Category Archives: discipleship

Follow the Leader (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches about what’s it’s like to be on Jesus’ team.  When you are on a team, you do what you see your leader doing.  Peter didn’t always follow the leader very well, and Jesus had to go after him several times to get Peter to stay on the team.

 

Scriptures

John 1:35-51; Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11; John 21:1-25

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Follow the Leader – Fishers of Men Logos” (Sports-style logos for your 12 volunteers who will portray the apostles and one for you to wear as the leader.)
  • Safety pins (13)
  • Costume for Peter character (“Petey”) – fisherman’s hat, fishing pole, tackle box, fishing vest, etc.  Can go barefoot.
  • Costume for Jesus character – a robe, possibly with a sash of some sort to go over one shoulder.  Can go barefoot.
  • OPTIONAL: 13 white undershirts (big enough for your volunteers)
  • OPTIONAL: Costumes for Andrew, James and John characters – tunics with a belt (I’ve used just a piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for the actor’s head to slip through and another strip of the same fabric for a belt.) Can go barefoot.
  • OPTIONAL: Something like a net that “Petey” can cast during the drama scenes.
  • OPTIONAL: Something to act like a boat for the drama scenes.

 

Preparation

  • Print 13 copies of the “Fishers of Men” logos (preferably in color).
  • Make 13 “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.)
  • Put on your own ‘Fishers of Men’ shirt or logo.
  • Select a volunteer to play “Petey” (someone who can do some extemporaneous acting), and have them get in costume.  They can wait off-stage or somewhere else out of sight.  Share teaching notes with volunteer so that he knows how he should respond during the lesson.
  • Select volunteers to play Jesus, James, John and Andrew, and have them get in costume.  (Because they are not speaking parts, you could use the same volunteers who come up to be Fishers of Men to play the roles of James, John and Andrew.) They can wait off-stage or somewhere else out of sight.  Share the general teaching plan so that they will know when to listen for your cues and what to do.

 

 

Procedure

Use the following script or modify to suit your needs:

