Conversation Starters: Our Banner

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Through Jesus’ death and sacrifice we are covered by God’s protection.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: “We stand better when we stand together.” “There’s strength in numbers.” We generally agree with those statements, but sometimes life can feel so insurmountable that no amount of help and support makes a difference. Thankfully, God stands over the world, and He stands over every single issue we face. As the Israelites discovered, God is a banner over us, covering us with His protecting presence.

Concept: Our Banner

Preschool

Exodus 17:8-16

LIFE POINT: The disciples knew it was time for a special celebration called Passover. They asked Jesus, “Where do You want us to prepare the supper?” Jesus sent them into the city. He said, “Tell the man you will meet that I want to celebrate at his house.” Jesus’ disciples prepared for the special supper. During the supper, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it. Jesus tore the bread into pieces. He gave bread to each disciple. Jesus took a cup and thanked God for it. Jesus shared the cup with each disciple. Jesus told His disciples to remember the things He did and to remember this special supper. Jesus and the disciples sang a song before they left the special supper.

LIVE IT OUT: Use the tune “London Bridge” to sing the following words with your preschooler: Jesus said, “Remember Me, Remember Me, Remember Me.” Jesus said, “Remember Me.” I love Jesus.

Kids

Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

LIFE POINT: Paul wrote a letter to the believers in Corinth. He told the people in Corinth about Jesus’ last supper with the disciples. The disciples were together for the Passover feast. At this feast, the people ate lamb. They ate flat pieces of bread. This was the last time the disciples would eat together. The disciples had questions about what was to happen. During the feast, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for the bread. He shared the bread with His disciples. Jesus said, “This is My body which is for you. Remember Me when you eat this.” Then Jesus picked up a cup. He said, “This cup is the new promise in My blood. When you drink this, do it to remember Me.” Jesus and the disciples sang. Later Jesus was arrested.

LIVE IT OUT: Explain to your child how the Lord’s Supper helps us remember that Jesus died for our sins. Ask your child to tell things she remembers from Bible stories about Jesus.

Students

THE POINT: We are always covered by God’s protection.
• What are some things we rely on for protection?
• When have you felt like you were under attack?
• How do you make sure you’re relying on God when the battle is long?
• What does God’s banner of protection look like in your life? Discuss the following quote:

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”(1) —George Washington

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: How does your student see you living by faith and trusting in Jesus? Talk with your student about ways you can each grow in trusting Jesus more.
• COMMUNITY: Reach out to friends and neighbors that are experiencing difficult times and minister to them. Make sure they know God is their protector.
• CULTURE: Consider ways you and your student can share God’s goodness with those that do not know His love.

“Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789,” National Archives [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0091.


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Conversation Starters: Our Healer

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus performed miracles through the power of God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We are broken people. We may be broken by our circumstances or surroundings, or we may be broken by our sin and failures. Regardless of our best efforts, we remain broken people. But God steps in. He heals our brokenness and restores us when we trust in Him. The Israelites were continually called to trust and obey God. In so doing, they would experience His healing and wholeness.

Concept: God is our healer

Preschool

John 9:1-34

LIFE POINT: Jesus saw a man who had been blind since the day he was born. The blind man begged for money as people walked by. Jesus made mud and put it on the blind man’s eyes. Jesus told the man to go and wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed Jesus. He went to the pool and washed the mud off his eyes. He could see! Jesus had healed him. People were surprised that the man could see. They asked, “Are you the man who used to sit in the street and beg? What happened?” The man said, “I was blind, and Jesus healed me.” He told the people what Jesus had done.
Some men were angry. They did not believe that Jesus could heal a man who was blind. The man insisted that it was Jesus who had healed him.

LIVE IT OUT: Play doctor and patient with your child. Encourage her to doctor a doll or stuffed animal. Comment that doctors help people get well but Jesus did special things that even doctors cannot do.

Kids

John 9:1-34

THE POINT: Jesus saw a man who had been born blind. He told His disciples, “This man’s blindness will show God’s works.” Jesus spit on the ground and made mud. He spread the mud on the man’s eyes. “Go wash in the pool,” Jesus said. The man washed his eyes. He could see! The man’s neighbors were surprised the man could now see. “Jesus made me well. Now I can see!” the man said. The temple leaders did not believe what happened. They kept asking the man what happened. “We don’t know about this Jesus,” they said. The healed man said, “We know God listens to people who love Him and obey Him. No one has ever heard of a person who was born blind being healed. If Jesus were not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything!”

LIVE IT OUT: Does your family know someone suffering with an illness? Remind your child about Jesus’ healing miracles. Help your child understand that Jesus can still heal people today, but He often works through doctors to help sick people. Thank Jesus for His gifts of healing.

Students

Exodus 14:29-31; 15:22-27

THE POINT: God is the only one who can restore us and make us whole.
• When have you admired a renovation project?
• What prevents us from turning to God during impossible situations?
• How does complaining impact our connection with God?
• What are some different ways God heals and restores His people? Discuss the following quote:

“The more desperate thy disease, the greater is the glory of thy physician, who hath perfectly cured thee.”(1) —Abraham Wright

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray with your student this week and thank God for the healing in your lives. Take time to look up special verses of healing that you can read together.
• COMMUNITY: Create a list of people in your church or neighborhood that are in need of help and healing. Discuss ways you can help them and follow through.
• CULTURE: The world is full of suffering people. Consider ways that your family can use its specific blessings to minister to those in need. Make a plan that you can continue to follow in the weeks and months ahead.

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


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Conversation Starters: Our Provider

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: We can trust Jesus to meet the needs of people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our tendency is to live by what we can see. We believe what we can touch. We’re confident when what we need is right in front us. But life does not always hand us easy answers and solutions. A life in Christ is a life of trust—trusting Him to provide what we need, even when we don’t readily see the answer. Abraham showed us that God truly is our Provider.

Concept: Our Provider

Preschool

John 6:1-13

LIFE POINT: Jesus was on a mountainside. He looked at the large crowd of people following Him. Jesus asked His disciple Philip, “Where can we buy bread for all these people?” Philip answered, “It would take lots of money to buy so much bread.” But Andrew brought a boy with a small lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus said, “Tell the people to sit down.” The people sat in the grass. Jesus broke apart the bread and thanked God for the food. He gave bread and fish to the people. Each person ate all he wanted. There were 5000 men plus women and children in the crowd. Jesus told His disciples to gather the leftovers so the food would not be wasted. They gathered twelve baskets of leftover bread.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child and tell her that God helps people have food. Provide a pan of water and a few sturdy vegetables for your child to wash. Say the Bible Verse: “Jesus gave food to people.”

Kids

John 6:1-13

LIFE POINT: A large crowd followed Jesus. So Jesus went up on the mountain. He sat down to teach the people. Jesus spoke to Philip. “Where can we buy bread so the people can eat?” Philip said, “Two hundred coins would not be enough money to buy just a tiny bit of food for each person!” Andrew, another disciple, brought a little boy to Jesus. “This boy has five loaves of bread. He has two fish. But how could that feed so many people?” The people sat down on the grass. There were 5,000 men! Jesus took the bread. He gave thanks to God for it. Then Jesus started giving food to the crowd. Everyone had as much to eat as he wanted! The disciples filled 12 baskets with left-over bread!

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about the ways that Jesus helps meet the needs of your family. Include spiritual needs as well as physical needs. Make a list together. Pray together thanking God and Jesus for meeting the needs of your family.

Students

Genesis 22:1-14

THE POINT: We can trust God to meet our needs.
• What’s one of the toughest things you’ve been asked to do?
• What are the purposes of tests in our lives?
• When have you been tested to trust God when His provision wasn’t apparent?
• How can our actions and attitudes show others that we serve the God who provides? Discuss the following quote:

“It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.”(1)—Saint Ignatius

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 the desire and strength to live with a dependence on God to provide for his or her needs.
• COMMUNITY: Sometimes we all need to depend on fellow believers for help. Be sure your student knows specific people he or she can reach out to for help.
• CULTURE: Tell your student ways in which you have seen and trusted God during big leaps of faith. Encourage him or her to be ready to jump in faith and obedience to God when the opportunity comes.

