502. How to make a marble run


A craft idea that will especially appeal to boys, although girls will enjoy it too

In the course of giving my children’s shows I come across the best creative ideas! I really want to share this one with you.

This is a craft idea that will especially appeal to boys, although girls will enjoy it too. Give each child a piece of wood, nails and a hammer. There is a pattern drawn on the wood (see the attachment).

Hammer the nails into the wood, following the pattern that has been drawn. If you put the nails close enough to each other, you can roll a large marble down the board.

marble run 1  marble run 2  marble run 3cr

Themes:

For which Bible stories or themes could you use this craft idea?

Think about the story of Jacob who saw a ladder going up to heaven. Or stories that have a building theme.

Or what about stories where water plays an important role? Then if you use blue marbles, they can represent the flowing water.

You could also use it at Christmas because of the angels who came from heaven, or as a picture of Jesus who came down from heaven. 

You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching

501. Water from a Stone - an object lesson


What can you do with a ‘water from a stone’ gimmick?

A what??

A nifty ‘water from a stone’ gadget, which enables you to water your plants when you’re on holiday.

waterstone2

You can use it to tell the story of Moses in the desert, during which water came out of the rock! Or you could use it to talk about the words of Jesus: ‘I am the living water’…..

waterstone

Themes:

Moses and the Israeiltes in the desert, water from the rock, thirst, living water.

Bible verses:

Numbers 20:1-29, Exodus 17:1-7, John 4

Where do I get one?

You can order the ‘water from a stone’ here

Scripture reference: Numbers 20:1-29, Exodus 17:1-7, John 4
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching

497. The power of words


It is a beautiful day and I can't see it!

Change your words - change your world

If you are looking at the story of Bartimaeus, you can show children aged from 8 years old this film. 

The film is a good starting point for a conversation! It will challenge children to think about what they can do if they see people living on the streets, or begging, whether it be in their home town, or when they are on holiday. Friendly,words may mean a lot more than just giving money.

Luke 18:35-43, Mark 10:46-52, Matthew 20:29-34



 

Scripture reference: Luke 18:35-43, Mark 10:46-52, Matthew 20:29-34
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching, kids church, kids ministry, kids moment, 

451. Living like Christ - Looking at Jesus


Let's make two lists about Jesus

In Philippians 2:1 – 11 Paul writes that we should take Jesus as our example and look to him.

binocular looking at Jesus kids ministry philippians

Together with the children, make a list of what they see when they look at Jesus.

Then make another list with the children of how Paul looks at Jesus in this part of Philippians 2.

What differences and similarities do the children notice in the two lists?

What do you need:

- 2 A3 pieces of paper, and pens

Scripture reference: Philippians 2: 2
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

450. Living like Christ - The parachute game


Being one, but also being different

Paul writes in Philippians 2:2 that we have fellowship with and through the Spirit and urges us to be one in mind and spirit. What does it mean to be one? Does it mean that we should all be the same? Or is it actually a good thing that we’re different?

Put the children in a large circle and get them to all hold on to a large parachute. Practise raising and lowering the parachute together.

parachute game kids ministry

Raise the parachute and call out a word, for example ‘boys’. Now all the boys have to run underneath the parachute to the other side. Try to think of some things that only apply to one or two children, and others that apply to the whole group.

The point to illustrate in this game is that we can be very different to each other in some things and alike in others, but whether we’re alike or different, we can form one body, just as we are all holding the parachute. 

 

Scripture reference: Philippians 2: 2
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

439. Tell Bible stories with the National Flag illussion

Take your audience around the world with this self working National Flag card trick.

This is a brilliant object lesson / gospel illusion. Ideal for school assemblies - with the opportunity to share facts about different countries - teachers love that!

Perfect for services - the chosen flag leads you seamlessly into dozens of different stories from the Bible.

And best of all the deck does all the work for you - leaving you to focus on your presentation and message. 

A great new productt from my friends at Mission Magic. . 

 

438. Psalm 150 - Thank you paper chain


Dear God, I am really thankful for...

In Psalm 150 the writer calls us to praise God. When we praise God we are also thanking him for who he is and what he does. What are we thankful for? Do we tell God that we are thankful? Let’s make a paper chain of all sorts of things that we are thankful for.

Make sure you have lots of strips of coloured paper. Ask the children to write up as many things as possible that they are thankful for, one thing per piece of paper. Make a paper chain of the strips of paper.

