CHURCH FAMILY RESOURCES
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, June 23, 2013
How to Explain My Faith: Part 4
This week in Children’s Church we will look at the fourth and final part of the “How to Explain My Faith” series, and the lesson is entitled “Be Bold for God.” During this study, the children have been challenged to take the Good News of Jesus Christ and share it with those who are unsaved. Last week, we discussed that, as Christians, people are watching us, and we need to model our lives after Jesus in order to draw others to Him.
In this week’s lesson, the children will learn that all over the world, people are chasing after all kinds of things, looking for something that will bring them satisfaction. But as Christians, we have peace and everlasting hope that will never fade away. Because of that, we should be bold in sharing what we have with those who don’t have that.
Because there is so much at stake – eternal life or eternal death – we need to be bold in sharing our faith, even when it is a scary thing to do. When the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, He gives us strength and courage we would never have ourselves.
Next Week: The topic of next week’s lesson has not been decided yet.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, June 16, 2013
How to Explain My Faith: Part 3
In Children’s Church this week, we will look at Lesson 3 of the “How to Explain My Faith” series. This week’s lesson is entitled “Be Wise with Words.” There is truth to the old saying, “You are the only Bible that some people will ever read.” This lesson will challenge children to consider what kind of message their lives are sending to those around them who don’t know Jesus.
Even when we are not directly sharing the Good News, non-believers are often watching our lives and listening to what we say. Our lives either draw people to Jesus or push them away from Him. How we live can make a difference as to whether people come to Jesus or not.
Children will be challenged to model their lives after Jesus, speaking and behaving so others will respond to the gift of eternal life made possible through Jesus, and they will be urged to think of ways they can show Jesus’ love to others.
Next Week: Children will learn that, as they try to share their faith, Satan will try to discourage them they will need the boldness that comes from the Holy Spirit to not grow discouraged.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, June 9, 2013
How to Explain My Faith: Part 2
This week in Children’s Church, we will tackle Park 2 of a 4-part series entitled “How to Explain My faith.” Jesus has called all Christians to be His witnesses in the world, and this lesson will challenge children to “Be Prepared to Share” their faith with their friends when God provides the opportunities.
Being a witness for Jesus is similar to being a witness in a courtroom. A courtroom witness tells the court what he has seen and heard about a crime. As Christians, we should be telling other people what we have seen and heard about Jesus and what He has done in our lives.
Sometimes we tend to complicate the message of the Gospel, but the children will learn that the best approach is often just telling someone what Jesus has done in their lives. Other things that can help us are learning a few key Bible verses, writing out our testimony, lots of prayer and other favorite tools such as a “flipper flapper,” wordless color tract or bracelet.
Next Week: Week 3’s lesson is entitled “Be Wise With Words.” In this lesson, the children will be reminded that non-Christians not only need to hear us talk about our faith, they also need to see that our lives match what we say.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, June 2, 2013
How to Explain My Faith: Part 1
For the past several months, the lessons in Children’s Church have followed those of “big church” during the study of famous characters of the Bible. This week, however, we will begin a new four-part series entitled “How to Explain My Faith.” Jesus’ final command before He left the earth was to “go and make disciples.” In this series, children will be given tools to help explain their faith to their friends.
During each of the four lessons, we will discuss Biblical principles that children can use to share what they believe with others. But in the first lesson we will focus on the basics. Before children can effectively share their faith, they need to be sure they know the Gospel themselves. This will be a natural time for children to ask themselves if they are truly followers of Jesus.
So this week we will discuss what the Gospel actually is. What did Jesus actually do for us? And what does that mean for us right now, today?
Next Week: In Week 2, “Be Prepared to Share,” we will learn that every Christian is called to be a witness of what Jesus has done for them. In court, a witness simply tells everyone what he has seen, heard and experienced, and that’s exactly what we should be doing as Christians.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, May 26 2013
Biblical Character of the Week: Job
This week in Children’s Church we will look at a man from the Old Testament who started out rich, then got really poor really fast and then in the end wound up rich again. That man is Job, and he started out with so much – thousands of sheep and camels and other livestock, a big family and lots of servants. But the devil was allowed to take away his children, livestock, servants, his home and even his good health.
