Category Archives: Grace

Restored (GAME)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

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

 

Scriptures

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

 

Materials

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

 

Preparation

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

 

Procedure

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

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

 

Debrief Questions

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

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Filed under Church, forgiveness, Game, Grace, Jesus, leadership, Peter, Relationships

Woman at the Well, The (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches how Jesus worked through a woman that society had given up on to bless her community and draw them to Christ.  The woman at the well was a Samaritan, a woman and a sinner – three reasons a Jewish rabbi should not have been talking with her, but Jesus didn’t care.  He saw the best in her and partnered with her to bring a community to know Him.

 

Scriptures

  • John 4:1-30, 39-43

 

Materials

  • Jar for woman at the well
  • Something to represent Jacob’s Well (This could be simply a piece of cardboard with bricks drawn on the side that faces the audience, or you can be more elaborate if you have the time and resources.)
  • Tape
  • OPTIONAL – Notecards for script.
  • Cans/glasses of cola, tea/coffee, energy drink, juice, water
  • Table to set everything on
  • Two pieces of fabric to use as veils for drinks
  • Glasses with pictures or other representations of money, fame, power, love, cars, other religions and a Bible. (There are pictures for each of these in the downloadable file mentioned below.)
  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Woman at the Well – Spiritual – Physical Signs”
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Select a drama team (Jesus and the woman at the well) to act out the roles in the story and share the teaching notes with them so that they can be prepared to act them out.  You might want to write their lines on notecards so that they will have them available when they are acting.
  • Set up “Jacob’s Well” at the front of the teaching area.
  • Print out “Spiritual and Physical Thirst Signs.”
  • Put each picture from the “Spiritual and Physical Thirst” file in a separate glass.
  • Set up a table with all the different drinks (cola, tea/coffee, energy drink, juice, water) on them, and put a veil over it so that it cannot be seen until you reveal it.
  • Under a separate veil (but on the same table if you only have one table), set up the “spiritual thirst quenchers” (power, cars, different religions, money, houses, love, entertainment, drugs, God’s Word –pick which ones you want to use) in separate glasses.
  • Put a piece of tape on the back of the “Spiritual” and “Physical” signs so that you will be able to stick them to your props.
  • Put markers in the Bible in the place where you want your volunteers to read the Scriptures for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

