What is my Preschool Child Learning?

Preschoolers are reaching the first phase of life where they reach out and make friends. They are no longer infants that are just placed in the sandbox next to each other- they are starting preschool, daycare, and other events and settings where they can choose friends to play with, share secrets with, and tell stories to. In April, your child will learn about the exciting reality that Jesus wants to be their friend.

Jesus wants to be my friend forever. Isn’t that AMAZING? He wants to be MY friend. He wants to be YOUR friend. What a life-changing and foundational truth. This month’s basic truth that we want your child to be sure of is just that: Jesus wants to be my friend forever!

Week 1, we’ll learn about Jesus’ good friends, Mary and Martha with emphasis on how Jesus wants his friends to spend time with him and listen to him, like Mary did. Luke 10:38-42.

On Week 2 we’ll explore the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. He went to obey God’s will so that, after His death on the cross, everyone could be his friend and God’s friend! Matthew 21:1-16.

Easter Sunday we’ll take a break from our regular curriculum (Orange) to do a lesson we’ve developed in house to teach preschoolers the amazing Good News that not only did Jesus die for our sins to forgive them (which he totally did- amazing!)- but he also came back to life three days later like he promised he would, is alive today and continues to be our friend and forgive our sins!

We’ll conclude the month on Week 4 by looking at how Jesus goes to heaven in order to prepare a place for us! What a good friend! John 14:1-4.

We hope that this month your preschool child is sure of the truth that the same Jesus we learned came to do AMAZING things last month wants to be their friend forever! It is our prayer that they know he is the best friend they could ever have, with our lessons built around the celebration of Easter, in which this great Friend laid down his life for them!

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What Is My Elementary Child Learning?

A 2010 study by the Barna Group found that most active churchgoers see Easter as a good time to invite someone to attend worship service. According to the researcher, “If each of those people brought just one adult as their guest, that’d be the equivalent of adding 115 new people per Christian congregation.” Although it may not be realistic to expect everyone to bring a friend, it is clear that our churches need to be prepared to welcome guests throughout the Easter season. [Source: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/356-most-americans-consider-easter-a-religious-holiday-but-fewer-correctly-identify-its-meaning#.Utx4vP30BN0]

The thing about hosting guests is that sometimes we have to give up some of our own comfort to accommodate their needs. We might need to park further away, sit in a seat that isn’t our norm, or patiently answer questions. An accumulation of small considerations can make a big difference to a guest. And Easter is a wonderful time to find a new way to put guests first in our churches.

Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve.Putting others first is not our natural inclination. 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, but He didn’t. Out of His love for us, He chose to put us first.

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 and 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 costs us something.

The monthly memory verse is: “Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves,” Philippians 2:3, NIrV. When we put others first, sometimes we’ll have to make sacrifices. We might sacrifice our pride. We might sacrifice our wants. But nothing we sacrifice will compare with the great sacrifice Jesus made for us.

In Week One’s Bible story, Jesus serves His disciples by washing their feet (Luke 15:11-20). Our Bottom Line is: I can put others first by serving them. Serving others often means taking the dirty jobs that no one else wants to do.

In Week Two’s Bible story, Peter wanted to take action and fight in the garden, but he didn’t wait to consider what Jesus wanted (John 18:1-11). Our Bottom Line is: I can put others first by giving up what I wantWe show humility when we allow others to choose what they want before we make a choice.

In Week Three’s Bible story, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross (John 18:12 – 20:23). Our Bottom Line is: I should put others first because Jesus put others first. It cost Jesus everything to put us first. His humility can inspire us to help someone else, even when it costs us something.

In Week Four’s Bible story, Jesus doesn’t have to forgive Peter, but chooses to make things right and restore His relationship with Peter (John 21:1-19). Our Bottom Line is: I can put others first by making things right. Be the first to go to the person and ask for their forgiveness.

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By Jessica McKee ©2014 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

Bouncing Off The Wall!

Antioch Kids had so much fun jumping in a warehouse full of inflatables last Saturday! If you were there, check out the pictures below and see if we captured your smile. We can’t wait to do this event again!