Category Archives: Body of Christ

Source of My Identity (LESSON)


30 minutes

This lesson explores many of the things in which people base their identity and sense of self-worth, e.g., wealth, power, fame, etc. It encourages participants to consider the danger of living life in this way and the value of basing our identities solely in Christ.

Scriptures (choose from the following)

  • Genesis 1:27 (We are created in God’s image.)
  • John 1:12 (We are children of God.)
  • Romans 8:14-17 (We are children and heirs of God.)
  • 1 Corinthians 12:27 (We are the Body of Christ.)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 (We are a new creation.)
  • Galatians 3:26-28 (We are one in Christ Jesus.)
  • Galatians 4:6-7 (We are children and heirs of God.)
  • Ephesians 2:10 (We are God’s masterpiece.)
  • Philippians 3:20 (We are citizens of heaven.)
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:5 (We are children of the light and of the day.)
  • 1 Peter 2:9 (We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.)
  • 1 John 3:1 (We are children of God.)
  • 1 John 4:15 (W live in Christ, and He lives in us.)


  • Bible
  • Notecards – 20-25
  • Slips of paper with the Scriptures you want to use (one set of verses per slip of paper)


  • Write out the following words or phrases, each on an individual note card. Depending on your group size, you may want to use fewer cards or make up more of your own.
    • # of Likes on Social Media
    • # of People They Know
    • # of Social Media Friends or Followers
    • Ability to Avoid Sin / Goodness
    • Accomplishments
    • Education
    • Experiences
    • Fame, Notoriety, Reputation
    • Hours Spent at Church
    • Misfortunes / Suffering
    • Money
    • People of Status That They Know
    • Personality (ex. Extravert or Introvert)
    • Position or Status
    • Preferences (ex. Dog Person or Cat Person)
    • Social Class
    • Sports Teams
    • Talents / Skills
    • Volunteer Work / Good Deeds
    • Where They Grew Up
    • Where They Went to School
  • Shuffle the notecards, and keep them in a stack for passing out, or place them facedown on a table.
  • Write the Scriptures you want to use on slips of paper (one set of verses per slip).
  • Pass out the slips of paper to different participants before you begin, and ask them to be ready to read them out loud.


  • “If someone asked you who you are, you would probably describe yourself by telling them something about your experience, or what you do for a living or where you grew up or went to school.”
  • “I would do the same. It’s the way that we help other people get to know something about us.”
  • “But some people get confused and think that their identity is actually based in those things that they use to describe themselves.”
  • “They organize their lives around those things, and their sense of self-worth is totally tied up in them.”
  • “Let’s do an icebreaker to illustrate what I mean.”
  • “I’m going to pass out a notecard to each one of you.” (Alternatively, you could pass it out to pairs or trios, and they can role-play together. If you put the cards on a table, let participants come and select one.)
  • “Read your card, but don’t show it to anyone.”
  • “I’m going to pick the first person, and I want you to come up front and act out the things a person might say if they were the type of person who based their whole identity on what’s on your card.”
  • “The rest of us are going to try to guess what your card says.”
  • “Once someone guesses, you get to pick the next person (or group) to go.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer Questions. Then choose the first person to come role-play what’s on their card. Afterward, debrief with the following questions.)


  • “What do you think the dangers are of basing our identity in these things?”
  • “Where should we base our identity? Why?” (Have volunteers read the Scriptures you gave them before you started, and discuss the implications of each one.)

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Filed under Body of Christ, identity, self-image, Self-worth

The One Anothers of Scripture (INFOGRAPHIC)

One Anothers of ScriptureHere’s a visual that shows all the “one anothers” that I was able to find in the Scriptures, e.g, “love one another,” “forgive one another” and so on.  The size of each of the keywords to the left of the Scriptures indicates the relative number of times it appears in the Bible.

You can find the slide to download on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.  It is listed alphabetically as “One Anothers of Scripture, The (INFOGRAPHIC).”

You can use this resource in a variety of ways:

  • Assign a few “one another” topics to individual or groups, and have them read the associated Scriptures.  Have them share about the context in which each “one another” was given.
  • Have a discussion about the large number of “one anothers” in the New Testament.  Why are there so many? What are the implications for us as Christians?  How well are we doing?
  • Use the list of “one anothers” as a self-assessment.  In which areas are you (or your participants) doing well? In which areas could you improve?
  • Compare the number of times each of the “one anothers” appears in Scripture.  What messages should we take away from this?  How should this affect our behaviors?
  • Ask participants to group the “one anothers” into major themes.  What do they learn from this exercise?


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Filed under Body of Christ, Love, Oneness, Relationships, teambuilding, unity

Not a Dream Team (LESSON)



30 minutes



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



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



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



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



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

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

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



Rhyme Time

I may not be the best;

I may not be a dream.

