Tag Archives: Belief

StrengthsFinder Theme Sorting (GAME)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

15-20 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to become familiar with and remember the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder Themes through a competitive sorting activity.  Participants should have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder or StrengthsQuest assessment at http://www.strengthsfinder.com.  You can get an access code by purchased their books, StrengthsFinder 2.0 or Strengths Based Leadership.

Scriptures

o  Romans 12:4-5

Materials

o  Cards with each of the StrengthsFinder Themes and their definitions (one set per team – you can find the file with these cards at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page in the file “Strengths Finder Theme Sorting – Cards.ppt.”

o  Scissors or other cutting tool

o  Envelopes (one per team)

o  Answer Key (at the bottom of this lesson and also in the file “Strengths Finder Theme Sorting – Answer Key.ppt” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.)

o  Flipchart or whiteboard

o  Marker

o  Prizes for the winning team (optional)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Cut out the cards for sorting, and put one set per envelope (one per team).  You might want to number or name the envelopes to correspond to team designations.
o  Write the Debrief Question on a flipchart or whiteboard, and have them ready for the groups to review and discuss after the game.
o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s do a competition that will help you to become more familiar with and to remember the 34 StrengthsFinder Themes.”
  • “I’m giving each team an envelope with all 34 Themes and their definitions.”  (Pass out the envelopes, but instruct them not to open the envelopes until you give the signal.)
  • “When I say go, work with your team members to match each Theme to its definition.”
  • “The team that finishes earliest with the least number of mistakes wins.”
  • “I will only check your answers once, so make sure that they are correct before you ask me to check them.”
  • “When you say you are done, I will tell you what order you finished in, i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc…”
  • “Finishing first doesn’t mean you win.  You have to have the least amount of mistakes.”
  • “If there is a tie for least amount of mistakes, the team that finished earliest will win.”
  • “Any questions?” (After addressing questions, let the teams open their envelopes and start sorting.  When they finish, they should notify you, and you will tell them what place they finished in.  This doesn’t guarantee a win.  The most important thing is that they have the fewest mistakes, but if there is a tie for fewest mistakes, the team who finished earlier will win.  After you have checked their answers using the Answer Key below, declare a winner and offer them a prize if you wish.  Then, have the teams work through the Debrief Questions below.)

Debrief Questions

1. Read Romans 12:4-5.  This Scripture continues to talk about spiritual gifts.  Do you think its truth also applies to our Strengths?  Why or why not?

2. Why do you think God made us so differently?

3. What does it mean, “each part of the body belongs to all the other parts?”

4. How can we live this Scripture more intentionally in the future?


Answer Key

A. Developer

B. Competition

C. Belief

D. Adaptability

E. Arranger

F. Communication

G. Context

H. Discipline

I. Empathy

J. Achiever

K. Command

L. Deliberative

M. Focus

N. Consistency

O. Connectedness

P. Activator

Q. Analytical

R. Woo

S. Relator

T. Includer

U. Input

V. Restorative

W. Learner

X. Strategic

Y. Positivity

Z. Significance

AA. Responsibility

BB. Harmony

CC. Intellection

DD. Maximizer

EE. Ideation

FF. Individualization

GG. Self-Assurance

HH. Futuristic

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Filed under diversity, Game, Games that Teach, Icebreaker, memory, Strengths

Abraham’s Tests (Lesson)


Time

30-35 minutes
Description

This lesson teaches about how God tested Abraham when He asked him to sacrifice Isaac.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-6; 17:19-20; 22:1-19
  • Hebrews 11:17-19

