For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”
Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!
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10-15 minutes (or more, depending upon how many times you play)
Children & Youth
This game is a fun and high-energy way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s played in rounds, and an individual round takes only a few minutes to play.
- 10-20 feet of rope
- “Friday-Sunday” dice cube pattern (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com in the file named “Resurrection Roll – Dice Cube.”)
- Scissors or knife to cut out dice cube
- Cardboard or poster board (8.5 x 11 inches)
- Optional: Small prizes for the winners – it’s possible to have multiple winners each round, so you will want to have lots of small prizes
- Print out the dice cube pattern.
- Glue the pattern on top of the cardboard or poster board.
- Cut out the dice cube pattern.
- Bend the dice cube sides along the lines to form the cube. (It might be helpful to lightly score the cardboard along the dice cube lines to help it to bend. Make sure to score the cardboard side and not the paper side.)
- Tape the dice cube anywhere the sides come together.
- Lay out the rope in a large circle pattern.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Jesus died on the cross on a Friday, and His followers were crushed!”
- “They believed He was the Savior, the Messiah, but now He was gone!”
- “They couldn’t believe it! They didn’t know what to do.”
- “They had put all their hopes in Jesus, and they didn’t know what to do with their lives now that He was dead.”
- “Fortunately for them and for all of us, that wasn’t the end of the story!” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 28:1-10.)
- “Imagine you were there!”
- “One moment, life has no meaning – only mourning.”
- “The next moment, all your hopes are restored – even upgraded!”
- “What you thought was a terrible defeat turns into an incredible victory!”
- “So, let’s play a game to celebrate that victory!” (Ask everyone to grab the rope and stand in a circle.)
- “I have a die (singular for dice) here that has three sides that say, ‘Friday,’ and three sides that say, ‘Sunday.’”
- “You are holding a rope that represents the tomb Jesus was buried in, and you represent Jesus.”
- “Before I roll the die, you have to decide if you think it will land on ‘Friday’ or ‘Sunday’ and choose to either be in the tomb or out of the tomb.”
- “If it lands on ‘Friday,’ you want to be in the tomb, where Jesus was after He died.”
- “If it lands on ‘Sunday,’ you want to be outside the tomb, where Jesus was after He rose from the dead.”
- “If you are in the wrong place, you are out of the game and have to leave the circle until we start a new round.”
- “I will roll the die three times, and you can choose a different place (in or out) each time or stay where you are as long as you keep being right.”
- “Whoever lasts all three rolls, wins!” (“….and gets a prize” if you are giving prizes)
- “Are you ready to play?” (Start the game by having the kids choose a position inside or outside of the rope. Then roll the die. Any kids on the wrong side of the rope are out until the next round. After three rolls, acknowledge the winners and start a new round if you wish. End whenever you’ve had enough!)
This object lesson demonstrates that the blood of Jesus paid for our sins – those we have done and those we have yet to do. It uses the Connect Four ® game by Milton Bradley.
Children, youth, adults
• Connect Four game
• Two sets of black checkers (Note: you may want to avoid the use of black checkers as a symbol for sin. It can sometimes send the wrong message to children of color. Most other colors will work if you can find them.)
• One red checker
• Optional – 18 white checkers and 24 red checkers – only if you want to make the heart shape at the end
• Put all the black checkers into the bag. Only use enough so that the black checkers can fill all but one space on the Connect Four ® frame. (Leave one spot empty for a red checker.)
• Put the red checker into your pocket.
• Set up the Connect Four ® frame (with no checkers in it).
• Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
• “This is a Connect Four ® game. How many of you have played this game before?” (Look for responses.)
• “Well we are going to use the game to teach us something about God and how He has dealt with sin.” (Invite a volunteer to come help you demonstrate.)
• “The frame for the game represents your heart.”
• “The black checkers will represent sin, and the red checkers will represent the blood of Christ.”
• “I’ve put checkers into this bag, and I want you to draw them out and put them into the frame.” (Have volunteer draw out the first checker. As he/she drops it into the frame, mention a sin that kids his/her age might commit. Each time he/she drops a black checker in, mention a new sin. Some are suggested below.)
o Told a lie.
o Stole something from a friend.
o Picked on a younger kid.
o Fought with my brother.
o Didn’t tell my sister about the candy Mom bought for us.
o Never apologized for yelling at friend.
o Didn’t do my homework.
o Stayed up past my bedtime.
o Said something mean to my mom.
o Used something without asking.
o Pretended I was sick.
o Didn’t do my chores.
o Spent my offering on a Coke.
o Dented the car with my bike.
o Forgot to feed the dog.
o Showed disrespect to my teacher.
o Cheated on a test.
o Ate an extra desert when Dad wasn’t looking.
