The Story Chapter 3 - Week Beginning 29 August

Chapter 3 - Joseph, From Slave to Deputy Pharaoh

Bible Basis: Genesis 37–47:11

Key Verse: Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. … You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good.” —Genesis 50:19–20, nirv

Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 3

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity is designed to help your family discuss the pitfalls of favoritism. The Extra Mile idea will get your family into your neighborhood as you meet the needs of hungry people in your community.

Get the Point:

Preschool: God took care of Joseph. God also takes care of me.

Elementary: God worked things out for Joseph’s good. God knows what’s good for me.

Middle School: Through the difficult times in life, God is with me and has an ultimate purpose for my life.

High School: Joseph’s life shows that good decisions don’t always result in positive earthly consequences. Following God is it’s own reward—but sometimes these rewards are limited to spiritual rewards.

Table Talk


• Can anybody remember a funny or weird dream you’ve had recently? (If nobody remembers one, share one of your own to get the conversation started.)

• Do you think that dream has any chance of coming true? Would you like it to come true?

• What do you think is the difference between your dreams and Joseph’s dreams?

• What are your hopes and dreams for your life? (Let children share and then tell them some of your hopes: that they’ll always follow God; that you’ll always have a strong relationship and love them; that they’ll use their talents to serve God.)

Middle/High School

• Has anybody told lies about you and gotten you in trouble, like Potiphar’s wife did to Joseph?

• What did it feel like? Did you do anything to get even?

• Has anybody made promises to you and then not followed through, like the drink-tester did to Joseph?

• How did that make you feel?

• What can you learn from Joseph about patience and continuing to believe in God’s plan during difficult times?

Living Faith

Instruct each family member to bring his or her favorite possession to the living room. It must be only one thing, such as a toy, golf club, stuffed animal, photo, Wii gaming system or car (of course, this would require a trip outside). Once everybody has chosen something, start with the youngest family member and have her explain why that item is her favorite. Continue around the room until each person gets to share about his possession.

After everybody is finished explain that it’s natural to have a favorite thing. Some items just fit your personality and specific tastes better than others. Some things have more sentimental value and mean more to you. But when it comes to families, favoritism can cause some problems.


• How did it make Joseph’s brothers feel that Jacob “loved Joseph more than any of his other sons” (Genesis 37:3)?

• Were Joseph’s brothers justified in selling him into slavery?

• Who was more at fault—Jacob or Joseph’s brothers—for what happened to Joseph?

• If Jacob would’ve acted differently, do you think Joseph’s life would’ve been different?

• Have you ever been in a group or team where somebody else was the favorite?

• Have you ever been treated as the favorite? How did that make you feel?

At the end, pray for God to give your family the wisdom and ability to love each other fully and unconditionally without showing favoritism.

Extra Mile

God gave Joseph wisdom to prepare for the coming famine. Through God’s provision, people were saved when there was no food. Take an evening as a family to go door-to-door in your neighborhood to gather nonperishable food for a community or church food bank. Have your children explain to the neighbors exactly where the food will go and who it will benefit. Make sure to visit the houses of people you don’t know. Bring a wagon or shopping bags to collect food donations. After delivering the items to the food bank, write a thank-you note to the neighbors that contributed and revisit those homes to let them know the results of your family food drive.


The Story Chapter 2 - Week Beginning 22 August

Chapter 2 - God Builds a Nation

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity is designed to help your child understand the importance of listening to God’s voice even when he can’t see the next step. The Extra Mile idea will help you drive home the concept of authentic faith.

Get the Point:

Preschool: Abraham trusted and obeyed God. I can trust and obey him, too.

Elementary: Abraham trusted God and obeyed. I can trust God too.

Middle School/High School: God often encourages movement to follow His will. We have to be willing to make sacrifices to follow God.

Table Talk


• How do you see God working in your life? (Could be finding something that was lost, feeling better after being sick, answered prayer.)

• What are some of the ways God worked in Abraham’s life? (Giving him land, children, etc.)

• Would you have had the faith Abraham displayed by moving to a place you knew nothing about?

• Why is it so hard to move or adjust to new things? What does God do to help you feel better when things change? (Give you new friends, love of a family, etc.)

Middle/High School

• According to Genesis 18:12, Sarah laughed when she overheard that she would have a baby, because she was so old. What would you do if you believed God was leading you to do something and people laughed?

• Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought, That’s impossible! Is anything impossible for God?

• How does our faith play a role in God’s “impossible” plans for our life?

• After Abraham passed God’s test, did God give Abraham “descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand” (Genesis 22:17) right away?

• What can you learn from Abraham about waiting for God’s plan to come true?

• Why is it so hard to wait?

