"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
We have some great classes offered for the kids during the sermon at Church@109. The kids are excused from the service after worship and communion together and they eagerly take off to the class for their age group. We have four classes offered from ages 2-12.
Our children's program is called "Kids Under Construction" because we value children and feel that these early years are an incredible time to set the foundation for a true understanding of the Bible and real faith in our powerful God. The teachers in each class are volunteers from our church family who enjoy connecting with kids and feel passionate about getting into the Bible and learning together. Questions are encouraged and it's such a joy to hear the thoughts and ideas from young minds.
This week we will take a peek into the oldest class which is for kids ages 10+. There were a total of 15 kids in this age group from both services on Sunday. We started off the morning by taking roll and sharing fun things from our week. Then notebooks were passed out for the kids to decorate. They can doodle in these during class, take notes, write down a Bible verse, or draw a picture from our lesson. It's a way for them to keep a record of what they are learning and have something to do with their hands if they are restless.
We were ready to open the Bible together, but the topic was the popular story of Jonah. There were some "pop quiz" questions asked to see how much they already knew. Anyone from the group could answer out loud. See if you know the answers.
1. Where did God ask Jonah to go?
2. What did Jonah do instead?
3. What happened in the midst of the storm?
4. Then what happened?
5. How long was Jonah in the belly of the big fish?
The questions were all answered correctly! It was time to open our Bibles together. We all found the correct page and we read the whole book of Jonah aloud together. The first 3 chapters are the more well known ones, so we spent our time focusing on chapter 4. In this chapter Jonah gets furious with God for forgiving the Ninevites when they humbled themselves and asked for forgiveness. God taught Jonah a lesson by having a plant grow beside him while he was sitting hot and miserable outside. Jonah was so happy for the shade and relief. The next day God caused the plant to die. Jonah is so angry the plant is gone. God asks Jonah if it's a good idea for him to be angry about this plant. Jonah did nothing to make the plant grow and it only lasted a day. God compares Jonah's passion about this plant to the incredible love and compassion He has for the 120,000 people that live in Ninevah. God created them and loves them and He wants to helps Jonah understand his concern for them.
From this Bible story we learned that God is slow to anger, quick to forgive, and wants us all to be saved. Each of the kids got a plastic pot to decorate then filled it with soil and a sprinkling of flower seeds to take home. As their flowers grow, hopefully they will be reminded of God's incredible love for them and that He is concerned about each of His children.