Tag Archives: leap of faith

Don’t Fumble Your Faith


Time

30 minutes (or longer, depending upon how many rounds of play you allow)


Description

This object lesson helps children understand how much faith it took for Abraham (called “Abram” at the time) to leave his family and friends to go where God sent him. This is a good outdoor activity that gets everyone involved. It is more physical than typical object lessons, so please consider if it is appropriate for your group of children.

Materials

· Ball (preferably an American football if you are going to call the game, “Don’t Fumble Your Faith,” but most types of balls will do – it just needs to be large enough for the kids to try to pull it out of “Abraham’s” grip.)

· Tape or chalk

Preparation

· Use the tape or chalk to mark off a square on the floor or ground. The square should be four to five feet wide in all directions.

· Mark off an “X” in the center of the square.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Who can tell me some things you know or remember about Abraham from the Bible?” (Listen to responses. Encourage and correct where appropriate.)

· “Abraham was the first father of the Hebrew people. He was originally named, ‘Abram,’ which means, ‘exalted father.’ But God promised him that he would be the father of a great nation and gave him a new name: ‘Abraham,’ which means, ‘father of a great number.’”

· “This promise had to be a little hard to believe, because Abraham and his wife Sarah had already learned that they were not able to have children.”

· “What made it tougher to believe was that Abraham was 75 years old, and Sarah was 65 years old when God made the promise!”

· “Let’s read about it.” (Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 12:1-8.)

· “So, there was more to it. God didn’t just promise to make Abraham the father of a great nation; He also promised to:

o Make Abraham’s name great.

o Make Abraham a blessing to other people.

o Bless those who bless Abraham.

o Curse those who curse Abraham.

o Bless all the peoples on the earth through Abraham.

o Give Abraham’s people the land where the Canaanites lived. (This was a later promise – v. 7.)”

· “That’s a pretty big promise! But it didn’t come completely free. God asked Abraham to do something first.”

· “God asked Abraham to, ‘Leave (his) country, (his) people and (his) father’s household and go to the land (God) would show (him).’”

· “God didn’t even tell Abraham where he was going. He basically said, ‘I’ll let you know when you get there.’”

· “That takes a lot of faith! To leave everything you know and go somewhere you don’t! Through wilderness with wild animals and possibly hostile people!”

· “But Abraham (‘Abram at the time’) did it. Right after he got the promise, the Bible says, ‘So Abram left, as the Lord had told him…’”

· “Let’s play a game to help us understand how much faith it took for Abraham to leave his country, his people and his father to go where God sent him.”

Don’t Fumble Your Faith: Game Set-up and Rules

· Pick one volunteer to be “Abraham.” Put this person on the “X” in the center of the square. Give this person the ball.

· Pick one volunteer to be “God.” Place him/her some distance away from the square – at least ten feet away.

· Line the other kids up on the tape or chalk line that you laid down. There should be at least a few on each side of the square, but they will probably want more kids on the side that is closest to “God.”

· Tell the rules of the game:

o Tell the kids that the ball represents Abraham’s faith in God.

o Abraham’s goal is to get to God without fumbling (letting go of) his faith.

o The square outline represents Abraham’s comfort zone. In it, he feels comfortable and safe. Outside it, things are scary and unknown.

o The kids standing on the square outline represent things that make Abraham’s comfort zone comfortable. They are things like:

§ Fear of the unknown (anything that is outside the comfort zone)

§ Family

§ Friends

§ Home / House

§ Familiar foods

§ Familiar customs

§ A comfortable routine

§ A good job

§ Physical safety

§ Favorite things to do

§ Favorite possessions, etc. (After you’ve listed a few of the things Abraham had, you might use things the kids would identify with, like video games, pizza, sports… It adds humor and helps the kids to connect the lesson to their own lives.)

o Tell the kids that these things make it difficult for Abraham to leave his home and go where God wants him to go.

o The goal of the kids standing on the square will be to keep Abraham in his comfort zone. They can do this by locking arms, forming a wall and not letting Abraham through.

o They can also try to make Abraham “fumble his faith” (drop the ball) by reaching in and trying to grab it or pull it out of his grip.

o They cannot, however, take their feet off the marked-off square. If Abraham gets past them, they cannot chase after him.

o If Abraham breaks free of “his comfort zone,” he has only one obstacle left to reaching God, and that’s you (the facilitator).

o Tell the kids that your role is to play Satan / the devil. If Abraham makes it out of his comfort zone, you will either try to catch him and take him back, or you will try to make him “fumble his faith.”

o The game ends when one of the following happens:

§ Abraham “fumbles his faith.”

§ Abraham is unsuccessful in his attempts to reach God after several minutes (you choose the time limit, but three to five minutes should be plenty).

