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

Setting:

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

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

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242. Scarlett - it is all about hope


Watch a short video about the Biblical theme of hope

This touching short story is all about hope. It is based on the words of Desmond Tutu who said: 
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

Scarlett

The Bible also has a lot to say about hope. You can watch this video with children, teenagers and/or adults to talk together about hope. What is hope? Which hope do we have?

In idea 217 we show you how you can use this video as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Watch the video below

You can use the video to introduce the theme of hope and maybe talk about one or more of these Bible verses.

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Scripture reference: Romans 12:12, Romans 15:13, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 5:2-5, Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 39:7, Mark 9:23, Romans 8:24, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Proverbs 23:18, Romans 8:25, Jeremiah 17:7, Psalm 71:14, Proverbs 10:28, Proverbs 13:12, Hebrews 11:1, 1 Peter 3:15, Hebrews 6:19, Job 14:7-9, Romans 8:24-25, Psalm 71:5, Psalm 43:5, Psalm 37:3-7, Luke 1:37, Romans 5:1-11, Lamentations 3:24, Psalm 31:24, 2 Corinthians 3:12, Psalm 33:18, Romans 5:1-21, Zechariah 9:12, Psalm 130:7, 1 John 3:3, Psalm 9:18, Psalm 38:15, 1 John 4:18, Psalm 33:22
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, children's work, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, small churches , youth work, youth group. teenagers, preaching illustration, creative preaching, 

241. Sweet Cocoon - Can we love in vain?


Video story about two bugs being a good samaritan

Sweet Cocoon is a funny, but also tragic short story that you can show to your kids at home, in your Sunday school lesson or to the teenagers in the youth group. You can also use it as a visual illustration in a sermon or a family service. It is about two insects who go out of their way to love and care for a caterpillar, but who discover in the end that all their sacrifice has been in vain.

In idea 217 we show you how you can use this video as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Sweet Cocoon raises an important question: 

"What use is it doing something good for someone else if you know there is no reward, or when you know it is in vain?"

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:58: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain." 

What does this promise mean?

sweet cocoon

Can you ever love in vain?

You can combine this video with the story of the Good Samaritan:
- Was his love for the wounded man on the road in vain?
- Do we always need to have or see a reward when we have done something good?
- Is the act of kindness enough even though nothing good seems to come from it?

Themes:

The parable of the Good Samaritan, kindness, loving in vain, rewards, doing it for the Lord

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 Corinthians 16:14, Mark 12:29-31, Matthew 22:36-40, 1 John 4:8, John 13:34-35, Colossians 3:14, John 15:13, 1 John 4:19, John 3:16, John 14:15 1 John 4:7, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 John 4:18, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Luke 6:35, Matthew 5:44-48, Ephesians 5:25, Proverbs 10:12, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 4:2, 1 John 3:18, Romans 12:9, Romans 13:10, Romans 12:10, Mark 12:31, Matthew 22:37, Luke 10:25–37

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240. Oktapodi - love conquers all


A funny short video story about love conquering every obstacle and every foe

The sacrificial love between these two octopuses is a small illustration of God's amazing sacrificial love for us: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 38 - 39

In idea 217 we show you how you can use this video as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

octopadi

Have you heard of the Good Otcopus?

You can use this video during a lesson about the Good Shepherd, who leaves all his other sheep behind in order to find the one that is lost.(Luke 15: 3 - 7); the good shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for the other (John 10). But you can use it also of course with the parable of the Lost Coin (Luke: 15: 8 - 10), the parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15: 11 - 32) and the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

And what about using it with the story of Zacchaeus?  Jesus saying to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” 

Themes:

The parable of the Good Shepherd, the parable of the Lost Coin, the parable of the Lost Son, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the story of Zacchaeus, God's amazing love, Jesus seeking the lost

Setting:

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

Scripture reference

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 Corinthians 16:14, Mark 12:29-31, Matthew 22:36-40, 1 John 4:8, John 13:34-35, Colossians 3:14, John 15:13, 1 John 4:19, John 3:16, John 14:15 1 John 4:7, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 John 4:18, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Luke 6:35, Matthew 5:44-48, Ephesians 5:25, Proverbs 10:12, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 4:2, 1 John 3:18, Romans 12:9, Romans 13:10, Romans 12:10, Mark 12:31, Matthew 22:37, John 15:13, Romans 5:8 , 1 John 3:16, Luke 15:1-32, John 10, Psalm 23

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239. The last knit - being stuck on a road to destruction


A funny short video about doing things that are bad for us and the effects

A powerful short story about being stuck on the road to destruction. We all sometimes keep on doing things that are bad for us, bad for other people, things that even go against God. We know we will need to stop one day, but today is not that day. And so we go on...

