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PREFACE You have chosen to work in an exciting ministry! The ministry of discipleship is rewarding and fulfilling. In our society today, it is desperately needed. Too many children of all ages make decisions for Jesus Christ and then are left without any guidance as to what it means to be a Christian. As a result, they are babes in Christ who never get the chance to grow to spiritual maturity. The materials provided in this series will equip you with the necessary tools to disciple children to grow in their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Our desire is not to give you a text to be read as you disciple, but rather to give you a practical approach to guide you in communicating the basic Biblical truths presented. Why is it important to focus on the area of discipleship? Glad you asked!

WHY DISCIPLE? God commands it (Matthew 28:19-20) Jesus lived it (Matthew 5:1-2) All believers are prime targets for Satan (I Peter 5:8) God’s goal in all of our lives is Christ likeness (Romans 8:29; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7) Jesus loved the children – you don’t want to hold them back from growing in their relationship with Him (Matthew 19:14) God has taught you so much; He desires for you to take what you have learned, teach it to someone else and keep the cycle going (2 Timothy 2:2)

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As we continue to look into the area of discipleship, you need to have specific goals in mind. You need to have goals for the young believers you are discipling and goals for yourself. Here are some suggestions:

For the young believers:

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To make sure they understand salvation and eternal security (John 1:12, 10:27-30; Hebrews 13:5b-6; 1 John 5:11-13).

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To help them know and understand more about God as their Father, Jesus as their Savior and the Holy Spirit as their Guide. (Matthew 1:21; John 1:12; John 14:16-17)

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To help them understand that Christianity is patterning their lives after Christ and following Him with the right “heart” attitude (Colossians 2:6-7).

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To teach them about the Word of God (Matthew 28:20), help them understand that it can be trusted as truth (Psalm 119:160), and emphasize the importance of applying it to their lives (1 John 2:5).

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To help them develop a daily habit of spending time in God’s Word (Psalm 1:2).

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To teach them the importance of prayer and how to pray (Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

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To teach them how to resist temptation and how to escape it (1 Corinthians 10:13; James 4:7).

For you:

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To disciple the children in an effective way that pleases God (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

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To learn and grow in your own walk with Christ (Colossians 1:28-29).

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To experience the profit of God’s Word as you meet to study it with the children (2 Timothy 3:16).

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To consistently model the goals you are trying to accomplish in their lives (Philippians 3:16-17, 4:9).


HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE This guide is written with you, the coach, in mind. The GOALS and KEY VERSE(S) for each lesson are clearly stated. Each lesson begins with a discussion starter to open the lines of communication between you and the child you are discipling. The lesson format is clear and easy to follow. When Scripture verses are indicated, please read them. You can elaborate where it is necessary. Starting with the first lesson everything that is shaded is only in your leader’s guide. Everything else appears in the corresponding student book whether ages 6–10 or ages 10–12. The Home Review section of each student lesson is for the child to take home and do prior to the next week’s meeting. Don’t rush through the material. Remember – answering questions about a particular point in the lesson is more important than just “getting through” it.

PRACTICAL DISCIPLESHIP TIPS

4 Ifcomplete the child does not have a Bible, provide one. This will enable the child to the lessons and to read the scripture passages along with you. 4 You need to be a part of the child’s life. Make sure the child knows you are concerned about him or her as a “person” and not just with “spiritual things”. 4

Focus on molding the child’s heart through Scripture and not just his or her behavior.

4 Encourage the child regularly through things like phone calls, e-mails, postcards and personal contacts. 4 Ifit into the child is involved in sports or other school activities and you can work your schedule, go to some of the events and be supportive. 4 4 4

Pray! Pray daily for the child and his or her needs. Recruit an older member of the church to pray for you and the child you are discipling. Have an accountability partner yourself who will check up on you to see how things are going and encourage you as you disciple this young Christian. Be sensitive and meet the needs of the child. If he or she has questions or comments, allow time for them. The goal is not just to get through the materials.

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Be sensitive to the abilities of the child. The assignments are laid out so that the Home Review section is “homework”, but help the child with it if necessary. Develop helps that will give the child a visual clue for remembering their lessons. Make note of the additional illustrations at the end of this book for examples of how to do this. Coaches who are working through this series with one child need to be sure that men are counseling boys and ladies are counseling girls. This should always be taught in a place where others can see you. This keeps you above “the appearance of evil” and makes it more comfortable for the child.

4 BeExplains careful not to use Christian terms that a child cannot understand. things simply and clearly. 4

Be prepared! The more comfortable you are with the material the more sensitive you can be to needs. The child will think that you don’t really care about him or her if you are not willing to take the time to prepare (the child will notice!).

