<![CDATA[Truth Trackers Family and Church Resource Area - Truth Trackers Blog]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:53:04 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Easter and Family Time]]>Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:41:00 GMThttp://truthforfamilies.com/truth-trackers-blog/easter-and-family-time What is your family planning to do this year for Easter? Hunt for eggs? Visit the Easter Bunny? Go to church and eat a big family meal? What about the week leading up to Easter Sunday? If you are from the south (like me), you might have Spring Break or at least school off on Friday. Americans love to follow traditions on our “holidays.” This article is not about knocking any of our American traditions, but before you plod through the same thing you did last year, let me challenge you to think head and plan activities that help you remember the Person and the events of Easter.
What is Easter about? The simple Sunday school answer is–Jesus! He rode into Jerusalem on Sunday, ate the Passover meal, died on Friday, and rose again on Sunday.
What are some simple ways your family can remember Jesus’ death and resurrection? 
Here is one idea for a family of little ones:

Resurrection Eggs: Purchase Here.

Twelve days before Easter, set the Easter Egg Carton on the table for your evening meal (or if you do family devotions at night, have one person hold the carton). Start the first day by opening one egg. Each egg tells a certain part of the Christmas story. The little object inside the egg illustrates that part of the Easter story. For instance, a rock might remind us of the stone that was rolled away. One person opens the egg and tells what the object is inside. Then someone else reads a passage of Scripture that corresponds to that event.  As a family, you can discuss why that part of the Easter story is important. Last of all someone can pray and thank God for Jesus faithfulness through that event.

Each night your family can follow the same routine with the exception of how you start. Instead of opening the new egg first, have someone pass out the eggs you have opened on previous days and talk through what each object is and what it stands for. In a sense what you are doing every night is reviewing the previous parts of the Easter story.

Resurrection Eggs are a great way to teach your children what Easter is about story, to worship Jesus as a family, and start a new tradition with meaning!
Of course, you make your own Resurrection Eggs. Here is what you need:
Items you need:
  • Easter eggs
  • An Egg Carton
  • Passage printed on pager
  • Cool junk to put in the Easter egg.
  1. Egg 1 – Fur – Represent the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem
  2. Egg 2 – Small Toy Cup – Symbolizing the Last Supper
  3. Egg 3 – Cloth – Illustrating the towel Jesus washed His disciples’ feet with
  4. Egg 4 – 3 Dimes – Illustrating 30 pieces of silver Judas received to betray Jesus
  5. Egg 5 – A feather – Illustrating the rooster that crowed when Peter denyed Jesus
  6. Egg 6 – A thorn – Illustrating the crown of thorns that was put on Jesus’ head
  7. Egg 7 – Dice – Illustrating the lots cast for Jesus’ clothing
  8. Egg 8 – Leather – Illustrating the whip that the soldiers used on Jesus
  9. Egg 9 – Piece of Wood or Nail – Illustrating the wood to which Jesus was nailed.
  10. Egg 10 – White Cloth – Illustrating the cloth in which Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body
  11. Egg 11 – A Rock – Illustrating the rock that sealed Jesus’ tomb
  12. Egg 12 – An Empty Egg – The empty egg illustrates the empty tomb.
Here are some more tips:
  • Find the cool junk as a family. Spend nights 13 and 14 looking around the house for all the objects you will put into the eggs.
  • Make sure you read the Bible! It is not enough for you to try to remember what you think the Easter story is about. Read the Bible and hear again what God’s Word records.
  • Have the younger children open the eggs and the older children read the Scripture.
  • Reward good behavior for the young ones with the privilege to hold the opened eggs and objects. This is a great motivator to stop the squirms and listen to the Bible story.
How is your family going to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection this year?

<![CDATA[4 COMPONENTS NECESSARY IN A GREAT CHILDREN’S DISCIPLESHIP PROGRAM]]>Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:40:27 GMThttp://truthforfamilies.com/truth-trackers-blog/4-components-necessary-in-a-great-childrens-discipleship-program Ernie and Bill were children’s group leaders at Grace Baptist Church. Wednesday night came and the guys were doing verse time with the third grade boys. Ernie looked down at Gavin as he asked doubtfully, “Hey, Gavin, did you learn your verse this week? No. Oh well, repeat it after me three times. Okay! Now say it. Um, not quite. . . Say it again! Well, I guess that’s good. I gave you two helps. Where do I sign? Ok, here’s your patch. You’ve got five minutes until game time. Maybe you can learn another verse and win a sucker!”