In idea 217 we show you how you can use this video as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

knit


Jesus weeping over Jerusalem

Watching this video made me think about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem:  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" Matthew 23: 37

The Jerusalem that Jesus knew, was like the knitting lady, hurtling down the mountain into the abyss of destruction. 

But of course you can also compare this video with the behaviour of the people of Israel all through the period of the Judges: God gives them a good leader. The leader dies. They go back to their old ways and fall into the abyss. They pray to God. God sends a new Judge. They behave for a while until that leader dies and off they go again.

You can also apply it to the period of the kings. Good king; the people follow God. Bad king: off they go hurtling down the cliff. Even falling in the enormous abbys of exile to Babylon didn't cure them of constantly wanting to go against the Law of God. 

Themes:

Repetitive destructive behaviour, addiction, the wages of sin, going against God's law

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

James 4:17, 1 John 1:8-10, Romans 6:23, Romans 3:23, Psalm 51:5, Mark 7:20-23, 1 Corinthians 10:13, James 4:7, Galatians 5:16, 1 John 3:4, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 John 5:17, John 3:16-17, Matthew 5:48, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Genesis 4:7, James 1:15 

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233. Lightheaded


A touching short video story about the sharing of love, light and life

It made me think of the words of Jesus about walking on the narow way: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7: 13, 14

lightheaded

The Parables of the Treasure and Pearl

Another theme in this story are the parables of treasure in the ground and the precious pearl. Finding something so precious, that you are willing to sacrifice everything to find it:

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and in his joy he went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one very precious pearl, he went away and sold all he had and bought it." Matthew 13: 44, 45

Being the body of Christ

You can also find the themes of working together, not doing it on your own, sharing the light, serving another in this video

In idea 217 we show you how you can use this video as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 4:4, Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 2:19, Ephesians 4:15-16, 1 Corinthians 12:25-26, Ephesians 4:25, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 4:11-13

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232. The Border Control - a short video story about the law


How can you introduce the theme of 'the law' to children and teenagers? 

When we look at Jesus in the Bible, he seems to have a knack for stretching the law beyond what the lawmakers of his time thought was appropriate. In their eyes Jesus was a lawbreaker.

"One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” 
Mark 2:23-27
 
border control

Breaking the rules to bless someone else

When I was watching this Coca Cola commercial, I was reminded of the parable of the Good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite thought that serving God in the temple was more important than helping someone on the side of the road, who could have been dead. He was dead, they would have been unclean and wouldn't be allowed to serve God in the temple They were not ready to cross their boundaries to help someone else.
 
In idea 217 we show you how you can use this video as: 

- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Several Biblical themes in this commercial:

Talking about the law, how far can you go?, the Good Samaritan, Jesus and the law, Jesus the lawbreaker, Jesus and the sabbath, dealing with boundaries

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

Luke 16:17, Romans 7:12, 1 Timothy 1:8-10 , Acts 5:29 John 1:17 , Psalm 19:7-9 , Romans 13:1, Romans 7:7, 1 John 3:4, Isaiah 33:22, James 2:10, Matthew 5:17-45, Romans 13:10, Romans 8:3, 1 John 5:3, Acts 7:53, Mark 12:29-33, Romans 13:7-9, Proverbs 28:4 , Romans 13:1-14, Galatians 3:19, Acts 28:23, Acts 26:22 , Romans 7:5-7, Acts 15:1-29, Malachi 4:4, Exodus 34:28, Galatians 2:16, Galatians 2:3-9, Romans 13:9-11

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231. Lights of the World


What does it mean to be a light in this world?

Jesus tells his disciples that they are the light of the world. But what does this mean?
- How do you become a light in this world?
- How do you shine your light?
- How can we help someone to become a light?

All these themes are raised in this delightful video.

lights

In idea 217 we show you how you can use a video like 'Lights of the World' as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Themes:

Light of the world, praying, following Jesus

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

John 8:12, Matthew 5:14-16, Romans 13:11-14, Psalm 119:105, Ephesians 5:7-14, Colossians 1:9-14, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, John 9:5, John 12:35, Job 24:13, Isaiah 60:1, Acts 13:47

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230. The Clocktower - Queen Esther


It is not easy to be an important cog in God's big wheel

Watching the short video The Clocktower, I was reminded of Queen Esther, whose sacrificial love meant that she had to let go of normal life to become an important cog in God's big wheel. She had to stay in her place high up in her royal tower, so God could save his people through her.

clocktower

Themes:

Queen Esther, sacrificial Love: the mindset of Jesus, God's Goodness, Following Jesus, Serving Another