  • “I want to tell you story.” (Get volunteer to read John 4:1-3.)
  • “Jesus had some enemies, the Pharisees, in particular, who were trying to cause Him problems.”
  • “They didn’t like that He was becoming even more popular than John the Baptizer.”
  • “So Jesus decided to return to Galilee, where it would be easier for him to teach and train His disciples.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:4-6.)
  • “That’s strange.  Jesus went through Samaria.”
  • “The Jewish people hated the Samaritans, because they used to be Jewish but married foreigners and worshipped foreign gods that weren’t real.”
  • “Just about any other rabbi and his disciples would have hated the Samaritans so much that they would have gone AROUND Samaria just to avoid them.”
  • “But not Jesus!  He went straight through.”
  • “He stopped to rest, and His disciples went into town to get something to eat.”
  • “But Jesus didn’t just stop here to rest.  He had a meeting planned.”
  • “The time and the place He chose for the meeting were important.  It was about noon – the hottest time of the day – and He was at Jacob’s well, where people came to get water.  The other attendee was just about to arrive.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:7 up to the point Jesus starts speaking.)
  • (Have Drama Team enter.  Samaritan Woman comes to the well, carrying her jar on her shoulder.)
  • (Jesus says to her: “Will you give me a drink?”)
  • (Samaritan Woman: “Why are you asking me for a drink?  I’m a Samaritan and a woman.  Jews don’t talk with Samaritans.”)
  • “Jews weren’t supposed to talk to Samaritans, and Jewish men (particularly Jewish religious men) were not supposed to have private conversations with a woman.”
  • “Also, we don’t want to miss that she is coming to the well by herself at noon, the hottest part of the day.  This wasn’t the custom.”
  • “Women went to go get water in the early morning or in the late evening, when it was cooler.”
  • “Pulling up well water was difficult work.  You had to let your jar down 30 or 40 feet and then pull it up again full of water, and you can bet, it was HEAVY!”
  • “Then you had to carry it home, which was probably a mile or more away.”
  • “And getting water was a social time for the women.”
  • “They all went together and talked and laughed and shared stories during these times – but not this woman.”
  • “This woman didn’t feel comfortable around the other women.  They didn’t like her, and they made fun of her and talked about all the bad things she had done.”
  • “So, it was no wonder that she came at the worst part of the day; she wanted to avoid everyone else.”
  • “This woman was what everyone called ‘a sinner.’”
  • “So there are three reasons Jesus isn’t supposed to talk to her – she’s a Samaritan, a woman and a sinner.”
  • “Jesus is breaking all kinds of man-made rules here.”
  • (Jesus: “If you knew who you are talking to, you would have asked for living water.”)
  • “Jesus keeps doing unusual things!”
  • “What is He talking about?  Jesus is saying that if she had known that she was talking to God, she would have asked for Him to help her.”
  • “He says that He has this stuff called, ‘living water,’ to give her.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and ask, ‘What dat?’”
  • “Well, it’s not the water you can touch or see.  That’s what the woman came for.  That’s why she has her water jar.”
  • “No, this kind of water isn’t physical water; it’s spiritual water.”  (Stick “Physical” sign to Jacob’s Well.  Stick “Spiritual” sign on Bible, and show it to the audience.)
  • “Jesus does this all the time.  He’s taking something that’s physical that she already knows about, like water and being thirsty, and comparing it to something spiritual that she doesn’t know about.”
  • “He’s saying that just like you can fix physical thirstiness by drinking water, you can fix spiritual thirst by getting some living water.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and ask, ‘Can your spirit get thirsty?’”
  • “You bet it can!”
  • “God made each and every one of us with a spiritual thirst for Him, because He didn’t want us to be satisfied living without Him.”  (Unveil different beverages.  Move the “Physical” sign over, and put it on the table under the beverages.)
  • “If you were physically thirsty, which one of these would you drink?”
  • “Well, any of these will work a little, but the best option is water.”  (Hold up each of these as you talk about them.)
    • “Sodas have lots of sugar, so they make us fat and increase our chance of getting diabetes.”
    • “Juices taste good, but they have lots of sugar, too.”
    • “I like coffee and tea, but they raise my blood pressure.”
    • “And this energy drink will wake me up, but it’s full of sugar, as well.”
    • “Water is the best, because your body is over 60% water.  For kids, it’s actually higher than that.”
    • “When God made water, He made a perfect solution for our physical thirst.”
  • “Just like we’ve invented all kinds of ways to satisfy our physical thirst, we’ve also invented lots of ways to satisfy our spiritual thirst.” (Unveil glasses with various “spiritual thirst quenchers” in them.  Move the label for “Spiritual” over, and put it on the table under these “thirst quenchers.”  Hold up each of these as you refer to them.)
    • “Some people think having lots of money will make the thirst go away.”
    • “Some think having a nice car, or a big house will do it.”
    • “Some try to make it go away with love – they have lots of boyfriends or girlfriends.”
    • “Some do it with other religions, and some do it with entertainment.”
    • “But the problem is, none of these will satisfy us for long.  They just fill us up and dull our spiritual sense so that we can’t tell where the original thirst is coming from.”
    • “There is only one thing that will satisfy our spiritual thirst – the Bible.”
    • “This is what Jesus was talking about when He offered the Samaritan woman living water.”
    • “Once you have God’s Spirit in your heart, His Word will bubble up in you like a spring of water, and you will never be spiritually thirsty again.”
  • “So, that’s what He’s talking about, but unfortunately, the woman didn’t understand yet.”
  • (Samaritan Woman: “You don’t even have a jar.  How will you draw up this “living water?”  Are you claiming to be greater than our father, Jacob, who dug the well and drank from it himself?”)
  • “She still thinks He is talking about physical water.  ‘You don’t even have a jar!  You must think you’re better than the one who dug the well if you can get water out of it without a jar!’”
  • “So Jesus tries to help her understand.”
  • (Jesus: “Physical water quenches your thirst for a little while, but I’m offering you a special kind of water that will quench your thirst forever.”) 
  • (Samaritan Woman: “Give me some of that!  Then I won’t have to come here every day.”)
  • “Now, watch this!  Jesus is about to do something really unusual.”
  • (Jesus: “Go get your husband and come back.”)
  • (Samaritan Woman: “I don’t have a husband.”)
  • (Jesus: “You speak the truth.  You have had five husbands, and the one you’re living with isn’t your husband.”)
  • “What’s Jesus doing?  He’s testing her to see if she will be honest with Him.  He’s willing to give her what she’s asked for, but she has to pass the test first.”
  • “You see, Jesus knows why she comes to the well at noon.  He knows about the shame she feels in her heart because of all the men who have told her that they don’t want her.”
  • “She’s had five husbands who have each divorced her, and the man she’s with now doesn’t even respect her enough to marry her.  That’s why the other women at the well gossip about her.”
  • “Jesus is putting his finger on the deepest wound in her life, but He only touches it to heal it.”
  • “And to her credit, she tells the truth, so Jesus commends her for her honesty and He lets her know that He knows everything about her.”
  • (Samaritan Woman: “I know Messiah is coming, and when He comes, He will tell us all things.”)
  • (Jesus: “I who speak to you am He.”)
  • “This is big!  This is huge!  This is the only time in Scripture where you will see Jesus come right out and say that He is the Messiah.  He told people plenty of times that He is God, but He didn’t use the title ‘Messiah,’ because too many misunderstood what it meant.”
  • “They thought that Messiah would be a king who would come wage war against the Romans, but Jesus didn’t come to judge the earth; He came to save it!”
  • “So, the only person He tells that He is the Messiah is a sinful Samaritan woman – someone He wasn’t even supposed to be talking to!”
  • “Jesus saw the best in her.  And He made her one of God’s children that very day.”  (Drama Team sits.)
  • “The woman at the well joined Jesus’ team that day, and she was so excited, she left her water jar behind and brought all her neighbors to join Jesus’ team, too.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:28-30.)
  • “She was so excited that she forgot what people thought about her.  She forgot her shame, and she told everyone she could about Jesus.”
  • “And this is the part that really excites me!” (Have volunteer read John 4:39-42.)
  • “This Samaritan woman was the most disrespected member of her community, but her excitement about Jesus was contagious and people had to believe her because she was so convinced that Jesus was the Messiah!”
  • “After two days of listening to Jesus, they believed that he was the Savior of the world.”
  • “Jesus can use anyone to carry His message – even those with the most terrible sins and reputations.”
  • “All that He asks is that we believe in Him and share what we know in our hearts with those around us.”

