Volume. XXX, No. 2
Sunday, 12 July 2015


Women and the Nurture of Children - Part 2


Nurturing Children in Church

Children of Christian parents will be found in the church, but there will be other children there as well. Often there are children of parents who attend church and are not believers. Sometimes, children from the neighbourhood attend without their parents. All of these children need to be evangelised and nurtured. Those who teach in the local church have a responsibility to evangelise those who are unsaved, including the young and nurture them in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. The responsibility will often fall on their parents primarily and to a limited extent, the Pastor, Elders and the Sunday school teachers.

In Sabbath Services

In our church at Maranatha, we believe that the family should worship together. Children who are able to disciplined and not disrupt the worship service are encouraged to attend the worship service with their parents. For parents with young children or children who may not be able to fully understand the sermon, provision is made for these children to attend Junior Worship Service (JWS) or Nursery Worship Service (NWS). These children leave for their respective services only just before the pastoral prayer and sermon so that the whole church can worship God together as much as possible. The objectives of both the JWS and NWS are to train the children for the main worship service and build them up in the fear of God and His Word, taking into consideration the needs of their age groups (Deuteronomy 31:11-12).

In Sunday School

Sunday school teachers have the responsibility of making sure that every child in their class knows the Gospel message on what it means to be saved. It is sad that often children can go through Sunday school and learn Bible Stories but know little of the Gospel truth.

Sunday school teachers should follow a Bible-centered programme of systematic teaching, so that children learn more and more Gospel truth. For the Gospel is a necessary message and as teachers who follow a teaching programme, they should ensure that each lesson emphasises a different aspect of it. Teachers should ask themselves, “What truth should I teach to my class this Sunday?” They should have a clear, concise answer to that question so that the children are not only told a story but also taught a biblical gospel truth which is in that story. This gospel truth should then be carefully applied to the unsaved as well as to the saved. When making applications, the teacher should make it clear to whom he is speaking – to the believing child or to the unbeliever. In the overall programme of Sunday school, it is good to include evangelistic songs and memory verses, as well as having songs and Bible verses which will help, encourage and guide the Christian children in the knowledge of God.

In organising a Sunday school, it is best to divide the children into small groups according to age, if teachers are available to teach these groups. This enables the teachers to adapt the teaching to one particular age group. Also, it is easier for the teacher to build up a good relationship with each child. Sunday school must endeavour to meet the spiritual needs of the children who attend at their level. There will be some who have not trusted Jesus Christ, so they need to be evangelised and brought to faith and repentance of sins. This is one of the responsibilities of every Sunday school teacher.

In Vacation Bible School and other Outreach Programmes

Sometimes, churches organise a special week for their children, especially during holiday time. In Vacation Bible Schools, the children come to church for half-day programmes over three to four days. The children have a programmes of singing, memory verses, Bible teaching, worksheets and quizzes. Games, refreshments and art & craft are also included. The Vacation Bible School is both an evangelistic outreach ministry to neighbourhood children and further opportunities to build the knowledge and faith of believing children. Other similar outreach programmes may also be organised during special occasions e.g. Christmas. These programmes provide further opportunities for the church to work together for the kingdom of God. A good percentage of those involved in these programmes and some ladies are homemakers who can avail themselves to serve in areas such as the music ministry and singspiration, Bible teaching, handiwork or refreshments.

Nurturing Children in Christian Schools

The humanistic education system in most schools today emphasises on a godless evolutionary system, accompanied by psychological theories to teach men in worldly philosophies and secular thinking. The world seeks to impart general knowledge (awareness or  information) that can be contrary to the teachings of God in His Word (i.e. evolution, psychology). In addition to warning against false knowledge, the Scriptures also enjoin us to seek true wisdom. True wisdom is found in the fear of God and in His Holy Word (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). Whereas knowledge has to do with factual information, the wisdom of God involves the interpretation, correlation and application of knowledge and results in godly discretion, discernment and right judgment and it change our lives by the Holy Spirit (James 3:17).

