Going Deeper

Taking Aim – Variation

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Original Idea:
Preparation: On a dart board put up a picture of Jesus. Then cover the entire dart board with white paper. Have the youth draw pictures of people that they dislike or someone that made them angry. After tacking up their picture let each kids throw darts at their drawing. Some kids will throw their darts with a lot of force so be sure to have a safe zone.

When each kid has had a chance to throw at their picture, start removing the white paper leaving Jesus’ picture up there. There will be holes all over Him. Remain silent and let each kid “take it all in.” Then quote Matthew 25:40 “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.” It is amazing how they react to this. They really evaluate their actions towards others.

I took this really great idea and added a little twist – after the youth have thrown all the darts. Before you read the scripture out of Matthew… pin up a fresh picture of Jesus on the dartboard and ask “Who wants to throw the darts now? You will get some good answers as to why they won’t do it. Then tell them it is too late it is already been done to Jesus then read Matt 25:40.

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Talk Show Talks

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Use a talk show format to bring a biblical story to life! Have someone act as the talk show host and choose kids to portray the various bibical characters. You can also throw in parents, neighbors, and friends. Don’t forget to have some act as the audience. This brings the story to life and allows the kids to really relate to the characters and the situation happening in the story. An Exmpale: Joseph and the coat of many colors. You can have Joseph and his parents and brothers as the guests.

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Talkin’ About Jesus

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Have you ever noticed people talk about some product they really believe in, or some movie they enjoyed, food they love, car they want or person they admire? They really talk it up sometimes, and you can hardly shut them up. But when it comes to talking about Jesus, the same people have very little to say. It is a sad situation that people can so easily praise the things of this world and have nothing enthusiastic to say about their savior! This experience is designed to help God’s children to be more able to “brag” about Jesus.

a) During the week, interview teens about their favourite rock group. Ask questions like: What makes this group so good? How do you feel about this group? What would you do to get tickets to see them in concert? What does their music do for you? etc. If possible record the interviews on tape or video. At the worship time play, or read their “praises” to the group. Explain that to praise is both telling God how good He is and letting others know how good He is.
b) Choose a short psalm of praise, or a portion of a longer one (8-10 verses). Distribute it to the group (photocopied) and do a reading in unison. Then sing a few songs of praise.
c) Now allow them to “boast in Christ” as Paul said our only boasting should be. Choose volunteers to stand and brag about how great Jesus is! (If people are reluctant, give them time to gain the courage or to think as you go into another song of praise. Try to create a spontaneous natural atmosphere. The same kind that exists when two boys are trying to claim that their favourite car is better than the others.
d) Close the worship with a challenge to praise Jesus, or to brag about him to their worldly friends.
e) A solo of praise, either written by someone in the group or chosen by someone in the group would be very fitting.

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Tarnish Of Sin

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– Tarnished silver bowl
– Napkin dipped in plain water
– Silver cleaner and cloth
– Bible (John 3:16)

The Message:
Good morning! Thanks for coming down this morning. Does anyone have one of these in their house? (Hold up silver bowl) I bet your Grandma has some of these around the house, too. This is silver and silver is very delicate. You need a lot of time and patience to take care of silver. As you can tell, I haven’t taken very good care of my silver. It’s all dirty and tarnished. What if I tried to take this napkin and wash the dirt off? (Demonstrate this) The dirt does not come off. Silver takes a very special polish to take the tarnish off. (Demonstrate this) See, with this special polish, the tarnish came right off. People get dirty, too. What word do we use for that? (Children respond: “Sin”) That’s right. We all sin in some way because we are human. But who cleans our sin away? (Children respond: “Jesus”) That’s right. Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. Jesus is our special silver cleaner! Anytime that we make mistakes in our lives, we can pray to Jesus to take our sins away. People pray for many things, but we mostly pray for Jesus to forgive us of our sins. And everytime we pray and ask, he will! After I completely clean this silver bowl, the tarnish will soon come back. So I have to remember to clean in often. We also have to remember to talk to Jesus everyday so that our tarnish won’t come back. There’s a Bible verse that we probably all have memorized that will help us remember that Jesus died for our sins. It’s John 3:16. Let’s say it together. Let’s thank God for sending His Son to us to forgive us of our sins. Pray with me…

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Taste of Moses

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I’m always looking for new ways to introduce a Bible story. One of our most successful to date has been “eating our way through a story.” Here’s how we covered the story of Moses.

