Conversation Starters: Unstoppable Message

Posted on September 20, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: You show God love when you love and respect each other.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: There are many good groups and organizations in our communities seeking to benefit society in some way. The Church, however, is unique. Many organizations today are short-lived or diminish as the need they seek to meet is realized. Or they change when the leadership changes. The Church is different. Christ gave His Church one unchanging message to proclaim: the message of salvation in Christ.

Concept: Unstoppable Message

Preschool

Genesis 25:19-28

LIFE POINT: Abraham and Sarah’s son, Isaac, was now a man. He married a woman named Rebekah. Rebekah and Isaac could not have children, so Isaac prayed to God for a baby. God answered Isaac’s prayer and gave them two babies—twins! God told Rebekah the younger son would be stronger than his older brother. The time came for the boys to be born. The first twin was born, and his parents named him Esau. Right after him, the younger brother was born, and his parents named him Jacob. Even though the two brothers were twins, they were different. Esau loved to spend time outdoors hunting. Jacob was quiet and stayed around the tents and his family. Isaac and Rebekah took care of their boys
and loved them.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make a book. Fold two sheets of paper together to make a book shape. Print, or help him print, God Gave Me a Family on the front of the book. Give your child a picture of each family member to glue on the pages. Print the family member’s name under each picture.

Kids

Genesis 26:1-6, 12-33

LIFE POINT: Isaac moved to the land of the Philistines. God spoke to Isaac. God promised to be with Isaac and to bless him in this land. Because God blessed him, Isaac became rich. He had sheep, cattle, and servants. The Philistines around him were jealous that Isaac was rich. They began stopping up wells that Isaac’s father had dug. Abimelech asked Isaac to leave. Isaac moved away. He reopened other wells his father had dug. Then Isaac’s workers dug in the valley and found more water! Each time the Philistine herdsmen argued that the water was theirs. Isaac never argued. He moved and dug other wells. God told Isaac, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid because I am with you. I will bless you.” Isaac and Abimelech promised not to hurt each other. That day, Isaac’s workers dug another well and found water!

LIVE IT OUT: Give your child construction paper, markers, and other art materials. Guide him to write Romans 12:18 in the center of the paper. Talk about the verse and how it can be implemented each day.
Encourage him to decorate the page and display it in his room.

Students

Acts 2:22-24, 32-33, 36-38

THE POINT: Jesus died for our sins, was resurrected, and reigns as Lord. What can we learn from Peter’s approach to sharing the gospel? When we recognize Jesus as Lord, how does that affect our daily life? How can we share the gospel with the goal of bringing conviction rather than condemnation? Discuss the following quote:

“Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.”1—Ravi Zacharias

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 serve in your local church. Serving as a family is also an excellent opportunity to challenge your student to grow by setting godly priorities.
• COMMUNITY: Guide your student to make wise decisions in how he or she uses social media. It is one of the broadest platforms to reflect the gospel.
• CULTURE: Discuss how your student gave their life to Christ, and how he or she can share with others this week. Some starter questions include: How did Christ change your life?; Why is it important to others?

1. Ravi Zacharias, “Baccalaureate Address” (presentation, Liberty University 40th Commencement Ceremony, Lynchburg, VA, May 10, 2013).


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Conversation Starters: Unstoppable Mission

Posted on September 13, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God helps families.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Living the Christian life on our own is impossible. Thankfully, when the Holy Spirit came, He empowered the disciples for an unstoppable mission. From one small dot on a map, they took Christ’s message across the world, and we continue this mission today. Christ never expected us to live this life on our own power. Jesus lived His earthly life connected to and empowered by God. Jesus lived and died in a way that no person could, so we can live in the freedom of His grace and power.

Concept: Unstoppable Mission

Preschool

Genesis 15; 21:1-6

LIFE POINT: Abraham and Sarah were married and very old. They did not have any children. They wanted a family, but God had not given them a child. One day God told Abraham he would have a son. Abraham and Sarah were old enough to be great-grandparents, but Abraham believed God. Abraham and Sarah had to wait and trust God. When the right time came, Sarah discovered she was going to
have a baby. God gave them the baby they had been waiting for. They named their son Isaac. Sarah was so happy. God kept His promise to give a child to Abraham. Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac were a family.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about what happens when a new baby comes into the family. If you have or know someone who has recently had a baby, let your child be involved in the care of that baby. Remind your child that babies are a gift from God and God loves her family.

