Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Deeper in 4 Children - Features - Check it Out!

I've been writing this week about Deeper in 4 Children; a curriculum which will engage the children in your ministry in going deeper in God's Word and discovering how it is for them! Deeper in 4 Children is designed to get children to open their Bibles and to pray Scripture back to God - to help children develop the disciplines of reading their own Bibles and praying as children, so they will know and walk with God!

I've announced two give-aways where you can win up to two years of curriculum (you have time to enter these give-aways as they will be on June 1, 2015 and June 5, 2015) just click on the logos on the left side of About the Children's Department for all the details.

Today I want to give you a "snippet" of what a Bible event with Deeper in 4 Children looks like . . . each week the Elementary age children will begin by researching a portion of the day's Bible Event. They will look it up in their Bibles, discover what it is saying and then illustrate it - make a poster which they will bring with them to large group. During large group, as they work through the days Bible Event, children will share their posters and answer questions about what they discovered. After large group, children return to their small groups and talk about the entire event, what it means and how to live it in their lives. Look at the Bible Event for Quarter 3 - Grace Changes Me - Week 4 - 

When I choose Grace, like Elijah, I won’t be afraid to stand alone!    
Let the children know their small group will have a part in teaching the Bible event to the rest of the class.  Explain to each small group the props they need to prepare as follows – it is fine to use words, stick figures . . . show your imagination.

· Challenge Given & Accepted – 1 Kings 18:16-24 - children will research these verses and make signs showing what they discovered about the Elijah’s challenge and King Ahab’s response.
· “Shout Louder; Maybe he is Asleep! 1 Kings 18:16-29 - children will research these verses and make signs showing what they discovered about how the prophets of Baal did with the challenge.
· The Lord, He is God! 1 Kings 18:30-39 - children will research these verses and make signs to show what they discovered about what happened when Elijah asked God to send fire.

This week’s event is about Elijah on Mount Carmel; each small group will have a portion of the event they will research and then make posters to show what they learned – they will share their posters during large group with the rest of the class. 

Talk About it -
Talk together about the Bible event for today; emphasize the following—
· Talk about how Elijah felt when he was the only one standing up for God on Mt. Carmel.
· Talk about a time when you stood up for God.
· Talk about what you think the people thought when Elijah poured water on his sacrifice.
· Talk about how you feel to know our God does not take naps or go on trips, but He is always with us and always listens to our prayers.
· Talk about a time when God answered your prayers.
· Read Mark 11:24 and Psalm 145:18 and talk about how God is always near us and hears our prayers, so we can believe He answers our prayers.
· Have children write/draw in their note-books what they will remember the most about their Bible event today.
· Have children write/draw in their notebooks specific things they will pray about this week. Spend time praying together. Talk about how God answered their prayers last week.

Scripture Prayer
Dear Lord, thank You for being near me and for hearing and answering my prayers. Thank You for Your love for me: I love You, too! Amen. (Psalm 145:18)

Each week includes an Optional Second Service where they have a Scripture memory game, craft and object lesson as well as spend time praying Scripture back to God. On this particular week, children are engaged in praying Scripture back to God in the following way -

Say – (Read Proverbs 4) These verses tell us about making the right choices, even if we are the only ones making those right choices.  King Solomon said when he was a young boy, his dad told him to get wisdom, no matter what it cost to value wisdom and understanding.  He then tells us several specific things we can do to make right choices, even if we have to stand alone. Solomon’s dad said not to live the way evil people do. 

Ask – What are some wrong things people sometimes choose to do which we should not do? (Give time to respond – be careful it doesn't end up with children being judgmental – look for things like, not obeying parents, being unkind to others, stealing, cheating, etc – things kids might do which are wrong choices.)

Say – Solomon’s dad gave him wise instructions about how to make right choices. Sometimes wise choices are easy to make, and sometimes – like with Elijah – it can be hard to do because it means you end up standing alone. Starting with your Small Group Leader, go around your group and tell something your dad or another adult in your life taught you about making right choices. (Give time to do this.)

Say – Proverbs goes on to say the more we make right choices, the more our path will be bright and clear, so we can see where we are going and know what the right choices are. If we make right choices and make right choices, it will be easier to keep making right choices, even when we stand alone.  Solomon said people who make wrong choices are in “darkness” and they can not see where they are going.  Starting with your Small Group Leader, take a moment to pray these verses to God, “Dear Lord, please help me to do what You say is right, so I will know where I am going!”  (Give time to do this.)

Say – Solomon’s dad told him to make the choice to not hurt others or speak with twisted words and to keep evil talk away from his lips. Sometimes standing alone means standing up for someone who is picked on by other children. You all probably know someone who others say unkind and hurtful things to and about.  Maybe you have been the person others have been unkind to.  Maybe you have been a person who said unkind things and hurt another person.  It can be really hard to stand up for a person others are picking on, but Proverbs says this is an important time for you to choose to stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone.  In your small group, each of you take a moment to pray for another person you know who has been hurt by the unkind words of others.  Pray and ask God to help you choose to stand and show His love to them.  (Give time to do this.)

 Bless the Children—
Say – Proverbs tells us to make the choice to guard our hearts, look straight ahead, don’t turn aside and only walk on ways which are firm and right.  Elijah made the choice to only serve God, to not turn aside and to stand for God.  We can choose to make the right choices and stand for God, even if we have to stand alone!  Small Group Leaders, go around your circle and pray the following from Proverbs 4 for each child in your group, by name, “Dear LORD, thank You for being with _______.  Please help him/her know Your Words bring wisdom, life and health and help him/her choose to go where You lead and stand for You!(Give time to do this, and when they have finished, close in prayer.)

With Deeper in 4 Children, each week children are engaged in opening their Bibles, discovering what God's Word says, and praying Scripture back to God. Children learn how to have their own walk with God, so they can know Him!

You will find more information about Deeper in 4 Children at this link - and don't forget to enter the two give-aways - who knows???!!! Maybe you will win up to two years of curriculum!

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