(1)“Saint Ignatius Quote,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/saintignat204692.html.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Teaches

Posted on March 20, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The Bible gets a lot of respect in America—at least superficial respect. Eighty percent of adults consider the Bible a holy book, but few read it. Even among Christians, only 11 percent read the Bible daily, and 34 percent rarely read it. Many of us pay lip service to the Bible but miss out on the joy and abundant life that comes from applying its truth to our lives.

Concept: Jesus Teaches

Preschool

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary was a young woman who obeyed God. She was going to be married to Joseph. God sent an angel to talk to Mary. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. God has chosen you to be the mother of a special baby, God’s Son.” He told her that this was part of God’s plan. Mary did not understand. The angel said, “God can do things that people think are impossible.” Mary said, “I will do what God wants.” One night when Joseph was sleeping, God sent an angel to him in a dream. The angel said, “Do not be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s Son. You will name Him Jesus. He will love people and teach them about God.” Joseph remembered the dream when he woke up. He did as the angel said. Joseph married Mary. Joseph and Mary waited for the special baby, Jesus, to be born.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your child that God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ family. Talk about your family and how members cares for others. Help your child make a book of family members by drawing on individual sheets of paper and stapling the pages together.

Kids

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary, who lived in the town of Nazareth, was visited by an angel. “Be happy,” the angel said. “God is with you.” Mary wondered what kind of greeting this was. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. You will have a son and you will call Him Jesus. He will be God’s Son.” Mary wondered how this could happen. The angel said, “God’s Spirit will come to you. The one born to you will be the Son of God.” Mary answered that she would obey God. Joseph wondered what to do. He knew he was not the father of Mary’s baby. As he slept, an angel came to him. “Joseph, don’t be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s own Son. You are to name Him Jesus. He will save His people from their sins.” Joseph took Mary for his wife. When the baby was born, Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child memorize the Bible verse, Matthew 1:21. This verse contains the angel’s words to Joseph. God committed Jesus to the family of Joseph. Help your child understand that God chose a family for Jesus because that is His plan for all children.

Students

Mark 4:1-9

THE POINT: Obeying Jesus’ teachings leads to productive living.
• What’s the best way for you to learn something new?
• What are the benefits and challenges of using stories to reveal truth?
• Where do you see each of these soils represented in our culture?
• What kinds of “fruit” should be evident in our lives when we obey Jesus’ teaching? Discuss the following quote:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” (1) —Robert Louis Stephenson

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 the time this week to ask your student how he or she is rooting out bad habits, while strengthening good habits to grow better in his or her relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss ways you and your student can purposefully plant seeds of discipleship in your community this week.
• CULTURE: When spreading seeds of discipleship, we have to reach out to people around us and connect in ways that make sense to them. Discuss how you and your student can better relate to the culture around you and spread the gospel.

(1)Robert Louis Stephenson, “Robert Louis Stephenson Quotes,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertloui101230.html.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Calls

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Social media gives us the opportunity to follow individuals and groups. By following them, we can see into their lives or know what they’re promoting—but we can do so only from a distance. Jesus invites us to follow Him in a far more intimate way. Following Jesus will require us to change directions, but the journey we take with Him leads us to abundant and eternal life.

Concept: Jesus Calls

Preschool

Isaiah 6-7; Micah 5:2-4

LIFE POINT: Long before Jesus was born, God had a plan. God planned to send His Son to be born. God told prophets to tell the people about His plan to send a special baby. Prophets were men who told others what God wanted them to know. Isaiah was a prophet. God chose Isaiah to tell people the wonderful news. Isaiah wrote that God promised to send a very special child to be born. The special baby would be God’s Son. Another prophet who lived a long time ago was named Micah. Micah also wrote about Jesus. He wrote that God’s Son would be born in Bethlehem. People heard or read the words that the prophets wrote. They knew that God was planning to send His Son. They waited for the day that God would keep His promise.

