Category Archives: Obedience

Capture the Spear (GAME)


David Steals King Saul's SpearTime

20 minutes
Description

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.

 

Audience

Children, Youth

 

Materials

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  Bible

 

Scriptures

o  1 Samuel 26:1-25

 

Preparation

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.

Procedure

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.

 

Rhyme Time

David took some of King Saul’s things,

But he waited on God to make him king.

 

 

Source: Michael Kientz

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Filed under Calling, Challenges, David, faith, Game, God's Protection, King Saul, Obedience

Round the Mountain (GAME)


David Cuts Sauls RobeTime

20 minutes
Description

This is a game that simulates the time when Saul chased David around the mountain and almost caught him.  It also references when David crept up on Saul in the cave and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.

 

Audience

Children, Youth

 

Materials

o  Bandanas, handkerchiefs or large scraps of cloth (2 – in different colors)

o  Bible

 

Scriptures

o  1 Samuel 23:24-28

o  1 Samuel 24:1-22

 

Preparation

o  Read the Scriptures, and be prepared to summarize the stories.

o  Mark or highlight the Scriptures in the Bible if you want to read them during the lesson.

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “King Saul didn’t like David at all!”
  • “He was afraid that the people in his kingdom liked David so much that it would make it easy for David to become king instead of him.”
  • “So King Saul chased David throughout the wilderness of Israel.”
  • “One time, King Saul got information about where David was hiding, and he took his army to try and kill him.”  (Summarize or have a volunteer read 1 Samuel 23:24-28.)
  • “Thank goodness the Philistines attacked!  Otherwise, King Saul might have caught David on the mountain!”
  • “There is another story in the next chapter that tells about a time when King Saul was close to catching David but didn’t know it.”  (Summarize 1 Samuel 24:1-22.)
  • “This is a pretty funny story, because David was in the same cave where King Saul went to use the restroom!”
  • “David was able to sneak up on King Saul when he was doing his business and cut off a piece of his robe.”
  • “A king’s robe represented his right to be king.”
  • “When David called to King Saul from the cave and showed him the piece of robe, it was like David was saying, ‘I could be the king now if I wanted to, but I don’t want to be king until God makes me king.’”
  • “So, let’s play a game about these two stories.”
  • “It’s called ‘Round the Mountain,’ and it’s played with two teams.”  (Divide the group into two (roughly) evenly sized teams, and give each one a bandana, handkerchief or strip of cloth.  You can also divide the groups up between kids and adults if that works better in your context.)
  • “This group will be King Saul’s army, and this group will be David’s army.”  (Make these designations randomly.  However, if you have adults playing, they should be King Saul’s group, since they are the “bad guys.”)
  • “Each group should line up, single-file (one behind another).”
  • “The last person in line should tuck the cloth in the back of your waistband, like a tail.”
  • “This cloth represents your ‘robe,’ and most of it has to be showing so that the other team has a chance to grab it.” (Make sure that the ‘robe” is showing clearly with just a corner tucked in.)
  • “The person at the front of the line is either King Saul or David, depending on the team.”
  • “The goal of the game is to capture the other army’s ‘robe’ as you pretend to run around the mountain.”
  •  “Only King Saul or David can grab the robe from the other team’s army.”
  • “Everyone else in the line has to put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.”
  • “If your hands come off that person’s shoulders, you have to stop until you get your hands back on their shoulders.”
  • “When I say ‘GO!’ King Saul and David will try to grab the other army’s ‘robe’ while the armies of each team try to keep it away from them.”
  • “If your ‘robe’ falls out, but no one has grabbed it, you can try to put it back in.”
  • “The first team to capture the ‘robe’ 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:
    • Do you think God sent the Philistine army so that David and his men could get away from King Saul?  Why or why not?
    • Why didn’t David kill Saul when he had a chance in the cave?
    • Do you think David made the right choice?  Why or why not?
  • Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.

 

Rhyme Time

King Saul chased, and David ran

Because he trusted in God’s plan.

 

 

Source: Michael Kientz

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Filed under Adversity, David, faith, Game, King Saul, Obedience, Trial

Don’t Take Shortcuts (OBJ LESSON)


MazeTime

20 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches about what we miss out on when we take shortcuts in reaching God’s will for our life.  It uses a maze and the life of David.

 

Audience

Children

 

Materials

o  PowerPoint file – “Don’t Take Shortcuts – Maze  (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)  Make one copy for each participant.  The file also includes answer keys with three different paths.  You might want to print one copy of these for your reference.

o  Pens or pencils to work the maze.  (One per participant)

o  A package of gummy fruit for each participant.

o  Bible

 

Scriptures

o  1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13

o  1 Samuel 24:1-7

o  1 Samuel 26:1-25

 

Preparation

o  Print copies of the maze for each participant.

