Discovery Land Blog

Devote Yourselves to Prayer

Jessi Borchardt - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

 

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful, and pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. (Colossians 4: 2-3) Paul’s message to the Colossians is pretty clear. They are to be devoted to prayer and we are to follow this call as well. James 5:16 tells us “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. “

It seems clear that we are to pray and that our prayers are powerful, but it isn’t always easy to follow these exhortations or know how to use them in the lives of the children we teach each week. Here are a few suggestions for living it out:

First, pray for the children as a whole who come to your classes:
  • Thank God each day for the children in your care (1 Thessalonians 5)
  • Ask God to open the eyes of their heart and fill them with wisdom ( Ephesians 1)
  • Ask God to give them an understanding of the love He has for them (john 3:16)
Pray for the children you know personally. Take home your class rosters and pray over each child by name:
  • Ask God to help them to believe in the gift of His son for Salvation. (Ephesians 2)
  • Ask God to show them that they were chosen by Him to bear fruit (John 15)
  • Ask God to help them stand firm in their faith ( 1 Corinthians 15)
  • Ask God to teach them and equip them to go out into their worlds and share the gospel (Matthew 28)
  • Ask God to help them grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18)
Pray for the children in your community, your state, your country and throughout the world to be reached by the gospel:
  • Pray that God would expand the reach of your classroom.
  • Pray that parents would bring the children on a regular basis
  • Pray that parents would partner with you by reinforcing Biblical lessons at home.
  • Ask God to sustain your ministry, your ministry workers, your leaders, and grow His kingdom on earth until every ear hears and every heart believes in Jesus.
What we do every Sunday morning is important, but what we can do every morning on our knees in prayer, partnering with our Great God to reach the children of this world for Christ is the most important endeavor we can ever take on. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 15:16b NASB)

Let us accomplish much together!

SUMMER TRAINING: GAME ON!

Jessi Borchardt - Tuesday, May 31, 2016
By: Amanda Alberts

As children’s ministry leaders, what is the number one resource God has provided? It’s not the curriculum or the supplies. It's the volunteers! Our Teachers, Discover Time leaders, Shepherds, One2One leaders, welcome team and cafe volunteers are critically important. It would be nearly impossible to run Sunday morning without the men, women and students who give their time and talents to Bring the Bible to Life.

One big way to invest in your volunteers is through training and equipping them. We kick off each new ministry season (summer/school year) with a very focused and intentional volunteer training session. Here are some of the ways we made the most of our most recent round of training.


1. Make it welcoming.





2. Keep it looking professional.



3. Mix it up! Change up the usual rows of chairs and speaker-style training and instead set up opportunities for conversation and fellowship-style learning.
  • Arrange tables and chairs in a welcoming, relaxed manner
  • Assign a personal trainer to each table to direct conversation
  • Place training materials at each table for trainers
  • Offer a meal or snacks
  • Play a fun icebreaker game
  • Main speaker keeps schedule and directs training
  • Leave time for short question and answer at tables

4. After group training, allow time for individual teams to meet and also provide a break out session for each specific position (teacher, shepherd, welcome team, ect.)


5. Give specific examples of study material and visual aids.




6. Send them home with a challenge to memorize the DL Top 12! Have a fun way to display the names or faces of those who participate.


7. Invest in in your volunteers, share the vision and equip them to in turn invest in our Discovery Land kids! They take their time to come to training, let’s be sure to take our time to make it a fun, interactive and effective time together!

Paper Bible

Jessi Borchardt - Wednesday, May 18, 2016
At Appleton Alliance Church, we recently had the privilege of hosting Pastor Job, the pastor of our sister church in Burkina Faso. As he watched our Sunday morning children's ministry in action, he was surprised that the kids were using paper Bibles. The perception in Burkina Faso is that Americans, even children, don't ​read​ paper books; they only use ​digital ​devices such as a phone or tablet. It gave us the opportunity to explain why we, a megachurch in a fairly affluent community, ​currently ​encourage our kids to own and bring a paper Bible:

Access - Not all kids have access to a​ digital​ device. Some kids have no choice but to use a paper Bible. And even those kids who have devices will often get them taken away as punishment. A paper Bible will likely never get taken away! As we encourage kids to read their Bibles at home, we want all kids to have access to God's Word at all times and know how to navigate through it.

Unity - Having all kids use a paper Bible creates a sense of unity among the kids. There is no dividing line between the "haves" and the "have nots," or comparisons of whose device is the newest or coolest.

Understanding - We want our kids to really understand that the Bible is one big book made up of smaller books and arranged by book, chapter, and verse. This is much easier for them to understand when they interact with an actual paper Bible versus a ​digital​ Bible.

Classroom Management - Even the best, most engaging teachers can have a tough time competing with a device. Our time with the kids in our ministry is very limited; we want our volunteers to be free from the time-consuming and distracting responsibility of ensuring that kids are using the device only as a Bible.

God's Word remains true and has the power to transform us whether we're reading it on our iPad or ​from ​our leather-bound study Bible. However, we want to put kids in the best possible position to cultivate a lifetime habit of being in God's Word.

DL Top 12!  It’s how you get your GAME ON!

Jessi Borchardt - Wednesday, May 11, 2016


By: Amanda Alberts
What’s the DL12?  The DL12 are 12 key verses that are purposefully woven in, memorized and repeated throughout the three-year Discovery Land curriculum.  Our goal is that students will not only know them but confidently use them to defend their faith, stand firm in difficult situations, and witness to their friends.

