Drew Dickson joins the podcast to discuss the truths and myths about video games and how we can connect through them.
At CentriKid, we share the gospel with kids by connecting spiritual applications with many of the activities throughout the camp day.
We have a training session for connecting the gospel to every activity with kids. This is a page from our playbook that is available for you to lead your ministry as a more gospel centered kids ministry.
Download the free Training Plan that includes a guide for the session, links to the handout for participants, & training videos you can use as part of the session.
For your kids ministry or for parents in your ministry, here are some great additional resources:
- CentriKid Training Session—”Sharing the Gospel with Kids” https://centrikid.com/sharing-the-gospel-training/
- The Gospel God’s Plan For Me—booklets https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/the-gospel-god-s-plan-for-me-csb-P005567177
- The Gospel God’s Plan For Me 6-session Bible Study https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/the-gospel-god-s-plan-for-me-leader-guide-P005816332
We know the importance of clearly sharing the message of Christ to kids and camp gives many opportunities to connect God’s Word to camp activities. My prayer is that this training will give you confidence in connecting every activity to the gospel.
With this training session, we are opening up the playbook and equipping kids ministry leaders to train their volunteers with the same materials and plan that we use to train CentriKid staffers. Thousands of adult leaders experienced this training session at camp in 2019 and we hope this resource is valuable for many more to be trained in connecting the gospel to every activity with kids.
Jeremy Echols leads the CentriKid Camps team. He, his wife Emily, and their precious daughter love their church, their neighborhood, and spending time together. Jeremy loves to read, watch sports, and grill burgers.
Brian Dembowczyk discusses practical ways we can guard our motivation in ministry and keep it fixed firmly on the gospel.
Brian Dembowczyk is the managing editor for The Gospel Project and team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. He served in local church ministry for over 16 years before coming to Lifeway. Brian earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is pursuing a Ph.D. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his family live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
What does it really mean to put Jesus at the center of your Kids Ministry? Bill Emeott, Lead Kids Ministry Specialist for Lifeway Kids, joins the podcast to share how being intentional in four areas can result in a Christ-Centered, transformational Kids Ministry that sticks for eternity.
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered chronological Bible study for babies-adults. On today’s podcast, Brian Dembowczyk, managing editor of The Gospel Project, shares the vision of The Gospel Project and why sharing the gospel with children is of the utmost importance.
Brian Dembowczyk is the Managing Editor of The Gospel Project, a Bible study curriculum used by over one million people each week, and the author of Gospel-Centered Kids Ministry: How the Gospel Will Transform Your Kids, Your Church, Your Community, and the World and Cornerstones: 200 Questions and Answers to Learn Truth. Prior to being the managing editor, he served as the Publishing Team Leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to Lifeway Christian Resources, Brian served in local church ministry for seventeen years, primarily in family ministry and discipleship ministry. Brian earned a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He, his wife Tara, and their three children live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Today as you focus on the extreme sacrifice Jesus Christ made for sinners, remember that the cross is one part of the most beautiful redemption story in history. In this five minute video from The Gospel Project for Kids, you’ll see the whole story of Scripture. Watch below and share with friends as you thank God for his compassion and forgiveness.
As a brand new kids minister, God placed me at a church where the gospel is central. In my first few months at Third Baptist Church, my pastor, Mike Lee, preached a sermon on the gospel unlike anything I had heard before. For the first time, I heard that the gospel is about way more than my individual salvation – the gospel is about God’s glory. God changed my life through the truths I learned there and freed me from the burden of performance-based Christianity I had been living under for years.
My mission became clear. I wanted every kid that came through our preschool and children’s ministry to know the gospel is not about what they need to do but about what Jesus has already done. I set out to find a curriculum that would point my kids to the same life-transforming power of Christ crucified. This proved to be a more difficult task than I anticipated.
I hit wall after wall. I found highly creative curriculum that taught to all the various learning styles in fresh, interactive ways, but the content focused on moral development. Great information, but no power to transform. I found theologically-rich curriculum that taught the truths of the gospel, but the material pushed the bounds of being age-appropriate and the activities weren’t user-friendly or engaging. Transformational power, but not in a format to connect with kids.
You can imagine my excitement when I heard that Lifeway was launching The Gospel Project for Kids. We signed up! The Gospel Project was a perfect fit. I was blown away each week as I saw my kids connecting the big story of the Bible to God’s work of redemption through Jesus.
Now, working on The Gospel Project for Kids team, I get to hear exciting stories like the ones below:
“With The Gospel Project, I’m able to share the gospel clearly, biblically, and chronologically. It’s powerful. The kids sit there with mouths open…I’m letting everyone know about The Gospel Project that asks our church, ‘What are you doing that is helping you grow?’” – Mark, Children’s Pastor in Tennessee
“I want my people to know the stories of the Bible and to also know Christ and Him crucified. The Gospel Project accomplishes both!” – Jeff, Pastor in Texas
“I have searched for something like The Gospel Project for my kids ministry for 15 years.” – Patrick, Kids Leader in New Jersey
“After six weeks of using The Gospel Project with my boys, they both prayed to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.” – Jeff, Missionary in Columbia
Share your story of how God has used the gospel to transform your kids and leaders in the comments section below.
