Monday, March 29, 2010

Teaching Children about Salvation

Teaching children about Salvation

There is much confusion today about what it means to be a Christian. It is very important that what we teach children about their relationship with God is accurate. When we just teach children that salvation is “being friends with God” or “having Jesus as their best friend” we are not exactly presenting the full scope of what being a Christian really is. I can be friends with you, but it does not change my life for eternity. It does not give me eternal life. Yes, Jesus should be our best friend and we need to develop our relationship with God but that is a byproduct of the change that occurs in our heart when we are born again.

Some misconceptions in our society about being a Christian are that going to church makes one a Christian, praying and reading the bible makes one a Christian, being born in a Christian family or attending a Christian church makes one a Christian. Or even being religious, following a churches statement of faith, rules, or regulations, or just being a good person makes one a Christian. Most of these things are good and help us grow spiritually, but do not make one a Christian.

When a religious leader came to Jesus in John chapter 3 he asked Jesus what I must do to enter your kingdom. Jesus did not say belong to a certain church, obey more rules, or become more religious. He told Nicodemus you must be born again.

Now there has been a lot of confusion about what exactly being born again is. Is it just a decision to follow Christ, or is it a transformation of the heart of a person?
If it is no more than making a decision to follow Christ without a change on the inside being a Christian is no different than being a Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim. It is simply just a religion that we have joined.

What sets Christianity apart from all other religions is the supernatural change that takes place in our spirit man. This is the good news. We do not have to serve God in our own power. He changes us on the inside and gives us his very life and nature so that we can serve him. Its not just rules and regulations he puts the law in our heart when he puts his love in our heart. Rom. 5:5 says that the love of God has been put in our heart by the Holy Spirit. The bible also says that Love is the fulfillment of the law. If we love God and our neighbor we have fulfilled the law.

In Ezek 36:26-28 Ezekiel prophesied “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.“ Here Ezekiel was talking about the change that would take place in the lives of believers after Jesus came and paid the price for our salvation.

I know the term “born again” was over used a few years ago when everyone from presidential candidates to movie stars said they were born again Christians. The term got drug through the mud and no one really knew what it meant, so we quit using it. The world asked what does “Born Again Christian” mean and no one knew, so we came up with terms like having Jesus in our heart and being friends with God.

When Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and disobeyed God something happened to Adam. He died. Not physically because we know from scripture that he lived for many years after the fall. He died spiritually. He was separated from God. When this happened he laid the foundation for all man kind to be born separated from God or dead spiritually.

That’s why the bible calls him the first Adam and calls Jesus the second Adam in 1 Cor. 15:45. In 1 Cor. 15:22 the bible says as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

As in the word of the Christian rapper, Tripp Lee “The bad news we were born in sin, The good news we can be born again.”

In order to be restored to the place where God had created us to be we needed a total transformation of our spirit man or be born again. When we receive Christ we are born into God’s family. We are not just adopted but born into it.

The Bible says in 1 Cor. 1:13 that we were delivered out of the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God. Or in other words, we are taken out of the kingdom of darkness and put into the kingdom of God. When I see this word translated I always think of the transporter room in the old Star Trek program. We were taken from one place and put into another into another.

The bible also says in 2 Cor 5:17 that if we are in Christ we are a new creation. Old things have passed away, all things have become new. This does not simply sound like a decision to follow Christ or being friends with God to me. It sounds like a total transformation of the heart.

With out this change in our spirit man we have simply became religious or joined a religion. Without the supernatural element of being born again we have a form of Godliness but deny the power. We have dead religion that we have to strive to be good enough and follow the rules and regulations. When the good news is that Jesus paid the price with his blood on the cross for our salvation, and all we have to do is receive the free gift that God offers us.

