Nothing Less

Originally Posted on September 16, 2020

Webinar Transcript

– So this morning Cindy Thomas is our presenter and she serves as children preschool minister at the First Baptist Church of Dothan, Alabama. And she also helps us tremendously at the State Board of Missions. She works with me and the Bible Drill area, and also with Patty Burns VBS. And so we appreciate. She wears many hats for us and always does a wonderful job. And so we’re so grateful for her to share with this great information with us this morning. And I did want to introduce myself in case she don’t know me. I’m Belinda Stroud, and I have the privilege of serving as a State Missionary in the Sunday school and Discipleship office. And I work primarily in the Children’s Ministry area, and I focus a lot on Bible Drill, a program that we have to help with scripture memory and getting into God’s word. So let me just open this up with prayer and then we’ll let Cindy get started. Dear gracious, heavenly father. We just thank you so much for this morning and just all the many blessings that you do give us, and Lord how we have seen over these past few months, how important God’s word is in our lives and how relevant it is and how we do need to be digging into it. Lord we just ask you to be with Cindy this morning, as she presents this great information to help us minister better to the children and preschoolers and the families and the churches that we serve in your name I pray, Amen. All right, Cindy. Thank you.

– Good morning and it’s good to see you. And several years ago, I went to edge back in the old days when we were able to meet in person at the conferences and the theme that year was Nothing Less. And so it was a theme that we talked about that we found out how we could keep children and youth to stay in church once they became young adults. And so this is a resource through which you can use in your church. There’s the DVDs and the book. And you can do parenting seminars or parenting classes at your church with this. But I just wanted to do this 45 minute to an hour’s webinar to tell you about some of the things that are written in Nothing Less, because basically we want to give our children nothing less than the very best of us, where they will be able to stay in church. So we’re going to start with this PowerPoint and we can see here that… Pass the slide. We’re working our technology. And so the Nothing Less comes from a quote from A.W Tozer that says nothing less than the whole Bible can make a whole Christian. So we can’t pick and choose. We like this. And don’t like that. We are followers of God’s word, from start to finish. Alright, so here is our, our Nothing Less screening. So they surveyed 2000 parents and young adults. And so young adults mean, those kids that are graduating from high school and heading into college. And statistics have shown that about 70% of church kids leave the church for a time when they become young adults. Where that’s going off to college or hitting the workforce, but not being under their parents’ authority to the degree that they were when they were still in high school. And so what they did was they evaluated each adult’s child spiritual health. Like now that this child is now 19, 2021. Where are they spiritually? and answered questions about each child’s upbringing What made the difference in the kids that stayed in church and were plugged in and had a vibrant relationship with Christ. And those that, for lack of a better phrase said they were allowed I had seen. This may be your background also. You may have been in church, hitting it straight, near all the way. And then you got out and were on your own, and left church for awhile. Maybe even left the teachings of Jesus for a while. And then something in many of those, about 50% of those do come back into the church once they be ready to get married or have children of their own. But what we would like, especially as Children’s Ministers, is to lay that foundation of Christ and have a relationship with him in the child’s life, so that they stay in church and don’t have that time that when they leave. So there was 15 characteristics that are predictive in the spiritual health of adult children. So when you see these 15 things and then, the adult child, those are things that help a child stay into church. And so the next slides are statistics, and we’re not going to spend a lot of time on guys, but they were interesting. And I did want you to see them because this shows what importance parents play in bringing their child up, what different things. So for instance, for loving, 79% of dads and 85% of moms that’s the most important thing that they can do as they bring up their children. And then supporting, dads where at 75% moms were at 73% and they wanted to support their children. And see protecting, dads are at 76% moms are at 72%. And then encouraging, dads are at 72% and moms are at 72%. And in that encouragement. And so I don’t know your parenting style, even your teaching style, whether you’re loving and supporting and protecting and encouraging. What will these fall in what you want to happen, you know as you parent, or as you teach. Then there’s understanding, dads were at 68% and moms at 71%. I don’t know in your life, if you’ve gone that time where you said, nobody gets me, nobody understands me. You don’t know, you know who I am, but we see the parents placed a pretty high percentage on being understanding. And then involved. Involved in their children’s life, 71% of dads said that was important and 66% of moms. Trusting were equal 63% for both. And then teaching. And dads are at 64% and moms at 61%. That is funny right now because parents had to become basically the main teachers of their children since the COVID-19 shut down. And even if their children were doing virtual learning, the parents