News About Jesus Spreads Matthew 4:12-25

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1 Session 8 News About Jesus Spreads Matthew 4:12-25 Worship Theme: Jesus draws us to himself. Weaving Faith Into Life: Children will grow closer to Jesus as they discover ways he draws them to himself. Session Sequence What Children Will Do Supplies Let s Praise God! (up to 25 minutes) Sing How Wide? (Ephesians 3:18) (track 8) For the Son (Luke 19:10) (track 7) To God Be the Glory (track 15) Let Your Light Shine (Matthew 5:16) (track 18) Give as Freely (Matthew 10:8) (track 19) He Is Good (Nahum 1:7) (track 13) I Will Give You Rest (Matthew 11:28) (track 20) KidsOwn Worship Kit: Songs From FaithWeaver CD player, white board and marker, Smiley-Face Strips (p. 115), scissors, unsharpened pencils, tape Session Sequence What Children Will Do Supplies Let s Learn the Point! (up to 25 minutes) Heart Necklaces Decorate heart necklaces. Jesus Draws Us Be led around the room as they hear the Bible story. * Captured! Play a game to draw each other to Jesus. White construction paper, scissors, hole punch, yarn, markers Heart necklaces Masking tape 102 FaithWeaver Winter Quarter

2 Session Sequence What Children Will Do Supplies Let s Learn the Point! (up to 25 minutes) * Drawn to Jesus Watch a video, and develop testimonies of people touched by Jesus. Character Interviews Develop characters who are drawn to Jesus, and share testimonies. * Pulling Praises Use ropes to play a game about being drawn to Jesus. KidsOwn Worship Kit: KidsOwn Worship DVD: Drawn to Jesus (5) TV, DVD player, Bibles, paper, pencils, poster board, marker Costume props, microphone, poster board with questions from Drawn to Jesus Ropes Session Sequence What Children Will Do Supplies Let s Pray! (up to 10 minutes) The Offering Give their offering and offer praises to Jesus. Cheers! Make cheers for Jesus. Cords of Kindness Pass a rope around the circle, and name ways Jesus draws us to himself. KidsOwn Worship Kit: Songs From FaithWeaver: I Will Give You Rest (Matthew 11:28) (track 20) CD player, several small items per child, offering bowl White board with cheer from Let s Praise God!, eraser, pencils, paper Rope * Starred activities can be used successfully with preschool and elementary children together. Customize your session to fit your needs. You can separate preschoolers and elementary children for Let s Learn the Point! Or, if you keep the children all together for the entire worship session, we suggest you choose from the starred activities. Session 8 KidsOwn Worship 103

3 Bible Background for Leaders News About Jesus Spreads Matthew 4:12-25 Shortly after calling his first disciples, Jesus moved into a three-pronged ministry: teaching, preaching, and healing. During the week he preached to large crowds that gathered around him in the open air, and on the Sabbath he taught smaller gatherings in the synagogues. Though not the same as the Temple, synagogues had become the common meeting place for Jews after their captivity in Babylon. They met regularly on the Sabbath and perhaps on other days of the week as well. They held regular services, and guests were allowed to speak, which gave Jesus frequent opportunities to address synagogue gatherings. As Jesus traveled about Galilee, he didn t just preach and teach. Matthew is careful to point out that no illness or disease was beyond Jesus power to heal. The descriptions of the diseases Jesus healed indicate that some were quite severe. Jesus also healed those possessed by demons, those paralyzed by injury or disease, and those having seizures. These miracles of healing grew out of Jesus compassion and grace but also served to give authority to the message he proclaimed. Someone who demonstrated God s power could be trusted to speak for God as well. With the healings came notoriety. Jesus actions became known not only in Galilee but also throughout Syria, the area north of Galilee from the Mediterranean Sea to Damascus. People also heard about Jesus in the Decapolis the region northeast of Samaria and east of the Jordan River as well as in the southern regions of Judea. The curious from all of these regions came to the normally unpopular region of Galilee and followed Jesus in crowds that sometimes numbered in the thousands. As they came to him, more and more people heard the good news and were healed of their physical and spiritual infirmities. Jesus compassion, as well as his power to heal, drew people to him then and continues to do so today. However, sometimes Jesus depends on his followers to be the ones to demonstrate compassion and grace to others. We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach and teach the good news about Jesus and the kingdom of God and to offer compassion and grace to those who are hurting. Devotion for Leaders As an imitator of Jesus, you ve been called to participate in some part of Jesus three-pronged ministry strategy. You find meaning and purpose in your life by obeying your calling. Weaving Faith Into Your Life: Reread Matthew 4: How do you use your leader role to advance Jesus strategy of ministry? What skills do you want to develop to be more effective? What a blessing that God uses ordinary people to do amazing things! 104 FaithWeaver Winter Quarter