After all of that suffering, Job’s wife told him to “curse God and die.” And three of his friends talked to him about why these things had happened to him and accused him of sinning against God. But even though Job did not understand at all why these things were happening to him, he refused to turn his back on God. At the end of the book, God revealed himself to Job, and eventually restored Job’s wealth and his happiness.
Some of the things we see in Job’s story are hard to understand. But through it all, we learn that God is in control, even when we don’t see it. We often think we have all the answers, but in Job’s life, we see that our job is not to understand everything. Our job is to the submit to God and trust Him no matter what happens.
Next Week: The topic of next week’s lesson has not yet been decided.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, May 19, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week: John the Baptist
This week in Children’s Church we will study the famous New Testament character known as John the Baptist. In the Roman world, a visit by a powerful official was always preceded by a herald, which is someone who announced that they were coming. And John’s job was to be a herald for Jesus, preparing the way for his arrival
John chose to live in the desert and do things that were unusual. He dressed strangely, wearing an outfit made of camel’s hair. He also had a strange diet, which featured locusts and wild honey. These were things that made him stand out from the religious leaders of his time. John was known mostly for baptizing people, something that was rarely practiced at that time. John’s baptism provided a visible way that people could show the world that they were leaving their life of sin and were committing to following God.
What can we learn from John’s life? Are we truly ready to stop following the crowd and follow what God wants us to do instead?
Next Week: We will learn about the man called Job, who is best known for his remarkable patience. Job had to endure a whole series of very difficult things, but through his incredible suffering, he never turned his back on God. What can we learn from his story?
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, May 12, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week: Lydia
This week in Children’s Church we will be looking at a woman from the New Testament by the name of Lydia. Her story is told in the book of Acts, chapter 16. We learn in that chapter that Lydia was a “dealer in purple cloth.” Purple clothing was very expensive and usually worn only by royalty and wealthy people. This means that Lydia was most likely a wealthy businesswoman.
But the Bible tells us that when she heard Paul’s preaching, God opened her heart to the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. She became a follower of Jesus, was baptized and then invited Paul and his companions to stay at her house.
The Bible tells us that Lydia believed in God before she heard Paul, but she was not yet a follower of Jesus. Many people today think that believing in God is the same as being saved, but through Lydia’s life we learn that this is not enough. There is a big difference between believing that there is a God and deciding to live our lives God’s way.
Next Week: We will be looking at a very famous New Testament figure, the man known as John the Baptist. John was an unusual guy who ate locusts and dressed strangely. But more importantly, he came to prepare people for the coming of Jesus.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, May 5, 2013
Special Children's Sunday Service in the sanctuary today!
Will resume Family Corner Topics next week.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, April 28, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week: Hannah
This week’s “big church” service will include a baby dedication during which parents vow to do their best to train their children to follow Jesus. In keeping with that theme, we will be looking at a mother from the Old Testament that took that commitment seriously. The mother we are speaking of is Hannah, and her son is the famous prophet Samuel.
Hannah’s story is told in the first several chapters of the book of I Samuel. We find her feeling very unhappy because she was not able to have children. And in her distress, she cried out to God, who answered her prayer and blessed her with a son, Samuel.
Samuel was a special child. Since Hannah had vowed to God that she would commit her son completely to the LORD, she took him to live in the temple with Eli, the priest. God established a special relationship with Samuel, speaking to him by name. And Samuel heard the call of God on his life and faithfully served Him. Are we listening for the call of God in our lives? When we hear it, do we obey what he is telling us to do?
Next Week: Sunday, May 5, will be Children’s Sunday, and the children will remain with their parents in for the entire “big church” service.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, April 21, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week: Jonah
This week we will be looking at one of the most famous Old Testament prophets, the man called Jonah. Most of us remember that Jonah’s decision to run from God and go to Tarshish instead of Nineveh had serious consequences for him. In fact, he wound up getting thrown overboard and living for a few days in the stomach of a huge fish!
