Yearly Archives: 2008

Spotlight Effect


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that when God shines His favor on us, it blesses other people around us, as well. It uses the story of Joseph to illustrate this principle.

Materials

· Powerful flashlight or spotlight

Preparation

· Make sure you can get the room dark with the lights turned off. You may need to cover up some windows or pull the blinds.

· Make sure that flashlight/spotlight is fully charged or has new batteries. You want a powerful beam of light for the whole lesson.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “When you look at the life of Joseph in the Bible, one of the things you will notice is that he blessed those around him.”

· “Joseph had a hard early life. His brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery, but even in slavery, Joseph blessed others.” (Have a volunteer read Genesis 39:1-6)

· “It says that ‘the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph’ and ‘The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field…’”

· “Just having Joseph in his house was a blessing to Potiphar.”

· “Because Joseph followed God, God blessed him. And because God blessed Joseph, everyone around him was blessed.”

· “But Joseph’s misfortune wasn’t over. He was wrongly accused of a crime, and Potiphar threw him into prison.”

· “It wasn’t fair for an innocent man to be arrested, but even in prison, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 40:20-23.)

· “The prison warden didn’t have to worry about anything while Joseph was there. Joseph took care of everything, and God blessed all the work of his hands.”

· “Finally, Joseph was released from prison, and God rewarded him for his continued trust and obedience by making him the second highest official in all of Egypt.”

· “In this role, too, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 41:46-49.)

· “Joseph was in charge of saving food in preparation for a famine, and God blessed him so much that Joseph couldn’t even keep records of how much food he had saved.”

· “He was able to save all of Egypt and neighboring countries from starving to death.”

· “So, let me give you a picture of what was happening with Joseph.”

· “To do this, I’m going to need to turn off the lights, but I’ll have this flashlight/spotlight on.” (Turn on flashlight/spotlight, and ask a volunteer to turn off the lights.)

· “Let’s say this flashlight/spotlight is God’s favor.”

· “And, let’s say this is Joseph.” (Pick a kid in the audience who is close to other kids.)

· “Because Joseph was always doing his best to be obedient to the Lord, God’s favor was always on him.” (Hold flashlight/spotlight above volunteer’s head so that the light shines down on him/her.)

· “Notice that while ‘Joseph’ is getting most of the light of God’s favor, there is still some that spills over onto those around him.” (Point out kids that are also in the light.)

· “We can call this the ‘Spotlight Effect.’ When God shines His light on you, it ends up blessing more than just you – it blesses everyone around you!”

· “Wherever Joseph goes, he takes God’s favor with him.” (Have volunteer get up and slowly move around the room to be closer to other kids. Follow him/her with the flashlight/spotlight.)

· “When Joseph was working for Potiphar, Potiphar’s entire house was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was in prison, the whole prison was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, all the land of Egypt and all the surrounding nations were blessed!”

· “That brings up another point. As God shines His light on you, He will lift you up so that you can provide light for more and more people.” (Have ‘Joseph’ volunteer sit on the floor near some other kids. Shine the flashlight/spotlight on him/her just above his/her head, and point out how the light touches just a few people. Then have ‘Joseph’ stand, and raise the flashlight/spotlight. Point out how the light now touches even more people. Then, thank your volunteer, and have the lights turned back on. Leave the flashlight/spotlight on.)

· “Jesus talks about this in the New Testament.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:14-16.)

· “Jesus is saying that we are supposed to be a light in a dark place (the world), and He will put us on a stand – up high where we can give light to everyone around us.”

· “That’s exactly what He did with Joseph. God raised him up to the second-highest position in Egypt so that the light of God’s favor could bless many people and save many lives.”

· “Now, here’s something interesting. How many of you knew that I never turned off the flashlight/spotlight?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right! It’s still on! You see, God blesses us in good times and in bad times.” (Shine light back on ‘Joseph’ volunteer.)

· “During good times, it’s like all the lights are on, so not many people may notice God’s favor on us.”

· “But during bad times, it’s like the lights go out for people.” (Have volunteer turn out lights.)

