Grab a Good Book
Romans is known for defending the central message of Christianity – the gospel. You can explain the gospel to children or teens using three simple concepts: good news, bad news, good news.
Good News – God created you in His image to reflect His glory. He loves you and has a beautiful plan for your life.
Bad News – When Adam and Eve sinned, they welcomed sin into the world. It messed up everything, including you and me. Instead of loving God and experiencing His beautiful plan for us, we are born sinful. We fight, envy, don’t want to share, and sometimes even hate others (Romans 3:23). Sin always leads to death (Romans 6:23).
Good News – But God proved His love for us this way: while we were still sinners, Jesus died to save us! (Romans 5:8) He took our sins on Himself, was crucified on a cross, and rose from the dead to overcome sin and death. When we put our trust in Jesus and His perfect sacrifice, we are saved (Romans 10:9).
For preschool and elementary-aged kids, check out Dandi Daley Mackall’s Wow! The Good News in Four Words. This brightly illustrated book explains the gospel in four simple words: Wow! (creation), Uh-Oh (fall), Yes! (redemption), and Ahh (restoration).
Make Gospel Flashcards
Once kids understand the gospel, tap into their artistic side to reinforce the message. Create posters with younger kids to illustrate each stage of the gospel message – either “good news, bad news, good news” or “Wow! Uh-oh. Yes! Ahh.” Older kids can use index cards to make gospel flashcards. Let them practice sharing the story of the gospel using their illustrations.
Get to Know Paul
Read the following Bible passages over the course of a few nights. As you read, record key details from Paul’s life.
- Acts 7:54-8:1 (The Stoning of Stephen – consider skipping this passage for younger kids who may find it disturbing)
- Acts 8:1-3 (Saul’s Persecution of the Church)
- Acts 9:1-31 (Saul’s Conversion)
- Galatians 1:11-24 (Paul’s Early Discipleship)
- Romans 1:1-7 (Paul Writes the Letter of Romans)
Challenge kids to make a timeline of Paul’s life including as many details as they can from their notes.
Celebrate Your Story
After making a timeline of Paul’s life, encourage kids to make a timeline of their own journey with Jesus. Brainstorm 5-10 memorable moments in their life – hard times when they learned to trust Jesus, times when they failed and experienced forgiveness, joyful victories, etc. Plot these moments chronologically along a poster and draw pictures to illustrate.
Flex Your Brain
Make memory verse flashcards. Choose your favorite verses in Romans or use this list of 10 key verses: Romans 1:16, 3:23, 5:1, 5:8, 6:23, 8:1, 8:28, 10:9-10, 10:13, 12:1-2. Work on learning one verse each week. Write them outside in chalk, copy a verse on card stock and cut it into a puzzle, play a game of memory by matching each verse to its reference…be creative! Every time you master a new verse, celebrate with a simple family treat, like movie night or an ice cream run.
Start a Conversation
The central theme of Romans is that the gospel gives us victory over both performing for God and hiding from Him. Take advantage of car rides, summer walks, or dinner time to start a conversation with your kids:
The gospel gives us victory over performing for God.
Do you ever feel like you have to work to be accepted at school? What kinds of things do you have to do?
Do you feel like you have to work to be accepted at home? Why or why not?
Do you think that Mom and Dad’s love for you depends on what you do? What about God’s love for you?
How would you feel if you knew that you are 100% loved and accepted no matter what you do? How would that change the way you view your problems and worries? How would it change the way you view yourself and others?
The gospel gives us victory over hiding from God.
Have you ever messed up and been afraid to tell Mom and Dad? What were you afraid of?
What are some sins you struggle with? How do you feel when you give in to these sins? Does it make you want to hide from God, like Adam and Eve?
How come we don’t have to hide the way Adam and Eve did? How does the gospel take away our shame and fear?
Looking for a family-friendly church? Join us every weekend at Grace. We’ve got online and in-person programming for the whole crew!