Experiments in Experiencing Real Joy!
People have a lot of ideas about what will give them joy. Each week, kids will examine a different joy hypothesis, leading to the conclusion: A life lived for Jesus is the only source of true joy.
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Glad Scientists Lessons Overview
Weeks 1-6: "Always be joyful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIRV)
Weeks 5-8 “Those who do right can expect joy. But the hopes of sinners are bound to
fail.” Proverbs 10:28 (NIRV)
Weeks 9-12: "I will be glad and full of joy because of you. Most High God, I will sing
the praises of your name. " Psalm 9:2 (NIRV)
Hypothesis: Do What You Want
Scripture: Genesis 3, The Fall
Some say the key to joy is being able to do whatever you want. Adam and Eve were given just one rule, but they decided to do what they wanted instead. As they discovered, "do what you want" leads to pain and heartache, not joy.
Objective: Kids will learn that life is better when we follow God's rules.
Hypothesis: Lie To Get Ahead
Scripture: Genesis 27:1-35, Jacob Steals Esau's Blessing
Some people lie and cheat to get ahead, thinking it will bring them joy. Jacob deceived his father, Isaac, to receive the blessing that should have been Esau's, and he ended up having to run away and live in a foreign land for many years. Lies and deception always catch up to us.
Objective: Kids will learn that lying and cheating only hurt those around us.
Hypothesis: Give In to Your Desires
Scripture: 2 Samuel 12:1-13a, Nathan Rebukes David
Some say that joy comes when we satisfy our every desire. King David's desires lead him to steal someone else's wife and kill her husband. When we give in to our desires, we will do anything to satisfy them, which leads to our downfall.
Objective: Kids will learn when we give in to our desires, they soon control us.
Hypothesis: Be Strong and Powerful
Scripture: Judges 16, Samson and Delilah
Some people think they will find joy if they seek out strength and power. Samson was the strongest and most powerful person in Israel, but it was not enough to satisfy him. Our strength brings us no joy if we are not using it to serve God.
Objective: Kids will learn that we should use our strength to serve God.
Hypothesis: Be a Rebel
Scripture: Jonah 1 & 2
Some think that joy will come if they rebel – go against their parents, their friends, and God. When God gave Jonah a job to do, Jonah rebelled and went his own way; only to find misery. Those who rebel will find that true joy doesn't come until we turn back to God.
Objective: Kids will learn that joy comes when we return to God.
Hypothesis: Heart in the Wrong Place
Scripture: Jonah 3 & 4, Jonah Goes to Nineveh
Some people do the "right" things for the "wrong" reasons. The second time God came to Jonah, Jonah obeyed, but when God saved the city it was obvious that Jonah's heart was in the wrong place. God wants not only our obedience, but he wants our heads and our hearts as well.
Objective: Kids will learn that joy comes when our hearts are focused on God.
Hypothesis: Eye for an Eye
Scripture: Matthew 5:38-48, Eye for an Eye
Some people want to give pay back every time someone wrongs them. But Jesus reveals that is not God's way of doing things. Joy does not come from seeking revenge, but from caring for those who have wronged us.
Objective: Kids will learn we should love others, even those who have wronged us.
Hypothesis: Being "Good"
Scripture: Mark 10:17-27, The Rich and the Kingdom of God
Some people think their good deeds will bring them joy and get them in good with God. The rich man thought he had lived a good life, but Jesus told him he was still lacking. Only when we give everything to God will we find true joy.
Objective: Kids will learn true joy comes when we commit our all to God.
Hypothesis: Be Number One
Scripture: Mark 10:35-45, James and John's Request
Some think that joy comes from being number one. James and John wanted to be the most important people in God's kingdom, but Jesus revealed that the most important people are those who serve others.
Objective: Kids will learn joy comes when we serve others.
Hypothesis: Look Out for Yourself
Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46, The Sheep and the Goats
Some people think the most important thing is to look out for oneself. But in his story of the sheep and the goats, Jesus shows us that God wants us to live our lives helping those in need. When we serve others, we are really serving Jesus.
Objective: Kids will learn that when we serve those in need, we are serving Jesus.
Hypothesis: Put on a Good Show
Scripture: Acts 5:1-11, Ananias and Sapphira
Some do things so others will think they are important, but it's all for show. When others were giving all of their money to the disciples, Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look generous, but they kept some back for themselves. We should worry less about what others think of us and more about pleasing God.
Objective: Kids will learn that pleasing God is more important than looking good in front of other people.
Hypothesis: Live for Jesus
Scripture: Acts 2:42-47, The Fellowship of the Believers
Some seek joy by devoting their lives to Jesus. They find, just like the first church found, that true joy comes when we commit ourselves to serve God, learning God's word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers.
Objective: Kids will learn that true lasting joy comes from living for Jesus.
- Make It Stick! Parent Sheet - so you can let mom and dad know what kids are learning each week and look like a rockstar teacher who's thought of everything.
- Memory Verse - so that you can make sure kids are getting Scripture in their minds and hearts every single week and you can feel like each lesson was a success even when it seems like 90% of your lesson time is spent saying things like "calm down", "let's be quiet", "hands to yourself!"
- Skit or Puppet Show - so you have a way to easily connect the lesson with your hands-on and visual learners. No drama team? No problem! Just hand the script to the kids. They'll have a blast and think you're the coolest.
- Craft Activity - so you can give kids a physical reminder of the Bible lesson (and give yourself an activity to keep them busy until mom and dad come back!)
- Game - so kids don't leave and say church was BORING! Games are so important to help keep kids engaged. Our large group games always include a "What's The Point" section to help you connect the game to the lesson.
- Large Group Lesson - so you can present the Bible story in a clear and fun way, which means now you can enjoy Saturday nights instead of stressing over putting a lesson together!
- Small-Group Discussion - so you can find out who was paying attention and who was talking to their neighbor. Just kidding, this is a great way for you to build deeper relationships with your kiddos after each lesson, which means you're going to care about them so much you'll cry like a baby when they graduate and go to middle school :(
- More! - Yes, there is even more than all of that so that you can easily put together the perfect lesson for your ministry each weekend, which means no more agonizing over how to adjust complicated lesson plans.
About This Curriculum:
- Perfect for kids ages 6-12
- Includes large group and small group resources
- This curriculum is an instant download
- Download a free sample here
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Check out our collection of Children's Church Lessons for more great curriculum series for your Kids Church or Sunday School.
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