Monthly Archives: November 2012

Egg, Salt and Water Trick (OBJ LESSON)


Time

15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that it isn’t enough to be Christians in this world.  We need to have “saltiness” so that we help to make life better, heal those who are hurting and save those who are lost.  It uses a science experiment in which you can make an egg float by adding salt to water.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 5:13

 

Materials

  • Raw eggs (2)
  • Salt (a small bag)
  • Water (enough to fill two jars three-quarters full)
  • Food coloring (a darker color)
  • Vegetable oil (optional)
  • 2 clear jars (bigger is better for visibility, but smaller requires less salt)
  • Large spoon (1)
  • Table
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Set out your materials on a table at the front of the room.
  • Find the Bible passage, and highlight it or put a bookmark in that spot so that it will be easy to find later.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We are going to do an experiment with an egg, some salt, water, and food coloring.”  (Ask for two volunteers.)
  • “I need each of you to fill the jar in front of you three-fourths full with water.” (Help the volunteers if needed.)
  • “Now, add some food coloring to each jar, and stir until the water changes color.”  (Assist if needed.)
  • “Here are two normal eggs.  They haven’t been boiled or changed in any way.  They are straight from the chickens!”  (Hold up the eggs, and let your volunteers hold them so that they can affirm that they are normal.)
  • “If I put an egg into the water, will it float or sink?” (Acknowledge responses.  Then, let one volunteer carefully place the egg in the water.  It will sink.)
  • “The water in the jar represents the world (not earth but the sinful world that is not part of God’s Kingdom).”
  •  “The egg represents God’s children, whom He has called to be part of his Kingdom.”
  • “The world can be a dark place, and even a Christian can get lost in it if they act just like the world acts.”
  •  “The problem with this egg is that it sunk down into the world.”
  • “God doesn’t bring us to Him for us to just get lost in the world.  He has a bigger plan in mind.”
  • “The Bible says we are to be the salt of the earth.”  (Hold up the salt, and ask a volunteer to read Matthew 5:13.)
  • “Salt does several things.  It adds flavor to food.  It can heal wounds.  It can preserve meat.”
  • “God wants us to be like salt to the world.”
  • “He wants us to add flavor to life, which means that we should make life interesting and worth living for those around us.”
  • “He wants us to heal those who are hurting.”
  • “And God wants us to preserve – which means to save.  He wants us to help people know about Jesus so that they can be saved.” (Ask your second volunteer to use a spoon to remove the egg from the jar.  Then, have him or her pour several cups of salt into the water in his/her jar.)
  • “To be any good to the world, we have to mix in with it.”
  • “We won’t add flavor or heal or save if our saltiness stays in the bag.”
  • “We’ve got to mix with the world so that all the people can experience our saltiness.”  (Have volunteer thoroughly stir the salt and the water together.)
  • “When we are salty Christians, something interesting happens to us.”  (Have volunteer carefully place the egg back in the water.  If there is enough salt mixed with the water, the egg will float about half in-half out of the water.)
  • “The Bible teaches a principle that we are to be “in” the world but not “of” the world.”
  • “This means that God left us in the world after we were saved even though this is not our home or our kingdom.”
  • “He left us here so that we could bring more people to His Kingdom, and we do that not by sinking into the world and acting like it does but by being salty Christians, who add flavor, heal and save.”
  • “When we are salty Christians, God will lift us up so that others notice our saltiness and will want to know about our God, who made us that way.” (Ask volunteer to read Matthew 5:13 again.)
  • “The last part of Matthew 5:13 says that if we lose our saltiness, we aren’t good for anything and might as well just be thrown out.”
  • “Like the egg without the salt, we will sink down into the world, and no one will even know that a child of God is there.”
  • “But if we are salty, God will lift us up and make sure that people notice.”

 

Variation

For dramatic effect, you can also add vegetable oil.  It won’t mix with the water, and it gives the egg the look of being suspended between the two levels (heaven and earth).  You can point out that when we accept Christ into our lives, we are anointed (set apart for God’s purposes).  In Biblical times, anointings were done with oil.

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Filed under Evangelism, Salt of the earth, Science experiment, Testimony, Witness

Bargaining with God (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures, and then discuss the questions below.

  • Genesis 18:16-33
  • 2 Kings 20:1-6
  1. Do you think it’s okay to “bargain” with God?  Why or why not?
  2. How would you compare or contrast these two examples of bargaining with God?
  3. Do you think it’s possible to change God’s mind through these types of prayers?  Why or why not?
  4. If you continue reading in Genesis 19, you learn that Lot was saved with his two daughters.  But shortly afterwards, Lot got drunk, and his daughters slept with him.  From these incestuous acts, the nations of Moab and Ammon were created.  These two nations became a thorn in the side of Israel, waging war with them and leading their people into idolatry.  Do you think Abraham would have bargained for Lot if he had known what the outcome would be?  Why or why not?
  5. If you keep reading in 2 Kings 20 (verses 12-18), you learn that after Hezekiah recovered, he welcomed emissaries from Babylon and showed them all the treasures of his kingdom.  Isaiah tells Hezekiah that his pride has caused the future downfall of Israel and that all these treasures will be carried away to Babylon.  Hezekiah lived 15 more years, and during that time, he fathered Manasseh, who reigned 55 years and undid almost all the good work his father had done.  He led Israel into idolatry and “shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end…” (2 Kings 21:1-18)  If Hezekiah had known the final outcome of his bargaining, do you think he would still have done it to gain 15 more years of life?  Why or why not?
  6. Back to the first question…Do you think it’s okay to “bargain” with God?  Why or why not?

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, Hezekiah, Negotiation, prayer

Penny Auction (ACTIVITY)


Time

15 minutes

 

Description

This activity can be used in two ways.  You can use it for teaching about judging the character of people or about how to do better selection and hiring.

 

For teaching about judging character, use 1 Samuel 16 (the story about David’s anointing).  The lesson will help make the point that what people look like on the outside is an unreliable way to judge the quality of their heart.

 

For teaching about selection and hiring, the lesson helps hiring managers understand that it’s difficult and often unreliable to judge job candidates by their appearance and what they put on their applications.  To make better hires, they will need to use good interviewing techniques and skills to find out what the applicant is really like.

 

Scripture

  • 1 Samuel 16:1-13

 

Materials

  • Pennies (or some other low-denomination currency – 10 per participant)
  • Newspaper
  • Brown wrapping paper (or a grocery sack)
  • Giftwrap (look for different styles with some noticeably nicer than the others)
  • Clear tape
  • Bows and/or ribbons (for 3-4 packages)
  • Gifts (10 of varying quality – some should be things that few would enjoy receiving, e.g. toilet paper rolls.  Others can be nicer, e.g., desk supplies, picture frames, coffee mugs.  You might want to have one or two that are much nicer if you can afford to give them away.)
  • Copy paper – a few sheets
  • Scissors
  • Marker (one – for labeling the gifts)

 

Preparation

  • Wrap all ten gifts.  Most of the nicer gifts should be wrapped in either the newspaper or the brown wrapping paper.  The less nice gifts should be wrapped to make them look really nice, with ribbons and bows.  Wrap one or two nice gifts nicely, just so you aren’t too predictable.  Make sure that it isn’t obvious what is inside by the shape of the package.
  • Set all the gifts up on a table at the front of the room, and put a small sign in front of each one that labels the gift “A, B, C, D, etc…”  (Each gift should be labeled with one letter.)
  • Distribute ten pennies (or other currency) to each participant.

 

Procedure

Use this script, or modify to suit your needs:

  • “We are going to have an auction!”
  • “With the pennies that I have given you, you can bid on any of these ten gifts up at the front.”
  • “You can use all your pennies to purchase one of the gifts, or you can split your pennies and use them to buy two or more gifts.  It’s up to you how you would like to strategize.”
  • “You can keep whatever is in the gift.”
  • “As with other auctions, I will set a starting bid.”
  • “If you want the gift at that price, you can raise your hand to indicate that you want to bid on it.”
  • “Someone else in the group may be willing to pay more, though.”
  • “After you bid, I will ask if anyone wants to bid a penny higher than your bid.”
  • “If someone else raises their hand and bids a penny higher, then that person gets control unless you choose to bid higher than them.”
  • “The person with the highest bid when I say, ‘SOLD,’ is the winner.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer any questions.)
  • “Let’s begin!”  (Have them bid on one of the gifts.  It doesn’t matter what order you do it in, but you might want to mix nice looking gifts with less nice looking ones.  If bidding slows on a gift, say, “Going once…Going twice….SOLD!” and indicate the person who bought the gift.  Collect their pennies from them, and let them take their gift.  It’s okay for them to open it up right then.  It will start to make the point that the wrapping is an unreliable indicator of what’s inside.  When all the gifts are purchased or all the pennies are gone, open all the gifts (even the ones that didn’t get bid on), and ask the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief

  • How reliable was it to judge the quality of the gift by its wrapping?
  • How does this apply to our relationships with people?
  • What would be a better way to judge the quality of the person?
  • How does the Bible say God does it?  (Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13)
  • So, what should we do?

 

Debrief (for using this for Selection and Hiring)

  • How reliable was it to judge the quality of the gift by its wrapping?
  • How does this apply to selection and hiring?
  • What would be better ways to judge the quality of the person?  (Answers could include: behavioral interviewing, testing, immersion, trial run, probationary period, references, etc.)

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Filed under Character, David, heart, Hiring, Interviewing, Judgment, Samuel

Situational Leadership Development Levels (ICEBREAKER)


Time

15 minutes
Description

This icebreaker is specifically for teaching Situational Leadership and the four Development Levels.  However, it can be used with workshops on coaching, mentoring or general leadership skills.  You will teach the participants to sing a simple song at an expert level.

Audience

Teens, Adults

Materials

o  PowerPoint slide with the lyrics of your simple song, LCD projector and screen

o  (Alternative) Flipchart and marker to write and post the lyrics

o  Flipchart and marker to keep track of the participants’ progress

 

Preparation

o  This icebreaker assumes that you have already taught the group about the four Development Levels of Situational Leadership.  If you have not, leave out any references to Development Level and just talk about Beginning Skill, Medium Skill and Expert Skill.

o  Select a song (with motions if possible) that they don’t know.  Pick a song that it very easy to learn with repetitive lyrics, e.g., “Jesus Loves Me,” “B-I-B-L-E,” “Mercy Is Falling,” “River of Life” or “This Is the Day” would work.  It’s okay if different participants are more familiar with the song, but most should not know the words and/or motions.  If you have some D4’s (experts) in the group, get them to teach the song to everyone else, or if you have a significant number of D4s, have them teach smaller groups.  This activity can work especially well for teaching a group that doesn’t have English as its first language.

o  Create a PowerPoint slide or flipchart with the lyrics of a simple song

o  Create a flipchart with four columns, labeled, “D1,” “D2,” “D3” and “D4”

o  Practice the script

 

Procedure

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

  • “How many of you recognize this melody?”  (Hum the song for the group, or play it instrumentally.  Don’t sing the words yet.)
  • “Now, I’m not going to embarrass you in any way, but I’m curious to find out.  How many of you feel like you have the skills and knowledge to sing this song?”  (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “How many of you would be confident and motivated to sing this song in the privacy of your own home with no one else listening?”  (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “How many of you would still be confident and motivated to sing this song here in this room?”  (Look for a show of hands.  If you have several hands up, ask how many would STILL be confident and motivated to sing this song alone in front of the class.  If they are willing and wouldn’t be embarrassed, let them come up and perform the song.  Otherwise, you should sing it for the class with the motions – if there are any.)
  • “I am going to teach you how to sing this song (and do the motions).”
  • “My goal is to help you all become either D3 – Cautious Performers – or D4 – Self-Reliant Achievers – before I am done.”
  • “But I want to track my progress, so I would like to get a count of how many people we have at each level.”
    • Ask each group to assign a table leader.  You can add energy to this and make it quicker if you tell everyone to point their fingers toward the ceiling and then point to the person they think should be the leader on the count of three. 
    • Ask the table leaders to talk to their teams and get a count for each development level.
    • Then, ask each leader for a count, and write it on the chart.
  • “How many at your table would you say are a D1 – confident and motivated but lacking skills and/or knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.)
  • “How many at your table would you say are a D2 – lacking confidence and/or motivation and lacking skills and/or knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.)
  • “How many at your table would you say are a D3 – lacking confidence and/or motivation but having both skills and knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.)
  • “many at your table would you say are a D4 – having confidence, motivation, skills AND knowledge?” (Get the counts from each table leader, and post them on a flipchart.  You might want to tally the number of each Development Level and turn it into a percentage to track progress.)
  • “Great, let’s learn the song!”
    • Teach the song one line at a time along with any motions (one word at a time if your participants do not know the English words). 
    • Have them repeat after you each time until they get it. 
    • After several times through the entire song, ask table leaders to count the number of people in their group at each level, and write these new numbers on the chart.
    • Then, ask your brave D4s to come and teach to the whole group (if the D4s are willing). 
    • Let them go through the song twice at a moderate pace so that others can learn. 
    • If some in the larger group are still struggling, ask someone who has moved to D3 or D4 in each group to help the rest of the group, or have your D4 experts go to those tables to coach them. 
    • Give them a few minutes to work through it, and then ask the table leaders to find out what development level their team members are at. (You won’t always be able to motivate everyone to D4, but you can at least give them the skills and knowledge to reach D3.)
    • Write these totals on the chart, and talk about the progress that has been made.
    • Finally, ask all your D4s (old and new) to lead everyone two more times through the entire song (with the motions).
    • Congratulate the group on their expertise! 
    • Reward your D4 volunteers for their bravery.
    • If you want to debrief the exercise, you can ask the following.

