GOD VIEW: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN INDIVIDUALITY AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY. INDIVIDUALITY IS A REFLECTION OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
Key Question: What do you think it means to be made in God’s image? If they’ve been around church for a while, kids may have heard about this idea. They may still wonder what it actually means, especially as they are starting to understand the world as preteens. We hope kids start to understand how believing that God made them in His image can change the way they see the world.
We start the month by looking closely at Genesis 1:26-28. When God created people, He did something special. He created them in His image and gave them the job of taking care of creation.
Bottom Line: God made me in His image. We hope to help kids understand that being made in the image of God means we can love, show kindness, be creative, solve problems, and care for others all because we reflect and respond to God’s character.
Key Question: What does it mean to have a relationship with God? Preteens are starting the process of really owning their faith. Through this lesson, we want to give them a chance to articulate what that means for their life. A relationship with God isn’t only something that we know in our heads, but something we live out with our lives.
Next, we take a look at a parable Jesus told in Luke 15:1-17. In the story, Jesus talks about a shepherd who leaves 99 sheep behind to search for the one sheep that was lost. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who rescues us and makes it possible for us to have a forever relationship with God.
Bottom Line: God wants to have a relationship with me. When it comes to understanding individuality, it’s important we help kids understand that God created them to have a relationship with Him. We hope, through Jesus’ parable of the Lost Sheep, kids will start to understand God’s amazing love for them.
Key Question: How can you make a difference right now? As preteens are learning more about themselves and how God created them with gifts, skills, and talents, they may wonder how they can use those to make an impact in their world. We hope kids will understand that, even though they are young, they can make a huge difference right now.
In week three, we look at some of what Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12. Although Timothy was a gifted leader, he was young. Paul reminds Timothy that he should stay faithful to the task God gave him. Even in his youth, Timothy was able to lead the church and point people to Jesus.
Bottom Line: God made me to make a difference. As we discover more about our individuality, we can begin to realize that God created us for a purpose. God can use our strengths to help others and show them what it means to follow Jesus. Through Timothy’s story, we hope that kids start to understand the purpose God has for them.
Key Question: Why is it important to look on the inside? We live in a world where everyone is compared to one another. Who’s faster? Who’s prettier? Who’s smarter? But that’s not the way we should look at others—or ourselves for that matter! We hope preteens start thinking about how they can look past outward appearances and see that what’s on the inside is what matters most.
For week four, we head to 1 Samuel 16 and discover more about the time when God used Samuel to anoint David as the next king of Israel. As the youngest of Jesse’s sons, David was the least likely to be crowned king. Yet God helped Samuel discover that the true worth is not what we see on the outside but who we are on the inside.
Bottom Line: God wants me to see what really matters. As we learn more about how God sees us it teaches us how to see ourselves and it can change the way we see others. We pray that kids start to understand that God wants us to see others how He sees them and treat everyone like they matter.
Key Question: How do others know you love them? Because the way we see ourselves impacts the way we treat others, we want preteens to think through how they show love to others. This question will prompt a conversation about the ways they show love to the people in their world.
We finish the month looking at Matthew 22:34-40. With the greatest commandment, Jesus clarified what it meant to follow God. Instead of following hundreds of commands, Jesus said we are to love God and love others as we love ourselves. When we put this into practice, it helps us prioritize love in all of our relationships.
Bottom Line: God made me to love others. We’re not meant to do life on our own. God made us for relationships. But for those relationships to thrive, we need to put love as the goal. We hope that kids start to understand how they can love the people God has put into their lives.