Paper Chain to thank God with

You can make a game of it, to see how many things the children can think of in a certain time. You can help them by asking them questions, like:

- What are you grateful for at school, at home, or on the street?
- What are you good at? Can you thank God for these things?

Close with a short prayer to thank God for everything that we are grateful for. 

What do you need: 

- Coloured strips of paper
- Crayons or pens
- Stapler or cellotape

 

 

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

437. Psalm 150 - Hallelujah tag


Hallelujah - I cannot stop singing to the Lord

Play a game of tag, and ask everyone to sing a song together while they are playing. Sing a Chistian song that everyone knows. One of the children is the tagger. If you’ve been tagged, then you have to stop singing and stand still. If one of the other 'free' children tags you free, you shout 'Hallelujah' and you start singing again.

1024px Children playing tag

Depending on the group you can explain the meaning of 'Hallelujah' before or after the game. Hallelujah means: I have to sing to the Lord. It's like I cannot stop!

Read Psalm 150 together with the children. Do you think that the author of Psalm 150 was able to stop with singing to the Lord?

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

436. Psalm 150 - A present for Him


Do you think God likes presents?

Psalm 150 is like a present that the writer gives to God. Divide the group into groups of three children. One of the children in each group is going to be the present. The other two are going to wrap him or her up as a present. Which group has wrapped up their present first? The present is finished when you can’t see any part of the child, and there’s a lovely ribbon around it. Which group is quickest?

Child Original Indoor Chinese Asia Lie Girls 1456241

What do you need:

- Wrapping paper
- Cellotape
- Scissors
- Ribbon to tie round the present

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

435. Psalm 150 - Why do we sing for him?


It pleases God when we sing for him

The psalmist writes that it pleases God when we sing for him. It’s good to think about who God is and what he means to us, and then to tell him this in a song.

But it’s not only pleasing to God when we sing for him. It is also important to us. God is invisible. You can’t see God, and if you can’t see something, it’s hard to forget that it is there. It’s the same with God. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that God is there, because we can’t see him. By singing about him and to him, he becomes more visible to us.

child painting worhsip

Take a large sheet of paper. Ask the children for words to describe God. For example, great, loving, patient, faithful. Write these words with a candle on the paper. You should hardly be able to see them, if at all.

What happens when we sing about God and for him? Take a thick brush and paint over the words with watercolour paint. The letters become visible.  Our words about God have become visible. This is also how it works when we sing about God. For a little while we make him visible to us. It helps us to remember who he is for us. 

What do you need:

- A3 paper
- candles
- watercolour paint
- brushes
- pots of water

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

434. Psalm 150 - A song of praise


With what you say you can praise someone to heaven or bring someone down with what you say.

Read psalm 150 together from a children’s Bible. What do you think of this song? 

Ask a child (someone who dares!) to stand on the chair. Now they are above the group. Imagine that the song was being sung for you...

child chair

Read the psalm but put the name of the child in the place of the words ‘Lord’ or ‘him’. What does that feel like? What happens to them? Do they feel bigger or smaller? They’re probably shining with pleasure. Talk further about how you can bring someone down with what you say. What sort of things do you say then?

Read Psalm 150 again. What sort of song is this? Who is being made larger here? This sort of song is called a song of praise. We sing songs of praise to show that we are happy with who God is and what he does. We put him as it were on a chair and say ‘We think you are important’. 

What do you need:

- A chair

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

433. Psalm 150 - Let's write a new psalm

Time for Psalm 151

The writer of psalm 150 sings this song for God and encourages others to sing for God. He gives the psalm to God as a gift as it were. The song, the singing, and the music is not just any old song. It is a present for Him.

Divide the children into small groups and ask them to write a song or a rap for God. A psalm 151! The groups can take turns to read, sing or rap their song.  

child writing new psalm sunday school kids ministry

What do you need:

- Pen and paper

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

432. Psalm 150 - Crow, bark, bleat, moo for the Lord?


Can animals worship God as well?

Read psalm 150 together. Look together at the sentence ‘Everything that is alive praise the Lord’. How do animals sing for the Lord?  Would they be allowed to crow, bark, bleat and moo for the Lord?

prairie dog 1470659 960 720
 
A few things you could do with this are:

Animal noise game:

You need: a room that you can make dark.

Make sure the room is dark. Ask the children to hide in it.  Each child chooses their own animal noise. Get them to make their noise while they are hidden. One child has to ‘listen’ the others out of hiding. If they guess which animal it is and who is making the sound, then that child will have to come out of hiding.

