Big Rocks


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches the kids about spiritual priorities using an object lesson similar to the one FranklinCovey does about managing your time.

Materials

The sizes of the bucket/heart-shaped container and the cups can vary. You will want to practice with them to make sure you get the right effect. The aquarium gravel should fill the bucket/heart-shaped container until it’s somewhere close to three quarters full, and the large rocks should almost fill it when placed in the container by themselves.

  • Clear (see-through) bucket or heart-shaped container (craft stores often have large, clear, plastic hearts)
  • Separate box or bucket in which you can dump aquarium gravel (You will want to be able to pour out of it.)
  • Five, large drinking cups
  • Aquarium gravel (five pounds should be enough)
  • Permanent marker or label-making machine
  • Nine palm-sized rocks and one rock that is noticeably larger
  • Different colors of paint for the large rocks (optional)

Preparation

· Fill five drinking cups with aquarium gravel and label them as follows with the permanent marker or label maker (it’s important that the children be able to read the labels):

o Making Lots of Money

o Being Famous

o Having Popular Friends

o Dating the Coolest Guy/Girl

o Having the Best Tools / Video Games

· Set up a display table in your teaching area where everyone will be able to see what’s on top of it.

· (Optional) Paint each of your large rocks different colors, and allow them to dry completely.

· Label each rock with the permanent marker or the label maker so that you have one of each of the following:

o Love

o Joy

o Peace

o Patience

o Kindness

o Goodness

o Faithfulness

o Gentleness

o Self-Control

· Label your largest rock, “Jesus,” and set it aside out of sight.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “I would like to do a demonstration about how our hearts work, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Select volunteer.)

· “Everyone say, “Hello,” to my volunteer!”

· “Okay, this bucket (or heart-shaped container) represents our hearts.”

· (To volunteer) “Will you touch the side of that container and see if you can feel a heartbeat?” (Allow volunteer to check container.)

· “Okay, so it doesn’t beat like a heart, but it will work for our lesson.”

· “Our heart is like a place where we store all the things that are most important to us.”

· “For some people, these are things like (as you mention these, have your volunteer hold up each cup for all to see and then pour the aquarium rocks into the container. When they are all poured in, the container should be about three-fourths full):

o Making Lots of Money

o Being Famous

o Having Popular Friends

o Dating the Coolest Guy/Girl

o Having the Best Tools / Video Games

· “Now, those things aren’t bad in and of themselves. God doesn’t say that we shouldn’t have those things, but He says that those things can make it difficult for us to fit even more important things into our hearts, like: (as you slowly mention these, have your volunteer hold up the rocks so that everyone can see the label on each one. After showing the group, the volunteer should do his/her best to fit the rocks into the container on top of the aquarium rocks):

o Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” (You will probably need to give an example of a few of these to make sure the children understand.)

· (Noticing the struggles your volunteer is having…) “Hey, you look like you’re having a hard time there. What seems to be the problem?” (Listen to response, and comment on it.)

  • “So, you’re telling me you don’t have room for these really important big rocks?” (Listen to response, and comment.)
  • “Well, if you don’t have room for those, you sure don’t have room for this one…” (Reveal the “Jesus” rock.)
  • “The Bible calls Jesus “the Rock.” (You might ask your volunteer to read any of the following verses: Gen 49:24, Deut 32:3-4, Deut 32:31, 1 Sam 2:2, 2 Sam 22:1-3, 2 Sam 22:32, Psalm 18:31, Psalm 18: 46, Psalm 19:14, Psalm 78:35, Isaiah 26:4.)
  • “He is solid! You can trust in Him! You can build your life on Him! Jesus is the Rock!”
  • “Now we don’t have room in our heart for Jesus, and that’s a terrible thing?”
  • (Ask volunteer) “What do you think we ought to do about this?” (Listen to ideas. If your volunteer doesn’t come up with it on his/her own, suggest that maybe he/she could start over with an empty heart. Then help your volunteer take out the big rocks and dump the gravel into the spare bucket or box.)
  • “Okay, so we are going to start fresh! What’s the first thing we are going to put into our heart?” (Listen for “Jesus.” If you get anything else, redirect the volunteer to consider how important it is to start with Jesus. He’s the biggest Rock.)
  • “Excellent! Please put Jesus in our heart.” (Allow volunteer to follow through.)
  • “Now what should we put in?” (Listen for response. The big rocks should go in next.)
  • “Terrific! I agree! Let’s put in those big rocks next!” (As volunteer adds them to the container, remind the class of what each one represents.)
  • “You know, these rocks seem a little familiar to me. Does anyone know what they are called in the Bible?” (Listen for “fruit of the Spirit.” If they don’t know it, have them turn to Galatians 5:22-23 in their Bibles and read aloud.)
  • “Right! The famous Fruit of the Spirit! You know, you only get this fruit after Jesus is put into your heart.”
  • (Ask volunteer) “So, were you able to fit them all in?” (Listen for response.)
  • “That’s pretty amazing! I’m surprised you had room for all of them.”
  • “But you know, I can’t help but wonder…what would happen if we tried to put some of those other things that were important to us back in? You know, ‘making money,’ ‘being famous,’ ‘having popular friends’….”
  • “I said before that God never said we couldn’t have these things. We just have to put the important stuff in first.”
  • “Who thinks we could fit some of that stuff back in?” (Wait for responses.)
  • (To volunteer) “Well, let’s do it!” (Help volunteer to pour the aquarium rocks back into the container. You will need to gently shake the container as you pour to help the rocks settle to the bottom. When you are done, most if not all of the little rocks will fit around the big ones.)
  • “Now, THAT’S amazing! So, who thinks they know what this tells us about God?” (Listen to responses. Try to direct them to the main teaching point – if we put God first, we can still have many of the other things we like. But if we put God last, we will never have enough room in our hearts or time in our day for Him.)
  • “Everyone give our volunteer a round of applause for coming up to help out!” (Lead the applause, and then dismiss your volunteer.)
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Filed under Christianity, Hands-on, heart, Object Lesson, Priorities

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