Statement of Faith ABOUT GOD God is the one and only true God, yet He exists in three persons: God the
Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is the Creator, so
everything belongs to Him and is under His control. God is holy, so He is
righteous, majestic, and loving. God is all knowing and purposeful, so He’s
at work to bring about His will. No person, thing, or idea compares to God.
ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES God reveals Himself to us through the Bible, and it is 100% accurate, reliable,
ABOUT PEOPLE People are made in God’s image and for His pleasure. But everybody falls
short of God’s intention, or ideal, for people. In other words, everyone has
sinned. As a result, we are all separated from Him, even though He wants
an intimate relationship with each of us.
That’s why Jesus—God’s Son—came and lived on this earth, died, and
rose again. God offers His free gift of salvation to all who believe in Jesus
and accept Him as Savior—the only way to be forgiven and reconciled to
God. Anyone who accepts this gift is adopted as a son or daughter into
God’s family and will live with Him forever in heaven.
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Cloud Cover Virtue: Perseverance—refusing to give up when life gets hard.
Memory Verse: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31, NIV
Bible Story: Cloud Cover (a cloud of witnesses) • Hebrews 10:32-36; 11:32-40; 12:1
Bottom Line: When life seems impossible, remember what others did.
Power Up: Engage the Heart (Large Group, 20-25 minutes)
Especially for K–3
Power Up is designed to engage children in worship in a large group setting. Music, prayer, and an innovative approach to the Bible story are always a part of this interactive time.
FOR LEADERS ONLY
Basically, a virtue is something God does in us to change the world around us. As you read the next paragraph, you’ll notice some numbers. Here’s what they refer to: (1) the virtue definition. (2) The fact that God created that virtue and exemplifies it. (3) God instills that virtue in us as He shapes us to become more like Him. (4) God uses that virtue in us to influence and impact our families, friends, and neighbors. As others notice the virtue being lived out in our lives, we have more opportunities to tell them about God. As they come to trust God, they’ll influence others as well. See the cycle?
Life is just plain hard sometimes. It’s hard for kids and grown-ups. It’s hard for “good” people and those who aren’t so good. It’s even hard for people who believe in Jesus and have a lot of faith in God. Sometimes people expect life to be great—or at least to be easier—when they become a Christian. But that’s not the way life works. Sometimes it requires a lot of perseverance: (1) refusing to give up when life gets hard. (2) Thankfully, God is in the perseverance business. He created it, so no one exemplifies it better, and (3) He instills it in us. This week, help kids discover that perseverance is like a muscle: God gives us muscles, but we need to do our part to exercise them. He’s been helping people through seemingly impossible situations from the very beginning, and He’ll help them, too. (4) Who knows what God will do through us when we persevere?
Tip:To see a preview videoabout this month’s materials, go to the homepage at www.252basics.com and click on the virtue video for July. Show it to all your leaders to help ensure that everyone’s on the same page. To download the clip in full resolution, as well as the script, go to our online store and search for “perseverance virtue video.” OVERVIEW OF THEME AND PROPS FOR THE MONTH:
This month we continue our two-month theme of “Imagine the Impossible” and lessons from Hebrews about the connection between faith (what we talked about in June) and perseverance (what we’re talking about in July).
You should have multiple flying animals and objects hanging about your large group environment, left from last month. (We suggested God-made creatures, like butterflies of different varieties, different types and sizes of birds, a flying squirrel, a flying snake, a flying fish, a pterodactyl, bees, and bats, as well as manmade objects, like toy airplanes, rockets, helicopters, Frisbees®, boomerangs, kites, and hot air balloons.) Leave them up throughout July.
The Host’s fascination with flying will continue, so he may wish to dress in “retro” flying gear this month: bomber jacket, goggles or aviator sunglasses, scarf, etc. Additionally, we’ll suggest videos and other props having to do with flying.
