Tag Archives: teens

Isaiah 61 Scavenger Hunt (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

60-90 minutes (depending on how difficult you make the pictures to find)
Description

This scavenger hunt uses images from Isaiah 61 (using the NIV translation).  You will hide 48 pictures representing lines from the chapter, and participants will try to find them.  This activity is designed for group competition.

 

There are two different sets of participant worksheets at the end of this lesson.  You can choose the level of difficulty for your group by selecting either the worksheet with descriptions of the pictures or the one with blanks.  If you choose the one with blanks, participants will have to decide which pictures represent each of the different lines from the Scripture and put them in order.

 

Scriptures

  • Isaiah 61

 

Materials

o  Copies of the participant worksheets at the end of this lesson.  Choose either the one with descriptions or the blank version (if you want to increase the difficulty).  You will need one copy of the worksheet per team.

o  Copies of the pictures representing lines from Isaiah 61.  (One set per team – you can find these pictures on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  The name of the file is “Isaiah 61 Scavenger Hunt – Photos.”)  There are 48 pictures in the file.  Print them in color if you can, but black and white will be fine.

o  Tape or some other means of posting the pictures in different places.

o  (Optional) Prizes for the winning team.

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print out copies of the participant worksheets at the end of this lesson (one per team).

o  Print out copies of the pictures mentioned in the Materials section above (one set per team).

o  Hide all the pictures around the teaching area, outdoors or in a large facility, where the group can be free to run around.  Use the tape or other adhesive to hang the pictures in different places.  You can increase the difficulty by hiding them in difficult-to-find places, or you can make them obvious for younger participants.  You may choose to put multiple copies of each picture in the same place (one copy each for each different team to find), or you can hide them in different places.

o  Divide participants into teams.

 


Procedure

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

  • “We are going to do a scavenger hunt that will help us better understand a chapter from the book of Isaiah.”
  • “I’ve hidden 48 different pictures.” (Describe the general location where the pictures are hidden.)
  • “Each one represents an image from chapter 61 of Isaiah.”
  • “Each team will compete with the others to see who can find all 48 of the hidden pictures first.”
  • “I’m going to ask that in the interest of good sportsmanship and fairness that you don’t take more than one copy of any of the pictures.”
  • “Each of the 48 pictures is different from the others, so you will only need one copy.”
  • “I’m also going to ask that teams stay together as they search for the pictures.”
  • “That means that you can’t separate to find the pictures faster.”
  • “If you separate, there’s a good chance that you will collect duplicate pictures and make it impossible for another team to finish.”
  • “When you collect all your pictures, come back here and put them in the correct order on the floor (or have them stick them to the wall).”
  • “The first team to put them all in the right order wins!”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions that they have.  Then pass out the participant worksheets from the end of this lesson.  When you are ready, give them the signal to “GO!”  If you need to give hints after awhile to help teams finish, feel free to do so.  When every team has finished, award a prize to the winning team if you would like, and then have them answer the following questions to debrief the activity.)

 

Debriefing Questions

  • o How did your team work together?
  • o What were your strengths as a team?
  • o In what ways could you have improved?
  • o Do the pictures help you understand the Scriptures from Isaiah 61 in a different way?  How so?
  • o Why do you think Isaiah (or God) used so many different metaphors in his writing?
  • o What is your favorite part of the passage from Isaiah 61?
  • o What will you take away from this activity?

