What’s the point of Church?

Your elementary student learned yesterday about the importance of coming to church! The bottom line your child learned is that friends worship together. This is a commitment that is slowly being lost in our culture, and we’d love for you to continue to talk to your kids about the importance of regularly coming to church! Below, you will find answers to questions your kids might ask and ideas to help church be a positive experience.  Enjoy!

Where does it say in the Bible that we should go to church every Sunday? Hebrews 10:24-25 gives us good advice. The writer says: 24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. 25 Let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us cheer each other up with words of hope. Let us do it all the more as you see the day coming when Christ will return.” We weren’t meant to live our lives alone. God created us for community. Community can only happen if you see each other often! God wants us to connect with other people who want to live for Him, and the best way to do that is by gathering together frequently- such as every Sunday!

What is the point of going to church? First, going to church gives us the opportunity to remember and think about God’s love for us. We forget things really easily, but going to church is a great reminder to help us remember how great God’s love is- especially seen in Jesus! Going to church is also a great opportunity to learn more about who God is and what matters to Him. The Bible is packed full of information, and learning about God with friends makes it more fun! Going to church is also a great time to be given instruction and reminders about what we should be doing with our lives. Think of an athlete. They train and work hard for the race. Going to church on Sunday is one way that a Christian can train to work hard for the things God desires throughout the week.

What if I your kids don’t feel like going? On a day when your kids don’t feel like going to church, encourage them to go! Set your kids up to have a good time at church. Eat a fun breakfast, pray out loud on your way to church, ask God to teach every person in the family something new about Him, and don’t forget to smile and show your kids that you also want to go to church!

As your wrap up, ask your kids “What do you like most about church?” If they need some help coming up with ideas, help them remember that church is a place where they get to see friends. They get to sing at church, they play all kinds of crazy games, they talk and learn about God together, and they learn about how their lives fit into God’s Big Story.

Then, ask your kids, “What gets in the way of going to church?” Maybe it’s hard to get to church because life is so crazy busy. Maybe you have to work around a sport team’s practice schedule. Or maybe you have the kind of family situation where you can’t come every week. As a family, brainstorm things you can do to help you come to church every Sunday. This might include adding in a fun element on your way to church, praying for an desire to go to church, or challenging each person in your family to remember one thing and share it out loud on the way home!

Want to hear what Ken Wytsma has to say about the importance of church? Watch this short Redux video! Then check out the Redux website for more answers to questions you might have!

How do I use Justice Kids?

We believe that kids can change the world. Change happens all around us each and every day. Because of this, kids have a choice: They can become the change in the world or they can react to the change happening around them.

We want to help kids become the change in the world! And we want to equip you, the parent, to help your kids do just this. Welcome to purpose of Justice Kids, a non-profit started by the Antioch Kids program!

Kids spend a lot more time with family than they do at church. A parent has a greater chance of influencing the way their child thinks, the things they value, and the ways they use their energy. Below, you will find a short description of three things we think you will want to check out:

Family Activities: Do the kind of things kids already like to do but with purpose! Think fort building, finger knitting, crafts, and games to name a few. Then, use the suggested conversation to make the activity purposeful. A new activity is added each week!

Kid Bios: Read these short, true stories about kids from around the world with your kids! Each story is designed to help kids grow in their ability to empathize with kids from around the world while beginning to understand what life is like in different cultures. A new story is added each month!

Antioch Kids Blog: Check this blog weekly to stay up to date on everything happening in Antioch Kids and to access other great resources!

All of this can be found at www.justicekids.org/antioch

We hope you enjoy!

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Antioch Kids: Elementary!

At Jesus’ final meal, He spoke with His disciples about what it meant to have a lasting friendship with Him. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, NIV)

Days later, Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross to take the punishment for our sins, setting the example for ultimate friendship. But Jesus demonstrated friendship throughout His life. He walked alongside His friends. He helped their hurts. He never shied away from discussing important topics. He surprised them with acts of service.

Friendship is spending time with someone you trust and enjoy. Just as Jesus spent time with His friends so they could get to know Him better, we can build trust and have fun with our friends as we spend time with them.

The monthly memory verse is: A friend loves at all times. He is there to help when trouble comes.” (Proverbs 17:17 NIrV). Everyone needs encouragement, especially in tough times. A friend will be ready with helpful words and simple actions to strengthen his friends.

In Week One’s Bible story, Paul writes to the believers in Rome teaching them about accepting one another (Romans 14:13; 15:7; Acts 9). Our Bottom Line is: Friends accept one another. Even if someone has different interests than us, has a different background, or makes a bad choice, we can still accept and help them.

Week Two’s biblical principle comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:11a. Paul wrote these words to instruct his friends in Thessalonica to give each other hope, even though they faced persecution for their belief in Jesus. Our Bottom Line is: Friends encourage one another. It’s important for friends to encourage each other with positive words; to cheer each other on when we’re tired or hurt.

In Week Three’s biblical principle, Paul instructs the believers to use their new freedom given by God to care for the poor, widows, orphans, and others in need (Galatians 5:13b). Our Bottom Line is: Friends serve one another. When we get to spend time with our friends, we can serve them by thinking about what they would like to do, eating snacks they would like to eat, and looking for ways to help them.

In Week Four’s biblical principle, we learn that friends worship God together (Hebrews 10:25; Colossians 3:16). The early believers would meet in each other’s homes to worship God. They would sing praise songs, learn of Jesus’ teachings, and look for ways to help each other. Our Bottom Line is: Friends worship with one another. It is important for us to gather with our Small Groups on a regular basis.

Despite a culture that may define friendship differently, we can know what true friendship is all about. God went to the ends of the earth to make our friendship with Him possible. He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, to bridge the gap in our relationship.

Below, you will find resources designed to help your chid continue thinking about the things he or she learned on Sunday. Simply click on the links below to get started! Enjoy!

Week 1 resources: Week 1

Week 2 resources: Week 2

Week 3 resources: Week 3

Week 4 resources: Week 4

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By Jessica McKee ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. http://www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

Antioch Kids: Preschool!

Jesus is alive. Wow! That news really shook up the world. It changed everything. In fact, you could call it “The Great Shakeup.”

Our Bottom Line this month is, “Jesus wants me to tell others about Him.” We’re starting the month sharing the Great Commission with our preschoolers. We want them to get excited about telling others about Jesus and how much He loves them. We’re encouraging preschoolers to, “Go tell everyone, everywhere about Jesus.”

Then, preschoolers will learn about men who did exactly what God asked of them. They went out and really shook things up. Our preschool friends will learn about Peter who shared about Jesus even when he was in jail. They’ll hear the story of Saul and how his life was changed and he became Paul. Finally, they’ll hear the story of Paul and Silas and how God really shook things up when they were in jail. All month long, preschoolers will discover how they, too, can shake things up by telling others about Jesus.

Below, you will find resources to help you talk to your child about what they are learning at church. We, at Antioch Kids, will be praying for you to have moments filled with wonder as you continue to teach your child that God who loves them, made them and wants to be their friend forever.

Resources for April 7: 0413_pc_emailable_01

Resources for April 14: 0413_PC_Emailable_02

Resources for April 21: 0413_PC_Emailable_03

Resources for April 28: 0413_PC_Emailable_04

Enjoy!

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