“It becomes a deep thing for the child when God answers their prayers,” said Pastor Tosh Sturgess before giving a powerful testimony of an answered prayer.
Tosh’s son was being bullied by some boys in their street.
“Kids love stories but they also love to get their hands dirty on activities.”
“They’re two minute segments because the kids’ attention spans are jumping from one thing to another.”
It’s understood by many, that if we introduce our children to the Bible in their early years, and they become familiar to interact with the stories in the Bible, something special happens in their later years.
Their faith is growing while their identity is forming and it’s that reality that’s birthed a new discipleship program.
Called Lionheart’s Disciples, the man behind the initiative is Tosh Sturgess who’s traveled widely with this new resource.
But how well has the Lionheart’s Disciples been received? Tosh told Vision the response by the parents of children who have participated has been nothing but positive.
“They’re excited because their kids are really excited,” Tosh said, describing how it came about as he traveled the world in search of Bible material for his own children.
“I was working with the great Aussie evangelist Bill Newman and I understood the power of God. I’d had a fresh revelation about that and the children would ask about it and I would always try to bring them back to the Word of God,” Tosh began to explain.
Tosh realised he could explain the Gospel to his children in a story and simply by doing that something eternal was being instilled in the children’s lives.
“The Word has power. It’s fresh bread for us to eat and exposing children to the Word of God at a young age has the same effect on them as a child as it does to us as an adult.”
“When you see kids do that and their mums and dads see it happening to their kids their response is ‘thank you so much,” Tosh related saying the responses are on his Facebook page, in emails and in private messages.
“Thanks so much Pastor Tosh for putting this program together. The kids so love doing the discipleship program in the home.”
Tosh Sturgess discovered when looking around for resources for his children he found many story-based activities.
“They’d read about Jesus, Zaccheus in the tree or Jonah and the whale, but what I found to be a better way of discipleship in the home was to do activities rather than stories.”
“Kids love stories but they also love to get their hands dirty on activities,” Tosh observed, saying they’re exposed to secular children’s programs dissected into two minute segments. Sesame Street was one example.
“They’re two minute segments because the kids’ attention span is jumping from one thing to another.”
This was Tosh Sturgess’ light bulb moment. The moment when the Lionheart’s Disciples program was born.
“Why not create a program that’s activity based in the home through the workbook, that actually gets kids bouncing in and out of the Bible, in and out of the Bible with mum and dad. How good’s that!” Tosh exclaimed.
The idea starts off with a lesson and that lesson is God is Love. From there to John 3:16 as a memory verse the obvious place to start.
“The children then need to find three more verses for themselves. We give them the addresses and that forces them to look through the index.”
“The program really demystifies the Bible. It stops it being a tome they can’t access and it gives them the power to draw from the Word of God about the subjects they know are relevant.”
Tosh Sturgess said when the children are older they know they can go to the Bible to find the answers.
As a pastor Tosh is constantly preaching the Word of God, telling stories and bringing forward the ideas of God.
“But when someone has a discovery for themselves it becomes their own revelation.”
Tosh explained the trend towards story-style preaching but he said you can’t story tell someone into their own revelation. They need their own revelation.
“So what we’ve done is set up this program. It doesn’t just contain the Bible, it has a daily prayer journal and they’ll write up one single prayer and pray through the list of their previous ones,” Tosh outlined, but he admitted it all takes time.
They also discover from the ages of 7 or 8 of 10 that God’s Word does not return void.
“It becomes a deep thing for the child that God answers their prayers.” Tosh then delivered a powerful testimony.
Tosh’s son was being bullied by some boys in their street. Another Christian boy in the same street was also co-opted by the gang and joined them in bullying his son.
“In the next discipleship time in the home my son wrote down a prayer for this particular lad. He just wrote, ‘This little lad and his heart’, that’s all he wrote in the prayer request. My son had been hurt by his friend!”
(A couple of weeks later)
“That lad turns up and knocks on the door. He says, ‘Look, I’m really sorry I treated you like that. I felt God telling me it was the wrong thing to do and I just want you to know that in the next week or two I am going to get baptised at my church.’”
Tosh’s son thought that was really nice. And the next time he and his boy were going through the prayer journal Tosh asked him if he was going to tick off that prayer as answered.
“Are you going to tick that off? And he said, ‘What do you mean?’ You were praying about his heart and look what’s happened!”
Hello? That’s when the lights came on for his son.
“His countenance changed and he was so excited that God had answered his prayer in what seemed to be an impossible situation.
“All we’d done was give him a platform to approach the Lord and a platform for the Lord to move in his world.”
Lionheart’s Disciples is a fun, fresh new series of children’s discipleship resources designed for home, church and outreach.
Its Workbooks will help you disciple your children in a fun and exciting way. These Fun Activity Booklets are a multi-purpose, fun, affordable and easy to use Bible study tool. Perfect for outreach, small groups, chaplaincy, mission trips, camps, gifts at community events or even letter box drops, these attractive and simple booklets package the power of God’s Word in a visual format that children love and value.
Fun Activity Booklets are a perfect gateway by which children can begin their relationship with God and interact with His Word. 3 Titles available.
You can also download the Lionheart’s Disciples Revision workbook. This Revision workbook is for use with the Foundations Workbook or Foundations Children’s Ministry Curriculum. Inside this workbook you’ll find five revision pages, one for each of the Monthly Themes of the Foundations workbook.
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