had to be there and involved. So that’s one of those words and that helping to teach their children these basic things that school systems want kids to now. But what have we seen in the church with that? There’s 168 hours in a week. Most of our church kids spend one hour to three hours at church. And the rest of that time is spent in the home. And we know from Deuteronomy 6, that parents are the ones who should be teaching their children biblical things. But so many times they look to the church as being the experts and the ones who know how to teach their children, spiritual things and biblical things. And so the church basically has taken ever the spiritual upbringing of children until again, this COVID, and we’ve been sending things home to families to say, here’s a Bible story that you can do with your child. Here’s a craft to do with them. And here is a service project that you should do. And so we see that teaching needs to become higher. And then tender. Moms said 59% and dads 51% on being tender with their children. Providing, this does not surprise me that dads are 73% and moms are at 59% on providing. Consistency, we see that I’ve always taught that teachers need to be consistent and fair as they leave their class. And parents found that at 64% and 58%. And fun, do you have fun parents? Do you remember fun times with your parents? Will your children remember having fun with you? And at dads that was 54% and mom’s 57%. And then admitting mistakes. And dad’s 55% and mom’s 53%. And so I know when I was a child growing up, my parents were more authoritarian and what they said went, and we did not talk back. And we did not like justify and give reasons of why we behaved. And my parents very rarely would admit any mistakes because they were the parents in control. And we were just to get with that. But I think that has really changed in the last generation where children can see when their mom and dads say man I messed up there and I made a mistake and I’m sorry. And they can see that, that verse that says that we are all sinners and we all fall short of the glory of God, that happens to every one of us. And then you’ll see generous on there that dad’s 53% generous and mom’s 49% generous, which is funny. Cause once your kids hit the school age years in the preteen years, it seems like that hand is always out for I need $20 for this or fees for that. Religious, that ranked very low, 31% and 35% for dads and moms. And then be in a committed Christian who was 26% for both. In here is only 29% say that faith is the most important influence on their parenting. Say they have 71% of other things that influence their parenting that are above their faith. So the church in the Bible rank low on the list of where Americans look for parenting advice. Not knowing when you became a parent and you needed advice on life because the reality is not always like the fantasy when you find a home, we’re gonna have this baby. This is what it’s going to be like. And then the reality, sometimes it’s not like that, but 91% of people parent their children looking at their experience of growing up. So I don’t know if you’ve ever said, like, I’m never going to say that to my kids. And then you found out, you sound just like your dad or just like your mom, but they look to how they were raised to raise their own children. 65% ask their parents actual advice and like this child’s going through this. And sometimes when you’re the one parenting that child, it seems like stages last forever. And you think I’m going to always have a child who has this particular behavior. And so being able to talk to parents and saying like, this will just last for, you know, a few weeks or a few months, and the kids will outgrow, this helps those parents. And then 62% just ask their friends. Their friends that are going through the same thing with their kids, or have a child around the same age. They’ll, they’ll check with their friends. And I think this is worldly backwards, but 58% ask their spouse. So, you know, the husband and wife, the mom and the dad should be in it together, but that only 58% go to their spouse before they go to their friends or their parents to find out how to pair the children that they’ve had together. 46% go to a sacred text and 43% go to the church. Now, when I was a young adult, the church did a lot of discipleship training classes about parenting. And I remember going through those six to eight weeks, sometimes a 12 week course on parenting and being Biblical parents. And I’m not sure that we do that as much anymore. We may have more seminars, which is maybe a Friday night, Saturday morning kind of thing. But that week after week Discipleship class of being able to get together with other young adults and talk about parenting and what the Bible has to say, you know, that I hope that’s not a thing in the past. This is just a overview of what we just went through. So basically what we see is we’re chasing the wrong things. And as we look at what we want our children to be, when they become young adults and make decisions on their own, let’s chase the right things. Few American parents include their kid’s godliness or their faith in their definition of successful parenting. So when you say, what does this successful young adult look like? They don’t say godliness or faith. 25% says, well, my child has good values and then 25%. So I want my child to become a happy adult. And we place happiness as one of those goals to reach 22%, say my, that my child finds success in life. And I don’t know how they define success, but they want their child to be successful, And 19% say, well, my child’s just a good person. 