Superheroes of the Bible – Joseph and Heroric Integrity

For the next several week’s our children will learn about superheroes of the Bible.  Some of the individuals we discuss will be well known, others a bit more obscure.  But they all have one thing in common- they were used by God and through Him were able to do some pretty awesome things.  Through this, His name was glorified and continues to be each time we study their lives, their character, their callings.  My hope is that through these character studies our children will not only see how God worked in other people’s lives but also start noticing how he is working in their own.

Today in Children’s Church, Ms. Toni led our children as they learned how God blesses and honors a life of integrity.  We learned that Joseph had integrity. Here are the discussion points from the lesson:

 

  • Joseph was his father’s favorite and this made his brothers jealous of him. Joseph’s life was changed. Joseph could have given up and become bitter. Instead, he trusted and followed God’s purpose. What others meant for evil, God used for good. God continued to help Joseph prosper throughout his life. 
  • Joseph knew that it would be a sin against God to give into other’s sinful behaviors. He chose to honor God at any cost, even when he could get into a lot of trouble.
  • Joseph was faced with a certain temptation not once but many times. Through temptations, he stood firm and did not give in. Joseph did the right thing and honored God.

 

 

This week, spend time with your child by coloring together the page Ms. Toni sent home. Have your child share the story read in Children’s Church called, The Empty Pot by Demi.

 

Feel free to modify this activity according to your child’s age and what you know best for your child. The above is a suggestion. Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

2016 Food Fight

Matt 25_35

For the past two Sundays in Children’s Church we’ve focused on the topic of the 2016 Food Fight. This initiative is through Northstar Church Network and encompasses the efforts of scores of churches in the Northern Virginia area to join the fight to end hunger across the globe. Collectively, we will pack 5 million meals May 13-15 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. DBC is sending 50 volunteers to pack meals on May 15th.

The initiative is supporting “Feed My Starving Children”, a non-profit organization whose goal is to end world hunger. In addition to packing meals, you can also pay for meals. This is where our children got excited! When first introduced, we played a modified version of “Check-Out”. Remember the guessing game from the Price Is Right where you determine the price of 5 different grocery items? Well, we played a version of the game, where each group of 3-4 kids were given index cards with different dollar amounts written on them and they had to match the card with the item. The objective of the game was to really put in perspective how much everyday items (such as a single drink, crayons, a game) cost in relation to the price of a meal pack through “Feed My Starving Children”. When all the items were matched, the meal was in fact the cheapest item in the line-up. For only $0.22 a meal can be supplied for a starving child.

I challenged the children to think of how much money they may be able to contribute to this missions project. After a few suggestions, the group decided to set a fundraising goal of $60, almost enough to purchase 300 meals! One of our cleaver friends (she’s a 1st grader) determined that if each child contributed a dollar each week we’d be able to easily achieve the goal by May 15th.

Thus far the children are doing great. After only one week they’ve donated $42.54- enough for 193 meals! The money donated is the result of sharing allowances, savings and designating their offerings for this project. It was incredible seeing the enthusiasm and excitement as each person shared what they brought and put their coins and bills in their individual banks provided by the project leads. And we are tracking our progress each week to determine how quickly we’ll achieve our goal (and by how much we’ll surpass it).

In addition to the fundraising component, we discussed the realities of starvation in the world. Divided into groups, each team was given a reflection question to address through pictures. Here are some examples of what the groups created.

Discussion Question: Why might a kid not have access to food?

Response: Living in a remote location

FF 02  FF01

 

Discussion Question: Why might a kid not have access to food?

Response: Lack financial means to buy food

FF02

Discussion Question: Picture in your mind a kid who is starving…

-How old is the child?

-How do you imagine their country or neighborhood being?

-Why would it be hard to go to school?

 

Response:

FF 05 

 

These discussion questions were adapted from the 2016 Food Fight Children’s Guide that Northstar has made available. There are great engagement activities that will help your child gain a deeper understanding of why this initiative is important and how their efforts are helping children all across the world. Continue the conversation at home and support the 2016 Food Fight.

 

The “L” Word

 

 

“Go to love, to get love, to give love.”

-Carolyn Tatem, Queen Esther Ministry

First Baptist Church of Glenarden

Very simple. Yet, exceptionally profound, and challenging to do at times. As we took time out to intentionally show love to one another last Sunday, I was reminded of the nature of and responsibility associated with this word, “love”, with its varied meanings and interpretations.

