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– And so we’re gonna go ahead and kinda dive into this conversation that we’re gonna have to night. And so, for those of you who are jumping in here, if you come on live and you have some questions for Theresa, you can put those in the Q&A or the chat. If you are watching this as a recording, thanks for finding it and listening to this conversation. Theresa Mayo is a good friend of mine. We’ve known each other for years and years we have served together, not only in teaching Sunday School conferences for the State Board admissions. But we’ve started on the Alabama State VBS team, many, many times together. And so, just love this relationship and this friendship that God has given us to have together. She serves at GillIam Springs Baptist Church in Arab. And your title there is Director of Children’s Ministries?
– And family and children’s ministries.
– Family and children’s ministries, okay. And so what does that exactly mean?
– I’m probably better to ask what it does it mean. Anything that has to do with children, preschoolers, family. So I get to spend a lot of time we’ve actually just hired a preschool director. So our focus basically on K through fifth education growth, and then I get to spend time with families, a parenting resources, marriage development, family activity, so I get to spend time with working on putting them in service, admissions and growing in their Bible skills and relational things with families, with each other with the church, I get to do all the fun steps, what that means.
– That does sounds fun yet, a bit overwhelming. That’s a big basket full of stuff. But, it all ties together, it all goes hand in hand, you can’t minister to a child without ministering to their parents, so it makes sense. Say again.
– I said being intentional, ’cause it is like you said a basket of things. So you have to be very intentional and making sure you’re not leaving something off and trying to focus on a little bit of everything and–
– Well, we have a, you here tonight to talk about something you’re passionate about. And tonight’s conversation is going to be the why and how of creating biblical foundations in the lives of children and their families. Theresa served as a presenter at the pinnacle Alabama conference that we had at Saco, the first part of August. And we had a great crowd there, and she taught this conference a couple of different times and we just realized the information is too good and it’s too important not to make available to other folks who weren’t able to come to Saco. And so we asked her to just come on and share some of the highlights on the high points of this. I believe later she’ll have some links where you can go if you want more information than what we share in this little bit of time, but we’re gonna go ahead and pray and then we’re gonna dive right into Theresa sharing what’s on her heart with us. So let’s get to the Lord in prayer. Father God, we just thank you for joining us tonight. I thank you so much for the ability to reach people on our state and even with the world by using this form of technology and for sharing your word and your love for us through this medium of Zoom technology. I thank you so much for Theresa and her willingness to come and share with us her heart and how much she loves children and families in her church and how much she wants them to just know the importance of diving into your work and getting to know you better. So Father tonight be with her as she speaks. Help us to clearly present what it is that you would have and those listening to know. We love you again we thank you for joining us here in Jesus name, Amen.
– So Miss Theresa, the why and how of laying foundations, creating foundations. What is it about this topic that made you want to teach it?
– Okay, for me this topic has been a culmination of a lot of time and conviction of things that the Lord has kinda just brought into my life over the, some of it has been around for years and some of it, he’s just kinda laid into my heart and into my mind over the last couple of months and just kinda brought it all together. And I told them when I taught this, that this is really a conviction of mine, because of the depth of what this means for our families. So my church, probably a lot, most of yours or some of yours, we have always gone through the process of trying to figure out how to get people to bring their Bibles to church, how to get them bringing their Bibles to church. And, over the years, we’ve taught conference after conference about how to get them in the word and how to bring their Bibles. And really, that all comes down to a conviction of a family a lot of times whether they’ve placed importance on that. And so, we’ve been able to say, well, Lord we can encourage, but it really was it with a family. But then over the summer the Lord displayed a couple of resources into my lap, that just reminded me that it may be the responsibility of the parents for their child to bring it, but it’s our responsibility to make sure the parents understand how important that Bible is to their lives, how foundational it is for them and how, over the course of their life, it is going to make a difference. And they need to see that and not just think, well it’s just a Sunday, it’s no big deal. But Sunday, after Sunday, after Sunday, that all starts coming together and it makes up, it is either a tradition or a habit or not a habit in and that has spiritual impact that last throughout that child’s not life, not just for that year or that season, but forever.
