Bible Study & Prayer

Here’s Mud In Yer Eye

I was sitting at my computer a few weeks ago, trying to come up with a new idea for the tenth grade class that I teach at my church. God blessed me with the following idea. I don’t know if it’s ever been done but I know I’ve never heard of it before. Here goes: Rather than make this an outdoor event and subject to parental objection, I trimmed it down to a more subdued indoor event, however, it would be great as a more involved outdoor event also.

Prior to class, I mixed up some mud, medium/thin in texture and carried it to class in a sealed plastic container. At some point during class, I selected (Use your own means of selection) four students (2 girls and 2 boys) to participate. They were allowed to take turns spreading mud on each others faces. Everyone had fun, including the bystanders. After this was done, I quickly diverted their attention to something else. It could be anything, another lesson, a Christian song, or whatever. After a while, the mud begins to dry and crack and finally, after the various diversions, I said, “and now back to the mud.” You might ask if anyone can guess what it’s all about.

The points I made were as follows (there are probably several other possible points that could be made): Playing in the mud represents when we sin, that is, it was fun and silly and we were having a great time, but, when we were through, the mud began to dry and crack and really feel uncomfortable. The brief moment of fun wasn’t worth the prolonged discomfort of the drying mud. Of course when we sin, it is only by the Blood of Jesus that we are cleansed. Finally, let them go wash off “the sin.” (Of the four students, three of them were visibly uncomfortable while one of the boys seemed to be ashamed and kept his head hung low. It really was like sin) Anyway, modify it as you like, I hope you like it and feel blessed by it.

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Horse and Rider

To begin you have the youth choose a partner (of similar size is good). The partners then mingle in a fairly large area. While they mingle a caller will shout out one or several, as the game becomes more difficult, of 5 commmands.

The commands are:
“Horse” -a youth sits on the back of the other who is on hands and knees (like a horse)
“Rider” -a partner gets on one knee and the other partner sits the knee that is up
“Knight”-one partner jumps in the arms of the other (or holds up one leg if this is too much)
“Bang”-all fall to the ground
“Freeze”-all freeze in whatever position they are in.

The point is to be the fastest to get and remain in this position without moving for 10 seconds. The slowest or the ones who move are out. At the end the final two partners go to opposite walls and (touching the wall to begin with) the caller yells out one or several commands. The partners have to meet in the middle and do the command correctly and freeze for 10 seconds. Whoever does this the fastest wins.

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Hot Eggs

Well this game is easy but it takes a few steps of preparation. I came up with this game recently and my youth kids loved it! I’m sure yours will too.

1st. A week ahead of time let your youth know a book or chapter of a book in the bible to study, Come up with questions regarding the study and number each question. Example (“how many books does the bible have?”

2nd. Buy Easter eggs, the plastic kind u can put candy inside. Put the amount of candy you want to give the youth and number each egg. Each number on the egg corresponds to the number in your questions.

3rd. Make three papers… can be colorful construction paper…and name three teams taping them to the floor or table in a triangle shape… I used… (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit)… and divide the groups…

Place all the eggs in a basket or in the middle of the triangle so that each person from a team and take one (one when it’s their turn…
Pick randomly who starts the round and play it like a hot potato game….

STOP…is said by you…all the time…when u do say stop….ask the number and the person that caught the egg will have to answer the question in order to keep the candy inside the egg. If the person answers it correctly, they switch places with another person in their team, so they can have a chance of getting candy also, if they answer it incorrectly U toss the egg back in the pile and start another round.

The object of the game is for each team to gather as much eggs and candies for themselves. You can give the winning team a special prize or special treat. If u don’t, it’s ok, because since everyone participated they all had a chance of getting candy, more than likely all the teams get candy and share them among themselves.

You can close by making a brief. Mine was something like this:

” You all notice the point of this game?….We have learned that if we have knowledge of the word of God, as individuals and as a Church we can gather great treasures, not just material treasures but treasures we will be able to take to heaven. Treasures that make our life a whole lot sweeter.”

This game was part of my activities on Stewardship of Treasure….from our weekly Bible Study Guide…
THE KIDS LOVED IT, it was fun and got a lot of laughs out of it — especially when they dropped the egg. It’s also good to play some music in the background, kids love that.

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I Sit (Variation)

Just like the game I Sit accept that the goal is the get separate the group by gender. Sit you group boy, girl, boy, girl. Play the game as usual accept that the first gender group to have all of their players sitting in succession wins. It involves a great deal of strategy!

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Ice Games

Fill 2 kiddie plastic pools full of ice. Put 50 marbles at the bottom. Give the kids a certain amount of time (I think we used about 3 minutes) to dig the marbles out of the pools with only their toes. It is very cold and exciting to watch. Then play a second round and the kids will only use their mouths. They think it is fun but do not remind them of all the toe jam floating around in the ice and on the marbles.

