Bible Study & Prayer

Scripture Cabin

This activity is best done if the class can be taken to another room with a relaxed feel or to an actual log cabin. The main point, though, is that the room you’re in be completely dark. Then describe to the group that they are going to recite Scripture from memory. Then spend as much time as you can in just rattling off Scripture. Knowing the location isn’t important. Neither is reciting the verse verbatim. What is important is that the kids have Scripture memorized and they might not know it. Encourage the kids even when they say things like “Do not murder.” — Hey! It’s Scripture! This ties in well with a discussion on the importance of memorization.

Read more

Search for God

The “Search for God” can be used as a game, a great message for a youth meeting or a retreat.

Suggestions: It is best to blindfold everyone. If you don’t have blindfolds, students may be asked to close their eyes. However, if they open their eyes, it can ruin the whole activity. You have to select someone within the room to be God. No one should see you appoint this person, or it can be one of your youth leaders. Everyone is ushered out of the room and lead back in one at a time (blindfolded). Once they enter the room they start asking, Are you God? until everyone in the room has found God.

Rules: No one is allowed to talk. The only thing that you are allowed to say throughout the exercise is “Are you God?”. Eyes must be closed or blindfolded. No peeking!

Instructions:

God is somewhere in this room. The object of this exercise is for you to find him/her. Now, no one is allowed to talk or open their eyes. The only thing that you are allowed to say is, “Are you God?” If you find God, God will answer YES! If you do not hear the word Yes, keep searching with eyes closed! Once you find God you may open your eyes but you must stay attached to God because you become part of God also. Once you become part of God, if someone touches you and asks, are you God, you must then say Yes also. The exercise continues until everyone finds God.

This is a great exercise to lead a discussion afterwards:
How did you feel when you were searching for God? (most should be lost, scared, etc.)
Did it seem like it took a long time to find God?
How did you feel once you found God?

It’s interesting to hear how noisy the game plays out until everyone finds God. Once everyone finds God they seem to be at peace.

Hope you enjoy it! I’ve used it with high school retreat groups and at our youth group meetings.

Read more

Shoes Of Faith

Before meeting: Gather up various shoes and print out sheets of explanation for each.

Have youth look up and read the following verses: Micah 6:8, Ephesians 6:14&15, 1 John 1:5-7, John 8:12, Psalms 89:15, Isaiah 40:29-31, 2 John:4-6 Each of these scriptures has something in common, can anyone tell me what it is? They all have a reference to walking or the feet. Both the old and new testaments have many references of walking. There is walking in love, walking in the light, and walking with Christ. I think it’s meant to give us a mental picture of our ongoing relationship with God.

I’ve brought some things tonight that might help you get a better picture of what I’m talking about. {Bring out shoes one at a time} OLD HOUSESHOES – I’ve made a commitment to Christ, but I’ve been pretty lazy when it comes to serving Him. DRESS SHOES – I have a nice, shiny faith on the outside, but I only bring it out on Sunday’s and special occasions. WORN OUT SHOES – I’ve come a long way, but I need some serious healing. SANDALS – When the weather is good and the sun is shining, I’m out there walking with the best of them – but when things get stormy, I get discouraged and quit. SILLY ANIMAL HOUSESHOES – My spiritual life is a joke. I don’t take serving Jesus seriously. RUNNING SHOES – I feel like God is helping me to finish the race. WORK BOOTS – It’s been hard work lately, but I’m actually following through on my responsibilities.

Which of these shoes best represents your own walk with Christ? Walking with Christ means knowing Him and obeying Him. As we do this our minds become transformed to be more like the mind of Christ. It means that when you stumble, and we all will, that you will get back up, dust yourself off, and start walking again. Because as followers of Christ, we know that we are not walking alone. He is with us every step of the way, offering encouragement and love. As believers we also know what awaits us at the end of this race….an eternity in the presence of our loving God.

Read more

Sin Burial

Have the kids write down a sin, problem or something preventing them from being close to God. Have a “funeral procession” to a prearranged site, dig a grave (complete with a marker) and have the kids toss their “sins” into the grave with a prayer of commitment. Cover the grave and the marker can remain as a permanent reminder of this commitment.
*** Be sensitive to the youth. If there has been a recent death in the church or the life of a teen it’s obviously better suited for another time.

Read more

Sin Can Ruin Everything

I was teaching on how a small amount of sin can effect our whole life. I prepared some mud prior to the event in a large container. I divided them into groups of 2 or 3 and had them make mud pies in pie pans. Some got into mud fights which made it even better. I then had a contest as to whose was the best. At the end I then told them that the mud they had been playing with had one extra small ingredient, dog poop. (Not really though) After they were all pretty disgusted, we then talked about how even a small amount can ruin the whole thing just like sin in our lives.

