Conversation Starters: The Great Dragon

Posted on September 18, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus was present at creation.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Satan is real. We cannot blame our sin and problems on him, but he is ever at work to keep evil strong in the world and to encourage our involvement with sin. Christians are wise to stay alert to the devil’s work, since he is ever scheming to pull us down. The Bible presents a clear picture that Satan will not prevail in his evil. He is defeated by Christ, and he is defeated in our lives as we walk with Christ.

Preschool

Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

LIFE POINT: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. He named the light day and the darkness night. That was the first day. On the second day, God separated the water and the sky. Then God gathered the water into one place so that land would appear. He called the land earth and the water seas. God made plants and trees to grow on land. That was the third day. On the fourth day, God made the sun, moon, and stars. Then God filled the water with many kinds of living things, and He filled the air with birds. That was the fifth day. On the sixth day, God said, “Let the earth have all kinds of animals,” and it was done. Finally, God made a man and a woman. God looked at everything He made and saw that it was good. On the seventh day, God rested.

LIVE IT OUT: Young children have a hard time distinguishing the things God made from things that are man-made. Take time to point out plants, animals, rocks, and other things God made. Thank God for His beautiful world.

Kids

Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

LIFE POINT: In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth. At first, the earth had no shape. God said, “Let there be light.” God called the light day. He called the dark night. God said, “Let there be sky between the waters.” And it was so. God said, “Let the water under the sky gather. Let dry land appear.” God called the water seas. He called the land earth. God said, “Let there be plants with seed.” And plants appeared! Then God spoke and the sun, moon, and stars appeared! God spoke and there were living animals in the water and sky.” God said, “Let living animals of all kinds be on the earth.” And it happened! God saw that all He had made was good. Then God made people. God made men. God made women. God saw all He had made. It was very good! God rested on the seventh day.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child praise God for His creation. Read together Psalm 104, David’s psalm of praise to God for His creation. Help your child write his own praise for God’s creation.

Students

THE POINT: Satan fights against us, but we can stand in Christ.
• What monster or fictional villain best represents evil to you?
• Where do you see evidence of Satan’s deceptive work in the world today?
• What accusations does Satan bring against us?
• What does the gospel have to say about Satan’s accusations? Discuss the following quote:

“The more useful we are to God, the more we will be attacked by the enemy.”(1) —Zac Poonen

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 things he or she can do to pursue Christ and grow closer to Jesus by overcoming sin in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Darkness isn’t overcome alone. Help your student to overcome any battles he or she is currently facing with encouragement and prayer.
• CULTURE: Discuss with your student ways you see darkness affecting the world and even their friends. How can you help your student to see the light of Christ and share it with the world?

(1) Zac Poonen, “33 Zac Poonen Quotes,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 21 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/zac-poonenquotes/#axzz4ZMLHuaWC.


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Conversation Starters: God is Faithful

Posted on September 11, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: People break promises. Even when they have the best intentions, people aren’t always able to do what they said they’d do. If we experience that enough, the unfaithfulness of others can cause us to lose hope. The early disciples experienced a loss of hope when Jesus was crucified. God remained faithful to what He said He’d do, and He proved His faithfulness when He raised Jesus from the dead. We have a sure hope because God is faithful.

Concept: God is Faithful

Preschool

Matthew 28:1-10

LIFE POINT: On Sunday morning, Mary and Mary Magdalene walked to the tomb. Jesus died on a cross and was buried there. Suddenly, an earthquake shook the ground. An angel rolled back the stone that was in front of the tomb. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He is not here. He is alive!” The angel told the women to look in the tomb and see that it was empty. Then the angel told the women to go and tell the disciples that Jesus is alive! The women left to find the disciples and tell them. Then they saw Jesus! The two women ran to Jesus and worshiped Him. Jesus said, “Go and tell My disciples to go to Galilee. They will see Me there.”

LIVE IT OUT: Print in the center of a sheet of paper: JESUS IS ALIVE! Give your child crayons or markers to trace around the letters and decorate the paper. Talk about the Bible story as your child is drawing.

Kids

Matthew 26:36-28:10

LIFE POINT: Soldiers arrested Jesus. They took Jesus to be crucified. They nailed Jesus on a cross. After a time, Jesus died on the cross. Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea, wrapped Jesus in white cloths and put the body in his own tomb. He rolled a big stone over the opening. After three days, as some women went to the tomb, there was an earthquake. An angel rolled back the stone. The angel said, “You are looking for Jesus who was crucified, but He is not here! He has risen from the dead, just like He told you.” The angel invited the women to see the tomb. He told them to tell the disciples the good news. As the women left, Jesus met them! They fell down and worshiped Jesus. “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said. “Tell My followers to meet Me in Galilee.”

LIVE IT OUT: As you celebrate Easter with your family, help your child understand that Jesus is alive, though He died on the cross and was buried. Help your child memorize Matthew 28:6. The women came to anoint Jesus’ body for death, but He was not there!

