Fruit In Action

Photo Credit:  Eat Play Grow blog; http://www.playeatgrow.com/2012/06/grow-fruit-of-spirit-ispeace.html
Photo Credit: Eat Play Grow blog; http://www.playeatgrow.com/2012/06/grow-fruit-of-spirit-ispeace.html

“This week she broke something that was very special to her. Instead of crying about it, she handled it very well. I was very proud of her.”

“Yesterday we were at the park. Then, it started to rain. We had to run to the car. We were soaking wet. It was so much fun!”

“When I hold my baby sister I have to be careful since she is smaller than me.”

These are the words of children and parents at our church, which were shared during our 6-week study of the fruit of the Spirit. Weekly challenges prompted the application of what we learned about the attributes that we should be developing as Christians. Each week, the children returned to the 3rd floor excited to share how they practiced the fruit in their home, school, community and church. Every experience shared was a great example of “fruit in action” in the children’s lives!

If you were given the task to find the fruit of the Spirit in action in your home, school, work, or neighborhood, how would you do? Where do you look for examples of patience? What does faithfulness look like on a busy street corner? How does a Christian show love to a stranger?

Photo Credit: Volunteer Weekly; Source: Volunteer Weekly; http://www.volunteerweekly.org/an-experiment-in-trust/

We’re going to find out next week at our Wednesday Family Fun Night on July 30th! Meet us at Montgomery Park at 6:30PM to get all the rules and details about our Fruit of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt. A little hint- it involves teamwork, a camera (your phone will do the job), a keen focus on finding “fruit in action” and our neighbors here in Old Town. Fun is guaranteed for the entire family as we experience the Spirit at work in our community. Also, you may learn something new about yourself in the process.

RSVP for the activity by contacting the church office (office@downtownbaptist.org).

Maintaining the Magic of VBS

As I reflect on the joys of my childhood summers, Vacation Bible Cchool stands out as one of the biggest highlights of the season. As I recall it, this was the most exciting part at church. When else is there a whole week devoted to all the things kids like- music, arts & crafts, games and great snacks. All of my friends were in one place, the cool adults that loved being around kids were there focused on our enjoyment- What could be better? Then, Friday afternoon (or evening) came, and the energy faded as we transitioned into a “worship as usual” mode.

Last week’s VBS at DBC was awesome! Children from across our community entered with excitement, energy and anticipation. The entire experience, crafted to help children learn more about Jesus and draw closer to God, was executed with their interests and abilities at heart.

A few months ago, I heard a number of statistics about VBS that I was surprised to hear. The one that stood out to me was regarding the large percentage of children that make a decision for Jesus as a result of attending VBS. Wow, this initiative is effective.

So, how do we build upon the success we experienced last week? We have started our morning worship rally at 9:20 each Sunday morning for our children. This is an opportunity for them to get centered and have an age-appropriate praise and worship time. We are looking at firming up the structure and content to build-out a fun, spiritual experience for our children. Through interactive songs and opportunities for personal reflection and worship, we are laying the groundwork for what can be a consistently engaging God-experience that mirrors what they love and crave from VBS- just extended into Sunday morning experiences.

Of course, those that are energetic, creative and have a heart for worship are integral. Therefore, jump right on in and help us grow our children’s ministry into something that values the interests, abilities and dispositions of kids while helping them have authentic and powerful experiences with God.

Continue the conversation by leaving a message about how we can keep the magic of VBS year-round.

Fruits of the Spirit- Patience and Faithfulness

This evening was the final day of our six-week study. We’ve learned a lot during our time together. Just like our individual seeds, we have grown as we practiced and applied what was taught at home, in school and around the neighborhood. Thank you for your support. I hope you will be able to continue the learning at home as you help your child nurture the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are inside of each of them. Also, join us on July 30th when we join with the rest of the church for our “Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt” at Founder’s Park.

 

What is PATIENCE?

Definition: Putting up with difficult situations without getting angry or complaining.

 

What is FAITHFULNESS?

Definition: Trusting God no matter what, and being someone that others can trust no matter what.

 

Examples of How We Demonstrate Patience and Faithfulness

 

 

God

Family

Friends

Patience

Waiting joyfully for God to take care of a hard situation.

When your parents tell you to wait to do something, be respectful and listen to them.

During a playdate, wait your turn to play with a favorite toy.

Faithfulness

Trust in God always because He will take care of you.

When given a chore, do it well and completely.

Treating your friends fairly and kindly.   They will know that you are someone they can trust.

