Category Archives: blessing

Overwhelming Blessings (OBJ LESSON)


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Time

15 minutes

Description

This object lesson uses a tower of cups and a waterfall of liquid to demonstrate how God blessed everyone around Joseph because of Joseph’s faithfulness to God.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37:12-36; 39:1-6, 20-23; 41:53-57
  • 2 Corinthians 9:8 – The Voice translation: “God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.”

Materials

  • Notecard (1)
  • Cup Tower
    • Clear, plastic cups (41)
    • Transparent tape (“Scotch” tape or another brand) (1 roll)
    • Double-sided foam tape (1 roll)
    • Pitcher
    • Water
    • Large spoon (for stirring)
    • Tray or clear basin (to catch any water that overflows the cups)
    • Food coloring (I recommend a darker color such as green, red or blue.)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write 2 Corinthians 9:8 from The Voice translation on a notecard.
  • Create a cup tower.
    • Stack the cups in five layers.
    • The bottom layer will have 18 cups.
    • The next layer will have 12 cups.
    • The next layer will have seven cups.
    • The next layer will have three cups.
    • The top layer will just have one cup.
    • It may be helpful to assemble each layer separately first and to tape the cups together at the rims with transparent tape.
    • Then, place a piece of double-sided foam tape wherever three cups will be supporting an upper layer cup.
    • Finally, place your layers on top of each other one-by-one, and press gently to get the double-sided tape to stick.
    • You don’t need your cup tower to last forever, but you don’t want it to fall apart during your lesson as you add the weight of the water to the upper layers.
    • See the photos below to help you assemble the cup tower.

Cup Tower

  • Place your cup tower into or onto the clear basin or tray.
  • Test your cup tower, but pouring water into the top cup, and ensuring that water cascades into the lower levels of cups.
  • Fill the pitcher with water, add food coloring, and stir.
  • Bookmark Genesis 39:20-23 in your Bible so that you can find it quickly when you need someone to read it out loud.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • Joseph was sold by his brothers and had to go to serve as a slave in Egypt.
  • He was sold to a man named Potiphar, who held a very high position in Pharaoh’s court.
  • Pharaoh was the king of Egypt, and Potiphar was the captain of his security team.
  • Potiphar was probably very wealthy and had a large household.
  • He put Joseph to work, and he was soon very pleased with how hard-working and responsible Joseph was.
  • The bible says that Joseph “succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” (Gen 39:2)
  • Potiphar was so happy that he made Joseph his personal attendant and put him in charge of his entire household.
  • Then, an amazing thing happened!
  • The bible says, “the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished.” (Gen 39:5)
  • In other words, Potiphar’s life got better BECAUSE Joseph was there!
  • Potiphar wasn’t even a follower of God, but God blessed him, because he had Joseph living in his house.
  • Here’s what’s really cool!
  • This doesn’t just happen with Joseph; it happens with you, too!
  • When you are following God and doing what He says to do in your bible, God is so pleased with you that He blesses you.
  • But God loves to bless you with much more than you need. (Have volunteer read 2 Corinthians 9:8 from The Voice translation: “God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.”)
  • That’s such a great Scripture!
  • Let me show you what that looks like. (Ask for a volunteer to come help you, and bring out your cup tower and your pitcher of colored water.)
  • In this stack of cups, you are this top cup, and the other cups are the people around you.
  • When you are pleasing God by doing what He wants you to do, He blesses you.
  • Let’s pretend that this liquid is God’s blessing in your life. (Show pitcher of colored liquid, and help your volunteer pour it into the top cup in the stack. Keep pouring after the cup is full, and the liquid will start to spill over into the other cups, which will then spill over into the other cups. Continue pouring until all the cups are full.)
  • God overwhelms you with his blessings!
  • It’s more than you could ever imagine!
  • You are taken care of in every way!
  • And you have more than enough to share!
  • See how all the people around you get blessed, because you are doing what God wants you to do!
  • You take God’s blessing with you everywhere you go. (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)
  • So Joseph is in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar is being blessed.
  • But through some unfair events, Joseph was thrown into prison.
  • You might think Joseph would have been angry with God for allowing this to happen, but he continued to trust God even in prison.
  • And you know what God did? He blessed the prison because of Joseph. (Have a volunteer read Genesis 39:20-23.)
  • God overwhelmed Joseph with blessings, and they poured out onto the people in the prison. (Gesture toward the cup tower.)
  • You know what happened next?
  • Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had some dreams that troubled him.
  • He heard that Joseph knew how to interpret dreams, so he released Joseph from prison and had him interpret his dreams for him.
  • When he heard how wise Joseph was, he promoted him to the second highest position in the entire country.
  • He put Joseph in charge of all the food in Egypt, and Joseph managed it so well when there was plenty of food that there was enough for all the people during a terrible famine that lasted for seven years.
  • In fact, Joseph had saved so much food during the good times that there was enough to feed the people of other countries when they ran out of food.
  • The people of these nations bought food from Egypt and made Pharaoh very rich.
  • Again, God overwhelmed Joseph with blessings, and those blessings poured out onto the people of Egypt and the nations around Egypt.
  • God can do the same thing through you!
  • If you do what God wants you to do, God will bless you and everyone around you!
  • (You may want to have the kids say the following Rhyme Time a few times to reinforce the main teaching point.)

