Small Group GamesEdit
Bible Lesson: ZacchaeusEdit
(taken from Luke 19)
- You may want to have Zack mime climbing the tree
- You could have the Kids be the crowd and have Zack walk on his knees
Once there was this dude named Zack. Now Zack was a big bully, or a small bully, or…. He was a small bully who did a lot of bullying, which made him a BIG small bully. He was a tax collector and he made people give him their lunch money, their milk money, their allowance money and any money they had, even though he didn’t deserve it. Zack knew that he was not a very nice guy. In fact, Zack knew that he was a rotten, low-down, no-good excuse for a human being…. Well, he was not a nice guy.
One day Zack was reading the newspaper and heard of this miracle maker named Jesus. He read that Jesus was the Son of God and that Jesus knew everything, even people's thoughts and secrets. Zack was thinking that if Jesus knew everything he’d ever done, every thing he’d ever stolen, or lied about or cheated (he had done these at least 100 times/day), then there was no way Jesus, such a nice, good guy would ever, ever, never even want to see him, let alone hang out with him.
However, as Zack kept reading the paper, he read that Jesus could teach anybody things like how to live a good life and about what Heaven was like and stuff. Jesus was healing many people and he was even forgiving those who were not very nice people. People like Zack (maybe not quite as bad as Zack, but they weren’t nice people). When Zack heard about this, he was really sad because he thought that he was too mean a dude for Jesus to love him. But something in Zack’s heart made him want to see Jesus REALLY, REALLY bad.
Zack found out that Jesus was coming to town that afternoon, so he ran out his door. As soon as he got out there, he saw a huge crowd coming down his street. The people were all trying to see this Jesus, the miracle worker. Zack thought that he wasn’t good enough even to talk to Jesus, but he still wanted to see him, so he went ahead of the crowd trying to see Jesus. But as hard as he tried to see Jesus, he couldn’t because he was so short.
Finally, he found a tree, so like he used to do when he was kid (he was short back then too), he climbed up the tree. As soon as he got up the tree he saw Jesus walking right his way, right under his tree! He was so nervous, he didn’t want Jesus to see him because he had lived such a dishonest, cheating life. Jesus didn’t look at him--instead, Jesus walked right under the tree. Then Jesus stopped… (Uh, oh thought Zack).
Jesus then looked up in the tree, straight at Zack, with eyes that could see every wrong, evil, dishonest thing he had ever done! Zack knew that Jesus knew everything wrong he had ever done, and was waiting for Jesus to yell at him and tell him what a bad person he had been!
Jesus, who was still looking right at Zack, then said, loud enough for everyone to hear: “Zack, come down immediately. I must come over and hang out at your house today. How does supper sound? I just love homemade burritos!”
Zack couldn’t believe his ears, Jesus, the son of God, wanted to hang out with him…..
That day Zack learned that no matter how bad you are, God won’t stop loving you. Jesus expects us to do our best, but also loves you just the way you are.
After supper, Zack promised Jesus that he would give back all the money he stole and say sorry to all the people he had hurt. Jesus told Zack:
“Today you are saved. By saying you’re sorry and accepting my forgiveness, you deserve to be called a son of Abraham!”
Gal. 3:11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (NASB)
- masking tape
- empty bottles
- Place a 10-foot strip of masking tape on the floor in the centre of your room.
1. Ask the children if any of them can walk along this line without stepping off? Choose a volunteer.
- For the younger children spin them around 10 times and have him or her start at one end of the line and walk across to the other end. (If you wish you may also blindfold the child and spin him or her around before they walk the line, however make sure you have spotters to keep the child from falling and stepping off the line.)
- For the older children blindfold them, spin them around 10 times and have him or her start at one end of the line and walk across to the other end. Place empty bottles sporadically throughout the line. The rest of your group will have to encourage and guide the blindfolded child with their voices, telling the child when to lift their foot to step over the bottle and when to stay on the line, etc.
2. After everyone has had a turn to walk the line, have the children sit in a circle. Ask:
- What did you think when I first asked if you could walk on the line?
- How did your thoughts change after you saw what you’d have to do?
- How did you feel when you had to trust (have faith) that your group would catch you during the trust fall?
- How did you feel knowing you had to catch the person falling so they would not get hurt?
- Say, “Sometimes we think we can ‘do’ things to earn our salvation. But the more we try, the more we fail. Our sins are forgiven and we can gain eternal life only because of Jesus, not because of anything we do. We have to have faith.”
3. Read memory verse
- * Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Gal. 3:11, NASB)
4. Pray (then have kids rotate to other group)
Object Lesson 1: “The Dead Cat” StoryEdit
- This sketch can be down with very little preparation. The actors have no lines, however they can add to the story by reflecting the narration or repeating lines from the narration. The idea here is that there is nothing to memorize. You could get a couple of the older kids to help “act out.”
- A stuffed animal cat would be helpful
- Suzy (Actor)
- Tom (Actor)
Tom was driving in his big blue car. It was twisty road. Tom was beginning to feel carsick as the road twisted and turned. It was late and Tom was so tired that he was having trouble keeping both eyes open at the same time.
Tom almost fell asleep when his car hit a bump in the road! BUMP! But this was no ordinary bump. This bump was Suzy’s poor cat Fluffy.
Tom quickly got out of the car and ran over to poor flat Fluffy. “Oh no!” Tom wailed. I said tom wailed! [Say to Tom] Poor fluffy just lay there having fluffed her last fluff. It was a sad day for Tom. But Tom knew that it would be an even sadder day for Suzy. For Suzy loved Fluffy and loved to fluff Fluffy fluff. Tom bent down and tenderly picked up poor Fluffy and with trembling arms walked over to Suzy to tell her about how poor flat fluffy got flattened flat.
“Here is your poor Fluffy” said Tom. “I am so sorry for making Fluffy flat.”
Suzy bust into tears at the sight of poor flat Fluffy. She was very sad and started having a loud, deep, hurting, heartfelt ry. “Common Suzy, you are really crying OK!” But after a good cry she told Tom it was all right and Tom and Suzy buried poor flat Fluffy in the back yard.
A week went buy and everything seemed to be OK for Tom and Suzy. Then one day Tom was driving by Suzy’s house when he all of a sudden felt so guilty for running over poor fluffy. Tom stopped the car and walked over to Suzy’s Backyard and dug up poor flat fluffy and holding fluffy in his arms he rang the doorbell. Fluffy looked even less fluffy the day after, and was really dirty from being buried in the dirt. She was also kind of soggy.
When Suzy opened the door tom was in tears. “I am so sorry” said Tom. I killed poor flat fluffy. “Will you ever forgive me?” Suzy told Tom that she had already forgiven him and to please bury Fluffy in the back yard again.
The next day Tom was driving by Suzy’s house. He felt so bad that he had killed poor innocent fluffy that he got out and dug fluffy up again and told Suzy about what he had done. This time fluffy was dirtier, soggier and a little stinky. “I feel so guilty” said Tom. Will you ever forgive me?
This time Suzy folded her arms and looked Tom strait in eyes. “Tom” she said, “I forgave you the first time. But you are caught in a bog of guilt. You are still digging up poor flat fluffy every time. You have never really let me forgive you for making Fluffy flat.
Tom finally understood that once you are forgiven, you don’t need to dig things back up anymore.
Object Lesson 2: Impossible HopscotchEdit
Masking tape (to make the hopscotch square) Cardboard boxes (Enough to make a tall stack)
➢ Lay the masking tape on the floor to make the classic hopscotch squares
➢ Have a volunteer go through the hopscotch, turn around and come back
➢ Next have him/her do it while holding a box with one hand
➢ Now add another box each time until it becomes impossible and it all crashes down in a dramatic moment of gravity.
“Did you know that living a perfect life without any mistakes or sin in it is just like trying to do hopscotch while blindfolded and balancing a hundred boxes in one hand? It’s impossible! No matter how hard you try it is impossible. Just like jumping to the moon. You may be able to jump really high, but no matter how good you are, it is impossible to jump all the way to the moon. That is why having Jesus as your friend is so amazing. Buy being friends with Jesus, He makes up the difference every time. Even if you fail, if you ask Him to help you, he will forgive you. When Jesus forgives you, what happens is he appears for you in heaven like your agent before God. That way, Jesus steps between you and God, and when God looks at you, He sees Jesus’ perfect life, and not yours. You should try to be the best you can, being perfect is impossible. Being perfect is Jesus’ job, not yours.
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