503. How to make a stick drawing magically come to life


You can create a magical moment by bringing a stick figure to life.

This is ideal for when you do a talk about:

Creation 
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2: 7)

bringing a stick drawing to life with water

The raising of Lazarus  
Rrecounted in the Gospel of John (John 11:1-44), a miracle of Jesus in which Jesus brings Lazarus of Bethany back to life four days after his burial.

The raising of the son of the widow of Nain
Recorded in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus arrived at the village of Nain during the burial ceremony of the son of a widow, and raised the young man from the dead. (Luke 7:11–17)

Being alive in Christ 
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ  (Ephesians 2:5)

Watch the two video's below to discover how you use this great object lesson!

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Scripture reference: Hebrews 11:3, Colossians 1:16, Genesis 1:1-31, Revelation 4:11, Genesis 2:7, John 1:1-3, Exodus 20:11, Genesis 1:24-25, Job 12:7-9, Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:1, Romans 1:20, Psalm 33:6,2 Peter 3:5, Job 37:5, Revelation 14:6-7, Job 33:4, Hebrews 1:10, Isaiah 42:5, Genesis 1:20, Jeremiah 10:12, Genesis 1
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, children's work, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, small churches , youth work, youth group. teenagers

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

465. The Scarecrow - a story about Abram leaving Haran?


Watch this short video with your Sunday school class 

A beautiful short video story about a scarecrow that leaves a big, ugly and soul degrading factory to find home and be a real blessing for others.

the scarecrow

Watchiing it made me think of Abram leaving the city of Haran to find his real home and be a blessing to all the nations. Other parallel stories in the Bible are the Israelites leaving Egypt to go the promise land or the Israelites coming home from their exile in Babel.

You can show this video to the children in your Sunday school class or kids ministry and ask them:

- What do you feel or think when you see this short film?
- Can you see a link between this video and the story of Abram going to the promised land? 

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Scripture reference: Genesis 12: 1-9
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, children's work, kids ministry, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, small churches , youth work, youth group. teenagers, preaching illustration, creative preaching,

464. Time to turn - a complete Sunday school lesson


A thought provoking program with 10 creative ideas for your Sunday school or children's ministry

I have written a series of ideas and activities especially for Micah Sunday, that you can use during your Sunday school or children’s moment in church.

In 2017 the theme of the Micah Sunday is based on a text from Psalm 24: ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.’

It looks at how we as Christians can take care of God's world. What can we do to stop pollution, climate change and all the effects this has on the earth and those living in poverty? For them this means more hunger, conflict and insecurity, and a more uncertain future for us all.

Ten fun and useful games, object lessons, creative prayer ideas and activities on Psalm 24 that you can use within your Sunday school class.

You can download the complete PDF file below.

blow up globe kids ministry

Have fun with them!

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Scripture reference: Psalm 24
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church, youth work, youth group, teenagers, small church, RE lessons

453. Living like Christ - a complete Sunday school lesson


A great program with 12 creative ideas for your Sunday school or children's ministry

Lots of fun and useful games and activities that you can use within your Sunday school class on Philippians 2: 1-11

You can download the complete PDF file below.

binocular looking at Jesus kids ministry philippians

Have fun with them!

Continue Reading

Scripture reference: Philippians 2:1-11
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church, youth work, youth group, teenagers, small church, RE lessons

440. Psalm 150 - a complete Sunday school lesson


A great program with 14 creative ideas for your Sunday school or children's ministry

Lots of fun and useful games, prayer ideas and activities that you can use within your Sunday school class on Psalm 150

You can download the complete PDF file below.

let us make music circle children

Have fun with them!

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Scripture reference: Psalm 150
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church, youth work, youth group, teenagers, small church, RE lessons

406. Three different ways to apply the Bible into our lives - an object lesson


What happens if you take a bottle of wine, a bottle of strawberry sauce and a bottle of marinade sauce?

Three different ways to apply the Bible into our lives

You suddenly have a powerful object lesson that you can use to teach children, teenagers and adults about the importance of reading, studying and applying God's Word into our lives.

You can watch the video below...

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Scripture reference: 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 3:1-2, 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 3:15, Deuteronomy 11:18-23, Psalm 119:18, Psalm 119:9, Romans 12:2, Acts 17:11, Ephesians 6:11-17, Acts 8:30, James 1:22, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:1-17, John 8:32, Proverbs 2:1-5, 1 John 2:27, John 13:17, John 1:1, Luke 4:4, Hosea 4:6, John 6:63, John 5:39-40, 1 Peter 2:1-2, Proverbs 2:1-22
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

405. Looking with God’s eyes - an object lesson


A clever and fun object lesson that demonstrates that we can only focus on the small part in front of us and that we need the Bible to see Gods big picture.

looking with Gods eyes

There are several stories and passages in the Bible in which humans have to discover that although we claim to see, we are blind. We don’t see things as God sees them. We only focus on a small part in front of us. God sees everything. We need the Bible to see Gods big picture. 

In 1 Samuel 16 the prophet Samuel has come to anoint a new king. When he looks at David’s oldest brother Eliab he thinks this is the one! But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. ( 1 Samuel 16:7)

One of Jesus’ sayings is: “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard this, and they asked Him, “Are we blind” too? 4“If you were blind,” Jesus replied, “you would not be guilty of sin. But since you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”  (John 9: 39-41)

How do we help children, teenagers and adults to think about these matters? How do we demonstrate that we only see a small part of the big picturen and that we need to study God's Word to discover the big picture and to learn to see as God sees?

 - For this object lesson we use two pictures of a set of playing cards. Not all Christians are comfortable with using playing cards as an object lesson. The good news is that you can also use this object lesson with different images that are very similar. -

choose a card2

The object lesson:

Show a picture of these five playing cards to the group. Ask one of the older children / teenagers to pick one of the cards on the picture. Let him or her write this card down on a piece of paper, without mentioning which card he / she has chosen. 

Now you remove the picture with the five playing cards and show him / her the picture of four playing cards that you can find underneath the line in this idea.

Five playing cards turn into four. What is the chance that his or her card has disappeared? You would say: one in five. But the truth is: one hundred percent.

Try this for yourself! How is it possible that your playing card disappears as well?

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Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 16:7, John 9: 39-41, Isaiah 6:10, Psalm 119:18, Psalm 13:2-3, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Luke 14:13-14, John 9:1-41, 1 John 2:11, Matthew 13:13-16, Matthew 15:14, Ephesians 5:8, Luke 12:48, Luke 18:35-38, Revelation 3:17, 2 Kings 6:17-20, Matthew 24:30, 1 John 4:1, Hebrews 4:13, Job 34:21

365. Walking humbly with God - is it possible to walk humbly? (1)


A great object lesson for your kid's time...

This is a series of ideas based around Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

But is this possible? Can one walk humbly with God, or do these two things clash?

micah 6 verse 8 sign that says humble

What do you need:

- a large glass bottle with a lid
- water
- oil
- edible food dye
- washing up liquid
- dirty plates
- a rubbish bin

Setting:

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

Acitivity:

To ‘walk with God’ speaks of intimacy, friendship, knowing and being known.

Action: Pour some red water (water with a few drops of red food colouring) into a large glass bottle.

Humility speaks of honour and respect and knowing what your position is in the relationship.

Action: Pour some oil onto the red water in the bottle.

To walk humbly with God therefore suggests a reverent friendship with God. Not a reverence from a safe distance (‘You are very far away, and I honour you at a safe distance’) so that it becomes far removed from us. Also not an over-familiarity (‘Oh, God and I are best friends’). No, it’s the combination of friendship and reverence woven together.

Friendship and reverence woven together. Is that possible?

Action: Screw the lid on the bottle and shake it well. To start with it will seem as if the oil and water are mixed together, but if you wait a bit, you’ll see that they separate out again.

Looking at the bottle it would seem that the two things don’t go together at all – walking humbly with God – both in friendship and with reverence. Are we missing something? Perhaps we’re not reading the text properly. Let’s look it up – it’s in Micah 6:8

‘He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ English standard version.

Hey, that’s interesting! God wants us to walk with him humbly as His friend. He also wants us to seek justice for others and love kindness, being faithful to Him, to others and to ourselves.

So we’re missing an ingredient in the bottle...

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364. Tell any Bible story about Jesus restoring people with the use of a balancing Soda Can


The only object lesson you can do all over the world.

Really excited about this object lesson! Did you know you can use a balancing Soda Can to tell any Bible story about Jesus healing and restoring people? And the great thing is that you can find a Soda Can all over the world. Wherever you are, you can do this object lesson! 

The only object lesson you can do all over the world

Just think about the four friends and the paralysed man or about Bartimaeus, the blind beggar.
But also about the story of Zacchaeus and the raising of Lazarus...

In the video below I demonstrate how you can use the balancing Soda Can to tell the Bible story in John 4 of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman near the well. This woman was like a empty Soda Can - totally empty, lying on its side, blown over by life. A woman who knows what it is to be judged by all the full Coke Cans in her village. The men and women who live such nobles lives and who pour their shame on this broken and emptied woman.

But then something amazing happens. Jesus offers her life to the full. He offers her Living Water. And this woman drinks it all. A miracle happens. She is filled with Living Water and suddenly there is a restored balance in her life.

Watch this amazing cool science experiment and object lesson in the video below...

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You can use this idea in a: 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

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

327. Following Jesus may cost you everything - part 15 of the Christmas show that you can do!


Tell the Bible story of the three Magi and their expensive presents

You can use this trick in the Christmas magic show when you tell the story of the three wise men (the Magi) spending all their money to buy the most expensive gifts for Jesus.

Link this with the price we may have to pay for following Jesus or you can use this story to teach on worshipping God. What do we offer God when we worship Him?

Paul writes in Romans 12: 1 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship." 


diebox peek3classic02

 

The trick has a strange name: the Sucker Dice Box. You can buy it here. When you buy the trick, you get a dice.  I have covered the dice with 'gold coins' paper so that it doesn't look like a dice anymore, but like a solid block of gold coins. 

