Sunday School 2020-2021... At-home Devotions

Because of COVID19, we have made the difficult decision to, at least for now, not start Sunday School and other ministry programs we would typically resume in September. However, that will not deter us from one of our core values of equipping families as disciples of Jesus who celebrate God's grace as the Holy Spirit enables them to live to God's glory and witness to the Gospel.

If this pandemic is an opportunity for families to develop new discipleship and devotional practices at home then that will be a tremendous blessing and a catalyst for God to work in new ways in our homes, our families, our church, and our community. 

But as the church, we don't have to do it alone. This page is a resource to help families grow in faith together at home.

This page is also a work-in-progress so your feedback and input is valued and appreciated.

Each lesson, may give you more than you would choose, but it is there for you to choose what is best to use in your home.

Unit 2: Lesson 12

Conversation Starters: What are different things you do to feel better when you are sick or hurt? What do you do to feel better when you fall down and scrape your knee? What do you do to feel better if you have a sore throat and a cough? What do you do to feel better if your stomach hurts? What do you do to feel better if you fall down and break your arm? Who are the people who help you feel better when you are sick or hurt? What can you ask Jesus through prayer to do when you are sick or hurt?

Reading the story: The story at first is an opportunity for Jesus to heal a 12 year old girl. But then she dies? What will Jesus do then? You may not talk to your children about death very often, but this story presents the topic with our Christian hope that includes the resurrection of the dead. This story is full of highs and joys, sadness and sorrow. As you read the story, kids can stand up or reach their hands into the air for the happy, high moments and bend down or lower their hands to the ground for the sad and low moments. They could make a smiley face and a frown face on pieces of paper or paper plates and hold up one for the good parts and the other for sad parts. The kids could also do actions like falling down on their knees, crying, yelling at and shaking someone, laughing, taking hold of someone's hand, getting up out of bed, walking, eating. This could be a great way for your kids to ask good questions about death and for you to start providing answers to those questions that include Jesus.

Follow-up questions: What happened to the little girl? (She got sick and she died) What did Jesus do for her? (brought her back to life) What do you think life was like for this little girl from then on? (Maybe she grew up, got married, had children, took care of her family, etc) But eventually when she got old, what would happen to her again (she would die) When Jesus comes back from heaven, what will Jesus do for that girl and for everyone who believes in Him? (raise them up and bring them back to life) You can maybe reinforce with kids that we will be dead for a little while and then alive forever and compare it to sleep (which is what the Bible does) You can also assure them that even when we are dead we are still with Jesus and Jesus is still with us and He is watching over us and protecting us always.  Jesus told Jairus, do not be afraid, only believe. The things we believe about Jesus help us not be afraid even of death. Jesus promises to forgive our sins & heal our bodies! Jesus showed He cared about this girl by doing something we can't do, what are things you can do to help and care for others when they are sick? 

Activities: Draw a picture and bring it do church for Pastor Mike to share with someone who is struggling with health issues. Make a list of questions your kids would want to ask their grand-parents or someone else who has died when they see them in the resurrection. You can also download this activity sheet and have your kids complete the pictures. Click here to download

Unit 2, lesson 10: 

Mountain Message

Conversation starters: If you were a bird, what would be things you might worry about? If you were a flower, what would be things you might worry about? What are things you worry about as a child? You could also give kids specific situations & ask what they would worry about. If your kitten climbed up a tree, if a family member became sick, if they dropped a plate & it broke, if they did something they knew was wrong. Who's someone good they can talk to at school or daycare when they are worried?  Who can they always talk to at home when they are worried?

Reading the story: there isn't a lot of action in this story since it is Jesus teaching, but there is a lot of imagery especially with the idea of worry and things like flowers and birds. Every time your kids hear you say don't worry, they can echo back, be happy (parents, you can admit you'd be disappointed if I didn't suggest that). You can have kids do appropriate actions for birds (maybe flapping their wings) and flowers (maybe arms as a circle above their head). Another repeated word/concept is that God cares. Children could make a cross with their fingers every time they hear God cares since that is the greatest example of His love. This kind of active listening is simple and reinforces for your kids the main points of what Jesus us teaching those who follow Him

Follow-up questions: What does God provide to take care of the birds (water, worms & bugs to eat, sticks & leaves for homes, as well as their wings to fly, their beaks to eat and drink, etc) What does God provide for flowers to take care of them (sun, rain, and soil) What are some of the things God provides for your kids? If you are worried about something at school you should tell your teacher and your parents. If you are worried about something at home you should always tell your parents so they can help you. You also should tell God the things you are worried about. How can you make a habit of prayer in your family that includes tell-ing God the things you're worried about - both parents & kids?

