Tag Archives: summer

Super Summer Sneak Peak

Jesus Superhero Person

We’ve got some SUPER fun Sundays coming up this summer as kids learn about what it means to be a hero in God’s Kingdom through the examples set through people throughout history.

June 4: Toddlers-Preschoolers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of Adam and Eve.  Elementary students will blast off into space to join the crew of the Konnect Space Station as they learn to put others first.

June 11: Toddlers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of Joseph in Egypt.  Preschool-Elementary students will attend their first fun-filled day of SKA: Superheroes of the Kingdom Academy, where they’ll learn how we can love like Jesus.  Preschoolers will hear the story of how Jesus showed love to Zacchaeus while Elementary students will hear about the self-sacrificial love of Anabaptist Dirk Willems.

June 18: Toddlers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of Moses and the burning bush.  Preschool-Elementary students will, in their second week of SKA, engage with the idea of trusting God to provide what we need. Preschoolers will be amazed by the trust of Abraham while Elementary students will be astonished at faith of children’s advocate George Muller.

June 25: Toddlers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of young Samuel.  Preschool-Elementary students will, in their third week of SKA, hear how they can help others know Jesus.  Preschoolers will hear how the Apostle Paul helped others know Jesus while Elementary students will find out how a young rapper named Jordan Heywood is doing the same through his music.

July 2: Due to the holiday weekend, we will be returning to video this week with Toddlers-Preschoolers going on a Bible Adventure to hear about David and Goliath while Elementary students learn about responsibility with the crew of the Konnect Space Station.

July 9: Toddlers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of Daniel.  Preschool-Elementary students will, in their fourth week of SKA, discover that, with God’s help, we can forgive others.  Preschoolers will learn from the example set in the story of the Prodigal Son while Elementary students will hear how Corrie ten Boom was able to forgive with God’s love the man who had betrayed her family in World War II.

July 16: Toddlers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of Esther.  Preschool-Elementary students will, in their fifth week of SKA, hear how we are to do what’s right, even when it’s hard.  Preschoolers will see this demonstrated through the story of Nehemiah while Elementary students will look to the example set by Martin Luther King, Jr. as he worked for justice in the Civil Rights Movement.

July 23: Toddlers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man.  Preschool-Elementary will, in their sixth week of SKA, be encouraged to look for ways to serve and help others, especially those in need.  Preschoolers will look at how Jesus helped Jarius and brought his daughter back to life while Elementary students will hear how Mother Teresa gave her life to helping the poorest of the poor and the outcast.

July 30: Toddlers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of how Jesus taught people about God’s Kingdom.  Preschool-Elementary students will, in their final week of SKA, be reminded that God is always with us.  Preschoolers will learn this through the story of the Lost Sheep while Elementary students will hear first-hand how God was with Brother Yun when he was arrested for preaching about Jesus in China.

August 6: Toddlers-Preschoolers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear how Jesus fed over 5,000 people only five loaves of bread and two fish.  Elementary students will blast off into space to join the crew of the Konnect Space Station as they learn what it means to have courage.

August 13: Toddlers-Preschoolers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear the story of Palm Sunday.  Elementary students will blast off into space to join the crew of the Konnect Space Station as they learn more about what it means to have courage.

August 20: Toddlers-Preschoolers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear how God sent His Spirit to the first Jesus-followers.  Elementary students will blast off into space to join the crew of the Konnect Space Station as they learn more about what it means to have courage.

August 27: Toddlers-Preschoolers will set off on another Bible Adventure with Emily and friends and hear how everyone is welcome in God’s family.  Elementary students will blast off into space to join the crew of the Konnect Space Station as they learn more about what it means to have courage.