· “That’s when everyone notices where God’s favor is!”

· “It becomes so obvious who God is blessing when the lights go out.”

· “When all of Egypt was facing starvation, everyone could tell that Joseph was really blessed by God, because He had the wisdom and the skills to save all the peoples’ lives.”

· “Once God has His light on us, He will sometimes let the lights go out (bad times happen) in order to get their attention.”

· “That’s when people will start coming to you to find out why you’ve got so much blessing in your life, and that’s when you can tell them about your love for Jesus.”

· “Oh, but there’s something you’ve got to remember.”

· “You’ve got to stay inside God’s light if you want to have His favor and be able to bless others.”

· “Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask the ‘Joseph’ volunteer to take a step out of the light, but don’t follow him/her this time.)

· “It’s possible for you to step out of God’s favor and blessings by sinning.”

· “If Joseph had not been so obedient to God during his time with Potiphar and in the prison, he would not have had God’s light on him.”

· “You’ve got to stay in the center of God’s blessings and favor by doing what He tells you to do in the Bible.” (Thank volunteer again, and have the lights turned on. You can turn off the flashlight/spotlight at this point.)

· “So there it is! The ‘Spotlight Effect!’”

· “Follow God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and His blessings will follow you wherever you go!”

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Filed under Belief, blessing, Challenges, God's favor, Obedience, Object Lesson, struggles, Trust

Finding God’s Path


Time

30 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the challenges involved in seeking God’s will as we do our daily walk.

Materials

  • Masking tape
  • 150 note cards
  • A marker or something to write with
  • Answer Keys for Facilitator and Volunteers (attached)
  • (Optional) A prize for the winner

Preparation

· Using the masking tape, mark off a grid with five columns and 20 rows (see Answer Keys at the end of this lesson for an illustration).

o If you have access to a tiled floor, you can just use the tiles as your grid.

· Number twenty of your note cards 1-20. (Do this twice.)

· Letter five of your note cards A to E. (Do this twice.)

· Tape these next to the outside borders of your grid. The numbers are for the rows, and the letters are for the columns. (See the Answer Keys for an illustration.)

· Place a large “X” on 25 of the remaining note cards. (Make sure that the ink doesn’t show through the paper.)

· Write the word “SIN” on 20 of the note cards. (Make sure that the ink doesn’t show through.)

· Using the “Answer Key – Facilitator’s Copy” page as a model, tape the 25 “X” note cards and the 20 “SIN” note cards face down in the appropriate spaces of the grid. (Only tape one edge, so that it is easy for kids to lift the note card and look for the “X.”)

· Tape the rest of the blank note cards face down in the empty grid spaces. Make sure that they look like the marked note cards so that kids will not be able to tell from looking at them which have an “X” and which do not.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “As we do our best to follow the Lord on the path that He has planned for us, it is often difficult to know what His will is and what next step He would have us take.”

· “One of the things that can help us is getting advice from godly people, like your parents or leaders in the church.”

· “We are going to do an activity that will help us understand this way of seeking God’s will in our lives.”

· “This grid represents the path that God has set before you.” (Point out the grid.)

· “Each square/rectangle in the grid represents a step that you could take.”

· “There are three types of steps indicated by the note cards that are taped face down in each space:

o Some of the note cards have an “X” on them. This is God’s best path for you, where you will receive His full blessing.

o Some of the note cards are blank. This is an okay step to take, but it’s not God’s best for you. You can still experience His blessing, but it won’t be as strong.

o Some of the note cards have the word, “SIN,” written on them. This is a step that leads you to do something you shouldn’t.”

· “To help you make the right decision which step to take, you will be able to get advice each turn from one godly person.”

· “I need four volunteers to help me by being our godly people.” (Select volunteers, and share the following instructions. If you don’t have enough kids to use four volunteers, you can give a volunteer more than one Answer Key and have him/her use their best judgment when giving advice.)

· “Each of these four volunteers is a godly person in your life – someone you can go to for advice about what the next step in your walk should be.”

