297. Can you smell God's love? - an object lesson

God's love becomes visible through the smell of the stable

You can tell children about God's love, but is it also possible to let the children smell God's love?

Discover this fun object lesson that you can easily use for Christmas.



God's love, Christmas and smell

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Scripture reference: Christmas - Matthew 1:1-17, Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1-12, Matthew 2:13-23, Luke 1: 5-25, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 1:39-56, Luke 1:57-80, Luke 2:1-7, Luke 2: 8-21, Luke 2:22-40, Isaiah 9:2-7, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 11:1, John 1:14, Romans 6:23, Galatians 4:4-5, 1 Timothy 1:15-17, Titus 3:3-7, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9, John 3:16, Isaiah 40:1-11, 1 John 5:11
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, Christmas service, children's ministry, kids ministry, children's work, creative prayer, prayer room, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, small churches , youth work, youth group. teenagers

263. You shall be holy, for I am holy - starting a conversation within your Sunday school class or youth group about God’s call to holiness

The importance of talking with 21st century children about what it means to live a holy life

Not only in the Old Testament, but just as much in the New Testament we are called upon to be a holy people, for our God is a holy God. Holiness is such an important theme in the Scriptures, that we come across time and time again. Just look at some of the Bible verses in the scripture reference in this idea.

How do we teach the importance of holiness when so much of its value has been lost in our current society?

Why is it so important that we teach children in the 21st century to be holy, as our God is holy? And how do we show this to the children in our Sunday school class, children’s ministry or the teenagers in our youth group, when the word ‘holiness’ has lost so much of its value in our current society. How do we stop God’s call to holiness becoming something in the eyes of children and teenagers that isn’t:  “Obeying a few strict laws from a ‘mean’ God till you’re old enough to make your own decisions and live your own life?”

Talking with children about what it means to live a holy life

The difficulties of growing up in a culture of no absolute right or wrong

How do we teach a generation that is growing up in a culture of no absolute wrong or right the importance of living a holy life? And what does it mean to live like that?

Preaching at them is easier, but starting a conversation is better

Maybe the following object lesson / cool science experiment will help you to get this conversation going with the children and teenagers. With our youth constantly being bombarded with messages opposite to the ones we find in Scripture, we run the risk of our Christian message getting lost inbetween all the other messages. We need to start a conversation with children and teenagers about these themes. Of course it is much easier to preach at children and teenagers than to start a conversation, but unless we start and continue this conversation we will not reach them with these important truths.

So I hope that this object lesson / cool science experiment will help you start a conversation about God’s call to holiness in the 21st century within your Sunday school class, children’s ministry, youth group, kids ministry or youth work

Watch the video below

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Scripture reference: 1 Peter 1:14-16, 1 John 3:6-10, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 2 Timothy 2:21, Isaiah 35:8, Leviticus 20:26, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Philippians 4:8, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Leviticus 19:2, 1 John 5:4, Psalm 51:10-12, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 3 John 1:11, Romans 12:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:4, James 1:21, 1 Peter 4:1, 1 Peter 4:7, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Hebrews 12:10, Leviticus 11:45, 1 Peter 2:12, 1 Corinthians 6:17, 2 Peter 1:2-8, Ephesians 5:8-11, 1 Corinthians 6:20, Philippians 2:15, Colossians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church, youth work, youth group, teenagers, small church, RE lessons, children's moment in church

255. The heart of ice - a demonstration of God's love in your Sunday school lesson or family service

Demonstrating the love of God through a melting heart of ice

How can we demonstrate the power of Gods love to our children in the church or within our family? How can we make something so beyond our understanding visual and tactile during a Sunday school lesson or as visual aid during a sermon? God's love is so amazing. Can we help our children and teenagers to experience a little bit of it?

Maybe you can use the melting heart of ice.

Discover more below...

It is very easy to do. You take a large silicone heart mould, fill it with chicken wire, add water and leave it in the freezer for 48 hours. After two days you take it out of the freezer and you got yourself an heart of ice.  You attach a wire to it, hang it from the ceiling and place a container underneath. 

During a Sunday school lesson, a sermon or during family meeting at home a you create a moment of silence. Hopefully the only thing you'll hear is the water dripping down from the heart of ice into the container.

This melting heart of ice is a brilliantly simple illustration to show that God’s love can melt the hardest of hearts. His love can break through to the hardest hearts. And God's tears are like the drops of water  that flow from this heart. 

Use it as a creative prayer opportunity

It is important not only to show this melting heart of ice, but also to give everyone the opportunity to feel this melting heart for themselves. We all know someone who is in great need of God's love. As you touch this melting heart of ice and as you feel the drops of water you can pray for this person. Maybe it is you. Then you can pray for yourself or ask someone else to pray for you.  