Guess the animal:

You need: a cd with animal noises, or an app with animal sounds on a phone. Use the sounds of the mammals.

Ask the children to guess which animal they are going to listen to. Give them 10 sounds and ask them to list what they have heard. 

 

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

431. Psalm 150 - Everything that has breath...


Do you know if something is alive or lifeless?

In psalm 150 the psalmist sings ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord’, ‘Let everything that is alive praise the Lord’. Who/what is alive?
 
Dead coral
 
Bring some things with you and ask the children to guess if they are alive or not. You can also bring pictures/photos. Don’t make it too easy for them. Which things are dead, alive, or have ever lived? How could they sing for God?
 
- a fossil
- a seed from a plant
- some moss
- a piece of coral
- air in a bag
- water in a glass
- blue cheese
Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

430. Psalm 150 - My heart is shaking


Music gets you moving - an object lesson

Cut the bottom off a balloon and stretch it over a strong plastic cup so that you get a taught membrane. Put a few grains of rice on the membrane. Ask the children to put the plastic cup on a loudspeaker and turn on the music. The grains of rice will start to shake.

make music balloon

Talk together about how music gets you moving. Sometimes literally – shaking your body, maybe wriggling your bottom! Sometimes something happens inside; you get touched – maybe you feel happy, or even sad. The music is getting you moving.

Read psalm 150 together. This is also really a song. We don’t know how the music went or what the tune was, but this is the text. Who is the song being sung for? Why would you sing this song? Which feelings go with this song?

What do you need:

- Balloons
- Rice
- Loudspeaker
- Strong plastic cups

 

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

429. Psalm 150 - Making an instrument


Let's make some music together

Read psalm 150 together. The writer encourages us to sing for God and to make music for God. We’re going to do exactly that – we’re going to make an instrument.

let us make music circle children

You can make many different instruments. You can have the children make the same instruments or all sorts of different ones. You can also give older children a harder challenge. You could also make small groups of children that can form a ‘band’. Then they can also think together about which instruments they need to make for the band.

Options to make:

- Drums
- Guitar
- Bottles filled with water
- Pan flute
- Samba balls
- Tambourine

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

428. Psalm 150 - The music machine drama/action game


Let's become a music machine 

Together you are going to become a music machine. Get everyone to sit in a circle.

Read psalm 150 aloud. In the text you’ll see that the writer encourages us to use everything to make music; clapping, singing, using instruments. We’re going to have a time of celebration for the Lord.

Start simply, by clapping a rhythm with your hands and get the rest of the group to join in.

A group of school children forming a circle

Then encourage them to add another rhythm or sound in turn; the leader starts with a simple rhythm, then the child next to them adds something to it; another rhythm or a simple tune, or a whistle. Try to make it as nice sounding as possible. You could make it a little more complicated for the older children, by asking them to add a movement to their sound, in which they tap their neighbour so that he or she knows when they have to start making their sound. 

At the end ask the children to look around them in the room to see what else they could use to make music for God. 

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

427. Psalm 150 - A visiting musician


A musical mystery guest

Ask a musician in the church to come and tell the children about playing music and singing for God. Encourage the children to ask them questions.

musician

If you have a keyboard player visiting you, it might be fun to ask them to let the children hear that there are all sorts of other instruments in the keyboard. You can then refer them to the text in the psalm and find out what a flute or trumpet sounds like on the keyboard.

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

426. Psalm 150 - New instruments


Let's create some noise

This is an activity that has to suit you as club leaders. It needs someone who is practical and who can help the children to use the tools safely. If that’s not you, you can always ask someone to come and help you of course. It’s good to have made some examples beforehand to give the children an idea of the sort of things they can make.  Don’t make it too difficult. Just by hitting an empty can with a wooden stick you get a good musical instrument.
 
birds 2025632 1280
 
Together with the children, and using the things you have brought with you, make some new instruments that they can use to make music. Challenge them to be creative with what you have brought with you.
 

What do you need:

- All sorts of old material/rubbish, such as bits of piping/tubing, garden hose, tops of beer bottles, nails, cans, empty milk cartons etc.
- Tools such as duct tape, a saw, a drill, scissors etc.
 
Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

425. Psalm 150 - Happy, angry, sad


Lots of different feeling in the Psalms

Show the children the Bible and ask for their help in finding Psalm 150.

Psalm 150 is the last song in the book of Psalms. So there are lots of songs in the book of Psalms – 150 in total!