 

Rhyme Time

When we do what God wants us to do

God blesses us and those around us, too!

 

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Good Seed – Bad Seed (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Description

This object lesson teaches about wounds that we get when people or circumstances hurt us.  These take up a place in our hearts, because our hearts are where we keep things that are very important to us (both good and bad).  Wounds are very fertile places in our hearts, so both God and Satan will try to plant seeds there.  God’s seeds will turn our wounds into something beautiful, but Satan’s seeds will turn them into something painful, shameful, bitter and/or destructive.  (Note: You will need a break in the lesson and/or a helper to plant the flowers and the weeds in the soil.)

Scriptures

  •   Romans 8:28

 

Materials

  • 1 large, heart-shaped pan or container (open at the top and about 3-5 inches deep – will be used as a planter for flowers and weeds and filled with soil.)
  • 2 large, over-sized “packages” of seeds (They should be really big – preferably 2 ft tall for an exaggerated effect.  They could created out of flipchart paper or something else (like a large mailing envelope.)
  • 1 watering can (to water the flowers)
  • Thick marker
  • Sheet of paper
  • Tape
  • Flowers (these can be real or fake – enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
  • Weeds (these can be real or fake – about 10 of these)
  • Soil (enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
  • Seeds to go in each of the seed packages (It doesn’t matter what kind as long as they are large enough to be visible.  Sunflower seeds would work well.  Put several handfuls into each package.)

 

Preparation

  • Spread the soil around the heart-shaped container.
  • Fill the watering can with water, and have it ready nearby the teaching area.
  • Put the flowers and weeds somewhere where they can’t be seen and where you will be able to plant them later without being seen.
  • Practice the script.
  • Label one package of seeds in large letters that say, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.”
  • Label the other package of seeds with large letters that say, “Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.”
  • Use the sheet of paper, marker and tape to label the watering can with a sign that says, “Living Water.”

Procedure

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

  • “Sometimes bad things happen to us.”
  • “People mistreat us or hurt us, we have a bad experience, we make a mistake and have to suffer from the consequences…”
  • “These things happen to everyone, but sometimes the experience hurts us so much that it creates a wound in our heart.”
  • “A wound in your heart is a painful place; it hurts just to think about it.”
  • “When you remember what happened, you feel terrible sadness or anger or jealousy or shame and embarrassment.”
  • “Don’t raise your hand, but just think to yourself – do you have a wound like that in your heart?”  (Allow participants a few moments to consider and remember a wound that they have suffered.)
  • “I imagine that we can all think of at least on painful experience in our lives that just won’t go away.”  (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
  • “A wound is a really fertile place in your heart; that means that it’s a place where things can grow really well.”
  • “It’s really fertile because of the pain from the wound.  That pain can change you – it can change you for good or change you for evil.”
  • “Let’s imagine that this heart-shaped container represents a wound in your heart.”  (Show the heart-shaped container, and have the volunteer put his/her fingers through the soil.)
  • (To the volunteer…) “Does that look like some fertile soil to you?”  (Acknowledge response.)
  • “It’s really good soil, and you could grow almost anything in there.”
  • “Well, there are two ‘gardeners’ who are very interested in growing things in that soil; one is God, and one is Satan.”
  • “They both want to grow things in your wound, because they know how fertile the soil is.”
  • “God brings His seeds.”  (Hand the large package of God’s seeds (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control) to your volunteer, and have him/her hold it up where everyone can see.)
  • “God’s seeds will grow into the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
  • “The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
  • “That means that God can even take the wounds in your heart, the worst things that you have ever experienced, and turn them into blessings for you!”
  • “But Satan also brings his seeds.” (Set the God seeds aside and hand the volunteer the other package of seeds.)
  • “Satan’s seeds will grow into the fruits of evil, which are the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit: Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.”   (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
  • “Now, these two sets of seeds are going to compete to grow in the soil of your heart.”
  • “Since the wound is so fertile, they are definitely going to grow, but you get to decide which type of seeds fill up your heart.”
  • “Do you want the seeds that grow into the fruit of the Spirit to fill your heart, or do you want the seeds of evil to grow there?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “If you want the fruit of the Spirit to grow, you’ve got to water those seeds every day with Living Water.”  (Hand your volunteer the watering can, making sure that the audience can see the “Living Water” label.  Have the volunteer sprinkle some water over the soil.)
  • “Living Water is the Word of God – the Bible.”
  • “When you water with Living Water every day, the seeds that turn into the fruit of the Spirit are going to grow.”
  • “But if you do nothing, the weeds of evil will grow instead.”
  • “They don’t need any help to grow, because they grow naturally all by themselves.”
  • “The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, only grows when you spend time getting closer to God each day by studying His Word, praying and doing your best to follow what His Word says to do.”
  • “Let’s give these some time to grow and see what happens.”  (Hand the heart-shaped container to a helper (or take a break) to take away and plant the flowers and weeds.  Thank and dismiss your volunteer.  Plant the flowers all around the heart, and insert weeds at different places.  Then, bring the container back into the teaching area to finish the lesson.)
  • “Let’s pretend that some time has passed.”
  • “Our flowers that represent the fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) have grown up, because we have been watering them every day with Living Water by spending time praying, reading God’s Word and doing what it says to do.”
  • “Unfortunately, some weeds of evil (Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control) have also grown up in our heart.”
  • “That’s the way Satan works.  He never gives up.”
  • “Even when we are working really hard to let God use the wound to bless us and those around us, Satan will still plant seeds of evil around God’s seeds.”
  • “You will have forgiven the person who hurt you, but every once in awhile, feelings of hate or mean thoughts will spring up in your heart.”
  • “You may have trusted God with the mistake you made, but every once in awhile, feelings of deep sadness or sinful thoughts or actions might spring up.”
  • “Don’t be surprised when this happens…it’s normal.”
  • “What you have to do is pull those weeds.”  (Ask for volunteer to come up and carefully pull the weeds out without uprooting the flowers.)
  • “The way you get those weeds out of your heart is by giving them to God whenever you notice them in your heart.”
  • “Pray to God, and ask Him to take away your bad feelings and your bad thoughts.  Ask Him to help you stay away from bad actions.”
  • “Keep the garden of your heart clean from weeds so that the fruit of the Spirit can really grow and make your heart beautiful.”
  • “In that way, God will take a wound in your heart and make it into something beautiful for you and everyone God puts in your life.”  (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)

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Filed under blessing, Bullying, Challenges, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Protection, God's Will, Healing, heart, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, purity

Lemons Into Lemonade (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

 

Description

This object lesson teaches about how God brings good things out of bad and uses the metaphor of turning lemons into lemonade.

Scriptures

  •   Romans 8:28

Materials

  • Lemons – enough for everyone to have a wedge after you cut them up and 5 or 6 for you to juice at the front of the room
  • Lemonade – enough for everyone to have some (I recommend Capri Sun Lemonade pouches for the ease of preparation, distribution and clean-up.)
  • Knife (to cut the lemons)
  • Juicer (manual or electric)
  • Bowl or Ziplock bag to hold the lemon wedges
  • Cup or bowl to catch the juice
  • Sugar (1 cup should be enough for the amount of lemonade you are making)
  • Water (approximately 2 quarts)
  • Pitcher (one)
  • Spoon (for stirring the lemonade)
  • Table to work on

Preparation

  • Slice lemons into wedges.
  • Set up all your materials on a table at the front.
  • Enlist a few helpers to help you pass out lemons and lemonade at different times during the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “How many of you have tasted a lemon before?” (As you talk, juice five or six lemons into your cup or bowl, and have someone pass around the lemon wedges to everyone in the audience.)
  •  “Why don’t we all take a taste of the lemons you’ve been given.” (Demonstrate what you want them to do, and observe them tasting their lemons.  Comment on the sour faces.)
  • “They are pretty sour, aren’t they?”  (Continue juicing your lemons as you talk.)
  • “They make you think twice before taking a second bite, I bet.”
  • “You know, sometimes life is pretty sour. I bet this is not the first time you made that face.”
  • “The truth is, bad things sometimes happen to good people.”
  • “Sometimes it’s not your fault.”
  • “You may not have done anything to deserve it, but you are suffering anyway.”
  • “Maybe a bully picks on you or your brother takes your stuff or your sister tells a lie about you…”
  • “Those could be pretty sour experiences, and they might make you want to make the same face you made a minute ago.”
  • “But you know what? When life gives you lemons, God makes lemonade!”
  • “Yep, He uses the bad stuff that happens to us to make us better. He doesn’t always take the bad stuff away. Often, He sweetens it.” (Pour the juice, water and some of your sugar into the pitcher and stir.)
  • “One day, the same bully who picked on you may become your friend.”
  • “Your brother took your old stuff, but you got something better.”
  • “Your sister told a lie about you, but she apologized later.”
  • “God takes lemons and makes lemonade.” (Taste, make sour face, add more sugar and stir.)
  • “It may take some time for God to sweeten up your lemon juice, but I promise He will if you will trust him with your lemons.” (Taste and smile.)
  • “Ahhh! That’s good stuff! How’s your lemonade?”  (Show mock surprise when they protest that they only have lemons.)
  • “What? All you’ve got are sour lemons?”
  • “Let’s ask God to make those lemons into some lemonade.” (Signal some helpers to get ready to pass out lemonade as you pray.)
  • (PRAY) “Lord, all of these kids have gotten some lousy lemons in their lives. Will you please take those sour lemons and turn them into sweet lemonade for each person in this room? We thank you for your faithful hand in our lives, and we give you every lemon that’s ever happened to us. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”  (Signal your helpers to pass out the lemonade.)
  • “Now, let’s have some lemonade to celebrate what God’s going to do with our lemons one day.”  (The Rhyme Time below can be used to reinforce the message of the lesson.  You can also have a volunteer read Romans 8:28 to show how God promises to make all things work for the good of those who love Him.)