Living Faith

Gather your family outside or in the living room. For this activity you’ll need something to mark boundaries and items to set up an obstacle course. You can use pillows, empty 2-liter plastic bottles, stuffed animals, baseball bats, etc. Break family members into pairs. If there’s an odd number, have one person rotate in. Explain that one member from each team will stand on one side of the obstacle course wearing a bandana so he can’t see anything. The other team members will stand on the other side and call out verbal directions to guide her partner. Only verbal directions, such as “Two small steps forward,” “One step left” or “Lift your foot really high and take a big step” are allowed. All teams go through the obstacle course at the same time, so it can sound pretty chaotic. If the blindfolded person steps on an obstacle, knocks one down (you can lean two bats together to create a teepee) or goes outside the boundary, then he has to be guided back to the beginning and start again. Take turns being blindfolded and giving directions, and always rearrange the obstacle course once a person has made it through.

When you decide to stop playing, ask these questions:

• What was the hardest part about being blindfolded? (Couldn’t see; hard to hear directions from teammate because of all the noise.) Explain that the blindfolded person had to totally trust the directions to stay safe and make it to the destination.

• Do you think Abraham may have felt the same way when God called him to go to Canaan?

• Is it harder to obey when you can see the destination or when you’re walking blind?

• How does faith help you trust God in your life, even when you can’t see the next step?

• What was the hardest part of giving directions? (Had to shout; had to put yourself in other person’s shoes to guide left or right.)

• Does God ever mess up in the directions He gives us?

• Because we can always trust God, what should we do when we hear His leading?

Extra Mile

For added emphasis about living out a real faith, bring your family around a computer and do a search for “Stained Glass Masquerade video.” You can also search for the song's lyrics if you want to read along.

After watching the video, ask:

• What do you think the song means by “happy plastic people”?

• According to the song, is it OK to fail?

• How should the church treat people who fail?

Explain that the Bible is filled with people who fail and didn’t have the faith to fully trust God. But God forgives and gives us a second chance. He doesn’t want us to be plastic and pretend everything’s OK when it isn’t. We need to be real with God and each other. When we have faith in God, His love can help us live authentically as the person He’s created us to be.


The Story Launch and Introduction - week beginning 8 August

The Story - Launch and Introduction

The Bible contains an Upper Story and a Lower Story. The Upper Story tells the big picture, the grand narrative of God seeking relationship with mankind as it unfolds throughout history. The Lower Story contains the details of particular people, and the episodes we’ve become familiar with: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the flood, etc. This Upper Story is really a framework around which we approach and apply any one part of the Bible. It unifies God’s whole message to us and helps guide us through the hard times in life by doing two things:

a) reminding us of God’s eternal, long-range plan and,

b) putting our experiences into a divine context formed by a perfect Creator.

For example, without the “Upper Story”, a lost job could be seen as an event without hope. But put into the context of the larger chronicle of our lives, and God’s perfect design, that lost job can be seen in a very different light, perhaps as an opportunity for God to reveal something better. So, by putting all we read into the larger picture, we can make modern-day application from the Bible that takes into account the grand, mysterious ways of God, and guards us from misapplications that can result from an isolated “what this verse says to me” approach. In other words, the Upper Story creates the context for the Lower Story.

At Emmanuel, we are using The Story to help everyone gain a better understanding of the big picture of the Bible and to better understand God’s redemptive plan for us today. As we journey together through The Story we will take note of both the temporal events and characters (Lower Story), as well as the eternal purpose of God: to restore and build a relationship with His creation.

We invite you to join us as we dig in and explore The Story.

If you would like to join an explore group, contact Nathan Robertson, or one of the group leaders listed in this week's newsletter.


The Story Chapter 1 - Week Beginning 15 August

Chapter 1. The Beginning of Life as We Know it

Parent Tips: Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table at some point this week. The Living Faith activity is designed to help your child know that God perfectly created them. The Extra Mile idea will help your family spread God’s love in the community.

Get the Point

Preschool: God made everything. He made me in His likeness.

Elementary: God made everything there is. He made me to know him.

Middle School: God made a perfect creation. We messed it up. Jesus offers us grace to fix that.

High School: God made a perfect and ordered creation. Man’s sin brought suffering to earth.

Table Talk


- If you could live a day as any animal, what animal would you be? What are some of the good and bad things about living as that animal?

- What are some ways people and animals are different?

- Are people or animals more important to God? Explain that people are worth way more than animals, because we’re the only part of Creation made in God’s image. We were made to have a relationship with God. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10:31 that we’re “worth more than many sparrows.”

Middle/High School

- What are some things you really like about yourself? (Could be eyes, hair, clothes, sense of humor)

- Hollywood actors and models always talk about how they’d like to change their appearance, yet they’re considered the pretty people. Is there anything you’d change about yourself?

- Do you think God would change anything about you?

- Why do you think the culture is so consumed with looks and fame?

