You Don’t Need To Be Theologian To Teach Kids.


In my last post I made the case for systematic theology and why kids need it. I know many of you might be thinking that there is no way that you could teach your kids systematic theology because you don’t really even understand it yourself. Take heart you are not alone. The good news for you is there are many resources that are now available to help your kids and you understand the basic framework of our faith.

Theology is something that is scary for many parents as many of them were never taught theology because much of it was assumed when they were kids. Their parents assumed they understood things about God. The most important thing about our kids is what they think about God. Because that’s true we can leave nothing to chance.

So where do we start. I would not start with Systematic Theology for kids under 6 or 7 for them I would read them books that tell the large story of God as a Redeemer. To do that I would recommend the following books

The Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones



The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung

Once kids have an understanding of the big picture of scripture the parts will make sense. When your kids are between 7 and 8 I would working through a systematic theology with them. There are three that I would recommend this list is by no means exhaustive. I have broken them up into younger, slightly older and older again this is for connivance what is important is you find what works for you family and do that.


Everything a Child Should Know about God by Kenneth Taylor


The Ology by Marty Machowski

Older Elementary

Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware



Bible Doctrine: Essential Teaching of the Christian Faith by Wayne Grudem


How To Partner With Parents

Give them a first step


In the kids ministry world the idea of partnering with parents is definitely mainstream. Most people are talking about why this is important. We need to be having this conversation. The more we talk about partnering with parents it reminds us of our primary job to lead and guide not to parent the kids in our ministry. This is so important. We are here to train and equip parents to more effectively lead their homes.

One of the things I often wrestle with personally is how do I take my understanding that I need to partner with parents and translate that into action. It’s so easy for me to nod my head at conferences and tweet things that say partnering with parents is important but how does that become a reality and not just a good idea. I would say the answer is small first steps.

5 actions every preschool teacher needs to take.


When I first started leading elementary and preschool environments, I had no problem leading and recruiting elementary volunteers, preschool was a different story. It wasn’t until I came understand what makes preschool ministry so amazing. The biggest game changer in preschool ministry and recruiting people to help in preschool ministry comes when you understand that you may be the first person to introduce a preschool to Christ. It’s a huge honor to serve in preschool ministry. To help shape a child’s first understanding of who Christ and what he did for them is amazing.

Here are 5 actions every preschool teacher needs to take.

1. Smile, love the kids you serve. Let them see in you the fruit of the Holy Spirit that is a result of a Christ-centered life.

2. Make sure the snacks are good. – Two things no preschooler ever needs is stale goldfish and stale faith.

3. Use snack time to drive home truth. Preschoolers don’t move and don’t talk and listen most while they are eating. Use those few moments well.

4. Remind kids – 1. Jesus loves them 2. We love you. 3. We all need God’s help

5. Practice consistency and flexibility they are your two greatest friends when working with small people.

7 sure-fire way to make kids feel welcome in kids church.


Here are 7 things I often tell our uptown volunteers to do to make kids feel welcome in Uptown. If we are not consistently thinking about what we can proactively do to help kids feel welcome, we won’t do it.

7 sure-fire ways to make kids feel welcome in church.

1. Talk to them how they talk to you – If they are shy, you need to be shy if they are outgoing be outgoing.
2. Make fun of yourself -If you can make funny faces or do funny voices that’s always a plus
3. Come down physically to their level to look into their eyes as you talk.
4. Stay up on kid culture – Don’t ask them about “Rugrats” ask them about Phineas and Ferb
5. Give them things – stickers, candy, Bible bucks
6. Learn their names and their parents names
7. ALWAYS greet the kids before the parents

Shaping a Faith that lasts

D6 Breakout with Dr. Timothy Paul Jones

Here are my notes from Dr. Jones’ session. Please forgive me if they are a bit abstract. The breakout was fantastic, gospel saturated and immensely practical.

How you can partner with parents to equip their children to defend their faith.

Hope always points to the resurrection of Jesus.

1 Peter 3:15-16
If we defend the faith with arrogance, we undercut the faith we are trying to defend.

Grace is at the essence of how God reveals his truth to us.

What’s essential to our faith is that I feel happy or feel better.

Parents aren’t passing on their faith to their kids in a way they can assimilate and articulate.

Students are unlikely to remain faith in a faith they are unable to defend.

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

Moralism – Doing right so my story will turn out better

Therapeutic – Faith is focused on my feelings and experiences

Deism – God is in the background; His purpose is to meet my needs.

1. Move from moralism to a better story. – A better story for your student seminar to provide parents with a plan and a vision as their children enter youth, group. – What we want  our kids to see is to see their lives in the context of God’s story.

Creation, Fall, Redemption, New Creation

God made the world good, Sin made the world bad, Jesus broke the power of sin, God is coming to make the world new.

Star Wars – the best defense of teaching kids beyond what they can understand. Tell them a bigger story. Your kids may not understand the details they will learn to love the story even if they don’t understand the details because you are teaching them to love the big wonderful, beautiful story of God.

Everything has its place in God’s big story.

In light of Creation your child is a gift,  In light of the fall your child is a sinner, In light of redemption your child is forgiven, In light of restoration your child is forever

A better story for your student seminar to provide parents with a plan and a vision as their children enter youth, group.
– When kids are sent to the youth program. Lay out the big story for their kids. – Focus on the cycle for parents.

How do we help our kids focus on forever rather than for success?

2. Move kids from Temporary Experiences to a Kingdom that never ends.