· “Before you take a step, you can pick one (only one) and ask for his/her advice.”

· “Each of them will have an Answer Key for the grid.” (Hand out a different Answer Key to each volunteer, and ask them not to let anyone see it – not even the other volunteers.)

· “Their Answer Keys are all different. No one has all the correct answers, so who you choose to get godly advice from will be important.”

· “When you ask one of the volunteers for their advice, they will tell you what space they think you should step to using the column letter plus the row number. For example, ‘Space A-3.’”

· “If they don’t have any information for you on their sheet, they will simply say, ‘I don’t know,’ and you will have to guess which space to step onto.”

· “Once you touch a space in the grid, your choice is final.”

· “You should bend down and flip up the note card so that you can see what is on the other side.”

o “If you step on a space with an “X” note card, you get to go again.”

o “If you step on a space with a blank note card, you get to hold your place, but you cannot go again until everyone else has had a try.”

o “If you step on a space with a “SIN” note card, you lose your turn and have to start over after everyone else has had a try.”

· “Leave the note card flipped over so that others will benefit from your experience.”

· “The first person to step on the “X” space on Row 20 wins! (Blank spaces will not count as a win.)”

· “What questions do you have?” (Answer any questions. Then start the activity.)


Debrief Questions

Once the activity is complete, award a prize for the winner if you would like. Then, gather the kids and debrief with the following questions before ending the lesson.

o “How was this activity like trying to figure out God’s will for your life?”

o “How did you feel when you asked a godly person (volunteer) for advice, and he/she couldn’t give you any?”

§ “How is this like real life?”

o “How did you feel when you asked a godly person (volunteer) for advice, and he/she gave you the wrong answer?”

§ “How is this like real life?”

o “How did wrong answers make you feel about asking that person for advice the next time around?”

o “How do you know when to trust people’s advice and when not to?”

o “Why do some people have good advice to share about some things but not about others?”

o “What difference would it have made if you had been able to ask more than one godly person for advice before you took a step?”

o “What lessons can you take away from this activity?”


Answer Key – Facilitator’s Copy

A

B

C

D

E

1

Sin

X

Sin

1

2

X

Sin

2

3

Sin

X

Sin

3

4

X

Sin

4

5

X

X

X

5

6

X

6

7

Sin

Sin

X

7

8

X

X

Sin

8

9

X

9

10

X

Sin

Sin

10

11

X

X

X

Sin

11

12

X

12

13

Sin

X

Sin

13

14

X

14

15

Sin

X

15

16

X

16

17

X

Sin

17

18

X

Sin

18

19

X

19

20

Sin

Sin

X

Sin

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #1

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

X

4

5

5

6

6

7

7

8

8

9

9

10

10

11

X

X

11

12

12

13

X

13

14

X

14

15

X

15

16

16

17

17

18

18

19

19

20

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #2

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

X

4

5

X

X

X

5

6

X

6

7

X

7

8

8

9

9

10

10

11

11

12

X

12

13

X

13

14

14

15

X

15

16

16

17

17

18

18

19

19

20

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #3

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

X

4

5

X

5

6

X

6

7

X

7

8

X

8

9

X

9

10

X

10

11

X

11

12

12

13

X

13

14

X

14

15

15

16

X

16

17

X

17

18

X

18

19

X

19

20

X

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #4

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

4

5

5

6

6

7

7

8

8

9

9

10

10

11

X

11

12

X

12

13

13

14

14

15

15

16

X

16

17

17

18

X

18

19

19

20

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Statistics

This page is just for the facilitator’s information and may be useful during the debrief. It shows how many of the “godly advisors” had correct and incorrect answers for each space.

A

B

C

D

E

1

4

1

2

4

2

3

4

3

4

2

1

4

5

1

2

1

5

6

1

1

6

7

2

7

8

0

1

8

9

0

1

9

10

0

1

10

11

1

1

2

11

12

2

12

13

3

13

14

1

1

14

15

2

15

16

2

16

17

1

17

18

2

18

19

1

19

20

1

20

A

B

C

D

E

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Filed under Christianity, Daily walk, God's Will, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Trust

Ugly Fruit


rambutan

Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson helps children understand that it’s not the outside that is most important; it’s the inside. God looks at their heart and sees the best in them.

