Conversation Starters: Hannah- Trust-filled Prayer

Posted on November 15, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Prayer helps people know Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: During the Thanksgiving season, our thoughts rightfully turn to the things for which we can thank God. But what about those areas of life where thanksgiving is hard? Hannah was a woman who did not resign herself to the hardship she faced. She was despondent, but she sought God’s help and trusted Him with the answer. Thanksgiving and praise can flow from our trust that, regardless of what we face, God is with us and is working on our behalf.

Bible Character: Hannah

Preschool

2 Kings 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: Elisha traveled and told people messages from God. One day a woman called to Elisha, “My husband has died. I owe money to others. I have no money.” Elisha asked her what she had. She only had a jar of oil. Elisha told the woman to borrow empty containers from her neighbors. She should go in her house, close the door, and start pouring oil into the empty containers. The woman and her sons got many containers. She began to pour the oil from her jar. Her sons kept bringing her containers, and she kept pouring oil into them. When all the containers were full, the jar the woman had been pouring from was finally empty. Elisha told the woman to sell the oil and pay what she owed. She would have enough money left to live on. God helped the woman have what she needed.

LIVE IT OUT: Draw a large O in the center of a sheet of paper. Give your child crayons, markers, or stickers to decorate the paper. Say: “Obey starts with o. You can obey God.”

Kids

2 Kings 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: A widow came to Elisha. “My husband is dead. I cannot pay my bills. So, people are coming to take my children. They will make my sons their slaves.” “What do you have in the house?” Elisha asked. “Only a little oil,” said the widow. Elisha said, “Go home. Get as many jars as you can. Ask your neighbors. Get lots of jars! Go into your house with your sons. Close the door. Pour oil into the containers.” The widow did as Elisha said. She closed the door. Her sons kept bringing jars to her. She kept pouring the oil from the little oil she started with! She filled many jars. When there were no more jars, the oil stopped. Elisha told the widow, “Sell the oil. Pay what you owe. You and your sons will have enough money to live on.”

LIVE IT OUT: Why should we obey God? Talk with your child about how he would answer this question. Help your child compose a prayer, asking God to help him be obedient.

Students

1 Samuel 1:9-28; 2:1-3

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses prayer, not hopelessness.
• When have you been persistent in asking for something you really wanted?
• What are some ways people deal with deep disappointment or unresolved pain?
• How have God’s responses to your prayers shaped your understanding of Him?
• What are some practical ways to cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude?

Discuss the following quote:

“When we make self the end of prayer, it is not worship but self-seeking.” ¹ —Thomas Manton

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 together with your student every night this week and determine ways you can each improve your prayer life.
• COMMUNITY: Share prayer requests and concerns with your student. Create a combined list and commit to praying for those names throughout the week.
• CULTURE: When life becomes tough, even non-believing friends may reach to God in pray. Discuss with your student how we can use these opportunities to share the truth about prayer and the gospel with our friends.

 

¹. Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, Vol. 4 (London: James Nisbet & Co, 1871) 339.


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Conversation Starters: John the Baptist- Single-Minded Focus

Posted on October 31, 2018 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Self-centered living defines this world. The rationale for many is that, if this life is all there is, you should do all you can to enjoy it for yourself. Exalt yourself and try to give yourself significance. But this life is not all there is, and we are not the centers of our own little universe. It’s all about Jesus Christ. When we encounter Christ and choose Him over ourselves, we truly find significance.

Bible Character: John the Baptist

Preschool

1 Kings 18:1-2, 41-46

LIFE POINT: No rain had fallen for a long time. Plants would not grow. People and animals needed food to eat and water to drink. God told Elijah, “I will send rain. Go and tell the king.” After Elijah told the king, Elijah and his helper went up to the top of a mountain. Elijah talked to God. Elijah asked God to send rain. Elijah told his helper to go and look toward the sea. The helper
looked but saw no clouds.“Go back,” Elijah said. One, two, three, four, five, six times, Elijah told his helper to look. On the seventh time, Elijah’s helper saw a very small cloud out over the sea. It was about the size of a man’s hand. Elijah knew God had heard his prayer. Soon there were more dark clouds in the sky. The wind began to blow. Rain began to fall. The rain fell just as God had promised.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child learn to pray. Let her hear you pray. Offer opportunities for her to pray. Instead of memorized prayers, encourage your child to use her own words to talk to God.

