Conversation Starters: Share Christ

Posted on September 5, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People should pray and ask God to help others.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: A relationship with Jesus Christ colors every other relationship. The love of Christ—and our love for Christ—leads us to love others and ground every aspect of those relationships in love. The best way we can love others is to introduce them to Jesus—the One who leads us to love them.

Concept: Share Christ

Preschool

Acts 12:5-19

LIFE POINT: King Herod put Peter in prison. Peter’s church friends found out what the king had done. They prayed to ask God to help Peter. One night when Peter was sleeping, an angel appeared. The angel said, “Get up! Put on your coat and sandals and come with me.” Peter did what the angel told him to do. Peter followed the angel out of the prison. The angel led Peter into the city. The angel left and Peter knew that God helped him. Peter hurried to the house where his friends were praying. He knocked on the door. The girl who came to the door was so excited that she forgot to open the door and let Peter in! “Peter is at the door!” she told the friends who were praying. When they opened the door, the friends were happy to see Peter. Peter told his friends how God helped him. Peter said, “Tell our other friends what happened. Tell them how God helped me.”

LIVE IT OUT: Make a list of people who are important to your family and your child. Pray with your child for each person on the list. Be sure your child knows that she can pray and ask God to help other people.

Kids

Acts 12:5-19

LIFE POINT: Peter was in prison. Peter’s church friends met together and prayed for God to help Peter. That night Peter slept, chained between two guards. An angel appeared. “Quick, get up,” the angel said. “Get dressed, put on your sandals, and follow me.” Peter’s chains fell off! Peter thought he was dreaming, but he followed the angel as they went past the guards, through the prison gates, and into the city. Then the angel left. Peter realized that God sent the angel to help him. He hurried to the house where people were praying. Peter knocked on the door. A servant heard Peter’s voice and ran to tell the people that Peter was there. Peter kept knocking and they finally they opened the door. The people were amazed! Peter told them how God had answered their prayers. Then Peter went away to a safe place.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child commit to a time of prayer every day. Assist your child in writing a list of people he knows who need prayer. On the top of his paper tell him to write the verse, “Pray for one another.” James 5:16, followed by a list of names and needs. Encourage him to place the list in a visible place.

Students

John 1:35-49

THE POINT: We have a responsibility to introduce our friends to Jesus.

• When have you needed courage to introduce yourself to someone?
• How did Jesus first catch your attention?
• What often holds us back from telling others about Jesus?
• When have you felt led to tell someone about Jesus?

Discuss the following quote:

“When a man is filled with the Word of God you cannot keep him still. If a man has got the Word, he must speak or die.” ¹ —Dwight L. Moody

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 spend time getting to know Jesus through prayer and reading the Bible.
• COMMUNITY: Consider opening your home as a place where students can gather to learn about Jesus.
• CULTURE: Help your student to understand the strength of his or her testimony. Share your own testimony as an example.

 

¹. Dwight L. Moody, Anecdotes & Illustrations of D. L. Moody Related by Him in His Revival Work (Ottoway, 1878), 38.


Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged Tags: , , , | Leave a reply

Conversation Starters: See the Worth in Others

Posted on August 29, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People at church should love others like Jesus loves them.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Culture places great emphasis on our personal happiness, but people often take advantage of others to achieve that personal happiness. When the mindset is solely on our own personal happiness, we fail to take into consideration the ones we are involving. These individuals— just like us—have great value in the eyes of God. They are people made in the image of God for whom Christ died, and we are to show them the same love Christ does.

Conversation Starters: See the Worth in Others

Preschool

Acts 11:19-30

LIFE POINT: The people in the church in Jerusalem heard there was a new church in Antioch. They sent Barnabas to Antioch to see what the people were saying about Jesus. Barnabas was glad the people in Antioch were teaching other people about Jesus. Many people in Antioch believed in Jesus. Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch to teach the people more about Jesus. They stayed in Antioch for one year. Many more people in Antioch believed in Jesus. People who believed in Jesus were first called Christians at the Antioch church. A man named Agabus traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch. He told the people in Antioch about a famine in Jerusalem. The people in the Antioch church wanted to help. The people brought gifts for the Jerusalem church. Barnabas and Saul took their gifts to the people in the church in Jerusalem.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about community ministries in your church such as a food or clothing ministry. Choose a ministry and plan a time for you and your child to participate in this ministry. Your child will learn firsthand how the church helps others.

Kids

Acts 11:19-30

LIFE POINT: Believers came to a city called Antioch and began speaking to everyone about Jesus. God helped these believers tell the people of Antioch about Jesus, and many people believed in Jesus. The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch to see what was going on, to teach more about Jesus, and to encourage the new believers. Barnabas was happy with what he saw.
Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch. For a whole year, the two men taught people at the church in Antioch where believers were first called Christians. The people in Antioch learned about a great famine. The people of the church in Antioch worked together to collect things for those who had a need. The church sent all that they had collected with Barnabas and Saul to give to church leaders in Jerusalem to help the people there.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about ways your church supports the work of God, whether in your community, state, nation, or in the world. Help your child choose a ministry at church and decide how to support that ministry. For example, she could sponsor a food drive to support the church food bank.