 

 

 

#

Scripture

Item

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me  
2 Because the LORD has anointed me  
3 To proclaim good news to the poor  
4 He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted  
5 To proclaim freedom for the captives  
6 And release from darkness for the prisoners  
7 To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor  
8 And the day of vengeance of our God  
9 To comfort all who mourn  
10 And provide for those who grieve in Zion  
11 To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes  
12 The oil of joy instead of mourning  
13 And a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair  
14 They will be called oaks of righteousness  
15 A planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor  
16 They will rebuild the ancient ruins  
17 And restore the places long devastated  
18 They will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations  
19 Strangers will shepherd your flocks  
20 Foreigners will work your fields and vineyards  
21 And you will be called priests of the LORD  
22 You will be named ministers of our God  
23 You will feed on the wealth of nations  
24 And in their riches you will boast  
25 Instead of your shame  
26 You will receive a double portion  
27 And instead of disgrace  
28 You will rejoice in your inheritance  
29 And so you will inherit a double portion in your land  
30 And everlasting joy will be yours  
31 For I, the LORD, love justice  
32 I hate robbery and wrongdoing  
33 In my faithfulness I will reward my people  
34 And make an everlasting covenant with them  
35 Their descendants will be known among the nations  
36 And their offspring among the peoples  
37 All who see them will acknowledge  
38 That they are a people the LORD has blessed  
39 I delight greatly in the LORD  
40 My soul rejoices in my God  
41 For he has clothed me with garments of salvation  
42 And arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness  
43 As a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest  
44 And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels  
45 For as the soil makes the sprout come up  
46 And a garden causes seeds to grow  
47 So the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness  
48 And praise spring up before all nations  

 

 

#

Scripture

Item

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me Dove
2 Because the LORD has anointed me Anointing Oil
3 To proclaim good news to the poor Mother Teresa
4 He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted Bound Heart
5 To proclaim freedom for the captives Broken Shackles
6 And release from darkness for the prisoners Prisoner
7 To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor Megaphone
8 And the day of vengeance of our God Fire From Heaven
9 To comfort all who mourn Weeping Man
10 And provide for those who grieve in Zion Weeping Angel
11 To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes Crown
12 The oil of joy instead of mourning Happy-Sad Faces
13 And a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair Garment of Praise
14 They will be called oaks of righteousness Oak Tree
15 A planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor Planting
16 They will rebuild the ancient ruins Bricklayer
17 And restore the places long devastated Trowel
18 They will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations Ruins
19 Strangers will shepherd your flocks Flock of Sheep
20 Foreigners will work your fields and vineyards Vineyard
21 And you will be called priests of the LORD Jewish Priest
22 You will be named ministers of our God Minister with Bible
23 You will feed on the wealth of nations Map of Kingdoms
24 And in their riches you will boast Fake Money
25 Instead of your shame Shame on You – Pointing Finger
26 You will receive a double portion Double Portion of Bread
27 And instead of disgrace Man With Head in Hands
28 You will rejoice in your inheritance Man Rejoicing
29 And so you will inherit a double portion in your land Person Receiving Double Portion
30 And everlasting joy will be yours Arrows Pointing in Opposite Directions
31 For I, the LORD, love justice Scales of justice
32 I hate robbery and wrongdoing Robber
33 In my faithfulness I will reward my people Reward poster
34 And make an everlasting covenant with them Rainbow
35 Their descendants will be known among the nations Family Tree
36 And their offspring among the peoples Big family
37 All who see them will acknowledge Yes Man poster
38 That they are a people the LORD has blessed Sunshine
39 I delight greatly in the LORD Four People Jumping for Joy
40 My soul rejoices in my God Child Rejoicing
41 For he has clothed me with garments of salvation Jesus On The Cross
42 And arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness Robe of Righteousness
43 As a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest Groom
44 And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels Bride
45 For as the soil makes the sprout come up Sprout
46 And a garden causes seeds to grow Seeds
47 So the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness Jehovah Tsidkenu
48 And praise spring up before all nations Desert Spring

 

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Filed under competition, Game, Isaiah, teambuilding

Center of God’s Will (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge teaches that the safest place for us is in the center of God’s will.  Groups will create a board (representing God’s will) with handles and then attempt to spin it upside down with a cup of water on it.  If they do it correctly, centrifugal force will keep the water in the cup.  The metaphor is that when everything is “spinning” around us, the center of God’s will is the best place to keep us from being “upset.”

