As we look ahead to a new year, let's strive to equip our children to live in a fallen world with a strong and sure hope and defense: the gospel of Jesus.
How can parents, teachers, and the church work toward this end in the coming year? Here are a few New Year resolutions to consider:
By God's grace, and through His power, we will...
- Emphasize the absolute, objective, and unchanging truths of Scripture.
- Make a serious commitment to teach children a God-centered view of all of life.
- Develop an intentional plan to present our children with the whole counsel of God.
- Proclaim to our children the whole gospel, in all its scope, depth, power, and beauty.
- Live out the timeless truths of the gospel so that our children see that Jesus is a treasure more precious than anything this world has to offer.
- Inspire truth-filled, Spirit-empowered worship of the King of kings.
- Impress upon them what it means to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Jesus in joyful obedience.
- Model true Christian humility that grieves for the lost, desiring their salvation.
- Remind them of and rejoice in the global mission of God to save people from every tribe and tongue.
- Pray, pray, and then pray more.
- Depend increasingly upon the One who is faithful.
To help fulfill these resolutions, here are several resources designed to inspire and equip parents for regular patterns of discipleship:
At its core, family devotions simply involve setting aside a designated time in family life in which to be devoted to God together. Along with reading, interacting with, and instruction from the Scriptures, families often include a time of prayer, a response of worship (singing), and personal application. You may also end by saying a blessing over your child.
- Find a family devotional resource that's best for your family with this simple tool
- Fathers, begin a habit of blessing your children with the Father's Blessing resources
Every believer is called to fight a spiritual battle with the sword of the Spirit. The Fighter Verses arm Christians with the memorized Word, with passages focusing on God’s promises, killing sin, and the power of the gospel to arm Christians to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).
- Get the Fighter Verses Guide to Scripture Memory, when you sign up for the Fighter Verses email (which includes each week’s passage, devotional, and help for memorizing).
- Find resources for Set 4 Fighter Verses (journal, songs, and more).
- Get the Fighter Verses app.
Help the children and youth in your home and church come to know and love God’s Word and, more importantly, the God who reveals Himself through His Word. Resources in the Growing in the Word Collection are designed to help you teach children and youth about the Bible, its message, and use; how to read the Bible (including a reading plan); how to memorize Scripture and use it to guide your prayers; as well as age-appropriate training toward biblical literacy; and inductive Bible study tools to help children and youth learn to read, observe, interpret, and apply the Bible to their everyday lives.
The following booklets are included in the Growing in the Word Collection:
- Meeting God in His Word: A Guide to Bible Reading and Prayer for Children
- From Childhood You Have Known: Guiding Children to Understand and Treasure the Bible
- The Inductive Bible Study Handbook: Learn to Read, Observe, Interpret, and Apply the Bible
Saving faith for any child “is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one [no parent, no pastor, no grandparent, no Sunday school teacher] may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). God’s unstoppable purposes for our children and our inescapable responsibility to raise them in the faith come together in prayer.
- Lead children in prayer with Utter Dependency on God, Through Prayer. This booklet is designed to inspire and guide those who lead children in prayer -- at home and in the classroom.
- Pray boldly with Big, Bold, Biblical Prayers for the Next Generation. This booklet provides a vision for how and why we need to pray big, bold, biblical prayers, and 17 example prayers for the next generation along with relevant Scripture passages to spark your prayers.
- Get a free digital download of Big, Bold, Biblical Prayers for the Next Generation, when you sign up for the prayer partners enewsletter.
- Pray Scripture with Praying for the Next Generation. This booklet offers a practical method for using Scripture to pray for the children in your life and to leave a spiritual inheritance to the next generation.
- Download the guide below to daily prayers for the joy of the next generation (excerpted from Praying for the Next Generation):