LIVE IT OUT: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

Kids

Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 11:1-5; Micah 5:2

LIFE POINT: When Isaiah was in the temple worshiping, he saw God on a throne. His robe filled the temple! Angels stood around God. They worshiped Him. Isaiah heard God ask, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Me.” Isaiah answered, “Here I am. Send me!” Then God gave Isaiah a message for the people. Isaiah was to tell the message to everyone. Isaiah went to the king with God’s message. The king and the people were very afraid. An enemy army was coming. They did not believe they could win the battle. Isaiah said, “The enemy will not win. God is with you. God will give you a sign. A virgin will have a son. He will be Immanuel.” Another time, God gave a different message to the prophet Micah. Micah told the message to others. He said that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem.

LIVE IT OUT: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

Students

Mark 1:14-20

THE POINT: Following Jesus is a life-changing adventure and you are invited.
• What great adventure is on your bucket list?
• Why is it essential to believe and also repent to enter the kingdom of God?
• What are some of the ways Jesus calls people today?
• What does Jesus’ phrase “Follow Me’’ suggest about the way we’re to relate to Him?
Discuss the following quote:

“Sin gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be happier if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.”(1) —John Piper

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 has been an example of following Jesus. Then determine how you can each grow in following Jesus this week
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to develop relationships with friends that will help them to become better followers of Jesus.
• CULTURE: Pray with your student this week for the strength and courage to be an example of devotion to Christ in a worldly culture.

(1)John Piper, “50 John Piper Quotes,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 15 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes- by-author/john-piper-quotes/#axzz4hYC7eseG.


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Conversation Starters: Right Here, Right Now

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Some Christians can be enthralled with the idea of doing great things for God in exotic locales. While that type of mission is needed, the first place God calls us is often not across the world but across the street. Christ calls us to represent Him right where we are. The hardest ministry may be among those who know us best, but those same people are the ones most impacted by the way Christ has transformed us.

Concept: Right Here, Right Now

Preschool

1 and 2 Peter

LIFE POINT: Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples. He knew that Jesus was God’s Son. Peter learned many things about God. He learned how God wants us to live and make right choices. Peter taught people about Jesus. He wrote some letters to the people he had taught. Peter wrote, “I am writing to you who love Jesus. I want to remind you about the things that Jesus did and said so that you will remember them. Remember that the words in the Bible are not people’s words; they are God’s words. You should love one another and follow what Jesus taught. Keep learning about Jesus. He is our example of how we should live. This will help us make right choices.” The people read the letters from Peter. The letters Peter wrote are part of our Bible.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk about right and wrong choices with your child. Name some things your child may do or be tempted to do. Help him identify which are right choices and which are wrong. Comment that God wants people to make right choices.

Kids

1 and 2 Peter

LIFE POINT: Peter was a friend and disciple of Jesus. He learned many things about God and how God wants people to live. After Jesus went back to heaven, Peter taught many people about Jesus. He wrote letters to the people he had taught. He wanted to remind them of the things he had taught them. Peter wrote: “I am a disciple of Jesus. I am writing to you who love Jesus. I know you have heard many stories about Jesus. I want to teach you the things Jesus taught me so you will always remember them. Husbands and wives should love each other. We should obey the laws of the government. Let others see you doing good things. You should love one another and obey the truth that Jesus taught. Keep learning about Jesus. He is our example of how we should live.” These letters are part of our Bible today.

LIVE IT OUT: What do you teach your child about making choices? Start giving your child freedom to decide certain things on her own. Learning to make right choices is integral to learning and growing into adulthood. Practicing these choices will help your child make the ultimate choice to follow Jesus.

Students

Mark 5:1-2, 8-15, 18-20

THE POINT: You don’t have to go far to share your transformed life in Christ.
• Who is a classmate you’re glad you’ve gotten to know?
• How would you describe the man in the tombs?
• When have you observed a dramatic transformation in someone’s life?
• How can you use your own story of transformation to share the gospel?
Discuss the following quote:

“The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.” (1)
— Paul Chappell

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 specifically thanking God for your freedom from sin.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss sin with your student and acknowledge that it can be hard to overcome on our own. Talk about the sin in his or her life and develop a plan to overcome it.
• CULTURE: Share with your student how you have faced past sins and now live freely without the bondage of sin.