Materials

  • Whiteboard, chalkboard or flipchart
  • Marker
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Raise your hand if your parents have ever tracked how tall you are growing by putting a mark on a wall right above your head.”  (Acknowledge raised hands.)
  • “My mom used to do that, too.”
  • “I want to see how quickly we can do it today up at this board (or flipchart).”
  • “Everyone line up over here, and then come up and let me mark your height on the board.”  (As each participant comes up, make a mark above their heads and put his/her name beside it.  Try to keep everyone’s marks clustered in the center, because you are going to draw a large heart around them.  You might even want to use the two tallest participants as the top of the heart and then taper the marks toward the bottom.  Don’t draw the heart shape yet, though. )
  • “Wow, we’ve got a lot of different heights in this room!”
  • “So, this is how your parents’ might have tracked your height.”
  • “God does something similar, but He’s not tracking your height; He tracking your heart.” (Draw a heart shape around all the measurements.)
  • “God is much less interested in your height than He is in your heart, so every once in a while, He measures your heart to see how spiritually mature it is.”
  • “You could say that if God measured you, and you were down here (put your hand near the bottom of the heart) that you are not very mature spiritually.”
  • “But if you were way up here (put your hand near the top of the heart), you would be very spiritually mature.”
  • “Does anyone know how God measures the spiritual maturity of our hearts?”  (Listen for responses.  What you want to hear is that He tests us.)
  • “Right!  God tests us to measure the spiritual maturity of our hearts!”
  • “The story I’m going to tell you about today is about a person who was VERY spiritually mature.”
  • “He was very old, and he had followed the Lord for a very long time.”
  • “His name was Abram, but you might know him better as Abraham.”
  • “Have any of you heard of him?”  (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “Great! Well, there is a lot to tell about the story of Abraham, but we are going to focus on one of the times in his life when God was giving him a test to measure the spiritual maturity of his heart.”
  • “This part of his story started when he was 75 years old.”
  • “God made him a very special but very surprising promise.”  (Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 12:1-3.)
  • “God promised to make Abraham (at this point, his name was just Abram) into a great nation.”
  • “This had to be surprising to Abraham, because he didn’t have any children at the age of 75.”
  • “His name, Abram, meant ‘exalted father,’ and it must have felt like a joke to him and may have even been a very painful reminder that he didn’t have anyone to carry on his name.”
  • “But Abraham believed God, and it’s a good thing he did, because this was one of God’s tests.” (Mark a line on the heart about one-third up from the bottom, and write “Abram” or “Abraham” beside it.)
  • “Abraham left his family and went to a place that God showed him.”
  • “Years later, Abraham still didn’t have any children when God appeared to him in a vision.”  (Have a volunteer read Genesis 15:1-6.)
  • “You see, it’s okay to tell God exactly how you feel.”
  • “Abraham complained to God that God had made a promise but nothing had changed.”
  • “So, God made His promise a little more clear and told him that he would definitely have a child..and not just one, but many, many, many…as many as the starts in the sky.”
  • “And Abraham believed him, and it was a good thing he did, because this was another one of God’s tests.” (Mark a line on the heart about halfway up from the bottom, and write “Abram” or “Abraham” beside it.)
  • “Years later, Abraham was 99 years old and had a son.”
  • “Abraham thought this boy, Ishmael, was God’s promise to him.”
  • “Unfortunately, it wasn’t the son that God had promised but a son that came from a mistake Abraham had made when he thought God needed his help making God’s promise come true.”
  • “So, God appeared to Abraham again to help him understand.”  (Have a volunteer read Genesis 17:19-20.)
  • “God got very specific this time and even told Abraham the name of the promised child.”
  • “This was actually the time that God gave Abram his new name, Abraham, which means ‘father of many nations.’”
  • “Abraham laughed at the promise at first (since he was 99, and his wife was 90 – pretty old to be having children), but then he believed God.”
  • “And it’s a good thing he did, because this was one of God’s tests.” (Mark a line on the heart about one-third down from the top, and write “Abraham” beside it.)
  • “One year later, Abraham and Sarah (his wife) had a baby boy, and they loved him very, very much!”
  • “Years passed, and Isaac grew strong and tall.”
  • “Probably about the time that he was a teenager, Abraham was tested by God again.”
  • “And since Abraham was spiritually mature, this test was a really tough one!”
  • “God wanted to know who was more important in Abraham’s heart – Isaac or God?”  (Have volunteer read Genesis 22:1-2.)
  • “This sounds like a terrible test!”
  • “How could God ask Abraham to sacrifice his promised son?”
  • “But Abraham trusted God and knew that even if Isaac died, God could raise him back to life.”
  • “We know that was what Abraham was thinking, because the Bible tells us so.”  (Have volunteer read Hebrews 11:17-19.)
  • “So Abraham obeyed God, and it’s a good thing he did, because this was one of God’s tests.” (Mark a line on the heart a little higher than the last one and write “Abraham” beside it.  Then have a volunteer read Genesis 22:3-5.)
  • “I know this had to be tearing Abraham up in side.  Three days walking with your son, knowing that you were going to offer him as a sacrifice!”
  • “But Abraham kept trusting God every step of the way.”  (Mark a line on the heart a little higher than the last one and write “Abraham” beside it.  Then, have a volunteer read Genesis 22:6-8.)
  • “Do you hear Abraham’s faith? ‘God Himself will provide the lamb…’” (Mark a line a little higher.  Then have a volunteer read Genesis 22:9-12.)
  • “Wow!  That was close!  But you have to understand that God never intended for Abraham to actually sacrifice Isaac.”
  • “God says in another part of Scripture that He must NOT be worshiped by human sacrifice.”  (Deuteronomy 12:31)
  • “God had his angel standing on the ready the entire time, but the test wasn’t complete until Abraham showed that he was actually willing to sacrifice his son.”
  • “Abraham proved that he loved God more than he loved Isaac and that he believed God could bring Isaac back from the dead.”  (Make a mark at the top of the heart, and write “Abraham” next to it.  Then have a volunteer read Genesis 22:13-19.)
  • “When Abraham passed God’s test, God provided a another way that Abraham hadn’t even imagined.”
  • “God provided a substitute for Isaac.”
  • “Instead of Isaac dying, the ram would die.”
  • “And because Abraham passed this test, he got to be part of a very special story – the story about Jesus.”
  • “This story of Abraham and Isaac is a lot like the story of Jesus, and there are clue all the way through.  Can anyone tell me something from this story that is like the story of Jesus?”  (Listen for responses.  Here are some possible answers that you might want to bring it if they aren’t mentioned:

