CATEGORY ARCHIVES: Just For Parents

Conversation Starters: Life on Mission

Posted on April 25, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Discipling people shows you love Christ.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We tend to define people by the demographics of our church and the circle of Christians we regularly encounter. People who match those characteristics certainly need Jesus, but so do people outside our circles. To share Christ with these other people requires us to take the gospel into their culture rather than expecting them to come into ours.

Concept: Life on Mission

Preschool

Acts 4:36; 9:26-31

LIFE POINT: Barnabas, a believer in Jesus, loved people and helped them. One time he sold a field and brought the money to give to people who needed help. Barnabas’ name meant “Son of Encouragement.” If you encourage people, you support them or cheer them up. One of the people Barnabas encouraged was a man named Saul. When Saul came to Jerusalem, the people in the church were afraid of him. Saul used to hurt people who loved Jesus. Barnabas told the people how Saul had changed. He told them that now Saul wanted to tell people about Jesus. The people believed what Barnabas said. They were not afraid of Saul anymore. People in the church found out that some people wanted to hurt Saul. They helped Saul leave Jerusalem so he would be safe. More people became part of the church.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your child in helping at church. Include her in helping provide for a food pantry or a clothes closet. As you are serving and helping together, say the verse: “Help one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)

Kids

Acts 4:36; 9:26-31

LIFE POINT: Barnabas, a believer in Jesus, loved people and helped them. One time he sold a field and brought the money to give to people who needed help. Barnabas’ name meant “Son of Encouragement.” If you encourage people, you support them or cheer them up. One of the people Barnabas encouraged was a man named Saul. When Saul came to Jerusalem, the people in the church were afraid of him. Saul used to hurt people who loved Jesus. Barnabas told the people how Saul had changed. He told them that now Saul wanted to tell people about Jesus. The people believed what Barnabas said. They were not afraid of Saul anymore. People in the church found out that some people wanted to hurt Saul. They helped Saul leave Jerusalem so he would be safe. More people became part of the church.

LIVE IT OUT: God’s plan is for believers to tell others about Jesus and how to be saved. If your child is older and has been a Christian for a few years, she may be ready to learn how to share the plan of salvation with a friend. Help her practice on family members.

Students

1 Corinthians 9:19-27

THE POINT: We can better share the gospel when we step into the shoes of others.
• How can we walk in the shoes of others without compromising our values?

• What are some different approaches Christians use for sharing the gospel?

• What things might we need to set aside to run the race of faith well? See Hebrews 12:1-2 for further study
Discuss the following quote:

“If your Gospel isn’t touching others, it hasn’t touched you!” ¹—Curry R. Blake

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 seeking ways to feel closer to God even if it means sacrificing certain luxuries.

• COMMUNITY: Spend devotional time with your student this week teaching him or her good practices to use in his or her personal time with God.

• CULTURE: The gospel is something that we should desire to share with others. Make a list of people that you and your student can share the gospel with this week.

¹ Aaron Sams, I Want to be A.L.I.V.E. (Lulu, 2010) 185.


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Conversation Starters: Life in the Community

Posted on April 18, 2018 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Serving people who can benefit us is not difficult. “Scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” is a reality in the business world and even in many relationships. Serving, then, becomes about me, and not about the other person. That mindset is absent in Scripture and is to be absent in the church; in fact, believers are called to serve even those who have no means to repay a kindness.

Concept: Life in the Community

Preschool

Acts 6:1-7

LIFE POINT: More and more people were becoming part of the church in Jerusalem. The people in the church knew they should help one another. Some of the people did not have enough food to eat. Many of those people were widows, ladies whose husbands had died. The disciples were busy teaching about Jesus. They decided to choose seven men to be special helpers to help the widows and other people who needed help. They chose Stephen, Philip, and five other men. These men were wise and loved God. The disciples prayed for the seven men. The special helpers helped the widows and other people who needed food. The disciples were able to tell more and more people about Jesus. Many people became part of the church.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about the people who help and serve at your church or in your community. Explain to your child how each of these people’s jobs helps others learn more about God and Jesus.

