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Can a kid be significant in the Kingdom?

As Victory Church dives into a whole church initiative surrounding the idea of significance titled Be Significant, I ask myself – how can our VictoryKids be a part of it.  We’re leaning into Jesus’ definition of the path to significance which is to give, serve, and love.  Man, I love Jesus.  When the world around us tells me I have to have money, power, and status to achieve significance, Jesus tells me the EXACT opposite. He says I’ve got to love people the way I want to be loved.  It’s so upside down, flipped around, shaken up, and OPPOSITE of what everyone else is doing.

But Jesus is opposite in His thinking about significance in another way too.  The world tells children a lot of times that they are a burden and not welcomed.  They’re too young to do X and not old enough to do Y.  They make too much noise in that restaurant and they’re too disruptive in that auditorium.  Jesus says something quite different when the disciples don’t include kids in his gathering.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”

— Mark 10:13-16

Yup. Jesus tells us straight about the significance of a child.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

— Matthew 18:1-5

So Victory Parents – check your email and watch this so you can see what we’re doing to make sure your kid experiences growth towards significance.

 

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VBX is coming – why it matters to your family NOW

It’s January – I’m talking about July.  Why should you be thinking about VBX now?

Vacation Bible Experience at Victory is one of our biggest outreaches of the year to families in our community.  I’m the product of Vacation Bible School – I wouldn’t know Jesus without a neighbor taking me to VBX.

Families in this area make their vacation plans now (I bet you’re already thinking about the beach)! So we’ve got to start mentioning it to families we know and want to attend NOW.

We want Jesus to change our community and VBX can be a vehicle for which He will do it.  Please start talking about it – asking people to save the date. And please – start praying.

Teaching kids to talk to Jesus

One of the phrases I most often repeat in kids’ church happens when a kid is about to pray aloud for the whole group.  What I’ve observed is that often times when one person prays, the rest of us either tune it out or just listen along instead of actively praying along with the person.  I think that a group prayer is just that – an invitation for a whole group to pray.

For kids – that’s a pretty hard concept so I’ve adopted this phrase, “We’re all going to talk to Jesus right now, and Terry is going to help us do it.”  This allows space for kids to process that we’re all praying, it’s a conversation with Jesus, and the one leading it isn’t actually the only one praying.

We’re learning about prayer this month in VictoryKids.  This week we learned specifically about the “Our Father” prayer from Luke 11.  What if, as a family, you prayed this week and encouraged everyone to participate even though one person might be praying aloud?

Why do we enjoy giving? A kid’s opinion

In December, VictoryKids Elementary kiddos learned about generosity.  I often find I like to ask harder questions that aren’t in the curriculum – mostly because I’m curious what kids will say.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes I get a confused look.

I decided to ask a group of Kindergarten and First grade students why they thought we enjoyed giving.  I talked about how happy I feel when I give a great present and my friend likes it.  I also talked about how happy my heart is when I give a helping hand to someone.

As much as we talk about how hard it is to give, the truth is – giving creates some of the best feelings in our hearts.  Why?  I expected something like, “because it’s fun to help” or “because I love them.”

The response I got from a 5 year old was quite different.  The child said, “we were created in the image of God. God loves to give.  He gave his only son, Jesus. So if we’re made like God and He likes to give, that’s why we enjoy giving.”  You can imagine my face as I processed one of the most profound thoughts I’ve ever heard.  Giving reflects the image of God.  What an amazing God we serve!

 

 

Let your kids play with the nativity

I grew up with a mom who had a ‘special’ nativity just for my sister and me.  I don’t know if my mom set out for the angels wings to be broken off and Joseph to have bite marks, but after years of play, her nativity was well-loved and well-worn.

This Christmas, consider letting your kids play with your decorative Nativity (okay, not the Hummel one) or get them their own that you bring out special at Christmas time.  When kids play with nativities, they’re actually interacting with Jesus and God’s story at a level they understand.

I don’t know if my mom intentionally wanted me to grow in knowledge that Jesus was significant, but that special toy helped me grow in knowledge of who God was and also in a deep, deep love of Jesus.

So this year, don’t put the nativity high up on the shelf and out of reach, but let your kids play with the nativity scene.  Let them grow in knowing Jesus’ story and who He is.