Monday, January 20, 2020

Encouraging Kids for the “Sunday-Sermon-Feast”
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

I love being a dad. Being a dad is at the same time gloriously rewarding and wonderfully difficult. Thanks be to God for His Word and for His Truth and for His Church. As a dad, I want to shepherd my children by prioritizing the local church. So I want them to know just how important it is to worship God corporately, to gather with His people, to hear the Word preached, to glory in our Risen redeemer! Here are a few ways that I’ve thought about encouraging children for the “Sunday-Sermon-Feast.” How do you help your kids prepare? What are some short, simple ways to help them prepare for it?

Here are 4 simple, memorable headings:

1.  GET READY!  (prepare)
Encourage your children to get ready for worship ahead of time. Put the children to bed on Saturday night and cheerfully remind them that the best day of the week is coming when we gather with God’s people to worship our sweet Savior! Then, when the Lord’s Day morning arrives, remind them of the high privilege to enter into the King’s presence to worship Him! So help your children prepare! Give them a view of God’s bigness. Show them His glory. Gather the kids and pray for the preacher, intercede for the Spirit’s power, ask for the lost to be converted, petition God for the believers to be fed and equipped. Help your kids Get Ready! Just as a parent would get ready and prepare for a sports tournament how much more must we prepare to meet the Lord and worship the King of the universe!

2.  GET IN!  (sit and focus; listen)
Remind the children that when we gather to worship God, it is an awesome privilege to be in God’s holy and wonderful presence. It is wonderful but it’s also fearful. Encourage the kids that God is high and exalted while at the same time He is near and intimate. Tell the kids that the preaching is for them -- not just for the older folks. Exhort the kids to sit still, to listen well, to listen for a key word(s), to try to get the main points in the sermon outline. Just as the kids sit still and focus during their favorite movie, so remind them that the worship of God far exceeds a movie and that we can -- and must -- get in the Word, internalize it, focus upon it, fight distractions, and listen to God speak to our souls through the preaching of His Word.

3.  GO OVER!  (review, pray thru it)
After a child receives a Christmas gift, what does he do the next morning? He plays with that toy again, and then the next day. And the next! How much more must we go back to God’s Word and reflect on the greatness of His Truth -- again and again. You took your children to corporate worship, Excellent! Now, shepherd your children by going over the message with them (on the drive home). Then, if they are of age, encourage them to gather their sermon notes (or a few words they scribbled down) and review and reflect and go over the message again. Teach your children to pray through the sermon and re-preach it to their souls! Let not a sermon be lost by failing to go over the truth that was heralded. Let us hear and heed and receive and feed upon it all week long!

4.  GAZE UP!  (look to Christ)
In all your hearing and in all your applying and in all your doings, remember to gaze up to Jesus Christ! Remind yourself as you teach your children that Jesus is the sum of all things and He is the great Savior to all who come to Him in repentance and faith! In affliction, in hardship, in conviction of sin, in the discipline room, in the call for repentance and trust in Christ, in Christ’s demand for holiness among His people, remind the kids to look upward to Jesus Christ!  This is necessary not only initially in conversion but every single day of the Christian’s life! Gaze upward to Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Practical ways to evangelize:
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Here are some very pastoral and practical tips for you to consider as you proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are just some suggestions and practical ways that you can begin and engage in conversations with the lost. Some are common, some are specific, some are creative, some may need to be adapted to your particular context. But whatever the case may be, speak of His excellencies and go "fishing for men"!

