This object lesson teaches how important it is to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. It uses the popular Jenga ® game from Hasbro.
- Jenga ® game (or a similar game that is played with a block tower)
- Label maker or permanent marker
- Using the label maker or the permanent marker, label all the Jenga blocks with “Jesus” and the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. If the tower his 16 levels tall, you can use the numbers to the right of each label to determine how many blocks will be allocated to each one.
· Jesus (16 blocks)
· Love (4 blocks)
· Joy (4 blocks)
· Peace (4 blocks)
· Patience (4 blocks)
· Kindness (4 blocks)
· Goodness (3 blocks)
· Faithfulness (3 blocks)
· Gentleness (3 blocks)
· Self-control (3 blocks)
· Repeat the labeling process for each Jenga ® set until you have enough for each table group or for each set of 6-8 participants.
· Set up the towers (each level should run perpendicular to the one below it), and return them to their packaging.
o The “Jesus” blocks should be the center block of each level.
· Set out one tower per table group.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
· “We’re going to play a game using the block towers in the middle of your tables.”
· “Carefully remove the packaging so that your tower will continue standing.”
· “Here are the rules of the game:
o Each person will use one hand (and one hand only) to remove a block from the tower.
o Be careful not to make the tower fall when you remove the block, because if the tower falls after you’ve touched it, you lose.
o If one person successfully removes a block without knocking down the tower, it becomes the next person’s turn. Play moves clockwise around the table.
o Keep playing until someone knocks the tower over – just make sure it isn’t you!
o And be sure not to bump the table, because you might accidentally cause the tower to fall.
o We will continue playing until all groups have the tower fall, so if your group finishes a game before the others, you can rebuild your tower and start again.”
· “Does anyone have any questions about how to play?” (Allow groups to play, and celebrate the team that was able to hold out the longest.)
· “Did you notice anything about the pieces you pulled out of the towers?” (Listen for them to acknowledge that the pieces had words written on them and that many had “Jesus” written on them.)
· “Right. Each level had ‘Jesus’ as the center block. Does anyone know what the other words represented?” (Listen for someone to mention the fruit of the Spirit, but if they don’t, have someone read Galatians 5:22-23.)
· “Those nine words represent what we call “the fruit of the Spirit.”
· “When we are walking closely with the Lord, our lives should show some fruit of the Spirit’s work within us.”
- “The longer we are Christians, the more fruit we should show.”
- “So, what do you think the towers represented?” (Listen for someone to say, ‘our lives,’ or ‘our Christian walk.’”
- “Exactly! The tower is a picture of our life as a Christian.”
- “What does the game illustrate about our Christian walk?” (Listen for responses.)
- “We can fail to show love (hold up a block from one of the games), and the tower will still stand.”
- “We can fail to show patience, and our lives will still look normal to everyone around us.” (Hold up another block.)
- “We can fail to show several of these fruits in our life, and people can still think that we are godly Christians who are following the Lord closely.” (Hold up several blocks.)
- “But fruit of the Spirit that disappears from our tower, the more likely it’s going to fall.”
- “When it does, people are often confused and surprised. They thought we were walking so closely with God and didn’t realize how close to collapse we were.”
- “Why do you think I put a ‘Jesus’ block in the center of each level?” (Listen to responses.)
- “Yes, if Jesus isn’t at the center of our lives, it’s not likely that we will show much fruit in our walk.”
- “We show fruit of the Spirit by following God closely and by keeping Jesus at the center of our lives.”
- “Studying our Bibles, going to church, spending time with Christian friends, praying…these are just a few ways for us to follow God so that we show more fruit.”
- “When we stop doing these things, the fruit starts to fall off our tree. We get angry quickly, we fail to show kindness, we do things we shouldn’t do, we lose our joy or peace…”
- “Before too long, people will notice the changes, and our tower will come tumbling down.”
- “In your table groups (or with a partner), talk about the fruit of the Spirit that you are struggling to show lately. Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control?”
- “Then tell them what you plan to do to change things so that you show more fruit in that area.” (Allow a few minutes for discussion. Then invite anyone who wants to share their thoughts or their commitment with the rest of the group to do so.)
- “Remember to guard your fruit. The Enemy will try to pick a piece at a time, and before you know it, you won’t have any left.”
- “Stay close to God by spending time with Him and with other believers, and you will have more and more fruit so that your towers stay strong.”