o   Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son just like God was willing to sacrifice His Son, Jesus.

o   Isaac was going to be an offering for sin, just like Jesus.

o   The journey took three days, which reminds us that Jesus was buried for three days.

o   Isaac carried the wood that he was going to be sacrificed on, just like Jesus carried His cross.

o   Isaac asked where they would get the lamb for the sacrifice, and Abraham told him that God would provide the lamb.  God did provide Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.

o   Isaac apparently was willing to die, just like Jesus, because there is no mention of a struggle (a struggle Isaac surely would have won, since his father was over 100 years old, and he would have been a teenager).

o   The ram was caught in the thickets, a thorny bush, which reminds us that Jesus wore a crown of thorns.

o   An angel was present at both this event and the resurrection of Jesus.  You could say that Isaac also had a type of resurrection, since he was meant to die on the altar.)

  • “You see, this story points us to Jesus.”
  • “Some people call it a type or a shadow of the story of Jesus.  I prefer ‘shadow,’ because a shadow lets you know ahead of time if someone is coming around a corner.  And this type of story tells us ahead of time that Jesus is coming.”
  • “Jesus died for us so that we don’t have to.”
  • “The Bible says that the wages (or payment) for sin is death, and Jesus paid that payment for us on the cross.”
  • “He was our substitute, like the ram in the thicket.”
  • “And because Jesus paid for our sins, we get to live for eternity, forever and ever with Jesus in heaven.”
  • “What I want you to remember from today’s lesson are these few things:

o   God will test the spiritual maturity of your heart many times during your life as a Christian.

o   This test is not really for God to know your maturity; he already knows.  They are for you to recognize how mature you have become.

o   The more mature you get, the bigger the tests God will give you.

o   When you pass a test, God blesses you and uses you to bless others.”

 

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, Belief, faith, God's Plan, God's Will, Obedience, Priorities, Trust

No More Than We Can Bear (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand that God will help them get through difficult times and situations. He never allows us to go through more than we can bear, and He never leaves us alone.

Materials

· Large balloons (at least 5-6, but you might want more just in case)

· Wood skewers (available in the barbeque area of the supermarket)

· Duct tape

Preparation

· Practice the trick several times before you go live. It can be tricky to get it right.

· Inflate five or more balloons. (Inflate the first three until they are taut. You are going to pop these. Don’t fill the last two until they are taut. You want the rubber to have a little give to it.)

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

· “How many of you have had bad stuff happen to you before?” (Demonstrate that you are looking for a show of hands.)

· “Yeah, me, too.”

· “Bad stuff even happens to Christians, but God won’t ever allow you to go through more than you can handle, because He loves you.”

· “Here’s how I know.” (Have volunteer read 1 Corinthians 10:13.)

· “God always provides a way out of difficult situations.”

· “I’m going to demonstrate this, but I’ll need a volunteer.” (Select volunteer from the group.)

· “Okay, let’s say that you are this balloon.” (Hand volunteer the balloon, and have him or her hold it at arm’s length so that it won’t pop in his/her face.)

· “And let’s say that this skewer is a bad thing that’s about to happen to you.”

· “Now, even though the skewer is going to go right through you…” (Try to put skewer through the balloon. The balloon should pop.)

· “Oops! That wasn’t supposed to happen. Let’s say that this balloon is you. And this skewer…” (Give a second balloon to your volunteer, and have him/her hold it at arm’s length again. Then pop it with the skewer.)

· “Wow! That almost never happens! Okay, let’s say that this balloon is you. And…” (Do the same procedure to pop the third balloon.)

· “Something’s really wrong here! Hmmm….. What’s wrong? What’s wrong…Oh! I’ve got it! These balloons don’t have the covering of the Holy Spirit.”