Themes:

The three kings, the three wise men, the Magi, the star of Bethlehem, gold incense and myrrh, the price of following Jesus, being a living sacrifice, teaching on worshipping God

Setting:

Christmas service, 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, gospel presentation, small churches

Scipture reference:

The Magi - Matthew 2:1-12, Matthew 2:13-23

The cost of discipleship - Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Matthew 10:38, Matthew 8:19-20, Luke 14:27, Luke 9:57-58, Romans 14:7, Luke 9:59-60, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Matthew 8:21-22, Galatians 2:20, 1 Peter 4:2, Luke 14:28-32, Colossians 1:18, Luke 14:33, Philippians 3:7-8, Luke 9:61-62, Matthew 10:37, Luke 14:26, John 15:20, Acts 14:22, 2 Timothy 3:12, Matthew 10:38-39, Matthew 16:24-25, Mark 8:34-35, Luke 9:23-24, John 12:25

Worshipping God - 1 Chronicles 16:23-31, Exodus 20:2-6, John 4:21-24, Psalm 99, Deuteronomy 29:18, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Samuel 15:22, Revelation 4:8-11, Isaiah 29:13, Psalm 29, Hebrews 12:28-29, Nehemiah 9:5-6, Psalm 86:9-10, 2 Kings 17:38-39, Psalm 100, Daniel 3:16-18, Revelation 14:7

I will explain and demonstrate the routine with the Dice Box and the story of the three magi / three kings below...

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311. Jesus meets the Samaritan woman - the Sinking Orange experiment


It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top.

In John chapter 4 Jesus meets the Samaritan woman near the well. In a normal situation she would either go early in the morning or just after sunset to the well to collect her water. But she doesn’t do this. She goes in the middle of the day, when it is very hot, so that nobody will judge her or talk to her. She is a woman that lives at the bottom of life. She is broken and hurt.

To demonstrate this place a peeled orange into a big jug full of water. It will sink straight to the bottom.

Jesus and the Samaritan woman

When Jesus meets her He is filled with compassion for her. He offers her life to the full. He offers her living water. And the woman drinks it in. A miracle happens. The woman is filled with water and suddenly there is a healing. Jesus restores her.

To demonstrate this take the peeled orange out of the water and place an unpeeled orange in the water. This orange will float. 

Watch this amazing cool science experiment and object lesson in the video below...

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You can use this idea in a: 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

310. Jesus meets the Samaritan woman - the Balancing Coke Can act


Living life to the full, because Jesus restores the balance in your life

In John chapter 4 Jesus meets the Samaritan woman near the well. This woman was like a empty Coke can - totally empty, lying on its side, blown over by life. A woman who knows what it is to be judged by all the full Coke cans in her village. The men and women who live such nobles lives, who pour shame on this broken and emptied woman.

mightycokeexperiment

But then something amazing happens. Jesus offers her life to the full. He offers her living water. And the woman drinks it in. A miracle happens. The woman is filled with water and suddenly there is a restored balance in her life.

Watch this amazing cool science experiment and object lesson in the video below...

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

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309. The Star of Bethlehem - a compass that points to Jesus


Pointing to Jesus can lead to a surprise - are you ready to be surprised?

In Matthew 2 we read about the Magi who follow the Star of Bethlehem. Like a giant compass in the night sky it points to Jesus. They are journeying towards their destiny: King Jesus - the One they have been searching for. After this meeting they will never be the same. 

In the video below I show an amazing and mind twisting exercise that you can do with children, teenagers and adults. This exercise is all about looking at Jesus and discovering what happens when we really focus on Him.

I am not going to give anything more away. Watch and join me in this exercise. Only through joining me can you experience it for yourself. There is a big chance you are going to be surprised...

Looking at Jesus

 
Themes:

The three kings, the three wise men, the Magi, the star of Bethlehem, looking at Jesus, focusing on Jesus

Setting:

Christmas service, 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

Scipture reference:

The Magi - Matthew 2:1-12, Matthew 2:13-23

Looking at Jesus - Hebrews 12:2, Philippians 3:13-14 

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308. Praying for the persecuted church - the complete liturgy

 

The complete liturgy in pdf based on the seven words of Jesus on the cross

You can use these seven creative prayer ideas to help children, teenagers and adults pray for persecuted Christians and the persecuted church all over the world. 

To help you in this you can download the complete PDF file below.

kaarsen7


Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church, youth work, youth group, teenagers, small church, prayer nights

Scripture reference:

Luke 23:34, Luke 23:43, John 19:26-27, Matthew 27:46, John 19:28, John 19:30, Luke 23:46

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

303. Here is your son. This is your mother.


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

Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total


kaars2

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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3. “Here is your son”. “This is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)

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

“Even on the cross Jesus showed us who our family is. Today we are not praying for strangers. We are praying for our family, for our brothers and sisters. The only shame is that we know so little about them. How can we keep on praying for them in the long term?”

Something that helps me, is my junk drawer. Everyone has a junk drawer at home, with all sorts of objects that we really no longer use. I take an object, for example a calculator, and use it as a source of inspiration for my prayers. ‘ Help them to know that they can always count on You’ . Perhaps it’s a clothes peg: ‘ Please hold on tight to my brothers and sisters’.

Activity:

Participants are given a random object and are asked to say a short one or two sentence prayer for our persecuted family, using the object they have been given as a starting point.

Materials:

A basket full of random household objects

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.

302. Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.


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

Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total

 

kaars1


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.

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

2. "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)

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

“It is not always easy to come to Jesus. In the Bible we read of four friends who couldn’t get to Jesus through the door or through the window. Instead of giving up, they made a hole in the roof in order to make sure their paralysed friend could get to Jesus. The first words that Jesus spoke to this man were similar to his first words on the cross: “ All your sins are forgiven”. Only after having spoken these words did he heal the man and reveal who he was to the people in the house”.

