Monthly Archives: September 2008

Guard Your Gates! (OBJ LESSON)


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the need to protect our hearts and minds from the evil things that might get in them.

Materials

  • Small box
  • Heart-shaped object
  • A handful of candy or a few candy bars

Preparation

·You might need a confederate when you try to tempt the “gate-keepers” to let you into the city.Talk to one of the older children ahead of time, and let them know you want them to let you in the gate after you’ve tempted them some – maybe when you offer the candy.Ask the child to keep this a secret.

·Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “I am going to tell you a story from the book of Nehemiah.”
  • “In the time of Nehemiah, there was a temple in Jerusalem, but there were no walls around the city.”(Ask for a few children to volunteer to come be your temple.Have them stand together and hold the small box in the center.)
  • “This box represents the Ark of the Covenant.”
  • “The Ark was the most important thing in all of Israel.It represented where God came to meet with His people.”
  • “Now, without walls around the city, the temple was unprotected.”
  • “At any time, the enemy could just walk in and steal the Ark of the Covenant, because there was nothing to keep the enemy out.”(Pretend to be the enemy, and show how easy it is for you to come in and steal the Ark.)
  • “Now, the Ark of the Covenant is gone today.No one knows for sure what happened to it.”
  • “I think that’s because we don’t need it anymore.You see, God replaced the building that was called “The Temple,” with our hearts.He now meets with us in our hearts instead of in a building.”
  • “The Bible says that God removed our ‘heart of stone and gave (us) a heart of flesh.’” (Ezekiel 11:19 – Replace the box with the heart-shaped container.)
  • “And our enemy is Satan.He wants to steal our hearts so that God can’t use us for His purposes.”
  • “So, the temple is like our heart today.What did Nehemiah need to protect the temple?”(Walls)
  • “Right!And Nehemiah was smart.He put together a team of people, and they began building those walls.”
  • “But if Nehemiah needs physical walls to protect the temple, what do you think we need to protect our hearts?”(Spiritual walls)
  • “Exactly!We need spiritual walls!Well, just like you build physical walls stone by stone, you build spiritual walls piece by piece when you do good things for God.”
  • “Can anyone give me an example of a ‘stone’ you might put in your spiritual wall?”(Look for examples of spiritual disciplines and good works for God.As kids mention them, have them come up to be part of the wall around the temple.Examples include: Bible study, giving, helping others, prayer, meditating on God’s word, solitude, going to church, worship…Keep taking examples until you have a complete wall around the temple.)
  • “There!We have our spiritual wall to protect us from Satan’s attacks.If we didn’t have our spiritual walls up, Satan could come right in and steal our hearts.”
  • “Walls are good to have, but we are missing something.We also need gates!”
  • “Without gates in the wall of Jerusalem, the good stuff, like food and supplies couldn’t come into the city.”
  • “In the same way, without gates in our spiritual walls, there is no way to let in good things like God’s Word.”
  • “So, we need gates – can anyone think of what our gates might be?Where does the good stuff come into our minds and hearts?” (Ears, eyes, mouth)
  • “I’m going to make these people our gates keepers.”(Pick two or three pairs of children and have them hold hands to designate that they are the gates.Make sure you include your confederate if you are using one.)
  • “Having gates is good, because they let the good stuff in, but they can also let in bad stuff.Your gates are the weakest part of your spiritual wall, and Satan will try really hard to get in through them.”
  • “Can anyone give me some examples of things Satan might try to get past your ear gates, your eye gates or your mouth gate?”(Take examples, and if needed, supply the following:

omusic with bad lyrics

obad scenes in movies

oprofanity

opictures in magazines

ogossip

orumors

othings you might feel jealous about

omean words

othings that might make you feel bad about yourself

odrugs or alcohol (because they make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do – like open your ear gates and eye gates to really bad stuff)

oother peoples’ personal things that are not to be shared (like a diary)

oviolent scenes)

