Introducing Friendship Kids
Written by: Kris Wilder, Children’s Ministry Director
Who’s the Hero?
Moses and the Burning Bush.
David and Goliath.
Daniel and the Lion’s Den.
Jonah and the Great Fish.
Whether it’s been through coloring pages, flannelgraph, or even animated vegetables, these Bible stories have been shared with children in churches around the world. Some may debate Goliath’s height or the type of fish that swallowed Jonah, but most Sunday School teachers agree that each Biblical story is historical truth.
I may be unique, but as a “church kid,” I cannot recall a time when I ever doubted the truthfulness of these stories. As a matter of fact, I would have argued with anyone who claimed they were false! At a young age, I was well aware of Moses’ leadership, David’s bravery, Daniel’s prayer life, and then what happens to people who run from God… I knew the stories. I was the king of Bible trivia. But I missed the point.
It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t as brave as David and I didn’t pray as often as Daniel. Actually, my desires aligned much more with Jonah’s desires than any of the other “heroes.” I viewed these Bible characters as moral examples to follow and found that I never quite measured up. I never doubted the stories, but I sure doubted my standing before God.
So what changed? One thing – The hero.
You can imagine my frustration when the moral standard set by the Old Testament guys increased to the moral standard set by Jesus. If I wasn’t measuring up before, I didn’t have a chance now! But if Jesus just set an impossible standard to live by, He would be no hero at all. Everything changed when I found that the good news of the gospel was not that Jesus was setting the perfect moral standard to follow, but rather that Jesus was following God’s perfect moral standard IN MY PLACE. Jesus’ life and death on the behalf of sinners is the greatest story ever told. Moses needed it. David needed it. Daniel needed it. Jonah needed it. I need it. You need it. And our kids need it.
Although there are lessons to be learned in the individual stories throughout Scripture, we are in danger of missing Jesus if we do not share how those individual stories fit into the much larger story of the Bible – God’s plan to redeem His people through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is the transforming power of the gospel alone that enables me to have bravery like David and faith like Daniel, and it is the redeeming power of the gospel alone that secures me when I don’t.
New Curriculum – The Gospel Project For Kids
Anyone who has experienced this Gospel-transformation is going to have a desire for the next generation to experience the same. This shared desire is why I cannot be more excited about the curriculum for Friendship Kids! During Sunday School, Children’s Church, Junior Church, and on Wednesday nights, Friendship Kids will be following The Gospel Project for Kids. Beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation, “The Gospel Project exists to point preschoolers and children to the gospel of Jesus Christ on every page of Scripture.” The format of Friendship Kids may look familiar as there will be coloring pages, memorizing verses, singing songs, or listening to that week’s Bible story. But I pray that by God’s grace, the gospel-centered focus will result in a generation of boys and girls that live on gospel mission in light of what they’ve received in the good news of Jesus Christ.
It is our church’s desire that Friendship Kids be a positive supplement to parents as they disciple their children. In order to assist families, parents of Friendship Kids will be receiving a weekly emailed newsletter surveying what story is being taught, how Christ is connected to that story, as well as other key details surrounding that week’s lesson. For those interested, you can also follow along on Instagram (@friendshipkidsraleigh) for more specific launch information as well as weekly Bible story updates.
We trust these tools will allow for easy follow-up discussions with your children as you will always be aware of what they are being taught. I could not be more excited about the days ahead, and I am eager to see how God will use The Gospel Project for Kids to grow all of our affections for Jesus and His Gospel.