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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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As Vice President of Ministry Mobilization for Outreach, Inc., Jason dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness by creating a culture that is both incarnational and invitational. He also serves as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement and hosts the weekly ChurchLeaders podcast. Jason lives on Anastasia Island, Florida, with his beautiful wife and children. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram @jasondaye