 

Rhyme Time

Even when our life’s a mess

Jesus will use it to heal and bless.

 

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Filed under Bible study, Evangelism, Grace, Jesus, Lesson, Witness

Sin Shop (QUICK DRAMA)


Time

5 minutes
Audience

Children, Youth, Adults

 

Description

This quick drama makes the point that the wages of sin are death but that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Materials

  • Table to set Sin Shop items on with their labels
  • Tape to put labels near Sin Shop items
  • Items for your Sin Shop – items labeled (labels are available in the file mentioned below, but feel free to “upgrade” the sins depending on your audience) with various sins.  For example:
    • Lying to Parents
    • Cheating on Math Test
    • Disrespecting Parents
    • Thinking Bad Thoughts
    • Taking Your Brother’s Gameboy
    • Using a Bad Word
    • Little White Lie
  • Basket for shopping
  • Sign for store: “Lou’s Sin Shop” (available in the file mentioned below)
  • Sign that says, “The cost of sin is death” in large letters and “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” in tiny letters.  (If death is a difficult concept for your audience, you can use the sign that says, “The cost of sin is separation from God.”  (You can find these signs and the labels for your sin shop items at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page in a file called, “Sin Shop – Props.”)
  • Small slip of paper with writing on it that can act as a receipt.  Should say, “Paid in Full” on it in large letters.  (An example is provided in the file mentioned above.)
  • Optionally – costumes for your actors – apron for Lou Cipher, the storeowner, and a register or calculator.

 

Preparation

  • Set up the table and the props with their labels to make them look like a counter at a store.
  • Practice the skit, and memorize the lines.

Procedure

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

[PETEY enters Lou’s Sin Shop with a shopping basket.]

PETEY: “Wow!  A sin shop!  Awesome!  I’ve been wanting some of these!”

[PETEY looks through the shelves and selects several items for his basket.]

PETEY: “I’ll take one of these and one of these….oh, and I’ve got to have one of these!”

 

[PETEY goes to register to pay.]

PETEY: “Okay, that will do it.  How much do I owe you?”

[LOU calculates on his register or calculator as he says the following line.]

LOU: “Disrespecting Your Parents…..Taking Your Brother’s Gameboy….Using a Bad Word….Thinking Bad Thoughts…(Be careful with that one.  It’s powerful.)….All together, that’ll be exactly….DEATH.  Paper or plastic?” (Substitute “separation from God” if you prefer.)

PETEY: “Huh? I’m sorry.  It sounded like you said, “death.”  Did you mean “deal”…you’re going to give me a deal?” (Alternative: “Huh? I’m sorry.  It sounded like you said, ‘separation from God.’  I just want to know how much I owe you.”)

LOU: “Nope, I meant DEATH….listen, I’m already giving you a deal.  You don’t have to die physically today.  You can put down a little spiritual death and pay the rest later.” (Alternative: “That IS what I said.  Your total is separation from God.”)