Kids

1 Kings 19:1-8

LIFE POINT: The king told the queen that Elijah had called on God and God sent fire down from heaven. The prophets of the idol Baal were dead. The queen was angry! She sent a message to Elijah. The message warned Elijah that she would find him and kill him. Elijah was afraid. He ran away and traveled for a day in the wilderness. He was tired. He sat under a tree and prayed to die.
Elijah went to sleep under the tree. An angel woke him. The angel said, “Get up and eat.” Elijah saw a loaf of bread and a jug of water. He ate and drank. Then he went back to sleep! The angel came back. He woke Elijah again. “Get up and eat. If you don’t, the trip may be too hard for you.” Elijah got up. He ate and drank. Elijah felt stronger. In fact, he was able to walk for 40 days and 40 nights! He walked to the mountain of God.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of times she is afraid. Talk about what she can do when she is afraid—say a prayer or recite a Bible verse. Help her memorize Psalm 46:1. This verse will assure her that God has the power to protect her.

Students

John 1:26-34; 3:26-30

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses to exalt Christ, not self.
• If you could be a spokesperson for any product, what would it be?
• How does our culture determine who is important or worthy of attention?
• What are some key moments that have shaped your understanding of Jesus?
• What are some symptoms of a life that is self-focused?

Discuss the following quote:

“John the Baptist never performed any miracles. Yet, he was greater than any of the Old Testament prophets.” 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 in which he or she can decrease self in order to make more room for Christ. Pray daily that your student would allow Christ to increase in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Ensure that your student has an accountability partner. If not, help him or her find a friend to fill this role.
• CULTURE: God has called us to impact people for the kingdom. Create a list of ways you and your student can be an expression of who God has made you to be based on your personality, style, and gifts.

 

¹. Leonard Ravenhill, “Leonard Ravenhill Quotes,” AZ Quotes, [accessed 6 March 2017]. Available from the Internet: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/670194.


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Conversation Starters: Barnabas- Ongoing Encouragement

Posted on October 24, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can be encouraged by God’s love through Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No one likes to go it alone. We want to know someone has our back or is standing with us. We carry out our responsibilities better when someone is encouraging us. In the Book of Acts, Barnabas was just such an encourager. He modeled for us how we can positively impact others through a Christ-centered lifestyle of encouragement.

Bible Character: Barnabas

Preschool

1 Kings 17:8-24

LIFE POINT: No rain had fallen in a long time. God told Elijah that it would not rain for a long time. God told Elijah to go to a town. There, a woman would give him food and water. When Elijah got to the town, a woman was gathering sticks to build a fire. “Would you bring me some water?” Elijah asked. “And please bring me a piece of bread, too.” The woman said, “I only have a little bit of flour and oil. I was going to make bread for my son and myself.” Elijah said, “Go home and make some bread for me. Then make some bread for you and your son. You will have enough flour and oil until God sends rain.” Every day the woman made bread for Elijah, herself, and her son. The flour and oil were not used up, just as Elijah had said. God took care of Elijah, the woman, and her son.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Talk about ways God cares for your family. Help your child find magazine or catalog pictures of things God provides and glue them to a paper. Thank God for His care.

Kids

1 Kings 17:8-24

LIFE POINT: God told Elijah to go to the city. “I told a widow there to take care of you,” God said. Elijah stood by the city gate. He saw the widow. She was picking up sticks of wood. He called to her. “Please give me some water and bread.” The woman said, “I have nothing baked. I have only a little flour and oil. I am getting sticks to make a fire. Then I will bake our food. Then we will die.” Elijah said, “Don’t be afraid. Do what you planned, but first give me a little bread. God said that your flour jar will not get empty. Your oil jug will not run dry until God sends rain.” The widow did what Elijah told her to do. Then she and those in her house had food for many days. The flour jar did not get empty. The oil jar did not run dry. God kept His promise.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk about ways God cares for your family and write them down on paper. After each statement write the words of Psalm 86:15 to create a litany. Read the litany during a family worship time.

Students

Acts 4:36-37; 9:26-27; 11:19-26

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses encouragement, not criticism.

• What nicknames have you been called over the years?
• How did Barnabas’s actions in this passage encourage others?
• Who has encouraged your spiritual growth over the years?
• Why is encouragement a necessary element in the church?

Discuss the following quote:

“I would go into the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit: it is good for me to have been afflicted that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.” 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: Ask your student if there are any areas in which he or she needs encouragement. Then determine if there is a specific prayer that your student can pray each day to gather encouragement by forming a deeper relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that your family can use your talents, skills, and resources to encourage others.
• CULTURE: Our world is not known as being a place that encourages others. How can your family stand against the stream by acting as encouragers?

 

¹. Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner: How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour (New York: Scripture Press, 2015).


