Conversation Starters: Follow with Joy

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can serve God together.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The world equates joy and happiness with having our needs and desires met. Reality shows us, though, that having all our desires met does not necessarily bring us joy or make us any happier. Joy comes when we turn from pleasing ourselves and turn to living humbly before God, placing the needs of others before our own. When we follow the example of
Jesus in humility, we experience joy.

Concept: Follow with Joy

 

Preschool

2 Chronicles 23:11, 13; 24:1-14

LIFE POINT: Joash became king when he was only seven years old. He was king for 40 years. Joash did what God told him to do. While he was king, Joash decided to repair the temple (church). He led the people to bring their money, gold, and silver to help repair the temple. The men made a chest and placed it outside the gate of the temple. The leaders and the people brought offerings and put them in the chest until it was full. The money was used to pay the stonecutters who repaired stone walls. The money paid the carpenters who sawed, hammered, and nailed. It was used to pay metal workers called blacksmiths and coppersmiths to repair the metal in the temple and to make new gold and silver items for the temple. The workmen worked hard. They rebuilt God’s temple.

LIVE IT OUT: Briefly review the story of Joash and the people giving offerings. If you have one, show your child an offering envelope for your church. Explain how the offerings are used at church to help people learn about God and Jesus. If your child attends worship, allow him to place money in the offering bin.

Kids

2 Chronicles 23:11, 13; 24:1-14

LIFE POINT: Joash became the king when he was seven years old. When Joash was older, he wanted to repair the temple. “Ask the people for money to fix the temple. They can give their
money just as Moses told them,” King Joash said. But the priests did not hurry to do what the king said. King Joash commanded a chest be placed beside the gate into the temple. He told people to bring money that belonged to God. The people happily brought their money and put it in the chest. The king’s helpers emptied the chest every day when it was full. They put it back beside the temple gate. The men in charge used the money to hire men to do the work. Finally, their work was done. Extra money was used to make things for the inside of the temple. The people worshiped God in the temple.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child see you give to God? If your child has an allowance or part-time job, help him become a cheerful giver to the church. Talk about how money given to church is used to help people learn about God.

Students

Philippians 2:1-11

THE POINT: We were made to live in love and humility like Christ.
• What annoys you the most?
• Why is unity so important for your group and the church?
• How would you describe the relationship between humility and unity?
• Who in your life best lives out this example of Jesus?
Discuss the following quote:

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion. It is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”1—Billy Graham

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 help him or her to intentionally serve others.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student work on memorizing this week’s passage: Philippians 2:5-11. Keep the Scripture where you can see it throughout the week and quiz your student to
help with memorization.
• CULTURE: Spend time with your student talking about humility this week and how our lives should reflect the humility we see in Christ.

 

1. Billy Graham, “A Daily Process,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association [online], 2 October 2015, [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://billygraham.org/devotion/a-daily-process/.


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Conversation Starters: Share with Joy

Posted on January 3, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can have joy because of what God has done.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The greatest joy anyone can experience is through a relationship with Christ. The presence of hardship and critics does not alter our relationship with Christ. No matter what, the follower of Christ belongs to Him for eternity. Consequently, hardships and critics should not alter our joy in Christ. In fact, joy in the midst of problems is a great testimony to Christ, the One who gives us His unsurpassed joy.

Concept: Share with Joy

Preschool

1 Samuel 1

LIFE POINT: Hannah was very sad. She wanted a child very much. Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, had gone to the tabernacle at Shiloh. Hannah prayed and cried as she asked God for a son. She promised that if God gave her a son she would give him to God all his life. The priest, Eli, saw Hannah praying and asked why she was crying. She told Eli that she was praying to God for a child. Eli responded, “May God give you what you prayed for.” Hannah left, hoping and believing God had heard her. Later she gave birth to a son and named him Samuel. When Samuel was older, she took him to the tabernacle. She brought him to Eli and said, “Here is the son that I prayed for, and I am giving him to God.” Samuel lived at the tabernacle and helped Eli, the priest.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your preschooler in a family prayer time. Ask him to contribute to prayer requests. Guide him to name people for whom he can pray. Lead your child to voice a prayer for those people.

Kids

1 Samuel 1:1 – 4:1

LIFE POINT: Hannah was very sad because she had no children. One day, she prayed in the tabernacle. Hannah asked God to give her a son. She promised she would give him to God for his whole life. Later, Hannah had a baby boy. She named him Samuel. When he was old enough, Hannah took him to Priest Eli. “This is what I prayed for,” she explained. Samuel served God at the tabernacle. One night he heard a voice calling him. He hurried to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “I did not call you,” Eli said. Two more times Samuel heard his name called. Each time he hurried to Eli. Then Eli knew that God was the one calling Samuel. He told Samuel how to answer. When Samuel heard his name again, he said, “Speak. I am listening.” God gave Samuel a message for Eli. When Samuel was older, he became a prophet of God.

