that we have, maybe a central kid or VBS, but we actually wrote a six week Bible study on The Gospel God’s Plan, for me walking through every day one of those elements of God created, sin. God provided, Jesus gives, and we respond. We walked through all of that in a Bible study, a six week Bible study. Forged this is a preteen specific resource, and again, targeted for churches, but there are some applications, some parent pages that can help lead those studies in the home. This is a, it’s actually a two year resource. And so there’s all kinds of things you can find out, looking at Forged, the different things we’re study. We start with truth. What is truth? That’s the first volume we spent 13 weeks talking about what is truth and how do we respond to truth? Then we move into other things like identity talk, similar to defined, but in a different kind of way, we approach it. We talk about spiritual disciplines. There’s a whole volume on spiritual discipline. There’s a whole volume on worship, and how do we set our affections on the things of God above everything else. And so that’s just, it’s a deep study is targeted for preteens, but you could probably use it with pretty much any elementary age kid, second third, for sure. A brand new study, actually not even available, it’s only for presale at the moment. If you’re looking for a girl’s study, this is gonna be a great opportunity for parents to lead a girl study in their home or on their block if they want it to, but it’s, God’s brave girl. Maybe you’ve heard of the for girls like you brand, Winner Pitts, the late Winter Pitts passed away, a couple of years ago, we were partnering, we’ve partnered with their ministry. Her husband, Jonathan still runs that ministry and they produce magazines and other things. And we partner with them to have this great girl study, a great study. It’s called God’s Brave Girl, speaking to girls from girls. How do we embrace the courage and the bravery that God calls us to have specifically as young women. Team kid, now this one is probably the, of these resources, the most difficult to adapt to home use because it’s a 36 week. It’s designed to do a longer study, but there are ways that you could purchase this resource and you can use it in the home, but it’s great for churches, I’m gonna come back to Team Kid, hopefully just a couple of minutes if I don’t run out of time. Unseen this deals with the armor of God, you see it’s based on Priscilla Showers study, this is a seven week study dealing with the armor of God and those kind of ideas of being prepared for battle in the Christian faith. And then the I’m a Christian now series probably heard most of those. Those are another ones, another family of resources that has great discipleship tools. There’s a 90 day devoted, two 90 different 90 day, 90 day devotionals that are part of that resource. And I’ll try to get into some of those again in a second. And the last one I wanna show you on this page is the quest. This is a based on a Beth Moore study and this one’s who has parent pages. And so this is a study that is helping kids walk through learn about their faith in God. So this is just some general resources. Again, I’m gonna leave this up for a second, ’cause I’m gonna come back to Team Kid, but I wanna come over to this one. So this is what I mentioned me to go. If you go to lifeway.com/ no kidsministry101.com/videos, or if you come to kidsministry101 and click on the training link here, it’s gonna bring you to this page. And here are the three that I mentioned, big picture questions and answers, levels of biblical learning, Bible skills for kids. And just to click over here on this, you may have to fill out a form to get there, but there are listening guys for this, this video that’s here. There’s also, you can get to the posters that I mentioned, those are free downloads. You can get to those as well through that, this page right here, same thing with big picture question and answers over there quickly to show you. So there’s some training videos about this you see it’s kind of tied into the gospel project, but there’s some training videos that are included here. That would be great for you as a ministry leader. Then there are… You can go in to see some of these questions and answers right there. There’s preschool versions and there’s kids’ versions, it’s a great way to walk through with kids. It says here at the top 76 questions and answers, and we organize them around those six topics. Alright, so that’s generally speaking, so of LifeWay kids resources, these are some resources that you can use in the ministry, as well as in the home. Do you wanna make note of, if you go to our , BNH, they have some resources that are great for kids and they have some devotionals. These are other resources that you could provide. These are targeted for home. These are not really for churches, but these are specific things for your family in case you’re not aware of them. We had a hundred devotions from concrete and cranes, if your church did the VBS this past summer. You have a big one big story, Bible storybook different, again, devotionals, explore the Bible devotional, some great different devotionals here that are designed for personal things. Now, in terms of the other things that you can do. So I do wanna talk about Team Kid. For example, this one we have really two what we term discipleship resources, and these are 36 week resources. And these are really designed in a church space, if you have a second or a third teaching opportunities. So maybe that’s a Sunday night, or maybe it’s a midweek, but Team Kid is one of those. And we just released a brand new Team Kid this past summer, and currently there are five Team Kid additions available, and you can see here on the screen. So if you go back, “Catching Air” is the oldest one, but all of these are available in both preschool and kids additions, but “Catching Air”, going vertical and setting the pace. These are foundational doctrines. So if you wanna really invest in a midweek that deals with foundational doctrines, who is God? Who is Jesus? How does the church relate to one another? Some of those kinds of questions, one of these three resources are gonna be a great opportunity for you. It’s a 36 week, is designed 18 weeks for a fall, 18 weeks in the spring and so it kind of follows a school year. And so if you’re looking for foundational doctrines, all of these Team Kid resources, they have kind of topics they focus in on, but all of them focus in on Bible skills, they focus on Bible reading. There’s a prayer prompts, but they also, because we know kids love to and I already mentioned when kids bodies are playing, their brains are learning. Well, that’s one of the things about Team Kid. We