Tag Archives: Christian walk

Gates of Jerusalem (GAME)

Gates of JerusalemTime

20 minutes

This game teaches about the gates of Jerusalem during Nehemiah’s time and uses them as a metaphor for how we should conduct our Christian Walk.  Participants will play a dice and memory game to familiarize themselves with the gates and the lessons that they teach.


  • Printouts of the file, “Gates of Jerusalem – Cards.”  (You can download this file from the website www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Dice (2)
  • Small candies to use for rewards for right answers (enough for everyone to have 2-3 pieces each)
  • Lamination sheets and a laminator (optional – best if you plan to play the game multiple times)
  • Bible


  • Nehemiah 3
  • Psalm 23:4, 119:97-98
  • Matthew 4:19, 24:27
  • John 1:29, 7:38
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
  • Ephesians 6:10-17
  • Hebrews 12:1-2
  • 1 John 1:9
  • Revelation 19:11, 22:12



  • Print the file “Gates of Jerusalem – Cards.” (in color, preferably)
  • Cut out the pictures and their descriptions.  (Be careful not to separate the pictues form the descriptions underneath them.)
  • Fold the pictures over so that the descriptions are on the opposite side.
  • Glue the two sides together.
  • Laminate all the cards. (optional)
  • Arrange the cards according to the order pictured on the second slide in the file with the cards.
  • Mark the Scriptures in your Bible with a bookmark so that they will be easy to find.
  • Practice the script.


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

  • “We’re going to play a game to teach us about the gates of Jerusalem during the time of Nehemiah.”
  • “We can read about these gates in chapter 3 of the book of Nehemiah.”
  • “In this chapter, Nehemiah organizes everyone to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem so that they can protect themselves and their Temple from their enemies.”
  • “The gates he mentions in the story were real gates at the time, but we can also use them as a reminder about how we should live as Christians.” (Point out the cards you’ve laid out in the shape of the walls of Jerusalem.)
  • “These cards represent the walls and gates of Jerusalem.”
  • “The ones that look like rocks are the parts of the wall.  They don’t move.”
  • “The ones with pictures on them represent the gates, and you can open the gates by turning over the card.”  (As you go through the next part of the script, turn over the cards and read the descriptions on the opposite side.  Then, return the cards to their original position with the picture showing up.)
  • “The first gate is the Sheep Gate.  It was used to bring sheep into the city for sacrifices, and it was very close to the Temple for this reason.  It reminds us that Jesus went to the cross like a sacrificial lamb.  We should remember that He died to pay for our sins. When we accept this gift, we become Christians.”  (Have a volunteer read John 1:29.)
  • “This first gate represents the gate we walk through when we give our hearts to Jesus.”
  • “The second gate is the Fish Gate.  This gate was used by fishermen to bring their fish into Jerusalem to sell.  It reminds us that as followers of Jesus, He is calling us to become “fishers of men.”  That means that we should try to help others know about Jesus.”  (Have a volunteer read Matthew 4:19.)
  • “The third gate is the Old Gate.  We aren’t sure why it was called the Old Gate, but it may have been because it was part of an older city and brought to Jerusalem.  It reminds us that God’s Truth is older than time.  When Satan tries to trick us with lies, we should use God’s Truth to fight against him.”  (Have a volunteer read Ephesians 6:10-17.)
  • “The fourth gate is the Valley Gate.  It opened into a valley on the west side of the city of Jerusalem.  Mountaintops are exciting, but valleys are hard.  They represent the difficult things we go through that help us depend on God and make us stronger.  There is nothing growing above the treeline on a mountain, but valleys are typically lush with growth.”  (Have a volunteer read Psalm 23:4.)
  • “The fifth gate is the Dung Gate.  This is the gate that led to the Valley of Hinnom, where the people burned their garbage.  This gate represents how God uses the valleys in our lives to show us some of our garbage and sinfulness.  When God shows us what is sinful and bad in us, we should get rid of it like smelly garbage (or poop!) so that we can follow Jesus.”  (Have a volunteer read Hebrews 12:1-2.)
  • “The sixth gate is the Fountain Gate.  It was at the end of the Pool of Siloam, and provided refreshing waters for the people of the city.  It represents the streams of Living Water that should flow from us to bless others.  Once we have gotten rid of the ‘dung’ in our lives, God’s Living Waters (which represent God’s Word and His Spirit) can flow through us.”  (Have a volunteer read John 7:38.)
  • “The seventh gate is the Water Gate.  This gate was at the beginning of a famous tunnel that King Hezekiah dug to bring water into the city in case enemy armies lay siege to Jerusalem.  Because the water came through a tunnel, it couldn’t be poisoned by their enemies.  The Water Gates reminds us that we should wash every day in the Word of God by reading our Bibles.  God’s Word is always pure, and Satan can’t poison it.”  (Have a volunteer read Psalm 119:97-98.)
  • “The eighth gate is the Horse Gate.  It was the gate where the horses were taken for water.  Horses in the Bible represent war, so this gate reminds us that we should always be ready to do battle with spiritual forces of evil.  (Have a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.) It is also pointing forward to the time when Jesus will come again.  The Bible says He will come again riding on a white horse.  (Have a volunteer read Revelation 19:11.)
  • “The ninth gate is the East Gate.  It was on the east side of the city and faced the Mountain of Olives.  This gate is very important for Jews and Christians, because the Bible tells us that Jesus will come the second time from the East.  This gate reminds us to have hope because Jesus is coming again.” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 24:27.)
  • “The tenth and final gate is the Inspection Gate (or Muster Gate). It opened to a road that led to Miphkad (“appointed place”).  This is where the people were numbered for the Temple tax.  It reminds us that we should take time at the end of each day to allow God to review the day with us.  If He brings to mind sins we have done, we should confess them and ask for forgiveness.  (Have a volunteer read 1 John 1:9.)  It also points forward to the time when Jesus comes again.  There will be a time of judgment for believers called the Bema Judgment.  At this time, He will evaluate all that we have done and reward us for our good works. (There is no punishment at this judgment.).”  (Have a volunteer read Revelation 22:12.)
  • “In the story in Nehemiah, he mentions the Sheep Gate again at the end of chapter 3.  This is to remind us that everything begins and ends with Jesus and that He is coming again.”
  • “So, here’s how to play the game.”
  • “The youngest person goes first.”
  • “He or she rolls two dice and then has to tell us the name of the gate for the number he/she rolls and what the gate means.” (Point out the numbers in the upper, right-hand corner of each gate picture.  The Sheep gate is numbered both 1 and 11, because it is mentioned twice in the story.)
  • “For example, if you roll a 2 and a 3, that equals 5.  You would have to tell us the name and meaning of the Dung Gate.”
  • “If you roll a 12, the person on your left gets to pick which gate you have to tell us about.”
  • “If you get it right (or mostly right), you get a piece of candy!”
  • “After your turn, the person on your right gets to roll.”
  • “Ready to play?  (Play several rounds.  Then, you can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the message and the Debrief Questions to apply the lesson to their personal lives.)


