Monthly Archives: June 2012

Let Go and Let God (LESSON)


 

Time

15 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches that faith is about letting go of our problems and letting God handle them.  It uses the story about Jesus feeding the 5,000 and highlights the faith of the little boy who was willing to give everything he had so that Jesus could work a miracle.

 

Scriptures

  • John 6:1-13

 

Materials

  • Vanilla wafers and goldfish crackers (enough for everyone to get some)
  • Baskets to put the wafers and crackers in (12 baskets)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Distribute the vanilla wafers and goldfish crackers among the twelve baskets and have them ready to distribute.  You might want to arrange to have volunteers ready to pass them out before you begin teaching.
  • Put markers in the Bible in the place where you want your volunteers to read the Scriptures for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

  • “I’m going to tell you a story about over 5,000 hungry people.”
  • “Let’s read about it.”  (Have volunteer read John 6:1-4.)
  • “But that doesn’t tell us how many people were there.  Let’s jump ahead a little.”  (Have volunteer read John 6:10.)
  • “So, there were 5,000 men.  That’s just the men.”
  • “We know from one of the other Gospel writers (Matthew 14:21) that there were even more people than that, because it says there were 5,000 men besides the women and children.”
  • “I bet that most of the men brought their wives and children, too.”
  • “If every man brought his wife and even just one child, there would have been fifteen thousand people!  That’s a lot of hungry!”
  • “Let’s keep reading.”  (Have volunteer read John 6:5-6.)
  • You see, Jesus already knew what He was going to do, but He wanted to test them to see if their faith had grown from seeing Him do all the miracles He did.”
  • “And what did Philip say?” (Have volunteer read Philip’s response from John 6:7.)
  • “BZZZZZZZZZTTTTT!!!   Wrong answer!  Everyone say it with me, ‘BZZZZZZZTTTTT!!!!’”
  • “Philip failed the test.  He didn’t have any faith that Jesus could feed the people.”
  • “But let’s see what Andrew does.”  (Have volunteer read John 6:8-9.)
  • “Andrew brought Jesus a young boy with a lunch sack, which contained five, small loaves of bread and two fishes.”
  • “Andrew didn’t bring much, but he brought Jesus something.”
  • “DING! DING! DING!  Right answer!  Everyone say it with me, ‘DING! DING! DING!’”
  • “Believe it or not, even though Andrew still didn’t have enough faith to understand what Jesus could do, he was the one who passed the test.”
  • “Philip brought Jesus nothing but doubt, but Andrew brought what he could find.”
  • “He brought Jesus something, and when you’re talking about faith, something is always better than nothing.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘Something is better than nothing!’”
  • “And what did Jesus do with that ‘something?’”
  • “Well, first He organized everyone into groups and had them sit down.”  (Organize participants into groups, and have them sit on the floor.)
  • “Then He took the loaves and blessed the food. ‘God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food.’”  (As you say this, hold up one of the baskets of wafers and crackers.)
  • “Then, He fed just a few of those people, right?” (Expected response: “No…” As you ask this question, have some volunteers begin to pass out the baskets of Goldfish and Vanilla Wafers to groups of kids.  They should continue until every group has a basket.)
  • “No? Well, He fed the hungriest people, right?” (Expected response: “No…”)
  • “No?  Well, He fed all the men, right?” (Expected response: “No…”)
  • “No?  Well, maybe He fed just the women and children, right?” (Expected response: “No…”)
  • “No?  Well, who did He feed?” (Expected response: “Everybody!”)
  • “Everybody?  You mean He fed every single person?  That’s amazing!”
  • “Well, surely He told them to only have one serving each so that the food would last, right?” (Expected response: “No…”)
  • “No?  How much did He feed them?”  (Have volunteer read John 6:11.)
  • “He gave them as much as they wanted?  That’s crazy!  We’re talking maybe 15,000 people at an all-you-can-eat buffet!  That’s a ton of food!”
  • “But wait, it gets even better!”  (Have volunteer read John 6:12-13.)
  • “They gathered twelve doggy bags (or baskets)!”
  • “Why do you think there were twelve baskets left over?”  (Expected response: “There were 12 Apostles.”  They may need some help making this connection.)
  • “Exactly! That was one for each of the Apostles!”
  • “I think Jesus was being funny.”
  • “He was teasing them, because they hadn’t believed that He could feed all those people, so He gave each of them their own personal reminder!”
  • “Now, Philip failed the test.  Andrew passed the test (but just barely).  But the boy did better than both of them.  He got an A+!”
  • “Can anyone tell me why?”  (Expected response: “Because he gave everything he had.”)
  • “Right!  He gave his entire lunch!”
  • “When it comes to faith, something is better than nothing but everything is better than something!”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘Everything is better than something!’”
  • “Think about that!  He had to be just as hungry as everyone else there.”
  • “Jesus had been teaching and healing all day, and it was now late in the afternoon.”
  • “I’m sure the boy had to make a tough decision – keep his lunch and fill his grumbling belly or give it away and take the risk that he might go hungry.”
  • “Faith always requires us to take a risk.”
  • “Faith is the moment something leaves our hands and goes into God’s hands.”
  • “We don’t know what God is going to do.  He almost never tells us ahead of time.”
  • “But we’ve got to trust that God will do something good and maybe something even better than we expect.”
  • “The boy didn’t know what Jesus was going to do with his lunch.”
    “There is no way he could have known. This had never happened before!”
  • “But that was the test!  Did the boy trust Jesus enough to let Him handle the problem?”
  • “God sometimes allows problems in our lives because He wants to know if we will trust Him by putting things into His hands.”
  • “To pass the test, we’ve got to let go of our problems and let God handle them.”
  • “Jump up and yell, ‘I’m gonna LET GO and LET GOD!!’”
  • “Yell it again, ‘I’m gonna LET GO and LET GOD!!’”
  • “Awesome!  That is what faith is all about!”
  • “Let’s all work at having faith in God like the boy in the story.”  (You may want to say the Rhyme Time below several times to reinforce the teaching point.)

 

Rhyme Time

When we practice letting go,

God will help our faith to grow.

 

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Filed under Apostles, faith, Problem solving, test, Trust

Woman at the Well, The (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches how Jesus worked through a woman that society had given up on to bless her community and draw them to Christ.  The woman at the well was a Samaritan, a woman and a sinner – three reasons a Jewish rabbi should not have been talking with her, but Jesus didn’t care.  He saw the best in her and partnered with her to bring a community to know Him.