have… They’re all built around a lot of built in games. In fact, the two newest versions of the Team Kid, they have what we call a playbook. And this is for a rec leader or somebody like that at your church. And that you may not be meeting yet in your, back in your normal schedule, but this would be a great opportunity to think about those kinds of things. Because again, we think about those foundational parts of how kids, the influencers on kids’ life, engaging scripture. We need to, whatever resource we use, we’re engaging them in scripture. They’re engaged in prayer. We’re not just praying over them, but we’re also teaching them how to pray. We’re giving them opportunities to pray. Team Kid’s gonna help you in some of those areas. Talk about missions, one of team kid’s biggest pillars is missions. We always have missions components that are part of every single session. Service projects, we talk about how to serve in the church, maybe not every single session, but every unit deals with some kind of service and in relating to service in some capacity. So all five Team Kid editions really do those things. And those are bedrocks again, baked into because we know how foundational they are for the discipleship of kids. Now, the two newest versions, this one’s here on the screen now, “All In” and in “Level Up”. “All In” focuses on spiritual disciplines, we call them healthy habits within the resource, but they are focused on spiritual disciplines. How do we teach kids how to pray? How do we teach you these about worship and service? Bible reading and Bible study? The entire 36 weeks every unit has a spiritual discipline that it focuses on in Team Kid, “All In”. And then in “Level Up”, we’ve tried to go a little bit deeper. We start earlier, dig deep. That’s what “Level Up” is trying to do, it has a little bit of an apologetics flavor to it. And so we wanna challenge kids to really dig deep in the terminology of the resource, we wanna level up like we do in games. We achieve a marker, we level up and we want kids to continue to grow in their faith. And so we’re asking some, in some cases, some really difficult questions to help cultivate their faith and their courage that really, sets their faith on solid footing. And so there’s a little bit of an apologetics flavor as well. And I can’t really tell you too much about it, but there’s a blank spot down here. Team Kid 2021, it’s gonna be another fantastic session, is gonna build on what we’ve done in the last two years. And that’s gonna be living on faith, living out your faith and living on mission specifically in terms of loving your neighbor. And so an entire Team Kid edition, that’s gonna be focused on that aspect of living out your faith and loving your neighbor. Alright, so that’s Team Kid. I wanna show you a little bit about that because it’s again baked in so many of our… Some these foundational things are baked into it. Now, the other one we have is “Bible Skills, Dribbles and Thrills”. If your church does the Bible drill, you’re probably already familiar with that. If your church doesn’t do Bible drill, you don’t have to do Bible drill to try to figure out resource, to help teach Bible skills to your kids. And that’s why we call it “Bible Skills, Drills, and Thrill”. So the drill is the competition is at the most important aspect of the resource. You can not have anything to do with the drills if that’s not something that interests you, or if your ministry doesn’t have time to deal with all of that. You can still help your kids learn the books of the Bible and learn how to find books of the Bible and learn and memorize scripture. All of those things are built into the “Bible skills, Drills, and Thrills” resources. And so again, Bible engagement is the number one spiritual influencer from research that we found. And so we wanna make sure that we’re providing those opportunities to do that. Now I wanna shift gears for just one quick second, pretty much out of time, but I don’t wanna miss two things that I wanna show you. One thing is… This is brand new. In fact, I just got permission today to show this to you all. So you are some of the first people ever to have seen this, if you go to lifeway.com/ kidsministryfromanywhere, all one word, just what you, seekidsministryfromanywhere on the screen. lifeway.com/ kidsministryfromanywhere its gonna take you to this page. And you may have seen some of our eBooks that we have available. We have, we’ve been putting out eBooks this year. Screen’s going… There it goes, 10 attributes that’s the newest one, “10 Attributes for an Unshakeable Kid’s Ministry”, “6 Considerations for Reopening your Ministry”. And then of course we did the “4 BVS Strategies for the Summer”. Well that the sun may have said on that one, as we’re now into our school year, but there are some helpful things you can see about these within these three eBooks free for you, I think there’s a little form you have to fill out. But the idea here is, as we talked about earlier, we wanna connect with kids in their families. So how do we go where kids are when they can’t come to where we are? Well, here are some opportunities and you can kind of see how this breaks down. How can we reach kids, where they are? We can do it in person. That’s most that we’ve been talking some about that already with resources inside the building about, in the mailbox, in the inbox online conducting virtual Bible studies or through an app, there are all kinds of things. If you look at the LifeWay kids app, there’s some… Our resources are in there at levels of biblical learning has an app and their big picture questions and answers, Bible skills for kids, they are inside the LifeWay kids app. And so you can access those mobiley anywhere, not just on the PDF download or a big poster that we have available, so there are ways you can get to those. But we would really wanna start to think, how can we minister to kids where we are. We’ve been thinking about this, haven’t we all for the entire year so far, we’ve been thinking about this. What we wanted to do like I mentioned earlier, we are live with kids, we wanna learn. You all are probably learning, doing some things, we’re learning too. And we wanna make sure that we’re continuing to equip and provide you ways to think about and to resource your families. Because again, the goal is connect with kids when they’re in your building, but also connect with them and their families when they’re not in your building. And you want to be able to do that because parents are the primary discipler. So how can we do that? And on that note, the final thing I wanna show you before we move into our Q&A is, Oh, it kicked me out. Is something brand new, Oh, here we go, here’s what I wanna show you. So this is, if you use