Our Covenant-Making God

Hello parents!

We’re excited to begin our second unit of The Gospel Project for Kids! Over the next three weeks, kids will learn that God is a covenant-making God. Below is a summary of the passages and main points for Unit 2.

Unit 2 Key Passage: “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3).

Big Picture Question: What did God promise? God made a covenant to bless His people.

Session 1 | God’s Covenant with Abraham (Nov 6th)

Bible Passage: Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-9

Main Point: God promised to bless all the world through Abraham.

Session 2 | God Tested Abraham (Nov 13th)

Bible Passage: Genesis 22:1-19

Main Point: Abraham trusted God, even when he didn’t understand God’s plan.

Session 3 | The Promise Reaffirmed (Nov 27th)

Bible Passage: Genesis 25:19-26; 26:1-6; 28:10-22

Main Point: God reminded Abraham’s family that He always keeps His promises.

In Session 1, kids will learn how God spoke to Abram, calling him to leave behind his family and his lands to go to a place God would show him. God made a covenant with Abram, promising to bless all the world through one of his descendants (Gen 12:1-3). By faith, Abram obeyed. God was serious about the covenant; He always keeps His promises. God even changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “Father of a Multitude.” God promised to bless all the earth through Abraham. At just the right time, Jesus was born into Abraham’s family. (Gal. 4:4-5) Jesus fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham. (See Gal. 3:8.) Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Through Him, all the nations of the earth are blessed.

In Session 2, our journey takes us to an event that occurred after Abraham and Sarah had their son of promise, Isaac. Abraham received another message from God. It was a test, actually. God instructed Abraham to take his son Isaac, the son of promise, and sacrifice him on a mountain God would tell him about. Abraham had waited so many years for this child! But what did Abraham do? He woke up early the next morning and set out with Isaac to do what God commanded. By this point, Abraham had supreme faith that God was able to do anything. Hebrews 11:17-19 gives us a peek inside Abraham’s mind: “He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead.” Abraham showed both his love for God and his trust in Him by being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. God provided a ram for the burnt offering in place of Isaac, who was spared. This is how God showed His love for us: He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that we could have eternal life through Him.

In Session 3’s Bible story, God reaffirmed the promise to Abraham’s son Isaac and to his grandson Jacob (Gen. 26:3-4; 28:13-14). When Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, became pregnant with twins, the babies struggled with each other in her womb. God explained their future. The older son (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob). Their families would separate and become two nations, one stronger than the other. These things came true, but not in the way Isaac’s family would have expected. Jacob tricked his father and brother to steal the blessing. To escape his brother’s anger, Jacob fled to his uncle’s house. On the way, God spoke to Jacob in a dream. Jacob saw a stairway to heaven, and he saw God there. God repeated the promise to Jacob. He promised to be with Jacob. Explain to your kids that, like the stairway in Jacob’s dream, Jesus bridges the gap between heaven and earth. (See John 1:51.) Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Sin separates people from God, but when people turn from their sin and trust in Jesus, Jesus brings them into God’s family.

We can’t wait to dive into this exciting unit where we learn about the amazing God who loves us and keeps His promises! Check out the Gospel Project for Kids Family App or the Big Picture Cards for Families (click here for Preschool & Elementary cards) for ways to interact with the Bible content each week. We’ll see you soon!

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Teaching Your Kids to Pray

Do you want to teach your kids how to pray? Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggests that just as a child learns how to speak by listening to his mother or father speak, so we learn to pray by listening to Jesus talk to the Father. By repeating the prayers of Jesus, we learn to pray!

There is an entire book of the bible which is filled with prayers. This book is the Psalms. As a family, explore the Psalms and begin to imagine them  as the words of Jesus– which will teach us how to pray to God! (If this is confusing, click here to listen to the Antioch series: “Praying with Jesus”.)

As a family, consider memorizing The Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus uses to teach his disciples how to pray. To make it a little easier, use  these resources:

Our hope is that we will recognize the wonderful way in which Jesus teaches us how to pray!

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40 days Until Easter

All around the world, people begin thinking about the importance of Easter 40 days before Jesus’ resurrection is celebrated. This tradition gives the opportunity to think about God’s love and recognize what He has done.

We want to help you lead your kids in this conversation! Often, this 40-day preparation for the celebration of Easter includes various types of Christian disciplines in order to better reflect on what Jesus has done.

First, pull out a calendar. Locate the date of Easter and count back 40 days (not including Sunday’s). This year (2014), that is March 5th- which is today!

On this day, the goal is to remind ourselves that we need Jesus. The most common way to do this is to play in or mark oneself with dust. “Dust”, you ask? “Why dust?” Because God made the first man, Adam, out of the dust. (Read Genesis 2:7).  In spending time thinking about this, we find ourselves thanking God for all he has made and realizing how creative our God is. On this day, to say thank you to God, people choose to give up something they really like. It isn’t required, but often people want to do something to show God that they are thankful for all He has created and all He has done. It is a simple idea: cut something out and replace it with prayer, Bible reading, or time with God.