Materials

  • Several uncut fruits that are ugly on the outside. (Some fruits that would work would be: ugli fruit, rambuttan, dragon fruit, passion fruit, jackfruit, durian.)
  • Several of the same fruits cut for you to taste
  • Enough pieces of the cut fruits for all the kids to have a piece
  • If you can’t find a fruit ugly enough, feel free to use the slide show I prepared for this lesson. (It’s on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.) It has my daughter trying a piece of rambuttan, a fruit common in south and southeast Asia. (It’s quite tasty and makes a nice piece of perishable jewelry, as you’ll see in the slideshow.)

Preparation

  • Cut up fruit – have pieces available for you and pieces available for all the kids.
  • Practice script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • (Hold up one of the ugly fruits and say…) ”Anyone interested in eating something like this?”
  • “Looks pretty nasty, doesn’t it?”
  • “Okay, so it’s not the prettiest fruit out there, but have you ever tasted it?” (Eat a piece.)
  • “Mmmmmm…. That’s really sweet!”
  • “I bet some of you would like a piece, huh?” (Have someone pass out fruit pieces.)
  • “Now, how can something that’s so good on the inside be so ugly on the outside?”
  • “I think there is a lesson for us here.”
  • “Just because something – or someone – isn’t beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean they can’t be wonderful on the inside.”
  • “It’s hard to see inside someone, isn’t it?”
  • “But you know who can always see the wonderful things inside us?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “Right, Jesus!”
  • “He sees the best in you!”
  • “So even if some people have told you that you are an ‘ugly fruit,’ remember that Jesus can always see what’s good inside of you!”
  • “It’s ‘Rhyme Time! Here’s our rhyme for today’s lesson:” (Post this on a poster or project it using an overhead or LCD projector, and have the kids repeat it after you several times to reinforce the lesson.)

He loves me like I am today

And sees what others cannot see.

While others only see my faults,

Jesus sees the best in me!

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Filed under acceptance, Christianity, Object Lesson, Value

Pump You Up


hans-and-franz

Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that God uses difficult times and circumstances to make us stronger. It’s a play off the Saturday Night Live skit on Hans and Franz, but the kids will not need to be familiar with the skit to enjoy the humor. It’s best if there are two leaders to do the lesson, but you can do it with just one.

Materials

  • Sweat pants and a sweat shirt (for both)
  • Newspaper (or something else to stuff inside your sweats to simulate muscles)
  • Thick belts (or something that looks like a weight belt)
  • Dowel rod (3/4 inch diameter)
  • Styrofoam balls (2 – six-inch diameter or larger)
  • Duct tape
  • Black spray paint
  • Sheet of paper with some writing on it. (It doesn’t matter what it says.)

Preparation

· Make a set of “barbells” by following these steps:

o Paint the two Styrofoam balls black.

o Wrap the duct tape around the dowel rod from top to bottom so that it is completely covered.

o Attach the two Styrofoam balls to either end of the dowel rod.

· Put on the sweats, and stuff them with newspaper to make it look like you’ve got huge muscles all over your body.

· Practice the script (and your Austrian accent).

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

Hans: “Good morning (afternoon, evening) little boys and girls. My name is Hans.”

Franz: “Ya, ya, and I’m Franz, and we’re here to….”

Both: “Pump….you up!” (Clap hands in unison on the word ‘pump.’ Then point to all the kids in exaggerated motions, and do poses like they would do at a body building competition.)

Hans: “But before we can pump you up tonight, we have a letter to read from one of our fans.” (Hans pulls out letter. Franz celebrates letter with some exaggerated poses.)

Hans: “Dear, Hans and Franz: Lifting weights hurts my muscles. Isn’t there an easier way to get properly pumped up?” (Crumples paper, and throws away.)

