Kids Devotional

Connect to Community

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

“Changing the world” is a popular idea in America – from childhood, we were told we could change the world if we try hard enough. Of course, we learned early on that this wasn’t meant to be taken literally. No one person could actually make the entire world better, right? As representatives of God, that’s exactly what we’re called to do. Make our world better, one community at a time.

1. Discussion 

Matthew 5:14-16 [ESV] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

God’s plan for Christians is for us – collectively – to shine light & truth into the dark world around us.

Q. When you read these verses, do you normally hear the “you” as singular, or plural?

Q. Which problems in your community do you take an active role in trying to address? Which problems do you passively accept?

Q. What are 2 or 3 problems in your community that would improve if the people involved began living God’s way?

2. Challenge

Matthew 5:3-9 [ESV] “Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who mourn… Blessed are the meek… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… Blessed are the merciful… Blessed are the pure in heart… Blessed are the peacemakers.”

We impact our community by living with God’s character as our driving force. When we live a transformed life as a connected, active part of our community, we bring the creative, life-giving power of the Holy Spirit to every area, and with it, the greatest hope for change that the world has ever seen.

Q . When you edit your thoughts and actions to line up with God’s way, do you do it for the sake of God’s relationship with you, or His mission to reach the people around you?

Q . The brokenness of your community can be healed when people see the example of God’s power in your life. How does that impact the importance you put on living God’s way?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for filling your life with importance by making you part of His work to bring light to the world. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to live His way in the context of community.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Who Are You Chained To?

1. Power Verse

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

What’s Up: “I Will Choose Friends Who Will Lift Me Up!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Prison Break.”  In this lesson, we learn from the example of Paul and Silas.  We learn that each of us must be careful who we connect ourselves with.  We need friends who will be willing to “sing” with us even in the darkest hours of our lives.

2. Discussion

Acts 16:25-26 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying. They were also singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a powerful earthquake. It shook the prison from top to bottom. All at once the prison doors flew open. Everyone’s chains came loose.”

Q. What did Paul and Silas do while in prison?  Were they sad and upset?

Q. What happened to Paul and Silas while they were in jail? 

Q. What did the earthquake cause to happen?

Each one of us have days where nothing seems to be going right.  The car won’t start, traffic is backed up and makes you late for work, and you get in trouble with your boss.  Those days are very tough.  It’s easy for us to get down in the dumps and feel like we are all alone.  It’s in those moments that true godly friends can step in to lift our spirits and remind us that God is in control.

3. Challenge

Q. Do you have godly friends to help you in tough times?

Q. Have you ever faced a situation where you needed godly friends?  

Q. Did you have friends there for you?

Q. Are there any friends in your life that aren’t godly influences?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children that God would lead them to godly people.  Pray for them to pick the right friends that will direct them to God, not away from God.  Pray for them if they feel like they are in bad relationships that need to change.

Connect to People

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Ever try to pull a large TV out of the box, set up a tent, or hang a ceiling fan by yourself? Some things in life are just easier with help from someone else. God created humans as social beings, and if we want to experience the full life He has for us, we need to experience it in community.

1. Discussion 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

The enemy of your soul doesn’t take a summer vacation. Life can be a constant struggle, especially when you’re walking against the grain of culture to follow God’s ways. You need people around you to pick you up when you stumble – and you need to be there for them in the same way.

Q . Who are the people in your life who pick you up when you need help? Who are the people you help?

Q . If you had a larger support group, would living for God be easier or harder? How?

2. Challenge

Ecclesiastes 4:8 [ESV] “…one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, ‘For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?’ This also is vanity and an unhappy business.”

Because we were created to live in community, part of our sense of purpose and enjoyment in life is doing things to benefit others. When we isolate ourselves, we cut ourselves off from that sense of meaning and value in life.

Q . Think of a time when you did something selfless to benefit someone else, how did it make you feel in the moment? At the end of that day, did you feel a sense of purpose, or was it meaningless? 

Q . Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions in life, without any overarching direction? How do you think engaging in community to help others might change that feeling?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for the people in your life that you can lean on when times are hard. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you connect to people, not only to find help, but to find purpose.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Singing In The Dark!

1. Power Verse

Psalm 34:1 “I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.”

What’s Up: “No Matter What I’m Going Through – I Will Praise The Lord!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Prison Break.” In this lesson, we learn that even in our darkest times, we should worship God! In our Bible Story, we see a great example of this when the Apostle Paul and Silas find themselves in the middle of a very BAD day! They were taken to the authorities, beaten badly, and thrown in a dark prison! But that didn’t stop them from worshiping! They knew God would take care of them, so they began singing songs of praise to God!

