January 17, 2011 · 5:28 pm
This game helps participants to understand how challenging it is to get feedback “in under the radar” without raising the intended recipient’s defensiveness. Participants will enjoy trying to get beanbags into a target. The beanbags represent their feedback, and the target represents the recipient’s heart.
o Proverbs 15:1, 18; 21:23
o Beanbags (three per team – if you can’t find beanbags to buy, you can make simple ones with small ziplock bags or drawstring bags filled with beans or rice)
o Posterboard (1 sheet per team)
o Markers (2-3 – Red, Green and Black if you want it)
o Masking tape
o Note cards (3 per team)
o A bag or pouch with material that you cannot see through (1 per team)
o Create a target on the posterboard. Start with a 6” x 6” circle in the middle. Then draw concentric circles around it, making each new one about 6” bigger all around.
o Write point values in each of the circles. The center circle is worth 50 points. The next, bigger circle is worth 25. The next, bigger circle is worth 15. The next one is worth 10, and if you have any edge left on the poserboard, you can mark that worth 5 points.
o Buy or make your bean bags.
o Place the posterboard targets on the ground, and mark a boundary for the throwers with a piece of tape on the floor. It should be about 8-10 feet away from the target.
o Mark three more lines of tape on the floor at 25%, 50% and 75% of the way between the throwing line and the target.
o Cut the notecards in half, and put a large, colored dot on each one (Make 3 with RED dots and 3 with GREEN dots for each group.)
o Mix up the 6 half-cards, and put them into a bag/pouch.
o Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Giving feedback isn’t easy.”
- “We want our feedback to be taken to heart by the person we are giving it to.”
- “Their heart is our target.”
- “If the feedback doesn’t make it to their heart, they won’t do anything about it.”
- “And even when we give feedback with a pure heart and a desire to help the other person, there is no guarantee that our feedback will hit its target.”
- “There are many things that can rise up and block our feedback from reaching its target, and one of the most common obstacles is defensiveness.” (Ask a volunteer to come to the front and represent the person to whom you want to give feedback.)
- “When we are trying to send our feedback to its target…” (Demonstrate “feedback” flying through the air in the direction of the volunteer with your hand.) “…if we don’t skillfully send it into the target area, the person’s defensiveness radar will see it coming….” (Have the volunteer make a beeping sound to represent a radar system, and ask them to speed up their beeping as you get closer.) “…and the defensive walls will go up!” (Have the volunteer put up their hands and block your feedback from reaching its target. Then, thank and dismiss the volunteer.)
- “So, let’s play a game that demonstrates this difficulty.”
- “It’s called ‘Under the Radar,’ and your goal is to throw a beanbag onto a target to earn points.”
- “You will have to stand here at this line to make your throw and try to hit that target.” (Demonstrate so that participants get the idea.)
- “That would be challenging by itself, but it’s more difficult than that.”
- “I’m going to divide you into a team of three and then make you compete against another team of three.”
- “Three people will get a chance to throw their ‘feedback’ onto the target, and the team that they are competing against will get a chance to block them.”
- “Here’s how it will work.”
- “Each person throwing will get three chances to hit the target, but before they throw, they have to draw three cards out of this bag.”
- “Inside the bag are eight (6) notecards – three with RED dots and three with GREEN dots.”
- “If they draw a card with a RED dot, the other team gets to put a person on one of the strips of tape between the throwing line and the target.“
- “This person represents defensiveness on the part of the person receiving the feedback.”
- “They have to stand on the tape, but they can do whatever they can from that point to try to block your ‘feedback’ from reaching its target.”
- “If the person throwing draws two RED dots, two of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks (different ones).”
- “If he/she draw three RED dots, three of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks.”
- “If less than three RED dots are drawn in the three draws, not all opposing team members will get to stand on the tape marks.”
- “Those not on tape marks are not allowed to interfere with the throws.”
- “GREEN cards are good for the throwing team and keep the opposing team off the tape marks.”
- “After drawing three cards from the bag, the thrower should make three throws and see how close to the center of the target that he/she can get while trying to avoid the defenses of the opposing team members on the tape marks.”
- “After that team member has made their three shots, add up the total points.”
- “Then, move the opposing team members off the tape marks, and let the other two team members take turns drawing three cards and take three throws while avoiding the defenses of any opposing players who get onto tape marks because of RED dot cards.”
- “When all three team members have thrown, the opposing team gets their turn to throw and see how many points they can accumulate.”
- “The team that has the most total points (from all nine throws) wins.”
