Category Archives: Church

Restored (GAME)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.  After Jesus rose from the dead, he reinstated Peter to leadership of the church by giving him three opportunities to express his love for Jesus.  In this activity, children will try to knock down three cans labeled, “I don’t know him!” with beanbags or balls labeled, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”

 

Scriptures

  • John 18:15-18
  • John 18:25-27
  • John 21:15-17

 

Materials

  • 3 canned foods labeled, “I don’t know him!”
  • 3 beanbags or balls labeled, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”
  • Note cards or duct tape to use to label the cans and the beanbags/balls.
  • 1 permanent marker for labeling
  • 1 surface (like a overturned bucket or table) to set the cans on
  • Masking tape
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Label the cans of food and the beanbags or balls.
  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Stack the three cans (two on the bottom and one on the top) on the bucket or table.
  • Use the masking tape to lay down a “throwing line” about ten feet away from the cans. (The children will stand behind this line to make their throws.)
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Restored.’”
  • “It’s about Jesus and Peter.”
  • “Peter told Jesus one time that even if everyone else left Him, he never would.”
  • “Peter even carried around a sword in case he needed to defend Jesus against an attacker.”
  • “But one night, the Jewish leaders sent their guards to arrest Jesus.”
  • “Peter attacked with his sword, but he hurt a servant instead of the guards.”
  • “Jesus healed the man that Peter had cut and then let the guards arrest Him.”
  • “Peter and all of Jesus’ best friends got scared and ran away.”
  • “Peter followed the guards from a distance as they took Jesus to the Jewish leaders.”
  • “The guards took Jesus to the house of the top Jewish leader and put Him on trial for crimes He didn’t commit.”
  • “Peter waited in the courtyard while the trial was going on, and people started to notice that he looked like one of Jesus’ followers.”
  • “They asked him three times if he was one of Jesus’ followers, and he denied it each time.”
  • “Jesus wasn’t surprised, though.”
  • “He had told Peter that he would deny knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.”
  • “Sure enough, when Peter denied he knew Jesus for the third time, a rooster crowed, and Jesus looked directly into Peter’s eyes.”
  • “Peter was so ashamed that he ran away and cried and cried.”
  • “When Jesus needed Peter the most, Peter wasn’t a very good friend.”
  • “But even though Peter wasn’t a very good friend to Jesus, Jesus still wanted Peter to lead His followers.”
  • “After Jesus rose from the dead, He met with Peter to let him know that he was forgiven.”
  • “Then, one morning, Jesus did a strange thing.”
  • “He asked Peter three times if Peter loved Him.”  (Have volunteer read John 21:15-17.)
  • “By asking Peter this question three times, Jesus was letting him know that Peter was forgiven and restored to a leadership position for Jesus’ followers.”
  • “Each ‘I love you, Lord,’ was like a big eraser getting rid of the ‘I don’t know Hims!.’”
  • “So, this game is like the Bible story.”
  • “Each of these cans is labeled, ‘I don’t know him!’ and represents the three times Peter denied knowing Jesus after Jesus had been arrested.”
  • “Each bean bag (or ball) is labeled, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you!’ and represents the three times Peter was given a chance to express his love to Jesus after Jesus rose from the dead.”
  • “Everyone will take turns throwing three bean bags (or balls) at the cans from a distance of about ten (10) feet.”
  • “If you knock the cans down, it will be like erasing Peter’s denials with his confessions of love for Jesus.”
  • “Want to play?”  (Let the children line up and take turns trying to knock over the cans.  Each child gets three throws before you reset the cans for the next child.  After each child has had at least one chance to knock the cans over, discuss the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. How do you think Peter felt after denying Jesus three times?
  2. Do you remember why Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” three times?  Why did He do that?
  3. How do you think Peter felt after Jesus gave him three chances to confess his love for Jesus?
  4. Do you believe God forgives you for every bad thing you do?  Why or why not?
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Filed under Church, forgiveness, Game, Grace, Jesus, leadership, Peter, Relationships

Building the Church – GAME


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to recognize the need for effective collaboration/teamwork when working to build up or serve the Church.  It is a “Gotcha” type of activity that sets up the participants to fail in order to make the point about teamwork.  By the end of the game, though, everyone wins!

 

Scriptures

Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Materials

o  Copies of the file “Building the Church – Pattern.ppt” (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – There are 2 pages. You will need one copy of both pages for every two groups.  It will be necessary to divide the participants into an even number of groups for this exercise.  It’s best if these are in color.)