Read more

Sin is Like a Box of Chocolate

First purchase a box of baker’s chocolate. Break it into the smaller pieces and serve it on individual plates of however many you like (recommend no more than 5). Tell the youth whoever finishes the chocolate first wins the prize (candy, cd, ect.). Have them look at it, touch it, and smell it to confirm it is chocolate. Then say GO and watch the fun. Some may quit after the first taste, but there is always someone who wants to win. When the winner is announced, ask each youth that tasted it what it was like. Ask them if they could tell it was any different than regular chocolate. Then proceed to explain how sin can look so good from every angle, but after you get into it, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Then discuss with the group sin through either testimony, sharing, or scripture. The ones that are involved in eating it will remember that topic very well.

Read more

Sin-ful Reality

While I teach 6th grade, this can be used for any age. During Lent, each Sunday School lesson is devoted to the last week of Jesus’ life. On Palm Sunday we look at Mark 15, examining the trumped up charges against Jesus, the torture and crucifixion. To illustrate the price He paid I have them “nail their sins to the cross.” Each student receives a lunch size brown paper bag, marker or pen, and 5 small sheets of paper. They write their name on the bag and list a separate “sin” on each sheet of paper. After folding the sheet, into the bag it goes. They fold the bag in half and each student takes a turn nailing their bag of sins onto a five foot cross, while I read (slowly) what happened during Jesus’ torture and crucifixion, reminding them of the price He paid for their personal sins. Each student receives a nail to carry around for the week reminding them about the class. During the course of the week, I take the cross home, remove the nails, remove “sin” papers throwing them out (without looking at them as I promised the kids) and replacing them with clean sheets of paper. I re-nail the bags to the cross, with PAID IN FULL written in red marker. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection by each student ripping off the bag with their name on it and seeing what happened to their “sin.” We then read and discuss Mark 16. It makes for quite a real reminder for the kids.

Read more

Skittles

I used small Skittles candy over a two week period to demonstrate the protective covering of God’s word in the life of a believer.

Week 1 – distribute a few skittles to each student. Ask for volunteers to place skittles around the edge of a paper plate so that you have five different colors around each plate. Then slowly add water to the center of the plate. The skittles should be placed so that the water begins to remove some of the color coating. Give the water a few minutes to work while encouraging the kids to share what they observe. Remind them that you will be asking for spiritual applications. They will be very observant and also come up with some profound spiritual applications. I draw the activity to a close by suggesting that the water represents the worldly temptations we all face. The dissolved coloring represents our own attempts to avoid temptation. And the mix of colors in the middle represents the result when we try to figure out how to live on our own.

Week 2: Prepare ahead of time by spraying some of the skittles with clear plastic spray. Start class by telling them what you did (spray some skittles with plastic), but then explain that the bags broke and the skittles were mixed up. Ask for ideas about how we can tell the two types of skittles apart. Then repeat the activity with the plate, skittles and water. The coated skittles will resist the action of the water, so that the color remains on them. Again, encourage observations and spiritual applications. I close by suggesting that the plastic coating is like daily prayer and can serve to protect us from the temptations of the world that we cannot resist on our own. Can others tell the difference between a believer who relies on prayer for a covering and one who tries to work it out alone?

Read more

Sort the Shooters

You need to have a basketball goal, ladder or step stool. Have one volunteer stand on the stool where they can put the basketball through the hoop. Line the youth up behind the free throw line, and tell them this is the free throw line and they get 3 shots. They can pass the ball to the person on the stool or shoot it themselves. Most of them will shoot it themselves at first. After they have shot their three shots, send them to another volunteer standing off to the side somewhere. If they made 2 of 3 they stand on the right side of the volunteer, if not, on the left. After all have been sorted have them sit down and read them the scripture about sorting the sheep and goats. The person on the stool represents Jesus and he never misses, all we have to do is give him our heart, soul, burdens, etc. to Jesus and he will handle them for us. We always try to do it ourselves until we fail, then turn it over to God. When the lesson is over, we get all the kids that were on the left another opportunity to make it to heaven.
Also explain to the kids that you didn’t tell them to shoot from the free throw line, they will argue with you. We always try to make things of the world more difficult than they really are. We can walk up and hand the ball to Jesus.

Read more

Soul-diers

Based on the simple game of “hangman” but using small plastic soldiers. Instead of drawing the traditional lines of the gallows each time a letter is wrong, the teams were allowed to “shoot” a soldier by flicking him away. Teams then counted up how many they had lost. We made sure the winning team had lost some too by making the phrase very hard. We then used this illustration in a series on “spiritual warfare” to discuss the fact that although God has the victory, individual souls are still at risk.

Read more