2. Discussion

Acts 16:16-25 One day we were going to the place of prayer. On the way we were met by a female slave. She had a spirit that helped her tell people what was going to happen. She earned a lot of money for her owners by doing this. She followed Paul and the rest of us around. She shouted, “These men serve the Most High God. They are telling you how to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became upset. Turning around, he spoke to the spirit that was in her. “In the name of Jesus Christ,” he said, “I command you to come out of her!” At that very moment the spirit left the woman. Her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone. So they grabbed Paul and Silas. They dragged them into the market place to face the authorities. They brought them to the judges. “These men are Jews,” her owners said. “They are making trouble in our city. They are suggesting practices that are against Roman law. These are practices we can’t accept or take part in.” The crowd joined the attack against Paul and Silas. The judges ordered that Paul and Silas be stripped and beaten with rods. They were whipped without mercy. Then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.  When he received these orders, he put Paul and Silas deep inside the prison. He fastened their feet so they couldn’t get away. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying. They were also singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them.

Q. What were Paul and Silas doing? Who was following them?

Q. What did Paul & Silas do after the slave girl kept following them? What happened next? What happened to Paul & Silas?

Q. What did Paul and Silas do while they were in their dark prison cell?

3. Challenge

Troubled times are expected in life – even for Christians! Jesus said,“In this world you will have trouble.” But there’s no reason to quit when we face hard times. Jesus also said,“Take heart! I have overcome the world!” That’s a reason to celebrate! That’s a reason to praise God and worship Him for helping us, even in our darkest times!

Q. Have you ever had a really, really bad day? What happened? 

Q. When you’re facing tough times, what should you do? 

Q. How should you respond?

Q. Why should we worship God during our darkest times?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children won’t be surprised when troubles come, but that instead they will be ready. Pray that they will decide not to quit and to worship God, even in their darkest times. Spend some time in worship and thanking God together!

Connect to God

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Jesus didn’t come to the earth, live as a human for 33 years, and die a brutal death so we could experience a “pretty good” life – He came so we could experience it abundantly! God wants the best for us, and that starts when we connect to our Creator.

1. Discussion 

John 1:4 [ESV] “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

From the very beginning, the very source of life has been a connection between God and humankind. That divine connection was lost when sin entered the world, but a loving God has made a way for us to regain purpose and vitality in every part of life – even though our physical bodies are still decaying under the curse of sin.

Q . When are the times you feel the most “connected” to God? When are the times you feel least “connected?”

Q . Do you think God’s plan is for you to experience his light in some parts of life, or in all?

Q . If God’s light is relegated to a few areas in your life, who do you think put up the boundaries – you or Him?

2. Challenge

John 14:16–17 [ESV] “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”

More than just being near God, He sent His Holy Spirit so He could be in us, bringing His perspective and growing His character from the inside out.

Q . What are some ways that the Holy Spirit influences your life?

Q . What’s one area of your life that would improve if the Holy Spirit became more involved in it?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for reaching out to reconnect with you. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring His perspective and character into more areas of your lives.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Breaking Free!

1. Power Verse

John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

What’s Up: “I Know God Can Set Me FREE!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Prison Break.” In this week’s lesson, we learn that God is able to set us free from any prison that we are in. Even when it seems like God has forgotten us, He will always come through – right on time!

2. Discussion

Acts 12 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.  When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed.” 

Q. Did the religious leaders like that Peter was preaching and teaching about Jesus? What did they do to Peter?

Q. What happened while Peter was sleeping? What did the angel help Peter do?

Q. Where did Peter go when he got out of prison?

3. Challenge

Prisons come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are prisons of circumstances that are forced on us. Other times, they are prisons of our own making. No matter what kind of prison we find ourselves in, we can rest assured that God is able to set us free! All we must do is call on God, and He will provide a way of escape. He may not come in the exact way or time that we want, but God will always come through.

Q. Has there ever been a time you felt like you were in a “prison”? Did you rely on God to set you free?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children if they are going through a “prison” in their life. Pray that they will have God’s peace. Pray that they will trust God’s timing. Pray that God will set them FREE from their prison, today. Pray that they will trust in God in future “prisons” they go through.

 

Into All the World

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

You know as a Christian, you’re supposed to make disciples – but what’s the best way? And who should be doing the heavy lifting? As it turns out, “evangelism” is a lot bigger – and subtler – than you often think, and the right person to carry it out is you!

1. Discussion 

1 Peter 2:9 [NLT]  “…You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

The calling – and blessing – to serve as a representative of God is on every believer, including you! As you show people what it looks like to be brought from darkness into light, God will draw them to repentance and life change.