As the 40 days progress, we would love for you and your family to spend intentional time thinking about the Easter story!

To help you do so, here are a few free resources that we think are awesome:

1. A free devotional: What Lent Really Means, by Ann Voscamp

2. Intentional activities: 26 interactive ways to help kids think about Easter, by Lindsay Edmonds. 

3. Lenten Lights: Eight Biblical Devotions to Prepare for Easter, by John Piper

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What is my preschooler learning?

This month, we’re introducing preschoolers to the truth that God is always with them. When they’re in the car, He’s there. When they’re at home, He’s there. When they go to preschool, He’s there. When they are making wise choices, He’s there. When they’re making not-so-wise choices, He’s there. He is ALWAYS with us. Always.

As we unpack the stories of Deborah, Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and Daniel, we will show our preschoolers various situations where God was right there helping the entire time. Because they can’t see God with their eyes, it is harder for preschoolers (and many adults) to understand that He’s there with us every minute of every day. By learning and investigating these stories from the past, we hope to show them that God is with us even though we can’t see Him.

Want to learn more? Watch this short video!

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All month, we will be talking about Joshua 1:9, which says ” God is with you wherever you go!”. We are excited  about the month ahead of us and hope to see you and your preschooler on Sunday morning!

 

Teaching Kids to Trust!

Faith comes by trusting, right? All month long, we will be teaching the preschoolers at Antioch that we can trust God. He does what He says He will do. That’s a hard one for preschoolers because they can’t really see God keeping His promises. And, let’s face it. It’s a hard one for us adults too. God keeping His promises doesn’t always look the way we THINK it’s going to look. We’re teaching two stories this month that show just how great God is at keeping His promises.

The first story we’re teaching is the story of Noah. Preschoolers love this one because of all the animals! We will be talking about how God had promised to keep Noah and his family safe. And, He did. Then, there is the promise of the rainbow. That’s one of the most beautiful promises God has made. The best part is that we get to remember it every time we see one.

The second story we’re sharing is of Gideon. Here was a guy who was just a farmer doing his thing when God called him into action to do something great. And, God kept His promises all the way to the end. Because Gideon trusted God to do what He said He would do, the battle was won with a small army and a quick “battle.” Amazing things can happen when we trust in God to keep His promises.

We are  praying that your child will  have moments filled with wonder as we give preschoolers a “first look” at the God who loves them, made them, and wants to be their friend forever.

Make sure to check out the (free) parent resources, found at the Antioch Kids resource table,  to you to help you continue teaching your child throughout the week! Click here for the PDF download version of the SmallTalk resource.

Check out this short movie to learn more!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/65420168″>First Look Preview: Up For The Challenge (July 2013)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/whatisorange”>Orange</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Challenge Your Kids!

All month long, all of Antioch is learning about and being challenged to live by faith. All the adults. All the youth. And all the kids. We couldn’t be happier to hear about the conversations of faith happening all throughout Antioch Church!

We want to help motivate your kids to think about faith throughout the week, learn what God says about faith, and memorize Hebrews 11:6 which says “Without faith it isn’t possible to please God.” To do this, we have created a weekly challenge worksheet. These are easy worksheets that will help your child understand what it means to live by faith. If your child brings back a completed worksheet, we are thrilled to reward their dedication with  an entire package of Starburst’s candies.

If you missed the worksheet as you left the Antioch Kids hallway, not to worry! Just on the linke below and it will begin to download!

GodTimeCards, Wk2

See you Sunday!

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The Paradox of Faith!

We are excited for June! Not only because summer is right around the corner but because the entire church will be learning about the paradox of faith. Yup, even the kiddos! We are stoked!

We want to encourage your kids to think about the importance of faith and begin living by faith! To motivate your child to engage in this conversation of faith, we have designed a little challenge! Each week there is a short, fun Bible activity designed for elementary aged kids (week 1 is pictured below).

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It is a short worksheet that is designed to help a child explore the importance and reality of faith. Each week, there is a new worksheet available for your elementary aged child. If your child brings back a completed worksheet on Sunday morning and shows their teacher on Sunday morning, we will reward their diligence with a delicious pack of starbursts! Yum!!

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We hope to motivate your child to continue learning about God throughout the week and realize that our God can be trusted no matter what! To view all 5 bible worksheets, simply click here: GodTimeCards

Hope to see you Sunday!

Explaining Baptism to a Child

Baptism can be confusing to kids. They hear adults talk about it and see it happen at church, but rarely does anyone take the time to stop and explain baptism to a child in a way that they can understand. Until now! Below, you will find five questions that kids might ask you about baptism and a simple answer to each question. Enjoy!

How does baptism work? When you get baptized, you begin in water. An adult helps lower you into the water then raises you back up. When you go into the water, this represents the death and burial of your old sinful life and is a reminder that Jesus died and was buried to forgive sins. When you come out of the water, this represents your new life and reminds us that Jesus was raised from the dead, also!

