Parents,

During our Centered series, we are doing something we have never done before: for a period of 7 weeks, we will have the Adults, students, and kids all go through the same basic subject matter.

We wanted to make sure you knew the kinds of things your kids would be getting into. In some ways, you will know by attending the adult services each week. The One Life Kids team poured a lot of energy designing kid friendly material that relates to what the adults will be studying. Our hope is that you will have meaningful conversations about these things with your children.

This is a resource that’s designed to help with that goal.

Here are 5 principles we would suggest that can serve as a guidance system for your interaction with your kids about the series:

Principle #1: If you are an engaged parent YOU are the world’s greatest expert on your child. You know what they can handle and what they cannot. Every kid is different. You know HOW they are different so all of the rest of what we are sharing assumes that basic fact. If the things below aren’t true in your particular case, please customize things to your own child.

Principle #2: Ask more than you tell. This material is designed to spark thinking around the deepest questions of life. The object is not necessarily to tell kids what to believe but to inspire them in the direction of Christ Centered belief on their own.

Principle #3: The older they are the more you ask (conversely, the younger they are, the more you tell). Children at a certain age don’t think in the categories that adults do. So, they need to more telling about belief. However, one of the signs of growing up is a desire and need to think for yourself. That’s why so much of this is about the art of a good question.

Principle #4: It’s your turn to ask “why”? Kids are well known for asking “why?” questions. You can wisely turn the tables. Asking questions that begin with “why?”; will help your child form and sharpen their thoughts. Plus, “why?” often results in deeper searches and answers.

Principle #5: If you don’t know, say so. One of the greatest mistakes we can make is to try to answer questions we honestly don’t know the answer to. Don’t try to “fake it ‘til you make it.” If your child asks you a question that you have always wondered about — tell them exactly that: “That’s a great question. I’ve wondered that myself. Why don’t we think about that one together.” Then, seek other resources to help you out.

Centered Series Topics

Here are the subjects for the ‘Centered: 7 weeks with suggestions for questions
you could ask your kids to spark conversation.

Week 1: The Nature of Belief.

SUBJECT MATTER: Defining what we mean by a “worldview”. We are talking about how we ALL have beliefs and explanations about the big questions (and smaller questions too like UFO’s and Bigfoot). Why do we believe the things we do? Why do we reject other beliefs?

Suggested questions to ask your kids:
Do you believe there’s life on other planets? If so, why? If not, why not?
What are some things your friends believe that you doubt?
What are some of the reasons you believe in God?
What are some things that have made you wonder if there is a God?

Week 2: Where did it all come from?

SUBJECT MATTER: How do we answer– where did it – the world, the universe — all come from? Did it all just happen? Did it come from a personal source? An impersonal source? Is there any evidence for belief one way or the other?

Suggested questions to ask your kids:
Have you ever wondered where everything came from?
What are some of your favorite kinds of animals? Why?
When you look at the world that God made, does it tell you anything about Him?

Week 3: Who are we?

SUBJECT MATTER: Are people different from animals? Are we different in KIND or DEGREE? What gives people value? How are we different from animals and how are we the same? What evidence is there? What are the implications? Celebrating human beings.

Suggested questions to ask your kids:
How do you think we’re different from animals?
If you could be any kind of animal what would you be? Why?
What are some things we can do that animals can’t do?
What do you think makes people special?
Who are some of your favorite people? Why?
Who are people in the world, if you could, would you like to spend some time with?
When the Bible says that God has made people to be like him—what do you think that means?

Week 4: What’s wrong?

SUBJECT MATTER: Why is there so much evil in the world? Why do we do wrong things? Life seems good but broken at the same time. Why?

Suggested questions to ask your kids:

Do you ever do things you know are wrong? (you won’t get in trouble if you say yes;)
Why do you think we do things we know are wrong?
What are some things that people have done to you that you know are wrong?
What do wish people would do to make the world a better place?
What can YOU do to make the world a better place?

Week 5: Who is Jesus?

SUBJECT MATTER: An exploration and celebration of who Jesus is, how he is viewed by other belief systems and his unique impact on the world.

Suggested questions to ask your kids:

When you think of Jesus — what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
Why do you think people like Jesus so much?
What’s your favorite story of something heard Jesus did?

Week 6: What’s the cure?

SUBJECT MATTER: How do we cure the wrong in ourselves? The concept of sin and justice. Christianity’s answer is the cross / atonement. What other answers are offered out there?

Suggested questions to ask your kids:

Do you think we can do things that are wrong that deserve to be punished? Why?
What does punishing someone for doing wrong do?
What things do you think deserve to be punished the most?
Do you think it’s wrong when someone does wrong and does NOT get punished?

Week 7: Is there hope?

SUBJECT MATTER: The resurrection — the evidence and the implications. What do other beliefs say about death and hope beyond death?

Suggested questions to ask your kids:

What are some things you are really hoping will happen someday in your life? Why?
The Bible says Jesus died — but then came back from the dead. Why do you think that happened?
What does Jesus’ resurrection tell us about God?
What do you think heaven will be like?

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