Tag Archives: perspective

Trust God When Things Look Bad (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge is a fun visual that reminds kids to trust God even when circumstances are looking bad. There is a little bit of “magic” and a little bit of science in this lesson that gives it some “Wow!” factor. Participants will create a water-suspension trick using some simple supplies.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37 to 45
  • Romans 8:28

 

Materials

  • Canning jar (“Mason jar”) with a screw-top lid and a removable insert – 1 per person with one extra for the group leader
  • Small piece of screening (like what covers your windows – enough to cover the top of the canning jar) – 1 per person with one extra for the group leader
  • Gallon jug of water – 1 for group
  • Piece of poster board – 3” x 3” – 1 per person
  • If you don’t want to make your own jars, you can order them for approximately $10 each from Steve Spangler Science (www.stevespanglerscience.com).  It’s called the “Mysterious Water Suspension Trick.”
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Trust God When Things Look Bad – 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.)
  • Ziplock bags – gallon size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Cut the piece of screening so that it fits over the opening of the jar.  You want some overlap so that the lid will hold the screening securely to the jar.
  • Screw on the band part of the lid, but leave the removable insert out. (Only for the leader’s jar.  The participants will do their own.)
  • You might want to laminate your poster board square but only if you plan on using it multiple times.
  • Practice the trick.  Flipping the jar upside down is the most challenging part.
  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Put the small pieces of screening and the pieces of poster board in each Ziplock bag.
  • 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, “Trust God When Things Look Bad” 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.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “So, who’s thinks they have a strong faith in God?”  (Listen for responses, and select the most enthusiastic participant to come up to the front.)
  • (To the participant…)  “You think you have a strong faith in God, right?” (While you are asking, pour water from the pitcher into your demonstration jar.  Don’t let them see the screening over the top.)
  • “Do you feel like you even trust God when things look bad in your life?”  (While you are asking, place the poster board square on top of the jar.)
  • “Could you trust God like Joseph did even after he was sold into slavery and then thrown into prison?”  (While you are asking, flip the jar and the poster board square upside down, and hold them over the child’s head.  Keep your hand under the poster board square so that it looks like you are supporting it.  In reality, the water droplets inside the screening and the air pressure pushing up on the poster board will hold the card in place.)
  • “I would say things are looking pretty bad for you right now.  Are you still trusting God?”  (Listen for response.)
  • “Would you trust God to keep you from getting wet if I were to pull this card away?” (Listen for response, then, with as much drama as you can muster, pull the card away.  The water will stay in the jar.  The water droplets develop surface tension inside the tiny holes in the screen.  This and the fact that if you hold the jar perfectly level, no air can get in to replace the water that leaves, will hold the water in.)
  • “Wow!  I’m impressed that you are still here!  You really do trust God when things look bad!”  (Tilt jar just a little, and some water will pour out until you level out the jar again.  Participants usually get a big kick out of their peer getting wet.)
  • “Oops.  There’s a lesson in this.”
  • “Trusting God doesn’t mean that bad things won’t ever happen.  Trusting God when things look bad means that you trust Him to get you through the bad times.”  (You can thank your volunteer and send him/her back to his/her seat.)
  • “Sometimes, things look really bad, like when I held the jar of water over his/her head.”
  • “Remember during those times to trust God.”
  • “He has the ability to do the impossible in your life (like stopping gravity), but even when He doesn’t stop the bad stuff, He can turn the bad stuff into good.”
  • “The Bible says that God will make EVERYTHING work for you if you know Him as your heavenly father.  That means good stuff and bad stuff will turn out good for you!” (Romans 8:28)
  • (After your lesson, tell the participants how the trick works.  Then, let them make their own water suspension jars and try them out.  The jars can be made by putting the screening over the glass opening of the jar and then screwing the lid (without the insert) over the screening.)
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can help them forgive.)

 

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. Why do you think Joseph was able to trust God when things looked bad?
  2. Have you ever trusted God during a really difficult time in your life?  What happened?
  3. How could you trust God more during difficult times in the future?

 

Rhyme Time

God has a purpose, a plan and a dream;

My present struggles are more than they seem!

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Filed under Challenges, faith, Joseph, Object Lesson, Trust

Fortunately-Unfortunately (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge teaches what happens to us is not as important as how we respond to what happens to us.  If we trust God with even our “unfortunate” events and circumstances, He can use everything for our good.  Participants will tell a story and take turns making the events of the story either “fortunate” or “unfortunate.”

