Here's What WE're Teaching IN The Loft This Month!
November Series: Refocus: A series on Gratitude
Have you ever paused to think about everything God has done for you? He created a planet that’s perfectly suited for otters and ostriches and you. Then, He sent His Son, Jesus, to that planet to die and be raised to life so He could have a forever relationship with you. Through the month, we’ll help kids refocus on all that God has done for them. Because when you know what God has done for you, YOU CAN BE THANKFUL—ALWAYS.
GOD VIEW: the connection between Gratitude and God’s character, as shown through God’s big story
Gratitude is a response to the character of God.
WIDENING THE CIRCLE
A “WE” APPROACH
This is an excerpt from Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof
When you widen the circle, you not only recognize the need for others to influence your children, but also the need for your children to be a part of something that is much larger than just your family. A wider circle gives them not only a place to belong but a significant role to engage in a bigger story.
Seth Godin makes this observation: “Human beings can’t help it; we need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people.”
The right community is not only important because of what it gives to your children, but also because of what it requires from your children. Children need more than just a family that gives them unconditional acceptance and love; they need a tribe that gives them a sense of belonging and significance.
Something powerful happens when you partner with other influences who desire to instill a sense of mission into the hearts of your children. You give them a different view of their place in the world, and you transfer a different kind of passion to them that your family alone cannot give them.
When you widen the circle, you not only recognize the need for others to influence your children, but also the need for your children to be a part of something that is much larger than just your family. A wider circle gives them not only a place to belong, but a significant role to engage in a bigger story.
SUNDAY, November 5
Key Question: What are you grateful for? We kick off a month on gratitude by helping kids to refocus on their own life and discover reasons they can be thankful. We’re so busy with life that we don’t take the time to pause and notice what God has done for us. We hope kids take the time throughout the year to ask themselves this question.
We start our look at gratitude with Psalm 100 where we read, Shout for joy to the Lord, everyone on earth. Worship the Lord with gladness. Come to Him with songs of joy, (NIrV). God has done so much for us through the gift of Jesus, it’s only fitting that we respond to Him with a heart of gratitude.
Bottom Line: Celebrate what God has done. We hope to give kids and families the opportunity to think about all the ways God has shown them love and faithfulness throughout the year. We want them to get excited and celebrate God’s goodness.
SUNDAY, November 12
Key Question: What do you do when you don’t feel grateful? Kids will learn soon enough, that sometimes it’s hard to feel grateful. Through asking this question, we hope kids will come away with a plan to refocus on what really matters and discover how they can show gratitude.
In Matthew 20:1-15, we’ll dig into a parable Jesus told one day about some vineyard workers. In the story, a few of the workers started making comparisons to what others were getting paid and became ungrateful and started complaining. Then, at the end of the day, they had a bad attitude because they thought it wasn’t fair.
Bottom Line: Adjust your attitude. We can change our whole outlook on life if we take the time to refocus and think about all that we’ve been given. We pray that kids will see their own life differently and discover all the ways can show gratitude.
SUNDAY, November 19
Key Question: What are creative ways to say thank you? Saying thank you doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Kids will discover all sorts of fun ways they can show gratitude to the people in their life.
We will take a look at a powerful story in Luke 17:11-19 about ten lepers who asked Jesus to be healed. But when their skin condition went away, they became so ecstatic about the miracle that they ran off and forgot to say, “thank you.” All except for one who came back.
Bottom Line: Say thank you. We want kids to become the sort of people who take the time to go out of their way to show gratitude towards others.
SUNDAY, November 26
Key Question: What’s keeping you from being thankful? As we continue to talk about how to refocus on what God has done for us, we help kids take a closer look at what gets in the way of gratitude.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we read, “Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.” There are many times we might not want to give thanks, but our hope in Jesus allows us to be thankful regardless of our circumstances, (NIrV).
Bottom Line: Always be grateful. Kids will learn that no matter what is happening in their lives, they can always find a way to say thank you.