July 13, 2014 · 10:17 am
This is a game that simulates the time when David snuck down into King Saul’s camp and stole his spear and water jug while his army was sleeping.
o Stick (1 – long and straight is better, because it represents Saul’s spear)
o Water bottle (1)
o Masking tape or chalk to mark a line on the floor or ground
o 1 Samuel 26:1-25
o Mark a line on the floor or ground to separate the two “armies.”
o Read the Scriptures, and be prepared to summarize the story.
o Mark or highlight the Scriptures in the Bible if you want to read them during the lesson.
o Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “One time when David was running from King Saul, a group called the Ziphites told King Saul where David was hiding.”
- “King Saul took his 3,000 best troops and went to capture or kill David.”
- “David was hiding in the wilderness, and he was able to sneak up on King Saul’s camp while they were sleeping one night.”
- “The Bible says that God put a deep sleep on all of King Saul’s army, so they didn’t wake up when David and one of his men crept up to the place where King Saul was sleeping.”
- “David’s soldier offered to kill King Saul right then and there so that David could be king, but David wouldn’t allow him to hurt the king.”
- “David didn’t want to be king until God was ready for him to be king.”
- “So, he instructed his soldier to take King Saul’s spear and water jug.”
- “They escaped to a safe place, and then David called out to Abner, the commander of King Saul’s army.”
- “He said, ‘Abner! Abner! Why are you sleeping when your king’s enemy has come to destroy him? You didn’t guard your master, and I was able to get his spear and his water jug.’”
- “King Saul awoke. He was shocked and felt guilty for how he was treating David compared to the kindness David had shown him in preserving his life.”
- “He invited David to come back with him and promised never to try to hurt him again.”
- “David, though, knew better. He knew he couldn’t trust King Saul, so he returned the king’s spear and water jug and went back to his hideout.”
- “So, let’s play a game about this story.”
- “It’s called ‘Capture the Spear,’ and it’s played with two teams.” (Divide the group into two (roughly) evenly sized teams, and give one team the “spear” and water jug. You can also divide the groups up between kids and adults if that works better in your context.)
- “This group with the spear and water jug will be King Saul’s army, and the other group will be David’s army.”
- “This line (point out the line you’ve marked on the floor or ground) separates the camps between the two armies.”
- “King Saul’s army picks one person to be King Saul and puts the spear and water jug one, big step away.”
- “Everyone else in King Saul’s army has to be at least one, big step away from the spear and water jug.”
- “They also have to close their eyes, because God has put them into a deep sleep.”
- “David’s army is going to try to sneak into King Saul’s camp and steal their spear and water jug.”
- “Here’s the hard part – King Saul can tell his (or her) army to open their eyes two times during the game.”
- “If David’s soldiers are past the line when King Saul’s army opens their eyes, King Saul’s men can try to capture one of them by encircling them (holding their teammates’ hands so that the person is trapped).”
- “If even one of David’s soldiers gets caught, King Saul’s army wins!”
- “David’s soldiers can escape by crossing the line again.”
- “If all David’s soldiers get back across the line, they are safe, and King Saul’s army has to close their eyes again.”
- “If David’s soldiers take both the spear and the water jug across the line, they win!”
- “They have to carry them over the line; they can’t throw them.”
- “And if King Saul’s army opens their eyes two times but can’t catch any of David’s soldiers, David’s army wins!”
- “Any questions?”
- Play several rounds, and let them switch between playing King Saul’s and David’s armies if they want. When they finish, debrief with the following questions:
- Why do you think God put King Saul’s soldiers into a deep sleep?
- Why didn’t David let his soldier kill King Saul?
- Do you think this was the right decision? Why or why not?
- Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.
David took some of King Saul’s things,
But he waited on God to make him king.
Source: Michael Kientz
September 6, 2011 · 8:42 am
This Challenge teaches that God will help us get through difficult times and temptations. He never leaves us alone when we suffer. The lesson is made by sticking wooden skewers through balloons without popping them.
- Large balloons – 2-3 per person
- Wooden skewers – 2-3 per person
- Vegetable oil – 1 small container per group
- Duct tape – 1 roll per group
- Practice doing the exercise.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We’re going to do an object lesson today to learn how God helps us during difficult times.”
- “Bad stuff even happens to Christians, but God will never leave you alone when you suffer.”
- “I know that because 1 Corinthians 10:13 in the Bible says, ‘No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.’” (The Message)
- “Let’s demonstrate this.”
- “Okay, let’s say that you are one of the balloons in our kit.”
- “Let’s blow it up, and tie it off.” (Help participants if they have trouble with this. Don’t blow the balloons up fully. You want there to be some thickness of the rubber at the nipple and at the place where you tied off the balloon.)
- “Now, let’s say that one of those skewers is a bad thing or a temptation that’s about to happen to you.”
- “What would happen if you put the skewer (the bad thing or temptation) through the balloon (the you)?” (Listen to responses.)
- “Right! It’s going to pop us!”
- “But I know a way that we can keep ourselves from being popped by these bad things and temptations.”
- “When you face something bad, you need the covering of the Holy Spirit.”
- “That’s God’s covering over your life, and it will protect you during bad times.”
- “In the Bible, oil often represents the anointing of God. Let’s anoint this skewer so that it can be used by God.” (Dip the skewers into the oil. Then instruct them to insert them slowly into a balloon through the tie-off area and out the very top (the nipple). These are the areas where the rubber of the balloon stretches the least, so they are more likely to receive the skewer without popping. If the balloon pops, laugh nervously and grab another balloon – kids love it when things don’t go the way an adult plans them.)