Q . Do you feel like God has a “call on your life?” If so, how would you describe it to someone?

Q . When you consider God’s plans for you, do you think of them more as things He wants you to do, or ways He wants you to be? Which should take priority?

2. Challenge

Matthew 5:16 [GNT] “In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”

When it comes to fulfilling God’s call to make disciples, we’re always “on the clock.” His influence on your attitudes, your perspectives, and your actions, should touch every aspect of life. 

In that way, you’ll be showing people what God has done inside you and pointing them to Him.

Q . What’s an activity or scenario in your life where it’s easy to spot God’s influence? What’s one where it’s difficult?

Q . How could you go about increasing God’s influence in that area?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for calling you to be part of such an important assignment. Ask the Holy Spirit to increase His influence in parts of your life that you’ve never considered before, so you can be more effective at making disciples.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Unstoppable

1. Power Verse

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.”

What’s Up: “Nothing Can Stop The Work Of God!”

This week, we start a brand new series called, “Prison Break.” In this week’s lesson, we learn that NOTHING can stop God’s plan. Through the apostles’ Prison Break, we learn that God is more powerful than anything and everything in this world!

2. Discussion

 

Acts 5:12-42 

The Apostles Heal Many People

12 The apostles did many signs and wonders among the people. All the believers used to meet together at Solomon’s Porch. 13 No outsider dared to join them. But the people thought highly of them. 14 More and more men and women believed in the Lord. They joined the other believers. 15 So people brought those who were sick into the streets. They placed them on beds and mats. They hoped that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he walked by. 16 Crowds even gathered from the towns around Jerusalem. They brought their sick people. They also brought those who were suffering because of evil spirits. All of them were healed.

The Apostles Are Treated Badly

17 The high priest and all his companions were Sadducees. They were very jealous of the apostles. 18 So they arrested them and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord came. He opened the doors of the jail and brought the apostles out. 20 “Go! Stand in the temple courtyard,” the angel said. “Tell the people all about this new life.”

21 Early the next day they did as they had been told. They entered the temple courtyard. There they began to teach the people.

The high priest and his companions arrived. They called the Sanhedrin together. The Sanhedrin was a gathering of all the elders of Israel. They sent for the apostles who were in jail. 22 The officers arrived at the jail. But they didn’t find the apostles there. So they went back and reported it. 23 “We found the jail locked up tight,” they said. “The guards were standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors, we didn’t find anyone inside.” 24 When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report, they were bewildered. They wondered what would happen next.

25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courtyard. They are teaching the people.” 26 So the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles back. But they didn’t use force. They were afraid the people would kill them by throwing stones at them.

27 They brought the apostles to the Sanhedrin. The high priest questioned them. 28 “We gave you clear orders not to teach in Jesus’ name,” he said. “But you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. You want to make us guilty of this man’s death.”

29 Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God instead of people! 30 You had Jesus killed by nailing him to a cross. But the God of our people raised Jesus from the dead. 31 Now Jesus is Prince and Savior. God has proved this by giving Jesus a place of honor with him. He did it to turn Israel away from their sins and forgive them. 32 We are telling people about these things. And so is the Holy Spirit. God has given the Spirit to those who obey him.”

33 When the leaders heard this, they became very angry. They wanted to put the apostles to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel stood up in the Sanhedrin. He was a teacher of the law. He was honored by all the people. He ordered the apostles to be taken outside for a little while. 35 Then Gamaliel spoke to the Sanhedrin. “Men of Israel,” he said, “think carefully about what you plan to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared. He claimed he was really somebody. About 400 people followed him. But he was killed. All his followers were scattered. So they accomplished nothing. 37 After this, Judas from Galilee came along. This was in the days when the Romans made a list of all the people. Judas led a gang of men against the Romans. He too was killed. All his followers were scattered. 38 So let me give you some advice. Leave these men alone! Let them go! If their plans and actions only come from people, they will fail. 39 But if their plans come from God, you won’t be able to stop these men. You will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

40 His speech won the leaders over. They called the apostles in and had them whipped. The leaders ordered them not to speak in Jesus’ name. Then they let the apostles go.

41 The apostles were full of joy as they left the Sanhedrin. They considered it an honor to suffer shame for the name of Jesus. 42 Every day they taught in the temple courtyards and from house to house. They never stopped telling people the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

3. Challenge

Q. Was everyone happy about what the disciples  were doing? What happened to the apostles? Did they stay there? Were the apostle able to keep preaching & teaching?