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Conversation Starters: Ruth- All in Commitment

Posted on October 17, 2018 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Culture often presents a skewed idea of commitment. People have no problem expressing their loyalty—or even love—to others, but if those relationships encounter
difficulty or something more appealing comes along, they quickly transfer their loyalty. In other words, their faithfulness and commitment are anything but faithful and committed!. The Bible describes the love of God, though, as a faithful, committed love. As His children, then, we were to relate to others with commitment and loyalty.

Bible Character: Ruth

Preschool

2 Samuel 5-8

LIFE POINT: David became king over all of Israel. When some people (the Philistines) heard that David was king of Israel, they decided to fight against him. David talked to God. He asked God, “Should I fight against the Philistines? Will you help me?” God told David to fight the Philistines. God helped the Israelites to win the fight. David led the people to worship God. David and all of the Israelite people were happy when the box with God’s rules (ark Of the covenant) was carried into Jerusalem. They set the box of God’s rules in the tent David had set up for it. The people played musical instruments while David danced. David gave things to God in love and thankfulness. He gave food to the people and said good words about the people to God. God promised David that members from his family would rule forever.

LIVE IT OUT: Draw an outline of a simple crown shape on a sheet of paper. Give your child jewel stickers and markers. As he decorates the crown, talk about King David. Remind him that David was a good king because he listened to God.

Kids

2 Samuel 5-8

LIFE POINT: God’s people came to David. “God said you will be king over Israel.” They anointed David to be king. Enemies came to fight David and God’s people. God helped David defeat the enemies. David brought the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. The people were happy and David danced for God. King David wanted to build a temple for God. God told David that his son would build the temple. David spent many years getting supplies for the temple. King David won many victories. He always thanked God for taking care of him. King David ruled all Israel with justice. He was a good king who tried to do what was right.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of things he could do to live in a way that honors God every day. Help him understand that being obedient to God, doing what is right, and rejecting what is wrong is how we honor God.

Students

Ruth 1:8-17

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses commitment, not convenience.
• Where do you see examples of extreme loyalty in today’s world?
• Why is mutual loyalty so important in relationships?
• What characteristics separate “fair weather” friends from relationships that endure?
• What are specific circumstances in which we can honor Christ by choosing commitment over convenience?

Discuss the following quote:

“Love is commitment; love is a relationship that never gives up.” ¹ —Jerry Falwell

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: Jesus is fully committed to us, but are we always as committed to serving Him? List some practical steps you and your student can take to demonstrate an all-in commitment.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student the importance of keeping commitments. By not keeping our commitments, we are damaging the unity and trust within our community of believers and friends.
• CULTURE: This week, spend time with your student praying for ways you can be a picture of God’s all-in commitment.

¹ Jerry Falwell, “24 Quotes About Commitment,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 6 March 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://ww.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes aboutcommitment/#axzz4aZHW0an8


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Conversation Starters: Solomon- Unfailing Wisdom

Posted on October 10, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God helps people know the right things to do.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We do not lack knowledge; in fact, we are overwhelmed with knowledge. We may not have it stored in our heads, but we have easy access with just a click of the mouse. What we lack is understanding of the best way to use that knowledge—and that calls for wisdom. Because God is the ultimate source of everything we can know, wisdom begins by looking to Him. As Solomon wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10).

Bible Character:  Solomon

Preschool

1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20

LIFE POINT: David went to live in King Saul’s palace. He became best friends with King Saul’s son, Jonathan. David and Jonathan promised always to be friends. Jonathan gave David gifts to show his friendship. He gave David a robe, a belt, a sword, and a bow for shooting arrows. King Saul became angry with David and wanted to hurt him. David told Jonathan, “King Saul wants to hurt me.” Jonathan promised to help David. “I will find out what my father is planning to do,” Jonathan said. “I will tell you if it is safe.” David hid in a field. Jonathan knew King Saul did want to hurt David. Jonathan knew that David would have to leave to be safe. The next day, Jonathan said goodbye to his friend. Both friends were sad. “We have promised to be friends,” Jonathan said. Then David left, and Jonathan went home.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child to foster friendships with other children. Invite a few children to your home for a play-date. Thank the children for playing together kindly and showing God’s love to one another.

