Week 4 – How and why did God create us?

Question 4

How and why did God create us?

Answer

God created us male and female in his own image to glorify him.

Memory Verse:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27

Outline for lesson 4

  1. Open in prayer. Review last weeks question and answer.
  2. Activity: Supplies needed: paper, crayons and or markers. Ask the children to pick an adult to pose as a model. Ask the children to create a Minecraft avatar or Lego character based on the adult model. After completing the drawings hang them up and introduce question 4. Let them know that today is all about the creation of men and women, boys and girls. Remind them of their avatar image and tell them that when God created men and women, he made them in his images, to be like him.
  3. Read Genesis 1:26-27. After reading the verses ask them these question,
    1. Out of everything God made, what was created in his image? ( human beings)
    2. What does created in God’s image mean? (we are able to be similar in character)
    3. Does the Bible say anything else was created in his image? (no)

      Tell them that we are not statues but, we were made in God’s image and likeness of him, to represent him and his rule on earth. Humans were given the authority by God to rule over all the earth. We are the pinnacle or crown of God’s creation, we were made on purpose. We are not accidents.

      Created in God’s likeness or image means we can be like God in character. We are called to reflect his image in our lives. Some character qualities: creative, communicative, relational, loving, etc. if you have time and want to instill this more go to other passages in the Bible that say more about God’s character. Also, if you can recognize a godly character in each of your children, tell them what character quality you see in them.

      Our existence is about showing God’s existence and about giving him glory. Ask, what do you think it means to glorify God? (it’s to acknowledge God as creator, all powerful and perfect and then live our lives praising him.
  4. Finish the teaching time by helping children memorize question 4, answer and verse.

Extra Activity: Human Body

Use the body outline provided (below). Ask children to write or draw all the ways that humans are different from the rest of God’s created beings. Have them fill in the body with words or drawings that describe or show the differences.This activity shows how God made humans that are distinct for the rest of God’s creation. He made two different genders, Male and Female. God made men and women, we live in his creation and he made us equal but different.

Week 3 – How many persons are there in God?

Question 3

How many persons are there in God?

Answer

There are three persons in one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Memory Verse:

“There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirt be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14

Outline for lesson 3

  1. Open in prayer. Review last weeks question and answer.
  2. Activity: Before activity write God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. For each of these three descriptions of God cut each of them like a puzzle and put into three separate envelopes.Explain that today we are going to learn a very difficult concept about God. Ask them to listen carefully but reassure them that they might not understand it all. Give each puzzle to the children to put together. After putting the descriptions of God together read them aloud. Then introduce today’s question and answer. Introduce them to the concept of one God and three persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. Game: read the following T/F statements aloud. If the statement is True, the children run to the right side of the room. If it’s false, they run to the left side.
    1. The word trinity is found in the Bible. (F)
    2. There is one God. (T)
    3. The Father is fully God.(T)
    4. God has always existed as three persons. (T)
    5. God the Son only came into existence when Mary became pregnant. (F)
    6. The Son is not the Father. (T)
    7. The persons of the Trinity each have distinct roles.(T)
    8. God the Father died on the cross for our sin. (F)
  4. Read 2 Corinthians 13:5-14. Ask them if they can find the three persons of the trinity in these verses. Then ask what are some of the unique roles about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
    Jesus-God the Son displays God’s grace in life and death.Grace is kindness shown to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Paul describes the love of God the Father. We are brought into a relationship with him through Jesus.The Holy Spirit brings sinners into friendship with God and friendship with one another. Grace, Love and friendships are the result of being in a relationship with God. God exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  5. Finish the teaching time by helping children memorize question 3, answer and verse.

Extra Activity:Trinity Diagram

Fill in blanks, God is the center circle. Write, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit on the other circles. Color and explain the diagram.

Discipling Your Teen

Our church has embraced the New City Catechism for Kids as a platform for family discipleship.  It is an incredibly useful too but it is specifically aimed at ages 4-11.  The questions and answers in the NCC are timeless, profound, and worthy of study by any Christian seeking to grow in their understanding of God, humanity, sin and salvation.  However, the resource is aimed at children. This leaves the obvious question, what about older children?  What is available to help me disciple my teen?  

