Back to the Beginning Overview

[Back to the Beginning logo]
Sometimes you have to get down to the basics and remember how it all got started. We went back to the beginning and wrote lessons on creation, sin, salvation, faith, and the church. In Galion we used these materials in 2006 and again in 2012.
This theme is mostly complete, but I'm still working on getting it all posted online.
Elementary Preschool Teens
Monday Bible Lesson:The Beginning of Creation (The Altar to an Unknown God) Bible Lesson:Creation Bible Lesson:
Visuals:
Second Lesson: Discussion:9 Questions
Memory Verse:Acts 17:24 Memory Verse (all week):Acts 17:24 (abbreviated) Memory Verse:
Missions: Missions Discussion:
Craft:Origami Inflatable Creation Box Craft: Craft:Wax-Dipped Origami Animals
Game:Animal Match-Up Relay Game:Animal Game (Pretending) Game:Animal Match-Up Relay
Snack:
Tuesday Bible Lesson:The Beginning of Sin (The Tree and the Snake) Bible Lesson:Adam and Eve Sin Bible Lesson:
Visuals:
Second Lesson: Discussion:9 Questions
Memory Verse:Romans 3:22 Memory Game: Memory Verse:
Missions: Missions Discussion:
Craft: Craft:Paint By Shape Craft:Cross Wall Hanging
Game:Board Foot Walk Game:Bubbles* Game:Board Foot Walk
Snack:
Wednesday Bible Lesson:The Beginning of Salvation (The Ark and the Christ) Bible Lesson:Noah and the Flood Bible Lesson:
Second Lesson: Discussion:8 Questions
Memory Verse:1st Corinthians 15:22 Memory Game: Memory Verse:
Missions: Missions Discussion:
Craft: Painted Ark Scene
Game:Two-By-Two Race Game:Animal Match-Up Race Game:Two-By-Two Race
Snack:
Thursday Bible Lesson:The Beginning of the Promise (Abraham's Offspring, the Woman's Seed) Bible Lesson:Abraham's Faith Bible Lesson:
Visuals:
Second Lesson: Discussion:9 Questions
Memory Verse:Hebrews 11:6 Memory Game: Memory Verse:
Missions: Missions Discussion:
Craft: Abraham and the Stars Window Hanging
Game:Egg-Push Race * Game:Hot Potato * Game:Egg-Push Race *
Snack:
Friday Bible Lesson:The Beginning of the Church Bible Lesson:Beginning of the Church (Preschool Version) Bible Lesson:
Visuals:
Second Lesson: Discussion:8 Questions
Memory Verse:Acts 2:32 Memory Game: Memory Verse:
Missions: Missions Discussion:
Craft: Craft: Craft:Garden Stone
Game: Game: Game:
Snack:
Substitute Indoor Games:
Decorations:

Footnote:
* - Marked items either need some work or may be replaced when we get back to this theme again (tentatively in 2018).

Acts 2:32

Friday:Acts 2:32
Bible Lesson: Beginning of the Churc: The church was begun in order to witness for God in all parts of the earth.
Memory Verse: God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Acts 2:32
Introduction: Witnesses
What's a witness? Have you ever seen a court trial? On television, or in a movie, maybe, a court scene? What does a witness do in a court room? A witness is called to do what? To tell what they saw or heard. When a witness tells what he saw or heard, that's evidence. If several witnesses saw the same thing, that's good evidence. If six different people all saw the bad guy breaking into the store, what's the jury going to do? They'll find him guilty – they know he did it, because there were six witnesses.
Explanation: Acts 2:32
[Show the card with the verse.] Let's look at today's verse. [Read it through a couple of times.]
Who was talking in this verse? Who's the “we”? Who wrote the book of Acts? [Luke did.] Luke is the author. When he says “we”, he's talking about himself, and other people who saw what he saw. What do we call those people, who saw something – in this case, people who saw Jesus after he raised from the dead? Witnesses!
How many witnesses were there, people who saw Jesus raised from the dead? John did. Peter. Mary Magdelene? All eleven of the disciples (except Judas). 1 Corinthians 15 says that he appeared to more than 500 people at one time. That's a lot of witnesses! That's a lot of people, who saw that Jesus really was alive.
Game: Popcorn
Whoever the teacher points to with the ruler/pointer/whatever has to pop up like popcorn (i.e., stand up quickly out of their seat) and say the next word of the verse. Leave the poster displayed at first, then after a while cover it up. Go through the verse this way until time expires. Make sure to point to all the children so that everyone participates, but don't go in order; jump around so that they never know when it's going to come to them.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

