Children, Teens, Adults
This object lesson teaches about how God brings good things out of bad and uses the metaphor of turning lemons into lemonade.
- Romans 8:28
- Galatians 5:22
- Several cow patties if you can find them. If you can’t, use a bag of fertilizer and just explain that many fertilizers include animal waste.
- A pot of fragrant flowers
- A piece of fruit that most people would enjoy eating
- Lay out materials for the lesson.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Who knows what this is?” (Hold up dry cow patty.)
- “Right? It’s a cow patty.” (Pass it around to kids.)
- “Now, it doesn’t smell too bad right now, but who has ever smelled a fresh one?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “They’re stinky, aren’t they?”
- “So, you probably wouldn’t go around smelling them, would you?”
- “But would you smell this?” (Hold up flowers in a pot.)
- “Sure, because it smells good, right?”
- “Did you know that this (hold up another cow patty) was used to make this (hold up flowers) smell so good?”
- “How did that happen?” (Take responses until someone mentions fertilizer.)
- “Right! Cow manure is one of the most common ways to fertilize plants and flowers.”
- “How many of you would eat this?” (Hold up cow patty.)
- “But would you eat this?” (Hold up fruit.)
- “Believe it or not, there’s some of this (hold up cow patty) in this (hold up fruit).”
- “God made it so that plants and flowers take the nutrients out of the manure and reuse them to help the fruit and the flowers grow.”
- “God doesn’t waste anything. He even takes bad stuff (hold up cow patty) and turns it into good stuff (hold up or point to fruit and flowers).”
- “If God can do that with cow poop, He can do that with the bad stuff in your life, too.”
- “Some of the stuff that happens to us really stinks, but God will use it to do good stuff in our lives so that we come out smelling like a rose.”
- “He can use those bad things to create fruit in our lives like the fruit He talks about in the Bible.” (Have volunteer read Galatians 5:22).
- “So, whatever bad stuff happens in your life, give it to God to use as fertilizer, and He will bring good fruit out of it.” (Have volunteer read Romans 8:28.)
- “God will use everything to bless you if you trust Him with it!” (You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the lesson.)
If we trust Him and obey, God makes bad things go OUR way!
Filed under blessing, Challenges, Change, Choices, Conflict Resolution, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Plan, Healing, Hope, Object Lesson, Problem solving, Solutions, test, tool, Training
This object lesson teaches that you need to stay connected to Jesus in order to have the power to live a godly life and produce the fruit of the Spirit.
- John 7:37-39, 15:1-5
- Galatians 5:22
- Garden hose (long enough to reach your teaching area from the water spigot
- Short garden hose (a hose reel leader hose works well)
- Two quick connect adapters for the hose – need to have an automatic stopper so that the water doesn’t continue to flow after you disconnect it
- Water nozzle (as small as you can find so that you can use it to fill water balloons)
- Water supply that you can hook the hose to
- Nine large balloons (purple is the best color for the lesson if you can find it – you may want to have extra balloons in case any pop or have a leak)
- Posterboard – one sheet of any light color or white
- Permanent marker to label nine, small signs with the name of the nine fruits of the Spirit
- Lanyard or twine
- Clear, plastic tub to hold the balloons as they fill with water
- Thin piece of plywood or piece of plastic or metal (4 ft long) with nine 3/4 in holes drilled in it about 5 inches apart and 5 inches from the end of either side of the board. (You can often find a piece of metal that has pre-drilled holes in it that will work just fine near the shelving part of your local hardware store.)
- Drill and ¾ inch drillbit (if you need to make the board mentioned above)
- Nine, large washers with a ½ inch hold in the center (the washers must be big enough that they won’t fall out of the balloon once you put them in the opening)
- (SEE DIAGRAMS AT END OF LESSON)
- Connect the hose to the water spigot.
- Connect the quick connect adapter (the one with the automatic stopper) to the end of the hose, and turn on the water. Use a steady stream of water but not full force – maybe about 1/4-1/2 turn.
- Connect the short hose to the quick connect adapter at the end of the longer hose.
- Connect the other quick connect adapter to the end of the short hose, and screw on the water nozzle.
- Run the hose segments and the nozzle into the teaching area.
- Make a large sign that says, “DISOBEDIENCE,” and put it on the lanyard/twine so that someone can wear it around their neck.
- Ask a volunteer to be your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer and to be ready when you call them. Give him/her the sign to wear when the time is right.
- Put a washer in the opening of each balloon.
- Push each balloon through one of the nine holes in your board. The opening of the balloon and the washer should be on top of the hole with the rest of the balloon below the board.
- Put the board with the balloons across the clear, plastic tub so that the balloons hang down into the tub.
- Cut out nine, small rectangles from the posterboard (each about 4 in long and 2 in tall).
- Write the nine fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) on these.
- Tape the signs to the bottom of the tub on the outside, facing the audience. Each sign should be in front of a different balloon.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “I’m going to show you why it is so important for you to stay close to God.”
- “The night before Jesus was crucified, he said something very important to his closest disciples.” (Have volunteer read John 15:1-5.)
- “Jesus was making a comparison between His relationship with His disciples and a grapevine.”
- “Jesus said that He is the grapevine. That’s the thickest part of the plant that is rooted to the ground.”
- “He said that the disciples are branches and that the branches hold the fruit.”
- “We know from Galatians 5:22 that the fruit that Jesus is talking about is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (If the kids are not familiar with the fruit of the Spirit, you might want to take a moment to describe each one for them.)
- “And He says that if we (as the branches) don’t stay connect to Him (the vine), we won’t have any of this fruit.”
- “But….if we stay connected to Jesus, we will have LOTS of fruit.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front, and allow him/her to help you in the following demonstration.)
