PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18
JOHN POINTED TO JESUS
Bible Passage: Matthew 3; John 1; 3
Story Point: John the Baptist told people to follow Jesus.
Key Passage: “He must become greater; I must become less.”John 3:30
What is God Like: God is holy.
CHRIST CONNECTION: John the Baptist told people to get ready for Jesus, the promised Messiah. Now that Jesus was on earth, John’s mission was complete. Jesus was greater than John, and John joyfully stepped aside as Jesus began His earthly ministry.
LET'S HAVE A CONVERSATION
1. CHECK OUT THE BIBLE STORY
OPTION 2: WATCH IT
2. SHARE YOUR STORY
Consider questions that pursue the heart of your child during natural points of connection. Here's one for during a walk or at the dinner table this week:
Discuss what the word witness means.
Ask what they think of (perhaps courtrooms on tv or real life)
Go over what witness means (to see something happen; a person who can speak with knowledge about something that he has seen happen).
Ask them what they have witnessed God do.
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Who were the two men teaching and baptizing? (John the Baptist and Jesus)
What did John say his job was? (to be the messenger who told people the Messiah was coming)
Who is the most important at a wedding, the groom or his friends? (the groom)
Who sent Jesus to earth? (God)
Where do people who believe in Jesus live forever? (with God in heaven)
Who is holy? (God)
What were Jesus and His disciples doing in the countryside? (teaching and baptizing people, John 3:22)
Why were John’s disciples arguing? (Many were starting to follow Jesus instead of John, John 3:26)
What did John want to happen? (John wanted Jesus to get the glory as Messiah; John 3:30-31,35)
Why is it good to glorify Jesus? Guide kids to understand that people were created by God to glorify God. Jesus is God the Son. When we glorify Him in our lives, we are fulfilling our purpose, and it is good for us. Everything God does is for His glory and our good, including creating us to worship Him.
When is it hard to glorify Jesus? Discuss situations kids may face that can fill them with pride or arrogance. Explain that sinful pride makes it impossible to glorify Jesus. Remind them that our gifts and talents were given by God as a way to glorify God. When we do well, we can thank God and remind other people about His goodness to bless us with talents or skills.
How can we learn to show humility? Explain that the first step toward humility is understanding who Jesus is. He is God’s beloved Son. He is the Messiah. The story of our lives is ultimately about Him, not any of us. Help kids consider that all people are equally valuable to God as all people are made in His image. None of us are better. All of us are His creations.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
WHAT YOU NEED: Nothing!
WHAT YOU DO: Select a number between 1 and 100. Have everyone in your family, car, etc. guess the number. After each guess, say increase or decrease their next guess to be closer. When the person guesses the right number, select a new person to pick the number. Be prepared to help kids answer if they are unsure if a guess is above or below their number.
WHAT YOU SAY: You had to increase or decrease the values of your guesses to get to the correct answer. In our Bible story, we learned about a time John told people that Jesus must increase while he decreased. What do you think it means for Jesus to increase?
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU NEED: A Bible
WHAT YOU DO: Place a bookmark at John 3:30. Invite child to open your Bible to the key passage. Read the key passage aloud. Take turns with each line of the passage. Have the adult say the first phrase of the key passage, the child to finish the verse and both to say the reference. Change parts.
He [Point up towards heaven.] must become greater [Move hands apart.] I [Point to yourself with both thumbs.] must become less [Move hands together.]
WHAT YOU SAY: John wanted everyone to glorify Jesus. That’s why John the Baptist told people to follow Jesus. In our own lives, we can increase Jesus’ glory by loving Him, obeying Him, and loving others.
"He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
WHAT YOU NEED: be in a room or outside with lots of things around.
WHAT YOU DO: Look around the room and choose two items of different sizes, weights, or lengths. For younger preschoolers, make sure the items are extremely different. Ask the children which is longer or taller or heavier. Be prepared to use body language to give clues. Think of objects the children would be familiar with (watermelon, loaf of bread, beach ball, basketball) and ask questions comparing them also.
WHAT YOU SAY: Look at these two blocks. Which one is longer? Look at the chair and the table. Which one would be heavier? Think about a watermelon and a loaf of bread. Which one would be the heaviest? [Continue with several more examples.] John the Baptist told people to get ready for Jesus. John knew that Jesus was greater than John, and John was happy to step aside for Jesus to begin His work. John told people to follow Jesus.
dress up for a wedding
WHAT YOU NEED: fancy clothes or dress-up clothes
WHAT YOU DO: Provide fancy dress-up clothes and artificial flowers for preschoolers to play out being in or going to a wedding. You may use a smart device to look up wedding pictures online. Or look at pictures of people in your family or circle of friends on their wedding days. Look at the pictures together and name the people (groom, bride, parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen). Ask who is most important.
WHAT YOU SAY: At a wedding everyone who is there wants to see the groom and the bride. It is their special day! They are the most important. John had been telling the people to get ready for Jesus. Jesus was here, and John’s job was finished. Jesus was greater than John, and John was happy to step aside for Jesus to begin His work. John told people to follow Jesus. John knew that Jesus had come to rescue sinners.
increase and decrease
WHAT YOU NEED: nothing
WHAT YOU DO: Encourage toddlers to crouch down as low to the ground as they can. Some may even form a small ball. Invite toddlers to slowly stand up and stretch as high as they can. Say the key passage together. (“He must become greater; I must become less.”John 3:30)
WHAT YOU SAY: Jesus obeyed God’s plan. John said Jesus is more important than him. Jesus is greater than anything and anyone.
journalingFOR 4TH-6TH GRADE
Guide kids to think about and answer one or two journaling prompts. Be sure to join them.
What does this story teach me about God or the gospel?
What does the story teach me about myself?
Are there things God is asking me to do in this story? How are they for God’s glory and my good?
Are there any promises in this story to remember? How do they help me trust and love God?
What characteristics of God do I see in this story?
What does the story teach me about people around me?
If I’m honest, what parts of this are hard to understand or believe?
talking to kids about the gospel...
Here’s one way we talk about the gospel with elementary kids
A- We are God’s most treasured creation! Created to be with Him. However, there’s a problem. It’s sin. Sin is anything we do that isn’t what God wants for us. We’ve all done it, even me. And sin gets in the way of us having a relationship with God. We need to admit we have this problem!
B- Believe that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did in order to make a way for our relationship with God to be made whole again...specifically He loves you SO MUCH that...”Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be.” (1 Cor. 15: 3-4) He took the punishment we deserved.
C- Choose to put your faith in Jesus. Jesus says that our response, or the way we accept it is by faith. In other words putting our trust in Him.