Psalm 150 praise the lord

These songs are all about God, but they are all different. One song might be about someone who is really sad, and another about someone who is really happy, or angry.

Read Psalm 150 together: read it once on your own with a neutral voice. Tell the children that we’re going to do some drama today. Make sure that you have (part of) Psalm 150 written up on the flipover so that everyone can read it.

The children can now take turns to choose one of the cards that you have prepared, with different emotions written on them. Then ask them to read the text with the emotion that’s written on their card. Ask the other children to guess which emotion it it. At the end, once everyone has had a turn, ask the children which emotion fits with Psalm 150. Why do they think this? Why do they think it’s the last psalm?

What do you need:

- A flipover with (part of) Psalm 150 written up on it
- Cards with various emotions on them (happy, sad, nervous, scared, in love etc)
- The Bible

Time:

15 – 20 minutes

Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, children's ministr, Messy church,, kids time, craft's time, kids ministry, children's ministry, kids church

424. Do you already own a Super Story Stick?


A wooden wonder to wow and win over audiences!

You show the children a long wooden stick, jointed at three points. This seemingly simple prop is used to tell many different stories, as the stick is formed into a wide range of clear, recognisable shapes. The pace picks up, as your switch effortlessly from shape to shape – telling entertaining stories, with memorable Gospel messages!

Children in particular respond well to visual aids, and the Story Stick allows you to bring any story to life – using either the x3 included routines OR making up your own stories and shapes!

A great new product from my friends at Mission Magic

 

408. Daniel in the lion's den - a storyboard

Have you ever told a Bible story with a storyboard?

OAC evangelist and specialist children's worker Dawn Getley demonstrates in the video below how you can tell the story of the Daniel in the lion's den while using a storyboard. These storyboards are produced by Gary Stirling. They are very cleverly designed, so you can tell one story with just eight pictures. This one also has a clear gospel presentation in it. 

Dawn Getley tells the story of Daniel in the lions den

You can buy the script, the pictures and the instructions for 6 pounds at GarysBibleStories.

You can download Dawn's script and watch the video below...

Register to read more ...

Scripture reference: Daniel 6:1–28
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching

407. Noah and the ark - a storyboard

Have you ever told a Bible story with a storyboard?

OAC evangelist and specialist children's worker Dawn Getley demonstrates in the video below how you can tell the story of the Noah and the ark while using a storyboard. These storyboards are produced by Gary Stirling. They are very cleverly designed, so you can tell one story with just eight pictures. This one also has a clear gospel presentation in it. 

Dawn Getley tells the story of Noah and the ark

You can buy the script, the pictures and the instructions for 6 pounds at GarysBibleStories.

You can download Dawn's script and watch the video below...

Register to read more ...

Scripture reference: Genesis 5 , Genesis 6, Genesis 7, Genesis 8, Genesis 9, Genesis 10
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching

399. Mary meets Elizabeth - what is bubbling in your heart?


A fun activity that will help you to start thinking about Advent.

You can use this idea to create a creative prayer moment with the children.

What do you need?

- bottles of bubble blower (or you can create your own!)
- liquid food colouring
- paper hearts and pens

Create a homemade bubble blower. Add a few drops of food colouring liquid into each bottle. Make sure each bottle has a different colour. Give the children a empty piece of paper in the shape of a heart. Let them write on the heart things that they are grateful for and things they want to thank God for. Let them blow bubbles against the paper. When the bubbles burst, a colourful patters remains on the paper. 

Scripture reference:

Luke 1:41-42  (NIV)

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

You can use this idea in a:

Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, kids time

 

 

398. Mary meets Elizabeth - make a chain reaction


A fun activity that will help you to start thinking about Advent.

When you read the story of Mary meeting her aunt Elizabeth,you see that a chair reaction is taking place. The baby in Elizabeth’s tummy leaps with joy. Elizabeht rejoices and proclaimes that Mary is blessed. Mary participates and starts singing about God’s goodness.

Why nog create a giant chain reaction with the children? You can use all kind of items, like marbles, bottles, dominoes, tubes, etc.

On Youtube you can find lots of examples of chain reactions.

Maybe it is clever to make a small beginning as leader. It is fun to end with a grand final which will make the children cheer. Just like Mary who couldn’t stop cheering and celebrating, because she was so happy with what God was doing. 