First, it is an action, something we do. Matthew 22:37 and 39 Jesus reminds us of two great commands wherein we enact love, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.” And “Love your neighbor as yourself.” These commandments can be pretty challenging to fulfill in our own strength. So, how can we be diligent in following them and living them out where we live, work and play?

Quite simply, we are able to do this through God. He provided an example of love- sacrificial, unselfish and freely given. In John 13:34, Jesus shares, “a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Also, we are reminded in I John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”

We are to put love in action by loving each other, our neighbors as ourselves and loving others with the depth of love that Jesus has shown to us. Again, this is a tall order that we cannot fully accomplish in our might, no matter how noble the intention. We are able to love others in the way Christ intended through the enabling grace of God. That is why we must go to LOVE. We go to God, the creator and embodiment of love, to be filled with His love, to learn how to enact His love and to gain guidance and prompting on how to display love in ways that will point others to Him. When we go to love (God), to get love, we cam give love 1) back to our Lord and 2) to each other.

In Children’s Church on Sunday, children studied our 4 love verses (Matt. 22:37, Matt. 22:39, John 13:34 and I John 4:19), locating them in their Bibles and discussing them together. Then, they selected a verse to capture on canvas, to present as a gift to someone and share God’s love with them. They did a wonderful job!

 

Hearts 01
Meticulously dotting a canvas
Hearts 03
Beautifully painted!
Hearts 02
Finished artwork

“Bee- Attitudes” At-Home Activity

Last week our elementary aged children completed a review of the Beatitudes. After 4 weeks of study, our children have added knowledge about the attitudes that Jesus wants us to have and how to live a blessed life as Christians. We’ve discussed each verse, the meaning of each of the attitudes that Jesus called out (i.e. mourn, meek, persecuted) and extensively worked on matching the first portion of each verse with its corresponding promise. Our key memory verse from Jeremiah 17:7 states, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” This serves as a great reminder that when we put our trust in God and fully depend on Him, He will help us to be more like Christ and develop the attitudes that He values.

 

Often, this topic is taught to children through the pun “Bee-Attitudes”. It’s a fun way to help children connect, engage and retain the key messages found in Matthew 5:3-13. For the Beatitudes explain to us how we should “be” as Christians. Here’s a fun extension activity that you can do at home with your child to reinforce what they’ve learned over the past few weeks. Do now or pick it up in a few weeks or few months to see how much they remember and can also apply about our study on the Beatitudes. Most importantly, use this craft as a visual reminder of your child’s and you family’s quest to be more Christ-like.

 

Sock Bumblebees

From Bible Message Make –n- Takes by Susan Lingo

Materials: rubber band, chenille wire, black marker, yellow baby sock, fiberfill (or lots of cotton balls), black electrical tape, black construction paper, scissors

  1. Stuff the sock with the fiberfill.
  2. Close the opening with the rubber band
  3. Using black tape, add stripes to your bumblebee.
  4. Draw a face on the opposite end of the bee with a black marker.
  5. Twist the chenille wire around the sock to make a head and two antennae.
  6. Cut the black construction paper to make wings.

Have fun making this craft!

Happiness Hamburgers

“I am happy when I am…” how would you fill in the blank? Are you happy when you are surrounded by those you love? Are you happy when something good happens to you? Are you happy only when everything is going right in your life? In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he shares the attitudes that truly make a person blessed, or happy. It isn’t earthly possessions, power or position that Jesus called out, but instead attitudes that show a reliance and surrender to God. As our children have learned, it is not the “me attitudes” that focus on self (-preservation, -promotion or -centeredness) but instead the “be attitudes”, those things that Jesus admonished us to be.

On Sunday, the children continued learning about the attitudes that Jesus stated make a blessed or happy person through a game, informal quiz and craft activity. We’ve been reviewing Jeremiah 17:7 that says “But blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” But trusting in God and developing the attitudes that Jesus wants us to have, we can be blessed.

Help your child continue to review, understand and apply the teachings of Jesus found in Matthew 5:1-12. We did a fun craft to help us remember the 8 “be attitudes” and corresponding verses. This should be a helpful tool in remembering the keys to happiness in Jesus. Enjoy!

 

Happiness Hamburger 2

Blessed in Persecution

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)

 

Those were the words Jesus spoke during his sermon on the mount. He shared that persecution- for our beliefs in Him, will come. For, just as others were persecuted, insulted, ridiculed and even killed for preaching the gospel, we run the risk of being treated harshly because of our Christian values and lifestyle. But He promised that for our faith, perseverance and unashamed proclamation of the gospel we will receive our reward in heaven. What a powerful declaration to take hold to. Yet, how does this promise translate into real life and become a meaningful source of hope for our children?