Without the blood of Jesus being shed we cannot be born again. Today, we live in a bloodless society. We don’t even see our meat being processed any more. We only see the pre packaged meat that we buy in the store. But Christianity is a bloody religion. From the sacrifices of the Old Testament that God commanded to cover the sin of Israel to the Blood of Jesus being shed to take away our sin in the New Testament. The Bible says in Heb. 9:22 without the shedding of blood there is no remission or taking away of sin.

Now, I am not talking about being graphic and gory with children. I would never scare a child for anything. But we cannot leave the blood out of our faith or teaching. It is the very basic element of our faith. That’s why Jesus commanded us to takes the Lord’s Supper or communion was to put us in remembrance of his sacrifice for us.

I am not a huge fan of the term “having Jesus in our heart” either. The Bible says that Jesus is at the right hand of the father making intercession for us in Romans 8:34. I understand what we mean when we say that Jesus is living in our heart but Jesus himself is not living in us. His life and nature is in us. His character is in us. The love of God is in us. The 1 Cor. 13 kind of love is what is in us.

I realize that some of this is quit technical and is not presented on a Child’s level. Instead of talking about our nature being changed from sin to love, I talk about when Adam disobeyed God he received a sinful heart. We all are born with a sinful heart because of Adam’s disobedience. He represented all of us. When we are born again we receive a clean heart. I then explain what this means on a child’s level.

I had heard the terms Jesus died on the cross for our sin, born again, being saved, and all the other Christian terminology that is thrown around lightly my entire life growing up as a pastor’s child. But I did not understand it, until I became an adult and researched it out for my self. Sadly to say that many people grow up in our churches hearing these terms and never fully understand it. Then walk away from the faith because it was not presented in a way that made sense to them when they were older. It was presented like a fairy tale or Santa Claus and when they were old enough to think for their selves, they realize it did not make sense and walked away from the faith.

We as the body of Christ need to get back to teaching what “being born again is” so that the children and teens growing up in our churches understand it. If not when they become adults they will see no difference in Christianity, Buddhism, or Hinduism and will walk away from their faith and the church.

By Jerry Moyer
The Jubilee Gang

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jubilee Gang Update for Culloden, WV

Dear Friends and Partners:

We had an awesome time this weekend in Culloden, WV at Tabernacle of Praise Church of God.

We did a kids / family outreach event on Friday & Saturday evenings and a family event on Sunday morning. On Saturday morning we did a teacher training session for around 30 Children's Ministry workers from around the state of WV.

we had a very busy but productive weekend in WV. We saw 22 children born again during our services Friday & Saturday and one adult on Sunday morning.

Below are a few Pictures from this event.

Jerry teaching the Power Verse
put to a beat.

Alter call in Culloden, WV where 22 children
where born again this weekend.

Alter call in Culloden, WV where 22 children
where born again this weekend.

2010 Jubilee Gang Schedule
APRIL 2010
· 2-4 Owasso First Assembly of God: Owasso, OK
· 18-24 Grace Christian Church: Sterling Heights, MI
· 24-25 Word of Faith Family Church: Springfield, OH

MAY 2010

· 5-7 Speaking at Children's Ministry Leadership Conference at Living Word Christian Center in Minneapolis, MN with Mark Harper, Jim Wideman, John Tasch and Myself as the main Speakers.

JUNE 2010

· 2-4 Crosspointe: Dalton, GA
· 9-11 Ellettsville 1st Assembly of God: Ellettsville, IN
· 13-15 Living Waters Assembly of God in Cabot, AR
· 16-18 Christian Life Cathedral: Fayetteville, AR
· 20-23 Sandtown United Methodist: Philadelphia, MS
· 24-26 Coopers Chapel United Methodist Church: Quitman, MS
· 28-30 Trinity Lighthouse Church Denison, Tx.

