This month’s biblical theme is:
Ministry of Jesus
Jesus surprised people at every turn during His earthly ministry. He showed in every interaction that His kingdom’s perspective was upside-down from the world’s norms. Jesus loved the unlovable, forgave the scorned, and healed the forgotten. When others turned people away, Jesus welcomed them. He modeled for us an upside-down approach to life, focused on loving God and loving other people.
Jesus is Anointed: As Jesus ate with others, a woman came in, weeping, and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and her hair. The Pharisee wondered why Jesus would allow the woman there since she was known as a sinner. Jesus told Simon a story of two men who owed different amounts of money and were both forgiven. Jesus forgives our sins.
Jesus and the Children: Parents brought their children and babies to Jesus, wanting Him to bless them. The disciples tried to send them away. Jesus was angry and said that He wanted the children brought to Him. He blessed them. He taught the crowd that the kingdom of Heaven belonged to those with a childlike faith. Jesus loves all kids with an unconditional, never-ending love.
Bartimaeus: Bartimaeus was a man who was blind. He sat by the road and begged for money. As Jesus passed by, Bartimaeus called out to Him. Those around him told him Jesus stopped and asked Bartimaeus what he wanted Him to do. Jesus healed Bartimaeus and he could see! Jesus heard Bartimaeus when he called out to Him. Jesus hears us too.
Zacchaeus: Zacchaeus was a tax collector who had cheated many people. Jesus told Zacchaeus that He wanted to come to His house. Zacchaeus ended up a changed man, telling Jesus that he would repay what he had stolen and also give to the poor. Jesus came to seek and save those who sin.and Elijah appeared and spoke with Him, and God spoke through a cloud and proclaimed the truth that Jesus is God’s Son.
This month’s Unit Title is:
Jesus’ ministry turned everyone’s ideas upside down. Jesus’ kingdom is completely different from the world and He showed that to be true in the way He treated people. This month’s videos tell the tale of a knight who has been tasked with saving the Upside Down Kingdom from a terrifying dragon. His challenges are resolved in ways he doesn’t expect. Decorations for this unit can be a medieval look including castles and armor. You can even turn some decor upside down to make it even more unique. Check out our Pinterest page for more ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/britecurriculum/upside-down-kingdom/.
This month’s Leader Training Topic is:
Addressing Unhelpful Behaviors
Each child in your group is unique. They have a unique personality and set of life experiences that they bring to your group each week. They also bring their own interests, talents, and learned skills to your time together. Some kids may be eager and equipped to engage with the group in ways that are kind and help to build community. Others may exhibit behaviors that are distracting or even harmful. These behaviors have the potential to derail the group and make it more difficult for others to feel comfortable to show up and share.
As a leader, you have the opportunity to see each child in your care as God sees them, to remember that they have been fearfully and wonderfully made. You can encourage kids to see themselves and others in this way, recognizing that each person bears the image of God. You also have the chance to intentionally address specific behaviors that are unhelpful to the group. This month, we’ll consider how to do so in ways that are thoughtful, grace-filled, and demonstrate care for both the child and the group.
Throughout the month, we’ll explore the following topics:
Week 1 Content – Notice Patterns of Behavior
Week 2 Content – Seek to Understand
Week 3 Content – Implement a Plan
Week 4 Content – Celebrate Progress, Not Perfection
Teaching kids about the gospel:
The gospel is the good news. God wants everyone to know this good news and to not miss out on this invitation! Here’s the gospel in four main words: God, Us, Jesus, Trust.
God is a loving God who is all-powerful and holy. He knows and sees everything, and rules over everything. God created all people in His image, and we are valuable to Him.
But we have sinned, and our sin separates us from God. What is sin? Sin is anything we think, say, or do that disobeys God. The penalty for sin is death and separation from God forever.
But because God loves us so much, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin. Jesus died in our place. But He did not stay dead—He rose again three days later. Because of Jesus, we no longer have to be separated from God and we are offered the free gift of eternal life!
God gives salvation, rescuing us from our sin, to everyone who places their trust in Jesus as their Savior. What is trust? It means that we rely on what Jesus did. You cannot be saved from sin by doing good things, but only through what Jesus did for you.