§ Abraham reaches God with his “faith.”

o Whenever one of the Abrahams successfully reaches God, he/she gets to pick the next Abraham, and a new round ensues with the previous Abraham joining the “comfort zone.”

o Whenever an Abraham fails to reach God or fumbles his faith, the facilitator should select the next Abraham.

o Play as many rounds as you like. Most kids will enjoy a turn at being Abraham or God.

o Save some time at the end of game play to debrief using the following script:

§ “Help me remember what symbols we were working with in the game.”

§ “What did the ball represent?” (Listen for responses.)

§ “What did the square represent?” (Listen for responses.)

§ “What are some of the things that make our comfort zone comfortable?” (Listen for responses.)

§ “Who can share with us a step of faith that God has asked you to make in your life?” (Listen for responses, and encourage.)

§ “What do you think it means to ‘fumble your faith?’” (Listen for responses. The general idea you want to hear is that it means that you lose confidence that God will help you or protect you or that you lose confidence that He really asked you do something.)

§ “Has that ever happened to you or someone you know about?” (Listen for responses.)

§ “What can we do to make sure we hold onto our faith like Abraham did?” (Listen for responses.)

§ “Excellent, everyone! Remember this week to hold onto your faith!”

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, Belief, Challenges, Christianity, faith, Fear, Game, Games that Teach, God's Will, Hands-on, Hope, Obedience, Object Lesson, Sarah, struggles, test

Walking on Water


Time

30-45 minutes


Description

This object lesson is used as a highlight to the story of Peter walking on water.

The lesson is big and expensive. It takes lots of time to prepare, and it’s messy. It’s best reserved for large events. That said, there’s a lot of “wow factor.” This will be an activity that they will remember for years.

To see my blog and some video on when I did this object lesson, click here: They Walked on Water

Materials

· Drop cloth for the floor (if you do it indoors)

· Corn starch (8 lbs for every gallon)

· Water (1.5 gallons for every 8 lbs of corn starch)

· Kiddie swimming pool (90 gallons or more)

· Example: – if you use a 90 gallon pool, you will need 288 lbs of corn starch and 54 gallons of water

· Several buckets, water bottles, electric fans, rolls of blue wrapping paper

· Write out the following note cards with script for part of your enactment:

o Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.

o Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.

o Jesus: All right…come.

    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?

Preparation

· It’s best to do this activity outside because of the potential mess, but if you do it inside, lay out a drop cloth.

· Several hours before you run the lesson, mix the corn starch and the water in the pool.

· It’s best to mix it in small quantities and then pour them into the pool. (I recommend mixing 4.5 gallons of water with 24 lbs of corn starch each time.)

· Test the consistency by slapping or punching the surface. It should harden up and resist your blows.

· If this works, you should be able to run across or even on top of the surface. Use very quick steps.

· Have a way for those who get stuck in the pool to wash off.

· Set up a place in the teaching area near the pool to be a “boat.” You can do this with some cardboard boxes or with masking tape, or you could just designate an area of the floor as the “boat.”

· Put the buckets in the “boat.”

· Fill the water bottles with water.

· Set up the electric fans so that they face the boat.

· Roll out the blue wrapping paper on the floor (blue side up) under the boat or across the area of the designated “boat.”

Procedure

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

  • “After Jesus fed the 5,000, He went to a quiet place and prayed to God, the Father, and the disciples got into a boat to head across the lake.”
  • “The disciples sailed away from the shore and were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when a huge storm rolled in!” (Ask for 12 volunteers, and have them get into the “boat.” Select one of them to be Peter. As you tell the story, they should act out what you are saying. Then get volunteers to spray the water bottles, turn the fans on and off, turn the lights on and off and create waves with the wrapping paper by holding either end and waving it up and down.)
  • “It was dark. The wind was howling!” (Have your fan volunteers turn on the fans.) “Water sprayed over the sides of the boat and drenched the apostles!” (Have your water bottle volunteers spray the apostles, and have your wave volunteers wave the paper up and down.) “Lightning flashed across the sky.” (Have your lights volunteer flick the lights on and off.)
  • “They were afraid that they might sink, so they used buckets to try and bail water out of the boat.” (Have the apostle-volunteers pretend to bail water.)
  • “Hours went by, and the apostles grew very tired. About 3 o’clock in the morning, things got worse!”
  • ‘A ghost came walking across the water straight at them!” (Have a volunteer play Jesus and run across the pool of “water” toward the others.)
  • “This was one fast-moving ghost!”
  • “They screamed in terror!” (If the disciples don’t scream, say, “A-hem, I said that the apostles screamed in terror!”)
  • “Then, something totally incredible happened!” (Have your helpers say the following lines from their note cards.)
    • Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.
    • Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.
    • Jesus: All right…come.
  • “Peter went over the side of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus!” (Have Peter character run across the pool of “water.”)
  • “But then, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around.”
  • “He saw the high waves! He noticed the howling wind!”
  • “He became terrified and began to sink under the water!” (Have character act this out running to the center of the pool, stopping and crying out.)
    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
  • “Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter.” (Have character act this out by reaching in to grab “Peter” from outside the pool.)
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?
  • “Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, and immediately, the wind stopped.” (Have “Peter” and “Jesus” join the other volunteers beside the pool.)
  • “Then the disciples worshipped Jesus.” (Have volunteers bow down to Jesus.)
  • “And they said, ‘You really are the Son of God!’”
  • “Peter walked on water! Can you believe that?”
  • “But then he began to sink.”
  • “Tell me…why did Peter start to sink into the water?” (He took his eyes off Jesus.)
  • “That’s right. He took his eyes of Jesus. He looked around at all the scary stuff around him, and he began to think, ‘I’m in big trouble. A person can’t walk on water! That’s impossible! I must have been crazy thinking I could have walked on water!’”
  • “Of course, Peter was right, but he forgot one very important thing…all things are possible with God!”
  • “When Peter began to sink under the water, he had a problem, but I’m learning that whenever I have a problem, I should give it to Jesus.”
  • “Anytime that I feel like I’m sinking under all my problems, I need to give them to Jesus.”
  • “As long as I keep my eyes on Him, He helps me with my problems.”
  • “But if I start to focus on the scary things that are happening around me, I’ll start to sink again.”
  • “Now you may think Peter looked pretty silly when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink under water, but I don’t.”
  • “I admire Peter for having the courage to get out of the boat.”
  • “Peter was a Water Walker!”
  • “You know what all the other guys were? They were Boat Huggers!”
  • “While Peter walked on the water, they hugged the boat in fear.”
  • “Jesus told Peter that he only had a little faith, but even his little faith was a lot more than the Boat Huggers had.”
  • “A Water Walker trusts in God.”
  • “A Water Walker does the scary things that God wants him to do.”
  • “A Water Walker gets out of the boat to get closer to Jesus.”
  • “If you want to get closer to Jesus, you’re going to have to get out of the boat and walk on water.”
  • “Any of you want to be Water Walkers for Jesus?” (Allow all that are interested to take a run across the pool of “water.”)

