This year’s theme verse is Philippians 4:8, which explains the right way to guide our thoughts. God’s Word tells us what to do to obey Him, but kids also need to understand that right actions are a result of right thinking. Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (NIV). Focus on each of these terms in the weeks and months ahead and explore what they mean and how to apply them to right thinking. Here are some ideas that will help.
Have fun with the word “whatever.” Consider having the kids make a short video with some saying, “Whatever!” and another child answering with “Whatever is true (or noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy),” while showing kids having fun and doing some of the activities.
Focus on one term from this verse and give a brief Bible lesson about its meaning. Explore why it is so important to think about things described by each of the terms in this verse. Have kids come up with examples of what to think about for each term.
- True (Proverbs 8:6-9)—Things that fit with God’s truth found in the Bible, not what some in the world might say is truth
- Noble (Luke 8:15)—Things that are excellent, moral and worthy.
- Right (Psalm 25:8-9)—What is morally good and acceptable; what is approved by God.
- Pure (2 Corinthians 7:1)—What is clean and wholesome, which means healthy for the mind.
- Lovely (Psalm 84:1)—Anything encouraging beautiful and delightful thoughts.
- Admirable (Proverbs 22:1)—Anything that is highly esteemed or well thought of.
- Excellent (Titus 3:8)—Something of the highest value; outstanding.
- Praiseworthy (Psalm 78:3-4)—Ideas or actions worthy of telling others about because they please God and are good.
Here is some contemporary Christian music to play during club, which will help kids understand and learn the theme verse.
- Chris Tomlin: “Don’t Ever Stop”
- Brian Doerksen and Craig Musseau: “Whatever is True”
Have parts of Philippians 4:8 written on slips of paper and put in a container. Have each child pick out a slip of paper and read it. When the container is empty have the kids piece together the Bible verse and stand.
Whatever Trail Mix is a tasty treat that kids can make while learning Philippians 4:8. Use the ingredients below or come up with your own ideas.
- chocolate covered candies
- nuts (be sure no child has an allergy to nuts)
- dried fruit bits
- goldfish crackers
- caramel corn
- plastic zip bags
- 8 containers
- 8 large spoons
- 8 index cards
- plain white mailing labels or package stickers
- pencils or pens
- Set out eight containers, and fill each one with one of the ingredients above.
- Write one term from Philippians 4:8 on each index card. Place a card in front of each ingredient. Example: raisins have “true” written on a card in front of them; chocolate covered candies have a “noble” card; etc.
- Set the containers of ingredients in the order that they appear in the verse, with a large spoon by each.
- Give each child a bag, white label and pencil.
- Tell kids that you are going to read Philippians 4:8. When you come to each of the things that we’re told to think about, pause and tell the children to put a scoop of that item into their bags and write that word on their labels. Then continue to read, having the children continue to list the words on their labels as they go. When you are finished, have the kids stick their labels on their bags and recite the verse, reading down the list of words on their labels. Try this several times. Then try without looking at the labels.
- Have them enjoy their trail mix now or take it home with them.