Illustrations

Bean Activity

This is a pretty serious game that only work with large numbers of people (read: 50+). Everyone takes seven beans from a bucket of beans. Form a circle with all the people. Explain that the game is serious. Pick one person in the circle to start the game. That person (person A) puts their beans in their pocket, and then moves to the inside of the circle. They then face the person next to them (person B), and ask if the person has any medicine for them. If person B says, “Yes,” then they give them one of their beans. Otherwise, person B tells person A, “I have no medicine for you.” Person A then moves on to the next person in the circle (person C).
Once person A moves on to person D, person B follows them, asking person C if they have any medicine. As person A moves on, person B follows, then person C follows. The circle will double back on itself. Once person A reaches the end of the circle (the gap they left when they started) they put all the beans they collected aside, and pull out their seven beans. Those are the only seven that they may give away.
At the beginning of the game, people are more likely to give away beans, so the first people to go around the circle wind up with many beans. But by the end, some people will end up with no beans, because other gave them all away and had none to give them. The game should be quiet except for people asking, “Do you have any medicine for me?” so it may be helpful to have meditative music in the background. I will repeat that this is a serious game, and I have seen grown men crying at the end because they had no beans to give away to people who had none.
Once the game is over and everyone has had a chance to go around the circle, it may be helpful to debrief and talk about why people gave beans, or how it felt to tell someone they had nothing to give. It is even more poignant when the supply of beans is clearly visible, and even overflowing in the middle of the circle. This game asks more questions than it answers, about our generosity, about our arrogance (it’s not our job to save everyone; that’s God’s), about our foolish attempts at wisdom in deciding how to give our beans away. It may be helpful to split into small groups to discuss, or give time for people to deal with what the game meant to them.

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Bear One Another’s Burdens

Tools needed:
Backpacks(6-8 or 1 per child)
Weights, books, or heavy objects

Start out by having 1 backpack filled with weights or books, which will be very difficult for 1 child to carry alone. The other backpacks leave empty. Distribute the backpacks to the children, leaving the one already filled for last. Ask the child if carrying the backpack is difficult. Ask the other children if their backpacks are hard to carry. Then take the objects out of the 1 backpack and distribute them to each of the other backpacks. This should even out the weight of the packs, and then you can illistrate how important it is to carry each other’s burden’s. When we try to carry them alone, it is very difficult, and we struggle. But when we have others ‘bearing our burdens’ with us, it lightens our load!

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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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Beautiful Feet

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…
🙂

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Because I Love You, Have Some Cheese.

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…
disco dance
sing “Mary had a little lamb”
do 5 jumping jacks
count down from 10 and yell “BLASTOFF!”
spell your name backwards
etc…

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Blindfolded Initiative Task

First you blindfold all the youth and tell them they are no longer allowed to talk ‘or else’. Then you whisper a different number to each of them. The numbers can be any range, we threw some minus numbers in once, they don’t have to be consecutive, (ex. 1-2-3..), you could go -4 -3 -1 -1 0 2 4 4 7 8 9 13 17 40… and so on, depending on how hard you want it to be you can spread the numbers out, or make em’ close, with no negitive numbers.

Without talking or being able to see the kids have to put themselves in order from least to greatest. Some times this goes on for a long time and most kids give up and just sit down. At this point you can take off the blindfold of one of the kids who’s actually putting effort into it and let them have their sight, yet they still can’t talk.

Once they think they’ve completed it, go through the line asking them their numbers. Once they have successfully completed the task, have them sit down and ask them how it made them feel. You will get a range of answers like frustrated, or angry. Then you can do a little devo about how, it’s like how we are sometimes lost and we can’t see where we are going in life. And when people come along and try to pull us or push us different ways, and we are afraid to trust them, or we just want to give up when things get tough. Or sometimes we are holding on to something we think is safe and the right thing, but maybe God has a better place for us. It’s hard to let go. God is in control and He see us and is with us even though we don’t realize He’s there. You can go other ways with this too. It’s just an example of a debrief we used.

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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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Body of Christ with Operation game

Use the game of Operation to illustrate how we need to not only work together as one body but not fight with ourselves in order to accomplish a task. Take two people as volunteers and tie their hands together. Give one person the tweezers to the Operation game and tell him to get a piece out from the board. They should do this fairly easily. Next tell the other person to try to stop him from getting the next piece out of the board. This time it’s nearly impossible with their hands tied together.

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Body, Soul, and Spirit

You will need 3 volunteers. Each of these volunteers will either be: the Body, the Soul, or the Spirit. The person who is chosen to be the “Soul” will be in-between the “Body” and the “Spirit.”

Explain that the “Soul” contains our mind, will, and emotions. Continue to tell them that our “Soul” can either go with what the “Body” wants (worldy things) or want what the “Spirit” wants. Tell them that often times, many of us want to do what the “Body” wants and do what the “Spirit” wants. Explain to them that they’ve got to make the decision to pick either one.

A good passage to go along with this would be James 1:8 (you might want to read this verse in context for better understanding) which tells us that a double-minded person doesn’t receive anything from God

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Bread and The Body

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.

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