· “I can help with that. You see, in the Bible, oil often represents the anointing of God. Let’s anoint this skewer so that it can be used of God.” (Dip skewer into oil. Then insert it into a balloon through the tie-off area and out the very top. These are the areas where the rubber of the balloon stretches the least, so they are more likely to receive the skewer without popping. If the balloon pops, laugh nervously and grab another balloon – kids love it when things don’t go the way an adult plans them.)

· “Look at that! God’s anointing was all it took.”

· “You see, if God allows bad stuff to happen to us, He anoints it so that it ends up doing His work in our lives. God knows where you can handle the bad stuff, just like I knew just where the balloon could handle the skewer.”

· “Now, sometimes, God allows bad stuff to happen to you where you are weak, but He won’t allow it to happen unless He has reinforced you in that area.” (Grab a new a balloon, and put a piece of duct tape across both the front and back sides of balloon. Then slowly poke a skewer though – not the one with the oil. You can repeat this several times for dramatic effect.)

· “Sometimes during tough situations, you might feel like you could just burst.”

· “But remember that God knows just how much you can take, and He won’t let you go through any more than that.” (Thank and dismiss volunteer.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Belief, Challenges, Coping skills, faith, Fear, Hands-on, Science experiment, struggles, Trust, Worry

Spotlight Effect


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that when God shines His favor on us, it blesses other people around us, as well. It uses the story of Joseph to illustrate this principle.

Materials

· Powerful flashlight or spotlight

Preparation

· Make sure you can get the room dark with the lights turned off. You may need to cover up some windows or pull the blinds.

· Make sure that flashlight/spotlight is fully charged or has new batteries. You want a powerful beam of light for the whole lesson.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “When you look at the life of Joseph in the Bible, one of the things you will notice is that he blessed those around him.”

· “Joseph had a hard early life. His brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery, but even in slavery, Joseph blessed others.” (Have a volunteer read Genesis 39:1-6)

· “It says that ‘the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph’ and ‘The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field…’”

· “Just having Joseph in his house was a blessing to Potiphar.”

· “Because Joseph followed God, God blessed him. And because God blessed Joseph, everyone around him was blessed.”

· “But Joseph’s misfortune wasn’t over. He was wrongly accused of a crime, and Potiphar threw him into prison.”

· “It wasn’t fair for an innocent man to be arrested, but even in prison, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 40:20-23.)

· “The prison warden didn’t have to worry about anything while Joseph was there. Joseph took care of everything, and God blessed all the work of his hands.”

· “Finally, Joseph was released from prison, and God rewarded him for his continued trust and obedience by making him the second highest official in all of Egypt.”

· “In this role, too, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 41:46-49.)

· “Joseph was in charge of saving food in preparation for a famine, and God blessed him so much that Joseph couldn’t even keep records of how much food he had saved.”

· “He was able to save all of Egypt and neighboring countries from starving to death.”

· “So, let me give you a picture of what was happening with Joseph.”

· “To do this, I’m going to need to turn off the lights, but I’ll have this flashlight/spotlight on.” (Turn on flashlight/spotlight, and ask a volunteer to turn off the lights.)

· “Let’s say this flashlight/spotlight is God’s favor.”

· “And, let’s say this is Joseph.” (Pick a kid in the audience who is close to other kids.)

· “Because Joseph was always doing his best to be obedient to the Lord, God’s favor was always on him.” (Hold flashlight/spotlight above volunteer’s head so that the light shines down on him/her.)

· “Notice that while ‘Joseph’ is getting most of the light of God’s favor, there is still some that spills over onto those around him.” (Point out kids that are also in the light.)

· “We can call this the ‘Spotlight Effect.’ When God shines His light on you, it ends up blessing more than just you – it blesses everyone around you!”

· “Wherever Joseph goes, he takes God’s favor with him.” (Have volunteer get up and slowly move around the room to be closer to other kids. Follow him/her with the flashlight/spotlight.)

· “When Joseph was working for Potiphar, Potiphar’s entire house was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was in prison, the whole prison was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, all the land of Egypt and all the surrounding nations were blessed!”

· “That brings up another point. As God shines His light on you, He will lift you up so that you can provide light for more and more people.” (Have ‘Joseph’ volunteer sit on the floor near some other kids. Shine the flashlight/spotlight on him/her just above his/her head, and point out how the light touches just a few people. Then have ‘Joseph’ stand, and raise the flashlight/spotlight. Point out how the light now touches even more people. Then, thank your volunteer, and have the lights turned back on. Leave the flashlight/spotlight on.)

· “Jesus talks about this in the New Testament.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:14-16.)

· “Jesus is saying that we are supposed to be a light in a dark place (the world), and He will put us on a stand – up high where we can give light to everyone around us.”