4 Why We Worship for Leaders Jesus drew large crowds in the Galilean countryside. He preached God s message and stirred people to respond to him. He taught tirelessly in the synagogues, seeking those who were seeking him. He healed the sick, the lame, and the tormented. He drew people to himself because of his great love and compassion. Jesus draws us today in much the same ways. His love, forgiveness, and healing touch compel us to follow him and worship him. Easy Prep for Leaders Let s Praise God! Photocopy the Smiley Face Strips (p.115), and cut out one strip for each child. Place the strips on a table near the worship area entrance, next to tape and an unsharpened pencil for each child. Write the cheer on page 107 on a white board or chalkboard. You ll use this again for the Cheers! activity during Let s Pray! Drawn to Jesus Set up a TV and DVD player, and cue the KidsOwn Worship DVD to Drawn to Jesus (5). Watch the segment at least once before the worship session so you ll be familiar with it. Write the following questions on a piece of poster board: Who are you? What drew you or attracted you to Jesus? What did Jesus do for you? How did that make you feel? How did your life change because of what Jesus did? Character Interviews Collect an assortment of costume props, such as a cowboy hat, binoculars, a police badge, a tiara, a purse, a wig, a briefcase, a calculator, or a helmet. You ll need one item for every four children. You ll also need something to use as a microphone, such as a wire whisk, wooden spoon, or rolled-up piece of paper. Preschool Activities Refer to the preschool pages for preparations. Web Help Get bonus leader tips and ideas at kidsownworship.com. Let s Praise God! Play Songs From FaithWeaver, Winter as children arrive. Greet each child by name, and draw him or her to yourself for a quick hug as you say, Jesus loves you! Then have volunteers help the children make face-to-face pencils. Kids should fold one of the paper strips exactly in half and tape it to a pencil a few inches from one end. Both sides should hang down over the pencil. Have them make a few extras for children who arrive late. Instruct the children to take the pencils with them to the worship area. Make sure volunteers give extra help to the preschoolers. When everyone has arrived and has made a face-to-face pencil, begin the worship session. Session 8 KidsOwn Worship 105

5 Welcome to children s church, everyone. Today we re going to talk about how Jesus draws us to himself by loving us. Let s stand and sing about Jesus love. Sing How Wide? (Ephesians 3:18). Lyrics are in the back of this book. Track 8 Great singing, everyone! Hold up the face-to-face pencils you made when you came to children s church today. If you didn t get a chance to make one, stand up and we ll give you one now. Ask a volunteer to hand out the extra face-to-face pencils to the children who are standing. These pencils are going to help us remember that Jesus draws us to himself. Demonstrate by holding the pencil up and blowing between the faces on the strip, straight down the pencil shaft. Continue blowing until the ends are drawn together and lock in place. Have the children try it. Then ask a few volunteers to demonstrate. The two halves of the strip are drawn toward each other, and they hook together. Notice that there is a smiley face on each end. Now imagine that one of those smiley faces is Jesus and the other face is you. Blow on the strip again, and see that you are drawn to Jesus. (Pause.) Our face-to-face pencils are a fun way to remember that we re worshipping Jesus today because he draws us to himself. Let s put the pencils under our seats now and continue to worship Jesus. Sing For the Son (Luke 19:10). Lyrics are in the back of this book. Track 7 It s amazing how much God loves us. When we think about God s love, we want to give God glory. What does glory mean? If I say, God gets all the glory, what exactly is it that God gets? Glory means honor, praise, or admiration. We give glory to people we admire. We clap and cheer for a famous athlete or our favorite movie star. But Jesus is better and stronger and more awesome than any human being could ever be. Let s give him glory. Sing To God Be the Glory. Lyrics are in the back of this book. Track 15 Jesus deserves glory because he loves us and draws us to himself. One way we can thank Jesus for his love is to let his love shine through us so everyone can see. Sing Let Your Light Shine (Matthew 5:16). Lyrics are in the back of this book. Track FaithWeaver Winter Quarter