any of our three mainline resources, what we call ongoing resources, Sunday school resources, Bible studies for life, the gospel project for kids, or explore the Bible for kids, starting this fall, you may have been using some of our free resources over the spring or summer. We learn, we have always wanted at life with kids, we have always wanted a way to really equip you as the kids’ ministry leader, to put some sort of devotional component into your family’s hands that concurs, is concurrent rather, with what they’re learning on Sunday morning. Now we have a way to do just that. And so starting in the fall quarter, you’re gonna be able to access as long as you purchase some of our resources, whether it’s in the ministry grid or whether it’s digital on our old, my curriculum manager, or even if it’s print, we’re gonna provide you a way to access this, what I’m getting ready to show you. So what this is, is this is designed, I’m gonna just kind of walk you through it. This is designed to help you empower your parents who may not be doing anything at the moment to disciple their kids. How can you empower them to do something? Start small here with a family worship experience that is designed to last 10 to 15 minutes, if they wanted to take it that long. So where do we start? We wanna start somewhere, we want to start, okay, here’s a little dot here in the middle of concentric circles. We wanna start somewhere, so you can’t do anything else if you’re not doing anything else as a parent, here’s something you can do. And we’re gonna walk you through how to do that. And I’m gonna show you and here, but here are the five components of that read scripture. We give you a Bible story that goes along with this story from the Sunday that your curriculum used, we’re gonna give you some parental prompts to how to have a conversation, now let’s talk about it in our family. We provide you the Bible story. So then if parents want to, after they talk about the scripture, they can then go back and watch the Bible story, and the kids can hear it in a different way. They can learn scripture, this is a scripture memory verse. If whatever resource you use, gospel project has the key passage, Bible is for life has the weekly Bible verse. We’re gonna learn scripture together. And so we provide that and then sing. We want you to sing scripture. We want you to sing worship. Again that was one of those components, engaging scripture, engaging the Bible, and then in singing, that was another one of those top five things. And so we provide you that resource. So if you’re using our music resources in your ministry, you’re gonna, parents now can use that in their home and the kids can sing along with that. So again, the goal here is to encourage families to start somewhere, do something, to start small, and here’s a way where it’s gonna walk you through how to do that. And then if parents are already doing that, maybe they can fit that into the normal rhythm of their already family devotion time. We’re gonna encourage them to have an add family prayer time. And these, in this section, its gonna provide you two prompts, where we’re gonna say a morning prompt and an evening prompt. And this is just a way that parents can continue to keep the things of scripture, the things of God, okay. Deuteronomy 6, “when you get up, when you lie down and when you walk along the road, all of those things,” how can you keep those in your mind? Well, one of the ways is through having these guided prayer prompts to help parents, to continue to pray with their kids throughout the day. And then finally the last thing, okay, you’ve done that, you’ve the family worship time, the experience you’ve done, the you’ve included, now you’re doing the prayer times in the morning, maybe in the evening, and now maybe there’s something else you can do. And that’s these family activities each week, there’s gonna be two family activities. Usually they’re gonna be like a combination of a fun family activity, or maybe a service family activity, a missions project of some kind, something simple that you can do as a family. And so we’re gonna walk you through how to have this family worship experience. And this is available that you’re gonna be able to send to your families. If you’re using one of our resources, Bible studies for life gospel project, or explore the Bible, you’re gonna be able to send this directly to families. It’s super mobile friendly. It’s designed to be used on a mobile device. And so parents can use it, can right there on their phones, they can walk through the whole thing. Lemme just give you a quick snapshot of what this looks like. So here’s the… Here’s the Bible story I mentioned. So you can read the story, again, it’s gonna be the identical Bible story, if they learn … If you’re using the resource on Sunday morning, here’s the talk about the scripture? Here’s just a few paragraphs of prompts that parents can read to their kids to help get them to having the conversation. Here’s the video, if you wanna play the video, I’m not gonna play those here. A preschool video is also included. We know families are gonna maybe have kids in both places. Here’s learn the scripture. Here’s our Bible verse. Again, the weekly Bible verse from the Bible studies for life that we mentioned, here’s those memory verses they can use. Here’s the song they can use and say excuse me, it’s included in there. Here are the family prayer prompts. So you get the morning prayer prompt, evening prayer prompts. And then finally here’s a fun activity and a service activity that you can encourage your families to use inside there. So I wanna make sure you see this. This is something, again, it’s brand new, it’ll be available for the fall in all the different ways that you have that, feel free to email me. If you haven’t heard about that yet and wanna know, we’ve got fall kicking off here just a few weeks. First Sunday in September is the first time where this is active and available to families. But again, what’s our goal? Our goal is to connect with kids and families. And as you saw, we walked through this route, we’re connecting to Bible, we’re connecting to service, we’re connecting to prayer, we’re connecting to missions throughout the different, different ways, and we’re connecting in music and worship. And those are the key components that really help a child in their discipleship, that as they grow from the research that has been done, those five things are the five stand out markers, the influencers on a child’s spiritual health. Alright, with that, I am going turn this back over to Belinda. Am so thankful that you all join us today, and I’m glad to be able to spend some time with you, and I’ll turn it back over to Belinda for our time of Q&A.

