Kids Rock! - Preschool - June 2017

Kids Rock! But you knew that, didn't you? You're surrounded by rockin' kids all the time! We're excited to celebrate kids with a rockin' good time this summer.

Throughout the summer, our preschoolers will be introduced to people in the Bible who did amazing things while they were still kids. They rocked because they did what God wanted them to do, and our preschoolers can do that too. In July, Daniel, Miriam, Josiah, a young boy and his lunch, and Timothy will continue to help our preschoolers learn that the can do what God wants them to do.

All summer long, we're going to be making fun instruments while we celebrate that God made each one of us to do good works. 

 

Gadgets & Gizmos - Creativity - Elementary June 2017

Creativity is a reflection of the character of God. 

From the opening pages of Scripture, we encounter God's creativity in action. With words, "Let there be light," the power of creation unfolds as light gives way to time, oceans, and mountains form, galaxies are set in motion, and the earth is filled with birds, fish, and every creature imaginable. But God is not finished creating. God decided that He wanted His image to populate the earth. He created people in His image to take care and develop His magnificent creation. Humans are unique in that we reflect God in how we interact with each other and the world around us. That interaction includes God's creativity. We may not form mountains and oceans, but we create art and music, build cities, solve problems, and innovate technology. all of which starts with our God-given creativity. 

Jesus showed us creativity in action

Jesus was the Word that spoke God's creation into existence at the beginning of time. And when Jesus arrived on the planet Earth to fulfill God's plan to rescue humanity, that same creativity was evident in every interaction we read throughout Scripture. Through stories, Jesus could explain something difficult or confusing about the Kingdom of God. With unconventional materials, Jesus healed the sick and hurting. With the right question He could point what is most important to God to His disciples and the religious leaders. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus showed us the difference we can make in the world through creativity.

We think it's important for us to help our kids and families discover more about Creativity - imagining what you could do because you are made in God's image.

Our Memory Verse for June comes from Psalm 139:14. It reads, "How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that (NIrV). Through this Psalm, David acknowledges God's continued provision for his life. He worships God for His care and concern for even the smallest aspects of life. Being created in God's image, mean that we are special compared to the rest of creation. We reflect God in amazing and wonderful ways.

As we help kids discover more about God's creativity - we head to the beginning - Genesis - and learn more about God's creativity in the creation of the world. 

The Amazing Maze - Determination - Elementary May 2017

Determination is a response of the character of God. 

Throughout Scripture, we can discover that God has been faithful to His people. He rescued them from slavery in Egypt. He sent Jesus to rescue us from our sin. He remained faithful to the early church as they spread the message of Jesus throughout the world. When we see how God gave His people what they needed to continue following Him, we can respond with determination believing that God will give us what we need to finish what we start.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us have determination. 

When Jesus gave His disciples the incredible mission of spreading the message of the Gospel throughout the world, He didn't make them do it alone. Instead, He sent the Holy Spirit to empower them to show faith and determination in the face of whatever might happen along the way. When we put our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit empowers us to finish what we start.

We think it's important for us to help our kids and families discover more about determination - deciding it's worth it to finish what you started. 

Our Memory Verse for May comes from Galatians 6:9. We read, "Let's not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don't give up. (NIrV)" When Paul wrote this verse to the church at Philippi, he encouraged the followers of Jesus to show determination and keep doing good. We may not see results right away, but in time, God will help us see that finishing what we started was worth all the effort. 

Come to the Castle - Preschool May 2017

It's time to "Come to the Castle" and hear stories from the King. We can't wait to share both this theme and these stories with you! This month's theme was inspired by Chris Tomlin's new book, Good Good Father

As we travel through the stories of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Hagar, Gideon, and Daniel, our preschoolers will learn that...
God is always with me
God hears me and gives me what I need
God teaches me the way to go
God protects me

It's a fantastic month that is sure to help your preschoolers know that God is with them all the time, and God's got it. 

Jesus is #1 - Preschool April 2017

Happy Easter! It's time to celebrate that Jesus is alive! He went away, but He came back! Yay, Jesus!

This month, our kids will learn about how Jesus washed the disciples' feet, made his triumphal entry, died and rose again, built His Church, and gave us the Great Commission. Our goal is to tell our preschoolers the true story of how much God loves them and how He gave them His only Son. We want our preschoolers to know the basic truth that Jesus is alive and wants to be their friend forever!

Our memory verse for April is one of the most popular Bible verses of all time, John 3:16. It reads, "God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son." (GNT) We want our preschoolers to know how much God loves them through the story of Easter and how it can impact their lives. The bottom line for this month is to remember that Jesus is the best. 

It's going to be a great Easter! We can't wait to celebrate with you.

GOOOOOAL! - Humility - Elementary April 2017

Humility is a response to the character of God.

God has no beginning and no end. God is the creator and sustainer of the universe. He deserves all of our worship and praise for what He has done and continues to do in our life.

On the other hand, we are humans created by God. And while we are the crowns of God's creation, we are nothing without our Creator God. 

Yet so often, we act like we are God. We allow our pride to take over and forget that any of our strengths  or accomplishments would not exist without God. The only proper response in light of God's greatness is to respond with humility in our interactions with the people around us.

Jesus is the ultimate example of humility.

Jesus is the Son of God. And in the beginning, Jesus was part of creating the heavens and the earth. As the Son of God, there is nothing in Heaven of on the earth that isn't under Jesus' command. Yet Jesus chose to become one of us. He was born as a baby and walked among us. He developed calloused hands as He worked in a carpenter's shop. The dirt of the road caked His feet as He traveled to show love to others. Jesus willingly left the majesty and glory of Heaven to laugh and cry as He was fully human. 

Jesus' ultimate act of humility on Earth was sacrificial death. He could have called down an angel army to protect him, but instead allowed Himself to be wrongly accused and arrested. He could have been worshiped with a gold crown and royal robes, but instead wore a crown of thorns. Jesus deserved praise and adoration, but sacrificed Himself for us. 

We live in a world that's all about putting ourselves first. Jesus lived in a world like that, too. He could have looked out for Himself, called 10,000 angels to come and rescue Him. But He didn't. Out of his love for us, He chose the humble route and put us first. It cost Him everything.

Putting others first will cost you something: your time or money. Maybe it will cost you some pride. But when we choose to follow Jesus with our lives, believing that His death an resurrection made it possible for us to be right with God, the least we can do is put others first even if it's a bit uncomfortable and cost us something. 

We think it's important, especially at Easter, for us to help our kids and families discover more about humility - putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve. 

Our memory verse for April comes from Philippians 2:3. It reads, "Don't do anything only to get ahead. Don't do it because you're proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourself." (NIrV)

The verse is part of a passage that describes Jesus' humility. Jesus left everything He deserved to humble himself to save us. As we respond to Jesus' love, we can show humility as we love on those around us. 

As we celebrate Jesus' life, death, and resurrection this Easter season, we'll be taking a closer look at the way humility shows up throughout the end of Jesus' time on Earth.

Build It - Preschool March 2017

This month, we're working to build into kids a love for others. Imagine with me, for a moment, a world filled with men and women who love others the way Jesus loves us. That's what we want for our preschoolers. 

We'll begin with the story of the Good Samaritan. He was a great example of how to love everyone. Jesus was always helping people - no matter who they were - and that's what the Good Samaritan did too. We want our preschoolers to know that they can love others by helping.

After we talk about helping, we'll move on to sharing. We'll tell the story of the guy who built bigger barns for his grain, instead of sharing with people who needed food. Our preschoolers are going to learn that sharing is the way to go, when you have overflow!

Then, we'll talk about how we can still love others by sharing, even when we have a little. In fact, it's an even bigger expression of love when we share out of our little, like the widow who shared two small coins. 

We'll wrap up the month with the prodigal son where we'll see that we can love, no matter what, thanks to forgiveness. Just like Jesus loves us, even when we do something wrong, we can love others, even when they do something wrong. 

