MARCH 2021

PRESCHOOL & ELEMENTARY

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WEEK OF MARCH 28

Kingdom Parables

Bible Passage: Matthew 13

Story Point: God’s growing kingdom is more
 valuable than anything.

Key Passage: He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. -Colossians 1:13-14

What is God Like?: God is glory.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL:

  1. Who used stories to teach people about God’s kingdom? (Jesus)

  2. What were these stories called? (parables)

  3. Did everyone understand the parables? (no)

  4. How is God’s kingdom like a mustard seed? (It started small but grew large.)

  5. Is God’s kingdom worth giving everything for? (yes)

ELEMENTARY:

  1. Who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about listening and not understanding? (those who didn’t understand Jesus’ parables, Matt. 13:13-14)

  2. How is the kingdom of heaven like a mustard seed? (It looks small but grows large and provides shelter, Matt. 13:32)

  3. How is the kingdom of heaven like a buried treasure? (It is valuable and worth giving up everything to get, Matt. 13:44)

  4. Have you ever had to give up something to follow Jesus? Guide kids to discuss situations they may have faced where they had to choose obedience over popularity, comfort, or another thing the world can offer. Be prepared to share your own experiences too.

  5. Would you give up everything to follow Jesus? Help the kids think through the kinds of sacrifices some believers must make, such as missionaries or those living in places hostile to Jesus. Remind them that God may not tell them to give up everything, but they are called to be ready if necessary.

  6. How can you help God’s kingdom grow? Talk through ways kids can live on mission. Help them come up with ways to show love to others and creative ways they can share the gospel with friends and loved ones. Remind them that the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and courage to know God’s will and obey it.

PRESCHOOL & TODDLER ACTIVITY

LISTEN AND HEAR

WHAT YOU DO: Go on a walk and ask preschoolers what they hear. Challenge children to listen for hard-to-hear sounds such as a bird chirping high in a tree. Encourage preschoolers to name some of the things they hear.

WHAT YOU SAY: You had to listen carefully to hear some of those sounds! Before you thought about what you were hearing, all the sounds were just noise and didn’t make sense. A lot of people heard Jesus teach too, but they didn’t really hear and understand what He taught. In this week’s Bible story, Jesus taught about God’s kingdom. Let’s ask God to help us understand what He taught.

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

KINGDOM TREE

WHAT YOU NEED: paper, crayons or pencils, green construction paper, glue

WHAT YOU DO: On a piece of paper, ask kids to draw a simple tree shape without leaves on the branches. Tell the kids to write their name in the middle of the tree trunk and the name of the person who first told them the gospel at the base of the tree. Then, allow the kids to tear off bits of green construction paper and write the names of people they can tell the gospel to on each “leaf” before gluing it to the bare branches of their tree.

WHAT YOU SAY: We use the image of a tree to help us think about our families. The base of a family tree is made up by your ancestors, like great-grandparents. The branches are your brothers, sisters, and eventually your children and children’s children. In a way, this is also a good way to think about God’s kingdom. Someone told you the gospel, and you can tell other people the gospel. As people trust in Jesus, they become part of God’s kingdom, which is also God’s family! God’s growing kingdom is more valuable than anything.

WEEK OF MARCH 21

Jesus Showed His Glory

Bible Passage: Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9

Story Point: Jesus showed His glory to Peter, James, and John.

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 glory.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL:

  1. Whom did Jesus take with Him up the mountain? (Peter, James, and John)

  2. How did the way Jesus looked change? (His face was shining like the sun, and His clothes were bright white.)

  3. When the disciples awoke, whom did they see talking with Jesus? (Moses and Elijah)

  4. What did the voice from the cloud call Jesus? (“My beloved Son”)

  5. Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to show He is the Son of God.