 

Success Depends on You: Although this series is over your support is still integral in the spiritual growth of our children. Continue to:

  • Pray for each child, parent, family, church member and volunteer.  Ask God to positively change each life through the study of His word.
  • Invest in our children by bringing your child or children to Sunday School, worship service and other church-sponsored events.  Also, reinforce the learning at home.
  • Volunteer at least once a month in some area of the Children’s Ministry.
  • Talk to your child/children about what was learned each time they attend and how it applies to their lives.

 

Questions? Comments? Email me at kspeed@downtownbaptist.org.

Fruits of the Spirit- Developing Gentleness

Today is the 5th of the 6-part series on the fruits of the spirit.  Our Wednesday evening study has been awesome as the children have learned more about each fruit.  It is fantastic to hear how they are developing these virtues through application in their everyday lives.  It really has been a treat listening to each one explain how they practice a fruit.  The Bible is really coming to live through our talks.  If you’re children aren’t coming- they’re missing some great experiences.  We definitely have fun and enjoy the time together as we learn about what we can do through the Holy Spirit.  Here’s a taste of what you missed.

 

What are the fruits of the spirit and how are they developed?

In Galatians 5:16-26, Paul shares with us that our sinful nature is constantly trying to overtake the Holy Spirit inside of us. In order to overcome our sinful nature we must grow in those things of the spirit. We can do so by cultivating the fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. In order for our children to nurture these fruits that are growing in them currently we must continuously “water” them with the word of God and practicing these virtues daily.

 

Fruits of the Spirit Song

Learn the fruits of the spirit by singing along to this fun song. Don’t forget the motions and sound effects! View the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e47FnjKaT3Q&noredirect=1.

 

What is GENTLENESS?

Definition: Gentleness is a humble, calm attitude. Gentleness is controlled strength- having the ability to hurt someone, but choosing instead to guide them in a nice and non-threatening way that points to God.

 

Examples of How We Demonstrate Gentleness

Family

Friends

God’s Creation

Babies need to be handled with care.

When a friend’s feelings are hurt, speak to them in a kind voice that lets them know that you care about their feelings.

Show love to your pets by petting them with a soft and loving touch.

 

Challenge Card

This week’s challenge requires children to record what how they are displaying gentleness. Encourage them to recognize this trait when they display it and capture it on their challenge cards.

 

Fruits of the Spirit Mobiles

This evening we finished our mobiles. They are meant to remind us of each fruit of the spirit. Each fruit is listed and connected by string to an example of how the virtue is displayed. Review this with your child to ensure understanding. Then, find a prominent place in his or her room to hang the mobile. Revisit it often to discuss and reinforce how each is consistently displayed at home, in school, church or the community.

 

Success Depends on You

  • Pray for each child, parent, family, church member and volunteer.  Ask God to positively change each life through this 6-week study.
  • Invest in our children by bringing your child or children to each night of this 6 week study.  Also, reinforce the learning at home.
  • Volunteer at least 1 of the 6 nights of the series.  You can sign-up to help in class as a lead or assistant teacher during the lesson, game time or arts & crafts.
  • Talk to your child/children about what was learned and how it applies to their lives.

 

Questions? Comments? Email me at kspeed@downtownbaptist.org

Kindness and Goodness – Developing Fruits of the Spirit

Kindness and goodness are two terms that we all are quite familiar with.  These are concepts that we learn at early ages and are core expectations in our society.  This week, the children are learning about these virtues in terms of what God expects of us.  Kindness goes beyond being nice.  It means uplifting another, encouraging them and/or making them feel at ease.  I submit that God calls us to go past the common courtesies of our everyday interactions and be deliberate about showing kindness to one another.  Goodness also carries deliberate action with it.  It is a way for us to show God’s love to others by being generous, helpful and doing what is right, even when it isn’t popular.

Below is a summary of this evening’s lesson on kindness and goodness.

 

What are the fruits of the spirit and how are they developed?

In Galatians 5:16-26, Paul shares with us that our sinful nature is constantly trying to overtake the Holy Spirit inside of us. In order to overcome our sinful nature we must grow in those things of the spirit. We can do so by cultivating the fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. In order for our children to nurture these fruits that are growing in them currently we must continuously “water” them with the word of God and practicing these virtues daily.

 

Fruits of the Spirit Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e47FnjKaT3Q&noredirect=1

Sing along with this fun song at home as you help your child remember the fruits of the spirit.

 

What is KINDNESS?

Definition: Kindness is an attitude that puts others at ease. It is being nice to others and encouraging and uplifting them.

  

Bible verse: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

 

What is GOODNESS?

Definition:   Goodness is actively showing that you follow Jesus by being generous and helping others. It means standing up for what you believe in and saying things that need to be said, even if it won’t be taken well.