– Yeah, I remember, as a little girl, I don’t know that my parents ever read “Parenting in the Pew.” But I do remember that on Saturday night, my mom put my clothes out, and she put my offering envelope and she put my Bible with my shoes. And Sunday morning, you got up and you were ready to go. That’s just what you took. And so, it became a habit, it was instilled in me that that was important to do, to take in little kids, if they sit in church with their parents or whenever that they like to implement, they like to watch and follow that example. They like to model what you do what their parents are doing. And so they have their own little Bible there with them, is great whether they know what they’re reading or not, it’s to have it there and have it in their hands. And so I like the idea of sparking that habit as preschoolers, as early. So in your conference, you talked about the power of four. I think that sounds very interesting. So walk us through what the power of four means.
– Okay, well before I jump into that completely, I wanna share with you a couple of different resources that before I go to that one. So like I said, over the summer, the Lord has just led one thing after another into my life and just begin building this conviction in me so as a staff, we read the book called “Deep Discipleship,” by JT English. And basically that’s talking about building disciples, reminding us of our role as churches and pastors and ministers and group Sunday school classes and small groups, all those things are importance of creating disciples. And so a couple of quotes from that kinda began laying that foundation but one of them was “Is we have an abundance of biblical resources and a famine of biblical knowledge.” So we’re at a point in how true is that? We have all kinds of resources, but we don’t have a knowledge of what the Bible is about. We see people striving and searching and looking for purpose and trying to find their way and it’s all right there in God’s word, and we don’t know how to access it, and we go to the internet and to other people looking for answers. When if we’ll just pick up this resource, it’s what’s there. Another one is we have never enjoyed more access to the sacred text, but we have never been less familiar with it than we are today. And so both was just kinda like, Oh Lord you’re right that is so true. And what are we doing to change that? What are we doing to help families understand the importance of that? So then I was part of our student beach camp, and on that trip we read, preparing for that “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer. And this one is so deep that I haven’t gotten all the way through it, I have to digest it in little parts because it is so convicting. But Ronald Rohyzer, this is one of his quotes that from almost the very beginning of the book, and it says, “Today a number of historical circumstances are blindly flowing together, and accidentally conspiring to produce a climate within which it is difficult not just to think about God or to pray, but simply to have any interior depth whatsoever. We, for every kind of reason, good and bad, are distracting ourselves into spiritual oblivion. It is not that we have anything against God, depth and spirit, we would like these, it is just that we are habitually too preoccupied to have any of these show up on our radar screens. We are more busy than bad, more distracted than non-spiritual, and more interested in the movie theater, the sports stadium, and the shopping mall and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological business distraction, and the restlessness are major blocks today within our spiritual lives.” Is that not hit you between your eyes?
– Yes, yes.
– Very eye opening.
– And in the part where it said, “We are more busy than bad.” Oh we have so many families in our church, who love church and who love coming to church and love learning, but get so called up and all the busy in their lives that they’re just hoping that little fix they get on Sunday morning or Wednesday night, is gonna carry them through the week and carry them until they can come back again and get that little fix and start all over again.
– You’re absolutely right.
– So those two things kinda started everything. And then I found this study and it was actually an article from Lifeway Research, who referenced the material and kind of pulled it together. But there was a study that pulled 40,000 people between the ages of eight to 80, to see how people were engaging in scripture, the center of Bible engagement compiled extensive research findings by Arnold Co and Pamela Caldwell, or Vago into understanding the Bible engagement challenge , scientific evidence for the power of four. And so Lifeway Research just did a, pulled all that information and went through it. And while they were working on that study, that study was about something completely different. But the power of four kept coming up, the power of four. And so they realize that all this was kind of a side bonus of it in itself was so deep. So the power of four is just simply that there are profound differences between people who engage in scriptures, at least four times a week, than those who engage with scriptures less often. So four times a week, was the key number in anyone’s life to actually making a difference. Those that were in the Bible, and that includes coming to church on Sunday and the pastor preaching over you. That includes, Sunday school opening your Bible and reading. So, that’s one experience, but it takes four. So if you came on Sunday, and you came on Wednesday, that’s two experiences. But it’s four for the connect is, four where the changes made. So the research showed that those who read the Bible one time a week, who showed up on Sunday morning for Sunday worship and opened up and let the pastor read over them, that person, and then the person who was maybe in that worship service in Sunday School and Wednesday night class or read the Bible one day a week, that person with one, that person with three, and the person who never opens their Bible, it’s about the same. There’s no difference in their life.
– Yeah, is that not scary? Not scary?
