Tag Archives: water

Filled with the Spirit (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that you need the Holy Spirit to minister effectively to others. If you don’t spend time with God each day to get filled with His Spirit, you will eventually run dry and have nothing left to offer anyone else.

 

Audience

  • Anyone in Christian ministry

 

Scriptures

You can choose from the following Scriptures depending on the teaching points that you would like to make about the lesson.

  • Judges 16 (Samson’s repeated sins and loss of the Spirit)
  • John 7:37-39 (let anyone thirsty come to me…rivers of living water will flow from him)
  • Rom 8:5-11 (life through the Spirit)
  • Ephesians 5:18-20 (be filled with the Spirit)

 

Materials

  • Four large styrofoam cups
  • Gallon of water
  • Pencil
  • Basin to catch the water
  • Tape
  • Dry cloth
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Set the basin on a table or other raised service where everyone can see it.
  • Gather the other materials on the table to have them ready.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “This cup represents you.” (Show one of the cups.)
  • “This water represents Living Water which represents the Holy Spirit.” (Show container of water.)
  • “To do effective ministry for God, you need to be filled with His Spirit.”  (Fill cup with water.)
  • It would be nice if we could just get filled with His Spirit once and stay full all our lives. “
  • “Then we would go through life producing the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22) every day.”
  • “But it doesn’t work that way, because God’s Spirit leaks in our lives.”
  • “When we sin, His Spirit leaks.” (Poke a hole in the side of the cup with the pencil, and let the water drain into the basin.)
  • The more we sin, the more His Spirit leaks.” (Poke more holes in the side of the cup.)
  • “So we need to go back to the Lord every day to patch up our holes through confession, repentance and obedience.” (Use the cloth to dry the outside of the cup and the tape to cover over the holes.)
  • “…and to get a fresh filling of His Spirit.” (Pour more water into the cup.)
  • But of course, our flesh battles against His Spirit in us (poke new holes in the cup), so when we sin, we need to return to God, confess, repent and obey so that He can fill us again.” (Repeat the process. This time, let the water overflow the cup, call up a few volunteers and have them use the extra cups to catch as much of the overflow as possible.)
  • “As long as we keep coming to the Lord to be filled each day, He will bless us with more of His Spirit than we need, and the overflow will bless those around us.” (Ask your volunteers if they feel blessed.  After a moment, stop pouring and poke a new hole in the bottom of the cup.)
  • But if we stop coming to Him daily, our cup will eventually run dry, and we will have nothing worthy to share with others.”
  • “We’ll be just like this cup – useless for our purpose.”
  • “Because it’s never the container that blesses people; it’s the Living Water inside!” (Thank and dismiss your volunteers.)

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Filed under Burnout, Confession, Holy Spirit, Ministry, Obedience, Repentance

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

On Jesus’ Team – A Baptism Lesson


Time

15-20 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand what it means to be on Jesus’ team and why they should get baptized.

Materials

· Sports jersey

· Pitcher of water

· Optional – large bin or bucket for volunteer to stand in when getting wet

· Towel

Preparation

· Find a space where it’s okay to get things wet, or set up a bucket or bin to catch the water. Pouring water on the volunteer is optional, but the kids will really enjoy it, so I recommend it.

· Place the pitcher of water, towel and jersey nearby.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

· Once you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, God has something He wants you to do.”

· “He wants you to tell others that you’re on His team now.” (Ask for volunteer who doesn’t mind getting wet to come up.  If you have a bucket or bin set up, have him/her stand inside it.)

· “Let me explain it this way. If you joined a sports team, you would wear their jersey, right?” (Put jersey on volunteer.)

· “You wouldn’t wear the other team’s jersey, would you?”

· “No, you would wear your team’s jersey and be proud to do it, right?”

· “And your jersey would tell everyone whose team you were on.”

· “That’s what baptism is. It’s putting on God’s jersey.”

· “When you get baptized, you are letting everyone know that you’re on God’s team.” (Optional – pour water over volunteer’s head for comedic effect.)

· “Now, the truth is, when I put on this jersey, it didn’t really make me a member of the (name sports team represented by jersey), did it?”

· “I can’t join the team just by wearing their clothes, can I?”

· “Right. I can’t. And just like that, getting baptized doesn’t make you a member of God’s team. If you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can’t be on the team, even if you take a bath every day in the baptismal.” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “But what if I really was a (name sports team represented by jersey), but I never wore the jersey? Could I be on the team without wearing the jersey?” (Take jersey off volunteer.)

· “Sure I could. If the coach says I’m on the team, I’m on the team. If I don’t wear the team’s jersey, the coach will probably get frustrated with me, but he’s not going to kick me off the team for that.”

· “You see, you don’t have to get baptized to be on God’s team. As long as you call on Jesus to be your Savior, He lets you on the team. You don’t ever have to do anything else.”

· “But you should want to. If you’re proud of being on Jesus’ team, you should wear His jersey. If you’re thankful that He let you be on the team, you should wear His jersey.” (Put jersey back on volunteer.)

· “Getting baptized tells everyone, “I’m proud to be on Jesus’ team!” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “You see, Jesus wants to be more than just your Savior. He wants to be your Lord, too!”

· “But for Jesus to be your Lord, you have to do what He says to do, and He says that the first thing He wants you to do after you ask Him to be your Savior is to get baptized.” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “That tells the world that Jesus is both your Savior and your Lord!”

· “But it does even more than that. This is so cool!”

· “I’m a leader, and this person is my follower.” (Indicate your volunteer.)

· “A follower is someone who does what he sees his leader doing, so (speaking to your volunteer) I want you to do exactly what you see me doing.” (Walk around the room in a funny way with exaggerated movements. The funnier the better. Make sure your volunteer mimics what he sees you doing.)

· “Now, if you saw the two of us walking down the street like this, would it be hard to tell that we were together?”

· “Could you tell that he was my follower?”

· “Not hard, right, because he’s doing exactly what he sees me doing.” (Thank and dismiss the volunteer. Have towel ready for him/her to dry off.)

· “That’s what baptism is. You are telling everyone that you are on Jesus’ team by doing exactly what you see Him doing.”

· “What do I mean by that?” (Take responses if anyone thinks they know.)

· “How many of you remember that the first thing Jesus did when He started His ministry was to get baptized by John the Baptizer?” (Look for a show of hands.)

· “Right! He was setting the example. We should do what we see Jesus doing in the Bible.”

· “Also, remember how Jesus paid for our sins?” (He died on the cross.)

· “What happened next?” (He was buried in the ground for three days.)

· “Then what happened? (He rose from the dead on the third day.)

· “That’s great news! If Jesus had died and stayed dead, He sure wouldn’t have been God. And if He’s not God, we shouldn’t follow Him.”

· “But He did rise again! He died and then defeated death by bringing Himself back to life! Amazing! Incredible!”

· “So, watch this! Jesus died, was buried and rose again.” (Use the following motions while you are sharing this. Place one arm in front of you parallel to the floor. Put the elbow of your other arm on the hand of this arm so that they make a right angle. As you say that Jesus was buried, lower your top arm like you are closing a lid. Then, when you say Jesus rose again, lift your forearm back to it’s original position.)

· “Let’s do it together.” (Have kids do arm motions.) “Jesus died, was buried and rose again. Good!”

· “Now, when we get baptized, we are doing what we saw our leader doing.”

· “We go down into the water and come back out again.” (Do arm motions.)

· “Baptism is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection (which means to rise again).”

· “So when you get baptized in front of the church, you are saying, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team! I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”

· “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team!’”

· “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”

· “If you’ve already told Jesus you want to be on His team, you should talk to your parents about getting baptized. If they think the time is right, they can arrange it with the church.”

· “And if you haven’t told Jesus you want to be on His team, talk to your parents about that, too!”

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Filed under Baptism, Christianity, Jesus, John the Baptist, Obedience, Object Lesson

Peter – The Rock


Time

20 minutes (for the lesson – if you do the part about hardening the goo, you will need to bring the “Peter rocks” back to the kids during the next lesson)

Description

This object lesson teaches about Peter both before and after Pentecost. It focuses on his transformation into “the rock.” It’s very tactile and can be quite a bit messy without good supervision, but the kids will really enjoy getting to work with the cornstarch and water mixture.

Materials

  • NOTE: When I originally did this lesson, I found some Styrofoam containers at a restaurant supply store that worked perfectly. They are the type that fast food chains sometimes put hamburgers into and have a top and bottom that fold together to close. Instead of the bowls and measuring cups listed below, you can use these containers to hold the water and the cornstarch (one on each side of the container when it is opened. This way, your measurements are done before the kids arrive, and you don’t need so many measuring cups.)
  • Corn starch (about 4 oz per child – but have extra at the front for children to use to thicken the consistency)
  • Water (about ½ cup – but have extra at the front for children to use to weaken the consistency)
  • Cookie sheets or wax paper for the children to work on
  • Small bowls for each of the children
  • Spoons for stirring the mixture (optional – the children could use their hands)
  • ½ cup measuring cups (one for every two or three children)
  • Drop cloth to go under all the work areas
  • Molds that represent Peter – some ideas are a rock or the letters “P-E-T-E-R.” You can also use a muffin tin.
  • Paper towels and/or a nearby sink for clean up
  • Masking tape and a marker so that you can label the “rocks” with the children’s names while they dry
  • Paints and brushes or markers for decorating the “rocks” after they have hardened
  • (Optional) Ziplock bags for each child if you prefer to let them take their goo home with them.

Preparation

· Lay out the drop cloth under all the areas where the children will be working.

· Divide up the supplies so that each child has the amounts described above.

· Use the masking tape and marker to label the molds or muffin tin spaces so that you’ll know later whose rock is whose.

· Practice the script.


Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do a fun experiment today that will teach us about Peter and God.”
  • “In front of you, you have some things from a kitchen.” (Hold each up as you describe it.)
  • “You’ve got a cookie sheet (or wax paper), and that’s to keep from making a mess that will be hard to clean up.”
  • “You have a bowl, a spoon, some water, a measuring cup and some powder.”
  • “The powder is called cornstarch.”
  • “We’re going to mix the water and the cornstarch together to make a paste that’s like ‘Peter,’ and we have to do it in the right amounts, so do exactly what I do, okay.”
  • “Pour the cornstarch into the bowl.”
  • “Then, pour in about ½ cup of water.”
  • “Now, use the spoon (or your hands) to mix the cornstarch and the water together.”
  • “When it’s good and mixed, it should ooze like honey. If yours doesn’t, let me know, and I’ll bring you some extra ingredients to help you get it there.” (Add water to soften the paste; add cornstarch to thicken it.)
  • “Now, pour it from your bowl onto the cookie sheet.”
  • “Kind of gooey, right? It just oozes.”
  • “That’s like Simon-Peter before he spent so much time with Jesus.”
  • “You see, Simon-Peter was first called just ‘Simon,’ which means ‘listens and obeys.’”
  • “But Simon wasn’t very good at either of those things.”
  • “When Jesus first met him, He gave Simon the name ‘Peter,’ which means ‘rock.’”
  • “But Peter wasn’t much of a rock, either.”
  • “Jesus gave him the new name, because He wanted Peter to start acting more like a rock.”
  • “A rock is solid. If it’s a big rock, you can’t push it around. It takes a stand and doesn’t move.”
  • “But Peter wasn’t anything like a rock.”
  • “He would take a stand for something, but when it got difficult, he would give up or run away.”
  • “Or maybe we should say, he would ‘ooze’ away like this goo.”
  • “But then one day that we’ve come to call ‘Pentecost,’ Peter was with all the other Apostles waiting in Jerusalem because Jesus had told them to wait there.” (The story is found in Acts 2.)
  • “Jerusalem was full of Jews and people who converted to Judaism from all over the world.”
  • “There were Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Judeans, Capadocians, Pontusians, Asians, Phrygians, Pamphylians, Egyptians, Romans, Cretans and Arabs, and they all spoke different languages.”
  • “Suddenly, the Apostles all heard a sound like a rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were waiting.”
  • “They looked at each other and saw little tongues of fire on everyone, but it wasn’t the kind of fire that burns.”
  • “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, who is the third Person of God, and they began to speak in languages that they didn’t even know.”
  • “They went outside, and people start to look at them in amazement.”
  • “The people could tell that these men were just normal men who lived nearby, so they couldn’t understand how they could speak so many different languages.”
  • “In fact, they spoke all the languages of the people who had come to visit Jerusalem.”
  • “And that’s when it happened! Peter became a rock right there in front of everyone!”
  • “He jumped up where everyone could see him and began to preach to everyone about Jesus.”
  • “He told them to stop sinning and to give their hearts to Jesus.”
  • “He preached so powerfully that 3,000 people became Christians that day!”
  • “And from that day on, Peter was a rock.”
  • “He was no longer afraid of what other people thought about him, and he didn’t run away from anyone. He stood firm!”
  • “I told you that this goo is like Peter. Well it’s like him both before and after he became the rock.”
  • “Try to roll your goo between your hands, and see what happens.”
  • “It hardens up, doesn’t it?”
  • “But let it drip between your fingers, and it turns back into a liquid.”
  • “You see, Peter became the “rock” only when he was in God’s hand.”
  • “When he wasn’t resting in God’s powerful hand, Peter was more like the goo, but when he listened to God and obeyed Him, Peter became the rock!” (Let kids play with the goo for some time, and then say the following.)
  • “Okay, now that we’ve seen what Peter is like, we’re going to harden him up into the “rock” for good just like what happened at Pentecost.”
  • “Pour your Peter goo into these molds (or muffin tins).” (Have each child pour their goo into the mold or tin labeled with his or her name.)
  • “Do you remember what the Apostles saw on each other after they heard the rushing wind?” (Flames of fire)
  • “Right! Well, I’m going to add some fire to our Peter goo, and next time we meet, it will be hardened into a rock.”
  • “You know, what’s true for Peter is true for us, too.”
  • “When we are in God’s hand (meaning that we are trusting God and not just ourselves), we are like a rock. We will have the courage to stand our ground for God.”
  • “But when we try to do things our own way, we leave God’s hand and make a mess.”
  • “So, whenever you are going through a tough time, and you’re feeling gooey, remember to pray to God and ask Him to cover you with His hand.”

Take the goo in the molds/tins and either bake it or put it in the sun until hardened. When you meet with the children again, give them their “Peter Rocks,” and let them decorate them with paint or markers. Ask them questions about the lesson from the previous meeting, and see if they can answer them.

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Filed under Character, Christianity, Daily walk, God's Will, Hands-on, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, Peter, Science experiment, Simon-Peter, Transformation

Pepper Chaser


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand how to deal with bad thoughts, fear and worry. It uses a simple water science trick that changes the surface tension of water in order to produce an impressive result. When you add soap to water, it displaces some of the water molecules (especially those on the surface). The water molecules on the outside of the bowl will pull the pepper away from the soap.

Materials

· Pepper (about a handful, but it’s better if it’s still in the container)

· Salt (just enough to shake some out once or twice)

· Dish soap (at least a few drops in the bottle)

· Clear bowl

· Water (enough to fill the bowl about ¾ full)

· Mirror

· Display table

Preparation

· Set up the bowl of water on the display table at the front of the teaching area.

· Set up the mirror behind the bowl so that it will show what is happening on top of the water to the kids in the audience. (You can prop it against a wall or between a few stacks of books. If you need to, get a volunteer to hold it during the demonstration.)

· Have the pepper, salt and dish soap ready on the table.

Procedure

  • “We are going to do a demonstration today, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Ask for a volunteer to come up to the front.)
  • “Let’s say that this bowl of water represents your mind.”
  • “And let’s say that this pepper represents bad thoughts, worry and fear.” (Hand pepper to volunteer.)
  • “Sometimes, you can’t stop thinking about bad stuff – like how much you are angry at your brother or sister.” (Have volunteer shake pepper into bowl).
  • “You try to think about something else, but those bad thoughts just keep coming back.” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
  • “Or you might be worried about something, and you just keep thinking about it and thinking about it.” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
  • “Or maybe you are afraid of something terrible.”
  • “You can’t even get to sleep at night, because it’s so awful and scary!” (Have volunteer shake pepper.)
  • “Before long, your mind is full of all these bad thoughts, worry and fear, and you can’t relax or get calm.”
  • “I’ve had that happen to me, and I’ve tried to focus on other things…” (Hand volunteer the salt and have him/her pour some in.)
  • “…but it didn’t make the bad thoughts go away.”
  • “You know what I’ve learned? There is one thing that always makes those bad thoughts, worry and fear go away. Anyone know what it is?” (Listen for responses. Share correct response if they don’t offer it.)
  • “Prayer! Prayer always takes care of it.”
  • “It’s like this soap.” (Hand volunteer the dish soap.)
  • “It washes my mind clean of those bad thoughts.”
  • “Watch what one little prayer can do to scary thoughts and bad thoughts.” (Have volunteer drop a single drop in – pepper will scatter.)
  • “Isn’t that the coolest!”
  • “So, remember – anytime your mind starts to fill up with bad thoughts, worry and fear, chase it away with a prayer.”
  • “God will wash your mind clean for you.” (Thank and dismiss volunteer.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, Hands-on, Object Lesson, prayer, Science experiment, Worry

Mind Pollution


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how important it is to protect our mind from negative influences. It uses a simple visual aid of water and food coloring.

Materials

  • Display table
  • Red, green or blue food coloring
  • Large, clear (see-through) container
  • Two or three pitchers
  • Enough water to fill each of the pitchers and half the large container
  • (Optional) Bottle of bleach

Preparation

· Test the experiment to make sure you know how it works. (Note: if you use too much food coloring, it will be difficult to dilute. A drop at a time is best.)

· Set up the large, clear container (half-full with water) on a display table.

· Have the pitchers and food coloring nearby.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Your mind is an incredible creation of God.”

· “It has over 100 billion neurons that send electrical pulses back and forth to each other. These are your thoughts, and you are capable of having more thoughts than the number of known atoms in the entire universe!” (Source: Tony Buzan, Head Strong 2001)

· “Your brain is incredible!”

· “And did you know, that your brain is approximately 75% water?”

· “That’s why I’m going to use this container of water to represent your brain in this lesson.”

· “We will say that this container represents your precious, incredible brain.”

· “The water inside it represents your thoughts.”

· “I have some pitchers of clean water here, and they are going to represent good things that you can put into your brain.”

· “Can anyone help me think of some good things that you can put into your brain?” (Take responses. If the kids need help, try to steer them toward things like Scripture, positive thoughts, encouragement/praise, positive music, learning, worship, thinking about God…)

· “Great, that’s exactly what I’m talking about!”

· “I also have some food coloring up here, and it represents some bad things you can put into your brain.”

· “Who can help me think of some bad things that we could put into our brains?” (Take responses. If the kids need help, try to steer them toward things like profanity, gossip, lies, music with bad lyrics, the Lord’s name used in vain, mean thoughts, self-defeating or limiting talk, hurtful talk, movies or TV with bad scenes, bad pictures, jokes with inappropriate themes…)

· “Exactly! We’ve got to watch out for that kind of stuff!”

· “For this demonstration, I’m going to need a volunteer. Who would like to come help me?” (Select volunteer.)

· “Okay, notice how clear this water is. It’s like our minds the way that God first created them – pure and beautiful.”

· “Let’s say that we are really careful, and we only allow good things into our brain.” (Have volunteer pour some water into container from one of the pitchers.)

· “See what happened? We got more brain!”

· “Okay, it doesn’t work exactly like that, but let’s say that this is like gaining wisdom.”

· “When we add good things, like Scripture, positive thoughts, encouragement/praise… we grow in wisdom and knowledge, and our mind stays clear and clean.”

· “But what if we aren’t so careful, and we allow in some jokes that are hurtful to other people.” (Have volunteer squirt a drop of food coloring into the water in the container. Then pause to allow the children to see the effect. Just one drop of food coloring will spread and spread throughout the water until it has tinted the whole thing.)

· “Wow! Did you see that? Just that one little drop of bad stuff changed the whole color of the water.”

· “And what if we still aren’t so careful, and we allow in some inappropriate pictures (have volunteer add drop) …and profanity (add drop) ….and music with negative lyrics (add drop) …and some negative self-talk about what a loser we are or how stupid we are at math (add drop).”

· “Look what happens then. Our minds are getting darker and darker.”

· “What should we do about that?” (Listen to responses. When someone suggests to add more good things, continue.)

· “Right! Exactly! We need to add more good stuff – more Scripture and positive thoughts and godly advice from our parents…Romans 12:2 says that we should stop doing what the rest of the world does and start being transformed by renewing our minds. That’s the same thing as adding in the good stuff.” (Have volunteer pour in more water.)

· “But do you see the problem I’m seeing?” (Listen for responses.)

· “The water (our minds) are not going back to clear again. We are diluting the bad stuff, but it’s taking a lot more water than it did food coloring to improve our mind here.”

· “That’s the way sin works. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul warned that, ‘a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.’ (Matthew 13:33 and 1 Corinthians 5:6)

· “Yeast is an image of sin in the Bible, so Jesus and Paul are saying that a little sin will spread until it ruins everything.”

· “So, as soon as we realize the damage we are doing to our minds, we’ve got to stop adding yeast / sin.”

· “Then, we’ve got to add lots and lots of good stuff by going to church, hanging out with godly friends, listening to our parents, changing the music we listen to, changing the movies we watch, reading the Bible every day, memorizing Scripture, studying about God…” (As you are mentioning these things, have the volunteer pour more water into the container with each suggestion. Try to fill the container until it’s full – unless you plan to continue with the bleach part of the lesson.)

· “Good habits are going to be the best way to dilute the bad stuff that you already have in your minds.”

· “And it’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to work at it every day.”

· “And when you allow bad stuff in, it’s going to take much longer to dilute it than it did to let it in there.”

· “It’s like when I eat too much food. It might take me an hour of exercise to burn the amount of calories I ate even though it only took me five minutes to eat it.”

· “Because our minds are so awesome, I don’t believe the bad stuff ever goes away.”

· “I think our brains have the ability to hold onto everything we’ve ever put in there (even though sometimes it’s hard to remember where you left your stuff).”

· “If you put lots of bad stuff in your mind, that’s the bad news. The good news is, that your mind will never be too full of good stuff, so you can keep on adding it in!” (Thank your volunteer, and allow him/her to return to his/her seat.)

Optional Section – Adding Bleach

· “Now, there is one more thing that you can do that we haven’t talked about.”

· “You can give all that bad stuff you put into your mind to God in prayer.”

· “This bleach represents our prayers to God. (By the way, kids, bleach is a powerful and dangerous chemical. You should never handle it unless you have an adult there with you.)”

· “I don’t think the bad stuff we’ve put in our minds ever goes away, but we can turn it over to God in prayer, and He will use it for good.” (Pour bleach into the tinted water. It might take quite a bit of bleach (and you may need to stir it), but it will eventually take the tint out of the water. The result will be a yellowish liquid – not perfect, but no longer tinted with the original colors.)

· “Romans 8:28 tells us that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”

· “That means that He will even take the bad stuff we’ve done or let into our brains and use it for His glory and His Kingdom.” (Give a personal example.)

· “But, hey! That’s not an excuse to put the bad stuff in there! Your best strategy is to keep the bad stuff out in the first place!”

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Filed under Brain, Christianity, Mind, Object Lesson, Scripture memory, spiritual disciplines

God Loves Variety


Time

20-25 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how God created us all differently. It uses a little bit of water science to illustrate the different music God put in each of us.

Materials

  • Ten identical glasses or jars
  • Red, blue, and yellow food coloring (optional)
  • Fork, spoon or something else you can tap the glasses with to get a musical note
  • Water for the jars
  • Scotch tape or masking tape
  • Sharp marker
  • Note card
  • Table for the display

Preparation

· Fill eight glasses/jars each with a different amount of water, and set them up on a table at the front of the teaching area. Space them evenly apart with enough room to tap their sides in-between them.

· Fill the last two glasses with the exact same amount of water, and set them aside for later use in the lesson. Do not color the water in these two.

· Test the sound of each jar by lightly tapping it on the side or rim with the fork, spoon or other implement. Each glass/jar should make a distinct sound like the different notes on a scale.

· Use the food coloring to make the water in each jar a different color. You can arrange them in the colors of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – but you will need one extra shade of color for the eighth glass. (Optional)

· Number the glasses/jars by putting a piece a tape on each one and writing the number on the tape. The fullest glass/jar is #1, and the least full glass/jar is #8. The number goes on the teaching side of the glasses so that the child will be able to see it to play the music.

· On the note card, write the sequence of numbers for playing the songs (see final page of this document).

· Practice the script and using the glasses/jars to get just the right notes.

Procedure

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

  • “For this activity, I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Take volunteer from the group.)
  • (To volunteer…) “Look at the table, and tell me what you see.” (Listen to response, and comment.)
  • “What do you notice is different about all these glasses/jars?” (Listen to response, and comment.)
  • “So, they have differently colored water in different amounts, right?”
  • “I think they may have another difference, too. Take this fork (or spoon, or whatever), and lightly tap the side of a few of the glasses/jars.” (Allow child to tap two or three glasses/jars.)
  • “Did you hear that? They made different sounds!”
  • “Does anyone know why that happens?” (Listen for responses, and comment. You may need to offer a fuller explanation…)
  • “Tapping the glasses/jars makes them vibrate, and the vibration produces a sound. The water slows down the vibrations, so the more water, the slower the vibrations will be. A slow vibration gives us a low note, and a fast vibration gives us a high note.” (If you are using jars with a small opening, you can also demonstrate that if you blow across the top of them, they will produce sounds, as well. However, the effect will reverse. The jars with the least amount of water will give you the lowest notes, and the jars with the most water will give you the highest notes. That’s because you are vibrating the air this time and not water or the jars.)
  • “Let’s see if we can play a song with them.” (Lay out the notecard for the song(s) you selected in front of the child, and help him or her to play the song(s).)
  • “That’s fantastic! Can we get a round of applause for our virtuoso musician?” (Lead applause.)
  • “Now, what do you think would happen if al the glasses/jars had the same amount of water in them?” (Take responses from group. Then bring out the two extra glasses/jars that have the same amount of water in them.)
  • “I think you’re right – they would all make just one note. Let’s test it.” (Have volunteer test the theory by tapping on the two new glasses/jars.)
  • “How fun is that? Could you play any songs if all the glasses/jars played the same notes?” (Take responses.)
  • “Nope, you couldn’t play any songs. Wouldn’t it be boring if all your music only had one note?” (Imitate what this would sound like by pretending to sing a song with only one note in it.)
  • “Isn’t it much better to have multiple notes to play?”
  • “Well, I think that is how God feels, too, and that’s why he made all of us so different from each other.”
  • “All of us are like different musical notes: we sound differently, we act differently, we look differently from one another, we like different things, we worship God differently, we pray differently, we have different talents and abilities…the list goes on forever!”
  • “And you know what? It’s OKAY! In fact, it’s glorious! It’s God’s plan!”
  • “One of the things I know about God is that He loves variety. I know that because of how different all of us are and how different all the plants and tress are and how different all the animals are…”
  • “God loves variety. He made you different from everyone else, and He enjoys you that way.”
  • “One of the traps we get into is wishing we were like someone else. ‘I wish I were handsome like him or pretty like her or rich like them or popular like those people…’”
  • “And then we look at ourselves and think, ‘I’m not as good as those other people.’”
  • “But let me tell you, that’s nonsense. The things that are different about you give God glory, because they show how creative He is.”
  • “So, even the stuff you may not like about yourself could be part of God’s purpose and plan in your life. It could just be His creativity at work.”
  • “Instead of not liking that part of you, you should ask God to help you see it the way He sees it. Then one day you will recognize how cool a thing it is!”
  • “You uniqueness is like your own special musical note that no one else can play.”
  • “So, anyone want to hear another song?” (Allow volunteer to play one to two more songs and then return to his/her seat.)


Notes for Songs

Mary Had a Little Lamb

321 2333 222 355

321 2333 322 321

Jingle Bells


333 333 35123

444 4433 332232 5

333 333 35123

444 4433 355 321

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

11 55 66 5 44 33 22 1

55 44 33 2 55 44 33 2

11 55 66 5 44 33 22 1

This Old Man

535 535 6543234

345 111 12345

522 4321

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Filed under Christianity, diversity, Hands-on, individuality, Object Lesson, self-image