June 10, 2018 · 1:47 pm
This fun energizer gets people up and moving in a mad dash to grab an available chair. It works well to increase the energy in the room, and it could also be used to randomly sort participants into new groups. Use the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control instead of normal fruits to reinforce a message on the Fruits of the Spirit.
- Chairs – one per participant at the beginning
- Flipchart and markers (Optional)
Use the following procedure:
- Have all the participants sit in a circle of chairs. If necessary, they should bring their chairs with them from the tables back to an open area.
- Ask the first FOUR participants for their favorite kind of fruit. They cannot repeat a fruit. If someone says their favorite fruit has been mentioned, prompt them to give their second favorite kind of fruit. (You may want to flipchart the fruits so that participants don’t forget them.)
- For example, participant #1 may say apple, #2 says orange, #3 says kiwi, and #4 says mango. (Alternative: If you have a large group, you can also use the Fruit of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.)
- Once all the fruits have been named, go around the rest of the participants, assigning them a fruit in the same order, e.g., apple, orange, kiwi, mango.
- Make sure all participants are assigned one of the four fruits.
- Then tell participants that you are going to announce a fruit, and all the people who were assigned that fruit have to stand up and switch chairs.
- Tell them that while they are up, you will take one of these chairs out of the circle.
- The person that is left standing must then announce a new fruit.
- At any time, a person in the middle can say “Fruit Salad,” and it will force everyone to switch chairs.
- Answer any questions participants might have.
- Then, begin a round. Play several rounds.
- If you are using the activity to randomly sort participants, have them number off the number of groups you want after the final round. Then have all “ones” get together, all “twos” get together, and so on.
Filed under Energizer, Fruit of the Spirit, Icebreaker, Uncategorized
Tagged as faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, joy, Kindness, Love, patience, peace, self-control, sorting
July 16, 2011 · 10:00 pm
Children, Teens, Adults
This object lesson teaches about wounds that we get when people or circumstances hurt us. These take up a place in our hearts, because our hearts are where we keep things that are very important to us (both good and bad). Wounds are very fertile places in our hearts, so both God and Satan will try to plant seeds there. God’s seeds will turn our wounds into something beautiful, but Satan’s seeds will turn them into something painful, shameful, bitter and/or destructive. (Note: You will need a break in the lesson and/or a helper to plant the flowers and the weeds in the soil.)
- 1 large, heart-shaped pan or container (open at the top and about 3-5 inches deep – will be used as a planter for flowers and weeds and filled with soil.)
- 2 large, over-sized “packages” of seeds (They should be really big – preferably 2 ft tall for an exaggerated effect. They could created out of flipchart paper or something else (like a large mailing envelope.)
- 1 watering can (to water the flowers)
- Thick marker
- Sheet of paper
- Flowers (these can be real or fake – enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
- Weeds (these can be real or fake – about 10 of these)
- Soil (enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
- Seeds to go in each of the seed packages (It doesn’t matter what kind as long as they are large enough to be visible. Sunflower seeds would work well. Put several handfuls into each package.)
- Spread the soil around the heart-shaped container.
- Fill the watering can with water, and have it ready nearby the teaching area.
- Put the flowers and weeds somewhere where they can’t be seen and where you will be able to plant them later without being seen.
- Practice the script.
- Label one package of seeds in large letters that say, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.”
- Label the other package of seeds with large letters that say, “Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.”
- Use the sheet of paper, marker and tape to label the watering can with a sign that says, “Living Water.”
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Sometimes bad things happen to us.”
- “People mistreat us or hurt us, we have a bad experience, we make a mistake and have to suffer from the consequences…”
- “These things happen to everyone, but sometimes the experience hurts us so much that it creates a wound in our heart.”
- “A wound in your heart is a painful place; it hurts just to think about it.”
- “When you remember what happened, you feel terrible sadness or anger or jealousy or shame and embarrassment.”
- “Don’t raise your hand, but just think to yourself – do you have a wound like that in your heart?” (Allow participants a few moments to consider and remember a wound that they have suffered.)
- “I imagine that we can all think of at least on painful experience in our lives that just won’t go away.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
- “A wound is a really fertile place in your heart; that means that it’s a place where things can grow really well.”
- “It’s really fertile because of the pain from the wound. That pain can change you – it can change you for good or change you for evil.”
- “Let’s imagine that this heart-shaped container represents a wound in your heart.” (Show the heart-shaped container, and have the volunteer put his/her fingers through the soil.)
- (To the volunteer…) “Does that look like some fertile soil to you?” (Acknowledge response.)
