Category Archives: Anxiety

No More Than We Can Bear (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand that God will help them get through difficult times and situations. He never allows us to go through more than we can bear, and He never leaves us alone.

Materials

· Large balloons (at least 5-6, but you might want more just in case)

· Wood skewers (available in the barbeque area of the supermarket)

· Duct tape

Preparation

· Practice the trick several times before you go live. It can be tricky to get it right.

· Inflate five or more balloons. (Inflate the first three until they are taut. You are going to pop these. Don’t fill the last two until they are taut. You want the rubber to have a little give to it.)

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “How many of you have had bad stuff happen to you before?” (Demonstrate that you are looking for a show of hands.)

· “Yeah, me, too.”

· “Bad stuff even happens to Christians, but God won’t ever allow you to go through more than you can handle, because He loves you.”

· “Here’s how I know.” (Have volunteer read 1 Corinthians 10:13.)

· “God always provides a way out of difficult situations.”

· “I’m going to demonstrate this, but I’ll need a volunteer.” (Select volunteer from the group.)

· “Okay, let’s say that you are this balloon.” (Hand volunteer the balloon, and have him or her hold it at arm’s length so that it won’t pop in his/her face.)

· “And let’s say that this skewer is a bad thing that’s about to happen to you.”

· “Now, even though the skewer is going to go right through you…” (Try to put skewer through the balloon. The balloon should pop.)

· “Oops! That wasn’t supposed to happen. Let’s say that this balloon is you. And this skewer…” (Give a second balloon to your volunteer, and have him/her hold it at arm’s length again. Then pop it with the skewer.)

· “Wow! That almost never happens! Okay, let’s say that this balloon is you. And…” (Do the same procedure to pop the third balloon.)

· “Something’s really wrong here! Hmmm….. What’s wrong? What’s wrong…Oh! I’ve got it! These balloons don’t have the covering of the Holy Spirit.”

· “I can help with that. 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 skewer into oil. Then insert it into a balloon through the tie-off area and out the very top. 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 to happen to you where you are weak, but He won’t allow it to happen unless He has reinforced you in that area.” (Grab a new a balloon, and put a piece of duct tape across both the front and back sides of balloon. Then slowly poke a skewer though – not the one 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.” (Thank and dismiss volunteer.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Belief, Challenges, Coping skills, faith, Fear, Hands-on, Science experiment, struggles, Trust, Worry

Pepper Chaser


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand how to deal with bad thoughts, fear and worry. It uses a simple water science trick that changes the surface tension of water in order to produce an impressive result. When you add soap to water, it displaces some of the water molecules (especially those on the surface). The water molecules on the outside of the bowl will pull the pepper away from the soap.

Materials

· Pepper (about a handful, but it’s better if it’s still in the container)

· Salt (just enough to shake some out once or twice)

· Dish soap (at least a few drops in the bottle)

· Clear bowl

· Water (enough to fill the bowl about ¾ full)

· Mirror

· Display table

Preparation

· Set up the bowl of water on the display table at the front of the teaching area.

· Set up the mirror behind the bowl so that it will show what is happening on top of the water to the kids in the audience. (You can prop it against a wall or between a few stacks of books. If you need to, get a volunteer to hold it during the demonstration.)

· Have the pepper, salt and dish soap ready on the table.

Procedure

  • “We are going to do a demonstration today, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Ask for a volunteer to come up to the front.)
  • “Let’s say that this bowl of water represents your mind.”
  • “And let’s say that this pepper represents bad thoughts, worry and fear.” (Hand pepper to volunteer.)
  • “Sometimes, you can’t stop thinking about bad stuff – like how much you are angry at your brother or sister.” (Have volunteer shake pepper into bowl).
  • “You try to think about something else, but those bad thoughts just keep coming back.” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
  • “Or you might be worried about something, and you just keep thinking about it and thinking about it.” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
  • “Or maybe you are afraid of something terrible.”
  • “You can’t even get to sleep at night, because it’s so awful and scary!” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
  • “Before long, your mind is full of all these bad thoughts, worry and fear, and you can’t relax or get calm.”
  • “I’ve had that happen to me, and I’ve tried to focus on other things…” (Hand volunteer the salt and have him/her pour some in.)
  • “…but it didn’t make the bad thoughts go away.”
  • “You know what I’ve learned? There is one thing that always makes those bad thoughts, worry and fear go away. Anyone know what it is?” (Listen for responses. Share correct response if they don’t offer it.)
  • “Prayer! Prayer always takes care of it.”
  • “It’s like this soap.” (Hand volunteer the dish soap.)
  • “It washes my mind clean of those bad thoughts.”
  • “Watch what one little prayer can do to scary thoughts and bad thoughts.” (Have volunteer drop a single drop in – pepper will scatter.)
  • “Isn’t that the coolest!”
  • “So, remember – anytime your mind starts to fill up with bad thoughts, worry and fear, chase it away with a prayer.”
  • “God will wash your mind clean for you.” (Thank and dismiss volunteer.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, Hands-on, Object Lesson, prayer, Science experiment, Worry

Center of His Will (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the need to stay in the center of God’s will. Doing so will help us withstand the craziness that happens around us.

Materials

  • Square plywood board (2 ft. x 2 ft. or larger)
  • Twelve foot of rope cut into four, 3 ft pieces
  • Drill and 3/4” drill bit
  • Plastic cup
  • Pitcher of water
  • Water

Preparation

· Drill holes in each corner of the square board.

· Tie a knot at one end of each piece of rope.

· Thread one piece of rope through each of the four holes. Pull through until the knot stops the rope from continuing through the hole.

· Tie the unknotted ends of the ropes together in one, big knot. (Make sure that each rope is the same length from the knot to the board. Otherwise, your board will not hang flat.)

· Fill the cup ¾ full of water.

· Have a pitcher of water nearby so that you can refill the cup after it spills.

· Practice putting the cup in the center of the board and swinging the board in a 360 degree circle. If you do it fast enough, the water will not spill out.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Sometimes in life we feel like everything is out of control.”

· “Imagine that you are this cup of water.” (Show cup of water.)

· “And pretend that this board is God’s will for your life.” (Show board, and put it on any edge of the board – not in the center.)

· “Sometimes in our lives, everything starts spinning around us, and it really messes us up!” (Dramatically swing board back and forth until the cup falls off and the water spills. Be far enough from the children that you don’t hit any of them with the board.)

· “Can anyone give me some examples of times that it feels like life is spinning out of control around you?” (Take examples from the children.)

· “Does anyone know why the water spilled when I started swinging it?” (See if the children can guess that the cup of water needed to be in the center of the board.)

· “Right! The problem is that the cup needs to be in the center of the board. That’s the safest place.” (Refill cup with water, and place it at the center of the board. Dramatically swing the board back and forth in wider and wider arcs. Then swing it in a complete circle several times. Centrifugal force will keep the cup in the center and the water in the cup. The children will often be suitably impressed.)

· “Remember that I said that the board represents God’s will for your life?”

· “When you’re not in the center of God’s will, the craziness that happens in your life is really going to upset you.”

· “But if you’ll get to the center of His will (that means doing the things He asks you to do in the Bible), even when things spin out of control, you’ll be remarkably calm. Watch! (Swing the board in full circles several more times.)

· “So, what are some things you can do to keep you at the center of God’s will?” (Take ideas.)

· “Excellent ideas! Hey! Want to see it again?” (Swing the board and the cup of water again. If you are brave and have practiced the move beforehand, you can do a dramatic finish. Let the board come to a rest. Then, pop the board upward. The cup of water will pop up in the air, and you can catch it with your free hand.)

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Fall of Faith


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about faith and about doing things for God that are sometimes scary.

Materials

Box or some other sturdy object that children can fall off backward so that you can catch them. It should be tall enough that it presents a challenge but not so tall as to be unsafe.

Preparation

· Set up box on stage.

· Ask for someone strong and reliable to be your spotter.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Sometimes God gives you a test to see if you are learning what He is trying to teach you.”

· “First, He teaches you a lesson. Then, He tests you on it to see if you learned it.”