Scripture reference: God's love - Romans 8:37-39, John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:4-5, 1 John 4:9-11, Zephaniah 3:17, 1 John 4:7-8, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Psalm 86:15, 1 John 3:1, Deuteronomy 7:9, Proverbs 8:17, Jeremiah 29:11, John 13:34-35, Psalm 136:26, Romans 5:2-5, Colossians 2:6-7, Hebrews 12:28-29
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, Children's moment in church, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, youth work, teenagers, preaching illustration, creative preaching, small churches, street evangelism, open air evangelism

178. Finding refuge in the names of God - the Magic Umbrella

How many names of God can we call out together? Do we also know what these names mean?

Adonai-Jehovah -- The Lord our Sovereign
El-Elyon -- The Lord Most High
El-Olam -- The Everlasting God
El-Shaddai -- The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Elohim -- The Eternal Creator
Jehovah-Jireh -- The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-Nissi -- The Lord our Banner
Jehovah-Ropheka -- The Lord our Healer
Jehovah-Shalom -- The Lord our Peace
Jehovah-Tsidkenu -- The Lord our Righteousness
Jehovah-Mekaddishkem -- The Lord our Sanctifier
Jehovah-Sabaoth -- The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah-Shammah -- The Lord is Present
Jehovah-Rohi -- The Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah-Hoseenu -- The Lord our Maker
Jehovah-Eloheenu -- The Lord our God

Take your time to look in depth at these wonderful names of God. When you have come to the end take out the Magic Umbrella trick and demonstrate that we can find refuge in these names of God!


The different names of God, finding refuge with God

Magic Umbrella:
You can use the Magic Umbrella trick:
176.  To teach people about the names of Jesus
177.  To teach on the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22 - 23)
178.  To teach on finding refuge in the names of God
179.  To teach on self-esteem and showing your talents
180.  To teach on unity and diversity in the church and on the question: 'Who may belong to God's family?'

Watch the video:
Underneath I will show you how you can use this trick to recap with the children on the different names of God. 

I will also show you where you can buy your own version of the Magic Umbrella Deluxe

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174. Forgiveness (seventy times seven)

"Peter, one of Jesus' friends, had a problem like this. He asked Jesus How often should I forgive someone? How about 7 times 7? Jesus said “No, 70 times 7!”

While Peter was trying to figure that one out Jesus told this story:

“Once upon a time, there was a very rich man .. in fact he was not just a rich man but he was a .. (paint in crown) .. king. The day had arrived ... he had to settle his accounts. So he sat down at his desk with all his bills and receipts .... He began to check that all the people who owed him money had paid. “ £10 from this one .. yes. £50 from him .. yes. £500 from this one .. yes. Hello, here's one not paid! Who's it from? One of my servants! How much does he owe ?.... HOW MUCH? Bring that man to me at once!”...


Forgivess, the parable of the unmerciful servant, the parable of the unforgiving debtor

A beautiful Bible story written by Korky and Anni Davey (OAC ministries) with an easy to do painting. You can however also tell the story without a painting.

You can download the story below:

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168. Rainbow of snow: finding hope in the names of God

There is hope to be found in the names of God

In this video we use the rainbow of snow experiment to illustrate to children the wonderful names of God.

snow instant

This video is part of a series of seven which demonstrate the different stories and themes you can illustrate with the rainbow of snow.

The complete series covers the following themes:

Idea 162.  Demonstration video with links to webshops
Idea 163.  Rainbow of snow – the promises of God
Idea 164.  Rainbow of snow – the story of the Jesus calming the storm
Idea 165.  Rainbow of snow – the names of Jesus
Idea 166.  Rainbow of snow – the diversity of the church
Idea 167.  Rainbow of snow – the fruit of the Spirit
Idea 168.  Rainbow of snow – the names of God

Watch the video below.

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156. The confrontation between the prophjet Elijah and the priests of Baal

Shout a bit louder, Baal is maybe asleep!

"Elijah let the prophets of Baal have first turn.  They built the altar, put on the wood and the meat. 

All the people were watching.  The people didn't know that the prophets of Baal used to use tricks to light their fires when they were back down in the city, but up here on Mount Carmel with everybody watching, they couldn't use any tricks at all.  The 450 prophets of Baal started dancing around their altar calling on Baal to hear them, and set fire to the altar.  They were calling out "O Lord Baal, send down the fire!  O Lord Baal, send down the fire! O Lord Baal, send down the fire!"...

And do you know what happened?  NOTHING!



God shows his might, the powerlessness of false gods, fire from the sky, prophet Elijah, Asherah poles, prophets of Baal, king Ahab and queen Jezebel

A beautiful Bible story written by Korky and Anni Davey (OAC ministries) with an easy to do painting. You can however also tell the story without a painting.