 

Scriptures

  • John 4:1-30, 39-43

 

Materials

  • Jar for woman at the well
  • Something to represent Jacob’s Well (This could be simply a piece of cardboard with bricks drawn on the side that faces the audience, or you can be more elaborate if you have the time and resources.)
  • Tape
  • OPTIONAL – Notecards for script.
  • Cans/glasses of cola, tea/coffee, energy drink, juice, water
  • Table to set everything on
  • Two pieces of fabric to use as veils for drinks
  • Glasses with pictures or other representations of money, fame, power, love, cars, other religions and a Bible. (There are pictures for each of these in the downloadable file mentioned below.)
  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Woman at the Well – Spiritual – Physical Signs”
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Select a drama team (Jesus and the woman at the well) to act out the roles in the story and share the teaching notes with them so that they can be prepared to act them out.  You might want to write their lines on notecards so that they will have them available when they are acting.
  • Set up “Jacob’s Well” at the front of the teaching area.
  • Print out “Spiritual and Physical Thirst Signs.”
  • Put each picture from the “Spiritual and Physical Thirst” file in a separate glass.
  • Set up a table with all the different drinks (cola, tea/coffee, energy drink, juice, water) on them, and put a veil over it so that it cannot be seen until you reveal it.
  • Under a separate veil (but on the same table if you only have one table), set up the “spiritual thirst quenchers” (power, cars, different religions, money, houses, love, entertainment, drugs, God’s Word –pick which ones you want to use) in separate glasses.
  • Put a piece of tape on the back of the “Spiritual” and “Physical” signs so that you will be able to stick them to your props.
  • Put markers in the Bible in the place where you want your volunteers to read the Scriptures for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

  • “I want to tell you story.” (Get volunteer to read John 4:1-3.)
  • “Jesus had some enemies, the Pharisees, in particular, who were trying to cause Him problems.”
  • “They didn’t like that He was becoming even more popular than John the Baptizer.”
  • “So Jesus decided to return to Galilee, where it would be easier for him to teach and train His disciples.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:4-6.)
  • “That’s strange.  Jesus went through Samaria.”
  • “The Jewish people hated the Samaritans, because they used to be Jewish but married foreigners and worshipped foreign gods that weren’t real.”
  • “Just about any other rabbi and his disciples would have hated the Samaritans so much that they would have gone AROUND Samaria just to avoid them.”
  • “But not Jesus!  He went straight through.”
  • “He stopped to rest, and His disciples went into town to get something to eat.”
  • “But Jesus didn’t just stop here to rest.  He had a meeting planned.”
  • “The time and the place He chose for the meeting were important.  It was about noon – the hottest time of the day – and He was at Jacob’s well, where people came to get water.  The other attendee was just about to arrive.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:7 up to the point Jesus starts speaking.)
  • (Have Drama Team enter.  Samaritan Woman comes to the well, carrying her jar on her shoulder.)
  • (Jesus says to her: “Will you give me a drink?”)
  • (Samaritan Woman: “Why are you asking me for a drink?  I’m a Samaritan and a woman.  Jews don’t talk with Samaritans.”)
  • “Jews weren’t supposed to talk to Samaritans, and Jewish men (particularly Jewish religious men) were not supposed to have private conversations with a woman.”
  • “Also, we don’t want to miss that she is coming to the well by herself at noon, the hottest part of the day.  This wasn’t the custom.”
  • “Women went to go get water in the early morning or in the late evening, when it was cooler.”
  • “Pulling up well water was difficult work.  You had to let your jar down 30 or 40 feet and then pull it up again full of water, and you can bet, it was HEAVY!”
  • “Then you had to carry it home, which was probably a mile or more away.”
  • “And getting water was a social time for the women.”
  • “They all went together and talked and laughed and shared stories during these times – but not this woman.”
  • “This woman didn’t feel comfortable around the other women.  They didn’t like her, and they made fun of her and talked about all the bad things she had done.”
  • “So, it was no wonder that she came at the worst part of the day; she wanted to avoid everyone else.”
  • “This woman was what everyone called ‘a sinner.’”
  • “So there are three reasons Jesus isn’t supposed to talk to her – she’s a Samaritan, a woman and a sinner.”
  • “Jesus is breaking all kinds of man-made rules here.”
  • (Jesus: “If you knew who you are talking to, you would have asked for living water.”)
  • “Jesus keeps doing unusual things!”
  • “What is He talking about?  Jesus is saying that if she had known that she was talking to God, she would have asked for Him to help her.”
  • “He says that He has this stuff called, ‘living water,’ to give her.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and ask, ‘What dat?’”
  • “Well, it’s not the water you can touch or see.  That’s what the woman came for.  That’s why she has her water jar.”
  • “No, this kind of water isn’t physical water; it’s spiritual water.”  (Stick “Physical” sign to Jacob’s Well.  Stick “Spiritual” sign on Bible, and show it to the audience.)
  • “Jesus does this all the time.  He’s taking something that’s physical that she already knows about, like water and being thirsty, and comparing it to something spiritual that she doesn’t know about.”
  • “He’s saying that just like you can fix physical thirstiness by drinking water, you can fix spiritual thirst by getting some living water.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and ask, ‘Can your spirit get thirsty?’”
  • “You bet it can!”
  • “God made each and every one of us with a spiritual thirst for Him, because He didn’t want us to be satisfied living without Him.”  (Unveil different beverages.  Move the “Physical” sign over, and put it on the table under the beverages.)
  • “If you were physically thirsty, which one of these would you drink?”
  • “Well, any of these will work a little, but the best option is water.”  (Hold up each of these as you talk about them.)
    • “Sodas have lots of sugar, so they make us fat and increase our chance of getting diabetes.”
    • “Juices taste good, but they have lots of sugar, too.”
    • “I like coffee and tea, but they raise my blood pressure.”
    • “And this energy drink will wake me up, but it’s full of sugar, as well.”
    • “Water is the best, because your body is over 60% water.  For kids, it’s actually higher than that.”
    • “When God made water, He made a perfect solution for our physical thirst.”
  • “Just like we’ve invented all kinds of ways to satisfy our physical thirst, we’ve also invented lots of ways to satisfy our spiritual thirst.” (Unveil glasses with various “spiritual thirst quenchers” in them.  Move the label for “Spiritual” over, and put it on the table under these “thirst quenchers.”  Hold up each of these as you refer to them.)
    • “Some people think having lots of money will make the thirst go away.”
    • “Some think having a nice car, or a big house will do it.”
    • “Some try to make it go away with love – they have lots of boyfriends or girlfriends.”
    • “Some do it with other religions, and some do it with entertainment.”
    • “But the problem is, none of these will satisfy us for long.  They just fill us up and dull our spiritual sense so that we can’t tell where the original thirst is coming from.”
    • “There is only one thing that will satisfy our spiritual thirst – the Bible.”
    • “This is what Jesus was talking about when He offered the Samaritan woman living water.”
    • “Once you have God’s Spirit in your heart, His Word will bubble up in you like a spring of water, and you will never be spiritually thirsty again.”
  • “So, that’s what He’s talking about, but unfortunately, the woman didn’t understand yet.”
  • (Samaritan Woman: “You don’t even have a jar.  How will you draw up this “living water?”  Are you claiming to be greater than our father, Jacob, who dug the well and drank from it himself?”)
  • “She still thinks He is talking about physical water.  ‘You don’t even have a jar!  You must think you’re better than the one who dug the well if you can get water out of it without a jar!’”
  • “So Jesus tries to help her understand.”
  • (Jesus: “Physical water quenches your thirst for a little while, but I’m offering you a special kind of water that will quench your thirst forever.”) 
  • (Samaritan Woman: “Give me some of that!  Then I won’t have to come here every day.”)
  • “Now, watch this!  Jesus is about to do something really unusual.”
  • (Jesus: “Go get your husband and come back.”)
  • (Samaritan Woman: “I don’t have a husband.”)
  • (Jesus: “You speak the truth.  You have had five husbands, and the one you’re living with isn’t your husband.”)
  • “What’s Jesus doing?  He’s testing her to see if she will be honest with Him.  He’s willing to give her what she’s asked for, but she has to pass the test first.”
  • “You see, Jesus knows why she comes to the well at noon.  He knows about the shame she feels in her heart because of all the men who have told her that they don’t want her.”
  • “She’s had five husbands who have each divorced her, and the man she’s with now doesn’t even respect her enough to marry her.  That’s why the other women at the well gossip about her.”
  • “Jesus is putting his finger on the deepest wound in her life, but He only touches it to heal it.”
  • “And to her credit, she tells the truth, so Jesus commends her for her honesty and He lets her know that He knows everything about her.”
  • (Samaritan Woman: “I know Messiah is coming, and when He comes, He will tell us all things.”)
  • (Jesus: “I who speak to you am He.”)
  • “This is big!  This is huge!  This is the only time in Scripture where you will see Jesus come right out and say that He is the Messiah.  He told people plenty of times that He is God, but He didn’t use the title ‘Messiah,’ because too many misunderstood what it meant.”
  • “They thought that Messiah would be a king who would come wage war against the Romans, but Jesus didn’t come to judge the earth; He came to save it!”
  • “So, the only person He tells that He is the Messiah is a sinful Samaritan woman – someone He wasn’t even supposed to be talking to!”
  • “Jesus saw the best in her.  And He made her one of God’s children that very day.”  (Drama Team sits.)
  • “The woman at the well joined Jesus’ team that day, and she was so excited, she left her water jar behind and brought all her neighbors to join Jesus’ team, too.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:28-30.)
  • “She was so excited that she forgot what people thought about her.  She forgot her shame, and she told everyone she could about Jesus.”
  • “And this is the part that really excites me!” (Have volunteer read John 4:39-42.)
  • “This Samaritan woman was the most disrespected member of her community, but her excitement about Jesus was contagious and people had to believe her because she was so convinced that Jesus was the Messiah!”
  • “After two days of listening to Jesus, they believed that he was the Savior of the world.”
  • “Jesus can use anyone to carry His message – even those with the most terrible sins and reputations.”
  • “All that He asks is that we believe in Him and share what we know in our hearts with those around us.”