– Yes, yes.
– But when you so–
– What does that mean? Yeah, what does that mean if you are, the result of that?
– Okay, so for those who read the Bible, the reality of one to three days, people who engage the Bible one, two, three days a week indicate basically the same effect on their personal loss what I just said as those who do not engage in the Bible at all. Those Christians, they feel like they come on Sunday and okay, the pastor spoken into me. Well, the truth is Christians who don’t engage up to four times, they’re very much more vulnerable to falling prey to false teachers. And then experience and apathy and consistently living out their faith in their circle of influence. So who they are at church on Sunday is very often not who they are on the week, because they don’t have enough strength from biblical knowledge to keep them solid, and to keep them strong and to keep them moving. You get that? So you’re okay.
– Is the power of moving to four, what changes? What different? Well, let me just throw some stats at you. So those that read their Bible four days a week experience, a 30% drop in feeling lonely, a 32% drop in having anger issues, a 40% drop in bitterness in relationships, a 57% drop in alcoholism, a 68% drop in having sex outside of marriage, a 60% drop in feeling spiritually stagnant, and a 61% drop in viewing pornography. By reading God’s word four times a week. So we know right now that the age of most children are when they view their first pornography is nine years old. But if we can get them in God’s word, and develop that habit in their lives of abstaining God’s word, and being consistent in that and developing that habit, and being in it and drawing their wisdom and their strength from that, then some of those may never choose to look at it at all. And that stat right there alone is staggering for me. Drop that anxiety, drop in feeling lonely, drop in anger issues, you see so much more of that, especially as symptoms of COVID. We see anger rising in kids, the inability to be able to express that anxiety, those feelings of loneliness, but being in God’s word counters every bit of that, and God tell over and over in that, that he will be there that he will provide all we need. But because we have a lack of biblical knowledge, we don’t understand the power of what we hold in our hands.
– And that’s crazy that, I mean three to four, it’s not like it’s three to seven, it’s just three to four.
– I mean, that does not seem that difficult or that overwhelming of something to do. So what would be an example of, ’cause so often, I think people hear us say, you need to be reading your Bible you need, we’ve put that out there. And they think I have to read my Bible an hour every day, or I have to read so many chapters or I have to, how is that reflected in that four? How does that play out with that?
– So anytime they open God’s word, it’s one of those four. So if again, for a child, if they’re coming to church and bring in their Bibles, and you us as Sunday school teachers or instead of just standing over them and saying, “Let me tell you this story, or let me tell you about this,” we are very intentional about opening God’s word and reading that, and even more intentional of having them open God’s word in front of themselves and seeing it and knowing how to open that and be a part of that, that’s one, well then if your children’s worship or if they go to service, that’s two. So on a Sunday, that’s two experiences for a child that they’re in God’s word. So it’s not that overwhelming to think as a parent, I just have to get our family studying God’s word together two times a week. That’s not as overwhelming, where if we think we’ve got to read and do some deep study and then do some deep theology, we just have to open it and be in it, that’s and not time devotion, that’s along the way, having it on, listening to it in the car, sitting at the table, discussing it, opening it a bedtime. And guess what, that’s what scripture tells us to do. So using that two times a week and being involved thoroughly on Sundays, and we are equipping our children with foundations that are gonna last them a lifetime. I know what kids are experiencing. I’m sorry, go ahead.
– No, I was just gonna say, Theresa how absolutely freeing that is?
– As remembering back to bring up my own children. And I was in ministry, and it seemed like I was being pulled all the time. And I would feel like a failure if we didn’t sit down every single night and open the Bible. And I was praying with my kids, we were talking about God, it was natural for us. But I always had that moment of, I’m failing, because we don’t sit down. But you have just opened this up and said, no, I mean, this is very freeing. And once families do it, it’s gonna become something they wanna do more of, I would imagine.
– Because it’s uniting for them. And it’s given them power as a family to overcome. Families go through so much right now, there’s so many dynamics and so many family. Family for me, they mean me and my husband and two children, family for you, maybe you and your husband and his children, or foster children, or adopted children, or your grandchildren. So dynamics in relationships can be so strained, but God’s word can bridge those gaps and bridge the string, and unite those and it doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be deep, it just has to be, we’re trying to do the work, we forget that God is a great big God. And the Holy Spirit can do so many things. He has power and we’re trying to do his work. We just need to land our fair be open and willing and let him do the work.
