Yesterday, I shared the first three sessions from our recent children’s ministry staff retreat. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, I would recommend going back and reading that first to give you the context for sessions 4 & 5. You can read the first three sessions at this link.
Our theme for this year’s retreat was “Thirsty,” based on Isaiah 44:3 where God says, “I will pour water on him who is thirsty.” The theme was to stay thirsty to see God move in our personal lives and ministry.
Here are sessions 4 & 5.
Session 4 – Thirsty for Discipleship
Chris Yount Jones
Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine
• Keep some mystery in your lessons.
• Be creative.
• Make the kids feel heroic.
• Our goal is for kids to not just know about God but to know God personally. (Job 42:5)
• Get kids thinking critically and grappling with what you are teaching.
• You have an epic calling.
• Are we doing ministry to kids or are we allowing kids to do ministry with us?
• Give kids opportunities to serve.
• You don’t have to have the answer to everything.
• Be unpredictable—change things up.
• Create positive peer pressure.
• Kids need firsthand faith.
• Create lessons that cause kids to figure things out for themselves.
• Call kids to the Great Commission.
• Focus more on relationships than function.
Director of Children’s Ministries at
Christ Fellowship Church
• Think about a time when you were extremely thirsty physically.
• When was the last time you were extremely thirsty for God? To know Him…to see Him do something fresh and new in your life and ministry?
• We must stay thirsty…hungering for God and His presence in our lives.
• How thirsty are you for God and His presence?
• Psalm 42: As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God.
• Psalm 63: O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly, my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
• Moses on Mt. Sinai: Then Moses said, “If You don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that You look favorably on me—on me and on Your people—if You don’t go with us? For Your presence among us sets Your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me Your glorious presence.”
• Paul in Philippians 3: I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death.
• Matthew 5:6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
• Isaiah 44:3: I will pour water on him who is thirsty.
• God’s power and presence in our lives is what makes the difference.
• Example of D.L. Moody
• born in 1837
• raised by single mom
• moved to Boston at age 17
• goal was to be rich
• worked in a shoe store
• Sunday School teacher named Edward Kimball came to shoe store and led Him to Christ
• moved to Chicago at age 19
• started Sunday school for kids
• parents of the kids started attending—grew into largest church in Chicago
• heard man say, “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him”
• determined to be that man
• 1871—two ladies in his congregation begin telling him they were praying for Him to be anointed with God’s power
• he told them to pray for the people instead
• they told him he needed the filling of the Holy Spirit
• he thought he had power—he had the largest church in Chicago
• a deep thirst for God’s power came upon him—he began to cry and pray for it constantly
• one day when he was walking down the street in New York City, the power of God fell upon him
• he was filled with God’s power—when he went back to preaching, hundreds and thousands were converted
• led millions to Jesus