Students

2 Samuel 11:1-9, 14-17

THE POINT: When we see others as Christ sees them, we will treat them as He does.
• When has your opinion of someone changed in a good way?
• Why is it often difficult for us to see the value in others?
• What are some warning signs that we are viewing people as objects or obstacles?
Discuss the following quote:

“This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.” ¹ —D. L. Moody

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: Talk with your student this week about the ways we can reflect Jesus’ love.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that he or she can be a better friend. List a few ways he or she can serve a specific friend this week.
• CULTURE: Broken relationships can harm our witness. Pray with your student over any broken relationships and encourage him or her to respond in a humble way.

 

¹. Hugh F. Pyle, The Good Ship Courtship (Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Sword of the Lord, 2000), 25.


Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged Tags: , , , | Leave a reply

Conversation Starters: Respect Authority

Posted on August 15, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God is the authority over everything in people’s lives.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Most authority figures are good leaders whose authority we can respect. Unfortunately, we encounter other authority figures who, at best, are inept in what they do or, at worst, are self-serving or even “out to get us.” When it comes to respect, the Bible makes no distinction between the two types of leaders. In the Book of 1 Samuel, David modeled for us how we can respect even the worst kinds of authority figures.

Concept: Respect Authority

Preschool

Acts 10

LIFE POINT: Cornelius and his family loved God. One day, Cornelius was praying. An angel gave him a message from God. The angel told Cornelius to find a man named Peter. Cornelius sent some men to find Peter. When the men found Peter, they explained what the angel had told Cornelius. The next day Peter and the men went to Cornelius’s house. Cornelius was there, waiting with his family and friends. Peter began talking to them. “God wants me to tell you that He loves everyone,” Peter said. “God wants me to tell you about Jesus.” Peter told that Jesus was God’s Son, that Jesus taught people about God, and about the good things Jesus did. Cornelius and his family and friends listened to Peter. They believed everything Peter told them about Jesus. They loved
Jesus, too.

LIVE IT OUT: Make a list of friends who do not go to church that your child knows. Choose a friend and invite that child to go to a special event at your church, like a  “back to school ” event. Be sure your child knows he is helping his friend to hear about Jesus.

Kids

Acts 10

LIFE POINT: Cornelius was an important officer in the Roman army. Cornelius and his family worshiped God. Cornelius always prayed to God. One day God sent an angel to tell Cornelius to send for Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Cornelius sent three men to get Peter who was in a town called Joppa. God spoke to Peter and told him that Cornelius’s servants were looking for him. God told Peter to go with the men. Peter obeyed. Cornelius, his family, and his friends were waiting when Peter arrived at his house. Peter preached to Cornelius and everyone at his house. Peter told them about Jesus. Peter said that Jesus was sent by God so people could be forgiven for their sins: not just Jews, but all people. Cornelius and everyone who heard Peter’s message believed in Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: How can you involve your child in God’s work around the world? If he is old enough, encourage your child to participate in a mission trip with your church. If that is not possible, he could earn money to help support a missionary or a mission trip.

Students

1 Samuel 24:3-12

THE POINT: Respect the authorities God has placed in your life.
• What have you been taught about respecting authority?
• How do you respond to the authority figures in your life?
• What do you like best about David’s approach in these verses?
• What can we learn from David about dealing with difficult people in authority?

Discuss the following quote:

“Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, His lordship.” ¹ —Elisabeth Elliot

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some suggested ways for your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Spend time with your student discussing what he or she can do to further cultivate his or her relationship with Jesus.
• COMMUNITY: Are there opportunities to serve alongside your student ministry or ways for you to be a better community member? Pray this week for opportunities to lead and serve students.
• CULTURE: Talk with your student about ways we can live in submission to God and share His goodness with the world.

¹. Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Revell, 2002), 41.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Tags: , , , | Leave a reply

Conversation Starters: Building Friendship

Posted on May 16, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Love for others grows through the love of Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We are familiar with business contracts and marriage covenants, but we rarely think of our friendships in terms of a covenant. It’s not likely a formal agreement, but we often recognize a bond between friends that goes beyond just a shared interest or affinity. In the Book of 1 Samuel, David and Jonathan gave us an example of what such a covenant looks like.

Concept: Building Friendship

Preschool

Acts 9:19-31

LIFE POINT: Before Saul believed in Jesus, he wanted to hurt people who loved and obeyed Jesus. But Saul changed and believed that Jesus was God’s Son. Saul wanted others to believe in Jesus, too. Saul was with Jesus’ disciples in Damascus. He was telling people that Jesus was God’s Son. The people who heard Saul knew he had hurt people who believed in Jesus. They were afraid
of Saul, but Saul kept telling people about Jesus. Saul heard that some people were going to try to hurt him. The disciples helped Saul escape. At night, they put Saul in a large basket and lowered him through an opening in the city wall. Saul went to Jerusalem. Some people were still afraid of him. Barnabas became his friend. Barnabas told the people that Saul had changed and now he loved Jesus. Saul continued to tell people about Jesus. Many people decided to follow Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Briefly review the Bible story about Saul telling others about Jesus. Comment that Jesus helped Saul be able to tell others. Give your child paper and crayons. Ask her to draw a way that Jesus helps her.

