Tag Archives: Messiah

Bigger Than Your Box (OBJ LESSON)


20 minutes

This object lesson teaches that Jesus is bigger than many have thought Him to be.  Some thought He was just a carpenter or a teacher or a prophet or a miracle worker, but He is bigger than all of these.  He is God, and He won’t fit inside any box we try to put Him in.



  • Matthew 16:13-20



  • 5 boxes of different sizes with different labels.  All the labels should be on one side with large lettering so that they can be seen clearly by the audience:
    • A small box (maybe palm-sized) labeled “Friend,” “Brother,” “Neighbor,” “Carpenter’s Son.”
    • A noticeably larger box labeled, “Rabbi” “Teacher”
    • A noticeably larger box labeled, “Prophet” “Miracle Worker”
    • A noticeably larger box labeled, “King of the Jews”
    • A large box (big enough for a grown man to sit inside and close), labeled with ALL the other labels from the other boxes.  The man put inside this box will break out of it at one point.  You should cut through the seams and then tape them back together from the inside.  This will allow Jesus to break out of the box explosively.
  • Utility knife (to cut the seams of the largest box)
  • Masking Tape (wide – 1 roll)
  • Permanent marker (black – thick tip – 1)
  • Costume for Jesus character (optional)
  • Bible



  • Recruit someone to play Jesus, and have him dress in costume if you would like.
  • Recruit two strong people to lift “Jesus” and try to put Him into the box each time.
  • Share the general flow of the object lesson with all your volunteers so that they know what will be expected of them.
  • Hide the boxes out of sight from the audience.
  • Have the masking tape and the permanent marker close-by, where you can access them quickly.
  • Practice the script.