 

Rhyme Time

Even when our life’s a mess

Jesus will use it to heal and bless.

 

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Filed under Bible study, Evangelism, Grace, Jesus, Lesson, Witness

The WHO and the DO (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches that the most important question to answer correctly in this life is the question Jesus asked of His disciples, “Who do you say I am?”  Answering that question correctly changes who we are and makes us children of God, and who we are to God matters even more than what we do in this life.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 16:13-18
  • John 1:42
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • 1 Peter 2:9-10

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Dot and the Line, The (OBJ LESSON)” (Object lesson that you will teach in the middle of this lesson to explain the difference between our life on earth and eternity.  There are a few optional supplies you might want to gather for this part of the lesson that are mentioned in the document.)
    • “Who and the Do, The – Signs” (This file also includes a slide with one of the main teaching points.  You can project this if you are using PowerPoint.)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print out “The Dot and the Line” object lesson, and review it to make sure you are ready to teach it.
  • Gather any props for “The Dot and the Line” if you intend to use them.
  • Print out the “WHO” and “DO” signs.
  • Put markers in the Bible in the place where you want your volunteers to read the Scriptures for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

  • Jesus asked his disciples a very important question one day.  ‘Who do people say that I am?’  (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:13-14.)
  • “They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist.’”
  • “That was strange.  How could Jesus be John the Baptist?  John the Baptist was a good friend of Jesus’, but he had been killed by an evil king named Herod not long before.”
  • “Even if it were possible for people to come back from the dead, Jesus couldn’t have been John the Baptist, because they lived at the same time.”
  • “Then they said, ‘Some say you are Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’”
  • “All these people were dead long before, but they had all been godly men who had shared God’s word.  Elijah was even able to do miracles like Jesus.”
  • “They thought Jesus might be one of these people because of all the miracles they saw Him do and the truth they heard Him speak.”
  • “Then Jesus asked them an even more important question.”  (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:15)
  • “Jesus asked them, ‘Who do you say I am?’”
  • “This is the most important question you will ever answer in your entire lives!”
  • “It’s more important than questions on a test at school.”
  • “It’s more important than questions your parents ask you.”
  • “It’s more important than a question a police officer or a fireman might ask you.”
  • “It’s even more important than a question a game show host would ask you if you were about to win $1 million!”
  • “Touch your neighbor, and say, ‘Man!  That IS an important question!’”
  • “This question is so important, because it determines where you will spend eternity.”
  • “And maybe you’re thinking, ‘Huh?  What’s eternity?’”
  • “I’m glad you asked!  Let me show you!”
  • (Facilitate “The Dot and the Line” object lesson.)
  • “So what was the question that I said was so important?”  (Expected response: “Who do you say Jesus is?”)
  • “Right!  And our friend Peter is going to help us with the right answer.” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 16:16.)
  • “Who is Jesus?”  (Expected response: “The Christ, the Son of the living God.”)
  • “What does that mean?  Does anyone know what a Christ is?”  (Expected responses: “Savior, Expected Deliverer, Messiah”)
  • “He was the One that the Jews had been waiting for!  The One the Scriptures talked about!”
  • “He was the One who they expected to be their King!”
  • “That’s the right answer to the question, ‘Who do you say Jesus is?’”
  • “Jesus is our Savior, our Lord, our King and our God.”
  • “If you get this answer right, it will make your Dot better and your Line very, very good.”
  • “Jesus was really happy that Peter got the question right.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:17-18.)
  • “This is not the first time Jesus has given Simon the name Peter, remember.”  (He also did it in John 1:42.)
  • “Jesus said Peter was a ‘rock,’ because he wanted him to become someone all the others could depend on – someone who was strong and unmovable in his dedication to God.”
  • “And you know, Simon is not the only one who got a new name in the Bible.”
  • “Can anyone remember any of the others who got new names?”  (Expected responses: “Saul-Paul, Abram-Abraham, Jacob-Israel, Sarai-Sarah…”)
  • “The Bible says, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • “When God changes your name, it’s because He sees you as He knows you will be, not as what you currently are.”
  • “Peter didn’t act like a ‘rock’ when Jesus gave him his new name.  It took many years for him to change.”
  • “But God looks past your behaviors to your relationship to Him.”
  • “He cares more about your WHO than what you DO.”  (Invite two volunteers to the front and give one the “WHO” sign and one the “DO” sign.  It might be better to have one girl and one boy for comedic effect because you will be giving them a big hug a few times that squishes them together.)
  • “Touch a neighbor and say, ‘He’s cares more about my WHO than what I DO!’”  (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “No matter what bad stuff you DO, God will always love you because of WHO you are to Him.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “Before you ask Jesus into your heart, you are God’s incredible creation, and He loves you because of that.”
  • “But after you ask Jesus into your heart, you become a son or daughter of God!  A child of the King!  A prince or a princess!  You’re royalty!”
  • “Turn around and tell somebody, ‘I’m royalty!’” (You may want to have a volunteer read 1 Peter 2:9-10.)
  • “When you ask Jesus into your heart, you move from being someone who isn’t one of God’s people to someone who is one of God’s people.  That’s SO awesome!”
  • “Now just because God cares about your WHO more than what you DO doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care at all about what you DO.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “He does care a lot.”
  • “He says that because of your new WHO (child of God) when you accept Jesus as your Lord, what you DO should get better and better every day.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “Peter didn’t act like a ‘rock’ when Jesus gave Him the name, but Jesus expected him to work toward becoming more and more like a rock every day.”
  • “And the same is true for you.”
  • “Children of the King act in a different way that those who aren’t children of the King.”
  • “The King expects more out of you.”
  • “That means that you have to follow your leader – DO what you see Him doing in the Bible.”
  • “You won’t be perfect.  You’ll make lots of mistakes, but keep trying every day.”
  • “You goal is to make what you DO match your WHO.” (Bring your two volunteers close together, and give them a big squeeze for comedic effect.)
  • “When they don’t match (push volunteers apart) people get confused.”
  • “They say, ‘I thought he was a child of the King, but he’s telling lies.’ or, ‘I thought she was royalty, but she is acting nasty to her friends.’”
  • “It’s hard for them to understand how your WHO and what you DO can be so different.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “So bring those two together (bring volunteers in close for another big hug!) so that no one will be confused.” (Thank and dismiss your volunteers.)
  • “Touch your neighbor, and say, ‘I’m gonna make what I DO match my WHO!’”
  • “And what is your WHO again?” (Expected response: “Child of the King or Child of God!”)
  • “So remember, the most important thing in life is WHO you say Jesus is.”
  • “If you get that right, it will change your WHO forever and make you a Child of God.”
  • “And every day, we should work at making what we DO match our new WHO!”  (You might want to reinforce the lesson by having  everyone saying the Rhyme Time below several times.)

Rhyme Time            

When I trust in Jesus

He changes my WHO.

Now I try every day

To improve what I DO.

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Filed under Jesus, Obedience, Peter, salvation, sanctification

Follow the Leader (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches about what’s it’s like to be on Jesus’ team.  When you are on a team, you do what you see your leader doing.  Peter didn’t always follow the leader very well, and Jesus had to go after him several times to get Peter to stay on the team.

 

Scriptures

John 1:35-51; Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11; John 21:1-25

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Follow the Leader – Fishers of Men Logos” (Sports-style logos for your 12 volunteers who will portray the apostles and one for you to wear as the leader.)
  • Safety pins (13)
  • Costume for Peter character (“Petey”) – fisherman’s hat, fishing pole, tackle box, fishing vest, etc.  Can go barefoot.
  • Costume for Jesus character – a robe, possibly with a sash of some sort to go over one shoulder.  Can go barefoot.
  • OPTIONAL: 13 white undershirts (big enough for your volunteers)
  • OPTIONAL: Costumes for Andrew, James and John characters – tunics with a belt (I’ve used just a piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for the actor’s head to slip through and another strip of the same fabric for a belt.) Can go barefoot.
  • OPTIONAL: Something like a net that “Petey” can cast during the drama scenes.
  • OPTIONAL: Something to act like a boat for the drama scenes.

 

Preparation

  • Print 13 copies of the “Fishers of Men” logos (preferably in color).
  • Make 13 “Fishers of Men” t-shirts by pinning the logos to the white shirts.  (If you don’t use the undershirts, you can just pin the logos on the shirts of the volunteers during the lesson.)
  • Put on your own ‘Fishers of Men’ shirt or logo.
  • Select a volunteer to play “Petey” (someone who can do some extemporaneous acting), and have them get in costume.  They can wait off-stage or somewhere else out of sight.  Share teaching notes with volunteer so that he knows how he should respond during the lesson.
  • Select volunteers to play Jesus, James, John and Andrew, and have them get in costume.  (Because they are not speaking parts, you could use the same volunteers who come up to be Fishers of Men to play the roles of James, John and Andrew.) They can wait off-stage or somewhere else out of sight.  Share the general teaching plan so that they will know when to listen for your cues and what to do.

 

 

Procedure

Use the following script or modify to suit your needs:

