WordServe Kids Focus for June: Harmony

This past year, we’ve enjoyed taking kids through a contextual look at God’s One Big Story. We’ve traveled through the Bible covering the familiar stories of Abraham and Joseph, Moses and King David. We made it all the way to Jesus, Paul, and the start of the early church.

As the church started, no longer were these just a handful of disciples. These were growing congregations filled with people from all walks of life. And needless to say, they didn’t always get along. They disagreed and argued. They had a hard time forgiving and serving each other.

Several of the apostles began writing about how to live together as believers. These writings are not presented in the form of a story. They are letters. They are sermons. Delivered by people and for people, they are historic, but they are not really a story. But we think it’s important that kids experience those letters and sermons too. So to help illustrate these important truths, we’ve wrapped them in a summer-long story about friendship. We’re taking the summer to look at what the New Testament letters have to say about friendship.

Friendship is treating others the way you want to be treated. Each week, we’ll take a look at a “one another” principle that gives us a framework for loving others the way God loved us. Because these verses are short, we suggest that you take this summer to memorize each one.

In Week 1, we take a look at what John says about loving each other in 1 John 4:10-12. Kids will learn that because God loved us first, we should also love one another. Our Bottom Line is: Friends love each other.

In Week 2, kids learn from Peter’s teaching on hospitality found in 1 Peter 4:9. When it comes to welcoming others, we need to do so without complaining. Our Bottom Line is: Friends welcome each other.

In Week 3, kids will start talking about what they know that they could teach others. InRomans 15:14, Paul tells the church that they have what it takes to share Jesus with others. Our Bottom Line is: Friends teach each other.

In Week 4, we take a look at an important principle about patience. It’s hard to be a good friend when people can be frustrating. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:2 that we should put up with one another. Our Bottom Line is: Friends are patient with each other.

Finally, in Week 5, kids talk about an important part of friendship: service. Life isn’t all about us. Paul shares with us in Galatians 5:13b that relationships aren’t all about us. Our Bottom Line is: Friends serve each other.

Our summer widget, the Friend Pix Chain, was created to help kids memorize the verses each week. This simple chain comes with nine guitar-style picks, each one listing a Bible verse reference to go with the nine weeks of our summer Friendship series. Kids can add a new pick each week as they memorize the verse and wear the chain to remind them to treat others as they want to be treated.

We’ve also created a nine-week devotional book called Over the Fence: Adventures in Friendship. The book details the summer adventures of four unlikely friends through nine episodes. Each stand-alone story is followed by four days of devotional thoughts and activities to spark kids’ imaginations with God’s design for friendship. This book will be available for purchase at The Orange Conference or in our online Orange Store in May. (http://www.whatisorange.org)

We pray this will be a fun start to the summer for kids to learn more about how they can show friendship to everyone.

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

To download a printable copy of the Parent Cue, click here!

WordServe Kids Focus for May: Breakthrough Endurance

We hope you found some valuable Scripture and talking points to incorporate into your conversations with your children last month.  This month’s focus in WordServe Kids is “Breakthrough Endurance”.   What a timely topic with the end of school drawing near!  Make it a goal to recite this month’s memory verse with your kids in the mornings before they head to school:  “Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

14May_standard_Theme

“Like most kids in elementary school, you probably studied inventors—those men and women who work tirelessly to bring us technology that changes our lives. From a movable type printing press which made it possible for the Bible to be published for the masses, to the Internet which now allows multiple translations of the Bible to show up in the palm of your hand. From figuring out how to harness electricity to creating a glass bulb which can light up the night. Inventors have spent countless hours on prototypes, mistakes, or even failures on their journey toward a breakthrough—that one moment when everything comes together making a theory into a reality.

Simply put: being an inventor takes a whole lot of endurance. But let’s face it—life in general takes a whole lot of endurance too.

The kids in your ministry have been in school for eight or nine months by now. They are tired of the classes, the schoolwork, and the tests. They’re ready for summer, yet they know they still have a few weeks left. Like you, we want them to finish strong. That’s one of the reasons why we’re taking the month of May to look more closely at endurance.

ENDURANCE is sticking with what you started even when it gets tough. When work gets tough, when exhaustion sets in on the soccer field, or when that science project just won’t come together, endurance is what gives us that extra something to keep us going until we finish what we began.