Kids

Genesis 22:1-19

LIFE POINT: God asked Abraham to take his only son Isaac to a certain mountain. Isaac was to be a special offering. Isaac would die. Abraham loved Isaac, but he also trusted God. Abraham took his servants and his son with him to the mountain. When they reached the mountain, Abraham told the servants, “Wait here with the donkey. Isaac and I will go up to worship.” Isaac carried the wood. Abraham carried the fire and a knife. Isaac mentioned that they had wood and fire but nothing to
sacrifice. Abraham replied that God would provide the sacrifice. Abraham and Isaac arrived at the place of sacrifice. Abraham built the altar and arranged the sacrifice. The Angel of God told Abraham not to hurt Isaac! He provided a ram to use instead of Isaac. The Angel of God blessed Abraham for his obedience.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child memorize Jeremiah 29:11. Show him that this verse shows a promise that
God always has the best plans for His children, and we can trust Him to protect us.

Students

Acts 1:4-8, 12-14

THE POINT: The Holy Spirit empowers us to spread the gospel. What are some promises we wait for in life? What does it look like to wait on the Lord? Why is the order of Jesus’ promise so important (Receive Power, Be Witnesses, Tell Everyone)? Discuss the following quote:

“Christ said it is better for us that the Spirit came, and I want to live like I know that is true. I don’t want to keep crawling when I have the ability to fly.”1—Francis Chan

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to with 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 set aside time to read and study God’s Word. Help them select a Bible reading plan in the Bible app.
• COMMUNITY: Create a prayer list as a family about what you’re asking God to do in your family, city, nation, and world. Pray together as a family over that list to be unified and growing together in prayer.
• CULTURE: Discuss how the different promises of the Holy Spirit will change your student’s daily life this week. How will your student live out His or Her faith confidently because of the power and promise of the Holy Spirit?

1. Francis Chan, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2009), 37


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Conversation Starters: One Great Task

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Tell family members about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The struggle to find hope and purpose is universal. Earlier on the blog, we saw that we were created to be with God and live for His glory, and we will find that purpose through our trust in the work of Christ. Many people have yet to learn that truth, and they continue to struggle with the quest for hope and purpose. As believers, we have a responsibility to lead them to find that hope and purpose in Christ.

Conversation Starters: One Great Task

Preschool

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram and his nephew Lot lived on the land together. Abram had his family, tents, cattle, and sheep. Lot also had his family, animals, and tents. Abram and Lot had too many people and animals living in the same area. Abram and Lot’s helpers started arguing with each other over the land. Abram told Lot, “Please do not argue. We are family. We have lots of land.” Abram told Lot to choose an area to live, then he would choose a different area to live. Abram let Lot choose the land first. Lot chose his land and took his family and animals with him. Abram kept his promise and chose land away from Lot. Abram moved his family, animals, and tents to the new area. Now Abram and Lot had plenty of land and did not need to argue anymore.

LIVE IT OUT: Use a large sheet of paper to make a kindness chart for your child. Think together about ways your child can show kindness to other members of your family and print them on a chart. Let your child put a sticker on the chart any time she performs a kindness.

Kids

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram and his nephew Lot owned many animals. Because they had so many animals, there was not enough food for all of them. The herdsmen and servants began to argue with each other. Each wanted more land and food for his herds. Abram said to Lot, “We do not want to have our servants
quarreling. We are family! Look at the land around us. Choose the land you want. You go one way and I’ll go the other way.” Lot looked at the land. One direction was well-watered. Many plants grew there. Lot chose the beautiful, green Jordan Valley for himself. He took his flocks and moved. God spoke to Abram. “Look all around you. I will give you and everyone after you all that you see. I will make your family so large no one can count it all.” Abram built an altar where he worshiped and thanked God.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child the following questions: “What are the benefits of getting along in our family? What could happen if you always get your way? How can you help people get along?” Help your child think about the answers to these questions.

Students

2 Timothy 2:1-10

THE POINT: Everyone is meant to share the gospel. Who has been faithful in teaching you the truth about God and the gospel? What excuses do we make for not sharing Christ? What are your hopes and dreams for sharing the gospel? Discuss the following quote:

“Christian disciples are sent men and women—sent out in the same work of world evangelism to which the Lord was sent, and for which he gave his life.”1 —Robert E. Coleman

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: Help your student to be bold in his or her faith by praying with him or her for courage to share the gospel. Find additional courage and strength in 2 Timothy 2:8-10.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to find a younger friend that he or she may begin to mentor in their walk with Christ.
• CULTURE: Your student may be looked down upon because of his or her age. Instead, encourage your student to be bold in speech, actions, faith, love, and purity—just as Paul encouraged Timothy—and allow God to use him or her in a big way.

 

1. Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism, Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Revell, 2010), 69.


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Conversation Starters: One Great Commitment

Posted on July 26, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Families learn about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: What must I do to be saved? We make decisions constantly. Many decisions require little thought, and most decisions require little long-term commitment. But the greatest decision centers on what we will do with Jesus Christ. Knowledge about Jesus is not enough. Our need for salvation is answered in Jesus, but we must each decide whether we will commit to that truth and trust Jesus.