17% one of the biggest values is that their child graduates from college. And 15% says that my child’s able to live independently. And only 9% say that my child has godly or has faith in God. And so there we are chasing the wrong things because we know that that faith in God can go back and help each one of those things that we’ve just talked about. So as the Christians don’t define the meaning of life all that differently than most Americans. So what’s my purpose in life. And at the bottom, it says enjoying yourself as the highest goal of my life. Just eat, drink, and be happy. 84% of Americans and 66% of Christians agreed with that statement. Their purpose in life is to enjoy themselves. Christians don’t define the meaning of life differently, you enjoy yourself. You find fulfillment in life by pursuing the things you desire most 86% of Americans and 72% of Christians agree with that. That the way that you find fulfillment is pursuing things that you desire the most. To find yourself, look within yourself. 91% of Americans and 76% of Christians agree with that statement. So now what spiritual activities are kids doing the most, what church related activities and what personal activities. And so we’ll look at those 62% attended Sunday school or small group, 54% of vacation Bible school. Half of them use youth group as worship. Half of them participated in church social activities for children and teens. 47% attended children’s worship or children’s church, 44% go to camps or retreats. 33% regularly served at the church and 27% participated church mission trips or church projects. So as we see the spiritual activities, only 29%, regularly read the Bible and 28% spent time in prayer. So as with a lot of us, we substitute being busy and going to church and serving instead of the personal relationship things. We do the group things, the social thing, but the personal thing of writing you’re reading the Bible or writing, spending time in prayer is down under 30% for both of those. The church activities talk that chart and personal spiritual activities are at the bottom. I don’t know what that says about our society. You can draw your conclusions there. So, as the surveyors were looking at what was important in how the child grew up and what didn’t influence children at all, here’s some things that are surprised. Yep. That didn’t even make the list. And so the first one, I think I went back on two, four, okay. That family ate meals together, at least once a week. It didn’t even make the list whether a child stayed in church and had that personal relationship when they became an adult. It may be a value that you have as your family. It sure is. As in our family also, and it’s a good value to have to have strong family life, but it just didn’t make the list on. Did the child have a, you know, a close spiritual life with more. And then your vacations families went on vacations or fun outings or one-on-one outings. It didn’t have any bearing on whether a child stayed in church or not. The church size or consistency at one church. And so we have a small country churches that run 30 or less. We have mega churches that run in the thousands. The church size didn’t make a difference. And I know we are very intentional as we join churches that our children will get what they need at a church in the way of programming. And yet that in the end did not really make a difference. And then it’s say the consistency at one church. And we’ve talked about people that will move from church to church and maybe stay at one church for five or seven years and then moved to a different church, or maybe the pastor has retired and they’re going to find something else. But that consistency at a church didn’t really make the list. Also the choice between homeschooling, public school and Christian school or private school didn’t make the list. So what happens at home as much more important than their school experience, their educational experience. And then if the child played sports, got good grades or had a job as a team did not play into that was not factored in either. But the 15 influencers of spiritual health or what we do want to look at, what does make the list. What does make a difference in a child as they grow and learn, and have that their own personal relationship with Christ. One is that the number one thing is the child regularly reads their Bible while growing up. And so if you look the number one thing that shows if a person’s going to stay close to the Lord as an adult, is, did they regularly read their Bible while growing up? I don’t know if this convicts you the way it convicts me, because we find a whole lot of other things to do in our busy lives than to sit down and just open our Bible and read those words. And so we’re going to unpack that and look at that a little later. Here’s what made the list. Spending time in prayer. They served in their church. They listened primarily to Christian music and they participated in church mission trips and projects. So we’re going to look at these top five and unpack them towards the end of this webinar so that we can say, how can we speak into each one of those five? Now, here’s what made the list. And so some of these things we can speak into but some, we have no way of altering in a child’s life. So a negative impact was the child didn’t want to go to church as a team. They just resisted. I don’t want to go. I don’t know about you, but I was raised in a family that if the, you know, the family got across the place and went to church and it was never a question and then a positive impact was a child’s best friend, wasn’t influenced to follow Christ. And so we’ve seen those scriptures that say that we need to pray for our children’s friend and that they need to have wise friends. But if they have a friend who wants to go and they influenced them to follow Christ, that’s a positive impact. We can’t do anything about this, but if the child is a female, there’s another positive impact on if they want to go to church and be involved