 

Bible verse: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

 

Examples of How We Demonstrate Kindness and Goodness

 

Fruit

Family

Others

Kindness

If your mom or dad has had a hard day at work, tell them how much you love and appreciate them.

Help an elderly neighbor by doing chores around their house.

Goodness

Be helpful around the house by doing your chores, cleaning up after yourself and chipping in when someone needs help.

When a classmate is teased or treated unfairly, stand-up for him or her by telling a teacher or encouraging those being mean to stop.

 

Challenge Card

This week’s challenge requires children to record what they did to display kindness and goodness. Be sure to review the challenge with your child and sign the card when the challenges are completed.

 

 

 

Tonight’s Arts & Crafts Project: Mobiles

This evening we created mobiles to remind us of each fruit of the spirit. Each fruit is listed. Then, connected to it by string is an example of how the virtue is displayed. Review this with your child to ensure understanding. Then, find a prominent place in his or her room to hang the mobile. Revisit it often to discuss and reinforce how each is consistently displayed at home, in school, church or the community.

 

Planting Spiritual Seeds

We have a few seeds that have sprouted! Both my seed and Caitlynn’s have grown and are doing well. Each week we are checking the progress. This is a great visual reminder of what is happening spiritually within each of us during this experience.

 

Success Depends on You

  • Pray for each child, parent, family, church member and volunteer.  Ask God to positively change each life through this 6-week study.
  • Invest in our children by bringing your child or children to each night of this 6 week study.  Also, reinforce the learning at home.
  • Volunteer at least 1 of the 6 nights of the series.  You can sign-up to help in class as a lead or assistant teacher during the lesson, game time or arts & crafts.
  • Talk to your child/children about what was learned and how it applies to their lives.

 

Questions? Comments? Email me at kspeed@downtownbaptist.org.

Fruits of the Spirit- Joy and Peace

We had a great evening tonight!  The children shared some wonderful stories about how they are practicing the fruits of the spirit at home, at school and in their communities.  Their energy this evening was contagious and really made our time together enjoyable.  Below is a summary of what we learned and also tools that you can use to extend the learning at home. 

What are the fruits of the spirit and how are they developed?

In Galatians 5:16-26, Paul shares with us that our sinful nature is constantly trying to overtake the Holy Spirit inside of us. In order to overcome our sinful nature we must grow in those things of the spirit. We can do so by cultivating the fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. In order for our children to nurture these fruits that are growing in them currently we must continuously “water” them with the word of God and practicing these virtues daily.

What is JOY?

Definition: more than being happy, Christians are filled with joy when they are living the way God wants us to. Joy is being glad no matter what is happening in our lives.

Being glad and knowing that God is in control no matter what is happening in our lives.

 

Bible verse: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” 1 Peter 1:8

 

What is PEACE?

Definition: Peace is being free from worry and fear and getting along with people around you.

 

Bible verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.

 

Challenge Card

This week’s challenge requires children to record what they did to display joy and peace. Be sure to review the challenges with your child and sign the card when the challenges are completed.  This week’s challenges are:

  • Read Psalm 27:6, which talks about joy.  Talk about what it means to you with a parent.
  • Explain to a friend or family member what joy is.
  • Make a special effort to get along with a brother or sister or classmate that is hard to be nice to.  Show peace instead of fighting or a bad attitude.
  • Create your own challenge.  Write it on the back of this card.

 

Planting Spiritual Seeds

How is your child’s seed doing? Is it growing? Is your child remembering to water it as he or she waters their spirit? As a reminder, this seed represents the fruits of the spirit that we have inside of us and will be a visual reminder of what is happening spiritually within each of us during this experience. Over the next few weeks as your child displays a fruit of the spirit, they are to water the seed in the bag. For example, when he or she says their nightly prayers, they will water their plant. When they help with the dishes without being asked, they will water their plant. By regularly displaying the fruits of the spirit, they are watering their seed and watching it grow (which is exactly what’s happening to their spirits!). When we meet each week, they’ll share how their seed is doing. Help your child as needed to be responsible for caring for both their physical and spiritual seeds. Feel free to let us know how it is going by sharing pictures of your growing seeds on our Facebook page or Children’s Ministry blog. 

 

Fruits of the Spirit Song

To help us remember what the fruits of the spirit are, we are learning a song that lists each of the fruits of the spirit. It is a fun song with some silly motions that help make it engaging and memorable. Feel free to sing along at home by accessing the video on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e47FnjKaT3Q&noredirect=1.

