Small Group GamesEdit
- ====10 Post-It notes per team====
- ====1/2" masking tape for indoors, or coloured chalk for outdoors====
- ====1 Ping-Pong ball/ group====
- ====a straw for each player====
Using your masking tape, or chalk, make a course for each team. The courses should be about two feet wide and 15 feet long. It can be straight, but it is better to put some curves into it to make it more interesting! Write Matthew 6: 33 down on ten Post-it notes per team as follows: #1) seek, #2) first, #3) kingdom, #4) righteousness, #5) all, #6) things, #7) be, #8) given, #9) you, #10) well.Edit
Copy, or type on a separate sheet of paper, the following fill in the blank worksheet; give one to each team: Matthew 6:33 (New International Version)Edit
“For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But ________ ________ his _____________ and his __________________, and ____these ________ will ___ _______to _____ as ______. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Edit
- ====Abram left his home as God commanded him to move to Canaan. He had to make a choice to go on the long journey, and he had to have faith that God would take care of him.====
- ====Christian left his home and family to go on a long journey to get rid of his burden and go to the Celestial City (where they have eternal summer vacation). He also had to make a choice to go on a long journey on the straight and narrow, and he had to have faith that God would take care of him.====
1. In your small groups review the story of Abram in such a way that you ask them questions that will enable them to tell you the story. For example: Where did Abram live? What did God tell Abram to do? What choice did Abram make? (Ask the kids such questions as what would they do in Abram’s situation? Do they think they’d be able to follow a crazy plan of leaving behind all their family because God called them to?)Edit
2. The Narrow Way Game -- sometimes it is difficult to stay on the pathEdit
====* First player on each team places a Ping-Pong ball at the starting point of the course. Players get on their hands and knees, and using their straws, blow their Ping-Pong balls to the end of their courses.
- When the players reach the end have someone standing there to place the #1 Post-It note on the player's back. When the player retrieves their Post-It note, they must turn around and blow the Ping-Pong ball back to start.
- The next player in line takes his or her turn until all the Post-it notes have been collected.
- As the players collect their Post-It note clues, they fill in the blanks on the worksheets.
- If the players blow their Ping-Pong ball off course, they must go back to the start position and try again.====
3. What would you do if you were taking a walk with a group of your friends and one of them invited the rest of the group to come to her home? She said that she knew of a perfect path to get to her house. The group begins to follow her until they realize that the pathway they are on is very narrow, rocky, and hard to travel. As a result, most of your friends turn back. They say it is ridiculous to take this narrow, rocky path, because they know of an easier, broad path to travel. However, they don't realize that if they go the easier way, they will not know how to get to the home of the friend that invited them to come! So what good is the easier path?Edit
Our Saviour and Forever Friend, Jesus, wants us to know that going his way is not always the easy way to get home to God. But it is the ONLY way to get there. Why might people your age not want to follow the ways of God? What type of distractions are holding you back from following the narrow path? (Allow for discussion. i.e. peer pressure, embarrassment, temptation, never hearing the Good News, etc.) Many people think that they know how to get to God. They believe that if they are good enough, try hard enough, have Christian parents, do enough good works, go to church, know the right people, or say certain prayers, that these things will get them to Heaven.Edit
Jesus wants us to know that it is not the things we do that makes our way to God in Heaven. It is what he has done for us that makes our way. It may seem narrow, and sometimes difficult, but Jesus has told us that he is the only way home, and he will guide us there. Follow him!Edit
Lesson 1 Bible Story Story of Abram Leaving His Home
Narrator Abram (acted out on stage)
Once there was a man named Abram
- Hi…my name is Abram. I am a man.
Abram lived in a place called urrrrrr… What is it called?
- It’s called Ur.
One night God Spoke to Abram and gave him a message. God said “Go from this country to a land that I will show you” God also said, “I will give you many descendants and they will be a great nation and through you I will bless the earth.”
- What? You want me to leave Ur? But I just put in an automatic sprinkler System! Do you even know how hard it is to grow grass in the desert?
So Abram did as God commanded.
- Are you out of your mind? I did what? I don’t even know where I am going!
He left his home to go to the land of Canaan far away.
- Are we there yet?
Abram took with him his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his riches and slaves.
- I have slaves?
Yes, you are from a long time ago. Now be quiet so I can tell the story! When Abram got to Canaan, he camped at a place called Shachem. There God appeared to Abram saying, “This is the land I am going to give you and your children.”
- Wow! Holly Shechem! I think I will build an alter to the Lord at this Place! God you are an awesome God! I don’t even need sprinklers here!
