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Valerie Bell and Matt Markins: This Is How to Help Kids Love Jesus for the Rest of Their Lives

Key Quotes from Awana’s Matt Markins

“We like to say, ‘Children over curriculum,’ because many kids are coming to church, and they’re progressing through the program, but maybe there’s not a loving, caring adult who recognizes them and who realizes, ‘This is a child and I need to reach out and disciple this child’s heart.’”

“About a decade ago…we began saying, ‘One mission, many methods.’”

“The local church with children right now, we just don’t know that we’re spending our time in ways that are going to most influence long-term spiritual fruit.”

“The three factors [of belong, believe, become], when they’re present together, are far more likely to produce long-term spiritual fruit and discipleship into that child to young adulthood.”

“Many churches have moved to kind of a ‘Bible-lite’ strategy where the gospel is not central.”

“Bible teaching, Bible learning and Bible engagement are just huge, key factors in the long-term impact [on people’s lives].”

“Kids are navigating very challenging things today…when disciple-makers can walk along them in their life’s journey and help them navigate some of the key conversations that kids need to be engaged in today—that’s missing in a lot of discipleship attempts.”

“So many of our programs are designed to entertain kids…and the last thing our kids needs is more entertainment.”

“We need key senior leaders in the local church to realize child discipleship is one of the most strategic and future-forward and fruitful investments of the local church.”

“Bible engagement is one of the key factors in long-term spiritual growth.”

“Churches have to continue to find creative ways to make faith not just a one-way learning process, but a way to actually live it out experientially.” 

Mentioned in the Show by Awana’s Valerie Bell and Matt Markins

Awana’s website
Charles Spurgeon
Kara Powell
Resilient: Child Discipleship and the Fearless Future of the Church by Valerie Bell and Matt Markins
Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults by Christian Smith
Resilient Disciples and the Brite curriculum

Follow Awana on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye