Monthly Archives: February 2009

Be Careful What You Say (GAME)


 

Time

30-35 minutes

 

Description

This game teaches that it is important to think before we speak.

 

Materials

·      Game Cards – available at the end of this lesson (there are enough cards for a group of six to play three, full rounds (with a few extras), so you may need to divide groups larger than six into smaller groups and give each the identical game cards)

·      Watch or clock with a second hand or a sixty-second timer for each group

·      Paper and something to write with in order to keep score for each team

·      Prizes for winners (optional)

 

Preparation

·      Print out and cut out the game cards

·      Make any additional game cards that you might want to include

·      Organize the cards into identical stacks (one for each group)

·      Pass out paper and writing instrument to each table or group

·      Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

·      “We’re going to play a game today to help us to remember that we need to be careful what we say.”

·      “The Bible has many verses that tell us to be careful about our words and what comes out of our mouth.  Let’s read a few.”  (Ask volunteers to read the following verses, or select some of your own:

o        Proverbs 10:14 (Speaking too much can get you into trouble.)

o        Proverbs 10:19 (Speaking too many words lead to sin.)

o        Proverbs 10:31 (A perverse tongue is cut out.)

o        Proverbs 11:9 (The godless do harm to others with their mouth.)

o        Proverbs 12:18 (Words can hurt those around us.)

o        Proverbs 18:6 (Foolish people invite trouble when they speak.)

o        Proverbs 18:7 (A fool sets a trap for himself by what he says.)

o        Proverbs 26:7 (A fool’s mouth is useless to him.)

·      “And that’s just a few of the verses about watching what we say!  Our mouths can get us into a lot of trouble!”

·      “So, here’s how the game is played.” (Separate participants into groups if you have more than six participants.)

·      “First, we need a volunteer in each group to keep score.  Can I get some volunteers?”  (Make sure every group has someone to keep score and have them create a score sheet with the names of all the group members across the top of the page and columns for recording points.  Also appoint a timekeeper for each group.  Each round should last no more than sixty seconds.)

·      “Okay, each group (if you have groups) will get a stack of cards.  Be sure to keep them face down so that you can’t see them.”  (Hand out cards.)

·      “Each group member will take a turn drawing a card from the deck and reading it.”

·      “The cards have a word or phrase at the top of the card and some words commonly related to that word or phrase under it.”

·      “Then, he or she must give clues to the group to try to get them to guess the word or phrase at the top of the card.”

·      “The trick is that he or she cannot use any of the words on the card – not the word or phrase at the top of the card and not the commonly related words under it.”

·      “Also, he or she cannot use any form of the words or any gestures or body language of any kind.”

·      “To hold that person accountable, they have to show their card to the person on their right, but they shouldn’t show it to anyone else.”

·      “If the person on their right hears them use any of the words on the card or sees them do a gesture or body movement that might give away the word or phrase, he or she should stop the round and indicate which word was used.”

·      “The person on the right then gets a point, and the scorekeeper for the group should mark one point under that person’s name.”

·      “If, however, the person whose turn it is successfully gets someone to guess the word or phrase, then both the person whose turn it is and the person who guessed the word or phrase get a point.”

·      “The person with the most points after everyone takes three turns will be the winner.”

·      “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions, and run a practice round if you think it will be helpful.  After that, begin the game, and allow each person in each group to have three turns.  Have someone at the table watch the time so that they can signal when time is up.  Then have the scorekeepers calculate the totals, and announce the winners.  Award prizes if you want, then have each group work through the debrief questions listed below.)

 

Debrief Questions

·       “How difficult was it for you to avoid using the words on the cards?”

·       “Do you struggle with any of the following temptations related to what we say?

o   Gossiping / Telling rumors

o   Lying

o   Making promises you can’t keep

o   Swearing

o   Taking the Lord’s name in vain

o   Nagging

o   Being critical of others

o   Discouraging others

o   Dominating conversations

o   Exaggerating

o   Blaming

o   Saying “yes” when you should really say “no”

o   Bragging

o   Being unkind

·       “What other temptations of the mouth can you think of?”

·       “What can you do to prevent giving in to these temptations in the future?”


 

Toothbrush

 

Teeth                  Paste               Mouth

 

Cavity                  Rot               Enamel

 

Tongue                Lips                  Chew

Hammer

 

Nail                       Hit                 Pound

 

Wood                   Tool                  Claw

 

Sledge                 Build              Thumb

Moses

 

Burning               Bush                Israel

 

Shepherd           Plague               Egypt

 

Prince               Pharaoh             Aaron

School

 

Learn                Teacher          Building

 

Education          Library               Book

 

Study              Homework              Test

Fishers of Men

 

Peter                 Andrew             James

 

Catch                  Jesus                  John

 

Net                 Evangelism        Heaven

Bible

 

Book                   Holy           Scripture

 

Quiet                Devotion             Word

 

Read                 Leather            Church

Parents

 

Adult                  People                 Kids

 

Father             Grown-up       Guardian

 

Mom                    Dad              Mother

Video Games

 

Nintendo            X-Box                  Play

 

TV                   Controller                Wii

 

Friends                Role                 Shoot

Pets

 

Dog                      Cat             Hamster

 

Cage                   Leash                  Fish

 

Animal                Bark                Meow

Cross

 

Jesus                    Die                      Sin

 

Golgotha           Roman            Crucify

 

Pay                     Christ               Carry

Toast

 

Bread                  Jelly                   Jam

 

Food                  Toaster             Butter

 

Honey                Spread                   Eat

Old Testament

 

New                     Bible                 Book

 

Word                Promise        Scripture

 

God                     Holy             Prophet

Sunday School

 

Teaching           Church                 Kids

 

Today                 Word           Children

 

Learn                  Bible           Scripture

Friends

 

Kids                  Children            Buddy

 

Play                    Close                    Pal

 

Together            School               Know

Sports

 

Soccer              Football         Baseball

 

Volleyball         Hockey      Basketball

 

Play                   Athlete         Compete

Helicopter

 

Fly                    Propeller             Rotor

 

Passenger             Air                 Wings

 

Bird                     Chop                     Up

Israel

 

Place               Jerusalem            Jacob

 

Middle               Name          Abraham

 

Jew                   Hebrew               Isaac

Fiery Furnace

 

Shadrack         Meshack      Abednego

 

Daniel                  Bow                Statue

 

Fire                     Jesus                Angel

David and Goliath

 

Stones                 Giant                 Fight

 

Child                    Boy           Shepherd

 

Kid                      Sling               Rocks

Map

 

Countries         Pictures               Draw

 

Legend            Compass     Directions

 

Cities                 Places              Ocean

 

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Filed under Christianity, Discipline, Game, Games that Teach, Guard your gates, Hands-on, mouth gate, Speaking, temptation, Tongue

Point to Christ Relay


Time

15-25 minutes

Description

This is game that helps participants understand how difficult it can be sometimes to keep our lives pointed toward Christ.

 

Materials

  • Blindfolds (one for each team)
  • Prizes for “enemies or demons.”
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)
  • Flipchart and markers

 

Preparation

·      Find a wide-open space in which to run the race.  Make sure that there are no obstacles that the runners might stumble over.

·      Select a point in the room or outside that can represent “Christ.”

·      Select starting points around the room or outside that are equidistant from the “Christ” point.

·      Mark off the starting points and three to four relay points of equal distance.  In other words, you want to divide each path to “Christ” into three to four segments.

·      Post the debrief questions on a flipchart, but keep it concealed until the activity is over.  (See the end of this lesson for questions.)

·      Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

·      “We’re going to run a race today, but it’s going to be a different kind of race.”

·      “This race will be a relay race, which may or may not be familiar to you.”

·      “But in this race, you will be blindfolded!”

·      “AND…each racer will have an enemy who tries to keep you from finishing your race!”

·      “Interested?”

·      “Okay, I’m going to divide you into teams.”  (Divide group into teams of 5-6.  Each team needs to be equally sized.  Extras can serve as additional “enemies/demons.”) 

·      “Now I need a volunteer from each team to be the ‘enemies or demons.’” 

·      “Your job will be to try to prevent the runners on the other teams from reaching their goal, and if you help your team win because you confused the other teams, your team will get a prize (optional).”

·      “So, here’s how this race works.”

·      “Each team will start from their starting point.”  (Indicate starting points for each team.)

·      “One team member will line up on each of your team’s relay points (including the starting point).”  (Indicate relay points for each team, and have the team members take their positions.)

·      When it’s your turn to race, you will have to put on a blindfold.”  (Indicate blindfold and how to put it on.)

·      “If your blindfold is not on correctly, your team can be disqualified, so make sure you get it on so that you can’t see.”

·      “The first racer will put on his blindfold and run to the first relay point.”

·      “Once there, he will take off the blindfold and give it to the next runner, who will then put on the blindfold before starting to run.”

·      “The first team to reach this point, which we are calling ‘Christ,’ wins!”

·      “But remember the enemies/demons?  These enemies/demons will run up to you as soon as you put your blindfold on, and they will spin you around 3-5 times.  When they are done spinning you, they may point you in the wrong direction.”  (Assign “enemies/demons” to opponents’ teams.  Extra “enemies/demons” should be instructed that they can are to stand off to the side and shout confusing directions to the runners to keep them from reaching the goal.  Be sure to reward these extra “enemies/demons” after the race, since they aren’t part of a team.)

·      “One team member is your “Holy Spirit.”  He or she will stand off to the side and call out directions to you about which way you should go.”

·      “You will have to listen very carefully to hear your “Holy Spirit” telling you how to face toward ‘Christ’ and to separate the voice of your “Holy Spirit’ from the voice of any demons.”

·      “Is everyone clear on the instructions?”  (Answer any questions.)

·      “Okay, everyone get on your places.  First runners, put on your blindfolds.  “Enemies/demons,” get ready to spin them.  Ready, get set….GO!”  (Help everyone to follow the rules, but try not to interfere in the race.  When the race is over, award prizes if you choose and have the teams reassemble to answer the debrief questions, listed below.)

 

Debrief Questions

o   “What made that difficult?”

o   “Even if you didn’t win, how were you able to succeed in running the race?”

o   “How is this like real life for a Christian?”

o   (Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.)

o   “How was running this race like the race Paul describes?”

o   “Why do you think Paul compares our Christian life to a race?”

o   “What does Paul mean by ‘running aimlessly’ and ‘fight(ing) like a man beating the air?’  How do these apply to us?”

o   “Why would Paul need to ‘beat (his) body and make it (his) slave?’”

§  “Do we need to do this, too?  If so, how?”

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

 

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, Daily walk, demons, Focus, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Listening to God, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Warfare, struggles

God’s Dream


Time

45-60 minutes

Description

This is game that helps participants understand that God’s dream for their lives has to be discovered and that it usually requires the help of others to complete.  It was developed for adults but can be modified for use with children (see ideas at the end of the lesson).

 

Materials

  • Large puzzles with at least 50 pieces each (The puzzles can be different, but they should be similar in size and shape.)
  • Masking tape
  • Ziplock bags (optional)
  • Signs that say, “MENTOR.” (One per table group.)
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)
  • Flipchart, whiteboard (and markers) or LCD projector and screen

 

Preparation

·      Teams should be arranged at tables with 6-8 participants each.

·      Open each puzzle and remove 10-12 pieces.

·      Mix these up.