 

Rhyme Time

If we trust Him and obey, God makes bad things go OUR way!

 

 

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Filed under Abundance, acceptance, blessing, Bullying, Challenges, Change, Conflict Resolution, God's Plan, God's Protection, Healing, learning, Lesson, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Problem solving, Transformation

God Doesn’t Waste Anything (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

 

Description

This object lesson teaches about how God brings good things out of bad and uses the metaphor of turning lemons into lemonade.

Scriptures

  • Romans 8:28
  • Galatians 5:22

Materials

  • Several cow patties if you can find them.  If you can’t, use a bag of fertilizer and just explain that many fertilizers include animal waste.
  • A pot of fragrant flowers
  • A piece of fruit that most people would enjoy eating

Preparation

  • Lay out materials for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Who knows what this is?”  (Hold up dry cow patty.)
  • “Right?  It’s a cow patty.”  (Pass it around to kids.)
  • “Now, it doesn’t smell too bad right now, but who has ever smelled a fresh one?” (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “They’re stinky, aren’t they?”
  • “So, you probably wouldn’t go around smelling them, would you?”
  • “But would you smell this?”  (Hold up flowers in a pot.)
  • “Sure, because it smells good, right?”
  • “Did you know that this (hold up another cow patty) was used to make this (hold up flowers) smell so good?”
  • “How did that happen?”  (Take responses until someone mentions fertilizer.)
  • “Right!  Cow manure is one of the most common ways to fertilize plants and flowers.”
  • “How many of you would eat this?”  (Hold up cow patty.)
  • “But would you eat this?”  (Hold up fruit.)
  • “Believe it or not, there’s some of this (hold up cow patty) in this (hold up fruit).
  • “God made it so that plants and flowers take the nutrients out of the manure and reuse them to help the fruit and the flowers grow.”
  • “God doesn’t waste anything.  He even takes bad stuff (hold up cow patty) and turns it into good stuff (hold up or point to fruit and flowers).”
  • “If God can do that with cow poop, He can do that with the bad stuff in your life, too.”
  • “Some of the stuff that happens to us really stinks, but God will use it to do good stuff in our lives so that we come out smelling like a rose.”
  • “He can use those bad things to create fruit in our lives like the fruit He talks about in the Bible.”  (Have volunteer read Galatians 5:22).
  • “So, whatever bad stuff happens in your life, give it to God to use as fertilizer, and He will bring good fruit out of it.”  (Have volunteer read Romans 8:28.)
  • “God will use everything to bless you if you trust Him with it!”  (You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the lesson.)

 

Rhyme Time

If we trust Him and obey, God makes bad things go OUR way!

 

 

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Joseph’s Journey


For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”

Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!

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Filed under Abraham, Abundance, acceptance, activity, Agape Love, Annointing, Belief, Bible study, blessing, Challenges, Change, Character, Christianity, Comfort Zone, Coping skills, courage, Discipline, distractions, drama, exercise, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Future, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's favor, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on, Healing, heart, Hope, Humility, Jesus, Joseph, Kindness, leadership, Lesson, Listening to God, Love, Obedience, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Pride, purity, Relationships, Repentance, Salt of the earth, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Spiritual Warfare, Strengths, struggles, team, temptation, territory, test, tool, Transformation, Trust, unconditional love, Waiting on the Lord

Comfort Zone (OBJECT LESSON)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to understand how important it is to step our of our comfort zones in order to grow.  You can use the story of Abraham (Abram at the time) leaving his country and his family and everything he knew as a reinforcement of the lesson.

Scriptures

o  Genesis 12:1-9

Materials

o  Rope (about 30 feet or more) or a garden hose

o  Balls (about 5 – alternatively, you can just wad up scrap pieces of paper)

o  Laundry basket or trash can

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Tie the rope or garden hose into a loop.

o  Use the rope or garden hose to make a small circle on the ground (about 1 ft – 1 ½ ft in diameter).

o  Coil the excess rope or garden hose on top of this circle so that you have only one circle.

o  Set up the trashcan or laundry basket about 20 ft away from the circle (further if you want to increase the difficulty).