4 Set the example – allow the child to ask you accountability questions. 4 Ifguidance. you encounter difficulties, go to your club administrator or pastor for

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Lesson 1

MEETING YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KEY VERSE: John 1:12

Our Heavenly Father saves us through Faith, not works. Our Heavenly Father Adopts us into His family. Our Heavenly Father Talks to us from His Word. Our Heavenly Father is Holy (without sin). Our Heavenly Father is Everywhere. Our Heavenly Father wants us to Remember to love like He loves

Ask: “What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Father’ & ‘Family’?” There are no right or wrong answers. The idea here is to give you more insight into the child’s life and background. If you have a child who comes from a rough home situation, you know you will need to place extra emphasis on God’s love as our Heavenly Father (in distinction to our earthly father). Give some examples of what you think of and begin the lesson by stating that in today’s lesson we will be learning some very important things about our Heavenly Father.

Bridge of Life

Listen closely as your coach goes over the “Bridge of Life” picture. Whose family were we all in when we were born? Satan’s (Romans 3:23).

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Explain the following: (SPECIAL NOTE: If you are very confident about the child’s salvation, you can cover this quickly; if not, make sure the child understands each aspect clearly). We are all born into Satan’s family because we have all sinned (Ask the child to give you a couple of examples of sin. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that displeases God. Make sure the child realizes that sin is not just wrong actions, but also wrong thoughts and words). Satan’s family is not allowed into heaven because God is holy (pure – without sin) and He doesn’t allow sin there. But — God loved you and wanted you to be in heaven with Him so He sent His only Son Jesus to shed His blood and to die on the cross for you so your sins could be forgiven and you could someday live in heaven (John 3:16). Jesus rose from the dead and is now in heaven preparing a place for you. Because He willingly gave His life for you, Jesus created the bridge that allows you to go to heaven. God now offers to all people who have placed their faith in Him a special gift. What gift did God offer to you so you could go to heaven? eternal life (Romans 6:23). Explain that God’s free gift is eternal life and there is absolutely nothing we can do on our own that will get us into heaven. It is through our faith, not our good works that we are allowed to enter into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). When you put your faith and trust in Jesus and believed in Him as your personal Savior, you became a member of whose family? God’s (John 1:12). You are now a child of God. You have been adopted into His family and God is now your Heavenly Father. If you need them for clarity, there are some illustrations on page 31 for explaining faith, trust and believe. Take time right now to pray and thank God for becoming your Heavenly Father. If you have never put your faith and trust in Jesus and believed in Him as your personal Savior, ask your coach to explain what you need to do. Check on child’s spiritual condition at this point. If the child is ready to place their faith and trust in Jesus, encourage the child to pray with you. Have a copy of the Birth Certificate on page 32 to give them. Read John 1:12 again and re-emphasize that the child is now a child of God. Give a brief explanation on eternal security here (more will be covered in book two) using the illustration provided on page 31. If you have received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, God is now your Heavenly Father. It is like being adopted into God’s Family. Fill in your name and when you accepted Jesus on the “Spiritual Birth Certificate” your coach has provided for you. Have ages 6-10 fill out the certificate now; ages 10-12 can fill it out at home. How much do you know about God? The Bible tells us everything we need to know about Him. The Bible is like someone standing next to you and introducing you to this person named GOD. 8


Fill in the missing words from the words listed in the word bank. The pictures give you clues to help you fill in the blanks.

KNOWS CREATED BIBLE LOVES POWERFUL EVERYWHERE HOLY FRIEND

God created heaven and earth.

God knows everything.

(Genesis 1:1)

God is allpowerful.

(Psalm 139:1-6)

(Jeremiah 32:17 & Romans 1:20)

God is everywhere.

God talks to you through the Bible.

(Psalm 139:7-12)

(2 Timothy 3:16)

God loves you very much. (John 3:16)

God is holy (without sin). (1 Peter 1:16)

God wants to be your very best friend. (Proverbs 18:24)

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Do you have a close friend that you enjoy doing things with? Draw a picture in the box below that shows you and your friend enjoying an activity together.

A large box in which to draw is provided for the child.

Today you learned that God loves you and wants to be your very best friend (Proverbs 18:24). Sometimes it is hard to love others who are different than you or treat you badly. God loves you no matter what you say or what you do, in fact, He sent His Son to die for you. This week, try to love like God does – even when it is hard to do so.

God as your Heavenly Father . . . Faith – saves you through your faith in Him, not your works.