  • “Wow!Satan has thought of a lot of stuff to try to get in through our ear gates, eye gates and mouth gate.”
  • “Let me show you how he works.”(Go to one of your gate-keeper pairs and try to tempt them to open the gate to let you in.)
  • “Hey, guys!How are you today?Say, I would really like to get into that gate.Would you mind opening it for me?”(Assuming they say, “no,” try some of these temptations.)

o“Aw, c’mon, do it for your friend!We’re friends right?You don’t want to be uncool do you?”

o“Wait until everyone hears what a loser you are!”

o“What if I offered you this candy?Would you open it for me then?”

o“You would be my best friend ever!”

o“Those guys over there let me in all the time.”

o“If you let me in, I’ll give you something really cool!”

o(Add other temptations that you think might work.If no one succumbs to the temptations, use your confederate to get into the city.)

  • “HA!I knew I could get in!Now that I’m in here, I think I’m going to set up camp.”
  • “When Satan gets into your heart and sets up camp, the Bible calls it a stronghold.A stronghold is the place in your heart that Satan holds, and it’s where he attacks you from.”
  • “There is a story in the last chapter of Nehemiah in the Bible that tells about when one of Nehemiah’s enemies came to live inside the temple!”
  • “Nehemiah had left the country for some time, and while he was gone, some of the people who were friends with Nehemiah’s enemies let a man named Tobiah move in!”
  • “That’s like letting Satan live in your heart!Who wants that?”
  • “The good news is that Nehemiah was a man of God.When he found out that Tobiah had moved into the temple, he kicked him out of the temple and out of the city.Then, he bleached the place and filled it up with temple furniture and offerings.”(Nehemiah 13:4-9)
  • “So if Satan gets past our gates with his junk, what do you think we ought to do?”(Throw him out just like Nehemiah did!)
  • “That’s right!Kick him out of your heart and mind!Then close those gates, and don’t let him in again, because if you keep letting him in, he’s not just going to want to live in your heart – he’s going to want to steal it for himself!”(Demonstrate stealing the heart-shaped container from the temple.If, as often happens when I conduct this object lesson, you are mauled by the children, it’s best to give up the heart before you incite a riot.)
  • “So, how many of you are going to be careful to build your walls and guard your gates from now on?”
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Filed under Christianity, Coping skills, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Warfare, temptation

Walking on Water


Time

30-45 minutes


Description

This object lesson is used as a highlight to the story of Peter walking on water.

The lesson is big and expensive. It takes lots of time to prepare, and it’s messy. It’s best reserved for large events. That said, there’s a lot of “wow factor.” This will be an activity that they will remember for years.

To see my blog and some video on when I did this object lesson, click here: They Walked on Water

Materials

· Drop cloth for the floor (if you do it indoors)

· Corn starch (8 lbs for every gallon)

· Water (1.5 gallons for every 8 lbs of corn starch)

· Kiddie swimming pool (90 gallons or more)

· Example: – if you use a 90 gallon pool, you will need 288 lbs of corn starch and 54 gallons of water

· Several buckets, water bottles, electric fans, rolls of blue wrapping paper

· Write out the following note cards with script for part of your enactment:

o Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.

o Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.

o Jesus: All right…come.

    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?

Preparation

· It’s best to do this activity outside because of the potential mess, but if you do it inside, lay out a drop cloth.

· Several hours before you run the lesson, mix the corn starch and the water in the pool.

· It’s best to mix it in small quantities and then pour them into the pool. (I recommend mixing 4.5 gallons of water with 24 lbs of corn starch each time.)

· Test the consistency by slapping or punching the surface. It should harden up and resist your blows.

· If this works, you should be able to run across or even on top of the surface. Use very quick steps.

· Have a way for those who get stuck in the pool to wash off.

· Set up a place in the teaching area near the pool to be a “boat.” You can do this with some cardboard boxes or with masking tape, or you could just designate an area of the floor as the “boat.”

· Put the buckets in the “boat.”

· Fill the water bottles with water.

· Set up the electric fans so that they face the boat.

· Roll out the blue wrapping paper on the floor (blue side up) under the boat or across the area of the designated “boat.”

