FEBRUARY 2021

PRESCHOOL & ELEMENTARY

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WEEK OF February 28

Jesus Calmed a Storm

Bible Passage: Matthew 8; Mark 4; Luke 8

Story Point: Jesus calmed a storm to show the disciples He is God.

Key Passage: "Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you." - Psalm 40:5

What is God Like?: God is Near.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL:

  1. What was Jesus doing in the boat? (sleeping)

  2. What came while Jesus was asleep? (a storm)

  3. Why did Jesus’ friends wake Him? (They were afraid.)

  4. What did Jesus say to the wind and the waves? (“Silence! Be still!”)

  5. What did the wind and waves do after Jesus spoke to them? (The wind stopped blowing, and the waves stopped crashing.)

  6. Who is always near? (God)

ELEMENTARY:

  1. What was Jesus doing when the storm hit the boat? (sleeping, Mark 4:38)

  2. How did Jesus calm the storm? (by speaking, Mark 4:39)

  3. How did the disciples react to Jesus’ miracle? (They were terrified and asked who Jesus was, Mark 4:41)

  4. Why do you think the disciples were afraid? Direct the kids to think more deeply than the simple answer of the storm they faced. Help them see that their fear came from a lack of understanding of and trust in who Jesus is. If they had known who Jesus is and trusted Him completely even in the storm, they would not have been afraid.

  5. How do you react to scary or hard situations? Guide kids to answer honestly. Discuss when it is hard or easy to trust God.

  6. How can we know that Jesus is trustworthy no matter what? Prompt kids to provide ways we can know Jesus is trustworthy. Remind them that God’s Word is true, and it teaches us to trust Jesus. Jesus is God the Son, and the Bible teaches us that He has control over all of creation. We also know that God only does what is good and right. Everything He does is for His glory and our good.

PRESCHOOL & TODDLER ACTIVITY

PLAY WITH WATER

WHAT YOU NEED: small shallow bin, large towel, water, water toys (boats, cups, plastic figures)

WHAT YOU DO: Lay out a large towel. Fill a small shallow bin with a couple of inches of water and place it on the towel. Invite children to play in the water using the boats, cups, and plastic people figures.

WHAT YOU SAY: Playing with toy boats in the water is fun! In this week’s Bible story, Jesus and His disciples were in a boat on the sea. Jesus was very tired, and He fell asleep. Something incredible happened after Jesus’ frightened disciples woke Him. Listen to the story to find out what that was.

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

INDOOR STORM

WHAT YOU NEED: ways to record (i.e a phone)

WHAT YOU DO: Assign each person a role: rain, wind, or thunder. Or work as a group. Ask each person or group to make noises that correspond to that sound in a storm. Kids can slap their thighs for rain, whistle for wind, and make thundering noises with their mouths. If you have a family member that enjoys working with apps, try recording the sounds and seeing if it sounds like a storm!

WHAT YOU SAY: That sounded like a huge storm. Thankfully, we weren’t in any danger. This week, we learned about a real, dangerous storm and how Jesus responded to it.

WEEK OF February 21

The Good Shepherd

Bible Passage: John 10

Story Point: Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for His people.

Key Passage: “The Holy Spirit …will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

What is God Like: God is Near.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL

  1. Who is the Good Shepherd? (Jesus)

  2. Who are Jesus’ sheep? (those who trust in Him)

  3. What do sheep do when they hear the shepherd’s voice? (follow him)

  4. What did Jesus come to give His people? (life with God forever)

  5. How does Jesus give His people life with God forever? (Jesus gave up His life so His people could be forgiven from sin.)

ELEMENTARY

  1. How will sheep know their shepherd? (by his voice, John 10:3-4)

  2. Why does a thief come? (only to steal, kill, and destroy; John 10:10)

  3. What does the good shepherd do? (lays down his life for the sheep, John 10:15)

  4. Why do you think Jesus compares people to sheep? Guide kids to understand that sheep are animals that need guidance. On their own, they cannot thrive. Help them understand that using the imagery of sheep also calls back to Psalm 23 and Old Testament figures like David, Moses, and Jacob.

  5. How can we become part of Jesus’ flock? Guide kids to see that Jesus’ flock includes all people who have faith in Jesus. We cannot earn salvation, but God gives it freely to all who believe the truth of the gospel. Remind kids that salvation comes by grace through faith.

