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[Sarah McGiverin] The Six Essentials for Preaching to Children – If You Must Do Children’s Sermons, Here’s How

Sarah McGiverin originally posted this on her own blog, Jerusalem to Jericho.  We’re thrilled to run it here as well – it’s an outstanding piece on a part of ministry that it’s far too easy to overlook.  For students about to start Field Ed placements, this may be one to bookmark.

A few entries back on my blog, I mentioned that there were certain parameters within which a children’s sermon might operate – and outside of which it might do real harm.  These are the essentials of a grace-infused children’s sermon, from my point of view.  If you want to proclaim the good news to children, whether through a children’s sermon or in other ways, these six points need to be considered.  I would welcome discussion of these points – or your own additional points! – in the comments.

1) Love the children
This sounds obvious, but it gets overlooked too often. This is the starting place. God loves children. As Christians, we are called to love all who God loves, and that includes children. We are not to fetishize them or worship them or relegate them to the front or the back – we are to love them. And to love someone, we must first see them – we must desire to understand them. We must listen. Loving children means paying attention to children. Loving children means devoting time to thinking through how we minister to children. Engaging children ought not be an afterthought, nor ought it be a means towards reeling in their parents (the ones with the money to fix our roof and pay the salaries!) Children are not the future of the church – they are within the body of Christ NOW, and are within God’s providential care as they are NOW – penniless and vulnerable. Read more

[Tripp York] Five questions with Becky Garrison

Recently, Tripp York ran this post on his blog, The Amish Jihadist.  We’re pleased to bring it to you here, for your reading pleasure.  Congratulations to Becky Garrison on her new book, Ancient-Future Disciples: Meeting Jesus in Mission-Shaped Ministries, and without further ado here’s Tripps interview with “Christianity’s most interesting court jester.”

1) Despite Martin Luther’s incredible propensity for being a major a**hole, he was, to his credit, quite funny. In all of Christianity’s rich tradition of theologians, clerics, activists, mystics, saints and, well, a**holes, who do you think is the funniest?

Where does one start? I mean the dichotomy of anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ while hacking infidels to bits can be quite hysterical if one chooses to interpret Church history through a Monty Pythonesque lens. The sight of say Adam, Noah, Isaiah, or King David running around buck nekkid would either make me tingly, giggly or nauseous depending on the earthly visage set before me. Ever notice how the fundy faithful tend to leave out the passages where the men were running about exposing their boy bits, get rip roaring drunk and other moves that are major no-nos within the world of American Christianity? By the way, speaking of sex-obsessed Christians, try to think of anything funnier than watching a bunch of white male Republicans perform a reacharound the Bible and the Constitution during this 2012 election cycle. Read more

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