Bible Study & Prayer

Forgiveness in a Flash

I have used this in many retreats and meetings and it always gets a lot of oooh’s and ahh’s from the group.

This is best used to start or end a lesson on the forgiveness of God.

Obtain some flash paper. This can be found at magic shops or pyrotechnics companies and they’ll usually sell you 8.5X11 sheets in packs of 25 or. I take those sheet and cut them into fourths leaving me with smaller rectangles.

Each student will receive a piece of flash paper and a marker (Sharpie’s work best). Ask the students to write something that represents their sin. Remember the paper is small and thin, so remind them they don’t need to write every sin, just something that represents it. Ask them to take some time and pray over the paper, praying for God to forgive those sins. Then they should bring you the piece of paper. Don’t let the students do the lighting!

You should be stationed in an area with no flammable things close by sitting or standing behind a lit candle. Take the student’s paper and pray over it. Then light just the edge of the paper and throw it into the air. The paper will burn in a flash leaving behind no ashes or other residue. Make sure you practice burning it before the students arrive. It takes a little practice to get it right.

End with a discussion on forgiveness and how once your sins are forgiven God forgets them and will never bring them up again.

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Foto-Match

Hang up 20 or so photos of all kinds of people. The 1st week, have the kids write descriptions of each person based on what they see in the picture. Collect them and during the following week, combine the descriptions into a single paragraph which reflects the group consensus. Attach the descriptions to each picture for the next meeting and have the students look at the photos with descriptions carefully (make sure they’re numbered) and then answer the following questions:
1.) Choose 5 people you would want to travel with for 1 year. Why?
2.) Is there any one person who you would not want anything to do with? Why?
3.) Who, if any would you be willing to marry?
4.) Who, if any would you worship with?
5.) Which person do you think you could really like? Why?
6.) If only 5 others and yourself were allowed to live and the others executed, which 5 would stay with you? Why?

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Foundations

MATERIALS NEEDED: unsharpened pencils (enough for all the kids); one foam brick (which can be found at any craft store or Wal-Mart).
THE LESSON: Pass out the pencils. If possible, have a variety of pencils designs and let them choose. Then challenge them to stand them on the unsharpened end. This works well with them sitting in a circle on a hard-surface floor. Give them about five minutes to try. Some will get them to stand, but blow them down as soon as it stands for a few seconds. Then begin asking questions like “Why couldn’t you get the pencil to get/stay up?” Spend a few minutes discussing the concept of foundations. Ask the kids to list some good and bad things people use for foundations. You may get answers like: “God”; “Alcohol”; “Friends”; “Sex”; etc…
Ask a member to read Matt 7:24-27. Then get out the brick and have them jab the pencils into it. Have a discussion about what it means to let Jesus be there foundation. Close the session with prayer. As presented here, the lesson is most effective with groups that have down little application of Scripture in there lives; however, it can easily be beefed up to the level appropriate for your kids.

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Friendship Charades

If you are focusing on the topic of friendship and/or loyalty, this game of charades might have the new twist you are looking for. Use Ruth 1:16 if you have biblically based messages.
Divide the youth into two teams for a game of charades. Within those teams, have each youth select a partner. The youth leader needs to create cards with characters on them that were or are presently known for their loyalty and friendship. Have the pairs work together to show their team the characters. Use Biblical and contemporary references; positive and negative role models. Allow the youth to reference the source of the characters, even the Biblical references. Some of the Biblical friendships listed below are not popularly known. It’s a good excuse for the youth to open up and read their Bibles. For contemporary references, it may be easier to initially act out “Clueless” than “Cher and Dionne.”

Examples include:

Biblical References:
– Mary and Lazarus, Luke 10:38-42
– Naomi and Ruth, Ruth 1:16,17
– Abraham and Lot, Gen. 14:14-16
– Samuel and Saul, 1 Sam. 15:35
– David and Jonathan, 1 Sam. 18:1-4
– Luke and Theophilus, Acts 1:1
– David and Ittai, 2 Sam. 15:19-21
– Jehu and Jehonadab, 2 Kin. 10:15-27
– David and Mephibosheth, 2 Sam. 9
– Joram and Ahaziah, 2 Kin. 8:28,29

Contemporary References:
– Thelma and Louise, movie of same name
– Burt and Ernie, Sesame Street
– Laverne and Shirley, TV show of the same name
– Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, Scooby-Doo
– Cher and Dionne, Clueless
– Spanky and Alfalfa, The Little Rascals
– Mary Kate and Ashley, Full House
– Brandon and Steve, 90210
– Ariel and Sebastian, The Little Mermaid
– Aladdin and Abu, Aladdin

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Generation Text

Tools needed: White board and marker, pens/pencil blank paper.