Hebrews 11:6

Thursday:Hebrews 11:6
Bible Lesson: The Beginning of the Promise: We should have faith like Abraham.
Memory Verse: Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him, Hebrews 11:6
Explanation: Hebrews 11:6
[Needed]
Explanation: Hebrews 11:6
Let's look at today's memory verse. [Show the verse and read it aloud.]
What's faith, anyhow? What does it mean to have faith in God? The rest of the verse talks about it. Look, it says right here, “anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” What did [name of volunteer] have to believe about the chair? That it was there? That it would hold [him/her] up? What do we have to believe about God? That he's there? That he's real? What else? That he rewards those who earnestly seek him. What does that mean?
What does it mean to seek God? [Accept a couple of answers from the children.] Sure, you're trying to find out about God, trying to find God. What does it mean to do something earnestly? It means you're not just playing around, you're really trying to do something, really working at it. If you're earnestly seeking God, you really want know God, and know about him. The verse says we have to believe that God rewards those who earnestly seek him. What's a reward? [Accept a couple of answers from the children.]
Game: Hot Potato
Read the verse through a couple of times, as a group, then introduce an object that you call a potato. Explain that each person must say the next word of the verse, before they can pass on the hot potato. Run through the verse one time for practice, passing the potato around, then introduce the timer.
The goal for each child is to avoid having the potato when the timer goes off, but you have to say the next word of the verse before you can pass the potato on to the next person. (At the end of the verse, say the reference, and then the next person starts at the beginning again.) Use short times on the timer and run through the verse as many times this way as possible. (If the group is too large, split it up with a potato for each group; you can still have just one timer.) Leave the card with the verse displayed until you think the kids know the verse, then try removing it. If someone has trouble with a word, you can help them after a few seconds.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

1st Corinthians 15:22

Wednesday:1st Corinthians 15:22
Bible Lesson: The Beginning of Salvation: Sin brings a penalty. Jesus paid our penalty so that we can be saved.
Memory Verse: For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive, 1st Corinthians 15:22
Introduction: Analogies
Let's play a comparing game! A sock is to a foot as a glove is to a... [Let the children say hand.] Good. Now, a harder one: A jet plane is to air as a submarine is to... [Let the children say water.] Good! Okay, how about this one: Drink is to punch as throw is to... [Let the children suggest some possibilities, and then suggest ball if they don't come up with that.] Okay, now let's try one that goes along with our verse: Adam is to die as Jesus is to... [Let them try, and then give the answer: live.] Let's read the verse together and see how we got that answer...
Explanation: 1st Corinthians 15:22
[Show the verse and read it aloud.]
Why does it say that all die in Adam? How did Adam bring death into the world? Adam sinned, in the Garden of Eden – Adam and Eve were the first sinners. What happened when they sinned? What did God say would happen, if they ate the fruit? (“You will surely die.”) Are Adam and Eve alive today? Why not? (They died.) God took them out of the Garden, when they sinned, so they couldn't eat the fruit from the Tree of Life, and live forever. So they died, because they sinned.
Were Adam and Eve the only people who ever sinned? (No.) The Bible tells us that we all have sin in our lives, we all want to do bad things sometimes, because Adam and Eve are our ancestors – we're their great great great... grandchildren, after all these years. So we inherit their sin; Adam and Eve sinned then, and we still sin today, because we come from them, and we have their sin nature, the part of us that wants to sin. Because everybody sins, everybody has to die. But look at the end of the verse: in Christ, all will be made alive. We can get eternal life, from believing in Jesus.
Game: Faster and Slower
Let's all say the verse together. [Do this.] Now, let's see if we can say it faster. [Do this.] That was pretty fast, but can we do it even faster? [Do so.] Great. Now let's see if we can say it slower. [Do it.] Wonderful. I bet you can go slower than that. Let's say each word really slowly... [Do that.]
Who thinks they know the verse now? Do you know it well enough to say it without looking at the card? Can I have a volunteer? [Have a volunteer (or two or three, time permitting) say the verse.] Now let's see if we can all say it together, without looking. [Hide the card and say the verse. If time is left over, do it faster and slower without looking, forward, backwards, et cetera.]
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