· “That’s exactly what He did with Joseph. God raised him up to the second-highest position in Egypt so that the light of God’s favor could bless many people and save many lives.”

· “Now, here’s something interesting. How many of you knew that I never turned off the flashlight/spotlight?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right! It’s still on! You see, God blesses us in good times and in bad times.” (Shine light back on ‘Joseph’ volunteer.)

· “During good times, it’s like all the lights are on, so not many people may notice God’s favor on us.”

· “But during bad times, it’s like the lights go out for people.” (Have volunteer turn out lights.)

· “That’s when everyone notices where God’s favor is!”

· “It becomes so obvious who God is blessing when the lights go out.”

· “When all of Egypt was facing starvation, everyone could tell that Joseph was really blessed by God, because He had the wisdom and the skills to save all the peoples’ lives.”

· “Once God has His light on us, He will sometimes let the lights go out (bad times happen) in order to get their attention.”

· “That’s when people will start coming to you to find out why you’ve got so much blessing in your life, and that’s when you can tell them about your love for Jesus.”

· “Oh, but there’s something you’ve got to remember.”

· “You’ve got to stay inside God’s light if you want to have His favor and be able to bless others.”

· “Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask the ‘Joseph’ volunteer to take a step out of the light, but don’t follow him/her this time.)

· “It’s possible for you to step out of God’s favor and blessings by sinning.”

· “If Joseph had not been so obedient to God during his time with Potiphar and in the prison, he would not have had God’s light on him.”

· “You’ve got to stay in the center of God’s blessings and favor by doing what He tells you to do in the Bible.” (Thank volunteer again, and have the lights turned on. You can turn off the flashlight/spotlight at this point.)

· “So there it is! The ‘Spotlight Effect!’”

· “Follow God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and His blessings will follow you wherever you go!”

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Filed under Belief, blessing, Challenges, God's favor, Obedience, Object Lesson, struggles, Trust

Joseph Over Easy


Time

30 minutes (15 minutes for decorating the eggs and 15 for telling the story)

Description

This object lesson tells the story of Joseph in an unusual way – with eggs. It helps the kids to learn about using puns while presenting a lesson about the reasons why bad things sometimes happen to good people.

Materials

· Sixteen eggs

· Pot for boiling eggs

· Food coloring, vinegar and several cups if you want the kids to dye the eggs (optional)

· Water

· Crayons or colored pencils for decorating the eggs

· Various props for decorating the eggs (optional)

· Table for the kids to decorate the eggs on and for teaching from

· Note cards (optional – you need these only if you plan to have the kids read out lines from the story.)

· Tall glass

Preparation

· Boil all the eggs, and then let them cool

· If you are going to have the kids dye the eggs, you will need to boil some water right before class. Put a teaspoon or two of vinegar into each of your cups. Then pour in the hot water, and add a few drops of food coloring to each cup. Make as many different colors as you like.

· Write the names of Joseph and his brothers (see below) on the bottom of 12 of the eggs. Two should be labeled, “Midianites.” The other two should be labeled “Jacob” and “Potiphar.”

o Reuben, Dan, Simeon, Gad, Levi, Asher, Judah, Naphtali, Issachar, Joseph, Zebulun, Benjamin

· Set out Crayons, colored pencils and any props you gathered for decorating the eggs.