Procedure

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

  • “After Jesus fed the 5,000, He went to a quiet place and prayed to God, the Father, and the disciples got into a boat to head across the lake.”
  • “The disciples sailed away from the shore and were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when a huge storm rolled in!” (Ask for 12 volunteers, and have them get into the “boat.” Select one of them to be Peter. As you tell the story, they should act out what you are saying. Then get volunteers to spray the water bottles, turn the fans on and off, turn the lights on and off and create waves with the wrapping paper by holding either end and waving it up and down.)
  • “It was dark. The wind was howling!” (Have your fan volunteers turn on the fans.) “Water sprayed over the sides of the boat and drenched the apostles!” (Have your water bottle volunteers spray the apostles, and have your wave volunteers wave the paper up and down.) “Lightning flashed across the sky.” (Have your lights volunteer flick the lights on and off.)
  • “They were afraid that they might sink, so they used buckets to try and bail water out of the boat.” (Have the apostle-volunteers pretend to bail water.)
  • “Hours went by, and the apostles grew very tired. About 3 o’clock in the morning, things got worse!”
  • ‘A ghost came walking across the water straight at them!” (Have a volunteer play Jesus and run across the pool of “water” toward the others.)
  • “This was one fast-moving ghost!”
  • “They screamed in terror!” (If the disciples don’t scream, say, “A-hem, I said that the apostles screamed in terror!”)
  • “Then, something totally incredible happened!” (Have your helpers say the following lines from their note cards.)
    • Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.
    • Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.
    • Jesus: All right…come.
  • “Peter went over the side of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus!” (Have Peter character run across the pool of “water.”)
  • “But then, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around.”
  • “He saw the high waves! He noticed the howling wind!”
  • “He became terrified and began to sink under the water!” (Have character act this out running to the center of the pool, stopping and crying out.)
    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
  • “Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter.” (Have character act this out by reaching in to grab “Peter” from outside the pool.)
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?
  • “Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, and immediately, the wind stopped.” (Have “Peter” and “Jesus” join the other volunteers beside the pool.)
  • “Then the disciples worshipped Jesus.” (Have volunteers bow down to Jesus.)
  • “And they said, ‘You really are the Son of God!’”
  • “Peter walked on water! Can you believe that?”
  • “But then he began to sink.”
  • “Tell me…why did Peter start to sink into the water?” (He took his eyes off Jesus.)
  • “That’s right. He took his eyes of Jesus. He looked around at all the scary stuff around him, and he began to think, ‘I’m in big trouble. A person can’t walk on water! That’s impossible! I must have been crazy thinking I could have walked on water!’”
  • “Of course, Peter was right, but he forgot one very important thing…all things are possible with God!”
  • “When Peter began to sink under the water, he had a problem, but I’m learning that whenever I have a problem, I should give it to Jesus.”
  • “Anytime that I feel like I’m sinking under all my problems, I need to give them to Jesus.”
  • “As long as I keep my eyes on Him, He helps me with my problems.”
  • “But if I start to focus on the scary things that are happening around me, I’ll start to sink again.”
  • “Now you may think Peter looked pretty silly when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink under water, but I don’t.”
  • “I admire Peter for having the courage to get out of the boat.”
  • “Peter was a Water Walker!”
  • “You know what all the other guys were? They were Boat Huggers!”
  • “While Peter walked on the water, they hugged the boat in fear.”
  • “Jesus told Peter that he only had a little faith, but even his little faith was a lot more than the Boat Huggers had.”
  • “A Water Walker trusts in God.”
  • “A Water Walker does the scary things that God wants him to do.”
  • “A Water Walker gets out of the boat to get closer to Jesus.”
  • “If you want to get closer to Jesus, you’re going to have to get out of the boat and walk on water.”
  • “Any of you want to be Water Walkers for Jesus?” (Allow all that are interested to take a run across the pool of “water.”)

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Filed under Christianity, faith, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Peter, Simon-Peter, test, Trust

Center of His Will (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the need to stay in the center of God’s will. Doing so will help us withstand the craziness that happens around us.