Even though we are very familiar with this prophet’s story, have we learned from it? How often in our lives do we decide to “go the other direction” when God speaks to us? How does our stubbornness get in the way of God’s plans?
Another part of Jonah’s story that is sometimes overlooked is the prophet’s feelings that he was better than the Ninevites. Not only did he personally not want to tell the people of Nineveh a message from the LORD, he didn’t want anyone to tell them! Why? Because he wanted God to punish them, not forgive them. Do we ever feel we are more deserving of God’s love and forgiveness than others?
Next Week: We will look at a mother and son pair from the Old Testament, the prophet Samuel and his mother Hannah. Hannah cried out to the LORD in a time of deep distress. And Samuel heard the call of God and followed that call throughout his life.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, April 14, 2013
Biblical character of the Week: Ruth
This week in Children’s Church we will be looking a woman in the Bible who has an Old Testament book named after her, the woman called Ruth. Ruth lived during the time of the judges, which was a difficult period in Israel’s history. Ruth endured many difficult circumstances in her life, including the loss of her husband, which in those days meant that she had practically no way to provide for her basic needs.
Ruth, though she was from Moab, chose to go with her mother-in-law Naomi back to the country of Israel. And Naomi’s faith in the one true God must have had a powerful impact on Ruth, who chose to stay with Naomi instead of staying in her own land. In Ruth 1:16, she declares, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.”
Ruth’s faithfulness and perseverance through difficult and trying circumstances was remarkable. And God honored her faith by providing her with a new husband, Boaz. God’s sovereignty also is evident in the story of Ruth, who became the great-grandmother of Israel’s most famous king, David, as well as an ancestor in the line of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Next Week: We will look at the story of the man involved in the biggest fish story of them all, the prophet Jonah. It is easy to point out Jonah’s disobedience and self-righteousness, but a harder question is: Are we ever like Jonah in his refusal to do what God was calling him to do?
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, April 7, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week: Mary Magdalene"
This week we will be looking at one of Jesus’ most remembered followers during his 33 years here on planet Earth, the woman called Mary Magdalene. She traveled extensively with Jesus during his travels through the land of Israel, and she also is known to have contributed to the needs of Jesus and his disciples.
Mary Magdalene was one of those present at the crucifixion of Jesus, and she was on her way to anoint Jesus’ body when she discovered that the tomb was empty. Not only was she the first to find out about the empty tomb, she also was the first to see Jesus after He was resurrected.
Mary had seven demons driven out of her by Jesus, and from what we read of her in the Scriptures, that dramatically changed her life. She realized then who she belonged to, and that changed the way she lived from that point forward. Do our lives reflect a deep gratefulness for what Jesus has done for us?
Next Week: We will look at another woman who displayed godly characteristics in her life, the woman called Ruth. In spite of difficult life circumstances, Ruth remained faithful to God and He remained faithful to her. We can learn much about loyalty and faithfulness from this woman of faith who was an ancestor of both King David and Jesus.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, March 31, 2013
Topic of the Week "Who Is Jesus Christ?"
As the attention of much of the world turns to Easter Sunday, we will look at the Man who is the central focus of this special day, as well as the focus of the entire Bible and of all of human history, Jesus Christ. This remarkable God-Man submitted Himself to the will of His Father and was put to death on a cross as a notorious criminal might have been. But even as he was dying, Jesus made some amazing statements.
This week we will examine the seven statements made by Jesus from the cross, which often lead to questions such as: What was Jesus’ purpose on earth? Who really is Jesus? Can these statements help us understand Him better? Several times in the Bible, Jesus asked His disciples who the people of Israel and even who they themselves thought He was. And, at the end of our lives, our eternal destiny will depend on how we answer that all-important question: Who is Jesus?