  • Copy (or copies) of the file “Building the Church – Vision.ppt”  (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – You will need at least one copy for every two groups unless you project the image with an LCD projector.  If you print it, it’s best that it’s in color.)

o  Scissors or cutting tool (one or more per group)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print out the “Building the Church – Pattern” file. (2 pages – 1 set for every two groups)

o  Decide how you will divide the participants into an even number of groups.

o  Decide which groups you will secretly pair together for the activity.  One group in the pair of groups will get one of the pages from the “Building the Church – Pattern” file, and the other group will get the other page.

o  Set out scissors or another cutting tool on each table.  (To make the activity go faster, I recommend giving each table several pairs of scissors.)

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do a game called, ‘Building the Church.’”
  • “I’m passing out a puzzle pattern to each group, and I would like you to cut out the pieces using the scissors on your table.”
  • “Do a good job cutting them out, because you will then piece them together like a puzzle to make a church building.”
  • “The first group to correctly ‘build’ their church will win!”
  • “Any questions?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, tell them to start.  Walk around the room as they are “building the church” so that you can see their progress.  If they are able to make a building that looks like a church from the pieces in their pattern, let them know that it is a nice effort but not what you are expecting.  Tell them that you think the church can be improved, and let them have more time to work on it.  After most groups have had a chance to create some time of building with the pattern, interrupt with the following information.)
  • “You’re doing a good job building your churches, but I think they can be much better.”
  • “I think I need to share with you what my vision for the church is.”  (At this point, either project the image of the church from the “Building the Church – Vision” file or hand out copies of the file to each table group.)
  • “This is more along the lines of what I had in mind.  Build THIS church!”  (Allow more time for them to work to build this church.  Before too long, they should realize that they don’t have enough pieces to complete the pattern.  The only way for them to complete the church is for them to collaborate with another group to share pieces.  Not all patterns were the same, however, so they must partner with the “right” group if they want to complete their church.  If they are struggling to discover this, you can drop hints until they understand.  Then, allow them to finish building their churches.  When they are done, have them go back to their original groups and discuss the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. When did you realize that you didn’t have enough pieces in the pattern to build your church?
  2. What did you have to do to finish building your church?
  3. What impact did seeing the Vision for the church have on your efforts?
  4. How important is it to have a common vision in our organization for building up the Church?
  5. Read Ephesians 4:11-13.  What does it say about the different roles in the Body of Christ and why/how they should work together?
  6. How do you think this applies to us in this organization and our work with the Church?
  7. What should we do differently to help us build up the Church more effectively?

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Filed under Church, Collaboration, competition, Game, Problem solving, team, teamwork

Draw the Pig Personality Test (ICEBREAKER)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

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.

Materials

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

Preparation

None

Procedure

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)

 

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

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

Roles of Women in the Church (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures and make a chart (see example below) of all the women mentioned, the roles that they served in for the early Church and their impact (wherever possible).

Luke 8:1-3 (women who supported Jesus)

Luke 24:1-12 (women encounter the risen Lord)

John 4:28-30, 39-42 (the Samaritan woman)

John 20:11-18 (Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene)

Acts 1:12-14, 2:1-4 (all joined together in prayer, Pentecost)

Acts 2:14-18 (men and women will prophesy)

Acts 8:1-3 (Saul persecutes both men and women)

Acts 9:36-42 (Tabitha/Dorcas raised from the dead)

Acts 16:13-15, 40 (Lydia’s conversion)

Acts 18:24-26 (Priscilla and Aquila instruct Apollos)

Acts 21:8-9 (Philip’s daughters)

Romans 16:1-15 (Greetings to many, including Priscilla and Aquila and several women)

1 Corinthians 1:11 (information from Chloe’s household)

1 Corinthians 16:19 (Aquila and Priscilla send greetings)

Philippians 4:2-3 (Paul pleads with Euodia and Synthyche)

Colossian 4:15 (Paul greets Nympha)

2 Timothy 1:5, 3:14-15 (Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s grandmother and mother)

2 Timothy 4:19 (Priscilla and Aquila with Timothy)

2 John 1-13 (letter to the chosen lady and her children)

Name Role Impact
     

1.     Are you surprised by any of this information?  Why or why not?

2.     How do women’s roles compare to men’s roles in New Testament Scripture?

3.     What do you think about Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-3:13 and Titus 1:5-9?

4.     What do you think all this says about how God sees women? (Also see Galatians 3:28-29.)

5.     What does all this mean for the Church today?

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Filed under Church, Devotion, leadership, Women

7 Churches of Revelation (LESSON)


Audience

Youth and adults

Time

45-60 minutes
Description

This lesson uses John’s letter to seven churches in Asia Minor (a.k.a. the book of Revelation) to take a look at the churches of the current day and then to focus on an evaluation of our own church and even our own hearts.  The debrief is intended to lead individuals toward repentance.

