August 5 – Foundation for Life Change – Fun

Read Matthew 19:14

I’ve been at Grace since I was five years old and grew up in Grace Kids. Every summer came with the anticipation of Mr. Steve and Mr. Randy’s VBS-the highlight of the summer for my friends and me!

Then, there were Sunday morning services. I vividly remember memorizing verses throughout the whole week so I could get cool prizes from Ms. Cathy; I had so much fun!

These memories are so vivid because I had so much FUN! Fun is such an important value at Grace Kids because fun, over time, builds trust.

The trust I had in my leaders throughout my years in Grace Kids carried over to my years in Grace Students, which changed my life for the better. Trusting them brought me closer to Jesus!

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” What better way to point kids to Jesus than by making sure they have fun, and therefore building trust, on their way?

It might come as a surprise, but kids love having fun! If you have any kids in your life, you know that they don’t need fancy toys or giant games to have fun-they have fun wherever they are!

So, I have a question for you. Who can you invite to have a fun time in order to build the bridge for spiritual conversations? Think about the families around you, whether neighbors, colleagues, or friends. Now, think about how God could use you in their lives-simply by creating a FUN environment!

What are you waiting for? Go have some fun and build the bridge for spiritual conversations while doing so!

Grace Wasson

August 4 – Foundation for Life Change – Safe

Read Philippians 1:6

Being a mom of two boys, I was excited when I was asked to lead our girl’s ministry at Grace. I was ready for girls in my life and it quickly became my favorite night of the week! 

SMM, which stands for Serving My Master, was a weekly group that provided an opportunity to connect 1st-6th graders with other girls, leaders and, ultimately, Jesus. Whether we were learning about our missionaries, making a craft, having a Bible lesson, or singing at a nursing home, the girls loved coming and they felt safe at church.

Grace Kids is a place where we can creatively lead and teach families towards life change in a simple, SAFE, and fun way. Every Sunday you will find our rooms clean and supplied with age appropriate toys and activities ready for kids.  SAFE includes a quick stop at a check-in kiosk for a nametag and secure pick-up tag for parents to use at the end of the service. SAFE also means wonderful leaders, who have had background checks, ready to greet and lead kids in a small group setting.  Time the leaders spend with the kids every week builds trust and kids feel SAFE when they can trust someone.

How incredible would it be if kids grew up knowing they are safe at church?

Would you take a few minutes right now to pray for the kids who come to Grace Kids that they would feel safe and cared for? Would you pray that the safe environment of Grace Kids would allow for kids to open their hearts to Jesus? Lastly, would you also pray that God would continue to provide leaders and that they can have spiritual discussions with the kids in their group?

Its 25 years later and some of those little girls I had in SMM are now moms with their own little girls and what a joy to see the love they have for their family and Jesus! There are other girls I am still praying for and praying they remember that God will always love them, and I will too!

Cathy Simms

August 3 – Foundation for Life Change – Simple

Read Luke 2:52

The Bible is made up of 66 books, scribed by approximately 40 authors, and was written over the course of around 1,500 years. There are a lot of stories, information, and lessons to understand in just one single book. At the earliest age possible, we want kids to understand that the Bible isn’t just a book associated with Sunday mornings at church.

The Bible is how we can directly hear from our Creator and learn all that He desires for us to know!

Something I love about Grace Kids is that we get to see kids at every age, learn about Jesus and the Bible in a way that makes sense to them, which is an important value in our ministry. Everything we do, we filter through a lens of simplicity so that kids can hear it and understand it on their level of learning. 

Simple doesn’t mean that the lessons or verses are ‘watered-down’; instead it implies that the bottom lines and teaching consist of words, examples, and activities to help kids connect! 

We know that growth in knowledge is important as we grow up in life because the Bible teaches that Jesus also grew in these ways! In Luke 2, we learn that Jesus grew in wisdom as He grew in life and age. He also grew in favor, with His Father in heaven and with all men. 

Our prayer is that every kid in Grace Kids would do the same! That, as they grow, they would first understand who Jesus is, what He’s done for them, and who He’s created them to be. And through this relationship, they begin leaning into God in every way and serving those around them out of love! 

Today, would you take a moment to pray for the kids at our church? Pray that they would have curious minds and open hearts to what they hear from God’s Word. Then, ask God how you can best encourage or serve those kids as they grow. Maybe it’s a high-five in the hallway (because adults are cool!) or it’s jumping into serving weekly in one of the rooms!

Becca Harbaugh

August 2 – Foundation for Life Change – Get in a Group

Read Acts 2:42-47

As an introvert who is energized by time spent alone, I find it difficult to be proactive when it comes to getting involved in community. As time has passed, I’ve found that my growing understanding of the importance of being in community has allowed me to become more proactive. But there was certainly a time I avoided getting too involved with any type of group setting. Throughout middle school and high school, I remember going to youth groups every once in a while. I did not attend consistently and, when I did attend, I feared being lonely. Yet, I dreaded any sort of small group connection. I didn’t realize at the time how beneficial a Grace Group could have been for me and my relationship with Christ!

The Bible is clear that community among believers is a part of the full life God has for us. At the very start of the Christian church recorded in Acts 2:42, we learn that the believers were devoted to fellowship. They met together, prayed together, worshipped together, shared everything they had, and just enjoyed one another’s presence. Acts 2:47 says, “And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” God moves in big ways when we are united as a group of believers. What an incredible example this is for us today!

In Grace Students, we encourage every student to be a part of a Grace Group because we believe life is better together! Getting involved in a group provides a student with a consistent, life-giving community centered around God’s Word. I believe this applies to all ages of people. In groups, we grow closer to God and to each other, all while taking our next steps with Jesus. Being involved allows us to experience community the way God intends for it to be.

If you aren’t yet part of a Grace Group, my encouragement to you is to take your next step and get plugged into one!

Student Grace Group Registration Form: https://gracechurch.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/409/responses/new

Adult Grace Group Registration Form: 

Sidney Rupp

August 1 – Foundation for Life Change – Get in a Ministry

Read Ephesians 2:8-10

As a follower of Christ, it’s important to live out the full life God has for you by getting involved in a ministry. You may be asking, why is it important to get involved? The answer is quite simple, it’s important because God wants you to serve!

In our reading today, Paul says in verses 8-9 that our salvation is not earned by anything that we can do, but rather what God has already done for us. God gives us a gift of eternal life if we choose to receive it. When you receive a gift on Christmas or on your birthday, do you say, “Thank you for the gift! Now how much do I owe you?” As Christians, sometimes we can feel obligated to try and work our way to God even if we have already received him as our Savior. But the reality is that it’s not like that, instead of basing it on what we’ve done, the grace of God is the only thing that can save us. When we accept the gift of God, our response should be to show gratitude, praise, and joy to our Lord.

So, the question is, how do we do that? An excellent way that we can show gratitude to God is by serving and getting involved in a ministry. Once I started to realize the gifts and strengths that God personally gave me, I started to get involved at Grace by serving on Sunday mornings with Merge. Jesus gave me a passion for the upcoming generation, at first, I was a little nervous about going. I didn’t know if the kids would like me or even if my leadership skills were as strong as they needed to be. But once I started to serve, I forgot about those insecurities I had and didn’t want to miss a Sunday! I created stronger friendships with the students and while the message was crafted for them, I was learning right along with them!

In verse 10 it teaches us that God uses us to bless other people, one of the best ways to do that is by serving and getting involved in a ministry!

Throughout Merge and Grace Students, we challenge our students to get plugged into serving opportunities and I would like to extend a similar challenge to you!

You can text “FWC” to 3302649459 to get #forwaynecounty updates and serving opportunities in our community as they arise.

If you are interested in getting plugged into a ministry here at Grace Church, fill out this form: https://gracechurch.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/130/responses/new

Nick Muro

July 31 – Foundation for Life Change – Full Life

Read John 10:10

When you think about living a full life, what comes to mind? For me it used to be thinking about all the things I wanted. The experiences, the stuff, the relationships, etc. All of those equal a full life, right?! What an incredible realization when I began to learn that a full life is not tied to any of those things. Does God care about those things? Absolutely! Can we still live a full life without them? Yes! A full life lived with Jesus is so much more satisfying than any life we can imagine for ourselves without Him. 

In John 10, Jesus tells us that he is the Good Shepherd. In verse 10, he says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they make have life, and have it to the full.” The full life begins when we surrender ourselves to the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us. We all have an idea of what we think the full life holds, but when we surrender our lives to Jesus and allow Him to guide and direct us we know that His plan for us holds far more than we could ever ask or imagine. 

Every week at Grace Students our hosts open by telling the students that “Grace Students exists to invite you to the full life God has for you!” and it’s in the message, and it’s in our leader training, and it’s woven throughout everything we do on Sunday night and beyond. Because we believe that the full life is found through Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him! Everything we do flows from this. We want every student (and adult) who walks through our doors to receive an invitation to a relationship with Jesus, and the full life that is found through Him alone. Would you pray with us that this continues to happen?

What does it look like to live a full life? Are you living a life that you believe to be full when it really isn’t? My prayer is that you would begin to unlock the full life God has for you by surrendering yourself to Him, each and every day!

A full life only comes from Jesus!

Brooke Spengler

July 30 – Foundation for Life Change

Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-11

The kids had finally done it! They built a Lego Tower from the floor to the ceiling…

and then it happened.

It only took one brief moment, but it was inevitable. The tower went crumbling to the floor. There were no tears, but a good number of laughs and a “Oh man!” but we knew it was going to happen. Do you know why? It’s simple really; the tower did not have a strong foundation. The “foundation” of the Lego Tower was one little Lego and then the hands of the kids and leaders holding it together.

We all know that having a strong foundation is the key for the survival of any structure and it is the key to all of our lives as well. In Grace Kids our “WHY” behind what we do is to create a foundation for life that is based on Jesus Christ. As it says in 1 Corinthians 3: 10-11:

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Jesus Christ is the foundation for our faith, for all of our lives and our goal in Grace Kids to partner with families to build that foundation for life on Jesus. So, when kids go out of 6th grade they understand that God loves them, that he wants a forever friendship with them and they are going to know him more and more!

So, over the next few days you are going to hear how we hope to partner with families to build a foundation for life on Jesus. And we do that by keeping things simple, safe and fun! Be sure to read over the next few days!

I invite you to pray a few things over the course of this series:

  1. That all kids in Wayne County will hear about the love of Jesus and make Him their forever friend
  2. For Grace Kids to find the best ways to support and partner with families
  3. For your next step with kids and families: To pray for them and/or to volunteer

Thank you for partnering with us as we work together to build in kids a foundation for life based on Jesus Christ!

Tim Boucher