Illustrations

Anchored in Christ

Goal
Teach that only Christ is suitable for us to put our faith in

Items needed
a chair or stool
a bed sheet
string cut into four or five foot sections one for each student
index cards

Directions
Tie several pieces of string to the chair and the rest to the index cards. On the index cards write some things that people tend to put their faith in (money power it’s also a good idea to put your own name). Then label the chair “Christ” place the index cards on the seat and cover with the sheet with the strings leading out.

Have everyone gather around the chair and grab a string. Have everyone pull their string and discuss how all these things let us down but Christ never fails.

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Bearing Your Cross

Make a large cross (we used 6×6 beams) that’s about 5×7 or larger. Have youth try to carry it (or get a rope and drag it) individually, then have others join in. It will show the importance of ‘Bearing Your Cross’ with fellow Christians along the way.

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Carrying Around Sins

Materials needed: A couple of bookbags, and books

Have the youth walk around with an empty bookbag on their back; ask them to add a book for every sin they have committed. (lies, lust, sex, not praying, disobeying parents, not following the Laws of the Lord, etc…) The more books that are added, the harder it is to walk around.

Showing it gets harder and harder as we continue to walk around with our sins burdening us. Just let them go, confess them to God and let Him handle them.

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Jar Of Sin

(Salvation)

This object lesson demonstrates the salvation we have in Christ Jesus. Supplies needed are two jars, one larger than the other, four colors of food coloring, and bleach. You fill the larger jar 3/4 of the way with water, the other you fill completely with bleach. To begin the lesson, you explain that the jar of water is a representation of our lives. Without sin we are clear and pure, like water. But because we are sinners, it is impossible to stay clear. Then you demonstrate… say “how many of you have disobeyed your parents before?” Explain that disobedience is a sin and place a drop of food coloring into the water. Now repeat that step 3 more times, each time using a different sin (color) as an example, until the water turns an ugly green-brown. Then explain that Jesus wants to come into our lives and fill the void (the 1/4 of the jar that is empty). Pour Jesus (bleach) into the jar of colored water and watch the transformation begin as Jesus takes away the sin in our life! You can put more drops of food coloring into the jar after Jesus has been poured in, and the food coloring will continue to disappear…just as in Jesus we have eternal salvation.

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Talk Show Talks

Use a talk show format to bring a biblical story to life! Have someone act as the talk show host and choose kids to portray the various bibical characters. You can also throw in parents, neighbors, and friends. Don’t forget to have some act as the audience. This brings the story to life and allows the kids to really relate to the characters and the situation happening in the story. An Exmpale: Joseph and the coat of many colors. You can have Joseph and his parents and brothers as the guests.

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Heaven vs. Hell

For this idea, you need the following supplies:

1 piece of red construction paper
1 piece of blue construction paper
1 piece of paper which says Heaven
1 piece of paper which says Hell
1 package of sticky dots
Ziploc bag of pinto beans
Lots of space
2 tables

Before students arrive:

1) Tape down the heaven and hell signs on 2 seperate tables, tape the blue and red construction paper over them.

2) Affix sticky dots on the floor, in one line if at all possible approximately 1 foot apart

When the students arrive, have them sit at a third table.

What to do:

1) Have kids stand on a sticky dot.

2) Hand one person the bag of beans, on the end. Explain: I want you to pass these beans and take one out, when I call stop, you stop. People who did not get one, sit at the red table and people who did get one, sit at the blue table.

3)Time until it gets half through, then tell them to stop. People who did not get a bean, sit at the red table and people who did, sit at the blue table.

4) On the count of three, one person from the group lifts up the red or blue paper.

Questions to ask:

1. How could your friends have not gotten sent to hell.

Optional: Beforehand, you may want to have 3 or 4 students to whom you know it will be passed, the “refuse” to accept the gift.

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Body of Christ

To illustrate that all are important in the body of Christ. I had the kids try to race without using their toes, sit without using their knees and (this is the best) eat without using their elbows. This is a good way to show how important to life all parts of the body are…and so how important all people in the Body of Christ are.

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God Gives Us Balance

I was speaking on burdens one night and came up with this illustration about letting God make our burdens easy to bear…

Supplies:
Three 10 foot 2×4’s
One cinder block
One rope

Preparation:
I took two of the 2×4’s and laid them on edge, side-by-side about 2 feet apart and cut the other one up to connect the two (basically i made something that looked like RR tracks). Then I took the rope and tied it to the cinder block and made a loop on the end so it would be easy to pick up.

Lesson:
I told the youth that life is tough enough without problems, it’s like having to walk on the edge of a 2×4 without falling off. I challnged one youth to walk the 2×4 without losing his balance and he did with only a little struggle.
I then said but life isn’s that easy, we have problems that we have to deal with. I then handed the guy the rope with the cinderblock on it and told him to walk the 2×4 again. He could not do it because his balance was thrown off.
I then said we need to let God balance us and preferrably we need to let Him have our burdens. I then jumped on the other 2×4 and put my hand on his shoulder and said now walk to the end of the 2×4. Walking with him, I was a counterbalance and kept him from falling.
I proceeded to explain that we need to let God be the one who balances us, but better yet we need to let Him take the burden from us so that all we have to focus on is walking the same speed as God. If we hold on to our burdens we can sometimes lose our focus of staying in step with God.
There are many different ways that you can end this and many different lessons you can apply it to. I would say that if you have the resources to actually try and get a section of railroad track for the lesson and run it down the center aisle of your youth room if size permits it.

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Complete Forgiveness

Using a large bowl of water, talk to youth about how this represents their life. It represents sports they are involved in, time at school, time they spend hanging out with friends, things they say, movies they watch, etc. Then take a pepper shaker and tell the youth that this represents sin. As you sprinkle the pepper over the bowl of water, talk about how it represents that lie they told last week, they gossip they passed onto a friend, or the way they disobeyed their parents. Share with the youth about the power of God’s forgiveness and choosing to live for him. Using two sticks taped together like a cross, dip the end of the cross in dish washing liquid. Explain that the moment that we asked Christ for forgiveness and we ask him into our hearts, he immediately washes away that sin. When you dip the soapy end of the stick into the bowl of water, it immediately sends the pepper to the edges of bowl, representing Christ’s forgiveness of our sins! It is really cool!!

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Pushups

One person (probably youth pastor or speaker) has a small item to offer to everyone in the group. But before he can give it to them, he has to “pay” for it by doing a certain number of pushups. The idea is to do enough pushups per person so that he is struggling about halfway through, but is still able to get through everyone. Certain people in the group will be designated to reject the gift, but the person doing the pushups can say, “That’s okay, I’ll pay for it now, and if you decide you want it later, let me know and I’ll give it to you.” The idea is to represent what Jesus did for us on the cross, and it’s a really powerful message. The Bible speaker did it at a camp I worked at this summer, and he offered everyone a plastic bracelet that said “HOPE” on it. Some campers were crying and hugging each other afterwards, and it provided opportunities for the counselors to have some great discussions in room devotions with their groups of campers later that night.

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