“Jesus the Messiah”: Preschool & Kids Leader Training for Unit 19, Session 5—Jesus as a Child
One of the big take-aways from this week’s session is that even as a child, Jesus wanted to honor the Father. Jesus was drawn to the temple—His Father’s house—and He apparently delighted in engaging with the religious leaders in talking about God.
As a quick note, Jesus was not being disobedient in this encounter. That would have been a sin and Jesus is without sin. Rather, this was merely an oversight on the family’s behalf. Joseph and Mary likely overlooked Jesus being with the group because each probably thought Jesus with with the others when they left. (A larger group of people likely traveled together and the men and women would generally walk separately.)
Jesus always honored Joseph and Mary, in compliance with the fifth commandment, but He honored God the Father even more. That is why He was on earth in the first place: to please the Father.
The Value of Your Kids
As always, we want to spend the bulk of our time and focus on Jesus as we teach. But in doing so, we don’t want to put our time and focus exclusively on Jesus. We also want to be sure to help our kids see the beauty of the gospel and want to live differently in light of the gospel. This is a session that sets that up on a T for us.
If you are reading this, you are likely in kids ministry in some way. Perhaps you are a ministry leader. Perhaps you are a teacher or small group leader. Perhaps you are an assistant. Whatever your role might be, you are likely pouring at least part of your life into kids. Why? Because you love them and know that they matter.
Let’s face it, kids ministry is not easy. It is not glamourous. Often, other ministries draw most of the attention. But we don’t serve in kids ministry because it is easy, glamorous, or a way to be noticed. We do it because we know that kids need Jesus, that they can know Jesus, and that they can live for Jesus. That is what this session reminds us of.
Jesus was just 12 years old, and yet, we see Him interacting with adults, and not just adults, leading religious teachers. Sure, Jesus is fully God, but He was also fully human. While we cannot, nor should not, expect our kids to match Jesus stride-for-stride, we can encourage them that they have more value and potential than they might realize. They can do great things for God right now. Because of God’s work in and through their lives. Jesus honored the Father as a child. And so can our kids.
The Potential of Your Kids
What do you dream for your kids? What do you challenge them toward?
Do you see your kids (those who have trusted in Jesus) as a missionary force ready to be mobilized? Do you see them as salt and light in their schools and neighborhoods, and on their sports teams?
Do you see your kids as disciples, growing meaningfully in their faith? Do you see your role as a discipler, in partnership with parents? Do you see your kids as disciple-making disciples, able and needing to pour into one another?
Do you see your kids as worshipers? Do you see that they can worship God in spirit and in truth and that they have much to offer to the church?
Let’s never forget that we are positioned to be champions for our kids—ones to lift the bar. We want to help our kids believe more fully of what God can do in them and through them as we also want to help our church family do the same.
When we honor our kids in this way, we position them to do better what God has called on them to do today—honor Him.
When we see ourselves in need of grace, and when we see that our children and disciples are also in need of grace because they are just like us, then we can hold out the cross as our answer for everything because it was Jesus’s answer for everything. Now nothing stands in the way of our enjoyment of God forever. Let’s run together with him wherever he leads us while we are yet alive on this earth.” — Gloria FurmanGloria Furman, Missional Motherhood (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016), 200.
Tips for Teaching this Week’s Session
Every week, Karen Jones and I offer guidance to help you as you prepare to teach every session of The Gospel Project for Preschool and Kids. Listen in as we discuss:
- The big idea of the session
- Any areas of caution or requiring additional prep time
- What we hope God will do through this session
This training is available on Ministry Grid, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.