Exodus 1:22-2:4 – Pharaoh orders execution of children, so Moses hidden in a basket and floated on the Nile (Weave a basket out of Twizzlers Pull and Peel)

Exodus 2:5-10 – Moses rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised to be a prince of Egypt (Chocolate Coin)

Exodus 2:11-17 – Moses learns his true identity and kills an Egyptian slave driver, forcing him to flee Egypt, he becomes a shepherd (Goat’s Milk – available at most grocery stores)

Exodus 3:1-10 – While tending his sheep God speaks to Moses through a burning bush (Hot Sauce)

Exodus 7:14-17, 8:1-2, 8:16-17, 9:2-4, 9:8-9, 9:18-19, 10:1-4, 10:21-23, 11:1,4-7 – Moses returns to Egypt to free the Israelites, God accomplishes this through the 10 Plagues of Egypt (Dark Chocolate Chips -Bitter and sweet – They suffered with the plagues but had hope of release)

Exodus 14:10-16 – Moses leads the people out of Egypt and to the Red Sea, when trapped by Pharaoh’s army God parts the waters (Red Kool-Aid Koolers)

Exodus 19:7-9, 20:1-17 – Israelites camp in the desert and receive a gift from God of the 10 Commandments (Dinner Rolls – The Israelites called God’s word the bread of life)

Deuteronomy 27:1-3, 34:4 – Moses sees, but never enters the promise land, the land of Milk and Honey (honey)

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Ten Steps To Action

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It is one thing to see problems in the world and another thing to do something about them. As an exercise to help kids to see what they can do, give the following instructions, one at a time and give enough time for the kids to think through each point. Discussion can follow. 1.) List 5 social problems in your community 2.) Circle 3 for church 3.) Underline 2 of those you can do. 4.) Rewrite one of these 2 5.) List 5 things to be done to deal with this problem. 6.) Circle 2 you can do. 7.) Underline 1 you can do. 8.) What will hinder you from accomplishing this task? 9.) What will help you to do it? 10.) Will you do it?

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Testimony Night

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We belong to a small church and the youth meet in our home. Every now and then, we invite a member of our congregation to join us for the evening. They play the games and eat with us then, during what would normally be devotional time, they share their testimony and the kids can ask them questions about what it was like for them growing up as a teen. It’s a good chance for the youth and the older members of the church to get to know each other.

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The Body Parts Game

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Bible Point
The Body of Christ is many parts. Only when the parts come together do they form one body to accomplish one purpose!

Set Up
Before class time write body part names on Post-it Notes ®. You will most likely not know how many kids will show up to class. Therefore, divide the body part names from major to minor, see below, and distribute them accordingly as children arrive to class.

Main Body Parts (For a class of 5-7 kids) Head, neck, torso, arm, arm, leg, leg.

Secondary Body Parts (For 15 or less kids) Ear, ear, nose, mouth, hand, hand, foot, foot.

Tertiary Body Parts (For 16+ kids) Fingers, toes, fingernails, toenails, elbows, kneecaps, knuckles, eyebrows, lips, belly button, hair, freckles, etc.

How To Play: As children arrive distribute the body part names, beginning with the main body parts. If more than seven children arrive, hand out the main and secondary body parts, and if more than fifteen arrive, hand out the main, secondary and tertiary body parts.

Players begin by going up to another player, then saying their name and body part. If the body part is one that is connected to the other player’s body part, they must connect by linking arms, holding hands or clinging to his or her shirt sleeve. If their body parts do not connect, then they pass to another player. For example, if a “nose” meets a “face”, they connect and continue playing as before, staying connected as they go. But if a “nose” meets a “foot” they do not connect. Players continue playing, searching for body parts that are connected to their body part. Play continues like this until the entire body is connected!