Materials

  • Square plywood board (2 ft. x 2 ft. or larger)
  • Twelve foot of rope cut into four, 3 ft pieces
  • Drill and 3/4” drill bit
  • Plastic cup
  • Pitcher of water
  • Water

Preparation

· Drill holes in each corner of the square board.

· Tie a knot at one end of each piece of rope.

· Thread one piece of rope through each of the four holes. Pull through until the knot stops the rope from continuing through the hole.

· Tie the unknotted ends of the ropes together in one, big knot. (Make sure that each rope is the same length from the knot to the board. Otherwise, your board will not hang flat.)

· Fill the cup ¾ full of water.

· Have a pitcher of water nearby so that you can refill the cup after it spills.

· Practice putting the cup in the center of the board and swinging the board in a 360 degree circle. If you do it fast enough, the water will not spill out.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Sometimes in life we feel like everything is out of control.”

· “Imagine that you are this cup of water.” (Show cup of water.)

· “And pretend that this board is God’s will for your life.” (Show board, and put it on any edge of the board – not in the center.)

· “Sometimes in our lives, everything starts spinning around us, and it really messes us up!” (Dramatically swing board back and forth until the cup falls off and the water spills. Be far enough from the children that you don’t hit any of them with the board.)

· “Can anyone give me some examples of times that it feels like life is spinning out of control around you?” (Take examples from the children.)

· “Does anyone know why the water spilled when I started swinging it?” (See if the children can guess that the cup of water needed to be in the center of the board.)

· “Right! The problem is that the cup needs to be in the center of the board. That’s the safest place.” (Refill cup with water, and place it at the center of the board. Dramatically swing the board back and forth in wider and wider arcs. Then swing it in a complete circle several times. Centrifugal force will keep the cup in the center and the water in the cup. The children will often be suitably impressed.)

· “Remember that I said that the board represents God’s will for your life?”

· “When you’re not in the center of God’s will, the craziness that happens in your life is really going to upset you.”

· “But if you’ll get to the center of His will (that means doing the things He asks you to do in the Bible), even when things spin out of control, you’ll be remarkably calm. Watch! (Swing the board in full circles several more times.)

· “So, what are some things you can do to keep you at the center of God’s will?” (Take ideas.)

· “Excellent ideas! Hey! Want to see it again?” (Swing the board and the cup of water again. If you are brave and have practiced the move beforehand, you can do a dramatic finish. Let the board come to a rest. Then, pop the board upward. The cup of water will pop up in the air, and you can catch it with your free hand.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Worry

Jesus Unlocked the Door (OBJ LESSON)


Time

30 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about trusting in Jesus as your Savior by using a Prisoner-of-War (POW) metaphor to describe our condition before salvation. The Bible teaches that before we became believers, we were spiritual POWs who were held captive by the devil, the god of this world (see 2 Timothy 2:26). Jesus came to free us. He can unlock the door, but we must walk through it. This lesson encourages children to let Him set them free.

Materials

  • An area in the room that represents a prison cell. It needs to have a door and a way to “lock” it. The lock doesn’t have to actually work, but it should be something visible so that the children can see it both before and after the prison door is unlocked.
  • Two pieces of fruit (apples are recommended).

Preparation

· Arrange for several adults or older children to get in the jail cell (when you give the cue).

· Tell them which of them you want to walk out of the jail cell (when you give the cue) and which you want to stay.

· Get an adult to play Jesus and an adult to play Satan, and tell them that they will follow your cues.