Activity: this could be a great moment for your family to literally take stock of some of the things you have in your home. Do you have things that cause you more worry than happiness? Are there things that distract you from God and one another? Are there things you don't need that someone else might? You could go through toys and make a stack to donate to a shelter. Same with clothing, shoes, coats. You could also be intentional about buying extra groceries that you donate to others in need. PMG can connect you with community needs if you are interested.

You could also plant some flowers or put out a bird house as a reminder that just as God provides for flowers and birds through people, God also provides for people through people, like farmers, truckers, grocery store workers, and parents, etc. The pot of flowers, bird feeder or bird bath could serve as a constant & regular reminder of these truths about God & His care for us

Unit 2, Lesson 9 - Wine Sign

Conversation starters: let your children describe everything they know about weddings. If they've been to one, what do they remember, what did they see, what did people do, did they eat anything. Parents, you could also pull out some of your wedding photos and show them to your children. Share some of the highlights and memories from your own special day. See if they can pick out relatives in the the picture like aunts and uncles or grandparents. An alternative option or a second option is to get them thinking about problem solving. Propose everyday problems or maybe problems associated with weddings and ask your kid(s) how they would solve the problem. Examples: you need to go to the wedding, but your car won't start; you put on your wedding dress and there is a rip or a tear in it, you wrapped a present but your dog chewed it all up; everybody is ready to eat but the table with all the food and drinks got knocked over so everything was spilled onto the ground. How do you solve each problem?

Reading the story: This story is pretty short and to the point. It records the first miracle that Jesus did and its result is two-fold: honor instead of embarrassment for the groom and his family and His disciples see the miracle and they believe in Jesus as the son of God. If you're looking for some active participation ideas you could tell the story with cups full and empty of water. You can add food coloring to change the color of the water but emphasize that Jesus didn't need to use anything else to turn the water into wine.  

Follow-up questions: Jesus solved the problem in a way only He could! How might other people worked to solve the problem of having no more wine for the wedding feast? Ask your kids to come up with possible embarrassing moments at weddings (have fun, let them be silly and laugh). Mary told Jesus the problem but not what to do about it, she let Jesus decide what to do about it. Why is that the best way for us to pray today - telling Jesus our problems but letting Him decide what to do about it? (He know best how to solve them and can do things we can't even imagine can be done) Jesus started with water, how do we use water in church? Jesus turned it into wine, how do we use wine in the church?

Unit 2, Lesson 8: Fishers follow

Conversation starters: What would you need to catch fish from a lake, river, or ocean? How would you catch those fish? What are ways you can show God's love to other people? Play a couple rounds of Simon says with your kids - maybe using a theme of fishing or being in the water (cast your fishing line, pull in a net, swim for the shore, row the boat, look at the sea-gulls, etc). Help your children reflect on what the game Simon Says requires them to do (listen very closely) and what causes them to fail (focusing on doing instead of listening). In this story the disciples of Jesus learn to listen closely to Him.

Reading the story: The story is pretty short and to the point. If you have found that having your kids do actions while they listen helps them listen or if you want to try you could have your kids make a rowing motion every time they hear the word boat, a fish face or waving hands with palms together for the word fish, they can put their hand to their ear to listen every time they hear the name Jesus, they can cast a net or pull one in every time they hear the word net, and make a fist for a Rock every time they hear the name Peter which means rock. Each kid could have 1 or 2 actions they are assigned. Again, its OK to have fun, laugh, and be loud as you read the stories and Repetition helps so read the 5minute story 3nights at bedtime.

