Monthly Archives: September 2011

Building the Church – GAME


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to recognize the need for effective collaboration/teamwork when working to build up or serve the Church.  It is a “Gotcha” type of activity that sets up the participants to fail in order to make the point about teamwork.  By the end of the game, though, everyone wins!

 

Scriptures

Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Materials

o  Copies of the file “Building the Church – Pattern.ppt” (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – There are 2 pages. You will need one copy of both pages for every two groups.  It will be necessary to divide the participants into an even number of groups for this exercise.  It’s best if these are in color.)

  • Copy (or copies) of the file “Building the Church – Vision.ppt”  (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – You will need at least one copy for every two groups unless you project the image with an LCD projector.  If you print it, it’s best that it’s in color.)

o  Scissors or cutting tool (one or more per group)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print out the “Building the Church – Pattern” file. (2 pages – 1 set for every two groups)

o  Decide how you will divide the participants into an even number of groups.

o  Decide which groups you will secretly pair together for the activity.  One group in the pair of groups will get one of the pages from the “Building the Church – Pattern” file, and the other group will get the other page.

o  Set out scissors or another cutting tool on each table.  (To make the activity go faster, I recommend giving each table several pairs of scissors.)

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do a game called, ‘Building the Church.’”
  • “I’m passing out a puzzle pattern to each group, and I would like you to cut out the pieces using the scissors on your table.”
  • “Do a good job cutting them out, because you will then piece them together like a puzzle to make a church building.”
  • “The first group to correctly ‘build’ their church will win!”
  • “Any questions?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, tell them to start.  Walk around the room as they are “building the church” so that you can see their progress.  If they are able to make a building that looks like a church from the pieces in their pattern, let them know that it is a nice effort but not what you are expecting.  Tell them that you think the church can be improved, and let them have more time to work on it.  After most groups have had a chance to create some time of building with the pattern, interrupt with the following information.)
  • “You’re doing a good job building your churches, but I think they can be much better.”
  • “I think I need to share with you what my vision for the church is.”  (At this point, either project the image of the church from the “Building the Church – Vision” file or hand out copies of the file to each table group.)
  • “This is more along the lines of what I had in mind.  Build THIS church!”  (Allow more time for them to work to build this church.  Before too long, they should realize that they don’t have enough pieces to complete the pattern.  The only way for them to complete the church is for them to collaborate with another group to share pieces.  Not all patterns were the same, however, so they must partner with the “right” group if they want to complete their church.  If they are struggling to discover this, you can drop hints until they understand.  Then, allow them to finish building their churches.  When they are done, have them go back to their original groups and discuss the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. When did you realize that you didn’t have enough pieces in the pattern to build your church?
  2. What did you have to do to finish building your church?
  3. What impact did seeing the Vision for the church have on your efforts?
  4. How important is it to have a common vision in our organization for building up the Church?
  5. Read Ephesians 4:11-13.  What does it say about the different roles in the Body of Christ and why/how they should work together?
  6. How do you think this applies to us in this organization and our work with the Church?
  7. What should we do differently to help us build up the Church more effectively?
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Filed under Church, Collaboration, competition, Game, Problem solving, team, teamwork

No More Than We Can Bear (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge teaches that God will help us get through difficult times and temptations.  He never allows us to go through more than we can bear, and He never leaves us alone.  The lesson is made by sticking wooden skewers through balloons without popping them.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Materials

  • Large balloons – 2-3 per person
  • Wooden skewers – 2-3 per person
  • Vegetable oil – 1 small container per group
  • Duct tape – 1 roll per group
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – No More Than I Can Bear – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Ziplock bags – gallon size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Put all the materials in a Ziplock bag. – 1 per group (This should include 2-3 balloons per person, 2-3 skewers per person, 1 container of vegetable oil per group and 1 roll of duct tape per group.)
  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “No More Than I Can Bear” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card, some balloons, some wooden skewers, some oil and some tape.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “This challenge is about how God protects us during difficult times and temptations.”
  • “Bad stuff even happens to Christians, but God won’t ever allow you to go through more than you can handle.”
  • “I know that because 1 Corinthians 10:13 in the Bible says, ‘No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.’” (The Message)
  • “Let’s demonstrate this.”
  • “Okay, let’s say that you are one of the balloons in our kit.”
  • “Let’s blow it up, and tie it off.”  (Help participants if they have trouble with this.  Don’t blow the balloons up fully.  You want there to be some thickness of the rubber at the nipple and at the place where you tied off the balloon.)
  • “Now, let’s say that one of those skewers is a bad thing or a temptation that’s about to happen to you.”
  • “What would happen if you put the skewer (the bad thing or temptation) through the balloon (the you)?” (Listen to responses.)
  • “Right!  It’s going to pop us!”
  • “But I know a way that we can keep ourselves from being popped by these bad things and temptations.”
  • “When you face something bad, you need the covering of the Holy Spirit.”
  • “That’s God’s covering over your life, and it will protect you during bad times.”
  • “I can help with that for our demonstration.  You see, in the Bible, oil often represents the anointing of God.  Let’s anoint this skewer so that it can be used of God.”  (Dip the skewers into the oil.  Then instruct them to insert them slowly into a balloon through the tie-off area and out the very top (the nipple).  These are the areas where the rubber of the balloon stretches the least, so they are more likely to receive the skewer without popping.  If the balloon pops, laugh nervously and grab another balloon – kids love it when things don’t go the way an adult plans them.)
  • “Look at that!  God’s anointing was all it took!”
  • “You see, if God allows bad stuff to happen to us, He anoints it so that it ends up doing His work in our lives.   God knows where you can handle the bad stuff, just like I knew just where the balloon could handle the skewer.”
  • “Now, sometimes, God allows bad stuff and temptations to happen to you where you are weak, but He won’t allow it to happen unless He has reinforced you in that area.”  (Have everyone blow up new balloons.  Then, put pieces of duct tape across both the front and back sides of balloon.  Then, have them slowly poke a skewer though – not the ones with the oil.  You can repeat this several times for dramatic effect.)
  • “Sometimes during tough situations, you might feel like you could just burst.”
  • “But remember that God knows just how much you can take, and He won’t let you go through any more than that.”
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can cover them during times of temptation and testing.  They need to trust in Him for His protection.)