  • “When Jesus was doing His ministry on earth, He put together a team of twelve apostles.”
  • “These twelve men followed Him everywhere He went and learned all they could from Him.”
  • “Then, when Jesus left the earth and returned to heaven, these men continued His work.”
  • “They did incredible things, like helping thousands of people to know Jesus, healing the sick, curing the lame and raising the dead to life!”
  • “Not everyone knows this, but Jesus is still putting His team together today!  And He wants you on it!”
  • “Let’s talk about what it means to be on Jesus’ team.” (Ask for 12 volunteers to come forward, and have them all put on a ‘Fishers of Men’ shirt (or pin the logo to the shirt they have on).)
  • Let’s say that I’m like Jesus, and these people are my followers.”
  • “Together, we make up a team called the ‘Fishers of Men.’”
  • “A follower is someone who does what he sees his leader doing, so I want you guys (addressing your volunteers) to do exactly what you see me doing.”  (Walk around the room in a funny way with exaggerated movements.  Make sure your volunteers mimic what they see you doing.)
  • “Now, if you saw all of us walking down the street like this, would it be hard to tell that we were together?”  (Listen for responses.)
  • “Could you tell that these guys were my followers?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “Not hard, right, because they are doing exactly what they see me doing.”
  • “These are really good followers.”  (Thank your volunteers, and let them take a seat.)
  • “So, if we want to be on Jesus’ team, what should we be doing?”  (Expected response: “What we see Him doing.”)
  • “And what do we see Jesus doing in the Bible?”  (Expected responses: “Helping people, praying, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, telling people about God…”)
  • “Some of those things would be pretty difficult for us to do, but we could ask God to do them for us.  If He thinks it’s the best thing to do, He will do it when we ask Him to.”
  • “But even if He doesn’t lead us to do some of the really difficult stuff, I bet there are some easier things He did that He would also like us to do.  What do you think those things are?”  (Expected responses: “What we see Him doing.  Praying, helping people, telling people about God…”)
  • “Exactly!  If we are on Jesus’ team, we should be doing those things that we see Him doing in Scripture.”
  • “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!’”
  • “You’ve got it!”
  • “But you know what?  Peter didn’t get it.”
  • “You know what Peter did after he first met Jesus?  After he saw Jesus turn water into wine and heal many people, including the son of a royal official?  And after he saw Jesus walk right through an angry mob that wanted to throw Him off a cliff? You know what Peter did then?”
  • “He went back to fishing!  Can you believe it?” (Have your “Petey” volunteer walk across the front of the room, dressed in fishing hat and vest with a pole and tackle box.)
  • “Everybody, I want you to ask Petey there, ‘Petey!  Whatcha doin’?’”  (Have everyone ask out loud. Petey should say, “I’m goin’ fishin’.”)
  • “Petey, Petey, Petey…  Don’t you remember that your brother Andrew introduced you to Jesus and told you that He was the Messiah?”  (OPTIONAL: Have a volunteer read John 1:41-42.)
  • (Petey should say, “Uh….well, yeah.  I do seem to remember that.”)
  • “And do you remember when Jesus gave you that cool new name that meant, ‘The Rock?’”
  • (Petey should say, “Yeah, that’s why you’re calling me Petey.”  (To kids)  “I used to be called Simon.  It meant, “to listen and obey,” but I’ve never been very good at that.  Jesus named me “Peter,” – “the ROCK!”)
  • “And do you remember all the cool miracles Jesus did?”
  • (Petey: “Yeah!  Those were cool!”)
  • “So why are you going fishing again?”
  • (Petey: “It’s what I do!” – Shrug, and let Petey go.  Have him pretend to go fishing nearby.)
  • “Peter was definitely not doing what he saw his Leader do.”
  • “So, kids, what do you think Jesus did about Peter?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “Yep, Jesus went after him.”  (Have “Jesus” actor come conspicuously through the teaching area and follow the “Petey” character.  He should come back through room with “Petey” and “Andrew.”)
  • “He found Peter and his brother Andrew fishing, and he said to them ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” (You can have your Jesus actor say this if you want.  It’s from Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:16-18. Then have “Petey” and “Andrew” follow “Jesus” out of the room.)
  • “Without another word, Peter and Andrew got up and followed Jesus, and so did their friends James and John, who were also fishermen.” (Have “James” and “John” already sitting somewhere in the room.  At this point, they get up and follow the others out of the room.)
  • “And it’s a good thing they did!  They saw some cool stuff!”
  • “Jesus taught many people about God, cast out demons and healed people of all kinds of diseases.  He even healed Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever.” (Have “Petey” return and walk back through the room alone with his fishing gear.)
  • “Hey, kids!  There he is again!”
  • “Everybody, I want you to ask Petey there, ‘Petey!  Whatcha doin’?’” (Have everyone ask out loud.)
  • (Petey should say: “I’m goin’ fishin’.”)
  • “Petey, Petey, Petey…  How could you be going fishing again after all you’ve seen Jesus do?  Don’t you remember everything He taught you and all the cool miracles?”
  • (Petey: “Yep!  I remember.”)
  • “So why are you going fishing again?”
  • (Petey: “It’s what I do!” – Shrug, and let Petey go.  He should join the Andrew character, who should return and pretend to be cleaning nets.)
  • “Peter’s still not doing what he sees his Leader doing!”
  • “So, kids, what do you think Jesus did about Peter?”  (Expected response: “Went after him.”)
  • “Yep, He went after him.”  (Have “Jesus” actor come conspicuously through the teaching area and follow the “Petey” character.  All actors should be in the room at this point, but they shouldn’t be in one group.  “Petey” and “Andrew” should be together; “James” and “John” should be together but in a different corner of the room; “Jesus” should come in last and stand near to “Petey” and “Andrew.”)
  • “He found Peter and his brother Andrew washing their nets by the lake.” (Luke 5:1-11 – Have all the fishermen act like they are cleaning their nets.  From here on, they should act out whatever you say.)
  • “By now, a huge crowd followed Jesus everywhere He went, and they were at the lake wanting to hear more of what Jesus was telling them.”
  • “Jesus knew that they could hear Him better if He went out onto the water of the lake, so He got in Peter’s and Andrew’s boat and asked them to push out a little from the shore.”  (Have actors act this out.)
  • “From there, He sat down and taught the people many things.”
  • “When He finished, he turned to Peter, and He told him to go into the deep water and put his nets back in.”
  • (Petey: “Master, we’ve been working hard all night long, and we haven’t caught anything.”)
  • “Peter was frustrated.  He was tired.  He had worked all night long with no sleep and no fish.”
  • “And now, Jesus is trying to tell him how to do his job.”
  • “Jesus wasn’t a fisherman.  He grew up doing what He saw His earthly father doing, and that was carpentry.”
  • “So, Peter had a decision to make right there.”
  • “Was he going to trust his own experience as an expert fisherman, or was he going to trust Jesus?”
  • “What do you think he did?”  (Expected response: “Trusted Jesus!”)
  • “Yes!  He trusted Jesus!”
  • (Petey: “Master, we’ve been working hard all night long, and we haven’t caught anything.  But because You asked me to do it, I’ll let down the nets again.”)
  • “So Peter and Andrew rowed out to the deep water, and they let down the nets over the side of the boat.”  (Have Petey toss something like a net onto the audience if you have it.  He should then mimic pulling in a huge catch of fish.)
  • (Petey: “Fish!  We’ve caught fish!  ….And there are hundreds of them!  And big!  The nets are starting to break!  James!  John!  Hurry!  Bring your boat over here to help us!”)
  • “James and John, who were Peter’s and Andrew’s partners in the fishing business, quickly came over to help.”
  • “Together, they pulled in so many fish that both boats were completely full of them, and the boats were so heavy that they almost sank in the water!”
  • “When Peter saw this, he fell on his knees and said to Jesus…”
  • (“Petey”: “Go away from me, Lord.  I am a sinful man!”)
  • “You see, Peter was suddenly reminded of exactly Who Jesus was!”
  • “Andrew had told him before that Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One Who came to save people from their sins.”
  • “Peter had forgotten, but now he remembered!  And even though he probably didn’t yet realize that Jesus is God, he did realize that a righteous man of God was in his boat.”
  • “Jesus’ righteousness compared to Peter’s sinfulness made Peter feel unworthy to even have Jesus in his boat.”
  • “But Jesus told Peter not to be afraid because he would catch men rather than fish from that moment forward.”
  • “So Peter and Andrew, James and John rowed into shore, got out of their boats and left everything behind to follow Jesus.”  (Actors exit.)
  • “You mean, they left all those fish?  Those fish were worth more money than they had ever made in a day – maybe in a week or even in a month!”
  • “But they left them.  The Bible says that they left everything!”
  • “You see, Jesus had very important work for these men to do, and Peter’s job was going to be the most important.”
  • “Jesus wanted Peter to be the leader, so He tested Peter to see if he was ready.”
  • “In fact, Jesus tested Peter three times on this fishing trip.”
  • “The first time was when Jesus asked to use Peter’s and Andrew’s boat.  Jesus wanted to see if these tired fishermen were willing to do something for Him just because He asked.”
  • “The second test was when Jesus asked Peter to let down his nets.  This was a test of Peter’s faith.”
  • “The third test was when Peter and his friends caught the biggest catch of fish in their lifetime.  This was a test of Peter’s heart.”
  • “Jesus wanted to know if Peter would be satisfied with a miracle or if he wanted the Miracle-Maker.”
  • “Peter chose the Miracle-Maker, and he left that incredible catch of fish behind to go and be a fisher of men.”
  • “And I’m happy to say that from that day on, with only one exception (after Jesus’ resurrection, when Peter went back to fishing), Peter started doing what he saw his Leader doing.”
  • “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!’”
  • “Touch as many people as you can and say, ‘I’m gonna be a fisher of men!’”  (You may want to have the group recite the following rhyme to reinforce the lesson.)

