The church sends out missionaries.

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1 Sent by the Church Sent by the Church Lesson 11 Bible Point The church sends out missionaries. Bible Verse But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). Growing Closer to Jesus Children will n experience what it s like to be sent as a missionary, n discover that missionaries must be sent in order to take God s Word to the world, and n pray for missionaries around the world. Teacher Enrichment Bible Basis n Sent by the church. Acts 13:1-5 This was the first of Paul s three missionary journeys. Barnabas, his companion, had been a leader in the church for some time and was instrumental in Paul s being accepted by the believers in Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-28). Likewise, Barnabas had brought Paul to Antioch, a key center of Christian activity in the early years of the church (Acts 11:25-26). It was at Antioch that the gospel first began to spread to the Gentiles in significant numbers (Acts 11:19-21). The Holy Spirit alerted the church at Antioch to set Barnabas and Saul, also know as Paul, apart for a special work (Acts 13:4). Still, the church had a vital role in that they put a priority on worshipping, fasting, and praying. When a church is regularly engaged in these activities, God is able to use that church. No wonder Paul and Barnabas modeled similar behavior for the elders of the churches they started on this journey (Acts 14:23). As they were sending off Paul and Barnabas, the leaders of the church at Antioch laid their hands on them. This was a symbolic act whereby the church showed that they were in support of Barnabas and Paul, and by sending them off in this fashion, they were extending themselves into the world through them. The gospel goes forth powerfully when praying churches are fully behind their missionaries. Prayer Read Colossians 4:2-4. Do you know of (and pray for) any missionaries who have suffered perhaps even been put in prison like Paul for spreading the good news? Explain. Pray: Lord, I pray that you might help [missionary s name] proclaim the good news clearly through his [or her] ministry today. Help the children I teach learn the importance of praying for missionaries by 131

2 Lesson 11 Before the Lesson n Collect items for the activities you plan to use, referring to the Classroom Supplies and Learning Lab Supplies listed in the chart. n Make photocopies of the Growing Together handout (at the end of this lesson) to send home with your children. n Pray for your students and for God s direction in teaching the lesson. This Lesson at a Glance Welcome Attention Grabber Bible Exploration & Application What Children Will Do Classroom Supplies Learning Lab Supplies Welcome! Receive a warm welcome from the teacher, and make name tags. Perfect for the Job Take part in a talent scavenger hunt to discover who has what it takes to be sent out. Go! Act out Acts 13:2-3; Colossians 3:23; Psalm 105:4; 2 Corinthians 9:7; and Philippians 1:9-11 to learn why missionaries need a church to send them. Passport Name Tags (p. 129), scissors, markers, tape or safety pins Paper, pencils Bible Closing Your Best Shot Practice telling their friends about God s love, and learn from 1 Peter 2:9 that God chose them to tell about his love. Gospel Launch Send minimissionaries to different countries and pray for them; then hear Ephesians 6:19-20 to learn how missionaries benefit from prayer. Chain Reaction Hear Romans 10:13-15, and experience a chain reaction. Bible Bible, crayons, newsprint, paper, pencils, tape, scissors Bible 132

