Tag Archives: wisdom

God’s Dream


Time

45-60 minutes

Description

This is game that helps participants understand that God’s dream for their lives has to be discovered and that it usually requires the help of others to complete.  It was developed for adults but can be modified for use with children (see ideas at the end of the lesson).

 

Materials

  • Large puzzles with at least 50 pieces each (The puzzles can be different, but they should be similar in size and shape.)
  • Masking tape
  • Ziplock bags (optional)
  • Signs that say, “MENTOR.” (One per table group.)
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)
  • Flipchart, whiteboard (and markers) or LCD projector and screen

 

Preparation

·      Teams should be arranged at tables with 6-8 participants each.

·      Open each puzzle and remove 10-12 pieces.

·      Mix these up.

·      Carefully tape four pieces (each) to the bottom of different chairs around the room.  (You might want to put them in a Ziplock bag to protect the pieces.)  Make sure that they cannot be seen.  Each of these chairs should have pieces from several different puzzles taped underneath.

·      Label the back of these chairs, “MENTOR” (just one per table – if you have more pieces than will fit under the “MENTOR” chairs, tape them under other chairs, but don’t label those chairs, “MENTOR.”)

·      Take any remaining pieces (that you pulled from the puzzles) and mix them in with other puzzles around the room.

·      Put the rest of the puzzle pieces in a bag or box (but not a box with the picture on it) in the center of each table.

·      Keep the pictures of the completed puzzle in the teaching area at the front of the room.

·      Flipchart the Debrief Questions at the end of this lesson (but keep them hidden until the activity is done).

·      Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

·      “We’re going to put some puzzles together.”

·      “These puzzles represent God’s dream for your life.”

·      “At your tables, one of the chairs says, “MENTOR,” on the back.  Those of you sitting in those seats are now the “Mentors” for your teams.”

·      “Can I see the “Mentors” outside the room for a minute?”  (Go outside room with “Mentors” and tell them about the hidden pieces under their chairs.  Ask them not to reveal this secret unless someone (from any table) specifically asks them about the missing pieces.  If they are asked any other question, they can answer it as long as it doesn’t reveal that there are hidden pieces under their chairs.  They are not to participate in the puzzle building unless asked to do so.  Also, let the “Mentors” know that you have the pictures of the completed puzzles at the teaching area in the front.  If anyone asks about them, the “Mentors” can come get the pictures and take them back to their tables.  Allow the “Mentors” to return to their groups.)

·      “Okay, you can start putting your puzzles together.  The first team to finish wins!”  (Allow at least 30 minutes for puzzle building.  If a team finishes, observe whether or not they try to help other teams.  If no one asks the “Mentors” about the missing pieces after 20 minutes, you can drop some hints until they catch on.  When everyone is done, award prizes (optional) and ask the teams to work through the debrief questions on the flipchart.  Allow 15 minutes.  Then do a large group debrief on what lessons they will take away from the activity.)

 

Debrief Questions

o   “What helped or hindered your team’s success?”

o   “What might you do differently if you had it to do over again?”

o   “Were the mentors important in completing the puzzle?  Why or why not?”

o   “If the puzzles represent God’s dream for your life, what do the pieces under the chairs represent?”

§  “How could this be a metaphor for the way God reveals His will?”

§  “What do the pieces at other tables represent?”

§  “What do the pieces that didn’t fit into your puzzle represent?”

o   “Did anyone try to determine if someone at the table was actually skilled at putting puzzles together?” 

§  “Why or why not?”

§  “Does this say anything about the way we approach the subject of mentors?  Explain.”

o   “How important are other people in solving our problems?”

o   “What lessons can you take away from this activity?”

 

Possible Modifications for Children

·      When working with children, consider the following changes to make it more relevant for them:

o   Instead of having “MENTORS,” you might label the chairs “PARENTS,” “TEACHERS,” or “CHRISTIAN FRIENDS.”

o   Rather than do a debrief at table groups, you might prefer to lead the questions from the front of the room in order to keep the children focused.

o   Some other debriefing questions you might ask could be:

§  “How does God show us His plan for our lives?”

§  “Why doesn’t God just tell us His whole plan when we are young?”

§  “Why does God give some of the pieces of our puzzle to other people?”

§  “Have you ever helped someone discover a piece of their own puzzle?” 

·      “How did that feel?”

·      “How did you find out that you had a piece of their puzzle?”

o   You might have the children finish by drawing pictures of God’s dream for their lives.

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Filed under Christianity, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on

Finding God’s Path


Time

30 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the challenges involved in seeking God’s will as we do our daily walk.

Materials

  • Masking tape
  • 150 note cards
  • A marker or something to write with
  • Answer Keys for Facilitator and Volunteers (attached)
  • (Optional) A prize for the winner

Preparation

· Using the masking tape, mark off a grid with five columns and 20 rows (see Answer Keys at the end of this lesson for an illustration).

o If you have access to a tiled floor, you can just use the tiles as your grid.

· Number twenty of your note cards 1-20. (Do this twice.)

· Letter five of your note cards A to E. (Do this twice.)

· Tape these next to the outside borders of your grid. The numbers are for the rows, and the letters are for the columns. (See the Answer Keys for an illustration.)

· Place a large “X” on 25 of the remaining note cards. (Make sure that the ink doesn’t show through the paper.)

· Write the word “SIN” on 20 of the note cards. (Make sure that the ink doesn’t show through.)

· Using the “Answer Key – Facilitator’s Copy” page as a model, tape the 25 “X” note cards and the 20 “SIN” note cards face down in the appropriate spaces of the grid. (Only tape one edge, so that it is easy for kids to lift the note card and look for the “X.”)