Family Devotional: Connecting to God’s Story

By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director

Woodland Hills Church

The Bible is not just a book of stories. It’s not a random collection of characters and events. No, the Bible is so much more than that! The Bible is, in fact, one BIG story! All of its stories – from the major ones like the Exodus and King David and Jesus to the seemingly minor ones like Elisha and Naaman and Philip and the Ethiopian – are all connected to one another, creating one big, amazing story! So what connects them all? How can they be one big story? Because they all come together to form God’s Story. It’s a story that began before the creation of the world and continues today with us. That’s right – We’re part of God’s Big Story, too! God is still moving and working in our lives and world, and that makes us all players in his unfolding story! And because everyone is a player in God’s Story (whether they know it or not), that means we all have the ability to change and impact one another’s own individual stories, as well.

As a family, create a Biblical timeline (see below for an example) of the major events and characters you know. See if you can find how some of the stories connect. (For example, David is connected to Abraham because Abraham is his ancestor. Or you might connect the story of Peter and Cornelius with God’s announcement to Abraham that his descendants would be a blessing to everyone in the world.) Place the timeline near where you might do family devotionals or bedtime stories. Then, as you read stories from the Bible, you can figure out where on the timeline the story takes place and know what happened before in the story and what’s coming up.

Timeline with graphics

One Bible that does a terrific job of connecting the stories and laying out God’s Big Story is The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago. With beautiful words and amazing illustrations, it is, by far, our favorite Bible for young children in Heroes Gate!

Remind your kids as you talk about how we’re all part of God’s Big Story that they have a role to play in that story each day. God asks us to be world-changers, even in the seemingly small things, and He promises that through our words and actions, He can do the incredible. As a family, take some time to talk about ways each of you can practically change the world for the better and add value to someone else’s story. And then encourage your family members to do just that! If your son says he wants to greet people with a smile and open doors for people that week, be sure to give him encouragement and opportunities to do so! If your daughter decides she can use her drawing talent to make beautiful pictures for family and friends, get her those art supplies ASAP! Remind them that how they live out their part of God’s Story can influence others’ stories and cause ripple effects throughout the world and history. In fact, that’s how most of the stories in the Bible work – One event or person or people group at a time whom God works through to do the remarkable and change the world.

Family Devotional – Worship

By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Ministry Creative Arts Director

Woodland Hills Church

The thousands of athletes competing in the Olympics this summer have had to do a lot of work to get there. And they each have a lot to be thankful for. Many of them would say a big reason they are even at the games is because of the support and encouragement of friends and family as well as coaches and fellow athletes. Although they may win a gold medal seemingly all on their own, that medal really belongs to many who helped that athlete get to the podium.

If an athlete has a lot to be thankful for, then we who know the love of God have a whole lot more we can be thankful about! We know that God’s love for us is never-ending and never-changing – He loves us no matter what! We know that God is always with us and never leaves us, even when things are sad or scary. And we know that Jesus died and rose from the dead so that our broken relationship with God could be fixed and we could be with Him forever! And, on top of all that, God continues to bless us with family and friends and countless other things each day. We really do have A LOT to be thankful for!

Explain to your kids that God doesn’t want us to worship Him because it’s “what we’re supposed to do.” He wants us to worship Him because we love Him so much and realize how He has blessed us and helped us each day! Read Mark 12:28-34 together and point out that in verse 33, the man Jesus is speaking with says that loving God and others is better than giving offerings and sacrifices, the way they were used to worshipping God in those days, and that Jesus agrees with the man, saying that he is wise to say so. The man and Jesus were both saying that God doesn’t care how we worship – What he cares about is why we worship! He wants us to worship because we love Him SO MUCH!

As a family, spend some time worshipping God in unique and fun ways this week. Perhaps you put on some worship music or find some worship videos online and sing and dance together. Maybe you go for a walk on a nice day and praise God for all the cool and beautiful things in nature that you can see. You could create a mural or different works of art showing things that each member of the family is thankful for, or you could choose to show your worship through serving others in your neighborhood or community together as a family.

You can also download this coloring page for your kids to decorate as they think of ways they can worship God this week.

