Category Archives: Great Commandment

Ripples


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the impact of our actions on others. It uses silly string and will make a huge mess, but it’s easy to clean up, and the kids will enjoy it.

Materials

· Enough cans of silly string (a.k.a., crazy string or crazy ribbon) for 6-8 children to have one.

Preparation

· Get the cans of silly string / crazy string ready for the children to use.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “How many of you know that the things you do and say have an impact on the people around you?” (Look for a show of hands.)

· “Let’s do an activity to illustrate this.” (Ask for 6-8 volunteers. Place the first one in the center of the teaching area. Place the others at different distances around the center volunteer. Make sure that the center person has clear line-of-sight for all the others. See diagram below.)

ripples

· “This person (gesture to center person) represents each of us, and all these other people represent the people in our lives. Our brothers and sisters, our parents, our friends at school and other people we know.”

· “When we say things and do things, they send off ripples like when a pebble is dropped into a pool of water.”

· “Those ripples go out from you and touch those people around you.”  (Hand the center volunteer a can of silly string, and have him/her spray it while turning in a circle. Silly string should fly out and hit all the people around the center person.)

· “Now, you can send out positive ripples, or you can send out negative ripples.” (Spin your volunteer once clockwise while he/she sprays silly string. This can represent positive ripples. Then spin the volunteer once counter-clockwise while spraying. This can represent negative ripples.)

· “Positive ripples usually make those around you feel good.  Negative ripples typically make them feel bad.”

· “What kind of ripples do you want to send out?” (Assumed response: ’Positive ones.’)

· “Sure, I knew that.  But sometimes when we say mean things or do hurtful things or even when we aren’t even paying much attention at all, we send out negative ripples.”

· “When people get negative ripples from someone, do you know what happens?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Many times, when someone gets negative ripples from someone, they send out their own negative ripples.”  (Hand one of the other volunteers – the one closest to the center volunteer – a can of silly string. Have him/her turn counter-clockwise and spray string.)

· “Those ripples go out from them to you and often to others around them – even people who had nothing to do with what happened between the two of you.  That doesn’t seem fair, does it?” (Hand another volunteer – one close to the second volunteer – a can of silly string, and have him/her spray while turning counter-clockwise.)

· “Those negative ripples go out and impact other people, who then sometimes give off their own negative ripples that affect other people around them and cause them to give off even more negative ripples.” (Hand out the rest of the cans, and have those volunteers spray in a counter-clockwise direction.)

· “When the negative ripples come back at you, your first temptation will be to send negative ripples back.” (Have all the volunteers do a few spins counter-clockwise while spraying.)

· “Before long, the first negative ripple you sent out could end up impacting lots of people – people you’ve never met.” (Point out any children left in the audience, who will no doubt have silly string all over them.)

· “But what if you worked harder at always giving off positive ripples?  What would happen then?”  (Listen for responses.)

· “The good ripples would go out and make other people want to give off good ripples.  Then those good ripples would make other people want to give off more good ripples to the people around them.” (Have the center volunteer do a turn clockwise while spraying. Then have the person closest do a clockwise turn, which will trigger the next closest person, which will trigger the next closest person, etc…)

· “That’s it!  That’s what I wanted to help you understand.  You could help a lot of people have a better day just by starting the first good ripple.” (Let the volunteers do a few last clockwise turns while spraying. Then thank and dismiss them.)

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Filed under Great Commandment, Hands-on, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Relationships

More Powerful Together



Time

20 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand that Christians are more powerful when they work together and show love for one another. It’s important that we don’t quarrel with one another and destroy the unity that shows the world we are Jesus’ disciples.

Materials

· Two bills of paper currency (use the same denomination for both)

· Bible

· Tape

Preparation

· Tear one of the bills of currency in half, and conceal it until the end of the lesson.

· Leave the other bill intact so that you can use it for demonstration.

· Practice script.

Procedure

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

  • “Does anyone remember the story of Joseph from the Bible?” (Allow a volunteer to share what he/she knows about the story, and add in anything that he/she misses.)