– Absolutely, so I could park here for the rest of our time. But I’m gonna move on, because I know that there are probably some other studies and some other resources that kind of lend to this same theory.
– Yeah so, I’ve tried to pull some different things. And some of these things have been around for a while, so I won’t park on too many of them. But even one “It’s Worth It” by Landry Holmes. This one is been out for a while. And this one is about the importance of Vacation Bible School of that, but in that study, again, deep studies, lots of research and this is what it said, “The best spiritually based predictor among 13, 17 year old teens was their engagement in scripture, their engagement in God’s word. When examining children raised in church, the biggest factor for predicting their spiritual health as young adults, is whether they read the Bible regularly as kids.” So there you go. Another one, reminding us the same thing. There are lots of things that we try to do. We just have to get them in God’s word.
– Yeah, yeah. Wow, so these are great ideas. You’ve given us a lot to think about. But I’m a Sunday school teacher, I’m a parent and I’m listening. And so how can we encourage, how can we equip families, to take what you’re saying and run with it?
– Okay, so first thing we do is we have to remember that what we’re doing is counter formative to what culture is telling us. So it’s not gonna feel easy, because what the world is telling you. on how to lead your family and what the world is telling you, is successful for your children. God is always counter intuitive to what the Bible does. So we have to remember that it’s not gonna feel natural, because it’s not humanly natural its spiritually natural. So we have to, when we get to that point where we’re like, I’m not comfortable with this, I’m not sure I’m doing this right. We just have to turn it over to the Lord and keep going, and he’s gonna give us peace in that. But some examples that we’ve talked about, and which are by no means, these are the things we could probably sit here and ask questions and come up with a lot more ’cause I think, God wants it to be easy, not hard, but be intentional. So as a Sunday school teacher be intentional to teach from God’s word. If we say hey, there are some Sundays, I’ve been in rooms and been in situations to where you’ve got that awesome craft and you’ve played that really fun game and you’ve got that cute snack that you’ve worked on and you’ve done all these things and you’ve got five minutes left, and you’re like, okay, so let’s talk about this story, all these things are bad and you know what, just let me tell it to you, ’cause we’re in a really big hurry. And you just walk through and story tell, this lesson from God’s word. Well, that’s great. But you know what our kids see a whole lot of stories, they see a whole lot of books, we have to make sure we are every time we opening God’s word. This is the only book that every word in it’s true. This is the only book that can lead your life. And so, we say that every Sunday at church, what do we know about this book? Every word in it is true, and kindergarteners, what do we know about this book? Every word in it is true. So later on, when the world is throwing things at them, they’re gonna, that’s gonna come back, but every word in this book is true. Right now through COVID, you’ve got the internet and everything else. And I can pull up two different studies and give you two different viewpoints that are very strong from either side, and very convincing. But I know that this book, every word in it is true. So we have to be intentional to teach from it. We have to be intentional on expecting our boys to bring it with them. This is another topic that’s gonna around for a long time, and it’s the reward system, do you reward kids for bringing their Bibles? But, I tell their leaders, I’ve gone back and forth about this, but my son trains dogs for a living. And he can take a little pocket for the treats and teach a dog how to find a bomb, still good enough to teach a dog to find a bomb, and I can use it to get a child in God’s word, then hey, bring down the Sour Patch Kids bring on the… I mean, whatever it takes, because I know, if they bring that Bible for whatever reason, so many weeks in a row, when I stopped giving the treats, it’s still gonna be natural, they’re gonna pick it up and bring it. So I’m willing to invest in the sugar, or invest in the stars, whatever it takes to make that natural for them to be bringing that. So expect it. Don’t just say, Oh well, that’s okay not everybody brought and expect it where’s your Bible? Bring your Bible Sunday, why don’t you have your Bible, challenging on the send mom and dad letter, hey, every Sunday we’re gonna be in our Bible. We did something a little different this year at Vacation Bible School, and we did our family, not at the beginning. Instead of at the end. We were gonna end the week early. Fridays for us has always been a typical, everybody is leaving for vacation or going to grandmother so the numbers drop. So we started on Sunday not with a family not and went through Thursday. But for us that allowed us an opportunity to speak to the parents and let them know what was happening through the week. “Hey, we’re gonna read the Bible all day, every day, your kiddos are gonna need their Bible.” And we explain why and the importance of it. First day Vacation Bible School, everybody had their Bible. Second day vacation Bible school, everybody had their Bible. 