- “Look at that! God’s anointing was all it took!”
- “You see, if God allows bad stuff to happen to us, He anoints it so that it ends up doing His work in our lives. God knows where you can handle the bad stuff, just like I knew just where the balloon could handle the skewer.”
- “Now, sometimes, God allows bad stuff and temptations to happen to you, but he provides grace and strength for going through those things.”
- “Let’s pretend that this duct tape represents God’s covering of grace and strength for us.” (Have everyone blow up new balloons. Then, put pieces of duct tape across both the front and back sides of balloon. Then, have them slowly twist and poke a skewer though – dry ones, not the ones with the oil. You can repeat this several times for dramatic effect.)
- “Sometimes during tough situations, you might feel like you could just burst.”
- “But remember that God is with you during those times. Pray for His covering, and He will help you through them.”
- (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards). The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can cover them during times of temptation and testing. They need to trust in Him for His protection.)
- Why didn’t the balloons pop when the skewers went through them?
- How is this like how God protects us during times of suffering?
- If you have to go through a time of suffering in the future, how will you handle it?
God is there when it’s more than we can bear!
Filed under Annointing, Challenges, Coping skills, courage, Failure, Fear, God's Protection, Hardship, Joseph, Object Lesson
Tagged as balloons, challenge, difficulties, duct tape, Object Lesson, pierce, pop, skewers, stress, teaching
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 15, 2011 · 6:44 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.
- Lemons – enough for everyone to have a wedge after you cut them up and 5 or 6 for you to juice at the front of the room
- Lemonade – enough for everyone to have some (I recommend Capri Sun Lemonade pouches for the ease of preparation, distribution and clean-up.)
- Knife (to cut the lemons)
- Juicer (manual or electric)
- Bowl or Ziplock bag to hold the lemon wedges
- Cup or bowl to catch the juice
- Sugar (1 cup should be enough for the amount of lemonade you are making)
- Water (approximately 2 quarts)
- Pitcher (one)
- Spoon (for stirring the lemonade)
- Table to work on
- Slice lemons into wedges.
- Set up all your materials on a table at the front.
- Enlist a few helpers to help you pass out lemons and lemonade at different times during the lesson.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “How many of you have tasted a lemon before?” (As you talk, juice five or six lemons into your cup or bowl, and have someone pass around the lemon wedges to everyone in the audience.)
- “Why don’t we all take a taste of the lemons you’ve been given.” (Demonstrate what you want them to do, and observe them tasting their lemons. Comment on the sour faces.)
- “They are pretty sour, aren’t they?” (Continue juicing your lemons as you talk.)
- “They make you think twice before taking a second bite, I bet.”
- “You know, sometimes life is pretty sour. I bet this is not the first time you made that face.”
- “The truth is, bad things sometimes happen to good people.”
- “Sometimes it’s not your fault.”
- “You may not have done anything to deserve it, but you are suffering anyway.”
- “Maybe a bully picks on you or your brother takes your stuff or your sister tells a lie about you…”
- “Those could be pretty sour experiences, and they might make you want to make the same face you made a minute ago.”
- “But you know what? When life gives you lemons, God makes lemonade!”
- “Yep, He uses the bad stuff that happens to us to make us better. He doesn’t always take the bad stuff away. Often, He sweetens it.” (Pour the juice, water and some of your sugar into the pitcher and stir.)
- “One day, the same bully who picked on you may become your friend.”
- “Your brother took your old stuff, but you got something better.”
- “Your sister told a lie about you, but she apologized later.”
- “God takes lemons and makes lemonade.” (Taste, make sour face, add more sugar and stir.)
- “It may take some time for God to sweeten up your lemon juice, but I promise He will if you will trust him with your lemons.” (Taste and smile.)
- “Ahhh! That’s good stuff! How’s your lemonade?” (Show mock surprise when they protest that they only have lemons.)
- “What? All you’ve got are sour lemons?”
- “Let’s ask God to make those lemons into some lemonade.” (Signal some helpers to get ready to pass out lemonade as you pray.)
- (PRAY) “Lord, all of these kids have gotten some lousy lemons in their lives. Will you please take those sour lemons and turn them into sweet lemonade for each person in this room? We thank you for your faithful hand in our lives, and we give you every lemon that’s ever happened to us. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.” (Signal your helpers to pass out the lemonade.)
- “Now, let’s have some lemonade to celebrate what God’s going to do with our lemons one day.” (The Rhyme Time below can be used to reinforce the message of the lesson. You can also have a volunteer read Romans 8:28 to show how God promises to make all things work for the good of those who love Him.)
If we trust Him and obey, God makes bad things go OUR way!
Filed under Abundance, acceptance, blessing, Bullying, Challenges, Change, Conflict Resolution, God's Plan, God's Protection, Healing, learning, Lesson, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Problem solving, Transformation
Tagged as All things, bad situation, bad taste, bad things, bad things happen to good people, brother, bully, Capri Sun, cheat, circumstances, God's children, good taste, good things, hurt, juicer, lemonade, lemons, lie, obey, Object Lesson, overcoming obstacles, Rhyme Time, Romans 8:28, sister, smile, sour, sweet, Trust, turn-around