But even when I’m messing up,

Jesus wants me on His Team!


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

Healing the Sick (DEVOTION)

Read Matthew 10:1-8, and then discuss the questions below in your table groups.

  • Why do you think Jesus gave the disciples power to heal the sick?
  • Why does Jesus often link the coming of the Kingdom of God with healing the physical body? (See also: Matthew 11:1-6)
  • What do you think this means for Christians today?
  • How is our ministry contributing, and what else could we do?

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Filed under Bible study, Body of Christ, Devotion, Healing, Health, Kingdom of God

Conflict Among Believers (DEVOTION)

In your table groups, read the following Scriptures, and discuss the questions that follow:

  • Matthew 7:3-5
  • Matthew 5:23-24
  • Matthew 18:15-17
  • Luke 17:3-5
  • John 13:34-35
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
  • Ephesians 4:1-3
  • Colossians 3:12-14

What do these Scriptures have in common?

Whose responsibility is it to take initiative toward reconciliation?  When does this apply?

How would you describe God’s view on conflict within the Body of believers?

Why does God want believers to be reconciled to one another?

What are some general principles you can take away from these Scriptures?



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Filed under Body of Christ, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Devotion, forgiveness, Relationships

Spiritual Frisbee Golf (GAME)


Children, Teens, Adults


30-60 minutes (depending upon how challenging your course is)

This outdoor game is a combination of two popular sports with a spiritual twist.  Participants will throw Frisbees (flying disks) toward nine different targets.  It’s a little like playing Frisbee; it’s a little like playing golf.  The flying disk represents God’s Word, and the targets represent the hearts of those who do not yet know Him.  This can be a fun way to talk about evangelism and the importance of the Body of Christ working together to introduce people to God.


  • 1 Corinthians 3:4-9


o  Frisbees or flying disks (one per team, preferably different colors – if you can’t find a Frisbee or flying disk, you could use plastic plates – the heavier kind)

o  Targets (nine per team, each set of nine in a different color.  The targets should be approximately 2 ft by 2 ft or a little larger.  You could use colored towels, squares of posterboard, pieces of fabric or even circles made out of rope.)

o  Notecards (nine per team)

o  A marker with a thick tip

o  Tape (one roll)

o  Prizes for the winning team (optional)

o  Bibles (one per team)


o  Number the notecards one to nine for each team.

o  Tape the notecards to the nine targets for each team, i.e., each team should have targets numbered, one to nine.

o  Set out your targets (nine per team) over a large area, preferably with some obstacles (like trees, bushes, buildings, cars, etc) in the way.

o   It’s important that you don’t make it too easy for them.

o   Try to make each team have about the same difficulty as the others.

o   I recommend that you space your targets at least 100 ft apart so that it takes several throws to land the disk on the target.

o   You can put your targets in numerical order, or you can mix them up to create more difficulty.

o   You might want to put all your #9 targets in the same place so that it is easy for you to determine who the winning team is.

o  Divide participants into teams.


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

  • “We are going to play a game of Frisbee golf.”
  • “If you aren’t familiar with a ‘Frisbee,’ it’s a flying disk that you pass to each other.”
  • “Many people in different parts of the world play Frisbee golf, which is like the game of golf but uses a flying disk instead of a small ball and clubs.”
  • “But this game of Frisbee Golf is a little different from how others typically play it.”
  • “We are playing ‘Spiritual Frisbee Golf.’”
  • “The Frisbee (or flying disk) represents God’s Word, and each of the targets that you will be aiming for represent the heart of someone who doesn’t know the Lord.”
  • “Your team members will take turns throwing the Frisbee (God’s Word) closer and closer to the target (the heart of a lost person).”
  • “When you get the Frisbee to successfully land on top of the target (the heart of a lost person), then you can start throwing the Frisbee toward the next target.”
  • “There are nine targets (nine lost people) for each team.”
  • “The first team to land their Frisbee on top of all nine targets will be the winner.”
  • “You can strategize as a team to decide how you will pass the Frisbee, but you have to make sure that every person on the team participates in the throwing.”
  • “That means that you have to take turns so that no single individual is doing all the throwing.”
  • “Billy Graham once said that it takes 20 people to lead someone to Christ.  The first 19 think they had nothing to do with it, but the 20th person couldn’t have led the person to Christ without the work the others did to prepare the soil of the person’s heart for the seed of God’s Word.”
  • “So you have to work together.”
  • “Each team has a different color for their set of targets.”
  • “You can’t see all the targets from here, so you will have to figure out where they are as you go.”
  • “Just remember that there are nine.”
  • “What questions do you have before we begin?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, give the signal to start.  After all the teams have finished, award a prize to the winning team if you like, and have the teams take some time to answer the debriefing questions below.)


