Tag Archives: appearances

Fruit of the Spirit Jenga


 Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches how important it is to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.  It uses the popular Jenga ® game from Hasbro.

 

Materials

  • Jenga ® game (or a similar game that is played with a block tower)
  • Label maker or permanent marker

 

Preparation

  • 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.

 

Procedure

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.”

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Filed under Authenticity, Character, Christianity, Daily walk, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, Jesus, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Spiritual Health

Gumball Magnets



Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about how appearances can be deceiving when it comes to salvation. Just because we go to church and hang out with Christians doesn’t mean we are necessarily going to be saved, and it’s what is inside us that makes the difference.

Materials

· Bag of Magnetic Marbles from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $4)

· Box of multi-colored gumballs

· Magnet (just about any kind will do)

· Clear container in which to mix gumballs and magnets

· Display table

Preparation

· Pour both the Magnetic Marbles and the gumballs into the clear container and mix them thoroughly. (If you look closely, it’s possible to see differences in them, but they are not noticeable from a distance.)

· Position the container on the display table where it can be seen by everyone.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

· “I have here a bucket of gumballs.”

· “What you may not be able to tell is that not all of them are regular gumballs.”

· “In fact, some of them are very, very special. They’re magnetic!”

· “I wonder how I could figure out which ones were magnetic….” (Pause to allow the kids to make recommendations.)

· “Oh, yeah! I could put a magnet down inside and see what it pulled out! Perfect!”

· “I’m going to need a volunteer, though.” (Select volunteer from the audience.)

· “Okay, I just happen to have this magnet with me.”

· “Take this, and put it down in the gumballs to see which ones it attracts.” (Allow volunteer to search through gumballs with the magnet. The magnetic marbles should come out easily.)

· “Isn’t that interesting? The magnetic gumballs look a lot like the normal gumballs.”

· “But we know they can’t be the same because they act differently from the others.”

· “They’ve got something different on the inside that the real gumballs don’t have – a magnet. And that magnet is attracted to this magnet.” (Thank volunteer and let him/her return to his/her seats. Put magnetic gumballs back into the container, and mix them in.)

· “You know what else is interesting? We’re a lot like those gumballs.”

· “If you are a Christian, you have something inside of you that is attracted to God, and that something is also God.”

· “Christians have Jesus in their hearts, and He changes their heart so that it is attracted to God.”

· “Once you have Jesus in your heart, you want to get closer and closer to God.”

· “But just looking at all of you, I can’t tell which of you are Christians and which of you are not.”

· “You come to church, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You own a Bible, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You look like pretty nice people, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “There is only one thing that makes you a Christian. Can anyone tell me what that is?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right. You have to believe and accept that Jesus died for your sins. That makes Him your Savior.”

· “So, it’s possible for us to look the same on the outside but be very different inside – just like these gumballs.”

· “But God is like this magnet. He knows who trusts in Him and who doesn’t, and there’s coming a day when He will call all His people to join Him in heaven.” (Put magnet back into gumballs and pull out the magnetic marbles.)

· “Even though we may look the same, God knows which of us are His children and which aren’t, because He can see our hearts.” (Have someone read 1 Samuel 16:7.)

· “Only those who believe in Jesus will be called, so make sure you tell Him you want to be one of His gumballs!”

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Filed under Authenticity, Christianity, Eternity, Hands-on, heart, Object Lesson, Rapture, Resurrection, salvation

Cracked Pots


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how God uses everything for His purposes – even the things we don’t like about ourselves. If you act out the story, it can get a little messy (just with water), so you should consider that when selecting your teaching space.

Materials

These materials are optional. They are props for you to use when you tell the story.

  • Broomstick or 3” dowel rod – approximately five feet long
  • Twine or rope
  • Drill and ¾” (or larger) drillbit
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Water for your two flower pots
  • Two plastic flower pots
  • Several potted plants or flowers
  • Bible

Preparation

· Drill a hole in both ends of the broomstick or dowel rod

· Drill three holes (equally spaced) around the top rim of each flower pot

· Use the hammer to put a crack in the side of one of the flower pots about halfway up. It’s important that the crack leaks steadily, but you don’t want it so big that all your water will pour out at once.

· Cut the twine or rope into six, three foot pieces.

· Thread each piece of twine or rope through a different hole in the two buckets, and tie it off on the outside of the buckets.

· Thread the three lengths of twine or rope from each bucket into one end of the broomstick or dowel rod.

· Make sure that the three lengths are identical, then tie the three lengths or twine or rope together on the opposite side of the broomstick or dowel rod from where you threaded them in. (Do this to both buckets.)

· You should now have two water buckets on either end of the pole. During the storytelling, you will carry the pole on your shoulders.

· Set out your potted plants or flowers on one side of the room, where you will be able to walk by and spill water on them. Leave the other side of this “path” empty of flowers or plants.

· Practice the script with your props.


Procedure

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

· “Today, we are going to look at a story from the Bible about a Pharisee and a Tax Collector.”