  • “When Jesus was doing His ministry on earth, He put together a team of twelve apostles.”
  • “These twelve men followed Him everywhere He went and learned all they could from Him.”
  • “Then, when Jesus left the earth and returned to heaven, these men continued His work.”
  • “They did incredible things, like helping thousands of people to know Jesus, healing the sick, curing the lame and raising the dead to life!”
  • “Not everyone knows this, but Jesus is still putting His team together today!  And He wants you on it!”
  • “Let’s talk about what it means to be on Jesus’ team.” (Ask for 12 volunteers to come forward, and have them all put on a ‘Fishers of Men’ shirt (or pin the logo to the shirt they have on).)
  • Let’s say that I’m like Jesus, and these people are my followers.”
  • “Together, we make up a team called the ‘Fishers of Men.’”
  • “A follower is someone who does what he sees his leader doing, so I want you guys (addressing your volunteers) to do exactly what you see me doing.”  (Walk around the room in a funny way with exaggerated movements.  Make sure your volunteers mimic what they see you doing.)
  • “Now, if you saw all of us walking down the street like this, would it be hard to tell that we were together?”  (Listen for responses.)
  • “Could you tell that these guys were my followers?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “Not hard, right, because they are doing exactly what they see me doing.”
  • “These are really good followers.”  (Thank your volunteers, and let them take a seat.)
  • “So, if we want to be on Jesus’ team, what should we be doing?”  (Expected response: “What we see Him doing.”)
  • “And what do we see Jesus doing in the Bible?”  (Expected responses: “Helping people, praying, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, telling people about God…”)
  • “Some of those things would be pretty difficult for us to do, but we could ask God to do them for us.  If He thinks it’s the best thing to do, He will do it when we ask Him to.”
  • “But even if He doesn’t lead us to do some of the really difficult stuff, I bet there are some easier things He did that He would also like us to do.  What do you think those things are?”  (Expected responses: “What we see Him doing.  Praying, helping people, telling people about God…”)
  • “Exactly!  If we are on Jesus’ team, we should be doing those things that we see Him doing in Scripture.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team!’”
  • “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”
  • “You’ve got it!”
  • “But you know what?  Peter didn’t get it.”
  • “You know what Peter did after he first met Jesus?  After he saw Jesus turn water into wine and heal many people, including the son of a royal official?  And after he saw Jesus walk right through an angry mob that wanted to throw Him off a cliff? You know what Peter did then?”
  • “He went back to fishing!  Can you believe it?” (Have your “Petey” volunteer walk across the front of the room, dressed in fishing hat and vest with a pole and tackle box.)
  • “Everybody, I want you to ask Petey there, ‘Petey!  Whatcha doin’?’”  (Have everyone ask out loud. Petey should say, “I’m goin’ fishin’.”)
  • “Petey, Petey, Petey…  Don’t you remember that your brother Andrew introduced you to Jesus and told you that He was the Messiah?”  (OPTIONAL: Have a volunteer read John 1:41-42.)
  • (Petey should say, “Uh….well, yeah.  I do seem to remember that.”)
  • “And do you remember when Jesus gave you that cool new name that meant, ‘The Rock?’”
  • (Petey should say, “Yeah, that’s why you’re calling me Petey.”  (To kids)  “I used to be called Simon.  It meant, “to listen and obey,” but I’ve never been very good at that.  Jesus named me “Peter,” – “the ROCK!”)
  • “And do you remember all the cool miracles Jesus did?”
  • (Petey: “Yeah!  Those were cool!”)
  • “So why are you going fishing again?”
  • (Petey: “It’s what I do!” – Shrug, and let Petey go.  Have him pretend to go fishing nearby.)
  • “Peter was definitely not doing what he saw his Leader do.”
  • “So, kids, what do you think Jesus did about Peter?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “Yep, Jesus went after him.”  (Have “Jesus” actor come conspicuously through the teaching area and follow the “Petey” character.  He should come back through room with “Petey” and “Andrew.”)
  • “He found Peter and his brother Andrew fishing, and he said to them ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” (You can have your Jesus actor say this if you want.  It’s from Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:16-18. Then have “Petey” and “Andrew” follow “Jesus” out of the room.)
  • “Without another word, Peter and Andrew got up and followed Jesus, and so did their friends James and John, who were also fishermen.” (Have “James” and “John” already sitting somewhere in the room.  At this point, they get up and follow the others out of the room.)
  • “And it’s a good thing they did!  They saw some cool stuff!”
  • “Jesus taught many people about God, cast out demons and healed people of all kinds of diseases.  He even healed Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever.” (Have “Petey” return and walk back through the room alone with his fishing gear.)
  • “Hey, kids!  There he is again!”
  • “Everybody, I want you to ask Petey there, ‘Petey!  Whatcha doin’?’” (Have everyone ask out loud.)
  • (Petey should say: “I’m goin’ fishin’.”)
  • “Petey, Petey, Petey…  How could you be going fishing again after all you’ve seen Jesus do?  Don’t you remember everything He taught you and all the cool miracles?”
  • (Petey: “Yep!  I remember.”)
  • “So why are you going fishing again?”
  • (Petey: “It’s what I do!” – Shrug, and let Petey go.  He should join the Andrew character, who should return and pretend to be cleaning nets.)
  • “Peter’s still not doing what he sees his Leader doing!”
  • “So, kids, what do you think Jesus did about Peter?”  (Expected response: “Went after him.”)
  • “Yep, He went after him.”  (Have “Jesus” actor come conspicuously through the teaching area and follow the “Petey” character.  All actors should be in the room at this point, but they shouldn’t be in one group.  “Petey” and “Andrew” should be together; “James” and “John” should be together but in a different corner of the room; “Jesus” should come in last and stand near to “Petey” and “Andrew.”)
  • “He found Peter and his brother Andrew washing their nets by the lake.” (Luke 5:1-11 – Have all the fishermen act like they are cleaning their nets.  From here on, they should act out whatever you say.)
  • “By now, a huge crowd followed Jesus everywhere He went, and they were at the lake wanting to hear more of what Jesus was telling them.”
  • “Jesus knew that they could hear Him better if He went out onto the water of the lake, so He got in Peter’s and Andrew’s boat and asked them to push out a little from the shore.”  (Have actors act this out.)
  • “From there, He sat down and taught the people many things.”
  • “When He finished, he turned to Peter, and He told him to go into the deep water and put his nets back in.”
  • (Petey: “Master, we’ve been working hard all night long, and we haven’t caught anything.”)
  • “Peter was frustrated.  He was tired.  He had worked all night long with no sleep and no fish.”
  • “And now, Jesus is trying to tell him how to do his job.”
  • “Jesus wasn’t a fisherman.  He grew up doing what He saw His earthly father doing, and that was carpentry.”
  • “So, Peter had a decision to make right there.”
  • “Was he going to trust his own experience as an expert fisherman, or was he going to trust Jesus?”
  • “What do you think he did?”  (Expected response: “Trusted Jesus!”)
  • “Yes!  He trusted Jesus!”
  • (Petey: “Master, we’ve been working hard all night long, and we haven’t caught anything.  But because You asked me to do it, I’ll let down the nets again.”)
  • “So Peter and Andrew rowed out to the deep water, and they let down the nets over the side of the boat.”  (Have Petey toss something like a net onto the audience if you have it.  He should then mimic pulling in a huge catch of fish.)
  • (Petey: “Fish!  We’ve caught fish!  ….And there are hundreds of them!  And big!  The nets are starting to break!  James!  John!  Hurry!  Bring your boat over here to help us!”)
  • “James and John, who were Peter’s and Andrew’s partners in the fishing business, quickly came over to help.”
  • “Together, they pulled in so many fish that both boats were completely full of them, and the boats were so heavy that they almost sank in the water!”
  • “When Peter saw this, he fell on his knees and said to Jesus…”
  • (“Petey”: “Go away from me, Lord.  I am a sinful man!”)
  • “You see, Peter was suddenly reminded of exactly Who Jesus was!”
  • “Andrew had told him before that Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One Who came to save people from their sins.”
  • “Peter had forgotten, but now he remembered!  And even though he probably didn’t yet realize that Jesus is God, he did realize that a righteous man of God was in his boat.”
  • “Jesus’ righteousness compared to Peter’s sinfulness made Peter feel unworthy to even have Jesus in his boat.”
  • “But Jesus told Peter not to be afraid because he would catch men rather than fish from that moment forward.”
  • “So Peter and Andrew, James and John rowed into shore, got out of their boats and left everything behind to follow Jesus.”  (Actors exit.)
  • “You mean, they left all those fish?  Those fish were worth more money than they had ever made in a day – maybe in a week or even in a month!”
  • “But they left them.  The Bible says that they left everything!”
  • “You see, Jesus had very important work for these men to do, and Peter’s job was going to be the most important.”
  • “Jesus wanted Peter to be the leader, so He tested Peter to see if he was ready.”
  • “In fact, Jesus tested Peter three times on this fishing trip.”
  • “The first time was when Jesus asked to use Peter’s and Andrew’s boat.  Jesus wanted to see if these tired fishermen were willing to do something for Him just because He asked.”
  • “The second test was when Jesus asked Peter to let down his nets.  This was a test of Peter’s faith.”
  • “The third test was when Peter and his friends caught the biggest catch of fish in their lifetime.  This was a test of Peter’s heart.”
  • “Jesus wanted to know if Peter would be satisfied with a miracle or if he wanted the Miracle-Maker.”
  • “Peter chose the Miracle-Maker, and he left that incredible catch of fish behind to go and be a fisher of men.”
  • “And I’m happy to say that from that day on, with only one exception (after Jesus’ resurrection, when Peter went back to fishing), Peter started doing what he saw his Leader doing.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team!’”
  • “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”
  • “Touch as many people as you can and say, ‘I’m gonna be a fisher of men!’”  (You may want to have the group recite the following rhyme to reinforce the lesson.)

 

Rhyme Time

I follow my Leader;

I do what He does.

I’m a fisher of men,

And I catch with God’s love.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Apostles, discipleship, Jesus, Lesson, Obedience, Peter

God’s Permissive Will (OBJ LESSON)


Time

45 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

 

Description

This object lesson teaches about how God’s permissive will works with God’s unchangeable will.  It uses the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and his brothers to illustrate how God allows us to make choices but brings even our bad choices and sin into alignment with his perfect will in the end.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 2:16-17; 37-50
  • Numbers 23:19
  • Deuteronomy 30:15-20
  • Joshua 24:14-15
  • 1 Samuel 15:29
  • Malachi 3:6
  • Romans 8:28
  • Hebrews 6:17
  • James 1:17

 

Materials

  • One red rope – about 15-20 ft long
  • Five ropes (any color other than red) – about 15-20 ft long each
  • Printout of the file, “JJ  – God’s Permissive Will – Choices Cards (OBJ LESSON).” It can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.
  • 70 clothespins
  • Large paper clip or rubber band
  • Bag to hold clothespins, Choice Cards and ropes

 

Preparation

  • Print out “JJ – God’s Permissive Will – Choice Cards.”  (There are 35 pages.)
  • Cut each of the pages in half down the line in the middle to make 70 separate Choice Cards.
  • Put ropes in your bag
  • Put the clothespins in your bag so that you can carry them during your lesson.
  • Put the Choice Cards in numerical order (the numbers are on each card) with #1 on top and all the rest following.
  • Clip or rubber band these cards together, and put them in your bag.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “God’s will is difficult to understand.”
  • “In some parts of the Bible, it says that God’s will never changes.”  (Have volunteer(s) read one or more of the following Scriptures out loud: Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 6:17, James 1:17.)
  • “But we know from other parts of the Bible that God allows us to have free will – meaning, He lets us make choices.”  (Have a volunteer(s) read one or more of the following Scriptures out loud: Genesis 2:16-17, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Joshua 24:14-15.)
  • “This is sometimes called ‘God’s permissive will,’ which means that God gives us permission to choose to do something different than His will.”
  • “These Scriptures make me wonder how God’s will can always stay the same even though we do things that are not in His will.”
  • “Why don’t our bad decisions mess up God’s perfect and unchanging will?”
  • “I’m going to show you how this all works.”  (Ask for two volunteers.  Give them each one end of the red rope, and have them stretch it out as far as it will go across the room.)
  • “Let’s say that this is God’s unchanging will.”
  • “It stays the same no matter what.”
  • “On this end, we have ‘Before time began,’ and on the other side, we have ‘Eternity.’”
  • “God’s will is outside of time.  It was here before time began and will continue on after time ends.”
  • “This rope represents our free will.”
  • “There was a time in the Garden of Eden when God’s will and man’s free will were tied together.”  (Tie the two ropes together near the ‘Before time began” end.)
  • “But that didn’t last long, because Adam and Eve chose to do something against God’s will when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
  • “Whenever people step away from God’s will by using their free will to do something wrong, it looks like this.”  (Ask for another volunteer to come up and hold the “free will” rope away from the “God’s Will” rope.  Leave the two ropes tied together, but have the volunteer just hold the rope a few steps away from the “God’s Will” rope.)
  • “That first sin was followed by many more, and I don’t have time to tell you about all of them.”
  • “Instead, I’ll focus just on one family – the family of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.”
  • “I’m picking this family, because they are God’s chosen people, the ones He made a promise to bless.”
  • “The story started with God making a promise to Abraham.  Abraham was old and didn’t have any children, but God promised to make him the father of many nations.  His son Isaac was the child of that promise.”
  • “At this point, Abraham’s free will was lined up with God’s will, so the two ropes are together.”  (Have volunteer who has the “free will” rope come back to the red “God’s will” rope and hold both ropes together.  Pull out Choice Card #1 from your bag.  Show it to the audience. Clip the two ropes together using a clothespin.  Anytime a Choice Card says, ‘GOD’S WILL – BOTH ROPES’ at the bottom, clip the two ropes together.)
  • “Isaac grew up and got married.  His wife Rebekah couldn’t have children, so he prayed for her.  God answered his prayer and gave them two children, Esau and Jacob.”
  • “What do you think?  Was Isaac’s free will still lined up with God’s will at this point?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “Sure it was!  Isaac wanted what God wanted, and God blessed him with two children.”  (Show Choice Card #2, and use the clothespin to clip the two ropes together.)
  • “Esau and Jacob fought with each other in their mother’s womb, and God told Rebekah that Jacob would one day rule over his brother Esau.”
  • “Do you think it God’s will that the babies fought in the womb?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “I don’t know for sure if babies know enough to use their free will, but let’s say that it could be possible.”
  • “That means that their free will separated from God’s will.”  (Have ‘free will’ rope volunteer take a step away from the ‘God’s will’ rope so that the two ropes separate.  Make sure he/she doesn’t pull hard on the rope and rip the Choice Cards that are already on it.  Use a clothespin to clip Choice Card #3 to just the ‘free will’ rope. Draw out Choice Card #4, and show audience.)
  • “Jacob’s name in Hebrew means, ‘He deceives,’ and it’s a great name for Jacob.  He was one of the trickiest people in the whole Bible.  The first trick we know about is when he convinced his brother, Esau, to sell him the birthright of the firstborn son in exchange for a bowl of stew!”
  • “The birthright of the firstborn son was a special privilege given to the boy who was born first, and it made him the leader of the family when the father died.  It also gave him twice the inheritance of the other children, so it was pretty important.”
  • “Now we know that God said Jacob would one day rule over Esau, but I’m pretty sure this is not how God planned for it to happen.”
  • “God didn’t need Jacob to trick Esau.  God would have made His will come true without tricks.”