Debriefing Questions

  • o What comparisons can you make between this game and getting God’s Word into peoples’ hearts?
  • o What obstacles did you have to overcome?
  • o What might these obstacles represent in our efforts to win people to the Lord?
  • o How did your team work together?
  • o How was this like how the Body of Christ should work together to win those who are lost?
  • o Read 1 Corinthians 3:4-9.  How does this relate to the activity?
  • o What will you take away from what you have learned?

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Filed under Body of Christ, Evangelism, Game, teambuilding, teamwork, Uncategorized, Youth

Draw the Pig Personality Test (ICEBREAKER)


15-20 minutes

This fun icebreaker can be an energizing way to engage participants.  It’s a “personality assessment,” but it’s just for fun; there is no scientific value to the results.


  • Paper for each participant
  • Pens, pencils and colored markers for each participant
  • Printout of the “Pig Analysis” sheet (at the end of this lesson)




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

  • “Let’s start out our time together by getting to know each other.”
  • “We’ll do it in a funny way.”
  • “On the sheet of paper that each of you has, I would like you to each draw a pig.”
  • “Make it as detailed as you like.”  (Allow 5 minutes for drawing the pig.)
  • “Now that you’ve drawn your pig, I’m going to help you do some analysis to see what your drawing tells us about you.”  (Read each of the descriptions on the “Pig Analysis” sheet.  Keep it light and fun.)
  • “Take a few minutes, and share your Pig Analysis with your table.”
  • “Tell them if you think it is accurate or not.”
  • “So, what do you think?  Does your Pig Analysis match your personality?”
  • “Okay, this was not a scientific instrument, so any truth it contained was probably accidental….or was it?”  (You might want to have participants put their names on their pictures and post them around the room.)

Pig Analysis

If the pig is drawn:


Toward the top of the paper – You have a tendancy to be positive and optimistic.


Toward the middle – You have a tendency to be a realist.


Toward the bottom – You have a tendency to be pessimistic and may be
prone to behaving negatively.


Facing left – You have a tendency to believe in tradition and be friendly; you may also be prone to remembering dates well.


Facing Right – You have a tendency to be innovative and active, but may be prone to forgetting dates easily and may not have a strong sense of family.


Facing front – You have a tendency to be direct, and may enjoy playing the role of devil’s advocate; you also are prone to neither fearing nor avoiding confrontational discussions.


With many details – You have a tendency to be analytical, but may also be prone to being cautious to the point that you struggle with trust.


With few details – You have a tendency to be emotional and to focus on the larger picture rather than focusing on details. You also have a tendency to be
a great risk taker and may sometimes be prone to reckless and impulsive decisions.


With less than 4 legs showing – May indicate that you are living through a major period of change and as a result you may be prone to struggling with insecurities.


With 4 legs showing – You have a tendency to be secure and to stick to your ideals; however, others may describe you as stubborn.


With large ears – Indicates how good of a listener you are (the bigger, the better).

With a long tail – Indicates how intelligent you are (the longer, the better)



Filed under Body of Christ, Character, Church, diversity, Fun, Group Dynamics, Humor, Icebreaker, Oneness, Relationships, self-image, team, teambuilding, unity

High-Performing Numbers Game (GAME)


Children, Teens, Adults


20 minutes

This game is a “Gotcha” activity. (A “Gotcha” is a training activity that is designed to create a paradigm shift in the participants’ minds.  It is set up so that the participant will fail in order to create an awareness of their need for training on the topic, and it is usually done before the topic is introduced so as not to give away important information.)


This “Gotcha” is taken from Ken Blanchard’s and Sheldon Bowles’ book, High Five!: None of Us Is As Smart As All of Us (and slightly modified).  It is intended to help participants see the need of having a good system for working together and clear roles in their teams.  Teams don’t become high-performing teams simply because they have talented individuals; they need good process, communication, feedback, encouragement, goals and other elements.



o  Nehemiah 3:1-32

o  Ephesians 4:11-12,16



o  A set of number cards for each team (You will need three 0’s, 3 9’s and one each of the numbers 1-8.  It’s okay to give them more numbers than they need, though.  Feel free to give them a full set each of 0-9.  You can print out the numbers from the file “High-Performing Numbers Game – Number Cards.ppt” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at  Or if you’ve got a big budget, just buy a pack of playing cards for each participant.  If you do this, you will need three sets of playing cards per team.)

o  Scissors or some other cutting tool (if you use the printed numbers)

o  Printed instructions for each normal team (This page is included at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the shorter one.)

o  A printed instruction sheet for your special team (This page is also located at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the longer one with more detailed instructions.)

o  Bible


o  Print your number cards, and cut them out (if you are using the printed version).

o  Print your normal instructions (one copy for all but one of your teams) and your special instructions (one copy).

o  Read through the instructions on the special page so that you understand how the game works and why the team you choose to be the special team should be able to win most of the rounds of the game.  (Two members of the team will only have to choose between raising a 0 or a 9.  The third member will know a trick that makes it easier to know which number to raise, and he won’t have to wait to see what the others raise in order to know his number.)

o  Group the number cards and instructions into sets.  (Make sure you remember which instruction set is special so that you know which team you give it to.)