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “When we know what God’s will is for our life, we sometimes want to take shortcuts.”
  • “David knew God’s will for his life from an early age – maybe from about fifteen years old.”  (Have participant read 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13.)
  • “If you knew that God wanted you to be king, you might want to make that happen as fast as possible.”
  • “However, David was different.”
  • “He didn’t want God’s will for him until God wanted him to have it.”
  • “Even though God had Samuel tell David he would be king of Israel some day, David let King Saul chase him around the desert for fifteen years.”
  • “David had two opportunities to kill King Saul.”  (Have volunteer read 1 Samuel 24:1-7 and then summarize the story from 1 Samuel 26:1-25.)
  • “David didn’t kill Saul either time, because he didn’t want God’s will for his life until it was God’s time.”
  • “That was smart, because it helped David grow more like God as he waited.”
  • “When he was finally made king fifteen years after he was anointed to be king, he was ready!”
  • “Let’s do a maze that will help you see what I’m talking about.”  (Pass out copies of the maze to each participant.  Hand out a package of gummy fruit to each participant, and tell them that they can eat a gummy candy anytime they cross a picture on the maze.  Give them 5 minutes to try and solve it.  Let them know that the rules are that they can’t cross lines or go over the same space twice.  There are three possible solutions (shown in the PowerPoint file).  When they finish, debrief with the following questions:
    • Why do you think it is better to take the harder path?
    • What do you miss if you take the short-cut?
    • Why does God want you to be patient and wait for His will for your life?
  • Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.)

 

Rhyme Time

It may be a test,

But we should wait for God’s best!

 

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Filed under David, God's Will, King Saul, Obedience, Object Lesson

Lemme See (QUICK DRAMA)


DESCRIPTION

This short drama reenacts the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector from Luke 19:1-10.  It is intended to make the story a little easier for young minds to understand or to give new perspective for older minds.

 

PREPARATION

  • Have a ladder ready and off to the side for “Zach” to use.
  • Assemble a costume for the person playing Jesus (white robe, sash or shawl, beard, etc.)

 

 

SCENE:         A crowd of three or four people is standing around waiting for something special to happen and straining to see who is coming in the distance.  Zach enters from behind the crowd but can’t see what all the excitement is about. The actor should come in on his knees to simulate being much shorter than all the others.

 

Zach –              “Hey, what’s going on?”

 

Person 1 –        (Not even looking at Zach but still watching for something special to happen) “Quiet down, little man!  We’re waiting for the miracle worker.”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people so that he can see) “Miracle worker?  I want to see!  Can you let me through?”

 

Person 2 –        (Intentionally blocking his way) “Oh, no you don’t!  The miracle worker isn’t interested in someone like you.  You’re a bad person!”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people in another part of the crowd) “Come on, guys! I just want to see him!  I heard he has someone like me on his team.”

 

Person 3 –        (Blocking the way) “You mean a tax collector?  (Looking puzzled and asking a question of the person next to him/her) Yeah, why DID he pick that Matthew guy to be on his team?  All those tax collectors are criminals.  He must have chosen Matthew because he is rich from stealing our money!”

 

Zach –              (Still trying to break through) “I don’t think that’s why…I heard Matthew left all his money behind when he followed the miracle worker.  Please let me through!  I should be allowed to see him, too!”

 

Person 1 –        (Blocking the way) “Not if I can help it!  Any miracles he does today will be for me!”

 

                        (Zach realizes he can’t get through the crowd and comes up with a better idea.  He grabs a ladder and climbs up on top (on his knees if possible and safe).  Just then, Jesus arrives and calls out to him.)

 

Jesus –             “Hi, Zach!  What are you doing up there?  Come down so that I can spend some time with you!”

 

                        (The crowd gasps!  Zach climbs down and forces his way through the crowd to Jesus.)

 

Person 2 –        “Doesn’t he know what a bad person that guy is?”

 

Person 3 –        “That’s TWO tax collectors he has talked to!  What kind of miracle worker is this?”

 

Person 1 –        “Hey, what about me?  I want a miracle!”

 

Zach –              (Looking up at Jesus) “Jesus, they are right.  I’ve been a bad person…but I’m willing to fix it right here and right now!  I will give half of what I own to the poor, and I’ll pay back anyone I’ve cheated four times as much as I took!”

 

Jesus –             (Smiling) “Okay, Zach, it’s a start…and a good one.  I don’t care as much about what you’ve done in the past as I do about what you choose to do today, and you are choosing well.”