  6. How do you feel knowing that no one can snatch us from Jesus? Lead kids to find and read John 10:28. Guide kids to discuss their feelings. Help them see that everyone who has faith in Jesus has eternal life. Explain to them that Jesus’ promise is not based on our behavior but on His power and goodness. Share your thoughts about these promises.

PRESCHOOL & TODDLER ACTIVITY

CARE FOR ANIMALS

WHAT YOU NEED: toy animals, blocks, clean washcloths, shredded paper, play dishes

WHAT YOU DO: Set out a variety of toy animals, blocks, washcloths, paper shreds, and play dishes for children to play out caring for pets. Preschoolers may build fences or barns for the animals with blocks, “bathe” them with washcloths, and “feed” them with paper shreds on dishes. Talk about how to care for animals well while children play.

WHAT YOU SAY:  A shepherd is someone who takes care of sheep. He makes sure they have food and water, and he keeps them safe and clean. In our Bible story today, Jesus said He is the Good Shepherd. Listen to the story to find out who is Jesus’ sheep.

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

SHEEP MASKS

WHAT YOU NEED: paper plates, markers, cotton balls, glue sticks, scissors, string

WHAT YOU DO: Provide each kid with a paper plate. Invite the kids to draw a sheep’s face on the plate. Provide cotton balls and glue for the kids to attach “wool” to their sheep face. Help the kids cut eye holes in the plate. Use tape to attach string to the masks so the kids can wear them.

WHAT YOU SAY: Jesus taught that His people are like sheep, and He is like a shepherd. What do you think makes a shepherd good?

WEEK OF February 14

Jesus Taught About Posessions

Bible Passage: Luke 12

Story Point: Jesus taught people not to worry because God provides for our needs.

Key Passage: “The Holy Spirit …will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

What is God Like: God is Near.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL:

  1. What were the people who followed Jesus worrying about? (Money, possessions, food, clothing)

  2. Who feeds the birds? (God)

  3. Who dresses the flowers? (God)

  4. Who can we ask to give us all we need? (God)

  5. Where does treasure last forever? (in heaven)

ELEMENTARY:

  1. What happened to the rich man who stored up his possessions? (He didn’t get to use them because he died, Luke 12:20)

  2. What did Jesus say about the birds? (They don’t plant or harvest food, but God feeds them; Luke 12:24)

  3. What treasure did Jesus tell people to seek? (the kingdom of God; heavenly treasure; Luke 12:31-33)

  4. What does “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” mean? Guide kids to see that when we value something a lot, we think about it. Whatever we treasure most, we will spend our time and energy trying to get or protect. Help them see that greed distracts us from loving God and obeying His commands to be generous.

  5. What do you think treasure in heaven will be like? Talk to the kids about what they think. Encourage them to be honest. Gently guide them away from the traditional ideas of gold, silver, or jewels. Help them see that heavenly treasure has more to do with enjoying God’s perfection and living in a perfect, restored world.

  6. How can we avoid greed and selfishness? Help kids understand that to overcome greed we must understand Jesus’ generosity displayed on the cross. As we better understand the extravagant generosity of Christ, our love for Him will move us to show generosity as Jesus did.

PRESCHOOL & TODDLER ACTIVITY

DECORATE ENVELOPES

WHAT YOU NEED: envelopes, (or jars) decorating supplies

WHAT YOU DO: Provide art supplies and three envelopes for each child. On the first envelope, print 1. GIVE and explain that the first thing we do with the money God gives us is give part of it back to God. On the second envelope, print 2. SAVE and explain that the next thing to do with our money is save some of it for important expenses. On the third envelope, print 3. SPEND and explain that the last thing we do with our money is spend it on what we need or want. Invite children to decorate their envelopes with pictures to help them remember what each envelope is for. If desired, give each child several coins or play money to practice with. Consider using this as a first step to teaching kids about finances or budgeting.

WHAT YOU SAY: Jesus saw how much people worried about what they had or didn’t have. Jesus taught people not to worry. He said, “Seek God’s kingdom. God will give you what you need.” Jesus told His disciples to give to the poor, and they will store up treasure in heaven. We can give cheerfully and trust God to give us everything we need!