Matthew 6:33 (New International Version)
32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Words on boxes in pile (rearrange)
Put the words of this verse on Boxes Tip: Put the words on bright paper with thick marker. Then glue or tape the paper to the
Box #1 (Seek first his)
Box #2 (Kingdom and his)
Box #3 (righteousness, and)
Box #4 (all these things)
Box #5 (Will be given to)
Box #6 (you as well)
Object Lesson 1: Letting GoEdit
A prize (something that holds value to the kids like a $50 bill or a Nintendo system)
A stationary object like a railing or a heavy object like a piano. Procedure:
The actor is told to hold onto the stationary object. The actor is told that if he can reach the prize it is his to keep. The actor must then try (very dramatically) to reach the prize which is placed well out of reach. Be creative
Next we are going to have some fun with Bill (Let’s call the actor Bill). OK Bill, do you see this piano? Yes. I want you to imagine that holding onto this piano is very important. You would not want to let go of this piano would you. NO! Well Bill, I have an amazing prize for you. All you have to do to get the prize is to come over here and pick it up. But remember, you do not want to let go of the piano. (Bill does all kinds of crazy contortions and makes noises to somehow stretch himself. Wait a few moments for Bill to do this.)
How are you doing bill? Not so good!
(Ask audience) What is stopping Bill from getting the prize? Is it to heavy? Is the prize invisible? That’s right! It is because Bill is holding onto the piano that he cannot reach the prize. Did you know that sometimes God has a prize planned for us but we cannot reach it? Just like bill we must sometimes let go of something important to us so that we can reach the prize.
Object Lesson 2 Monkey TrapEdit
- Canning jar with a narrow mouth just large enough for a child to put a hand through
- A large bouncing ball or other round object. It must be small enough to fit into the jar but large enough to prevent a hand grasping the object to leave the jar.
By placing the ball into the jar, you have made a monkey trap that should work for the kids. Have a child reach into the jar. Hold the jar so that it will not tip over. The child will be “trapped” as long as he/she hold onto the object.
Have you ever seen monkeys on TV or at the Zoo? They can sure climb trees eh? Are they very fast? Are they afraid of heights? How easy do you think it would be to catch a monkey? (Let kids respond) Did you know that there is a way to catch a monkey using a battle and some nuts? (Take out your jar and ball) Monkeys like the sweet smell of yummy nuts, so if you want to catch a monkey, you find a heavy jar too heavy for the monkey to carry. Then in the jar, you put the sweet smelling nuts that smell so good. The jar is big enough for the monkey to reach in, but not big enough for the monkey to get out a handful of the nuts. If you place a jar like this in the jungle in Africa, in the morning you will find a monkey with his hand stuck in a jar. The monkey will not let go of his treasure, and a monkey with his hand stuck in a jar is easy to catch. (let some of the kids try it)
Aren’t the monkeys silly to not let go of the nuts? Did you know that we can get trapped just like the monkeys do? If we can not let go of being popular, of having the best, or being the smartest, then we are trapped too. God has freedom for all of us, but sometimes we must let go
Object Lesson 3Edit
Jenny's Pearl NecklaceEdit
by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.
"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.
"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma." As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her piggy bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores. She went to the neighbor, Mrs. McJames, and asked if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother had told her that if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then may I have your pearls?"
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then will you give me your pearls?"
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay, Honey. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss. A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. When she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.
So like our heavenly Father.
What are you hanging on to?
--> God has something better for us than we can ever imagine, but we cannot accept it until we give him everything we have.
"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." (Luke 9:24, NIV)
Object Lesson 4Edit
A story teller
Picture of a bird and a clam Procedure:
Tell the story
One day this doctor was sitting on the beach relaxing when he noticed a bird running in and out of the shallow ocean water. As this bird was quickly running this way and that, it would find a little clam in the water that was wide open, eating tiny pieces of food that float in ocean water. When the bird saw the open clam, the bird used it’s long, skinny beak and stabbed the clam in the muscle and paralyzed it so it couldn’t close it’s shell to protect itself. Now the poor clam was just sitting there, stuck wide open in front of a hungry bird who was happy to have the free meal. (yummy, raw clam!!)
As the doctor watched, this bird went around paralyzing and eating clam after clam. One time, though, the trick didn’t work so well. The bird tried to poke at that nerve in the clam’s to paralyze it, but this time he missed. Upon being poked, this clam did what all clams do when they get poked. It closed itself up as tight as it could to protect itself inside it’s strong shell. The only problem was, the birds beak got squeezed between the shells on the clam and the bird could not get free. The bird pulled back as hard as he could to free his beak, but this just frightened the clam more and he squeezed his shells together harder than ever before. The bird feeling his beak squeezed pulled even harder, and in return the clam squeezed even harder. The harder the bird fought, the harder the clam squeezed.
Sometimes that’s how it is with following God. The harder we try be happy doing things our own way, the more trapped and unhappy we feel. It’s only when we finally give up and say to God “alright God, I want to live your way, I want to have the true freedom that only comes from living for you” that you can experience what it is like to really be free.”
Finally, out of exhaustion, the bird gave up and stopped struggling to get it’s beak out of the clam. About a minute after this happened, the clam felt safe enough to open back up. As soon as the clam opened up, the bird was free. Excited and scared, the bird immediately flew high into the sky and away, hoping to find a more peaceful place to feed.
When we finally give up our lives to God and let God be in charge of our lives, just like this bird, we’ll be able find true peace and be truly happy being best friends with God. And when Jesus comes again, we’ll be able to fly away to heaven and leave all our troubles behind.
[now you transition to story time and tell the first part of Pilgrim progress, from the beginning to the wicket gate]
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