In idea 217 we show you how you can use a video like 'The Clocktower' as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 Corinthians 16:14, Mark 12:29-31, Matthew 22:36-40, 1 John 4:8, John 13:34-35, Colossians 3:14, John 15:13, 1 John 4:19, John 3:16, John 14:15 1 John 4:7, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 John 4:18, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Luke 6:35, Matthew 5:44-48, Ephesians 5:25, Proverbs 10:12, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 4:2, 1 John 3:18, Romans 12:9, Romans 13:10, Romans 12:10, Mark 12:31, Matthew 22:37, John 15:13, Romans 5:8 , 1 John 3:16, Ephesians 5:2, Esther, Romans 8:32, Phillipians 2: 6 - 8, John 15:13

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221. Heavenly appeals - which son obeyed the father?


A modern version of the parable of the two sons in Matthew 21:29-31? 

Which son obeyed the father? The 'good' one who said 'yes', but didn't do it. Or the 'bad' one who said 'no', but changed his mind?


In Matthew 21: 28 - 32 Jesus tells the parable of the two sons:

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him."

When I first saw the video below I had to think about this parable. But of course you can use this video also to talk about pride versus humilty.

"The fat fellow is the prototype of pride. He considers himself better than others. He is under the delusion that he is self-sufficient. That is a lie. Pride has the consequence that it attacks and destroys people in their innermost core (we are beings in relationship).

The little man is humble. Life has dealt harshly with him. He dares to be vulnerable. He knows he is dependent on other people. That makes him great.

Not for nothing did St. Augustine call humility the basis of Christian virtue and pride the mother of all sins." - Nikolaas Sintobin

In idea 217 we show you why and how you can use a video like 'Heavenly appeals' as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Themes:

The parable of the two sons, pride versus humility, forgiveness, who of the two resembles Jesus?

Download:

Make sure that you download the video on your laptop or pc before you show it to the children / teenagers. If you rely on the wifi in the premises, there is chance that the internet connection won't work.

You can download any YouTube video using:
www.safefrom.net
www.keepvid.com

(Source: http://www.seeingmore.org/)

220. The Greatest in the Kingdom - Forever Young


A wonderful video for your children's ministry or Sunday school

This wonderful short video is ideal for helping children and teenagers to reflect on the words of Jesus in Matthew 18: 2 - 4 (Matthew 18:1-3, Matthew 19:14 )

"Jesus called a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you,He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Another theme that came to my mind is being content with your situation, desiring to be young and being impatient

.In idea 217 we show you why and how you can use a video like 'Forever Young' as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes


Themes:

Becoming like a child, being humble, being content, impatient

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

Romans 12:12, Romans 8:25, Galatians 6:9, Psalm 37:7-9, Philippians 4:6, Jeremiah 29:11, Ecclesiastes 7:9, Ephesians 4:2, 1 Corinthians 13:4, James 1:19, 1 Peter 2:19-23, Romans 5:4, Isaiah 40:31, Proverbs 15:18, Ecclesiastes 7:8, James 5:8, Romans 5:3, 2 Timothy 2:24, James 5:7, James 1:3, James 1:4, 2 Peter 3:9, Hebrews 10:36, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Colossians 1:11, Romans 5:3-4, Hebrews 6:15, Galatians 5:22, James 5:9, Proverbs 16:32, Proverbs 25:15, 1 Peter 4:8, Luke 21:19, Revelation 2:19, 1 Timothy 6:10-11

Make sure that you download the video on your laptop or pc before you show it to the children / teenagers. If you rely on the wifi in the premises, there is chance that the internet connection won't work.

You can download any YouTube video using:
www.safefrom.net
www.keepvid.com

(Source: http://www.seeingmore.org/)

218. Chicken or Egg?


A brilliant video for your kids ministry, youth group or Sunday school

This brilliant video is ideal for helping children and teenagers reflect on Biblical themes such as sacrificial love, following Jesus, friendship.

chickenoregg


Watching this video reminded me of the following Bible stories:
- the story of Zacchaeus, who gave up the thing he loved most, because he came to love Jesus more.  (Luke 19: 2 -9)
- the calling of the disciples, who left their boats behind and followed Jesus.  (Luke 5:1-11)
- the calling of Matthew, who left his collector's booth behind and followed Jesus.  (Matthew 9:9-13)
- the healing of Bartimeus, who left his begging cloak behind, because he knew he wouldn't need it anymore.  (Mark 10:46-52)
- the Bible story of Ruth, who left her homeland behind out of love for Naomi.  (Ruth 1)
- The Bible story of Reuben, who his willing to trade his life with Benjamin's.  (Genesis 42)

There are probably  many more Bible stories that you can use, like the Rich Young Ruler and Lot's wife, who both were not ready to give up on the things they loved.

