Yesterday I talked about the value of old things and how consumerism keeps us from understanding and seeing the value in redeeming something old rather than always looking for the rush something new provides. One of the mistakes many pastors (kids pastors, youth pastors and senior pastor alike) make is during Christmas we demonize culture rather than show people how to redeem it. If you attend church during Christmas in most churches you will hear some form of this rant. “Christmas is not about stuff, or buying things, we need to put Christ back in Christmas.” While this is true it falls short. The church for the past few years has done a good job of talking about what Christmas isn’t and haven’t done a good enough job describing the beauty of Christ.
I am not Amish and don’t churn my butter. I actually love technology and new things but I think events like Black Friday and disposable everything does more damage to our society than good. We have this obsession with new. When is the last time you repaired anything? Everything we own is new until it’s not anymore then we discard it and replace it and not repair it. Why fix my TV for 200.00 when I can get a new one for 300? We have a society that no longer sees the value in old things. We even want a new version of our old things and call it retro. We live in a society that used to value “growing old” together, now it seems everywhere you turn people are cashing in relationships to chase new things they think will make them happy but what we don’t know is that this new relationship will eventually break and if we don’t learn to value old things we will never understand or experience the power of redemption. The long-term damage consumerism causes reaches farther into our lives than just our stuff, it erodes the fabric of our relationship because our desire to have new things slowly makes its way into the most important relationships in our lives.
Two of the greatest times we have to communicate the power of the gospel in the lives our kids are weeks leading up to Christmas and Easter. Unfortunately both are hijacked by commercialism and fairy tales. I am not a hater of the Easter bunny and the Elf on the shelf, but I do get frustrated by parents who put so much effort into those things they fail to make the most of a prime opportunity to help your kids understand what the gospel is all about.
Here are a couple of very easy ways for you to put some creative energy behind helping your kids have fun, create memories and understand the gospel.
My friends over at Hillsong are giving away a curriculum series they came up with for their Kidsong conference (a part of the wider Hillsong Conference), where they presented the theme of iPromise. A nine part series on the promises found in the word of God for our kids.
We have used Hillsong curriculum as a summer curriculum for a few years and our kids love it. The small groups are creative and engaging, the production value of their videos is among some of the best I’ve found in kids ministry curriculum.
Dave, Becki, Nathan, Dan and the team do a fantastic job. I had the pleasure of hanging with them this summer for a few days and I so moved by their down to earthiness and their passion for the local church. Love those guys!
If you have never used their curriculum before here is your chance to test drive 9 weeks for free. Use it for the summer to mix it up for your kids and volunteers, use it for VBS, or a family outreach. What you do get, is everything you need to run a 60/90/120 minute service for 9 weeks with your kids. Give it a chance I’m sure you will be glad you did.
Earlier this year I read Eric Mataxis’ book on Bonhoeffer. One of the quotes from that book that always stands out to me is when he says
“he (Bohoeffer)often said that if one couldn’t communicate the most profound ideas about God and the Bible to child something was amiss.”
I think there is a huge problem in the kids ministry world where we don’t teach kids certain things because we feel they need the basics. I agree. But I also disagree because we feel that simplicity of a message is more important that clarity. Kids have a far greater ability to understand the problem most often lies with us not understanding profound ideas about God and bible enough. I know for many years I would ovoid such things in my messages to kids thinking they were incapable of understanding hard truths. What I’ve found is that the problem many times is my understanding of Scripture. The more I learn the more the Holy Spirit reveals the better equipped I am to tackle the hard things.