Time to talk about that bronze serpent

Do you remember it?

It was the story of a bronze snake that was hastily fashioned and put up on a pole.  God’s rebellious people needed only to look up at it for God to heal them from the poison of the not-so-bronze snakes that had been let loose among them.  This story is our lesson topic for Sunday, where we’ll discuss the main idea: Rebellion against God is rooted in failing to trust God.

Jesus, too, was lifted up on the cross, much like the serpent.  God’s rebellious people need only to look up in faith to Christ for God to heal them from the poison of the sin that has been let loose among us.

Have a “Faith Talk”

If you’ve been involved in the recent family ministry overview, then you’ve learned what a Faith Talk is.  It’s simply a time set aside by families to talk about God’s truth together.  Sometimes that idea is overwhelming, but families who do this once a week grow closer in their faith and relationships.  We have a talk sheet for you to use.  You’ll get to springboard off the lesson above.  It centers on Moses interceding for the people and our own call to step in to pray for others.

Get equipped to grow spiritually as a family

Our three week Family Ministry Orientation course begins March 17 and takes place during Sunday School.  Contact me (Kevin) if you want to join in.

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Christmas Day Family Activity

Set the tone for gift opening this year.  Take time this Christmas to remember Christ’s birth before you open presents.  This activity combines the Christmas story with personal family memories that will help your family count your blessings and better appreciate gifts.

Just download the sheet below.  Print it out and give family members different parts to read.  It will help if they know in advance.

Christmas Blessings Family Activity

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Discuss it: God shows mercy to misfits

Youth Sunday School on Nov. 11 is about God’s mercy to Jacob, who was quite the trickster.  It is amazing that God still shows mercy to misfits and includes them – us – in his plans to build his kingdom.

Discuss with your teen or pre-teen the short cuts Jacob attempted to get the blessing he desired.  Here’s a sheet to guide that discussion.

Hatfields and McCoys

One of my current pleasure reads at home is Dean King’s The Feud:  The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story.  I say “pleasure” read, but it’s kinda depressing.  The bitterness continues a vicious cycle over and over, spilling into murders, interstate legal battles, and revenge leftover from the Civil War.

Our topic Sunday is forgiveness.  While we are unlikely to get into the same pattern as America’s most infamous feudists, we are still prone to similar types of unforgiving spirits that reflect the same human tendency.  It is much subtler but just as pervasive; it leads to cliques, ostracizing, and foolish Facebook posts.  This discussion sheet will help you make a family discussion about forgiveness.  It affects not only our relationship with others but also our relationship with God.  And a forgiving person reflects the forgiving nature of our heavenly Father.

Help your teen through the storm

Want to connect on a deeper level with your teen?  Download this sheet and talk about life’s storms with them.  We all go through storms.  It’s those who are prepared who can stand strong through a storm.  Jesus taught His disciples a powerful lesson as he calmed a terrifying storm:  He is in control.

I have been impressed with these devotional handouts.  They are interactive, easy to follow, and they go hand in hand with our Sunday School lessons.  Better still, when you use them, you’ll often get to go deeper with your teen.  Let me know what you think.

They’ll put their trust SOMEWHERE!

Psalm 78:1-8 reminds us just how crucial it is to tell the next generation about God and what He has done.  We do it so that the next generation will put their trust in God.  The lesson:  Students WILL put their trust SOMEWHERE!  It is up to the previous generation to ensure they know to put that trust in the right source.
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Brain-sweating Wisdom

Our youth series right now is called Brainsweat, and it’s all about wisdom – something God created and something we need.  You have two great opportunities to bring up this subject with your teens.  The first has great discussions about guarding your heart (and an example from the ’88 Olympics); the second contrasts the different types of wisdom that we find in the world…do you want your teens following worldly wisdom or godly wisdom?  How to you train them in this?

Great discussion questions are on these sheets.  Be sure to take advantage of them!

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Socrates and Skiing

What do Socrates and skiing have in common?  You’ll have to find out!  The common link is wisdom, something the youth will be studying over the next four weeks.  You’ve got two discussion sheets this week.  Pick one and talk about it with your youth this week.

Brainsweat_LS1_family

Brainsweat_LS2_family

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Learn to be a misfit

This Sunday we begin a new series called Misfits.  As Christians, we should be in the world but not of it, so it is natural to be a bit of a misfit.  You have two discussion opportunities for your student this week.  One of them is about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a real German misfit during WWII.  If you look at the other, you’ll learn the cloudiest city in America in 2008 – without even needing to purchase a Snapple drink!

Either way, take advantage of two opportunities to have a faith conversation with your student.  Do whatever you can to make it work – including blaming me for doing it! (“Well, Rev Kev says we’re supposed to go over this…”).  If something is corny in the discussion sheet, it’s okay to point it out and laugh at it.  Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

Break a mirror, get 7 years of good luck

Who do we look to?  Who do we imitate?  Take a look at this week’s discussion sheet to start a great conversation with your teen.  This week our Sunday School lesson concludes a six week study called “Inside-Out” – a study in the book of James.

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