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “How many of you know what a comfort zone is?” (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “A comfort zone is a place or situation where you feel safe, comfortable.”
  • “When you are in your comfort zone, you don’t take risks.”
  • “Those are uncomfortable, so they can’t be in the zone.”
  • “In your comfort zone, there is no progress or growth, because progress and growth only occur when you take risks and step out of your comfort zone.”
  • “God asked Abraham (Abram at the time) to leave his comfort zone.” (Have a volunteer read Genesis 12:1-9.)
  • “Abraham had to leave everything that he knew (his family, his friends, his country, his home….) in order to follow God’s leading into a strange country.”
  • “The trip would take months, and it would be full of risk to Abraham, his wife, his nephew, Lot, and their servants.”
  • “They would face dangers from animals, thieves, foreign kings, fatigue, potential starvation and other threats.”
  • “But Abraham could not experience God’s blessing from inside his comfort zone in his home in Haran.”
  • “To experience God’s blessing, Abraham had to take a risk.”
  • “Let me show you a demonstration that will help you understand comfort zones better.”
  • “I’m going to need a volunteer.”  (Select a volunteer from the group.)
  • “Let’s pretend that this is your comfort zone.”  (Position volunteer inside the coil of ropes or garden hose.)
  • “Don’t you feel all comfy in there?”
  • “Now, let’s pretend that you have a goal that you want to achieve.”
  • “Your goal is to get five (or more if you like) shots in a row in that basket/trash can.”
  • “You can take shots only from inside your comfort zone this first time.”
  • “How many shots do you think you will make?”  (Listen to response, and share it with the audience if it was too quiet for them to hear.)
  • “Well, let’s try.  Take your shots.”  (Allow volunteer to take all his/her shots. Share the score with the audience.)
  • “Not so good.”
  • (Ask volunteer…) “What do you think would help you to be more successful?”  (Listen to response, and shear it with the audience if it was too quiet for them to hear. If the volunteer doesn’t mention stepping out of their comfort zone, prompt them.)
  • “Let’s try that.”  (Allow volunteer to take one step, as big as they can, out of their comfort zone.)
  • “But wait.  That wasn’t very scary.  Stepping out of your comfort zone has to have some risk involved.”
  • “Otherwise, every place on earth would be your comfort zone.”
    “Let’s make it more scary.”
  • “Can I get another volunteer?”  (Select another volunteer.  Make him (or her) stand five feet away from the first volunteer.)
  • “This person represents the risk of stepping out of your comfort zone.”
  • “He (or she) has to stand right here and count to ten slowly (“one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand….”).”
  • “When he gets to ten, he can try to tag our first volunteer, the shooter, as long as he is out of his comfort zone.”
  • “But if the shooter goes back into his comfort zone, he can’t be tagged there.”
  • “However, he still has to make all five shots, either from within the comfort zone if he hasn’t don’t it already or out of his comfort zone if he is brave enough to come out one step.”
  • “Do both my volunteers understand how this works?”  (Answer any questions they have.  Then, let your shooter try to make the shots, stepping no more than one step out of the comfort zone. If the risk person tags the shooter, the shooter can’t shoot anymore shots.)
  • “That looked challenging.”
  • “But something interesting happens when you step out of your comfort zone.”  (Uncoil the rope or garden hose to make it twice as big as it was.)
  • “Your comfort zone grows!”
  • “Now you feel comfortable going further than you went before.”
  • “So, let’s try it again.”
  • “Our risk person will count to ten slowly before he tries to tag our shooter.”
  • “Our shooter can step one, big step outside of his comfort zone and take five shots without getting tagged.”  (Allow them to try this.)
  • “It’s getting easier.  Let’s do it again!”
  • “The comfort zone increases, because our shooter took a step out of it during the last round.” (Uncoil the rope or garden hose another loop or even two (depending on how fast you want to finish the exercise) to make it bigger. Then let the shooter try to make his shots again.  If the shooter makes all his shots, you’re done.  If he doesn’t, you might want to run the exercise a time or two again.  When you are finished, thank and dismiss your volunteers and close with the following comments.)
  • “So, you can see how a comfort zone works.”
  • “Whenever you take a risk and step out of it, it grows.”
  • “The more you do it, the easier it will be to accomplish your goals.”
  • “Remember our story about Abraham?”
  • “He took a huge risk, but every step out of his comfort zone helped him to grow in his faith in the Lord.”
  • “By the time Abraham reached the Promised Land, he had learned to put his complete faith in the Lord.”
  • “He needed that faith to help him wait the 25 years for God’s promise of a son to come true.”
  • “He would need it again to pass the test of almost offering Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord.”
  • “Abraham could never have the faith to do those things if he had stayed in Haran.”
  • “If you want to experience God’s greatest blessings, you’ve got to follow Him out of your comfort zone.”

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, Belief, blessing, Challenges, Character, Comfort Zone, courage, faith, God's Plan, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Sarah, test, Trust

Salt of the Earth (Obj Lesson)


Time

10 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches what it means when God calls us to be the salt of the earth.

Scriptures

  • Matthew 5:13
  • 2 Kings 2:20-22

Materials

  • Salt that you can pass around for the kids to taste
  • Small, draw-string bag with salt in it
  • Salt shaker
  • Piece of meat (fish, chicken or beef – real or fake – I used Play Doh) with salt on it
  • Medicine bottle filled with salt
  • Bottle of water
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Put salt in the draw-string bag.
  • Salt the piece of meat on all sides.
  • Fill the medicine bottle with salt.