Hand out pen and paper to everyone. On the ground at the front of the room there’ss a square that has been made of four long pieces of wood or cardboard.

“This square represents the hole in the roof that the four friends made when they brought the paralysed man to Jesus. Today we are going to become the fifth friend in the story. Write down the name of a person, a people, or a country. Then come forward in silence to put the note in the square on the ground. In this way we are bringing these people to Jesus, just as the four friends did thousands of years ago.”

Activity:

Participants write down the name of a person, people or country, and come forward to put the note in the square on the ground.

Materials:

- Small pieces of paper
- Pens
- Strips of wood or cardboard

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.

301. Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing


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

Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total

 

praying for the church


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.

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

1. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34)

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

“As we think about the persecuted church, it is natural to pray for her. Jesus’ first words on the cross were “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” . During this time of prayer for persecuted Christians, we do not only want to pray for those who are being persecuted. To start with we are going to pray for the persecutors. Those who are persecuting a hundred million Christians, through fanaticism, ignorance or any other reason.”

Hand out paper, pen and a pin to everyone. Ask them to forgive someone or to forgive an act that has been done to someone in the persecuted church. There is a piece of red cloth hanging at the front of the room.

“This red cloth is the cloak of forgiveness. This is a symbol for the cloak that king Herod hung on the broken shoulders of Jesus. If you would like to, you can write down a prayer for forgiveness for the persecutors, and come forward to pin it onto the cloak of forgiveness.”

Activity:

Participants write a prayer for forgiveness, come forward in silence and pin the paper on the cloak of forgiveness.

Materials:

-  Paper
-  Pens
 - Pins
-  A piece of red cloth.

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.

289. The Puzzle of Christmas - make your Christmas service unforgettable


A new way to tell the Christmas story

Are you looking for something visual to tell the Christmas story and maybe explain the gospel? Maybe you can use the (giant) Christmas Puzzle...

 

Christmas Puzzle 1

The Christmas tree - You can start with the Christmas tree and maybe tell a story about Christmas when you were young.

Christmas Puzzle 32

The Candle - The second piece of the puzzle is the candle. Now you tell the story of Mary who saw a bright light; an angel. Perhaps you can use the magic colouring book (idea 82) to tell the children that God had been silent for more 400 years. Nobody had heard anything from God. (Show the empty colouring book)

Then suddenly an angel appears with Mary and tells her an amazing thing. (Show the black / white pictures in the colouring book) What will Mary’s answer be? Mary places her trust in God and says ‘Yes’! The Christmas story can begin. (Show the coloured pictures in the book).

You can maybe use the Joker Tube (idea 85) to the adventures of Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem when trying to find a room.  (I will post a video of how you can use the Joker Tube in this story in the coming weeks.)

Christmas Puzzle 3

The Turkey - The third piece of the puzzle is the turkey. This is a symbol for the shepherds and their flock.

You ask two children to come forward and quickly dress them as shepherds. Maybe give them a hand puppet each, so that there are four shepherds. Then you hand out five or six sheep puppets. (IKEA used to sell these very cheaply). When the angels appear, the mouths of the shepherds and the sheep fall open. They hear the wonderful news and go to Bethlehem.

Christmas Puzzle 4

The Present – The fourth piece of the puzzle is the present. This is of course the story of the Magi following the star of Bethlehem and taking their gifts with them.

You can make this visual for the children with a big star of maybe even the three gifts. What are myrrh and incense?

Now the Christmas story is complete! But what's happened?

We have a giant hole in our Christmas! How is that possible? We have got a Christmas tree, nice lights, something nice to eat and presents? What is missing?

Produce the last piece of the Christmas Puzzle...

Christmas Puzzle 5

The Cross – but we have a problem! The cross doesn’t fit into the puzzle. How can we solve this?

We have  to remove the candle and the turkey puzzle piece so that we can place the cross into the middle of the Christmas Puzzle. Now you can add the other two puzzle pieces and complete the Christmas Puzzle. You can explain about the cross being a symbol for Christ, or even do a gospel presentation.

Christmas Puzzle 6

When we place Jesus – the meaning of the Christmas story in the centre of Christmas, the puzzle is complete

Download all the material:

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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: Christmas service, 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, open air evangelism, street evangelism, gospel presentation, small churches

286. The Good Shepherd - a complete Sunday school lesson


A great programme with 18 creative ideas for your Sunday school or children's ministry

Lots of fun and useful games, prayer ideas and activities that you can use within your Sunday school class on Jesus being the Good Shepherd and the church as a flock. 

Hopefully this Sunday school lesson with 18 creative ideas will help you!

You can download the complete PDF file below.

Sauen Shaun

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

Psalm 100:3, Luke 15:4-7, Matthew 9:36, John 10:1-16, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 10:16, Ezekiel 34:1-31, John 21:17, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:31, Ezekiel 34:17-22, Micah 2:12, Mark 14:27, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 18:10-13

Have fun with them!

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270. The parable of the wise man and the foolish man - a sketchboard story


Tell this story of the wise and foolish builders in a school assembly, a children’s program or in a preach

"What a wet winter it has been. Three months of solid rain.  How lovely to see the sun again. I used to live by the sea!  We looked forward so much to the sunshine. It was great fun, we used to go down to the beach every day after school in the summertime. My sister and I used to build sand castles - do you like doing that? Our Dad helped us, we would put big pebbles in the walls and try to keep the sea out as the tide came in - do you think we managed it?  We did for a little while, but in the end the waves would come over the top and the sand would wash out, and then what would happen? Yes, the castle would collapse and be flattened by the sea."

