3—9 September 2007

Issue No. 33

Introducing …

The Children’s Ministry Magazine

Children’s Ministry is an inter-denominational magazine published by Group in the United States. If you are involved in working with children from birth to Primary Six (0 to 12 years old), you will find this publication especially helpful in deepening your passion and sharpening your gifts to disciple the little ones and the older kids.

Although the publisher does not define the context of doing children’s ministry, the content of the magazine is applicable to teachers of children both in the church and para-church organizations. Parents are not left out.  There is a section dedicated to parenting responsibilities in bringing up their children in the Christian Faith. More than that, parents learn the “how” collaborating with the teachers of the children. This must be the dream of every teacher in the Sunday School or the Children’s Church! In the July/August 2007 issue, there is a write-up on, “What Teachers Wish Parents Knew.” And one of those wishes of teachers, whether in the States or Singapore, is, “Be on time - Help teachers by arriving on time and making a restroom stop before you drop kids off for class” (p. 104).

The magazine has a theme for each issue printed boldly with a captivating picture of a child on the cover page and a caption such as, “7 Amazing God Discoveries” which should arouse your interest to find out more.

There are four main sections in the design of the content. The “On the Cover” section features articles written specifically for each issue. It tends to focus on the writer’s view on problems and readers are invited to interact with the author’s perspective. For example, a writer believes that giving rewards in “Christian classrooms” may distort a child’s values, character development and create a faulty image of God” (July/August 2007). Another writer addressed “What Kids Wish Their Parents Knew” and “how family, society and crisis are stressing them and their faith!” in the same issue. Do you have children who are “misfits” in the classroom and want to know how to turn them into the “perfect fit”? (Consult the May/June 2007 issue). 

The regular features in the “In Every Issue” section consist of Keeping Current on today’s kids and their culture; New Stuff on the latest recommendations on resources; Age Finder on ideas listed according to each age group and the Idea Finder where ideas are listed according to categories. Lastly, Heart Matters features children’s workers writing their own personal stories.

The “Age-Level Insights” section updates knowledge of understanding and ministering to children from birth to 2, ages 3 to 5, 6 to 9 and  10 to 12.  Toddlers can become bullies and teachers of toddlers are given tips on how to stop the behaviour.

The fourth section shares “Ideas” and practical tips are presented to children’s workers to teaching children about Reaching Out to doing works of missions and compassion, the Discipline Q&A on how to discipline kids and Leading Volunteers on the how to recruit and train “Volunteers.” Ideas are also imparted in this section to parents to strengthen family ties by doing things together.

A strong point of the magazine is that the writing is not confined to a few experts within Group Publishing. Writers are drawn from various backgrounds and experiences. The list includes pastors/workers of children’s ministry, authors of children’s books and resources, lay teachers and children’s ministry consultants. Thus, it presents different perspectives for readers to evaluate and critique.

It is a magazine recommended for those who are seeking practical tips and ideas to work with children. Readers, however, need to adapt what is appropriate for their cultural contexts.

My favourite feature of the magazine is the “KidQuote” viz:

When Brooke, 5, saw an image of the Statue of Liberty, she exclaimed,“Oh my goodness! Lot’s wife is on TV!” (July/August 2007)

(Dr Ng Peh Cheng)

Children’s Ministry is an interdenominational magazine published by Group in the United States. If you are involved in working with children from birth to Primary Six (0 to 12 years old), this publication is written especially to deepen your passion and sharpen your gifts to disciple the little ones and the older kids.

Happy is the man …

 

Everybody wants to be happy.  Yet the notion of happiness can be fuzzy.  Sometimes we think that if we could have what we want it would make us happy.  But in reality this may not be so. 

 

Happiness can also be momentary.  Just when we think we are ready to begin a happy and carefree life, ailment strikes and our lives are thrown into a frenzy.  Furthermore the pursuit of happiness can be costly when we think that chasing the fine things in life would bring us happiness.

 

What does the Bible have to say about happiness?  Where can it be found? 

 

The psalmist enlightens us on this matter in Psalm 1.  He begins the psalm by telling us that happiness is not found in godlessness (v1).  He uses three words, “wicked,” “sinner,” and “mocker,” to describe those who do not submit themselves under the authority of God and cautions us that if we allow ourselves to associate closely with the belief of these people and shape our lives according to theirs, we will certainly not find happiness because true happiness does not reside in those who reject God.  Rather happiness is found in godliness (v2).  It comes from the Lord to whom the law testifies.  Anyone who takes pleasure in God’s words and allows it to rule his daily life and shape his worldview will find God’s blessings. 

 

The analogy of the tree planted by steams of water is a graphic depiction of the outcome of such a life: stable, adequately provided for, useful, reliable and prosperous (v3).   On the contrary the godless person is referred to as chaff, which, without substance, is blown away when the wind comes, and without excuse and hope will fall when judgement comes (vv4-6).  Therefore the psalmist through Psalm 1 presents before us two ways of life: the way of the righteous in which true happiness is found because the Lord works intimately in the life of such a person and the way of the wicked in which definite destruction can be expected because he has no room for God in this life.  God will have no room for him in the future.

 

The pursuit of happiness points us to an important question: what are we living for?  Are we living for the temporal or for the eternal?  This will determine the way we live our lives.  God’s way may be an old-fashion way. It is nonetheless the ultimate way to true happiness!  Press on!

 

Chapel Summary

Andrew Lee, 29 Aug 07

Text Box: Chapel speaker for next Wed, 12th Sep, is Joseph Dakhum, an MDiv student.

 

It took only 300 men to fight alongside Gideon against the enemy and to rout them completely.

 

And what an enemy! “The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.” (Judg 7:12)

 

BGST hopes to have an army like Gideon’s. Just 300 strong. Giving $250 monthly or $3K for 3 or 6 years. Such an army will reduce to nothing that mountain our monthly expenses appear now. Will you help us conquer this mountain? Will you give towards the continuing ministry of BGST, knowing how much the church in Singapore needs better trained, more knowledgeable and effective servants of His Word?

 

Since the call went out for recruitment only 10% has been secured. Will you be among the next 90%?

 

For details please check our website, or call us anytime.

31 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088454   Tel: 62276815   Fax: 62276816   Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg

 

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