Parents Resource

Welcome to Continue the Conversation.  Here you will find info on what your children have been learning in Connection Students.  Our hope is that you will find this useful to be able to better garner conversation and relationships with your kids. 

Weekly Lessons

Student plans will be loaded below weekly. 

  • 1 John 1-2:11

    Our goal in this scripture is for our kids to see what fellowship with the Lord looks like and how we are called to live.

    1 John was written near the end of the 1st century by the apostle John.  As the world was starting to come harder and harder against the church, he wrote these letters so they would not be deceived by what the world was saying and would stay focused on walking as God called them to walk.  John himself knew what it was like to walk with Jesus personally.  He wants us to experience the fellowship he had with God as well as enjoy the fellowship with each other through our experiences. To realize we can have joy on earth, just as we are promised in Heaven. That joy is not found in our circumstance, but through our relationship with an almighty God who wants to you to experience Him here on earth. (v.1:3-4)

    Our discussion of the scripture:

    - God is light and we are called to walk with Him in it.  When we walk in darkness (worldliness) we are going against the will of God.(v. 1:5-7)

    - Walking in the light does not mean that we are sinless. But, it is in the light that God reveals our sins and forgives us of them when we confess.  In fact, not only does he forgive those we ask, but "all unrighteousness", which includes those we don't even yet see. In fact, the closer we grow to God, the more sins we will find in ourselves as the light shining on us will be even brighter.  (Think about seeing all the blemishes on your face you didn't see before when you look into a magnifying mirror with bright lights.) (v.1:8-10)

    - We should strive for Christlikeness and do not sin, but understand even if we do we have a father who will always forgive us through Jesus. (v.2:1-2)

    Our obedience and gauge of it for walking in the light is measurable. If we claim to be saved and call Jesus our Lord, but are not following his commands, then we are not telling the truth in the first place. It would be like if you told your kids to clean their room, but they merely heard what you said and did nothing you told them.  They would obviously not be respecting or giving you the authority that you hold. (v.2:3-4) 

    - But, as we know kids grow in this and their maturity and being perfected comes through time and experiences with their maker. (v.2:5-6)

    -If we are to claim salvation and oneness with Christ, we have to walk like him. Christ only lives in the light. Are you walking stride for stride with Him and only going where the light is., for Christ can not be present in darkness.(v.2:6)

    -We are reminded of one of the greatest commands Jesus gives us and that is to Love our brothers. When we find our heart hardening towards others and unable to show (love is action) blessings of kindness and goodness, this is the world entering your heart. When you are in the light, nothing can cause you to stumble as your joy is from Him. (v.2:7-11)

  • 1 John 2:12-27

    John continues here showing us how we are to live in fellowship with God. 

    Our discussion of the scripture:

    - In the theme of growth, John compares our relationship of God to that of families. He breaks us down into 3 categories. (v. 2:12-14)

          1. little children: brand new Christians who have been forgiven and are learning how to live.

          2. young men: those Christians who have been battling and growing fighting the world to be with God. (sounds like teen years fighting desires to please their parents)

          3. fathers: mature (spiritually, not physically) Christians who have had little children and young men disciples of their own. They have learned the truth and work to share it with others. 

    -God calls all of us to grow.  We should aspire to be a spiritual parent. Its the natural occurrence. If any of us say a 10 year old that still looked like a baby, we would think there is something wrong with them.  The same holds true for us spiritually. (Heb. 5:11-14)

    - We are warned that we can't love or be led by things of the world. The world is defined as anything that excludes God's perspective. In addition we are reminded that the world has an expiration date, whereas we are promised eternity in heaven. (v. 2:15-17) 

    - John reminds us that there is not just one antichrist, but many who are against the ways of God doing the bidding of the dark ruler of the world.  He calls out many around us that are false teachers who leave faith of Christ claiming to know truth and trying to tell us.  He reminds us that if they really knew the truth, they would not have left, but continued on doing the work God calls us to do. (v. 2:18-21) (ref. John 15:9-10)

    - The truth of Jesus is absolute.  If you don't believe in who Christ is and what he does, then you have no relationship with God.  If you didn't know your best friend had a kid, is he really your best friend? (v. 2:22-23)