  1. Open your mouth to someone tell them what God has done for your soul (Ps 66.16)
  2. Give someone a gospel tract and say: this changed my life, may I share this with you?
  3. Have family worship every day in your home. Open your Bible, read a portion (a chapter, section) and then discuss it. Sing a hymn that extols God and His gospel. Then pray together and reflect on the gospel as a family. In doing this, the powerful Word and the glorious gospel will be regularly brought before each person in the household (parents, spouses, kids). Engage in family worship even when visitors are over, when extended family is in town, when unsaved neighbors drop by, when church members visit. Continue the routine as a family every day and you’ll be blessed by how much gospel proclamation goes on by the reading, discussing, praying and singing of God’s Truth!
  4. Approach your neighbors that just moved into the neighborhood with a plate of cookies and a gospel tract and welcome them to the neighborhood, offer to serve them in any way, and encourage them to read the tract.
  5. Parents must faithfully teach and discipline the children when they disobey. When a child disobeys, the parent must lovingly take the child to the room in private to discipline the child. The parent must probe the heart with questions that search/reveal the motive as to why the child did what he/she did. Then the parent must open the Bible and show the child how the action was sin (against God; not just against dad/mom). Then the parent must discipline with the rod (for small, young children). Then, the parent must swoop the child in his arms and affirm his great love for the child, God’s great holiness, and Christ’s provision at Calvary so that the child doesn’t need to perish forevermore. Every discipline with a child is a gospel-proclaiming opportunity! Be faithful! Use it! Speak truth! Proclaim Christ daily to your children!
  6. Write a personal letter to a friend, co-worker, or family member and present the gospel simply, clearly and with specific application and exhortation to repent/turn from sin and believe in the Gospel. Invite their response for further discussion and follow up.
  7. Write a general gospel letter and share the good news of Jesus Christ with friends because you care about them and their soul, indeed, their eternal well-being.  Then, go door to door in your neighborhood and put the letter on their front door or knock and hand it to them personally.
  8. Go to a local Jr high, High school or college and hand out gospel tracts to students on the public sidewalk as they are going to/from class.
  9. Drive to a busy parking lot (Wal-mart, mall, grocery store, fitness center, strip-mall, downtown area) and put gospel tracts on car windows just above the driver’s car-door handle.  Don’t put the tract under the windshield wiper but rather put it by the door handle so people are sure to see it and can easily grab it and read it.
  10. When you purchase something (anything!) and people give you a receipt (at McDonalds, Starbucks, a grocery store, etc.), say “Thank you very much” and offer to give them a “thank you tract” — as a way of saying thank you to them.
  11. When you go to a restaurant and eat out, when the server comes to take your drink orders, ask the server for his/her name and then offer to pray for them and ask for one specific way that you can pray for them (you’ll be amazed and surprised at how friendly and amazed people are by this simple request). Then, when you pray for your meal, of course, pray for your server as they requested and for the person to have an open heart when they receive a gospel tract at the end. Then, when you pay your bill, tip them generously and leave a gospel tract there with a hand-written “thank you” on the receipt as a personalized way of showing gratitude to your server.
  12. At the local gas station, while you are filling up your car, put a gospel tract in the credit card slot at the pump for the next person to come and find the good news of Jesus Christ waiting for them. And, if there is someone on the other side of the pump, you could say: “Did you receive one of these yet today?”  (They’ll almost always say “no” — and then you can give them the best news they could ever hear!). 
  13. Get a piece of thick chalk and go to a few public sidewalks near your house, near a local school and clearly write out in big letters a verse of the Bible that is gospel-laden (e.g., John 3.16; 2 Cor 5.21; John 3.3; Luke 19:10; John 3.36; Isa 45.22; Rom 3.18, et al). 
  14. A man of God can grab His Bible, open it, read it, and preach in the open air the saving message of Jesus Christ so that all who pass by hear the gospel loudly heralded. 
  15. Go to a local abortion clinic and open your mouth for those who have no voice. Speak forth the gospel of Jesus Christ by pleading with the dads and moms to not murder their children because God hates the hands that shed innocent blood. Warn of coming judgment & call out for life, proclaim Jesus Christ, the Prince of Life, and admonish them to forsake their selfish, murderous ways and fly to Jesus Christ for eternal life & peace! You can do this almost any day of the week!
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