Procedure

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

  • “When God originally created the earth and Adam and Eve, this is how He intended for us to live.” (Gesture to all the people in the room.) “…Free and happy in the garden He created for them.”
  • “He only gave Adam and Eve one rule – ‘Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’”
  • “It was a good rule, intended to protect us from the knowledge of the terrible things done by Satan and his armies, but Adam and Eve couldn’t resist breaking it.”
  • “As soon as they ate from the tree (Give apples or some other type of fruit to a girl and a boy in the room, and have them each take a bite.), they knew what evil was.”
  • “They were surprised to find that one of the first evils they came in contact with was their own sin in disobeying God, so they hid from the Lord.”
  • “The rest of the story you probably already know. God came walking in the cool of the day and found Adam and Eve hiding from Him.”
  • “When asked why they were hiding, each blamed someone else for the sin. God cursed Adam, Eve and the serpent (Satan) and banished them from the garden.”
  • “But what I want to show you today is what happened spiritually at that moment.”
  • “In the invisible, spiritual realm, Satan was rejoicing. He had scored a monumental victory during the moment he convinced Eve to eat from the tree and entice Adam to do the same.”
  • “When Adam and Eve sinned, they became Prisoners Of War (POW’s) in Satan’s battle against God.”
  • “They broke the rules, and they had to pay the penalty. Satan knew that God was so holy that He couldn’t have rule-breakers on His side.”
  • “So, Satan took his new POW’s (Prisoners of War) and locked up their souls in prison.” (Have the children you gave the fruit to get up and go into the prison cell. Have the person playing Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “Because they were his prisoners, even children born to them would be born as POW’s.” (Ask for volunteers, and load up the jail cell with the adults you talked to before the lesson and a few children. Again, have Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “The only hope the POW’s had of getting out of prison was by living a perfect, sinless life. Satan wasn’t worried, though. He knew it was impossible. Some prisoners tried, but they all failed.”
  • “But God had a different plan altogether. He knew that someone had to pay the penalty for the rule-breakers, but He also knew that it didn’t have to be the rule-breakers themselves. After all, they could spend all their lives in prison and still never pay the full penalty.”
  • “So, God began to show us through stories, images and prophecy in the Old Testament how a perfect, sinless Savior could pay the penalty for us.”
  • “Some of the people believed what God was telling them, and they were saved. They had to wait for the Savior to come, but they knew that Satan’s prison could no longer hold them.”
  • “When the time was right, God sent the Savior, and His name is Jesus.”
  • “He lived 33 years as a man and never sinned. Then, He was killed on a cross.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus stand, raise his arms as if being crucified and then close his eyes and bow his head as if dying.)
  • When He died, He paid the entire penalty for every sin that had ever been committed from the time of Adam and Eve.”
  • “He also paid the penalty for every sin that would ever happen in the future – sins that I’ve done and sins that you’ve done. Sins that we haven’t even thought of but that we will do some day.”
  • “God knows everything, and He knows all the sins that we will ever commit.”
  • “Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. Through His death, He had broken the padlock off the prison door forever.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus forcibly break the padlock off the door and swing the door wide. He should then encourage all the POW’s to come out and “Follow Me.” Some should follow Him; others should stay. Allow all the children that want to leave to come out, but keep some of the adults in prison.)
  • “Jesus bought our freedom. He paid the price to rescue us from Satan. Some believed in Him and followed Him out of prison to eternal life, but others chose not to believe.” (Have the adult playing Satan come and close the door. However, this time, he can’t lock it.)
  • “Satan has tricked those people into thinking that they still have to stay in prison. Some of the people actually like prison better than freedom, because it’s the only thing they have ever known. Whatever the reason, they don’t follow Jesus. They act as if the padlock is still on the door to the prison.”
  • “Jesus paid the penalty for us, but He won’t drag us out of prison. He won’t make us walk through the door. He wants us to choose to love Him and follow Him.”
  • “So, He doesn’t take the freed prisoners to heaven right away. He leaves them here on earth and instructs them to keep going back to the prison to convince the prisoners that the door is unlocked.” (Have all the freed prisoners go back to the jail cell and try through various methods to convince the prisoners to come free – some can reach through the jail bars, some can enter the cell and try to lead individuals out, some can demonstrate that the door is unlocked, some can simply kneel and pray outside the jail cell. A few of those still inside should come out, causing the celebration of the freed prisoners and Jesus.)
  • “Some still refuse to leave, but we keep praying for them. As long as they are alive, we who have been freed will continue to do everything we can to help them get free.”
  • “So the question you should be asking yourself is this: ‘Am I inside or outside the prison?’”
  • “If you are outside the prison, look around in your life and find someone God has put you near that is still inside. Pray for them and do everything you can to help them get out.”
  • “If you think you might still be inside the prison, it’s because you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Lord and agreed to follow Him.”
  • “That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are many people around you that have asked Jesus to be their Lord and agreed to follow Him. Chances are, God has put them in your life so that they could come back to get you out of prison.”
  • “They want to help you get out. All you have to do is ask someone who is already a Christian to help you to know Jesus.”
  • “If you’re not sure if you are in or out of prison, talk to someone who you know for sure is outside with Jesus. They can help you figure it out.”