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Filed under Christianity, faith, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Peter, Simon-Peter, test, Trust

Fall of Faith


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about faith and about doing things for God that are sometimes scary.

Materials

Box or some other sturdy object that children can fall off backward so that you can catch them. It should be tall enough that it presents a challenge but not so tall as to be unsafe.

Preparation

· Set up box on stage.

· Ask for someone strong and reliable to be your spotter.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Sometimes God gives you a test to see if you are learning what He is trying to teach you.”

· “First, He teaches you a lesson. Then, He tests you on it to see if you learned it.”

· “One of the areas that He will regularly test you in is your faith. He wants to know if you trust Him.”

· “I would like to demonstrate. Can I get a really brave volunteer?” (Select volunteer and bring him/her up to stage. Have person stand on a sturdy box or some other object on the stage, facing away from audience.)

· “You may have heard of a leap of faith. That means you jump out to do something God wants you to do even when it’s scary. You do it because you believe God will catch you.”

· “We’re going to do a ‘Fall of Faith.’ I’ll play the part of God, and when (volunteer’s name) falls backward off this box, I’ll catch him/her.”

· “So, ready?” (talking to volunteer)

· “When I count to three, I want you to fall backward into my arms, and just like God, I will catch you if you put your trust in me.”

· (Draw this out in order to create suspense and add a little humor.) “Are you ready? ………Oh, hey….how are you feeling? Is it scary? But you trust me, right?”

· “Okay, count of three! One! Two!”

· (Suddenly turn away from the volunteer and face the audience. Make sure you have arranged for another adult – a “spotter” – to be standing near so that he or she can catch the child if he/she falls. Your spotter should not be obvious but should be close enough for safety.)

· “Oh! I forgot to tell you! Before you do a Fall of Faith, make sure you pray about it. Not everything that is scary is something God wants you to do. You’ve got to make sure this is really a test from God. You don’t want to take the fall if it isn’t God’s will, because you may get hurt. You can also talk to other godly people (like your parents) and read your Bible to make sure.”

· “All right! Let’s do this! (talking again to your volunteer) One! Two! Thr…!”

· (Suddenly turn away—same condition as before—and face audience.)

· “Can anyone give me an example of a time when you did something for God that was scary?”

· (Take a few ideas.)

· “Perfect! Exactly what I’m looking for! I think that helps us understand what I mean by a ‘Fall of Faith.’”

· “Okay, time to take the fall!”

· (To volunteer) “Are you ready?”

· (Assuming that you have lost the volunteer’s trust by now, say…) “Why not? No, really, you can trust me!” (If the volunteer still seems to trust you, you might need to draw this out some more.)

· “Okay—one, two, THREE!” (If volunteer doesn’t fall, reassure him/her that you are serious this time. After the volunteer takes the fall, and you safely catch him or her, thank your volunteer and send him/her back to seat.)

· “The good news is, God is more trustworthy than I am. He will always catch you if you are doing His will.”

· (If you have time, let other children experience the Fall of Faith.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Belief, Christianity, faith, Fear, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Trust, Worry