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

  • “Jesus once asked His disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’” (You might have a volunteer read this Scripture (Matthew 16:13-20) out loud if you like.)
  • “Before Jesus started doing miracles and teaching, people just knew Him as Joseph the carpenter’s son.”
  • “They liked Him that way, because they thought they knew everything about Him.”
  • “He was safe and easy to understand.”
  • “We have a term that describes what we are doing when we make judgments about someone.”
  • “It’s called, ‘putting them in a box.’”  (Pull out the smallest box, and hold it where everyone can see it.)
  • “If you can ‘put someone in a box,’ you make them smaller in your mind.”
  • “When we think we have people figured out, they seem smaller and easier for us to deal with.”
  • “The people who knew Jesus growing up had a very small box for Him.”
  • “It was a box that thought of Jesus as just a ‘Friend,’ a ‘Brother,’ a ‘Neighbor,’ or a ‘Carpenter’s Son.’”
  • “Those things were true, but they weren’t the only things that were true about Jesus.” (Motion for your volunteers to come up.)
  • “This is Jesus, and these are people who knew Him.” (Put the box on the ground where everyone can still see it.)
  • “They thought He would fit inside this box.” (Have the volunteers lift Jesus up by the legs and arms and try to fit Him in the box.  He should sit on it and crush it.)
  • “Guess Jesus was bigger than their box!” (Have volunteers stay in front with you.)
  • “When He started going around teaching in the Jewish churches (synagogues), everyone recognized that He spoke with authority unlike any other teacher.”
  • “They realized that they needed a bigger box.” (Bring out the second-smallest box.)
  • “They decided that Jesus was more than just a ‘Friend,’ a ‘Brother,’ a ‘Neighbor,’ or a ‘Carpenter’s Son.’”
  • “Now, they realized that He was a ‘Teacher’…a ‘Rabbi.’”
  • “This was an important role in Jewish culture and came with lots of honor.”
  • “They thought Jesus should be satisfied with this box.”  (Have volunteers lift Jesus as before and set Him down on the box, crushing it.)
  • “Guess He was bigger than that box, too!” (Volunteers stay.)
  • “You see, Jesus didn’t just teach.  He also did miracles like healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead.”
  • “He condemned the religious leaders for not leading the people well.”
  • “When everyone saw Jesus do these things, they decided that they needed a bigger box.”  (Bring out 3rd smallest box.)
  • “He wasn’t just a ‘Teacher,’ or a ‘Rabbi.’ He was a ‘Miracle Worker’ and a ‘Prophet.’”
  • “Miracle Workers and Prophets are only sent by God.  This made Jesus a REALLY important person!”
  • “They felt that Jesus should be really happy with this box!” (Have volunteers lift Jesus as before and set Him down on the box, crushing it.)
  • “Hmmm, This doesn’t seem to be working!” (Volunteers stay.)
  • “It wasn’t working, because Jesus was more than just a Miracle Worker or a Prophet, and people began to see that.”
  • “One day, He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers and adoration of all the people.”
  • “They shouted, ‘Hosanna to the son of David!’ and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
  • “Now it was obvious to the religious leaders and all the people.”
  • “They realized that Jesus wanted to be King of the Jews!”  (Bring out 4th smallest box.)
  • “But this was too much for the religious leaders.”
  • “They didn’t like Jesus, and they didn’t want Him to be their king.”
  • “So, they decided to destroy this box themselves.  They arrested Jesus, tried Him illegally, turned Him over to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and convinced him to crucify Jesus.”  (Have Jesus character spread his arms wide and hang his head to represent his crucifixion.  Have the other two volunteers stomp on and otherwise destroy the ‘King of the Jews’ box.)
  • “The religious leaders destroyed the King of the Jews box by killing Jesus.”
  • “And in doing so, they thought that they had finally found a box that would hold Him.” (Bring out the largest box, and have the volunteers put Jesus inside of it.)
  • “They put His body in a tomb in a garden, closed it off with a giant stone and sealed it.  Then they stationed Roman soldiers to guard the tomb so that no one could steal the body.”  (Have the volunteers tape Jesus in the box with the masking tape.  They should do several strips across the front where they can be seen by the audience and then write, ‘JUST A MAN!!’ several times across them.  They should be careful not to tape across the seams, because that will make it difficult for Jesus to break out.  While you are talking, Jesus should carefully peel back some of the tape from the inside.)
  • “Even Jesus’ closest followers were convinced that this box would hold Him.”
  • “They were devastated that their Friend, their Teacher, Their Prophet, The Miracle Worker, their King was gone forever.”
  • “But what they didn’t realize is that Jesus put Himself in that box.”
  • “He did it for you and for me and for everyone who has ever lived or will ever live to take the punishment for our sins so that we could join Him in heaven some day.”
  • “Jesus put Himself in the box of that garden tomb….and three days later….He took Himself back out!”  (Have Jesus volunteer break out of the box as explosively as possible for the greatest impact.)
  • “Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to all His followers to let them know that there was no box that could hold Him.”
  • “Jesus is bigger than any box we could try to put Him in.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘He’s bigger than any box!’”
  • “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘You can’t put God in a box!’”
  • “Be careful not to limit God.  He’s a BIG God.  He’s bigger than your problems; He’s bigger than your fears; He’s bigger than your hopes, and He’s bigger than your dreams.”
  • “There is nothing that God can’t do.”
  • “If you have been limiting God in any way in your life, I encourage you to take your box to Him and let Him crush it for you.”
  • “He’s bigger than your box!”

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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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Resurrection Roll (GAME)

10-15 minutes (or more, depending upon how many times you play)


Children & Youth


This game is a fun and high-energy way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  It’s played in rounds, and an individual round takes only a few minutes to play.