Kids

1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20

LIFE POINT: King Saul’s son Jonathan and David were good friends. Jonathan gave his friend gifts. He gave David his robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt to keep. King Saul was made at David and wanted to kill him. Jonathan told David he would find out what the king wanted to do. That night, when Jonathan told the king that David had gone to Bethlehem, the king was angry. He was so angry he threw a spear at Jonathan! The next day, Jonathan went to the field. David was hiding behind a rock. Jonathan shot three arrows. He yelled to the servant, “The arrows are past you!” David knew he had to leave. Before he left, David and Jonathan told each other how much they cared for each other. They cried together. Then David left and Jonathan went home.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child understand the constancy of God’s love? Talk with your child about times your family has suffered a hardship. Help her think of ways you could sense God’s love throughout the ordeal.

Students

1 Kings 3:3-14; 4:29-34

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses wisdom from God, not simply knowledge.
• If you could be the leading expert in any field, what would it be?
• What’s the difference between wisdom and “book smarts”?
• How do we gain and apply wisdom in our daily lives?
• How can we effectively reflect God’s wisdom in our culture?
Discuss the following quote:

“A wise man may look ridiculous in the company of fools.” ¹ —Thomas Fuller

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Jesus was intent on passing His wisdom down to His followers. Read Matthew 5:3-12 with your student and point out any personal changes you can make in light of what you read.
• COMMUNITY: Living in Christian community is essential to growing in wisdom, so we want to pursue community for the sake of giving and receiving wisdom. Sit down with your student and consider the company he or she keeps. If your student needs to engage in more Christian community, consider ways you can promote this such as hosting a Bible study.
• CULTURE: Make a list of ways you and your student can live according to God’s wisdom rather than listening to the false wisdom of the world.

 

¹. Thomas Fuller, “55 Quotes About Wisdom,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 27 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about wisdom/?listpage=2&instance=2#participants-list-2).


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Conversation Starters: Caleb- Unwavering Faith

Posted on October 3, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can trust God to help them in what they do.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: It’s easy to listen to our circumstances. After all, we are surrounded by them. God may use our circumstances as a part of His plan for our lives, but God may also call us in one direction when the road signs around us point in a different direction. That’s when faith steps in. We are to trust the One who is above our circumstances and calls us to trust Him.

Bible Characters: David and Caleb

Preschool

1 Samuel 17:1-50

LIFE POINT: David’s father told David to take food to his brothers who were in the army. David packed up the grain, bread, and cheese. He went to the camp where his brothers were. Then David found his brothers and talked to them. While there, David heard the Philistine giant, Goliath, talk mean to the Israelites. The men backed away from the giant. David told the king he would fight Goliath. David picked up five smooth stones. He walked to the giant. Goliath was mad that such a young man wanted to fight him. David told Goliath he came in the name of God. Both men moved toward each other. David put a stone in his sling and swung it. He let the stone go. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead. Goliath fell to the ground. David brought down Goliath and saved the Israelite people.

LIVE IT OUT: Give your child encouragement as she performs chores, does art, or plays a sport or game. Comment that God gives people the ability to do things. Thank God for making you able to
do different things.

Kids

1 Samuel 17:1-50

LIFE POINT: Goliath was a huge member of the enemy army. Every day he taunted King Saul’s soldiers. When Saul and his army heard Goliath, they were afraid. David’s father sent him with food for his brothers in the army. When David heard the man, he told King Saul he would fight. David told the king how he had learned to kill lions and bears who tried to kill his sheep. “God will help me,” David said. David chose five stones. He put them in a bag. He carried his sling. When Goliath saw David, he said, “You are coming at me with sticks?” David answered, “You have a dagger, a spear, and a sword. I have the name of the Lord. Today He will help me win.” David took out a stone and slung it at Goliath. The stone hit Goliath in the head. He fell to the ground. David had won!

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your child that he can honor God by doing his best. Talk about this week’s Bible verse, Psalm 100:2, which was written by King David. Explain that God wants our joyful service.

Students

Numbers 13:26-30; 14:6-10, 21-24

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses trust in God, not in circumstances.
• When have you felt like you couldn’t believe your eyes?
• Who or what are you tempted to trust instead of God?
• What are some fears that might keep you from trusting God’s promises?
• How does God reward those who are faithful to Him?

Discuss the following quote:

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” ¹ —G.K. Chesterton

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: Share with your student some of the verses that have shaped your relationship with Jesus and how they have impacted your life.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student to find promises in Scripture that are meaningful and encouraging. Then find others that can be encouraged using God’s promises.
• CULTURE: Remind your student that as Christians, we will stand out from non-believers and this will not always be easy. Discuss ways that God may be calling your student to stand out from the “normal.” For encouragement, read Luke 12:11-12.

 

¹. G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man [online], 1925, [accessed 22 February 2017], 172. Available from the Internet: http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/everlasting_man.pdf.