and have that relationship with Christ. Another positive impact is that the child connected with several adults at church who intentionally invested in them. This is huge. And I’m gonna say the first of all times that I went through this book and even taught this. I didn’t make that connection, but I want you to stop now and think about some adults at your church who invested in you when you were a child, or when you were a teenager, they seem to care about you. It may have been a teacher, or it may have just been an adult that you passed in the hallway that you never sat in their class, but they really cared about you. But if we could in our church make a connection between adults and then some of our children and our youth, where those adults are investing in that child, it’s going to make a positive impact on that child and their relationship in following Christ as an adult. A negative impact is that the child was rebellious growing up. And I knew a lot of people who, when they would just have one child and they would say that their little child was perfect and they would judge their friends for having a child who’s not perfect. He’s rebellious or there’s fits or whatever. And then the Lord just blessed them with that second child to make them make those words. But there’s things that we can do as parents. And there’s things that there’s nothing that we can do. If we have that child and puts those hands on those hips and says, you can’t make me. And so having that rebellious streak is just a negative impact. Parents typically ask for forgiveness when they messed up as a positive impact, because the children can see that the parents were being fair and that they were confessing when they didn’t live up to the biblical standards on set. Another positive impact of parents that pointed out biblical principles in everyday life. This is the teacher as you go, this is the Deuteronomy 6. As you walk along the way, as you lie down, as you get up, teachers should go and point out biblical principles. Don’t you think kids are gonna get them many times they have to be pointed out. And so use all of those teachable moments from the time that your children are preschoolers, to the elementary years and their teen years to point out biblical principles. I know a lot of my kids today are talking about karma and I want to shy away and say, it’s not karma. This is the biblical principle of treat others the way that you want to be treated. And so we use those principles in their everyday life and negative impact was that the child regularly listened to secular and popular music. Now we grew up in the ’70s where it was the whole, that deal with the burning your rock records. And then like, that was kind of crazy. But we need to make sure that the music that our children are listening to is not completely anti-Christian. That it is not just full of sexual innuendo and living for yourself. And so we have to talk about a positive impact we can make a little bit. There’s nothing we can do about this. The child had siblings, but if they do, they’re more up to stay in a church instead of they were only children. And then a negative impact is that the family dropped in frequency of family church service attendance, while the child was growing up. So they might’ve gone weekly or three times a week when the child was a preschooler. And then by the time the children get to elementary years, they dropped to once a week. And by the time they get to youth years, they’ve dropped to once a month or less. And so that’s a negative influence to not have that consistent church going where you’re going all the time. So among adults, the spiritual activity with the most impact is Bible reading. 52% of Americans have read only several Bible passages or less. This is kind of a telling slide here. Cause 10% have read none of the Bible. In America we’ve got 10% of the people who have not ever read any passage. 13% have read only a few Bible sentences. 30% have read only several passages or stories from the Bible. 15% of Americans say that they have read at least half the Bible. 12% have read almost all of the Bible. And I don’t know how they decided if what is on this all. 11% have read the Bible through. And then there’s 9% who’ve read these, read the Bible through more than once. And I can tell you this discipline, you need to have that plan. I personally just bought the, Read The Bible Through In A Year. I followed that plan where I’ve read so many chapters from the Old Testament and so many chapters from the New Testament and stayed up with the day in that plan to be able to read the Bible through in a year. And so only 9% have done that. And that’s Christians that come to our church. So when interviewed about Bible readership, how much they’re reading moms said, kids who can’t understand the Bible or relate to their Bible. They just shut down and stop reading. So we’re going to give up, we’re going to quit. It doesn’t make any sense to me. We’re just resentful if we have to spend this time doing this and they just kind of rail against it. But when interviewed about readership, they said, if they understand the Bible, if they go like, oh man, I get this it’s they say, it’s awesome. They can apply it. They want to learn more. They continue to learn on their own and then they get real excited about this. The Bible said something that affected my life, or I see how if I apply these principles, that makes a difference in my friendships or in my learning or in anything in my life. So this just yesterday, in fact, one of our friends posted a picture, a little video of their 4 year old reading the Bible. Remember she’s just 4. And she was reading the Bible when she was obviously was putting words in there because she doesn’t really read of the way that she should act. And so we’re going to show you that video now.