Meanwhile Bill interrupted, “Hey, Ernie, who’s doing the challenge tonight? What’s it supposed to be about?”

“Aren’t you supposed to do the lesson, Bill!? And it’s supposed to be from, like, the Bible.”

“No, duh! Oh man, I hate it when I forget! Think, think fast… Got it! Ernie, would you do game time next while I get something ready? I just remembered this wicked awesome animal balloon trick that helps you tell Jonah and the whale. Be back and ready in about ten. Thanks, Ernie!”

Gavin whispered, “Please, not Jonah, AGAIN!”

Sound familiar? Ok, maybe you do not want to admit it sounds familiar. But this has happened countless times in countless churches over the past years. And the result is kids who grow up to have a shallow knowledge of Scripture and shallow approach to Biblical living in general.

How can we counter this? How can Truth Trackers help you?
We have implemented four components that we believe are necessary in a great children’s discipleship program.

DOCTRINE:  Many Baptist churches teach OT and NT Survey for the main of the junior Sunday School years, so we feel it is equally vital to present an organized system of doctrine while children are young. Many of our peers grew up with an emphasis on quantity verse memorization. This is important, but how many Christians are still unable to prove the basics of Bible doctrine? Ask believers you know, “Can you tell me two verses that prove Jesus Christ’s deity? How about two that demonstrate the Trinity? Can you tell me where to go to find proof of Biblical inspiration? Can you show me the way of salvation (and not just the Romans Road J)?” Therefore, the teaching of 18 major doctrines is the core of our curriculum. We present each doctrine through the venue of catechism, though not catechism in a traditional sense. The question is asked and the answer is an actual verse of Scripture. How valuable this skill will be to children as they grow and have to defend the faith—they will know how to prove the truth using Scripture!

DEVOTION:  We realize that an intellectual approach to Scripture is popular in Christian culture today. This is not all bad, but it is not all good, either. Our program builds in the emphasis on heart through guided daily devotions that bring home doctrine to practical, heart-before-God living. And our lessons are designed not just to instruct, but to apply these truths to the hearts of children.

DILIGENCE: Truth Trackers is designed to promote faithfulness and rewards the diligent, rather than the smart. The devotion books are great for children to use and see that they have been faithful. Weekly Scripture memory is cumulative, so the diligent will KNOW their verses. Families can utilize a weekly devotional which will keep them in tune to what the kids are focusing on for the week since all devotions, memory, and lessons are on the same topic. Parents can seek to teach the doctrinal topic of the week in their homes on a practical level. The children’s workers will find that the “lesson menus” give them many options for personal study. Four parts are included in each weekly “menu”—some of it is so detailed as to be used verbatim, yet other parts are more resource-oriented so a worker can personalize the lesson for the benefit of the children at their particular stages. Both Lukus and I have presented many children’s sermons or lessons and also have listened to many of the same. We feel a burden to provide detailed material so pastors can trust any lay person to present accurate and exciting lessons or sermons.

DELIGHT:  Activities for fun and fellowship with families, various and unusual game times (to get the wiggles out of the kids before preaching/teaching time!), simple rewards for positive reinforcement, great graphics, and fun skits and stories and songs—Truth Trackers puts in these extras for the main purpose of building memories for the children, families, and workers! Our children’s greatest memories should be those of wonderful times with friends and family in God’s house and Truth Trackers is a practical way for this to happen every week. And an aside for pastors:  through the help of so many talented volunteers, this program has great quality and is available for an inexpensive price—now that’s delight!