Kids

Acts 6:1-7

LIFE POINT: More and more people were becoming part of the church every day. Some people noticed that there was a problem. There were widows who were being left out and not getting enough food. The disciples gathered together the other people from the church to talk about this problem. The disciples said that they were busy teaching others about Jesus. They needed some other people to help take care of those in need. The disciples told the people to choose seven men who were wise and full of the Holy Spirit to be helpers. The whole group was pleased with this decision. They chose Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus to be the helpers. The men met with the disciples and they prayed together. The Word of God continued to spread. The number of people who learned about Jesus in Jerusalem grew quickly.

LIVE IT OUT: Discuss the different jobs that pastors, missionaries, or camp staff have. Expand your discussion beyond just those that your child knows. Help your child learn how each person’s job furthers the kingdom of God and helps people know about Jesus.

Students

Matthew 25:31-40

THE POINT: Living for Christ means serving the needs of others.
• What do you like best about your community?
• How could looking to the end affect the way we see people?
• What keeps us from reaching out to those who need our help?
• With so many needs, how do we decide whom to help?
Discuss the following quote:

“Those who belong to Christ are sheep in this respect, that they love to get together. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God’s people.”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 for the opportunities to serve alongside your student this week.
• COMMUNITY: Determine areas in your community that you and your student can minister and serve needy people together.
• CULTURE: Make a commitment with your student to serve the needy and seek those many would deem the least of these.

 

¹“Sheep Go In Flocks, and So Do God’s People, ”First Love Publications, 11 February 2016, [accessed 13 September 2013]. Available from the Internet: http://www.firstlovepublications.org/quotes/sheep-go-inflocks-and-so-do-gods-people.


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Conversation Starters: Life Reflected

Posted on April 11, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Share the love of Jesus everywhere.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Work is more than a paycheck. It is more than just a job. Whether we are the CEO of a large business or an intern on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder, our true work is to honor Christ and reflect Him in our work relationships, attitude, and productivity. Our day-to-day work might be forgotten next week, but the witness we give through our work can impact eternity.

Concept: Life Reflected

Preschool

Acts 3:1-4:21

LIFE POINT: One day Peter and John met a man at the temple (church) gate. The man could not walk. He asked Peter and John for help. Peter told him, “I don’t have any money, but I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus, get up and walk.” The man’s feet became strong. He was able to walk. The man went walking and jumping and thanking God. When the people saw the man walking, they were surprised. Some people were angry. They arrested Peter and John. The leaders asked Peter and John what happened. Peter and John said that the man was able to walk by the power of Jesus. The leaders told Peter and John to stop talking about Jesus. Peter and John said they would listen to God. They would not stop telling people about Jesus. Many people believed in Jesus, and the church grew bigger.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child name the people who tell him about Jesus—teachers, family members, and others he can name. If your preschooler is older, he can start telling friends what he knows about Jesus, or he could invite them to church.

Kids

Acts 3:1-4:21

LIFE POINT: Peter and John were going to the temple. Outside of the temple was a man who could not walk. He asked Peter and John for help. Peter told him to get up and walk. The man went began walking and jumping and thanking God. The people were amazed. Peter told the people about Jesus and that they needed follow Him. Some leaders didn’t like what Peter and John were saying. They put the men in jail. The next day, the leaders asked Peter and John about the man’s healing. Peter told them that the man was healed by the power of Jesus. The leaders warned the men to quit talking about Jesus. Peter and John said that they could not stop talking about what they had seen and heard. The leaders let them go because so many people were praising God because of what they heard.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child tell others about Jesus? Help him think of one or two friends who need to know about Jesus. Practice what he could say to help his friends come to know the Savior of the world.

Students

Colossians 3:22-4:1

THE POINT: All work is a reflection of your relationship with Christ.
• What work are you most proud of?
• How can we maintain a Christlike attitude, even in work we don’t enjoy?
• How are the things you work at an opportunity to serve God?
• What steps might help you focus on Christ as you work?
Discuss the following quote:

“Read the Bible. Work hard and honestly. And don’t complain.”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: Talk with your student about any personal struggles he or she may be facing, and pray for not only solutions but an attitude of peace while handling them.
• COMMUNITY: Pray with your student for his or her friends facing difficult situations, and create a community that is open and encouraging.
• CULTURE: Discuss with your student how the way Christians behave in challenging situations will look different from others in our culture.