Scripture reference:

Luke 1:41-42  (NIV)

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

You can use this idea in a:

Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, kids time

 

397. Mary meets Elizabeth - what has been forgotten?


A fun game that will help you think about the meaning of Mary's song

The coming of Jesus had a huge impact for Mary. It meant that God had not forgotten his people. The God of all the old stories in the Bible still loves his people He has not forgotten them.  And He never will!

Place fifteen different object on a table. Let the children stand around the table and name all fifteen objects. Ask one of the children to go to another room and remove one of the objects. Can the child see which of the objects had disappeared? (10 min)

messy table Mary meets Elizabeth Advent

Scripture reference:

Luke 1:54-55  (NIV)

"He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful o Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

You can use this idea in a:

Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, kids time

396. Mary meets Elizabeth - big tummy visiting


A fun activity that will help you to start thinking about Advent.

Is there someone pregnant in the church or someone you know. Maybe it is a fun idea to invite her to the children’s program, Sunday school lesson or kids ministry.

Maybe she can share what it feels like to be pregnant. Has she even felt her baby kicking? Or even leaping, like Elizabeth? Maybe some children can feel the tummy and see if the baby moves.

How do think this would have been for Mary and Elizabeth? (10 - 15 min)

pregnant tummy Mary meets Elizabeth Advent

Scripture reference:

Luke 1:41-42  (NIV)

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

You can use this idea in a:

Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, kids time

395. Mary meets Elizabeth - the big tummy race


A fun activity that will help you to start thinking about Advent.

In this Bible story two pregnant women meet each other. Split the children into two groups and do a relay race with them. Create a fun course for them to run. Give each group a blown up balloon. When the race starts, the first child places the balloon underneath his or her shirt and runst the course with the balloon. After finishing the course the balloon is passed to the next child.  (10 min)

Balloon

Scripture reference:

Luke 1:41-42  (NIV)

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

You can use this idea in a:

Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, Messy church, kids time

394. Ascension day - the cloud


Everyone can be a part of God’s kingdom!

Before Jesus left to go to heaven he told his disciples that they should proclaim the good news.  After that Jesus got onto a cloud.

Let's make a cloud in a glass to remember the fact that Jesus has gone to heaven and that he's given all of us a task.

1.  Fill a metal plate with ice cubes and a glass with warm water.
2.  Put a small doll in front of the glass.
3.  Remove the ice once the plate has become cold.
4.  Put the plate on the glass, the cold side facing down.

Now you’ll get a special effect - first of all condensation and then a cloud. Can you still see the doll?

185

Themes:

Ascension day, God’s task for us.

What you'll need:

- A metal plate
- A glass
- Small doll

(This experiment comes from the book: 10x10 experiments you can do yourself.)
The idea comes from Linda van de Weerd.

Scripture reference: 1 Timothy 3:16, Acts 1:1-26, Mark 16:19, Acts 1:11, Acts 1:9, John 6:62, 1 Peter 3:22, Acts 1:9-11, John 20:17
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching, kids time

374. The letter to the Philippians - the parachute game


What does it mean to be united by the Holy Spirit?

In Philippians 2:2, Paul writes about how are are united by the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to be united? Does it mean that we are all the same? Or is is alright to be different?

Ask the children to stand in a large circle and give them the parachute to hold. Practise holding the parachute in the air together and bringing it down to the ground together.

parachute game

Lift the parachute in the air and call out a word, for example ‘Boys’. Now all the boys have to run under the parachute to the other side of the circle and take hold of the parachute again. You can do this with lots of examples. It’s fun if some things will only apply to one or two children in the group, and some words will apply to (nearly) the whole group.

The point of the game is to show that in some things we’re like each other, and in some things we’re very different to each other. It doesn’t matter if we are similar or different to each other – we can still form a united group, just as we are holding the parachute all together.

Themes: 

Letters in the New Testament, The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, unity, united by the Holy Spirit

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, children's ministry, kid's time, children's moment in church, Messy church, youth work

373. United in the Holy Spirit – an object lesson


United through a ball of wool

Paul writes to the Christians in Philippi that they are ‘united with Christ’ (Philippians 2:1) If we are united with Christ we are united together, because He unites us.

Ask the children to stand in a circle and give them a ball of wool. One child holds the end of the wool and throws the ball to someone else in the circle. He or she pulls it tight, holds on to it, and throws the ball of wool to someone else. In a few minutes’ time there is a spider’s web of wool in the circle, and all the children will be connected to each other by the wool.

