SojournKids

This Week in SojournKids: Jesus on the Throne (Revelation 4:2-5:14)

Josh RobertsComment

Parents,

Below are some devotional helps to use throughout the week.  We'd love for you to use some or even all of these to review this week's story with your kids.

Dinner Time (Deep Dive)

READ the story together.  (Revelation 4:2-5:14)

ASK some questions about the story.

  • Who were the characters? (John and Jesus.)
  • What are the main story beats? (John sees the throne, John sees four creatures, John sees the scroll and the lamb.)
  • What’s the main point? (All people and all creatures in heave and on earth will worship Jesus.)

CONNECT it to the family.

When we arrive in heaven we will worship Jesus. We should look for opportunities to worship Jesus as a family was we await Jesus’ return. 

PRAY together.

God, we thank you for your word. We thank you for your promises. We pray that we can worship Jesus as we await his return. Amen.

Drive Time (Quick Refresh)

ASK what story we’ve been studying this week. (Jesus on the Throne)

  • See what they remember from the story – details, main points, any take away they have, etc.

REMIND them of the main point.

  • All people and all creatures in heaven and on earth will worship Jesus.

Bedtime (Soul Work)

ASK how they feel about what we’ve been learning about this week.

  • Why does Jesus deserve all glory and honor?
  • How can we show honor and glory to Jesus?
  • What can we most look forward to about eternal life?

ENCOURAGE them about the truth of God’s promise.

  • We will spend eternity in heaven worshiping.

RELATE to them.

  • God wants us to worship him.
  • Mom and Dad are called to worship God with you.

PRAY for them before they go to sleep.

Breakfast Time (Daily Encouragement)

ENCOURAGE them to trust God’s promise today.

  • At school as they’re working, playing, talking with friends, etc.

PRAY for them before you drop them off to start their day.

REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.

Gospel Project Big Picture Question:   What will happen when Jesus returns? Jesus will destroy all evil and make all things new.

Memory Verse: Revelation 21:5 – “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 36 - Session 3

This Week in SojournKids: God’s Warning to Seven Churches (Revelation 2-3)

Josh RobertsComment

Parents,

Below are some devotional helps to use throughout the week.  We'd love for you to use some or even all of these to review this week's story with your kids.

Dinner Time (Deep Dive)

READ the story together.  (Revelation 2-3)

ASK some questions about the story.

  • Who were the main characters? (John and Jesus)
  • What are the main story beats? (John gives the specific messages for each church as Jesus gave to him in the vision.)
  • What’s the main point? (Jesus told the seven churches to stand strong in the faith.)

CONNECT it to the family.

We need to be encouraged by God just as these seven churches are encouraged. God gives us courage to stand strong when trouble comes. We as a family can support each other and be reminded of that courage. 

PRAY together.

God, we thank you for your promises. We pray that we can remain strong in the faith. Thank you for loving us. Amen.

Drive Time (Quick Refresh)

ASK what story we’ve been studying this week. (God’s Warning to Seven Churches)

  • See what they remember from the story – details, main points, any take away they have, etc.

REMIND them of the main point.

  • Jesus told the seven churches to stand strong in the faith.

Bedtime (Soul Work)

ASK how they feel about what we’ve been learning about this week.

  • How did Jesus correct or warn the churches?
  • What encouragement does he give them?

ENCOURAGE them about the truth of God’s promise.

  • We are called to stand strong in the faith.

RELATE to them.

  • Mom and Dad have been called to be an example of how to stand strong in the faith.
  • Mom and Dad are called to remind you to do the same.

PRAY for them before they go to sleep.

Breakfast Time (Daily Encouragement)

ENCOURAGE them to trust God’s promise today.

  • At school as they’re working, playing, talking with friends, etc.
  • Remember that Jesus tells us to stand strong in the faith.

PRAY for them before you drop them off to start their day.

REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.

Gospel Project Big Picture Question:   What will happen when Jesus returns? Jesus will destroy all evil and make all things new.

Memory Verse:   Revelation 21:5 – “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 36 - Session 2

Sojourn Kids 101: Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Jared KennedyComment

This edition of Sojourn Kids 101 outlines three things: (1) our responsibility as mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect (2) how to report, and (3) how volunteers can guard themselves from accusation.  

