What's New In 252: a look at January 2018 for your elementary kids
Growing in faith is not something that happens by simply cramming information about the Bible into a child’s brain. The knowledge in their head means nothing if we don’t help kids experience what that knowledge can do in their heart. To experience faith, we want kids to practice their faith and that takes commitment.
God keeps all His promises and puts His plans into action. Because God has kept His promises to us, we can make a plan and stick to it. One of the best plans you can make is to commit to an ongoing relationship with Jesus. Commit to practicing faith by reading God’s Word, praying to Him consistently, talking about Him with friends, and living out your faith every day.
JANUARY 6/7 Key Question: How can you hear from God? When kids learn they should learn to hear from God, they might have some questions. After all, when God doesn’t really speak audibly, how can I hear from Him? We hope kids wrestle with this idea and learn that through reading God’s Word they can hear from God and discovery what God wants for their life.
We start our look at commitment in Matthew 7:24-27 where we can read a parable Jesus told at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Two builders took two different approaches to building their homes. One was built on a solid foundation, the other on shifting sand. Our solid foundation is built on hearing and doing what Jesus says.
Bottom Line: Practice hearing and doing what God says. We can’t do what God says until we know what God says, and that begins with listening to God. We pray that kids will learn the faith skill, HEAR, and discover how they can navigate and personalize God’s Word.
JANUARY 13/14 Key Question: How do you pray to God? Kids are just starting to discover that they can pray more than before meals and at bedtime. We hope the kids in your environments learn that they can pray to God whenever they feel like they feel like pray with whatever words come to mind. God is always there to listen.
In Luke 11:1-4, we find Jesus’s disciples asking Him how to pray. Jesus responds with a prayer that serves as the perfect model for how we can talk to God. We can pray with gratitude and honesty, pray for our needs, and for forgiveness. It’s a comfort to know that we can pray knowing that God knows us and wants to hear from us.
Bottom Line: Practice praying to God. They can pray anytime, anywhere because God is always listening. We hope kids will understand more about the faith skill, PRAY, and find that talking to God is an important part of growing in their faith.
JANUARY 20/21 Key Question: Who can you talk with about God? Talking about what God is doing in your life is an important part of growing in faith. But not every child knows the best person to talk to about their faith. We hope kids figure out the trusted people who can be a sounding board to listen to their faith stories.
In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asks His disciples about who people think He is. Then, Jesus turns the question on them. After everything they’d seen Jesus do and heard Jesus say, who did they think He was? This gave Peter the perfect moment for him to declare what he believed about Jesus—that Jesus truly is the Son of God.
Bottom Line: Practice talking about God. We can know God better by talking about Him with others. But this isn’t just about talking about Jesus with people who don’t know Him yet. There’s also another important element of talking about God. As kids process their growing faith, they will have questions and doubts. We want kids to practice the faith skill, TALK, and learn how to talk through their questions about God with others who believe in Jesus.
JANUARY 27/28 Key Question: How can you live for God? Kids might think that they only practice their faith when they are at church. But when you practice living for God, you discover that whatever you do—work, play, read, sing, listen, whatever—can be a way you worship God with your life.
We finish out our month in Mark 12:41-44. Jesus is with His disciples and notices how wealthy people are giving lots of money, but then came a poor widow. She gave just two small coins. While this seemed like such a small gift, Jesus says this woman actually gave more than the rich people because she gave everything she had.
Bottom Line: Practice living for God. We know that most kids love to sing and worship God. But worship isn’t just something we do when we sing at church; worship is really how we honor God with our whole lives—through how we love others and serve them, how we give of our time and talents, how we obey and praise God, even how we rest. We want kids to practice the faith skill, LIVE, and discover that worship isn’t just singing loud, it’s living loud.