· (Optional) Write out or print out (see download file, “Joseph Over Easy – Script Cards” on the Lesson Material and Downloads page) the lines for the story on notecards. They are numbered below so that you will know what to put on each card.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to tell the story of Joseph and his brothers with these boiled eggs, but first, we need to decorate them so that they look like their characters in the story.” (Read off the name on the bottom of each of the eggs, and select a volunteer from the kids to decorate the egg. You can give them some ideas about how you think each character might look. How well they decorate the egg is not important – just that they have fun doing it. Once the eggs are decorated, it’s time to tell the story. Each child can keep the egg he/she decorated. Have them stand up if their character’s name is mentioned.)
  • “We are about to tell the story of Joseph and his brothers using these eggs. I’ve included a lot of puns in the story to make it funnier. Does anyone know what a pun is?” (Listen to responses, and add your own explanation if necessary.)
    • “A pun is a humorous use of a word. Often, the word sounds like another word, but it has a different meaning. Sometimes, the word is the exact same word as the word you would typically use, but you intend for the listener to know that you really mean another meaning of the same word. Puns are a fun way to make a joke, but they require you to think fast to catch the double meaning. An example of a pun would be if I had a jar of peanuts and said, ‘There sure are a lot of nuts in here.’ But instead of talking about the jar of peanuts, I was really talking about there being a lot of crazy people in the room.”
  • “So, we are going to use puns to tell this story. If you hear a pun (or any kind of joke), raise you hand to show that you got it. Okay, ready? Here we go…”
    • (Notecard #1) “We know a lot about Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, and we know a lot about Joseph and Benjamin, but the rest were pretty quiet. I think they had difficulty coming out of their shells.”
    • (Notecard #2) “Now, Joseph was different than his brothers. He was eggs-tra-special, eggs-traordinary. You could say he was egg-cellent in every way.”
    • (Notecard #3) “Compared to his brothers, you might even say he was unequally yolked.”
    • (Notecard #4) “His father knew it, and he made it known that Joseph was his favorite, his good little egg.”
    • (Notecard #5) “Jacob loved Joseph so much more than the rest of his brothers that he dyed him a shell of many colors.”
    • (Notecard # 6) “Now, you may think that being daddy’s favorite was egg-ceptional, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.”
    • (Notecard #7) “For one thing, Joseph’s brothers didn’t appreciate it at all, and they thought Joseph was just plain rotten.”
    • (Notecard #8) “For another, having his daddy crow about him all the time gave Joseph a bit of an egg-o.”
    • (Notecard #9) “You see, God had given Joseph the ability to interpret dreams. One day while he was ‘doze-n,’ he had a dream that his brothers bowed down and worshipped him.”
    • (Notecard #10) “When he told his brothers about the dream, it didn’t go over-easy with them.”
    • (Notecard #11) “They use to think Joseph was just eggcentric, but now they thought he was really egg-ravating.”
    • (Notecard #12) In fact, it made them boil with anger.”
    • (Notecard #13) “From that moment on, you might say Joseph’s bird was cooked.”
    • (Notecard #14) “His brothers began thinking of ways they could eggs-terminate him.”
    • (Notecard #15) “So one day, Joseph’s father asked him to go see if his brothers were doing what he egg-spected them to do.”
    • (Notecard #16 “They were supposed to be watching the sheep in Shechem, but when Joseph got there, he realized they had scrambled.”
    • (Notecard #17) “He finally found them in Dothan, but they saw him coming. ‘Here comes the dreamer,’ they said. ‘Let’s eggs-ecute him.’”
    • (Notecard #18) “That was the plan, but Joseph got clucky.”
    • (Notecard #19) “Reuben, the oldest brother, chickened out.”
    • (Notecard #20) “He didn’t want to be an eggs-cessory to a crime.”
    • (Notecard #21) “He convinced them not to eggs-ecute Joseph but just to egg-drop him in a dry well and leave him there. Joseph was in quite a soup!”
    • (Notecard #22) “This was just an eggs-cuse. Secretly, Reuben hoped to save his brother.”
    • (Notecard #23) “Reuben went away, but the brothers grabbed Joseph, shelled off his beautiful robe, and dropped him into a well. Fortunately, he landed sunny-side-up.”
    • (Notecard #24) “In the midst of all this egg-citement, along came a caravan of Midianite slave poachers.”
    • (Notecard #25) “So the brothers decided to sell Joseph for some chicken scratch.”
    • (Notecard #26) “I guess you could say he was fried.”
    • (Notecard #27) “When Reuben returned and found his brother gone, he cracked! He knew their father would blame him!”
    • (Notecard #28) “But his brothers said, ‘Reuben, don’t be an eggs-Benedict Arnold! We’re in this together.’”
    • (Notecard #30) “They took his beautiful coat and dyed it in goat’s blood. Then they showed their father.”
    • (Notecard #31) “Jacob just knew that Joseph had been eaten by wild breakfast eaters, and he was so upset, no one could comfort him for many days.”
    • (Notecard #32) “Meanwhile, Joseph was taken to Egg-ypt and sold as a slave to a man named Potiphar.” (End of Story)

  • “So that’s the beginning of Joseph’s story. Pretty terrible, huh?”
  • “Poor Joseph! How do you think he’s feeling right now?” (Take responses.)
  • “Have you ever felt that way?” (Listen to responses and comment as necessary.)
  • “What could make the brothers hate Joseph so much that they would sell him into slavery?” (Take responses.)
  • “Joseph wasn’t a bad guy. He didn’t deserve to be treated that way.”
  • “Why do you think God lets bad things happen to good people?” (Take responses.)
  • “God is a good God, and He’s an all-powerful God, but sometimes He lets bad things happen to good people.”
  • “I’ll tell you that any time something bad happens to a person who loves Jesus, there is one of two reasons why. It’s either to:
    • Help you, or to…
    • Help others.”
  • “God won’t always tell you what He’s doing, but He doesn’t mind you asking.”
  • “Sometimes He’ll show you why you are having a rough time.”
  • “Other times He just wants you to trust Him. But even if He won’t tell you why, believe that He has a very good reason.”
  • “He had a good reason in Joseph’s life, didn’t He? Can anyone tell me what it was?” (Take responses.)
  • “Well, if Joseph could trust God even though he experienced slavery and his brothers’ abuse, we can trust God in our circumstances, too.” (End lesson.)