 

Rhyme Time

I follow my Leader;

I do what He does.

I’m a fisher of men,

And I catch with God’s love.

 

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Filed under Apostles, discipleship, Jesus, Lesson, Obedience, Peter

Not a Dream Team (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches about Jesus calling the apostles to join Him in the work of building the Kingdom of God.  The people He chose were not the people others would have chosen; they were not considered the “best” people in His day.  Some of them were actually considered “terrible” people or the “worst” people, but Jesus had a plan to use them in a way that everyone would know had to be done by God alone.

 

Scriptures

Mark 1:16-20, 3:13-19

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Not a Dream Team – Slide” (Shows all the apostle faces in case you want to project them.)
    • “Not a Dream Team – Apostle Faces and Signs” (Props for each of the volunteers to hold as you introduce the apostles.)
    • “Not a Dream Team – Best-Worst People Signs” (Signs for each of the people groups mentioned in the lesson.)
    • “Not a Dream Team – Fishers of Men Logos” (Sports-style logos for your 12 volunteers who will portray the apostles.)
  • Paint stir sticks or large Popsicle sticks (32)
  • Paper plates (32)
  • Glue
  • Safety pins (12)
  • Clothesline or rope
  • Clothespins
  • OPTIONAL – 12 white undershirts (big enough for your volunteers)

 

Preparation

  • Print apostle face pictures and signs, best-worst people signs, and fishers of men logos.
  • Create face and people group signs. (Glue pictures to paper plates and then to paint stir sticks to make handles.)
  • Make 12 “Fishers of Men” t-shirts by pinning the logos to the white shirts.  (If you don’t use the undershirts, you can just pin the logos on the shirts of the volunteers during the lesson.)
  • String rope across the teaching area at eye level or a little above, and attach the clothespins so that you’ll have them ready.

 

Procedure

  • “When it was time for Jesus’ ministry here on earth, He went out and picked a team.”
  • “How many of you have ever played games before where you had to pick teams?” (Acknowledge show of hands.)
  • “Who do you always want on your team?”  (Expected answer: the best, the most talented)
  • “Right!  But Jesus didn’t think that way.”
  • “He wasn’t looking for the best or the most talented or even the best looking or the people with the most money; He was looking for those who would give their whole hearts to Him.
  • “Now, I’ve got to tell you something up front.  In Jesus’ day, people had opinions about what type of people were good and what type of people were bad.”  (Clip “Good People” and “Bad People” signs to the clothesline on opposite ends.)
  • “Good people were thought to be closer to God.” (Clip “God” sign on the other side of the “Good People” sign.  Ask for 11 volunteers to come to the front, and hand them two people-group signs each (some will only receive one – see below for which ones to give each person.)  Then, introduce them in the following order.
    • Volunteer 1 – Priests and Levites
    • Volunteer 2 – Prophets and Rabbis
    • Volunteer 3 – Fishermen and Women
    • Volunteer 4 – Gentiles and Pig Farmers
    • Volunteer 5 – Romans and Herodians
    • Volunteer 6 – Tax Collectors and Lepers
    • Volunteer 7 – Samaritans and Zealots
    • Volunteer 8 – Chief Priest and Sadducees
    • Volunteer 9 – Pharisees
    • Volunteer 10 – Scribes and Teachers of the Law
    • Volunteer 11 – Jesus)
  • “So, who where the good people?”
  • “Well, there were Priests, and the Levites.  These were people who served God in His Temple.”  (Have volunteer with these two signs hold them up so that they can be seen.  Position him/her under “Good People” sign.)
  • “And then there were Prophets and Rabbis.  They were men who brought God’s Word to the people.”  (Position under “Good People.”)
  • “Fishermen and Women weren’t considered Good People, but they weren’t exactly bad people, either.   They were more like Unimportant People, so we will put them in the middle between Good and Bad.”  (Position in the middle.)
  •  “I’m sorry to say, girls, that Women were not always considered to be very good people.  The men sometimes treated them badly.”
  • “Then there were the ‘Bad People.’”
  • “Anyone who wasn’t a Jew was considered a Gentile, and these people were generally thought to be ‘Bad People.’” (Position under “Bad People.”)
  • “Pig Farmers were also considered to be among the “Bad People,” because eating pig was against the Jewish religion.”
  • “The Romans were soldiers and leaders from Rome who ruled over the Jews, and the Herodians were people who followed King Herod.  King Herod was King of the Jews, but he was a really bad one. (Position under “Bad People.”)
  • “So we have the Good People and the Bad People, but there were others who didn’t fit in either of these groups.”
  • “For example, the tax collectors.  Among the Jews, few were hated as much as tax collectors, who regularly charged the people lots of money to pay to Rome but then also kept large amounts for themselves.”
  • “For tax collectors, the Jews had a special group.”  (Clip “The Worst People” sign on the other side of “Bad People,” and have volunteer stand under it.)
  • “They really didn’t like tax collectors!”
  • “With the tax collectors, the Jews would usually include Lepers, people with contagious skin diseases.  People were afraid of them, so they made them live together in caves and other lonely places.
  • “And there was a group of people called Samaritans that Jews really hated.  Samaritans had been Jews long ago, but they married with people who weren’t Jewish and who worshipped other gods, gods who weren’t real.”  (Position under “Worst People.”)
  • “And the Zealots! They were a group that wanted to kick the Romans out of Israel, which sounds good.  But most of the Jews were afraid of them because they were so violent, and they didn’t like them because they caused the Jews trouble with the Romans.”
  • “Then there were the rich and powerful people. They thought they deserved a new group.”  (Put up sign that says, “The Best People,” between “God” and “Good People.”)
  • “The most powerful person was the Chief Priest. He was the leader of all the priests.” (Position under “Best People.”)
  • “The ‘Best People’ also included a group called the Sadducees.
  • “They didn’t believe in Jesus or life after death, so they were ‘sad, you see.’”
  • “Then, there was a group called the Pharisees.
  • “They were always trying to trick Jesus, and they didn’t play ‘fair I see.’”
  • “These people were made up of powerful priests, who said that they believed in God but really just wanted more power and more money for themselves.  Even so, they were considered the ‘Best People.’” (Position under “Best People.”)
  • “There were groups, called the Scribes and the Teachers of the Law.  They were teachers who studied and copied the Law, which is God’s Word. (Position under “Best People.”)
  • “So where do you think Jesus would have gone based on the opinions of the day?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • Jesus was considered to be either a prophet or a rabbi, so he started in the “Good People” group.”  (Position in “Good People.”)
  • “But by the end of His life, the rich and powerful people hated Him, because He would also tell them to stop doing the bad things they were doing.”
  • “They thought He was one of the ‘Worst People’ and worthy of death.”  (Position under “Worst People.”)
  • So, this is what things were like while Jesus was putting together His team.”
  • “If He was going to put together a ‘Dream Team,’ which groups of people do you think He would go to?” (Listen to responses.)
  • “Right!  I think He would make a Dream Team out of the ‘Best People,’ but that’s not what He did.”
  • “Let me tell you about the team Jesus put together.” 
  • “Jesus selected a team and told them that they were the ‘Fishers of Men.’ They are a very special team – a team selected specifically by Jesus to take the Good News about Him to the world.” (As you select these team members, put a “Fishers of Men” t-shirt or pin a logo on each one of them.)
  • “There was Andrew – he was the first to come to Jesus; he was stinky fisherman #1.” (Go to your “Fisherman and Women” volunteer, and trade the Andrew sign and face for the signs he/she is holding.  Separate this volunteer from the group a little.)
  • “Simon-Peter” (Ask for a volunteer from the audience, and give him/her the Simon-Peter sign and face and stand next to Andrew.)
  • “Andrew’s brother and stinky fisherman #2.  He has two names, because he can’t decide what he wants to be.  Simon means “listening and obeying,” but Simon-Peter spent too much time talking to listen.  Peter means “rock.”  He wanted to be a rock for the Lord, but when he was tested, he failed, and they say he would start to cry about his failure anytime anyone mentioned it. (Ask for two more volunteers from the audience, and give them the James the Greater and John signs and faces.)
  • “James (the Greater) and John – brothers and stinky fishermen #3 and #4.  They were hot-heads, who once offered to call lightning down from heaven to destroy a village.  They were always arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.  Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder!”
  • “This one will surprise you!” (Go to your Tax Collector volunteer and trade him/her their signs for the Matthew sign and face.)
  • “Matthew – a tax collector!  One of the people the Jews hated the most!” (Ask for another volunteer from the audience, and give him/her the James the Less sign and face.)
  • “Then there was James (the Less) – he was probably Matthew’s brother.  Being brother to a tax collector didn’t get you invited to parties.  They even called him,

