An Easy Way to Integrate the Gospel & Landing Every Sunday
At our church, we made a commitment a long time ago to present the gospel every Sunday.
Our thinking is if a child only attends our church 1x, they will have heard about and had an opportunity to receive salvation.
But over time we found that doing the landing for our lesson and then a separate gospel presentation 1) made the landing too long for the kids’ attention spans and 2) made it feel like we had 2 competing (albeit really good) messages every week.
To help with those 2 issues, we decided to try weaving the landing and the gospel together.
We communicate it as how one of God’s small story (the story and lesson) fits into God’s big story (the Gospel)
First let’s look at how we present the big story (it’s totally okay if you disagree with our theology; just look at this as an example):
We break the presentation into 5 Truths (To find out more about the thinking behind the 5 truths, check out this post: How to Get Kids to Actually Remember What You Say in Church)
Truth 1: You are made in the image of God
When God created everything; he made you in his image. That means you aren’t a an accident and nothing about you is a mistake. It also means you are the most important thing God made, and he loves you more than anything else.
2. God will always chase after you
But when you do bad things, it’s like you’re running from God’s love. And the OT is all about how it’s impossible for us to turn back on our own, so God sent his son Jesus to earth, to die, defeat death, and chase after you. He will always chase after you. So you have a choice to make: you can let Jesus catch you or you can keep running.
3. You can trust God no matter what
If you want to let Jesus catch you, all you have to do is tell God you’re sorry for running, you want to follow him, and you trust him no matter what.
4 & 5. I need to make the wise choice & I should treat others the way I want to be treated
Once you decide to trust God no matter what, God prepares a place for you to live in heaven forever & he sends someone to you called the HS to help you make the wise choice and treat others the way you want to be treated.
The way we weave the landing into this gospel presentation is by looking at which truth our lesson connects with and drawing it out at that point.
For example, when we look at the story of Joseph, his story most connects with “You can trust God no matter what.”
So here’s what we would say: “If you want to let Jesus catch you, all you have to do is tell God you’re sorry for running, you want to follow him, and you trust him no matter what (Truth 3)… just like Joseph did in today’s story. He was betrayed by his own brothers, thrown into slavery, falsely imprisoned, and forgotten about by everyone. But he still trusted God; he trusted that God had a plan, even in the midst of all the bad stuff happening to him. You kids probably won’t face slavery or prison. But you do face scary situations like bullies, moving, parents losing a job, divorce, or friends or family getting really sick. But in all of those situations, God’s there and he’ll never leave, which is why you can trust him no matter what… And once you decide to trust God (Truth 4 & 5)”
Then for the response, we give the kids the opportunity to respond to both the gospel and the application for the lesson.
For our example, we’d say something like: “If you never decided to follow Jesus before and would like to to, repeat after me [sinner’s prayer], and if you are already following Jesus let’s ask God to show us what we need to trust him with this week and ask him to be with us. Repeat after me [application prayer].”
And that’s how we integrate the Gospel and landing each week in Kid’s church.
Leave a comment with your thoughts! I’d love to hear them.
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