If you were coaching kids to become great soccer players, you wouldn’t just hand them a playbook, cross your fingers, and hope they become familiar with a few plays that you want them to use in game situations. You would require them to memorize them; you would memorize them yourself so that you could teach them with excellence and purpose. Then you would give your team opportunities to execute the plays, to use them in scrimmage situations, and to make them experts at them so they are ready for game day. Those plays would become the backbone of their game. That’s what the DL Top 12 are designed to be.

We are not teaching a soccer game; we are coaching to be rock solid Christians who know, live out, and can defend what they believe. We are giving them the opportunity to make a decision for Christ, teaching them how to live as children of God and equipping them to share what they know with as many people as possible.  We don’t want kids to hear John 3:16 and think, “Awe…I remember hearing that…”  We want them to hear it and personalize the verse by thinking, “That’s right! My God loved the world so much that He sent His one and only son to die for my sins…and I know that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  And because of this, I know as a fact that I have eternal life.”   Verses should be memorized so you can personalize and use them.   That’s how we live, that’s how we teach, that’s how we train up our children.

Psalm 119:9 asks, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?” and answers “By living according to your Word.”  We are taught to seek God with all our hearts and to lean on Him. Psalm 119:10-11 continues with, “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” 

Let’s get our GAME ON by hiding His Word in our hearts and asking the same of our kids!

What's Your Soul Count?

Jessi Borchardt - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Do numbers really matter in ministry? If the numbers fuel pride or or are used to manipulate the decision making process, the answer is a resounding "NO." But what if you recognize that each number represents a soul? Each uptick in the statistics you keep represents another soul walking in the door of your church to encounter the Gospel and be fed the Word of God. If numbers are seen as the souls they represent, then numbers are critical to the leadership of your ministry.

How is the soul count in your children's ministry? Are you gaining new souls in your ministry or are they walking out your back door? Do you value the significance of each individual?

Take time this week to really look at your numbers and prayerfully decide how to strengthen your ministry to most effectively reach the souls of your community.

To explore this idea further, we recommend "The Question Nobody Asks about our Children" by Larry Fowler.

Discovery Land Saturday Study Group

Jessi Borchardt - Monday, December 07, 2015

One of Discovery Land Global's core values is encouraging spiritual growth in children, parents and volunteers. To help our volunteers grow through their DL preparation we offer a "Discovery Land Saturday Study Group." We keep it simple and informal. Donuts and a gathering place are provided, and we encourage volunteers to come prepared to share:
  • What God is teaching them from the curriculum
  • Questions about the passage of scripture we are studying and how it connects with students
  • Creative ideas for teaching and encouraging the students to apply it
These groups have been a great time of encouraging each other to grow in knowledge and faith. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Menomonie Alliance Children's Library

Jessi Borchardt - Friday, October 09, 2015
While training at Menomonie Alliance Church this past weekend, I ran across this gem - a children's library. It's light, bright, and kid-friendly:


 
 

Not only is it visually appealing, it is purposeful and strategic. #1 - they tied use of the library to Tracker Tickets, which is the incentive system already in place #2 - they included the quarter's "All In!" theme #3 - they point parents towards another helpful resource in the church (the adult library) and #4 - a portion of the books are rotated in and out to match the current quarter's curriculum.


 
 

Even the instructions are clear and visually appealing.



Thanks Menomonie Alliance for letting us be a part of equipping your Early Childhood and Preschool volunteers this weekend. And thanks for letting us share your ideas with others!

Enjoy the Journey

Jessi Borchardt - Tuesday, September 29, 2015
As we looked forward to fall kick off, my goal was to enjoy the journey of ministry; to look for where God was working, rejoice in that work, and keep my eyes focused on Him. I was going to run strong, leap challenging hurdles, and sprint up the hills of ministry. This sounds awesome, doesn't it? Like a worthy goal?

But what happens when you're not leaping over anything? Or you're limping instead of sprinting? What do you do when God takes you to the desert, where your convictions are tested under pressure? In those times, the joy of the journey can feel more like a twisted ankle with asphalt shavings in your face while sliding under a hurdle. Can you be joyful in the journey when it feels like that?

As always, God's Word has the answer. As I'm reviewing a lesson for the upcoming months, I find Jesus in the desert in Matthew 4 -- not by a pool or getting a tan with a fan slowly waving over him. He was being tested and he was staying strong in extremely difficult conditions. The one thing that kept him focused was the Word of God. Yes, the very thing we teach our children each week. With the Word we can walk forward and continue the journey that God has planned out before us. Knowing that it is His plan can give us the courage to keep going and help us to sit back, rest and enjoy the journey.

Discovery Land - Ghana

Jessi Borchardt - Thursday, September 24, 2015

 

 
Did you know Discovery Land is in Ghana, Africa? Godfrey and Carolyn Onwunilli are independent missionaries there (serveghana.org). They recently planted a church, and are using the DL curriculum to teach God's Word to the kids. As you can see in the pictures, they are doing Discover Times and really bringing the Bible to life for the kids! Please pray for strength and health for their new church and that many people would come to know Christ through the work there.

Expect to Win

Jessi Borchardt - Friday, September 18, 2015


"Expect to win!" was shouted across the football field from the opposing team's coach. The coach knew his players were equipped and ready for a victory. I love that attitude and belief; let's bring it over to Discovery Land on Sunday morning! Do you expect to score big this Sunday? Do you expect each leader to be well prepared? Do you expect kids to learn God's Word and use it? Do you expect kids to surrender their souls to Jesus? What would happen if we had that fight, that drive, that belief that our God could do amazing things and truly show up next Sunday? I Corinthians 15:57 - tells us that we have the victory. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. We should expect to win this weekend!