CHICAGO, IL (May 7, 2015)—Make and Deepen Disciples recently unveiled a new series of resources for developing the spiritual lives of children.
The four GROW Kids resources discuss ways to engage children in the Bible, prayer, communion, and worship. The half-page handouts also include lots of practical ideas for how to do that, even with kids of different ages.
“There’s a couple of different uses for them,” said Steve Burger, director of children, family, and intergenerational ministry. The ideas in the curricula are designed for parents, guardians, or other mentors to learn new ways to engage the daily spiritual lives of children. They can also be used in children’s ministry settings.
In developing these resources, it was important to Burger to create space for the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of children and in parents.
“I think all of these are designed recognizing that God is ready to do his transforming work in every relationship, especially among children and parents, and that we learn from each other,” he said.
GROW, which stands for God’s Word, Relationships, Outward Action, and Worship, is a discipleship concept developed fifteen years ago by Covenant leaders, Burger said. This new series applies the ideas in a kid-friendly context.
Although Burger wrote the content, he says it was inspired by needs expressed by children’s and family ministry leaders. “We don’t want to develop something that nobody has a need for,” he said. He also said he solicited feedback from people involved in children’s ministry in different capacities.
One way Burger has seen these resources work well is when churches make space for parents and children to practice the ideas on Sundays, such as in the worship service or in children’s ministry. He recognizes that some of the ideas can seem difficult to put into practice, but “when you actually get to do it with others, and someone’s leading you through it, it seems simpler.”
Though the resources have only been available for a couple of weeks, Burger said he’s already heard positive feedback. People have also mentioned that they can’t wait to see what the next ones will be, but while Burger anticipates developing more in the future, he doesn’t yet have any topics in mind.
“I can’t tell you what’s coming next!” Burger said. “I haven’t had enough conversations with people to know what the next ones will be.”
It seems likely that whatever the topic, any future resources will have the same goals of discipling children and providing spaces where family members can grow and learn from each other.
“We try to create these things in such a way that we can all be open to the Spirit,” Burger said.