If you chose to do the “Faith Stories Project” introduced in June, you will have collected faith stories from kids/families to use in large group this month. (Faith stories are events in which kids, families, or people they know stepped out on faith and/or God showed up in a big way. We suggested three options for sharing their stories: write it, picture it [photomontage, collage, scrapbook page, etc.], or video it.) Some kids may still be bringing their stories in. You may want to continue to provide a way to collect them. Each week we’ll suggest a specific way to use one of your faith stories in large group. Also, we’d like to post some of your faith stories on our studio252.tv Web site. If you want to participate, please send your stories to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, church name, physical address, email address, and a phone number. Note: By sending us your stories, you’re giving us permission to post them, along with your first name and church name, to our Web site. Because of safety issues, stories (including photos or videos) about or from children under the age of 18 must include the written permission of the child’s parent or guardian. (We will delete their last names for their protection before posting their stories.) We look forward to hearing from you!
* Every month we suggest a theme-related item that’s designed to help kids and parents put the virtue into action. This month it’s a “Perseverance Patch,” an embroidered patch in the shape of wings that parents can give their kids when they show perseverance. Mix and match the following to find a combo that works for you:
Large group: Raise awareness of the item by integrating it as you choose into large group throughout the month. “Perseverance Patches” are available from Gecko Promotions. Go to www.geckopromotions.com and click on “reThink Programs” or email Donna at email@example.com.
FX (Family Experience): Promote the item (a.k.a. the Application Tool) through humorous “infomercials” and sketches. See week 1, weekly FX or monthly FX for details.
CUE Box: Give the item “legs” by making CUE Box available to families. CUE Box contains the item (a.k.a. the Mystery Widget), videos, posters, and other cool stuff designed to help kids live out the virtue. To find out more or to order CUE Box, go to http://www.studio252.tv.
Gather all the supplies needed for large group:
People: You’ll need the regular crew: Host, Storyteller, and Worship Leaders.
Bibles: You will need a Bible for the story presentation and worship (preferably the NIV). (For additional Bible story resources, visit rethinkgroup.org/store and check out Feature Presentation. Great for giving your storyteller a break or for last-minute absences. Not recommended for use every week, as any medium loses impact with too-frequent use.)
Faith Stories: Provide Host with a copy of the faith story you selected to be presented this week.
Large Group Visuals (from the Web site): Prepare “Virtue Slide” and this month’s “Bottom Line Slides” as noted in the LGVs.
Props and Costumes: Provide the Host with a chair at the front of the stage and some vintage aviator flying apparel (noted above). Hide the costume onstage or place it just offstage so the Host can grab it quickly. Provide him with a “Perseverance Patch” (noted above), which he can put on his jacket for Wrap Up. For the Bible story, provide the three work shirts used last month. Display them onstage. (The first shirt should have the “Name Calling Cards” taped to it from week 1, June LGVs. The second shirt should have the pockets turned inside out, to suggest confiscation of property. The third shirt should have the sleeves tied together in front, to suggest imprisonment.) Also provide the following props in a bin or box placed onstage: sword, small clay pot with a flashlight inside, toy sheep, cloth sling, gold sports trophy, fire-lighter wand, toy lion, long dark wig, crown, and a dinner plate.
Music and Sound Effects (SFX): You will need high-energy music as the kids enter and exit the room (like the downloadable MP3 virtue song* from the Web site). For worship, you will need the I Believe and Jump! CDs*. Provide the following sound effects: a plane engine starting, singing birds, a failing engine, thunder, and a roaring lion. (For additional online song downloads and worship resources, visit amberskyrecords.com and/or rethinkstore.org.)
* Note: Make sure your church has obtained licensing rights to play or perform music. You can obtain a license to perform worship music from Christian Copyright Licensing International (www.ccli.com). It covers over 200,000 worship songs for congregational singing. You are responsible for including the copyright information on all songs reproduced under the Church Copyright License (including song lyrics projected onscreen). This includes the song title, writer credit(s), copyright notice, and your church’s CCLI license number. You can include this information on one of the lyric slides, or you can create a separate slide detailing this information, but the copyright information must appear at least once for each song you play or perform. For example:
SFX: Play high-energy music as kids enter. Host should be onstage greeting kids as they come in. 1. Get Started
HOST: “Last month here at [insert name of your children’s ministry], [insert Storyteller’s name] and all you guys really helped me to grow in my faith, which is so awesome of you. I love it when people help me grow in faith and become closer to God. That’s the way I like to be treated. So I should do the same for others, right? What do we always say around here about how to treat other people?”