    -John continues talking about how we should abide (or remain) in Him.  So many of us try to go back and forth from the world to God to the world to Jesus, from the world to church.  What good is a hot tub when you just step in it and then get back out again.  In fact you feel colder and worse before you ever got in it.  The intent is to abide in the hot tub so that it can work its job through you.  Completing the job it was intending to do. There will be those that lie and say there is no joy or good that can come from abiding in Him, but the truth is they never have, for if they did, as he said earlier, they would have never left. (v. 24-26)

    - When we come to know Christ we are gifted with the anointing, or the holy spirit.  We have direct access to God.  Imagine if God gave you a cell phone, giving you all access to all his information and ability to get messages for all he has to say.  We now have a tool to know the truth all the time.  Thats the holy spirit.  We don't need the world to tell us what to say, how to look, how to live, because we have a direct line from God.  Beauty is, just like on on our phones. When we look at social media and we see something that is off, we go and fact check it to find out if its true, we can do the same with God.  When we get a message from God, we can fact check it to see if it really came from Him.  We can turn to His word. If what he said does not line up with Scripture, then its not true.  If it does, there is a good chance it was from him. God will direct our thinking and acting. We have to remember, the best way to get service for Gods phone (annointing) is to remain in his presence (the light). (v. 2:27)

    Visual:  Telephone Game - Its easiest to hear Gods word directly from him, and its even easier when all the voices of the world aren't drowning him out. 

  • Jesus washes his disciples feet

    What an awesome time we had being able to serve at the Bethany Home.  While the tenants were a little confused at first and thought we were there to sing, they felt better when we assured them that they did not want to hear these kids try to carry a tune lol!  All the kids that went were of course a little timid at first, but everyone warmed up and there was great conversations had all around.  People were playing games and hearing good stories.  We really feel the kids may have gotten more out of serving than the tenants did. (Isn't that the way it usually works?) Afterwards I even heard the comment that they felt they needed to do it again.

    Every student that went earned themselves a Jesus Award this week and get another ticket in the bucket for our May 20th drawing.  Students can earn tickets in 5 ways.

    1. Bringing their Bible

    2. Bringing a friend. (2 times max, friend gets a ticket too.)

    3. Winning a game

    4. Participation - given out randomly by leaders

    5. Jesus Award - Doing something in group or out of group that was noticed as being very Christlike. 

    Please encourage your kids.  We are seeing God move and students get engaged as they work to experience God. 

  • 1 John 3

    Matthew 24:36-44

    This week we talked through the scripture and looked to the importance that we should be growing in Christ constantly,  We recognized that we are never fully complete until He returns. (v. 3:1-2)

    The main point of the the evening was looking at whether our actions match our hearts. John says that it will be obvious who is truly in a relationship with God and who is in a relationship with Satan based off the actions of our lives. (v. 3:10)

    We see that the heart will lead to the action, but the action will never change the heart.

    We looked at how our expectations determine our actions.  (If we truly expect to go to Heaven for our acceptance of what Christ has done for us, then we would act a certain way in response.) (v. 3:3)

    Our expectations effect our behavior.

    The kids were challenged with the question, "What happens when you expect your mom and dad to come home from a night out and they tasked you with cleaning the house before they got back?".

    When I was a kid, I would try to figure out what time they were coming to know how long I had until I had to clean up.  The kids said that if they didn't know what time you were coming home, they would clean up the house right away.

    We do different things in our lives based on the expectations we have coming…

    Expect a test

    Expect to play a game

    Expect a date

    Expect to go to a funeral or wedding

    Expect to have a big dinner

    We took the kids though Matthew 24:36-44 and showed them how just like their parents, we don't know the day or hour that Christ is returning. It is our job to make sure we are remaining in him, remaining in the light now, so we will be prepared for His return. 

    This takes us to the last half of 1 John 3 where we look at Love in Action. That love is not just words, it is actively doing something for others. It is accepting others. Being there for someone usually means we are sacrificing something from ourselves. Love in Action also means speaking truth in hard situations where people may not be able to see the truth. (I used an example of my sister suffering from an eating disorder a long time ago.  She couldn't se the truth in front of her, but in order to save her we had to give her the truth.) (v. 3:11-24)

    They were finally challenged with the thought of how many people do they know that don't know Jesus, that are destined for an eternity separated from God? Are they willing to share the truth with friends or even family that can't see the truth for themselves?

  • 1 John 4

    As we continue our look at 1 John, we see John reiterating some of his previous statements. 