(1)Paul Chappell, “24 Paul Chappell Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online],[accessed 23 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/paul-chappell-quotes/.


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Conversation Starters: A Passion to Share the Gospel

Posted on February 27, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: One of the beauties of life is the uniqueness each one of us brings to it. We are created by God with particular interests, abilities, and personalities. Our individuality is compounded by our history—including our sins, failures, and victories. We are all unique, but God calls us to the same task: to share His gospel. Our individual histories and experiences provide opportunities for us to bring the gospel into the lives of others.

Concept: A Passion to Share the Gospel

Preschool

2 Timothy 1:1-5; 3:14-17

LIFE POINT: On one of his trips, Paul met a young man named Timothy. Paul heard people say that Timothy loved God and Jesus. Timothy had been taught about God by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. Paul asked Timothy to help him tell others about Jesus. They traveled together and talked to many people. They told them about Jesus and God. Later, Paul wrote a letter to Timothy. Paul wrote that he was praying for Timothy. Paul said, “I thank God for your mother and your grandmother who taught you about God and Jesus. Since you were a child, you have learned from the Bible. Remember, all that the Bible says is from God. The Bible tells us what God wants us to do. It teaches us how to live and helps us make right choices. Keep doing what the Bible says to do.”

LIVE IT OUT: Assist your child in learning 2 Peter 3:18. Say the verse together. Stretch up tall as you say “grow”; point to your temples as you say “know”; make the sign for Jesus (touch each middle finger to opposite palm) as you say “Jesus.” Remind your child she is growing and learning.

Kids

2 Timothy 1:1-5; 3:14-17

LIFE POINT: Paul wrote letters to Timothy. One letter said this: “From Paul to Timothy, I thank God for you, Timothy, every day. I know you were sad to see me leave. I remember that your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice taught you about God. My advice is to keep on in what you learned and what you believe. You have known the Scriptures since you were a child. They teach you about God’s plan to save people. All Scripture comes from God. Scripture can teach what is right. It can show you what is bad. Scripture can correct bad actions. It can show how to do right. These things will help you be ready for good works.” Paul helped Timothy—and people today— know how to live as God wants.

LIVE IT OUT: God desires for people to keep learning about Him. Share with your child how he began learning about God and Jesus at home, at church and at camp. Help your child think of Bible stories he learned when he was younger and still hears now. Suggest that he make a list of favorite Bible stories about Jesus.

Students

2 Corinthians 5:11, 14-21

THE POINT: God calls us to share the gospel.
• What advertising ploys are least likely to persuade you?
• What motivates you to follow Christ?
• What are the basic truths of the gospel every person needs to hear?
• What are some effective ways to share the gospel?
Discuss the following quote:

“God has made relationships His chosen
delivery system for the gospel of hope.” 1
— Ed Stetzer

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: In order to be reconciled with God, we must repent of all sin and align ourselves with His perfect standard. Help your student determine if there is any unconfessed sin in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Take time to pray with your student over the sin in his or her life and discuss any changes you may need to make as individuals and as a family to be reconciled with God.
• CULTURE: It can be hard for nonbelievers to hear the truth of the gospel. Consider ways you can share in a loving way.

Ed Stetzer, Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2012), 115.


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Conversation Starters: A Channel of Comfort

Posted on February 20, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No one is immune from trouble. No one wants to go through hardships, but sometimes life rains on us. Thankfully, God never abandons His children, and we can know the power of His presence in the challenges we face. When we’ve walked through a hard season of life with God’s comforting grace, we can walk with others undergoing the same difficulties. We can encourage them with the love, grace, and comfort of Christ, who they see in us.