Start lesson out by writing on the board that no one can talk. Do not tell the students what to do with their paper and pens as some will figure it out.

Write some of the following, “I have seen your Facebook or MySpace account, I know what you said. I saw the text.” or something along those lines (before teaching this lesson you should check the internet for your students if you feel comfortable doing this don’t be surprised by what you find, you do not have to do this).

Write “It hurt my feelings, I can’t believe you said that. Was it true what you said?” (Erase after each time you write as if you are e-mailing or texting). As students start responding by writing on their paper and asking things like “Who me”? or “What are you talking about?” Continue to write vague responses.

Write scripture on the board related to days of our youth such as I Tim 4:12. Have them read it and then write on their paper a response as to what it means. If someone writes the correct response tell them that they are right but don’t indicate why it’s right.

Write the words, angry, mad, upset, followed by gossip, lies, no emotion. The purpose of the lesson is to get the young people to realize what they put on the internet and what they text can affect many people. Some say things by electronic means that they would never say in person. God realizes that as young people we do things without full understanding of its lasting consequences. Adults do read what they put on the internet and some do for the wrong purpose. A good site to review before this lesson is Netsmartz.org.

The teens responded well to this lesson and some even tired of the writing and reading even though a good estimated average for them is 120 text a day. Some of our teens had text some hurtful things to other teens and I was aware of some of the teens putting personal info on their profiles.

I used the time to talk about internet safety, how to report and the importance of talking to their parents even when they receive unsolicited text, e-mails or images. Many law enforcement agencies will present internet safety classes to your teens or their parents. This issue is tearing apart youth groups and churches with Facebook being the main contributors. Talk to your teens about the internet not being reality and how texting doesn’t share true emotions or express an individual’s true intent. (My background, School Resource Officer for 15 years, Juvenile Investigator for 10 years, Teen Youth Leader for about 15 years, I have enjoyed your site and used it many times)

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God Can

The “God can” is actually a aluminum soda can with a glued on label explaining what it is about. The notion behind the God can is simple-and remarkable. There are some problems that you can solve, and then there are some that “God Can.” The instructions on the label explain that the idea is to write down your unsolved problem on a little slip of paper and slip it into the can and leave it there for God’s attention. When you got a problem that you can’t manage, our Christian faith calls for us to turn it over to God. You can’t fix it but God can.

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Gospel Court

You set up your court room like a real court room. You have two sides. One side proves the world’s view. The other side proves the Bible is the word of God. It really makes the youth have to study the word of God. It also shows them what the world thinks about the Bible and gives them the tools to go out into the world to teach them the word of God.

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Gossip – Verbal Poison

Theme
God detests gossip because it slowly poisons His Body by poisoning relationships.

God detests gossip
—————————
The Bible also calls gossip; slander, speaking evil of another, whispering rumors.
Exodus 23:1 (ESV)
“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.
Leviticus 19:16 (ESV)
You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NLT)
16 There are six things the LORD hates – no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers.

Gossip acts like a slow poison to the whole body
————————————————-
It poisons youth group!
Gossip poisons your school because it causes damage to relationships as it travels. And you can never retrace it’s journey to repair the damage that was caused.
Gossip Makers
Yiddish folklore offers a telling tale about gossip-makers. One such man had told so many malicious untruths about the local rabbi that, overcome by remorse, he begged the rabbi to forgive him. “And, Rebbe, tell me how I can make amends.”
The rabbi sighed, “Take two goose feather pillows, go to the public square and these cut the pillows open. Wave them in the air. Then come back.”
The rumormonger quickly went home, go two goose feather pillows and a knife, hastened to the square, cut the pillows open, waved them in the air and hastened back to the rabbi. “I did just what you said, Rebbe!”
“Good.” The rabbi smiled. “Now, to realize how much harm is done by gossip, go back to the square.”
“And?”
“And collect all your feathers.”
– From Hooray for Yiddish

It poisons your friendships!
—————————————-
Proverbs 16:28 (ESV)
A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:9 (ESV)
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Have you ever had a friendship injured by rumors or gossip?
Then you have experienced how gossip poisons friendships.
It poisons your reputation!
Proverbs 11:13 (ESV)
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Proverbs 20:19 (ESV)
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
Realize this! If you speak gossip you are poisoning someone’s reputation. And, you are poisoning your reputation! The person that passes on information to you about someone else has just shown you that they cannot be trusted. They are, as the Proverb says, a simple babbler.