· “One of the areas that He will regularly test you in is your faith. He wants to know if you trust Him.”

· “I would like to demonstrate. Can I get a really brave volunteer?” (Select volunteer and bring him/her up to stage. Have person stand on a sturdy box or some other object on the stage, facing away from audience.)

· “You may have heard of a leap of faith. That means you jump out to do something God wants you to do even when it’s scary. You do it because you believe God will catch you.”

· “We’re going to do a ‘Fall of Faith.’ I’ll play the part of God, and when (volunteer’s name) falls backward off this box, I’ll catch him/her.”

· “So, ready?” (talking to volunteer)

· “When I count to three, I want you to fall backward into my arms, and just like God, I will catch you if you put your trust in me.”

· (Draw this out in order to create suspense and add a little humor.) “Are you ready? ………Oh, hey….how are you feeling? Is it scary? But you trust me, right?”

· “Okay, count of three! One! Two!”

· (Suddenly turn away from the volunteer and face the audience. Make sure you have arranged for another adult – a “spotter” – to be standing near so that he or she can catch the child if he/she falls. Your spotter should not be obvious but should be close enough for safety.)

· “Oh! I forgot to tell you! Before you do a Fall of Faith, make sure you pray about it. Not everything that is scary is something God wants you to do. You’ve got to make sure this is really a test from God. You don’t want to take the fall if it isn’t God’s will, because you may get hurt. You can also talk to other godly people (like your parents) and read your Bible to make sure.”

· “All right! Let’s do this! (talking again to your volunteer) One! Two! Thr…!”

· (Suddenly turn away—same condition as before—and face audience.)

· “Can anyone give me an example of a time when you did something for God that was scary?”

· (Take a few ideas.)

· “Perfect! Exactly what I’m looking for! I think that helps us understand what I mean by a ‘Fall of Faith.’”

· “Okay, time to take the fall!”

· (To volunteer) “Are you ready?”

· (Assuming that you have lost the volunteer’s trust by now, say…) “Why not? No, really, you can trust me!” (If the volunteer still seems to trust you, you might need to draw this out some more.)

· “Okay—one, two, THREE!” (If volunteer doesn’t fall, reassure him/her that you are serious this time. After the volunteer takes the fall, and you safely catch him or her, thank your volunteer and send him/her back to seat.)

· “The good news is, God is more trustworthy than I am. He will always catch you if you are doing His will.”

· (If you have time, let other children experience the Fall of Faith.)

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Knot a Problem


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson uses a little “magic” to teach kids to give their worries and their problems to God.

Materials Needed

  • About four foot of rope
  • Scissors

Preparation Needed

Practice, practice, practice

Procedure

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

  • (Tie the rope into a knot using steps one and two on the chart below, and as you tie, say:)
  • “Sometimes when something really bad happens, I get a knot in my stomach. Does that ever happen to any of you?”
  • (Tie the rope into a second knot using steps three and four on the chart below, and as you tie, say:)
  • “Sometimes when I’m really afraid, I also get a knot in my stomach. Does that ever happen to any of you?”
  • (Using the scissors, cut the rope near the knot as shown in step five on the chart below, and as you cut, say:)
  • “Sometimes there are people who cut me down and make fun of me, and that doesn’t feel very good. Has that ever happened to any of you?”
  • (Grab the long ends of the rope as shown in step six on the chart below. (Or have a child grab the ends.) Just before you pull the ends, say:)
  • “Well, God knows exactly how you feel during those times. He knows about the knots, and He knows about the cut downs. He doesn’t want you to feel that way, and the great thing is that He can take away the knots. He can make you feel okay again after the cut downs.”
  • (Yank the ends quickly and sharply as shown in step seven on the chart below. This will cause the knot to pop free, leaving the rope seemingly intact.)
  • Isn’t that amazing! The knot’s gone! God took it away, and He can take away your knots, too! All you have to do is pray to him whenever you feel the knot in your stomach, whenever you are worried or afraid or whenever someone cuts you down.”
  • “God wants to help you with your problems!”
  • (You can do the trick again if you want. Sometimes it’s even more impressive the second time around.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Bullying, Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Worry