·      Carefully tape four pieces (each) to the bottom of different chairs around the room.  (You might want to put them in a Ziplock bag to protect the pieces.)  Make sure that they cannot be seen.  Each of these chairs should have pieces from several different puzzles taped underneath.

·      Label the back of these chairs, “MENTOR” (just one per table – if you have more pieces than will fit under the “MENTOR” chairs, tape them under other chairs, but don’t label those chairs, “MENTOR.”)

·      Take any remaining pieces (that you pulled from the puzzles) and mix them in with other puzzles around the room.

·      Put the rest of the puzzle pieces in a bag or box (but not a box with the picture on it) in the center of each table.

·      Keep the pictures of the completed puzzle in the teaching area at the front of the room.

·      Flipchart the Debrief Questions at the end of this lesson (but keep them hidden until the activity is done).

·      Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

·      “We’re going to put some puzzles together.”

·      “These puzzles represent God’s dream for your life.”

·      “At your tables, one of the chairs says, “MENTOR,” on the back.  Those of you sitting in those seats are now the “Mentors” for your teams.”

·      “Can I see the “Mentors” outside the room for a minute?”  (Go outside room with “Mentors” and tell them about the hidden pieces under their chairs.  Ask them not to reveal this secret unless someone (from any table) specifically asks them about the missing pieces.  If they are asked any other question, they can answer it as long as it doesn’t reveal that there are hidden pieces under their chairs.  They are not to participate in the puzzle building unless asked to do so.  Also, let the “Mentors” know that you have the pictures of the completed puzzles at the teaching area in the front.  If anyone asks about them, the “Mentors” can come get the pictures and take them back to their tables.  Allow the “Mentors” to return to their groups.)

·      “Okay, you can start putting your puzzles together.  The first team to finish wins!”  (Allow at least 30 minutes for puzzle building.  If a team finishes, observe whether or not they try to help other teams.  If no one asks the “Mentors” about the missing pieces after 20 minutes, you can drop some hints until they catch on.  When everyone is done, award prizes (optional) and ask the teams to work through the debrief questions on the flipchart.  Allow 15 minutes.  Then do a large group debrief on what lessons they will take away from the activity.)

 

Debrief Questions

o   “What helped or hindered your team’s success?”

o   “What might you do differently if you had it to do over again?”

o   “Were the mentors important in completing the puzzle?  Why or why not?”

o   “If the puzzles represent God’s dream for your life, what do the pieces under the chairs represent?”

§  “How could this be a metaphor for the way God reveals His will?”

§  “What do the pieces at other tables represent?”

§  “What do the pieces that didn’t fit into your puzzle represent?”

o   “Did anyone try to determine if someone at the table was actually skilled at putting puzzles together?” 

§  “Why or why not?”

§  “Does this say anything about the way we approach the subject of mentors?  Explain.”

o   “How important are other people in solving our problems?”

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

 

Possible Modifications for Children

·      When working with children, consider the following changes to make it more relevant for them:

o   Instead of having “MENTORS,” you might label the chairs “PARENTS,” “TEACHERS,” or “CHRISTIAN FRIENDS.”

o   Rather than do a debrief at table groups, you might prefer to lead the questions from the front of the room in order to keep the children focused.

o   Some other debriefing questions you might ask could be:

§  “How does God show us His plan for our lives?”

§  “Why doesn’t God just tell us His whole plan when we are young?”

§  “Why does God give some of the pieces of our puzzle to other people?”

§  “Have you ever helped someone discover a piece of their own puzzle?” 

·      “How did that feel?”

·      “How did you find out that you had a piece of their puzzle?”

o   You might have the children finish by drawing pictures of God’s dream for their lives.

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Filed under Christianity, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on

Fruit of the Spirit Jenga


 Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches how important it is to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.  It uses the popular Jenga ® game from Hasbro.