¹“Billy Graham Quotes,” Brainy Quotes [online], [accessed 13 September 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/billygraha403083.html.


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Conversation Starters: Life in Relationships

Posted on April 4, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People show love for Christ by their work.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: One of the hottest topics in recent years has been the defining of the family. With the attempt to create a new definition, the family roles have also been redefined. God created us with only one definition of the family and specific roles for each of us. As we carry out the roles we’ve been given, we experience life as a family at its best. A family centered in Christ is a strong family.

Concept: Life in Relationships

Preschool

Acts 2

LIFE POINT: One day some of Jesus’ friends were meeting together. Suddenly they heard a sound like a very strong wind. It filled the house where they were meeting. They started to speak in different languages. This helped Jesus’ friends to tell people about Jesus in different parts of the world. Peter began to speak to the people. He told them about Jesus. Many people believed what Peter told them. They wanted to obey God and be baptized. The people began to meet together every day. They learned more about what God wanted them to do. The church friends shared everything they had. They ate meals together. They helped each other whenever someone had a need. Each day more and more people came to meet with the church friends. They learned about Jesus, too.

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your child to tell you the Bible story she heard at church this past week. Remind your child that she goes to church to learn about Jesus. Help your child thank God for the teachers who tell her about Jesus.

Kids

Acts 2

LIFE POINT: Jesus’ disciples were all together, praying. A sound like wind came and filled the house. They saw what looked like tongues of fire over them. The believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were able to speak in different languages. Other people heard what was going on and were amazed. Each person heard the believers speaking in his own language. Peter stood up and spoke to the crowd. He told them that the prophet Joel said this would happen. Peter told them the story of Jesus and how He died on the cross and rose again. They asked, “What should we do now?” Peter told the people to trust in Jesus, repent, and be baptized. About three thousand were baptized that day. The new believers devoted themselves to the teachings about Jesus, spending time together, sharing meals, and prayer.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child love going to church? The church began and helped spread the good news of Jesus throughout the world. That is what the church is still doing. Talk about ways your church spreads the good news about Jesus.

Students

Ephesians 5:22-28; 6:1-3

THE POINT: Home is where our identity in Christ is clearly lived out.
• How should we understand the meaning of the word “submit” in these verses?
• How do these verses compare and contrast with the families we see today in movies and TV?
• How does honoring our father and mother change over time?
Discuss the following quote:

“The same Jesus Who turned water into wine can transform your home, your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business, and His business is the business of transformation.”¹—Adrian Rogers

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 talking with your student about handling conflicts and resolving problems in a way that honors God.
• COMMUNITY: Share stories with your student about you and your parents and how you may have struggled honoring them as a student. Pray with your student that he or she would honor God by honoring you.
• CULTURE: Discuss with your student how respecting people with authority reflects our attitude toward God.

¹Adrian Rogers, “The Transforming Power of Christ,” Love Worth Finding, 1 June 2001, [accessed 13 September 2016]. Available from the Internet: https://www.lwf.org/articles/posts/the-transforming-powerof- christ-10479.


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Conversation Starters: He is Risen

Posted on March 28, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus is alive!

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We are bombarded with information—often touted as news—that too often is unsubstantiated. When you begin to research the information, it often turns up that facts are skewed and opinions are presented as fact. Many people view Jesus Christ in the same way. What they hear presented as truth gets written off as opinion or simply what someone wants to believe. The resurrection of Jesus Christ, however, is solidly grounded in fact.

Concept: He is Risen

Preschool

Matthew 26:36-28:10

LIFE POINT: Jesus died on a cross. Then Jesus was buried in a tomb. Three days later, Mary and Mary Magdalene went to the place where Jesus was buried. As they got near the tomb, the ground began to shake. An angel came from heaven and rolled away the stone that was in front of the tomb. “Do not be afraid,” the angel told Mary and Mary Magdalene. “I have good news for you. Jesus is not here. He is alive!” The angel told the women to go and tell the disciples that Jesus is alive. Mary and Mary Magdalene were happy. They ran to tell the disciples what they had learned. Suddenly they saw Jesus. They ran to Him and worshiped Him. Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My disciples to go to Galilee. They will see Me there.” Mary and Mary Magdalene ran to tell the disciples the good news.