220 something children and everybody had their Bible. That my most favorite picture probably now of all time is we were talking about God’s word and I said hold it up. And everybody held up their Bibles and someone came to the front and took a picture of all. So you see a fan of children and they’re all holding up their Bibles. And I just wanted to cry. I’m like, Oh, Lord, thank you for letting us be a little part of this, of them recognizing it. Parents were sending pictures all week of the kids at home at night opening their Bibles, showing them what they had read that week and looking up scriptures and things, it was the most powerful week for us that I’ve ever been a part of. So expect it and make sure they understand the expectations, share those with parents. And then challenge them to memorize it. Most of the times in my life where I have been in a place where I have been really low or really down. What’s brought me out of that, is God’s word. In my ear, I’ll remember a scripture that he’s told me over time, or are something will happen and somebody will tell me something from his word or I’ll read something but memorize in His word has been so powerful in my life. And if that’s been powerful in my life, and getting me through some dark times and dark places, why wouldn’t I want that to share that with boys and girls and encourage them to put it in their lives, to get them through those dark places. So I think our job as Sunday school teachers, as Wednesday night leaders, as whatever role we play is to be very intentional and being in that word ourselves, and then show in our children have been that word. So that’s number one. Second idea was being an example. We do a whole lot of talking, but we need to be a show a whole lot of walking the walk of the talk, we a long time ago, in one of the first camps we ever went to with our kids and that’s been about 17 years ago, one of the speaker said, “It’s okay to talk the talk, but you better walk the walk.” And so we have always used that with our kids. And so we want to be an example. JT English used in “Deep Discipleship” an example of his Sunday school teacher, was an older gentleman, and he always taught God’s word for them, and they loved him, and they had a relationship with him. But in the middle of one of the years, he was teaching them his wife died. And even through that hardship of her dying, he walked God’s love in front of them. He showed passion and compassion, and kindness and gentleness, and he was strong because he was in God’s word. And he said, “That spoke to me more than anything else,” ’cause he had told me a whole lot. But when I saw him walking through that, and not just crumbling under the weight of sadness, and because he knew where his wife was, and even though that separation was sad, he knew it wasn’t forever. And so he was able to walk that he said “That impacted my life, and understanding the importance of that, more than a lot of things that I’ve done. So we need to walk what we’re talking about.”
– Yes, absolutely, being authentic, kids can see right through us.
– That’s exactly right, exactly right. I give an example, all the time of with my kids. So I have a fairly long commute. And I have a commute down Highway 431, which is one of the craziest highways in the state of Alabama. And if I don’t start out my day in God’s word, then I’m apt to multiple times on that drive to wanna honk my horn, or I can’t believe you move over, get out of the way. That’s not what the median is for. I start Monday in God’s word. I’m like, okay honey, I’m gonna pray for you today, you’ve got something going on, that’s my attitude is different. And we’re talking about patience. And I shared that story with my kiddos. And they’re like, you mean you sometimes get aggravated people, I’m like, yeah, day but you don’t holler at them? No, not if I’m in God’s word first. So that was a wonderful example for them of, if we try to be perfect in front of them all the time, then they are going to give up on God’s word, because they only see you as perfect and they think that’s what they’re supposed to be. And the first time they fail, they may say, I’ll try again, the second time, the third time, they’re very apt to give up because they think that they’ve missed the mark. They need to see that we are not perfect we are just believing in faith and continuing on and working through and trying to be what God wants us to be.
– Yeah, it’s one reason why, one of my teaching styles is sharing personal stories that relate, you don’t go into every detail, but they see that you failed, or they see that you were upset or they see you were discouraged. But you always come back around with how God got you through that, or on the other side of that and kids I think they again, they want us to be genuine, they want us to be authentic, and they want to hear true live stories that they can relate to, so they can see that you’re the same. I’m trying to talk the talk and walk the walk just like you are.
– Yeah, that’s it. So the third thing we came up with was make it easy. Make it an easy win for parents to be able to be in God’s word. Don’t make it too deep, too hard. We came back after June or Summer Palooza, which is what we call BBS and in July, we came up with a family Bible study on the book of John. So we gave them, there’s 20, I should know there’s how many chapters in John 26, 27, I don’t know. I’m gonna look really fast.
