Challenging Kids to Have Quiet Times
“Christianity isn’t a one-time shot. Regardless of how you became a Christian, the quality of your life on earth and your intimacy with God depends on whether you’re seeking to grow spiritually on a daily basis.” -Why Spiritual Growth Matters, Core Belief Bible Study Series
WHY have daily quiet times?
“It’s through his Word that…
we become friends with him
we build a relationship with him
we come to know what he wants for our lives.”
-The Ultimate Bible Guide for Children’s Ministry
WHO can have daily quiet times?
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12 (KJV). This includes children. We may be quick to lead a child to salvation, but we leave him as an infant in Christ if we fail to teach him the discipline of a daily quiet time.
HOW to have daily times?
The simple song “Read Your Bible and Pray Everyday and You Will Grow, Grow, Grow” is the essence of daily communion with God. Teach the children a basic outline for daily quiet times:
Pray – that God will give you understanding of his Word.
Read – the Bible.
Think – about what God is saying to you.
Pray – that God will help you do what you have read.
Obey – what you have learned God wants you to do.
A (adoration) – Praise God for who He is.
C (confession) – Admit to God the wrong things you have done.
T (thanksgiving) – Give thanks for his many blessings.
S (supplication) – Tell God your needs and the needs of others. Ask him to supply according to his riches in glory.
WHEN to have daily quiet times?
David said “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee…” Psalm 63:1 (KJV). Just as breakfast is the most important meal of the day, morning devotions will start the day off right.
Daniel had devotions with God three times a day. A noon devotion for some may be short, consisting of a Bible verse tucked in a lunch box. An end-of-the-day devotion may include a journal. Journaling will help identify God’s blessings that day and help evaluate priorities. As the child writes down “what happened today,” God will help him to see what was good and bad about the day and the importance of the day’s happening.
Ideas You Can Use!
Dig Into God’s Word!, Take-home Devotional Guide
Provide a plastic flower pot labeled God’s Word for each child in your ministry. Cut a piece of brown felt (for dirt) the size of the top of the pot. Glue it inside the pot and below the rim about an inch. Cut seven slits in the felt. Insert a devotion “seed” card into each slit, allowing it to stick out of the soil. On seed cards write a Bible verse and a quiet time idea, one for each day of the week. Instruct students to dig into God’s Word each day and do the related devotional activity that is written on the card.
For each additional week during this series make “Seed Packets” from envelopes. Label and decorate the packets. Each week send home a new packet of seeds for students to plant in their flower pots. For example, as you’re teaching the children to have quiet times, you might want to develop seed packets such as “Seeds of Prayer,” “Seeds of Obedience,” “Seeds of Praise,” etc.
How Does Your Garden Grow?, Science Experiment
Prior to teaching the children about developing the habit of daily quiet times, plant two small plants in containers. Display these plants in the children’s ministry room each week. Place the first plant in good potting soil. Maintain it throughout the week with regular watering, appropriate sunlight, and plant food as needed. Plant the second plant in poor soil. Care for it only each week when you minister to the children. Do not water it. Give it limited light and no plant food.
Each week discuss the growth of each plant. Ask the children why they think one plant is growing better than the other. Then ask them to relate this to their growth as God’s children. Discuss what will help them grow spiritually and how often it is necessary to do these spiritual disciplines in order to grow.
Choose From Each Food Group Daily, Learning Activity
Using cutouts from the weekly grocery advertisements, let the students work together to make a nutritional food pyramid chart. Then ask them to help you make a spiritual food pyramid chart in the same format as the nutritional food pyramid chart. Discuss with students what they think should be included in a healthy spiritual diet. To help them choose the right spiritual nutrients, give them verses of Scripture to read that emphasize one of the spiritual nutrients.
Prayer, Daniel 6:10
Bible Study, Acts 17:11
Obedience to God’s Word, Joshua 1:8
Christian friendships, Psalm 1:1
Christian music, literature, and videos, Philippians 4:8
If time permits, allow students to draw pictures representing each spiritual food group.
After the natural and spiritual food pyramid charts are completed, discuss the following: How often do you eat foods from the food pyramid? Why do you eat that often? Name a food that is not listed on the food pyramid. Why not? What are some activities or relationships that are not mentioned on the spiritual food pyramid? Why not? What will happen in our lives if we do these things on the spiritual pyramid everyday? What will happen if we do not do them?
Quiet Time Calendars
Prior to the first of each month, distribute calendars with a verse and devotion idea for each day. Include students’ birthdays, special Children’s Ministry activities such as summer camps, Children’s Day, Back to School Roundup, VBS, etc. Also post a calendar in your classroom. Each Sunday, review the past week’s verses and discuss what quiet time activities the children did. Remember: Accountability is an essential ingredient for Christian growth.
For example, to develop a calendar around the theme of Christian love, look up the word “love” in a Bible concordance. Make a list of Scripture verses that emphasize love and can be easily understood by the children. Then list activities that demonstrate love and that the children are capable of doing such as: write love notes to mom and dad; draw a picture of the cross and remember that God loved you enough to send his son to die for your sins; show your love to a neighbor by doing a good deed for him, make a paper heart for each member of your family, write what you like best about that person then put it on their pillow, etc. Don’t do all the work yourself. Have a brainstorming session and let the kids help develop their calendar. Coordinate daily quiet times with the theme for the month. Some children have daily devotions with their families but many do not. A quiet time calendar will not only reinforce what you are teaching at church, but it will help promote family devotions. Be sure to send a letter home to parents to inform them of the monthly quiet time calendar.
Q is for Quiet Time
Make six large posters in the shape of the letter “Q”.
Poster 1-title, Q is for Quiet Time
Poster 2-picture of quiet place
Poster 3-picture of Jesus with child
Poster 4-picture of child praying
Poster 5-picture of ear
Poster 6-picture of child doing a “good deed.”
These posters can be used to explain daily quiet times and then displayed as a reminder to the children of the importance of daily quiet times.
Q is for a QUIET place where you can be alone with Jesus.
Q is for a QUIET fellowship with Jesus. He will meet you everyday in the place you have chosen.
Q is for a QUIET talk with Jesus. You can talk with him about everything.
Q is for QUIETly listening to Jesus. Read God’s Word in your quiet place. Think about what Jesus is saying to you in his Word.
Q is for QUIETly leaving this place ready to obey God’s Word.
Originally printed as the Volume 3, Issue 9 of the CM Newsletter, September 1999, Contributing Editor: Kathy Creasy