This game helps participants to understand that not all good works have the same value in God’s eyes. Good things done with bad or selfish motives are not worth nearly as much as those done for the right reasons. The game teaches about Paul’s writing about the believers’ judgment (aka “the Bema Judgment”), where our works will be tested.
- 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
- Printouts of the file “Works Test – Cards” (You can find this file on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)
- Glue or clear tape
- Prize(s) for winner(s) – Optional
- Cut out the Works Test cards. There are three per page, and they each have two sides – a “Motive” side and a “Good Work” side.
- Fold the cards over so that the “Good Work” shows on one side and the “Motive” shows on the other.
- Glue or tape the two sides together.
- When they are dry (if you used glue), turn all the cards so that the “Good Work” side is facing up.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “A teacher named Paul told us about the judgment for believers that will happen when Jesus comes back.”
- “This judgment is just for rewards; there won’t be any punishments.” (Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.)
- “The foundation he talks about is Jesus and the Truth that He is our Lord and Savior.”
- “This foundation is very important. If you don’t have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then it won’t matter how many good things you do. There won’t be any rewards for you when Jesus comes back – only punishments.”
- “But, if you have Jesus as your foundation, then the good things you do start to earn you treasures in heaven.”
- “So, Paul is saying in this Scripture that when we do good works, we are building on the foundation of Jesus and the Truth that He is Lord and Savior.”
- “When we stand before Jesus at the judgment for believers, He will test our works with fire. Good works done for good reasons (‘gold, silver and costly stones’) will survive the fire and we will be rewarded for them. But bad works or good works done for the wrong reasons will burn up like wood, hay or straw do when they catch on fire.”
- “Let’s play a game that teaches us about this.”
- “To play this game, you need to know that ‘good works’ are things that we do that have good results and that ‘motives’ are the reasons we do the things we do.” \
- Shuffle the cards thoroughly, and make sure that all the “Good Work” sides are facing up.
- Deal the cards so that each person gets 10.
- Instruct participants not to turn the cards over but to arrange them in two rows of five in front of them.
- Beginning with the youngest person in the group, have each person read ONE of their cards “Good Works” out loud and then turn the card over.
- Have the person read the “Motive” on the other side out loud.
- If the “Motive” has a picture of a pot of gold, bars of silver or a costly stone, the person gets to keep it.
- If the “Motive” has a picture of firewood, a bale of hay or a straw broom, the person has to “burn it” by putting it into the center of the group.
- Go around the group three to five times depending on how much time you have.
- Then, award points – 3 points for any “Gold” motives, 2 points for any “Silver” motives and 1 point for any “Costly Stone” motives.
- The person with the most points wins the game.
- You can then turn over all the other cards if you want to.
- Award a prize to the winner if you want to.
- After the game is finished, discuss the Debrief questions below.
- You can use the Rhyme Time to reinforce the main point of the lesson.
- Why do you think your motive is important to God?
- What do you think you need to do to earn gold, silver or costly stones in heaven?
- What will you do differently now that you know about how to earn treasures in heaven?
When my motive is good,
I don’t make straw, hay or wood!