 

Scriptures

  • Revelation 2-3

Materials

  • Printed copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (can be found on the Lesson and Materials Download page at www.teachingthem.com)
  • Flipchart with paper
  • Markers
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (one per participant).
  • Write the debrief questions and the individual reflection steps on a flipchart, but conceal them until it’s time to do the debrief. (Alternatively, you could put these on a PowerPoint slide and  project it.)
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

o  “In the book of Revelation in the Bible, John writes a message (really a letter) that comes directly from Jesus to seven churches in Asia Minor (current-day Turkey).”

o  “The seven churches are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

o  “Chapters 2 and 3 are specifically addressed to each of the seven churches one-by-one.”

o  “In these two chapters, Jesus gives an evaluation to the churches and calls several of them to repentance.”

o  “Bible scholars typically believe that there are three ways of understanding these two chapters.”

o  “The first is historical.  These churches actually existed and had the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the letter.”

o  “The second is prophetic.  These churches can also represent ages in church history from the beginning of the Church in the book of Acts to the present day.”

o  “The third way to understand the descriptions of these churches is as types of different churches that typically all exist at any given time somewhere around the world.”

o  “This third way of understanding is our focus today.”

o  “We are going to use the descriptions of the seven churches to learn more about what can happen to any church depending on how it treats the claims, commands and the Person of Christ.”

o   “The church at Ephesus had lost its passion.”

o   “The church at Smyrna was under persecution but keeping their faith.”

o   “The church at Pergamum was following worldly ways and false teachers.”

o   “The church at Thyatira was compromising and tolerating false prophets and immorality related to sex, money and power.”

o   “The church of Sardis was spiritually dead.”

o   “The church at Philadelphia was small but spiritually alive.”

o   “The church at Laodicea was so rich that they had stopped depending on God for anything.”

o  “In your table groups, I would like to you to read through Revelation, chapters 2 and 3.  You can do it out loud or individually.”  (Allow time (5-10 min) for reading through the two chapters.  As they do, pass out the handouts of the charts to each table – one per participant.)

o  “I have passed out to you a chart that summarizes the descriptions of each of the churches.”

o  “It tells what their Strengths and Weaknesses are from Jesus’ perspective.”

o  “Then, it tells about Jesus’ Instruction, Warning and Promise to each church.”

o  “Read through this chart individually, and underline or highlight anything you want to remember.”

o  “Then, when everyone at the table is done reading, work through the questions on the flip chart at the front of the room.”  (Reveal the debrief questions.  Allow 15-20 minutes for discussion and individual reflection.  Then do a large group debrief to capture what they learned.)

o  “I want to give you an opportunity now to think about your own church and about your own spiritual condition.”

o  “Take some time in quiet, individual reflect to work through these steps.”  (Show the flipchart with the Individual Reflection steps, and allow 10-15 minutes for personal reflection.  Afterward, give an opportunity for anyone who feels especially led to share something that God put on their heart.)

o  “When a church or an individual has unconfessed sin in their life, it drives a wedge between them and God.”

o  “It doesn’t mean that they lose their ‘lampstand’ or their personal salvation, but it puts distance in the relationship.”

o  “In order to restore the relationship, the individuals in the church or the individual for himself has to confess and repent.”

o  “There is no restoration without repentance.”


Debrief Questions

1.     Do you feel these descriptions match churches that are in existence today?  Why or why not?

2.     Give some examples of churches today or from what you know of past churches or ages within the church.

3.     How do you know that these churches are like the ones described in Revelation?

4.     What do you think needs to be done for these churches (at least the ones that need to repent) to become the types of churches God wants them to be?

5.     What do you think will happen if they don’t repent?

 

Individual Reflection

1.     Which of the seven churches is most like your church?

2.     Why do you think that is?

3.     What needs to be done?

4.     Which of the seven churches is most like your heart?

5.     Why do you think that is?

6.     What needs to be done?

7.     Take some time now to talk to God in prayer.

a.     Confess any sins of your church or in your personal life that the Holy Spirit has brought to your attention.

b.     Repent of these sins, and commit to making changes that will please the Lord.

c.     Write down your commitments and put them someplace you will remember to look at them often.

 

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Filed under Church, Evaluation, John the Beloved, Lesson, Revelation