  • “So, this choice that Jacob made was definitely away from God’s will!”  (Clip Choice Card #4 with a clothespin to just the ‘free will’ rope.  If you have lots of participants, you could give the choice card to a volunteer and have him/her clip it and then stand by it to represent that choice.  There will be 70 choices total, so you might have each volunteer represent several choices.  Draw out the remaining Choice Cards in numerical order while telling the story of God’s chosen people.  The cards are listed below for your reference along with important story elements.)
  1. REBEKAH AND JACOB – Tricked Isaac into giving Esau’s blessing to Jacob (It wasn’t enough that Jacob stole the birthright from Esau; he felt he had to steal his blessing, too.  (The blessing was a special gift from the father that helped a child to know what his or her future would be like.)) FREE WILL ROPE
  2. ESAU – Threatened to kill his brother, Jacob (Esau was so mad when he found out, that he promised to kill Jacob as soon as their father died.) FREE WILL ROPE
  3. REBEKAH – Tricked her husband, Isaac, into sending Jacob away to find a wife among her brother’s people (Now we know where Jacob learned to be so tricky.  His mom was a trickster, too!  She saved Jacob’s life by sending him where Esau couldn’t get him.  It’s good that she saved Jacob’s life, but she didn’t trust God to help.  Instead, she told a lie.  That’s away from God’s will.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  4. GOD – Promised land to Jacob in a dream and told him that he would have many descendants (God met Jacob while he was running away and renewed the promise that He had made to Abraham and Isaac.)  BOTH ROPES
  5. JACOB – Fell in love with Rachel as soon as he saw her (When Jacob arrived at the land of his relatives, he saw a girl named Rachel and fell in love with her.  God wants us to fall in love.  This was lined up with God’s will.)  BOTH ROPES
  6. JACOB – Worked for Laban for seven years in order to marry his daughter, Rachel. (It was the custom for these people at this time that a man would pay a woman’s father for the privilege of marrying her.  Jacob didn’t have any money or property, so he worked for seven years as payment.  This was honorable behavior.)  BOTH ROPES
  7. LABAN – Tricked Jacob into marrying Rachel’s older sister, Leah (Jacob wasn’t the only tricky person.  His uncle Laban wanted to marry his oldest daughter off before Rachel got married, so he tricked Jacob into marrying her. That’s definitely away from God’s will.)  FREE WILL ROPE (have volunteer step away from ‘God’s Will’ rope to hold ‘free will rope’ and show the distance between the two.  You might want to have them step in the other direction from the first time in order to make the best use of space.)
  8. JACOB – Was angry with Laban but agreed to work for Laban for seven more years so that he could marry Rachel, too.  (Jacob loved Rachel very much and still wanted to marry her, so even though he had been tricked, he agreed to work seven more years to pay for her hand in marriage.  That’s pretty romantic, but the problem with it is that God doesn’t want us to marry more than one person.  This is away from God’s will.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  9. LABAN – Tricked Jacob many times in order to make him keep working for him. (Laban wasn’t satisfied with having Jacob work for him for 14 years. Jacob was a talented shepherd, and Laban got rich while Jacob was taking care of his sheep.) FREE WILL ROPE
  10. 14.  GOD – Blessed Jacob by giving him many herds and many children (12 sons and 1 daughter).  (This is the beginning of God fulfilling His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.) BOTH ROPES
  11. 15.  RACHEL and LEAH – Competed with each other to see who could have the most sons for Jacob.  (In their culture, they believed that you were more important if you had more sons.  Leah was able to have six boys, but Jacob didn’t love her.  He loved Rachel, but she couldn’t have children for many years until God finally let her have Joseph and Benjamin towards the end of her life.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  12. JACOB – Ran away from Laban.  Laban chased him, but God warned Laban in a dream not to hurt Jacob.  (I’m not sure if it was God’s will for Jacob to run away or not, but God protected Jacob, so we will say that this was lined up with God’s will.) BOTH ROPES
  13. JACOB – Wrestled with God until God gave Jacob a blessing. (While Jacob was traveling back to the land his family lived in, and angel of the Lord (probably Jesus) came to earth and wrestled Jacob.  Jacob wouldn’t let go until God blessed him.)  BOTH ROPES
  14. 18.  ESAU – Forgave his brother Jacob, because he had been very blessed by God over the years they were apart.  (Jacob was worried about his brother still being mad at him, but he was surprised to find that Esau had totally forgiven him.)  BOTH ROPES
  15. SIMEON AND LEVI – Took revenge on people who hurt their sister, Dinah, by killing all the men in the town.  (When Jacob settled his family in Shechem, a man hurt his daughter, Dinah.  Her brothers took revenge by killing every single man in the town.  Jacob never forgave his sons for what they did.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  16. GOD – Allowed Rachel to die giving birth to Benjamin, Jacob’s youngest child.  (Sometimes God allows bad things to happen, and we don’t understand why.  There are times when we find out later what God was doing, but we won’t know all God’s reasons for what He allows to happen.  We just have to trust Him.)  BOTH ROPES
  17. JACOB – Loved Joseph more than any of his other children.  (Because Joseph was the firstborn child of Rachel, the wife Jacob loved and because some of his other sons had disappointed him, Jacob showed favoritism to Joseph.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  18. 22.  JOSEPH – Told his father about the bad things his brothers had been doing. (Joseph saw his brothers do some pretty bad stuff, and he told his dad about it.  I think it was the right thing to do, but it made his brothers really mad at him.)  BOTH ROPES
  19. 23.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS – Hated Joseph because their father loved him more.  (It was obvious to his brothers that Joseph was their dad’s favorite, so they hated him.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  20. 24.  JOSEPH – Had two prophetic dreams that showed he would one day rule over his family.  (These dreams were from God, because they eventually came true.)  BOTH ROPES
  21. JOSEPH – Told his brothers about his dreams. (I think this was a mistake.  Joseph might have been showing off to his family, and all it did was make them all angry with him and hate him more.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  22. JOSEPH’S BROTHER – Hated Joseph because of his dreams.  FREE WILL ROPE
