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What you believe by the time you are 13 is what you will die believing

“In essence,” the researcher noted, “what you believe by the time you are 13 is what you will die believing. Of course, there are many individuals who go through life-changing experiences in which their beliefs are altered, or instances in which a concentrated body of religious teaching changes one or more core beliefs. However, most people’s minds are made up and they believe they know what they need to know spiritually by age 13. Their focus in absorbing religious teaching after that age is to gain reassurance and confirmation of their existing beliefs rather than to glean new insights that will redefine their foundations.”  (Barna Group)

Are they ready to move on?

I work with elementary students and LOVE it!  These are the years when they are still cute, inquisitive, think you are super cool and are still acting like themselves.  Typically, they haven’t reached the stage where they have to act a certain way or do certain things to fit in and be cool.  Seeing my fifth graders leave my children’s ministry program to move up to the middle school is bittersweet.  Are they ready?  Did I positively impact their lives with Christ?

Wait just a minute!  I have to remind myself that God is working through me to reach His children.  Of course they are ready!  God is with them and will continue to be with them.  They will need encouraging Christian teachers and role models to surround them helping them mature in their spiritual walk, but God’s got this.  I’d encourage each of you to find reassurance in this too.  Of course, we will continue to pray for “our” kids, but we can find peace in the knowledge that we have been God’s ambassadors, water our little seeds, but God is the one who will help them grow.

Send them forward

We love to send our kids off with a gift to help them remember who their Savior is and to be obedient to Him.  A very simple idea is a rubber wristband with an inspirational word or verse.  Kids love these so they will actually wear them!  I got some from Amazon.com: “Walking With Jesus” Bracelet (1 DOZEN) – BULK  There are tons of options.  I liked the reminder that Jesus is with them every day, at every step. (Oriental Trading has them too!)  Send them away with a short devotional explaining what it means to “walk with Jesus” so they will remember this each time they see their bracelet.  Plus, it’s a good way to get other kids to ask them about their bracelets giving the perfect opportunity for kids to share their faith with their peers.

Other suggestions are bible journals or teen devotional books.  Encourage them to keep God in their daily lives.  Take God to school with them.  Take God to athletics.  Take God everywhere!  As teachers we do our very best to help our kids make wise choices and remember their Heavenly Father!  I’d love to hear some of you ideas!  I often find my readers have some of the best ideas!!  Post them in the comments.

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