The church supports missionaries.

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1 Give to Missionaries Give to Missionaries Lesson 12 Bible Point The church supports missionaries. Bible Verse Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you (3 John 5). Growing Closer to Jesus Children will n experience supporting each other in different ways, n learn that missionaries need our support to carry God s love to others, and n understand the important role they can play in supporting missionaries. Teacher Enrichment Bible Basis n Give to missionaries. 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 While Paul and Barnabas were ministering together at Antioch, a prophet named Agabus came from Jerusalem and predicted a famine that would sweep across the entire Roman world. As a result, the believers in Antioch decided to send Barnabas and Paul to Jerusalem with a monetary giwft to help the believers there. Having received this act of kindness, Peter, James, and John, the leaders of the Jerusalem church, asked Paul to continue to remember the needs of the Christians in Judea (Galatians 2:10). Paul considered this a key responsibility of his ministry (see Romans 15:25-32; 2 Corinthians 8 9). Paul was collecting money for those in Jerusalem primarily from Gentile believers who lived in Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Greece. Paul thought it fitting that those who had benefited from the spiritual heritage of Israel should share their material blessings with Jewish believers in Jerusalem (Romans 15:27). This would also create a tighter bond between the Jewish and Gentile churches. Paul specifically wanted representatives from Corinth to travel to Jerusalem to give their contribution in person, and he was happy to write letters of introduction for them so they would be warmly welcomed. It was safer to travel in numbers when carrying a significant amount of money. And by sending representatives, Paul knew the Corinthian church could rest assured that the money was being used appropriately. Prayer Read 3 John 5-8. What acts of hospitality could your church show to visiting missionaries, and what could you do individually? Pray: Lord, help my students and me serve and encourage those who serve you on the mission field. Help us see opportunities to show hospitality to those who visit our churches by 141

2 Lesson 12 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. Support Team Help each other do a difficult task, and learn that they need each other. Don t Let Me Down! Play a fun game to find out that hard jobs are easier when everyone helps, and learn from 3 John 5-8 how Gaius helped missionaries. Passport Name Tags (p. 129), scissors, markers, tape or safety pins Bible Bible, newspapers, CD player My Share Experience the importance of sharing; listen to 1 Corinthians 16:1-3a, 17-18a, 20a, 23-24; and realize that by sharing with missionaries, they help bring God s love to others. Feel-Better Letters Create letters to encourage missionaries. Bible, cookies, paper cups, CD player Feel-Better Letter (p. 150), markers, crayons, pencils Closing Treasure for Missionaries Play a game in which they follow the path of a ball to see where it goes. Lend a Hand Affirm one another, and pray for missionaries. Pennies 142

3 Welcome Give to Missionaries 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 discussion. Use questions such as How did you act as a missionary in your own town? and Did you pray for missionaries in other countries? Which countries? Say: Today we re going to learn that the church supports 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 Support Team SUPPLIES: Bible Gather children in a tight circle, facing outward. Tell them to sit cross-legged on the floor and link arms with the children on either side. Say: When I count to three, stand up. But keep your arms locked with your neighbors and don t let your hands, elbows, or arms touch the floor. Ready? One, two, three. Pause while children stand up. When they are all standing, have them drop their arms, turn around, and sit down. Ask: Was it easy or hard to stand up? Explain. (Easy, because we were helping each other; hard, because we couldn t touch the floor; hard, because another person pulled me down.) What was fun about this activity? (Helping each other; seeing other people try to get up; falling over.) Say: In this activity, we had friends to support us. In real life, we have families and friends to support us. Ask: What would it be like if you lived all alone and had no support at all? (Scary; I wouldn t like it; fun at first, but then I d get lonely.) What would it be like if you lived all alone in another country and didn t speak the same language everyone else spoke? (Really hard; I d have to try to learn the language.) Say: That s what it s like for missionaries who travel to faraway countries to tell people about Jesus. They have to learn a new language. Most of their families stay behind. During holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, there are no grandparents or uncles and aunts and cousins. Let s see what You might want to try this fun activity in addition to or in place of linking arms and standing. Turn a small table upside down, and choose one or two children to sit on the table. Have one child attempt to push the table across the floor. Then choose additional children one by one to help push the table. As children lend their support, the task of pushing the table will become easier. When all the children are involved, they can push the table across the floor quite easily. 143

