October Children’s Ministry Theme: God is Immanent

Each month we focus on a different theme in each of our Children’s Ministry classes. This month’s theme is “God is Immanent”.

Introduction
All of God’s attributes can be organized into around two ideas: those relating to God’s immanence (Loving, Merciful, Gracious, Good), and those relating to God’s transcendence (Holy, Self-Existence, Omnipotence, Just).

The word “immanent” means “existing or operating within; inherent”. When we say that God is immanent, we are talking about how God is close and present with his creation. “Transcendence,” on the other hand, speaks about God’s “otherness” and difference from his creation. God is transcendent because he is our creator, and ontologically different from his creation. God is immanent because he is closely related to his creation, and actively sustains all things together.

Holding the tension between God’s immanence and transcendence is so important because it is only in that tension that we can understand how truly miraculous the incarnation is. The transcendent God came to earth as a human baby – he experienced intimately what it meant to be human. And through this he knows – really knows – what it means to be a human. More than that he humbled himself and sacrificed himself for us so that we can have a close, intimate relationship with him. 

Memory Verse:
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

Scripture References:

God Actively Holds All Things Together
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

God Entered Creation and Became Man
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:6
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 1:15

God Pursues Relationship with Us
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5
“Who then is one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Prayer Focus:
Adoration: Worship God because he is immanent – that he is closely with us, understands us, and is intimately involved with our lives.
Confession:  Confess the times we have viewed God has cold or distant.
Thanksgiving: Thank God that he knows and understands us and our circumstances thoroughly. Thank Jesus for coming to earth to experience life as a man, and can understand our weaknesses.
Supplication:  Ask God to give us an awareness of his presence, and a desire for a closer relationship with Him.

Discussion Questions:
What does it mean that Jesus “sustains everything with his powerful word”?  Or that “in him all things hold together”?
What other attributes of God are related to his immanence?
In contrast, what attributes of God are related to his transcendence?
What actions of Jesus reveal his immanence? His transcendence?
What does it look like when we neglect to understand or meditate on God’s immanence? In other words, what heresy results from not believing that God is immanence? 

“Should You Make Your Children Go to Church?” [PODCAST RECOMMENDATION]

Sometimes kids don’t want to go to church. Should you force them to? I feel that Dr. Moore did an excellent job of handling this very real, rubber-meets-the-road question. Take a listen!

From Dr. Moore’s Website
Itunes Link

Tala Lelei Island Recap Video [VIDEO]

We had a wonderful time at VBS this past week. Thank you to all our volunteers who worked so tirelessly, and all the kids who made the week so fun!

Young Travelers: CHILLED! Recap Video

Thanks to Joshua Pische’s Freelance Videography for filming and editing this chilly recap video of our 2016 VBS!

Annual Report 2015-2016 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Another great year of God’s faithfulness!

What We’re Singing at Young Travelers: WILD! [PLAYLIST]

Singing songs during the Opening and Closing is personally one of my favorite parts of Young Travelers..

Annual Report 2014-2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]

I’m obsessed with making pretty charts and graphs. Here’s a snapshot of the previous fiscal year:

Children’s Ministry Resources

This past weekend, I had the privilege of teaching at the Church Ministries Conference (hosted by Calvary Baptist Church). I met some great people and was so encouraged by God’s work at churches throughout the state. As a part of my presentations, I referenced several resources we have developed at WPBF, and wanted to make those available to others. To see these resources, please visit: wpbiblefellowship.org/resources. Let me know if you have any questions!

Thanksgiving Break Details

Christmas Program 2014: “Christ the Savior is Born”—A Sneak Peek!

I love this time of year…when I get to jump feet first into thinking about Christmas even though the rest of the world is screaming it’s too early. Yes, I’m already listening to Christmas music and planning to decorate my Christmas tree! But I can’t help it, because…image

5 Things We WIll Miss About Katie…and 5 Things We Will Love about Darwin

The following is an article I wrote for our church newsletter (in mailboxes tomorrow!) and I wanted to post it here as a preview.