Explain to the children that in the same way we are all united by the Holy Spirit.

ball of wool

Themes: 

Letters in the New Testament, The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, unity, united by the Holy Spirit

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, children's ministry, kid's time, children's moment in church, Messy church, youth work

372. Letters of Paul - writing letters


Who has ever written a letter? Who has ever received a letter?

What sort of letters were they?

Show a few examples of letters to the children:

- a love letter
- an instruction letter
- a thank you letter
- a reminder of an unpaid bill
- a long letter full of stories

Paul wrote letters to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, and to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Some scholars believe he also wrote the letter to the Hebrews.

What sort of letter are they do you think?

letter writing

Themes: 

Letters in the New Testament, The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul,

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, children's ministry, kid's time, children's moment in church, Messy church, youth work

371. Letters of Paul - what are people called?


What are people called who live in ……?

You can do a quiz with the children in which you name various towns and countries and the children have to guess what the inhabitants are called.

To take some British examples ( you can find examples that are relevant to your children): 

London – Londoners
Glasgow – Glaswegians
Birmingham – Brummies

Finish up with the ancient city of Philippi. This will bring us to Philippians, and is a fun way to start looking at Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Of course you can play this game with Paul’s other letters as well.

apostle Paul writes a letter

Themes: 

Letters in the New Testament, The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul,

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, children's ministry, kid's time, children's moment in church, Messy church, youth work

355. Mother’s Day – giving compliments

An fun interactive idea to pay attention to Mother's Day during a children's moment in church

On Mother’s Day take a basket of random household objects with you for the children’s moment in the service. Ask a few children to come forward and choose an object. Ask them to give their own mum a compliment based on the object they have chosen.

happy mothers day

For example:

- a bread knife – she makes the best sandwiches

- ear phones – she always listens to me

- a clown’s red nose – she makes me laugh

- a children’s book – she reads aloud to me every evening.

339. If you remain in me, you will bear much fruit

Using a Grass Head to teach on remaining in Jesus

In John 15:5 Jesus says: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 

If you remain in me and I in you you will bear much fruit

In this object lesson you can use a Grass Head to teach on this verse. 

Show the children two Grass Heads. One has its rope in a small vase of water and is nice and green. The rope of the other grass head is not in contact with the water. 
What has happened to the grass on its head?  If you remain as a Grass Head in the water your grass will grow. In you don't remain in the water you'll dry up and wither away. 

Use the Grass Head for more ideas

In the following ideas I will show you how you can use the Grass Head to teach children on the following subjects: 

Idea 336.  Teaching children the power of prayer
Idea 337.  The meaning of baptism
Idea 338.  All your hairs on your head are numbered
Idea 340.  What is spiritual growth?
Idea 341.  Telling different Bible stories while using a Grass Head

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, youth work, teenagers, preaching illustration, creative preaching, small churches

335. The Holy Spirit is like the wind


Teaching your Sunday school class about the Holy Spirit

Ask the children in your Sunday school lesson: "Who saw any rain on the way to church this morning?" To illustrate the rain, bring a watering can filled with water, pour it out into a bucket and let the children hold their hands under it.

Next, ask the children who saw the sun on their way to church. To illustrate the sun, bring a heat lamp with you and let the children feel the heat it gives off.

Lastly, ask the children who saw the wind on the way to church this morning?

holy spirit is like the wind, dandelian, sunday school idea

Now, that’s a hard one! You can see the rain and the sun, but you can’t see the wind. You can feel the wind and see its effect. To illustrate the wind, bring a fan with you so that the children can feel the wind and maybe hold a paper windmill in front of it to see what happens.

At Pentecost we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. However, just like the wind, you can’t see the Holy Spirit, which makes it hard. To the disciples, Jesus was like the sun, and His words were like the rain. You could see Him, hear Him and touch Him. Jesus actually said that it was better that He went away, so that the Comforter would come.

This comforter is the Holy Spirit. You can’t see or hear Him, but He wants to blow through us with His wind.

Materials that you'll need:

- Watering can
- Heat lamp
- Fan
- Paper windmills

 

 

 

Scripture reference: John 14:26, Galatians 5:22-23, Romans 8:26, Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 6:19, John 14:15-17, Isaiah 11:2, John 16:12-15, Luke 11:13, 2 Corinthians 3:17, Acts 1:8, Romans 15:13, John 16:7-15, Ezekiel 36:26-27, 1 Corinthians 2:13, Ephesians 1:13, Acts 10:38, Romans 5:5, Romans 8:9, Acts 4:31, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, John 20:21-23, John 16:7-8, Acts 2:1-47, Luke 4:18, John 14:16-17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, youth work, teenagers, preaching illustration, creative preaching, small churches

334. Energy Bar - Connecting with God - Recharging Faith - Gospel Object Lesson

A must-have for church workers, youth leaders or kid's pastors!

Our friends from Mission Magic in the UK are now selling the Energy Bar.

They offer a great leaflet with several Gospel presentations, such as:

Making connections

How we connect with God, the Holy Spirit and with each other through fellowship.

(Holy) Spirit level

The Energy Bar can also be used as a visual representation of the Holy Spirit.

Light of the world

Use the Energy Bar to explain that Jesus is the Light of the World, and a beacon in the darkness. But we need to connect with Him to experience His light

Life, fully charged! 

Just as we charge our gadgets, we need to charge our faith. Do we feel supercharged or is our spiritual battery drained?

Energy Bar logo 57913.1486123666.1280.1280

307. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.


Praying for the persecuted church, using the seven words of Jesus on the cross.

Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total



kaars5

Light seven large candles and arrange them on a table. By each of the seven words pick up a candle, and when you have spoken the words, blow the candle out and put it back on the table. You start with seven lit candles and finish with seven candles that have been blown out.

The ‘seven words of Jesus’ are the seven sentences that Jesus spoke while on the cross.

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7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

Pick up the seventh candle, speak these words, blow the candle out and put it back in its place on the table.

“I’m going to give each of you a pebble. Please hold it in your hand so that it can warm up. A stone or a pebble takes on the temperature of its surroundings. If you put it in the freezer, it will become freezing cold. If you put it in boiling water, it will get really hot. Feel if your pebble is smooth, round, or perhaps sharp.

This pebble stands for the troubles of the persecuted church. You can put it in your pocket and discover it in a few days’ time and think:  “Oh yes, that’s true, the troubles of the persecuted church.” Then you’ll put it back in your pocket and discover it again in a week. This is what often happens in our prayers for the persecuted church.

But if you were to put the pebble in your shoe it would be a different story. You would feel it with every step you took. There are Christians who carry their cares and fears with them day and night. They wake up with them and go to bed with them.

Paul writes in his letter 1 Peter 5:7 - “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. We can cast our cares on him, and also those of our brothers and sisters who follow Christ, for he cares for us and for them.

On the table there’s a Bible open at the text of 1 Peter 5:7. I want to invite you to come forward and put your stone on this passage as a prayer and a promise for the persecuted church, that they can cast all their cares on Him.”

Activity:

Each participant is given a pebble. They can come forward in silence and lay their pebble on the Bible that is opened at 1 Peter 5:7.

Materials:

-  Pebbles
-  a Bible

All seven ideas:

Idea 301.  “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34)
Idea 302.  "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Idea 303.  “Here is your son”. “This is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Idea 304.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Idea 305.  “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Idea 306.  “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Idea 307.  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)  
Idea 308.  Download the complete liturgy as a PDF file

You could use this liturgy during a night of prayer for Open Doors. You could do all seven ideas one after another, or you could use one at the start of each hour throughout the night.

306. It is finished - praying with children and adults for persecuted Christians


Praying for the persecuted church using the seven words of Jesus on the cross.

Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total


kaars4

Light seven large candles and arrange them on a table. By each of the seven words pick up a candle, and when you have spoken the words, blow the candle out and put it back on the table. You start with seven lit candles and finish with seven candles that have been blown out.

The ‘seven words of Jesus’ are the seven sentences that Jesus spoke while on the cross.

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6. “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

Pick up the sixth candle, speak these words, blow the candle out and put it back in its place on the table.

“It is finished. Jesus’ task had been completed. You couldn’t see it yet though. The only visible thing was a naked man on a cross. But the miracle had already happened. The reconciliation had already taken place! Humanity had been set free.

Today as we pray for the persecuted church, it may seem as if nothing has happened and nothing is going to happen. There’s nothing to see on the outside. But God said “It is finished”. He will give strength to our prayers. He has been at work in the persecuted church. He is at work in the persecuted church. He will be at work in the persecuted church.

Although it may still seem very dark for very many Christians suffering persecution, we know that there is hope for them. As a symbol of this hope, we are going to light tea lights; a silent prayer of hope.”

Activity :

Participants come forward to light a tea light from the one candle that is still left burning. These burning tea lights are a silent prayer of hope that God will fulfill His work within the persecuted church.

