coming soon3

Here’s what’s in the works:

  • How to do a word study
  • Scripture Memory Sheets with Check-off Chart
  • My personal comprehensive (so far) Precept marking guide
  • FREE worksheets for “big church”
  • Classroom tips for 1st through 3rd graders
  • “Training” videos
  • Downloadable studies
  • Studies with videos

When’s the Big Reveal?

I had high hopes to relaunch the new–very improved–blog on or about June 1. But whoa buddy, this is a process! I’m on my second new theme (the overall design of the blog, which has to be configured so it’s just the way you want it), editing past content, creating new images to go with it for a better overall design, working with a graphic designer on a logo and some other goodies, and my head is spinning trying to learn all about email lists, podcasting, on and on. It’s very exciting, but it can get to be a lot. And for an ideas person like me, the challenge is to pump the brakes and focus on one thing at a time.

Add to that, I am being a grown-up and making sure the new blog has good security and backup. The security thing became a bigger issue than my husband (i.e., in-house tech support) imagined, and the whole darn thing has to be migrated to an updated server. Or something. I don’t really know the details, and it makes my eyes roll back in my head. But it could take three weeks to complete. That’s okay, though, because I need the time to get everything in order. I mean, take a look at my Task List:

Blog Overhaul

(Yes, this image has the new URL, but it’s not ready for primetime. So if you can’t stand it, and you have to go look, just be aware you’re looking at the embryonic blog!)

Since I told you I was shooting for June 1’ish, I just wanted to keep you in the loop. But I’ll let you in on a surprise. One of the things I’m working on is having two really great freebies for people who sign up to be on my email list. Since you’re already on it, you’ll be getting those, too!

There’s a lot you’re going to love about what’s in the works, so thanks for your patience.

More soon! Have a great summer!

Should I Take My Kids to VBS?

Ah, summer. That magical time where we imagine that Pinterest is reality. But… we’re tired, the kids aren’t as angelic as their grandmothers would like to believe, and our great ideas take their place in the graveyard of good intentions.

VBS VC

There’s a lot to be said for scheduling wholesome activities for the kids. There really is. And for the last month, you’ve been seeing signs everywhere for Vacation Bible School. You could easily sign your kids up for enough VBS weeks to fill the first two months of summer (and a lot of parents do). So, is VBS a good idea?

It comes down to three simple things:

  • What is your purpose in sending them to VBS?

  • What is the church’s statement of faith?

  • And what is the curriculum they’re using?

 

  1. What is your purpose in sending them to VBS?

If your purpose is to give them something fun to do in a safe environment with lots of other kids, then VBS will do that. You can pretty much count on crafts, games, snacks, and a Bible story at any VBS.

If your purpose is to expose them to Bible basics, you’re pretty safe there, too. After all, the “B” in VBS stands for Bible. If your child doesn’t know the “Hall of Fame” Bible stories, they’ll learn something. Or they’ll hear it again, which is great because kids learn by repetition. Lots of repetition.

If your purpose is for your child to invite an unchurched friend to a church event, I say keep on keepin’ on. Most people, whether they attend church or not, see VBS as kid-friendly fun. For some kids, this may be the only exposure they have to Bible stories, the Gospel, and Christians. So, if that’s your purpose, fill the car up!

VBS VC2

BUT, if your purpose is to give your child a full Bible education, or to get ‘em saved, you need to rethink that. One week just isn’t enough to steep your child in biblical truth or for him to learn all the stories, or to grasp the big story.

And if you are concerned about salvation, VBS is generally a great place for kids to hear the Gospel, but—hear me on this—it’s not the job of the VBS volunteers to make sure your child is saved. The Gospel presentation at VBS should not be the first time your child has heard it. A lot of children make decisions at VBS, but those are usually real when there’s a ramp-up to it. When the parents and the child have been having spiritual conversations at home and covering a lot of great questions, it’s not unusual for the child to make the decision somewhere other than home. But the parents have assurance in knowing that they laid the groundwork so the child knows what the decision really is.

 

  1. What is the church’s statement of faith (if it’s not your church)?

Before you even consider taking your child to a church you don’t attend, it’s critical that you get on that church’s website and read their statement of faith. Just because you know people who go there or have a good impression of the denomination is not enough. Hey, even within your own denomination, there can be differences from church to church. It’s your responsibility to know what is going to be presented to your child as truth. They’re kids. They don’t have discernment yet. You’re their discernment.

If you have questions about the church’s beliefs or how they teach them, ask.

 

  1. And what is the curriculum they’re using?

If you feel comfortable with the church’s statement of faith, check out the curriculum. Even though the church chooses it based on their statement of faith (which you have dutifully checked out), the curriculum will shape your child’s experience all week. What is the theme? What stories will be shared? Is it activity-heavy or story-heavy? Is there drama or music? Vet the curriculum, and if you feel good about it, see what it offers that your child will be excited about.

Another great reason to know what the curriculum is? You’ll be ready to have follow-up conversations. Which you absolutely should. Don’t let VBS be something you drop your child off to do, and that’s the end of it. What a great opportunity to talk about God with your child, or what Bible story they heard that day, or what they notice about the Christian volunteers! Don’t miss it.