So, Ernie and Bill—pull out your lesson menu for the week and get it together—you have no excuse to pull another JONAH! And Gavin, you can do your memory verse tonight—you’ve practiced it every day while you were doing your devotions. Gavin, can you answer this, “Is Jesus Christ God?” That’s right, buddy, “John 1:1—In the beginning was the Word and Word was with God and the Word was God.”
Written By Liesl Counterman

<![CDATA[The Church Should be Assisting Parents with their Responsibilities]]>Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:39:52 GMThttp://truthforfamilies.com/truth-trackers-blog/the-church-should-be-assisting-parents-with-their-responsibilities Parents are to teach and guide their children in truth (Eph 6:4; Deut 6:7), and the church should equip and support the family with truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Is this happening in our homes and churches? Let’s hope it is in yours. However, in some homes parents are not teaching their children truth because:
  • They are too busy with their kid’s soccer games, TV shows, jobs, hobbies, the American dream (or is that Nightmare?)…
  • They simple do not know what to do or are intimidated. They have zero theological training or maybe they have even less Bible knowledge than their own children so they do nothing.
  • They don’t think it is that important. Maybe they think it can wait until their child gets older. Maybe they do not really believe God’s Word is the right “sword” to use. (Isn’t scolding more effective? Or maybe he needs someone who can relate…like the youth pastor!)
  • They don’t think it is their job. (Isn’t that why we send them to church and the Christian school?)
  • They think their children can’t listen. They are too young; they are too fidgety; they are too disobedient; or they are too old.
  • Their home situation is not ideal. They reason a family needs a spiritual father, a organized mother, and/or interested children. I am sure Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5) was glad his mother and grandmother did not use this as an excuse!
  • And the list could go on!
Also, sometimes the church doesn’t equip and support parents to teach their children truth because:he children’s ministry is disorganized. There are many teachers teaching many Bible stories but there is no organization to it. No one really knows what the children learn. We just hope over the 18 years they go to church they will learn something!
  • Children and Family Ministry is not seen as very important. Maybe the default thinking is this–adults are where real disciples are made and children and teens need to be entertained and babysat. Look around church! 75% of your converts were saved as children (age 15 or younger)!
  • The philosophy of teaching is shallow. What? Theology for kids? Children reading and studying the Bible? Shouldn’t we only teach on salvation and obedience?
  • We don’t equip parents to pass truth onto their children at all stages of life. 
  • The church needs to equip the family with truth, so the parents can then impart and guide them in truth, so the children can own and live out truth.
Here are a couple practical ways the church and parents can work together:
  • Look at your entire children’s ministry and write out what your goals are for each program you run. What do you want the Sunday school to teach and do? What is the children’s church teaching and accomplishing? What should the Wednesday night program accomplish and teach? Many churches don’t know these answers, so the result is every ministry tries to accomplish every task. For instance, Sunday school has a memory verse and a devotional they send home, children’s church has a memory verse and a take home sheet. The children’s choir gives a prize for memorizing a verse. Then on Wednesday there are more verses. The teaching is probably random as well. Ok, so just use Truth Trackers Clubs and solve those problems!
  • There needs to be open communication between the children’s teachers and the parents. Teachers, or any church member for that matter, should present problems to parents so that they can assist the parent as they seek to deal with that child’s heart. Since the church as a body is fervently seeking to exhort and admonish one another, this includes reaching out to a child through the parent. Not that a fellow member cannot personally deal with a child’s heart, on the contrary, that indeed is an important job for all believers. However, the admonition needs to be reported to the parent for the child’s own good. Encourage your teachers to do this.
  • Teaching should help parents discuss spiritual truths in the home. Biblical instruction at the church should be developed in such a way that parents can use this as a tool for their spiritual discussions. Put the memory verses and doctrines in the bulletin and on the website. Put a calendar together for parent’s to follow so they can easily use it to guide their family devotions.
  • Any significant spiritual decision of a child (salvation, etc) should be entrusted to that child’s parent. Parents know their children best, so the parents should be called in to deal with them or should be informed by a counselor about the desire a child has to be saved. It is appropriate for a counselor to give a clear presentation of salvation but the child’s actual decision should be entrusted to parents.
  • Encourage your children’s workers to pray not just for the child but also for the child’s parents.
  • Recognizing that many children do not have the best home situations, the church should desire to spiritually adopt children in the areas that their home life is spiritually deficient, while still seeking to reach out to the child’s parent(s).I am sure the list could go on….and may I will at a later time.
<![CDATA[Truth Trackers ]]>Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:35:15 GMThttp://truthforfamilies.com/truth-trackers-blog/first-postThanks for supporting Truth Trackers. Look for great posts on this blog! ]]>