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50
  • Proverbs 3:11
  • Romans 8:28

Materials

  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Fortunately-Unfortunately – 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.)
  • Ziplock bags – any size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • 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, “Fortunately-Unfortunately” 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.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “This challenge is about how God can make good things come out of bad situations.”
  • “We’re going to play a short game called, “Fortunately – Unfortunately.”
  • “First, we have to select the person who will start the game.  I want everyone to hold up one finger.”  (Make sure everyone holds up a finger.  Then have them do the following.)
  • “Now point that finger straight up in the air as high as you can make it go.”
  • “I’m going to count to three.  When I say, ‘three,’ I want everyone in the group to point at the person you think should start the game.”
  • “Ready?  Okay, One….Two….Three!”  (If any groups end up with a tie for the number of fingers pointed at different people, have them do it again until the tie is broken.)
  • “Alright, this person is going to start you off by telling the first part of a story.”
  • “They will tell you about 15-20 words about any topic they want, but the story has to start with, ‘Once upon a time…’”
  • “For example, ‘Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to eat pickled porcupines…’”
  • “Then, that person will stop right there, and the person on their right will pick up the story where they left off.”
  • “But before they tell anymore of the story, they have to say, ‘Unfortunately…’ and then share something unfortunate about the situation or person.”
  • “They will tell about 15 words of why things are so unfortunate, and then they will stop.”
  • “The next person will pick up the story where they left off, but he/she will start by saying, ‘Fortunately…’  Then they will tell us what is so fortunate about the situation.”
  • “This keeps going with each person alternating their stories to be ‘fortunate’ or ‘unfortunate.’”
  • “You will keep going around your group until I say to stop, so you will probably have several tries at making up ‘fortunate’ and ‘unfortunate’ parts of the story.”
  • “The only other rule is that you can’t kill anyone in the stories.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions before we get started?”
  • “Alright, those of you who were picked to start, begin your stories!”  (Allow three to five minutes for storytelling, then ask them to finish the part they are on and turn their attention back to you.)
  • “The point of this game is that there are always two ways of looking at the things that happen in our lives.  You can view almost anything as either fortunate or unfortunate.”
  • “If you search for it, even something very bad can have a fortunate side, particularly if you are willing to trust God with it.”
  • “Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
  • “The Scripture says that God will works in ‘some’ things for our good, right?”  (The kids should answer, ‘NO!’)
  • “Oh, it says, God works in just the fortunate things, right?” (The kids should answer, ‘NO!’)
  • “In just the things where we make good decisions?”  (‘NO!’) 
  • “What does it say?  …God works in ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
  • “Sometimes when ‘unfortunate’ stuff happens to us, it’s God’s discipline in our lives, because the Bible says in Proverbs 3:11:  ‘My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.’”
  • “But that means that even when God is disciplining you for your sin, He is doing it for your good!”
  • “And it’s even better if you admit that you sinned and ask for forgiveness.  Then God can really use it for your good!”
  • “He uses EVERYTHING that happens in your life to be a blessing to you!”
  • “So, even when something happens that looks bad, it’s a great idea to praise God for it.  That shows that you trust Him to use it for your good.”
  • “It’s less important what happens to you than how you respond to what happens to you.”
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can use everything to bless them and prepare them for His good work.)

 

Debriefing Questions

  1. Do you think the things that happened in Joseph’s life were fortunate or unfortunate?  Why?
  2. Are there things in your life that looked unfortunate at first but turned out to be fortunate?
  3. How could you look at bad things in your life in a positive way?

 

Rhyme Time

God has a purpose, a plan and a dream; My present struggles are not what they seem!

 

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Filed under Abundance, Attitude, Challenges, Daily walk, Expectations, Failure, Hardship, Joseph, Paradigm Shift, Scarcity

Breaking Out of the Silos (EXERCISE)


Purpose

This activity helps participants to challenge silo mentalities by forcing them to work collaboratively to complete a task.  The task is a painting task, in which each team (or individual) will only receive some of the colors they need to finish.  In order to meet all the requirements of the task, they will have to negotiate for resources from other teams or individuals.