Living Faith

Spend a few moments one evening going on a family treasure hunt around your house. You can write your own clues or use the ones given. End your hunt at a mirror (either handheld or in a bathroom) so your family can discover God’s greatest creation—you!

CLUE CARDS are attached for you to print, cut and hide

Extra Mile

For added emphasis on this week’s themes, try one of these activities.

1. Grab a family photo album that has some shots of you enjoying the outdoors. Talk about:

- What do you remember most about this experience?

- What are some of your favorite things about God’s creation?

- How can you see God’s handiwork in the outdoors?

- Where are some places you’d like to visit?

If the conversation leads, plan a fun family outing or your next family vacation.

2. Remind your children that all people are important to God by taking some food to a local food bank or going through your closets and making a donation to a homeless shelter. Remind your kids that helping the less fortunate shows them God’s love.


Sunday School & Dig in at Home 24 July 2022 - Stephen

5 Simple Ways You Can Make This Lesson Stick - STEPHEN THE COMMITTED

IN THE CAR: Ask your child what they learned about this week on the drive home: Stephen loved Jesus and loved people; his love never wavered, even when the people got angry and killed him. Kids will learn that members of the Jesus League can persevere and do the right thing even when people don’t treat us the same way. Acts 6:8-15, 7:54-60, Stephen

HANGING OUT: Make this week’s lesson real: Share with your kids a time you struggled to love someone who was mean to you. How did you handle the situation? How could you have handled it differently, if it didn’t go so well?

AT DINNER: Here are some great discussion starters:-Who was Stephen?-Why did the religious leaders put Stephen on trial?-How did Stephen stay committed to Jesus?

AT BEDTIME: Quiz your child on this week’s memory verse: When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIRV)

PARENT TIME: What you need to know:

Pray for your kids to have a heart that is committed to loving others. Pray that God will help you to love others as well. If there are any co-workers you are struggling with, pray especially for them this week so God can make you a witness to them.


How do we help when someone has one of those life-changing days?


Sunday School & Dig in at Home 31 July 2022 - Philip

5 Simple Ways You Can Make This Lesson Stick - PHILIP the Speaker

IN THE CAR: Ask your child what they learned about this week on the drive home: This Philip was not one of the 12 disciples, but he was still a follower of Jesus. Philip shared how much Jesus loves us with anyone and anywhere that God sent him. Kids will learn that they can share Jesus with other people. Acts 8:26-39, Philip and the Ethiopian

HANGING OUT: Make this week’s lesson real: Have you ever had to give a speech in school, at work, or elsewhere? How did it go? How nervous were you? Ask your kids if they are nervous about speaking in public or sharing Jesus with others?

AT DINNER: Here are some great discussion starters:-How did Philip meet the Ethiopian?-What happened when Philip taught the Ethiopian about Jesus?-How can we share the good news of Jesus with our friends?

AT BEDTIME: Quiz your child on this week’s memory verse: When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIRV)

PARENT TIME: What you need to know: It’s not easy to speak up for Jesus, but if we don’t speak for him, who will?

Pray that God will give your children - and you! - the courage to speak up about Jesus.


30 Words of Affirmation Every Child Needs to Hear - free printable

One of the most important things we can do as a parent is to make sure that our children hear words of affirmation every day.

Our words are SO powerful.

They can tear our children down or build them up.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

I want to be sure that my words speak life to my kids.

I know sometimes when life is just chugging along in the day-to-day, it can be hard to find little ways to affirm our kids through words. We have to be intentional with it.

But every mom could use a little inspiration in this area, right?

I've come up with a list of 30 words of affirmation that you can use TODAY in your home.

Speak them.

Write them.

Hang them on a mirror.

Remind your kids of who they are in Christ and HOW VERY MUCH THEY ARE LOVED BY YOU ♥️


Sunday School & Dig in at Home 24 July 2022 - Mary

5 Simple Ways You Can Make This Lesson Stick - MARY THE BELIEVER

IN THE CAR: Ask your child what they learned about this week on the drive home:

When the other members of the Jesus League believed that all was lost, Mary held onto hope; she was rewarded by being the first to learn that Jesus had risen from the dead. Kids will learn that we can believe God, no matter what. John 20:1-18, The Empty Tomb

HANGING OUT: Make this week’s lesson real: What are some things you and your kids believe in? Santa? Bigfoot? America? How is having a belief in Jesus different than believing in these other things?

AT DINNER: Here are some great discussion starters:-Who was the first person to see the empty tomb?-Why do you think Jesus revealed himself to Mary before he saw the disciples?-How can we build up our belief in Jesus?

AT BEDTIME: Quiz your child on this week’s memory verse: When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIRV)

PARENT TIME: What you need to know: A strong faith can help us through even the toughest times in life.

Pray that God will help you and your kids develop a strong faith in Jesus.