• (After the volunteer has put in 20 or so black checkers, secretly drop the red checker into the bag so that he/she will draw it out soon. When the volunteer draws the red checker and drops it in, stop him/her and remind everyone that it represents the blood of Christ.)
• “Remember, the red checker represents the blood of Christ.”
• “This is important, because the Bible says that the blood of Christ washes us of all our sin.”
• “Let’s look at a few Scriptures.” (Ask volunteers to read Matthew 26:28, Romans 5:9, Ephesians 2:13, Hebrews 9:22, 1 John 1:7-9.)
• “The blood of Christ earns us forgiveness, it justifies us and saves us from God’s wrath, it brings us near to God, and it purifies us from all sin.”
• “That’s powerful stuff!”
• “So, here’s a picture of what the blood of Christ does for our hearts when we accept Jesus as our Savior.” (Show the volunteer how to trigger the release at the bottom of the frame so that all the dominoes spill out.)
• “Our hearts become completely new! Cleaned out of all that sin!”
• “It’s like getting a fresh start. All our past sin is gone.”
• “But you know us…even when we are Christians, we still sin sometimes.” (Close the release at the bottom of the frame, and have volunteer begin to put black checkers back in.)
• “We can’t lose our salvation, but each time we sin, the sin takes the place in our hearts where Jesus should be.”
• “Hopefully, we should be sinning less often now, so our hearts don’t fill up as fast.”
• “But you don’t need to wait for it to fill up, because Jesus’ blood didn’t just pay for the sins we did in the past. It pays for the ones we haven’t even done yet.” (Have volunteer add the red checker and then release all the checkers from the bottom.)
• “Each time you sin, it’s paid for already. The only problem is, all those sins hurt your relationship with God.” (Have volunteer add black checkers back in after closing the release at the bottom.)
• “As quickly as you realize you have sinned, ask God for forgiveness so that you can make your relationship healthy again.” (Have volunteer add a red checker and then release all the checkers one last time. Thank and dismiss volunteer.)
• “It’s that easy! But it’s even better if we remember what Jesus did for us and don’t get into sin in the first place.” (OPTIONAL: As you are saying this, add red checkers to the frame (seal the bottom first) in the pattern of a heart. See image below. You will need a few white checkers to go under the red ones in a few columns.)
This game reinforces learning about the names of God through repetition and a fun activity.
- Copies of the six different bingo cards (See the “Names of God Bingo Cards” on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.) Each card has all the same names of God, but they have different placements. You can choose whether or not you reveal this information to the children.
- Something to act as blotters. You can use coins, torn pieces of paper, poker chips… You will need enough for all the children to use.
- One copy of the Names of God Call-Out Sheet” (at the end of this lesson plan).
- Optional – Prizes for getting bingos.
- Optional – Copies of “Names of God Chart” for each child. (See “Lesson and Material Downloads” page
· Print the “Names of God Call-Out Sheet” at the end of this lesson plan, and cut it into strips.
· Place the strips in a bowl, and mix them up.
· Practice the script.
· Print copies of the six different bingo cards.
· Distribute them randomly to the children so that each child has one.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We’re going to play a game to help us remember the different names of God from the Bible.”
- “Each of you has received a “Names of God” bingo sheet. On it, you will see some of the names of God from the Bible and what they mean. These aren’t all the names of God, but it’s a good list to start with.”
- “I’m going to draw names from this bowl and call them out loud.”
- “You have also received some blotters that you can use to mark the names of God that I call out loud.”
- “Whenever I call out a name of God, search your bingo sheet to see if you have it. If you do, put a blotter on top of that name.”
- “If you get five boxes in a row, in a column or in a diagonal marked, you have a bingo!”
- “The center space is marked, ‘Grace Space.” This one is free; you can put a blotter on it now. It’s to remind you of God’s grace to us. Grace is something that you get but didn’t earn.”
- “When you get a bingo, jump up and yell, “BINGO!” and I’ll come by to check what you have marked.”
- “Does anyone have any questions about how to play?” (Answer questions.)
- “Okay, let’s play!” (Draw a name of God from the bowl, and announce it twice slowly. Be sure to read off both the name of God and its meaning each time. Then draw the next name. Continue this process until someone calls, “BINGO!”)
- (For a variation, you can play Blackout. In this version, all boxes must be covered in order to win.)
Names of God Call-Out Sheet
(The Lord of Hosts)
(The Lord Our Righteous-ness)
(The God Who Gave You Birth)
(The Lord is Present)
(The Annointed One)
(The Self-Existent One)
(The Lord Our Maker)
Ancient of Days
(The Lord My Banner)
Alpha and Omega
(First and Last)
(God of Knowledge)
(The Lord Our Shepherd)
(The God Who Sees)
(The Lord is Peace)
(The Lord Will Provide)
(The God Most High)
(The Lord That Heals)
(The Eternal Creator)
(The Everlasting God)
(The Lord Creator)