Procedure

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

  • “Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth.”  (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:13.  Then begin passing the salt around, and encourage everyone to taste some.)
  • “Salt was very important during the time that Jesus was here on earth.”
  • “Roman soldiers often received part of their pay in salt.”  (Set out bag with salt in it.  As an alternative, you can put all these props into a bag and let a volunteer try to figure out which prop you want put out each time.  You can coach them if they run into trouble.)
  • “In fact, the word we use for what you get paid for working is ‘salary,’ and ‘salary’ actually means ‘salt money.’”
  • “Salt was also important for making things taste better, just like it is today.”  (Set out the salt shaker.)
  • “What would potato chips or French fries be like without salt?”
  • “When Jesus compares us to salt, He is saying that we should make things better.”
  • “We should make life better for others.  They should enjoy being around us.”
  • “But Jesus asks, ‘What good is salt if it has lost its flavor?’”
  • “He says that it will be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
  • “The Romans use to make roads out of bad salt that wasn’t salty anymore.”
  • “In fact, one of their greatest military roads was the Via Salaria, or the Salt Road.”
  • “Jesus was saying that if we aren’t salty any more as Christians, we are no longer making life better for those around us.”
  • “And so He asks, if you aren’t making things better anymore, what good are we?”
  • “He doesn’t have any use for us here on earth unless we are going to make things better, because that is the work He has for us to do.”
  • “But salt was good for more than just salaries and making things taste better.”
  • “People also used it to preserve meat.” (Set out piece of meat with salt on it.)
  • “You see, they didn’t have refrigerators back then, so if they wanted their fish, chicken or their beef to not go bad, they covered it with salt.”
  • “The salt kept bacteria from growing on the meat and spoiling it, and it kept the flies from laying their eggs in it.”
  • “When Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should be preserving (which means saving) the earth.”
  • “We should be saving those who are lost and headed towards Hell.”
  • “Without us, the bacteria of sin would grow unchallenged in the hearts of those who don’t know Jesus, and Satan, who is also known as Beelzebub (or the Lord of the Flies) would plant evil in their hearts.”
  • “But that’s not all that salt can do.”
  • “Salt also heals.”  (Set out medicine bottle filled with salt.)
  • “When you get a sore throat, one of the best things you can do for it is to gargle with hot, salty water.”
  • “Elijah used salt in 2 Kings 2:20-22 to heal poisonous water.”
  • “When Jesus says we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should bring healing to those who are sick with sin.”
  • “But that’s not all that salt can do.”
  • “Salt also creates thirst.” (Set out a bottle of water.)
  • “If you eat something salty, you immediately want something to drink.”
  • “When you buy popcorn at the movies, I bet you always get a drink, because you know that you are going to be thirsty after eating it.”
  • “When Jesus is saying that we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should create thirst for the living water (which is the Holy Spirit) that God offers to every person on earth.”
  • “When people see how much God has blessed us, they will want to know Jesus as their Savior, too.”
  • “So, salt may have seemed pretty ordinary to you, but now I hope you see how important it is.”
  • “Salt has value. It makes things better; it saves; it heals and it creates thirst.”
  • “That’s what we should do as followers of Jesus.”

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Filed under Authenticity, blessing, Character, Christianity, Daily walk, Evangelism, Healing, impact, Love, Object Lesson

Contagious Contact (Obj Lesson)


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that spending time with God can have a contagious impact on everyone around us.

Scriptures

  • Exodus 34:28-29

Materials

  • One large jar of gold glitter
  • A drop cloth or piece of fabric (about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Open the Bible up to the passage in Exodus, and sprinkle some gold glitter onto the page.
  • Open up the drop cloth or sheet, and sprinkle a large amount of glitter all around.
  • Carefully conceal the drop cloth / sheet or fold it up and put it aside.
  • Arrange for two helpers to come and help you open the sheet when you give the cue.

Procedure

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

  • “Here’s what happens when we spend time with God.”  (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
  • “When you read your Bible or spend time in prayer or worship, a little bit of God rubs off on you.”  (Have the volunteer read Exodus 34:28-29 out loud.  It’s okay if he/she has to move some of the glitter out of the way in order to read the passage.)
  • “Moses spent 40 days on the top of a mountain in the presence of God, and when he came back down, his face glowed with the glory of God.”
  • “When you spend time with God, your face may not actually glow, but God’s glory still shines through you.”  (Have volunteer put his/her fingertips into the gold glitter and then touch his/her face.)
  • “Then, as you go out and live your life, everyone you come in contact with gets a little bit of contact with the glory of God.” (Have the volunteer go into the audience and shake hands with a few people and then return.)
  • Now, if you spend time with God every day, a lot of His glory is going to rub off on you.” (Have volunteer put his/her entire hands into the glitter and then touch his/her face.)
  • “Now when you go out and live your life, you’re going to really bless people with the glory of God.  Their lives will be better, because they had contact with you after you had spent time with God.”  (Have volunteer go out and shake hands with different people this time and then return.)
  • “But what if, like Moses, you spent a lot of time praising and worshipping God, praying to Him and reading His Word?”
  • “What would that look like?”
  • “I think it would look a little like this.”  (Have the two helpers you selected before your lesson come and lay out the drop cloth or sheet with glitter on it.  Then, have your volunteer lay down on it and roll around a few times.  When they are pretty well covered in glitter, have them go around hugging people.)
  • “The more time we spend with God each day, the more we will be able to share His glory with those we come in contact with.”
  • “As Christians, we should always leave people, places and things better than they were when we found them.”