What is the point of baptism? Baptism is simply a public declaration or announcement, telling everyone who can see or hear you a simple message: that you believe in Jesus and have committed to living your life in a way that pleases God.

For nearly all of history, people spent a lot of time near water. They fished in the lakes, gathered water from the ponds, and did their laundry in the rivers. Christians would be baptized in a public place such as a lake, pond, or river to let everyone in town know that they lived for Jesus.

When I get baptized, what does it mean? When you get baptized, it is a public declaration, telling everyone who can see or hear you a simple message: that you believe in Jesus and have committed to living your life in a way that pleases God.

Do you have to be baptized to be a Christian? Baptism is not necessary to be a Christian; instead it is a way to tell others that you are a Christian. By doing so, you are being obedient to Christ’s command to tell others about your faith.

How old must I be to get baptized? There is no specific age that someone has to be to get baptized. Instead, when you have decided that you believe in Jesus and have committed to living your life in a way that pleases God, we want to give you the opportunity to tell everyone that can see you hear!

Join us for the annual Baptism at the Deschutes, July 7th. We will gather as a church at 5:00pm for a potluck and our 7th Annual Baptism at the Deschutes River! Throw your lawn chairs and blankets in the back of your car and we’ll have a great evening of food and games at Farewell Bend Park, followed by baptisms down at the Bill Healey Bridge. If your child would like to be baptized, simply fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you shortly!

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Antioch Kids: Elementary

From the very beginning, God has shown patience with people. All the way back in the garden, when Adam and Eve first chose their own way instead of God’s, God started His plan to give all of us a chance to come back to Him. And time and again, God is patient with us when we make daily choices that separate us from Him. He waits for us to turn back to Him.

As a fruit of the Spirit, patience is a foundational way that we reflect God’s character. When we show patience, we are less likely to hurt our relationships with others. We are more likely to trust that God has something better for us in the future.

Patience is waiting until later for what you want now. Waiting isn’t always easy. When having patience seems too difficult, the Lord will give us strength to wait. At its core, patience is fueled by faith. We trust that what we’re waiting for is best for us.

But patience is more than just waiting. It’s also about our attitude while we wait. A patient person can wait with joy even when the situation might be stressful or anxious. A patient person avoids searching or settling for a quick fix.

The monthly memory verse is: “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14, NIrV Sometimes it feels too hard to be strong while we wait, but our trust in God gives us the strength to wait well.

In Week One’s Bible story, Esau comes in from hunting and is very hungry (Genesis 25:24-34). Because he can’t wait, Esau ends up trading his entire inheritance for a full stomach. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, think twice. Don’t give up what’s best for something immediate.

In Week Two’s Bible story, the Israelites grew impatient waiting for Moses to finish meeting with God (Exodus 32:1-35and asked Aaron to build an idol for them. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, don’t forget what’s true. God had put Moses in charge of the Israelites and led them out of slavery. But in a moment of impatience, they forgot everything they’d experienced.

In Week Three’s Bible story, Hannah wants to become a mother but is waiting for a baby (1 Samuel 1:9–2:1). Even through the sadness of her prayers, God gives her the strength to wait until the time is right. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, tell God about it. God wants us to talk to Him when we’re facing a difficult time.

In Week Four’s biblical principle, we learn the wisdom of being patient (Proverbs 14:29). Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, don’t lose your cool. We can work hard to keep control of our words, actions, and attitudes while we wait. That way we can avoid doing something we might regret.

For God, it seems as though patience is all about relationships with people. Even after we sinned, He still pursued us. He waited time after time for people to repent and work to make things right. Something He still does today.

Below, you will find resources to help you teach your child about the importance of patience all month long. Simply click on the link below to view the PDF or pick up a printed copy on Sunday morning at the Antioch Kids resource table. Enjoy!

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

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!

All month long, your preschooler will be learning that he or she has helping hands! In fact, we all have helping hands. God made our hands to help others!

Preschoolers spend a lot of time surrounded by people who help them—their parents, their older siblings, their teachers. And, they love to learn all about community helpers like policemen, firemen and construction workers. They are  learning that they can help too.

This month, we are sharing four stories from the Bible where someone used their hands to help others. Preschoolers will learn how everyone helped each other in the early church. They will hear about the rich woman who helped Elisha whenever he came to town. In the story of Nehemiah, they will see how we can help others by doing and by leading them as well. And finally, they will hear how Aaron physically helps Moses hold up his arms. All these Bible characters used their hands to help someone in need.

The Basic Truth we will be teaching all month long is: God made me.

The Key Question we will be asking is: Who can help others?

The Bottom Line we will be repeating is: I can help others.

The Memory Verse your child will be learning is: “Be kind and loving to each other.” Ephesians 4:32, NCV

Below, you will find a link for fun ideas to continue teaching your kids all week long! Simply click on the link and a PDF will download! Enjoy!

May 5th- 11th: Week 1

May 12th-18th: Week 2

May 19th-15th: Week 3

May 26th-31st: Week 4

You can also find these resources on the Antioch Kids resource table as you enter the kids hall on Sunday mornings! Enjoy!