July Editor’s Notes

Life-Apps are what God is doing in you to change the world around you.

Key Question: How can you show God’s goodness to others? As we start small group with this question, we hope that our preteens can begin to take ownership of what they can do to make an impact in someone’s life. From friends to family to neighbors, we pray they can point others to Jesus through the way they help others.

We start the month in James 1:17a. Jesus’ brother, James, shares a bit of wisdom that reminds us how everything that’s good comes from God. It’s true! Everything good in our lives is because of God. And the best gift that God gives is Jesus. Because of what Jesus did for us, we can show God’s goodness to others.

Bottom Line: Show God’s goodness to others. When we understand that God has been so good to us, we can’t help but show goodness to others. From being kind to helping others, we hope kids come up with some great ideas to point others to Jesus with their actions.

Key Question: How can you be someone people can count on? As preteens start to discover the complexities of relationships, we can help them see that how they support others is important. During Small Group, they’ll brainstorm ways they can be faithful to the people in their lives. Everyone needs someone they can depend on, and they have the chance to be that person for someone in their life.

Next, we discover how faithfulness shows up in an incredible moment that Luke records in Acts 12:1-19. Peter faithfully served God and preached the message of Jesus. The church faithfully prayed for Peter while he was in prison. God was faithful to Peter and sent an angel to help him escape. They could hardly believe what happened, but everyone praised God for his faithfulness.

Bottom Line: Be faithful so others can count on you. Faithfulness will look different for each of us. Some of us will be faithful to family members who need encouragement. Others will faithfully help friends who struggle a bit. We hope kids learn that when they are faithful to others, God can do some amazing things through them.

Key Question: Why is it sometimes hard to be gentle? Gentleness is one of those words many might equate with weakness. We want preteens to see that being gentle can be one of the strongest things they do. During Small Group, they’ll discover how they show gentleness when it’s the last thing they may want to do.

Next, we head to Mark 10:13-16 where Mark records a time when Jesus welcomed children, gave them His attention, and blessed them. Back then no one thought every highly of children, and what Jesus did would have shocked many who were watching. But Jesus taught that this is what the kingdom of God is all about, coming to God with the faith of a child.

Bottom Line: God can give you the strength to be gentle. Kids don’t always know how to respond with gentleness. But we want them to know that God can help them! We pray they’ll start to be aware of how they react when things don’t go their way and trust God to help them choose to be gentle.

Key Question: What can happen when you lose control? Our actions have consequences, especially when we aren’t able to get a handle on our emotions. We’ll ask this question to help preteens think through how they respond when things don’t go the way they expect. We pray they’ll discover something about themselves and create a plan for how to rely on God’s power to help them control their words and actions.

In James 3:3-10, we’re reminded that our words have power. James uses practical images like a horse bit, a ship’s rudder, and a flame to show us just how powerful they are. We can use words to encourage and help others, or we can use our words to hurt them.

Bottom Line: God gives you the power to have self-control. Self-control can be tricky, especially when we want something really bad or when life doesn’t go our way. This can also be true with the words we use. We pray that kids will begin to see that they don’t need to do this all on their own. God can help them show self-control.


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