Romans 3:22

Tuesday:Romans 3:22
Bible Lesson: The Beginning of Sin: We are sinful and require salvation.
Memory Verse: This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, Romans 3:22
Introduction: Sin
Today we learned how Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. Did sin stop with Adam and Eve? (No.) We still have sin with us today, don't we? We need to have our sin taken away. We need to be made righteous. What does righteous mean? It means you don't have sin in your life. Does that mean we don't sin? Does it mean we've never sinned? Is there anybody here who's never sinned? So how can we be righteous?
Explanation: Reference
[Hold up the card with the verse and read Romans 3:22]
So, how can we be righteous? Where does righteousness come from? The verse says it comes from God. God gives us righteousness. Can we be righteous on our own? No. We need God's righteousness. How do we get it? What does the verse say? It comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. What does that mean? Is righteousness just for good people? (No.) Is it just for people who go to a certain church? (No.) Is it just for people who like Ohio State? (No.) Righteousness comes to all who believe in Jesus Christ. That's how we become righteous – through faith. What do we have to believe about Jesus Christ? We have to believe that he is God. Why is it that believing on Jesus can get us righteousness? Where did he get it? He already had it, because he was God. God doesn't sin, does he? Jesus was already righteous, because he was God, and God is without sin.
Learning Activity: Sign Language
Tell the children that you're going to learn sign language for this verse. Explain that sign language is what deaf and mute people use to communicate. Show the children the sign language as you say the verse through one or two times, then teach them the sign language for each word individually, and help them do the sign for that word until they can do it. When you've done all the words, start putting them together. Make sure you and the children are saying each word out loud while signing it. Put longer and longer strings of words together until eventually the children can say and sign the whole verse.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

Acts 17:24

Monday:Acts 17:24
Bible Lesson: The Beginning of Creation: God created the world and deserves our worship.
Memory Verse: The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands, Acts 17:24
Introduction: Creation
Today we learned about how God made the world, and most of the story is found in Genesis, in the Old Testament. But the New Testament talks about it some too.
Explanation: Acts 17:24
[Show the verse and read it aloud.]
There is only one God, but the Bible likes to tell different things about who God is, when it tells different things that he did. When it calls him the God who made the world, it's talking about something he did – the creation story that we learned about earlier. From God's creation, we know about his power.
When the Bible calls God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, it means that he is the one who is in charge of everything that happens – both here on earth, and also in heaven. It means he's the master.
When it says that he does not live in temples made by hands, what's it talking about? Does it mean God isn't with us when we're in church, worshiping him? (No.) Does it mean he wasn't with the people of Israel, when they worshiped him in the temple? (No.) It means that God is not just in one place, and he's not only there, just because of us. God is, like the verse says, the one who created everything, and is the master in charge of everything. He's God whether we come to church and worship him or not.
So, if God is the same powerful creator whether we worship him or not, why does he want us to worship him? Is it because God gets more power if we worship him? (No, he has all the power anyway.) God wants us to worship him, because it's good for us.
Game: Clapping
Demonstrate for the children how to clap once for each syllable while talking. Do this while saying the verse through one time, with the reference. Now have the children do it with you. Repeat two or three times, until the children can clap and say the verse more-or-less together in what passes for unison. Encourage them that they're doing well, but let's see if we can do even better at staying together and all saying each word at the same time, and all clapping at the same times. Repeat until they get it right, or time runs out. Optionally, after a few times through, divide the children into two groups, and alternate the two groups in a competition to see which group can stay together better.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

