The “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend. We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.
ON BELAY, LESSON 1: Jesus saves and no one can take you from Him
To live a truly eternal life, eternal both in quality (in God’s eternal presence and with His eternal purpose) and in duration (we will never perish), we must understand and place our confidence in God’s assurances to us. An assurance is God’s pledge, His guarantee for His children born of the Spirit through Christ. While there are experiential or subjective ways for us to get a clue as to our salvation and place in God’s family, our love for the church and the things of God (1 John 2:15, 3:14), and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) among them, it is only God’s “testimony,” His solemn declaration through His Word, that stands as our objective proof of the assurance we have that, when we have believed and received His gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus, we are secure in his hands.
Why is it so important to know we are firmly held in the Father’s hands? From our childhood most of us can remember hearing these words, “Come on, Daddy’s got you.” If you are like me you probably associate those words with an experience like standing on the edge of a swimming pool that seemed like a bottomless sea or sitting at the top of a slide that seemed like Mount Everest. As we looked down at those outstretched arms we did some very quick calculations. What has my experience been with this person up to now? Can I trust him? If our father was a trustworthy and loving father who had shown himself to have powerful arms (at least compared to ourselves) capable of catching us, we most likely took a deep breath and jumped. Experience shows us that over time our confidence level in this person grows and makes each subsequent jump easier until finally we are flinging ourselves, carefree into his arms. When Jesus says of the Father, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand,” He is saying, “This is my Father and, through me, your Father as well and He won’t let you fall. Jump. Daddy’s got you.” All of our other assurances in God are built upon this cornerstone. Confidence in God’s faithfulness begins here.
No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. -John 10:29b
MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
1 John 5:11-12
Psalm 18:2, 62:2,6-7
As we begin the new school year and look at our schedules and our priorities, I would like to propose a challenge for you to consider.
Foreign language training, math tutors, sport specific training, piano lessons, science camp… sound like the line-up for a sophomore in college? It’s actually a small sampling of the academic and sporting pursuits common amongst elementary school age children here in Northern Virginia. So many of the experts say it: “children have an amazing capability to learn at a very early age.” Very few of us would disagree.
Why is it, then, that so many parents are satisfied if their children can do little more than recite some basic facts about Noah and the flood, the birth of Jesus Christ, or the account of Daniel in the lion’s den – but can tell us nothing of what we learn about our God or our relationship to him through these accounts? Why are not more parents alarmed that many of our children can’t explain, in simple terms, the gospel of salvation beyond repeating back the lingo they’ve grown up hearing? Ask a child what they mean by “having Jesus in your heart” and you may be shocked by their response (or lack thereof.)
During my years in ministry I have had my eyes opened to an astonishing fact: children have an amazing capacity to learn the deeper things of God, to serve Him, and to have a vibrant spiritual life. In many ways, they are better equipped to bear fruit (Matthew 18:2-4) than we adults are. They are far less inhibited by personal baggage, held back by self-consciousness, or plagued with doubt than the average adult. The Holy Spirit is not age-limited in His work. Sadly, many Christian adults do not expect as much from their children in the spiritual arena as they do in the academic or athletic. Let this not be said about us at Reston Bible Church. Raise the bar! Help your child, no matter how young, begin to learn the basic doctrines of the faith. Help them live out their faith by taking them along while you live out yours. Serve with them, share your faith with them. “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 11:19)
As new things begin to happen in Children’s Ministry at RBC, it will be helpful for parents and volunteers alike to have a context within which to place them. With that in mind, I would like to invite you, whether you are parent of young children or not, to take a moment and look over the Vision, Mission, and Guiding Lights of Children’s Ministry at RBC. Click here to download a PDF of our ministry vision, mission and guiding lights statement.
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10). May God forbid these words be uttered about our legacy.
Raise the bar. Leave a legacy that will last.
Radically trusting in the promises of God.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)
RBC Kids Camp is a week-long day camp open to all children between the ages of 4 and sixth grade and takes place the last week of June.
Through quality Bible teaching, art, drama, music, and a ton of awesome games, Kids Camp (formerly VBS) is a unique opportunity for children to begin or grow-in their relationship with Jesus and to learn to share their hope and joy with others.
This year we hosted more than 500 children and 200 volunteers for our 2013 edition of Kids Camp called, “The Rock.” Against the backdrop of a rock climbing adventure, the children learned that when we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God guarantees certain things to us. These “promises” are things we can trust in completely. As we put our weight on these promises we see that God is faithful and we will grow in our faith. With each passing day we grow to trust Him more and more.
We are very thankful to the parents and volunteers for their commitment to making this event a success and to raising a generation that knows the goodness of our God.
With less than two weeks to go, preparations for Kids Camp 2013, The R.O.C.K., are coming along great. We are quickly filling up and we have only a few days left for registration. So, here are my two messages for you and your children and any friends they’d like to invite.