KIDS: [Recycle] “I should treat others the way I want to be treated.”HOST: “Exactly! I appreciate all your help. In fact, I have almost overcome my fear of heights. (Optimistically, enthusiastically) So now I think I’m ready for the next step. I’m going to learn to fly! I know, I know … me flying—it seems like an impossible dream. That’s exactly what it seemed like for the first men who flew airplanes. It was just a little over 100 years ago when the Wright brothers flew their amazing new invention: one of the first airplanes.
Video: Wright Brothers flight simulation “Awesome! That guy was actually flying! Lying on his stomach! Up to that point, it was seemingly impossible! But he did it. Now I’m going to imagine the impossible and learn to fly, too!
Quickly don your flying apparel, hidden offstage or somewhere onstage. Sit in chair at front of stage. As you speak the next lines, mime taking off and flying a ‘plane,’ ala Snoopy of Peanuts® fame. Your actions will be highlighted by sound effects. Fall out of chair at end of flight as you ‘crash.’ SFX: Plane engine starting “I can imagine my first flight, checking my instruments, getting ready for take-off, and taxiing down the runway! It’s a beautiful day with blue skies and puffy white clouds! (Happily) I hear birds singing.
SFX: Birds singing “The ground is far below! Look how tiny the people and cars are! Man, I’m really high up here. But it’s a piece of cake! I’m flying just like a bird. (Staring intently straight ahead) Speaking of birds, there’s one coming right at me! (Unbelieving) What are you doing, playing chicken? (Starting to panic) You shouldn’t do that; you’re a duck! (Flinching) Oh, no, he’s gonna hit me!
SFX: Engine failing “I think he hit my engine! But I’ll be okay! (Punching instruments) I still have one engine left, right? Uh oh, where has all the blue sky gone? Those pretty puffy white clouds have turned dark and scary!
SFX: Thunder FX: Flash house/stage lights Storyteller enters. (Yelling) “Lightning! I’ve been hit! The other engine is gone! I’m gonna crash! Nooooooo!”
Host dives out of chair onto floor. He continues to lie on the floor, defeated, until noted below in script.
STORYTELLER: “Want to tell me what’s going on?”
HOST: “I thought I could learn to fly, but if it’s too hard PRETENDING to fly, it’ll be WAY too hard to do the real thing. I give up.”
STORYTELLER: “You can’t give up! You have to have perseverance! That’s our new virtue for the month!”
CG: Virtue Slide HOST:(Reading slide unenthusiastically, still lying down on floor) “Perseverance—refusing to give up when life gets hard.”
2. Present the Bible Lesson
Storyteller: Note that the following Bible lesson script has been organized into three main points (noted in red) to help you present it in a memorable way. The lesson concludes with a “closer” to help make real-life application for kids. STORYTELLER: “Right! (Hold up Bible opened to Hebrews 11.) And we can learn what God says about perseverance from the Bible.
STORYTELLER:(To Host and kids) “Remember last month when we were learning about faith in God and we heard all about the really hard things that happened to the first people who believed in Jesus?
Step over Host to stand next to work shirts displayed onstage. Host stays onstage listening.
(Step next to shirt #1, with the ‘Name Calling Cards’ taped to it.) “Who remembers what happened to some of the very first Christians? (Pause for answers.) Right, sometimes people made fun of them because they believed in Jesus. (Step next to shirt #2, with the pockets turned inside out.) Who remembers what else happened to some of them? (Pause.) Right again. Sometimes their property was taken away. (Step beside shirt #3, with the wrists tied together.) What else happened to some of those Christians? (Pause.) Right, some were actually tossed in jail—talk about life getting hard!