The parable of the wise and foolish builders

"Here's a story told by someone very special. Let's put his name up on the board: JESUS. He had been teaching the crowds of people about how God would like us to live, how to take care of one another, how to be kind AND sensible, and how much God loves us. To help them understand, he told them this story about two men.  It's called a parable – a story with a hidden meaning." 

"Each of the men wanted to build a house. What's the first thing you have to do when you start building a house?  (Ask for answers - make a plan, find the site, dig the foundations etc.). One man had a lot of hard work to do.  He dug down deep to good solid rock, and then he built the foundations, and then he built up the walls, until he had a good, strong, solid house. Here it is (Paint it in on the hill top) It takes a long time to do a job properly, doesn't it? My mum's favourite proverb was “If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well.” (fill it in, if using this bit) I expect he sat on the roof to admire the view."  (Matthew 7:24-27)

A another 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.

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, 

You can download the story below:

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268. Jesus and the Adulterous Woman - a sketchboard story


Tell this story of the lady who was found out in a school assembly, a children’s program or in a preach

"Have you ever been told off?  Why do we get told off?  Because we have done something wrong – yes....

This story is about someone who  did something very wrong.  A group of men caught her red-handed:  she had been FOUND OUT.(Paint in headline)   They took her to a very special person.... who do you think it was? JESUS.  They were not nice men.  They actually wanted to trap Jesus into breaking the Law himself – here he is on the steps of the Temple, teaching.  (paint him in, with his 12 disciples, and a crowd round, listening).

478


Why did there always seem to be a lot of people around when Jesus was teaching?

(He was special, he would say...... and do..... etc. Etc.)

In came the crowd of angry men dragging the poor woman who had been found out.

They shouted out what she had done, in front of everyone.  How do you think she felt?

What she had done was so bad, they knew that the Law said she ought to be stoned to death.  She must have been terrified.  She knew she had done WRONG.   She felt guilty  and ashamed. (Paint in the words).  We  know inside, don't we, if we have done something wrong?  Even if our parents, or teachers, or friends don't know, we know – and the Bible says that God knows, too." (John 8: 1-11)

A another 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.

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, street evangelism, open air evangelism, kids time

You can download the story below:

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266. The Wish Granter - dealing with the theme of prayer within your children’s ministry


Watch this short video with your Sunday school class 

A funny short video story about a wishing well in which a coin gets stuck so that the wish almost doesn’t come true. It takes a lot of effort on the part of the Wish Granter to sort it out. As I was watching this video on Youtube looking for video material for our children’s ministry, I started thinking about prayer.


talking with children about the theme of prayer in a sunday school or kids ministry

How do children think that prayer works?

Within our children’s work we teach children about praying, but wouldn’t it be interesting to discover what children really think, know, wonder or imagine about praying.

I think this video below is ideal to ask the children in your Sunday school class or within your children’s ministry this question: “How do you think that prayer works?”

I  would suggest that you watch the video together. When it is finished, ask them what they thought about it. After listening to them you could ask them some of the following questions:

-  What has this video to do with prayer?
-  Do you think praying is like throwing a coin into a wishing well? 
-  Is God a kind of ‘wish granter’ who is working very hard to give us all we want?Or maybe all we need?
-  What is the difference between praying and this video?

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Scripture reference: 1 John 5:14-16, 1 Chronicles 16:11, 2 Chronicles 6:21, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Ephesians 1:18, Ephesians 6:18, Jeremiah 29:12, Job 22:27, John 17:15, James 5:13, Mark 11:24, Matthew 5:44, Matthew 6:7, Matthew 26:41, Proverbs 15:8, Psalm 17:6, Psalm 102:17, Psalm 141:2, Romans 12:2, Romans 12:12, Psalm 4:1, Psalm 145:18, Luke 11:2-4, Proverbs 15:29, Matthew 6:9-13, Matthew 7:11, Luke 6:12, Luke 18:1, Romans 8:26, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Timothy 2:8, Hebrews 4:14, James 1:7, James 4:3, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9, 1 Timothy 2:1-2
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, children's work, kids ministry, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, small churches , youth work, youth group. teenagers, preaching illustration, creative preaching,

265. The right way - dealing with the theme of hypocrisy within your Sunday school class


Watch this short video during your Sunday School or children’s club

A funny short video story about a very strict mother who doesn’t allow her own daughter any fun, but who has a secret room in which she can do all the things that she doesn’t allow her daughter to do.

dealing with the theme of hypocrisy within your sunday school class or kids ministry


Several Bible stories and Biblical themes came to my mind while watching this video. Stories and themes that you can address within your Sunday school lessons or children’s ministry. 