    One of the first things we see is that he is addressing little children. If we remember from previous weeks, little children is a reference to new believers who have just recently been saved.  Young men and Fathers should already have some better understandings of these things. (V 4:4)

    Right from the start he tells us to test our spirits. (V. 4:1)

    He goes on to tell us what that means and how to go about testing the spirits. He tells us that we have an internal tester, the Holy Spirit, that can recognize thihngs that are wrong around us.  I equated this to being like a home, or car alarm.  When someone or something is trying to get in, we have an alarm that goes off letting us know that this person, thought, whatever, is not supposed to be there. Also, as we continue to stay in the light and remain in the Lord, those sensors get stronger and more sensitive. 

    For me, my alarm system starting noticing some influences first. Language I would use or hear, songs I may listen to, movies I may watch.  Every time I heard or saw those things that did not glorify God, it was like a little alarm was going off saying I should not be watching, listening, or saying those things.  They were not from God.

    Then my alarm grew to notice more of the thoughts I had and some of the things people (even friends) were trying to tell me were wrong.  

    As you continue to grow this alarm can even help you as God is trying to speak to you.  Many of us struggle with trying to figure out if it is God talking to us or it is our own thoughts.  As it gets more advanced, the alarm system (Holy Spirit) can even help you determine who it is trying to come in. (Think facial recognition)  But this system needs to take time to get to know and understand who it is.  Basically, you need to have spent a lot of time with the Lord, understanding and listening to Him to start to be able to instantly recognize His voice from your own. 

    Think about any twins you may have met in your life.  In the beginning it was very difficult to tell them apart. (We are made in the image of God, so there should be some similarities.). The more time we spend with the twins, we start to notice little differences and character traits that make them much more easily discernible. So it is with God.  The more time we spend with him, the easier it becomes to recognize the differences between His voice and our own.  (V. 4:2-6)

    So why does John make it so important that we test these spirits and ensure we know who is who? One of God's greatest desires for us is to be in complete fellowship with him. Complete fellowship with God means we are only letting him in and not the world. It means we are becoming more like Him. As I asked the kids, who wouldn't want to be like God?!

    In 2 places we see the line, "God is Love". (V. 4:8, 4:16)

    So to be like God, we need to love like God loved. 

    For god so loved the world... he sent his one and only son so that we may live through Him. In verse 9 we see a close similarity to what John tells us in the popular John 3:16 verse. Only this time it is less about what He did for us, but what we should be doing in response. 

    For our experience to be complete in the fullness of God, we must love as he loves if we want to experience what its like to be more like God…

    …This also means loving without fear - God does not worry, or fear, he desires.  To be like God, to continue to grow closer to Christ and live the way we were intended, to be made complete, made full, to get what God wants us to have, we have to have a heart of love towards others always.  (V. 4:12)

    "We love because he loves." The whole reason he tells us about god loving us first is not just so we would respond in kind to him, but as a demonstration of how so that we would love others. This is a command not a reason.  We (need to) love because he loves. In this text, this isn't so much about a response of our love to God because he loves us (which the bible does talk about), but an example given to us and an ability given to us with God in us to be able to love others with the same heart He has.  (V. 4:19-21)

    One of our biggest problems is we spend too much time looking for God and figuring out where he is and not enough sharing God and showing him to others. When we spend time consistently showing love to others, exactly how God shows us how in His word, John tells us more of Him will be made full and revealed in us. 

    But, we act how we are taught. Just as our parents, teachers, coaches, etc.. act how they were taught. We love based on the way love was shown to us. We all have the ability to change how we act, but we first have to recognize the areas where we are wrong and were taught wrong. 

    Where are you learning what love is from?  Many of us were not shown God's love our whole lives.  Many of us grew up in with lives focused on the world and not the kingdom. We have to identify what we were taught, what we currently believe, and where is the lie.

    We have to start treating people differently and living in a state of just loving people, without prejudices, without contingencies, without expectance of things, without offense to others reactions…

    You can’t continuously show God to people and not have it start getting reflected back to you eventually. 

    So how do we break the cycle?  

    Many of our groups took these 3 questions with them to self analyze.

    Who were/are my examples of what love looks like?

    Were you shown the love of the bible that Jesus preaches?

    How do you relearn what love really is and break the cycle?

    As humans, we all have to answer those questions. This is not just for the young, but each one of us.  We also need to ask ourselves how are we showing what love is. Are we living how John (the man who arguably spent more time with Jesus than anyone) is telling us Christ wants us to live.