 

Materials

  • Jenga ® game (or a similar game that is played with a block tower)
  • Label maker or permanent marker

 

Preparation

  • Using the label maker or the permanent marker, label all the Jenga blocks with “Jesus” and the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.  If the tower his 16 levels tall, you can use the numbers to the right of each label to determine how many blocks will be allocated to each one.


·      Jesus (16 blocks)

·      Love (4 blocks)

·      Joy (4 blocks)

·      Peace (4 blocks)

·      Patience (4 blocks)     

·      Kindness (4 blocks)

·      Goodness (3 blocks)

·      Faithfulness (3 blocks)

·      Gentleness (3 blocks)

·      Self-control (3 blocks)


·      Repeat the labeling process for each Jenga ® set until you have enough for each table group or for each set of 6-8 participants.

·      Set up the towers (each level should run perpendicular to the one below it), and return them to their packaging.

o   The “Jesus” blocks should be the center block of each level.

·      Set out one tower per table group.

 

Procedure

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

·      “We’re going to play a game using the block towers in the middle of your tables.”

·      “Carefully remove the packaging so that your tower will continue standing.”

·      “Here are the rules of the game:

o   Each person will use one hand (and one hand only) to remove a block from the tower.

o   Be careful not to make the tower fall when you remove the block, because if the tower falls after you’ve touched it, you lose.

o   If one person successfully removes a block without knocking down the tower, it becomes the next person’s turn.  Play moves clockwise around the table.

o   Keep playing until someone knocks the tower over – just make sure it isn’t you!

o   And be sure not to bump the table, because you might accidentally cause the tower to fall.

o   We will continue playing until all groups have the tower fall, so if your group finishes a game before the others, you can rebuild your tower and start again.”

·      “Does anyone have any questions about how to play?”  (Allow groups to play, and celebrate the team that was able to hold out the longest.)

·      “Did you notice anything about the pieces you pulled out of the towers?”  (Listen for them to acknowledge that the pieces had words written on them and that many had “Jesus” written on them.)

·      “Right.  Each level had ‘Jesus’ as the center block.  Does anyone know what the other words represented?” (Listen for someone to mention the fruit of the Spirit, but if they don’t, have someone read Galatians 5:22-23.)

·      “Those nine words represent what we call “the fruit of the Spirit.”

·      “When we are walking closely with the Lord, our lives should show some fruit of the Spirit’s work within us.”

  • “The longer we are Christians, the more fruit we should show.”
  • “So, what do you think the towers represented?”  (Listen for someone to say, ‘our lives,’ or ‘our Christian walk.’”
  • “Exactly!  The tower is a picture of our life as a Christian.”
  • “What does the game illustrate about our Christian walk?”  (Listen for responses.)
  • “We can fail to show love (hold up a block from one of the games), and the tower will still stand.”
  • “We can fail to show patience, and our lives will still look normal to everyone around us.”   (Hold up another block.)
  • “We can fail to show several of these fruits in our life, and people can still think that we are godly Christians who are following the Lord closely.”  (Hold up several blocks.)
  • “But fruit of the Spirit that disappears from our tower, the more likely it’s going to fall.”
  • “When it does, people are often confused and surprised.  They thought we were walking so closely with God and didn’t realize how close to collapse we were.”
  • “Why do you think I put a ‘Jesus’ block in the center of each level?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “Yes, if Jesus isn’t at the center of our lives, it’s not likely that we will show much fruit in our walk.”
  • “We show fruit of the Spirit by following God closely and by keeping Jesus at the center of our lives.”
  • “Studying our Bibles, going to church, spending time with Christian friends, praying…these are just a few ways for us to follow God so that we show more fruit.”
  • “When we stop doing these things, the fruit starts to fall off our tree.  We get angry quickly, we fail to show kindness, we do things we shouldn’t do, we lose our joy or peace…”
  • “Before too long, people will notice the changes, and our tower will come tumbling down.”
  • “In your table groups (or with a partner), talk about the fruit of the Spirit that you are struggling to show lately.  Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control?”
  • “Then tell them what you plan to do to change things so that you show more fruit in that area.” (Allow a few minutes for discussion.  Then invite anyone who wants to share their thoughts or their commitment with the rest of the group to do so.)
  • “Remember to guard your fruit.  The Enemy will try to pick a piece at a time, and before you know it, you won’t have any left.”
  • “Stay close to God by spending time with Him and with other believers, and you will have more and more fruit so that your towers stay strong.”

