Happy October y’all!
Our theme for the Kindergarten through 5th graders this month is Individuality:
God is the only god. God is one of a kind with no beginning and no end. And everything God has created is unique and one of a kind. Each animal is not only different from other species, but also different from other like animals. No zebra has the exact same patterns of stripes. Each monkey has its own temperament. Each sparrow sings a slightly different tune.
The same is true for people. God made each person one of a kind—even identical twins have unique fingerprints! Every person that ever was or ever will be is an original, including the kids we serve each week in our children’s ministry environments.
Now, imagine that God created each one of those kids with an individual box of potential and your job as a parent or leader was to help them figure out how to open it and use it.
There’s a tendency to treat kids like they need to wait before they can start discovering what’s in their box—before they can do something that matters. But kids can use their gifts right now. Sometimes they just need some help figuring out what’s in their box.
That’s where you come in. As leaders in kids’ lives, you can help them discover how to tap into their God-given potential. If you teach kids to find purpose NOW, they’ll grow up knowing the even greater potential God has for them in the future. That’s why for our memory verse this month we chose a moment where Paul was encouraging Timothy to use the gifts God gave him to serve the church.
In 1 Timothy 4:12a, Paul writes: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live” (NIrV).
We don’t talk about Timothy a lot, but he is a perfect example of a young individual who had incredible potential. A handful of insightful adults in his life recognized what was in his box and helped him open it. And because of that, Timothy had tremendous impact on the growth of the early church. His story is an incredible example of individuality.
Individuality is discovering who you are meant to be so you can make a difference.
Most of us remember Timothy because of what Paul wrote to him while he was a young leader in the church at Ephesus. But if you do a little digging in the book of Acts, and you look at what we know about the journeys of Paul, you can piece together a pretty remarkable story about a young man who discovered his unique God-given potential and did some amazing things.
This month, you have the opportunity to help kids discover the same thing. You can open someone’s box and help them see something inside that they can use right now, maybe something about their story or some talent they may not know they have. When you help a child begin to understand that God made them and God has given them unique abilities to love and to serve others, it has a lasting impact—not only because of what they accomplish right now, but because they are establishing a pattern of living that can change the course of their story.
First, we know from Acts 16:1 that Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek Father. That means Timothy grew up understanding the Jewish heritage and the stories of Moses alongside hearing about Greek gods and pagan rituals. This unique part of his story would position him to play a significant role in taking the story of Jesus to the Gentile world. Paul also had a unique story too, which he shares with Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:12-16.
Bottom Line: Jesus wants to use your story to make a difference. As kids hear both of these stories, we want them to begin to understand that Jesus wants to use their story to make a difference, just like He did with Paul and Timothy.*
For our 3rd graders: We are enthusiastically starting our Learning to Use My Bible curriculum series in the 3rd grade classrooms this Sunday – October 4th. This 7 week lesson is particularly exciting because it recognizes that each of us learns in different ways. Each session in Learning to Use My Bible includes activities that will address the learning needs of the different kinds of learners. The variety of styles plus the repetition of learning reinforce the session so that children see, hear and think God’s message in their daily lives. We will use the CEB Deep Blue Kids Bible that the kids received on the 20th.
For our preschoolers, it’s Super Kids month—a favorite among our First Look friends, young and old alike. This month, we are going to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS because God is always with us.
Each of our stories this month is about a person in the Bible who God helped to be brave. We start the month with Gideon who trusted that God knew everything and followed His directions going into battle with only torches, jars and trumpets. This is such a fun story to retell with the preschoolers yelling, “For the Lord and for Gideon!” You’re going to have a great time with this one. We can’t wait to hear the stories!
We have another new friend in the clubhouse this month on our Wonder! Look at God’s Story videos. Brandon has joined the clubhouse kids! He is new to the neighborhood and has to be strong and courageous (a super kid) all month long as he encounters new people and places.
Our team will be praying for you to have moments filled with wonder as you give preschoolers a “first look” at the God who loves them, made them, and wants to be their friend forever.
Here’s this week’s schedules and lessons: