Who’s in God’s house?
The Church! But who or what is the church? And how do you get in? These are all questions that are answered in this month’s Family Time Training Activity called God’s House. (Download it for free during the month of June or sign up for unlimited access to all their materials.)
You have probably heard someone say, “I’m going to church!”
Although not a bad thing to say because we know what they mean, my husband and I have chosen to reiterate with our kids that we don’t go to church because we are the church. Instead we say, “We are going to worship.” or “We are going to the church building.”
We chose to do this for two different reasons:
- I did not realize growing up that the church in the Bible was actually referring to those who believed and followed Christ!
- One of my husband’s favorite a Capella groups called AVB had a song called “U Can’t Go to Church.” He almost always starts singing this song when our children say, “Let’s go to church.” It’s really funny, but it’s a good way to remember that we are the church.
God’s House Activity
Our family has 5 kids ages 9 years old to newborn. As we sat down to do this activity, I wondered how each of them would process it. I wondered if they would grasp the main concepts of
- How we become part of God’s house &
- Who all is a part of God’s house
Using the model of a house was a brilliant way to help explain these two concepts. A paper template is included with this activity that your older children can fill in as you discuss these concepts with them and your younger children can color and cut while you are talking.
Becoming Part of God’s House
God in his infinite mercy uses the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) when it comes to salvation and this Family Time Training activity reinforces that idea.
I was excited how this activity explained that Jesus is the “door/gate” and we enter the house of God only through him. I made all my children find the door and explained that the only way to enter God’s house is through Jesus.
So Jesus said again, “I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep. All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness. – John 10:7-10
Question: But how do we go through Jesus to enter the house?
Answer: We must believe that Jesus is the son of God and choose to obey him!
Obeying and disobeying is something children understand. We are constantly teaching them this. Explaining that Jesus is the only way into the house and we have to obey him to get in, makes crystal clear sense even to our 3 year old.
Who is a Part of God’s House?
This honestly is probably my favorite part of this activity. Why? Because I love Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
In this passage, we see that those who believed and obeyed God in the past are cheering us on in the present. So there is a clear representation of the body of Christ (God’s House) past and present together.
By writing out the apostles, the prophets, christian leaders from the past to present, our family, friends and future Christians, we start to see God’s House as more than just what we see sitting in the worship service. We see God’s House as an eternal legacy of Christ, one that is filled with people from the past, present, and the future. It reminds us that our calling is not just to enter into God’s House through Jesus Christ but to call others to joyfully enter it as well! We can be praying for our friends, family, and those who don’t know Christ yet but will be our brothers and sisters in Christ one day.
It’s a great way to help our children see that God’s House is filled with people we’ve read about as Bible heroes and reminds us that we can become present day heroes for Christ, too!
Taking this Idea a step further!
There are just so many great ways to use this house template to encourage our kids in their faith. Here are a few extras I thought about:
1. Grab a Cardboard Box
My kids have been playing with cardboard boxes all week, making rocket ships and other contraptions. You could easily use this small template and turn it into a cardboard box sized template that allowed them to walk into the house and write on the walls and roof. Keep this in the house or on the porch for a week or so. Every so often stop, gather around the house and pray. Pray over your kids, their current church family, their brothers and sisters around the world, and those who will become their brothers and sisters in God’s House.
2. Learn more about Christian Leaders from 100 AD – 2,000 AD
Watch the great animated Torch Lighters Series and learn about St. Augustine, Corrie Ten Boom, and many others who are considered heroes of the faith! Or grab a kid friendly biography about them and make family reading time a time to bolster their faith and courage.
3. Read about Bible Leaders and Prophets
Let each child pick their favorite Bible leaders or prophet and read about them over dinner. Talk about why they like them so much. What characteristics would be good to imitate or foster in their own lives? What draws them to that particular Bible character? Remind them that these people are in God’s House, too!
How have you explained God’s House or who makes us the church to others?