ELEMENTARY:

  1. Where did Jesus show His glory? (at the top of a mountain, Mark 9:2)

  2. Who stood with Jesus in glory? (Moses and Elijah, Mark 9:4)

  3. What did the voice tell Peter, James, and John to do? (listen to Jesus, Mark 9:7)

  4. Why do you think Jesus chose to reveal His glory to Peter, James, and John? Discuss those three disciples’ role as leaders among the disciples. Help the kids understand that they were Jesus’ closest friends as well as some of His most loyal followers. Help them understand that showing His glory to them was a way to help them see that He truly is God’s Son.

  5. How should we respond to Jesus? Guide kids to discuss appropriate ways we might respond to the good news about Jesus. Talk to the kids about what it would look like to feel overjoyed, humbled, and awestruck. Remind the kids that part of our response to Jesus is loving obedience to His commands, including a desire to tell others about Him.

  6. How do you feel when you think of Jesus’ return? Help the kids process through the different emotions they may feel about Jesus’ return. Remind them that everyone who has faith in Jesus will be glorified with Him and live forever with God. Focus on Jesus’ return as our source of hope.

PRESCHOOL & TODDLER ACTIVITY

SIT IN A TENT

WHAT YOU NEED: tent or blankets (any materials to build a tent), picture bible (optional)

WHAT YOU DO: Drape a blanket over three sides of a table. Invite kids to sit in the tent. Retell the Bible story. If you have a picture bible, look at pictures of Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Talk about the Bible story.

WHAT YOU SAY: JESUS SHOWED HE IS GOD’S SON. Peter wanted to make a tent for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. God said Jesus is His beloved Son, and people should listen to Him!

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

JESUS THE MIRACLE WORKER

WHAT YOU NEED: tracing picture download, tracing paper (if you don’t have tracing paper, copy paper may work), tape, pencils, markers or colored pencils,

WHAT YOU DO: Tape copy of the tracing picture onto a large window. Guide kids to trace the pictures. Point out how the light coming through the window helps the picture show up through the paper.

As kids work, review the Bible story. Ask them to identify the people in the picture. (Peter, James, John, Moses, Jesus, Elijah) Review who Moses and Elijah were. In the Old Testament, God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Later, Elijah was a prophet to Israel. Invite kids to use colored pencils to fill in their pictures.

WHAT YOU SAY: Jesus showed His glory to Peter, James, and John. Jesus said He would die, rise from the dead, and return to heaven. One day, Jesus will come back to earth in His glory to make all things new. We look forward to that day. While we wait, God calls us to share the gospel with others so they can share in the joy of knowing Jesus, the Son of God, and seeing His glory when He returns. Challenge kids to share today’s Bible story with a friend or family member this week.

WEEK OF MARCH 14

Jesus Walked On Water

Bible Passage: Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 6

Story Point: Jesus showed He is God by walking on water.

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 glory.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL:

  1. What did Jesus tell His disciples to do while He went to pray? (get into a boat, go to the other side of the sea)

  2. In the middle of the night, who did the disciples see? (Jesus)

  3. What was Jesus doing? (Jesus walked on water.)

  4. Who also wanted to walk on water? (Peter)

  5. Who saved Peter when he sank? (Jesus)

  6. Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to show He is the Son of God.

ELEMENTARY:

  1. Why did Jesus stay behind when the disciples crossed the lake? (to pray, Matt. 14:23)

  2. What did the disciples think they saw when Jesus walked on the water toward them? (a ghost, Matt. 14:26)

  3. When did Jesus save Peter from drowning? (immediately after Peter called out to Him, Matt. 14:30-31)

  4. How was Peter able to walk on water? Guide kids to discuss how Jesus’ power allowed Peter to walk on water. Remind the kids that impossible things can happen when God’s power is involved. Point out the correlation between Peter’s faith in Jesus while he walked on water and his fear of the storm when he sank. Discuss the importance of faith in our lives.

  5. Is there anything we cannot do with God’s power? Discuss the fact that God’s power is unlimited, but that doesn’t mean we can use Him for personal gain. Help kids see that testing the Lord is foolish and that anything He empowers us to do will be in line with His character and plans for the world.