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Filed under Annointing, Bible study, blessing, Christianity, Daily walk, Great Commission, light, Light of the world, Love, Moses, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, sanctification, Shekinah Glory, spiritual disciplines, Testimony, Transformation, Veil, Witness

Fortunately – Unfortunately (Obj Lesson)


Time
20 minutes

Description
This object lesson helps us to understand that what happens to us is not as important as how we respond to what happens to us.  If we trust God with even our “unfortunate” events and circumstances, He can use everything for our good.

Materials
•    None

Preparation
•    Practice the script.

Procedure
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
•    “We’re going to play a short game called, “Fortunately – Unfortunately.”
•    “First, I need to divide you into small groups.”  (Divide kids into smaller groups of 3-6 people.)
•    “Now, we have to select the person who will start the game.  I want everyone to hold up one finger.”  (Make sure everyone holds up a finger, then have them do the following.)
•    “Now point that finger straight up in the air as high as you can make it go.”
•    “I’m going to count to three.  When I say, ‘three,’ I want everyone in the group to point at the person you think should start the game.”
•    “Ready?  Okay, One….Two….Three!”  (If any groups end up with a tie for the number of fingers pointed at different people, have them do it again until the tie is broken.)
•    “Alright, this person is going to start you off by telling the first part of a story.”
•    “They will tell you about 15-20 words about any topic they want, but the story has to start with, ‘Once upon a time…’”
•    “For example, ‘Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to eat pickled porcupines…’”
•    “Then, that person will stop right there, and the person on their right will pick up the story where they left off.”
•    “But before they tell anymore of the story, they have to say, ‘Unfortunately…’ and then share something unfortunate about the situation or person.”
•    “They will tell about 15 words of why things are so unfortunate, and then they will stop.”
•    “The next person will pick up the story where they left off, but he/she will start by saying, ‘Fortunately…’  Then they will tell us what is so fortunate about the situation.”
•    “This keeps going with each person alternating their stories to be ‘fortunate’ or ‘unfortunate.’”
•    “You will keep going around your group until I say to stop, so you will probably have several tries at making up ‘fortunate’ and ‘unfortunate’ parts of the story.”
•    “The only other rule is that you can’t kill anyone in the stories.”
•    “Does anyone have any questions before we get started?”
•    “Alright, those of you who were picked to start, begin your stories!”  (Allow three to five minutes for storytelling, then ask them to finish the part they are on and turn their attention back to you.)
•    “The point of this game is that there are always two ways of looking at the things that happen in our lives.  You can view almost anything as either fortunate or unfortunate.”
•    “If you search for it, even something very bad can have a fortunate side, particularly if you are willing to trust God with it.”
•    “Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
•    “The Scripture says that God will works in ‘some’ things for our good, right?”  (The kids should answer, ‘NO!’)
•    “Oh, it says, God works in just the fortunate things, right?” (The kids should answer, ‘NO!’)
•    “In just the things where we make good decisions?”  (‘NO!’)
•    “…where we stay out of sin?” (‘NO!’)
•    “…where we pray about it ahead of time?” (‘NO!’)
•    “…where we do everything our pastor tells us to do?” (‘NO!’)
•    “What does it say?  …God works in ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
•    “Sometimes when ‘unfortunate’ stuff happens to us, it’s God’s discipline in our lives, because the Bible says in Proverbs 3:11:  ‘My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.’”
•    “But that means that even when God is disciplining you for your sin, He is doing it for your good!”
•    “And it’s even better if you admit that you sinned and ask for forgiveness.  Then God can really use it for your good!”
•    “He uses EVERYTHING that happens in your life to be a blessing to you!”
•    “So, even when something happens that looks bad, it’s a great idea to praise God for it.  That shows that you trust Him to use it for your good.”
•    “So, let’s try this out.  Who can think of something bad that could happen to us?”  (Listen for examples.)
•    “Alright everyone, how could God use that for that person’s good?”  (Do this several times to make the point that God can use everything to bless us.)
•    “You see, just because it looks unfortunate doesn’t mean it is.”
•    “It’s less important what happens to you than how you respond to what happens to you.”
•    “Praise God for anything and everything that happens in your life – whether it looks fortunate or unfortunate!”

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Filed under acceptance, blessing, Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, Discipline, faith, Game, Games that Teach, God's Plan, Hope, Object Lesson, Praise, Trust, Worry

Spotlight Effect


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that when God shines His favor on us, it blesses other people around us, as well. It uses the story of Joseph to illustrate this principle.

Materials

· Powerful flashlight or spotlight

Preparation

· Make sure you can get the room dark with the lights turned off. You may need to cover up some windows or pull the blinds.