The Bible teaches that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom or knowledge” and that all knowledge has its foundation in the ultimate Standard of truth, the Bible. This fact should be evidenced in every class, subject, teacher, textbook – all areas of the Christian school. Children are not recognised as miniature adults and therefore need to be taught. Thus, discipline is also taught and practised. Further, discipline is Scriptural; that ought to be enough reason for having it. The ultimate goal must be that the children, who are trained under a God-centered, authoritarian philosophy, may submit to a call placed upon their lives by a higher Authority, the Almighty God. A child taught from this God-centered traditional philosophy of education, will be in a position to say, “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth” when the day comes.

There is a great need today to revive the important institution of Christian schools to inculcate and nurture children in the knowledge of the Scriptures, languages, Christian ethics and the sciences. There is a general decline in the West as Christian schools compromise their Christian principles and the Word of God is often shut out or neglected. Many Christian schools in the west are teaching evolution instead of creationism and have included charismatic teachings and practices, psychology and New Age ideas. Good Christian schools are in the minority, and there is a need for greater emphasis in Christian education (2 Timothy 2:15) by establishing sound Christian schools.

Conclusion

Our societal norms and values have changed the way we look at women today, particularly in the ministry of nurturing children. With increasing liberalism, individualism and aggressive campaign for gender rights, there is a greater need for Christian women to return to biblical womanhood. To live out of sync with culture takes courage.  When we become Christians, we are called to take up a gospel-centered life that is radically countercultural. We begin to treasure things that those who have their hearts set on earthly things do not understand (Colossians 3:1, 2). Unbelievers may view us as fools, then we are willing to be fools for Christ and stand up to the world’s mockery. For in Christ, our lives are not about what we get, but what we give to Him and that is wisdom in sacrifice. We are to live in submission to God’s will regardless of what it may cost us to glorify Him forever.

Mrs Angelina Sin, Maranatha BPC Weekly, 29 March 2015 (with permission from Rev Jack Sin).

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Kitchen Roster - Today: Group A. Next Lord’s Day: Group B. Please refer to roster on the notice board next to office window.
*Vacation Bible School: Please invite children of your relatives and friends to attend. Invites available on the literature table. Theme: Families in the Bible”.
*Hospitality Roster for VBS speaker, Rev Kevin Currell, is being prepared. Please invite Rev Currell for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
*Ministry reports for ACM: All leaders of the various ministries & fellowship groups are reminded to submit their reports to Dn Colin Gan by 26 July. Earlier submissions appreciated.
*Creation Ministries: A/Prof John Hartnett is giving a One Day Seminar “Age and Reason” on Sat, 1 Aug, 9am - 5 pm. Location: Hope Church, 11-16 South Tce, Adelaide.
*There will be talks on family issues by Mr Brett Ryan, CEO of “Focus on the Family”, next month. All worshippers are encouraged to attend

Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); Pr Hai Seng Lim (Malaysia/Melb) & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Church activities in the past week.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Ministry in S’pore/Johor/Cebu - Pastor Ki

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - For those in affliction.
Special Prayer: Mrs Janet Jara (Chile) & Mrs Pat Johnson (W Virgina).
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions
House of Hope, Cebu - Staff & volunteers; drug addicts to go off drugs & their salvation.
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.
Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
Journey mercies: Rev Kevin Currell (Adl) and for all those who are travelling.
Health in pregnancy
Final weeks of pregnancy: Sis Josephine Wong
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.
Persecuted believers in Islamic countries.
Protection & Preservation of Israel. Salvation of Jews.
God’s guidance: purchase of new church property.
Australia: God’s wisdom for our political leaders. People to repent and to turn to God.
Vacation Bible School: Speaker - Rev Kevin Currell; Sunday school teachers, organisers, helpers & children.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063