There are some great resources out there, but here’s the secret: None of them will work alone. Teens are in an interesting stage in their development, they are in the process where their brain is deciding what is valuable and what is not.  The things that their brain finds valuable it will keep, and the things it doesn’t it dumps.  They are in the process of creating paths in the forest of their brains that their thoughts will walk on for the rest of their lives.  This gives us a great opportunity, especially when we couple that with the responsibility we have been given, by God, to raise and train our teen children.  If we engage in discipling our teens now, it sets patterns and pathways in their brains that will exist for life, but the opposite is also true, if we neglect to engage.  We will  miss the chance to help set their feet on the Rock, who is Jesus, and set a solid  pattern of following HIm.  

As we all know, it is challenging (to say the least) dealing with teens.  They can be an emotional minefield.  It sometimes feels like you can set one wrong step or phrase something the wrong way and the whole home explodes!  Other times it seems like if you are not speaking to them from the inside of their phone they can’t hear or acknowledge you no matter how loud you get or what you say.  It is challenging to parent in this stage of development, but here’s the deal: It’s just as challenging, if not more so, for them to cope with themselves in this stage of their life.  That’s why God put you in this position and gave you the sacred role of parent (or grandparent, or big brother or sister).  The good news is that you are the most influential person in their life. You spend more time with them, you are the voice that they are used to hearing from childhood, you are the one who pays the bills and provides them with every necessity for life on this planet.  You are the one they can cry to, yell at, laugh with and argue with safely.  You are in the perfect place to disciple your teen.  So how do you do this?  

First of all, we need to realize that discipleship is not something we do TO our teens and it’s not something we do FOR our teens.  It is something we do WITH our teens.  They are in a massive modeling phase of development, they are learning how to do life based on what they see happening around them.  They try new things, from clothing to hair styles. They are looking for ways to live and grow, they are setting the foundation for the rest of their lives.  This is the time they most need you to influence them, and the time they are most ready to challenge you!  They need to be discipled by you, alongside you.  God loves us and has provided a framework for family discipleship in His word, and made it easy to understand.  The doing part will be challenging, but He makes it abundantly clear how we should proceed.

Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. 7 Repeat them to your children.Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol[b] on your forehead.[c] 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.

Here we see the key to parent discipleship.  Step by step it is

  1. Love the Lord your God.  You have to love God, teens can sniff out a phony a mile away.  If God does not have priority in your life, you will fail at making Him a priority in their life.  
  2. Keep His Word in your heart.  If you treasure the Word of God, they will see that.  
  3. Repetition is key.  This is not a one time talk.  This will happen over and over.
  4. Bring it into every part of your life.  Talk to your teens about everything all the time.  When you are doing the bills for the month, tell them about how and why you prioritize what you spend your money on and how that is drive by your relationship with Jesus.  When you are cleaning with them relate it to an aspect of something God is showing you. (step 1 and 2 will give the Holy Spirit plenty of ammo to fuel these conversations!)
  5. Let them see how your relationship with God marks your life.  This is pivotal in their faith life, not the telling, but the seeing!  Jesus didn’t tell His disciples to come and hear, He told them to come and see.  To walk with Him and to see, and participate with him in His mission.
  6. Let them know that your houshold is set up and governed by your love for God and is lived in the light of His word.  Your rules, your decisions, your consequences or punishments are all opportunities to show your teen what it is to follow God.

At this point you (and I) are likely saying: “There is no way I can do this!”,  “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t do these things well right now!”.  You are right. you are not perfect, you are not good enough, you will fail and you will model the wrong things occasionally.  But remember this, you are not discipling them to be perfect (which isn’t possible anyway) you are discipling them to follow Jesus, which is all about repentance, grace and love.  Having the conversation about how you messed up and asking for forgiveness from your teen will do more for them than the 40 days of perfection you aren’t ever going to pull off anyway!  You are the most important voice they have in their life, and you are shaping how they will do life from this point on.  Remember, you are not doing this alone!  You can lean on a spouse, pastor, friend, but most importantly you will have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  You will probably find your relationship with Jesus growing in ways you have never experienced as you disciple your teen, nothing spurs Godly growth like trying to lead others…it’s probably the need for constant repentance.   That is where I seem to live as a parent.  

