Back-to-School Means Back-to-Jesus
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:1
Back-to-School means Back-to-Jesus!
It’s the most glorious time of the year, educationally speaking. Everyone is gearing up for the Back-to-School extravaganzas! Every discount and department store has stocked their shelves ready for the eager students and their parents. Although several districts have already started their year, many educators remain in full swing completing trainings, decorating their rooms, and filling out purchase orders, anxiously awaiting their students’ arrival.
Each year, we as parents expect our children to grow academically. However, do we also place the same emphasis on their spiritual growth? This school year I want to be intentional with my children’s “Jesus Report Card”.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” 2 Peter 3:18
Here are 5 “Jesus Supplies” for a successful spiritual school year:
- Journal (This could be useful to write down the current scripture they are studying or their prayers/prayer requests for friends. It also allows them the avenue to communicate with God in written form. It provides a tangible way to measure their own spiritual growth. I guarantee their journal will look and read differently toward the end of the school year.)
- Colored pens (Encourage them to write in their Bible. Choose specific colors to underline attributes of God, the name of God, or when annotating scripture. Using different colors, helps with comprehension of the text.)
- A devotional (I know we live in a digital world. However, a paper devotional may be useful in getting your child engaged as well as allow them to annotate or write questions about the passage within the devotional. A devotional often times not only provides scripture, but real-life application questions. It’s a fresh approach to decrease screen time.)
- Coloring pencils (The coloring pencils could be used for their journal or to draw/color in their Bible. Bible Journaling is trending.)
Check this site out: How to Start Bible Journaling
- Note cards (Note cards are my favorite.) Create a verse of the week/month encouraging your child to memorize scripture. Write multiple copies of the targeted verse and place it in areas where you will see it the most. I personally, love to put it in the car. Because we spend a large amount of time traveling to and from activities, it’s a great reminder to set our thoughts/minds on things above. (Colossians 3:2)
I would encourage you to make a big deal about the Back-to-Jesus Bag, especially with teens! Have a conversation with them sharing that you are praying not only for a successful academic year but for them to grow closer to God. Set them up for success.
Write a note describing the items in their Back-to-Jesus Bag. You can do one long note or use a note card from the pack and tape to each item.
Most importantly, be intentional about praying for your child to grow closer to God. Our children face enormous pressure to be of the world and in the world. As parents, what greater gift to give our children than to cover them in prayer. Adapt Colossians 2:6-8 into a prayer for your child.
“So then, just as (insert child’s name) received you, Christ Jesus as Lord, may he/she) continue to live his/her life in You. I pray (insert child’s name) will be rooted and built up in You, strengthened in the faith as (he/she) has been taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Protect his/her heart so that no one takes captive of him/her by human tradition and things of this world. May everything (he/she) does be based upon You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Be creative! Remember, God chose you to be their Momma! You are the best of the best. A cute bag/basket (boy moms, just do your best) may be the perfect avenue to ensure they keep track of their Jesus Bag supplies. Totes with lids would also be a great alternative for younger children. The Dollar Tree has several choices, all for $1.
The five items can easily be adapted for younger children, especially non-readers. Instead of writing in the journal, encourage/help your child draw a picture about the story you read to them from the Bible. If your child is just beginning to “write”, use a highlighter and write the names of God, or keywords from the target passage of scripture. Have your child trace over the highlighted word using crayons or colored pencils. The devotional could be replaced with a Biblical coloring book and the coloring pencils could be used to circle the names of God (with or without assistance) within the coloring book. There are many options; adapt to the level of your child.
Be missional! As your child walks through the process of using his/her Jesus Bag, introduce the idea of creating one for a friend. Begin praying for that friend and their spiritual growth. Take your child to the store and let them purchase items for a Back-to-Jesus Bag for their friend. Pray over the items as well as for your child to share the purpose of the bag. This will create many opportunities for your child to share their story of how God is working in their life.
Continue to pray, read God’s Word, and be obedient to the truth He unfolds in His Word to you.
Praying for a successful spirit-led school year,
Heather McVey, a speaker and accidental writer, has a passion for connecting the dots of God’s Word. Her mission is focused on teaching women how to unfold the scriptures within their own life, encouraging and equipping them to walk worthy of their calling. Learn more about her in Meet Heather.