Rhyme Time

When gate meanings are unlocked

We understand our Christian walk.


Debrief Questions

  • Which gates are hard for you to understand? (Explain to help make their meaning clearer.)
  • What gates have you already gone through in your life?
  • What was that like?
  • Which gate do you think is the coolest?  Why?
  • Who could you teach about the gates?

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Filed under Game, Nehemiah

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (GAME)

God's Riches at Christ's Expense Gameboard

30 minutes

This game teaches that we have God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (G.R.A.C.E.), but we have to keep returning to God every time we sin in order to keep the relationship strong.  If we don’t, we wander further and further from God.

Children, youth

•    Copies of the Grace or Guilt Gameboard (See the file, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense – Gameboard.ppt” on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
•    Copies of “Grace Cards” (included at the end of this lesson text) – You will need a set for every group of six.
•    A copy of the “Debrief Questions” at the end of this lesson.  You will need one printout per group.
•    Something to act as game pieces.  You can use coins, torn pieces of paper, poker chips…  You will need enough for all the children to have one.
•    Dice (one per group)
•    Optional – Prizes for the winners.

•    Print the “Grace or Guilt – Gameboard,” and tape the two pages end-to-end.  You will need one gameboard for each group of up to six children.
•    Print out a copy of the “Grace Cards” at the end of the lesson, and cut them out. Place them face down beside the gameboard.
•    Print out a copy of the Debrief Question (one per group).
•    Practice the script

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
•    “We’re going to play a game to help us understand how sin takes us away from God and the many blessings He wants us to have.”
•    “It’s called, ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”
•    “First, I’ll need to divide you into small groups.”  (Divide children into small groups of no more than six each.  Then, hand out the gameboards and game pieces.)
•    “Here’s the way this game is played.
o    First, you will all roll the die (singular for dice) to see who goes first.  The highest role wins and goes first.  The next-highest roll goes second and so on.  If you get a tie, those people should re-roll until someone rolls a higher number.
o    Players should put their game pieces on the paths that match their playing order.  For example, Path 1 for the first player, Path 2 for the second, and so on.
o    Next, you will roll the die to see how many spaces to move your game piece.
o    Each player starts in the “God’s Riches” space.
o    At the end of every turn, you will draw a card.
o    The card has a letter (or letters) on it.
o    You want to collect all the letters in the word, “GRACE.”
o    It’s okay if you have extra letters, but you need to have at least one of each of the letters on your cards.
o    If you get the right letters to spell, “GRACE,” you can return to the “God’s Riches” space.
o    You should put any cards you used to spell “GRACE” in a discard pile.  If the group draws all the card in the draw pile, the discard pile will be shuffled and used as the new draw pile.
o    The game ends when someone rolls a number that forces them to move more spaces than are left on the path.
o    The winner of the game is the person who is closest to “God’s Riches.”
o    In the event of a tie, you can let the tied players roll again to see who is the closest to “God’s Riches” after the roll.”
•    “Does anyone have questions about how you will play?”  (Answer questions.  Then, let them get started.  When they are done, award a prize for the winners if you like, and hand out a copy of the Debrief Questions on the next page.  Give groups ten minutes to discuss the debrief questions, and then talk with the entire group about their answers.)