PETEY: “Spiritual death?  What do you mean?”  (Alternative: “Separation from God?  What do you mean?”)

LOU: “Between you and God.  This stuff poisons your relationship with Him.  It won’t kill it off completely, but it makes it plenty sick.  So, paper or plastic?”

PETEY: “Uh, well, I guess I better put some stuff back.  Take this and this off.  How much do I owe you now?”

 

LOU: “Total’s still DEATH.” (Alternative: “separation from God.”)

PETEY: “Wait!  That’s not fair!  I took some stuff away.  How can you charge the same price?  Okay, all I want is this Little White Lie.  Ring that up.”

LOU: “Read the sign, will you, [Points to sign.] It clearly says, ‘The cost of sin is death.  Romans 6:23.’  That means little sins and big sins.  They are all the same price.  So what’s it gonna be?”  (Alternative: “separation from God.”)

PETEY: “I’ll tell you what it’s going to be!  I’m going to put in a complaint!  Your name is ‘Lou.’  Is that as in, ‘Lou-ser?’”

LOU: “Full name is Lou Cipher.  You can complain all you want.  Management knows what I’m doing, and I’ve got their approval.  Hey, look at me when I’m talking to you.”

[PETEY has noticed a receipt on the counter.]

PETEY: “Hey, what’s this?  You didn’t tell me about this.  It’s a receipt for all my sins, and it says it’s paid!  I don’t have to pay you!”

LOU: “Oh, great, another one of those!  Yeah, Management’s got a policy of paying for the sins of anybody that wants to apply the last part of the sign.”

PETEY: “What last part of the sign?  I didn’t see anything.”

LOU: “Well, you don’t expect me to advertise something like that, do you? It’s in the small print.”  [Points out small print on sign.]

 

PETEY: [Reading]  “’The cost of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’  Huh.  Well, I’m going to accept Management’s generosity.  And you can keep those sins I picked out; I’m done shopping!”  [Exits]  (Alternative: “separation from God.”)

 

LOU: [Chasing after PETEY]  “Hey, wait!  I’ve got some stuff in the back you might want to take a look at…”  [Exits]

 

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Filed under drama, forgiveness, God's Plan, Grace, Jesus, Quick Drama, Sin, skit

Unforgiving Servant (QUICK DRAMA)


Matthew 18:21-35

 

Two men enter with a prisoner in chains.  They bring him before a king and throw him down.  The king addresses the prisoner.

 

KING: “My records show that you owe me $3,267,500.  Pay today, or I will sell you, your wife, your children and all you own to pay the debt.”

SERVANT: “Oh, please, your Majesty!  Please have mercy on me!  I can’t pay you today, but I will!  I promise!”

KING: “Hmmmm… On second thought, there’s no way you could every pay off such a large sum.  You seem repentant.  Your debts are completely forgiven.”

SERVANT: “Really?  Completely forgiven?  Oh, THANK YOU, your Majesty!”

The servant leaves, bouncing out of the room while thanking the king.  As soon as he leaves the king’s presence, however, he comes across a man in the hallway and begins yelling at and choking him.

SERVANT: “You lousy rat!  Where’s that lunch money you borrowed from me?  You better pay up!”

MAN (falling on his knees): “Oh, I will!  I will!  I promise you will have all your money back, but I don’t have it on me today!”

SERVANT: “Don’t have it on you, huh?  Guards!  Arrest this man and throw him into prison!  He owes me money!”  (Guards enter and take man to prison.)

Several of the king’s servants observed the unforgiving servant’s behavior, and they quickly reported it to the king.  Enraged, he demands that the unforgiving servant be brought before him.

KING: “I’ve heard how you treated the man who owed you lunch money.  Because you are such an unforgiving servant and couldn’t overlook such a small amount after I had forgiven you of so much, I’m ordering you to be tortured by my guards until you’re ready to forgive that man.”

 

Isn’t it silly that the unforgiving servant couldn’t forgive a few dollars after he had just been forgiven millions of dollars?  God says that ‘s what it’s like when we won’t forgive people for things they’ve done to us.  Compared to how much God had to forgive us for, it’s like the difference between millions of dollars and lunch money.

 

When we won’t forgive others, our relationship with God suffers.  It’s like being in prison.  It won’t keep us from getting into heaven, but it will make life miserable.  But if we will forgive those who intend to harm us, God forgives us and fixes our relationship with Him again.

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Filed under Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, drama, forgiveness, Grace, Relationships, unconditional love