Leading Your Classroom out of Casual Culture

Leading Your Classroom out of Casual Culture

I was intrigued by a recent Ask Pastor John episode entitled “Leading a Church out of Casual Culture.” Although Pastor John was specifically addressing corporate worship, as a longtime Sunday teacher I have seen “casual culture” creep into many classrooms and children’s ministry as a whole. For example, the emphasis on making sure children have “fun” in our classrooms by providing lots of games, crafts, high-energy activities, etc. Not that those things are necessarily wrong to include, but I wonder if we need to weigh these things in light of something much more pressingsomething inspiring awe, belief, love, and reverence.

Here are a few quotes from Pastor John to consider as you ponder the atmosphere and tone of your children’s classrooms (I have changed his references to preachers and people in the congregation for teachers and children in the classroom):

  • Rivet the [children’s] attention on the Bible, the very words of the Bible. Deal in great realities, and show them those realities from the text. Build trust in the Bible.
  • Seek to create [children] who measure everything by the Bible. Every thought, every emotion, every word, every action, put through the sieve of Bible teaching — and what the Bible really teaches about everything.
  • Make the glory of God and all that he is for us in Jesus the main reality [children] sense over the years, as they hear you [teach] week in and week out: “God is the main reality here. God is big. God is weighty. God is precious. God is satisfying. God is near. Don’t mess with God. God loves us.” I mean, it’s just a massive, weighty vision of God. Make the greatness and beauty and worth of God the dominant reality. 
  • Help your [children] to see this and feel this, that God relates to everything in their lives, all the time, as the main thing. He is the main thing in their lives. He’s the supreme treasure, the main value, the brightest hope, the one they are all willing to live for and die for.
  • Exalt Christ in his majesty and lowliness, in his suffering and resurrection, and in the unimaginable riches of what he purchased for us. Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Every single good that God’s elect receive, from now to eternity, is owing to the blood of Jesus Christ.

Children’s ministry leaders, teachers, and volunteers: Are your classrooms serving to “make the glory of God and all that he is for us in Jesus the main reality children sense” week after week? What would it take to make this happen in increasing measure? Here are two short articles that lay out practical suggestions:


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