Tag Archives: God’s plan

Name Change Toss (GAME)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

God often changed someone’s name in Scripture to identify his or her potential, and other people in authority renamed characters for various reasons. This matching game challenges children to select both the old and new names of the Biblical characters and throw a beanbag on each one to earn points.

 

Scriptures

  • John 1:40-42

 

Materials

  • Masking tape (1 roll)
  • Permanent marker (1 – darker color)
  • Name cards (A PowerPoint file with these names is available on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.comin the file called, “Name Change Toss – Name Cards.”):
    • Abram (Exalted Father); Abraham (Father of Many)
    • Sarai (Argumentative); Sarah (Princess)
    • Jacob (Deceiver); Israel (He Struggles With God)
    • Ben-Oni (Son of My Trouble); Benjamin (Son of My Right Hand)
    • Lo-Ruhamah (Not Loved); Ruhamah (Loved)
    • Lo-Ammi (Not My People); Ammi (My People)
    • Simon (Listens and Obeys); Peter (the Rock)
    • Saul (Prayed For); Paul (Humble)
  • Beanbags (2) or something similar that children can toss onto the grid
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Create your 4×4 grid with masking tape (each square should be about 8”x8”).
  • Create or print your name cards.
  • Lay the name cards down (one per square in the grid) in random order (face-up). Separate the old and new names from each other.
  • Lay down a strip of masking tape about six feet away from the grid, and label it, “Tossing Line” with a permanent marker.
  • Have your beanbags ready
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “In Bible times, your name was very important.  It told what people could expect from you.”
  • “When God changed your name, it was because He knew your potential and wanted to share His plan for your future.”
  • “Can anyone think of someone from the Bible who had their name changed?”  (Acknowledge responses, and share the meanings of any of the following names that are mentioned.
    • Abram (Exalted Father); Abraham (Father of Many)
    • Sarai (Argumentative); Sarah (Princess)
    • Jacob (Deceiver); Israel (He Struggles With God)
    • Ben-Oni (Son of My Trouble); Benjamin (Son of My Right Hand)
    • Lo-Ruhamah (Not Loved); Ruhamah (Loved)
    • Lo-Ammi (Not My People); Ammi (My People)
    • Simon (Listens and Obeys); Peter (the Rock)
    • Saul (Prayed For); Paul (Humble))
  • “Let’s play a game to try to match the old and new names of some of these biblical characters.”
  • “Follow me over to this grid that I’ve made on the floor.” (Lead children to the grid.)
  • “You will take turns throwing the beanbags and trying to hit both the old and new names.”
  • “You have to make your toss from this line.” (Point out the Tossing Line.)
  • “If you get both the old and new names for any person, you can remove both cards, get two points and try again.”
  • “If your beanbags land on names that aren’t a match or off the grid, the next person in line gets to try.”
  • “The person with the most points when all the cards have been collected wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer questions, and then line up the children behind the Tossing Line.  Let them take turns tossing two beanbags each.  If they get a match, they can collect the cards and try again.  If they don’t, the next person in line gets a turn, and the person who missed rotates to the back of the line. Play several rounds if you have time, and then ask the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. How important do you think your name is in today’s times?
  2. Why do you think Jesus changed Peter’s name from Simon to Peter?
  3. How do you think it made Peter feel?
  4. Do you think Peter ever became a “rock” for God?  Why or why not?
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Filed under Abraham, Abram, Game, Names, Paul, Peter, Purpose, Sarah

God’s Timing (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge makes the point that God’s timing often seems slow to us but that we have to be careful not to rush ahead of God.  Things work out best when we follow closely behind Him.  The challenge is accomplish by staging a “race” between pouring a bottle of ketchup and pouring cups of water.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50

 

Materials

  • Bottles of ketchup – 1 per group (The glass bottles are best, because the ketchup comes out much more slowly, and you can’t squeeze them.  However, if you can’t find glass bottles, plastic will work.)
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – God’s Timing – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Prizes – 1 per person – recommend candy or something sweet to eat (The prize is used to create urgency for completing the task.  It should be something the participants are eager to get so that they will want to try to rush the task they are given.  This is to show that we often have to be patient and wait for the good things God has planned for us.)
  • Large, clear, plastic cups – 2 per person and one extra for the group leader (These are to pour the liquid into and from.  Each participant will need one, and one group leader will need one for each group.  The cups can have color, but the kids should be able to see through the plastic so that they can judge their progress against the leader’s cup.)
  • Ziplock bags – gallon size – 1 per group
  • Gallon jug of water – 1 per group
  • Red food coloring – 1 per group (OPTIONAL – used to make the water similar to the ketchup in color but not change the consistency of the liquid.  If you want, you can use this to illustrate that we are like God in some ways, but He is much better and worth waiting for – or so the ketchup commercials used to say.)

 


Preparation

  • Put enough plastic cups (2 for each person in each group plus one extra for the leader) in each of the Ziplock bag.
  • Put a bottle of ketchup in each of the Ziplock bag.
  • Put a bottle of red food coloring in each of the Ziplock bags. (OPTIONAL)
  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Set aside the gallon jugs of water where each group can get them.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “God’s Timing” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card, cups, and a bottle of ketchup (and possibly a bottle of red food coloring).”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “Now, you will then have a race!”
  • “Your group leader will pour ketchup out into one of the cups.”
  • “The ketchup represents God’s timing – how fast or slow He chooses to move.”
  • “The ketchup cup represents God’s will.  When it is full, God’s will has been fully accomplished.”
  • “The rest of you will each get two cups and fill one full with water.”
  • “Then you will pour your water from that cup into your empty cup.”
  • “When everyone’s empty cups are full, you will each get a prize.”
  • “Sounds easy, right?”
  • “But here’s the hard part!”
  • “You can’t ever fill your cup faster than the cup that is being filled with ketchup.”
  • “In life, we often want to go faster than God’s timing, but this is a very bad thing to do.”
  • “We have to be patient and wait for the good things God has planned for us.”
  • “In the Bible, Joseph knew when he was 17 years old that he would one day rule over his brothers, but he had to patiently wait for 13 years before God’s will was accomplished in his life.”
  • “Back to our race – If one of your leaders notices that you have gotten ahead of the ketchup, you will have to pour the water back into your first cup and start all over.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions before we race?”  (Answer their questions.)
  • (Then, allow them to fill up their cups and add red food coloring (optional).  You can then begin the “race.”  If anyone’s cup becomes fuller than the ketchup cup, have them empty it and start over again.  If the ketchup just isn’t moving, try slightly tipping the bottle to let more air in to replace the ketchup that is coming out.  (If you have a squeezable bottle, try to squeeze it without being noticed.)  When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards.  The Rhyme Time is to help them remember that God is using even the times when we are waiting on Him.  If we trust Him and obey Him during these times, God will use them to make us ready for His blessings.)

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. How difficult was it to wait for “God’s timing” (the ketchup)?
  2. Have you ever had to wait for God to do something in your life?  How did that feel?
  3. Why do you think it’s important to wait for God to work in His time?
  4. How can you be better about waiting for God in the future?

 

Rhyme Time

If we trust Him and obey,

God makes bad things go OUR way!

 

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Filed under Change, Discipline, Expectations, God's Plan, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Progress, Teaching, Waiting on the Lord

Joseph’s Journey


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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