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Filed under Authenticity, Character, Christianity, Daily walk, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, Jesus, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Spiritual Health

The Race


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that the Bible compares our lives to a race. Our sin and our past often become like heavy clothing or baggage to us, but God wants us to throw these off and run freely.

Materials

  • Lots of heavy clothing – boots, shoes, coats, sweaters….
  • Several backpacks, pieces of luggage (preferably without rollers), and bags loaded with heavy stuff.
  • Lots of wadded balls of paper or soft balls
  • Candy that will tempt the kids. Candy bars will work better than small candy.
  • A few small prizes for the racers.  It’s best to have prizes for everyone for both races, since it’s not important who finishes first in the race of life.
  • (Optional) Whistle to start the race.
  • (Optional) Water guns and/or water balloons
  • (Optional) Tape or twine to mark the finish line

Preparation

· This can be an indoor or an outdoor activity. Outdoors is preferable, because you can let the kids really get into the lesson, but either will work.

· Find a good starting place and finish line for your race, and make sure they are well marked.

· Put all your heavy clothing in a box and set it to the side.

· Put all your bags and luggage off to the side.

· Wad up your paper balls, or fill your water guns / water balloons.

· Put the candy in your pockets, or conceal it in some other way.

· If you have other creative ideas for encumbering the runners, use them. The idea is to make the first part of the race a frustrating experience.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Let’s run a race today!”

· “Who is interested in competing for the prize?” (Take up to six volunteers, depending on your class size. You will need several kids to stay in the role of spectator.)

· “Okay, the race will be from here (designate starting point) to there (designate finish line).”

· “Everyone ready?”

· “Okay! On your mark, get set…….oh, hold on a minute. You guys aren’t ready yet.”

· “If we want to make this race more realistic, I’m going to need you guys to wear these.” (Set out the box with all the clothes, heavy shoes, etc., and start handing them out to the volunteers. They should all get dressed up.)

· “Okay, that’s more like it. On your mark, get set……hmmmm….something’s still not right.”

· “Oh, I know! You need some of this!” (Hand out backpacks, luggage, bags, other articles for them to drag.)

· “Yes, that’s it! Okay, on your mark, get set…..Wait! Wait!”

· “I completely forgot to prepare the spectators on the sidelines and in the stands!” (Hand out wadded paper, soft balls (or if you’re brave) water guns or water balloons.)

· (To the spectators in a low voice so that the runners don’t hear…) “You guys are going to throw (squirt) these things at the runners as they run.”

· “I also need you to try to get them to leave the race to come and get these from you.” (Secretly hand them the candy.)

· (Still to the spectators…) “You guys are also going to boo at them and tell them things like, ‘You’ll never be able to win! Why are you even trying? My grandmother runs faster than you!…’ – Okay, you guys ready?” (Check to make sure that they understand what they are supposed to do.)

· “Okay, is everyone ready? On your mark, get set……GO!” (Blow whistle if you have it. Despite all the obstacles you’ve set up, it’s likely that a competitive spirit will drive kids to finish the race anyway. But whether they do finish or not is not too important on the first race. Just modify your questions for the runners to match what happened.  Award prizes for anyone who finished.)

· (After they’ve run the race or given up…) “So, how did that feel?” (Listen to responses.)

· “Do you feel like you were able to run your best race?….Why or why not?” (Listen for responses.)

· “What would have made the race easier to run?” (Listen for responses.)