6 What are some reasons Jesus deserves glory? Jesus deserves glory and praise because he is love, he is light, he is truth, and he is life. Those are lots of reasons to worship! Long before any of us knew Jesus, he loved us and came to earth to die for us. Romans 5:8 says, While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That love draws us to Jesus. Let s sing Give as Freely and think about giving ourselves to Jesus. Sing Give as Freely (Matthew 10:8). Lyrics are in the back of this book. Track 19 Why do we cheer at sports events or concerts? We cheer to show performers and athletes how much we like what they re doing. We cheer to make them try harder. We cheer because they re doing a good job or because we believe in them. Let s learn a cheer to worship Jesus. Draw kids attention to the cheer you wrote on the board. Have kids read it aloud with you two or three times enthusiastically. Jesus, Jesus, he s the one Who loves us, saves us God s own Son! Jesus, Jesus, Meets every need! What should we do? We ll follow his lead! Ye-e-e-a, Jesus! Now that we ve cheered for Jesus, let s sing to him and tell him how we feel. Our song is another way to cheer for Jesus, to give him glory. Sing He Is Good (Nahum 1:7). Lyrics are in the back of this book. Track 13 As we continue with children s church today, we ll be learning more about how Jesus draws us to himself. One way he does this is by calling us to come to him, lay down our worries and problems, and rest in him. Let s end our worship time by singing I Will Give You Rest. Sing I Will Give You Rest (Matthew 11:28). Lyrics are in the back of this book. Track 20 Lord, thank you for drawing us to you with your great love. Help us come to you with all our needs, as well as all of our happiness. We worship you today. In Jesus name, amen. Session 8 KidsOwn Worship 107

7 Let s Learn the Point! Preschool Activities, pages At this time, have the preschool leader invite the preschoolers to go to their own room for this section of activities. Tear out the Preschool Activities page, and give it to the preschool leader. Have the preschool leader bring the preschoolers back to participate in Let s Pray! with the older children. If you prefer to keep all the children together, do the starred (*) activities. They will work well with both elementary and preschool children. Elementary Activities * Drawn to Jesus Show Drawn to Jesus (5) on the KidsOwn Worship DVD. It shows a child reasoning through the idea that Jesus draws people to himself and people being drawn to Jesus by his love for them. After the video clip, What made people want to be near Jesus? (His love; Jesus heals people.) Have kids form groups of three or four, and give each group a Bible, paper, and a pencil. If preschoolers are involved in this activity, make sure you mix children in groups so readers can help nonreaders. Open your Bibles to Matthew 4. Wait for kids to find the chapter. Read verses 23 through 25 aloud in your group, and look for the three main things Jesus did in Galilee. Give groups a few minutes to read and discuss the verses. What three things did Jesus do? (Preached; healed people; taught.) How did people find out about Jesus? (People talked about Jesus; the news spread because of what Jesus was doing.) Who were the people who followed Jesus? (People who needed him to heal them; people who saw what he did.) What drew people to Jesus? (His love; his healing; his words.) Everywhere he went, Jesus taught, preached, and healed people. They were touched by the love that he demonstrated. Jesus love drew people to him. Show kids the questions you wrote on the poster board before the session. 108 FaithWeaver Winter Quarter In your groups, pretend you re one of the people who heard Jesus preach or teach or who was healed by him. Decide who your character is. Then use these questions to think of a short testimony, or story, of what happened to that person. Choose someone to write your group s ideas. I ll give you a few minutes to work, then we ll read the testimonies aloud. (continued on page 111)