    • “Joseph was one of Jacob’s twelve sons and his father’s favorite child. His brothers hated that he was the favorite so much that they sold him into slavery. For several years, he was a slave in Egypt until he was thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit. After many years of life in a dungeon, he was released and given the second-highest position in Pharoah’s kingdom because of his wisdom and ability to interpret dreams. Then, during a terrible, seven-year drought, his brothers came to Egypt looking for food. Joseph forgave them, and the family was reunited.”
  • “Our lesson is about Joseph’s advice to his brothers when they were going back to get their father and other family members to come live in Egypt.”
  • Have volunteer read Genesis 45:16-24. (The NIV translation’s final verse includes the quote, “…don’t quarrel on the way.”)
  • “Why do you think Joseph told them not to quarrel?” (Listen to responses.)
  • “I bet Joseph knew something about his brothers from the time they were growing up together.”
  • “He knew about their tendency to fight with each other, so he was telling them to try to get along on the way back to get their father.”
  • “He wanted them to have unity – to be a strong family.”
  • “What’s so important about unity?” (Listen to responses, and add in any that you can think of that aren’t mentioned.)
  • “Exactly! I can think of another reason, too, but I’m going to need two volunteers to help me demonstrate it.” (Ask for two volunteers to come up front.)
  • “I have this bill of paper money.” (Show bill.)
  • “And I would like for both of you to have it!” (Tear bill in half, and give one half to each of them.)
  • “Congratulations! Don’t spend it all in one spot!….Wait, is something wrong?” (Allow volunteers to respond.)
  • “You mean you can’t spend these anymore? What’s wrong? I only had the one bill, but there were two of you and I had to split it.” (Allow responses.)
  • “So, you’re telling me that you can only spend this if these two parts are together?” (Allow responses.)
  • “Hmmm….seems like there might be a lesson in here somewhere. Can anyone help me figure out what the point of this demonstration is?” (Allow for responses and add you own explanation if necessary.)

    • “The two pieces of the bill are more powerful and effective together than apart. In the same way, Christians are more powerful and effective when we work together.” (Take back the two pieces of the bill. Then thank and dismiss the volunteers.)
  • “Do you think Christians work well together today in the Church?…..Why or why not?” (Allow for responses. If you need to, point out some examples of how Christians work well together and what happens when they do. You might also want to point out how many different denominations we have and how little they collaborate with each other most of the time.)
  • “What do you think would happen if Christians were better at working together?” (Allow for responses.)
  • “I started this lesson by reminding you of the story of Joseph.”
  • “I think that Joseph from the Bible is a picture of Jesus. God allowed Joseph’s life to reflect what Jesus’ life would be like so that people in Old Testament times would know what to look for in the coming Savior.”
  • “There are many similarities between Joseph and Jesus:

    • Both would have called themselves shepherds.
    • Both were their fathers’ favorite children.
    • Both were sold for some coins.
    • Both were accused of crimes they didn’t commit.
    • Both were put into the earth.
    • Both came out of the earth to be elevated to the second-highest position in their respective kingdoms.
    • Both suffered so that they could save many.”
  • “If you study Joseph’s story, I bet you can find even more similarities.”
  • “I tell you those things to point out that when Joseph told his brothers not to quarrel, it was very similar to some discussions Jesus had with his twelve apostles.”
  • “They were always arguing about who was the greatest, but Jesus wanted them to have unity.” (Have volunteer read John 13:34-35.)
  • “Jesus said that everyone in the world would know that we are following Him by the love that we show to one another.”
  • “That means that our unity as Christians is a very powerful way to help the people around us know about Jesus.”
  • “How can we show our love and unity to other Christians around us?” (Listen to responses, and comment as appropriate.)
  • “Those are some excellent ideas! I hope every one of you will commit to showing more love to your Christian brothers and sisters this week.”
  • “Just remember, we are more powerful together than apart.” (Call your original two volunteers back up, and give one of them the two pieces of the bill you used for demonstration and some tape. Give the other the two pieces of the other bill you kept concealed and some tape. Let them both tape up the bills and keep the money as a reminder that we are more powerful together than apart.

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, Great Commandment, Jesus, Joseph, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Relationships, unconditional love, unity

Man and the Moon


Time

20-25 minutes

Description

This object lesson makes an analogy between Jesus and the sun and Christians and the moon. It helps kids to learn what why Jesus didn’t take us straight to heaven as soon as we became Christians.

Materials

  • Several white shirts for kids to slip on (large undershirts are easy to get on an off over their other clothing).
  • Black light

Preparation

· Plug in the black light near your teaching area.