“That’s why the book of Hebrews in the Bible was written: to encourage people not to give up, to hang on to their faith in God. Hebrews tells us about Abraham and Joseph and Moses and how faithful they were—remember their stories? But they weren’t the only people who had a tough time. The Bible has tons of stories about men and women who didn’t give up their faith in God when life got hard. (Hold up Bible again, opened to Hebrews 11:32.) We’ve talked about some of these people before, like Gideon, Shadrach [SHAD rak], Meshach [MEE shak], Abednego
[uh BED nih go], Daniel, and Esther. Of course, I don’t have enough time to tell you all their stories—”
HOST:(Interrupting excitedly, sitting up and talking quickly) “Oh, I could! I know all those stories! (Scrambling to feet) I could tell them in two minutes. Let me, let me, please!”
STORYTELLER: “Hey, go for it. (Dragging prop box forward) Here are some props to help you. But you have to hurry. We don’t have that much time.”
Using props from the box and body motions, Host summarizes the four Bible stories, speaking very rapidly. HOST: “Okay: guy named Gideon, called by God to lead army (sword), but army tiny, so hid torch lights in jars (flashlight in pot), surrounded enemy camp at night, broke jars and shouted, enemy scared, ran away!
“Next: shepherd boy (toy sheep) David, fought giant Goliath (wave arms like monster) without a sword (sword), used a little sling (cloth sling)and stone, Goliath defeated (fall down). (Take deep breath.) “Next: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego wouldn’t bow down to statue (trophy), got tossed in fiery furnace, (fire-lighter), didn’t burn.
“Next: Daniel prayed (clasp hands, bow head), thrown in pit—with lions (toy lion) …
SFX: Lion roar “… angel shut lions’ mouths (hands together like jaws shutting), Daniel didn’t get eaten.
“Last! Beautiful Esther (put on wig), chosen as queen (put on crown), evil Haman planned to kill Jews (sword), Esther went before king (sword), gave dinner party (plate), revealed Haman’s plan, Haman killed. “I did it! And by the way, life worked out great for all of them! Whew! I gotta rest.”
Host plops down again. never give up
STORYTELLER: “That was amazing! And you’re right—God was with all those people and helped them persevere, and their stories had great endings, but they still went through very hard times.
“Even though God helped him, Gideon had to face thousands of enemy soldiers with just a few hundred of his own men. Kind of scary! David was just a kid facing a warrior twice his size! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were probably afraid they would die in that fiery furnace, even though they were obeying God instead of following the crowd. Daniel still had to tough it out in that pit with the lions, even though an angel had shut their mouths.
SFX: Lion roar “Esther knew the king had the power to put her to death when she went before him uninvited.”
HOST:(Thoughtfully) “You’re right, it still must have been nerve-wracking for them, even though they were all faithful people.”
STORYTELLER: “Each of them faced extremely hard, tough, scary things, but they didn’t give up. Even though life seemed impossible, they kept on trusting God and He helped them persevere. And in the end, God rewarded their perseverance.
close the story
STORYTELLER: “You might never have to fight a nine-foot-tall giant. You may never be thrown into a fiery furnace. You may never put your life at risk just by visiting a king! BUT, you have something in common with David, with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and with Esther. (Point to work shirts onstage.) You have something in common with those very first Christians. You know what it is? (Pause for responses.)
“Like David and Esther and the very first Christians, you’re going to have good days and bad days, good times and tough times. Like them, you’re going to have to choose whether to persevere or to give up. And like them, you’re going to have to trust God to help you, even when things SEEM impossible.
“So when tough things happen—like when you’re standing up to a bully who seems nine feet tall, or you have to choose whether to obey God or to follow the crowd, or you’re the only one who’s speaking up for what’s right—remember that God is with you and He doesn’t want you to give up when things get difficult.