Persecution was touched on just a little Sunday in our Sunday School lessons. In our Sunday School lesson, we saw how the church at Antioch thrived amidst and in spite of the persecution of the early church. Why did this church thrive? For one, with zeal they taught the gospel. They embraced the fact that Jesus came to save the lost- both Jew and Gentile. Also, the church had a missionary focus, giving generously to support their Christian brothers and sisters and the spread of the gospel. They remained committed to growing- upward with God, inward as a family of worshipers and outwardly through missions. That is not unlike our church’s Vision 24 goal of growing upward, inward and outward. We see that as a result of them remaining committed to growing in these 3 directions that God blessed them. By being blessed, they were then able to bless others. What a great cycle to be caught in- blessed to be a blessing to others!

As we continue our study of the beatitudes in Children’s Church we’ll explore how to hold fast to our beliefs and values when they may be unpopular or unwanted. A great at-home support is regular communication with your children about what they experience on a daily basis at home, in their neighborhood and at school. Instances of doing what is right when pressured to do otherwise, helping others unprompted and with a compassionate spirit and finding ways of being a blessing to others are only a few examples of how we can emphasize the importance of doing what Jesus has called to do and being who He’s called us to be in spite of what others may say, think or do.

 

Interested in being a part of DBC’s Children’s Ministry as a teacher or assistant in Sunday School or Children’s Church? Contact Krystal Speed at kspeed@downtownbaptist.org.

Life in the Other Direction – Called to be Different

Curious what your child learned at church today? Looking for helpful tips on connecting the content to experiences at home during the week? Check out the summary of this Sunday’s experience below.

9:30 AM Bible Study Overview:

Babies – Preschool Lesson:  Paul Taught About Jesus (Acts 17:1-4, 10-12)

Paul and Silas traveled to two cities (Thessalonica and Berea), sharing the gospel.  In Thessalonica, the people listened and some believed.  In Berea, the people were much more eager and verified what was taught by searching the scriptures.  Many more were saved there.

 

Home Connection: Paul and Silas preached the gospel. Then, the people carefully read scripture in order to know the truth for themselves. Read a Bible story with your child, discussing the individuals and the pictures. Share with them that we read our Bibles to know the truth and also to learn from the experiences of others. See how Jesus showed love to others and how he shows love to us.

 

Elementary Lesson:  Stephen Preached (Acts 6:8-7:60)

Stephen was selected to minister to and support the needs of the widows.  His zeal for the gospel surpassed that, as he proclaimed the good news to all that would listen.  His enemies brought charges of heresy against him and he was questioned by the Jewish council.  He recounted the Jewish history from Abraham to Jesus, God’s Son and our Savior.  People didn’t like what he said.  As a result, he was stoned for staying true to his belief in Jesus.

 

Home Connection: Sometimes people don’t fully understand who Jesus is or want to hear about his love for us. How might your child respond to someone that doesn’t believe in Jesus or makes fun of him or her for their beliefs? Discuss and even role-play how to handle this tough situations.

 

Children’s Church:

Today our pastor started a new series, Life in the Other Direction, an exploration of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, as captured in Matthew 5-7. Our children also started a complimentary series of lessons in Children’s Church. Today we introduced the idea of being blessed. This sets the stage for a more detailed study of the beatitudes in the weeks to come. As the weeks progress, children will learn about the attitudes that God values from Christians.

Today we looked at how our relationship with Christ makes us different. Using a scientific observation, we saw how Christians can be in the world but not of the world. We filled a cup with water. We added a few drops of food coloring to symbolize Christ in our hearts. Then, we poured oil into the cup. The oil represents the world and the actions and attitudes that others say are okay (like hurting someone else, lying, being unkind). We noticed that the two don’t mix. As followers of Christ we are commanded to love and be different, following Jesus’ example.

We read Matthew 5:1-12 and noted who Jesus says is blessed. Our discussion remained high-level as we looked at what the word blessed means (favor, joy, good things, coming from God). Children then learned a Bible verse that summarized how one becomes blessed- “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (Jeremiah 17:7).

Home Connection: It is okay to be different. In fact, Jesus expects us to be different from the rest of the world as we follow his example. Ask your child in what way(s) he or she is being a good example for others (siblings, friends, classmates, etc). Also, encourage them to reflect upon the memory verse. By trusting God and placing our faith in Him, we know He will take care of us and no matter what comes, good or bad, we are blessed because we are His!