WordServe Kids Focus for April: Serving with Humility

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Many parents desire to help lead their children into a growing relationship with Jesus, but just don’t know how to begin or where to turn to for resources. WordServe Kids uses a great curriculum for Sunday morning worship called Orange.  The Orange curriculum provides easy monthly talking points for parents to relate what kids are learning on Sunday mornings to their every day lives.  Start praying about ways you can emphasize these Scriptures and truths with your children this month.  Below you will find April’s First Look from Orange!

“A 2010 study by the Barna Group found that most active churchgoers see Easter as a good time to invite someone to attend worship service. According to the researcher, “If each of those people brought just one adult as their guest, that’d be the equivalent of adding 115 new people per Christian congregation.” Although it may not be realistic to expect everyone to bring a friend, it is clear that our churches need to be prepared to welcome guests throughout the Easter season. [Source: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/356-most-americans-consider-easter-a-religious-holiday-but-fewer-correctly-identify-its-meaning#.Utx4vP30BN0]

The thing about hosting guests is that sometimes we have to give up some of our own comfort to accommodate their needs. We might need to park further away, sit in a seat that isn’t our norm, wear a certain volunteer shirt, or patiently answer questions. An accumulation of small considerations can make a big difference to a guest. And Easter is a wonderful time to find a new way to put guests first in our churches.

Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve. Putting others first is not our natural inclination. We live in a world that’s all about putting ourselves first. Jesus lived in a world like that too. He could have looked out for Himself, but He didn’t. Out of His love for us, He chose to put us first.

Putting others first will cost you something: your time or money. Maybe it will cost you some pride. But when we choose to follow Jesus with our lives, believing that His death and resurrection made it possible for us to be right with God, the least we can do is put others first—even if it’s a bit uncomfortable and costs us something.

The monthly memory verse is: “Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves,” Philippians 2:3, NIrV. When we put others first, sometimes we’ll have to make sacrifices. We might sacrifice our pride. We might sacrifice our wants. But nothing we sacrifice will compare with the great sacrifice Jesus made for us.

In Week One’s Bible story, Jesus serves His disciples by washing their feet (John 13:1-17). Our Bottom Line is: I can put others first by serving them. Serving others often means taking the dirty jobs that no one else wants to do.

In Week Two’s Bible story, Peter wanted to take action and fight in the garden, but he didn’t wait to consider what Jesus wanted (John 18:1-11). Our Bottom Line is: I can put others first by giving up what I wantWe show humility when we allow others to choose what they want before we make a choice.

In Week Three’s Bible story, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross (John 18:12 – 20:23). Our Bottom Line is: I should put others first because Jesus put others first. It cost Jesus everything to put us first. His humility can inspire us to help someone else, even when it costs us something.

In Week Four’s Bible story, Jesus doesn’t have to forgive Peter, but chooses to make things right and restore His relationship with Peter (John 21:1-19). Our Bottom Line is: I can put others first by making things right. Be the first to go to the person and ask for their forgiveness.”

Download and print a PDF copy of these verses, along with some conversation-starter questions for your kids here:  April Parent Cue

 

 By Jessica McKee ©2014 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

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Where Two or More are Gathered

I don’t know about you, but some Sunday mornings I wish we could extend our time of corporate praise and worship for just a little bit longer.  I have nothing against Nolan’s sermons.   In fact, I love them; but, for me, there is nothing sweeter than letting go and singing songs of worship and adoration to the Lord.  Worship through music and song has always been one of the clearest ways I’ve heard from God.

Clayton and I have the privilege of participating in a special ministry called Audience of One, or A1.  Audience of One  is “corporate expression of worship and prayer to our Audience of One, the Lord our God that is facilitated by churches in the Katy area.  [It] is a love offering to the One that first loved us. It is a place where a person can hear the heart of the Lord as we share our heart with Him.”  On the first and third Mondays of each month, we lead worship through song in partnership with a prayer leader who lifts up scripture and requests to God. The format is simple:  come as you are, pray, sing, meditate, journal, or just sit quietly in the presence of God.  That’s it.  There is absolute freedom for you to worship however you worship best!

During the hour-long set, our prayer leader focuses on different aspects of God’s character, reads scripture, and intercedes on behalf of the lost, lonely, hurting, and needy of our community while we cycle through worship songs as the Spirit leads.  It is truly a time of encouragement, freedom, and peace.  Last night, in particular, was a very powerful time of worship for me.  Even though there were no other participants other than Clayton, our prayer leader, and myself, the Spirit of the Lord was in the room, filling us with his presence.  What joy we found from crying out to God with abandon, not worrying about who was listening or not listening–the only important thing was that He was listening.  I was reminded of Matthew 18:20, when Jesus says, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I with them.”

If you find yourself needing a time of rest at the feet of Jesus, I encourage you to check out the A1 schedule at http://www.thegreatsouthwestprayercenter.org/AudienceOfOne.html.  The next set we will lead is Monday, April 7, from 7:00-8:00 pm.; however, there are many other opportunities for prayer and worship throughout the week.  An hour in the presence of God is an hour well spent!

Connecting with FaithFULL Kids

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Recently, WordServe hosted a Compassion event after Sunday morning worship for families to pack boxes of food for children participating in FaithFULL Kids, a program that provides non-perishable foods to kids on free/reduced lunch at Huggins Elementary.  Through this opportunity, families worked side-by-side to elevate others as God’s masterpieces, joyfully serving children who might not have otherwise had food over the Spring Break holiday.

One of WordServe’s community groups committed to greet and encourage families that came to pick up their food boxes before Spring Break began.

Cheryl Dent, Director of WordServe Kids shared, “We were giving the drop off locations a try with the hope that we could begin to build relationships with the families. It was wonderful to watch the kids that came to serve and the ones that came to pick up the food immediately connect and begin to play tag and hide and seek with each other.”

However, the children were not the only ones who connected on a deeper level.

Cheryl continued, “One of my favorite memories of that afternoon was watching the interaction of one of the kids there who came up to one of the adults. She showed her a hollow stick and the adult asked her if she would like her to make a bracelet out of it. It was special to watch the two of them interact as they found pine needles and tied them together and then looped the pieces of the hollow stick on it. The little girl’s smile and the lady’s smile as they worked together made this God moment a special memory for me. The next time our community group met, another adult there said she saw that little girl at her child’s school at lunch time. The adult was able to greet that child by name and hug her! It will be great to see how God will use just a small interaction to build relationships! God is at work as we transform our community one relationship at a time!”

If you are interested in participating in FaithFULL Kids, or have questions about this ministry, check out http://www.wordserve.org/faithfullkids for more information!

Here are a few pictures of WordServe Kids helping to make life different!

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