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

BALL TOSS BLESSINGS

WHAT YOU NEED: ball, bean bag or something similar

WHAT YOU DO: Invite kids to sit in a circle with peers or family. Select a kid to start the game by tossing a foam ball to another person. She will name a blessing that God provides (such as food, home, clothes, toys, and so forth). The person receiving the ball must think of a way that he could use that blessing to show the love of Jesus (such as bringing a meal to someone, inviting friends over to play, giving away outgrown clothes, sharing toys with a new friend, and so forth). Encourage kids to help one another with the answers and to throw the ball to different person each time so everyone has a turn. Be prepared with ideas to share with kids who can’t think of an item or an answer.

WHAT YOU SAY: Every blessing God provides can be used to show His love and goodness to others. We live on mission by blessing other people with the blessings God gives us. That includes the gospel!

WEEK OF February 7

Jesus Taught About Prayer

Bible Passage: Luke 11; 18

Story Point: Jesus taught people how to pray.

Key Passage: “The Holy Spirit …will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

What is God Like: God is Near

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL:

  1. What did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them? (Jesus taught people how to pray.)

  2. Can we call God our Father? (yes)

  3. Is it OK to ask God for what we need? (Yes, we can ask God for everything we need.)

  4. Will God ignore us or give bad gifts? (No, He will always do what is right.)

ELEMENTARY:

  1. Why did Jesus say the friend would help his neighbor even late at night? (His neighbor asked boldly, Luke 11:8)

  2. What did Jesus say a father would not give his son? (a snake, a scorpion; Luke 11:11-12)

  3. Why did the unjust judge do the right thing for the widow? (She kept asking, Luke 18:4-5)

  4. How do these parables encourage us to pray? Guide kids to see that in each case, the person being asked was a sinner and still did the right thing. Jesus wanted people to see that because God is much greater than people, He can be trusted to hear our prayers and respond in the perfect way.

  5. Can you think of a time you prayed for something specific? What happened? Guide kids to provide specific examples from their lives. (If kids ask for things that may seem silly or unimportant, don’t shame them) Encourage kids to discuss honestly if they got the answer they wanted and how they knew.

  6. What are some things you are praying about now? Encourage kids to share their requests with the group or their family if they want to. Encourage kids to pray for one another. Challenge each person to pray for one another throughout the week.

PRESCHOOL & TODDLER ACTIVITY

PLAY OUT DAY AND NIGHT

WHAT YOU DO: Ask children what they do when they wake up in the morning and invite them to play it out. Pretend to brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, and so forth. Continue with other segments of the day, finishing with bedtime routines. Pretend to go to sleep, then awake children by knocking on a door or table.

WHAT YOU SAY: Has anyone ever had a friend come to visit in the middle of the night? That would be strange. Nighttime is for sleeping! People don’t usually wake up their friends in the middle of the night unless they really need help. But a good friend is willing to help, even at night. Jesus taught that we can ask God for help in that way. He is always willing to help us! Let’s read the Bible story to hear more.

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

MAKE A PRAYER CHART

WHAT YOU NEED: paper and a writing utensil

WHAT YOU DO: Draw lines to divide a piece of paper into quadrants. In the first quadrant, write a large A as you explain that the first thing we do in prayer is adore God. Ask children what is awesome about God (He is holy, He is good, and so forth) and write down their answers under the A. In the second quadrant, write a large C as you explain that the next thing we do in prayer is confess sin. Ask children if they’ve made any wrong choices they need to ask forgiveness for and write down their answers under the C. Next, write a T for thanksgiving and ask children what they would like to thank God for. Finally, write a S for seek. Remind children that if we seek our needs from God, we will find what we need. Ask children what they need God’s help with and write down their answers. Then pray, modeling gospel-centered prayer (knowing that God loves us regardless of our behavior and we need His help to obey.) Invite kids to pray as desired.

WHAT YOU SAY: Jesus taught people how to pray. He taught us to adore God, confess sin, thank God, and seek what we need from Him. Because of Jesus, we can pray and ask God for everything we need. God is good and loving, and we can trust Him to care for us and to do what is right. We may not always get the answer we want, but God always gives us what we need.