LIVE IT OUT:  Prayer is an important part of a Christian’s life. Be a model for praying for others to your child. Give her opportunities to pray for your family and for others. Be intentional in teaching your child to pray.

Students

Philippians 1:12-21

THE POINT:  I can share Christ with joy no matter my circumstances. What’s the toughest thing for you to share with others? When have you been encouraged by the faith and perseverance of someone in your life? What do these verses teach us about sharing Christ? What feelings normally arise when you think about sharing the gospel? How can we help one another be bold in sharing the gospel? Discuss the following quote:

“To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in this world.”1—Charles Spurgeon

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 that God would make clear his or her goals and ways to share the gospel.

• Take time to serve in the community with your student. Consider serving in a ministry area in your church or volunteering at a local food bank.

• CULTURE: God uses us as instruments to serve others and make a difference in their lives. Discuss with your student ways to make Christ the center of our lives and find our purpose in Him.

1. “15 Amazing Quotes About Evangelism,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/15-amazing-quotes-evangelism/#ixzz47uT8vEA1.


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Conversation Starters: Pray with Joy

Posted on December 6, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People experience joy through praying.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Too often prayer is limited to asking God to intervene in a crisis or fix a problem. To be sure, the Bible is full of invitations for us to call on Him to work, but our prayers should also reflect the fact that God has already been at work and continues to work in our lives. When we reflect on His work in our lives and the lives of others, it should cause us to rejoice and motivate us to continue praying joyfully for God’s work.

Concept: Pray with Joy

Preschool

Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:13-17

LIFE POINT: After her husband and sons died, Naomi decided to go where she lived before. She told her son’s wife, Ruth, to go home to her own family. But Ruth wanted to stay with Naomi. Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem. The people were excited to see Naomi again. She told them why she was so sad. Ruth went into the fields and gathered barley for their food. Ruth was in a field that belonged to Boaz. Boaz made sure she had plenty of barley. He knew she cared for Naomi. Ruth continued to gather barley with Boaz’s servants. Naomi and Ruth were thankful for the food and for Boaz caring about them. Then, Boaz took Ruth as his wife. Ruth had a baby boy. Naomi loved the new baby. They named the baby Obed. Ruth, Boaz, Obed, and Naomi were a happy family!

LIVE IT OUT: Explain to your child how important her family is to God. Families are an important part of God’s plan for people, and God loves families. Help your child name ways God shows His love to your family. Pray, thanking God for His love.

Kids

Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:13-17

LIFE POINT: Bethlehem had very little food. Naomi and her husband moved away. Later, Naomi’s husband and sons died. Only Naomi’s daughters-in-law were left. Naomi went back to Bethlehem. Ruth went to Bethlehem with Naomi. Ruth worked in the fields. She picked up grain the workers left. Ruth worked in a field owned by Boaz. Boaz asked about the woman he saw working. “She is Ruth who came back with Naomi. She has worked hard.” Naomi saw the grain Ruth brought her. Naomi said, “Boaz is part of our family. Keep working in his fields.” Later, Boaz married Ruth. They had a baby. Naomi took care of him. The baby was Obed. Obed grew up to be the grandfather of King David.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child know that God has a plan for her family? Help your child learn that God wants families to love and honor Him. Just as God planned for Ruth’s family to be in the lineage of Jesus, God has a special plan for your family.

Students

Philippians 1:3-11

THE POINT: Prayer is an opportunity to experience joy. When has someone’s recognition meant a great deal to you? What are some examples of temporary happiness versus true joy? What obstacles hinder us from building deeper relationships? How can you build the kind of relationships Paul described in these verses? Why are both knowledge and discernment necessary for loving others like Christ? Discuss the following quote:

“[Prayer is] a constant fellowship, an unbroken audience with the King.”1—E. M. Bounds

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 the gifts that God has given to him or her. Be sure to include their salvation, hope, and the purpose that God has provided.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to memorize Philippians 1:6 and pray for the work that Christ has planned for their future.
• CULTURE: Help your student to orient his or her life placing Jesus as the focus of each and every day.

1. E. M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer (New York: F. H. Revell, 1920), 66.


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Conversation Starters: Give Thanks - Anyway!

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Honor God by obeying and thanking Him.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Every November, we are reminded to be thankful for all the blessings and good things in our lives. It’s easy to be thankful when the blessings are obvious or right in front of us. Thankfulness is harder when the road before us is uncertain and we feel like we’re facing more challenges than blessings. We can truly give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), because God is always at work on our behalf.

Concept: Give Thanks – Anyway!

Preschool

Exodus 20; 31:18

LIFE POINT: God’s people were traveling to the land God had promised them. They camped in a desert near a mountain until God told them to move. Moses would go up the mountain and talk to God. One time God gave Moses and the people ten special rules or Commandments to follow. These are some of the rules God wanted His people to follow: Love God. Love your mother and father and do what they tell you to do. Do not take anything that does not belong to you. Always tell the truth. After God was finished talking with Moses, the people heard thunder and saw lightning. A trumpet blew, and smoke filled the area. The people were afraid. Moses told them to not be afraid. “Love God and make right choices,” he said. God wrote these rules on two stone tablets so the people would remember them.