LIVE IT OUT: Part of today’s Bible story involved a stone that was rolled away from the tomb. Provide a smooth stone. Give your child paint or permanent markers to decorate her stone. Tell your child she can remember that Jesus is alive when she sees the rock.

Kids

Matthew 26:36-28:10

LIFE POINT: Jesus prayed in the garden. He was very sad. He knew He was about to be killed. Then, Judas came to the garden. He brought men with swords and clubs. Judas kissed Jesus. The men grabbed Jesus and took Him away. Jesus was put on trial before the high priest and the Roman governor, Pilate. Pilate did not want to kill Jesus, but the crowd kept yelling, “Crucify Him!” Pilate sent Jesus to be killed on a cross. The soldiers put Jesus on a cross where he died. A man named Joseph buried Jesus. A stone sealed the grave. The disciples were so very sad. Three days later, women went to the grave. An angel rolled the stone away. The grave was empty! The angel said that Jesus was gone. He was risen! The angel told the women to go tell the disciples the good news.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child made the decision to follow Jesus? God sent Jesus to provide salvation for the world. There are many resources available to help lead a child to Christ and to help children deepen their relationships with Him.

Students

Luke 24:1-8, 36-40

THE POINT: Jesus is alive and present with those who trust in Him.
• What’s the most surprising thing that’s ever happened to you?
• When did you first understand that Jesus is God’s Son?
• Why is it significant that Jesus knew in advance what would happen to Him?
• What makes the resurrection so important for believers today?
Discuss the following quote:

“The key to our lives as Christians today is how clearly we ‘see’ by faith the resurrected Christ.”¹ —Dave Hunt

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 peace in difficult circumstances, strength over temptations, and faith amid doubts.
• COMMUNITY: Spend time with your student reviewing his or her talents and how those talents could better be used to serve the church.
• CULTURE: With your student, consider the ways you can live in light of the resurrection every day.

¹Dave Hunt, “They Knew Him Not,” The Berean Call, 1 January 2001, [accessed 13 September 2016]. Available from the Internet: https://www.thebereancall.org/content/they-knew-him-not.


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Conversation Starters: Life in the Church

Posted on March 21, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: The Holy Spirit helps people serve Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: American culture focuses on the individual. Businesses seek to cater to our individuality and give us what we want. The Christian life, on the other hand, is not about the individual. When a person comes to Christ, that person also comes to Christ’s body: the church. Therefore, to serve Christ, we serve His body. Serving the church and the needs of fellow believers is serving Christ.

Concept: Life in the Church

Preschool

John 21:1-19

LIFE POINT: One night Peter, John, and some of the other disciples were fishing in the Sea of Galilee. They fished all night but had not caught any fish. A man standing on the shore asked the fishermen, “Don’t you have any fish?” The men told Him they did not. The man told the men to put their net over the right side of the boat. After they did what the man said, their net was filled with fish. It was heavy and they could not lift it into the boat. They had caught 153 fish. John realized the man was Jesus. Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore. The other men followed in the boat, pulling the net full of fish. Jesus told them to bring Him some of the fish. Jesus was cooking fish and bread. He invited His friends to eat breakfast with Him. After breakfast, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter told Jesus he did love Him. Jesus told Peter to love others and tell them about Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help teach your child that showing love for Jesus means showing love to others. Encourage your child to think of a family friend or 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 or her.

Kids

Acts 1:4-11

LIFE POINT: Jesus taught His disciples many things after He rose from the dead. He told them to stay in Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “When you have power from the Holy Spirit you must tell others about Me everywhere. You must tell about Me in Jerusalem. You must tell about Me in Judea. You must tell about Me in Samaria. You must tell about Me all over the world!” Jesus stopped talking. While the people watched, Jesus was lifted up into the sky. He disappeared into a cloud. The people stood looking at the sky. Two men dressed in white robes said, “Why are you looking into heaven? This Jesus, whom you saw taken into heaven, will come back in the same way.” Then the disciples went to Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit as Jesus had commanded.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child understand who the Holy Spirit is? If your child is a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives in her. Look at an online Bible (ex. Blue Letter Bible) and search for verses that tell about the Holy Spirit and how He ministers to people.