Follow-up Questions: The disciples fished all night and didn't catch anything! What do people often do when frustrated and not being successful? Instead of giving up, who did Peter listen to? What did Jesus tell them to do? What happened when they listened? As we try to show God's love to other people what might be frustrating and make us feel unsuccessful? Who should we listen to in those times? Where do we hear Jesus speak to us (in the Bible). Look at the picture, what did the disciples leave behind to follow Jesus (boats, nets, father, fish, baskets, home, family, etc)

Activities: Cut out a big fish or multiple smaller fish and write down things you would need to catch a fish. Cut out a person from a piece of paper. Write down on that person ways you could show God's love to others.  Grab stuffed animals and a towel or a sheet. Use an open space in your home as the Sea of Galilee and let your kids do some fishing. You can read about both the cast net and drag net methods on the back of the lesson for this story. You can also watch videos on each. Here is a link to a video on castnet fishing:

And here is a link to a video on dragnet fishing:

Have your kids demonstrate both & share which they prefer.

One memorable lesson from this story could e tat Jesus used people in every career to serve Him and show God's love to others. You could have the kids find items around the house that are used by different jobs like teacher, mechanic, cook, etc and have the kids tell how God uses people in each career to show love to others.

Unit 2: Lesson 6

We often clump this story of the wisemen into the Christmas season so it may seem a little out of place. But the church actually connects this story with the season of Epiphany. This becomes a little more clear even as you look at the picture for this lesson. Besides three of the wisemen, ask your kids who else they see in the picture... The mom, dad, and little boy are Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. But what do you notice about Jesus - especially His age. Ask your kids to describe what kinds of things Jesus would have been doing and learning at the age He was in the picture - probably two or three years old.

Conversation starters: Today (February 2) is the 40th day after Christmas. After forty days, what gifts do your kids say they liked the most from this last Christmas and why? If your child had to go on a long trip what three things would they want to take with them? If they didn't know for sure where they were going or how to get there what would they use to help them?

Reading the story: Use the leaflet for this lesson to read the story. You could use a flashlight to have the kids follow the light of the star at different points in the story. Kids could also make actions for the different emotions: nervous, scared, happy, angry, smarter, safe. You could also have the kids do a different action for each time the wisemen, Herod & Jesus are mentioned in the story. Remember, simple is fine, interactive always helps, fun is OK, repetition sinks in, God's Word works.

Follow up questions: How did the wisemen worship Jesus? What did God use to lead the wisemen? What did God to do keep the wisemen and then Jesus, Mary, and Joseph safe from the mean King Herod? How might Joseph have used the gifts of the wisemen to get his family to a place of safety?

Activities: Cut out stars. Ask your kids who created the stars and out them in the sky. God used the star to lead the wisemen to Jesus. In the same way, God created us and God can use us to tell other people about Jesus. You could put names of people you would like to pray for on the stars. You could also cut out stars and write a verse from the Bible on them (just google Bible verses about stars). You could play hide and seek with an object. Each person could hide it and then they can lead people to it after a while of not finding it by carrying a star to wherever it's hidden. You could also use STAR this week as a way to pray and worship at home. SING a song your kids like from church. Give THANKS to God for something He has done. ASK God to help you in prayer. REJOICE in one of His many blessings given to you in Jesus.

Unit 2: Lesson 11

Conversation starters: have in mind a number of simple actions some that your children can do and some that you children would not be able to do: examples could be jumping up and down, touching the ceiling on their own, a summersault, a hand stand snapping their fingers, clapping their hands, picking up a car, wiggling their ears, winking with one eye, etc. Then ask the children if they would be able to make it snow by jumping up & down or if they would be able to make it rain be clapping their hands or if they would be able to make it stop raining or stop snowing by snapping their fingers or with one loud whistle. Tell them that they're about to hear how Jesus made a great storm stop so wind & waves went perfectly still with just one word.

Ask them to describe what happens in a storm. Ask them to describe on their own what it would be like to be in the middle of that kind of storm on a boat. To set the stage for the story, you can read the facts about the Sea of Galilee on the back side of the booklet page for this lesson. Waves could get more than six feet high. If you have small children you could let them experience that by lifting them off the ground and above your head and then back down and back up and back down and back up. That's what it felt like to be in the boat. If your kids are older have them roll back and forth on the floor a span of about six feet. If you want to add effects clap over them with thunder and lightning, make them dodge waves of pillows being thrown at them. Have fun, it'll help your kids remember the story and help them look forward to family devotion time. 

Reading the story: You can simply read the story or try to do more to engage the kids in the story. Actions could include rowing a boat, bailing water, Jesus sleeping, they can make wind and wave actions with their hands and then when Jesus tells the storm to be still they go still. If you want to get a blue towel or blanket for the sea and have the kids sit on it and do the actions you can or make use of dolls or if you have any toy boats in the house. The point of the story goes back to some of those things that kids can do and can't do. Jesus can do things we can't do like making a storm stop because He is true

God. Jesus is the Creator so He can control all of Creation. He is in control of everything and promises to be with us always.