Hans: “Can you believe that, Franz? This girlie-man wants properly pumped up muscles without it hurting his weak and flabby body. What do you think about that?”

Franz: “Well, Hans, I can hardly believe he could pick up a pencil to write with those teeny tiny muscles of his.”

Hans: “Ya, maybe he had his mommy-wommy write it for him.”

Franz: “Ya, right! Kids, hear me now and believe me later, you cannot get a properly pumped up body like this one (does a few poses) without pain.”

Hans: “So true! As the King of Pumptitude, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, says, ‘No pain – no gain!’”

Franz: “See this barbell here?” (Point to barbell.

Franz: “They will give me perfectly shaped ab muscles and glutes.”

Hans: “Ya, and perfect pinky toe muscles, too, ya!”

Franz: “Well, theses weights actually tear down my muscle tissue. Then, my body repairs my muscles and makes them stronger than before.”

Hans: “Tearing down your muscles first is how weights work to….”

Both: “Pump….you up!”

Franz: “Hans, I went to church the other day.”

Hans: “Ya, Franz. I bet you had more muscle than even the pastor.”

Franz: “Ya, Hans, but he said something that convinced me he is no girlie-man.”

Hans: “What was it, Franz?”

Franz: “He said that sometimes bad things happen to us and tear us down like puny muscle tissue. But then God builds us back up stronger than we were before!”

Hans: “Hey, Franz, it sounds like that pastor has some really super-sized spiritual muscles!”

Franz: “Ya, Hans. Maybe he’s the King of Spiritual Pumptitude.”

Hans: “Kids, hear me now and write to me next Christmas, hard times build up your puny spiritual muscles!”

Franz: “No more talking. Time to show these kids how powerful our muscles are.”

Hans: “Ya, watch me lift this barbell through the roof into the outer atmosphere.” (Pretend to try to pick up the barbell several times. Exaggerate the strain you are exerting, and eventually fail. Then, let Franz try with no success.)

Franz: (Whispering to Hans loudly enough that everyone can hear.) “Hans, this is obviously cemented to the floor. That’s the reason we can’t pick it up.”

Hans: (Whispering back) “Ya, Franz. Let’s play a trick on all these girly-men in the audience. (To audience) This barbell is too easy for us to lift. One of you puny people should come try to lift it so that it will be more of a challenge to you. Who wants to try?” (Pick the smallest volunteer you can find – preferably a girl – and let her come lift the barbell. When she does, look at each other in mock surprise and say…)

Both: “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” (….as you pretend to bow down to the volunteer. Then thank her, and send her back to her seat.)

Franz: “So, kids, when something bad happens to you, remember to ask God how He wants to grow your puny spiritual muscles.” (So several muscle flexes, and then end lesson.)

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, faith, Object Lesson, Spiritual Growth, struggles, test, tool

Tell Two Friends


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson helps kids understand the impact they each can have on the Kingdom if they will help to lead just a few people to Christ during their lifetime.

Materials

  • Beads (You can also use beans, rice, BBs – anything small that you can gather in the appropriate amounts.)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Permanent marker
  • A large, see-through bucket, vase or jar
  • Tray to fit under the bucket, vase or jar to catch the overflow beads
  • Display table

Preparation

· Put beads in bags and label them (with the permanent marker) according to the following allotments.  (I don’t actually count the beads when I get into the higher numbers.  I find out how many will fit into a measuring cup or drinking cup (approximately).  Then, I just estimate how many beads I’ve put in the bags by how many cups I used.)

o #1 – 2 beads

o #2 – 4 beads

o #3 – 8 beads

o #4 – 16 beads

o #5 – 32 beads

o #6 – 64 beads

o #7 – 128 beads

o #8 – 256 beads

o #9 – 512 beads

o #10 – 1024 beads

o #11 – 2048 beads

o #12 – 4096 beads

o #13 – 8192 beads

· You can do more than thirteen bags if you have enough beads. Follow the same procedure as above.