Another theme that came to my mind is addiction. Struggling with giving things up that we are 'addicted' to, and how love can be a strong motivation that can help us in our struggle with addiction.

Themes within this video:

Sacrificial love, story of Zacchaeus, giving up precious things, addiction, the Rich Young Ruler, Lot's wife and the pillar of salt

Bible verses that touch on this video:

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." -  John 15: 13
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did notconsider equality with God something to cling to, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness." - Phillipians 2: 5 - 7
"Anyone who loves his father ormother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is notworthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." - Matthew 10: 37, 38

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217. Looking at Biblical themes using short secular video stories


Watching short secular video's in your children's ministry or youth work to help children and teenagers talk about Bible stories and Biblical themes

At a workshop organised by the Dutch Reformed Church I met Nikolaas Sintobin. Nikolaas is a Jesuit and an internet pastor. As an internet pastor, he has developed his own pedagogical model using YouTube-films to help people to deepen and develop their inner lives: www.seeingmore.org/.  I am convinced that his ideas are a great tool to be used within your children's work and / or youth work.

YouTube logo 2013.svg

 

The short version of this method:

To be used as an introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson or an RE lesson

Duration: 

5 - 10 minutes

Activity:

1. Give some broad indications of how the process works. We are not asking the children / teenagers to give the right answer or the correct interpretation of the video – which doesn’t exist. Our aim is to invite them to be open enough to experience the film and notice what feelings it evokes in them. We invite them to watch it not only with their heads but also with their hearts.

2. If necessary, you can give a short introduction to the video in order to help the children / teenagers enter into the story line of the film, which can sometimes be quite subtle.

3. Watch the video in silence.

4. Ask each child / teenager what they thought or felt about the video. Everybody else listens in silence. It is absolutely important that everyone can share without interruptions or comments from within the group. Try to create an atmosphere of safety in which they really try to listen to each other.

5. At the end of the exchange you share your own experience of the film; not to set the norm, but to share and participate in the group.

6. It can be useful to finish with some closing remarks. You may refer to what was suggested by the children / teenagers during the exchanges. This may be the time for you to offer some points of reflection based on your own Christian convictions.

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202. Mariza - the Stubborn Donkey


Balaam's donkey knows best

While watching this funny short video made me think of Balaam's donkey:

Balaam the seer has set off on his donkey to curse the Israelites, and the Angel of the Lord is sent to prevent him. At first the angel is seen only by the donkey Balaam is riding, which tries to avoid the otherwise invisible angel. After Balaam starts punishing the donkey for refusing to move, it is miraculously given the power to speak to Balaam and it complains about Balaam's treatment. At this point, Balaam is allowed to see the angel, who informs him that the donkey is the only reason the angel did not kill Balaam. Balaam immediately repents, but is told to go on and pronounces a blessing instead of a curse. (Numbers 22–24)


mariza


You can show the video of Mariza - the Stubborn Donkey, when you talk about Balaam's donkey. In both stories donkeys know best...

In idea 217 we show you how you can use this video as: 
- a short introduction to a Bible story, a Sunday school lesson, a RE lesson
- a longer reflection on certain Bible stories and /or Biblical themes

Themes:

The donkey of Balaam, blessing instead of a curse

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, Messy church,  RE lessons, youth work, teenagers,  small churches

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150. Teaching children on spiritual growth - the Lota Vase

Introduction:
How can you combine teaching about spiritual growth with a empty metal vase with which you can pour water again and again?

That is a good question! I will show you the answer underneath, but let me first introduce you to the Lova Vase.

This is not just a magic trick. This is a powerful tool that will help you explain Biblical truths in a new and visual way. 

lota vase

So far I have used the Lota Vase:

Idea 148 - To demonstrate God's unending and overflowing love
Idea 149 - To tell the story of the prophet Elisha and the widow’s oil 
Idea 150 - To teach children on how they can spiritually grow
Idea 151 - To show children the importance of developing their talents
Idea 152 - To tell the story of the prophet Elijah and the widow at Zarephath
Idea 153 - To teach children about Jesus' promise of living water
Idea 154 - To tell any story in the Bible about flowing water

Watch the video:
In the video below I will show you how I use the Lota Vase to teach children on spiritual growth. 

Underneath I will also show you where you can buy your own version of the Lota Vase

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144. The call of Abram (18) - Being a blessing to others

Introduction:
We use the following activity to help the children think about God’s promise to Abram. God promised Abram that he and his offspring would be a blessing to others. But what does it mean to be a blessing? How can we be a blessing to others? And what is the connection between a blessing and a chocolate fountain?

chocolate fountain

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142. The call of Abram (16) - What do you hear?