Q. What can we do when it seems like the enemy is trying to stop God’s plan?

As Christians, we have a very real enemy – the devil. The Bible says that the enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy. The devil will try anything and everything in order to try to stop God’s plan.The early Church learned this the hard way. The apostles found themselves thrown in prison simply for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

4. Prayer Focus

Lead your children in a prayer of thanksgiving that God is unstoppable! His plan is unstoppable! Pray that God will help them be bold!

Spiritual Leadership

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

The God-life is a journey, and we’re all traveling it together. Everyone needs spiritual leadership along the way. Are you seasoned in your relationship with God? Be a spiritual father for those following behind you.

1. Discussion 

1 John 3:1 [NIV] “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

It’s God’s love as a Father that sets the example for us, and as the Holy Spirit changes us more and more into His image, we should live out that love as an example to those following us in this God-journey.

Q . Who in your life best exemplifies God’s love put into practice?

Q . What are some actions – visible in your life – that reflect God’s love to others? 

2. Challenge

2 Timothy 2:1-2 [NLT] “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

Spiritual fathers are responsible for instructing and even disciplining, those who follow them along the way. It’s not just a job for pastors, it’s a job for every believer.

Q . Have you been through the NEXT discipleship process, either as a student or a mentor? If not, why not?

Q . What would our church look like if every mature believer invested in one person to mentor spiritually? How might that change the spiritual strength of Abundant Life?  How might that impact our community?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for the spiritual father(s) who helped you to the point where you are now in your relationship with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to connect you with people you can look up to, and with people who can learn from your example.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

The God-Father

1. Power Verse

Joshua 1:5 “For I will not leave you. . . I will not fail you or abandon you.”

What’s Up: “God The Father Will Never Fail!”

As a family, write down a list of things that the “perfect” father would be or do. Write everything down, even if you know that what your child suggests may not really be what a perfect father would do (for example, “A perfect father would give me everything I want”).

2. Discussion

Once the list is completed, go back through it and discuss each item. Ask your children if the item really is something a perfect father should do. Some of the things they include should definitely stay on the list, such “a perfect father will always provide for his children.” Some things, though, should be removed. 

Q. Why did you include these items?

Q. Is there such thing as a “perfect” father?

God, as our Father in Heaven, is all of the things a perfect father should be and even more. Earthly dads have limitations, but God doesn’t.

Read the following scriptures that describe some of the characteristics of our Heavenly Father.

Matthew 28:20 “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ announces the Lord. ‘I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.’”

Psalm 121:3-4 “He won’t let your foot slip. He who watches over you won’t get tired. In fact, he who watches over Israel won’t get tired or go to sleep.”

Psalm 24:1 “The earth belongs to the Lord. And so does everything in it. The world belongs to him. And so do all those who live in it.”

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do anything.  No one can keep you from doing what you plan to do.”

Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With people, this is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.’”

3. Challenge

Even though earthly dads aren’t perfect and may sometimes fail us, God will always do what’s best and right for us, and He will never fail us.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that God will surround your family with godly people who will reflect the characteristics of our Heavenly Father to your children.

Leading in Worship

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Worship changes you. Standing in God’s presence, singing together, hearing from the Holy Spirit… it should leave a lasting impact long after it’s over. How much it changes you, though, depends on how much you engage.

1. Discussion 

Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

The way you as a parent, grandparent or mentor engage in worship will help define the norms and expectations for future generations, whether you’re actively teaching it or not. Kids learn by example.

Q . What were worship services like when you were a child? How were they different from today? How were they the same?

Q . If you attended church with your parents, what do you remember about how they engaged in worship? What effect do you think their engagement had on how you experience God’s presence today?

2. Challenge

2 Corinthians 3:18  “Our faces then are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him.  This change in us brings us ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

God wants us to engage in worship with excitement and awe, soaking in every moment in His presence. When we do, it not only changes how we experience Him, but it sets an example for others to follow.

Q . How would you describe your feelings about worship at church? 

a. Can’t wait for it to start. 

b. Can’t wait for it to be over.

c. Could take it or leave it.

Q . If you worked to change your level of engagement, what effect would that have on the way you experience the Holy Spirit in church? How might it affect the people around you?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for giving you access to His presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to draw you into deeper levels of engagement in worship, so you and the people who follow your example can experience Him more fully.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Follow the Leader

1. Power Verse

Mark 10:43 “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”

What’s Up: “I Will Lead Others To Jesus!”

This week, we conclude our series called, “Stand Out!” As Christians, it’s important that we stand out from the world and from culture. We must be different, and one of the greatest ways we can be different and stand out is by being a leader.