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50
  • Isaiah 26:3

 

Materials

  • Future board – 1 square per group – about 18”x18” (You can substitute other materials, such as plywood or heavy cardboard.)
  • Note card – 1 per group
  • Marker – (just 1 for the Preparation stage)
  • Tape – (just 1 roll for the Preparation stage)
  • Something sharp that can be used to put a small hole in the four corners of the board (just 1 for the Preparation stage)
  • Plastic cups – 2 per group (They only need one, but it’s possible that it might break.)
  • Twine – 4 lengths of about 2.5 ft per group (These will provide handles for the board so that it can be spun.)
  • Gallon jug of water – 1 per group
  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Center of God’s Will – 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

  • Write, “GOD’S WILL” on the note card, and tape it to the center of the board.
  • Put a small hole in each corner of the boards so that the groups can thread twine through it and tie a knot on the bottom side.  (These will provide handles for spinning the boards.)
  • Put all the materials in a Ziplock bag. – 1 per group (This should include two plastic cups and four lengths of twine.)
  • 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).
  • Tape the future board to the Ziplock bag, and put the water where groups can reach it.
  • 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, “Center of God’s Will” 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, some cups, some string, a board and some water.”
  • “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 staying in the center of God’s will.”
  • “You will have to create your ‘God’s Will’ board.”
  • “Here are the instructions – you can build as I share them with you.”
  • “Tie a knot at one end of each piece of twine.”
  • “Thread one piece of twine through each of the four holes in the future board.”
  • “Pull the twine through until the knot stops the rope from continuing through the hole.”
  • “Tie the unknotted ends of the twine together in one, big knot above the board (on the God’s Will side).  (Make sure that each rope is the same length from the knot to the board.  Otherwise, your board will not hang flat.)”
  • “Fill the cup ¾ full of water.”
  • “The water represents you.”
  • “Your challenge is to place the cup of water on the board, hold the top of all four strings where you tied them together, and spin the board with the water in a circle so that the water goes upside down several times before you stop spinning.”
  • “This represents the challenging times in our lives when everything seems to be spinning around us.”
  • “It’s difficult to keep from getting ‘upset,’ but if we stay in the center of God’s will, it’s a lot easier than if we are outside of His will.”  (Let several participants try to spin the board and the water.  Whenever they spill the water, refill the cup, and let them try again.  Give them some help if they need it.  Speed is important to take advantage of the centrifugal force.)
  • “Isaiah 26:3 says, ‘(God) will keep in perfect peace all who trust in (Him), all whose thoughts are fixed on (Him)!’” (NLT)
  • “That means that if we keep our trust in God and keep thinking about Him, we will have peace in difficult times.”
  • (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 when they trust and obey God, they stay in the center of His will.  Then, He makes bad things work for their good.)

 

Debriefing Questions

  1. What usually happens if the water cup is near the edge of the board when you spin it?
  2. What usually happens if it is near the center of the board?
  3. What do you think it means to be in the “center of God’s will” in your life?
  4. How can you do this more often?

 

Rhyme Time

If we trust Him and obey, God makes bad things go OUR way!

 

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Filed under Challenges, Daily walk, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Science, Science experiment, Teaching

Conversation Starters for Teenage Girls (SCENARIOS)


Audience

Teen Girls

Time

30-45 minutes
Description

These scenarios are intended to provide conversation starters for teen girls and a skilled and caring mentor.  They can also be used in group settings, but an adult guide should still be present to provide perspective and wisdom.  The cards address many challenging situations in which young girls might find themselves.

 

Scriptures

o   N/A

 

Materials

o  Scenarios worksheets (attached – 1 per person) or “Conversation Starters for Teenage Girls – Cards” (a file that you can download at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.

o  Something to write with (if you use the worksheet – 1 per person)

o  Something to write on (if you use the worksheet – 1 per person)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Review the scenarios and delete or pull out any that you don’t want to address.

o  Print the worksheets (1 per person) or the scenario cards (1 per group)

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “There are many challenging situations facing teenage girls today.”
  • “If you haven’t thought about how you will prepare for them or respond to them, they could surprise you, and you might find yourself under pressure to make the wrong decision.”
  • “Today, we are going to ask you to think about some of these situations and give your opinion about how you should prepare for or respond to them.”  (If you are using the worksheet, pass it out now, and let the girls have 15-20 minutes to complete it.  You can then discuss their answers as a group, or you can have them turn them in so that you can review them before discussing them at your next meeting.  If you are using the cards, lay them face-down in the center of the group, and have the girls take turns drawing one and responding to it.  Then, allow the other girls to share their thoughts, as well.  Sometimes what they say will be enough on the topic, but at other times, you may need to redirect them by sharing your perspective.  Whenever possible, reference biblical principles.)

 

SCENARIO WORKSHEET

Take some time, and read through each of the following scenarios.  Write how you think you should handle each situation on a separate sheet of paper.  Be sure to number your answers.

 

1.     You and your boyfriend have been dating for three months.  Recently, he has begun to bring up the subject of sex to get your opinion on it.  He says that he wouldn’t ever want to do anything that you didn’t want to do, but you can tell that he is hoping you will say it is okay.

2.     One of your girlfriends confessed to you that she has been thinking about suicide.  Her parents have been fighting for years and are now going through a divorce.  She is unpopular at school, and the boys make fun of her because she is heavy.  Recently, she has even stopped turning in her homework, and her failing grades are getting her into trouble with her parents and with school administrators.

3.     At a party, a popular girl invites you to join her and her friends as they take hits of acid.  You initially say, “No, thanks….I’m okay,” but they begin to make fun of you for being so “straight” and “pure.”  They laugh at you and tell you it’s time to grow up and stop being such a little girl.

4.     You are out driving on a date with a cute boy, and he reaches across you to open the glove compartment of his car.  As he does so, his arm brushes your chest.  You are embarrassed, but he is very apologetic, so you say it was no big deal.  However, an hour later, he does the same thing at dinner as he reaches for the ketchup.

5.     You and a girlfriend are out at the mall.  As she reaches to pick out a bracelet that she likes, you see that she has several dark bruises on her arm under her shirtsleeve.  When you ask her about it, she says that she bumped into something, but you aren’t convinced.  The bruises look like finger marks from her arm being squeezed too hard. You keep asking her about it until she confesses that her boyfriend got angry the other day and shook her a little.  She assures you that it’s the first time anything like this has ever happened.

6.     The word is out all over school about a famous celebrity sex video, and you are surprised to find that someone has sent you the link through email.  Your friend is watching over your shoulder when you open the email and tells you that you should click on the link.  “Everyone has seen it except us,” she says.

7.     Report cards come out, and you are surprised to see that you got a “B” in a class that you should have failed.  You didn’t turn in three assignments this semester, and you’ve been dreading getting your grades.  What was even more surprising is that your teacher commented on how much you’ve improved in getting your homework done.  You’re pretty sure that he made some kind of mistake in his grade book, but you are reluctant to bring it up, because an “F” means you will be grounded and miss this weekend’s social.

8.     A friend has started to look tired all the time.  She has dark patches under her eyes, and she no longer seems to have any energy or spark.  She has also been losing a lot of weight, which is confusing, because she eats more than you or any of your other friends.  You’ve begun to wonder if she might be throwing up whenever she goes to the bathroom after you eat out together.

9.     It is obvious to you that the girls who wear the tightest clothing and the shortest skirts get the most attention from the guys.  You’ve always been modest in what you wear, but it hurts that none of the guys is ever interested in you.  One guy even asked you why you wear “old lady” clothes.

10.  You’re out at the movies with a guy.  When he opens his wallet to pay for your tickets, you notice that he has several condoms in it.

11.  You catch your older brother looking at a pornographic magazine in his room.  He first begs you not to tell, then threatens to get you back if you say anything to Mom or Dad.

12.  You wake up late one night when you hear a noise in the dark.  You look out your window and see your older sister sneaking back into her room.  You look at the clock and see that it’s 4:30 a.m. The next morning, your parents tell you to wake up your sister, and you smell alcohol on her breath when you go to get her.

13.  You’ve got a new teacher – a young guy just out of college, and he is really cute.  All the girls are talking about him.  One day, he asks you to stay for a few minutes after class so that he can talk to you about your last paper.  He is very excited about your writing abilities and tells you that you have talent.  This meeting is followed by several others, and he offers to coach you to help you really develop your writing skills.  You have been meeting a few times a week after school for several weeks, and one day at your meeting, he reaches out and puts his hand on yours.

14.  One of your girlfriends just found out that she is pregnant.  She says that there is no way she can have a baby.  Her parents would do something crazy like sending her to live with her aunt in another state.  Her boyfriend is trying to help her raise the money for the abortion pill, and she has asked if you can help out with a little money.

15.  One of the girls in your first period class is upset, because someone stole her iPod out of her backpack.  This girl is really irritating and has always been mean to you, and you are a little amused to see that something bad has finally happened to her.  Unfortunately, you know who stole the iPod.  You saw one of your good friends listening to it yesterday after school, and you know it is the same iPod because of a scratch that it has on the back cover.

16.  You are at a school social with some friends.  When it is time to leave, you realize that the friend who drove you there has been drinking and is in no condition to drive.  You offer to drive for her, but she refuses and says that she is just fine.

17.  You are at a concert with some friends, and someone passes a joint down the row of seats.  You expect your friends to pass it back the other way, but to your surprise, they all take a hit and then pass it to you.  When you start to refuse, they begin to tease you and put the joint in your face.  They say that you are going to get high off the second-hand smoke anyway – why not enjoy it all the way?

18.  You’ve told your parents that you are going to a sleepover at a friend’s house, but when you get there, you find out that the girls have planned a secret trip to a local dance club.  They are busy getting dressed and putting on make-up so that they look “legal,” and one of the girls says that she is a good friend with the gatekeeper at the door.  He promised that he would let them all in as long as they looked old enough.

19.  While at the mall one weekend, you and your girlfriend meet a couple of cute guys.  They are from your school, but you don’t really know them.  You eat together at one of the fast-food places, and then the guys ask if the two of you can give them a ride home.  When you hesitate, they say, “Come on, it’s not far from here.  It will only take you a few minutes.”

20.  You get a friend request from someone on Facebook.  You don’t recognize the name, but they have lots of the same friends as you, so you approve the request.  As soon as you do, the person starts to chat with you.  You start to chat while looking up his profile.  Unfortunately, you still don’t recognize him, but he looks pretty normal in his photos and he goes to the same high school as you.  He is asking you questions about what you like to do on the weekends and when you aren’t working on homework.

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Filed under Challenges, Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Coping skills, courage, Daily walk, Decision making, Fear, leadership, Obedience, Priorities, purity, Relationships, self-image, Self-worth, Sex, Sexual Purity, struggles, temptation, test, Witness

Stronger Together (LESSON)


Time
30 minutes

Audience

Children, youth, adults

Description

This lesson helps participants understand how important it is to have unity in the Body of Christ.