Introduction:
It is not always easy to listen well. “Did I really hear that?”, is a logical question. Do you think Abram sometimes wondered if he had really heard God speaking? How did Abram know that it was God calling him, and how do you think he heard God?

The last of four short activities that you can use to help the children reflect on the story of Abram hearing God’s voice calling him to move with his family.

The four reflection ideas:
1. Make some noise!
2. I know that sound!
3. Let’s build our own old fashioned phone 
4. What do you hear?

circle

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141. The call of Abram (15) - Let’s build our own old fashioned phone

Introduction:
It is not always easy to listen well. “Did I really hear that?”, is a logical question. Do you think Abram sometimes wondered if he had really heard God speaking? How did Abram know that it was God calling him, and how do you think he heard God?

The third of four short activities that you can use to help the children reflect on the story of Abram hearing God’s voice calling him to move with his family.

The four reflection ideas:
1. Make some noise!
2. I know that sound!
3. Let’s build our own old fashioned phone 
4. What do you hear?

can

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140. The call of Abram (14) - I know that sound!

Introduction:
It is not always easy to listen well. “Did I really hear that?”, is a logical question. Do you think Abram sometimes wondered if he had really heard God speaking? How did Abram know that it was God calling him, and how do you think he heard God?

The second of four short activities that you can use to help the children reflect on the story of Abram hearing God’s voice calling him to move with his family.

The four reflection ideas:
1. Make some noise!
2. I know that sound!
3. Let’s build our own old fashioned phone 
4. What do you hear?

Sound wave

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139. The call of Abram (13) - Make some noise!

Introduction: 
It is not always easy to listen well. “Did I really hear that?”, is a logical question. Do you think Abram sometimes wondered if he had really heard God speaking? How did Abram know that it was God calling him, and how do you think he heard God?

The first of four short activities that you can use to help the children reflect on the story of Abram hearing God’s voice for the first time.

The four reflection ideas:
1. Make some noise!
2. I know that sound!
3. Let’s build our own old fashioned phone 
4. What do you hear?

fietsbel

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128. Spider’s web

Introduction:
An idea from the programme KrachtKanjers by Marjolein Goedegebuur & Hanneke Schuit:

The children get to think about their personality traits, they become aware of their personal characteristics.

Themes:
Each child is unique

kind11

To be used for:
Creative moments during children’s work

Bible verse:
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb, Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

Age:
4 - 12 years

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120. Guess what dream I have?

Short introduction:
An idea from the program 'KrachtKanjers' by Marjolein Goedegebuur & Hanneke Schuit:

The children hear about/share each other’s hopes and dreams. This helps the children to consciously think about their hopes and dreams, and gives them the opportunity to share them.

Theme’s:
A child and his/her dreams for the future.

kind

To be used for:
Creative moments during children’s work

Bible Verse:
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope..”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Age:
4-12 years

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113. Looking in the mirror

Introduction: 
This is a fun idea that encourages children to think about how God sees them.  

Themes:
Self-image, mirrors/mirroring, where do you look? How does God see us?

mirror

To be used for:
- Creative prayer
- A creative moment in your youth work

Bible text:
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Cor. 13:12).

Age:
6 - 17 years.

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55. The call of Abram (6) - The most precious thing I own

Introduction:
Abram is going to leave Haran and never come back. He has to take everything he owns with him on the journey.

He would probably have had to make some difficult decisions about what to take with him and what to leave behind in Haran. What is really precious? What can be left behind?

precious

In this activity we will look with the children at the precious things in their lives. 

Ages:
8 - 12 years

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53. The call of Abram (4) - Which countries have you visited?

Introduction:
Abram had to travel from Haran to Canaan. Two strange places with strange names. How can we help the children to place this story in some sort of geographical context?

Let’s get a map of the world and make a start...

map

Ages:
6 - 12 years

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51. The call of Abram (2) - Which countries do you know? (1)

Introduction:
Abram had to travel from Haran to Canaan. Two strange places with strange names. How can we help the children to place this story in some sort of geographical context?

Maybe we can make a small start with this activity for the younger children. 

globe

Ages:
4 - 7 years

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43. When can you trust someone?

Introduction: 
This is an accessible, interactive way of leading a group discussion about the question: what makes someone trustworthy? 

Themes:
Trusting God, people in the Bible who are facing difficulties or scary situations.

To be used for:
- Creative children work

102

Bible text:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

Age:
4 – 12 years

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