 

Debrief Questions

  • “What helped you move from D1 or D2 to D3 or D4?”
  • “What techniques did you notice me using in order to help you improve your skills and knowledge?”
    “What techniques did you notice me using in order to help you improve your confidence and motivation?”
  • “What else might have been helpful?”
  • “Why didn’t everyone make it to D4?”  (If this was the case)
  • “What did you learn from this activity that you could apply to your leadership?”

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Filed under Coaching, leadership, Performance, Training

Behind Enemy Lines (QUICK DRAMA)


Time

5 minutes

 

Description

This quick drama is intended to be used as you teach about being in the world but not of the world.  The actors will pretend to be soldiers dropped behind enemy lines.  You can use this as a fun, slapstick way to kickoff teaching about evangelism or about the Kingdom of God.

 

Scriptures

Choose from the following different perspectives:

  • Mark 16:15 (“…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
  • John 17:13-19 (“…As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world…”)
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does…”)
  • 1 John 2:15-17 (“Do not love the world or anything in the world…”)

 

Materials

  • Costumes for your two soldiers (jumpsuits and/or camouflage, maybe some face paint, helmets, toy rifles)
  • Costumes for your enemy soldiers (similar to those above)
  • Something that looks like a parachute (a white sheet or even a piece of flipchart paper)

 

Preparation

·      Ask for volunteers to play each role, and give them copies of the script.

·      Agree on the cues for when the soldiers and enemy soldiers should enter.  (Quick drama often works well if the actors burst into the room unexpectedly during while you are in mid-sentence.  It adds a lot of energy to the teaching.)

·      Practice the skit, and memorize the lines.

 

Procedure

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

 

SCENE:         Two people dressed in jump suits and/or camouflage enter.  They are in the middle of a conversation.  Jerry has his parachute (or something that looks like it) still stuck to his foot, and he is dragging it behind him.  Enemy soldiers enter later and should be recognizable as soldiers (with helmets or camouflage).

 

Larry:              That was one crazy jump!

 

Jerry:               I didn’t think we were going to make it after you set the plane on fire.

 

Larry:              I didn’t set the plane on fire!  Nobody told me you couldn’t shoot fireworks out the side.  I thought it would be cool!

 

Jerry:               Whatever…we’ve got to find someplace safe to hide.  Because SOMEONE set the plane of fire, we had to parachute in behind enemy lines.

 

Larry:              Where are we?  It’s like a jungle out here.

 

Jerry:               I don’t know.  I’m looking for some landmarks.

 

Larry:              Do you think there is a 7-11 anywhere nearby?  I could really use a Slurpee.

 

Jerry:               Keep it down!  We’re behind enemy lines, remember?

 

Larry:              Hey, Jerry, you’ve got some toilet paper stuck to your foot.  Where did you find a bathroom?

 

Jerry:               (Shaking off the parachute)  That’s not toilet paper; that’s my parachute…now would you be quiet?!

 

Larry:              Hey, Jerry…maybe you should let me be the leader.  I’m better at these kinds of video games than you are.

 

Jerry:               Larry, if you don’t be quiet, I’m going to have to tie you up and leave you here for the enemy to find you.

 

(Both are silent and watchful for a moment while Jerry tries to figure out where they are.  As Jerry scouts the area, Larry sees enemy soldiers sneaking up on them.  One soldier places his finger to his lips to show that he wants Larry to be quiet.)

 

Larry:              (Seeing the enemy)  Uh, Jerry….uh, what kind of enemies are these that live around here?

 

Jerry:               They are terrible and mean.  It’s best that we don’t run into them.

 

Larry:              (Backing up closer to Jerry in fear)  Uh, well, what I mean is, are they the kind of enemies that eat you if they catch you?

 

Jerry:               (Laughing to himself)  Yeah…with lots of barbeque sauce and mashed potatoes…why are you asking me all these dumb questions?

 

Larry:              Because they look REALLY hungry!

 

Jerry:               They what?  (Turns and sees the enemy)  RUN!!!!!

 

(Both Jerry and Larry turn to run, but they run into each other.  Bouncing off each other, they knock down the enemy soldiers, regain their feet and then run off in different directions yelling in a comical way.  The soldiers regain their feet and pursue.  All exit.)

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Filed under drama, Evangelism, Kingdom of God, Spiritual Warfare