3 Welcome SUPPLIES: Passport Name Tags (p. 129), scissors, markers, tape or safety pins Greet each child individually with an enthusiastic smile. Thank each child for coming to class today. As children arrive, ask them about last week s lesson and Growing Together activities. Use questions such as Who did you tell about Jesus last week? and How did the trick with the pepper remind you of missionaries? Say: Today we re going to learn that the church sends out missionaries. Hand out the name tags children made during Lesson 10, and help them attach the name tags to their clothing. If some of the name tags were damaged, or if children weren t in class that week, have them make new name tags using the photocopiable handout. Remind children that the signal you ll use during this lesson is clapping your hands three times. Ask children to respond by clapping their hands three times as they stop talking and focus their attention on you. Rehearse the signal with the children, telling them to respond quickly so they ll have plenty of time for all the fun activities planned for this lesson. Attention Grabber n Perfect for the Job SUPPLIES: paper, pencils Have kids form two groups, and have the groups sit in circles at opposite ends of the room. Stand in the middle of the room, between the two groups. Say: We re going on a scavenger hunt a talent scavenger hunt. You ll be looking for all kinds of talent within your group. First, find someone in your group to be your scorekeeper. When you ve found that person, send him or her to me. Give each of the chosen scorekeepers a sheet of paper and a pencil. Say: Just for finding a scorekeeper, each group gets 10 points! Now, when you find someone with the talent that I ask for, send that person to me so I can see his or her talent. Scorekeepers, add 10 points for each talent your group has. Ready? I m looking for someone who can whistle. is double-jointed. gives great back rubs. knows a whole poem by heart. can do a cartwheel. can jump higher than anyone else in your group. can tell me what 72 minus 21 equals. is small enough to crawl under a chair. can tell me a Bible verse. Pause after each talent to allow groups time to decide who is perfect for the job. Sent by the Church It s important to say the Bible Point just as it s written in each activity. Repeating the Bible Point over and over throughout the lesson will help kids remember it and apply it to their lives. Strong math skills are not required to be a scorekeeper. Have the scorekeeper use tick marks to keep score. 133

4 Lesson 11 Encourage kids to use everyone in their groups. After you ve called out the last talent, have the scorekeepers tally the score. Have everyone applaud each other for their great talents. Then ask: Why were some of you sent to see me? (Because I could whistle; because I was the only one who could do what you wanted; because I could do it the best.) What was it like to be sent to the center of the room? (Exciting; great; I felt special; it was cool to be the one my group picked.) Say: Your group sent you because you were the best person for the job. The church sends out missionaries because they re people with a talent for telling others about Jesus. We re going to learn how we can be like missionaries, too, and tell others about Jesus. Let s read what the Bible has to say about that. Open your Bible to today s key Bible verse, 1 Peter 2:9, show it to the children, and read aloud: But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Say: Missionaries are sent out by the church because God first called those people to tell about Jesus. They have an important message to share, one that we can share, too that Jesus is Lord and there is nothing more important than knowing him and loving him. Today we re going to learn about two of the first missionaries, Paul and Barnabas, and how their church sent them. Bible Insight In the first years after Jesus resurrection, any sharing of Jesus message with the Gentiles was an unplanned overflow of Hebrew Christians sharing with other Jews. But God spoke to the Gentile church of Antioch, commanding that two men be set aside for a specific mission to Gentiles. As the Holy Spirit directed, Barnabas and Saul, also known as Paul, were ordained for the mission. Bible Exploration & Application n Go! SUPPLIES: Bible Open your Bible to Acts 13:1-5. Say: Listen to what the Bible says about how the church chose missionaries and how it got them ready to tell others about Jesus. Read Acts 13:1-5 in an easy-to-understand version of the Bible, such as the child-friendly Hands-On Bible. Ask: How did the church choose the missionaries? (While they were worshipping; God told them who to send.) How did the church get Saul and Barnabas ready to go? (Members of the church laid their hands on them and prayed for them.) Say: Let s find out how a church might get missionaries ready to be sent out. Choose a volunteer to be the first missionary, and have him or her sit in a chair. Have the rest of the class sit in a circle around the missionary. Say: [Child s name], let s pretend that you have been chosen to be sent out as the first missionary from your church. This circle is your church. We want to help you get ready to tell others about Jesus. Then we ll send you out into the world to tell others about God. As you tell others about God, they ll become missionaries, too. 134