Video Lessons from Sunday July 31st

As we finished our final Fruits of the Spirit lesson on July 24th and will be starting our exciting Olympic-themed Holy Spirit unit this coming Sunday, August 7th, we took a break this past weekend from our regular live lessons.  Instead, we played videos for the kids that taught them about the importance of communication and listening to others and how God makes us brave. These videos come from Life.Church, and we wanted to share a link with you in case you wanted to catch what your child watched this past Sunday (or if they weren’t here and wanted to see what their classmates watched).

For Elementary: Follow the link below and go to the section entitled – “Part 1 – How to Answer: Anger, Congratulations, I’m Sorry” and find the “Teaching Segment Video” area – click the arrow on the right to show the viewing options. Click the “Preview” button beside the MOV, MP4, or WMV formats – whichever you prefer.

https://open.church/resources/2068-konnect-stand-alone-episodes

For Toddlers and Preschool: Follow the link below and to the first section (Group Elements). Go to the “Message Video” section and click the arrow on the right for viewing options. Click the “Preview” button beside the MOV, MP4, or WMV formats – whichever you prefer.

https://open.church/resources/2204-a-voice-in-the-night

Family Devotional: Faithfulness

This summer, we’re excited to have two different lesson units for the Preschool-Elementary kids on Sunday mornings! June 5-26 and July 10-24, we will be doing a Dr. Seuss-inspired unit on the Fruits of the Spirit, and August 7-21, we will be learning about interacting with God and the Holy Spirit through prayer, worship, and the Bible, all with an Olympics theme! Each of these lesson weeks, our staff will bring you a devotional idea you can use with your kids to help them take what they just learned on Sunday morning and integrate it into their daily lives.

By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director

Woodland Hills Church

In our world, a person’s word isn’t always something we can count on. But God is always faithful to what He says and promises. Ask your kids what it means to be “faithful” and ask them to give examples of what faithfulness looks like. If they don’t know what it means, explain that being faithful means you do what you say you will do. You can be counted on to keep your promises.

Read Psalm 136 together and talk about the different ways the psalm celebrates how God is faithful. Are there ways they’ve seen God be faithful and keep His promises to them? (ex. they know God is always with them, God loves them all the time, etc.)

Explain that, because God is faithful and keeps His promises, He wants us to do our best to be faithful to Him and to others, as well. When we choose to be faithful and keep our promises, people know we can be counted on. When they need something, they will know we are the people they can turn to. Part of being a good friend is choosing to be faithful toward others. Ask them for examples of how they’ve seen other people (friends or family members) be faithful and keep their promises or show they can be relied upon to help out.

If you have it in your home or want to get it from the library, read Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hatches the Egg and talk about how Horton shows “an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent.” Discuss how Horton chose to be faithful despite all that happened to him and what people said, and talk about how he was rewarded in the end for his faithfulness.

For a fun family activity around faithfulness, read Psalm 136 again (or part of it if you have younger children), and come up with actions for the words or make it into a song with a dance! You could even make it into a music video!

You can also download this coloring page for your kids to decorate as they are reminded to be faithful people who can be counted on to keep their word and help others.

Video Lessons from Sunday

Due to it being a holiday weekend, we took a break from our regular live lessons this past Sunday and played videos for the kids that taught them about resisting temptation and how we can pray anytime, anywhere.  These videos come from Life.Church, and we wanted to share a link with you in case you wanted to catch what your child watched this past Sunday (or if they weren’t here and wanted to see what their classmates watched).