Our Responsibility as Mandatory Reporters

The first representation a child has of God is their parents and regular caregivers. That’s a truth that should encourage us to be hyper-vigilant about protecting children from predatory or abusive influences. Sadly, most abuse takes place within the context of an on-going relationship.  Over 80% of the time, abusers are people who are well-known to the victim. They are the people we’d least expect.

In Matthew 18, Jesus warns us, “If  anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea” This a strong warning, but it’s one that highlights our responsibility before God to protect kids.

We believe that reporting abuse is a responsibility we have before God. But it’s also a responsibility we have before the governing authorities. It’s important to know that all Sojourn Kids volunteers are mandatory reporters of abuse and neglect according to both Kentucky and Indiana law.

How to Report

So, what do I do if I suspect that a child has been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused? The short answer is, Report Immediately!

In the case of suspected abuse by a staff member, volunteer, or parent, volunteers should immediately make a report to Child Protective Services in your city or state. We also ask that you report your concerns to a safe staff person or pastor at the church. If you’d like, we’re willing to call Child Protective Services with you. After all, you are a mandatory reporter and we are mandatory reporters as well.

Here’s a couple of things about reporting that it’s important to know.

  • First, it’s not your responsibility (or ours) to substantiate your suspicions. We simply have a responsibility as a church community to comply with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and cooperate fully with both Child Protective Services and the law enforcement officials in our community. If you’d like to learn more about what constitutes abuse, take a look at the checklist that accompanies this video. But I’d encourage you to err on the side of caution and report any suspicions you have.
     
  • Second, know that you should not discuss the report with other parents or childcare workers. This is for the sake of privacy. But also, if a child is disclosing that a parent or another adult is causing harm, DO NOT talk with that parent or adult. Talking to a potential abuser could result in additional shame or abuse for the child. Instead, as we’ve already said, Report Right Away!

How Can I Guard Myself from Accusation?

One question that regularly comes up when we’re talking about abuse reporting is the question of protecting yourself from accusation. This is important because appropriate physical contact with children can be really helpful (and even necessary!) in a children’s ministry environment. A hand on a child’s shoulder may be helpful for aiding communication, redirecting attention, or calming restlessness. But physical touch can also be easily misinterpreted. So, whether you are serving in children’s ministry or are just interacting with kids in your community group, here are a few simple rules to abide by:

  • Always remain in open sight of other adults.
     
  • Know that appropriate physical contact varies according to the child’s age. What is appropriate for nursery age children (holding, rocking, assisting in the restroom, etc.) is not appropriate for kids in grade school. Sitting on laps for instance may be appropriate for a toddler, but it’s not appropriate for a first grader.  
     
  • Because the majority of sexual offenders are men, our policy at Sojourn Kids is that only females may change diapers. Also, we don’t change the diapers of children over age five.
     
  • Also know that in some situations, a man will need to limit physical contact more than a woman in the same situation, especially when working with older children.
     
  • All caregivers should refrain from roughhousing, wrestling, or giving shoulder or piggyback rides to children. Physical contact in group activities such as ultimate Frisbee, freeze tag, touch football, etc., is reasonable and understandable. But rough play and the kind of personal attention given by a shoulder ride is not appropriate for a classroom setting. And generally speaking, these types of activities should be avoided in a community group setting as well—particularly if a child’s parents are not present or within sight range.
     
  • It’s also important to use care and discernment when hugging a child. Brief side-hugs when greeting or comforting a child are generally appropriate. Prolonged, frequent, or frontal hugs are just not. In older classes, volunteers should not initiate hugs, particularly towards children of the opposite sex. If an older child initiates a hug, redirect them to more appropriate contact such as a side hug or gentle "high-five.”
     
  • Never touch a child on or near any region that is considered private or personal unless you are changing diaper or assisting toddler or preschool age children in the restroom.
     
  • And never touch a child out of frustration or anger. Physical discipline is never an appropriate means of correcting someone else’s child.

Thank you for joining us for this Sojourn Kids 101 training on reporting and protecting children from abuse and neglect.  These are heavy responsibilities that we take very seriously, and we trust that you will as well.