LIVE IT OUT: Give your child ten items to count. Use the opportunity to talk about the Ten Commandments God gave to the people.

Kids

Exodus 20; 31:18

LIFE POINT: God commanded Moses to tell the people what He wanted them to do. God reminded Moses of all He had done for the people. Then God told Moses His special commandments.
Worship only God. Do not make idols. Honor God’s name. Remember the Sabbath is God’s special day. Respect your parents. Do not murder. Keep your marriage promises to your husband or wife. Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not want the things that belong to other people. When the people heard the thunder and trumpet, and saw the lightning and smoke, they shook with fear. Moses said, Don’t be afraid.” God spoke again. “Do not make idols to me. Instead make an altar from the earth. Use it to offer your sacrifices to Me. I will bless you in every place you go.”

LIVE IT OUT: Talk about the Ten Commandments with your child. Help him think of different ways to express the commandments that convey the same meaning. Discuss modern applications of the commandments.

Students

2 Chronicles 20:10-30

THE POINT: Our circumstances don’t define our thankfulness. How do you normally respond to a situation you cannot fix? What are the benefits of being a thankful person? How does being a thankful person bring recognition to Christ? Discuss the following quote:

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”1—G. K. Chesterton

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out this Thanksgiving. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Begin family prayers this week by thanking God. List the small things God is doing for your family in the battles you are facing.
• COMMUNITY: Pray with your student about any battles he or she may be walking through. Check in each day to see how God is working in the situation.
• CULTURE: Help your student to prepare for future battles. This can be through Scripture memorization, prayer, etc. Remember that even in tough situations, God is working in us to make us more like Him.

1. “G.K. Chesterton > Quotes > Quotable Quotes,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 1 February 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/20268-i-would-maintain-that thanks-are-the-highest-form-of.


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Conversation Starters: Created with Great Value

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God can use people even if they make mistakes.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our culture often determines a person’s value by how that person can contribute to society or not be a burden to others. Unfortunately, a lot of people—including the unborn, the elderly, or those with special needs—must depend on others. Some people question the value of a person who cannot “stand on their own two feet,” but God never does. Every person has value and purpose.

Concept: Created with Great Value

Preschool

Judges 6:11-23

LIFE POINT: The Midianites had attacked the people of Israel. The Israelites called to God to help them. God chose a new leader to defeat the Midianites. God chose Gideon. An angel came to Gideon and said, “God has chosen you to help, Gideon. God is sending you. You will free your people.” Gideon said he was not strong or powerful, but the angel told Gideon that God would be with him. Gideon cooked a meal for his visitor. He brought meat and broth and bread to the angel. “Put the meat and bread on this stone,” the angel said. “Pour the broth on it.” The angel touched the food with his staff. Fire burned up the meat and bread. Then the angel disappeared. Gideon knew that God had sent the angel to talk to him. He knew that God would help him to help the Israelites.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to name ways God helps him. Be ready to supply a few answers. Help your
child learn the verse “God helps me. I will not be afraid.” Lead him to say the verse like a cheer.

Kids

Judges 13-16

LIFE POINT: “You will have a son,” the angel told the husband and wife.“ Be sure he never cuts his hair. Promise him to God.” Samson grew to be very strong. Samson killed a lion using just his hands. Once Samson was tied up and given to the enemy. When they attacked him, he broke the ropes and killed them with a bone. Delilah kept asking Samson where his strength came from until he answered her. Finally, Samson told Delilah the truth. While he slept, she cut his hair. His strength left him, and he was
taken prisoner. The enemy made Samson blind. They put chains on him. But, Samson’s hair began to grow again. One day in the temple of Dagon, people made fun of Samson. Samson prayed for strength and God gave it to him. Samson pushed against the stone columns. The whole temple fell down!

LIVE IT OUT: As you review the Bible story about Samuel, help your child think of other people that God
used who made mistakes and were disobedient to God. Help your child understand that God loves him and is ready to forgive sin.

Students

Jeremiah 1:4-10

THE POINT: Before you were born, God designed you with great value. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve ever seen? How does the truth that God knows you personally change how we relate to Him? What are some things all Christians are called to do? How does God equip His followers to fulfill their purpose? Discuss the following quote:

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”1—Saint Augustine

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: Encourage your student to memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 this week while actively listening for God’s calling.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student to understand that each of us has a calling that is as unique as we are. Spend time in prayer with your student seeking God’s calling in his or her life.
• CULTURE: The world defines value differently from how God defines value. Help your student understand the value that God has placed on our lives.

 

1. “Saint Augustine Quotes,” BrainyQuotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://w.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/saintaugus105351.html.


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