4 Lesson 12 the Bible says about our helping these faraway missionaries, even if they are people we don t know personally. Read today s key Bible verse, 3 John 5, out loud: Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. Say: In our game, we supported each other by helping each other stand up. In real life, there are missionaries who live far away who need our help, too. Ask: What could we do to support missionaries who live far away? (Write letters to them so they won t be lonely; pray for them; give money so they ll have enough to live on.) Say: Missionaries have one of the most important jobs in the whole world: telling people about Jesus. But they can t do it alone. That s why churches support missionaries. And when we support missionaries, we re sharing in their work. Isn t that great? Today we ll explore some ways we can work together to support missions. But first let s play a tricky game and see what it s like to work together. If there are more than 12 children in your class, make six paper balls and have children play the game in two separate groups. For variation, have children try doing the volley with three colorful eggs or two colorful eggs and the sport ball. Bible Exploration & Application n Don t Let Me Down! SUPPLIES: Bible, newspapers, CD player Cue the CD to track 11, Boppin Music. Give three children track 11 each a sheet of newspaper. Have them crumple the newspaper into balls and then hand the paper balls to you. Say: I m going to choose two people to stand facing each other. They have an important job to do. They must keep these three paper balls in the air by batting or tossing them back and forth without letting them touch the ground. Then I ll tap people one by one to join them in their work. We ll continue until all of you are helping keep the paper balls in the air and off the floor. The game begins when I start the music. Choose two children to start the game. Start the CD, and then toss up the three paper balls one at a time. After 10 seconds, tap another child to join the first two. Continue tapping kids until the entire class is helping keep the paper balls in the air. Let children volley the paper balls back and forth until the music ends. Then stop the CD and retrieve the paper balls. Ask the first two players: What was it like for you to try to keep the three paper balls in the air? (Hard; we kept dropping them.) How did that change as more people joined in? (It got easier; it got crazier.) How is this game like what happens when people help one another with difficult jobs? (The more people there are, the easier it gets; you don t feel that you have to do everything yourself; it s more fun when everyone helps.) Say: Being a missionary is a difficult job, but when the missionary gets help from people like us, it makes it easier for him or her to do the job. 144

5 Give to Missionaries Hold up a paper ball. Let s say this paper ball stands for leaving your family behind. Hold up the second and third paper balls, and ask: What hard jobs could these paper balls stand for? (Learning a new language; getting enough money for food and clothes.) Do you think missionaries could keep these paper balls in the air all by themselves? (Maybe, but it would be hard; no, I don t think so.) Do you think missionaries can do all the hard jobs they are called to do without our help? Explain. (No, I think we need to help them; yes, I think they are smart enough to do everything by themselves.) Say: In the early church, a man named Gaius (GAY-yuhs) knew that missionaries couldn t do all these hard jobs by themselves. So he helped out. The Apostle John was so glad for Gaius help that he wrote him a letter. Listen to what John wrote. Read 3 John 5-8 from an easy-to-understand version of the Bible, such as the child-friendly Hands-On Bible. Ask: How did Gaius help the missionaries who came to him? (He let them stay at his house; he probably gave them food and money.) Besides giving things they could touch such as food, money, and a warm bed how else do you think Gaius supported the missionaries? (By praying for them; by encouraging them; by being a friend to them.) Say: Missionaries have a lot of hard jobs to do. But the Bible says we are to be partners with our missionaries. That s why the church supports missionaries. As we saw in our game, the more people who help, the easier the job becomes. When we help missionaries, we have a part in the work they do. That means we re helping people hear about God. Now let s find out how we can help our church support missionaries. Bible Insight When a Jew became a Christian, that person was likely to be cut off by family and lose his or her job. Paul was quick to encourage the Gentile church to help the Jewish Christians. In this way, the Gentile Christians learned the blessing of systematic Christian giving and showed their appreciation for the Jewish parent-church. n My Share SUPPLIES: Bible, cookies, paper cups, CD player track 12 Before class, purchase a box of small cookies. Set out three paper cups. Place just one cookie in one cup. Place enough cookies for the whole class in the other two cups. Have kids count off by threes. Have the Ones sit in a circle at one end of the classroom. Have the Twos and Threes combine to form one large group and sit in a circle at the other end of the classroom. Say: Ones, you represent the church. I have all these cookies for you. Hand them the two paper cups containing most of the cookies. Twos and threes, you re the rest of the world. But I only have one cookie for you. Instruct kids not to eat any cookies yet. Hold up another cookie and say: Suppose these cookies represent the message of God s love. Everyone needs a cookie, but look, there aren t enough for everyone. That s like the way things are in the real world sometimes. We have lots of churches and pastors who can teach us about God, but other people in the world don t. Ask the people in the church group: Do you think it s fair that there aren t enough cookies, which represent God s love, to share with everyone everywhere? Explain. (No, I think everyone 145