It poisons slowly!
—————————————–
Going fishing with my special bait
Once upon a time Ben decided to ask Brittany if she would like to go fishing. Brittany said, “sure! As long as I don’t have to put the worms on the hook.” Ben said, “No problemo! I’ll put on my special bait for you.”
So Wednesday after school Ben and Brittany went fishing. Ben reached into his bag of special bait and put some on his hook … reached in again and put some on Brittany’s hook. They caught some big fish that day and had so much fun they decided to go again on Thursday. When Thursday came Ben did the same thing … He reached into his bag of special bait and put some on his hook … reached in again and put some on Brittany’s hook. Brittany noticed that Ben was having trouble with his arm. Ben said that it was just sore from Baseball practice. They caught some big fish that day and had so much fun they decided to go again on Friday. Friday came and Ben did the same thing … he reached into his bag of special bait and put some on his hook … reached in again and put some on Brittany’s hook. Brittany noticed Ben’s arm was swollen and had all these blackish -greenish bruises all over it. Ben said, “yeah, it’s kinda numb and tingly and turning black. They caught some big fish that day.
Well, they didn’t see each other all weekend and when Monday came Brittany was looking for Ben at school but could not find him. She went to the office after lunch to see if he was OK. The secretary, Mrs. Pardfudpuckle, said that Ben was in the hospital. “Oh No!,” exclaimed Brittany. “What’s wrong?” “Well”, said Mrs. P. “They had to cut his arm off. You see he thought he was using special bait when he went fishing but it turned out to be baby rattlesnakes.”
Gossip takes time to circulate. As it makes it’s travels it poisons the reputation of people it is focused on. And, it poisons the people who are carriers.

How do you respond to gossip?
———————————-
Now where it comes from
Matthew 15:19 (ESV)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Luke 6:45 (ESV)
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Gossip, slander comes from an evil heart. The words and actions of a person show the type of person they are. Chances are if they don’t talk and act like a follower of Jesus then they’re not a follower of Jesus. And evil person is going to do evil things.
Rev. 12:10 (ESV)
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
When someone slanders, gossips, they are acting exactly like Satan, the accuser.

Refuse to listen to gossip
————————————-
If someone says, “I hope you don’t mind me telling you this,” it’s pretty certain you will.
Another thing you could do is to refuse to listen to anything unless the person being discussed is present.
What are the problems you might encounter if you refuse to listen to gossip?

Refuse to speak gossip
—————————-
James 1:19-21 (ESV)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; [20] for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. [21] Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
· T – Is it true?
· H – Is it helpful?
· I – Is it inspiring?
· N – Is it necessary?
· K – Is it kind?
THINK is by Alan Redpath

Remember this simple formula before speaking to or about any person. If what you are about to say does not pass those tests, THEN KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!

Deadly Microbe
—————————
Gossip is the most deadly microbe. It has neither legs nor wings. It is composed entirely of tales, and most of them have stings.

Read more

Gossip – Verbal Poison

Theme
God detests gossip because it slowly poisons His Body by poisoning relationships.

God detests gossip
Gossip
The Bible also calls gossip; slander, speaking evil of another, whispering rumors.
Exodus 23:1 (ESV)
“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.
Leviticus 19:16 (ESV)
You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NLT)
16 There are six things the LORD hates – no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers.

Gossip acts like a slow poison to the whole body
It poisons youth groups!
Gossip poisons your school because it causes damage to relationships as it travels. And you can never retrace it’s journey to repair the damage that was caused.

