Conversation Starters: Our Banner

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Through Jesus’ death and sacrifice we are covered by God’s protection.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: “We stand better when we stand together.” “There’s strength in numbers.” We generally agree with those statements, but sometimes life can feel so insurmountable that no amount of help and support makes a difference. Thankfully, God stands over the world, and He stands over every single issue we face. As the Israelites discovered, God is a banner over us, covering us with His protecting presence.

Concept: Our Banner

Preschool

Exodus 17:8-16

LIFE POINT: The disciples knew it was time for a special celebration called Passover. They asked Jesus, “Where do You want us to prepare the supper?” Jesus sent them into the city. He said, “Tell the man you will meet that I want to celebrate at his house.” Jesus’ disciples prepared for the special supper. During the supper, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it. Jesus tore the bread into pieces. He gave bread to each disciple. Jesus took a cup and thanked God for it. Jesus shared the cup with each disciple. Jesus told His disciples to remember the things He did and to remember this special supper. Jesus and the disciples sang a song before they left the special supper.

LIVE IT OUT: Use the tune “London Bridge” to sing the following words with your preschooler: Jesus said, “Remember Me, Remember Me, Remember Me.” Jesus said, “Remember Me.” I love Jesus.

Kids

Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

LIFE POINT: Paul wrote a letter to the believers in Corinth. He told the people in Corinth about Jesus’ last supper with the disciples. The disciples were together for the Passover feast. At this feast, the people ate lamb. They ate flat pieces of bread. This was the last time the disciples would eat together. The disciples had questions about what was to happen. During the feast, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for the bread. He shared the bread with His disciples. Jesus said, “This is My body which is for you. Remember Me when you eat this.” Then Jesus picked up a cup. He said, “This cup is the new promise in My blood. When you drink this, do it to remember Me.” Jesus and the disciples sang. Later Jesus was arrested.

LIVE IT OUT: Explain to your child how the Lord’s Supper helps us remember that Jesus died for our sins. Ask your child to tell things she remembers from Bible stories about Jesus.

Students

THE POINT: We are always covered by God’s protection.
• What are some things we rely on for protection?
• When have you felt like you were under attack?
• How do you make sure you’re relying on God when the battle is long?
• What does God’s banner of protection look like in your life? Discuss the following quote:

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”(1) —George Washington

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: How does your student see you living by faith and trusting in Jesus? Talk with your student about ways you can each grow in trusting Jesus more.
• COMMUNITY: Reach out to friends and neighbors that are experiencing difficult times and minister to them. Make sure they know God is their protector.
• CULTURE: Consider ways you and your student can share God’s goodness with those that do not know His love.

“Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789,” National Archives [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0091.


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Conversation Starters: Our Healer

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus performed miracles through the power of God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We are broken people. We may be broken by our circumstances or surroundings, or we may be broken by our sin and failures. Regardless of our best efforts, we remain broken people. But God steps in. He heals our brokenness and restores us when we trust in Him. The Israelites were continually called to trust and obey God. In so doing, they would experience His healing and wholeness.

Concept: God is our healer

Preschool

John 9:1-34

LIFE POINT: Jesus saw a man who had been blind since the day he was born. The blind man begged for money as people walked by. Jesus made mud and put it on the blind man’s eyes. Jesus told the man to go and wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed Jesus. He went to the pool and washed the mud off his eyes. He could see! Jesus had healed him. People were surprised that the man could see. They asked, “Are you the man who used to sit in the street and beg? What happened?” The man said, “I was blind, and Jesus healed me.” He told the people what Jesus had done.
Some men were angry. They did not believe that Jesus could heal a man who was blind. The man insisted that it was Jesus who had healed him.

LIVE IT OUT: Play doctor and patient with your child. Encourage her to doctor a doll or stuffed animal. Comment that doctors help people get well but Jesus did special things that even doctors cannot do.

Kids

John 9:1-34

THE POINT: Jesus saw a man who had been born blind. He told His disciples, “This man’s blindness will show God’s works.” Jesus spit on the ground and made mud. He spread the mud on the man’s eyes. “Go wash in the pool,” Jesus said. The man washed his eyes. He could see! The man’s neighbors were surprised the man could now see. “Jesus made me well. Now I can see!” the man said. The temple leaders did not believe what happened. They kept asking the man what happened. “We don’t know about this Jesus,” they said. The healed man said, “We know God listens to people who love Him and obey Him. No one has ever heard of a person who was born blind being healed. If Jesus were not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything!”

LIVE IT OUT: Does your family know someone suffering with an illness? Remind your child about Jesus’ healing miracles. Help your child understand that Jesus can still heal people today, but He often works through doctors to help sick people. Thank Jesus for His gifts of healing.