  • Matthew 28:1-10


  • 10-20 feet of rope
  • “Friday-Sunday” dice cube pattern (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com in the file named “Resurrection Roll – Dice Cube.”)
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors or knife to cut out dice cube
  • Cardboard or poster board (8.5 x 11 inches)
  • Optional: Small prizes for the winners – it’s possible to have multiple winners each round, so you will want to have lots of small prizes
  • Bible


  • Print out the dice cube pattern.
  • Glue the pattern on top of the cardboard or poster board.
  • Cut out the dice cube pattern.
  • Bend the dice cube sides along the lines to form the cube.  (It might be helpful to lightly score the cardboard along the dice cube lines to help it to bend.  Make sure to score the cardboard side and not the paper side.)
  • Tape the dice cube anywhere the sides come together.
  • Lay out the rope in a large circle pattern.
  • Practice the script.


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

  • “Jesus died on the cross on a Friday, and His followers were crushed!”
  • “They believed He was the Savior, the Messiah, but now He was gone!”
  • “They couldn’t believe it!  They didn’t know what to do.”
  • “They had put all their hopes in Jesus, and they didn’t know what to do with their lives now that He was dead.”
  • “Fortunately for them and for all of us, that wasn’t the end of the story!” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 28:1-10.)
  • “Imagine you were there!”
  • “One moment, life has no meaning – only mourning.”
  • “The next moment, all your hopes are restored – even upgraded!”
  • “What you thought was a terrible defeat turns into an incredible victory!”
  • “So, let’s play a game to celebrate that victory!”  (Ask everyone to grab the rope and stand in a circle.)
  • “I have a die (singular for dice) here that has three sides that say, ‘Friday,’ and three sides that say, ‘Sunday.’”
  • “You are holding a rope that represents the tomb Jesus was buried in, and you represent Jesus.”
  • “Before I roll the die, you have to decide if you think it will land on ‘Friday’ or ‘Sunday’ and choose to either be in the tomb or out of the tomb.”
  • “If it lands on ‘Friday,’ you want to be in the tomb, where Jesus was after He died.”
  • “If it lands on ‘Sunday,’ you want to be outside the tomb, where Jesus was after He rose from the dead.”
  • “If you are in the wrong place, you are out of the game and have to leave the circle until we start a new round.”
  • “I will roll the die three times, and you can choose a different place (in or out) each time or stay where you are as long as you keep being right.”
  • “Whoever lasts all three rolls, wins!”  (“….and gets a prize” if you are giving prizes)
  • “Are you ready to play?”  (Start the game by having the kids choose a position inside or outside of the rope.  Then roll the die.  Any kids on the wrong side of the rope are out until the next round.  After three rolls, acknowledge the winners and start a new round if you wish.  End whenever you’ve had enough!)

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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Game, Games that Teach, Jesus, Resurrection

Names of God Bingo


30 minutes


This game reinforces learning about the names of God through repetition and a fun activity.


  • Copies of the six different bingo cards (See the “Names of God Bingo Cards” on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.) Each card has all the same names of God, but they have different placements. You can choose whether or not you reveal this information to the children.
  • Something to act as blotters. You can use coins, torn pieces of paper, poker chips… You will need enough for all the children to use.
  • One copy of the Names of God Call-Out Sheet” (at the end of this lesson plan).
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Optional – Prizes for getting bingos.
  • Optional – Copies of “Names of God Chart” for each child. (See “Lesson and Material Downloads” page


· Print the “Names of God Call-Out Sheet” at the end of this lesson plan, and cut it into strips.

· Place the strips in a bowl, and mix them up.

· Practice the script.

· Print copies of the six different bingo cards.

· Distribute them randomly to the children so that each child has one.