You can use this video story for example with Bible stories such as:

-  The hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Jesus rebuking them
-  The harshness and strictness of the Law. Would it have provoked feelings of unfairness that the Israelites had to keep such strict laws?
-  The hypocrisy of Eli the priest and his two sons (1 Samuel 1-2)
-  Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’ (Matthew 5:37)

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

Scripture reference:

1 John 4:20, James 1:26, Matthew 7:5, Matthew 6:1, Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 15:7-9, Romans 2:3, 1 John 2:9, Luke 12:2, James 2:14-26, 2 Timothy 3:5, Matthew 7:15, 1 John 2:4, Titus 1:16, Matthew 7:21-23, Romans 2:1-5, Romans 2:1, 1 Peter 2:16, Psalm 101:7, Galatians 6:3, Matthew 6:5, Luke 16:15, 1 John 1:6

Watch the video below

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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

Watch the video below

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262. How to tell difficult Bible stories to children in Sunday school class?


How am I going to tell this difficult Bible story to the children in my Sunday school class?

Not every Bible story is easy to tell. Especially when you have to tell the story to children in your Sunday school class or within your children’s ministry.

As a storyteller for children I have struggled in the past with the re-telling of several Bible stories in which the Israelites had to do certain ‘cruel’ things in the name of God. How can we tell these Bible stories in a time of religious tolerance?

Dealing with difficult stories in the Bible within the setting of children’s ministry

Stories such as the annihilation of the nations in the promised land, the strict laws about no mingling between the Israelites and their neighbours, the Bible story in Ezra where married men had to say goodbye to their foreign wives and children, because the Law commanded them to.

how to tell difficult Bible stories to children in sunday school class

Is the Bible a children’s story book?

Of course you can choose not to tell any of these stories.The thing is that the Bible is not written as a children’s book. It is God’s word, but it is also a book written by adults for adults. Within our children’s ministry we can take most of the Bible stories and tell them to children. But maybe not all...

Next story on the list in your Sunday school curriculum

On the other side maybe the difficult Bible story is in your Sunday school curriculum. It's the next story on the list and you struggle with it. “How am I going to tell this difficult Bible story to the children in my Sunday school class?” I have been there.

An object lesson that will help you tell difficult Bible stories to your Sunday school class

I have thought of an object lesson / cool science experiment that you can use within your Sunday school lessons, children’s ministry or youth group that will maybe help you explain God’s reason behind some of His commandments to the Israelites. Especially His commandment that the Israelites were not allowed to mingle / marry with the nations that surrounded them.

For this object lesson / cool science experiment you need two glasses, yellow and blue food colouring drops and kitchen paper. In the video below we show you how you can use this experiment to explain God’s reasons behind some of these strict (and maybe in our eyes cruel) stories. 

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:

2 Chronicles 13:15-18, Exodus 12:29, Numbers 16:41-49, Joshua 6:20-21, Deuteronomy 2:32-35, Deuteronomy 3:3-7, Numbers 31:7-18, 1 Samuel 15:1-9, 1 Samuel 6:19, Exodus 32, Joshua 10:10-11, Genesis 19:24, 2 Kings 2:23-24, Judges 21:1-23, 2 Kings 1:9-10, Ezra 9:1–2, Deuteronomy 7:3–4, Ezra 9:3, Ezra 10:2–3, Ezra 10:10–11

Watch the video below

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261. Praying for the lost sheep - a creative prayer idea as part of a Sunday school lesson on the theme of the Good shepherd


A creative prayer idea as part of a Sunday school lesson on the theme of the Good shepherd

After playing the game in idea 260 you can use the sheep as a creative prayer idea in which you encourage children to pray for others.

228

Themes:

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the church as a flock

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church, youth work, youth group, teenagers, small church, RE lessons

Scripture reference:

Psalm 100:3, Luke 15:4-7, Matthew 9:36, John 10:1-16, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 10:16, Ezekiel 34:1-31, John 21:17, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:31, Ezekiel 34:17-22, Micah 2:12, Mark 14:27, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 18:10-13

Age:

4-88 years old

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260. Find the lost sheep - part of a sunday school lesson about the Good shepherd


A fun game wherein children or adults go searching for a sheep that's lost.

Are you a good shepherd? Will you notice which sheep is missing? Or will you not see it and lose one of their precious sheep?

This game is part of a Sunday school lesson about the Good Shepherd. Once you have played this game, you can use the sheep as a creative prayer idea as shown in idea 261.

227

Themes:

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the church as a flock

Setting:

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

Scripture reference:

Psalm 100:3, Luke 15:4-7, Matthew 9:36, John 10:1-16, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 10:16, Ezekiel 34:1-31, John 21:17, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:31, Ezekiel 34:17-22, Micah 2:12, Mark 14:27, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 18:10-13

Age:

4-88 years old

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259. Ascension Day - a complete Sunday school lesson


A great programme for your Sunday school or children's ministry that looks at the meaning of Ascension Day

'Why did Jesus go to heaven?' and 'What does Jesus do in heaven?' are two very important questions to raise when we think about the ascension of Jesus. How can we help children in the Sunday school, children's ministry, children's work or kids ministry to find the answers to these important questions? 

Hopefully this Sunday school lesson with 8 creative ideas will help you!

You can download the complete PDF file below, with all 8 creative ideas on the ascension of Jesus.

why did Jesus go to heaven and what does He do there

Setting:

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

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

Have fun with them!

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258. 'Why did Jesus go to heaven?' and 'What does Jesus do in heaven?'.


A look behind the clouds - creative teaching material on the ascension of Jesus

'Why did Jesus go to heaven?' and 'What does Jesus do in heaven?' are two very important questions to raise when we think about the ascension of Jesus. How can we help children in the Sunday school, teenagers in the youth group and adults in the concregation find the answers to these important questions.

