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.
Materials needed: Jenga ™ Game (or other game where you stack blocks and it is over when they fall.
Before the game is started you tell the group that while you’re playing this game, be thinking of each tile as being a sin. Then when the game is over and the tiles fall you ask each what did that mean to them. The purpose is to help them realize that by stacking one sin on top of another, then another, and so on, eventually you will crumble. But by going to our Savior and asking for forgiveness, we have no sins to stack. My Sunday School class loved it and I was so surprised at how much sense it made to them.
Have one student sit in a chair at the front of the room. Gather 7-10 other students and instruct them to yell simple commands at the other student that is seated in the chair. For example, have one student yell to lift his/her left arm up and another student yelling at the same time to put his/her left arm down. The more commands that are yelled at the same time, the better. Needless to say, the student that is sitting down will get so frustrated that they do not know what to do.
This illustrates that in our daily life, we have so many different influences affecting our lives that it is important that we learn to listen only to Jesus… “the sheep know his voice.”
Outdoor illustration: Give each kid a ball and tell them they have to kick the ball, and, with as little kicks as possible, keep it out of the gutter. Explain to the kids that God tries to keep us out of sin, but sometimes we just roll into the gutter. Note: Be sure they don’t get hurt in trying to retrieve a ball.
You will need a clear plastic bag, a brown paper bag, a tying string, and of course the Loaf of BREAD. Before everyone enters the room, have a loaf of bread sitting on a table. It must be uncovered at all times. From time to time play with the loaf of bread (toss it around, pass it from youth to youth, etc.)
At times, pretend to remove the dust from the bread as well as other insects. After a reasonable time, offer the youth a piece of bread. You will likely not find anyone who is willing to consume a piece of the bread because it has been exposed to the environment. Likewise, our bodies, are not to be touched or handled by anything or anyone. Just like a piece a bread, we need to take care of our bodies. We need to cover it to keep from plain view. We need to cover it to keep flies from it. We need to secure it to keep its integrity.
A challenge to live a life of abstinance, purity and godliness.
For a lesson on the armor of God, get Bible Alminacs, and pictures with descriptions of war weapons and protection used in the era when Ephesians was written.
Have enough materials on hand for your group to split up and research one of each of the types of spiritual armor, and connect it historically with themselves spiritually. Begin by reading from the Bible Eph 6 :10-18, and breifly discuss.(WHEN the evil happens, not IF..etc. The idea is to help this concept to be less abstract, and for students to make important corrolations for themselves. I had at least one resource for each group, then they traded off. It would have been even better if I had slides and even more background information, but the students came up with spiritual connections which were great. After plenty of time for groups to do their fact finding, they presented each piece of spiritual armor to the group, and got feedback. Reread the passage from Ephesians, and discuss. Close with prayer asking for each person in the room to remember their armor, and why.
Some things students put together were that the shield of faith- when shields were researched, they used to be soaked in water to extinguish flaming arrows. Jesus is referred to Living Water – soak ourselves in THAT! Keeping our feet fitted with the gospel of peace- when we are on slippery surfaces, if we don’t have the right footwear on, we slip. If we stay in God’s Word, we keep ourselves spiritually stable, the stumbles are less frequent,and when we are in a forward relationship with God, we cannot be growing further and sliding spiritually….the helmet of Salvation – helmets keep our brains in if we receive a blow to the head, or have an accident – just as if we receive spiritual blows, with salvation, we know we won’t lose it- it’s a guarantee. A good swordsman never leaves his sword- he’s always ready! So should we always be ready to share Christ with others, and be ready to stand up for him. The sword is also the only weapon- everything else is defense…hmmm- makes ya think! The breastplate- with it we never need to turn our backs- with God on our side , we can face anything, because he will not turn form us. This is just some of what students came up with- good stuff with visuals, research, and discussion. This activity took about one hour.
It is important with this skit that you prepare your audience. Ask them not to join in singing until invited by an actor.
Begin with the room complete dark or at least very dark. 3-4 actors enter each with a lit candle and singing “This Little Light Of Mine.” They stop in front of the audience and continue to sing. From the side comes a dark figure (someone dressed in black and face covered) and mills around the actors in a stealthy manor (this person can represent the devil). The dark figure blows out one candle. That actor stops singing and lowers their head. One at a time the dark figure blows out the candles and the actors follow suit. Once the candles are blown out the dark figure leaves.
After a short pause of silence another actor comes in from the side with a lit candle singing “This Little Light Of Mine.” They light the candle of one of the actors who then lifts their head and begins singing again. They then light the candle of the next actor and so on until all actors are singing again. Invite the youth to join in the song as well.
You can end there or add this next piece. Before beginning the skit have a large mirror laying in the middle of the room with one large candle in the middle and enough tea lights for everyone. Have 2 actors with candles stay in front after the skit and light the large candle. Then invite each youth to make a physical statement (there are lots of statements to choose from) through lighting their own candle. Then with quiet music being played or sung allow them to come up, light a tea light from one of the actors, and place it back on the mirror.
We did this entire activity at a youth retreat and allowed the kids to sit as long as they wanted in silence. Many stayed for around an hour praying.
Take all the ingredients in chocolate chip cookies and put them in separate dishes. Everybody takes a spoonful or pinch of each ingredient. You will be hysterical at the faces made when they taste some of the ingredients. Most of it tastes prefer bad (except the chocolate chips). Vanilla extract tastes AWFUL. Then for everybody who tastes all the ingredients I gave them a couple of chocolate chip cookies. (I used Chewy Chips Ahoy since I’m too lazy to cook the real thing.) Then we talked about how life throws us things that may seem hard or painful at the time, but when you take all the ingredients from chocolate chip cookies and mix them together and even add a little heat the end product is pretty tasty.