Kids

Acts 9:19-31

LIFE POINT: In Damascus, Saul began preaching about Jesus. He told the people that Jesus was God’s Son. The Jewish leaders wanted to stop Saul. They wanted to kill him. The disciples rescued Saul. They hid Saul in a basket and lowered him through a large hole in a wall so that he escaped. Saul went to Jerusalem. He wanted to work with the disciples there, but they were afraid of him.
A disciple by the name of Barnabas took Saul to the apostles, and Saul described how he had talked to Jesus on the road to Damascus. Barnabas told the apostles how Saul began teaching in Damascus and how the Jewish leaders tried to kill him. The apostles helped Saul travel to many places to tell people about Jesus. He continued to teach people about what Jesus had done for him.

LIVE IT OUT: How have you seen Jesus helping your family? Talk to your child about what Jesus has done for her. Encourage her to add to her testimony by telling how being a Christian has changed her life. This is a critical part of sharing a testimony with another person.

Students

1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:4-7; 20:10-13

THE POINT: Strong friendships grow because of shared commitment.
• What do you enjoy most about your friendships?
• What are some practical ways to demonstrate selflessness in our friendships?
• What risks do we take when we stand up for our friends?
• How do you typically respond when a friendship becomes complicated?
Discuss the following quote:

“They are rich who have true friends.”¹ —Thomas Fuller

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: Spend time with your student discussing his or her relationship with Jesus. Take time to pray for the relationship to grow between your student and Jesus.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that he or she can promote unity and love in the church and student ministry.
• CULTURE: Help your student identify lost friends that need to hear the gospel and make a plan that can be put into action.

¹. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British (London: B. Barker, 1732), 215.


Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged Tags: , , , | Leave a reply

Conversation Starters: Love Gives

Posted on May 9, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Telling people about Jesus shows love for them.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Relationships can be fragile. Everything’s fine if two people are traveling down the same road, but what happens if those two people don’t see eye to eye—or open animosity is evident? The Christian’s role in a relationship—any relationship—is to love. When we live and dwell in the love of Christ, that same love seeps into all our relationships.

Concept: Love Gives

Preschool

Acts 8:26-40

LIFE POINT: Philip traveled from town to town, telling people about Jesus. One day an angel (a messenger from God) spoke to Philip. The angel told him to go to the desert road that went from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip started walking down the road. He saw a man riding in a chariot. The Ethiopian man had been to Jerusalem to worship God. Philip heard the man reading from a Bible scroll. Philip asked the man, “Do you understand what you are reading?” “No,” the man said. “I need someone to explain the words to me.” So Philip sat beside him in the chariot and explained the
words. Philip told the man that the words in the Bible scroll were about Jesus. He told him the good news about Jesus. The man saw some water and asked to be baptized. Philip baptized him. The Ethiopian man went home very happy. Philip traveled to other places to tell people about Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of a family member or friend who needs to know about Jesus. Print “Jesus loves you” at the top of a piece of paper. Let your child draw a special picture for this person. Plan to give the picture to the person. Say a prayer together for this person beforehand.

Kids

Acts 8:26-40

LIFE POINT: Philip was one of the disciples. He told people about Jesus. An angel told Philip to go to the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza. While Philip was walking down the road, he saw a man from Ethiopia sitting in a chariot while reading a Scripture passage. Philip asked the man if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian said that he was not able to understand what he was reading because he had no one to help him understand it. The Ethiopian asked Philip to sit beside him in the chariot. Philip read explained that the Scripture was talking about Jesus. Philip explained to him all that Jesus had done. The Ethiopian believed everything that Philip told him about Jesus. The Ethiopian saw some water and asked Philip if he could be baptized. Philip told the Ethiopian, “If you believe with all of your heart, you may.” Philip baptized the man from Ethiopia.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever shared his testimony with a friend? Remind him that God wants us to tell others the good news about Jesus. Help him think of a friend who needs to know about Jesus. Brainstorm ideas for helping that friend learn about Jesus.

Students

John 15:9-17

THE POINT: Center every relationship on the unconditional love of Christ.
• How has technology changed the way we relate to each other?
• How does obeying God’s commands demonstrate our love for Him?
• What does it look like to love others the way Jesus loves us?
• What keeps us from obeying Jesus’ commands in these verses?
Discuss the following quote:

“The world does not understand theology or dogma [doctrine], but it understands love.”¹ —Dwight L. Moody

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 time to pray with your student ensuring that he or she is loving Jesus in the same way that He loves us.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to show love to his camp friends this week, even if they live far away. Brainstorm a couple ways you could show love and then follow through.
• CULTURE: It is easy to love our friends and family, but Jesus calls us to love everyone including our enemies. Seeing you acting in love and doing good will help your student to act out that same love with others.

¹. Inspired Faith: 365 Days a Year: Daily


Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged Tags: , , , | Leave a reply