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Filed under Belief, Challenges, Christianity, faith, God's Will, Hands-on, Joseph, Object Lesson, struggles, test, Trust

Walking on Water


Time

30-45 minutes


Description

This object lesson is used as a highlight to the story of Peter walking on water.

The lesson is big and expensive. It takes lots of time to prepare, and it’s messy. It’s best reserved for large events. That said, there’s a lot of “wow factor.” This will be an activity that they will remember for years.

To see my blog and some video on when I did this object lesson, click here: They Walked on Water

Materials

· Drop cloth for the floor (if you do it indoors)

· Corn starch (8 lbs for every gallon)

· Water (1.5 gallons for every 8 lbs of corn starch)

· Kiddie swimming pool (90 gallons or more)

· Example: – if you use a 90 gallon pool, you will need 288 lbs of corn starch and 54 gallons of water

· Several buckets, water bottles, electric fans, rolls of blue wrapping paper

· Write out the following note cards with script for part of your enactment:

o Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.

o Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.

o Jesus: All right…come.

    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?

Preparation

· It’s best to do this activity outside because of the potential mess, but if you do it inside, lay out a drop cloth.

· Several hours before you run the lesson, mix the corn starch and the water in the pool.

· It’s best to mix it in small quantities and then pour them into the pool. (I recommend mixing 4.5 gallons of water with 24 lbs of corn starch each time.)

· Test the consistency by slapping or punching the surface. It should harden up and resist your blows.

· If this works, you should be able to run across or even on top of the surface. Use very quick steps.

· Have a way for those who get stuck in the pool to wash off.

· Set up a place in the teaching area near the pool to be a “boat.” You can do this with some cardboard boxes or with masking tape, or you could just designate an area of the floor as the “boat.”

· Put the buckets in the “boat.”

· Fill the water bottles with water.

· Set up the electric fans so that they face the boat.

· Roll out the blue wrapping paper on the floor (blue side up) under the boat or across the area of the designated “boat.”

Procedure

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

  • “After Jesus fed the 5,000, He went to a quiet place and prayed to God, the Father, and the disciples got into a boat to head across the lake.”
  • “The disciples sailed away from the shore and were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when a huge storm rolled in!” (Ask for 12 volunteers, and have them get into the “boat.” Select one of them to be Peter. As you tell the story, they should act out what you are saying. Then get volunteers to spray the water bottles, turn the fans on and off, turn the lights on and off and create waves with the wrapping paper by holding either end and waving it up and down.)
  • “It was dark. The wind was howling!” (Have your fan volunteers turn on the fans.) “Water sprayed over the sides of the boat and drenched the apostles!” (Have your water bottle volunteers spray the apostles, and have your wave volunteers wave the paper up and down.) “Lightning flashed across the sky.” (Have your lights volunteer flick the lights on and off.)
  • “They were afraid that they might sink, so they used buckets to try and bail water out of the boat.” (Have the apostle-volunteers pretend to bail water.)
  • “Hours went by, and the apostles grew very tired. About 3 o’clock in the morning, things got worse!”
  • ‘A ghost came walking across the water straight at them!” (Have a volunteer play Jesus and run across the pool of “water” toward the others.)
  • “This was one fast-moving ghost!”
  • “They screamed in terror!” (If the disciples don’t scream, say, “A-hem, I said that the apostles screamed in terror!”)
  • “Then, something totally incredible happened!” (Have your helpers say the following lines from their note cards.)
    • Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.
    • Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.
    • Jesus: All right…come.
  • “Peter went over the side of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus!” (Have Peter character run across the pool of “water.”)
  • “But then, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around.”
  • “He saw the high waves! He noticed the howling wind!”
  • “He became terrified and began to sink under the water!” (Have character act this out running to the center of the pool, stopping and crying out.)
    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
  • “Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter.” (Have character act this out by reaching in to grab “Peter” from outside the pool.)
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?
  • “Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, and immediately, the wind stopped.” (Have “Peter” and “Jesus” join the other volunteers beside the pool.)
  • “Then the disciples worshipped Jesus.” (Have volunteers bow down to Jesus.)
  • “And they said, ‘You really are the Son of God!’”
  • “Peter walked on water! Can you believe that?”
  • “But then he began to sink.”
  • “Tell me…why did Peter start to sink into the water?” (He took his eyes off Jesus.)
  • “That’s right. He took his eyes of Jesus. He looked around at all the scary stuff around him, and he began to think, ‘I’m in big trouble. A person can’t walk on water! That’s impossible! I must have been crazy thinking I could have walked on water!’”
  • “Of course, Peter was right, but he forgot one very important thing…all things are possible with God!”
  • “When Peter began to sink under the water, he had a problem, but I’m learning that whenever I have a problem, I should give it to Jesus.”
  • “Anytime that I feel like I’m sinking under all my problems, I need to give them to Jesus.”
  • “As long as I keep my eyes on Him, He helps me with my problems.”
  • “But if I start to focus on the scary things that are happening around me, I’ll start to sink again.”
  • “Now you may think Peter looked pretty silly when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink under water, but I don’t.”
  • “I admire Peter for having the courage to get out of the boat.”
  • “Peter was a Water Walker!”
  • “You know what all the other guys were? They were Boat Huggers!”
  • “While Peter walked on the water, they hugged the boat in fear.”
  • “Jesus told Peter that he only had a little faith, but even his little faith was a lot more than the Boat Huggers had.”
  • “A Water Walker trusts in God.”
  • “A Water Walker does the scary things that God wants him to do.”
  • “A Water Walker gets out of the boat to get closer to Jesus.”
  • “If you want to get closer to Jesus, you’re going to have to get out of the boat and walk on water.”
  • “Any of you want to be Water Walkers for Jesus?” (Allow all that are interested to take a run across the pool of “water.”)