– Get a look.
– Was taking me way longer to look than I should. 21 chapters in the book of John. So we took the whole month, which was 31 days to work through 21 chapters. And each day, we gave them one chapter. And then we gave them three questions at the end of the chapter. They were really easy. They read it together. They could skip weekends. But the kids could read it out loud, they could listen to it on their Bible app, they could listen to it in the car, they could listen to it before bedtime, the parents could read it aloud. Everybody could read it together in the Bible. And then they did those questions at the end together. It was easy, it was an easy win, but they felt so good knowing we just read an entire book of God’s word together. And that, and John is a great place, a great place for that to happen. So we’ve just helped them to see that it wasn’t as hard as they thought it would be.
– Yeah, and putting that resource in their hand, because I think that’s what a lot of parents what they are afraid of is, where do I go to find it? What do I know is a good one versus one that’s not so good. What follows the doctrine that we believe, so for us, as ministers, Sunday school teachers, to be able to give them that, we are taking away some of that fear.
– Exactly, and so what we did is we we worked it out, we printed it out on paper, they could pick up a paper copy, or we posted on our Facebook page every day, we did a little graphic, read John one today. And then in the comments, we wrote out a little, little devotional kind of thing on it. And then just those three questions, those three easy questions, easy for them to find, they could have that paper on their fridge, or they could go to that graphic every day and find it and make it really easy. So make it easy, an easy win. Take home pages. I have such a love hate relationship with take home pages. I love it when they go home. And I hate it when I’m picking them up out of the parking lot. That they’re easy, it’s just an easy thing for us to do. And if we get used to sending them home, and the parents get used to seeing them on Sunday, then they’re gonna be looking for them. And every we do the gospel project. So on that page, there’s a family activity, there’s a family question, for the week, a family focus. And so we’ll turn that page home, we’ll take that page, we’ll do our graphics for our Facebook group and we’ll put it in for the way, we post the video ’cause we’re a closed group. So we can do that we post that video in there, on one day that they can watch it together, we give the scripture references and we say, here’s some questions or here’s an activity for your family to do together, making it an easy follow up from that. One question a week, all you have to do is come up with one question a week for your families to answer. But that question, of course needs to be based on what was read. So they have to go back and read it to be able to answer that question. And we’ve done fun things like okay, here’s our question for the week, though. We’re gonna everybody that answers it and post their answer here, we’re going to draw for a family meal from Zaxby’s, or here’s the question, everybody that posted a picture of you guys studying it together, we’re gonna draw somebody to do this. And it’s just fun, it’s an easy one. It’s like, Oh, Mom let’s do this, and then when they win they’re really ready to do it again, ’cause they wanna win again, using that competitive–
– No it’s not just dogs and kids that like incentives.
– It’s not. And, you know, more wanting of those than kids or dogs.
– Tell me where to log in to get the Zaxby’s family meal, I’m all about that.
– On click even the group next time. And then thing was just a reminder to be passionate, be excited about God’s word. If we’re just like, yeah, I’ve read it. I’m part of a little group that has started reading through the Bible chronologically, and this is our third time through and before this, I’ve read God’s word in bits and pieces, but putting it together. Gosh, every time I get through it at the end of the year, you think, wow, that’s three times. But then I’m so excited for January one to start all over again, because I know God is gonna show me something new, something I didn’t get last time and that maybe I can get to the point where I feel like I might know a little bit but then I realized, hey, there’s so much depth to God’s word. I’m not ever gonna know it all, I can’t stop studying it. But just be passionate about it and share with the kids what you find. When we come in on Sunday, or we say, Oh, you know what? I read this week about this, and I’ll come in some Sundays if I’ve done, our children’s worship or something like that. And I’ve talked about something that kids will say, “Hey, Miss Theresa, what you read about this week? What was exciting this week?” And for the boys, it may be some little bit of gory, well, did you know this happened? And they did this and that? Are you serious? And we forget all these things that we know and we’ve heard all of our lifes that those are brand new for them. And we’re excited and passionate about it. They get excited about it, too, it’s contagious.