Conversation Starters: A Channel of Comfort

Preschool

Acts 18:1-3, 24-28

LIFE POINT: Paul went to the city of Corinth to tell the people about Jesus. There he met a man named Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. They were tent makers. Paul taught Priscilla and Aquila about Jesus while they worked together making tents. Later, Aquila and Priscilla sailed with Paul to a city named Ephesus. In this city, Aquila and Priscilla met a man named Apollos. Apollos loved God and had learned many things from the Bible scroll. He was a good teacher, and many people listened to him. Aquila and Priscilla invited Apollos to their house. They talked with Apollos and told him things about Jesus that he did not know. Aquila and Priscilla helped Apollos understand more about Jesus. Apollos traveled to tell other people what he had learned about God and Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Sit and clap with your child while saying, “T – E – L – L, I can tell about Jesus.” Name one person you could tell about Jesus. Repeat the chant, encouraging your child to name someone she could tell about Jesus. Continue to play, adding other family members to the game.

Kids

Acts 21:27-22:29

LIFE POINT: Some men saw Paul in the temple. They said that Paul was saying things against the law. They stirred up the whole crowd. The men grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple. They beat Paul and tried to kill him! Soldiers rushed to the temple to find out what was happening. As the crowd followed, the soldiers took Paul away. When they reached the steps where the soldiers stayed, Paul asked to speak. Paul said, “Listen to me. I learned the Jewish law when I was young. I tried to do all it said. I even tried to put Christians in jail.” Then Paul told everything that had happened to him. The crowd yelled for Paul to be punished. The soldier was about to beat Paul with a whip. Then he learned that Paul was a Roman citizen. The soldier knew he could not harm a Roman citizen. He stopped at once.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever heard a message from you he does not like? Just as a parent disciplines his child, so God disciplines His children. Help your child understand that the Bible is God’s guide for living and following Jesus, even when we hear something we do not like.

Students

2 Corinthians 1:2-7

THE POINT: I can be a channel of God’s comfort to others.
• What’s your favorite comfort food?
• When have you been comforted by God?
• What ways do you appreciate being comforted by others?
• When has God used you to comfort someone?
Discuss the following quote:

“The task of the preacher is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” 1 —Vance Havner

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray with your student that he or she would respond to hardships in a Christ-honoring way.
• COMMUNITY: Our friends are continually facing challenges that need our prayers and community support. Help your student identify friends that may need our prayer and support.
• CULTURE: Discuss ways that people in your church and community may be suffering. Consider ways that you can help and be a comfort to those people.

1 Vance Havner, Grace Quotes [online], [accessed 23 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://gracequotes.org/quote/the-task-of-the-preacher-is-to-comfort-the-afflict/


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Conversation Starters: The Gift of Grace

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our lives are filled with both joys and sorrows, opportunities we embrace and difficulties we’d rather avoid. We don’t question God’s presence in the good times, although we might when life gets hard. God is with us through it all: good and bad. We are no less in God’s hands or useful as His instruments when we face challenges. God’s grace is always with us.

Conversation Starters: The Gift of Grace

Preschool

Acts 17:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul traveled to the city of Athens. While there, Paul went to the synagogue and talked to the people about Jesus. Paul went to the marketplace every day and told about Jesus to anyone he met. Some men heard Paul teaching about Jesus. The men asked Paul to go with them to a special meeting place on a hill. People came from all over Athens to the hill. Paul stood up in the meeting and said, “I want to tell you what I know about God. God created the world and everything in it. He made all people, and He loves all people. He wants people to love Him.” Paul told the people about Jesus, God’s Son. Some of the people did not believe what Paul was saying. Some people wanted Paul to come back and talk again. And some people believed what Paul said about God and Jesus. Paul helped people in Athens learn about Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make a gift for a favorite teacher at church. He can decorate a foam or wooden picture frame with stickers. Print, “Thank you for teaching me” on a paper that will fit into the frame. Let your child print his name and decorate the paper. Encourage him to give it to his teacher at church.

Kids

Acts 17:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul waited in the city for his friends. He saw idols everywhere! Paul even found an idol with a sign “To the Unknown God.” Some of the men liked to hear new ideas. They invited Paul to talk to them. Paul told the men that the God who made everything does not live in a shrine. He told how God did not need anything because He Himself gives what people have. Paul said, “Don’t think that God is like gold or silver or stone that men make into idols.” He told the men how God knew when each person would live and where he would live. Paul urged the men to stop sinning and to turn to the one and only real God. The men listened until Paul told them that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Some people laughed. Others wanted to hear more. Some people believed Paul, and followed Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about her teachers at church. Remind her that they are following God’s command to teach about Jesus. Encourage your child to write a thank-you note to one or more of her teachers. Tell her to mention something specific she learned from that teacher.