‘James, the Less.’  Ouch!” (Ask for another volunteer, and give him/her the Philip sign and face.)

  • “Philip – he was a little slow and always had to be reminded who Jesus was and what He could do.” (Call for two volunteers from the audience, and give them the Bartholomew and Thaddaeus signs and faces.)
  • “Bartholomew and Thaddaeus – Bartholo-Who?  And Thadda-WHICH? These guys are only mentioned when they join the team.  Other than that, we don’t really know anything about them.”  (Hand two volunteers signs that say Bartholo-Who?  And Thadda-WHICH?, Ask for another volunteer from the audience, and give him/her the Thomas sign and face.)
  • “Thomas – he’s become known as “Doubting Thomas,” because he refused to believe Jesus rose from the dead until he personally saw Jesus alive and touched Jesus’ nail scars.”
  • “Here’s another surprising one!” (Go to your Zealot volunteer, and trade him/her the Simon the Zealot sign and face.)
  • “Simon – known as ‘The Zealot.’ Simon was another hot-head.  Remember, the Zealots were always fighting against the Romans, and they made everyone nervous.  He would have hated being on the same team as a tax collector, who stole money from Jewish people.” (Ask for one more volunteer from the audience, and give him/her the Judas sign and face.) 
  • “Judas – he was the strangest person for Jesus to pick for His team, because Jesus knew that Judas wasn’t loyal.  Jesus knew that Judas was greedy and that he would one day sell him to the religious leaders and betray him with a kiss, but Jesus invited him to join the team anyway.
  • So what do you think of that team?  Definitely not a ‘Dream Team’ for Jesus.  We’ve got four fishermen (basically, unimportant people), a tax collector and a zealot – two of the ‘Worst People’ and a bunch of others that were most likely shepherds, tanners, and carpenters – just ordinary, unimportant people.”
  • “And even beyond the apostles, the others that were close to Jesus were often women and what the religious leaders would call ‘sinners.’
  • “He didn’t choose ‘The Best People’ or even who most would call ‘The Good People.’  He chose those others would say were not worth having.” 
  • “This is one of the reasons that the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Chief Priest, the Scribes and the Teachers of the Law got so frustrated with Jesus.”
  • “He didn’t play by the rules.”
  • “He didn’t set up a team with powerful and rich people.  He surrounded Himself with simple, unimpressive people.”
  • “They certainly weren’t a dream team, but Jesus made them into the Fishers of Men.”
  • “Jesus had a plan, and these were the perfect guys to help Him with it!”
  • “You see, Jesus didn’t put people in categories like ‘Bad People’ and ‘Good People’ or ‘Best People’ and ‘Worst People.’”
  • “He only has two categories: ‘God’s People’ and ‘Not God’s People.’”  (Remove the other signs from the rope (except the God sign), and replace them with the signs for “God’s People” and “Not God’s People.”)
  • “Those who love God and do what He says are God’s People, and they are very close to God.”  (Move all the Fishers of Men (the Apostles) over to the God’s People side.)
  • “Those who don’t love God and don’t do what He says are Not God’s People, and they are very far from God.” (Move everyone else over to the Not God’s People side.)
  • “God works very hard all throughout their lives to get them to come over to God’s People.” (Pick a few of the volunteers from any people group, and move them over to the God’s People side.)
  • “He tries to show His love to them, and He sends some of God’s People to them to help them know how He feels about them.) (Have some of the God’s People volunteers go and bring some of the Not God’s People volunteers back to their side.)
  • “But sometimes they just don’t want to come.” (Have a few of the Not God’s People resist and stay where they are.)
  • “Sometimes they feel like God couldn’t love a Bad Person like them, or sometimes they think they are the Worst type of Person and that God is terribly angry with them.”
  • “But it isn’t true!  God loves everyone one of us, no matter what we’ve done.”
  • “He doesn’t expect us to try to be a Good or Best Person to join His team.”
  • “He’s not looking for a Dream Team.  He just wants us to love Him and do what He says.”
  • “If we will just follow Him, we will get to be Fishers of Men, too!” (Thank your volunteers, and let them all take a seat.  To reinforce the lesson, you might want to have the group repeat the Rhyme Time below a few times.)

 

 

Rhyme Time

I may not be the best;

I may not be a dream.

But even when I’m messing up,

Jesus wants me on His Team!