– The story in everything become the only new as far away and this is the way you live. End of verse, Genesis 1:1.

– [Jimlar’s mother] Oooww.

– You don’t know that too.

– [Jimlar’s mother] That’s what Genesis 1:1 says? Cool. What else does that Bible say?

– Be kind and loving to each another as you want to and don’t hit them or throw or pinch them and remember this Bible verse. Well that’s Ephesians 4:32.

– [Jimlar’s mother] Oh, that’s the extended version.

– So you know that Bible verse?

– [Jimlar’s mother] I don’t.

– [Cindy] Okay, so we see from Jimlar’s reading of the Bible that we’re to be kind to one another. We’re not to hit them or pinch them. And so I feel like there may have been something that happened in her life earlier that day. That was the way that she interpreted, be kind to one another and loving say that she treated her family and her sister that way. That doesn’t just happen in a child’s life. Unless those parents are pouring Biblical truth into the children and sure she’s sitting there on her bed with her little pink, New Testament. And she starts out with her version of Genesis 1:1 and then goes to Ephesians 4:32. So there’s things that some families can do that will affect how they raise their children, that will keep them into church. And so I want to, once again plug these seminars or courses that you can do in your church with the Nothing Less so that families can talk about these kind of things. One of the biggest things in the book to me was the list of things that impacted at family. So I’m going to find this right here in my book, and you’ll see that there’s nine things that parents can use. And this isn’t so much, we as church workers and church leaders that parents can do that influence the longterm spiritual condition of their kids. And the number one thing is that parents participated in mission trips as a family, as their kids were growing up. So when the church offered, for instance, this last Saturday morning in our church, we had a mission project and we were cleaning up a whole section of our town. And there were grandparents and parents and children out there working together. In fact, one of the boys in our church that is headed to first grade, we actually made the news clip on our Local News of him picking up the wads of sticks and limbs that people cut down and, dragging them to the right. The second thing were that parents participated in Ministry or Service projects with their kids. So whether it’s a Mission trip where you’re going, you know, driving in your car far way, or getting in a plane for Ministry and Service projects. And so those two things were very, did a lot to influence their children. The third thing is that parents frequently share Christ with unbelievers as their kids were growing up. And as I read this book again, this week to be right on this, it said that most Christians, 64% of those sitting in the Pew say that sharing their faith one-on-one is very important. But out of the ones who’ve done that less than 10% actually went and shared their faith in the last three months. So sometimes we think things are very important, but actually getting out there and doing them was a different thing. The fourth thing were that parents personally read the Bible several times a week or more as their kids were growing up. And so, the children would see their parents out there with that Bible open in their lap and maybe a journal next to them. But they would know that reading that Bible was an important part of their parents’ life. The fifth thing are that parents encouraged teen children to serve in the church. How can these teenagers help to serve? What kind of places in the church are we allowing teens to be able to have that type of service where they have a responsibility when they come. The sixth is that parents typically ask forgiveness when they messed up, as their children were growing up. And we talked about that. That we said that we are all sinners, and yet we want to look in front of our children like we have never made a mistake. And so we need to model that we are in this together. Number seven, parents increase your children and unique. They encourage their children’s and unique talents and interests as they grew up. This brings me right to Proverbs 22:6, train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he shall not depart from it. Not everyone is meant to be in the music ministry, but then not everyone is meant to be in the teaching ministry. And so we find out what their unique talents and interests are and then plug into that and see how they can help that plug into their spiritual brain. The 8th thing is, parents attended churches that emphasized what the Bible says as their kids were growing up. At your church, are people bringing their Bibles? Are they turning to that passage in the scripture to follow along with what the scripture says? And are we just following tradition or are we following the Biblical mandate and what the Bible has to say? Number nine, parents told their children to tithe as the kids were growing up. So they were modeling timing themselves and they would talk to their children about how they use their money. And that we give that first 10% back to the Lord. And this is why, and this is what it says and Malachi. And this is what, even in the Gospels where Jesus says given to Caesar, what is Caesar’s and give unto God, what is God’s and that we should give. And we should have that generous heart as we give. So they teach that by both modeling it and then helping their child use their money and telling them that they should tithe first. So we see some things there that parents can do, that it will affect their longterm condition of their child. But there’s another one of the things that I do at my church is when children are leaving kindergarten and they’re going to the first grade, we present them with a Bible or a big kids Bible. And the one that I use is called One Big Story Bible. And because I can get this for every child and we have the same translation and it’s the same translation for the curriculum that I choose to use with my children. And so it’s a way that I’m getting a real Bible into the children’s hands and to all be on the same page. But there’s an app on that likely puts out that a lot of people don’t know about and that app is called B&H kids AR. AR is augmented reality. And so what I wanted to show you was that they have this app for preschool Bible story books, and for the children’s Bible story books. And we’re going to show you a little clip of how that is used. So the way that I have used this before is I’ve just downloaded it to my iPad and my iPhone and anywhere in the Bible, where there was an icon. You flip over it, the app and find the icon here.