· Set up the bucket, vase or jar on the display table with the tray underneath it.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Does anyone know what the Great Commission is?” (Listen for responses. If the children don’t know, have them read it in Matthew 28:16-20.)

· “One of the last things Jesus asked the disciples to do was to go and make more disciples, so it’s very important that we share our faith in Jesus with the people He has put into our lives.”

· “Knowing about Jesus is such an incredible thing that we should want to share it with lots of people.”

· “We want them to come to heaven with us, right?” (Listen for responses.)

· “I want to show you the power of sharing your faith with other people.”

· “If everyone who ever believed in Jesus would just help two other people come to know Him, it would absolutely change the world!”

· “Let me show you how….I need 13 volunteers.” (Select 13 volunteers, and line them up, and hand each of them a bag of beads in order from #1 to #13. #1 should be closest to the display table.)

· “These beads in the bags I’ve given our volunteers represent people.”

· “Let’s say that someone led two people to Jesus during his lifetime.” (Show beads.)

· That would be three people who knew Jesus, right (the first person plus the two he led to Jesus)?” (Have first volunteer empty beads into the bucket.)

· “If each of those two people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 7 people who knew Jesus. (original 3 + 4 new)” (Have volunteer #2 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would then be 15 people who knew Jesus. (original 7 + 8).” (Have volunteer #3 empty beads into bucket.)

· “So far, that’s not a lot of beads, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 31 people who knew Jesus (15 original + 16 more).” (Have volunteer #4 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 63 (31+32).” (Have volunteer #5 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 127 (63+64).” (Have volunteer #6 empty beads into bucket.)

· “Still doesn’t look like much, I know, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 255 (127+128).” (Have volunteer #7 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 511 (255+256).” (Have volunteer #8 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 1023 (511+512).” (Have volunteer #9 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 2047 (1023+1024).” (Have volunteer #10 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 4095 (2047+2048).” (Have volunteer #11 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 8191 (4095+4096).” (Have volunteer #12 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 16384 (8191+8192).” (Have volunteer #13 empty beads into bucket. If the beads haven’t started overflowing before this point, they should now.)

· “Now think about that! From the first two people who shared Jesus, over 16,000 people came to know Christ!”

· “Do you think you could tell two people about Jesus?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Can you tell one in the coming week?” (Listen for responses.)

“Then do it! When you get to heaven, you might be greeted by 16,000 or more people who want to thank you for starting the chain of events that led them to know Jesus!”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Evangelism, Great Commission, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Witness

Touch of the Master’s Hand


Time

10-15 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that God uses what the world hardly values. The touch of the Master’s hand makes all the difference in a person’s life. This lesson is inspired by the poem by Myra B. Welch (printed at the end of the lesson).

Materials

· A violin if you can borrow one. If not, then use a photograph, or just describe the old violin well.

Preparation

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Let me tell you a story.”

· “An auctioneer waited for the next piece of merchandise to be wheeled out.”

· “To his disappointment, he saw that it was the old violin.”

· “He had spent time inspecting it before the auction began.”

· “It was weathered and worn, dusty and scuffed, with a split in the neck and some mold on the chin rest.”

· “He was sure it next to worthless, so he started the bidding low.”

· “’Who will give me a dollar?’”

· “’One dollar – Now who will give me two?’”

· “’Two dollars – Now who will give me three?’”

· “’Three dollars – Now who will give me four?’”

· “’Anyone? Anyone? Then, three dollars it is. Going once….Going twice….’”

· “From the back of the room, a chair screeched as a gray-haired man scooted it back to take a stand.”

· “All eyes were on him as he walked to the front of the room and picked up the old violin.”

· “He wiped off the dust and then took a moment to tune the strings.”

· “Picking up the bow, he began to play.”

· “The old violin came to life! Such was the beauty of the music the man played that it brought tears to they eyes of many sitting in their chairs.”

· “When he was done, he quietly laid the violin down on the table and walked out of the auction hall.”

· “A moment went by in complete silence. Then the auctioneer said, ‘Who will bid on the old violin? Do I hear $1,000 dollars?’” (Look expectantly at the group of kids until one of them raises a hand. Make the group part of the auction.)