Follow-up questions: the disciples were afraid of a very big storm, but Jesus was even more powerful than the storm, does that make Jesus someone who is scary to us or someone who can keep us safe (the answer can be both!) If Jesus tells the wind and the rain to be quiet and they are quiet then what happens when Jesus says let there be light? What happens when Jesus says to a blind person, "see!," what happens when Jesus says "I forgive you," what happens when Jesus says, "follow me!" Ask if the children can think of anything else Jesus did that no one else can do - parents can help add to the list.

Activities: This could be done following the story or even on a different day. Make a boat out of a half of a banana, a pretzel or something similar like a toothpick for the mast and a slice of cheese or bread for the sail. See if the kids can retell the main parts of the story. Or put water in a casserole pan or large bowl and let the kids retell the story by creating a storm with a whisk or a beater. Again, its OK for family devotion time to be loud, messy, and fun! Children can also look at this picture (click here) and retell the story or share what they see. Have the kids find an umbrella and explain the difference between what an umbrella does in a storm and what Jesus did in the storm.

Unit 2, Lesson 4
Homecoming Hopes

Conversations starters: What is your favorite part about coming home after being gone for a long time? What do you miss the most when you're away from home? Pick a place that is special for your family to go to: maybe a vacation or travel spot that you go back to regularly, maybe a lake home, maybe grandma and grandpas. How do you feel as the family is driving to those places or just arriving there? (Parents maybe you can explain to your kids the excitement you see in them that they might not be aware of) What do you get most excited about when we arrive?

If you could build any kind of building, what would it be? Have the kids describe how they would design the building. How long would it take to build it? Who do you want to help you or would you do it by yourself? What kind of tools would you need?

What kinds of tools do chefs use to their job? What kinds of tools do teachers need to do their jobs? What kinds of tools do farmers need to do their job? What kinds of tools do Christians need to do their job of sharing the love of God with others?

Reading the story: If you want to give your kids some ways to stay engaged with the story you could have them say help every time they hear the name Ezra and comfort every time they hear the name Nehemiah. You could also have them do hand actions like making a steeple peak with their hands every time they hear the word "temple," they could make a flat surface with their hands together every time they hear the word, "wall," and they could make a cross with their fingers every time they hear the word, "God." To help your kids learn the story, you could have the goal of reading the story three times throughout the week: once having them echo the two names, once using the hand actions, once trying to put all of it together in the same reading.

Follow-up questions: What promise did God keep to His people after 70 years of waiting? (He brought them back home) Why was it important for all of the people to work together? (There was danger and trouble and lots of work to be done) How did the people celebrate when the Temple was finally rebuilt? In this story, God used people who did not believe in Him to help His people? Who do we know that doesn't go to church? How does God use them to help others? How can we help them know God and His love for them?

Activities: Have kids draw a picture of what they think a church looks like today. Then click here to see a diagram of the Temple the people built in Jerusalem as a place to worship God. Have your kids pick something out from around the house that they could use as an instrument. Find one of the songs we sing at Crosspointe on youtube and let your kids praise God with their instrument as the song plays. You could do this once a day with a different item as their instrument. Write out what you would want someone else to know about God and His love on a piece of paper then roll it up like a scroll, put a rubber band around it & either give it to someone you know or bring it to Pastor Mike

Unit 2, Lesson 3 - Daniel

Daniel and the lions' den is a familiar story for many adults and maybe for your children, too. Daniel is a historical figure and so much in the story of Daniel is supported by sources besides the Bible. Daniel himself serves as an encouragement to us to be faithful in our work on earth and faithful to God and His word. Even when it was risky, Daniel prayed to God and even when he was thrown to the lions because of it, God was with him. The story of Daniel does not promise that God will always rescue us from dangerous situations, but it reminds us God has already rescued us from sin, death, and the devil thru the work of Jesus.

Conversation starters: What keeps you safe while you're riding in a car? What keeps you safe when you're walking down steps? What keeps you safe when you're crossing the street? What keeps you safe when you're jumping on a trampoline? What keeps you safe when you go to the zoo and see lions or tigers?