For Elementary: Follow the link below and go to the section entitled – “Part 3 – Temptation: The Button – Good or Evil?” and find the “Teaching Segment Video” area – click the arrow on the right to show the viewing options.  Click the “Preview” button beside the MOV, MP4, or WMV formats – whichever you prefer.

https://open.church/resources/2068-konnect-stand-alone-episodes

For Toddlers and Preschool: Follow the link below and to the first section (Group Elements).  Go to the “Message Video” section and click the arrow on the right for viewing options.  Click the “Preview” button beside the MOV, MP4, or WMV formats – whichever you prefer.

https://open.church/resources/2204-a-voice-in-the-night

Family Devotional: Patience and Self-Control

This summer, we’re excited to have two different lesson units for the Preschool-Elementary kids on Sunday mornings! June 5-26 and July 10-24, we will be doing a Dr. Seuss-inspired unit on the Fruits of the Spirit, and August 7-21, we will be learning about interacting with God and the Holy Spirit through prayer, worship, and the Bible, all with an Olympics theme! Each of these lesson weeks, our staff will bring you a devotional idea you can use with your kids to help them take what they just learned on Sunday morning and integrate it into their daily lives.

By Patrick Showers, Associate Elementary Pastor

Woodland Hills Church

Galatians 5 lists fruits or outward actions/expressions that result in being connected to God. These fruits are an expression of our transforming heart as we gain a deeper understanding of God and are reminded that He knows us intimately. Of all the fruits listed, patience and self-control are the two that seem the most difficult to envision as a consistent part of my life. Don’t get me wrong – I desire patience, especially when dealing with irritating people or a child that just keeps bugging me and bugging me and bugging me and, uh, well, you get the point. I’m sure none of you can relate. In fact, I’ve come to believe that patience is missing from my gene pool. I come from a long line of relatives with a weak ability to patiently handle stress, irritation, or discomfort. I’m not sure where this genetic mutation first began, but the legacy has continued for several generations. So, believe me when I say patience was not modeled well in my childhood.

Then there is that next fruit: self-control, a word that has been feared by many throughout time. It is such a big deal in our culture that we have huge sections of libraries and bookstores dedicated to self-help. People crave the ability to control their eating habits, their relationships, their desires, and emotions. We see it on New Years’ Day when many people create a resolution and hope that this year will be different than the past. What usually happens with these resolutions? Most fail miserably in a short time. Here again my genetics have let me down. My family line has struggled with controlling their desires. You name it: alcoholism, overeating, over-spending, and the list goes on.

I’ve hit the opposite of genetic jackpot when it comes to these two fruits. Even when I concentrate my efforts and will towards patience or self-control, I can only manage success for short bursts and even then, the results might be mixed. However, once I realize that I cannot do this alone, that’s when God can really shine. My dependence upon Him draws me close and that is when the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, and my Counselor shines through. The Fruits of the Spirit are a result of me + Jesus = new life.

When sharing the Fruit of the Spirit with our children, we can let them know that it is okay if we can’t do this alone because when we trust in God, when we let Him change us, then we will shine with His fruits.

Here are some ideas for sharing the fruit of patience & self-control with kids:

  • When you come upon an apple tree, what do you expect to see? Apples. The Fruit of the Spirit is what people might expect to see if someone is living their life for Jesus.
  • Save a rotting piece of fruit and have a good piece available. Then ask your children: “Which piece of fruit would you rather eat?” We desire to have fruit that isn’t rotten. We want fruit that looks healthy, tasty, and ripe. Following God’s ways helps us to be that healthy fruit and not a rotten fruit.
  • Ask them to think about fruit: It’s good for you, it keeps you healthy, and it reproduces more fruit. If you do things that are good for you, do things to be healthy and following God’s ways, then you are being what God wants for you and that looks like fruits of the Spirit.
  • Talk to your children about ways that they can grow closer to God: Reading their Bible, prayer, worship, going to Heroes Gate, and hanging out with other followers of Jesus. These are things that help healthy fruit grow in our lives. Just like fruit trees need sunshine, rain, and food to grow healthy fruit, we need to know God and stay connected to Him (like a friendship). Plant a bean seed and as it grows, remind kids to care for their hearts, as well.

Attached you will find a few activity pages, crafts, and coloring sheets to reinforce understanding of the Fruits of the Spirit in the lives of your little ones.

Patience & Self Control pages

patience copy

self-control copy