5 Sent by the Church Have the children repeat the following rhyme: We want to tell the whole wide world How much God loves each boy and girl. God sent Jesus to die for our sins So we can all live with God in heaven. Practice repeating the rhyme a few times. Then give the stamper to a child in the circle. Read Acts 13:2. Have the children in the circle rub their stomachs to show they ve given up eating, and have them fold their hands to show they ve been praying and worshipping. Then have the child with the stamper put a stamp on the missionary s hand to show that he or she has been set apart to tell others about Jesus. Have all the children repeat the rhyme together. The child with the stamper and the original missionary from the circle can get up and walk slowly around the circle. Have the class repeat the rhyme. Give the hand clacker to a child in the circle. Read Acts 13:3 and say: You can be a missionary, too. We lay our hands on you to show that God is sending you. We give you this hand clacker to remind you of that. Have the child with the hand clacker join the other two kids. Repeat the rhyme with the class as the three children walk slowly around the circle. Give another child the sport band. Read Colossians 3:23 and say: We give you this band to help you with all your hard work for God. Your sweat and effort are worth it because people will learn about God through you. Have the child put the sport band on his or her head. Then have the four children walk around the circle and repeat the rhyme with the rest of the class. Give another child the space glasses. Read Psalm 105:4. Say: We re giving you these glasses to help you remember to look to God whenever you need help. Have that child join the others who are walking around the circle. Repeat the rhyme with everyone. Put a couple of colorful egg halves inside the treasure chest and lock it. When you shake it, it will sound like money. Give the treasure chest to a child in the circle. Read 2 Corinthians 9:7 and say: To help you on your journey and to help you pay for supplies, we want to give you a gift of money. Have the child rattle the treasure chest and then join the others walking around the circle. Repeat the rhyme. The final thing we want to give you is our support. Read Philippians 1:9-11 and say: Let s applaud our missionaries so they will know that we as the church stand behind them all the way. Have the rest of the church members join the missionaries so everyone is a missionary and walk around the room once more. Have the class repeat the rhyme and wave to one another, calling out, God be with you, as they circle the room. Then have the missionaries rejoin the circle and set the supplies in the middle of the circle. Ask: How does it make you feel when you tell others about Jesus? Is it ever hard? (It s a little scary; yes, it s hard; I like telling other people about Jesus, so I m not afraid.) In the Bible story, how do you think Paul and Barnabas felt when the Holy Spirit sent them? (Really proud to be serving God; scared of what might happen to them; excited to tell others about Jesus.) Why did we give our missionaries all those different things? (So they would have money to live on; to help them know that they were doing the right thing; so they would know that people cared.) If your stamper dries out, add one drop of water to it. 135

6 Lesson 11 What was it like to give those things to the missionaries? (It felt good; like we were helping; it was fun to help them.) Say: God wants everyone to know about him, so the church sends out missionaries. Although God calls them, it s our job as the church to prepare them and help them go. Put the Learning Lab items away for future use. HANDS-ON BIBLE Set out notecards and crayons or markers for children to use in this activity. Then say: Missionaries are people who go to other people and places in the world and tell them about Jesus. Sometimes they have to go to very scary places where it can be lonely. But they are heroes of the faith, willing to risk everything for Jesus. Let s open our Hands-On Bibles to Acts 7 and read about the Heroes of the Faith. Help children find Acts 6:8-15 and 7:54-60 in their Hands-On Bibles and read together. Then hand out notecards and crayons or markers and assist the children in decorating and writing their thank you notes for their real-life heroes. When the students have completed their notecards, instruct them to deliver their notes in person. If that is not possible, make arrangements for the notecards to be delivered. Ask: What are some characteristics of a real-life hero? (He is tall; she is brave; he always fights bad guys and wins.) What was it about Stephen that made him a real-life hero? (He loved Jesus and talked about him even when it got him into trouble; he asked Jesus to forgive the people who were hurting him.) What makes the person to whom you wrote your thank you note a reallife hero? (My mom is so nice to me and helps me with many things; my dad is strong and brave, and he never yells.) Say: Our real-life heroes are special people to us because they may do normal things but they do them in a very special way. They all love God and are good people, called out of the darkness by God. Let s give a cheer for our real-life heroes! ( Hurray! ) n Your Best Shot SUPPLIES: Bible Say: When Peter was older, he wrote letters that are part of our Bible. Listen to what Peter says in one of those letters to people who believe in God. Read 1 Peter 2:9 in the Hands-On Bible or another easy-tounderstand version: But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Missionaries are sent out to tell others about God. We know that Peter bravely told others about God. In this letter, he tells us that everyone who believes in Jesus can be a missionary. God has chosen us for the job of telling others about Jesus, too, so in a way, we are all missionaries to be sent. Let s practice being missionaries and telling our friends exciting things about Jesus. 136