Students

1 Peter 4:7-11

THE POINT: We love Christ by serving His church.

• What has been your most memorable church experience?
• When have you seen prayer impact someone’s life?
• What are the challenges and benefits of maintaining love for one another over time?
• How can we ensure that our service results in glorifying God rather than ourselves?
Discuss the following quote:

“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork [pitch] are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord…”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: Discuss the gifts and talents of your student and determine how he or she can use them for God’s glory.
• COMMUNITY: Combine your own spiritual gifts with those of your student to prayerfully impact your community and the kingdom.
• CULTURE: Combine your prayers with your student’s for three specific people that are lost to the gospel and need His love and grace in their lives.

 

¹. A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (New York: Ichthus, 2014) 64.


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Conversation Starters: Life in Christ

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People live for Christ because He is alive.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: People find different ways to define their lives. Family gives my life meaning; work gives my life purpose; life is whatever I make it to be. The truth is that we only have real meaning and lasting purpose when our lives are grounded in Christ. “All things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16-17). All of life is wrapped up in Jesus.

Concept: Life in Christ

Preschool

Matthew 19:13-15

LIFE POINT: People followed Jesus wherever He went. They wanted to hear Him teach about God’s love. One day when Jesus was teaching, some parents brought their children to see Jesus. They wanted Him to put His hands on the boys and girls and pray. Jesus’ disciples saw the parents and told them to go away. The disciples thought Jesus was too busy to see the children. This did not please Jesus. He told His helpers to let the children come to Him. Jesus loves children. They are important in God’s plan. He told the people that everyone should love God just like the children love God. Jesus held the children and showed them how much He loved them. The people learned that everyone is important to Jesus. Jesus loves children just as He loves all people.

LIVE IT OUT: Print Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me” onto index cards, one word per card. On the edges of two cards that are consecutive, draw a matching symbol. Help your child put the verse in order, matching the symbols. Say the verse together. Thank Jesus for loving children.

Kids

John 20:19-31

LIFE POINT: On the day Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples met together in a locked room. Suddenly, Jesus was in the room! He greeted His friends. He showed them His hands and His side. The people knew it was really Jesus! They were so happy! Thomas was not with the other disciples when they saw Jesus. The disciples told him they had seen Jesus, Thomas said he would not believe unless he could see Jesus’ hands and touch Jesus’ side Later, the disciples were together again. The doors were locked again,and Thomas was there too. Suddenly, Jesus was in the room again. Jesus spoke to Thomas, “Touch My hands. Touch My side. Believe in Me.” “My Lord and My God!” Thomas answered. Jesus said, “You believed because you saw Me. Blessed are people who believe in Me even if they have not seen Me.”

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child understand that Jesus is alive today? Jesus lives in heaven with God. Jesus left us evidence that He is still alive. Talk about this with your child. Assure him that the Bible gives us plenty of evidence that Jesus is alive

Students

Luke 9:18-26

THE POINT: My identity is found in Christ.
• What word or phrase do people use to describe you?
• What are some words or phrases people use to describe Jesus today?
• What would your reaction have been to hearing Jesus’ instructions as one of His disciples?
• What does it look like on a practical level to daily take up a cross and deny ourselves?
Discuss the following quote:

“The Christian life is the life of the Lord Jesus Christ lived two thousand years ago, lived now by Him in you!” ¹—W. Ian Thomas

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: Alongside your student, consider some of the sacrifices Jesus has made for you and the sacrifices He is calling you to make.
• COMMUNITY: Make a commitment with your student this week to die to your self and live for Jesus. Encourage one another as you live out this challenge.
• CULTURE: Chose someone in your community that you and your student can be a witness to and sacrifice for the gospel.

 

¹ W. Ian Thomas, “At His Disposal,”Christ in You Ministries, [accessed 13 September 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christinyou.net/pages/ianthomas.html.