6 Lesson 12 We can t all be missionaries to foreign lands, but we can all pray for people who do this work. We can encourage children to learn about the missionaries supported by our churches and help the kids stay in contact with them. should get a cookie and hear about God s love; no, it s unfair because then some people won t get anything.) Ask the rest of the world group: Suppose the people in the church group kept all the cookies for themselves. How would you feel? (Mad; unhappy; left out.) Church group, if the cookies represent the message of God s love to other people, how could a missionary help out in this situation? (A missionary could take some of our cookies and give them to the rest of the world.) Encourage the church group to choose a student to play the role of missionary and take cookies to people in the other group. When everyone has a cookie, have the groups join and form one large circle. Ask: How did the church group support the missionary? (They decided what to do and chose the missionary; they gave the missionary enough cookies to take to the other group.) How is that like what we do for the real missionaries we support in our church? (We give them money so they can do God s work; we encourage them and pray for them.) Say: One way the church supports missionaries is by giving them money. Our offerings help missionaries have enough money to live on so they can do God s work. It also helps them buy Bibles so people can read God s Word in their own languages. Sometimes our missions money goes to build schools and hospitals in countries where most people can t go to school and there are few doctors and clinics. Hold up the Bible. Our Bible story today comes from a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. Paul was concerned because he wanted to continue his missionary work but he knew the Christians in Jerusalem didn t have enough food to eat. Let s listen to what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about helping. Play the Paul Speaks segment of the CD (track 12). Ask: What was Paul going to do with the money the church collected? (Give it to the people in Jerusalem so they could buy food.) How do you think Paul felt about the people in Corinth who were willing to give money to help the Christians in Jerusalem? (Glad they would help; he was thankful for them.) Besides giving money, how else did the people in Corinth encourage Paul? (They sent people to visit him; they probably prayed for him.) How can we give that kind of support today when we tell someone about Jesus? (When we write to missionaries, we can let them know how much we love Jesus, too; when we talk about Jesus, we encourage the missionaries to keep talking about Jesus, too.) Say: When we write letters or send pictures, missionaries know we re thinking of them and care about them. Letters tell missionaries that we support them. It means a lot to missionaries to know that people back home are thinking of them and praying for them. They are also encouraged to know that we love Jesus, 146

7 Give to Missionaries too, and we encourage them that what they are doing is important. When they are supported that way, it makes it easier for them to share God s love, the way our pretend missionaries shared cookies with everyone. If you believe in and love Jesus, you want to tell everybody. HANDS-ON BIBLE Say: We are learning that being a missionary can be hard work. It could be tiring to travel from place to place, don t you think? Let s pretend we re missionaries out on the road and are traveling from town to town, telling people about Jesus. Line up children in a row and play a variation of Follow the Leader, marching them around the room, crawling under chairs, jumping up and down in place, turning around in circles, skipping, and hopping back and forth on opposite feet until the children begin to complain of getting tired. Go one more minute, and then have everyone sit down. Ask: Whew! It can be tiring work to be a missionary traveling from place to place. No wonder missionaries need our help! Let s go over it again. What are some things we ve learned we can do to help missionaries? (Give food and a place to stay; pray; write letters to encourage the missionaries.) Say: In Bible times, teachers for the church traveled from town to town to tell about Jesus. I ll bet they got tired sometimes, too. Let s read about it in our Hands-On Bibles. Please open them to 3 John, and we ll look together at On the Road Again. Assist nonreaders in finding the Scripture passage. Read aloud the On the Road Again passage. Then read 3 John 1:5-8, and ask: What do you suppose the travelers ate? (Food that their Christian friends prepared; probably something hot.) Where would the travelers sleep? (With Christian friends; with people from church.) Say: The teachers in Bible times had a very important job to do, traveling with the good news of Jesus. Missionaries today also have important jobs to do. That s why the church supports missionaries, so the work can get done and more people will learn about Jesus. n Feel-Better Letters SUPPLIES: Feel-Better Letter (p. 150), markers, crayons, pencils Before class, photocopy a Feel-Better Letter for each child. Set out markers, crayons, pencils, and the stamper from the Learning Lab. Give each child a handout. Ask: How do you feel when you get a letter in the mail? (I like it; it makes me glad; I get excited.) If your stamper dries out, add one drop of water to it. 147