7 Sent by the Church Have the children scatter around the room and crouch down. Say: I ll close my eyes, turn around three times, and shoot the sport band. The person it touches or comes closest to will jump up and tell us something about Jesus, such as Jesus loves us all the time or Jesus is my forever friend. Then that person will close his or her eyes, spin around three times, and shoot the sport band toward someone else. Continue playing until each child has shared something about Jesus. Then return the sport band to the Learning Lab, and have kids form pairs. Have kids discuss these questions in their pairs. After each question, invite partners to share their answers with the rest of the class. Ask: Was it hard or easy to tell others about Jesus? Explain. (It was easy and fun because there s a lot to tell; it was hard to talk in front of everyone.) How can you be ready to tell others outside our class about Jesus? (I can practice what I want to say; I can pray and ask God to help.) Who are three different people you know who need to hear about Jesus? (Answers will vary.) Why is it important to tell others about Jesus? (It makes me love Jesus more; I get excited about telling them how much Jesus loves us.) Clap your hands to get kids attention and bring everyone together. Say: The church sends out missionaries, and they re ready to spread the news any time and anywhere. Usually we think of missionaries as working in faraway places across the sea. But we can be missionaries wherever we are even inside our own church! Our forever friend, Jesus, is with us wherever we go, and everyone should have a chance to be friends with Jesus, too. That s why we tell people about him. Let s have some fun being missionaries right now. Children may be reluctant to pray in front of a large group. Don t force anyone to pray, but encourage children to pray simple, one-sentence prayers. If necessary, lead kids in a group prayer instead. n Gospel Launch SUPPLIES: Bible, crayons, newsprint, paper, pencils, tape, scissors Before class, cut paper into 1x1-inch squares, enough for every child to have one. Use crayons or markers to write the names of several countries on sheets of newsprint. Post these around the room. Form a large circle. Distribute 1x1-inch squares of paper and pencils. Say: Draw the face of a missionary on your paper. It can be as simple or as real as you want it to be. I ll draw one, too. Allow a minute for kids to draw missionaries. Then hold up a twirly bird ring and say: As we pass this around the circle, tape your missionary to it. Start by taping your own picture of a missionary to the twirly bird ring, and then pass the ring to someone else. When the ring comes back to you, say: Now we can send our missionaries to different countries. I ll need a volunteer to be our first church member. Choose a volunteer to stand in the middle of the circle with the twirly bird ring. Spin the volunteer around, and then instruct him or her to throw the ring. When Paul and Barnabas traveled all around the then-known world with God s message. When we share with friends, neighbors, family, or schoolmates, we are following the example of Paul and Barnabas and going into our own world. 137