- “It’s really good soil, and you could grow almost anything in there.”
- “Well, there are two ‘gardeners’ who are very interested in growing things in that soil; one is God, and one is Satan.”
- “They both want to grow things in your wound, because they know how fertile the soil is.”
- “God brings His seeds.” (Hand the large package of God’s seeds (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control) to your volunteer, and have him/her hold it up where everyone can see.)
- “God’s seeds will grow into the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
- “The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
- “That means that God can even take the wounds in your heart, the worst things that you have ever experienced, and turn them into blessings for you!”
- “But Satan also brings his seeds.” (Set the God seeds aside and hand the volunteer the other package of seeds.)
- “Satan’s seeds will grow into the fruits of evil, which are the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit: Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.” (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
- “Now, these two sets of seeds are going to compete to grow in the soil of your heart.”
- “Since the wound is so fertile, they are definitely going to grow, but you get to decide which type of seeds fill up your heart.”
- “Do you want the seeds that grow into the fruit of the Spirit to fill your heart, or do you want the seeds of evil to grow there?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “If you want the fruit of the Spirit to grow, you’ve got to water those seeds every day with Living Water.” (Hand your volunteer the watering can, making sure that the audience can see the “Living Water” label. Have the volunteer sprinkle some water over the soil.)
- “Living Water is the Word of God – the Bible.”
- “When you water with Living Water every day, the seeds that turn into the fruit of the Spirit are going to grow.”
- “But if you do nothing, the weeds of evil will grow instead.”
- “They don’t need any help to grow, because they grow naturally all by themselves.”
- “The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, only grows when you spend time getting closer to God each day by studying His Word, praying and doing your best to follow what His Word says to do.”
- “Let’s give these some time to grow and see what happens.” (Hand the heart-shaped container to a helper (or take a break) to take away and plant the flowers and weeds. Thank and dismiss your volunteer. Plant the flowers all around the heart, and insert weeds at different places. Then, bring the container back into the teaching area to finish the lesson.)
- “Let’s pretend that some time has passed.”
- “Our flowers that represent the fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) have grown up, because we have been watering them every day with Living Water by spending time praying, reading God’s Word and doing what it says to do.”
- “Unfortunately, some weeds of evil (Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control) have also grown up in our heart.”
- “That’s the way Satan works. He never gives up.”
- “Even when we are working really hard to let God use the wound to bless us and those around us, Satan will still plant seeds of evil around God’s seeds.”
- “You will have forgiven the person who hurt you, but every once in awhile, feelings of hate or mean thoughts will spring up in your heart.”
- “You may have trusted God with the mistake you made, but every once in awhile, feelings of deep sadness or sinful thoughts or actions might spring up.”
- “Don’t be surprised when this happens…it’s normal.”
- “What you have to do is pull those weeds.” (Ask for volunteer to come up and carefully pull the weeds out without uprooting the flowers.)
- “The way you get those weeds out of your heart is by giving them to God whenever you notice them in your heart.”
- “Pray to God, and ask Him to take away your bad feelings and your bad thoughts. Ask Him to help you stay away from bad actions.”
- “Keep the garden of your heart clean from weeds so that the fruit of the Spirit can really grow and make your heart beautiful.”
- “In that way, God will take a wound in your heart and make it into something beautiful for you and everyone God puts in your life.” (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)
Filed under blessing, Bullying, Challenges, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Protection, God's Will, Healing, heart, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, purity
Tagged as All things, bad experiences, bad seeds, bitterness, blessings, consequences, curses, destruction, faithfulness, fertile, flowers, Fruit of the Spirit, gardener, gardening, gentleness, God's children, good seeds, goodness, grow, growth, hurt, hurts, inflict, joy, Kindness, Love, pain, painful, patience, peace, Romans 8:28, Satan, self-control, shame, soil of your heart, weeds, wounds
July 14, 2011 · 6:26 pm
Children, Teens, Adults
This object lesson teaches about how God brings good things out of bad and uses the metaphor of turning lemons into lemonade.
- Romans 8:28
- Galatians 5:22
- Several cow patties if you can find them. If you can’t, use a bag of fertilizer and just explain that many fertilizers include animal waste.
- A pot of fragrant flowers
- A piece of fruit that most people would enjoy eating
- Lay out materials for the lesson.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Who knows what this is?” (Hold up dry cow patty.)
- “Right? It’s a cow patty.” (Pass it around to kids.)
- “Now, it doesn’t smell too bad right now, but who has ever smelled a fresh one?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “They’re stinky, aren’t they?”