 

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Filed under Apostles, Body of Christ, Disciples, Jesus, Lesson

Sin Shop (QUICK DRAMA)


Time

5 minutes
Audience

Children, Youth, Adults

 

Description

This quick drama makes the point that the wages of sin are death but that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Materials

  • Table to set Sin Shop items on with their labels
  • Tape to put labels near Sin Shop items
  • Items for your Sin Shop – items labeled (labels are available in the file mentioned below, but feel free to “upgrade” the sins depending on your audience) with various sins.  For example:
    • Lying to Parents
    • Cheating on Math Test
    • Disrespecting Parents
    • Thinking Bad Thoughts
    • Taking Your Brother’s Gameboy
    • Using a Bad Word
    • Little White Lie
  • Basket for shopping
  • Sign for store: “Lou’s Sin Shop” (available in the file mentioned below)
  • Sign that says, “The cost of sin is death” in large letters and “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” in tiny letters.  (If death is a difficult concept for your audience, you can use the sign that says, “The cost of sin is separation from God.”  (You can find these signs and the labels for your sin shop items at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page in a file called, “Sin Shop – Props.”)
  • Small slip of paper with writing on it that can act as a receipt.  Should say, “Paid in Full” on it in large letters.  (An example is provided in the file mentioned above.)
  • Optionally – costumes for your actors – apron for Lou Cipher, the storeowner, and a register or calculator.

 

Preparation

  • Set up the table and the props with their labels to make them look like a counter at a store.
  • Practice the skit, and memorize the lines.

Procedure

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

[PETEY enters Lou’s Sin Shop with a shopping basket.]

PETEY: “Wow!  A sin shop!  Awesome!  I’ve been wanting some of these!”

[PETEY looks through the shelves and selects several items for his basket.]

PETEY: “I’ll take one of these and one of these….oh, and I’ve got to have one of these!”

 

[PETEY goes to register to pay.]

PETEY: “Okay, that will do it.  How much do I owe you?”

[LOU calculates on his register or calculator as he says the following line.]

LOU: “Disrespecting Your Parents…..Taking Your Brother’s Gameboy….Using a Bad Word….Thinking Bad Thoughts…(Be careful with that one.  It’s powerful.)….All together, that’ll be exactly….DEATH.  Paper or plastic?” (Substitute “separation from God” if you prefer.)

PETEY: “Huh? I’m sorry.  It sounded like you said, “death.”  Did you mean “deal”…you’re going to give me a deal?” (Alternative: “Huh? I’m sorry.  It sounded like you said, ‘separation from God.’  I just want to know how much I owe you.”)

LOU: “Nope, I meant DEATH….listen, I’m already giving you a deal.  You don’t have to die physically today.  You can put down a little spiritual death and pay the rest later.” (Alternative: “That IS what I said.  Your total is separation from God.”)

PETEY: “Spiritual death?  What do you mean?”  (Alternative: “Separation from God?  What do you mean?”)

LOU: “Between you and God.  This stuff poisons your relationship with Him.  It won’t kill it off completely, but it makes it plenty sick.  So, paper or plastic?”

PETEY: “Uh, well, I guess I better put some stuff back.  Take this and this off.  How much do I owe you now?”

 

LOU: “Total’s still DEATH.” (Alternative: “separation from God.”)

PETEY: “Wait!  That’s not fair!  I took some stuff away.  How can you charge the same price?  Okay, all I want is this Little White Lie.  Ring that up.”

LOU: “Read the sign, will you, [Points to sign.] It clearly says, ‘The cost of sin is death.  Romans 6:23.’  That means little sins and big sins.  They are all the same price.  So what’s it gonna be?”  (Alternative: “separation from God.”)

PETEY: “I’ll tell you what it’s going to be!  I’m going to put in a complaint!  Your name is ‘Lou.’  Is that as in, ‘Lou-ser?’”

LOU: “Full name is Lou Cipher.  You can complain all you want.  Management knows what I’m doing, and I’ve got their approval.  Hey, look at me when I’m talking to you.”

[PETEY has noticed a receipt on the counter.]

PETEY: “Hey, what’s this?  You didn’t tell me about this.  It’s a receipt for all my sins, and it says it’s paid!  I don’t have to pay you!”

LOU: “Oh, great, another one of those!  Yeah, Management’s got a policy of paying for the sins of anybody that wants to apply the last part of the sign.”

PETEY: “What last part of the sign?  I didn’t see anything.”

LOU: “Well, you don’t expect me to advertise something like that, do you? It’s in the small print.”  [Points out small print on sign.]

 

PETEY: [Reading]  “’The cost of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’  Huh.  Well, I’m going to accept Management’s generosity.  And you can keep those sins I picked out; I’m done shopping!”  [Exits]  (Alternative: “separation from God.”)

 

LOU: [Chasing after PETEY]  “Hey, wait!  I’ve got some stuff in the back you might want to take a look at…”  [Exits]

 

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Filed under drama, forgiveness, God's Plan, Grace, Jesus, Quick Drama, Sin, skit

Burden Buckets (OBJ LESSON)


Time

15 minutes

 

Description

When we carry negative emotions in our heart, it places a burden on our spirit.  While we may not feel this burden in the same way we feel the weight of carrying something physically heavy, it still has the potential to exhaust us, to take away our joy and to cause us to lose hope.  Participants will carry heavy buckets of rocks that help them to understand the weight of carrying negative emotions like bitterness, hatred, fear, guilt, and others.

 

Audience

  • Children, Youth, Adults

 

Scriptures

  • 1 Peter 5:7

 

Materials

  • 2 large buckets with handles.  Each bucket should be labeled, “YOUR HEART.”
  • 30 lbs or more of large rocks, each labeled with words like, “Bitterness,” “Hatred,” “Fear,” “Guilt,” “Sadness,” “Unforgiveness,” “Rage,” “Shame,” “Stress,” “Worry.”
  • Thick marker for making labels
  • Notecards or paper for making labels
  • Tape for making labels
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Label the buckets and the rocks, and set everything out in the teaching area.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Sometimes we carry some heavy burdens in our hearts.”
  • “Burdens like…” (Pick up a rock and read the label. Then put it into one of the buckets. Pick up another rock and do the same, but this time, put it into the other bucket. Repeat the process until all the rocks are in the buckets.)
  • “These buckets represent our hearts, and all these rocks represent the burdens that pile up in them over time.”
  • “When we carry negative emotions in our heart, it places a burden on our spirit.”
  • “Who would like to try carrying these burdens?” (Allow a participant to carry the buckets (both at one time if possible) to see how far he or she can carry them.  While doing this, ask the volunteer the following questions.)
  • “How does that feel?” (Listen for response.)
  • “How long do you think you could carry it?” (Listen for response.)
  • “Now, set it down. How does that feel?” (Listen for response.)
  • “Why don’t you take the rocks out of the buckets and lift them again?” (Allow volunteer to do this, and then ask the following question.)
  • “How does it feel to carry them now?” (Listen for response.  Then, thank your volunteer, and allow him or her to take a seat.)
  • “While we may not feel the burdens in our hearts in the same way we feel the weight of carrying something physically heavy, they still have the potential to exhaust us, to take away our joy and to cause us to lose hope.”
  • “We remove them from our hearts by forgiving those who hurt us and by taking our burdens to God and asking for His help to let them go.” (Have volunteer read 1 Peter 5:7.)
  • “God cares for you!  He knows about your burdens, and He is just waiting for you to ask Him for His help.”
  • “So bring Him the heavy rocks in your heart, and let Him lighten your load.”

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Filed under Anger, Fear, Object Lesson, Peter, Worry