Debrief Questions

o    Why is the game called, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense?
o    What are “God’s Riches?”
o    What does “Christ’s Expense” mean?
o    How is this game like our Christian walk?
o    Read Proverbs 4:14-15.  What do you think the spaces represented?
o    Read Proverbs 4:26-27.  What do you think it means?
o    Grace allows us to return to God after we have sinned, but what do we actually need to do to return to Him?


Filed under Christianity, Confession, Daily walk, forgiveness, Game, Games that Teach, Obedience, Repentance, Spiritual Health

Point to Christ Relay


15-25 minutes


This is game that helps participants understand how difficult it can be sometimes to keep our lives pointed toward Christ.



  • Blindfolds (one for each team)
  • Prizes for “enemies or demons.”
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)
  • Flipchart and markers



·      Find a wide-open space in which to run the race.  Make sure that there are no obstacles that the runners might stumble over.

·      Select a point in the room or outside that can represent “Christ.”

·      Select starting points around the room or outside that are equidistant from the “Christ” point.

·      Mark off the starting points and three to four relay points of equal distance.  In other words, you want to divide each path to “Christ” into three to four segments.

·      Post the debrief questions on a flipchart, but keep it concealed until the activity is over.  (See the end of this lesson for questions.)

·      Practice the script.



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

·      “We’re going to run a race today, but it’s going to be a different kind of race.”

·      “This race will be a relay race, which may or may not be familiar to you.”

·      “But in this race, you will be blindfolded!”

·      “AND…each racer will have an enemy who tries to keep you from finishing your race!”

·      “Interested?”

·      “Okay, I’m going to divide you into teams.”  (Divide group into teams of 5-6.  Each team needs to be equally sized.  Extras can serve as additional “enemies/demons.”) 

·      “Now I need a volunteer from each team to be the ‘enemies or demons.’” 

·      “Your job will be to try to prevent the runners on the other teams from reaching their goal, and if you help your team win because you confused the other teams, your team will get a prize (optional).”

·      “So, here’s how this race works.”

·      “Each team will start from their starting point.”  (Indicate starting points for each team.)

·      “One team member will line up on each of your team’s relay points (including the starting point).”  (Indicate relay points for each team, and have the team members take their positions.)

·      When it’s your turn to race, you will have to put on a blindfold.”  (Indicate blindfold and how to put it on.)

·      “If your blindfold is not on correctly, your team can be disqualified, so make sure you get it on so that you can’t see.”

·      “The first racer will put on his blindfold and run to the first relay point.”

·      “Once there, he will take off the blindfold and give it to the next runner, who will then put on the blindfold before starting to run.”

·      “The first team to reach this point, which we are calling ‘Christ,’ wins!”

·      “But remember the enemies/demons?  These enemies/demons will run up to you as soon as you put your blindfold on, and they will spin you around 3-5 times.  When they are done spinning you, they may point you in the wrong direction.”  (Assign “enemies/demons” to opponents’ teams.  Extra “enemies/demons” should be instructed that they can are to stand off to the side and shout confusing directions to the runners to keep them from reaching the goal.  Be sure to reward these extra “enemies/demons” after the race, since they aren’t part of a team.)

·      “One team member is your “Holy Spirit.”  He or she will stand off to the side and call out directions to you about which way you should go.”

·      “You will have to listen very carefully to hear your “Holy Spirit” telling you how to face toward ‘Christ’ and to separate the voice of your “Holy Spirit’ from the voice of any demons.”

·      “Is everyone clear on the instructions?”  (Answer any questions.)

·      “Okay, everyone get on your places.  First runners, put on your blindfolds.  “Enemies/demons,” get ready to spin them.  Ready, get set….GO!”  (Help everyone to follow the rules, but try not to interfere in the race.  When the race is over, award prizes if you choose and have the teams reassemble to answer the debrief questions, listed below.)


Debrief Questions

o   “What made that difficult?”

o   “Even if you didn’t win, how were you able to succeed in running the race?”

o   “How is this like real life for a Christian?”

o   (Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.)

o   “How was running this race like the race Paul describes?”

o   “Why do you think Paul compares our Christian life to a race?”

o   “What does Paul mean by ‘running aimlessly’ and ‘fight(ing) like a man beating the air?’  How do these apply to us?”

o   “Why would Paul need to ‘beat (his) body and make it (his) slave?’”

§  “Do we need to do this, too?  If so, how?”

o   “What other lessons can you take away from this activity?”


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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, Daily walk, demons, Focus, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Listening to God, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Warfare, struggles