1. Registration for Kids Camp 2013 closes this Monday (June 17) at 9 AM so please if you haven’t registered yet or if your child has friends they’d like to invite, please register ASAP at https://www.restonbible.org/kidscamp (If money is tight, you may apply for scholarship by emailing me.)
2. We need more VOLUNTEERS! We need at least 80 more volunteers in order to handle the 500+ children who will be in attendance at Kids Camp this year. Men, take your mornings off that week to come lead a group of young people. Women, get to know the other moms of the church in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. We need small group leaders, photographers, welcome team, break-down team, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity. Register now at https://www.restonbible.org/kidscamp and click on “Click here to Volunteer”.
Baby Quest, the nursery program at Reston Bible Church, has traditionally run as a parent co-op. We are changing that to an all volunteer system to better serve our kids and parents. This video explains why.
You can get more information and fill out a volunteer form at www.restonbible.org/nursery
In early October, a team of five from the RBC went to Brazil to partner with Mike Meyers, RBC Children’s Ministry Associate and founder of Open Arms, in an event called Voz e Vida. Voz e Vida, Juntos Pelas Crianças (Voice & Life, Together for the Children) is an annual benefit concert held in Assis, Sao Paulo, the base city for Open Arms in Brazil. This gospel music event seeks to cross over denominational lines and bring together Christians to reach every child with the gospel of Jesus Christ through the work of Open Arms. The event also has gospel proclamation component both within the concert itself as well as throughout the promotion phase leading up the concert during radio, television and newspaper interviews. From Mike & Patricia Meyers:
Whenever we engage in short term missions, the question arises about what kind of impact was made and whether or not it was worthwhile. Let me answer that question here. In the space of two weeks, we were able to share with the city of Assis, Brazil about the work that Open Arms has done and is doing among the children of this city and throughout the region in the name of Jesus, via radio (nearly a dozen interviews, four of them with the guys from the band), television (2 stations), newspapers (3 papers published 6 quarter page stories), the schools (2 grade schools, 1 technical school and one university) and all culminating in a concert before a very enthusiastic crowd.
This massive exposure was in large part due to the participation of five very humble servants of Christ from Reston Bible Church. Erik & Elisa Palmer, Jesse Trask, Brian St. Andre and Carter Keeton took Assis by storm and left here with a city full of new friends, and fans. Besides their busy promotion schedule during their week in Assis, they came prepared to work with our kids at their schools and in a Children’s Day party which was to be held on October 12th. The party got rained out but the team still was able to minister to 600+ children in two of the public schools we are partnered with.
The gospel was preached in word by our team and in deed by the RBC Five. Their example of joyful, sacrificial service, not to mention the music which was an immediate hit, has opened doors for the ministry more than we could have imagined. Since they left, our staff and I have been running non-stop responding to new donors, volunteers and business leaders who want to get involved in what God is doing among the children here.
On behalf of the staff, volunteers and children of Open Arms in Brazil, we have only thanks to give. Thanks to God for bringing this event together, thanks to Reston Bible Church for standing by this ministry and sending your very best to us, and thanks to the team for encouraging our staff here with their music, their laughs, and their example.
Mike & Patricia Meyers
Five days, over 500 children, 200+ volunteers, 2500 snacks served, tons of fun, more than 4,000 combined volunteer hours and, best of all, God showed up! Can it get any better than that? If you have never participated in an RBC Kids Camp (formerly VBS) then you are missing a unique experience in the life of this church. Kids Camp has always been a time for the children of the church to grow in their faith, but with 180+ visitors at this summer’s event, this has become one of RBC’s largest evangelistic outreaches as well. This year the children at Kids Camp were learning to “fly” at the Amazing Wonders Aviation flight school. They learned that in order to “soar on wings like eagles” they must be fueled by the power of God and that His power extends over nature, our circumstances, our sin, and our lives. Our desire is to see them make a smooth take-off and a God glorifying flight.
We were blessed to see so many sweet stories unfold throughout the week. Let me share just two of them with you. First time Kids Camp volunteer Curt McGowan decided to take off a week of mornings from his full-time job to be a small group leader. In no time he and his group of cadets were a tight squadron. Seeing them all march in with the very cool aviator shades that Curt had picked up for them was priceless. His enthusiasm grew throughout the week and by the end he was talking about plans to tell other men of the church how they can join him next year and share in the blessings.
This year we were privileged to host a large number of children from Guilford elementary school at Kids Camp. Thanks to the hard work of Barb Ruffner and her team, these special visitors were treated to a delicious lunch each day following camp. By day two this had turned into a banquet for the students, their parents, siblings and grandparents in some cases! Each family received a Bible as well as a personal invitation from Children & Family ministry Director Jason Goetz to return and visit Quest at our weekend services. Imagine our excitement when several of these families showed up Sunday morning.
Jesus said, “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” At Kids Camp 2012 the body of Christ at Reston Bible Church welcomed the presence of Jesus in a big way!