This Week in SojournKids: John’s Vision of Jesus (2 Peter 3:1-13)

Josh RobertsComment

Parents,

Below are some devotional helps to use throughout the week.  We'd love for you to use some or even all of these to review this week's story with your kids.

Dinner Time (Deep Dive)

READ the story together.  (Revelation 1:9-20)

ASK some questions about the story.

  • Who were the main characters? (John and Jesus.)
  • What are the main story beats? (John is on the island of Patmos and he hears a voice; John then writes down what he sees; John shares his vision with the seven churches.)
  • What’s the main point? (Jesus appeared to John in a vision to tell about the end of time.)

CONNECT it to the family.

We are called to remember John’s vision and be reminded that Jesus will one day return and make all things new. We as a family should remember that and what Jesus has promised us.

PRAY together.

God, we thank you for your word. We thank you for the vision that you gave to John. We pray that you will remind us of your return. We love you Lord. Amen.

Drive Time (Quick Refresh)

ASK what story we’ve been studying this week. (John’s Vision of Jesus)

  • See what they remember from the story – details, main points, any take away they have, etc.

REMIND them of the main point.

  • Jesus appeared to John in a vision to tell about the end of time.

Bedtime (Soul Work)

ASK how they feel about what we’ve been learning about this week.

  • Do you ever worry about the future?
  • What was the vision Jesus gave John?
  • What has God promised about his return?

 

ENCOURAGE them about the truth of God’s promise.

  • Jesus will return and make all things new.

RELATE to them.

  • No matter what happens, Jesus will return and make everything the best it can be.

PRAY for them before they go to sleep.

Breakfast Time (Daily Encouragement)

ENCOURAGE them to trust God’s promise today.

  • At school as they’re working, playing, talking with friends, etc.
  • We know that Jesus will return and make all things new!

PRAY for them before you drop them off to start their day.

REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.

Gospel Project Big Picture Question:   What will happen when Jesus returns? Jesus will destroy all evil and make all things new.

Memory Verse:   Revelation 21:5 – “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 36 - Session 1

This Week in SojournKids: While We Wait (2 Peter 3:1-13)

Josh RobertsComment

Parents,

Below are some devotional helps to use throughout the week.  We'd love for you to use some or even all of these to review this week's story with your kids.

Dinner Time (Deep Dive)

READ the story together.  (2 Peter 3:1-13)

ASK some questions about the story.

  • Who were the main characters? (Peter and the Christians he is writing to.)
  • What are the main story beats? (Peter tells them scoffers will come; Peter tells them that time for God is different than time for us; Peter tells them that their waiting is where righteousness dwells.)
  • What’s the main point? (Peter wrote that Jesus will return soon, so we should obey Him and tell others about Him.)

CONNECT it to the family.

Jesus will one day return. We as a family should obey God’s commands and tell others about him. Our life as a family should point others to Christ.

PRAY together.

God, we thank you for sending your son to die on a cross for our sins. We look forward to Jesus’ return. We pray that we can share your love with others as we wait for the return of Christ. Amen.

Drive Time (Quick Refresh)

ASK what story we’ve been studying this week. (While We Wait)

  • See what they remember from the story – details, main points, any take away they have, etc.

REMIND them of the main point.

  • Peter wrote that Jesus will return soon, so we should obey Him and tell others about Him.

Bedtime (Soul Work)

ASK how they feel about what we’ve been learning about this week.

  • Do we know when Christ will return? 
  • Do you feel like you are obeying God’s command?
  • Do you feel like you are telling enough people about God?

ENCOURAGE them about the truth of God’s promise.

  • Christ will return and until he does we should obey Him and tell others about Him.

RELATE to them.

  • We must be reminded that Jesus one day will return.
  • How can you tell more people about God?
  • We will fall short, but God is there to help us.

 

PRAY for them before they go to sleep.

Breakfast Time (Daily Encouragement)

ENCOURAGE them to trust God’s promise today.

  • At school as they’re working, playing, talking with friends, etc.

PRAY for them before you drop them off to start their day.

REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.

Gospel Project Big Picture Question: How do we live while waiting for Jesus to return? We remember God’s truth, grow in godliness, and spread the gospel. 

Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 35 - Session 4