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Filed under Christianity, faith, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Peter, Simon-Peter, test, Trust

Fall of Faith


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about faith and about doing things for God that are sometimes scary.

Materials

Box or some other sturdy object that children can fall off backward so that you can catch them. It should be tall enough that it presents a challenge but not so tall as to be unsafe.

Preparation

· Set up box on stage.

· Ask for someone strong and reliable to be your spotter.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Sometimes God gives you a test to see if you are learning what He is trying to teach you.”

· “First, He teaches you a lesson. Then, He tests you on it to see if you learned it.”

· “One of the areas that He will regularly test you in is your faith. He wants to know if you trust Him.”

· “I would like to demonstrate. Can I get a really brave volunteer?” (Select volunteer and bring him/her up to stage. Have person stand on a sturdy box or some other object on the stage, facing away from audience.)

· “You may have heard of a leap of faith. That means you jump out to do something God wants you to do even when it’s scary. You do it because you believe God will catch you.”

· “We’re going to do a ‘Fall of Faith.’ I’ll play the part of God, and when (volunteer’s name) falls backward off this box, I’ll catch him/her.”

· “So, ready?” (talking to volunteer)

· “When I count to three, I want you to fall backward into my arms, and just like God, I will catch you if you put your trust in me.”

· (Draw this out in order to create suspense and add a little humor.) “Are you ready? ………Oh, hey….how are you feeling? Is it scary? But you trust me, right?”

· “Okay, count of three! One! Two!”

· (Suddenly turn away from the volunteer and face the audience. Make sure you have arranged for another adult – a “spotter” – to be standing near so that he or she can catch the child if he/she falls. Your spotter should not be obvious but should be close enough for safety.)

· “Oh! I forgot to tell you! Before you do a Fall of Faith, make sure you pray about it. Not everything that is scary is something God wants you to do. You’ve got to make sure this is really a test from God. You don’t want to take the fall if it isn’t God’s will, because you may get hurt. You can also talk to other godly people (like your parents) and read your Bible to make sure.”

· “All right! Let’s do this! (talking again to your volunteer) One! Two! Thr…!”

· (Suddenly turn away—same condition as before—and face audience.)

· “Can anyone give me an example of a time when you did something for God that was scary?”

· (Take a few ideas.)

· “Perfect! Exactly what I’m looking for! I think that helps us understand what I mean by a ‘Fall of Faith.’”

· “Okay, time to take the fall!”

· (To volunteer) “Are you ready?”

· (Assuming that you have lost the volunteer’s trust by now, say…) “Why not? No, really, you can trust me!” (If the volunteer still seems to trust you, you might need to draw this out some more.)

· “Okay—one, two, THREE!” (If volunteer doesn’t fall, reassure him/her that you are serious this time. After the volunteer takes the fall, and you safely catch him or her, thank your volunteer and send him/her back to seat.)

· “The good news is, God is more trustworthy than I am. He will always catch you if you are doing His will.”

· (If you have time, let other children experience the Fall of Faith.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Belief, Christianity, faith, Fear, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Trust, Worry