- “Any questions?” (After addressing questions, divide the group into groups of three and pair up the teams of three against each other. Then, have them choose who will throw first and let them play. When they are done, recognize or reward the winning teams, and have them return to their seats to work through the following debrief questions.)
1. What was challenging about the game?
2. If you compare the game to giving someone feedback, what comparisons can you make?
3. What types of things make people’s defensiveness go up?
4. How can you give feedback in a way that won’t make people defensive?
5. Read Proverbs 15:1, 18 and 21:23. Do these Scriptures give you any additional ideas?
- “Sometimes, you only get once chance to send that feedback in there, so you want to make sure that it has the best chance possible of hitting it’s target.”
Filed under acceptance, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, discipleship, Evaluation, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, heart, Humility, leadership, Relationships, self-image, Spiritual Growth, team, Transformation
Tagged as advice, anger, beanbag, blame, blind, block, building relationships, coaching, communication, defensive, defensiveness, denial, Fear, feedback, Game, Games that Teach, heart, interpersonal, Johari's Window, lack of awareness, leadership, mentoring, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 15:18; Proverbs 21:23, public, radar, saving face, target, throw, timing, toss, Trust
November 8, 2010 · 3:52 am
This object lesson teaches about how difficult it can be for us to stay focused on following Jesus.
- A toy rocket or spaceship (or if you don’t have anything like that, improvise with a cardboard tube or just about anything else – the kids won’t mind)
- One large ball (preferably yellow or orange)
- Several smaller balls of varying sizes
- Permanent marker
- Index cards (one for each ball)
- Write the following words on different index cards, “SON,” “WORLD,” “Jealousy,” “Bitterness,” “Selfishness,” “Unkindness,” “Worry,” “Doubt,” “Foolishness,” “Pride,” “Fear,” “Greed,” “Ignorance,” or any others that you want to use. The only ones that are required are the “SON” card and the “WORLD” card.
- Tape these cards onto different balls. The “SON” card should be taped to the largest ball.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Do any of you ever have trouble staying focused on following God?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “Me, too! It’s so hard to always do what is right and stay on the path toward Him.”
- “We are kind of like a rocket ship heading toward the sun (but actually, we are headed to the S-O-N, because we won’t burn up when we reach Him!)” (Ask for enough volunteers to hold all the props you’ve brought – one for the rocket ship and one for each ball. Put the person holding the “SON” ball at one end of the room, and place the person with the “WORLD” ball and the person with the rocket ship at the other end of the room. Space those with the balls along either side of the path between the large ball and the rocket ship.)
- “Before we know Jesus, we are stuck in the WORLD’s orbit.” (Guide the person with the rocket ship by the shoulders to make several orbits around the person with the “WORLD” ball.”
- “But then, we catch a glimpse of the SON and decide we want to follow Him.”
- “We break free from the WORLD’s orbit and start heading toward the SON.” (Guide the person with the rocket ship slowly toward the SON, but as soon as you get to the first person with a ball on the path, break off and orbit around that person.”
- “Unfortunately, on the way to the SON, we get distracted by ________ (name whatever is printed on the card on the ball), and we go into orbit around it for a while.” (Keep going around this person.)
- “The more times we go around _____________ (say what is on the ball again), the more we hate it, but it is soooooooo hard to break free from its gravitational pull!” (Keep going around this person.)
- “We keep seeing the SON every time we pass around __________________ (say the name of the ball), and eventually, His power pulls us free of the orbit of the dead planet we have been circling.” (Break free and start back toward the SON.)
- “Not everything is a temptation for us, so we will be able to pass some of these dead planets without any problem, but our Enemy, Satan, is not going to give us up without a fight.
- “He will put a very tempting planet in our path, and sure enough, we will get distracted looking at it and get sucked into its gravitational pull!” (Guide the person with rocket to begin orbiting this new dead planet.)
- “Even though the planet looked tempting from a distance, when we get close to it, we find that it is empty and lifeless. It doesn’t satisfy.”
- “The SON won’t let us forget Him. We will see Him on every orbit, and eventually, He will pull us free from that dead planet and set us back on the path toward Him.” (Guide the person with the rocket to break away and head toward the Son.)
- “This keeps happening over and over and over again. It’s very frustrating!” (Guide the person with the rocket to get sucked into one orbit and then break away and then get sucked into another orbit and so on….)
- “But there is good news! The closer we get to the SON, the easier it gets to break free from these temptations.”
- “We get stronger and stronger in our faith and our ability to resist temptation, and we stay longer and longer on the path toward the SON.”
- “We just need to keep striving to reach the SON. Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
- “Paul was saying that he doesn’t look back at what’s behind him; he just keeps straining toward what is ahead of him.”
- “He keeps his ship pointed toward the SON, and when he gets off-course, he gets back on-course as soon as possible to follow the SON.”
- “One day, it will be time, and the SON will bring us the rest of the way to Him when we join Him in heaven (or when He comes back to join us on earth). (Guide the person with the rocket ship to the SON and have him orbit the SON several times before ending the lesson.)
Filed under Challenges, Daily walk, God's Will, Jesus, Obedience, Object Lesson, Pride, Repentance, sanctification, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, temptation
Tagged as anger, bitterness, distraction, doubt, Fear, Focus, foolishness, forgetting what is behind, God's Will, godliness, gravitational pull, greed, ignorance, jealousy, Jesus, meanness, Object Lesson, orbit, Paul, perseverance, persistance, Philippians 3:12-14, Pride, sanctification, Satan, Satan's tactics, selfishness, sin, Son of God, space, spaceship, spiritual discipline, Spiritual Growth, straining toward what is ahead, temptation, unkindness, world, Worry
November 3, 2008 · 12:46 pm
This object lesson helps children understand how to deal with bad thoughts, fear and worry. It uses a simple water science trick that changes the surface tension of water in order to produce an impressive result. When you add soap to water, it displaces some of the water molecules (especially those on the surface). The water molecules on the outside of the bowl will pull the pepper away from the soap.
· Pepper (about a handful, but it’s better if it’s still in the container)
· Salt (just enough to shake some out once or twice)
· Dish soap (at least a few drops in the bottle)
· Clear bowl
· Water (enough to fill the bowl about ¾ full)
· Display table
· Set up the bowl of water on the display table at the front of the teaching area.
· Set up the mirror behind the bowl so that it will show what is happening on top of the water to the kids in the audience. (You can prop it against a wall or between a few stacks of books. If you need to, get a volunteer to hold it during the demonstration.)
· Have the pepper, salt and dish soap ready on the table.
- “We are going to do a demonstration today, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Ask for a volunteer to come up to the front.)
- “Let’s say that this bowl of water represents your mind.”
- “And let’s say that this pepper represents bad thoughts, worry and fear.” (Hand pepper to volunteer.)
- “Sometimes, you can’t stop thinking about bad stuff – like how much you are angry at your brother or sister.” (Have volunteer shake pepper into bowl).
- “You try to think about something else, but those bad thoughts just keep coming back.” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
- “Or you might be worried about something, and you just keep thinking about it and thinking about it.” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
- “Or maybe you are afraid of something terrible.”
- “You can’t even get to sleep at night, because it’s so awful and scary!” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
- “Before long, your mind is full of all these bad thoughts, worry and fear, and you can’t relax or get calm.”
- “I’ve had that happen to me, and I’ve tried to focus on other things…” (Hand volunteer the salt and have him/her pour some in.)
- “…but it didn’t make the bad thoughts go away.”
- “You know what I’ve learned? There is one thing that always makes those bad thoughts, worry and fear go away. Anyone know what it is?” (Listen for responses. Share correct response if they don’t offer it.)
- “Prayer! Prayer always takes care of it.”
- “It’s like this soap.” (Hand volunteer the dish soap.)
- “It washes my mind clean of those bad thoughts.”
- “Watch what one little prayer can do to scary thoughts and bad thoughts.” (Have volunteer drop a single drop in – pepper will scatter.)
- “Isn’t that the coolest!”
- “So, remember – anytime your mind starts to fill up with bad thoughts, worry and fear, chase it away with a prayer.”
- “God will wash your mind clean for you.” (Thank and dismiss volunteer.)
Filed under Anxiety, Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, Hands-on, Object Lesson, prayer, Science experiment, Worry
Tagged as anger, Anxiety, bad thoughts, children, Christianity, Coping skills, depression, dish soap, envy, Fear, irritation, jealousy, kids, molecules, negative thoughts, Object Lesson, pepper chaser, prayer, resentment, sin, surface tension, water, Worry
October 9, 2008 · 12:33 am
This object lesson teaches that unforgiveness can hinder our prayers for forgivenss.
- One “Energy Ball” from www.stevespanglerscience.com. (This ball sends a small electric current through your body when you touch a metal strip on the side. (You cannot feel the current.) The current will pass through as many people as you link together (through holding hands). As long as everyone is touching in the chain, the ball will light up with the last person touches the metal strip with you.)