Next Week: We will look at two of the most famous (and easiest to mispronounce!) prophets in the Old Testaments, Elijah and Elisha. We will look into how Elisha benefitted from the lessons taught by Elijah and how we can benefit from being mentored as well as mentoring someone else.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, March 24 2013
Topic of the Week "David, A Man After God's Own Heart"
This week we will look at one of the most well-known Old Testament personalities, David. This much-loved figure had a very eventful life even from his boyhood when he became famous throughout the land of Israel for his courage when he killed a terrifying giant named Goliath. He was specially selected by the prophet Samuel as the next king of Israel. But when King Saul became jealous of him, David was forced to literally run for his life. But even through this difficult time, he never stopped believing that God had a purpose for him.
In the Bible David is called “a man after God’s own heart.” But in spite of that remarkable title, he made some major errors in judgment that even went as far as ordering that a man be murdered. But through David’s failures, we see evidence of God’s tremendous gift of grace and forgiveness that we also can experience if we turn to him when we fail.
Next Week: On Easter Sunday we will look at the greatest Person who ever lived, Jesus of Nazareth. As his earthly life ebbed away, Jesus made 7 statements from the cross. We will look at what we can learn from those statements and what they tell us about the amazing God-Man who made them.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, March 17, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week:
Peter, Leader of the Early Church
In Week 2 of our eight-week series on Bible characters, we will look at one of Jesus’ most famous disciples, Simon Peter. Originally a fisherman, Peter often made decisions quickly without thinking them through first. And he sometimes said things that got him into trouble. Sometimes these courageous moves worked out well, like when he walked on the water on the Sea of Galilee, but sometimes they didn’t.
Peter also is remembered for the fact that after Jesus was arrested, he denied three times that he even knew who Jesus was. But God teaches us a great lesson through Peter’s life. He forgave Peter of this monumental failure, and Peter became a pivotal figure in the early growth of the Christian church.
What made the difference in Peter’s turnaround from a frightened, uncertain follower of Christ to a courageous, outspoken leader of the early church was his willingness to fully trust God.
Next Week: Undoubtedly the best known of the Minor Prophets is the man called Jonah, thanks to the unusual mini-vacation he took in the belly of a big fish. We will be looking at Jonah’s unwillingness to yield to what God wanted him to do and his problem with self-righteousness.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, March 10, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week:
Moses, Leader of Israel
This week will mark the beginning of a special eight-week series on the lives of some of the most famous people in the Bible. (The topics will mirror those being taught by Pastor Brian and Pastor Adam in “big church,” so parents and children should be able to have some good discussions on what each learned from their lessons!) This first week’s lesson will focus on the man who God used to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt, Moses.
Moses, like all of the men and women of the Bible, were people just like us, with gifts and flaws just like us. But God called them to complete a task that matched the gifts he had given them.
Moses struggled with his temper and a lack of confidence, and he also was very good at making excuses for why he could not carry out the work that God had appointed to him. But when he finally trusted God fully, then God was able to use him to do amazing things.
Next Week: We will look at that most famous of Jesus’ disciples, Peter. He had a tendency to act (and speak) first and think second, and he is well remembered for things like walking on the water and denying Jesus three times. But even after that ‘epic fail,’ God’s power and love restored Peter and he became a powerful force in the early church.
FAMILY CORNER for Sunday, March 3, 2013
Biblical Character of the Week: Joseph
This week we will begin a series of studies in which we look at some of the most important people in the Bible. Today the focus will be on a young man who seemed to have a promising life ahead of him until he was sold into slavery and taken far away from his home and the father who loved him very much. That man was Joseph. His story, which is told in the last half of the book of Genesis, was like a roller coaster, full of many twists and turns and ups and downs.
Our lesson this week will focus on Joseph’s remarkable trust in God in the midst of all of those trials and tribulations. He knew God well, and he was convinced that God had a purpose for his life, regardless of whether he was a slave, a prison inmate or the second most powerful man in Egypt. His life in some ways mirrored that of a Man who would enter history many years later, Jesus Christ.
Next Week: We will begin an 8-week series in which the lessons in Children’s Church mirror that of “big church.” The week’s topic will be the great prophet Moses who God used in a powerful way in spite of his flaws.