Scriptures

  • John 13:34-35; 17:20-23
  • Romans 15:5-6
  • Ephesians 4:1-6, 4:9-12, 4:25-32
  • Hebrews 10:23-25

Materials

  • Paper currency (enough bills so that you have one for every three or four participants and one for yourself – NOTE: you are going to have them tear the money into smaller pieces.  If this is considered disrespectful or illegal in your country, you may want to use pictures of currency instead of the real thing.  For that matter, you may not want to see your hard-earned cash being torn into pieces.  Feel free to substitute.)
  • Clear tape (like the kind for wrapping presents.  Enough for each group of three or four participants to have a roll and one for yourself.)
  • Optional – a flipchart or whiteboard and markers
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write the Scriptures on slips of paper (one per slip) so that you can hand them out to participants.
  • Before you begin teaching, hand out the slips of paper to different participants, who brought their Bibles.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Today is your lucky day!”
  • “I’ve got extra money, and I would like to share it with you!”
  • “But first, I need to put you into groups.”
  • “I want everyone to line up single-file in the order of how many pets you have ever owned.”  (Or you can choose a different sorting technique.)
  • “I want the person who has owned the most on this side of the room, and the person who has owned the least on this side of the room.  (Gesture to either side of the room as you give these instructions.  It doesn’t matter which side you choose for most or least.)
  • “Everyone else will line up between those two people in the order of the number of pets you’ve owned.”
  • “Any questions?” (Answer questions.) “GO!”
  • “Okay, now we need to see how many pets you’ve had and what kinds.”  (Go down the line and ask each person how many and what kind of pets they owned.  If anyone is in the wrong place based on number of pets, move them to the right place in the line.)
  • “Okay, now I need to put you into small teams to receive your money.”
  • “I am going to number you off – one to ___.”  (You will want three to four people in each group, so count the total number of participants, and divide that number by either three or four.  This will tell you how high they need to count off.  For example, if you have 24 people and want to divide them into groups of four, 24/4=6.  You would have them number off one to six, and that would give you six groups of four people each.  Once you’ve told them how high to count, number them off.)
  • “Now, I want all the ‘ones’ to get together and all the ‘twos’ to get together.”  (Do the same with each number group.)
  • “Great job!  Now here is your money!  Congratulations!”  (Hand out one bill of currency to each group.)
  • “I know, I know…we’ve got a small problem.”
  • “I only gave each group one bill, but there are three (or four) of you.”
  • “Don’t worry; I have a solution!”
  • “I want the person who has the money in each group to tear it into three (or four) equal pieces and hand them out to all the team members.”  (Encourage them to do this.  They may be reluctant.  If so, convince them you are serious by demonstrating with a bill at the front of the room.  Keep encouraging them until every team has torn the bill and shared it equally.)
  • “There!  Isn’t that great?  Everyone happy?”  (Participants will most likely not be too happy and will tell you so.  Act as if you can’t understand why they wouldn’t like your solution.)
  • “What’s wrong?  I just gave you free money!  You should be happy!”  (Listen to their feedback.)
  • “Oh, so you’re saying that the money isn’t worth anything when it’s torn up like that?” (Listen to responses.)
  • “You’re saying that the money is more effective at what it does when it is all together?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “That’s really interesting!  And it reminds me of something I’ve read in the Bible.”  (Ask everyone to take a seat with his or her groups.  Then, have a volunteer read John 17:20-23.)
  • “This is Jesus’ prayer the night before He died on the cross.”
  • “It’s probably a very important prayer if it’s one of the last ones that He prayed.”
  • “Why do you think He prayed for ‘complete unity’ between the believers and with God?”  (There could be many answers, but one will be so that the world will know that God sent Jesus and loved the believers just as He loved Jesus, His Son.)
  • “That’s not all the Scriptures say about unity between the believers.”  (Have a volunteer read Romans 15:5-6.)
  • “What is Paul saying about unity to the Romans?”  (Answers may include that it enables us to glorify God with one heart and mouth.  Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:9-12.)
  • “What do you think Paul is saying in this Scripture about unity?”  (Listen to responses.  A main idea that you want to bring out is that being alone isn’t good.  We need others to help us when we get into trouble.)