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Filed under Belief, Christianity, Eternity, Evangelism, faith, Heaven, Hell, Obedience, Object Lesson, salvation, Spiritual Warfare

Fall of Faith


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about faith and about doing things for God that are sometimes scary.

Materials

Box or some other sturdy object that children can fall off backward so that you can catch them. It should be tall enough that it presents a challenge but not so tall as to be unsafe.

Preparation

· Set up box on stage.

· Ask for someone strong and reliable to be your spotter.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Sometimes God gives you a test to see if you are learning what He is trying to teach you.”

· “First, He teaches you a lesson. Then, He tests you on it to see if you learned it.”

· “One of the areas that He will regularly test you in is your faith. He wants to know if you trust Him.”

· “I would like to demonstrate. Can I get a really brave volunteer?” (Select volunteer and bring him/her up to stage. Have person stand on a sturdy box or some other object on the stage, facing away from audience.)

· “You may have heard of a leap of faith. That means you jump out to do something God wants you to do even when it’s scary. You do it because you believe God will catch you.”

· “We’re going to do a ‘Fall of Faith.’ I’ll play the part of God, and when (volunteer’s name) falls backward off this box, I’ll catch him/her.”

· “So, ready?” (talking to volunteer)

· “When I count to three, I want you to fall backward into my arms, and just like God, I will catch you if you put your trust in me.”

· (Draw this out in order to create suspense and add a little humor.) “Are you ready? ………Oh, hey….how are you feeling? Is it scary? But you trust me, right?”

· “Okay, count of three! One! Two!”

· (Suddenly turn away from the volunteer and face the audience. Make sure you have arranged for another adult – a “spotter” – to be standing near so that he or she can catch the child if he/she falls. Your spotter should not be obvious but should be close enough for safety.)

· “Oh! I forgot to tell you! Before you do a Fall of Faith, make sure you pray about it. Not everything that is scary is something God wants you to do. You’ve got to make sure this is really a test from God. You don’t want to take the fall if it isn’t God’s will, because you may get hurt. You can also talk to other godly people (like your parents) and read your Bible to make sure.”

· “All right! Let’s do this! (talking again to your volunteer) One! Two! Thr…!”

· (Suddenly turn away—same condition as before—and face audience.)

· “Can anyone give me an example of a time when you did something for God that was scary?”

· (Take a few ideas.)

· “Perfect! Exactly what I’m looking for! I think that helps us understand what I mean by a ‘Fall of Faith.’”

· “Okay, time to take the fall!”

· (To volunteer) “Are you ready?”

· (Assuming that you have lost the volunteer’s trust by now, say…) “Why not? No, really, you can trust me!” (If the volunteer still seems to trust you, you might need to draw this out some more.)

· “Okay—one, two, THREE!” (If volunteer doesn’t fall, reassure him/her that you are serious this time. After the volunteer takes the fall, and you safely catch him or her, thank your volunteer and send him/her back to seat.)

· “The good news is, God is more trustworthy than I am. He will always catch you if you are doing His will.”

· (If you have time, let other children experience the Fall of Faith.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Belief, Christianity, faith, Fear, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Trust, Worry

Where You Focus



Time

15 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children (and adults) understand that sometimes we don’t give people a fair chance and that it’s important to look at the good things about people, too.