  23. 27.  JACOB – Made a special coat of many colors for Joseph, because Joseph was his favorite.  (This was another mistake.  The coat was a special coat like the one rulers would wear.  It was a coat for people who didn’t have to work, and it made Joseph’s brothers hate him even more.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  24. 28.  JACOB – Sent Joseph to check on his brothers and bring him back a report. (And another mistake!  Didn’t he realize how much his sons hated Joseph?  The brothers were working, and Joseph was wearing his fancy, no-working coat.  And Jacob sent Joseph to tattle on his brothers – not good!)  FREE WILL ROPE
  25. 29.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS – Threw Joseph in a well and then sold him to some slave traders. (Joseph’s brothers were sick and tired of their little brother, and they decided to get rid of him.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  26. 30.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS – Tore his robe and dipped it in blood.  Then they let their father believe Joseph was killed. (They hid what they did by making Jacob think that Joseph had been eaten by a wild animal.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  27. 31.  MIDIANITES – Sold Joseph as a slave to Potiphar, the Egyptian and captain of the guard for Pharoah. (God is never happy when people are treated as slaves.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  28. 32.  JOSEPH – Served Potiphar faithfully and honored God.  (Suffering can often change your heart, and I think Joseph grew up a lot when he was sold as a slave.  During this time, he learned to trust God and do his best even in a bad situation.)  BOTH ROPES
  29. 33.  GOD – Was with Joseph and gave him success in everything that he did.  (When we are lined up with God’s will, He blesses us and blesses us!)  BOTH ROPES
  30. 34.  POTIPHAR – Put Joseph in charge of everything in his household and trusted him with everything he owned.  (Even people who don’t believe in God can be in line with God’s will sometimes.  Potiphar was so impressed with Joseph that he gave him responsibility for everything.) BOTH ROPES
  31. 35.  POTIPHAR’S WIFE – Tried to get Joseph to kiss her.  (What?!  She was married!  Definitely not in God’s will!)  FREE WILL ROPE
  32. 36.  JOSEPH – Refused to sin against Potiphar and God and avoided Potiphar’s wife whenever possible.  (Good for him!)  BOTH ROPES
  33. 37.  POTIPHAR’S WIFE – Lied about Joseph to her husband and said that Joseph tried to kiss her.  (Oooh….she’s not a good person!) FREE WILL ROPE
  34. 38.  POTIPHAR – Put Joseph in the prison where the king’s prisoners were kept. (It’s interesting that he put Joseph in this special prison for Pharaoh’s prisoners.  That gave Joseph opportunities to meet important people.  Still, Potiphar shouldn’t have put him in prison for something he didn’t do.) FREE WILL ROPE
  35. 39.  JOSEPH – Served the prison warden faithfully and honored God while he was in prison.  (Joseph was put into prison unfairly, but he still chose to trust in God and honor God by working hard.)  BOTH ROPES
  36. 40.  GOD – Was with Joseph and gave him success in everything that he did. (Again, when we line up with God’s will, He blesses us.)  BOTH ROPES
  37. 41.  THE PRISON WARDEN – Put Joseph in charge of everything and everyone in the prison.  (Because Joseph was so trustworthy, the warden trusted him with everything.  God was definitely at work.)  BOTH ROPES
  38. 42.  THE CUPBEARER and THE BAKER – Offended Pharaoh.  (We don’t know what happened, but Pharaoh was mad at two of his top servants.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  39. 43.  PHARAOH – Put the cupbearer and the baker into prison. (It’s hard to know if Pharaoh was being fair or not, but God was going to use it.)  BOTH ROPES
  40. 44.  POTIPHAR – Assigned the cupbearer and the baker to Joseph. (Potiphar was in charge of the prison, and he apparently still had some trust in Joseph.) BOTH ROPES
  41. 45.  THE CUPBEARER and THE BAKER – Both had dreams on the same night, but they were sad because they didn’t know what the dreams meant.  (Sometimes God is the One who gives people dreams.) BOTH ROPES
  42. 46.  JOSEPH – Noticed their sadness, asked to hear their dreams and then interpreted them.  He asked the cupbearer to remember him when he returned to Pharaoh. (Joseph had interpreted his own dreams in the past and knew that God could interpret these dreams through him.  In this case, Joseph told them that the cupbearer’s dream meant that Pharaoh would restore him again in three days and that the baker’s dream meant that Pharaoh would kill him in three days. Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him and get him out of prison.)  BOTH ROPES
  43. 47.  PHARAOH – Restored the cupbearer and killed the baker, just as Joseph had predicted.  (Exactly as Joseph had interpreted the dreams, the cupbearer went back to work, but the baker was killed.) BOTH ROPES
  44. 48.  THE CUPBEARER – Forgot about Joseph for two years.  (Not cool!  Joseph got him free, and he totally forgot about Joseph.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  45. 49.  PHARAOH – Had two dreams that worried him.  (These dreams were definitely from God.  One was about seven fat cows that got eaten by seven skinny cows, and the other was about seven healthy heads of grain that got eaten by seven sick heads of grain.)  BOTH ROPES
  46. 50.  PHARAOH – Called all his magicians and wise men, but no one could interpret the dreams. (God was saving the interpretation for Joseph.)  BOTH ROPES
  47. 51.  THE CUPBEARER – Remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about his ability to interpret dreams.  (Finally!) BOTH ROPES
  48. 52.  PHAROAH – Called for Joseph to come to interpret his dreams. (It’s just about to get really good!) BOTH ROPES
  49. 53.  JOSEPH – Interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and gave him advice about how to prepare for the coming famine.  (Joseph didn’t take any of the credit for his ability.  He gave it all to God, and he helped Pharaoh understand that the dreams meant there would be seven years of plenty of food followed by seven years of starvation.)  BOTH ROPES
  50. 54.  PHARAOH – Put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt, gave him his official ring, robes, chain and chariot and gave him a wife. (Pharaoh realized no one would do a better job than Joseph at saving the country, so he put him in charge of everything!) BOTH ROPES
  51. 55.  GOD – Allowed a famine throughout all of the world.  (A famine is a bad thing, but God allowed it to help many people stop believing in false gods and start believing in Him.)  BOTH ROPES