Concept: One Great Commitment

Preschool

Genesis 6:9- 8:19

LIFE POINT: Noah was a good man who obeyed God. God told Noah to build a big boat (ark) because God was going to flood the whole earth. Noah built the boat. He made it exactly as God said. The boat
had three floors and one door. God told Noah to store food for his family and all the animals. Noah did everything God had told him to do. Finally, it was time to gather his family and the animals on the boat. Then God shut the door. For 40 days and 40 nights, it rained. Noah, his family, and all the animals were safe in the boat. After the rain stopped and the water went away, God put a rainbow in the sky to remind Noah and his family He would never flood the earth again.

LIVE IT OUT: Provide some blocks and animal figures for your child. Sit with her and help her build the ark, a zoo, or pens for the animal. Talk about the story of Noah as your play. Remind your child that God loved Noah’s family and God loves all families.

Kids

Genesis 6:9- 8:22

LIFE POINT: Noah was a man who loved and obeyed God. God spoke to Noah. “Build an ark,” God said. God told Noah exactly how to make the ark. God was going to send a flood that would destroy everything not on the ark. Noah obeyed God. God told Noah to take animals with him on the ark. He needed two of every kind of animal and seven pairs of some animals. God told Noah and his family to go into the ark. When they were inside, God shut the door and the rain began. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Even the mountains were covered with water. But the ark floated on top of the water. God caused a wind to blow over the earth to begin to dry the water. Finally, Noah knew the land was dry. Noah, his family, and the animals out of the ark. Noah and his family had done everything that God told them to do.

LIVE IT OUT: As a family, discuss ways your family obeys God. Talk about ways your family could improve. Let your child help think of different ways your family could improve in their obedience to God.

Students 

Romans 10:1-3, 8b-13

THE POINT: I must trust in Christ alone for salvation. Where do you usually see people that are passionate but without knowledge? What is one problem with trying to earn your salvation? Why is salvation both easy and difficult for those who give their lives to Christ? Discuss the following quote:

Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.”1— Matt Chandler

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 about salvation through the confession of sins and surrendering of your life to Christ. If your student has not done this, talk with him or her about making a decision to do so.
• COMMUNITY: Invite friends of your student over who do not know Christ. Use the opportunity to reflect Christ’s love in your home and invite them to know Christ better.
• CULTURE: Discuss opportunities with your student to take the gospel to those who need it. Don’t let fear discourage him or her from big ideas and taking large leaps to further the kingdom.

1. Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014), 199.


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Conversation Starters: One Great Savior!

Posted on July 12, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Families love because of Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Why would Jesus save me? When we come face-to-face with our sin and failures, we can become despondent. A feeling of doom can settle in. After all, we have earned the wrath of God. But the story doesn’t end there. It is amazing that God—the holy, righteous God who has condemned our sin—also loves us and stepped in to save us. We deserve judgment and hell, but God offers the only way out through Christ.

Concept: One Great Savior

Preschool 

Genesis 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: Adam and Eve were the first people God made. They had two boys named Cain and Abel. As the boys grew older, Cain worked in the fields and grew plants for food. Cain saved some of his plants and food to give to God. Abel was a shepherd. His job was to take care of the sheep. He fed the sheep and kept them safe. Abel gave some of his firstborn sheep to God. God was pleased with Abel. Cain became mad when he saw that God was pleased with Abel’s offering. God told Cain to do what was right and love his brother, Abel. Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel were the first family.

LIVE IT OUT: Take time to look at family pictures in an album, especially members your child may not see often. Help your child become more familiar with those members by telling him things you know about them. Remind your child that God made his family.

Kids

Genesis 4:1-16

LIFE POINT: Adam and Eve had two sons named Cain and Abel. The two boys were different, but each grew to be a man. Cain grew up and farmed the land while Abel became a shepherd. One day, Cain and Abel each gave an offering to God. God liked Abel’s offering. He did not like Cain’s offering. Cain was angry. He asked his brother to go into the field with him. While they were there, Cain attacked and killed Abel. Soon God asked Cain, “Where is your brother?” Cain lied to God. “I don’t know,” Cain said. “Is it my job to take care of my brother?” God said that Cain would never be able to grow anything again. He sent Cain away and to wander for the rest of his life. God put a mark on Cain to keep him safe from people who might hurt him. Then Cain left God’s presence.

Students

Romans 5:6-11

THE POINT: God offers us hope and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. When was a time that you got lost and needed someone’s help? Why is it hard for us to recognize that we are helpless? What are we offered in a relationship with Christ? Discuss the following quote:

“In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.”1—A. W. Tozer

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: Create a list with your student of people you personally know need to be saved. Post your list on the fridge, and each night as a family, pray for every name on the list.
• COMMUNITY: Share your personal testimony with your student and encourage him or her to also share.
• CULTURE: Pray with your student for the opportunity and courage to share his or her testimony. Sharing our stories of Christ can be powerful ways of bringing the gospel to those who do not yet know the truth.

1. A. W. Tozer, Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2012), 111.


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