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Conversation Starters: Encourage One Another

Posted on September 26, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People should help others know about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: New parents certainly love their infant children, but they want to see them grow and mature. That child cannot grow without the assistant of the parents and other caring adults. It’s the same regarding our growth as Christians. We need each other. We have the opportunity to challenge and encourage others to grow spiritually and be all they can be in Christ.

Concept: Encourage One Another

Preschool

Acts 13

LIFE POINT: God told Paul and Barnabas to go and tell people about Jesus in other places. The Antioch church sent them out as missionaries. Paul and Barnabas got into a boat and sailed to an island called Cyprus. They taught the people there about Jesus. Next, Paul and Barnabas went to a different part of Antioch. They went to the synagogue. The synagogue was a place where people went to worship God. The people in the synagogue asked Paul and Barnabas to speak, so Paul began to teach about Jesus. The people asked Paul and Barnabas to come back the next week. Paul and Barnabas went back to the synagogue the next week. Almost the whole city had gathered to hear what Paul was teaching about Jesus. Paul and Barnabas continued to be missionaries and tell
people about Jesus in many different places.

LIVE IT OUT: Find some information on missionaries to share with your child. You might have a missionary from your church. Help your child write a thank-you note to the missionary. Be sure to
pray for the missionary before you send the note.

Kids

Acts 13

LIFE POINT: God’s Spirit said to the church people in Antioch, “Set apart Barnabas and Paul for My work.” The church men obeyed. They prayed for Barnabas and Paul and sent them off. The men traveled to Cyprus. The men went to the synagogue to tell the people about Jesus. One official wanted to hear Paul’s message. Another man tried to keep the man from listening. He told them that Jesus had risen from the dead. The people begged Paul and Barnabas to come back the next week. When Paul and Barnabas came back, the whole town was there! Some people were jealous. They did not want anyone to believe Paul’s message. Paul said he would preach to people who were not Jews. The people of the city made them leave their town, and God led Paul and Barnabas to the next city.

LIVE IT OUT: Research, or help your child research, well-known missionaries (ex. David Livingstone, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, or Amy Carmichael). Talk about their lives and what they had to sacrifice to tell others about Jesus. Start with Paul and his missionary journeys in the Book of Acts. Paul literally carried the story of Jesus throughout the known world.

Students

Acts 11:19-26

THE POINT: Encourage people in their relationships with Christ and other believers.
• When have you seen something go viral?
• Why do we sometimes avoid certain groups of people when sharing the gospel?
• What are some advantages in doing God’s work together?

Discuss the following quote:

“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it…is changed by it.” ¹ —John C. Maxwell

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 honestly with your student about the ways that you have been encouraged by the Holy Spirit. Consider how the Spirit may be encouraging your student this week.
• COMMUNITY: Ask your student if he or one of his friends is facing difficulties at home or at school. Pray with your student this week over those difficulties.
• CULTURE: Be intentional this week about encouraging your student with words, notes, and actions. Go beyond the home and encourage others you meet to develop a culture of encouragement.

 

¹. John C. Maxwell, “John C. Maxwell Quotes,” BrainyQuote [online], [16 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johncmaxw600868.html.


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Conversation Starters: Share Christ

Posted on September 5, 2018 by Karah

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

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

Concept: Share Christ

Preschool

Acts 12:5-19

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

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

Kids

Acts 12:5-19

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

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

Students

John 1:35-49

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

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

Discuss the following quote:

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

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Encourage your student to spend time getting to know Jesus through prayer and reading the Bible.
• COMMUNITY: Consider opening your home as a place where students can gather to learn about Jesus.
• CULTURE: Help your student to understand the strength of his or her testimony. Share your own testimony as an example.

 

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


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Conversation Starters: See the Worth in Others

Posted on August 29, 2018 by Karah

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

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

Conversation Starters: See the Worth in Others

Preschool

Acts 11:19-30

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

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

Kids

Acts 11:19-30

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

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

Students

2 Samuel 11:1-9, 14-17

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

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

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Talk with your student this week about the ways we can reflect Jesus’ love.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that he or she can be a better friend. List a few ways he or she can serve a specific friend this week.
• CULTURE: Broken relationships can harm our witness. Pray with your student over any broken relationships and encourage him or her to respond in a humble way.

 

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


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Conversation Starters: Respect Authority

Posted on August 15, 2018 by Karah

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

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

Concept: Respect Authority

Preschool

Acts 10

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

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

Kids

Acts 10

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

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

Students

1 Samuel 24:3-12

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

Discuss the following quote:

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

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

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


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