· In today’s lesson, the race represents our life as Christians.”

· We are the runners.  The starting line indicate the moment we accepted Christ.  The finish line is heaven.”

· The heavy clothes and baggage represent the burdens that we bring into the race – our sin, bad stuff that has happened in our past, our weaknesses, our misunderstandings about God…”

· The spectators represent the demons, who are watching God’s plan for your life play out as we run the race.”

· The things they throw are fears, worries and doubts.”

· The candy they try to tempt you with represents Satan’s armies doing whatever they can to distract you from your mission.”

· “You see, most of us are not equipped to run this race we call life.”

· “We bring so much junk with us to the starting line, and we have no idea how to deal with Satan’s attacks.”

· “But as odd as it may seem, we do our training while we round the track.”

· “If we carry our Bible with us and pray and try to learn as we run, these strategies will help us get rid of the junk, ignore the distractions and make us faster.”

· “So, we need to start our race every day with our Bible, and we need to quit listening to all the voices that want to discourage us.”

· “They aren’t the only ones watching us run, by the way.”

· “God and the angels are also there, and if we listen carefully, we can hear their cheers for us above the discouraging shouts of our enemy.” (Have a volunteer read Hebrews 12:1.)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

· “That ‘great cloud of witnesses’ refers to all the angels – the heavenly host – that are watching us and cheering for us and even helping us at times while we run our race of life.”

· “So, what do you say we run that race again?”

· “This time, I want you to throw off everything that hinders you or slows you down.”

· “And this time, spectators, I want you to represent the angels in heaven, and I want you to cheer on the runners and encourage them to run their best!”

· “Okay, runners….On your mark, get set……GO!” (Blow whistle if you have one.)

· (After the race… Award prizes to everyone, and then ask…) “So, how did that feel? Was it different?” (Listen for responses.)

· “That’s the way God wants us to feel when we are running the race of life.”

· “But in order to feel that free, we’ve got to throw off our sin, our fears, our worries, and our doubts. We’ve got to get to know God better and refuse to believe the lies of the Enemy.”

· “As you go through your life, I want you to remember this lesson.”

· “Every time you sin, I want you to think of it like it’s putting on heavy clothing or boots or picking up a heavy bag that you’ll have to carry or drag through your race of life.”

· “And when you ask God for forgiveness, I want you to think of it like it’s throwing off that heavy clothing or dropping that heavy bag.”

· “That’s the way God wants us to run our race!”

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Filed under Angels, Challenges, Christianity, Daily walk, demons, Fear, Focus, forgiveness, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Spiritual Warfare, struggles, temptation

On Jesus’ Team – A Baptism Lesson


Time

15-20 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand what it means to be on Jesus’ team and why they should get baptized.

Materials

· Sports jersey

· Pitcher of water

· Optional – large bin or bucket for volunteer to stand in when getting wet

· Towel

Preparation

· Find a space where it’s okay to get things wet, or set up a bucket or bin to catch the water. Pouring water on the volunteer is optional, but the kids will really enjoy it, so I recommend it.

· Place the pitcher of water, towel and jersey nearby.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

· Once you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, God has something He wants you to do.”

· “He wants you to tell others that you’re on His team now.” (Ask for volunteer who doesn’t mind getting wet to come up.  If you have a bucket or bin set up, have him/her stand inside it.)

· “Let me explain it this way. If you joined a sports team, you would wear their jersey, right?” (Put jersey on volunteer.)

· “You wouldn’t wear the other team’s jersey, would you?”

· “No, you would wear your team’s jersey and be proud to do it, right?”

· “And your jersey would tell everyone whose team you were on.”

· “That’s what baptism is. It’s putting on God’s jersey.”

· “When you get baptized, you are letting everyone know that you’re on God’s team.” (Optional – pour water over volunteer’s head for comedic effect.)

· “Now, the truth is, when I put on this jersey, it didn’t really make me a member of the (name sports team represented by jersey), did it?”

