This object lesson teaches that God uses difficult times and circumstances to make us stronger. It’s a play off the Saturday Night Live skit on Hans and Franz, but the kids will not need to be familiar with the skit to enjoy the humor. It’s best if there are two leaders to do the lesson, but you can do it with just one.
- Sweat pants and a sweat shirt (for both)
- Newspaper (or something else to stuff inside your sweats to simulate muscles)
- Thick belts (or something that looks like a weight belt)
- Dowel rod (3/4 inch diameter)
- Styrofoam balls (2 – six-inch diameter or larger)
- Duct tape
- Black spray paint
- Sheet of paper with some writing on it. (It doesn’t matter what it says.)
· Make a set of “barbells” by following these steps:
o Paint the two Styrofoam balls black.
o Wrap the duct tape around the dowel rod from top to bottom so that it is completely covered.
o Attach the two Styrofoam balls to either end of the dowel rod.
· Put on the sweats, and stuff them with newspaper to make it look like you’ve got huge muscles all over your body.
· Practice the script (and your Austrian accent).
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
Hans: “Good morning (afternoon, evening) little boys and girls. My name is Hans.”
Franz: “Ya, ya, and I’m Franz, and we’re here to….”
Both: “Pump….you up!” (Clap hands in unison on the word ‘pump.’ Then point to all the kids in exaggerated motions, and do poses like they would do at a body building competition.)
Hans: “But before we can pump you up tonight, we have a letter to read from one of our fans.” (Hans pulls out letter. Franz celebrates letter with some exaggerated poses.)
Hans: “Dear, Hans and Franz: Lifting weights hurts my muscles. Isn’t there an easier way to get properly pumped up?” (Crumples paper, and throws away.)
Hans: “Can you believe that, Franz? This girlie-man wants properly pumped up muscles without it hurting his weak and flabby body. What do you think about that?”
Franz: “Well, Hans, I can hardly believe he could pick up a pencil to write with those teeny tiny muscles of his.”
Hans: “Ya, maybe he had his mommy-wommy write it for him.”
Franz: “Ya, right! Kids, hear me now and believe me later, you cannot get a properly pumped up body like this one (does a few poses) without pain.”
Hans: “So true! As the King of Pumptitude, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, says, ‘No pain – no gain!’”
Franz: “See this barbell here?” (Point to barbell.
Franz: “They will give me perfectly shaped ab muscles and glutes.”
Hans: “Ya, and perfect pinky toe muscles, too, ya!”
Franz: “Well, theses weights actually tear down my muscle tissue. Then, my body repairs my muscles and makes them stronger than before.”
Hans: “Tearing down your muscles first is how weights work to….”
Both: “Pump….you up!”
Franz: “Hans, I went to church the other day.”
Hans: “Ya, Franz. I bet you had more muscle than even the pastor.”
Franz: “Ya, Hans, but he said something that convinced me he is no girlie-man.”
Hans: “What was it, Franz?”
Franz: “He said that sometimes bad things happen to us and tear us down like puny muscle tissue. But then God builds us back up stronger than we were before!”
Hans: “Hey, Franz, it sounds like that pastor has some really super-sized spiritual muscles!”
Franz: “Ya, Hans. Maybe he’s the King of Spiritual Pumptitude.”
Hans: “Kids, hear me now and write to me next Christmas, hard times build up your puny spiritual muscles!”
Franz: “No more talking. Time to show these kids how powerful our muscles are.”
Hans: “Ya, watch me lift this barbell through the roof into the outer atmosphere.” (Pretend to try to pick up the barbell several times. Exaggerate the strain you are exerting, and eventually fail. Then, let Franz try with no success.)
Franz: (Whispering to Hans loudly enough that everyone can hear.) “Hans, this is obviously cemented to the floor. That’s the reason we can’t pick it up.”
Hans: (Whispering back) “Ya, Franz. Let’s play a trick on all these girly-men in the audience. (To audience) This barbell is too easy for us to lift. One of you puny people should come try to lift it so that it will be more of a challenge to you. Who wants to try?” (Pick the smallest volunteer you can find – preferably a girl – and let her come lift the barbell. When she does, look at each other in mock surprise and say…)
Both: “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” (….as you pretend to bow down to the volunteer. Then thank her, and send her back to her seat.)
Franz: “So, kids, when something bad happens to you, remember to ask God how He wants to grow your puny spiritual muscles.” (So several muscle flexes, and then end lesson.)