Students

Exodus 14:29-31; 15:22-27

THE POINT: God is the only one who can restore us and make us whole.
• When have you admired a renovation project?
• What prevents us from turning to God during impossible situations?
• How does complaining impact our connection with God?
• What are some different ways God heals and restores His people? Discuss the following quote:

“The more desperate thy disease, the greater is the glory of thy physician, who hath perfectly cured thee.”(1) —Abraham Wright

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray with your student this week and thank God for the healing in your lives. Take time to look up special verses of healing that you can read together.
• COMMUNITY: Create a list of people in your church or neighborhood that are in need of help and healing. Discuss ways you can help them and follow through.
• CULTURE: The world is full of suffering people. Consider ways that your family can use its specific blessings to minister to those in need. Make a plan that you can continue to follow in the weeks and months ahead.

(1)“16 Amazing Quotes About Healing,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/16-amazing-quotes-abouthealing/# axzz4r4oBjR4N.


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Conversation Starters: Our Provider

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: We can trust Jesus to meet the needs of people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our tendency is to live by what we can see. We believe what we can touch. We’re confident when what we need is right in front us. But life does not always hand us easy answers and solutions. A life in Christ is a life of trust—trusting Him to provide what we need, even when we don’t readily see the answer. Abraham showed us that God truly is our Provider.

Concept: Our Provider

Preschool

John 6:1-13

LIFE POINT: Jesus was on a mountainside. He looked at the large crowd of people following Him. Jesus asked His disciple Philip, “Where can we buy bread for all these people?” Philip answered, “It would take lots of money to buy so much bread.” But Andrew brought a boy with a small lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus said, “Tell the people to sit down.” The people sat in the grass. Jesus broke apart the bread and thanked God for the food. He gave bread and fish to the people. Each person ate all he wanted. There were 5000 men plus women and children in the crowd. Jesus told His disciples to gather the leftovers so the food would not be wasted. They gathered twelve baskets of leftover bread.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child and tell her that God helps people have food. Provide a pan of water and a few sturdy vegetables for your child to wash. Say the Bible Verse: “Jesus gave food to people.”

Kids

John 6:1-13

LIFE POINT: A large crowd followed Jesus. So Jesus went up on the mountain. He sat down to teach the people. Jesus spoke to Philip. “Where can we buy bread so the people can eat?” Philip said, “Two hundred coins would not be enough money to buy just a tiny bit of food for each person!” Andrew, another disciple, brought a little boy to Jesus. “This boy has five loaves of bread. He has two fish. But how could that feed so many people?” The people sat down on the grass. There were 5,000 men! Jesus took the bread. He gave thanks to God for it. Then Jesus started giving food to the crowd. Everyone had as much to eat as he wanted! The disciples filled 12 baskets with left-over bread!

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about the ways that Jesus helps meet the needs of your family. Include spiritual needs as well as physical needs. Make a list together. Pray together thanking God and Jesus for meeting the needs of your family.

Students

Genesis 22:1-14

THE POINT: We can trust God to meet our needs.
• What’s one of the toughest things you’ve been asked to do?
• What are the purposes of tests in our lives?
• When have you been tested to trust God when His provision wasn’t apparent?
• How can our actions and attitudes show others that we serve the God who provides? Discuss the following quote:

“It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.”(1)—Saint Ignatius

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray with your student this week for the desire and strength to live with a dependence on God to provide for his or her needs.
• COMMUNITY: Sometimes we all need to depend on fellow believers for help. Be sure your student knows specific people he or she can reach out to for help.
• CULTURE: Tell your student ways in which you have seen and trusted God during big leaps of faith. Encourage him or her to be ready to jump in faith and obedience to God when the opportunity comes.

(1)“Saint Ignatius Quote,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/saintignat204692.html.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Teaches

Posted on March 20, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The Bible gets a lot of respect in America—at least superficial respect. Eighty percent of adults consider the Bible a holy book, but few read it. Even among Christians, only 11 percent read the Bible daily, and 34 percent rarely read it. Many of us pay lip service to the Bible but miss out on the joy and abundant life that comes from applying its truth to our lives.

Concept: Jesus Teaches

Preschool

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary was a young woman who obeyed God. She was going to be married to Joseph. God sent an angel to talk to Mary. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. God has chosen you to be the mother of a special baby, God’s Son.” He told her that this was part of God’s plan. Mary did not understand. The angel said, “God can do things that people think are impossible.” Mary said, “I will do what God wants.” One night when Joseph was sleeping, God sent an angel to him in a dream. The angel said, “Do not be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s Son. You will name Him Jesus. He will love people and teach them about God.” Joseph remembered the dream when he woke up. He did as the angel said. Joseph married Mary. Joseph and Mary waited for the special baby, Jesus, to be born.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your child that God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ family. Talk about your family and how members cares for others. Help your child make a book of family members by drawing on individual sheets of paper and stapling the pages together.