  52. 56.  JOSEPH – Managed the food in Egypt well so that no one had to starve during the famine. (God gave Joseph excellent management skills, and he saved so much food during the good years that there was plenty of food for everyone during the seven years of famine.) BOTH ROPES
  53. 57.  JACOB – Sent Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to get food for the family.  (It wasn’t just the people in Egypt who couldn’t grow food during the famine.  People all over the world started coming to Egypt, because they were the only ones with food.)  BOTH ROPES
  54. 58.  JOSEPH – Recognized his brothers when they came to buy grain but didn’t reveal his identity.  (Joseph knew that he had to test his brothers to make sure that they had changed.) BOTH ROPES
  55. 59.  JOSEPH – Tested his brothers to see if his younger brother, Benjamin, was still alive.  (First of all, Joseph was worried that his younger brother might have been killed or sold into slavery, so he made his brothers go and get him to bring him to Egypt.)  BOTH ROPES
  56. 60.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS – Returned home to get Benjamin, but they had to leave Simeon, who was put into prison.  (To make sure that they would come back, Joseph made them leave Simeon behind.)  BOTH ROPES
  57. 61.  JACOB – Didn’t want to let his sons take Benjamin, but he finally gave in when they got too hungry.  (Jacob was afraid that the ruler (actually Joseph) in Egypt might keep Benjamin, so he didn’t want to let him go.  In the end, though, they needed the food for survival.) FREE WILL ROPE
  58. 62.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS – Returned to Egypt with Benjamin and two times the money needed to pay for food.  (They returned with twice the money, because Joseph had their money put back in their grain sacks before they left the first time.  That shows that he had forgiven them.  He didn’t want their money, and he didn’t want to get even.)  BOTH ROPES
  59. 63.  JOSEPH – Tested his brothers one more time to see if their hearts had changed.  (Now that Joseph saw Benjamin, he was relieved, but he still wondered if his brothers were the same, evil people that they had once been, so he tested them one more time by sending them back with a silver cup hidden in Benjamin’s sack.  After they had left, he sent his official to find out who “stole” his cup.  He wanted to know if they would sacrifice Benjamin for their own safety.)  BOTH ROPES
  60. 64.  JUDAH – Offered to be Joseph’s slave if Joseph would just let Benjamin and the others go. (To Joseph’s surprise and joy, Judah offered to become a slave in order to free Benjamin.  Judah was the brother who led the others to sell Joseph into slavery, but his heart had changed over the years.)  BOTH ROPES
  61. 65.  JOSEPH – Revealed his identity to his brothers and sent them back to get their father and bring him to Egypt. (When he was sure that his brothers had changed, Joseph told them who he was.  They had dinner together, and he told them the whole story.  Then, he sent them back to get the whole family.)  BOTH ROPES
  62. 66.  PHARAOH – Approved for Joseph’s family to live in the best part of Egypt.  (Pharaoh trusted Joseph so much and was so grateful for his wise leadership that he gave Joseph’s family the best land in Egypt to live in.)  BOTH ROPES
  63. 67.  JACOB – Brought his whole family to Egypt.  (70 people in all!)  BOTH ROPES
  64. 68.  JOSEPH – Reunited with his father and family and received his father’s blessing.  (Jacob was so happy to see Joseph alive!  The two had a great reunion.)  BOTH ROPES
  65. 69.  JOSEPH – Forgave his brothers for the terrible things they had done to him. (Joseph really forgave his brothers.  In fact, he told them that he knew they meant to hurt him, but God allowed it to happen so that he could save many lives.) BOTH ROPES
  66. 70.  MOSES – Led the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. (And that wasn’t the end of the story, because Jacob’s family lived in Egypt for 400 years.  During that time, they were protected from the evil religions that were in the country of Canaan, where they had come from, and they were able to grow from 70 people to over 2 million.  When the time was right and the Hebrews were ready, God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt and back into the Promised Land of Canaan.)  BOTH ROPES
  • CONCLUSION:
  • “Notice how often people in this story did their own free will apart from God’s will.”
  • “But also notice that God always brought events back in line with His will.”
  • “So here’s the answer to how God can allow us to have free will and sin but still accomplish His perfect will in the end…”
  • “No matter what these people did, God would take it and use it for His purposes.”
  • “Even when they sinned, He turned it around and made it work for good.”
  • “In the end, God brings everything in line with His will.”  (Grab the end of the Free Will rope.  Then go to the “eternity” end of the red rope, and pull on the Free Will rope until it straightens out right next to the red rope.  This shows how God brings everything into alignment with His purposes in the end.)
  • “You’ve probably noticed that the ‘God’s Will’ rope is red.  That’s to symbolize the blood of Jesus, that has the power to bring our Free Will into alignment with God’s Will.”
  • “Satan is a bigger trickster than Jacob, Rebekah and Laban put together, and he constantly tries to get us to pull away from God’s Will.”  (Gently pull several of your volunteers back away from the red rope as they hold onto the “Free Will” rope.)
  • “But no matter what he tricks us into doing, God offers to help us line up with His will if we will just trust in the blood of Jesus.”  (Pull the ropes together again.)
  • “When you accept Jesus’ sacrifice of His own life on the cross as payment for your sins, God brings everything in line with His will.”
  • “He will take all the bad and sinful choices you made and use them in a positive way.”
  • “He will take all the terrible things other people did to you and use them in a positive way.”
  • “And even though you can still make choices that take you away from God when you are a believer…”  (Pull one of your volunteers and the “Free Will” rope away from the red rope.)
  • “If you ask God for forgiveness, He will bring those bad choices back into line with His will.”  (Pull the ropes together again.)
  • “Romans 8:28 says that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
  • “God is pretty amazing, don’t you think?”  (Acknowledge responses, thank your volunteers and allow them to be seated.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Abraham, Abram, Challenges, Choices, Decision making, discipleship, faith, God's Plan, God's Will, Jesus, Joseph, Lesson, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, Repentance, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, temptation, Transformation, unity