 


why did Jesus go to heaven


You can use this visual aid / object lesson to address these questions

You bring out a (very) big white cloud made from cardboard. Recap for a short while on the cloud that took Jesus out of sight. Ask the question: "Wouldn't it be great if we were able to look behind the cloud? Who'd want to do that?" When the children raise their hands, the leaders turn the cloud around. On the back of the cloud are the following words:
"You're ready" / "Sending a Helper" / "Praying" / "Making space" / "Coming back"

Nobody was able to see what happened behind that cloud. We know that Jesus didn't go to heaven like an astronaut or in a rocket. Nobody has seen what happened when Jesus arrived in heaven, but ... God has told us some things about it. You can find these things in the bible.

- God said to Jesus: "Have a seat. You're done. You've finished your task." Tell a bit about the task that Jesus had on earth.
- When Jesus arrived in heaven, he sent the Helper. This is the Holy Spirit. That is actually the Spirit of Jesus. You can't see the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit can live inside you, if you want. Because Jesus was human, he could only be in one place at a time. Now Jesus can live and work in everyone who wants, through the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus keeps praying for the people that believe in Him and do what he says.
- Before he went to heaven Jesus said to his friends that he would go to Heaven to make a place for them. He is still doing this. He is making a place for everyone that is a friend of is and believes in him.
- Jesus will return. One day, nobody knows when, except for God, Jesus will return with all the angels. Then he will become the only king on earth and he will put everything right. He will take away all pain, sadness and fighting; he'll take all of them away! Then the earth becomes as wonderful as it used to be.

Material

- Big white cloud made of cardboard
- Marker pens

Setting:

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

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

 

256. The Chemical Cross - a great way to share the gospel


How to use the iodine and sodium thiosulfate reaction to explain the power of the cross

In the video below I show you how you can give a gospel presentation using the Chemical Cross trick. It is another version of the iodine and sodium thiosulfate reaction, but this time you use a cross to make the water totally clean again. You can buy the Chemical Cross set through the site of Mission Magic

chemical cross


Themes:

Gospel presentation, victory over darkness and sin, the powers of the enemy defeated, God's victory on the cross, Jesus dying for our sin

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, open air evangelism, street evangelism, small churches

Scripture reference:

Light versus Darkness - Isaiah 9:2, Luke 1:79, Matthew 4:16, John 1:5, 2 Corinthians 4:6, 1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 5:8, John 8:12, Acts 26:18, Matthew 10:27, Mark 4:22, Luke 8:17, Luke 12:3, Genesis 1:3-5

The Gospel - Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 15:1-28, Romans 10:9-13, Romans 10:14, Acts 2:38, John 3:16, Luke 5:21-25, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 4:9-10, John 5:39-40, Romans 2:6-8, Luke 24:45-49, Mark 16:15, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Romans 11:19-22, John 8:24, John 6:50-71, Mark 16:16, Matthew 9:6-8, Genesis 22:8

The Cross - Mark 8:34, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Galatians 2:20, John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 2:24-25, Mark 15:30, 1 John 3:16, Matthew 10:38, Hebrews 12:2, Luke 14:27,  Colossians 2:14, Philippians 2:8, Romans 6:23, Luke 23:43 

The enemy defeated - John 14:30, Matthew 12:28,  Luke 13:16, Acts 10:38, Galatians 1:4, 1 John 3:8, Hebrews 2:14-15, Colossians 1:13, Titus 2:14, Revelation 3:21, John 12:31, Matthew 25:41, Luke 10:18, John 16:11, Colossians 2:15, Romans 8:38-39, Revelation 12:11, Acts 5:40-42, 1 John 2:13-14, Revelation 17:14, 1 Timothy 3:6, Revelation 20:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:26, Revelation 20:13-14

Watch the video below:

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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...

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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

254. The Magi give gold, myrrh and frankincense - the Dice Box


Tell the Bible story of the three Magi and their expensive presents

In idea 251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure I explain the routine of the Magic Dice Box.

I use this trick in one of my Christmas magic shows, when I tell the story of the three wise men (the  Magi) spending all their money to buy the most expensive gifts for Jesus.

You can link this with the price we may have to pay for following Jesus or you can use this story to teach on worshipping God. What do we offer God when we worship Him?

Paul writes in Romans 12: 1 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship." 


diebox peek3classic02

 

The trick has a strange name: the Sucker Dice Box. You can buy it here. When you buy the trick, you get a dice.  I have covered the dice with 'gold coins' paper so that it doesn't look like a dice anymore, but like a solid block of gold coins. 