– [John] Here we go.

– Okay, so we should have it. And then this comes to life for the children. You ready John?

– [Narrator] Most exciting adventures happen right at home between the pages of our favorite stories. When we go on a journey together with the ones we love most and ordinary days turn into magical nights. And always remember the Big Picture Interactive Bible storybook from teenage kids turns one of the greatest stories ever told until a magical interrupted experience. With 145 beautiful color illustrations and an up-base augmented reality feature that brings to life, all the action, excitement and instruction in God’s amazing story like never before. Like all books from the B&H kids, the Big Picture Interactive Bible storybook has the parent connection resource that helps you grow your child’s love of learning as they progress on a spiritual path, where their inspiration is you. Look for the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook wherever books are sold, and visit B&H kids at BHKidsBuzz.com to begin an adventure that you and your child will cherish forever.

– So we’re giving this Bible to kids class but am also giving it to parents, so they are able to keep it with them once they get into their psychology by the use of technology to team up with working, that is so important. So if mums are having this problem John I don’t have anything on my screen. So sorry.

– [John] Am working on it. and they would read their Bible together. And then the interest level in the church. Is church something I want to do? Am I excited to go to some of the activities? Are they having activities that are appealing to me and my family? Do I have interest in the church? There’s some things that we can do to touch those five things there. Number ten, six, seven, eight, nine and ten. But what I want to look at now is the five things that we can really touch. And so the first one is mission trips or projects. Are you as a church leader planning mission trips or projects that families can participate in together. Many times when people hit the church parking lot and get inside the doors. The first thing that I do is to get all of their separate ways, preschoolers to a preschool, playing children to the children’s and adults over here. And so mission trips and mission projects are something that they can do that will keep their family working together for the same thing. And then the fourth one is music. And so have you helped your children learn about some good Christian music that they would really like? And I know in the children’s world, our VBS music is something that the kids really relate to. They really like, they get excited about it. They hear the opening of lines of a VBS songs that might’ve been two or three years ago or even longer. And they can still remember what that was about. And so just putting in their hands and helping them down with music, that is scriptural. That is biblical. That helps them understand who God is and who they are. It’s so important. One of the huge differences in our son’s life is when he found some Christian music groups that he just followed and loved. And we made sure that he could get their music downloaded to his devices, that we went to some of their concerts, but music not only touches our ears’ auditory, but it touches the heart and so that really helps them. The third one down is serving and where in our church do we help a child serve? Like, is there a place where a child can help? We’re not talking during COVID-19 now because we’ve like stopped on bulletins and handling paper. But when we get back to that, like, is there a place where they can help welcome with their parents? Can they help to give out the bulletins? What kind of places in the church are they able to serve? Because when they see that they’re integral part of serving at their church, they’re going to stick with that. They’re important to the church body. And I challenge and tell our children all the time to say, you know, how you go in a classroom and your seat is always your seat. And people know that, oh, I never sit there. And that’s where, you know, Cindy sits or that’s where Chuck sits. When a new child comes into the classroom. And if they sit down and a seat, they’re not to say like, oh, I’m saving that for Trevor or wait for Brady to come. But they get up and they say, hey, come sit by me. And they’re welcoming and kind to the other people who come in. And then the second thing down there, the number two thing is prayer. Now, when I ask you if any spiritual disciplines that you had trouble with and you had to look at your, and critique your life, your prayer life. Are you able to spend time in prayer? Do you do what it says in 2nd Thessalonians, pray unceasingly? How does that look in your life? Because it seems like it’s one of the places where we can get the most distracted. But I want to you to know that there’s some places that, even starting with preschoolers, we need to pray over our children, but we need to let them learn how to pray. And that talking to God is praying. So I just got this book, it’s called My Mix & Match Flip Book of Prayers. And I could just see, even in our one-year-old department are our little ones just really loving this because it is a flip book. And it says, dear God, today was very good day. Thank you for loving me in a great big, super special way. Please bless mommy and daddy I pray. I trust you hear every word I say, but then as you use this, you can flip different ones a days, and they all patch up and make a cohesive prayer and so, the children just love all of the bright colors, the way that they can flip through and change what those prayers are. But it helps them know that prayer is important. And even as a preschool that they can pray and they can talk to God. I have this One Year Devotions for preschoolers, and this is easy to understand devotions for your little ones. And that way they have a good heart as you do this devotions. And you, at the end of each one, for instance, here on