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

  • “Let’s play a game about teamwork.”
  • “I’m giving each group a set of numbers (or playing cards) and an instruction sheet.” (Pass out these materials.  Make sure that other teams don’t notice that their instructions are different from the special instructions.)
  • “I’ll give you a few minutes to read through your instructions, and I’ll come by your table to answer any questions you might have.”  (Go table-to-table to make sure that they understand the instructions.  You don’t want to answer questions as a group, because it might come out that one team has different instructions than the others.  When everyone understands how the game is played, start the game by saying a number between 0-27 out loud (see a recommended sequence below).  The team that wins is the first team to get three numbers in the air that correctly add together to total the number you say out loud.  Award one point to that team.  Keep saying numbers until you’ve given them all.  Then, add up the team point totals and announce the winner.  TIPS: You may want to get someone to help you as a spotter to see which team is up first.  Also, it’s often easier to tell who was up first if the players have to stand and raise their number rather than just raise their number.  If you only have a few teams, put the players at the front of the room so that it’s easier to see who is up first.)
  • (After the game, you can debrief with the following:)
  • “I have a confession to make.”
  • “One team had different instructions than the rest of you.”
  • “This team (point out the special team) knew a trick for getting their numbers up faster.”  (Allow someone from the team to explain the trick.)
  • “I played a trick on you to make a few points that I would like you to remember.”

o   “Having a team with smart or talented individuals is good, but it’s not as good as having a team with a really good system or way or organizing the work.”

o   “There have been many professional sports teams that were full of superstar athletes but who were unable to win a championship.”

o   “That’s because a high-performing team is more than a collection of superstars – it’s a team, which means that the individuals work together.”

o   “The better a group of individuals work together, the more successful they can be.”

o   “And it’s possible…even probable…that a team of average players who work together in a high-performing way will out-perform a team of highly skilled individuals who don’t work together well.”

o   “So, now we need to do something very important.”

o   “I want everyone in the room to raise their right hand above their head.”  (Demonstrate and encourage them to follow your lead.)

o   “Now, point your hand out toward the front of the room.”  (Demonstrate.)

o   “And repeat after me…”

o   “In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior…”  (Wait for them to repeat after you.)

o   “We forgive you ______ (substitute your name).”  (Participants usually think this is funny, and it eases the tension some may be feeling because you tricked them into playing a game that they couldn’t win.)

Idea for Bible Teaching

You could use this activity along with Nehemiah 3 or Ephesians 4 (see Scriptures at the top of the lesson) to emphasize how important it is that everyone does their appointed role on a high-performing team or to emphasize how well things work when you have a good system in place for teamwork.


Suggested Number Sequence and Correct Number Cards for “Special” Team

Number You

Call Out

“A” Person “B” Person “C” Person
25 9 9 7
17 0 9 8
12 0 9 3
19 9 9 1
22 9 9 4
8 0 0 8
14 0 9 5
11 0 9 2
26 9 9 8
23 9 9 5
4 0 0 4
18 0 9 9
16 0 9 7
24 9 9 6
6 0 0 6
13 0 9 4
21 9 9 3
27 9 9 9


o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 





o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 

How to Be a High-Performing Team

o  Give each of your players a letter – A, B or C.

o   “A” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to eighteen, hold up zero.  If it’s nineteen or more, hold up a nine.

o   “B” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to nine, hold up zero.  If it’s ten or more, hold up a nine.

o   “C” person – If the Facilitator calls out nineteen, hold up a one.  If it’s a single-digit number, hold up that number.  If it’s a two-digit number, add the two numbers together and hold up the sum of those two numbers.

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One Body – Many Parts (DEVOTION)

In your table groups, read through the Scriptures below and then answer the following questions.

1 Corinthians 4:7  (what do you have that you did not receive?)

1 Corinthians 12:14-26  (not one part, but many)

1.    What can we learn from these Scriptures about our different strengths and talents?

2.    How should we think about our strengths and weaknesses as a result?

3.    How should we think about others’ strengths and weaknesses?

4.    Is it true that if one part of the Body suffers, every part suffers with it?  Why do you think so?

5.     How can we show “equal concern for each other?” (1 Corinthians 12:25)

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Filed under Body of Christ, Church, Devotion, diversity, Oneness, Paul, Relationships, team, teambuilding