  6. When was the last time you trusted God to help you through a hard time? Guide kids to discuss experiences they have had in which God helped them through a difficult situation.

PRESCHOOL & TODDLER ACTIVITY

PLAY WITH TRANSPORTATION TOYS

WHAT YOU NEED: transportation-themed toys

WHAT YOU DO: Set out transportation toys for preschoolers to play with. Ask where each form of transportation would be used (boat on water, airplane in the air). As preschoolers play, explain that missionaries use many kinds of transportation to help them reach people with the story of Jesus.

WHAT YOU SAY: Some roads are too small and too bumpy for a car, so missionaries use motorcycles. If they come to a river, they might need a canoe. And then they might have to hike on foot to reach a village where people need to know about Jesus. Let’s pray for our friends in Honduras who use motorcycles to get to villages to tell people about Jesus.

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

TONS OF TRANSPORTATION

WHAT YOU NEED: Just yourselves!

WHAT YOU DO: Sit in a circle as a family or do as a dinner activity. Challenge people to think of a way to travel that starts with the first letter of their name. Encourage creativity. You may allow kids to use adjectives if they need to (such as “Quincey; quick car”). Be prepared to offer suggestions if any kids struggle to come up with a word or phrase.

WHAT YOU SAY: Those were some pretty interesting ideas of how to travel. Did you know that many missionaries rely on all kinds of transportation, even some kinds that we may think are unusual? Our friends in Honduras rely on motorcycles for transportation. Missionaries often do whatever it takes so that people can hear about Jesus. Let’s pray that more and more people will hear the gospel and choose to follow Jesus, and that God will help missionaries all over the world find new ways to bring the gospel to those who need it. Close in prayer for missionaries around the world, including some of the ones your family and/or the church supports.

WEEK OF MARCH 7

Jesus Fed a Crowd

Bible Passage: Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9; John 6

Story Point: Jesus miraculously fed a crowd with five loaves and two fish.

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 glory.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

PRESCHOOL:

  1. What did Jesus teach people? (about God and His kingdom)

  2. How much food did the boy give to Jesus? (five loaves of bread and two fish)

  3. Would five loaves of bread and two fish be enough to feed a crowd? (no)

  4. Was five loaves and two fish enough for Jesus to feed a crowd? (yes)

  5. How many people did Jesus feed? (more than 5,000)

  6. Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to show He is the Son of 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

MAKE A CHENILLE STEM FISH

WHAT YOU NEED: chenille stems (pipe cleaners), pony beads, cherrios, fruitloops

WHAT YOU DO: Encourage children to select a colorful chenille stem and a few beads. Show children how to bend their chenille stem at the middle to make their fish’s nose. Then guide them to thread pony beads on each end of the chenille stem. Help children tightly twist the ends of their stems together about an inch from the end of the chenille stems. Bend out the wire ends to create the tail of the fish. Use tape to cover any sharp points. (For younger children, use larger beads or Cheerios)

WHAT YOU SAY: Look at all the fish you made! A boy offered Jesus two fish and five loaves of bread to feed the hungry crowd of people. That was not enough food for so many people. But with that little bit of food, Jesus fed a crowd of over 5,000 people. Only Jesus can give us everything we need. Jesus gives us forgiveness, peace with God, and life forever with Him.

ELEMENTARY ACTIVITY

FOOD CHARADES

WHAT YOU NEED: paper, pen

WHAT TO DO: List various foods on separate index cards: corn on the cob, popcorn, taco, sandwich, ice cream, soup, cereal, hot dog, chips, spaghetti, and so on (or decide on teams and have each team come up with food.) Call on one person at a time to draw a card and act out preparing and eating the food. The group should try to guess the food.

WHAT YOU SAY: In the Bible story this week, Jesus and His disciples were with a large crowd of people, and they didn’t have anything to eat. Jesus told the disciples to give the people something to eat.