8 Lesson 12 Say: Missionaries like getting letters, too. Letters remind them of home and let them know that people are praying for them. That s one way the church supports missionaries. Now we are going to create our own letters for our church s missionaries. Read the handout aloud to the children, and then give them time to fill in the blanks and decorate the letters. Allow each child an opportunity to use the stamper. You can make this activity more meaningful by displaying pictures of missionaries your church supports and sharing information about their work. Let children choose which missionaries they d like to write to. Children whose writing is more advanced may want to add notes on the back of the handout. When children have finished their letters, return the stamper to the Learning Lab. You ll collect the letters in the Closing activity. Be sure to keep a roll of coins on hand in case some children forget to bring in money next week. Allow each child to contribute to the treasure chest to feel a part of the group. n Treasure for Missionaries SUPPLIES: pennies Have the bouncy ball and the treasure chest handy, along with some pennies. Say: Missionaries like to get letters. Another way we support missionaries is with our money. We can give to church mission funds to support missionaries. Our money is used to buy food or other supplies for missionary families and for the families that the missionaries take care of. Let s play a game to help us remember to use our money to support missions. Place the treasure chest in an open area of the room. Give each child in the class a penny. Hold the bouncy ball in your hand. Say: Let s pretend the treasure chest is the money that our church collects to send to missionaries. And some of our friends here have money to give to the church. Now let s begin sharing our money with the church. Have the children walk, one at a time, to the treasure chest to drop the money in. As a child places the money in the chest, encourage the child to say, I can help support missionaries. Read today s key Bible verse, 3 John 5: Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. Say: One way we can take care of our missionaries is to support them with money. Now let s pretend that this ball that I have in my hand is money, too. But I don t really know what I want to do with my money. I haven t thought about sharing my money with missionaries. I might give it to the church, or I might just keep it in my pocket, or I might even buy an ice cream cone. Watch what happens to my money. Close your eyes and bounce the ball near the treasure chest. Ask: What happened to my money? (It missed the treasure chest; it bounced back out; it disappeared.) What happens to our money if we aren t careful with it or if we don t have a plan of what to do with it? (We lose it; it gets wasted; we spend it.) 148

9 Give to Missionaries How can you have a plan for your money? (I can give some to the church and spend some; I can keep it in the bank; I can share with missionaries.) Say: Now it s your turn with the bouncy ball. Give each child a chance to bounce the ball near the treasure chest. After each child takes a turn, give him or her a penny to drop in the treasure chest. When we give our money to the church, our church can share it with missionaries. We have to have a plan to use our money wisely. If we don t use our money wisely, then it sometimes bounces away from us and gets wasted. Over the next couple of weeks, I d like for you to bring your spare change to class, and we ll put it in the box. Then we ll donate our money to missionaries. This will be another way the church supports missionaries. Closing n Lend a Hand SUPPLIES: none Gather children in a circle. Collect the finished letters, and hold them in one hand. Ask: What did you learn today? (We learned that churches support missionaries; we learned about ways to help missionaries.) Say: When we support missionaries, we join with them in telling others about God. Let s join together in prayer. Hold the hand clacker in your free hand. Explain that we sometimes use the phrase lend a hand when we describe helping others. Turn to the student on your right, jiggle the hand clacker, and say: [Name of student], thanks for lending a hand and helping support missionaries. Pass the affirmation and the hand clacker around the circle until everyone has a turn. Then place the pile of letters inside the hand clacker, and hold it together. Close with a prayer similar to this one: Dear Lord, thank you for missionaries, who spread your love around the world. Thank you that the church supports missionaries. Please use these letters to encourage [names of missionaries] in their work in [name of country or countries]. Help us remember to pray for them every day. In Jesus name, amen. 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. 149

10 Feel-Better Letter Date Dear, My name is, and I go to Church. Today we learned about your missionary work in and prayed for you. I will keep on praying for you. Love, 150 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

11 Missions 12: The church supports missionaries. Bible Verse Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you (3 John 5). Starry Night Bible Story Give to missionaries. (1 Corinthians 16:1-3) Today your child learned that the church supports missionaries. The children learned that when they support missionaries, they, too, share in bringing God s love to others. They also learned different ways churches support missionaries. Use these ideas to encourage your child to be sensitive to the needs of missionaries. Around the World Help your child cut several stars from stiff paper. Use glitter or glow-in-the-dark poster paints to decorate the stars. Poke a hole in the top of each star, and tie thread or fishing line through the holes. Each night at bedtime, look at a map of the world, and help your child choose a country. Write the name of the country on the back of a star. Pray for missionaries in that country, and hang the star from the ceiling in your child s bedroom. Soon your child will have a sky full of glittery reminders to pray for God s missionaries all over the world! Spare Change Our class is collecting spare change for missionaries. Please help your child collect spare change over the next few weeks, and remind him or her to bring it to class. This activity will help the children learn that they, too, can financially support missionaries. Let your child learn about missionaries and the people they help by making a missionary scrapbook. Staple together three sheets of paper. Photocopy a world map, and glue it to page 1. Have your child color the map, and help him or her label some of the countries. Cut out magazine pictures of people from other countries, and glue the pictures to page 2. Ask your church for names and locations of missionaries it supports. Draw their pictures on page 3, and then look on the map to find where they re serving. Update the scrapbook each time news comes from one of your missionary families. Bubblin Over Have some bubble-blowing fun with your child. Purchase a small bottle of soap bubbles. Make a bubble wand by cutting two plastic drinking straws in half and then taping the four pieces together. Blowing through the straws will send lots of tiny bubbles in several directions. Explain that the bubbles are like God s love. When we support missionaries, we send God s love all over the world. 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 151

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