Materials

PowerPoint file, “Where You Focus.ppt,.” a projector and a screen or blank wall.  (This PowerPoint is available on the “Downloads” page.”

Preparation

Set up projector and load file.

Procedure

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

· “I’m going to show you a magic trick.”

· “On the next slide, there will be 8 cards.” (Show slide 2.)

· “I want you to pick one and memorize it… Have you memorized it?” (Show slide 3).

· “O.K., on the next slide your card is going to be turned face down.”

· “Was I right?” (Show slide 4.)

· “Pretty impressive, huh? Want to do it again?” (Show slide 5.)

· “OK, same thing – pick a card on the next slide and memorize it.” (Show slide 6.)

· “Got it?” (Show slide 7.)

· “On the next slide, it will be turned upside down.” (Show slide 8.)

· “I did it again, didn’t I?” (Show slide 9.)

· “Now a magician’s not supposed to reveal his secrets, but I think I’ll make an exception this time.”

· “How many of you want to know how I did that?”

· “Ok, watch this!” (Show slide 10, and ask one child to pick a card and tell you what it is. Flip to slide 11.)

· “Do you see it? Nope, not there – maybe it’s the upside down one.”

· “Let’s try again.” (Flip back to slide 10.)

· “Pick a different card this time, and tell me what it is.” (Show slide 10.)

· “Not there. Hmmm… We can’t have two cards turned down.”

· “Can anyone figure out how I did it?”

· “Right! None of the cards are the same.”

· “I know, it’s a dirty trick, but I showed it to you to make an important point.”

· “When you focus on just one thing, you usually miss everything around it.”

· “Sometimes, we do this with people. We focus on just one part about them and miss all the other stuff.” (For an example, pick on an adult or yourself.


· “If I focus on ______’s big nose, I might miss that he’s really funny.”

· “Or, if I focus on his ______, I might miss that he’s really smart.”

· “Does this ever happen to you?”

· “Do people notice just one thing and miss the rest?”

· “That hurts sometimes, doesn’t it?”

· “And it doesn’t feel very fair.”

· “You’ve got so many wonderful things about you.”

· “Well, God never sees just one thing about you!”

· “He always sees all the wonderful things.”

· “He sees the best in you and loves you just like you are.”

· “Can we make an agreement?”

· “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I’m not going to focus on the bad stuff.’”

· “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘I’m going to focus on the good stuff.’”

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, Focus, illusion, Kindness, Love, Magic, Object Lesson, Relationships

The Ark



Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about the different arks of the Bible.

Materials

· Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from www.muralmosaic.com

· Plywood or foam board – 4’ x 6’

· Straight edge or square – 6’ or longer

· Straight edge – small (like a ruler)

· Sharpie or permanent marker

· Ruler

· Glue sticks (enough for each child to participate)

· Utility knife for cutting paper

· Optionally – a flip chart or whiteboard and markers

Preparation

· Order Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from http://www.muralmosaic.com

There are instructions in the book that Mural Mosaics will send you, but here is a brief summary:

o Mark off the board in 4” x 4” squares. There should be a total of 216 squares.

o Number the squares left to right, e.g., Row 1 should be 1-18, Row 2 should be 19-36….Row 12 should be 199-216.

o Lay the board flat where the children will be able to get to it.

o Use the small straight edge and the utility knife to cut out the 216 squares from the book you received from Mural Mosaics.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

· Order Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from www.muralmosaic.com

For several weeks, have the children paste random squares onto the board. (They are each numbered on the backside of the miniature painting.)

· Try to spread out the squares so that the children can have the fun of trying to guess what they are making.