· “’One thousand! But who will make it two?’” (Find another child with a hand raised and point to him/her. Keep this up for several raisings of the bid to let several kids play a part. It’s not important how high they take the bidding. Have fun with it.)

· “’Two thousand! Yes, and three? Three thousand to that gentleman there! Yes, who will make it four? Four thousand to the lovely young lady!….” (When you are ready to move on, say…)

· “’______ thousand! Going once! Going twice, and gone to the young person in that row!’”

· “A cheer went up, but some wept at what they had just seen.”

· “’What made the difference?’ one of them asked, and the auctioneer replied, ‘It was the thing that always makes the difference, my friends. It was the touch of the master’s hand.’”

· “Then gathering his things, he turned and left, wiping a tear from his eye.”

· “Many people are like that old violin, and the world will tell you and them that they aren’t worth anything.”

· “They will point out everything that’s wrong with the person but nothing that is right, and they will say that the person will never amount to much, never achieve anything worthwhile, never make a difference on this planet.”

· “But I want you to know that God doesn’t make junk and that every person on this earth is made in His image.”

· “Some are old and dusty, some are broken in some way, some are out of tune with the rest of the world.”

· “Some wear their scuffs on the outside where you can see them, and some wear their scuffs in their hearts where you can’t.”

· “But no matter what’s wrong with them, they can still do incredible things in the Master’s hand. That’s our Master, Jesus.”

· “If they will just trust Him with their beat up and broken lives, He will help them make beautiful music.”

· “That music will be a blessing to others, and they will all wonder how such beauty can come from something they thought was so worthless.”

· “You know, this lesson is based upon a poem written by a woman named Myra B. Welch.” (Read poem if you like.)

· “She lived a long time ago (1877-1959) and had such bad arthritis that she had to stay in a wheelchair. She loved to play the organ, but the arthritis made it impossible.”

· “To many, Myra Welch must have been like the old violin – broken and of little worth. But to God, she was priceless!”

· “Though she couldn’t play her organ, she learned that she could write poetry by holding a pencil in each of her deformed hands and typing the words by pushing the keys with the erasers.”

· “Her poems all told of how she rejoiced in God’s love, and they have blessed millions of people around the world.”

· “The world saw her as broken, but the touch of her Master’s hand brought beautiful music from her that blessed many.”

· “And our Master, the Lord Jesus, can do the same for you, too!”

masters-hand

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

“Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar – now who’ll make it two _
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three”. . . but no!
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: “What am I bidden for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow;
“A thousand dollars – and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand – and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice
And going – and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand –
What changed its worth?” The man replied:
“The touch of the master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd.
Much like the old violin.

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on,
He’s going once, and going twice –
He’s going – and almost gone!
But the MASTER comes, and the foolish crowd,
Never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the MASTER’S hand.

~Myra B. Welch

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Filed under Christianity, forgiveness, Jesus, Object Lesson, self-image, Self-worth, Transformation, Value

Radio Waves


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how both God and the devil are competing for our attention. It uses the metaphor of radio towers sending signals to a radio.

Materials

  • Old radio (doesn’t need to work)
  • Two wire hangers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Printouts from “Radio Waves Construction” slides (see “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
  • Tape

Preparation

· Make radio tower headpieces for two children. (Directions are in the “Radio Waves Construction” file on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)

· Practice the script.