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Conversation Starters: Being Confident in Truth

Posted on February 28, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: The Bible teaches about trusting God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The postmodern culture leaves the standard for ethics and morality up to the personal preferences of the individual. Even the definition of truth is left to the individual. Such a haphazard approach leaves society in chaos and can easily put us at odds with each other. Truth is consistent across all times, cultures, and people; if it is not consistent, it is not truth. God has not left us alone to determine truth; He has given us His Word to reveal truth.

Concept: Being Confident in Truth

Preschool

Joshua 6:1-21

LIFE POINT: God promised to give Jericho, a city with strong walls, to the Israelites. God told Joshua what the people should do. Joshua told the people about God’s plan. The people listened and obeyed. God said the people should walk around Jericho once a day for six days. Armed men went first. Seven priests with trumpets followed. Priests carried the ark of the covenant next. Guards followed the ark around the city. Joshua said, “Do not speak until I say, ‘Shout!’ ” The people marched around the city once, then camped outside the wall. For six days, they marched around the city like God said. On the seventh day, they marched around the city seven times. Then the priests blew the trumpets. Joshua said, “Shout!” The people shouted. The trumpets blew. The wall fell down! The people captured the city.

LIVE IT OUT: Print the verse “We will obey God.” Joshua 24:24 in the center of a piece of paper. Read aloud the verse to your child. Comment that she can obey God just like the Israelites promised. Give your child stickers to decorate the verse. Display the verse in a prominent place as a reminder.

Kids

Joshua 6:1-21

LIFE POINT: Joshua and the people were ready to take the city of Jericho. They must capture the city, but it had a tall wall all around it. God gave Joshua the plan. “Seven priests with horns will march at the front. Other priests will carry the ark of the covenant next. Soldiers will come behind them. March around the city once each day, for six days. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times. The priests will blow their trumpets. Command the people to yell. The city wall will fall.” Joshua gathered the people. He told them God’s plan. The people marched around the city once each day until the seventh day. On the seventh day, the people marched around Jericho seven times. The priests blew their horns. Joshua called out, “Shout! God has given you this city!” The people shouted! The wall fell down! The people walked right into the city and captured it!

LIVE IT OUT: Discuss the word obedience with your child. Ask her ideas on how to be obedient to God. Encourage her with other ideas on obedience. Make sure she knows that she can honor God with her obedience.

Students

Psalm 119:153-160

THE POINT: I can fully rely on what God’s Word teaches.
• What does this passage reveal about the psalmist’s relationship with God?
• How does God’s Word help us in times of distress?
• When have you experienced God’s love and mercy in a meaningful way?
• What’s the difference between saying God’s Word contains truth and saying it is completely true?
Discuss the following quote:

“God’s Word not only gives authority to one’s ministry; it provides a solid foundation for one’s life.”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: Help your student to spend time this week seeking God and looking for understanding in His Word to solve any struggles he or she is facing. Use a tool like a Concordance to look up Scripture on the topic they might be struggling with.
• COMMUNITY: Choose a book to study with your student that addresses the relevance of God’s Word in our lives.
• CULTURE: Help your student determine ways he or she can trust in God’s Word and live out the Scripture this week at home, school, or practice.

¹ Billy Graham, Wisdom for Each Day (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2008).


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How to Offer Help and Counsel After a Mass Shooting

Posted on February 17, 2018 by Phil

Parents, consider this article, packed with resources, that was published by our parent company.  We hope it can help as you navigate communicating with your child about current events and future events. We are thinking of our Camp Family during hard times when tragedy strikes around us.
-The Ridgecrest Summer Camps Team

Unsure how to respond or minister to people after a mass shooting? These resources can help.

Sin has broken everything. When tragedy strikes in the form of a school shooting, it reminds us of this harsh reality and wrenches our hearts no matter how close or far we may be from the people and communities affected by the violence and grief. Because of the world we live in today and the speed and unfiltered nature of our access to news around the world, school shootings and other tragedies require us to be ready to counsel and lead our churches and loved ones through these situations at a moment’s notice.

Whether you are counseling a family member of a school shooting victim, having a conversation with a child about a news report he or she saw on television, or taking preventative measures to protect your church from a similar tragedy, we want to help. Following is a collection of articles, Bible study discussion guides, video training, and podcasts to help you, your churches, and your families.