After 6 years of dedicated service, Katie Morgan has handed the position of Attic After School Director over to Darwin Buist. Everyone is sad to see…

2013-2014 Annual Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

God has always been faithful to WPBF, but it is especially fun to see tangibly growth in our budget and attendance.

God is Worthy [Young Explorers Recap 4/2]

God is Worthy

God is Good [Young Explorers Recap 3/26]

God is Good: He is kind and loves to bless us.

God is Spirit [Young Explorers Recap 3/19]

God is Spirit: God is a person that we can know, but he is not bound to the material world.

God is Sovereign [Young Explorers Recap 3/12]

God is Sovereign: God is in control of everything.

God is Immanent [Young Explorers Recap 3/5]

God is Immanent: God is closely involved with his creation.

God is Transcendent [Young Explorers Recap 2/26]

God is Transcendent, meaning he is exalted far above the created universe.

Beth Moore’s The Law of Love [Video Trailer]

For our Spring Ladies’ Bible Study, we will be studying Beth Moore’s The Law of Love: Lessons from the Pages of Deuteronomy.

God is Just [Young Explorers Recap, 2/19]

God is Just: He always does what is morally right and fair.

God is Faithful [Young Explorers Recap 2/12]

God is Faithful

God is Infinite [Young Explorers Recap 2/4]

God is Infinite: He has no limits, and his attributes have no limits.

God is Immutable (Young Explorers Recap, 1/29)

Memory Verse: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting
Yours, O Lord is the greatness and the power.

Lesson: God is Immutable

God is Eternal (Young Explorers Recap 1/22)

Memory Verse: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting

Lesson: God is Eternal

A Prayer for Sanctity of Life Sunday

Sunday was “Sanctity of Life Sunday” – a day of observance that coincides with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Churches all across America are taking this occasion to focus and pray for the many victims of a culture that increasingly devalues human life. Our value as humans comes not from our ability or contribution from society, but from our status as image bearers of God.

Warm Fingers & Toes Project [Video]

The Warm Fingers & Toes Project seeks to provide all the kids in our Attic After School, Youth Group, and Young Explorers programs with a special Christmas present.

Preschool Pond Wishes You a Merry Christmas

We have some darling kids at our church… hope this video warms your heart this holiday season!

A Huge (Important) Can of Worms [Young Disciples Recap 9/8]

After a break, I am going to try to get “back in the saddle” with these recaps. At least short ones! smile

Giving Thanks [Young Explorers Recap]

Last Wednesday (July 19th) was our last week of Young Explorers for the Summer. Next week, we will have Vacation Bible School on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings (details http://www.wpbiblefellowship.org/index.php/site/ministries/young_travelers/”>here).

In the Name of the Lord Jesus [Young Explorers Recap]

We had a lot of fun at Young Explorers last night!

We added the first part of Colossians 3:17 (our last verse!) to our memorization: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” I liked talking about this verse to kids because I think that it’s important to remind them that everything they do has significance.

The Greatest Commandment [Young Disciples Recap]

Warm Up
For our warm up on Sunday, we took a print off of Deut. 30:11-20 and used color pencils to circle words or ideas that were repeated throughout the passage. For example we circled all of the phrases that described blessings in one color and all of the curses in another color. We also underlined the three times it speaks of the promised land “that you are entering to possess.” I explained to them that this was Seminary-level Bible study and they should be proud of themselves for being so scholarly. smile

A Bruised Reed

I was especially encouraged by last Sunday’s sermon.

Teaching and Admonishing One Another [Young Explorers Recap]

Last night, we mixed the schedule up a little bit.

Marriage at the Resurrection [Young Disciples Recap]

Bible Verse
Taylor led us in reciting Deuteronomy 30:11-20. We had memorized this a couple months ago, and this was a review. We did pretty good, but for some reason his passage has not stuck in our minds as firmly as some of the others, we are going to review this one a little bit more often in the coming weeks.