“God has been helping people persevere for a VERY long time. He helped all these guys (hold up the Bible), and as a result, they became part of God’s never-ending story. Imagine—YOU are part of God’s never-ending story, too. God will help YOU persevere, too. Who knows what impossible things God has planned for you to do? (Hold up Bible opened to Hebrews 11.) That’s one reason we look back at people who put their faith in God, especially when times are tough: their stories help us to trust Him and to persevere.
“So, [Impress] when life seems impossible, remember what others did. Remember that if they can persevere, so can you. Remember if God helped them, He’ll help you. [Impress] When life seems impossible, remember what others did. Say that with me.”
CG: Bottom Line Slide Host stands up. STORYTELLER, HOST, and KIDS: [Impress] “When life seems impossible, remember what others did.” STORYTELLER: “It’s not always easy to persevere; we need God’s help to overcome the impossible! So let’s ask Him.”
Worship Leaders enter during prayer.
STORYTELLER: “God, You know it’s hard for us to persevere sometimes. You know all the things that make us feel like giving up. Please help us throw off everything that stands in our way, including the temptation to quit. We want to keep on following You—we want to keep on running the race You have marked out for us. The Bible tells us that people in heaven are watching us, cheering us on. But even more important, You are watching us, ready to help us every step of the way. Thank You, God. Amen.”
Storyteller and Host exit.
WORSHIP LEADER: “God really knows how to persevere! He never gives up on loving and teaching and guiding us. That’s one reason I want to sing to Him and praise Him and give Him all the glory. Sing with me now!”
“For Your Glory” / track 6 / from I Believe WORSHIP LEADER: “David, one of the people in our story today, wrote this verse in the Bible. He wrote it as a prayer to God. (Open Bible to Psalm 119:66, NIV, and read.) ‘Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.’ David trusted God to teach him and show him the wise thing to do, and I do, too. Because God is my Teacher, I know that [Recycle] I can trust God no matter what. Can you say that with me?”
WORSHIP LEADER and KIDS: [Recycle] “I can trust God no matter what.” WORSHIP LEADER: “We can trust God to help us persevere through all the hard times we face in life, just like He helped David and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and Esther. Let’s praise God for always seeing us through!”
“Through the Fire” / track 4 / from Jump! Worship leaders exit as Host enters, still wearing his flying apparel. The ‘Perseverance Patch’ has been added to his jacket somewhere.
5. Wrap Up
HOST: “I’ve learned a lot today, like I shouldn’t give up just because something is hard. No one would ever get anything done if everyone gave up when life gets hard. If you gave up and quit school because math is hard, would that be very wise of you? (Pause.) What if you gave up learning to ride a bike because it was hard to balance? Then when all your friends rode their bikes, you’d get left out. Every day, we can choose to persevere when things get hard, or we can choose to give up. When I have to make a choice about persevering or giving up, what kind of choice do I need to make?”
KIDS: [Recycle] “I need to make the wise choice.” HOST: “That’s right! [Recycle] And where can you always find help to make wise choices? (Pause.) Yes! The Bible. The Bible tells us about a lot of people that God helped to persevere. [Recycle] That’s one reason the Bible is like … (show visual of sword from prop box onstage) a sword. It helps us fight against giving up. It helps us persevere. “Oh, and this is super-cool, guys. See this patch? (Point to the ‘Perseverance Patch.’) You guys will get the chance to ‘earn your wings’ this month. Your mom or dad will give it to you when you show some serious perseverance—like if you memorize the memory verse, if you persevere with your violin lessons, or if you treat your brother or sister right. I want to see some wings out there this month!
“Now we have a special treat! Remember last month, we asked you guys to bring in some faith stories, stories about how you, your family, or someone you know had a lot of faith in God? Hearing people’s faith stories helps us to have faith and persevere, too. Here’s a faith story from [insert kid’s or family’s name].”
Read or show the faith story you have selected for today. When you finish, tell kids they’ll be hearing a different faith story each week. Dismiss kids to their small groups. SFX: Play high-energy music as the kids exit.