· “I can’t join the team just by wearing their clothes, can I?”

· “Right. I can’t. And just like that, getting baptized doesn’t make you a member of God’s team. If you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can’t be on the team, even if you take a bath every day in the baptismal.” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “But what if I really was a (name sports team represented by jersey), but I never wore the jersey? Could I be on the team without wearing the jersey?” (Take jersey off volunteer.)

· “Sure I could. If the coach says I’m on the team, I’m on the team. If I don’t wear the team’s jersey, the coach will probably get frustrated with me, but he’s not going to kick me off the team for that.”

· “You see, you don’t have to get baptized to be on God’s team. As long as you call on Jesus to be your Savior, He lets you on the team. You don’t ever have to do anything else.”

· “But you should want to. If you’re proud of being on Jesus’ team, you should wear His jersey. If you’re thankful that He let you be on the team, you should wear His jersey.” (Put jersey back on volunteer.)

· “Getting baptized tells everyone, “I’m proud to be on Jesus’ team!” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “You see, Jesus wants to be more than just your Savior. He wants to be your Lord, too!”

· “But for Jesus to be your Lord, you have to do what He says to do, and He says that the first thing He wants you to do after you ask Him to be your Savior is to get baptized.” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “That tells the world that Jesus is both your Savior and your Lord!”

· “But it does even more than that. This is so cool!”

· “I’m a leader, and this person is my follower.” (Indicate your volunteer.)

· “A follower is someone who does what he sees his leader doing, so (speaking to your volunteer) I want you to do exactly what you see me doing.” (Walk around the room in a funny way with exaggerated movements. The funnier the better. Make sure your volunteer mimics what he sees you doing.)

· “Now, if you saw the two of us walking down the street like this, would it be hard to tell that we were together?”

· “Could you tell that he was my follower?”

· “Not hard, right, because he’s doing exactly what he sees me doing.” (Thank and dismiss the volunteer. Have towel ready for him/her to dry off.)

· “That’s what baptism is. You are telling everyone that you are on Jesus’ team by doing exactly what you see Him doing.”

· “What do I mean by that?” (Take responses if anyone thinks they know.)

· “How many of you remember that the first thing Jesus did when He started His ministry was to get baptized by John the Baptizer?” (Look for a show of hands.)

· “Right! He was setting the example. We should do what we see Jesus doing in the Bible.”

· “Also, remember how Jesus paid for our sins?” (He died on the cross.)

· “What happened next?” (He was buried in the ground for three days.)

· “Then what happened? (He rose from the dead on the third day.)

· “That’s great news! If Jesus had died and stayed dead, He sure wouldn’t have been God. And if He’s not God, we shouldn’t follow Him.”

· “But He did rise again! He died and then defeated death by bringing Himself back to life! Amazing! Incredible!”

· “So, watch this! Jesus died, was buried and rose again.” (Use the following motions while you are sharing this. Place one arm in front of you parallel to the floor. Put the elbow of your other arm on the hand of this arm so that they make a right angle. As you say that Jesus was buried, lower your top arm like you are closing a lid. Then, when you say Jesus rose again, lift your forearm back to it’s original position.)

· “Let’s do it together.” (Have kids do arm motions.) “Jesus died, was buried and rose again. Good!”

· “Now, when we get baptized, we are doing what we saw our leader doing.”

· “We go down into the water and come back out again.” (Do arm motions.)

· “Baptism is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection (which means to rise again).”

· “So when you get baptized in front of the church, you are saying, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team! I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”

· “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team!’”

· “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”

· “If you’ve already told Jesus you want to be on His team, you should talk to your parents about getting baptized. If they think the time is right, they can arrange it with the church.”

· “And if you haven’t told Jesus you want to be on His team, talk to your parents about that, too!”

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Filed under Baptism, Christianity, Jesus, John the Baptist, Obedience, Object Lesson