Robert J. and Laura Keeley

Robert ( and Laura ( Keeley are codirectors of children’s ministries at Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan. Robert is also a professor of education at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Articles by this author:

  • Faith formation is an important part of a church’s ministry. This is the first in a series of articles with suggestions for how to encourage faith nurture in your worship and in your congregation. One denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, is celebrating a year of focus on faith formation.

    The following readings have been adapted from those in Reformed Worship 57, pp. 3-13.

  • Keeping Paul’s missionary journeys straight can be tough. The stories are brief and many involve mostly preaching. It is hard to remember what happened. Our challenge was to communicate the information about Paul’s first missionary journey to our congregation in a way that was interesting, memorable, and brief. We wanted to present information about cities as well as people.

  • As our church made its way through a yearlong focus on the Old Testament (see “From Adam to Jonah,” p. 10) we wanted to show the relationship between the Old and New Testaments during the seasons of the church year. It’s a challenge to take seasons like Advent and Lent, with their decidedly New Testament story lines, and remember them with Old Testament passages. But we felt the Old Testament could give us a fresh perspective on these New Testament stories.



    We have come to the season of the year that illustrates the glory of the fullness of the Christian life. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s going all out. Why would we want to do any less?

    Song: “Day of Judgment, Day of Wonders!” PsH 614

    God’s Parting Blessing

    Song: “What Wondrous Love” (st. 3)

    Gathering Song: “Holy, Holy, Holy, My Heart”

  • The pastor called the children to the front of church and asked them to sit on the front bench. He pulled out a long rope, then asked for two volunteers to play the parts of Adam and Eve and hold the end of the rope. Two little girls volunteered and happily shared holding the end of the rope. The pastor picked up the rope about two feet down and asked for a Noah. Immediately a three-year-old boy whose name is Noah stood up and, with a broad smile, held his part of the rope. Next the pastor called children to be Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Aaron. Then Joshua, Mrs.

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