JULY 2010

· 5-8 NM District Church of The Nazarene Kids Camp: Albuquerque, NM
· 12-16 Northern Missouri District AG Kids Camp
· 19-22 NY District Church of The Nazarene Kids Camp: Watertown, NY
· 28-30 Yorkville Heights Church Columbus, MS


· 4-6 New Life Assembly of God: Blackshear, GA
· 8-10 London Church of the Nazarene: London, OH
· 11 Heritage International Christian Church: Radcliff, KY
· 22- 24 Cornerstone Church in Cheshire, CT
· 30 - Sept. 1 First Assembly of God: Marcy, NY

September 2010

· 5 Sandy Cove Ministries Family Camp: North East, MD
· 24 Church of the Redeemer: Gaithersburg, MD
· 26-28 Dynamic Life Praise & Worship Center: Front Royal, VA

Oct. 2010

· 4-6 Christian Life Assembly: Picayume MS
· 23 No Fear Night @ Word of Faith Family Church: Springfield, OH
· 30 Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene: York PA

Jerry Moyer will be Speaking at Children's Ministry Leadership Conference at Living Word Christian Center in Minneapolis, MN along with Mark Harper, Jim Wideman, John Tasch as the main Speakers.

for more info on the conference call 1-800-798-4872
or check out the website at

God Bless You

Jerry Moyer
The Jubilee Gang

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Children's Ministry Leadership Conference


Jerry Moyer will be Speaking at Children's Ministry Leadership Conference at Living Word Christian Center in Minneapolis, MN along with Mark Harper, Jim Wideman, John Tasch as the main Speakers.

for more info on the conference call 1-800-798-4872
or check out the website at

Topics Covered:

Children’s Ministry 101

Creative Attention Getters

Starting a Drama Team (with Kids and Teens)
Social Networking to Reach This Generation
The Right Balance Between Live Ministry and Media Ministry

Producing Your Own Short Films
Video and Lighting

How to Be Creative
Recruiting Volunteers
How to Keep Volunteers

Getting Things Done
Partnering with Parents
Lets Get Organized
How to Have Influence with Your Pastor
How to Get the Vision Before the Entire Church
Evangelizing Children

Children and The Holy Spirit
Reaching Pre-School Children

Organizing the Nursery
Can I Teach Babies?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Russia Trip Update

Dear Friends and Partners:

I had an awesome time ministering in Russia. On the first Sunday we were in Russia we were able to minister at a local Russian church in Sosnovyy Bor for their children’s church and then I was able to conduct a family service the second Sunday.

I was also able to do our “What is a Christian” program in a government ran Orphanage. We were not able to give an altar call or pray with the children, however the Gospel was clearly presented in a fun and exciting way. The children were on the edge of their seats as they listened intensely to the Gospel message. Some of them had never heard this message before. After presenting the program I was able to tell them that if they ever wanted this experience of being born again that they could pray anytime and anywhere and God would change their hearts and give them this experience of being born again. It was awesome to see these children participate in this program and have a good time as they learned from the Bible what a Christian really is.

I was also able to conduct 2 training sessions for Russian Children’s workers where I taught for about 25 to 30 minutes, then answered questions about an hour and a half to two hours. It was awesome to be able to compare ideas with the Russian children’s ministers and see how much we really have in common.

We also visited a home for troubled teens, a drug rehab center, and several home meetings where we were able to give encouraging words and minister the word.
We do not know for sure how many people were born again. However, this was an awesome time of planting seeds into Russian churches and people.

The thing that stuck out the most about the trip was the hunger and desire of the Russian church to receive all that God has for them. There is a real need for the American church to come along side the Russian church and Russian believers to be an encouragement and a blessing to them. Around 20 years ago when Communism fell the American church flooded Russia with evangelist and missionaries. As time went on the American church has forgotten about Russia and concentrated on other areas of the world. Russia needs us more than ever to come along side them and work with them to reach their country with the gospel. If a Russian church is not Russian Orthodox they are considered a cult. The Government and media spreads propaganda against these churches, so that most Russians have a bad attitude with any church that is not Russian Orthodox. Also, it is considered unpatriotic if you do not attend a Russian Orthodox Church. This makes it very hard to spread the Gospel in Russia. After the fall of communism people were hungry for the truth, however as time went on the hunger for God has decreased and the desire for material things has taken its place with the new found freedom.