Kids

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary, who lived in the town of Nazareth, was visited by an angel. “Be happy,” the angel said. “God is with you.” Mary wondered what kind of greeting this was. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. You will have a son and you will call Him Jesus. He will be God’s Son.” Mary wondered how this could happen. The angel said, “God’s Spirit will come to you. The one born to you will be the Son of God.” Mary answered that she would obey God. Joseph wondered what to do. He knew he was not the father of Mary’s baby. As he slept, an angel came to him. “Joseph, don’t be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s own Son. You are to name Him Jesus. He will save His people from their sins.” Joseph took Mary for his wife. When the baby was born, Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child memorize the Bible verse, Matthew 1:21. This verse contains the angel’s words to Joseph. God committed Jesus to the family of Joseph. Help your child understand that God chose a family for Jesus because that is His plan for all children.

Students

Mark 4:1-9

THE POINT: Obeying Jesus’ teachings leads to productive living.
• What’s the best way for you to learn something new?
• What are the benefits and challenges of using stories to reveal truth?
• Where do you see each of these soils represented in our culture?
• What kinds of “fruit” should be evident in our lives when we obey Jesus’ teaching? Discuss the following quote:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” (1) —Robert Louis Stephenson

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Take the time this week to ask your student how he or she is rooting out bad habits, while strengthening good habits to grow better in his or her relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss ways you and your student can purposefully plant seeds of discipleship in your community this week.
• CULTURE: When spreading seeds of discipleship, we have to reach out to people around us and connect in ways that make sense to them. Discuss how you and your student can better relate to the culture around you and spread the gospel.

(1)Robert Louis Stephenson, “Robert Louis Stephenson Quotes,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertloui101230.html.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Calls

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Social media gives us the opportunity to follow individuals and groups. By following them, we can see into their lives or know what they’re promoting—but we can do so only from a distance. Jesus invites us to follow Him in a far more intimate way. Following Jesus will require us to change directions, but the journey we take with Him leads us to abundant and eternal life.

Concept: Jesus Calls

Preschool

Isaiah 6-7; Micah 5:2-4

LIFE POINT: Long before Jesus was born, God had a plan. God planned to send His Son to be born. God told prophets to tell the people about His plan to send a special baby. Prophets were men who told others what God wanted them to know. Isaiah was a prophet. God chose Isaiah to tell people the wonderful news. Isaiah wrote that God promised to send a very special child to be born. The special baby would be God’s Son. Another prophet who lived a long time ago was named Micah. Micah also wrote about Jesus. He wrote that God’s Son would be born in Bethlehem. People heard or read the words that the prophets wrote. They knew that God was planning to send His Son. They waited for the day that God would keep His promise.

LIVE IT OUT: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

Kids

Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 11:1-5; Micah 5:2

LIFE POINT: When Isaiah was in the temple worshiping, he saw God on a throne. His robe filled the temple! Angels stood around God. They worshiped Him. Isaiah heard God ask, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Me.” Isaiah answered, “Here I am. Send me!” Then God gave Isaiah a message for the people. Isaiah was to tell the message to everyone. Isaiah went to the king with God’s message. The king and the people were very afraid. An enemy army was coming. They did not believe they could win the battle. Isaiah said, “The enemy will not win. God is with you. God will give you a sign. A virgin will have a son. He will be Immanuel.” Another time, God gave a different message to the prophet Micah. Micah told the message to others. He said that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem.

LIVE IT OUT: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

Students

Mark 1:14-20

THE POINT: Following Jesus is a life-changing adventure and you are invited.
• What great adventure is on your bucket list?
• Why is it essential to believe and also repent to enter the kingdom of God?
• What are some of the ways Jesus calls people today?
• What does Jesus’ phrase “Follow Me’’ suggest about the way we’re to relate to Him?
Discuss the following quote:

“Sin gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be happier if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.”(1) —John Piper

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Discuss with your student ways that he or she has been an example of following Jesus. Then determine how you can each grow in following Jesus this week
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to develop relationships with friends that will help them to become better followers of Jesus.
• CULTURE: Pray with your student this week for the strength and courage to be an example of devotion to Christ in a worldly culture.

(1)John Piper, “50 John Piper Quotes,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 15 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes- by-author/john-piper-quotes/#axzz4hYC7eseG.


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