· Once they have completed the mural, use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “There are several different arks mentioned in the Bible.”
  • “An ark is a container. It holds something important.”
  • “Can anyone tell me about one of the arks that you know of?” (Listen for Noah’s ark, Moses’ arc, the Ark of the Covenant, and maybe Mary, the mother of Jesus. Fill in the ones that aren’t mentioned.)
  • “You may not have known about all these. Let me share a little about each one.”
  • “The first ark in the Bible is the most famous – Noah’s ark.”
  • “Noah built it in obedience to God.”
  • “It was huge! 75 feet wide, 45 feet tall, 450 feet long with three levels! It was big enough to house every species of animal living on the planet at that time – and not just one of each, but seven of each clean and two of each unclean animals (they brought more of the clean ones, because they were allowed to eat those and used them for sacrifices to God).”
  • “The second ark that we see is the ark of Moses. It was much smaller in comparison. Only big enough for a baby, but it was a very important baby.”
  • “These two arks had some similarities and some differences.” (You may want to draw this chart on a flipchart or whiteboard.)

Wood

Covering

(inside & out)

Carried

Noah’s Ark

Gopherwood

Pitch

Noah and Family

Animals

Moses’ Ark

Bulrushes

Asphalt and pitch

Moses

  • “Both arks were made from wood – one from gopherwood (or cyprus) and the other from woody reeds. Both were covered inside and out with pitch to make them waterproof. The first carried an entire family and all the species of animals; the second carried just one person.”
  • “The third ark was actually built by Moses. It was the Ark of the Covenant. It was a box that the Israelites carried into battle and wherever they went. Inside the box were three important items – the Ten Commandment tablets, a pot of manna and Aaron’s rod. These things symbolized God’s Law, God’s provision, and God’s anointing for the priesthood. The High Priest would sprinkle animal’s blood on top of the box to cover up God’s Law, because if God compared His Law to what the Israelites were doing, He might destroy them. This ark didn’t float, but it didn’t need to. When the priests carried it into the Jordan, the river stopped flowing, and they walked across on dry land.”
  • “So, up to this point, we have two boats and a box. Let’s compare all three.” (You can add the flipchart or whiteboard.)

Wood

Covering

(inside & out)

Carried

Noah’s Ark

Gopherwood

Pitch

Noah and Family

Animals

Moses’ Ark

Bulrushes

Asphalt and pitch

Moses

Ark of the Covenant

Shittim (Acacia)

Gold

The Law

Pot of Manna

Aaron’s Rod

  • “The Ark of the Covenant had some differences from the other two arks, but there are comparisons we can make. All three were made of different types of wood, but the Ark of the Covenant was made of Shittim wood, a wood that was called incorruptible because of how hard it was. All three were covered inside and out, but the Ark of the Covenant was covered with gold. In these respects, it was like a more-perfect ark than the other two.”
  • “While the first two carried people, the last one carried things. But the things they carried were all things related to salvation from judgment. Noah’s family was saved from the worldwide flood. Moses was saved from Pharoah’s command to kill all the baby boys. But these people were not only saved from something. They were saved for something. Noah’s family was saved to preserve the human race. Moses was saved to save the Israelites.”
  • “The Ark of the Covenant also carried something that related to salvation. If anyone had been able to live a life completely according to the Law, they could go to heaven. But the problem was that no one could live a life without at least one sin. So God provided another way. Every year, the High Priest would sprinkle the blood of an innocent animal on the top of the Ark to cover up the Law inside so that God wouldn’t have to judge the Israelites for their sins.”
  • “The Ark of the Covenant was a more-perfect ark than the other two, but even it pointed to something greater. That brings us to the next ark.”
  • “Mary, the mother of Jesus, isn’t called an ark in the Bible, but she was one. She carried the Person who would bring salvation from judgment for all the world when she carried Jesus in her womb.”
  • “She stopped being the ark when she gave birth to Jesus. Jesus is the salvation that all the other arks pointed to. He is the ultimate hope of mankind.
  • “When Jesus went back to heaven, He left those in the Church to become the final ark. That means that the final ark is you.”
  • “If Jesus is in your heart, you are today’s ark. You contain the salvation of the world and the hope of mankind. And your responsibility is to share that salvation with as many people as you can.”

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Filed under Christianity, Hands-on, Hope, Obedience, Object Lesson, salvation