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: David & 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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Conversation Starters: Building Friendship

Posted on May 16, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Love for others grows through the love of Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We are familiar with business contracts and marriage covenants, but we rarely think of our friendships in terms of a covenant. It’s not likely a formal agreement, but we often recognize a bond between friends that goes beyond just a shared interest or affinity. In the Book of 1 Samuel, David and Jonathan gave us an example of what such a covenant looks like.

Concept: Building Friendship

Preschool

Acts 9:19-31

LIFE POINT: Before Saul believed in Jesus, he wanted to hurt people who loved and obeyed Jesus. But Saul changed and believed that Jesus was God’s Son. Saul wanted others to believe in Jesus, too. Saul was with Jesus’ disciples in Damascus. He was telling people that Jesus was God’s Son. The people who heard Saul knew he had hurt people who believed in Jesus. They were afraid
of Saul, but Saul kept telling people about Jesus. Saul heard that some people were going to try to hurt him. The disciples helped Saul escape. At night, they put Saul in a large basket and lowered him through an opening in the city wall. Saul went to Jerusalem. Some people were still afraid of him. Barnabas became his friend. Barnabas told the people that Saul had changed and now he loved Jesus. Saul continued to tell people about Jesus. Many people decided to follow Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Briefly review the Bible story about Saul telling others about Jesus. Comment that Jesus helped Saul be able to tell others. Give your child paper and crayons. Ask her to draw a way that Jesus helps her.

Kids

Acts 9:19-31

LIFE POINT: In Damascus, Saul began preaching about Jesus. He told the people that Jesus was God’s Son. The Jewish leaders wanted to stop Saul. They wanted to kill him. The disciples rescued Saul. They hid Saul in a basket and lowered him through a large hole in a wall so that he escaped. Saul went to Jerusalem. He wanted to work with the disciples there, but they were afraid of him.
A disciple by the name of Barnabas took Saul to the apostles, and Saul described how he had talked to Jesus on the road to Damascus. Barnabas told the apostles how Saul began teaching in Damascus and how the Jewish leaders tried to kill him. The apostles helped Saul travel to many places to tell people about Jesus. He continued to teach people about what Jesus had done for him.

LIVE IT OUT: How have you seen Jesus helping your family? Talk to your child about what Jesus has done for her. Encourage her to add to her testimony by telling how being a Christian has changed her life. This is a critical part of sharing a testimony with another person.

Students

1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:4-7; 20:10-13

THE POINT: Strong friendships grow because of shared commitment.
• What do you enjoy most about your friendships?
• What are some practical ways to demonstrate selflessness in our friendships?
• What risks do we take when we stand up for our friends?
• How do you typically respond when a friendship becomes complicated?
Discuss the following quote:

“They are rich who have true friends.”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: Spend time with your student discussing his or her relationship with Jesus. Take time to pray for the relationship to grow between your student and Jesus.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that he or she can promote unity and love in the church and student ministry.
• CULTURE: Help your student identify lost friends that need to hear the gospel and make a plan that can be put into action.

¹. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British (London: B. Barker, 1732), 215.


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Conversation Starters: Love Gives

Posted on May 9, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Telling people about Jesus shows love for them.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Relationships can be fragile. Everything’s fine if two people are traveling down the same road, but what happens if those two people don’t see eye to eye—or open animosity is evident? The Christian’s role in a relationship—any relationship—is to love. When we live and dwell in the love of Christ, that same love seeps into all our relationships.

Concept: Love Gives

Preschool

Acts 8:26-40

LIFE POINT: Philip traveled from town to town, telling people about Jesus. One day an angel (a messenger from God) spoke to Philip. The angel told him to go to the desert road that went from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip started walking down the road. He saw a man riding in a chariot. The Ethiopian man had been to Jerusalem to worship God. Philip heard the man reading from a Bible scroll. Philip asked the man, “Do you understand what you are reading?” “No,” the man said. “I need someone to explain the words to me.” So Philip sat beside him in the chariot and explained the
words. Philip told the man that the words in the Bible scroll were about Jesus. He told him the good news about Jesus. The man saw some water and asked to be baptized. Philip baptized him. The Ethiopian man went home very happy. Philip traveled to other places to tell people about Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of a family member or friend who needs to know about Jesus. Print “Jesus loves you” at the top of a piece of paper. Let your child draw a special picture for this person. Plan to give the picture to the person. Say a prayer together for this person beforehand.

Kids

Acts 8:26-40

LIFE POINT: Philip was one of the disciples. He told people about Jesus. An angel told Philip to go to the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza. While Philip was walking down the road, he saw a man from Ethiopia sitting in a chariot while reading a Scripture passage. Philip asked the man if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian said that he was not able to understand what he was reading because he had no one to help him understand it. The Ethiopian asked Philip to sit beside him in the chariot. Philip read explained that the Scripture was talking about Jesus. Philip explained to him all that Jesus had done. The Ethiopian believed everything that Philip told him about Jesus. The Ethiopian saw some water and asked Philip if he could be baptized. Philip told the Ethiopian, “If you believe with all of your heart, you may.” Philip baptized the man from Ethiopia.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever shared his testimony with a friend? Remind him that God wants us to tell others the good news about Jesus. Help him think of a friend who needs to know about Jesus. Brainstorm ideas for helping that friend learn about Jesus.

Students

John 15:9-17

THE POINT: Center every relationship on the unconditional love of Christ.
• How has technology changed the way we relate to each other?
• How does obeying God’s commands demonstrate our love for Him?
• What does it look like to love others the way Jesus loves us?
• What keeps us from obeying Jesus’ commands in these verses?
Discuss the following quote:

“The world does not understand theology or dogma [doctrine], but it understands love.”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: Take time to pray with your student ensuring that he or she is loving Jesus in the same way that He loves us.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to show love to his camp friends this week, even if they live far away. Brainstorm a couple ways you could show love and then follow through.
• CULTURE: It is easy to love our friends and family, but Jesus calls us to love everyone including our enemies. Seeing you acting in love and doing good will help your student to act out that same love with others.

¹. Inspired Faith: 365 Days a Year: Daily


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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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