Students

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

THE POINT: God’s grace allows me to face anything life throws at me.
• If you could have a lifetime supply of any product, what would you choose?
• What are the risks and rewards of sharing our spiritual experiences with others?
• What are some reasons God allows us to go through hardships?
• What are some appropriate ways to respond when God says “no” to our prayers?
Discuss the following quote:

“Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.” —Karl Barth

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 this week the grace that we receive as followers of Christ. Take time to give thanks for His continued grace.
• COMMUNITY: Grace is necessary for our salvation, and it also empowers us to serve others. Consider ways you and your student may use that grace to serve others.
• CULTURE: God wants to make His grace evident through us. Pray that God would use you and your student as an example to lost friends.

Helmut Gollwitzer, An Introduction to Protestant Theology (Louisville: Westminster Press, 1982), 174.


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Conversation Starters: Simple Faith

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God can help people be faithful to Him.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We don’t have to look far to find someone who can do something better than we can. Because our culture puts a lot of value on talents and skills, we can be tempted to make comparisons and think we are not as important or significant. God doesn’t judge by such standards. He doesn’t need whatever we consider our assets nor is He concerned about whatever we consider our limitations; He just wants us. Our weaknesses do not override what God can—and will—do through us to accomplish His purposes.

Conversation Starters: Limitations

Preschool

Acts 16:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul and Silas traveled and told people about Jesus. Some people did not like them telling about Jesus. They put Paul and Silas in jail. The jailer locked their feet in chains. Paul and Silas began to pray and sing songs to God. The other prisoners listened to them pray and sing. At midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing, an earthquake shook the ground so hard that the prison doors opened and the prisoners’ chains came loose. The earthquake woke the jailer. When he saw the jail doors wide open, the jailer was afraid the prisoners were gone. The jailer heard Paul call out, “We are all still here! Do not be afraid!” The jailer took Paul and Silas to his house. They told him and his family about Jesus and how much Jesus loved them. The jailer and his family believed what they heard about Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Use time driving in the car, waiting in line, or playing with your preschooler to praise God. Sing simple praise songs such as “God Is So Good,” or play some preschool songs on a CD. Tell your child that she can sing to God anytime.

Kids

Acts 16:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul and Silas were telling people about Jesus, which made some people angry. They dragged Paul and Silas to the officials. The people attacked Paul and Silas. The officials had Paul and Silas beaten with rods. Then they sent them to jail. They put their feet in chains. Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God. The prisoners listened to them. About midnight, as they were praying and singing, an earthquake shook the ground! The jail doors flew open! Everyone’s chains came off! When the jailer saw the open doors he thought the prisoners had all escaped. “Stop!” Paul called. “We are all here!” The jailer brought Paul and Silas out of the jail. “What must I do to be saved?” he asked. Paul and Silas told the jailer about Jesus. They told everyone in the jailer’s house about Jesus. They all believed and were baptized.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever experienced difficulty because of her belief in Jesus? The times in which we live are becoming increasingly difficult for Christians. Help your child talk about ways to stand up for what he believes, even when he faces resistance.

Students

Exodus 3:11-12, 4:10-17

THE POINT: God will work through us despite our shortcomings.
• When have you accomplished something you didn’t think you could?
• How comfortable do you feel about doing what God is currently calling you to do?
• What do these verses teach us about our place in God’s plans?
• What steps can we take to support one another in obeying God?
Discuss the following quote:

“Real true faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.” —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: Discuss with your student ways that he or she can be bold in his or her faith this week.
• COMMUNITY: Pray with your student for the boldness and faith to follow God’s calling, whether it is alone or alongside friends.
• CULTURE: God has worked through others in powerful ways, and He can do the same through your student. Encourage your student to demonstrate the power of God in his or her life.

Dwight L. Moody, The Overcoming Life (Orlando: Bridge-Logos, 2007), 249.


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