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 from a child-friendly Bible.

After the game discussion:
How does this game help to illustrate the message of 1 Corinthians 12:12-27? Is any one part less important than another? How does this relate to different kinds of people within Christ’s body, the church?

Variation of play: Place the main body part names into a bucket. Each team will need their own bucket. Divide players into teams of 5-7 players. At the go teams race to their bucket, grab a body part name and connect to their teammates in the correct order. First team to connect properly wins. A proper connection touch would be head to neck, neck to torso, arms to torso, etc. Not, head to leg or arm to leg.

Players can also race individually to their buckets to grab a body part name, and then race back to their team line. When all players have their body part names, they assemble themselves in proper order.

Copyright 2008 S.A. Keith – SundaySchoolNetwork.com

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The Bridge to Heaven

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Note: This is not original with me, but I do not remember the source. I’ve used it in various groups for about 10 years.

Object: Illustrate John 14:6 – Jesus as the only way to heaven. What you’re going to do is a live presentation of the Bridge to Heaven tract.

• one sturdy plank 2”x6” or better about 12-14 feet long (if this is a bit beat up all the better to represent Jesus’ condition before He was nailed to the cross);
• two pieces of scrap lumber—one sturdy (like the plank) but only 3-4 feet and another long enough (12 ft.) but very weak (easily breakable works best visually);
• two picnic tables (or other sturdy platforms);
• a banner or poster with John 14:6 printed on it; and
• nails & hammer, or a staple gun, or even just push pins.

Volunteer: I never select this child at random. He or she (I have used both sexes successfully) is fully aware of the steps involved, and what’s anticipated. I try to select someone who is lightweight and somewhat outgoing, but uppermost is safety first!

Set-up: The tables are placed end to end, but 8-9 feet apart. All the other equipment is handy but out of the way. (I like them out of sight when possible).

Presentation: (You talk your volunteer and the audience through each of the following steps.)
• Designate one table as Heaven the other as Earth; the gap between the tables is Hell.
• Have the “volunteer” human get on the table Earth.
• His goal is to get to Heaven without falling into the pit of Hell.
• First have him try to get to Heaven on his own by jumping – they refuse. (The distance is usually overwhelming anyway, but for fear of real injury by missing and striking the Heaven table, the volunteer is pre-briefed to refuse to try.)
• Show that many false religions have tried to bridge the gap using the two inadequate lumber props.

I usually use the short one first – “See it gets you part way there.” Hang it so it barely balances on the table and instruct the human to use it like a spring board. The human is no less inclined to make the journey. When done place the board in Hell.

Next comes the long, weak board – “It bridges the gap just fine,” but will bend easily toward Hell with a little foot pressure. Again the human is unable to make the journey. When done again place the board in Hell.

Now lay the plank on the Earth. Jesus came to the Earth to live with, identify with man, and save mankind. Present the Gospel while nailing the banner/poster to the plank. End with something like: “While here he promised salvation and that there was only one way.” Reveal the poster, reciting the verse, while placing the plank to bridge the gap.

Without instruction your human willingly crosses to Heaven.

Always end with an invitation.

Afterwards: Remain near the props when the audience is dismissed. Invariably some will want to try as well. I always begin cleaning up right away and refuse to allow them to try the stunt, but I do challenge them personally about their acceptance of Christ as Savior.

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The Contents

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To demonstrate a hypocritical lifestyle. Empty a can of Sprite and fill it full of Coke. As you begin talking, pour the contents of the “Sprite” into a clear glass. Ask the students if they have ever had the problem of getting something that is packaged wrong. Then, you can drive home the point that we tell people what we think we are, but we demonstrate who we really are inside. And, because we labeled ourselves incorrectly, people will be frustrated with us. Christians can be the greatest witness to the Gospel and Christ’s love, or they can be the greatest detractor from it.

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