Parade Candy Drive 2013

As many of you know, we are collecting candy to distribute at the Grandville’s 4th of July Parade. This year, our parade float will feature Attic After School, and we want to collect as much candy as possible! And, to raise the stakes even higher, this year we are pitting the BFGs against each other in a candy-collecting competition!

Let the Message of Christ Dwell in You Richly [Young Explorers Recap]

Last night at Young Explorers we had 14 kids – which is an awesome number for the summer – especially when you take into consideration that many of our regulars were missing!

Paying Taxes to Caesar [Young Disciples Recap]

Books of the Bible
Nathan led us in the books of the Bible, and he did a great job.

The Apostles Creed
We added a new phrase to the Apostles’ Creed (which we are memorizing): “He is seated at the right hand of the Father.” This is was a fun one for us because…

Peace [Young Explorers Recap]

The first part of Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” The word of the week this evening was “Peace,” which we defined as “When there is harmony, and no fighting.” For the most part, the kids had a good grasp on…

The Parable of the Wedding Feast [Young Disciples Recap]

Memory Project: Apostle’s Creed
This past Sunday we added a new line to the Apostle’s Creed: “He ascended into heaven.” A year or two ago,

The Parable of the Tenants [Young Disciples Recap]

Our Bible lesson on Sunday, May 26, was from Matthew 21:33-46, “The Parable of the Tenants.” In this parable, Jesus talks about a man who owned a vineyard that he rents to tenants. At harvest time, the man sends servants to collect his share of the fruit from the tenants…

Love, Which Binds Them All in Perfect Unity [Young Explorers Recap]

Last night at Young Explorers, we finished our last verse of the semester: Colossians 3:14, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” The virtues that the writer is referring to are the ones we have been learning in the past couple of weeks: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness. We reviewed what each of these mean:

Forgive as the Lord Forgave You [Young Explorers Recap]

e are in the process of memorizing Colossians 3:1-14. Last night we added verse 13: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Forgiveness is one of those things that is much more difficult that it sounds…

The Parable of the Two Sons [Young Disciples Recap]

For our lesson time yesterday, we studied Matthew 21:28-32, “The Parable of the two Sons.” After reading through the passage once, we stopped and reviewed the past couple of weeks of lessons. Ever since Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (the Triumphal Entry), Jesus has been preaching about one particular theme.

Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness & Patience [Young Explorers Recap]

As you may know, we are in the process of memorizing Colossians 3. This evening we learned verse 12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” This is an interesting list because it almost lines up with the list in verse in 8 as opposite sides of the same coins: “..Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language.” It’s not exact, but it can be helpful to recognize two responses that reflect…

The Authority of Jesus Questioned [Young Disciples Recap]

We studied Matthew 21:23-27, when the chief priests and elders questioned Jesus’ authority while his was teaching at the temple.

God Doesn’t Play Favorites [Young Explorers Recap]

This past semester, we have been memorizing Colossians 3. Last night, we made it to verse 11: “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree [Young Disciples Recap]

For our Bible study portion of our Young Disciples class yesterday, we studied Matthew 21:18-22 (“When Jesus Curses a Fig Tree”).  Last week we learned about how Jesus had cleared the temple from the money changers because while the Pharisees honored God with their lips, they were betraying their hypocrisy by allowing God’s house to be used in an unworthy manner. When Jesus cursed the fig tree, he was using it as a picture of Jerusalem – they had the outward appearance of piety, but their hearts were not submitting to God.

Knowing God

I am currently reading The Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer (at the recommendation of Pastor Steve). I feel like this passage smacked me right in the face (in a good way):

Resurrection

This is what Jesus said to his friend Martha—right after she told him that her brother Lazarus was dead, and right before he raised Lazarus from the dead. Praise God that Jesus still raises people from the dead!