– Oh, thank you, Jeremy, you threw a lot at us. You really did. And especially at the end, all the resources, I know that everybody’s gonna be super happy about the one that goes along with the small group studies and Sunday school studies. I think I’ve been asking for that for a long time. So that, and that will start with September, right? Is that correct?

– That’s correct.

– Good, participants if y’all have any questions, y’all can put those in the Q&A for Jeremy. Anything he shared tonight, I’m sure he could probably answer questions about other LifeWay products or resources, or I know they’re ramping up right now, getting ready for the conference, which will take place in October virtually. And I think that’s gonna be a great opportunity for us to be able to learn a lot. We’ll be able to access conferences, I think for a year. Is that right Jeremy? There’s one option, I think where you can do that. So, that’s gonna be a really good thing to try to get involved in as well. I don’t see any questions, so I guess we may close, but before we do Jeremy, will you tell everybody what your new role is at LifeWay?

– Sure, yeah, kind of I got to blew past that and you even asked me to do that. So, I have been at LifeWay about three, a little over three years now. And before that I was on… I alluded to that I’ve been on church staff, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, I’ve been on church ministry staff. And for the last two ish years, I have been a team leader for discipleship resources. So most of the pages or most of the resources on that discipleship page that I mentioned are resources that my team has produced. And then I’ve led the editing team, the content team and creating those, Forged is the only one we really started from brand new. We started that with my first task was to create a brand new preteen resource. The other ones, we created a new, the new Team Kids and versions, “Bible skills, Drills, and Thrills”, and so my team has been doing that. Just recently we had a little bit of reorganization inside LifeWay Kids, and my new role is now I oversee, I still oversee that team, but that team is now combined actually with the VBS team. And so my role now is I oversee all of VBS and discipleship. So that’s, it’s all now one big team, and I oversee all of what those things now produce. So it’s all the things I showed you, plus some other things that we didn’t get to, but then also planning for our vacation Bible school. We have destination dig next year, and we’re all on the ground running, trying to get ready for 2022 and 2023. And we’re just, man, it’s just all out there. But yeah, my new role is to oversee the team that produces short term discipleship resources and vacation Bible school.