(Article adapted from LifeWay.com – https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/how-to-offer-help-and-counsel-after-a-mass-shooting)

Articles

How To Talk With Your Kids And Teenagers About School Shootings

The Lord is Close to the Brokenhearted

Grief in Times of Crisis

Helping Children Cope with Grief

Guiding Children During Crisis

Bible Study Discussion Guides

God’s Embrace in Our Grief: Psalm 116

Suffering Well with Others: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Podcasts

Helping Hurting Kids and Their Families

Church Security with Ron Aguilar

Video Training

For the next two weeks, the Church Safety and Security training on Ministry Grid is available for FREE. Select a training below and log in with your LifeWay ID or register for a free account. Then click the “Add To My Tasks” button in the description to get started.

The training includes:

Church Safety and Security

Church Security Team

Emergency Response Planning

Lockdown Procedures

Responding to an Active Shooting


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Conversation Starters: God’s Word is Relevant

Posted on February 14, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God’s power helps people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We look to doctors with our health needs. We look to the courts to give us justice. We look to family members to step in and help us with various needs. We need each other, but there is only so much any of us can do. Not so with God. He is the perfect, all-powerful Creator who gives us life. We see these very attributes in Scripture. Because the Bible is His Word, it has always reflected His character and power.

Concept: God’s Word is Relevant

Preschool

Deuteronomy 34:9-12; Joshua 1:1-9

LIFE POINT: God had a plan for Joshua and the Israelites. God spoke to Joshua and said, “Get ready to cross over the Jordan River to the land I am giving you and the Israelites. I will be with you as long as you live.” God said, “Joshua, be strong and brave. Carefully follow the plan I gave Moses. Remember the rules that were written down so you can obey them. If you obey my rules and follow my plan, you will do well in whatever you do. Do not be afraid; I am with you wherever you go.” Joshua listened to God, like Moses did. The Israelites obeyed the commands Joshua gave them. They showed that they loved God by following His rules. Since they obeyed, God took good care of them.

LIVE IT OUT: Read aloud to your child Joshua 1:9. Explain that God is with us all the time. Help your child decorate a cardboard or plastic tag to hang from your car’s mirror as a reminder that God is with you wherever you go.

Kids

Deuteronomy 34:9-12; Joshua 1:1-9

LIFE POINT: Joshua was Moses’ helper for more than 40 years. Before Moses died, he placed his hands on Joshua to show the people that Joshua was filled with God’s Spirit. After Moses died, God spoke to Joshua. “It is time for you and the people to get ready. You will cross over the Jordan River. Then you will be in the land I have given you. I promised Moses that you would have the land.” He promised that no one would be able to keep His people out. Then God gave another important promise: He would never leave Joshua! Three times God told Joshua and the people, “Be strong and brave.” He told Joshua to give the land to the people. God told Joshua to do everything Moses had told them. God wanted Joshua and the people to practice repeating those instructions so they could remember them.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible verses with your child. Remind your child that God promised to always be with Joshua. Discuss ways God shows that He is always with your family. Ask your child to pray and thank God for being with your family.

Students

Psalm 119:89-96

THE POINT: God’s Word will always reflect His character and power.
• Why is it important to know that God’s Word will never change?
• What are some practical ways to engage the Scriptures in a way we won’t forget?
• How does belonging to God change how we face opposition?
Discuss the following quote:

“Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic¹. Do not defend God’s word, but testify to it. Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity.”²—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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 help your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Help your student determine how God’s Word can apply to his or her everyday life.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss ways you and your student can reveal God’s truth and take a stand for God’s Word. Areas to examine may include our speech, social media, or relationships.
• CULTURE: Standing for the gospel is about staying faithful to what God has called us. Take time with your student to consider what it means to live out God’s Word and where to seek help.

¹ axiomatic (adj)= self-evident or unquestionable

² Dargan Thompson, “12 Essential Bonhoeffer Quotes,” Relevant [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: ttp://ww.relevantmagazine.com/culture/books/12-essential-bonhoefferquotes#bV05p6m3EuI36SFr.99.


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