Gossip Makers
Yiddish folklore offers a telling tale about gossip-makers. One such man had told so many malicious untruths about the local rabbi that, overcome by remorse, he begged the rabbi to forgive him. “And, Rebbe, tell me how I can make amends.”
The rabbi sighed, “Take two goose feather pillows, go to the public square and these cut the pillows open. Wave them in the air. Then come back.”
The rumormonger quickly went home, got two goose feather pillows and a knife, hastened to the square, cut the pillows open, waved them in the air and hastened back to the rabbi. “I did just what you said, Rebbe!”
“Good.” The rabbi smiled. “Now, to realize how much harm is done by gossip, go back to the square.”
“And?”
“And collect all your feathers.”
From Hooray for Yiddish
It poisons your friendships!
Proverbs 16:28 (ESV)
A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:9 (ESV)
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Have you ever had a friendship injured by rumors or gossip?
Then you have experienced how gossip poisons friendships.
It poisons your reputation!
Proverbs 11:13 (ESV)
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Proverbs 20:19 (ESV)
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
Realize this! If you speak gossip you are poisoning someone’s reputation. And, you are poisoning your reputation! The person that passes on information to you about someone else has just shown you that they cannot be trusted. They are, as the Proverb says, a simple babbler.

It poisons slowly!
Going fishing with my special bait
Once upon a time Ben decided to ask Brittany if she would like to go fishing. Brittany said, “sure! As long as I don’t have to put the worms on the hook.” Ben said, “No problemo! I’ll put on my special bait for you.”
So Wednesday after school Ben and Brittany went fishing. Ben reached into his bag of special bait and put some on his hook … reached in again and put some on Brittany’s hook. They caught some big fish that day and had so much fun they decided to go again on Thursday. When Thursday came Ben did the same thing … He reached into his bag of special bait and put some on his hook … reached in again and put some on Brittany’s hook. Brittany noticed that Ben was having trouble with his arm. Ben said that it was just sore from Baseball practice. They caught some big fish that day and had so much fun they decided to go again on Friday. Friday came and Ben did the same thing … he reached into his bag of special bait and put some on his hook … reached in again and put some on Brittany’s hook. Brittany noticed Ben’s arm was swollen and had all these blackish -greenish bruises all over it. Ben said, “yeah, it’s kinda numb and tingly and turning black. They caught some big fish that day.
Well, they didn’t see each other all weekend and when Monday came Brittany was looking for Ben at school but could not find him. She went to the office after lunch to see if he was OK. The secretary, Mrs. Pardfudpuckle, said that Ben was in the hospital. “Oh No!,” exclaimed Brittany. “What’s wrong?” “Well”, said Mrs. P. “They had to cut his arm off. You see he thought he was using special bait when he went fishing but it turned out to be baby rattlesnakes.”
Gossip takes time to circulate. As it makes it’s travels it poisons the reputation of people it is focused on. And, it poisons the people who are carriers.

How do you respond to gossip?
Now where it comes from
Matthew 15:19 (ESV)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Luke 6:45 (ESV)
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Gossip, slander comes from an evil heart. The words and actions of a person show the type of person they are. Chances are if they don’t talk and act like a follower of Jesus then they’re not a follower of Jesus. And evil person is going to do evil things.
Rev. 12:10 (ESV)
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
When someone slanders, gossips, they are acting exactly like Satan, the accuser.

Refuse to listen to gossip
If someone says, “I hope you don’t mind me telling you this,” it’s pretty certain you will.
Another thing you could do is to refuse to listen to anything unless the person being discussed is present.
What are the problems you might encounter if you refuse to listen to gossip?

Refuse to speak gossip
James 1:19-21 (ESV)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; [20] for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. [21] Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
· T – Is it true?
· H – Is it helpful?
· I – Is it inspiring?
· N – Is it necessary?
· K – Is it kind?
Remember this simple formula before speaking to or about any person. If what you are about to say does not pass those tests, THEN KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
Alan Redpath
Deadly Microbe
Gossip is the most deadly microbe. It has neither legs nor wings. It is composed entirely of tales, and most of them have stings.

Read more

Gross-Comp

You’ll need a Weetabix (breakfast wheat bar or some other really dry breakfast bar), some undiluted cordial, piece of bread, can of coke and ground covering for floor protection. (Above foods can be substituted for maximum grossness or you could even replace one food with an individual mixture made of different edible’s).
Get up some volunteers (the amount of kids you get up the front, you will need that amount of each of the foods.) Explain to them that they have to eat each of the foods (in order as above) and be the first finished, but they can only pick up and eat each thing one at a time. Buy some bags of lollies or chocolate bars as prizes and reward to the winners.
This is a really gross competition, but it really does attract huge interest. In my high school (12yrs-18yrs old) youth ministry, this had unsaved youth totally captivated and excited with a huge willingness to come again to the outreach events. They love this stuff!

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