  • “If Jesus and Paul feel the need to pray for the believers and encourage them to keep unity, it probably isn’t so easy to do.”
  • “What do you think gets in the way of unity among believers?”  (Answers might include differences of opinion, different denominations, differences of beliefs, jealousy, unforgiveness, lack of time, distance, etc…  You may want to put these on a flipchart or whiteboard.  I recommend drawing a line down the middle of the space and writing a minus sign at the top of the left column and a plus sign at the top of the right column.)
  • “That’s quite a list, and I think it would definitely break the unity of a group of believers.”
  • “Unity is hard.  Human nature (our sinful nature) leads us to want to divide rather than do the hard work to stay together.”
  • “There’s an old saying: ‘People like people who are like them.’”
  • “This means that we are drawn to people who look the same, act the same, have the same opinions, have the same backgrounds, etc.”
  • “It’s easier to keep relationships with these people, because we have so much in common.”
  • “If I had let you make your own groups earlier, you probably would have divided up based on ‘dog people’ and ‘cat people’ and ‘fish people’ and ‘hamster people,’ and all of you would have thought that you were better than the other groups.  Am I right?”
  • “But when people are different than us in the way they look or act or think…, we have to work hard to keep the relationships strong.”
  • “In fact, we might have to make some changes in our own lives in order to keep the relationship together.”
  • “So, let’s make a list of things we can do or the changes we can make to preserve or build unity.”  (Have a volunteer read John 13:34-35.)
  • “What’s the ingredient this Scripture mentions that we need to have for unity?”  (Answer should be ‘love.’ .  If you are using the flipchart or whiteboard, write these down on the “plus” side.  Have a volunteer read Hebrews 10:23-25.)
  • “What ingredient does this Scripture mention?”  (Answers should include ‘meeting together’ and ‘encourage one another.’ Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:1-6.)
  • “What ingredients does Paul mention in this Scripture?”  (Answers should include ‘humility,’ ‘gentleness,’ ‘patience’ and ‘bearing with one another in love.’  Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:25-32.)
  • “Last one.  What is Paul telling the Ephesians to do in this Scripture in order to preserve unity?”  (Answers should include ‘put off falsehood’ (or ‘be honest with each other’), ‘speak truthfully,’ ‘be angry sometimes but don’t sin by holding onto your anger,’ ‘do not steal from each other,’ ‘do your share of the work,’ ‘share with those in need,’ ‘don’t gossip, spread rumors or criticize,’ ‘build others up,’ ‘get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, fighting, slander (or ’saying bad things about others’), and any kind of bad feelings for others,’ ‘be kind and compassionate,” and ‘forgive each other.’)
  • “Look at all the things we need to do to keep our unity!”
  • “How are we ever going to be successful at all this stuff?”
  • “The good news is, we don’t have to do it by ourselves.”
  • “In truth, we are a lot like the money you have in your hands.”
  • “It doesn’t have any power in itself to put itself back together.  Neither do we.”
  • “But we do have a power given to us by the Holy Spirit.”  (Bring out some of the tape, and use it to tape back together the bill that you tore earlier.)
  • “The Holy Spirit is a little like this tape.”
  • “He has the power to bring us back together.”
  • “All we have to do is surrender to God’s will and allow Him to mend us, to bring us back together.”  (Pass out rolls of tape to each of the groups.)
  • “Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit bring you back together?”
  • “Then tape that money back together.”  (Give them a few moments to tape the money.)
  • “Now the money is powerful and effective again!”
  • “Know this: one of the Enemy’s favorite and most effective weapons against us is a strategy called ‘Divide and Conquer.’”
  • “The Scripture says that Satan is like a roaring lion watching for someone to devour.”
  • “If you have every watched Animal Planet, you probably know that lions don’t attack herds; they attack the animals that wander away from the herd.”
  • “They attack the weak ones, the sick ones, the lazy ones, the ones doing their own thing.”
  • “That’s because attacking the herd is dangerous; they could easily trample the lion or gore him or kick him in the head.”
  • “Satan wants to divide us from the herd – the rest of the Body of Christ – so that he can attack us and have a really good chance of taking us down.”
  • “Don’t give him the opportunity!  Stick with the herd!”
  • “We are stronger and more powerful together!”  (You can allow the participants to keep the money or you can collect it back.  It might be interesting to encourage them to pool their money in order to increase its buying ‘power.’  Maybe they could buy something with it that would benefit everyone.)