· Have shirts ready.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “For this activity, I’m going to need four volunteers (or five or six…the number is not important).” (Select volunteers, and have them slip on the white shirts. Ask another volunteer to be in charge of turning off the lights when you ask.)
  • “I have a friend (Author’s note: I’m referring to me – you and I are friends, right?) whose son has a shirt that says, ‘Be the moon,’ on the front. On the back, it says, ‘Reflect the Son.’”
  • “It’s a great picture of our role within the world.”
  • “The moon, we know, sends out no light of its own.”
  • “These volunteers are going to represent the moon. Do any of you have any light of your own that you can show us?” (Take responses.)
  • “Right, because you are representing the moon, and the moon is really just a big, dead, gray rock…or maybe green cheese…but it doesn’t have the ability to send out light.”
  • “However, on clear nights, the moon can sometimes be so bright that you can see clearly by the light it reflects. How does that happen?” (Take responses.)
  • “Exactly! It reflects the light of the sun.”
  • “This black light is going to represent the sun for us.”
  • “When the sun sets… (have volunteer turn out the lights, and then turn on the black light. Try to put the light where the bulb cannot be seen by the audience. You just want them to see the reflection of the light on the white shirts.) …the moon rises, and it reflects the light of the sun.”
  • “’But how does that happen?’, you might ask. The sun is gone. Does anyone know how it works?” (Take responses, and add your own explanation if necessary.)
  • “Right, even when the people in the world can’t see the sun, the moon can (so to speak). The moon is just far enough away from the world that it always has a clear view of the sun.”
  • “Even when our part of the world has turned away from the sun, the moon stays where the light of the sun can still shine directly on it. That way, it can reflect the light back to the world.” (Have volunteer turn on lights, and turn off the black light.)
  • “When the sun comes back on a fresh, new morning, the moon is still there, but we don’t need its light anymore, because the light of the sun is far better than just a reflection of the light of the sun.”
  • “Our role as believers in Jesus is just like the moon’s role in the night sky.”
  • “You see, the Son (S-O-N….Jesus) has gone back to heaven, and the world can’t see Him.”
  • “But He left us here on earth to reflect His light.”
  • “That’s why God didn’t take you straight to heaven when you became a Christian.
  • “It would have been better for you to be in heaven, but God wanted you to stay here and reflect His light to those who can’t see Him.”
  • “We Christians have no light of our own, but it’s our job to shine light into dark places.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:14-16.)
  • “This world is like a house with all the lights shut off. You are like a lamp that shines light to everyone around you.” (Have volunteer turn off lights, and turn the black light back on.)
  • “Now, we live in bodies that are dead with sin, just like the moon is a big, dead rock.”
  • “If I turn off this light… (turn off black light) …they don’t shine any light to the rest of us.”
  • “But if they stay where they can see the light… (turn on black light) …then they will reflect the light to everyone else.”
  • “Our bodies are dead with sin, but our spirits are alive in Christ. It’s our spirit that is able to reflect the light of Jesus.”
  • “The people in the world don’t always know where the light is coming from, but it at least makes them curious.”
  • “They may not ask us about our light for a long time, so you might think they haven’t noticed it.”
  • “But I promise you, if you’ve done a good job of reflecting the light of Jesus, there is a time when they will come to you to find out where your light is coming from. Does anyone know when that time is?” (Take responses, and elaborate if necessary.)
  • “Sure, when the lights go out in their life….when something difficult happens to them like a fight with a good friend or failing a class at school or getting in big trouble with their parents…. Those are the times when things are darkest in their lives.”
  • “And when it’s dark, people naturally want to go toward the light. If they have seen your light before, they will come to you.”
  • “That is God giving you an opportunity to share what you know about Jesus.” (Have volunteer turn on lights, and turn off black light.)
  • “What we have to careful about is that we don’t allow the world to get between us and the Son of God.”
  • “Does anyone know what happens when the world gets between the sun and the moon?” (Take responses, and add your explanation if necessary.)
  • “Right, it causes an eclipse. An eclipse can happen when the world blocks the light from the sun so that it can’t reach the moon. Then the moon can’t shine the sun’s light.”
  • “This can happen to Christians, too. Watch this!” (Ask for several volunteers to come stand in between you and the volunteers representing the moon. Then have your volunteer turn off the lights, and turn on the black light.)
  • “These volunteers represent ‘the world,’ which is a name the Bible gives to sinfulness.”
  • “So, really, these volunteers represent sin in our lives.”
  • “When we are sinning, the light of the Son of God cannot reflect off of us.”
  • “A little sin blocks some of the light.” (Move volunteers around so that just one or two are standing in front of the ‘moon’ volunteers.)
  • “A lot of sin in our lives can block the light out completely. (Move volunteers around so that they completely block the ‘moon’ volunteers. Call up more volunteers if you need to.)
  • “Jesus is always shining His light, but it is only going to reflect off of us when we don’t allow ‘the world’ (sin) to get between Him and us.” (Have volunteer turn lights back on, turn off the black light and excuse volunteers to return to their seats.)
  • “One last analogy. If we understand where the moon gets its light, then we know that the moon serves as a reminder.”
  • “When the sun goes away at night, the moon reminds us that the sun is only gone for a little while before it returns.”
  • “Isn’t that really what we are supposed to be about as Christians?”
  • “The Church didn’t exist until Jesus rose again after His death and resurrection.”
  • “He created it, because He was going away, and He left us here to remind the world that He is coming back.”
  • “And He is coming back! The Bible says so. And on that day…” (Have volunteer read Revelation 22:4-5.)

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:4-5)

  • “I can’t wait for that day, but until then, Genesis 1:16 says, “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day (that’s Jesus) and the lesser light to govern the night (that’s us).”
  • “How do you think we are doing with our part of the job?” (Take responses, comment and then end the lesson.)

A Few More Scriptures That Might Be Helpful

  • “Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness— and I will not lie to David – that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah (Psalm 89:35-37)
  • “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” (Isaiah 60:19)
  • “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:12)
  • “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

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Filed under Christianity, Evangelism, Great Commandment, Great Commission, Intercession, Object Lesson, Relationships, Witness