Book Review: Undaunted by Christine Caine

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to find a reason NOT to do something? We can be amazingly creative when it comes to finding excuses and providing rationale for why we are not qualified, required, or available to do “X”—even when “X” is what God has called you to do.

Too Much Material [Young Explorers Recap]

This semester in Young Explorers, we are memorizing Colossians 3:1-19. It’s a lot of verses, but anything can be accomplished when we break it into small pieces!

Radiance

Christmas is when the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” came to earth, and dwelt among us.

Christmas Program Videos

Here are the videos featured in the Christmas Program last night—we seriously have the cutest/most talented kids at WPBF!

A Great Light

I love the way the Bible uses “light” as a metaphor.

My Favorite Part about The 4th of July Parade

This past Wednesday, our church walked in the Grandville 4th of July parade (see the pictures here).

One of my favorite parts about the 4th of July parade is . . .

Mourn with those who Mourn

“Rejoice with those rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)

New Names for the Bible Fellowship Groups

This past week, our Bible Fellowship Groups (BFGs) picked new names. Want to see the final results?

Thank You, Young Explorers Volunteers!

The following is part of a letter I sent to the Young Explorers volunteers last week Wednesday, after they had just finished their school year-long commitment to help out in Young Explorers on Wednesday nights. If you know a YE volunteer, please join me in thanking them for their service.

Subscribe to WPBF’s Leadership Blog via RSS

Do you subscribe to blogs using an aggregator such as Google Reader? The Wyoming Park Bible Fellowship Leadership Blog now has an RSS Feed.

It’s that time of year again . . .

The new year usually feels like a fresh start. In that vein . . .

Tough Questions

“In the Bible genealogies, why do they only mention the sons being born? What about the daughters?”
“What did Satan do bad? Didn’t God create everyone to do good?”

The “Get it Done” Committee

It’s easy to talk about getting things done. It’s easy to debate pros and cons. It’s easy to plan “to do” items. It’s even easy to start something. But what’s difficult is to finish something. To get something done. To finish takes courage and dedication, strength and organization. It takes a special person to get something done.

4th of July Parade Update

Just wanted to say a quick word about the 4th of July parade. First, I’d like to thank everyone who…

Young Travelers 2011

Young Travelers 2011 was a huge success! I want to thank all of you who made Young Travelers possible through your faithful prayer and tireless efforts.

We had more kids attend this year’s Young Travelers than we’ve had since 2005: fifty registrations! It was exciting to have that many kids! I think there are lots of reasons why so many kids came out, but here are a few I would like to highlight:

A List of People to Hug this Sunday

Family Night 2011 was a blast. Thanks so much for everyone who was involved. I’m a little hesitant to do this (because I don’t want to miss anyone!), but I wanted to highlight a few unsung heroes who are pretty much awesome, and deserve a little something extra this Sunday.

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing

Moments ago I got that old, familiar feeling: Drowsy, thirsty, trouble focusing…I needed a Diet Mountain Dew. STAT….

Comparing Romans 12 to Jesus

It turns out that scripture memorization is good for the soul. I can’t get over how valuable it has been to memorize the portions of Romans 12 with our Young Explorers. I think I get something new and inspiring out of it every time we recite the verses together.

Yesterday, I was struck with…

Psalm 33 Memorization

The Young Disciples’ class (K-3, Sunday morning) is memorizing Psalm 33, and they’re doing a really great job.

Learning to Glory in My Weakness

It’s ironic, but the times I feel the most despair, the most anxiety, and have the lowest self image are the times…

Something Awesome Happened Last Week

Something awesome happened at WPBF last week. But it was put into motion months ago.

Gratitude, not Guilt

I have been learning something about myself lately. I’m full of pride. Not the “I’m proud of who I am and where I came from” pride. Not the “Sunday School answer” kind of pride. The bad kind. The arrogant kind. The selfish kind.

Young Travelers 2011

It’s hard to believe it, but it finally looks sort of not-winterish outside. No more snow—praise the Lord! I thought that it would never end!

