Worship God ’11: Leading Children to Worship Christ

A year ago, I had the opportunity of leading a workshop at the Worship God ’11 entitled “Leading Children to Worship Christ.” I’ve been reflecting on the truths that I learned in preparation for that talk as we get ready to study worship during VBS. If you are interested in thinking more about children’s worship, here is the workshop audio and notes:

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Forever Grace

The fifth and final lesson in the Proof Pirates Curriculum focuses on God’s forever grace as it is revealed to us in Ephesians 1:13b-14. We learned that, “F is for Forever Grace–God’s people will never drift away from his love.” Here are the key points for the lesson:

  • God gives his people the Holy Spirit to seal his promises.
  • God’s people never drift away from his love.
  • God protects his children so that they can never be lost.

God gives his people the Holy Spirit to seal his promises. The Spirit is like an anchor that keeps a ship from drifting away. It allows this ship to remain safe and secure, close to shore. Because of the Holy Spirit, God’s people can never drift away from his love. God keeps his people safe and secure. Once you become a child of God, you will always be His. God protects his children so they can never be lost. God always finishes the work he begins in us, and he will  lead us safely to shore.

When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13b-14

For the final lesson in the PROOF series, we studied God’s forever grace! Mandy’s craft sheet features an anchor. The coloring sheet is a hidden picture–”Can you spy the cross? the crown? the sword?” The anchor can also be cut out and turned into a giant necklace by punching a hole in the top and stringing yarn through. The following questions were developed for use with the Forever Grace craft:

  • Why would it be important to have an anchor if you were on a ship in the middle of the ocean? An anchor would keep the ship from drifting away and getting lost.
  • Do you see the cross hidden in the anchor? What does the cross remind you of? The cross reminds us of Jesus’ death on the cross. Because of his death on the cross, God’s people are able to receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. God’s people are protected and can never be lost.
In the elementary lesson, we used wax seals of anchors and doves to seal a copy of Ephesians 1-2. We discussed with the kids how, when we trust in Christ, all God’s promises are sealed by the Holy Spirit. When, God says that Christians have been marked with His seal, this is his amazing grace at work again!  What this passage is saying is that no matter what happens if you truly believe in Jesus then you can never drift away from God.  God’s grace is forever! When He’s sealed you with the Holy Spirit, nothing can break God’s seal. This means that God’s people never stop believing in Jesus. God is our anchor because no matter what happens in our lives, he always holds us close to him. Even if our parents get a divorce, or if there are mean kids at your school, or if someone close to you dies, or if you are really afraid – God keeps you. Through his Holy Spirit, he has sealed his people, and he never lets go!

Overcoming Grace

Lesson 4 in the Proof Pirates Curriculum focuses on God’s overcoming grace as it is revealed to us in Ephesians 1:13a. We learned that, ”O is for Overcoming Grace–God turns our rebellion into complete surrender.” Here are the key points for the lesson:

  • God’s good news changes our wants and desires.
  • God turns our rebellion into complete surrender.
  • God’s grace overcomes our sin.

God turns our pirate flag of rebellion into a white flag of complete surrender. The more you hear about the goodness and greatness of salvation in Jesus, the more irresistible he becomes. It is such good news! Though we are rebels who run away from God, he has come near to us. God’s grace always overcomes in the end. When our eyes are opened to see how amazing God’s grace is, we do not want to rebel any longer. We want to know God and to experience his grace. We want to surrender!

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7-8a

For lesson four of the PROOF series, Mandy created a “flag” craft. The flag can be cut out and attached to a pencil, dowel, or plastic straw with a stapler. One side of the flag features symbols of rebellion–a skull and cross bones, the serpent, and a dead tree. The other side features symbols of new life and redemption–the cross, the lamb, and the burning bush (or living tree depending on how you color it).

The following questions were developed to accompany this craft project:

  • What images do you see on the left side of the flag? What about the right side? The left side shows a skull, a serpent, and a dead tree, while the right shows a glowing cross, a lamb, and a living tree (or burning bush).
  • What is the difference in the two sides? One side has images of dead while the other side has images of life and joy. Before we surrender to God, we are dead in our sin. The good news is that God makes us alive in Christ and changes our desires.
  • Why do we surrender to God? We surrender because God opens our eyes to his amazing grace, and he makes it completely irresistible.
In the elementary lesson, we talk about one of the best illustrations of overcoming grace in kids’ culture–the movie Finding Nemo. In Finding Nemo, there is a kid fish who gets lost on his first day to school. He ends up in a fish tank on the other side of the ocean. But somehow, through lots of twists and turns with turtles and sharks, the daddy fish overcomes everything and finds Nemo. In the same way, God’s grace overcame. He searched, found us, and made us part of his people. God’s grace overcomes our sin. He can’t be beaten! God’s grace can overcome our desires. God changes our lives and wants. God turns our rebellion into complete surrender. God saves us from the inside out. It’s nothing we did.

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Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness!
Enter his courts with joyful songs! 

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