· “During the first century when Jesus walked the earth, everyone thought Pharisee’s were ‘the best people.’ They were leaders in the church, who seemed to be very spiritual, and people thought that God must love them because they were rich.”

· “Tax collectors were considered to be ‘the worst people,’ because they were Jews who collected taxes for Rome and often stole money from the Jewish people.”

· “In this story, Jesus challenged peoples’ ideas about who were the most godly people.” (Get a volunteer to read Luke 18:9-14.)

· “So what do you think Jesus was trying to tell the people about being godly?” (Look for responses that involve the concepts of humility, pride, doing things just for show, authenticity, integrity, reprentance…)

· “You know, that story reminds me of another one…”

· “It is a story about a farmer who had to make a long walk for water each day down to the stream, where the clear water flowed.”

· “To carry the water back, he used two, large, pots that he had fashioned with his own hands. These he hung on either end of a long pole that he carried across his neck and shoulders.” (Show the pole with the two empty flower pots.)

· “Though both pots had seen some years, one was still in perfect condition.” (Show perfect pot.)

· “The other, however, had a large crack in it.” (Show cracked pot.)

· “Each day, the farmer went down the stream.” (Place the pole over your shoulders, and act out the story. Head to the place where you have your water waiting, and fill both pots full.)

· “And each day, he filled both his pots full of water. Then he headed back home.”

· “As he walked, the perfect pot kept all its water, but the cracked pot lost half its water on the path.”

· “The perfect pot was proud of its daily accomplishment, a full pot of water delivered to the farmer’s hut, and it had no respect for the cracked pot because of its inefficiency.”

· “The perfect pot thought to itself, ‘I am glad that I am not like this worthless pot beside me. I faithfully bring all that I’m given back to the hut of my master.’”

· “And to be sure, the cracked pot was ashamed of the way it wasted water on the way back to the hut each day.”

· “If only the crack were not so large or the distance from the stream not so far…”

· “It thought to itself, ‘My master has been so good to me, and I continue to fail him day after day. I’ll speak to my master and ask for his forgiveness.’”

· “So, the next morning, as the farmer was tying each of the pots to the long pole he used to carry them, the cracked pot spoke up.

· “’Master, forgive me; I’m a cracked pot.’”

· “Amused by this sudden revelation, the farmer responded, “’Why yes, you are! I’ve always known that you were cracked. I was there when it happened.’”

· “’Yes, but I’m ashamed that I’m only able to bring half a pot of water back to the hut each day. If I were whole like the other pot, I could bring back all that you trust me with each and every day.’”

· “’Little pot, if I had wanted two full pots of water,’” the farmer replied, “’I would have replaced you a long time ago.’”

· “’Have you not noticed the many, beautiful flowers on your side of the path as we make our way back to the hut each morning?’”

· “’I planted them on your side, because your crack makes it possible for me to water them each day as I walk. The other pot doesn’t share its water with the path, so nothing grows on its side.’”

The Moral of the Story

· “God is the farmer, and we are the pots.”

· “The cracks in the pot represent our sin, our imperfections, and some of our experiences.”

· “God takes our cracks (when we give them to Him) and uses them for His Kingdom and His glory.”

· “Through them, He pours Living Water on a spiritually dry and thirsty world.”

· “His Living Water brings life and beauty into peoples’ lives through us.”

· “No matter what mistakes we have made, no matter what our imperfections… God will use them if we let Him. Romans 8:28 tells us that:

‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ (emphasis mine)”

· “That’s ALL things!”

· “That includes that part of your body that you don’t like. It includes your scars. It includes your sicknesses. It includes the fact that you are small or big or skinny or fat. It includes the fact that you are not as smart as your brother or sister, that you aren’t good at sports, that you don’t know how to play a musical instrument, that you aren’t pretty or that you can’t read well.”

· “It even includes the bad things you do as long as you let God know you are sorry for them and let Him use them how He wants to.”

· “God uses everything – if we let Him.”

· “So whatever it is that you don’t like about yourself – get over it! God likes it, and He wants to use it to bless those around you. He wants to use your cracks.”

· “And don’t kid yourself. We are all ‘cracked pots.’ (I didn’t say, ‘crackpots,’ but I’m not excluding it, either.)”

· “Not one of us is perfect. The ‘perfect pots’ may look perfect on the outside, but they are cracked on the inside because of their pride or because of something else they are doing their best to hide.”

· “The difference between most of us and the ‘perfect pots’ is that we are giving God opportunities to use our cracks.”

· “He can’t use ‘perfect,’ because ‘perfect’ won’t admit that it needs God.”

· “Remember, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).”

· “If we pretend that we can do it ourselves, we rob Him of an opportunity to work through us. If we do it in our own power, we get the glory.”

· “The ‘perfect pot’ was proud of what it accomplished in its own power.”

· “But what it missed was the chance to be part of something greater than itself – to share Living Water with the world!”

· “You won’t find anywhere in the Bible where God asked us to store His blessings. He asked us to pour them out as we walk with Him.”

· “So, be a cracked pot, and let God use those cracks for His glory!”

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