- “So, you probably wouldn’t go around smelling them, would you?”
- “But would you smell this?” (Hold up flowers in a pot.)
- “Sure, because it smells good, right?”
- “Did you know that this (hold up another cow patty) was used to make this (hold up flowers) smell so good?”
- “How did that happen?” (Take responses until someone mentions fertilizer.)
- “Right! Cow manure is one of the most common ways to fertilize plants and flowers.”
- “How many of you would eat this?” (Hold up cow patty.)
- “But would you eat this?” (Hold up fruit.)
- “Believe it or not, there’s some of this (hold up cow patty) in this (hold up fruit).”
- “God made it so that plants and flowers take the nutrients out of the manure and reuse them to help the fruit and the flowers grow.”
- “God doesn’t waste anything. He even takes bad stuff (hold up cow patty) and turns it into good stuff (hold up or point to fruit and flowers).”
- “If God can do that with cow poop, He can do that with the bad stuff in your life, too.”
- “Some of the stuff that happens to us really stinks, but God will use it to do good stuff in our lives so that we come out smelling like a rose.”
- “He can use those bad things to create fruit in our lives like the fruit He talks about in the Bible.” (Have volunteer read Galatians 5:22).
- “So, whatever bad stuff happens in your life, give it to God to use as fertilizer, and He will bring good fruit out of it.” (Have volunteer read Romans 8:28.)
- “God will use everything to bless you if you trust Him with it!” (You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the lesson.)
If we trust Him and obey, God makes bad things go OUR way!
Filed under blessing, Challenges, Change, Choices, Conflict Resolution, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Plan, Healing, Hope, Object Lesson, Problem solving, Solutions, test, tool, Training
Tagged as All things, bad things, cow pattie, cow patties, cow patty, faithfulness, fertilizer, flowers, fruit, Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22, gentleness, God, God's children, good, good things, goodness, grow, joy, Kindness, Love, nourish, nutrients, patience, peace, Rhyme Time, Romans 8:28, self-control, turn-around, waste
August 4, 2010 · 9:34 am
This object lesson teaches that you need to stay connected to Jesus in order to have the power to live a godly life and produce the fruit of the Spirit.
- John 7:37-39, 15:1-5
- Galatians 5:22
- Garden hose (long enough to reach your teaching area from the water spigot
- Short garden hose (a hose reel leader hose works well)
- Two quick connect adapters for the hose – need to have an automatic stopper so that the water doesn’t continue to flow after you disconnect it
- Water nozzle (as small as you can find so that you can use it to fill water balloons)
- Water supply that you can hook the hose to
- Nine large balloons (purple is the best color for the lesson if you can find it – you may want to have extra balloons in case any pop or have a leak)
- Posterboard – one sheet of any light color or white
- Permanent marker to label nine, small signs with the name of the nine fruits of the Spirit
- Lanyard or twine
- Clear, plastic tub to hold the balloons as they fill with water
- Thin piece of plywood or piece of plastic or metal (4 ft long) with nine 3/4 in holes drilled in it about 5 inches apart and 5 inches from the end of either side of the board. (You can often find a piece of metal that has pre-drilled holes in it that will work just fine near the shelving part of your local hardware store.)
- Drill and ¾ inch drillbit (if you need to make the board mentioned above)
- Nine, large washers with a ½ inch hold in the center (the washers must be big enough that they won’t fall out of the balloon once you put them in the opening)
- (SEE DIAGRAMS AT END OF LESSON)
- Connect the hose to the water spigot.
- Connect the quick connect adapter (the one with the automatic stopper) to the end of the hose, and turn on the water. Use a steady stream of water but not full force – maybe about 1/4-1/2 turn.
- Connect the short hose to the quick connect adapter at the end of the longer hose.
- Connect the other quick connect adapter to the end of the short hose, and screw on the water nozzle.
- Run the hose segments and the nozzle into the teaching area.
- Make a large sign that says, “DISOBEDIENCE,” and put it on the lanyard/twine so that someone can wear it around their neck.
- Ask a volunteer to be your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer and to be ready when you call them. Give him/her the sign to wear when the time is right.
- Put a washer in the opening of each balloon.
- Push each balloon through one of the nine holes in your board. The opening of the balloon and the washer should be on top of the hole with the rest of the balloon below the board.
- Put the board with the balloons across the clear, plastic tub so that the balloons hang down into the tub.
- Cut out nine, small rectangles from the posterboard (each about 4 in long and 2 in tall).
- Write the nine fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) on these.