So how does this relate to the New City Catechism?  Use the questions to start conversations with your teens, read the verses with your family, and talk about them together.  You have a week with each question so try and find ways this week’s question and answer relates to your life in ways you can share with your teen. (Pro Tip: the NCC app has commentary on each questions that will help you to understand and apply what your family is learning!)  Ask them to find ways it relates to their life, and really listen to their answers.  It will give you a window into who they are becoming and a chance to get to know them better.  After all we and our teens both have the promise from God that if we seek Him, we will find Him, and if we ask He will answer.  Knock on His door and ask Him to inspire you and your teen. You are going to engage in an adventure that will last far longer than you will ever see, the opportunity you have now will influence your family long after you are gone, the patterns you set now will last for generations. Remember, you were chosen, by God, for this task at this time and He will lead and guide you as you seek to disciple your teen. 

Week 2 – What is God?

Question 2

What is God?

Answer

God is the creator of everyone and everything.

Memory Verse:

“There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. But you, O Lord are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…”
Psalm. 86:8-10, 15

Outline for lesson 2

  1. Open in prayer. Review last weeks question and answer.
  2. Activity: Have some autobiographies of famous people ready to show.Try to find people that your children will recognize. Explain autobiographies are books people write about themselves. Show them the books and explain that it’s not easy knowing famous people, but by reading their autobiographies we can learn more about them. Introduce question 2 and answer. Explain that this lesson will focus on getting to know God through his own story, the Bible.
  3. Read Psalm 86. Explain that King David wrote this psalm, and it shows a personal relationship between God and David. Look at the chapter again and ask the children to find words showing more about God’s personality.Remind everyone that this is the God who is eternal, who has no beginning and no end, who has created the whole universe and sustains it every day. He displayed many miracles. This big God hears our prayers.In a few verses God made himself known to us through the Bible. Tell them, the purpose of spending time reading the Bible is to know God more and to understand more fully what it is to live his way.
  4. Finish the teaching time by helping children commit question 2 and the answer to memory. Then help with the memory verse. This is one of the longest verses. It may take some time to memorize it.

Extra Activity: Attributes of God

Cut each attribute on dotted line. Wrap each piece of paper around a small candy bar or small toy, and hide them in the house. Let them treasure hunt. After finding  them open them together and discover more of God’s attributes.

Week 1 – What is our only hope in life and death?

Question 1

What is our only hope in life and death?

Answer

That we are not our own but belong to God.

Memory Verse:

“For none of us lives to himself. For if we live we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether live or whether we die. We are the Lord’s.”
Romans 14;7-8

Outline for lesson 1

  1. Open in prayer & then pass out books and explain what catechism means.
  2. Activity: Ask children, what story are these sentences from:
    • The princes’s only hope was to find the owner of the glass slipper. (Cinderella)
    • The rabbit’s only hope was that Mr. Mc Gregor would not find him in the watering can. (The Tale of Peter Rabbit)
    • The children’s only hope was Aslan. (The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe)
    • Ask: What does “their only hope” in the stories mean?
    • Answer: hope often involves trusting somebody or something.
    • Introduce question 1 and the answer
  3. Read Romans 14:7-12.
    • Ask what does verse 8 mean? What does it mean to belong to the Lord? Is it good or bad? Help children to see that most people believe their lives are their own. The Bible tells us everything that we are and have belong to God.

      The Bible says that those who do not believe in Jesus are slaves to sin. In order for slaves to be freed, a price must be paid for their release. Jesus paid the ultimate price for sinners by sacrificing his own life and paying the price for sin on the cross. The Bible says that those who are adopted into God’s family have been bought at a great price, and now their lives belong to God. Tell the children that being God’s child is the most wonderful way to live life. It’s the most joyful, freeing and fulfilling.

      Read verse 12, explain that everyone will answer to God for how they have lived their lives. We are in God’s family because we believe Jesus died for our sins on the cross and rose again. We should want to live fully for him. We trust God in life and death, knowing that he is with us and that he alone is where our certain hope is found.