– I was, exactly what I was gonna say, passion is contagious. I mean, I love to be around a person who’s excited and passionate about what they’re doing because, one it makes me wanna listen, if you enjoy what you’re talking about, you’re gonna share it in such a way that people are gonna wanna be engaged, and they are gonna want to listen to you, no matter what age they are. So yeah, I think passion is very contagious. Very simple, I mean, nothing that you have said is difficult, or it’s gonna cost me anything.
– Exactly right, exactly right. But look at the difference that’s gonna make in those children’s life above and 10 years from now?
– Oh, yeah, yeah, absolutely. There were two quotes when I was looking through some of your notes, your PowerPoint presentation that really jumped out at me. One of them was, “It’s impossible to grow as a follower of Christ without being a student of his word.”
– That’s what you’re saying here is, going to church, hearing His word, participating in activities, but then also finding time, a couple of times a week to just sit down and studying on your own, I have found, the older I have become. That sometimes I will pick up my Bible to do my Bible reading for the day, and I will finish, if you will, what I’m reading for the day and I walk away, and I’m like, I’m not finished yet. And I wanna go back and I wanna pick it up. Because either I wanna know what happens next. Or I feel like we were in the middle of something, and I didn’t quite get there. So yeah, I love that, to be a follower of Christ, you got to be a student of his work. I mean, how else do we know. And our children such a disservice with is we work to the goal of getting them able to hear God’s voice so that they become Christians, able to build that relationship with them. But scripture is very clear, it says go and make disciples, not go and make Christian. And I was one of those children where I was led to Christ and I became a Christian. I did not become a disciple, I spent a lot of years wandering and floating and going through and up and down where someone had invested in me, and led me to God’s word and helped me to become a disciple. What a difference that would have made in my life. So when our babies, we’re gonna baptize 14 children Sunday, I’m so excited, very excited. But part of what we go through, when we’re walking through, and we’re getting them ready, I’m so excited you’re a Christian, but God didn’t call you to be a Christian, he called you to be a disciple. And that means you got to keep moving, that you’ve got to be in His word, that you’ve got to pray, that you’ve got to worship, that you’ve got to share him with others. Two other stats we didn’t talk about. Well, we talked about the stats, let me see if I have that one. But we talked about the positives all the negatives, but for those who are in God’s word four days or more, 200% jump in sharing your faith. So those are in God’s word four day 200%, at 230% in discipling others, it’s because they’re more confident in it because they’re in it and know it.
– So that’s it, and that really the other quote that I saw was, “Knowledge of God’s word is meant to lead to participation in his story.” And that’s what you’re talking about. You’re talking about, the more you’re in the word, the more you wanna live the word, the more you wanna share the word. So um, wow. No I wish that when I was at Shopko, I had taken just a few minutes and slipped in the back door so I could have been there for the for the whole. But this has been just fabulous, fabulous you have, you’ve opened my eyes to just how easy this can be. And as a Sunday school teacher every Sunday, I go in there and I have my plan and, being intentional and an example and passionate, but I might miss out on that making it easy for the parent to pick it up and continue with the rest of the week. So that’s my challenge for myself, is to find those ways to make it easy. I have a Facebook page for my Sunday school class, but I don’t use it as effectively as I could. So you’ve definitely challenged me, Miss Theresa so thank you, thank you, thank you a lot to think about a lot to think about. If those of you who are listening would like more information. I’m sure Theresa would love to send you some more information, maybe it’s the resources or the references that she had. If you would like to contact me, Patty Burns and my email address is email@example.com. So that’s firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll get in touch with me, I will get Theresa in touch with you and we can let her answer any questions that you might have in addition to what she said today. If you’re like me, they’re just swimming around in your head, and you wanna know more. If you’re wanting to know other things about children’s ministry here in Alabama, as well as other resources, we have a site called kidzlinkal.org. And that is K I D Z L I N K A L, let me do that again. Kidzlinkal.org, and there’s a lot of information on there where you can go and get other resources. This recorded video will be on pinnaclealabama.org in the next week or so. And so if you are listening, you might wanna tell some of your friends, great information that they can use, whether they’re a parent or whether they’re serving in the church as a Sunday school teacher, missions teacher. Maybe they just know some kids that need to know the Lord and this is some good information that they can have. So, Theresa, I appreciate you.
– Oh, thank you for having me.
– Thank you for joining us.
– It’s been fun.
– All right, good, good. We will do it again sometime.
– Sounds good.
– All right, so thank you guys. Thank you for joining us, and we’ll see you later, bye.