We finally get to start thinking about summer! And with summer comes…

Practicing Heart Attitudes

In Young Disciples, we are studying the Beattitudes. What we have been focusing on is practically applying these “heart attitudes” in our day to day lives. To help the kids do this…

DEUTERONOMY, DUDE!!!

Confession: Despite attending 6+ of AWANA, I have never memorized the Old Testament books of the Bible. I would have to, heaven forbid, use the Table of Contents  to find Nahum, Haggiagiagiiagia (How do you spell that?) or Zephaniah (There’s a Zephaniah in there, right?).

The “Cave of Wonders” Closet

I recently (perhaps “finally” is a better word) cleaned out the “Cave of Wonders” supply closet at church. We call it the Cave of Wonders because honestly, it has EVERYTHING in it. No matter what you need, I"m pretty sure something in the Cave of Wonders can help.

Present Grace Reminds Us of God’s Process

This is the third and last installment in my series about Paul David Tripp’s and Timoth S. Lane’s perspective on the importance of recognizing God’s present grace to us – as outlined in their book “How People Change.”

The authors highlight three kinds of spiritual blindnesses that occur when we neglect to acknowledge the importance of God’s grace: a blindness to our true identiy, a blindness to God’s provision and a blindness to God’s process.

Present Grace is Provision

As I mentioned last week, I am reading How People Change by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp.  The book focuses on what difference Jesus really makes in our everyday life. How does the grace we receive in the present form the way we think and act?

Last week I outlined what the book said about how denying present grace blinds us to our true identity. Today, I would like to reflect on the spiritual blindness to God’s provision.

Present Grace Gives Us Identity

I’ve been reading a new book lately (another one of those New Years Resolutions): “How People Change” by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. The book centers around realizing the “present grace” now ours through faith in Jesus.

How come I keep falling off the wagon?

Every January I start getting embarrassed to go to the gym because I don’t want anyone to think that my return to exercise is a New Year’s Resolution…even if it is. Why does this bother me? Probably because I know what a “New Year’s Resolution” REALLY means.

What do you think of the new Leadership Blog?

Our brand new “Leadership Blog” is really going well. It has been fun to read everyone’s posts and I have found that reading what has been going on in my fellow workers’ heads is even more encouraging than I expected! I hope that you have been enjoying it so far as well.

Dreaming Big

I’ve been doing a lot of dreaming lately about what the next step for our Children’s Ministry would be, and then what the next steps after that would be. How can we maximize our resources? How can we use our facilities more fully? What would be awesome for the kids of Wyoming? How can we get more kids in the building more often? 

Warm Fingers & Toes Project Video

Here’s the video from the Young Explorers Winter 2010 Awards Ceremony and the Warm Fingers & Toes Project. Enjoy!

Warm Fingers & Toes

The Warm Fingers & Toes Project is a way for our church to love the children that attend our Wednesday night program (Young Explorers).

Individuals and families from WPBF “adopt” children from Young Explorers by picking up a gift bag that has a child’s name, age, grade, favorite color, and favorite candy. Then, they fill the bag with warm mittens or gloves, a fun pair of socks, some school supplies, and a movie-theater size box of their favorite candy.

On the last night of Young Explorers before Christmas, we hand out each of the bags that were prepared specifically for each child. It is so fun to see how excited these kids get for their very own Christmas present.

Last Wednesday (December 15) was the third annual Warm Finger & Toes Project Christmas party. We had them sit around the big Christmas tree in the corner of the auditorium this year, and the atmosphere was just perfect. You would be surprised how excited these kids get to receive their Christmas presents—even though they’re just gloves and socks!

One of the boys, I will call him Curtis, tore his package open excitedly to see what type of candy he had gotten. I could tell immediately he was disappointed. Holding up a large package of “Laffy Taffy,” he couldn’t keep the tears from his eyes when he exclaimed…