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Inductive Bible Study

Even elementary age children can learn the principles of inductive Bible study. Narratives are a good place to start. Begin by making a copy of the passage for each student as well as an overhead transparency of the passage. Orally read the passage or have the students take turn reading it. Go through the passage picking out WHO is is the story, WHERE the story takes place, WHAT is going on in the story, WHEN events in the story occur, WHY the characters did what they did, and HOW the story concludes. Be working toward the end result the information gleaned into a classroom play or a TV newscast of events that tell the story in another form. For example, divide the passage into episodes of events that happened. This will help the student to see how the story flows and will help set the framework for the play or newscast. Once the passage is segmented into episodes, read the passage in episodic parts, allowing the actors to display the action and adding dialogue. Once the creative part is done, you are ready to discuss the interpretation and application. Ask what they thought God wanted the actual characters in the story to know about Him. Then ask what God wants US to know about Him.
This process can be varied with different creative expressions so that your classroom can have a lot of variety.

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Inky Hands

Best done on all day or weekend event. This is an idea used to promote the thought that while we are all individiuals – we are all one in God.

Using multi-colored paper, have the kids sign their names in the corner (whatever corner they like) with a marker – and tell them to make sure they either use their signature or do something a little artistic…no straight printing allowed.

Then handprint them (we were able to have real handprinting ink – but fingerpaitns will work just as well). Cover the whole hand – from the fingertips to bottom of the palm.

Then lay all of them out to dry. Then go on with your events.
Then, while setting up for a moment of reflection, evening meditation, whatever, lay the handprints out in a cross. With the appropriate Bible verses (that either reflect on this specifically or your topic for the event). This is a very powerful illustration of how much a part of us God really is – especially for kids who are trying to find their “individual selves”.

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Is it About Me or God

Read 1 Peter 4:11

Okay Done, Think about it for a minute, Read it again. What did God say to you in that verse?

Here look at one more…

Read Matthew 5:14-16

Okay Done, Think about it for a Minute, Read it again. What did God say to you in that verse?

A question to ponder. What did you do to further the Kingdom of God or should I ask what did you sacrifice for the Kingdom today or week? Not every member of the church has grasped that he or she is a “separate and necessary part” of the church. Many of you feel perfectly comfortable playing no noticeable role in the life of the church, except perhaps, the role of a vegetable, a “spec-tator”!

Youth sold out for Christ are known for doing crazy things – Like good deeds for no reason, you’re kidding right? Or how’s about, Putting other people before themselves, no way. Maybe even being a necessary part of the tribe willing to sacrifice to benefit the church, outrageous. Even talking about a man who lived 2000 plus years ago who came to save the world. Such a life style raises quite a few questions, and usually eyebrows too. What’s the motivation? people wonder. There gotta be a catch, they’ll say. Nobody does things “just because”. But this is exactly what sets Christians apart from all the other religions in the world today.

Does this sound like you? Are you willing to participate to make a difference in Yuma, the foothills, your school, the tribe and even the church? Are you ready to radically serve those around you? Are you ready to be a hundred million watt, no, no. A hundred, million, billion watt light for Christ or are you happy just sitting around unnoticed being that two watt’er in the corner. Hoping no one notices you, you don’t have to stand up or out, hard to tell you from the world. That is the sickness!

The Sickness: The world has a shortage of people who wants to make a difference – especially the “God” kind of difference. Even those “Sold out for Christ” get lazy and lose their focus on things that really matter.

The Cure: What’s the cure for this type of apathy? You’re right, losing yourself on a daily basis in the word of God and training yourself to look to were God is working and the opportunities to serve Him and those around you.

Watch Out!! Use extreme Caution: Most likely you will find, if your heart is in the right place, serving GOD is very addictive. Oh what a rush…..

What can you do? Get with Nathan, he know several ways to support the Community, and the Church.

Remember God takes great delight in a joyful giver. But the world sees it as a “what do I get out of it?” attitude. However if you a truly sold out for Christ, you should be asking “What’s in it for God?”

Which question are you asking?

What’s in it for me?
What’s in it for God?

Read Matthew 6:24-25 & 28-33

Okay Done, Think about it for a minute, Read it again. What did God say to you in that verse?

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Jesus Knocing At Heart’s Door

Buy the wallet-size picture of Jesus which shows Him standing and knocking on a wooden door, entitled Christ at Heart’s Door. Get one for each teenager. Pass out the pictures and explain the detail and intricacies of the artist’s work. Go around the circle of kids and ask them to share one thing that they can see in the picture that tells us something about Jesus or ourselves. You can get around 30-45 details. Have a brief lesson on how to study the Bible. Include the following points: The scriptures were written to disclose Christ. Any valid study must begin and end in Him. The key to knowing God’s Word is to read and study the scriptures – always looking for new insights. We can learn something new each time we study a passage. Just when we think we can’t, we gain a new insight and learn that there is always more to His Word than meets the eye.

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Jumble Group Prayer

This format of group prayer came out of our youth night one week.

After devotion, we commonly share our prayer requests, I write them down, and we dish them out with volunteers offering to pray each request. Spontaneous, out loud group prayer is something that’s not really comfy for a lot of our kids, and so it can be a real challenge for them.

On the night in question, we had spent so long talking about the prayer requests that we were running out of time to actually pray them. Somehow, we decided that one youth would open the prayer simply, “Dear God, hear our prayers…” and then we would all pray out loud at the same time. When it got quiet, we had another youth ready to close with “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

It worked really well. We talked about it afterward, and heard comments like, “I didn’t feel as awkward praying out loud like this” and “I didn’t have to worry about making it sound right, because only God was listening and He always understands”. Another comment was, “That was cool, because maybe that’s how prayer sounds to God.” It’s definitely something we will be doing again.

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