 

Zach –              (Taking Jesus by the hand and walking toward the door) “I want you to meet my friends.  (Pausing)  Uh….they are a lot like me…you don’t mind, do you?”

 

Jesus –             “Of COURSE I don’t mind, Zach…those are exactly the people I came to find.  I want to meet all your friends!”

 

Zach –              “Awesome!  They are going to love you! (Pausing before opening the door) Hey, can you do one of those miracles and make me taller?”

 

Jesus –             (Opening the door for Zach, and walking through) “Zach, you stood taller today than you have in your entire life!”

 

EXIT

 

END SCENE

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Filed under drama, forgiveness, God's Plan, Obedience, Quick Drama, Repentance, salvation, Transformation, unconditional love

The WHO and the DO (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches that the most important question to answer correctly in this life is the question Jesus asked of His disciples, “Who do you say I am?”  Answering that question correctly changes who we are and makes us children of God, and who we are to God matters even more than what we do in this life.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 16:13-18
  • John 1:42
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • 1 Peter 2:9-10

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Dot and the Line, The (OBJ LESSON)” (Object lesson that you will teach in the middle of this lesson to explain the difference between our life on earth and eternity.  There are a few optional supplies you might want to gather for this part of the lesson that are mentioned in the document.)
    • “Who and the Do, The – Signs” (This file also includes a slide with one of the main teaching points.  You can project this if you are using PowerPoint.)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print out “The Dot and the Line” object lesson, and review it to make sure you are ready to teach it.
  • Gather any props for “The Dot and the Line” if you intend to use them.
  • Print out the “WHO” and “DO” signs.
  • Put markers in the Bible in the place where you want your volunteers to read the Scriptures for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

  • Jesus asked his disciples a very important question one day.  ‘Who do people say that I am?’  (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:13-14.)
  • “They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist.’”
  • “That was strange.  How could Jesus be John the Baptist?  John the Baptist was a good friend of Jesus’, but he had been killed by an evil king named Herod not long before.”
  • “Even if it were possible for people to come back from the dead, Jesus couldn’t have been John the Baptist, because they lived at the same time.”
  • “Then they said, ‘Some say you are Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’”
  • “All these people were dead long before, but they had all been godly men who had shared God’s word.  Elijah was even able to do miracles like Jesus.”
  • “They thought Jesus might be one of these people because of all the miracles they saw Him do and the truth they heard Him speak.”
  • “Then Jesus asked them an even more important question.”  (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:15)
  • “Jesus asked them, ‘Who do you say I am?’”
  • “This is the most important question you will ever answer in your entire lives!”
  • “It’s more important than questions on a test at school.”
  • “It’s more important than questions your parents ask you.”
  • “It’s more important than a question a police officer or a fireman might ask you.”
  • “It’s even more important than a question a game show host would ask you if you were about to win $1 million!”
  • “Touch your neighbor, and say, ‘Man!  That IS an important question!’”
  • “This question is so important, because it determines where you will spend eternity.”
  • “And maybe you’re thinking, ‘Huh?  What’s eternity?’”
  • “I’m glad you asked!  Let me show you!”
  • (Facilitate “The Dot and the Line” object lesson.)
  • “So what was the question that I said was so important?”  (Expected response: “Who do you say Jesus is?”)
  • “Right!  And our friend Peter is going to help us with the right answer.” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 16:16.)
  • “Who is Jesus?”  (Expected response: “The Christ, the Son of the living God.”)
  • “What does that mean?  Does anyone know what a Christ is?”  (Expected responses: “Savior, Expected Deliverer, Messiah”)
  • “He was the One that the Jews had been waiting for!  The One the Scriptures talked about!”
  • “He was the One who they expected to be their King!”
  • “That’s the right answer to the question, ‘Who do you say Jesus is?’”
  • “Jesus is our Savior, our Lord, our King and our God.”
  • “If you get this answer right, it will make your Dot better and your Line very, very good.”
  • “Jesus was really happy that Peter got the question right.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:17-18.)
  • “This is not the first time Jesus has given Simon the name Peter, remember.”  (He also did it in John 1:42.)
  • “Jesus said Peter was a ‘rock,’ because he wanted him to become someone all the others could depend on – someone who was strong and unmovable in his dedication to God.”
  • “And you know, Simon is not the only one who got a new name in the Bible.”
  • “Can anyone remember any of the others who got new names?”  (Expected responses: “Saul-Paul, Abram-Abraham, Jacob-Israel, Sarai-Sarah…”)
  • “The Bible says, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • “When God changes your name, it’s because He sees you as He knows you will be, not as what you currently are.”
  • “Peter didn’t act like a ‘rock’ when Jesus gave him his new name.  It took many years for him to change.”
  • “But God looks past your behaviors to your relationship to Him.”
  • “He cares more about your WHO than what you DO.”  (Invite two volunteers to the front and give one the “WHO” sign and one the “DO” sign.  It might be better to have one girl and one boy for comedic effect because you will be giving them a big hug a few times that squishes them together.)
  • “Touch a neighbor and say, ‘He’s cares more about my WHO than what I DO!’”  (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “No matter what bad stuff you DO, God will always love you because of WHO you are to Him.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “Before you ask Jesus into your heart, you are God’s incredible creation, and He loves you because of that.”
  • “But after you ask Jesus into your heart, you become a son or daughter of God!  A child of the King!  A prince or a princess!  You’re royalty!”
  • “Turn around and tell somebody, ‘I’m royalty!’” (You may want to have a volunteer read 1 Peter 2:9-10.)
  • “When you ask Jesus into your heart, you move from being someone who isn’t one of God’s people to someone who is one of God’s people.  That’s SO awesome!”
  • “Now just because God cares about your WHO more than what you DO doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care at all about what you DO.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “He does care a lot.”
  • “He says that because of your new WHO (child of God) when you accept Jesus as your Lord, what you DO should get better and better every day.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “Peter didn’t act like a ‘rock’ when Jesus gave Him the name, but Jesus expected him to work toward becoming more and more like a rock every day.”
  • “And the same is true for you.”
  • “Children of the King act in a different way that those who aren’t children of the King.”
  • “The King expects more out of you.”
  • “That means that you have to follow your leader – DO what you see Him doing in the Bible.”
  • “You won’t be perfect.  You’ll make lots of mistakes, but keep trying every day.”
  • “You goal is to make what you DO match your WHO.” (Bring your two volunteers close together, and give them a big squeeze for comedic effect.)
  • “When they don’t match (push volunteers apart) people get confused.”
  • “They say, ‘I thought he was a child of the King, but he’s telling lies.’ or, ‘I thought she was royalty, but she is acting nasty to her friends.’”
  • “It’s hard for them to understand how your WHO and what you DO can be so different.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “So bring those two together (bring volunteers in close for another big hug!) so that no one will be confused.” (Thank and dismiss your volunteers.)
  • “Touch your neighbor, and say, ‘I’m gonna make what I DO match my WHO!’”
  • “And what is your WHO again?” (Expected response: “Child of the King or Child of God!”)
  • “So remember, the most important thing in life is WHO you say Jesus is.”
  • “If you get that right, it will change your WHO forever and make you a Child of God.”
  • “And every day, we should work at making what we DO match our new WHO!”  (You might want to reinforce the lesson by having  everyone saying the Rhyme Time below several times.)