February 26, it says, don’t stay mad. And it says, Cherkas Matt. He’s having a temper tantrum because he got angry about something that happened. And it just goes along with what he is going through. But then it has at the bottom, my Bible verse, do not go on being angry all day from Ephesians 4:26. And then my prayer. Help me Jesus when I am mad, you’re the one who can make me glad. So when every one of these devotions it is the, One Year Devotions for preschoolers. They list a scripture passage and a prayer that helps children know that we’re not just hearing a story, but that this relates to the Bible and it relates to praying and talking to God. And then for older children, I have this book, Hooray! Let’s Pray! And so it has six or seven chapters in it about praying and how like out of the ordinary special times, special places, prayers that we see in the Bible. How does prayer work? How comes God, doesn’t always answer my prayers, And so this is just a good activity book for children in here. There’ll be a lot of activities that they can do as they’re going to pray. Let The Children Pray. And it says little people, big prayers. And so it helps the children know that when they pray, they’re actually talking to God. And so we need to avail ourselves of those things. And then the last thing on the list is Bible reading. And when we look at our own life and do we make Bible a priority and do we either get up early in the morning, the first thing when we get to our office, or however we do this, make sure that we’re opening God’s word and hearing straight from the word of God and how He influence is our life. So we showed you the Bible app, where it becomes alive for the kids. And they shared a lot of the Big Picture Interactive Story Bible, and how this is Bible stories. It’s not the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation because this is on the preschool level, but it’s Bible stories that children going to here. And then in addition, there’s the 52 week Bible Story Devotional. And it works also with that same Bible app. And so you bring the Bible to life and they hold that app over the icon. And that just comes right up off the page and reads that the Bible. So if they’re going to be interested in technology at a young age. Go ahead and get those types of things and read their Bible. This is Bible Stories in 5 Minutes. I know parents say we’re busy, we’re so rushed. Till we get home. It’s, you know, time to eat, bad time and bedtime. But let’s take this time. And this is just in five minutes, and this is another one with the app, that you use the app with, or you can just read this. And so these are the preschool ones. And then of course, there’s the Read To Me Bible for preschoolers. And so this is what we have in all of our classrooms. And we have used this, but what some people don’t realize is that thIS story on the child’s level is printed in the Bible with a picture of what that Bible story is showing. And so this has Bible verses for children, index of the Bible stories, and many more stories in the back that may not have the colored picture with them, but stories that our preschoolers learn to know and love. And so that is the Read To Me Bible storybook for children. But then, like I said, the one that I give to our children that are entering first grade is the One Big Story Bible. And it has Genesis to Revelation. And this is the exact same thing, but I just love the cover. So when I was able to find it with this cover of Jesus, with the children, but when you open that up, it is the exact same as the One Big Story Picture Bible, it just has a different cover. And one of the things that we saw was that if the children said this doesn’t have any meaning to me, it doesn’t relate to my life and they just lose interest in. I don’t want to do that. And I’ve loved Kay Arthur. And she has How To Study Your Bible for kids. And this is a Kay Arthur book. And so it helps children understand how they can study their Bible, what they should look for and how these Bible stories come to life and gives personality to many of the people that we talk about in the Bible and in the Bible stories. And so it’s a great book for your children and churches could do this to help them study the Bible. There is actually like six weeks of helping a child learn how to study their Bible. One of the ways that was the simplest to me, that I learned when I was on a mission trip to Africa was, we went there we started a new house church while I was there. And they used a plan that they call the SOT S-O-T plan. And I’ve come back and I’ve used that in Bible studies here, but S is, what does the Bible say? And basically you just read a short passage and the people in your group have to just say, this is what the Bible says. They don’t add to it. They don’t say, well, over here in this other chapter, they just say, this story was about, and this is what the Bible said. And then the next letter was, O, is what should I obey? So from that story, is there something for me to obey? And is there a place where I should change my life or allow the Holy spirit to change my life so I can obey the word of God. And then the very last thing is SOT is who should I tell. Who else needs to know about this? And do I have a friend that I can tell this is what the Bible says, and this is how I’m going to obey it. And so I know in they starting the new house churches, where I was in Africa, they use that SOT program. But I think it’s a great program here to just very easy. Besides, this is what the Bible says. This is what I should obey and this is who I should tell. Now at the beginning, Belinda had said that I helped with Bible Drill. And it’s very important to me that children get the word of God, not just hear it, but they memorize it. And so it’s one of the priorities that I put into my ministry. And I want Belinda to share some of the things that with the family Bible resources that they have, that’s right free for you to download. So we’re going to turn it over to her.