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, forgiveness, Relationships, Satan's tactics, teambuilding, unity

Cultural Continuums (GAME)


Time
40-60 minutes (or more, depending upon how many cultural dimensions you choose to use)

Audience

Teens or adults who interact with people of different cultures or are planning to do so

Description

This game illustrates the differences between the many different cultures of the world.  It borrows from the research of Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner and the writings of Craig Storti.  Facilitators can benefit from having some familiarity with the different cultural dimensions before conducting the game.

The materials contain many more cultural dimensions than you probably want to cover in one game.  You can pick out the ones that are most relevant to your group, or you might want to run this game at different times during a multi-day meeting.

The “Cultural Continuums – Answers” file focuses largely on Europe and Asia, because that was the context for the group for which this game was developed.  However, additional flags are provided in the “Cultural Continuums – Flags” file, and the full statistics for each continuum are in the Notes section of the PowerPoint slide.  You can change the flags with this information.

Scriptures

  • Genesis 11:1-9

Materials

  • Flag cards – one set per team (These are available in the file “Cultural Continuums – Flags” on the Lessons and Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com.)
  • Answer key (This can be found in the file “Cultural Continuums – Answers” on the Lessons and Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com.)
  • Rolls of masking tape (one per team)
  • Projector
  • Screen
  • Computer
  • Flipchart
  • Markers
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print out copies of the flag cards (one copy per team)
  • Review the facilitator notes on the Notes section under each slide in the “Cultural Continuums – Answers.”
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “You may remember the story of the Tower of Babel.”  (Ask a volunteer to read it out loud from Genesis 11:1-9.)
  • “This Scripture is the birthplace of cultural diversity.”
  • “Never again would mankind all speak the same language or observe the same cultural practices – at least not until Christ returns, and probably not even then will we give up the cultural practices that make us unique.”
  • “So, let’s see how different we’ve become.”
  • “We are going to play a game to highlight the many differences among the various cultures of the world.”
  • “I will briefly describe a continuum of a cultural dimension. (A continuum is something that goes from one extreme on one end to the other extreme on the other end.)”
  • “After I’ve described it, you will take a group of flags (that I’m about to hand you) and stick them to the wall in the order that you think best represents where you think that country falls on the continuum.”  (Hand out sets of flag pictures and tape to each group.)
  • “Then, I will show you the ‘right answers’ on the screen at the front of the room.”
  • “Just so that you know, the ‘right answers’ are based on the work of some cultural experts who have been studying different cultures for many years.”
  • “You may not always agree with their findings, and that’s okay.  We can talk about it during the debrief.”
  • “Sometimes, countries had the same ranking or rating in their studies.  In this case, the countries will be shown in the same place on the continuum I show you at the front of the room.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions about how the game will work?”  (Answer questions.)
  • “Okay, let’s play.”  (Do as many cultural dimensions as you like.  After each one, you might want to ask the group members to explain why they ordered the flags in the way that they did.  There will always be at least one country that wasn’t part of the study.  You might want to focus on these and ask each group how they made their decision in regard to these countries.  When you are done with all the dimensions, have the groups discuss the following questions.  (You may want to post them on a flipchart.)  Allow 15-20 minutes for discussion, and then debrief as a large group.)

Debrief Questions

  1. What do you think about the different cultural dimensions, and where the countries landed on the continuums?
  2. What was surprising to you?
  3. Is there anything that you disagreed with?  Why?
  4. What do these differences mean for how we work with people from different cultures?
  5. What will you personally do differently as a result of what you have learned?

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