· Make sure that flashlight/spotlight is fully charged or has new batteries. You want a powerful beam of light for the whole lesson.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “When you look at the life of Joseph in the Bible, one of the things you will notice is that he blessed those around him.”

· “Joseph had a hard early life. His brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery, but even in slavery, Joseph blessed others.” (Have a volunteer read Genesis 39:1-6)

· “It says that ‘the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph’ and ‘The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field…’”

· “Just having Joseph in his house was a blessing to Potiphar.”

· “Because Joseph followed God, God blessed him. And because God blessed Joseph, everyone around him was blessed.”

· “But Joseph’s misfortune wasn’t over. He was wrongly accused of a crime, and Potiphar threw him into prison.”

· “It wasn’t fair for an innocent man to be arrested, but even in prison, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 40:20-23.)

· “The prison warden didn’t have to worry about anything while Joseph was there. Joseph took care of everything, and God blessed all the work of his hands.”

· “Finally, Joseph was released from prison, and God rewarded him for his continued trust and obedience by making him the second highest official in all of Egypt.”

· “In this role, too, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 41:46-49.)

· “Joseph was in charge of saving food in preparation for a famine, and God blessed him so much that Joseph couldn’t even keep records of how much food he had saved.”

· “He was able to save all of Egypt and neighboring countries from starving to death.”

· “So, let me give you a picture of what was happening with Joseph.”

· “To do this, I’m going to need to turn off the lights, but I’ll have this flashlight/spotlight on.” (Turn on flashlight/spotlight, and ask a volunteer to turn off the lights.)

· “Let’s say this flashlight/spotlight is God’s favor.”

· “And, let’s say this is Joseph.” (Pick a kid in the audience who is close to other kids.)

· “Because Joseph was always doing his best to be obedient to the Lord, God’s favor was always on him.” (Hold flashlight/spotlight above volunteer’s head so that the light shines down on him/her.)

· “Notice that while ‘Joseph’ is getting most of the light of God’s favor, there is still some that spills over onto those around him.” (Point out kids that are also in the light.)

· “We can call this the ‘Spotlight Effect.’ When God shines His light on you, it ends up blessing more than just you – it blesses everyone around you!”

· “Wherever Joseph goes, he takes God’s favor with him.” (Have volunteer get up and slowly move around the room to be closer to other kids. Follow him/her with the flashlight/spotlight.)

· “When Joseph was working for Potiphar, Potiphar’s entire house was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was in prison, the whole prison was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, all the land of Egypt and all the surrounding nations were blessed!”

· “That brings up another point. As God shines His light on you, He will lift you up so that you can provide light for more and more people.” (Have ‘Joseph’ volunteer sit on the floor near some other kids. Shine the flashlight/spotlight on him/her just above his/her head, and point out how the light touches just a few people. Then have ‘Joseph’ stand, and raise the flashlight/spotlight. Point out how the light now touches even more people. Then, thank your volunteer, and have the lights turned back on. Leave the flashlight/spotlight on.)

· “Jesus talks about this in the New Testament.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:14-16.)

· “Jesus is saying that we are supposed to be a light in a dark place (the world), and He will put us on a stand – up high where we can give light to everyone around us.”

· “That’s exactly what He did with Joseph. God raised him up to the second-highest position in Egypt so that the light of God’s favor could bless many people and save many lives.”

· “Now, here’s something interesting. How many of you knew that I never turned off the flashlight/spotlight?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right! It’s still on! You see, God blesses us in good times and in bad times.” (Shine light back on ‘Joseph’ volunteer.)

· “During good times, it’s like all the lights are on, so not many people may notice God’s favor on us.”

· “But during bad times, it’s like the lights go out for people.” (Have volunteer turn out lights.)

· “That’s when everyone notices where God’s favor is!”

· “It becomes so obvious who God is blessing when the lights go out.”

· “When all of Egypt was facing starvation, everyone could tell that Joseph was really blessed by God, because He had the wisdom and the skills to save all the peoples’ lives.”

· “Once God has His light on us, He will sometimes let the lights go out (bad times happen) in order to get their attention.”

· “That’s when people will start coming to you to find out why you’ve got so much blessing in your life, and that’s when you can tell them about your love for Jesus.”

· “Oh, but there’s something you’ve got to remember.”

· “You’ve got to stay inside God’s light if you want to have His favor and be able to bless others.”

· “Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask the ‘Joseph’ volunteer to take a step out of the light, but don’t follow him/her this time.)

· “It’s possible for you to step out of God’s favor and blessings by sinning.”

· “If Joseph had not been so obedient to God during his time with Potiphar and in the prison, he would not have had God’s light on him.”

· “You’ve got to stay in the center of God’s blessings and favor by doing what He tells you to do in the Bible.” (Thank volunteer again, and have the lights turned on. You can turn off the flashlight/spotlight at this point.)

· “So there it is! The ‘Spotlight Effect!’”

· “Follow God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and His blessings will follow you wherever you go!”

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Filed under Belief, blessing, Challenges, God's favor, Obedience, Object Lesson, struggles, Trust