What is My Elementary Child Learning in May?

Do you ever notice that you define yourself by specific things or circumstances that show up in your life? Maybe it’s like there’s this box you carry around with everything that defines you: your stuff, your work, your family, your kids, your gifts and talents, or your home.

But there’s a problem with looking at life like this because if this is how we see our lives it’s all too easy to become preoccupied with the wrong thing.

Think about all the stuff in the box. It’s “your” stuff, right? Or is it?

We tend to talk about our lives using words that highlight our ownership of those things and circumstances. Words like my, ours, and mine. And those words can make a huge difference on how we see the world. As long as we keep using these words, we can tend to believe that our stuff will make us happy and that putting more stuff into our boxes will make us even happier.

But the truth is just the opposite. Something radical happens when we look at our life as not really ours. When we view our life as really God’s gift to us—it changes everything. When we see that all the stuff we have is somehow connected to God and the story He wants to tell with our lives, it begins to change the way we see everything. When our world doesn’t revolve around us, our situations look a lot different.

That’s why this month, we want to explain something to kids about contentment. It is deciding to be happy with what you’ve got. In other words, you can choose to be happy because of what God has actually given you. You can choose to shift your focus away from what you don’t have and toward what God desires to do with the life you have. When you trust Him with your life, you become more focused on being grateful for everything He’s already given to you.

The Bible has a lot to say about contentment. This month, we’re going to unpack several of those moments where people learned something about contentment as well as some key principles about how we can live our lives focused on trusting God no matter what.

See, when it comes right down to it, contentment is a heart issue. It can’t be solved by getting the thing that’s off-limits, the thing that someone else has, or even more of a good thing you already have. In other words, contentment happens when we place our trust in the One who is able to meet our needs each day.

When you teach kids to see their life as a gift from God it sets them up for a life of contentment and fulfillment. There will be no reason to be distracted by what others have, or what’s off limits, or what we had in the past. And when all of us really trust God, we will be content with exactly what He has put in our box for today and won’t worry about the future.

WEEK 1
We kick off our month of contentment with a closer look at the context around our memory verse. In Philippians 4:11b-13, the Apostle Paul wrote about contentment to the church in Philippi. Paul wrote that he has learned to be content no matter what circumstance he was facing, which was a pretty amazing thing to say considering he was writing this while he was under house arrest.

Bottom Line: When you focus on God, He can help you be content. No matter where you are in life, contentment is one of those things that is often difficult to find, even for kids! We pray that when kids focus on God and all that He’s done for them, they’ll find the strength they need to be content.

Our Memory Verse is Philippians 4:12b (NIrV), “I have learned the secret of being content no matter what happens. I am content whether I am well fed or hungry. I am content whether I have more than enough or not enough.” There will be moments when we are only focused on getting more and more stuff. But we need to remember that we can be content with what we have because we can do all things through God who gives us strength.

WEEK 2
In 1 Kings 21:1-19, 27, we find King Ahab whining about not getting something he wants. A guy named Naboth owned a vineyard that Ahab desperately wanted. His wife, Queen Jezebel, took matters into her own hands and at Naboth’s expense, gets Ahab that vineyard.

Bottom Line: When you focus on what you don’t have, it can make you miserable. For Ahab, even though he got what he wanted, it was ultimately a bad move for him. God gives us so much. When we focus on what we don’t or even can’t have, we can become angry and bitter at God for not giving us what we want. God has our best in mind. We should trust Him no matter what.

WEEK 3
We find the Israelites in Exodus 16:2-21; 17:1-4 focusing on what they used to have instead of focusing on God. As they were traveling in the wilderness, they longed to be back in Egypt where they had food and shelter. At the same time, they seemed to forget that in Egypt they were slaves! They were so caught up in what they used to have, that they were missing out on what God was doing in their lives right then and there.

Bottom Line: When you focus on what you used to have, you can miss what you have now. There are times we look back on parts of our life wanting to go back and live those moments again. Kids may want to go back to preschool when they didn’t have homework forgetting that they had an early bedtime AND had to take a nap during the day. When that happens, they forget that right now is pretty great. Times may be hard, but God has us here for a purpose. We can trust Him with the details.

WEEK 4
This week we’ll take a look at Luke 12:13-21 and a story Jesus told about a rich fool. He was so focused on getting more and more that he missed out on opportunities to help others around him. We don’t want kids growing up so focused on their stuff that they miss out on what matters most: loving God and loving each other.