Who keeps you safe and how? (answers can include parents, fire fighters, police officers, doctors, etc) but encourage the children to also see God as one who always works to keep them safe.

Lions are beautiful creatures, but they are also very dangerous. Have the children name things that are scarier than lions.

Some of the people in the story of Daniel were jealous of his success so they set a trap to get Daniel in trouble. What kinds of things do you get jealous of, what things do you want to have when you see someone else has them? How can you show them kindness and help them enjoy what they have and you don't? How can God help us not be jealous of what others have or help us better share what we have with others?

Reading the story: The story of Daniel isn't one you would find in a children's book. It's a real life story with scary moments. Our Sunday School material has an alternative reading for younger children. You can access that by clicking here if you would rather the story your kids hear now doesn't end with a lion attack. I put possible actions for reading the story in this document as well.

Follow-up questions: Daniel prayed three times every day! What do you think he prayed when he was in the lions' den? What do you pray for when you pray? When Daniel was put in the lions' den a big stone was rolled over the entrance and it was sealed. Can you think of another Bible story when a big stone was rolled in front of the entrance to a cave? What was discovered when the stone was rolled away (Easter!!!) Even if God doesn't promise to save us from every danger like he did Daniel, God saves us from sin, death, and the devil by Jesus rising to life! God sent an angel or messenger to protect Daniel, the Bible says God does the same for you! How does it make you feel knowing God loves you so much He sends angels to watch over you and protect you?

Activities: Using a phone or tablet, go through as many different pictures of animals as you can and have you children make the sounds of that animal. Using playdough or clay, have your child make the shape of something that is scary. All of us have things we are afraid of. In the Bible, God's people were in many scary situations. God is bigger and stronger than everything we're afraid of and He is with us always. Kids can crush the shape they made indicating God's strength over it. Do a joint parent-child scavenger hunt around the house looking for protective items like safety goggles, an oven mitt, a bike helmet etc. Let the kids explain how they keep us safe and remind them that God works through these items to protect us and guard us from danger.

Unit 2 Booklet, Lesson 2

The picture is of the prophet Jeremiah. Prophets are called by God to faithfully speak His Word to others about their present actions & what will happen in the future. In the picture, Jeremiah has his scrolls to write on and he is looking out a window at the foreign land he was in after being taken away from his home.

Conversation starters for before you read the story: Have you ever been left in a strange place or with someone you didn't know? How did you feel? What's your favorite place or part of our home? The story of Jeremiah is about people who were taken far from home. They were sad and anxious, but God had a plan to show them He loved them.

Are you good at waiting? Could you wait 70 years for someone to keep a promise? Ask them how long they have to wait until they can drive? How long they have to wait until their birthday or Christmas? How long they have to wait until... Then have them listen in the story for what God promised to do for His people in 70 years. What bigger promise does God make?

Reading the story: Depending on the age of your children you can have them read or read it to them. With younger children simple gestures while reading may keep them more engaged. When God touches Jeremiah's mouth, have them touch their mouths. Have them make sad faces or weeping faces during the bad details. Have them make smiley faces as you read God's promises. Or have them make a smiley face and a sad face and hold them up depending on if what's happening in the story is good or bad. Reading through the story once and making some notes about possible actions will help you be ready. 

Follow up questions: What did God want Jeremiah to tell the people who were far away from home? How did God help Jeremiah share God's Word with others, even though he was young? How can we share God's Word with others, even when we are young?

Activity: Walk around your home and take pictures of things that make the shape of the cross (floor tiles, window panes, tree branches, etc) and then post them to our facebook page. Those crosses are reminders that God is always with us and God always keeps His promises, even when hope seems to be gone.

Have kids write down God's promises on the image of the scroll you can download here and then give that piece of paper to someone: a friend, a grandparent or baptismal sponsor, a pastor or someone like a Good Sam resident.

Find 70 of the same thing like a coin or paperclip or something around the house and lay them out in a line to see how long 70 years is. Lay out the same number of items for your children's ages next to the row of 70 so they can see the difference. Do you know someone who is 70 years old, have your kids talk to them about how much has changed in their lifetime.

Key points: God promised His people He would take care of them. He loved them even when they sinned and faced earthly consequences for their sin. He would bring them back to their home someday. God promises to be with us even when we are far away from home. God helps us share His Word with others.