- “I don’t have a grapevine here today, and even if I did, we don’t have an entire season to watch the grapes grow on the vine.”
- “So, instead of using a real grapevine, I’m going to use this hose, this nozzle and these balloons to demonstrate what Jesus is talking about.” (Ask volunteer to hold the nozzle at the end of the hose.)
- “Imagine that this hose represents Jesus as the vine.”
- “Through Him comes a steady flow of living water, which the Bible tells us is the Holy Spirit according to John 7:39.” (Turn on the nozzle (if it isn’t already) and have the volunteer point it into the tub. Have another volunteer read John 7:37-39.)
- “This nozzle represents us as the branches, and these nine balloons represent the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They are like the grapes on the vine.”
- “Now, the goal is to produce fruit and lots of it.”
- “We produce fruit by filling the balloons with the water. This is like the Holy Spirit flowing through us (the nozzle) to do the good works that the fruit represents.” (Allow your volunteer to begin to fill one of the balloons. Turn off the nozzle when the balloon is full enough that the water doesn’t come shooting back out the top – over half-way.)
- “But by itself, this nozzle is pretty useless. It has no water of its own to share.”
- “We can’t connect just the nozzle to a balloon and fill it.” (Disconnect the nozzle from the hose and give it to the volunteer. Ask them to try to fill the balloons with just the nozzle.)
- “That’s what it’s like if we try to do God’s work without God.”
- “There is just no power in it.”
- “So we have to stay connected to the hose if we want to have the power to do the work that God has given us to do.” (Reconnect the nozzle, and let the volunteer continue filling the first balloon. When it gets about full, start filling up another balloon.)
- “What does it mean to be connected to the hose? In other words, how can we stay connected to Jesus so that His Spirit flows through us and produces fruit?”
- “There are two things we need to do in order to stay connected to the hose/to Jesus.”
- “We need to spend time with God, and we need to obey God.”
- “If we do these two things, we will stay connected to Jesus, and His power will flow through us and produce lots of fruit.” (Allow volunteer to keep filling balloons slowly. Don’t allow them to fill all the balloons before you finish the next part.)
- “How can we spend time with God?” (Listen to answers. You are looking for things like, “Go to church, worship, praise, pray, read your Bible…”)
- “Excellent! During those times, God will tell us what He wants us to do in our lives.”
- “But spending time with Him is not enough. We have to also do what He says.”
- “Sometimes, we know what God wants us to do, but we don’t want to do it.”
- “That’s called ‘DISOBEDIENCE’ (bring your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer forward), and it’s disconnecting the hose so that the living water won’t pass through.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer disconnect the hose so that the water stops.)
- “Disobedience stops the flow of the living water coming through your nozzle.”
- “Another word for ‘disobedience’ is ‘sin.’”
- “Sin stops the flow of God’s power, which He sends through His Holy Spirit, through you.”
- “But it’s easy to get the living water flowing again. What do you think you have to do?” (Listen to responses. You are looking for someone to say, “obey.”)
- “That’s right! Obey, and living water flows through you again to create more fruit.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer reconnect hose, and allow volunteer to fill in the rest of the balloons. Then dismiss the volunteer.)
- “So what are the two things we need to do to stay connected to God?” (Listen for the answers, “spend time with Him” and “obey Him.”)
- “Fantastic! Let’s all go and produce lots of fruit!”
Filed under Annointing, Daily walk, Fruit of the Spirit, Hands-on, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Transformation
This object lesson teaches how important it is to maintain godly character by using 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 the following virtues, or choose some of your own. (It’s okay to use a virtue more than once; just mix up the identical virtues when you set up the block tower.) Bolded virtues are the “fruit of the Spirit” from Galatians 5:22 in case you want to just focus on these.
· Build the tower in the teaching area according to the instructions in the game. Each new level should have three blocks turned 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the level below it.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “A person’s character is a very important thing.”
- “Does anyone know what the word, ‘character,’ means?” (Listen for responses and add to the definition if necessary.)
- “Character is your moral quality. It’s your virtue. A person’s character is reflected in the things that he/she does or does not do. If they do good things, we say he/she has good character. If they do bad things, we say he/she has bad character.”
- “People with good character are honest, friendly, helpful, loyal, fair…and a lot of other good things. These are called virtues.”
- “But good character is a hard thing to keep. You’ve really got to work to make sure your good character stays good.”
- “Good character is like this Jenga ® tower.” (Point out tower.)
- “It’s made up of lots of different virtues, all stacked together.” (Carefully remove one or two of the top blocks from the tower, and show the labels to the group. Then, return the block to the top of the tower.)
- “If we take away one of these virtues, the tower will still be pretty sturdy.” (Allow one of the kids to carefully remove one of the blocks from the middle of the tower. Let the child read the label out loud.)
- “We can even take away several of the virtues, and the tower will still stand.” (Allow several kids in turn to take out a block and read the label.)
- “But if we keep losing virtues from our character tower, it won’t stand for long.” (Allow kids to keep playing in turn until the tower falls.)
- “Our character only stays strong as we continue to honor God through virtuous actions.”
- “The devil likes to poke holes in our tower one piece at a time.”
- “First he tempts you to tell a lie or be mean to someone.”
- “When you give into the temptation and sin, you lose a piece of your character tower. In this case the “Honesty” virtue or the “Kindness” virtue.”
- “The devil will continue to poke holes in your character tower over and over until it crumbles.”
- “So, keep your tower safe! Don’t fall for the devil’s temptations!”
- “And if you do, tell God that you’re sorry right away. He will immediately forgive you and help you to start rebuilding the part of your tower that you lost.”