8 Preschool Activities News About Jesus Spreads Session 8 Worship Theme: Matthew 4:12-25 Using Theo Jesus draws us to himself. Easy Prep for Leaders Heart Necklaces Cut a heart from white construction paper for each child. The hearts should be about 5 inches high. Punch two holes at the top of each heart, and thread a length of yarn through the holes, tying the ends to make a necklace. You ll need markers and a necklace for each child and for yourself. Captured! Use masking tape to make a large heart shape on the floor. The shape should be large enough to allow all the children to stand inside it. If your class is very large, make more than one heart. Consider using Theophilus the FaithRetriever puppet today in these ways: Have Theo lead the preschoolers from the main worship area to the preschool room. Have Theo draw the children into the heart in the Captured! activity. See the KidsOwn Worship Kit for a puppet skit written for today s worship session. Heart Necklaces Gather children around a table, and give each one a heart necklace. Set the markers in the center of the table. Welcome, preschoolers! Today we re learning that Jesus draws us to himself. Let s find out what that means. Hold up your necklace. I ve given each of you a heart necklace just like this one. This heart shows that Jesus loves you. Let s decorate our heart shapes to look special and beautiful because Jesus love is special and beautiful. While you decorate, I ll write your name on one side and Jesus name on the other side. Then we ll use the hearts to tell our Bible story. As children decorate their hearts, circulate among them, and write each child s name on his or her heart. Some older preschoolers will be able to write their own names, so be sure to encourage them to do so. If they want, encourage them to copy the word Jesus from your necklace on the other side. When the children are finished, have them wear their necklaces and gather to hear a story. Jesus Draws Us One day Jesus went to the synagogue. That s where the Jewish people went to worship God. Let s pretend to go to the synagogue to see Jesus. Have the children take hands in a line, take the first child s hand, and lead the line of children to a different area of the room. Talk about how excited and happy you are to be going to see Jesus. At the synagogue, many people wanted to learn more about God. Tap your heart necklace on your head to show that you want to know more about God, too. (Pause.) Jesus is God, so he was able to answer all their questions. We say that Jesus drew people to himself because he was a good teacher. That means that people liked what Jesus said so much that they were eager to listen to him. Have kids join hands again, and lead them toward another area of the room. Later that day, Jesus hiked into the countryside. There he preached to the people about how to live and how to know God. Jesus was drawing people, kind of like the way I ve been pulling you around the room. The people wanted to hear the good news. Can you put your heart necklace up to your ear to show that you want to hear Jesus, too? After children touch their ears, have them join hands again. Gently pull them toward another area of the room. Later that same day, Jesus drew large crowds of people who were sick or hurt. Show me how you d look if you were sick or hurt. Jesus healed the sick people and made them feel better. Hold your heart necklace up toward heaven to ask Jesus to heal you when you re sick, too. Have the children join hands, and pull them back to where you started. Have the children sit down. Session 8 KidsOwn Worship 109

9 Preschool Activities Jesus Draws Us (continued) Why did so many people come to see Jesus? Why did Jesus spend so much time helping people? How do you know Jesus loves you? Why do you love Jesus? When Jesus lived on earth, he drew people to himself by loving them. He listened to them, talked to them, taught them, and told them stories. He healed their sicknesses and filled their hearts with love. Jesus love draws us, too. We love Jesus because he loved us first! * Captured! How did Jesus draw people to himself when he was on earth? Does Jesus draw you and me? Why? How? Let s play a game of being captured and drawn to Jesus. On the floor is a big heart. Pretend it s Jesus love for you. Someone will stand inside the heart and capture as many of us as he or she can and draw us inside. Then everyone inside the heart will try to capture the others until everyone is inside the heart. Have a child stand inside the heart. Explain that, on your signal, kids should go up to the heart, touch a toe to the tape, then move away. The child inside should try to capture as many kids as he or she can by taking hold of their arms and gently pulling them inside the heart. Then, when you give the next signal, kids still outside the heart should touch the tape again while everyone inside tries to capture them. Continue until all children are inside the heart. Have everyone say together, Jesus draws us to himself with his love! Choose a new leader, have everyone scatter, and play the game one more time. Then have the children sit down inside the heart. That was a fun way to remind us that Jesus draws us to himself. Just as your friends drew you into the heart, Jesus draws us to himself with his love. 110 FaithWeaver Winter Quarter

10 (continued from page 108) Give kids 5 to 10 minutes to develop the testimonies. Circulate among the groups to help them as needed. Make sure there s at least one group for each of the three things Jesus did. When everyone has finished, have each group read its testimony. Jesus drew people to himself because he loved them. He taught them, preached the truth about the way to heaven, and healed them. Jesus still draws us today. Let s get ready to see how he does that. Character Interviews Have kids remain in their groups. We just learned from our Bible story how people were drawn to Jesus when he lived on earth. Now let s think of how people are drawn to Jesus today. Help the children brainstorm briefly about some ways that Jesus draws people. For example, Jesus is drawing people when their friends bring them to church, when God answers a prayer, or when kindness is shown to them. Randomly hand out a costume prop to each group. Think about what kind of person might wear or use the object I just gave your group. Take a few minutes to make up a character that would use the item. Then think of a creative way that Jesus might draw that person to himself. Plan how your character will respond to Jesus, too. Then choose someone to wear or use the prop to act out that person. After a few minutes, I ll come around and interview each character. Circulate among the groups to answer any questions they might have. Encourage children to choose as their actor someone other than the one who read the testimony in the previous activity. After 5 to 10 minutes, have children focus their attention on you. Use a pretend microphone, and go to each group to interview the character. Several interview-style questions are listed here: Tell us your name and occupation. Tell us what s been happening in your life and how Jesus seems to be drawing you to him. How are you going to respond to Jesus? When the groups have been interviewed, collect the items and set them aside. Did everyone respond to Jesus when he taught and preached and healed? How do you know? (Some people were angry; the Bible says so.) Session 8 KidsOwn Worship 111