Materials:

-  Tea lights

All seven ideas:

Idea 301.  “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34)
Idea 302.  "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Idea 303.  “Here is your son”. “This is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Idea 304.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Idea 305.  “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Idea 306.  “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Idea 307.  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)  
Idea 308.  Download the complete liturgy as a PDF file

You could use this liturgy during a night of prayer for Open Doors. You could do all seven ideas one after another, or you could use one at the start of each hour throughout the night.

305. I am thirsty - praying with children and adults for persecuted Christians


Praying for the persecuted church, using the seven words of Jesus on the cross.

Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total


kaars6

Light seven large candles and arrange them on a table. By each of the seven words pick up a candle, and when you have spoken the words, blow the candle out and put it back on the table. You start with seven lit candles and finish with seven candles that have been blown out.

The ‘seven words of Jesus’ are the seven sentences that Jesus spoke while on the cross.

------------------------------------------------------

5. “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)

Pick up the fifth candle, speak these words, blow the candle out and put it back in its place on the table.

“I am thirsty…..as we consider the persecution of a hundred million Christians, this is an experience that we all share. We all get thirsty. One can be thirsty not only for water, but for example one can thirst for justice. Thirst for love. Thirst for freedom, for healing. Thirst for not having to be afraid any more. Thirst for growth. I am thirsty.

There’s a heart of ice hanging in the room - it’s starting to melt. Maybe you had already noticed it. It’s hanging from a piece of wire, and the melted water is dripping into a bowl. If you’re quiet, you can hear the drops. What does this melting heart of ice represent?

Is it the tears of the persecuted church? Is it God who is crying with her? Is it His way of relieving her thirst? Is it possibly His love that can melt the hardest of hearts?

Come forward in silence and touch the heart of ice. Let the drops fall on your hands. Pray for the thirst of the persecuted church.”

Activity:

Beforehand, fill a silicone heart shaped baking form with chicken wire. Fill it up with water and put it in the freezer for 48 hours. Take the heart of ice out of the baking form and hang it from the ceiling with a piece of wire. Don’t forget to put a bowl underneath it to catch the waters as it starts to melt.

Participants can come forward, touch the heart of ice and let the drops of melted water fall on their hands. In the meantime they can pray for the thirst of the persecuted church.

Materials:

-  Silicone heart shaped baking form
-  Chicken wire
-  Wire

All seven ideas:

Idea 301.  “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34)
Idea 302.  "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Idea 303.  “Here is your son”. “This is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Idea 304.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Idea 305.  “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Idea 306.  “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Idea 307.  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)  
Idea 308.  Download the complete liturgy as a PDF file

You could use this liturgy during a night of prayer for Open Doors. You could do all seven ideas one after another, or you could use one at the start of each hour throughout the night.

304. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


Praying for the persecuted church using the seven words of Jesus on the cross.

Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total


kaars3

Light seven large candles and arrange them on a table. By each of the seven words pick up a candle, and when you have spoken the words, blow the candle out and put it back on the table. You start with seven lit candles and finish with seven candles that have been blown out.

The ‘seven words of Jesus’ are the seven sentences that Jesus spoke while on the cross.

------------------------------------------------------

4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Pick up the fourth candle, speak these words, blow the candle out and put it back in its place on the table.

“Christians who are being persecuted must have often uttered these words, out of fear and worry, even in prison. Cried out in their pain and despair: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” In the Bible we can read of the two men on the way to Emmaus after the crucifixion. They also knew disappointment and maybe also felt forsaken. But Jesus comes to walk with them. They don’t realise that it is Jesus who is with them. Only when they have invited Jesus into their home and he breaks the bread, do they see that it is Jesus!

When the bread was broken they saw that it was Jesus. Here is a loaf of bread, still whole. We will pass it round to each other, and, if you wish, you can break off a piece of bread and eat it, with the prayer that our persecuted brothers and sisters may know that Jesus will reveal Himself to them, even though they may feel forsaken.”

Activity:

A loaf of bread is passed round. The participants break off a piece and pray for a revelation of God’s presence to those who feel forsaken.

Materials:

A round, whole loaf of bread

All seven ideas:

Idea 301.  “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34)
Idea 302.  "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Idea 303.  “Here is your son”. “This is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Idea 304.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Idea 305.  “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Idea 306.  “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Idea 307.  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)  
Idea 308.  Download the complete liturgy as a PDF file

You could use this liturgy during a night of prayer for Open Doors. You could do all seven ideas one after another, or you could use one at the start of each hour throughout the night.

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