Bottom Line: When you focus on stuff, you can miss what matters. It’s not bad to have nice things. But when having those things and getting more of those things becomes all you think about, we may need to evaluate something. We can become so focused on our stuff that we miss out on the relationships we have. We pray kids will start to discover how to prioritize what matters most.

WEEK 5
We’ll close out the month discovering a little more about one of Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34. Jesus knows that sometimes people worry about every little thing. By telling us about God’s care for the birds and the flowers, God will take care of everything we need.

Bottom Line: When you focus on God, you don’t have to worry. This could be a huge week for some kids in our ministries as they learn that God cares deeply for them and will take care of them. This might not look like they expect, but God will meet their needs.

 

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Preschool Parent Cue – May

In May preschoolers will be learning that God gives me good friends. We will be hearing about the friendship between David and Jonathan, and memorizing the verse: “Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NIrV). Check out this month’s Parent Cue for ideas of how to reinforce these messages with your kiddos at home!

Preschool Parent Cue – May

What is My Preschooler Learning in May?

May is here! This month we will be teaching preschoolers the bottom line that God gives me good friends, along with the memory verse: “Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NIrV). We will teach this message through Bible stories about David! Kids will hear the following stories and learn these main points:

  • David and Jonathan • 1 Samuel 18:1-4 | God gives me good friends. David was a servant in King Saul’s household, but he became best friends with Saul’s son Jonathan! They wanted to follow God together and knew God had given their friendship as a gift to them.
  • David and Jonathan Say Goodbye • 1 Samuel 20:3-42 | Good friends comfort each other. King Saul was unkind and angry at David, so David ran away from him to stay safe. David and Jonathan felt sad that they would be apart, but they promised to always stay friends, and David promised to always care for Jonathan’s family.
  • David Helps Mephibosheth • 1 Samuel 20:14-17; 2 Samuel 9:1-13 | God wants friends to help each other. Many years later, David became king! King Saul and Jonathan had both passed away, but David searched for someone from Jonathan’s family. David found Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, who couldn’t walk. David invited Mephibosheth to live in his palace and become part of his family!
  • David Praises God • 2 Samuel 6:5, 14; Psalm 149:1-5 | God made me to praise Him. David was thankful that God helped him become king and he wanted to follow God and make Him happy. He praised God by dancing and singing and playing instruments!

We are so excited to show kids this month that our friends are a gift from God, and that we can love God by being good friends to others!

Click the image below to view a video demonstrating this month’s memory verse along with some hand motions!

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The Church Is Not a Building

This month our preschoolers, elementary school students, and adults are all learning about the early church! Below are some resources to help you explore the first church and the mission of the entire Church with your kiddos.

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  • What Is the Church? The videos below explain that the Church is not a building, but the group of people who love God and follow Him, across all times and locations. They also talk about the very first church and the mission of the whole Church: to worship and learn about God together, meet others’ needs, and lead others to follow Jesus, too. Click on your kiddos’ age group to find an age-appropriate video!
  • What Does the Church Do?
    • Love and Follow God Together. Read these passages from Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-37 to hear about how the early church served God. Invite them to color in this activity page as you mention each activity the members of the church did together.
    • Worship Together. Teach your kids about worship. Worship is a way of life, a path of choosing to seek God, find joy in Him, and give Him praise. We can worship God during special times of singing, making music with instruments, dancing, writing poems, or creating art. But we can also worship God when we do our best in sports, school, or just as we interact with our friends! Talk about other ways you can worship and/or try having a special time to worship God together with music, dance, poetry, or art.
    • Eat Together. Have a picnic and talk about how eating together is one way the early church—and the Church today—show love to God and each other. By eating together, they get a chance to thank God together and meet each other’s needs, and have good, encouraging conversations together over a meal!
    • Follow the Holy Spirit. Here’s one application activity to teach your kids about the Holy Spirit’s presence in each member of the Church. For this activity, you’ll need masking tape and tissue paper. Have your kids make bracelets out of the tape, with the sticky side facing away from their skin. Encourage them to catch pieces of tissue paper on their sticky bracelets as you toss them in the air. Explain that after Jesus rose into heaven, He left the Holy Spirit as a helper for us. Just like the tissue paper stuck to their wrists, the Holy Spirit sticks with us wherever we go and guides us. We invite you to tell your kids about a time you felt the Holy Spirit leading you.
    • Show Love to People. Go on a walk and try to show love to the people you encounter by greeting them. You could even make a kind card or bake cookies to share with neighbors, your mailman, or a crossing guard!
    • Meet the Needs of Others. Ask your kids if they think they might have any extra toys or clothes or even food. Together, choose a group that helps people in need and donate your extra things to them. You can even choose to visit or volunteer with an organization! (Click here for a list of nonprofit organizations in Central Oregon.)
  • Who Was Part of the Early Church?
    • Peter and John. Read this story from Acts 3:1-10. Kids can color in this supplemental activity page while you tell the story. Talk about how Peter and John used what they did have (not coins, but the power of Jesus) to show care for the lame man.
    • Philip. Check out this story from Acts 8:26-39. Philip obeyed when an angel told him to run after a chariot, and he ended up sharing the message of Jesus with an Ethiopian official, who decided to follow Jesus right then! Here is a video that shows what that might have looked like!
    • Paul. Use this activity page along with heart stickers to tell Paul’s story from Acts 9:1-22. Have kids color the picture of Paul and stick heart stickers all over his tiny heart to show how God changed his heart and made it grow, so that He would love and follow Jesus.