11 Does everyone respond today? Why or why not? (No, some people are more interested in other things; some people don t want to live the way Jesus wants them to.) Do you always respond to God? Explain. (Sometimes I think about other things; sometimes I don t want to do what I know God wants me to do.) Draw kids attention again once more to the questions from the Drawn to Jesus activity. You wrote stories answering these questions about people who lived a long time ago. Just now you told us ways that Jesus draws people today. Now look at the last four questions again and think about how you would answer them about your own life. Share with us your story of how Jesus drew you to himself. Give kids time to share their testimonies of how Jesus has drawn them to him. They might share things from their past or something Jesus is doing in the present. Be prepared to share parts of your own testimony, too. Write what kids say in a journal, and give the journal to the pastor as encouragement of children growing in their relationships with Jesus. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He drew people to himself when he walked on earth. And he draws us to himself today. It s up to us how we respond to him, but he loves us and wants every one of us to be with him forever. * Pulling Praises Have the children form two teams and choose a leader for each team. If your group is large, ask children to make more than two teams. We ve talked about a lot of different ways Jesus draws us to himself. Let s play a game to help us remember some of those ways. Give each team leader a rope, and have leaders stand approximately the distance of the rope away from their groups. When I say Go, one person on each team should call out a way that Jesus draws us to himself. For example, you might call out, Jesus loves us, He answers prayer, Jesus heals us, or He speaks to us from the Bible. Think of all that you heard today and anything else you can think of, and call that out. Then the leader will toss the rope to you, say, Jesus draws us to himself, and pull you to him or her. See if your team can be the first to have everyone gathered around the leader. Ready? Play the game until both teams have been drawn to their leaders. 112 FaithWeaver Winter Quarter

12 Let s Pray! The Offering Fill the offering bowl with enough items for each child to have one. You might use gift bows, erasers, or paper figures. (If you have preschoolers in your group, don t use anything that could be a choking hazard.) Pass the offering bowl around, and tell children to take one item before passing the bowl to the next person. We learned today that Jesus draws people to himself. We talked about many different ways he does this. Set the offering bowl on a table near the children. Instead of passing the bowl around for our offering today, I want each of you to come to the bowl with the item you took from the bowl. Silently praise Jesus for something and put the item in the bowl. Then put any other offering you brought in the bowl. Play I Will Give You Rest (Matthew 11:28) as children give their offerings. Track 20 Cheers! Show kids the cheer from Let s Praise God! Earlier today we used this cheer to praise Jesus for being so great. Let s say it together again now. Then you ll write your own cheers to Jesus. Say the cheer a few times with the children. Then erase some of the words, replacing them with an underscore, so that it looks like this: Jesus, Jesus, he s the one Who, God s own Son! Jesus, Jesus,! What should we do? We ll! Ye-e-e-a, Jesus! Write your own cheer for Jesus now. You can use the form I m showing you or make up something new. Give kids pencils and paper, and have them work together with one or two friends to write a simple cheer. Be sure preschoolers are paired with older children. When everyone is finished, have volunteers do their cheers for Jesus. Session 8 KidsOwn Worship 113

13 Cords of Kindness Have the children sit in a circle. Hold one of the ropes from the Pulling Praises activity in your lap. Hosea 11:4 is a special verse that tells about God drawing us to himself. The words are God s, and he says, I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. Everything God does is kind and full of love. Let s thank him today for drawing us to him with kindness and love. We ll use this rope to represent the cords of human kindness Hosea talks about. We ll hold the rope, praise God for one way he s been kind, then pass the end of the rope to the next person until everyone is holding the rope. You might say something like Thank you, Jesus, for loving me, or you might thank Jesus for something specific he s done for you. I ll start. Say a simple praise or thank-you prayer, and pass one end of the rope to the child next to you, while still holding the other end. Continue the activity until everyone has had a chance to pray and is holding onto the rope. Jesus, you are so awesome and so kind. Your love draws us to you every day. This rope represents your cords of human kindness. We want to be drawn to you, Jesus. Help us respond to you when you call us. Help us be kind to others as you are to us. We love you, Lord. In Jesus name, amen. 114 FaithWeaver Winter Quarter

14 Smiley-Face Strips Permission to photocopy this handout from KidsOwn Worship Leader Guide, Winter, granted for local church use. Copyright FaithWeaver. kidsownworship.com Session 8 KidsOwn Worship 115

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