 

Big picture. Above all, keep in mind that VBS (like Sunday School, private Christian school, or extracurriculars) is not the primary source of your child’s spiritual growth. Your home is. VBS can be great when done well, but it will never be a substitute for the day-in and day-out discipleship you do with your kids in your own home. Never. VBS can be a great “elective” in the summer, and it can be a great talking point for you and your child. Just be sure you’re keeping it in its proper place as you think through whether to do it this summer.

Good luck! I hope you find a VBS that is enriching, meaningful, and a ton of fun!

The Exciting Reason I’ve Been Quiet

You may have noticed that you haven’t heard much from Young Bible Scholars in a while, and I can’t wait to tell you why. Several factors converged a few months ago, and it became very clear that it was time for me to go “next level” with this blog. As a result, I have been working hard on a major–I mean, major–overhaul. I am so excited about what I have ahead for us, I wish I could cross my arms and blink a la “I Dream of Jeannie” and take us there right now. However, to do the things I have planned requires a lot of time, research, learning new skills, and set up. It’s all I think about, but it sure takes time. And patience. Darn that patience part!

under-construction

I don’t want to give too much away, but you can look forward to a complete makeover. I’m talking new name, new URL, new look, and new features that I think will be a ton of fun and meet some very real needs you guys have.

My hope is to launch June 1, but it’s not all in my hands so I’ll have to see if we’re ready by then. If you think of me, pray that I would not let my enthusiasm cloud my ability to hear clearly from the Lord about what He wants from me. I’m willing to run an obstacle course, but I’d way rather it be the one He designed!

If there’s anything you’d like to see in the new blog-plus, by all means lay it on me. You can reply here, or email me at jennbussey@gmail.com .

Free Family Time Activities: Christian Living

I’m grouping some Family Time activities that relate to Christian living. These would be good to do in a series as a way of talking to your kids about what it means to live out their faith. What arefamily Bible study the disciplines of our faith, and why are they important? These activities create a fun, interactive atmosphere to start having these conversations. As you “walk along the way,” I would encourage you to look for opportunities to refer back to these lessons in everyday life. That way, kids connect Christian living with their real lives beyond Family Time evenings or church.

 

  • The prayer activity covers the four ways God answers our prayers. The object lessons are great, but heads up, they require some advance planning.

Family Time Activity: Answers to Prayer

 

  • The schedule activity is about making Jesus a priority in our lives and not letting other things crowd Him out or make it difficult to follow Him. This one has an obstacle course, and what kid doesn’t love an obstacle course?

Family Time Activity: Don’t Schedule Jesus Out

 

  • A cool card trick teaches that God loves everyone, sinners and believers alike. This is an important lesson as kids begin to learn who God is, and what His nature is.

Family Time Activity: God Loves Everyone

 

  • Praise and worship should be an attitude we take with us throughout the day. In this activity, children learn that worship is so important, and God is so worthy of it, that even the rocks will cry out in worship.

Family Time Activity: Rocks Cry Out

 

  • Children are definitely not too young to start learning the importance of evangelism. In fact, they have friends that they are uniquely positioned to reach, even better than a grown-up can. This activity is all about sharing with friends.

Family Time Activity: Share Faith with Friends

 

  • The last activity is focused on maturity by teaching your child about remembering and honoring his or her personal history with Jesus. Remembering times when we felt closest to Him keeps us running after Him.

Family Time Activity: Signs

Free Family Time Activities: Palm Sunday, Passover, and Easter

Easter is coming early this year, so if you haven’t dusted off the Resurrection Eggs, pulled out your Easter storybooks, or gotten any of your other family Easter traditions in order, it’s time!

Here are a couple of Family Time activities you can incorporate into your family’s celebration of the Easter season. They really help kids get into the spirit of the history of Easter, they may want family Bible studyto do them every year. The Palm Sunday activity is a way of play-acting the events of Palm Sunday, and since you make your palms (and possibly, a donkey), the kids can play it over and over in the days leading up to Palm Sunday.

The Passover activity is an abbreviated seder meal, complete with comments on Christ’s fulfillment. Hosting a Christian seder is a popular way to see God’s big picture, and a lot of families have taken to doing this yearly. Family Time gives you a shorter version that children in a range of ages will enjoy and learn from.

Download and print these off today, gather the items you need, and look forward to a fun and meaningful time with your kiddos.

Happy Easter! He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Family Time Activity: Palm Sunday, Easter

Family Time Activity: Passover and Easter

What We’ve Learned about God’s Word in Revelation so Far (You May Be Surprised!)

As you may know, I teach Inductive Bible Study to 4th-6th graders. What is unique about my class is that I have parents not only help the kids with their homework, but also attend class. It makes for a great “vibe” in the class because the kids see the value of Bible study in the example of their parents, it makes the class feel more grown-up, and we often get deeper, richer discussions. Everybody wins.

Kids Bible Study Revelation

Right now, my class is studying Revelation. I’ve been Continue reading