You can download the story below:

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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

115. Advent - God keeps his promises

"Hands up if you are good at keeping promises?  Last night I read a bedtime story to my little grand-daughter Emily....Do you remember the story of Charlie and Lola, where they go to the park and meet Charlie's friend Marv and his dog Sizzles?  - Lola and her friend Lotta promise, absolutely promise, to look after Sizzles, while the boys have a quick game of football?  And what happens?  While they are arguing over who should hold his lead, he manages to slip his collar and run off!  Sizzles got lost! So did they keep their promise?

How did they feel?   Pretty bad.... and sometimes I've made a promise to my children, and not been able to keep it, and felt pretty bad about it too and I tried to explain why, so they would understand.  But this story is about a promise that was thousands of years old!  A promise that God person made..."

Christmas, Advent, birth of Jesus, God keeps his promises


In this sketchboard story of Advent we learn that God keeps his promises and that He will never ever leave us. 

A beautiful Bible story written by Korky and Anni Davey (OAC ministries) with an easy to do painting. You can however also tell the story without a painting.

You can download the story underneath:

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108. The transformation story of the prodigal son

Using a 'frog turning into a prince' puppet you can tell many different transformation stories in the Bible. Stories such as:

The transformation story of Zacchaeus who becomes a son of Abraham
The transformation story of Saul changing into Paul
The transformation story of the prodigal son
The transformation story of Mephibosheth

prins kikker

Repentance, transformation, being born again, discovering your identity in Christ, being the sons and daughters of God

In idea 105 we show you were you can buy your own 'frog turning into a prince' puppet.

In the video below we will show you how you can tell the story of the prodigal son and focus on the three presents he receives from his father: a ring, shoes and a cloak.

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89. Learning to forgive - Russian dolls

When Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son the father embraces the lost son and gives him a place in his heart. The heart of the eldest son is full of resentment. There is no place for the younger brother in his heart! Therefore he struggles with finding his own place in the heart of the father. In the Lord's Prayer Jesus teaches his disciples to forgive others as the Father has forgiven us. But like the eldest brother in Jesus' story we sometimes struggle with forgiveness. Expecially as adults!

But how do you make this struggle visual? How do we teach the children and ourselves the importance of forgiveness? The importance of opening our hearts again for the person who has hurt us in the past? We think the Matryoshka doll is a great visual tool to do just that! 

In the video below we will show you how you can use a Matryoshka doll to tell the story of the prodigal son and to teach forgiveness in a preach, in Sunday school, in a RE lesson, a children's moment in church, a school assembly, anywhere...
Learning to forgive

When we bought this Matryoshka doll it was plain wood, so we painted it ourselves to make it more visually appealing. You can buy your own set of plain Russian dolls here on Amazon.com and here on Amazon.co.uk.

Forgiveness, the Lord's Prayer, opening our hearts for the one who has hurt us, the eldest brother in the story of the prodigal son, two brothers, the father heart of God

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88. The (Holy) Trinity explained - an object lesson

Using a Matryoska doll to teach in your Sunday school lesson

Another beautiful and powerful object lesson. that you can use to explain the Biblical truth of the (Holy) Trinity to children, teenagers and adults.

How do you do this in a way that they can see it and understand it?

Several images to explain the Trinity

Of course you can use the image of an egg: "The Trinity is like an egg. In one egg you have the white, the yoke, and the shell composing one full egg."

Or the image of water: "The Trinity is like water. Water has three states: solid, liquid, and gas. Although the water changes forms it is still H2O. Just as water changes forms so too is the Trinity."

Or the image of a three-leaf clover: "The Trinity is a like a three-leaf clover. There are three different cloves that represent the three different persons of the Trinity."

But did you know that you can also use a Matryoshka doll / Russian doll to very easily and visually explain the truth of the Trinity to them?

The Holy Trinity explained

You can use the Matryoshka doll not only to teach them about the Trinity, but it is also a beautiful example of us being safe in Christ and secure in God the Father.

Watch the video below:

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Scripture reference: The Trinity - Matthew 28:19, John 10:30, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Matthew 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 Peter 1:2, John 14:26, John 1:1-51, Genesis 1:26, John 14:16-17, John 1:14, 1 John 5:7-8, Philippians 2:5-8, Colossians 2:9, Ephesians 4:4-6, John 15:26, Colossians 1:15-17, John 10:30-36, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, John 14:9-11, Jude 1:20-21 Our identity in Christ - 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:1, John 1:12 , John 15:5, 1 John 4:4, 2 Timothy 1:7, Galatians 3:26, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Peter 1:4, Galatians 2:20 Being secure in God / in Christ - Deuteronomy 33:27, John 10:28-29, John 17:12, Romans 8:35-39, Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 7:25, Psalm 23:1, Hebrews 13:5-6, Philippians 4:19, Psalm 118:6-7, Psalm 91:1-15, 2 Timothy 1:12
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, Children's moment in church, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, youth work, teenagers, preaching illustration, creative preaching, small churches, children's ministry, kids ministry, youth group