– Thank you, Cindy. We appreciate all you shared. And especially those practical things that we can do with all the research, not just what the research said, but ways that we can actually put it into action in our churches and participants. If you have any questions you would like to ask Cindy about what she shared or any other resources, you can put that in the Q&A now, while I’ll talk to you a few minutes about one of my biggest passions, which is Bible Drill. And like Cindy said, it is a memorization program for children, grades four, three, six. And it concentrates on the 75 key verses that we think children need to know before they enter into the student ministry, those foundational verses. And we have tones, of resources on our website. I put the kids link on the website in the chat, so you can access the Bible Drill resources. But one in particular that I want to tell you about that we created this summer is called four ways to do Bible Drill or Bible skills during a socially distance world, or while we’re in this crazy socially distance world. And it is a great ebook that you can download off our website. And there is a family activities guide that goes along with it for our, at home way to do Bible skills during the pandemic times. And it has a verse that the children learn, a devotion that goes along with that and an activity that the family can do together. And I think that totally ties in to what Cindy was talking about is the number one way to keep children engaged in Christianity as adults is to have kids in God’s word. And that’s what it may, this resource is going to make it really, really easy for parents in your church to be able to sit down with their kids for 10 or 15 minutes every week and go over a verse and memorize, it may be together as a family. Then the kids become familiar with God’s word and how to use it and have a little activity to go along to help them remember the bars. So I don’t see any questions in the Q&A, but you can contact Cindy or myself at any time. My email address is bstroud@alsbom.org. And I work at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Mission. So you can go to our website there and find out information about the programs that we work with, and we would be more than happy to help you and facilitate you. If you want to start doing Bible Drill, or you need help with Sunday school or VBS or anything, kids and preschool ministry, we do thank you for joining. And we thank Cindy so much for her wonderful presentation. And we thank John for being our host and backup today as a lot of different moving parts we’re going on. We appreciate all those videos she shared and the slides that were really helping us to engage in what she was doing. And I will like to mention also too, that this is being recorded. So if you have other ministers that, you know, are light leaders, that you feel like this information could be beneficial to, you can see that probably in about a week on our pinnacle Alabama website. So you can look there to download and watch the rest of the webinars that we’ve done. If you’re interested in doing that, we thank you again for your time, and we hope that you have a wonderful Saturday and a great day of worship tomorrow.

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