November 8, 2010 · 3:52 am
This object lesson teaches about how difficult it can be for us to stay focused on following Jesus.
- A toy rocket or spaceship (or if you don’t have anything like that, improvise with a cardboard tube or just about anything else – the kids won’t mind)
- One large ball (preferably yellow or orange)
- Several smaller balls of varying sizes
- Permanent marker
- Index cards (one for each ball)
- Write the following words on different index cards, “SON,” “WORLD,” “Jealousy,” “Bitterness,” “Selfishness,” “Unkindness,” “Worry,” “Doubt,” “Foolishness,” “Pride,” “Fear,” “Greed,” “Ignorance,” or any others that you want to use. The only ones that are required are the “SON” card and the “WORLD” card.
- Tape these cards onto different balls. The “SON” card should be taped to the largest ball.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Do any of you ever have trouble staying focused on following God?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “Me, too! It’s so hard to always do what is right and stay on the path toward Him.”
- “We are kind of like a rocket ship heading toward the sun (but actually, we are headed to the S-O-N, because we won’t burn up when we reach Him!)” (Ask for enough volunteers to hold all the props you’ve brought – one for the rocket ship and one for each ball. Put the person holding the “SON” ball at one end of the room, and place the person with the “WORLD” ball and the person with the rocket ship at the other end of the room. Space those with the balls along either side of the path between the large ball and the rocket ship.)
- “Before we know Jesus, we are stuck in the WORLD’s orbit.” (Guide the person with the rocket ship by the shoulders to make several orbits around the person with the “WORLD” ball.”
- “But then, we catch a glimpse of the SON and decide we want to follow Him.”
- “We break free from the WORLD’s orbit and start heading toward the SON.” (Guide the person with the rocket ship slowly toward the SON, but as soon as you get to the first person with a ball on the path, break off and orbit around that person.”
- “Unfortunately, on the way to the SON, we get distracted by ________ (name whatever is printed on the card on the ball), and we go into orbit around it for a while.” (Keep going around this person.)
- “The more times we go around _____________ (say what is on the ball again), the more we hate it, but it is soooooooo hard to break free from its gravitational pull!” (Keep going around this person.)
- “We keep seeing the SON every time we pass around __________________ (say the name of the ball), and eventually, His power pulls us free of the orbit of the dead planet we have been circling.” (Break free and start back toward the SON.)
- “Not everything is a temptation for us, so we will be able to pass some of these dead planets without any problem, but our Enemy, Satan, is not going to give us up without a fight.
- “He will put a very tempting planet in our path, and sure enough, we will get distracted looking at it and get sucked into its gravitational pull!” (Guide the person with rocket to begin orbiting this new dead planet.)
- “Even though the planet looked tempting from a distance, when we get close to it, we find that it is empty and lifeless. It doesn’t satisfy.”
- “The SON won’t let us forget Him. We will see Him on every orbit, and eventually, He will pull us free from that dead planet and set us back on the path toward Him.” (Guide the person with the rocket to break away and head toward the Son.)
- “This keeps happening over and over and over again. It’s very frustrating!” (Guide the person with the rocket to get sucked into one orbit and then break away and then get sucked into another orbit and so on….)
- “But there is good news! The closer we get to the SON, the easier it gets to break free from these temptations.”
- “We get stronger and stronger in our faith and our ability to resist temptation, and we stay longer and longer on the path toward the SON.”
- “We just need to keep striving to reach the SON. Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
- “Paul was saying that he doesn’t look back at what’s behind him; he just keeps straining toward what is ahead of him.”
- “He keeps his ship pointed toward the SON, and when he gets off-course, he gets back on-course as soon as possible to follow the SON.”
- “One day, it will be time, and the SON will bring us the rest of the way to Him when we join Him in heaven (or when He comes back to join us on earth). (Guide the person with the rocket ship to the SON and have him orbit the SON several times before ending the lesson.)
Filed under Challenges, Daily walk, God's Will, Jesus, Obedience, Object Lesson, Pride, Repentance, sanctification, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, temptation
Tagged as anger, bitterness, distraction, doubt, Fear, Focus, foolishness, forgetting what is behind, God's Will, godliness, gravitational pull, greed, ignorance, jealousy, Jesus, meanness, Object Lesson, orbit, Paul, perseverance, persistance, Philippians 3:12-14, Pride, sanctification, Satan, Satan's tactics, selfishness, sin, Son of God, space, spaceship, spiritual discipline, Spiritual Growth, straining toward what is ahead, temptation, unkindness, world, Worry
February 16, 2009 · 3:14 pm
This object lesson teaches how important it is to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. It uses 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 “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.
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.”
Filed under Authenticity, Character, Christianity, Daily walk, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, Jesus, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Spiritual Health
Tagged as adults, appearances, block tower, Character, children, closeness to God, Daily walk, faithfulness, Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23, Game, gentleness, godliness, goodness, Hands-on, Holiness, Jenga, Jesus at center, joy, kids, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, patience, peace, self-control, spiritual fruit, Spiritual Health, walk with God, youth