Teach that only Christ is suitable for us to put our faith in
a chair or stool
a bed sheet
string cut into four or five foot sections one for each student
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.
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.
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.
This illustration uses a paper chain made with twelve links. The first link says “MAN”. Write one commandment on each of the next ten links. On the twelfth link, write “GOD”. Ask one of the kids to read the word, “MAN”. Ask another to read the word, “God”. Next, ask who knows the ten commandments. The kids will name a few, but may not know them all by heart. Then ask, “How many commands must be broken before we are separated from God?” Have a person rip one of the links of the ten commandment chain to explain how even breaking one sin separates us from God. Ask if they have ever been disobedient at home or at school, and what that does to their relationship with God. Sin keeps us apart from God!
You’ll need a tube of toothpaste for each kid or you can put the kids in pairs. (I found they had more fun with a partner) and a paper plate and a $10.00 bill.
Give each person or group a tube of toothpaste and a plate. Tell them to squeeze the toothpase on the plate. Have fun with it, make designs etc. Then place the $10 bill on the table and tell the kids they have five minutes to put all the toothpaste back in the tube. The winner gets the money ( your money is safe). DISCUSS: Which is harder, squeezing out or putting back in? How is this like words coming out of our mouths? When have you wished you could take back words you’ve already said? In other words, what comes out of our mouths cannot be taken back. We can apologize but are things the same?
You hold up a $20 dollar bill and ask if anyone wants it. They will all raise their hands and beg for it. Then you crumple the bill up and say well it is not perfect anymore do you still want it? The kids will still raise there hands. Then put it on the ground and step on it and rub it into the ground. Ask again if they want it. They will still raise there hands. Now, rip it a little and ask again. This time tell them this bill is crumpled, stepped on, and torn…do you still want it. The kids will still raise there hands and you explain from there that the bill represents their lives. They started out new and crisp and clean, but over the years they become crumpled, and stepped on and torn up (give examples about some of the sin in their life) but that God still wants you. No matter how crumpled up, stepped on and torn up you are God still wants you.
Our youth leader had one of the youth adults spread a rumour about the leader. This was all planned out to find out who found out and how many told others. Well, the majority found out about it and that Sunday night he old us all it was not true and that was the opening to his lesson on gossip.
Everything has to have a lesson with Youth stuff. We made sandwiches for lunch at one of our “game days” and had this lesson to go with it…
Each kid was “assigned” one of the ingredients for the lunch. The different meats, condiments, chips, veggies, etc. Except for the bread and cheese… one of the youth leaders was assigned that. Under each ingredient was a piece of paper with a strange/funny instruction on it. I had the kids go one at a time… they had to walk up to the person with the ingredient they wanted, and ask for it. “Please let me have some ham.” The kid with the ham said “Well, OK, but you have to do a disco dance for me” or whatever else was on their instruction sheet. When the kids asked for bread (the cheese was hidden off to the side), the youth leader answered with a hug, and “Of course you can have some bread!! I love you!! Have some cheese too!!” and provided both to the kids.
Of course, the lesson was “God gives us what we need and a whole lot more! Most PEOPLE want you to EARN their love, God gives it freely.” The kids had a great lunch, and got a good lesson while we ate.
Some of the silly instructions I used were…
sing “Mary had a little lamb”
do 5 jumping jacks
count down from 10 and yell “BLASTOFF!”
spell your name backwards
This is a cool activity/ice breaker to do with a group (the larger the better) that know each other fairly well (at least by sight and name).
If you have a petition of some sort (or you can get leaders to hold up a long blanket, as long as the students cannot be seen) get all but one student (this student should know everyone’s names) to go to the other side of the petition and take off their shoes and socks. The group should line up along the petition with only their feet being seen under the petition. The lone student on the other side must now guess which feet belong to which individuals (by tapping the person’s foot and saying their name). They keep going until they get everyone.
Then the leader can start talking about Romans 10:15
“And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'”
Tell the students how they all have beautiful feet
and go into telling them about being witnesses etc…
Materials needed: 1 12 foot long 1″ x 12″ board. 2 stands with slots cut so the board can be stood on its edge.
I start by laying the board flat with the 2 stands out of sight. Begin by offering a challenge to any child that if they can walk across the board they’ll get a piece of candy. Really talk it up as being very difficult. Of course as each child tries they succeed easily and with each success you get more bewildered and shocked. Then you realize you forgot something and go get the stands and stand the board up on its edge. Now re-offer the challenge and be sure to walk beside the child as they try. The board is so flimsy they all naturally reached out to me for balance.
I then was able to relate Matthew 7:13-14. Walking the broad way is easy but leads to destruction. Though the narrow way seems hard, God is always there to help.