Rhyme Time            

When I trust in Jesus

He changes my WHO.

Now I try every day

To improve what I DO.

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Filed under Jesus, Obedience, Peter, salvation, sanctification

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.

 

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

Asleep in the Garden (GAME)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This game is high energy with a spiritual teaching point about doing the things God wants us to do.  You can use it when teaching about Jesus as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

Scriptures

  • Mark 14:32-42

 

Materials

  • None

 

Preparation

  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Asleep in the Garden.’”
  • “It’s about the night that Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was crucified.”  (Ask volunteer to read Mark 14:32-42.)
  • “Jesus had asked Peter, James and John to stay awake and pray, but they kept falling asleep.”
  • “This was a pretty important time for them to join Jesus in prayer, but they were very tired.”
  • “Even though they wanted to stay awake, they couldn’t seem to do it.”
  • “So, here’s how the game is played.”
  • “I’ll play Jesus for the first round, and I’ll stand over here and turn my back toward you so that I can’t see you.”  (Pick a spot at the front of the room.)
  • “Everyone should lay down on the floor like you are asleep.”
  • “Everyone can stand up one time before I turn around, but you can only stay standing for three seconds – ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then you have to lay down again and ‘go to sleep’ until after I’ve turned around.”
  • “If I turn around while you are standing, you win and get to be ‘Jesus’ for the next round.”
  • “But if no one is standing when I turn around, I’ll say, ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,’ and we’ll start over.”
  • “Also, if more than one person is standing when I turn around, keep counting, ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then lay down.  The last person standing wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, let’s play!” (Play several rounds, allowing different people to come up and be ‘Jesus.’  Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. “What did you think of the game?”
  2. “Why do you think it was so important to Jesus that Peter, James and John pray with Him?”
  3. “Why do you think it was so difficult for them?”
  4. “Have you ever found it difficult to do something God wanted you to do?  What was it and why?”
  5. “How can we do a better job at doing the things God wants us to do?”

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Filed under Discipline, Game, James, Jesus, John the Beloved, Obedience, Peter