Karen Jones is the preschool content editor for The Gospel Project for Kids. Karen came to Lifeway in 2014 after serving as Minister to Preschool and Children at Third Baptist Church of Murfreesboro, TN for seven years. Karen has over 15 years experience in preschool and children’s ministry. She earned an M.A. in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Great Commission is still a work in progress. According to the U.S. Center for World Mission’s Joshua Project, 2.91 billion people in the world are considered “unreached.” Unreached is defined as “a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.”
People die every day not knowing the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the consequences are eternal. Pastor John Piper said, “Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering.” The need for believers to go to the nations – to the ends of the world – and share the gospel is urgent.
At the first annual CROSS Conference – a student missions conference in Louisville, Kentucky – evangelical leaders such as John Piper, Thabiti Anyabwile, Michael Oh, Matt Chandler, and David Platt spoke to college students about world missions. The conference was an historical event for mobilizing students to send and go, but what about kids?
How do we raise children to care about world missions? How do we lead kids to be senders or go-ers, bringing the good news about Jesus to the nations? The truths these speakers shared can help us better equip children to become students passionate about Christ and His gospel mission.
1. Teach kids the gospel.
The gospel is the message believers are to take to the nations. The reality of our status before God apart from Christ is bad news. Unbelievers are under the wrath of God. (See Rom. 1:13-18.) This is essential gospel doctrine. Only Jesus turns away God’s wrath. (Rom. 3:25) Make sure kids know the good news about Jesus. (See Rom. 5:8-9)
Thabiti Anyabwile: “If we mitigate the harshness of God’s wrath, we will minimize the urgency of God’s mission.”
Conrad Mwebe: “Jesus purchased our redemption by suffering on the cross as a substitute for sinners to satisfy a holy God.”
2. Help kids treasure Christ.
In Philippians 1:21, the apostle Paul said that to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Kids will treasure Christ when they know His greatness and love Him. Any other motivation for missions is doomed to fail. When we truly understand who Christ is and treasure Him, we can joyfully and obediently take the gospel to the nations.
Matt Chandler: “Until Christ is our treasure, any other motivation we have to suffer for him is a fool’s errand.”
Richard Chin: “To take up your cross is to consider it better to die than to live for something other than Jesus.”
3. Motivate kids with “Big God” theology.
God is sovereign over the work of missions. He is our hope for success. We must reject Satan’s lie that obedience to God will make us miserable. We may have a few days of regret over earthly losses, but we will spend eternity rejoicing in God’s work.
Kevin DeYoung: “We have the impossible task of calling dead people to live. It is entirely possible for God.”
Matt Chandler: “When we join God in his plan for His global glory, we get to be a part of the cosmic take-your-kid-to-work day.”
Michael Oh: “Living for Christ does not mean you will miss out. You will gain more. More of Christ.”
For full videos and synopses check out the CROSS Conference resources pages.
Alyssa Jones is a member of Immanuel Church in Nashville. She has served as an editor for Lifeway Kids for five years. She is also a content editor for The Gospel Project for Kids.Alyssa and her husband, Nate, are serious about the gospel. They are expecting their first child in April.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Kids Ministry Publishing. Jana brings a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and curriculum writing. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children attend Forest Hills Baptist Church where she teaches The Gospel Project to preteen girls.
“Be good for goodness sake.” I don’t really like the premise either, as far as it relates to our faith.
I do like that the song allows me to manipulate my kids every year in the months leading up to Christmas! It’s amazing how the threat of no reward, i.e. gifts under the tree, can affect behavior for a season. (Literally, for a “season.”) I don’t even have to wait until December 26 for the reversion to societal anarchy in the Reed house. By noon on Christmas day, my four youngin’s are fighting for pole position in the narcissism Grand Prix.
The bottom line is, when we simply act a certain way in the hope that our rewards might be increased, then we tend to always revert back to our nature. You see, an atheist believes that, because there is no God, then there is no other reason for being good. Modifying our behavior to “be good” is beneficial in our relationships with others, perhaps in our financial successes, and in our stature with man. In the long-run, however, we are still flawed and can’t actually “be good” without an internal catalyst. For the atheist, there is no other internal catalyst but self. Again … self is flawed … so there is no solution other than acting good.
Grace changes that. Jesus changes the heart. Behavior follows in response to what God has done for us. Being good for goodness sake will be short-lived because of the fallen nature of man. God’s desire to win us over is demonstrated in his willingness to become a baby, a boy, a man, and then to suffer for us on the cross. (Romans 5:8) In your ministry, are you leading with heart change over the feelings that elicit happiness? Do you ask your kids what they are getting for Christmas or what they are giving? Try it: Ask them what they are “giving” for Christmas. They will instinctively respond with what they think they heard and tell you what they are “getting.” It’s in our nature … unless we are changed from within.
My hope is that everything you do this Christmas would be for His glory. My prayer is that you would “be good” for the sake of the gospel. May Christ dwell in you richly and change you and your children deeply so that they may change the world for Him.
Merry Christmas, and be good for Jesus’ sake.
Jeffrey Reed serves as the Director of Kids Ministry for Lifeway. He came to Lifeway with a wide variety of ministry experiences including worship leader, director of children’s ministry, and executive leadership in several growing congregations. Jeffrey’s posts will give your heart and brain a workout, just like the fitness Boot Camp he leads in the mornings for Lifeway employees. Jeffrey and his wife Katherine have 4 kids.