 

Setup

  • Give each team (or individual, depending upon the size of your group) several colors of paint (poster paints work well).
  • Teams or individuals should get different color combinations so that no one group or individual has everything that he or she needs.  Recommended color combinations are:
    • Team #1 – Black, white, red and yellow
    • Team #2 – Black, white, blue and yellow
    • Team #3 – Black, white, green and yellow
    • Team #4 – Black, white, red and blue
  • Give each team or individual enough paintbrushes for each team member to participate in the painting, a large sheet of paper (a flipchart works well for groups), something to mix their paint on (a piece of cardboard or a paper plate) and several small cups with water in them for rinsing the paint brush.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.

Activity: 20 minutes

Debrief: 15 minutes.

 

Procedure

  • Tell participants that they are going to work in their teams to produce a work of art with the supplies that you have given them.
  • To be judged successful, each team or individual must paint a picture of Noah’s Ark complete with the rainbow that was God’s promise never to flood the earth again. (You can choose another theme if you like; the only essential element is the rainbow, because it uses all the color combinations that will force the teams to break out of their silos.)
  • The rainbow must be at least one-third of the picture, and it must contain all the colors of a rainbow (which can be remembered with the acronym ROYGBIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).
  • The picture must fill the paper.
  • They will have 20 minutes to complete their paintings.
  • (After they begin, observe how they solve the problem of not having all the right color combinations for the rainbow.  You may want to bring out your observations during the debrief.  When the 20 minutes are up, have the groups answer the debrief questions below.  Then, discuss their insights as a large group.  Emphasize the need to share limited resources so that everyone could succeed.  This is not a competitive activity.)

Debrief

  • How did you resolve the problem of not having enough colors to make all the colors of the rainbow?
  • How willing were the other teams to share their paint with you?
  • How willing were you to share your paint with them?
  • Why was this difficult at times?
  • How is this like sharing limited resources in the work environment?
  • What could you do to make it more likely that individuals and groups would share their resources for the greater good of the organization?

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Filed under Abundance, generosity, Overcoming obstacles, Performance, Problem solving, Productivity, Resources, Scarcity, team, teambuilding, teamwork

That’s Not Fair!


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps kids to understand that unfair things happen to all of us. We can’t always change that, but we can change how we respond to what happens to us. If we look for the positive aspects, we might find that God has really blessed us through what originally looked unfair.

Materials

· “Magic Coloring Book & Crayons” from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $15)

Preparation

· Practice the trick. You’ll need to be very smooth with your hand movements in order to fool the kids.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “I have a magic trick to show you today, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Select volunteer to join you up front.)

· “I went to the store the other day and bought a new coloring book, but when I got home, I found that all the pages were blank!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine. Make sure that the child stands to the side so that the audience can see the blank pages.)

· “That’s so unfair! I used my whole allowance on this!”

· “But then I realized that I had the coolest coloring book in the world!”

· “I mean, other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them.”

· “All they can do is color them. I had page after page of blank paper, and I could draw anything I wanted.”

· “So I drew pictures on every page.” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the top corner of the spine. Black and white illustrations will appear.)

· “When I got done, I was really tired. So I put my cool coloring book under my pillow and I went to bed.”

· “In the morning, I got up, pulled out my cool coloring book, and flipped through the pictures.”

· “I was very surprised to see that I had colored in all the pages in my dreams!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the middle part of the spine. Colored pages will appear.)

· “At first, I thought this was really, really cool! But then I realized that there was nothing left to do with the book.”

· “I decided that I would try to un-color the book in my dreams.”

· “So I put it back under my pillow that night before I went to bed.”

· “When I got up the next morning, I was surprised to see that I had gone too far.”

· “Not only did I un-color the pages, but I un-drew them, too!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine again.)

· “That may sound bad to you, but I thought it was really cool, because other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them. But I have a coloring book in which I can draw anything I want!” (Thank child and dismiss.)

· “Sometimes unfair things happen to us.”

· “We don’t get what we deserve. Someone gets more than us, or we get something bad that we didn’t deserve.”

· “Those things happen, but if we keep trusting God, He will bring good things out of bad. (Romans 8:28)”

· “We might even be surprised to find out that something that looked unfair at first really turned out to be a blessing in disguise!”

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, fairness, illusion, Magic, Object Lesson, struggles, test, tool