God's Sheep (Theme Overview; updated, 2013)

[God's Sheep logo]
Sheep are all over the place in the Bible, used as examples and illustrations for a variety of things in both testaments. They're also cute and make for easy decorations, so naturally we had to use them for a Bible School theme. The lessons we take from this theme talk about sin, salvation, obedience, security, and the church. In Galion this was our theme in 2007 and again in 2013.
This theme is mostly complete.
Elementary Preschool Teens
Monday Bible Lesson:Going Astray: Moses and the Rock Bible Lesson:Moses and the Rock: Obey God Bible Lesson:Going Astray: Moses and the Rock
Visuals:Available 2013
Sheep Lesson:We All Sin* Discussion:6 Questions 2013
Memory Verse:Isaiah 53:6 (Follow the Shepherd) Memory Verse (all week):John 10:14 (Explanation) Memory Verse:Isaiah 53:6
Missions:Feeding the Sheep 2013 Missions Discussion:7 Questions 2013
Craft:Shadow Box Craft:Sheep Bank Craft:Vase Candle
Game: Pass the Sheep
Snack: Popcorn: Sheep Going Astray 2013
Tuesday Bible Lesson:Lamb of God (Isaac and the Ram) Bible Lesson:Praising God (David the Shepherd) Bible Lesson:Isaac and the Lamb (teen version)
Visuals:Available 2013
Sheep Lesson:Thanking the Creator* Discussion:6 Questions 2013
Memory Verse:Romans 4:25 (Every Other Word) Memory Game:Follow the Shepherd Memory Verse:Romans 4:25
Missions:Where the People Are 2013 Missions Discussion:7 Questions 2013
Craft:Ram in the Thicket Craft:Watercolor (David playing the harp for his sheep) Craft:Cloth Painting (ram in the thicket, or Abraham and Isaac)
Game:Sheep Gate Tag Game:Sheep Gate Tag Game:Marshmallow Ram 2013
Snack: Sheep and Cross Cookies: Taking Our Place 2013
Wednesday Bible Lesson:Stolen Sheep: Saul and the Spoils regular version or skit version Bible Lesson:Baa, baa, baa! (Saul and the Sheep) Bible Lesson:Stolen Sheep (teen version)
Sheep Lesson:Obey the Shepherd* Discussion:6 Questions 2013
Memory Verse:1st Samuel 15:22 (Divide and Conquer) Memory Game:Clapping Memory Verse:1st Samuel 15:22
Missions:Lost Sheep of Israel 2013 Missions Discussion:7 Questions 2013
Craft:Obedience Bookmark Craft:Pull-Through Filmstrip Craft:Obedience Bookmark
Game: Sheep Golf
Snack: Donuts: Obey God 2013
Thursday Bible Lesson:Sheep Security: The Good Shepherd Bible Lesson:Jesus Loves Children (Let the children come) Bible Lesson:Good Shepherd (teen version)
Visuals:Available 2013
Sheep Lesson:The Shepherd Knows His Sheep* Discussion:6 Questions 2013
Memory Verse:1st John 10:28 (Show Your Card) Memory Game:Hot Potato Memory Verse:John 10:28
Missions:Unwatched Flocks 2013 Missions Discussion:7 Questions 2013
Craft:Plate Masks* (sheep, bear, or lion) Craft:Sheep Plate Masks Craft:Soap Molding
Game: Sheep Maze
Snack: Jell-O Jigglers: The Good Shepherd 2013
Friday Bible Lesson:Shepherded Sheep: Leading and Following Bible Lesson:God Loves Us: The 99 and the 1* Bible Lesson:Shepherded Sheep (teen version)
Visuals:Available 2013
Sheep Lesson:Jesus Wants to Be Your Shepherd* Discussion:6 Questions 2013
Memory Verse:Ephesians 2:10 (Simon) Memory Game:Simon Memory Verse:Ephesians 2:10
Missions:A Shepherd's Priorities 2013 Missions Discussion:6 Questions 2013
Craft:Noodle Mosaic (Follow God) Craft:Chalk Drawing (sheep) Craft:[needed]
Game:Sheep Chin Relay Game:Sheep Relay Game:Sheep Chin Relay
Snack: Salad: Feed My Sheep 2013
* - Items marked with an asterisk are incomplete or otherwise need work.
Substitute Indoor Games:
Decorations:

God's Sheep Preschool Memory Verse

Preschool Memory Verse:God's Sheep
All Week: Jesus said, I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. John 10:14
Monday: Explanation
[Show the verse and read it aloud.]
What kind of shepherd is Jesus? Is he the kind that's out in a grassy field, taking care of fluffy white sheep? (No.) That's not what he meant. What kind of sheep does Jesus have? People who follow Jesus are his sheep. People who trust Jesus, and let him take away their sins are his sheep. If we believe in Jesus, he is our shepherd.
[Lead the children in saying the verse fifty bazillion times.] If you come to Bible School tomorrow and can say the verse at the beginning, you'll get a prize! So you should go home and practice saying your verse.
[Review the explanation from Monday.]
Game: Follow the Shepherd
We're going to play a game called Follow the Shepherd. I'll be the shepherd, and all of you get to be the sheep and follow me around the room. Whatever I do, you do. So if I take big steps, you take big steps. If I swing my arms wide, you swing your arms wide. If I say a word from the memory verse, you say it too, but if you say a word I didn't say, you're out and have to sit out until the end of the round. When we get through the whole verse, we'll start a new round and everybody's back in.
[Lead the children in saying the verse a hillion jillion times.] If you come to Bible School tomorrow and can say the verse at the beginning, you'll get a prize! So you should go home and practice saying your verse.
[Review the explanation from Monday.]
Game: Clapping
[Say a word of the verse, and clap once. Say two words, and clap twice. Continue saying words and clapping all the way through the verse. Add a word and a clap each time, until you have the whole verse. When it gets to be too many claps to count, just clap a whole bunch of times.]
[Now go back, and you prompt the children with the words to say, and they say the words, and then you clap together. Start with one word, and one clap, and progress from there. If necessary, go back to the beginning and start with one word again. Continue until the children can say and clap the whole verse.]
[Lead the children in saying the verse entirely too many times.] If you come to Bible School tomorrow and can say the verse at the beginning, you'll get a prize! So you should go home and practice saying your verse.
[Briefly review the explanation from Monday.]
Game: Hot Potato
[Seat the children in a circle and practice saying the verse together. Now introduce an item (which you call a potato, even if it's actually a tye-died stuffed weasel). Each person must say the next word of the verse, before he can pass the potato to the next person around the circle. Whoever gets to say the last word of the verse wins, and everybody claps. Then you start over with a different child and go through the verse again until everybody gets to win at least once.]
[Lead the children in saying the verse a whole lotta times.] If you come to Bible School tomorrow and can say the verse at the beginning, you'll get a prize! So you should go home and practice saying your verse.
[Briefly review the explanation from Monday.]
Game: Simon
The teacher says one word (the first word of the verse), and the whole group repeats it. If they get it right, the teacher repeats it again, adding one more word, and the group repeats that. Add another word each time through the verse until you have the whole verse or the children miss a word. If they miss, you start over with one word again. Each time, the teacher says the words first, and the group repeats.
[Lead the children in saying the verse as many times as you have time for.]

God's Sheep Visuals: Shepherded Sheep (Leading and Following)