 

Success Depends on You

  • Pray for each child, parent, family, church member and volunteer.  Ask God to positively change each life through this 6-week study.
  • Invest in our children by bringing your child or children to each night of this 6 week study.  Also, reinforce the learning at home.
  • Volunteer at least 1 of the 6 nights of the series.  You can sign-up to help in class as a lead or assistant teacher during the lesson, game time or arts & crafts.
  • Talk to your child/children about what was learned and how it applies to their lives.

 

Questions? Comments? Email me at kspeed@downtownbaptist.org.

Taking Charge With Self-Control

This evening we talked about self-control. In all honesty, this is a difficult fruit for many of us. Whether it is speaking out of turn, remembering a great joke that you can’t wait to share or daydreaming about hanging out with a great friend it is sometimes hard to practice self-control. Below, is a summary of what we discussed today. Please reinforce this learning at home. We’ll revisit this topic again throughout the remaining 4 weeks, as this is an important virtue to consistently display and nurture.

 

What are the fruits of the spirit and how are they developed?

In Galatians 5:16-26, Paul shares with us that our sinful nature is constantly trying to overtake the Holy Spirit inside of us. In order to overcome our sinful nature we must grow in those things of the spirit. We can do so by cultivating the fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. In order for our children to nurture these fruits that are growing in them currently we must continuously “water” them with the word of God and practicing these virtues daily.

 

What is SELF-CONTROL?

Definition: Being in charge of your emotions, thoughts and actions.

Having self-control means being in charge of your emotions, thoughts, words and actions. It means doing what God wants you to do rather than what you want to do.

 

Bible Verse: “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

 

Examples of How We Demonstrate Self-Control

God

Family

Others

After a long day of school and other activities it may be tempting to go straight to bed. Take time out to talk/pray to God.

When asking someone for or to do something, if the answer is not what you wanted, don’t yell, get mad or upset.   Instead, calmly accept the answer.

 

When having a conversation with someone else, be respectful and let them complete their thought before speaking.   Listen carefully to what the other person is saying patiently.

 

Self-Control Puzzles

Puzzles are an excellent way to calm a person down and refocus attention. This evening each child made a jigsaw puzzle about self-control. Each puzzle piece has pictures or words that are cues for how to positively respond to challenging situations. These reminders reinforce self-control by providing responsible choices for dealing with our emotions, thoughts, words and/or actions.

 

Challenge Card

This week’s challenge requires children to record what they did to display self-control. Review James 1:19 as a reinforcement of what we learned- “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Be sure to review the challenge with your child and sign the card when the challenge is completed.

 

Planting Spiritual Seeds

How is your child’s seed doing? Is it growing? Is your child remembering to water it as he or she waters their spirit? As a reminder, this seed represents the fruits of the spirit that we have inside of us and will be a visual reminder of what is happening spiritually within each of us during this experience. Over the next few weeks as your child displays a fruit of the spirit, they are to water the seed in the bag. For example, when he or she says their nightly prayers, they will water their plant. When they help with the dishes without being asked, they will water their plant. By regularly displaying the fruits of the spirit, they are watering their seed and watching it grow (which is exactly what’s happening to their spirits!). When we meet each week, they’ll share how their seed is doing. Help your child as needed to be responsible for caring for both their physical and spiritual seeds. Tonight Caitlynn brought in her seed. Wow! Look how it’s growing.

 Image

Feel free to let us know how it is going for you by sharing pictures of your growing seeds on our Facebook page or Children’s Ministry blog. If your seed isn’t sprouting feel free to start over or try transferring it to fresh soil. Both are great teachable moments about God’s grace in providing us a 2nd chance.

 

Looking Ahead to Next Week:

 

Fruits of the Spirit Song

To help us remember what the fruits of the spirit are, we will start learning a song that lists each of the fruits of the spirit. It is a fun song with some silly motions that help make it engaging and memorable. Feel free to start practicing at home by accessing the video on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e47FnjKaT3Q&noredirect=1.

 

Joy and Peace

Next week we’ll discuss joy and peace. We’ll discuss the difference between happiness and joy along with the peace that surpasses all understanding. It’ll be a great evening. Don’t miss it!

 

Success Depends on You

  • Pray for each child, parent, family, church member and volunteer.  Ask God to positively change each life through this 6-week study.
  • Invest in our children by bringing your child or children to each night of this 6 week study.  Also, reinforce the learning at home.
  • Volunteer at least 1 of the 6 nights of the series.  You can sign-up to help in class as a lead or assistant teacher during the lesson, game time or arts & crafts.
  • Talk to your child/children about what was learned and how it applies to their lives.

 

Questions? Comments? Email me at kspeed@downtownbaptist.org.