8 Lesson 11 Introduce your kids to your own church s missionaries. Bring in photographs and letters written by the missionaries telling about their work. Point out any children of the missionary families, and discuss what life for those kids might be like. it lands, see which country s sign it landed the closest to, and then have the church member pray for the missionaries in that country. Choose another child to be the church member, and repeat. When everyone has had a chance to be a church member, put the twirly bird ring and sport band away. Ask: What was it like to pray for so many missionaries? (Good; cool; nice; OK.) How do you think the real missionaries feel knowing that church members are praying for them? (Glad; happy.) Say: Sometimes missionaries need help. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in Ephesus, asking for help. Let s see what he wanted the people in that church to do. Read Ephesians 6: Ask: If you and your family were in a new country where you didn t know anyone, how would you feel? (Scared; lonely; a little afraid.) Why did Paul want the Ephesians to pray for him? (Maybe he was scared; so that he d know what to say; because he was in jail and was afraid; because he wanted to tell people about God.) Why do missionaries today want us to pray for them? (Because they might be near people who don t like Christians; they might have a hard time telling people about Jesus; they could be scared.) Say: The church sends out missionaries. It s also important to pray for the missionaries after we send them. Telling others about God can be scary because not everybody knows and loves God. As you pray this week, try to remember to pray for the missionaries around the world. Closing n Chain Reaction SUPPLIES: Bible Say: We ve been learning today that the church sends out missionaries. And we can be missionaries, too. Ask: What did you learn today? (I learned that the church sends out missionaries; I learned that we need to pray for missionaries; I learned that missionaries are important because they take the Bible to people far away.) Have kids stand in two lines close together. Say: The Apostle Paul also wrote a letter to the church in Rome. Let me read part of that letter to you. Read Romans 10: This passage describes a chain reaction. That means when one thing happens, it makes something else happen, and that makes something else happen, and so on. Let s experience a chain reaction to help us understand what Paul meant. Stand in front of the first two people in each line. Say: When someone gives you a high five, turn around and give the person behind you a high five. I ll start the chain reaction. Give the first person in each line a high five. Run to the end of the lines so the last two people can give you their high fives. Then have the first person in each line create 138

9 Sent by the Church a new chain reaction and move to the end of the line so the next two can begin the process again. After everyone has had a turn, say: You each created a new chain reaction and helped pass the new motion down the line. Listen to Romans 10:13-15 again to see how God s Word is passed along. Have students sit down. Read Romans 10:13-15 again, and then ask: What has to happen for people to know about and believe in Jesus? (They have to hear about Jesus first.) What has to happen for God s Word to be passed along so people can hear about Jesus? (People have to be sent to preach so others can hear, believe, and call on God.) Say: As you can see, it s important for missionaries to be sent so God s Word is passed along to everyone. The church sends out missionaries. That causes the chain reaction to continue until the whole world hears about God s love. And God wants us each to have a part in this chain reaction. Have kids share one way they can be missionaries in their own homes, schools, or neighborhoods this week. End in prayer, asking God to help the children go out and tell others about Jesus. Growing closer to Jesus extends beyond the classroom. Photocopy the Growing Together handout (at the end of this lesson) for this week, and send it home with your children. Encourage children and parents to use the handout to plan meaningful activities on this week s topic. Follow up the Growing Together activities next week by asking children what their families did together. 139

10 Missions 11: The church sends out missionaries. Bible Story Sent by the church. (Acts 13:1-5) Key Verse But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). Today your child learned that the church sends out missionaries. The children learned that it s important to send missionaries to faraway places to teach everyone about God s love. Use these activities to teach your child that missionaries are sent out by the church and that they, too, can tell others about Jesus. Happy Send-Off Before a missionary leaves for a mission field, a college student leaves for college, or a parent leaves for a long business trip, send him or her off in style. Help your child create a send-off box by filling a shoe box with goodies such as trail mix, a magazine, stamped postcards, hand lotion, and a prepaid phone card for a quick call home. Be sure to include notes of encouragement, too. Getting to Know You Most churches post pictures of their missionaries along with a short description of what the missionaries do. Take some time one Sunday morning to look at each picture with your child. Explain what the missionary does and how that helps people learn about Jesus. Choose a missionary family to write to, particularly one with a child near your child s age. Work together to write an encouraging letter, thanking the missionaries for bringing the good news about Jesus to others. Prayers Around the World Use a globe or a world map for a unique kind of prayer. Spin the globe, and have your child close his or her eyes and point to a spot on the globe. Talk about the country your child points out, and then pray for the people who are teaching about Jesus in that country. Repeat this process once or twice a week until you ve prayed for missionaries around the world. 140 Permission to photocopy this handout from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum Grades 1 & 2 granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Avenue, Loveland, CO group.com

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