- Tape the signs to the bottom of the tub on the outside, facing the audience. Each sign should be in front of a different balloon.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “I’m going to show you why it is so important for you to stay close to God.”
- “The night before Jesus was crucified, he said something very important to his closest disciples.” (Have volunteer read John 15:1-5.)
- “Jesus was making a comparison between His relationship with His disciples and a grapevine.”
- “Jesus said that He is the grapevine. That’s the thickest part of the plant that is rooted to the ground.”
- “He said that the disciples are branches and that the branches hold the fruit.”
- “We know from Galatians 5:22 that the fruit that Jesus is talking about is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (If the kids are not familiar with the fruit of the Spirit, you might want to take a moment to describe each one for them.)
- “And He says that if we (as the branches) don’t stay connect to Him (the vine), we won’t have any of this fruit.”
- “But….if we stay connected to Jesus, we will have LOTS of fruit.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front, and allow him/her to help you in the following demonstration.)
- “I don’t have a grapevine here today, and even if I did, we don’t have an entire season to watch the grapes grow on the vine.”
- “So, instead of using a real grapevine, I’m going to use this hose, this nozzle and these balloons to demonstrate what Jesus is talking about.” (Ask volunteer to hold the nozzle at the end of the hose.)
- “Imagine that this hose represents Jesus as the vine.”
- “Through Him comes a steady flow of living water, which the Bible tells us is the Holy Spirit according to John 7:39.” (Turn on the nozzle (if it isn’t already) and have the volunteer point it into the tub. Have another volunteer read John 7:37-39.)
- “This nozzle represents us as the branches, and these nine balloons represent the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They are like the grapes on the vine.”
- “Now, the goal is to produce fruit and lots of it.”
- “We produce fruit by filling the balloons with the water. This is like the Holy Spirit flowing through us (the nozzle) to do the good works that the fruit represents.” (Allow your volunteer to begin to fill one of the balloons. Turn off the nozzle when the balloon is full enough that the water doesn’t come shooting back out the top – over half-way.)
- “But by itself, this nozzle is pretty useless. It has no water of its own to share.”
- “We can’t connect just the nozzle to a balloon and fill it.” (Disconnect the nozzle from the hose and give it to the volunteer. Ask them to try to fill the balloons with just the nozzle.)
- “That’s what it’s like if we try to do God’s work without God.”
- “There is just no power in it.”
- “So we have to stay connected to the hose if we want to have the power to do the work that God has given us to do.” (Reconnect the nozzle, and let the volunteer continue filling the first balloon. When it gets about full, start filling up another balloon.)
- “What does it mean to be connected to the hose? In other words, how can we stay connected to Jesus so that His Spirit flows through us and produces fruit?”
- “There are two things we need to do in order to stay connected to the hose/to Jesus.”
- “We need to spend time with God, and we need to obey God.”
- “If we do these two things, we will stay connected to Jesus, and His power will flow through us and produce lots of fruit.” (Allow volunteer to keep filling balloons slowly. Don’t allow them to fill all the balloons before you finish the next part.)
- “How can we spend time with God?” (Listen to answers. You are looking for things like, “Go to church, worship, praise, pray, read your Bible…”)
- “Excellent! During those times, God will tell us what He wants us to do in our lives.”
- “But spending time with Him is not enough. We have to also do what He says.”
- “Sometimes, we know what God wants us to do, but we don’t want to do it.”
- “That’s called ‘DISOBEDIENCE’ (bring your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer forward), and it’s disconnecting the hose so that the living water won’t pass through.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer disconnect the hose so that the water stops.)
- “Disobedience stops the flow of the living water coming through your nozzle.”
- “Another word for ‘disobedience’ is ‘sin.’”
- “Sin stops the flow of God’s power, which He sends through His Holy Spirit, through you.”
- “But it’s easy to get the living water flowing again. What do you think you have to do?” (Listen to responses. You are looking for someone to say, “obey.”)
- “That’s right! Obey, and living water flows through you again to create more fruit.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer reconnect hose, and allow volunteer to fill in the rest of the balloons. Then dismiss the volunteer.)
- “So what are the two things we need to do to stay connected to God?” (Listen for the answers, “spend time with Him” and “obey Him.”)
- “Fantastic! Let’s all go and produce lots of fruit!”
Filed under Annointing, Daily walk, Fruit of the Spirit, Hands-on, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Transformation
Tagged as abide, abiding, balloons, branches, connected, disobedience, faithfulness, Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22, gentleness, goodness, John 15:1-5, John 7:37-39, joy, Kindness, Living Water, Love, Obedience, patience, peace, self-control, tapped in, time with God, vine