– That’s great. That’s a big task, so we’ll be praying for you as you do that. We had a couple of questions. Chuck Dining wanted to know if the family sheets available for explore the Bible in the fall. If I have my fall material, how do I get the links and sheets for parents?

– Is that the … Is that the-

– What you just went through? I think the home sheets, how did they receive those links? I think is the question.

– The at home stuff that I just talked-

– Yeah, the at home.

– So just make sure I wasn’t really clear on that, ’cause we just looked at Bible studies for life. So there’s explore the Bible at home, there’s gospel project at home, and there is a Bible study for life at home. Chuck, you should have received, whoever does the ordering for your ministry should have received an email last week about how to access those. If you didn’t, if you’re the orderer or if somebody else the orderer, you may wanna ask the object, spam folders, all that stuff. If you didn’t please email me and I’ll get you in contact with the right person. All of this is again, as I mentioned, it’s all designed to be mobile. So there’s no, those family pieces are not, there’s not any printed part of that, it’s all digital. But even if you’re a print customer and you purchased print, we make this available to you. So if you haven’t received that email, I encourage email me and let me connect you with that. So again, that’s jeremycarol@lifeway.com. Let me connect you with the right people to make sure you can get that because we definitely want all of our churches who are using our resources to have access to those family worship experiences.

– Right and a lot of time in our churches, that’s the ministry assistants and those who do the ordering. So you may want to check with them and see if they’ve received it and then clue them into, they need to be looking for that every quarter. And then Mary Morton wanted to know, can parents have access to using these last resources in the home? And that’s, they can right?

– The ones that at home?

– The at home, yeah.

– Those are specifically designed that is what those resources are for, to be sent to parents, for them to be used in their homes. That that is their… That is their intent is for ministry leaders to email or post in a closed Facebook group, or however you wanna get the link to them. That is the design for the walkthrough parents using those in their homes.

– Okay, that’s great. That’s gonna be a great resource and teaching parents and helping them disciple their kids, just not a sheet of paper, but something in technology that they can pull up as they’re driving around town, or, you know, with their kids in the car, whatever so, well, Jeremy, we thank you again for your time. And for all that you shared with us and we appreciate the ministry you have at LifeWay and how they support us and our churches and in the state of Alabama as we are working to share the gospel. One more, one more question. Let’s say, is there an extra charge for the homelink?

– Okay, great question. If you made any purchase. So this is for… I’m always speaking to fall because that’s just honestly, that’s, as far as we’ve gotten right now. For fall, if you’ve made any purchase, I think it’s above $25 then, which I don’t know anybody in church whose buying only $25. But if you, as long as you’ve made any purchase print or digital, that is included in the resource for fall. Now for winter, there’s gonna be a little bit of a change. I think it’s still gonna be free, but I can’t promise that ’cause I’m not sure exactly, there are people way above me on the food chain are asking those questions or answering those questions. So I’m not a part of all of those conversations, but for fall, no charge, if you’re print, if you’re digital, we make that available to you. We want you to start using it and really working with your families. If I do want… If I can say one other thing about the digital, if you’re a digital customer, if you primarily have been using digital through my curriculum manager, purchasing digital, there is a way, and or if you’re a print customer and you have found, Oh, the all the way we’ve been using ministry grid. I don’t know if anyone on here has been using the ministry grid platform for curriculum, the way we’ve been providing it for spring and summer, but starting in the fall, we have a way for you to access that full content again. We’ve transitioned out of the provided for free as churches are starting to meet back again. And, not as in much of a crisis, as far as what we were hearing from churches, where I bought all these printed resource and they’re locked up in my church, we can’t get to them. And so we want it to respond. Now, as we move into other quarters, those resources are still available and you can.. And there is a… If you wanna purchase through ministry grid, the actual leader guides and the videos and all of that stuff for your church use that’s available through ministry grid for, through my curriculum manager and then the print ones, that the way they’ve always did. But no matter how you purchased for fall, what the family worship experience, that at home worship experience is available to you at no cost.

– Alright, well we appreciate that. Is there any other questions and we’ll close out if I don’t see any anymore in the next few seconds. Alright, well, we thank you all again for joining and thank you, Jeremy. And like we said before, this will be recorded and you’ll be able to access this. So if you have any questions or forget what Jeremy said, you can always go back to that and access it. I hope you all have a good night and we have some more webinars the rest of this week and next week for children in preschool. So if you’ll check our website at the state board of missions, you can access those and hopefully join us for some others. Thanks so much, all have a good night. Goodbye.

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