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

  • “We’re going to play a game to help us remember the different names of God from the Bible.”
  • “Each of you has received a “Names of God” bingo sheet. On it, you will see some of the names of God from the Bible and what they mean. These aren’t all the names of God, but it’s a good list to start with.”
  • “I’m going to draw names from this bowl and call them out loud.”
  • “You have also received some blotters that you can use to mark the names of God that I call out loud.”
  • “Whenever I call out a name of God, search your bingo sheet to see if you have it. If you do, put a blotter on top of that name.”
  • “If you get five boxes in a row, in a column or in a diagonal marked, you have a bingo!”
  • “The center space is marked, ‘Grace Space.” This one is free; you can put a blotter on it now. It’s to remind you of God’s grace to us. Grace is something that you get but didn’t earn.”
  • “When you get a bingo, jump up and yell, “BINGO!” and I’ll come by to check what you have marked.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions about how to play?” (Answer questions.)
  • “Okay, let’s play!” (Draw a name of God from the bowl, and announce it twice slowly. Be sure to read off both the name of God and its meaning each time. Then draw the next name. Continue this process until someone calls, “BINGO!”)
  • (For a variation, you can play Blackout. In this version, all boxes must be covered in order to win.)

Names of God Call-Out Sheet




(The Lord of Hosts)


(The Lord Our Righteous-ness)

El Chuwl

(The God Who Gave You Birth)


(The Lord is Present)


(Lord, Master)


(The Annointed One)


(The Self-Existent One)


(The Lord Our Maker)

Ancient of Days


(The Lord My Banner)


(The Creator)

Alpha and Omega

(First and Last)

El Deah

(God of Knowledge)


(The Lord Our Shepherd)

El Roi

(The God Who Sees)


(The Lord is Peace)


(The Lord Will Provide)

El Elyon

(The God Most High)

El Shaddai

(God Almighty)


(The Lord That Heals)


(The Eternal Creator)

El Olam

(The Everlasting God)


(The Lord Creator)


Filed under Adoration, Christianity, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, Praise, prayer, spiritual disciplines, Thanksgiving

Mr. Bobby’s Sacrifice


20-25 minutes


This object lesson teaches about the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and helps children to recognize that He did it for all of us – even those of us who choose not to accept His gift. (It’s called “Mr. Bobby’s Sacrifice in honor of the big man with a bigger heart who always volunteers for this strenuous activity.)

This activity works best with a larger group of kids. However, if you have a small group, try having each child make several trips up to put their rocks in the bucket. Only on the last trip can they get the incentive.


  • Two buckets with strong handles
  • A place where children can pick up at least two rocks each
  • Some type of incentive for the children (I’ve used individually wrapped packages of fruit snacks and candy before.) If you can get something that most of the kids will like but that a few will not, you will have more success with the activity. (In this case, be sure to have another incentive hidden that these children can choose at the end of the activity.)
  • Two signs that say, “SIN.”
  • Tape


· Find a strong volunteer, and explain the object lesson to him.

· Put your incentives in a place where they will be easily seen by the children and where they have easy access to them.

· Put tape of your “SIN” signs, and lay them close to the teaching area

· Ask the children to each grab at least two rocks for a special activity in class. They can grab more than two rocks if they want, but they must have at least two. Rocks can be the size of a small egg or larger.

· Practice the script.


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

· “Hey, everyone! Did each of you grab at least two rocks before you came in here?” (Have the children hold them up so that you can see them.)

· “Fantastic! Hey, I’ve got great news! Mr. (supply the name of your volunteer) wants to buy everyone some (supply the name of your incentive)!”

· “How many of you want some (incentive)?”

· “Okay, Mr. (volunteer) is going to earn those for you by showing us how strong he is.”

· “Everyone who wants (incentive) has to line up with your rocks right here.”

· “When I tell you to, you will trade your rocks for the (incentive) by putting at least one in each of Mr. (volunteer’s) buckets.”

· “He will earn the incentive for you by carrying your rocks.”

· “Isn’t Mr. (volunteer) great!” (Encourage enthusiastic responses.)

· (Have Mr. (volunteer) stand at the front of the room with a bucket in each hand. As well as he is able, he should stretch his arms wide like Jesus on the cross. It’s important for the kids to be able to tell that this is challenging and painful to the volunteer. Have the children line up with their rocks.)

· (Ask the first child.) “Do you want a (incentive)? Okay, then divide all your rocks between the two buckets.”