Adopts you into His family. Talks to you from the Bible. Holy – is without sin. Everywhere – God is everywhere. Remember – love others like God loves you. 10


Leader’s Guide for ages 10-12 33


Lesson 1

MEETING YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KEY VERSE: John 1:12

Our Heavenly Father saves us through Faith, not works. Our Heavenly Father Adopts us into His family. Our Heavenly Father Talks to us from His Word. Our Heavenly Father is Holy (without sin). Our Heavenly Father is Everywhere. Our Heavenly Father wants us to Remember to love like He loves

Ask: “What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Father’ & ‘Family’?” There are no right or wrong answers. The idea here is to give you more insight into the child’s life and background. If you have a child who comes from a rough home situation, you know you will need to place extra emphasis on God’s love as our Heavenly Father (in distinction to our earthly father). Give some examples. Begin the lesson by stating that in today’s lesson we will be learning some very important things about our Heavenly Father. Bridge of Life

Listen closely as your coach goes over the “Bridge of Life” picture. Whose family were we all in when we were born? Satan’s (Romans 3:23). 39


Explain the following: (SPECIAL NOTE: If you are very confident about the child’s salvation, you can cover this quickly; if not, make sure the child understands each aspect clearly). We are all born into Satan’s family because we have all sinned (Ask the child to give you a couple of examples of sin. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that displeases God. Make sure the child realizes that sin is not just wrong actions, but also wrong thoughts and words). Satan’s family is not allowed into heaven because God is holy (pure – without sin) and He doesn’t allow sin there. But — God loved you and wanted you to be in heaven with Him so He sent His only Son Jesus to shed His blood and to die on the cross for you so your sins could be forgiven and you could someday live in heaven (John 3:16). Jesus rose from the dead and is now in heaven preparing a place for you. Because He willingly gave His life for you, Jesus created the bridge that allows you to go to heaven. God now offers to all people who have placed their faith in Him a special gift. What gift did God offer to you so you could go to heaven? eternal life (Romans 6:23). Explain that God’s free gift is eternal life and there is absolutely nothing we can do on our own that will get us into heaven. It is through our faith, not our good works that we are allowed to enter into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). When you put your faith and trust in Jesus and believed in Him as your personal Savior, you became a member of whose family? God’s (John 1:12). You are now a child of God. You have been adopted into His family and God is now your Heavenly Father. If you need them for clarity, there are some illustrations on page 63 for explaining faith, trust and believe. Take time right now to pray and thank God for becoming your Heavenly Father. If you have never put your faith and trust in Jesus and believed in Him as your personal Savior, ask your coach to explain what you need to do. Check on child’s spiritual condition at this point. If the child is ready to place their faith and trust in Jesus, encourage the child to pray with you. Have a copy of the Birth Certificate on page 64 to give them. Read John 1:12 again and re-emphasize that the child is now a child of God. Give a brief explanation on eternal security here (more will be covered in book two) using the illustration provided on page 63. If you have received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, God is now your Heavenly Father. It is like being adopted into God’s Family. Fill in your name and when you accepted Jesus on the “Spiritual Birth Certificate” your coach has provided for you. Have ages 6-10 fill out the certificate now; ages 10-12 can fill it out at home. How much do you know about God? The Bible tells us everything we need to know about Him. The Bible is like someone standing next to you and introducing you to this person named GOD.

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Complete the crossword puzzle below by looking up the verses – they provide clues for filling in the blanks provided. Also, at the end of each line is the answer (scrambled).

ACROSS: 4. God is all-powerful. (Jeremiah 32:17 & Romans 1:20) - lrwfpeou 8. God is everywhere. (Psalm 139:7-12) - eeeehrwyrv DOWN: 1. God knows everything. (Psalm 139:1-6) - snwok 2. God created heaven and earth. (Genesis 1:1) - tereacd 3. God talks to you through the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16) - Bblie 5. God loves you very much. (John 3:16) - svole 6. God is holy (without sin). (I Peter 1:16) - ylho 7. God wants to be your very best friend. (Proverbs 18:24) - nfdire The 10-12 year olds may need some help with the words because the Bible doesn’t use these specific words in every verse. The verses and scrambled letters at the end of each line will provide clues as to what the words are.

Today you learned that once you put your faith and trust in Jesus and believed in Him as your personal Savior, God became your Heavenly Father. Just like you had a father and mother when you were physically born, now you have a spiritual Father (God) because you have been adopted into His family (Galatians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 6:18).

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Lead in the following discussion (give student time to answer your questions): Today you also learned that God loves you and wants to be your very best friend (Proverbs 18:24). Who is one person whom you love a lot? Why do you love this person? What are some reasons that make it difficult to love someone? (i.e. person doesn’t act cool, doesn’t come from right family, when I fight with my friend, etc.) A person’s love for others can be very fragile. When people don’t look or act right, we don’t have the same love for them as we do at other times. God is not like that – He loves at ALL times (no matter how we look or act). In fact, He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins. God wants us to obey Him and He may have to lovingly discipline us when we don’t; but even when He disciplines us, He still loves us and wants what is best for us. This week, make an effort to show love to others no matter how they treat you. Try to love like God loves!

God as your Heavenly Father . . . Faith – saves you through your faith in Him, not your works.

Adopts you into His family. Talks to you from the Bible. Holy – is without sin. Everywhere – God is everywhere. Remember – love others like God loves you.

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Profile for Word of Life Student Ministries

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