radio-waves-construction

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Hey! I found this old radio at the house, and I thought I would see if it still works.” (Pretend to find a station while making a static sound effect.)
  • “Have you ever had this problem? You can’t find a clear station on the radio.” (Listen for responses.)
  • “It’s frustrating, right?”
  • “That reminds me of how we communicate with God.”
  • “A lot of people say that they have a difficult time hearing God speak to them. Do you ever have a hard time hearing God speak to you?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “I understand what you mean, because I have a hard time, too, sometimes.”
  • “Let’s explore what causes this.” (Ask for two volunteers to come up. Place one of the radio tower headpieces on each one of them. Then place them at either end of the stage or teaching area so that one is on your left, and one is on your right. Ask them to make hand motions toward you like they are sending you signals.)
  • “Let’s pretend that these two people are different radio station towers and that I’m a radio.”
  • “This one is W-I-A-M, which are the call letters for Yahweh Broadcasting. In other words, this is God.”
  • “This one is K-L-I-E, which are the call letters for Lucifer Radio. In other words, this is the devil.”
  • “Now, the way a regular radio works is that it picks up radio waves from a radio tower.”
  • “You can change which station the radio is listening to by turning the dial.” (Pretend to twist your nose and then lean toward the station you are “hearing” at that moment.)
  • “The different radio stations compete with each other to get your attention.”
  • “Our two radio stations are in competition with each other, too.” (Make sure that both your volunteers are still making hand motions toward you.)
  • “If the devil can get you to listen to his radio station, he knows you won’t be listening to God’s radio station.” (Twist your nose, and lean toward the KLIE radio tower.)
  • “Whenever you listen to the devil’s radio station, it tells you to do what you want to do – not what God is asking you to do.”
  • “In fact, if you listen to the devil’s station long enough, you start to move closer to it so that you can hear it more clearly.” (Move closer to the volunteer with the KLIE radio tower.)
  • “It begins to sound really good to you, and you want to listen to it more and more.” (Demonstrate that you are really enjoying what you are hearing from KLIE.)
  • “Notice that WIAM is still sending me signals, but I’m not tuned into God’s station, so I don’t hear them.”
  • “And even if I decide I should start listening to God’s station, it won’t come in clearly right away.” (Twist your nose and lean toward the WIAM radio tower. Make a static noise and look like you are having a hard time hearing the station.)
  • “The reason I’m having trouble hearing God’s station is because I’ve moved so far away from it and because there is a lot of sin in the way.” (Ask for four or five volunteers to come up, and position them between you and the WIAM radio tower.)
  • “These guys represent all the sin that has sprung up in my life. They get in the way of the signals that WIAM is sending me.”
  • “So, if you’re not hearing God talk to you, maybe it’s because you are listening to His competitor’s station.”
  • “Maybe it’s because you are too far away from His signal and have too much sin between the two of you.”
  • “Does anyone know how I can get rid of all this sin and get closer to WIAM?” (Listen for responses. Specifically, you want to hear that you need to repent (say you are sorry) and ask for forgiveness.)
  • “That doesn’t sound too tough. ‘God, I’m really sorry for listening to your competitor’s radio station. I want to listen to You again. Will you please forgive me?’” (After you’ve said this, have your WIAM volunteer push through all the volunteers representing your sin in order to get near to you. Dismiss these volunteers, and then follow the WIAM volunteer back over to his/her side of the stage. Demonstrate that you are enjoying listing to God’s station.)
  • “You know, the great part about listening to WIAM is that I don’t feel guilty after I tune in. I always feel guilty after listening to KLIE.”
  • “Now, how do I make sure that I stay tuned into God’s station?” (Listen for responses. You are listening for responses such as ‘read your Bible,’ ‘pray,’ ‘go to church’…)
  • “Exactly! Now, don’t be surprised if when you first start reading your Bible, you hear a lot of static at first.”
  • “The words might be difficult to understand, and even when you understand them, they just look like words.”
  • “That happens, but keep tuning in to God’s station every day, and something cool starts to happen…you start to fine-tune your ability to hear God in what you read, and the words start to jump to life for you!”
  • “You will start to enjoy tuning in each day, and then you will start moving closer and closer to his tower.” (Demonstrate moving closer to the tower.)
  • “Before long, you won’t be interested in picking up the devil’s station at all.”
  • “He can do his best to get your attention, but you won’t pay any attention to him.” (Have KLIE volunteer make desperate gestures to try to get your attention, but ignore him/her. Then thank your volunteers and dismiss them.)

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Filed under Bible study, Christianity, Focus, God's Will, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, prayer, Satan's tactics, spiritual disciplines