Students

Luke 24:1-12

THE POINT: The empty tomb points to the faithfulness of God.
• What surprise ending in any movie or book has left you wondering, “How did that happen?”
• What did the women expect to find at the tomb?
• Why do we sometimes doubt or forget what God has promised?
• Why is the resurrection so important for Christianity?
Discuss the following quote:

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”(1)—Tim Keller

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 how he or she can create a deeper relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: The news of Jesus’ life and resurrection is the most encouraging thing we can hear and share. Ask your student how this affects the way he or she is living, and how it can be an encouragement.
• CULTURE: Read the story of Christ’s resurrection with your student. Create a list of friends you can share the story of Christ with this week.

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


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Conversation Starters: Our Righteousness

Posted on May 15, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People should follow the commands of Jesus because God is righteous.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Life is just not fair. People with poor character, questionable ethics, and skewed morals seem to get ahead in life, while those who seek to do right seem to be passed by. In fact, people are often treated badly because of their right actions and character. We might be tempted to think God is also unfair since He allows this to happen. But God is a righteous God. He is the Lord our Righteousness, and He will ultimately bring justice to bear on all things.

Conversation Starters: Our Righteousness

Preschool

John 21:1-19

LIFE POINT: Peter, John, and some of their friends fished all night. They did not catch any fish. When the sun rose, they saw a man standing on the shore. He said, “Did you catch any fish?” They told him no. He told them to put their net down on the right side of the boat. The fishermen threw the net into the water on the right side. When they tried to lift the net, it was full of fish! There were 153 fish in the net. John said, “That man is Jesus!” Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore. The other men brought the boat to shore. When the men reached land, Jesus said, “Come and have breakfast with Me.” He gave the men bread and fish. The men were happy to see Jesus. Jesus told them to love and care for other people.

LIVE IT OUT: Teach your child to show love to others. Say the verse: “Jesus said, ‘Love other people.’ ” Think of a neighbor and plan a kindness for that person. You could gift some food or give a card drawn by your child. Be sure to share with the person that Jesus loves him.

Kids

John 21:1-19

LIFE POINT: Peter and other disciples fished all night. They didn’t catch a thing! As the sun began to come up, the men could see someone standing on the shore. The man called out, “Did you catch any fish?” “No,” the men answered. “Throw your net on the other side,” called the man. The fishermen threw the net and caught so many fish they couldn’t lift the net into the boat! Peter jumped into the water and came to shore. The other men brought the boat, pulling the net behind them. Jesus gave the men bread and fish to eat. Jesus spoke with Peter. He asked three times if Peter loved Him. Three times Peter said, “Yes.” Jesus told Peter to serve others as a way to follow Him.

LIVE IT OUT: Guide your child to read this week’s Bible verse, 2 John 1:6. Talk about what commands of Jesus we should follow. Help your child understand that showing the love of Jesus to the world is one of His commands. Discuss ways your child can do that task.

Students

Jeremiah 33:3-8, 14-16

THE POINT: Because God is righteous, He will ultimately make all things right.
• When can you remember saying, “That’s not fair!”?
• When have you seen a negative turn into a positive over time?
• How have you experienced God’s restoration?
• How do the promises in these verses point forward to Jesus? Discuss the following quote:

“No one will ever go to Hell who has put his trust in Jesus Christ, but many will end up in torment who have trusted their own righteousness and reformation.(1) —Curtis Hutson

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: Ensure that your student is cultivating a close relationship with God by continually confessing, repenting, and pursuing Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Ask your student who God has used to help him or her grow in their faith and pursuit of Christ. Pray for those who are committed to helping your student grow.
• CULTURE: We present a picture of the gospel to a worldly culture. Talk with your student about being prepared for the criticism that may come from a culture with worldly values.

(1)“15 Curtis Hutson Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/curtis-hutson-quotes/#axzz4r4oBjR4N..


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Conversation Starters: Our Shepherd

Posted on May 8, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Because Jesus saved us, we can walk with God.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The Bible often depicts us as sheep. Left to ourselves, we wander off and place ourselves in harm’s way. We can’t find our way back. The Bible also depicts God as the Shepherd over us. He is the One who gently guides us, protects us, and comforts us. Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved psalms in Scripture, and it succinctly captures this picture of God as our loving Shepherd.

Concept: Our Shepherd

Preschool

Matthew 19:13-15; Psalm 23

LIFE POINT: One day Jesus was teaching the people. Parents brought their children to see Jesus. They wanted Jesus to put His hands on the children and pray for them. Jesus’ disciples told the people to go away. They didn’t want the parents and children to bother Jesus. Jesus told His helpers, “Let the children come to Me.” Jesus touched the children; He held them and prayed for them. He told the people that everyone should love God just like the children love God. The disciples and other people saw that Jesus loves all people, including children.