Our local church here in Springfield, OH has an awesome relationship with a Russian church in Sosnovyy Bor, Russia. We are like sister churches. We encourage each other, share resources, and travel to each other’s churches as much as possible. It would be awesome to see more American churches partner with local Russian churches and pastors to see the Kingdom increase in Russia.

If you would like to find out more about how you could partner with a Russian church or pastor check out the web site below for Russians Reaching Russians

Click on the links below to see pictures for my trip to Russia

Album # one

Album# two

Things I learned about Russian Culture:

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 1: Most Russians live in high rise Apartment buildings called flats and have very small living space.

Things I have learned about Russian Culture part 2: Most Russian homes cannot adjust the heat up and down in their homes. If it gets too hot they open the window.

Things I have learned about Russian Culture part 3: Russians put Sour Cream in and on a lot of things. They even like a table spoon in soup

Things I have learned about Russian Culture Part 4: Russian furniture is very low to the ground and usually very hard.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 5: Offer a Russian official a bribe (gift) and you'll probably get what you want and get it a lot faster.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 6: If your church is not Russian Orthodox you are considered a CULT by government & most people.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 7: The hot water in Russian sinks is Very Hot! It will scald you if it is barely on!

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 8: when eating in Russia don't eat too much soup. Save room for the 2nd & 3rd course or you will get too full! Then comes the Tea!!!

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 9: Russian hospitality is like southern hospitality! As soon as you walk in the door they start trying to feed you and give you Tea! They do not take no for an answer either.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 10: Russians don't shovel their sidewalks. They walk on over a foot or more of padded down snow. Don't step off the path or you will sink in 2 foot of snow!

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 11: Russians eat some kind of soup for at least one meal each day. Sometimes More!

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 12: Russian bathrooms consists of 2 rooms 1 has the toilet the other has a bath tub, sink, and a washing machine. No dryers. Not much room to turn around in either room. Just do your business and leave.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 13: Don't ever burp in Russia! It equals passing gas!

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 14: Russian drivers think nothing of driving 60 to 70 MPH on snow covered curvy roads! They even got up to 94 MPH a few times on straight stretches.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 15: Any part of the street is fair game for a Russian driver. They drive on both sides of the road and the middle.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 16: Russians drink everything out of tea cups. No Glasses or plastic. Just small tea cups.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 17: Never ever wear your shoes in a Russian home under any circumstances. Hats also!

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 18: The EPA & PETA would go crazy here! Russians love to wear fur coats and hats. A lot of factories with smoke stacks pushing smoke out. The air is not very clean.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 19: Russians drink hot tea for every meal and then some. Every occasion and gathering calls for hot tea. Really there does not need to be an occasion to drink tea.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 20: Most Russians I have met are very hospitable and remind me of southern hospitality.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 21. They do not plow their streets like Americans do. The roads have a wall of snow on each side with tire tracks they drive through and the snow in the middle of the tracks drag the bottom of the cars.

Things I have learned about Russian culture part 22: People walk down the middle of the roads and drivers don't slow down or swerve to miss them.

Things I have learned about Russian Culture part 22: Russian Taxi drivers are very prompt. As soon as you call them they are there. We never had to wait on them they were usually waiting on us.

Things I have learned about Russian Culture Part 23: Less than 50 percent of Russians own cars. They walk or take public transportation everywhere.

Things I have learned about Russian Culture Part 24: Russian busses are either too hot or too cold. If they are hot you will get motion sickness with all the bumps. If they are cold they are the temperature outside which was around 0 degree’s F. or less at times. Russian trains are cold also! Brrrrrrrrrrr!

God Bless You
Jerry Moyer
The Jubilee Gang
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