2. Discussion

Read: Acts 6:1-7  

“In those days the number of believers was growing. The Greek Jews complained about the non-Greek Jews. They said that the widows of the Greek Jews were not being taken care of. They weren’t getting their fair share of food each day.  So the 12 apostles gathered all the believers together. They said, ‘It wouldn’t be right for us to give up teaching God’s word. And we’d have to stop teaching to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven of your men. They must be known as men who are wise and full of the Holy Spirit. We will turn this important work over to them. Then we can give our attention to prayer and to teaching God’s word.’ This plan pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen. He was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon and Parmenas were chosen too. The group also chose Nicolas from Antioch. He had accepted the Jewish faith. The group brought them to the apostles. Then the apostles prayed and placed their hands on them. So God’s word spread. The number of believers in Jerusalem grew quickly. Also, a large number of priests began to obey Jesus’ teachings.”

Q. Why did they need help?  

Q. What did they do about their need?

Q. When the new leaders came to help with the food ministry, how did it affect the church?

3. Challenge

In this world, it’s easy for kids to see adults as leaders, but not actually see themselves as leaders. But kids CAN be leaders – and more importantly, Godly leaders! God has called all of us to be leaders in this world, leading others to Jesus.

Q. What are some ways you can be a leader at home? What are some ways you can be a leader at school?

Q. How can you lead others to Jesus? Godly leaders have a good reputation, practice self-control, seek peace rather than drama, and always follow Jesus’ commands. If we do those things, we can really STAND OUT for Jesus!

4. Prayer Focus

Ask your kids if they would like to commit to becoming a Godly leader. Pray that they will have a good reputation, practice self-control, always seek peace, and follow Jesus’ commands no matter what.

Own it

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Nobody’s perfect – even the best of us are going to make mistakes sometimes. Though we all know this, it can be really difficult to own up to our actions – to God, to others, even to ourselves. If we want to move forward, though, we’ve got to be bold enough to own our mistake.

1. Discussion 

Genesis 3:11-13 “…the Lord God asked. ‘Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What have you done?’ ‘The serpent deceived me,’ she replied. ‘That’s why I ate it.’”

From the very beginning, humans have been blame-shifting. It’s intimidating to admit our faults!

Q . Why do you think Adam and Eve shifted the blame? What were they afraid of?

Q . When you shift the blame from yourself, who or what usually gets blamed?  How does that make you feel in the moment? How might that negatively affect you in the long run?

2. Challenge

1 John 1:8-10 “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

God is rich in love and mercy, but he wants us to be honest. When we fail, we’ve got to own it, confess it to Him, and move forward.

Q . How do you feel in the moment when you confess your sin to God? How do you feel afterward?

Q . Is “moving forward” and letting past mistakes go difficult for you? How might confessing your sin to God affect that? 

How might confessing to others affect it?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. Confess any sins, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to move forward in confidence and the assurance of your salvation.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Stay Humble

1. Power Verse

Luke 14:11 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

What’s Up: “I Will Choose To Be Humble!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Stand Out!” As Christians, it’s important that we stand out from the world and from culture. We must be different, and one of the greatest ways we can be different and stand out is to stay humble!

2. Discussion

Read: Luke 7:36-50 One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him. So he went to the Pharisee’s house. He took his place at the table. There was a woman in that town who had lived a sinful life. She learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she came there with a special jar of perfume. She stood behind Jesus and cried at his feet. And she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair. She kissed them and poured perfume on them. The Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this. He said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him. He would know what kind of woman she is. She is a sinner!” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.“Two people owed money to a certain lender. One owed him 500 silver coins. The other owed him 50 silver coins.  Neither of them had the money to pay him back. So he let them go without paying. Which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who owed the most money.” “You are right,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman. He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water to wash my feet. But she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss. But this woman has not stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You did not put any olive oil on my head. But she has poured this perfume on my feet. So I tell you this. Her many sins have been forgiven. She has shown that she understands this by her great acts of love. But whoever has been forgiven only a little loves only a little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to talk about this among themselves. They said, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Q. What did the sinful woman do when she saw Jesus? How did the religious leaders respond?  How did Jesus respond to them?

3. Challenge

This world is full of prideful people who are constantly looking to promote themselves and make themselves greater. It’s all about popularity! However, that’s not how Jesus lived – and that’s not how Jesus wants us to live either. Jesus displayed a life of humility. He was humble and he constantly blessed, promoted, & added value to humble people.  We need to do our very best to live like Jesus – a life of humility. Jesus had an “Others First, Me Last” attitude about everything! We should too! If we put others first, we will really STAND OUT for Jesus! 

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children would have a humble attitude in life. Pray that they would truly live out “others first, me last.”