Under the Radar (GAME)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30-35 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to understand how challenging it is to get feedback “in under the radar” without raising the intended recipient’s defensiveness.  Participants will enjoy trying to get beanbags into a target.  The beanbags represent their feedback, and the target represents the recipient’s heart.

Scriptures

o  Proverbs 15:1, 18; 21:23

Materials

o  Beanbags (three per team – if you can’t find beanbags to buy, you can make simple ones with small ziplock bags or drawstring bags filled with beans or rice)

o  Posterboard (1 sheet per team)

o  Markers (2-3 – Red, Green and Black if you want it)

o  Masking tape

o  Note cards (3 per team)

o  A bag or pouch with material that you cannot see through (1 per team)

o  Scissors

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Create a target on the posterboard.  Start with a 6” x 6” circle in the middle.  Then draw concentric circles around it, making each new one about 6” bigger all around.

o  Write point values in each of the circles.  The center circle is worth 50 points.  The next, bigger circle is worth 25.  The next, bigger circle is worth 15.  The next one is worth 10, and if you have any edge left on the poserboard, you can mark that worth 5 points.

o  Buy or make your bean bags.

o  Place the posterboard targets on the ground, and mark a boundary for the throwers with a piece of tape on the floor.  It should be about 8-10 feet away from the target.

o  Mark three more lines of tape on the floor at 25%, 50% and 75% of the way between the throwing line and the target.

o  Cut the notecards in half, and put a large, colored dot on each one (Make 3 with RED dots and 3 with GREEN dots for each group.)

o  Mix up the 6 half-cards, and put them into a bag/pouch.

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Giving feedback isn’t easy.”
  • “We want our feedback to be taken to heart by the person we are giving it to.”
  • “Their heart is our target.”
  • “If the feedback doesn’t make it to their heart, they won’t do anything about it.”
  • “And even when we give feedback with a pure heart and a desire to help the other person, there is no guarantee that our feedback will hit its target.”
  • “There are many things that can rise up and block our feedback from reaching its target, and one of the most common obstacles is defensiveness.”  (Ask a volunteer to come to the front and represent the person to whom you want to give feedback.)
  • “When we are trying to send our feedback to its target…”  (Demonstrate “feedback” flying through the air in the direction of the volunteer with your hand.) “…if we don’t skillfully send it into the target area, the person’s defensiveness radar will see it coming….”  (Have the volunteer make a beeping sound to represent a radar system, and ask them to speed up their beeping as you get closer.) “…and the defensive walls will go up!”  (Have the volunteer put up their hands and block your feedback from reaching its target.  Then, thank and dismiss the volunteer.)
  • “So, let’s play a game that demonstrates this difficulty.”
  • “It’s called ‘Under the Radar,’ and your goal is to throw a beanbag onto a target to earn points.”
  • “You will have to stand here at this line to make your throw and try to hit that target.”  (Demonstrate so that participants get the idea.)
  • “That would be challenging by itself, but it’s more difficult than that.”
  • “I’m going to divide you into a team of three and then make you compete against another team of three.”
  • “Three people will get a chance to throw their ‘feedback’ onto the target, and the team that they are competing against will get a chance to block them.”
  • “Here’s how it will work.”
  • “Each person throwing will get three chances to hit the target, but before they throw, they have to draw three cards out of this bag.”
  • “Inside the bag are eight (6) notecards – three with RED dots and three with GREEN dots.”
  • “If they draw a card with a RED dot, the other team gets to put a person on one of the strips of tape between the throwing line and the target.“
  • “This person represents defensiveness on the part of the person receiving the feedback.”
  • “They have to stand on the tape, but they can do whatever they can from that point to try to block your ‘feedback’ from reaching its target.”
  • “If the person throwing draws two RED dots, two of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks (different ones).”
  • “If he/she draw three RED dots, three of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks.”
  • “If less than three RED dots are drawn in the three draws, not all opposing team members will get to stand on the tape marks.”
  • “Those not on tape marks are not allowed to interfere with the throws.”
  • “GREEN cards are good for the throwing team and keep the opposing team off the tape marks.”
  • “After drawing three cards from the bag, the thrower should make three throws and see how close to the center of the target that he/she can get while trying to avoid the defenses of the opposing team members on the tape marks.”
  • “After that team member has made their three shots, add up the total points.”
  • “Then, move the opposing team members off the tape marks, and let the other two team members take turns drawing three cards and take three throws while avoiding the defenses of any opposing players who get onto tape marks because of RED dot cards.”
  • “When all three team members have thrown, the opposing team gets their turn to throw and see how many points they can accumulate.”
  • “The team that has the most total points (from all nine throws) wins.”
  • “Any questions?” (After addressing questions, divide the group into groups of three and pair up the teams of three against each other.  Then, have them choose who will throw first and let them play.  When they are done, recognize or reward the winning teams, and have them return to their seats to work through the following debrief questions.)