It's going to be an awesome month of building with our preschoolers. We'll be building into kids who can then proclaim, "I can love everyone!"

Fix It Up - Forgiveness - Elementary March 2017

Forgiveness is a reflection of the character of God.

Throughout Scripture, we are reminded about God's grace and forgiveness.
God makes us white as snow (Isaiah 1:18)
God's mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)
God is faithful and just to forgive our sins (1 John 1:19)

When our relationship with God was broken beyond repair, God offered His only Son as the way to forgive us and restore the broken relationship.

Since we are created in God's image, we have the ability to offer forgiveness when people in our lives hurt us. God's love makes it possible for us to forgive others and work towards fixing our own relationships that break down from time to time.

Jesus made it possible for us to have God's forgiveness.

God showed us just how much He cares about forgiveness when He made the ultimate sacrifice and sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin. While sin separates us from God, He offers grace and forgiveness as a gift for us to receive. We have been forgiven of so much, it's only right that we turn to those in our lives and offer forgiveness to them in return.

That's why we think it's important for us to help our kids and families discover more about Forgiveness - deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn't have to pay.

Our Memory Verse for March comes from Colossians 3:13.

In Colossians 3:13, we read, "Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you." (NIrV)

This verse, from Paul's letter to the church at Colossi, reminds us not only that God forgave our sins, but also that we should forgive others instead of holding grudges against one another. We pray that throughout March, families will let go of what they're holding against each other and choose to forgive. We think that this could be a powerful month in the lives of kids and families in our churches. 

We will spend the month of March taking a closer look at the way forgiveness shows up throughout a few of the parables Jesus told his followers.

Behind the Scenes - Elementary February 2017

Love is a reflection of the character of God.

God is love. As we read through God's One Big Story in the Bible, we see an epic love story unfold that started in a garden with a perfect relationship between God and His Creation. When Adam and Eve sinned and broke that relationship, God didn't give up on creation. His love for us drove Him to make the ultimate sacrifice: sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to pay the ultimate price to make it possible for us to be with God forever.

Because we are created in God's image, we have the capacity to love. Every time we choose to treat others the way we want to be treated, we show others a glimpse into the perfect love God has for each and every one of us.

Jesus is the ultimate example of love.

When God sent Jesus to earth, Jesus showed us exactly what it means to love. Jesus prioritized love above everything else. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about he greatest commandment, He reached into the 600+ laws of the Old Testament and took a law that existed about your neighbor and He linked it to a loving God. Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. Love Him with all your mind...and Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31 NIrV)." Our relationship with Jesus changes how we love God, love others, and even love ourselves. Love, above all else, was what Jesus stressed the most.

That's why we think it's important for us to help our kids discover more about Love - choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated. 

Our memory verse for February comes from 1 John 4:10.

In 1 John 4:10, we read, "Here is what love is. It's not that we love God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins. (NIrV)."

We want our kids to learn a verse that gives them the essence of why love is important. Love isn't just something we demonstrate because it's a good thing to do. Love doesn't even start with us. We love because God loves us. Love is an essential part of who God is and how God interacts with the world. We love others because of the capacity He put within us to love. His love drove Him to sacrifice His only Son on our behalf to make the relationship between us right again.

We will spend the month of February taking a closer look at the way love shows up throughout the Gospels in how Jesus interacts with them. 

SO BIG! - Preschool February 2017

The month of candy hearts and oversized stuffed bears has arrived! It's the month we set aside each year to celebrate our love for those we hold near and dear. And what says ,"I love you" better than a box of chocolates or cards that play music when you open them?

As thoughtful as these things are, Jesus has a few different ways of showing us how much He loves us. Jesus shows His love for us by simply wanting to spend time with us. Jesus wants us to come to Him - anytime, anywhere - just come! Jesus shows He loves us by helping us. And, Jesus loves us no matter what.

Jesus love is SO BIG! That's what we want our preschoolers to walk away knowing this year. Jesus loves them with a love that is bigger than they can imagine!