· (After the child puts his/her rocks into the two buckets, allow him/her to get the incentive and then return to his/her seat. Keep working your way through the children, occasionally pointing out your volunteer’s straining or facial expressions.)

· (If a child says, “no” to the incentive, he or she should lay his or her rocks down on the floor and return to his/her seat. Your volunteer should then set down the buckets, pick up the rocks and divide them between the two buckets. Then, he should resume his former position. This typically doesn’t happen until later in the object lesson, and it usually requires some prodding to get the first child to lay down his/her rocks.)

· “Did you notice that he still picked up the rocks? You see, Mr. (volunteer) already agreed to pay for everyone. Even if you don’t want your (incentive), he will still pay for it for you.”

· (Continue having children put their rocks in and take their incentives. If you get three-fourths of the way through the children without one of them laying down his or her rocks, you will need to do some prodding using the following script.)

o “Wow! Mr. (volunteer) is really sweating! It looks like a real struggle holding up those buckets?”

o “How do you feel about that?”

o “Mr. (volunteer), how are you feeling?” (Have him be honest about the pain and struggle.)

o “If it’s that difficult, why are you doing it?” (Have him share about his love for the children.)

o (Back to the children) “Is it okay with you that he is having to work so hard for you to you’re your (incentive)?”

o “Do you think it is fair that he is having to go through so much pain?”

o “Are you sure, you want to put your rocks into his buckets”

· (After all have made (or not made) the trade, allow your volunteer to put the buckets down.)

· “Kids we did this activity to give you a picture of how much Jesus loves you. Just like Mr. (volunteer) loves you enough to pay for your (incentive), Jesus loves you enough to pay for you to join Him in heaven.”

· “The rocks you brought today represent your sin, the bad things you’ve done.” (Label both buckets with the “Sin” signs.)

· “You may have noticed that some of you brought small “sins,” and some of you brought big “sins.” Some of you brought just two “sins,” and some of you brought several handfuls!”

· “When we go before God, some of us will just have a few sins compared to the others. And our sins might not seem that bad compared to theirs, but to God, sin is sin – no matter how small and no matter how few.”

· “The Bible says that the payment, the punishment for sin is death. It’s what we owe to pay for our sins.” (Romans 6:23)

· “Unfortunately, none of us can pay for our sins. We owe too much.”

· “The only One who could pay was someone who didn’t owe anything of his own.”

· “And the only Person who has ever lived and not sinned is Jesus. He’s the only One who could pay what we owed for our sin.”

· “Just like Mr. (volunteer) spread his arms to pay for your (incentive), Jesus spread His arms on the cross to pay for your sins and mine.”

· “But do you remember that not everyone wanted their (incentive), but Mr. (volunteer) paid for them anyway?”

· “You see, Jesus paid for everyone’s sins – even those of us who don’t want to believe in Him.”

· “And isn’t that a shame? To leave something that is already paid for on the table?”

· “Shouldn’t we enjoy it if Jesus went to so much trouble to get it for us?”

· “Jesus paid for it! He didn’t just die for a few. He died for ALL of us!”

· “But Jesus loves us so much that He won’t force us to take what He bought for us. He still lets us choose.”

· “You have to want it and accept it, but you don’t have to do anything to earn it.”

· “If you want what Jesus has bought for you on the cross… if you want life with Him forever in heaven, all you have to do is tell him in your prayers.”

· “Tell Him that you want what He bought. Tell Him you want to follow Him and to go to heaven.”

· “And then, tell all of us so that we can celebrate with you!”

· “I know that some of you who didn’t take your (incentive) did it out of your love for Mr. (volunteer).”

· “If you are one of those people, Mr. (volunteer) wants to see you after we finish.” (Have your volunteer tell these children how much he appreciates the sacrifice they made for him and that they really helped with the lesson. Then, he can give them the choice of taking the incentive – no rocks this time.)

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