Debrief Questions

1. What was challenging about the game?

2. If you compare the game to giving someone feedback, what comparisons can you make?

3. What types of things make people’s defensiveness go up?

4. How can you give feedback in a way that won’t make people defensive?

5. Read Proverbs 15:1, 18 and 21:23.  Do these Scriptures give you any additional ideas?

Summary

  • “Sometimes, you only get once chance to send that feedback in there, so you want to make sure that it has the best chance possible of hitting it’s target.”

Leave a comment

Filed under acceptance, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, discipleship, Evaluation, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, heart, Humility, leadership, Relationships, self-image, Spiritual Growth, team, Transformation

Kingdom Tag (GAME)


Time
15 minutes (or more, depending upon how many rounds of tag you play)
Description

This game illustrates evangelism in a high-energy, fun way through a game of tag.  It’s a very quick game, so you will probably want to play it several times.  The game works best with larger groups of kids, but it can still be played with small groups.

Optionally, you can play the game outdoors with water (for “baptizing”), but if you do, it needs to be okay for the  kids to get really wet!

Scriptures

  • Matthew 28:18-20

Materials

  • OPTIONAL: Paper or plastic cups for each child
  • OPTIONAL: A tub or bucket of water
  • Bible

Preparation

  • OPTIONAL: Fill the tub with water (You only need the tub of water and the cups if you plan to do the “baptizing” option.)
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Today, we are going to talk about the last words that Jesus said before he rose back into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.”
  • “Last words are important.”
  • “If a leader is leaving his followers, and he has one more opportunity to talk to them, he’s going to say something important, don’t you think?”
  • “Sure he is…and Jesus was no different.  He had something very important He wanted to say to His disciples.”
  • “So, He had over 500 of His followers meet Him at the Mount of Olives, and He said this to them.”  (Ask volunteer to read Matthew 28:18-20.)
  • “What did Jesus tell them to do?”  (Answer: go and make disciples, baptize them and teach them)
  • “So, one of the most important things Jesus ever said to His followers was, ‘Go, Make Disciples, Baptize Them and Teach Them.’”
  • “Do you think this is still important for us to do as followers of Jesus today?”  (Listen for responses.)
  • “Sure it is!”
  • “It’s just as important today as it was when Jesus originally said it.”
  • “We need to tell as many people as we can about Jesus, so that they can go to heaven, too.”
  • “And the neat thing is, every time a new person becomes a follower of Jesus, they can then tell all their friends and family about Jesus, too!”
  • “Now, there are millions and millions of Christians in the world.”
  • “If all the Christians were telling as many people as they could find about Jesus, how long do you think it would be before the whole world knew about Him?”  (Listen for responses.)
  • “Not too long, huh?”
  • “Well, let’s try this out.”
  • “We are going to play a game, called Kingdom Tag.”
  • “It’s played like regular tag, but there are a few differences.”
  • “First, you start with one person who is ‘IT,’ and that person represents a Christian.”
  • “Everyone else represents someone who doesn’t know Jesus, and each person can live in different parts of the world.”
  • “If you get tagged by the Christian (the person who is ‘IT’), you become a Christian, and then you are also ‘IT!’”
  • “Then, instead of running away, your new job will be to try to tag other people.”
  • “They will then become Christians, too, and their new jobs will be to tag other people.”
  • “We will keep playing until everyone has been tagged and becomes a Christian.”  (If you want to do the “baptizing” option, then anyone who is “IT” should run and get a cup filled with water.  They tag people by “baptizing” them with the water.)
  • “Every few minutes, I’ll ask you to raise your hand if you still haven’t been tagged yet, so be honest and raise your hand if you still haven’t been tagged.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions about how to play the game?”  (Answer questions.)
  • “Okay, I’m going to need one volunteer to be it.”  (Select volunteer.  Then define what is out-of-bounds and where they are welcome to run and hide.)
  • “I’m going to give you a five second head-start before I let the Christian go.”
  • “Ready?  Go!”  (Count to five slowly before letting your “IT” person go.  Every few minutes, ask everyone to raise their hands who has not been tagged.  The game is over when everyone has been tagged.  If it goes quickly, play several rounds, if you like.  Then, call the kids back to talk about the Debrief Questions listed below.)

Debrief Questions

  1. What did you think about the game?
  2. How long did it take to tag everyone?  Does that surprise you?
  3. Why do you think it happened so quickly?
  4. Could we do the same thing by sharing about Jesus with other people we meet?
  5. How did you know if someone had already been tagged or not?
  6. Is that anything like how hard it is to know if someone is a Christian in real life?
  7. So what do you think we should do if we can’t tell if someone is a Christian or not?
  8. What will you commit to doing this week about sharing Jesus with other people?

Leave a comment

Filed under Baptism, Christianity, discipleship, Evangelism, Game, Games that Teach, Great Commission, salvation, Witness