In a Sunday school class, application discussion is vital after the lesson because it is in this time that the children are most personally challenged to embrace the truth with their hearts and respond to it in their lives. Biblical truth is not meant to merely remain head knowledge, but is meant to transform the heart. Small Group leaders have the privilege of leading this application time as they serve as mentors for a group of four to eight students during the year. In the revised curriculum, The ABCs of God, the application section has been rewritten to better equip small group leaders. Each lesson includes four to six topics, based on main ideas in the lesson, to choose from and discuss with their students. During the week, leaders are encouraged to study the lesson and pray through the questions to determine which are appropriate for their group. The aim of the discussion is not merely to see whether or not children remember the lesson, but more importantly, to help children focus on the heart issues and ask how the truths presented in the lesson personally apply to their own lives.
The Student Workbook is another valuable tool to use during small group time. The activities directly tie into and enhance the discussion questions leaders will be asking as they review key points of the lesson. The workbook also encourages students with different learning styles by providing a visual and tactile outlet to help process what they are learning. Look inside the curriculum and see the changes! Here are several examples of the new workbook pages and a sample of the Small Group Application from the lesson on Incomprehensible.
Lesson 2: Incomprehensible God is more than we can fully understand.
Ask the children to recall the letter of the alphabet that was introduced in today’s lesson. Instruct them to look in the workbook for the page with the large letter “I.” Read the memory verse from Job 37:5 and encourage the children to recite it with you. Point to the words “cannot comprehend.” Then help the children trace the word “COMPREHEND” where indicated. Explain that these two words together mean “incomprehensible.” Give the children markers, crayons, and/or stickers to decorate the letter.
Ask the children to each tell you one or two things about their parents. Do the children know everything there is to know about their parents? Even though they don’t, do they still know enough to love their parents? Next, ask them to tell you something that they know about God.
What does it mean for us that God is more than we can fully understand? However, can we still know enough about God to love and trust Him? Yes!
Read John 20:31 and explain what God has made known to us from the words of the Bible.
Learning about God
In what ways does God help us learn more about who He is? [through the Bible, by seeing what He has made and done, answers to prayers, testimonies of other Christians, etc.]
Talk about ways in which the children can specifically learn more about God. [e.g., listening carefully during Bible teaching time in Sunday school, during the worship service, parents’ teaching, etc.]
Always More to Learn about God
Ask the children what it means if someone refers to another person as a “know-it-all.”
Can any of us be considered a “know-it-all” about God? Does that include adults and older people, even Sunday school teachers or pastors? Will any of us ever be able to completely know and understand the answers to the questions “Who is God?” and “What is God like?” Why is it a good thing that God is incomprehensible, and what should that encourage us to do? [e.g., God is greater and more wonderful than we could ever imagine. Every day we can learn new things about God. God will never get “old or boring.” We don’t need to feel frustrated or give up because we can’t understand everything about God, etc.]
Loving and Trusting God
Point out that even though God is incomprehensible, He makes us able to understand enough about Him to trust and love Him (1 Corinthians 2:12).
Do you want to understand more about who God is and what He is like? Why or why not? Why is it important that we learn about how great God is?
Give practical suggestions about how they could learn more about God in the coming week (e.g., having daily Bible time). Pray with the children that you would have hearts and minds that would desire to learn more about God this week.
Responding to the Greatness of God
Have you ever been amazed by something you have seen? Give an example of something amazing you have seen that you have not fully understood (e.g., a beautiful sunset). How do people usually respond to something amazing, that’s too wonderful to completely understand? How should we respond to the “more than we can understand” greatness of God?
Read Psalm 145:2-3.
How can you respond to the greatness of God this week?
Trusting God When Bad Things Happen
Quickly review the “bad” things that happened in Job’s life.
When God allows things to happen to us that are hard to understand, even things that hurt us or cause us to feel sad, is it right to think that we will always be able to understand why God is allowing those things to happen? What did Job find out from God? (Recall Job 42:3b.) How can we trust God when sad things happen? Would it be easier to trust God by knowing Him more or less? Why would it be easier to trust Him more when we know more about what He is like? [e.g., If we know that a man is a trained fireman, we can be more confident of his ability to help us if there were a fire in our home.] How can you learn more about God this week? Is there something that you would like to know about Him that would help you with a hard situation? How can we pray about this situation?