· Purchase the “Energy Ball” (under $10). Allow a few weeks for shipping and delivery.
· Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “How many of you know how important it is to forgive other people when they do something that upsets you?” (Look for a show of hands.)
- “When we won’t forgive someone, it separates us. Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask for a volunteer to come up.)
- “(Child’s name) and I are good friends. We are very close.” (Give child a side hug.)
- “But if I get upset with (child’s name) because of something he/she does, it separates us.” (Gently push child about an arm’s length away.)
- “As long as I’m mad at (child’s name), we are no longer in fellowship.”
- “But when I forgive (child’s name), it brings us back together. (Give child a side hug.)
- “Now, God says in the Bible that if we are angry with someone and won’t forgive them, He won’t forgive us of our sins.”
- “How many of you knew that already?” (Look for a show of hands.)
- “Well, I didn’t know it for a long time. Let’s look at the Scripture that says this.” (Ask a volunteer to read Mark 11:25-26.)
- “Jesus is saying that if we are upset with someone, we shouldn’t even bother praying for forgiveness for our own sins until we have forgiven that person.”
- “What He is not saying is that if we don’t forgive someone we can’t go to heaven.”
- “The only thing you have to do to go to heaven is believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept the gift of his sacrifice on the cross.”
- “But what He is saying is that your relationship with God will suffer until you forgive that person you are upset with.” (Ask for a second volunteer to come up. Put this volunteer on the opposite side of you.)
- “It works like this. When I’m close to (first volunteer’s name), then it’s possible for me to be close to God.” (Give both children a side hug at the same time.)
- “But when I won’t forgive (first volunteer’s name), then it’s not possible for me to be close to God.” (Gently push both volunteers about an arm’s length away from you.)
- “God wants us to forgive others just like He has already forgiven us for all our sins. In other parts of the Bible, He points out that the person who is forgiven of much should also forgive others of much.”
- “Let me show you another way. Let’s say this ball (show Energy Ball) will tell us if God will or will not answer our prayers for forgiveness.”
- “If it lights up, God will answer our prayers. If it doesn’t, He won’t.” (Have child put finger on one sensor, and you put finger on other sensor. Then, join hands in a circle with volunteer representing God. The ball should light up.)
- “Good! I don’t have anything against (first volunteer’s name), so God will answer my prayers.”
- “But if I’m upset that (first volunteer’s name) took the last piece of dessert at lunch (separate from both children and touch one sensor while the first volunteer touches the other sensor), God won’t answer our prayers until I forgive (first volunteer’s name).” (Join hands in a circle again while touching sensors, and ball should light up.)
- “Cool, huh? Let’s see what happens when we add people.” (Get a few more volunteers and have them form a circle and each hold hands with the person next to them.)
- “So, now what we are creating is the Body of Christ, which is made up of all the people who trust Jesus as their Savior.”
- “When we love each other and forgive each other for things that upset us, God is pleased and answers our prayers.” (Have the original volunteer stand at the beginning of the circle and touch a sensor while the last person in the circle touches the other one— the ball should light up.)
- “But if one of these people is mad at this other one because he jumped on top of him in the swimming pool…” (point to two children as you say this, and separate their hands as you do so – they should not be touching in any way. — The light will go out),
- “…God won’t answer their prayers until this one forgives this one.” (Have them join hands again, and the ball should light up.)
- “Now, let’s see what happens if we add everyone else to the circle!” (Allow all the other children to join the circle. They should hold hands like the others, and the first and last people in the circle should touch the contact points on the ball.)
- “Hey! God must be answering our prayers!” (Let individuals in the circle break the chain and then reestablish it to see what happens to the ball.)HHey
- “Jesus said that people will know we are His followers if we love one another.” (John 13:35)
- “Loving one another makes us look so different from those who don’t know Jesus that they will want to know why we are so different, and that gives you a chance to tell them about Jesus.”
- “You can’t love someone in the same way God loves us (unconditionally) if you are resentful of them, so let’s keep practicing forgiveness so that we can show the world what a forgiving God we have!” (Let other children be the ones to touch the contact points on the ball and experiment with it.)
Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, forgiveness, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, unconditional love
Tagged as Agape Love, anger, angry, bitterness, children, Christianity, divide and conquer, electric current, Energy Ball, forgiveness, Hinder our prayers, Hindering our prayers, hindrance, isolation, kids, mad, measure we use, Object Lesson, prayer, praying, resentment, Science experiment, separation, seventy times seven, Steve Spangler Science, unconditional love, unforgiveness