· Tape the rest of the blank note cards face down in the empty grid spaces. Make sure that they look like the marked note cards so that kids will not be able to tell from looking at them which have an “X” and which do not.

Procedure

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

· “As we do our best to follow the Lord on the path that He has planned for us, it is often difficult to know what His will is and what next step He would have us take.”

· “One of the things that can help us is getting advice from godly people, like your parents or leaders in the church.”

· “We are going to do an activity that will help us understand this way of seeking God’s will in our lives.”

· “This grid represents the path that God has set before you.” (Point out the grid.)

· “Each square/rectangle in the grid represents a step that you could take.”

· “There are three types of steps indicated by the note cards that are taped face down in each space:

o Some of the note cards have an “X” on them. This is God’s best path for you, where you will receive His full blessing.

o Some of the note cards are blank. This is an okay step to take, but it’s not God’s best for you. You can still experience His blessing, but it won’t be as strong.

o Some of the note cards have the word, “SIN,” written on them. This is a step that leads you to do something you shouldn’t.”

· “To help you make the right decision which step to take, you will be able to get advice each turn from one godly person.”

· “I need four volunteers to help me by being our godly people.” (Select volunteers, and share the following instructions. If you don’t have enough kids to use four volunteers, you can give a volunteer more than one Answer Key and have him/her use their best judgment when giving advice.)

· “Each of these four volunteers is a godly person in your life – someone you can go to for advice about what the next step in your walk should be.”

· “Before you take a step, you can pick one (only one) and ask for his/her advice.”

· “Each of them will have an Answer Key for the grid.” (Hand out a different Answer Key to each volunteer, and ask them not to let anyone see it – not even the other volunteers.)

· “Their Answer Keys are all different. No one has all the correct answers, so who you choose to get godly advice from will be important.”

· “When you ask one of the volunteers for their advice, they will tell you what space they think you should step to using the column letter plus the row number. For example, ‘Space A-3.’”

· “If they don’t have any information for you on their sheet, they will simply say, ‘I don’t know,’ and you will have to guess which space to step onto.”

· “Once you touch a space in the grid, your choice is final.”

· “You should bend down and flip up the note card so that you can see what is on the other side.”

o “If you step on a space with an “X” note card, you get to go again.”

o “If you step on a space with a blank note card, you get to hold your place, but you cannot go again until everyone else has had a try.”

o “If you step on a space with a “SIN” note card, you lose your turn and have to start over after everyone else has had a try.”

· “Leave the note card flipped over so that others will benefit from your experience.”

· “The first person to step on the “X” space on Row 20 wins! (Blank spaces will not count as a win.)”

· “What questions do you have?” (Answer any questions. Then start the activity.)


Debrief Questions

Once the activity is complete, award a prize for the winner if you would like. Then, gather the kids and debrief with the following questions before ending the lesson.

o “How was this activity like trying to figure out God’s will for your life?”

o “How did you feel when you asked a godly person (volunteer) for advice, and he/she couldn’t give you any?”

§ “How is this like real life?”

o “How did you feel when you asked a godly person (volunteer) for advice, and he/she gave you the wrong answer?”

§ “How is this like real life?”

o “How did wrong answers make you feel about asking that person for advice the next time around?”

o “How do you know when to trust people’s advice and when not to?”

o “Why do some people have good advice to share about some things but not about others?”

o “What difference would it have made if you had been able to ask more than one godly person for advice before you took a step?”

o “What lessons can you take away from this activity?”


Answer Key – Facilitator’s Copy

A

B

C

D

E

1

Sin

X

Sin

1

2

X

Sin

2

3

Sin

X

Sin

3

4

X

Sin

4

5

X

X

X

5

6

X

6

7

Sin

Sin

X

7

8

X

X

Sin

8

9

X

9

10

X

Sin

Sin

10

11

X

X

X

Sin

11

12

X

12

13

Sin

X

Sin

13

14

X

14

15

Sin

X

15

16

X

16

17

X

Sin

17

18

X

Sin

18

19

X

19

20

Sin

Sin

X

Sin

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #1

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

X

4

5

5

6

6

7

7

8

8

9

9

10

10

11

X

X

11

12

12

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X

13

14

X

14

15

X

15

16

16

17

17

18

18

19

19

20

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #2

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

X

4

5

X

X

X

5

6

X

6

7

X

7

8

8

9

9

10

10

11

11

12

X

12

13

X

13

14

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15

X

15

16

16

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17

18

18

19

19

20

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #3

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

X

4

5

X

5

6

X

6

7

X

7

8

X

8

9

X

9

10

X

10

11

X

11

12

12

13

X

13

14

X

14

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X

16

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X

17

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X

18

19

X

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20

X

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Volunteer #4

A

B

C

D

E

1

X

1

2

X

2

3

X

3

4

4

5

5

6

6

7

7

8

8

9

9

10

10

11

X

11

12

X

12

13

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14

14

15

15

16

X

16

17

17

18

X

18

19

19

20

20

A

B

C

D

E


Answer Key – Statistics

This page is just for the facilitator’s information and may be useful during the debrief. It shows how many of the “godly advisors” had correct and incorrect answers for each space.

A

B

C

D

E

1

4

1

2

4

2

3

4

3

4

2

1

4

5

1

2

1

5

6

1

1

6

7

2

7

8

0

1

8

9

0

1

9

10

0

1

10

11

1

1

2

11

12

2

12

13

3

13

14

1

1

14

15

2

15

16

2

16

17

1

17

18

2

18

19

1

19

20

1

20

A

B

C

D

E

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Filed under Christianity, Daily walk, God's Will, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Trust

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