Todd Chapman

What I Learned on my Sabbatical: The Importance of Helping Our Kids Love Jesus

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

September 6, 2015


Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV: [4] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [5] You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. [6] And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. [7] You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. [8] You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. [9] You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 

  • OUR VISION: To do everything we can to help our kids become adults who: 

    1. Are treasuring Jesus above all else.

    2. Are experiencing Ongoing Spiritual Transformation for their entire lives.  

    3. Are happily reading the Bible to hear from God. 

    4. Are increasingly capable of reading the Bible in order to hear from Him. (1st Handers) 

    5. Are committed to building relationships with other believers that stretch their faith.  

    6. Are committed to building relationships with other believers in order to stretch the other’s faiths. 

    7. Are joyfully investing in relationships with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, who have yet to believe, in order to introduce them to Jesus.

    8.  Are confidently facing physical death as an enemy that has been defeated by Jesus.     

    9. Are consciously anticipating Jesus’ 2nd coming and the consummation of The Kingdom.

    10. Are happily passing on Jesus to their children.    


To build joy-filled communities of faith whose very existence inspires every individual to live R3...
r1:   A deepening relationship with God.
r2:   A life-changing relationship with other believers.
r3:   An engaging relationship with those yet to believe.     


  • Our Problem: We are not doing as well as we could: Our kids are leaving our churches in droves.  

  • Our Challenges

  1. Our (most of us) being a product of our present system.  

  2. Our limited understanding of how kids learn. 

  3. Our limited willingness to consider there might be a better approach than what our parents did, what we have done and are doing.  

  4. Our not being presented with alternative approaches.   


  • Our Solution

To provide our kids with a safe, engaging, developmentally appropriate, happy experience of Jesus’ love every Sunday morning that complements what parents are promoting at home.  

  1. Setting

    1. Inviting child-friendly environments

    2. Check-in system 

  2. Relational Interaction and Modeling

    1. Adults passionate about Jesus and kids. 

    2. Teacher training

  3. Philosophy- Developmentally appropriate 

    1. Meet kids where they are

    2. Discovery rather than telling approach  

    3. Conversing with our kids rather than talk at

    4. Engaging activities  

  4. Build interdependence with parents
    1. Parent link

Our Opportunity:

To build a system, an approach, a relational network and community (that outlasts me) that provides our kids with a better chance of seeing the beauty and glory of Jesus, that increases the odds of their enthusiastically and more tightly embracing Jesus for all of their lives.