The believers in the early church faced all sorts of trials and suffering that could have easily made them question their faith and abandon the mission Jesus had for them. Yet, they remained strong. They endured through all of it because they had faith that everything they faced was worth it—knowing that more people would know the message of Jesus.

Our memory verse for the month is Galatians 6:9, NIrV: “Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.” When we have endurance, we can know that it will be worth it. We’ll experience the joy of finishing what we started.

In Week One’s Bible story, before Jesus ascended back into heaven, He left His disciples a huge task of telling the world about His life, death, and resurrection. It’s a big job, but He didn’t leave them without a helper. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and shared God’s story like they never had before! (Acts 1:1-10; Acts 2:1-41) Our Bottom Line is: I can stick with it because God will help me.

In Week Two’s Bible story, we find out that Paul and Silas were thrown in prison after they wouldn’t stop talking about Jesus, even when they were ordered to quit. Paul and Silas started singing, and God showed up for them in big way. (Acts 16:16-40) Our Bottom Line is: I can stick with it even when things don’t go my way.

In Week Three’s Bible story, we take a closer look at our memory verse for the month,Galatians 6:9. This is a great principle reminding us that even when things don’t go our way, if it’s something good, we will see a reward for our hard work and endurance. Our Bottom Line is: I should stick with it because it’s worth it.

In Week Four’s Bible story, we end our month with the special vision that God gives John on the Isle of Patmos. (Revelation 21:1-8, 22-27; 22:1-5) John assured us that God knows how His one big story will end. We get a tiny peek of what that will look like. And it will be amazing. Our Bottom Line is: I can stick with it because God knows the end of the story. We pray kids will find huge comfort in discovering that no matter what they face, God has it already worked out.”

Click HERE for a printable version of this month’s Parent Cue with Discussion Questions!

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

WordServe Kids Focus for April: Serving with Humility

14Apr_standard_theme

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.

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!

WordServe Youth enjoy “Life is Different” weekend

In January, WordServe Youth took to Lutherhill Camp for three jam-packed days of fun, laughter, games, spiritual challenge, worship, and growth! It was an awesome chance for students and adults to get away and build great relationships with each other and with God.

Check out the video from the weekend:

FulSERVE 2013

On October 13, 2013, WordServe Church teamed up with First United Methodist Church, Fulshear, to joyfully care for the needs of people in our community. Instead of our regular Sunday worship service, we offered our acts of service as worship to the God who loves us all–and we saw God make a difference in our lives and the lives of those we helped. People packed kits for Katy Christian Ministries and care packages for Living Water International, while others shoveled and raked and repaired homes in the rain, and residents at The Oaks of Brookshire nursing home enjoyed visitors and music. The morning of October 13, we didn’t just go to church. We WERE the Church. Take a look at some of the highlights.

FulSERVE 2013 Highlight Video

FulSERVE Highlights 2013 from WordServe Church on Vimeo.

“Thank You, WordServe!”

We got a text on the first day of school from a WordServe mom whose sons go to Huggins:

New backpack hooks at Huggins Elementary make a huge difference!

New backpack hooks at Huggins Elementary make a huge difference!

Lots of “thank you’s” from the teachers this morning! The backpack racks look great! Imagine 562 backpacks on the floor! This project really made a difference here. It warms my heart to think about the scripture written on the back of the racks and the prayers prayed for the children and teachers. Life really is different! Great way to start the year! Continue reading

We’re Thirsty, Too

When a group of guys from WordServe traveled to the village of Los Arcos, Nicaragua, they knew they were going to drill a water well for people who didn’t have access to clean, safe water. They knew that clean water would profoundly change the lives of the people of Los Arcos.

Then the group realized: God wanted to change them, too. Continue reading

WordServe Youth makes Life Different

WordServe Youth joyfully caring for the needs of some Huggins families by distributing Faith-FULL Kids boxes.

WordServe Youth joyfully caring for the needs of some Huggins families by distributing Faith-FULL Kids boxes.

Growing a joyful servant isn’t just for grown-ups and kids! It’s for youth, too!

This summer, WordServe Youth welcomed a great group of new sixth graders, and God is already working in each of them. Here’s a part of a note we received this morning about one of our new students: Continue reading

Taro’s Story

Taro’s story starts out like so many others. He works hard, he tries to do the right thing… but it wasn’t until Taro realized he couldn’t do it on his own that he discovered something that is changing his life, and the lives of everyone around him. What’s making Taro’s life different? Listen to his story and find out if life can be different for you too!