LIVE IT OUT: Print the verse words of Psalm 23:1 on individual cards with matching symbols one each edge. Help your child put the verse in order, either using the words or matching the symbols. Say the verse together. Thank God that Jesus, our Shepherd, loves children.

Kids

John 20:19-31; Psalm 23

LIFE POINT: The disciples were afraid that the men who killed Jesus would find them. They locked the door where they met. Jesus appeared with the disciples! The disciples knew the man was Jesus. They were so happy! Thomas was not there when Jesus appeared, but the other disciples told him all about it. Thomas said, “I must see the scars from the nails.” Later, Thomas was with the other disciples in a room. Jesus appeared beside them again! Jesus spoke to Thomas. “Look at My hands. Touch My side. Don’t be someone who does not believe. Be someone who believes.” Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said that Thomas believed because He could see. He said that people who believe without seeing are blessed.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Emphasize that Thomas acknowledged Jesus as Savior when Jesus appeared before him. Read together Romans 10:9. If your child is not a Christian, share the plan of salvation with him or her.

Students

Psalm 23:1-6

THE POINT: God guides us as He walks with us.
• When has a guide made an experience more memorable?
• Who or what do you look to for guidance on a regular basis?
• When has an awareness of God’s presence made you brave?
• How can our actions and attitudes demonstrate that we follow God as our shepherd? Discuss the following quote:

“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.”(1) —Leonard Ravenhill

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 is allowing sin to block his or her walk with God. Pray with your student confessing all of your sins and commit to turning away from them in a real way.
• COMMUNITY: Talk honestly with your student about any friends he or she has that are not Christians. Pray for your student and his or her friends.
• CULTURE: Determine some ways to gently approach the gospel in conversations with friends and how to communicate the value of following Jesus.

(1)“Leonard Ravenhill Quote-Leadership,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/leonard-ravenhill-quoteleadrship/#axzz4r4oBjR4N.


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Conversation Starters: Our Peace

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Because of Jesus’ death and sacrifice we can have peace with God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Who doesn’t long for peace? We’d love an absence of conflict in our lives, a time with no squabbling or obstacles. Even when we have those moments of “peace and quiet,” they are often short-lived. But God offers us a far greater and lasting peace, even while facing conflict with others or battling our circumstances. In Gideon’s encounter with God, he discovered he could trust God to give the Israelites peace because of who God is.

Concept: Our Peace

Preschool

Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19

LIFE POINT: Jesus and His disciples were walking to Jerusalem. Jesus told two disciples, “Go to the next town, and there you will find a young donkey. Bring it to me.” The disciples obeyed Jesus. They found the donkey like Jesus said they would. They brought the donkey to Jesus. The disciples spread their coats on the donkey. Jesus sat on the donkey’s back and rode into Jerusalem. Along the way, many people were waiting to see Jesus. When they saw Him coming, some people spread their coats on the road. Other people laid down palm branches. As Jesus passed by, the people shouted, “Hosanna.” The people shouted happy words to God. They were happy to see Jesus. They knew He was special and had done many miracles. They wanted to show their love for Him!

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child about the way people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. Give your child a simple instrument, such as two craft sticks or a coffee can drum. Lead a praise parade as you play the instruments to worship music.

Kids

Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19

LIFE POINT: Jesus sent two disciples into a town to find a donkey. The disciples found the donkey and started untying it. “Why are you untying the donkey?” the owners asked. The disciples said, “The Lord needs it.” The disciples took the donkey to Jesus. They put their robes on the donkey. They helped Jesus get on the donkey. Jesus rode into town. The people were excited to see Jesus. People put their robes and branches on the road in front of Him. The crowd shouted joyfully in loud voices, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! ” Some temple leaders said, “Stop these people. They should not praise you!” Jesus answered, “If the people stop, the stones will cry out!”

LIVE IT OUT: Review today’s Bible story with your child. If you or your child have ever seen a celebrity in a parade, talk about how that felt. Compare with how your child thinks the people felt when seeing Jesus ride into Jerusalem.

Students

Judges 6:11-24

THE POINT: God’s peace helps us rise above our circumstances.
• Where do you go when you need some peace and quiet?
• What causes us to sometimes doubt God’s presence in our lives?
• How do we recognize when God is calling us to a task?
• Where do you need peace in your life right now? Discuss the following quote:

“Because of the empty tomb, we have peace. Because of His resurrection, we can have peace during even the most troubling of times because we know He is in control of all that happens in the world.”(1) —Paul Chappell

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your students to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out in the Personal Study Guide. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: By trying to please the sinful world, we separate ourselves from wholeness and peace with God. Discuss with your student ways that he or she is trying to please the world instead of God.
• COMMUNITY: Create a list of people you know who need God’s peace in their lives. Make a plan to serve and help them to experience the peace of Christ.
• CULTURE: Help your student to discover ways he or she can share the gospel with lost friends at school.


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


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