You can use it as a Gospel Magic trick for the following stories:

251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure
252. The prodigal son loses everything
253. Jesus talking about collecting treasures on earth
254. The three wise men (the Magi) buying their presents for Jesus

Themes:

The three kings, the three wise men, the Magi, the star of Bethlehem, gold incense and myrrh, the price of following Jesus, being a living sacrifice, teaching on worshipping God

Setting:

Christmas service, 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, gospel presentation, small churches

Scipture reference:

The Magi - Matthew 2:1-12, Matthew 2:13-23

The cost of discipleship - Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Matthew 10:38, Matthew 8:19-20, Luke 14:27, Luke 9:57-58, Romans 14:7, Luke 9:59-60, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Matthew 8:21-22, Galatians 2:20, 1 Peter 4:2, Luke 14:28-32, Colossians 1:18, Luke 14:33, Philippians 3:7-8, Luke 9:61-62, Matthew 10:37, Luke 14:26, John 15:20, Acts 14:22, 2 Timothy 3:12, Matthew 10:38-39, Matthew 16:24-25, Mark 8:34-35, Luke 9:23-24, John 12:25

Worshipping God - 1 Chronicles 16:23-31, Exodus 20:2-6, John 4:21-24, Psalm 99, Deuteronomy 29:18, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Samuel 15:22, Revelation 4:8-11, Isaiah 29:13, Psalm 29, Hebrews 12:28-29, Nehemiah 9:5-6, Psalm 86:9-10, 2 Kings 17:38-39, Psalm 100, Daniel 3:16-18, Revelation 14:7

I explain the routine with the Dice Box and the story of the three magi / three kings below...

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253. Jesus talking about collecting treasures on earth - the Dice Box


Do not store up treasures on earth

In idea 251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure I explain the routine of the Magic Dice Box. I sometimes use it to teach on the words of Jesus: 

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."   Matthew 6:19, 20 

In the video below I will show you how you can combine this trick with teaching on these words of Jesus...


diebox peek3classic02

The trick has a strange name: the Sucker Dice Box. You can buy it here. When you buy the trick, you get a dice.  I have covered the dice with 'gold coins' paper so that it doesn't look like a dice anymore, but like a solid block of gold coins. 

You can use it as a Gospel Magic trick for the following stories:

251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure
252. The prodigal son loses everything
253. Jesus talking about collecting treasures on earth
254. The three wise men (the Magi) buying their presents for Jesus

Themes:

Collecting treasures on earth, collecting treasures in heaven, losing your treasure, finding real treasure

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

Scripture reference:

Matthew 6:19-20, Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:19-21, Luke 12:33, Luke 18:22, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Luke 14:33, Matthew 25:35-40, Revelation 22:12, Acts 20:35, Proverbs 19:17, Matthew 6:33, Hebrews 6:10, 1 Timothy 6:10, Luke 12:15, Colossians 3:1-3, Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 3:8, Proverbs 13:7, Luke 19:8-9 

Watch the video below...

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252. The prodigal son loses everything - the Dice Box


How to use this Gospel Magic trick to tell the story of the prodigal son

In idea 251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure I explain the routine of the Magic Dice Box. I use it in one of my children's programmes, when I do an hour long show on the theme of the prodigal son. The block of gold coins represents all the money he made from selling one third of everything on his father's farm. He takes this money with him to the big city and spends it all very quickly. In the video below I show you how to can do this trick while telling the story of the prodigal son. 


diebox peek3classic02

The trick has a strange name: the Sucker Dice Box. You can buy it here. When you buy the trick, you get a dice.  I have covered the dice with 'gold coins' paper so that it doesn't look like a dice anymore, but like a solid block of gold coins. 

You can use it as a Gospel Magic trick for the following stories:

251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure
252. The prodigal son loses everything
253. Jesus talking about collecting treasures on earth
254. The three wise men (the Magi) buying their presents for Jesus

Themes:

The prodigal son, being irresponsible, losing your treasure, finding real treasure

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, street evangelism, open air evangelism

Scripture reference:

Matthew 6:19-20, Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:19-21, Luke 12:33, Luke 18:22, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Luke 14:33, Matthew 25:35-40, Revelation 22:12, Acts 20:35, Proverbs 19:17, Matthew 6:33, Hebrews 6:10, 1 Timothy 6:10, Luke 12:15, Colossians 3:1-3, Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 3:8, Proverbs 13:7, Luke 19:8-9, Luke 15: 11-32

Below we will show you how you can uses this magic trick to tell the story of the prodigal son...

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251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure - the Dice Box


Tell the Bible story of Zacchaeus the tax collector in a new way

Show everyone a solid block of gold coins (this is a large dice that I covered with paper gold coins on it), and a box with two compartments, and doors to each compartment. The solid block of gold coins is placed in one compartment, and the doors are closed. The box is tilted, and your audience hear the block of gold coins slide from one side to the other. So they are not impressed when you open the door to show that the gold has vanished. They ask you to open the other door. 

You tilt the box again and open the door. They hear the block again, and even those that missed it the first time are now convinced they have caught you out. Repeat a few more times, milking it for all it's worth.

Finally open both doors, to show that the block of gold coins has indeed vanished. 

diebox peek3classic02

The trick has a strange name: the Sucker Dice Box. You can buy it here.

You can use it as a Gospel Magic trick for the following stories:

251. Zacchaeus finds real treasure
252. The prodigal son loses everything
253. Jesus talking about collecting treasures on earth
254. The three wise men (the Magi) buying their presents for Jesus

Themes:

Zacchaeus, losing your treasure, finding real treasure

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, children's work, 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

Scripture reference:

Matthew 6:19-20, Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:19-21, Luke 12:33, Luke 18:22, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Luke 14:33, Matthew 25:35-40, Revelation 22:12, Acts 20:35, Proverbs 19:17, Matthew 6:33, Hebrews 6:10, 1 Timothy 6:10, Luke 12:15, Colossians 3:1-3, Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 3:8, Proverbs 13:7, Luke 19:1-10, 

Below we will show you how you can use this magic trick to tell the Bible story of Zacchaeus

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