This illustration is great for either making New Year resolutions or commitments to Christ and the youth ministry after youth camp. You need one ball of yarn.
Have all members of the study group gather into a circle. Have one student tell what he/she will do differently in their daily lives to have a better relationship with Christ. After the student has done this have him hold on to the end of the yarn and throw the ball to someone else. The next person does the same thing until all are holding the yarn. The ball must be thrown to someone who has not already received the ball. Make sure they keep the yarn tight. By the time you are done, you should have a pattern of yarn that shows that when we are committed to God then we are connected to each other. Again make sure they keep the yarn tight.
After this go around the circle and say to each student that they have broken their commitment to God (whatever it was) and to let go of the string. When everyone has let go of the string show that when we break our commitments to God we then are not connected to each other and are no longer a ministry doing God’s work.
Have students step into a chair. Once in the chair place a blindfold on their eyes and be sure that they cannot see. (Some will try to look down through the blindfolds) Once they are blindfolded, silently place 3 chairs in front of them (sideways) Now ask them do they have faith in God? Once they say yes ask them to step out on faith. The first step will be hard but each step after that will get easier.
I used this in the Sunday School class to demonstrate that we should walk by faith and not by sight. I pray that this is useful for somebody.
I purchased non-see-through snack size bags of Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos and chips. I carefully opened the bags at the bottom, switched the contents and then resealed them using a glue stick. I handed these out before my lesson. The lesson was emphasizing that if we say we are Christians and the Holy Spirit is INSIDE of us, does the way we act on the OUTSIDE match up with that? The reactions were GREAT! The kids were confused, angry that they didn’t get what they wanted, laughing, frustrated and more! I told them that if they were going to wear the label “Christian”, then they better make sure their life accurately reflects what is inside of them. It really got the point across!
To illustrate the story of Jesus calling Peter to walk on the water when Peter challenged Christ to call him…
Here is the challenge…
To walk on a “tight rope”
Take a rope and have a volunteer to hold one end, you hold the other. Hold the rope about waist high. Challenge another volunteer to walk on the rope like a trapeze artist. Most of the kids will laugh and no one will attempt it. Talk about how impossible it would be to walk on the rope and relate it to the story of Peter and his losing sight of Jesus (by his own accord) but the catch is, that Jesus make it available to us to stay focused and to not lose faith in Him. At this point, i put the rope on the ground and then ask if they can walk on it. remember, the original task was to walk on the rope, not specifying where it would be when they did, they just assumed because I was holding the rope in the air that they had to walk on it in the air. Once it is laid on the ground, Jesus makes it possible for us to follow him.
I started the class off by handing out a unlined note card to each student. I then asked them to give me some names of Designer Labels. Old Navy, Gap, Polo and others were given. We talked about how when you see someone with a Horse on their shirt you know they are wearing the Polo Designer Label. I asked each student to design his/her own label that would tell others something about themselves. I gave them 15 minutes to do this. When everyone was complete we went around the room having each student show the label he/she designed and explaining what it meant. I then asked “What does it mean to wear a Christian Label?” We discussed what it means to be a Christian and how others should be able to identify that you are a Christian as easily as they can identify Designer Labels.
Before hand you will need to collect a bunch of rocks (all sizes and shapes, but best if the rocks will fit into girls’ purses & guys pockets). If you really want effect, get pretty big rocks that are kind of heavy.
The week before, give each person a rock (I had each one write their name with permanent marker on the rock). Ask them to carry the rock around for a week; to school, at home, etc. The next week, take them to a river, lake, pond, etc. and talk to them about how we have to let things go. In the past they may have had people or situations that have hurt them or angered them. The weight of these things become heavy (like the rock) and they have to let it go but they can’t pick it back up again. When they feel they are ready to “let go” have them throw their rock into the lake (as far as they can from shore).
I used groceries to show how much 10% is compared to the 90% we get.
I used two tables. One tables was designated God’s table and the other was our table. I then took groceries and used things with 10 to 12 items in the box. Like a box of fruit snacks; 1 on God’s table and the rest on our table. If there was more than 10 items I then handed them out to the group as an “offering”; something above and beyond my 10%.
It was fun filling up our table with food and passing out “offerings”.
There was a significant difference between the two tables. It really lets you see how much we get versus giving to God.
You have one card for each student. On each card you write something gross to do (I used Fear Factor to come up with these ideas), or very dangerous. Each card MUST be different! Under the description of something to do put the numbers 1-7. Hand out the cards to the students. Tell them to write down their answer without no one seeing their answer (no real reason, it just adds mystery to their game).
Question One: Would you do the thing on your card for a cookie?
Question Two: Would you do the thing on your card for $100?
Question Three: Would you do the thing on your card for a Free vacation?
Question Four: Would you do the thing on your card for a new wardrobe?
Question Five: would you do the thing on your card for a new car?
Question Six: would you do the thing on your card for $1,000,000?
Queston Seven: Would you do the thing on your card to recieve God’s Salvation?
Have everyone tell what was on their card and how they answered the questions. It will generate some laughs at some responses.
Hopefully everyone has put “Yes” on the last question. Then you can say “Isn’t it wonderful that we DO NOT have to do these things in order to get God’s Salvation?” It really makes teens think about what they would do in certain situations and it hits home how simple obtaining salvation really is. (You can use as many questions as you want.)
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.”
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.