 

Debriefing Questions

  1. Why didn’t the balloons pop when the skewers went through them?
  2. How is this like how God protects us during times of suffering?
  3. If you have to go through a time of suffering in the future, how will you handle it?

 

Rhyme Time

Even when life seems so unfair, God won’t allow more that I can bear!

 

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Filed under Annointing, Challenges, Coping skills, courage, Failure, Fear, God's Protection, Hardship, Joseph, Object Lesson

Let Go, Let God, Get Free! (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge teaches how bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred and resentment create a trap for us and how forgiveness and turning things over to God (especially when we are having a hard time forgiving in our own power) gets us free from the trap.  It uses Chinese finger traps to illustrate the point.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50 (Particularly Genesis 50 when Joseph forgives his brothers)
  • Colossians 3:13

 

Materials

  • Finger traps – 1 per person with several extras in case they break (they are notoriously poorly made – You can order them through anyone you like, but they are cheaply available through Oriental Trading. Order early, because it may take a few weeks for them to arrive. Approximately $10 for 72, plus shipping and handling.  The link to Oriental Trading: http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/search/processRequest.do?Ntt=finger+trap&x=0&y=0&requestURI=searchMain&Ntk=all&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&N=0)
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Let Go, Let God, Get Free – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Ziplock bags – any size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Put enough finger traps into each Ziplock bag for each person to have one (and maybe a few extras).
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “Let Go, Let God, Get Free!” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “Colossians 3:13 says, ‘Put up with each other. Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.’” (NIRV)
  • “This challenge is about how bitterness, resentment, hatred and unforgiveness become a trap for us.”
  • “How many of you have ever seen a Chinese finger trap before?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Let’s say that this finger trap (hold up a finger trap for everyone to see) is bitterness, resentment, hatred or unforgiveness.”
  • “When you are feeling these emotions toward someone, it’s like putting your fingers in the trap.”  (Demonstrate for them.)
  • “Sometimes you want to get free from these emotions, but you can’t.”  (Pull your fingers apart.  The finger trap should tighten up on them and prevent your fingers from getting free.)
  • “You might even want to forgive that person, but the trap of bitterness, resentment, hatred or unforgiveness won’t let you go.”  (Demonstrate trying to pull your fingers out again.)
  • “These are times when it may not be possible for you to forgive that person.  It’s just too hard.”
  • “So, here’s what you should do.”
  • “First, LET GO! – This means, stop trying so hard to do what you can’t do on your own.”
  • “Next, LET GOD! – This means, let God do what you can’t do.  Pray to Him, and tell Him what you are struggling with.  Ask Him to give you His love and His forgiveness for that person.”
  • “Finally, GET FREE! – It’s like a miracle!  When you stop trying so hard and let God do what you can’t do, you get free!  The bitterness, resentment, hatred or unforgiveness will disappear as God replaces it with His love and His forgiveness.”
  • “Let me show you what I mean with this finger trap.”  (As you demonstrate, say the three steps out loud.  First show them that trying in your own power just makes the trap tighter.  Then, LET GO! – Push your fingers together so that they meet in the middle of the trap.  LET GOD! – Ask someone else to hold the finger trap (they are representing God), while you carefully and slowly pull your fingers out.  GET FREE! – Show the group that your fingers are free from the trap of bitterness, resentment, hatred and unforgiveness.)
  • “See how it works?”
  • “When I can’t do it myself, I stop trying and just pray that God will change my heart for me.  Then I get free!”
  • “So what are the three steps again?”  (Let the group tell you several times what the three steps are in order – LET GO! LET GOD! GET FREE!)
  • “Want to try it on your own?” (Pass out the finger traps and let them play with them.  Try to get them to go through the three steps and say them out loud several times.)
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can help them forgive.)

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. Why is it important to forgive people when they hurt you?
  2. Why is it so hard to forgive people sometimes?
  3. Do you think these three steps will work for you?  Why or why not?

 

Rhyme Time

Jesus helps me to forgive; Holding a grudge is no way to live!

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Filed under forgiveness, Joseph, Object Lesson, Relationships, Teaching