 

 

Why Serve in Kids Ministry?

We know you have a lot going on. If you are like me, there is never enough time to do all the things you want to do. It is tempting to cut back in areas that do not add money to the bank or help us climb the proverbial ladder. Often, that means volunteering–specifically in kids ministry. Come to think of it, why should someone serve in kids ministry? I suggest that kids ministry is worth our time because we get to teach kids about God’s great love for them. This is called disciple-making! It is intentional evangelism and discipleship.

It is incredible that on every Sunday, a couple hundred kids from the community get up, get dressed, and come to learn more about God! How cool is that? The tension is that disciple-making isn’t quick. It is not likely that a bunch of kids will decide to change their life and trust Jesus at the end of the lesson each week. Instead, kids ministry is a slow process of encouraging kids to trust Jesus every single week. It doesn’t always feel like anything is happening, but slowly and over time, God is shaping and forming the youngest people at church and he invites us to join!

At Antioch, we try to make kids ministry a place where kids want to come and a ministry where adults want to serve. Below you will see a list of the many different types of strengths and personalities we need to help keep the “circus” running! If you are interested in joining in and teaching kids at Antioch about our great God, let us know by clicking here! Without further ado, the list:

  • The Computer Specialist: Do you speak “computer” (after all, it is a foreign language to the rest of us)? Does the phrase “plug-in” mean more than what you do with a lamp cord? Join the IT Team which helps the technology function flawlessly on Sunday mornings.
  • The Input Wizard: If information is provided, can you input it quickly? If yes, join the Manned Check-In Team and help new families get checked into Antioch Kids.
  • The Animated Storyteller: If bringing stories to life is your thing, we’d love to give you the chance to use your passion and enthusiasm to teach true bible stories! Bonus: You can choose between teaching the younger kids or the older kids!
  • The Gumshoe: If you naturally have an eye out for suspicious activity, join the Security Team and help keep Antioch a safe place for kids and adults alike.
  • Music Jammer: If you love to play an instrument or you like to sing, we have a stage that is calling your name!! Join the music team and teach kids how to sing to their creator.
  • Sports Fanatic: Put your skills to good use in the gym and on the field by inviting kids to build friendships at church through sports!
  • Baby Wooer: If you are a big fan of little kids, come get your fix by serving in one of the younger classrooms on Sunday morning! You can sculpt with play-doh, read books, eat snacks–and all with purpose! We provide everything you need for a fun and meaningful morning.
  • Cool Comrade: Kids love to hang out with people who are interested in them and who are older than them. Come befriend a group of elementary-aged kids on Sunday mornings and implement the fun curriculum we create!
  • Master Jigsawyer: If puzzles are your thing, we’ve got a challenge for you! Help coordinate a class schedule by communicating with volunteers to find out when they are available to serve each month–then create a schedule. Getting it to work often feels like a puzzle!
  • Last Minute Hero: If you never really know your schedule until the day before, you belong on the “In A Pinch” list! If a fluke bug or family emergency strikes and a scheduled volunteer is no longer available, we email you to see if you are available to fill in. If you are, sweet! If not, no worries–we completely understand!
  • Antioch Cross Fit: If you think nothing beats a good workout, join The Crew! This group transforms the Bend High hallway into a kid friendly space each week. Bonus: enjoy a delicious breakfast with the team once the work is done!

At Antioch, we believe we are made to serve. When we live into that discipline, we begin to experience God in a new way. We invite you to consider serving in Antioch Kids. This is a once-a-month commitment that lasts for 6 months. At that point, you can commit again or exit without guilt 🙂 We’d consider it an honor to help you find a place to serve at Antioch. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have!

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