Illustrations

Controlling Your Tongue

This is to illustrate the importance of our words, how it’s important to watch what we say to others. The only thing you need is a cow tongue.
I asked the kids, “who here is smarter than a cow?” Of course they all raised their hands. I asked, “Have you ever heard a cow cuss? Backtalk their mom? Lie?” (no) Drop a big ol’ cow tongue on the table in front of them (yes, it’s embarrassing buying cow tongue and if you’re squeamish like me, horrid to touch). Point out how enormous this tongue is. And yet they have no trouble controlling it. Point out how small ours are in comparison, and yet we have a real task in watching what we say. You have to take it from here. I think you get the point!! I just talked about how the saying “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” is so very untrue. I stress that our words can hurt, but that they can also build someone up or give praise to God. Good discussion followed!

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Copy the Master (Imitators of Christ)

Form one or more groups of 4 or 5 students. You can have as many groups as you’d like. Give each group a simple drawing (from a coloring book, clipart book, etc.) to re-create. Here’s the catch: only the first person in each group can try to copy the original. He/she can trace the original drawing, or just try to copy it freehand. Then, the next person in the group has to copy the first person’s drawing. The third person has to copy the second person’s drawing… and so on… By the time you get to the last person, the drawing looks completely different than the original.

The lesson is, we should be imitators of Christ, not of each other.

Another activity that illustrates this same point is “Chinese Telephone”. You get in a circle (at least 7 people). The leader whispers something into the ear of one person and that person whispers the same thing into the ear of the next person, and so on. When it gets to the last person, you’d be pretty surprised at what he/she thinks was said.

Another thing that illustrate this point or showing the students a 30 second commercial from a VHS tape. Then, show them the same commercial that was a copy of a copy of a copy of the original tape.

One last thing that illustrates this point is showing the students a picture. Then show them a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of the original picture.

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Creation? Evolution? Puzzled?

To demonstrate that the theory of evolution involves very little evidence and a lot of imagination, use this activity along with a teaching on evolution vs. creation.
Purchase one of more 60-100 piece puzzles with unusual animals or bizarre creatures. Tell the group that we are studying evolution and they will pretend to be archeologists digging for clues. Divide into teams of 2-3 kids and give each group about 3 puzzle pieces as clues. Choose these puzzle pieces carefully including things like teeth, claws, horns-things the kids can be creative with. Tell them that these are all the clues that have been dug up at their dig site so far and have them draw a picture of the creature that these clues came from. There’s a lot missing so they must be creative. If any of the groups are frustrated, you can give them a few more puzzle pieces. When they have drawn their creatures, show the whole group the pictures and the clues. Conclude with saying that very creative people have taken little bits and pieces of bones and teeth and have constructed false “Missing Links”. You can also show pictures of “Java Man”, “Peking Man” etc. and disclose the pieces of evidence that these discoveries were based on. “Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation” is a good source book for this.

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Dart Test

Dart Test

A young lady named Sally, relates an experience she had in a seminary class, given by her teacher, Dr. Smith. She says Dr. Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons. One particular day, Sally walked into the seminary and knew they were in for a fun day. On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Dr. Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person’s picture. Sally’s girlfriend drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of a former friend, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. Sally was pleased with the overall effect she had achieved. The class lined up and began throwing darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Dr. Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats. As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn’t have a chance to throw any darts at her target, Dr. Smith began removing the target from the wall. Underneath the Target was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced. Dr. Smith said only these words… “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40. No other words were necessary; the tear filled eyes of the students focused only on the picture of Christ.

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David And Goliath (Summer)

We started out our lesson with the story of David and Goliath read from the Bible. With, of course, some explanation for the younger crowd. Then we proceeded to go outside and utilize a water balloon launcher which I made from surgical tubing and a funnel to launch balloons at a small dot on a pole that was about 9 feet high. Explaining to the kids that without out God’s help (like the help David had) it is impossible to hit it on the first time. The kids had a blast and learned a lesson.

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Death Comes Calling

This idea is actually from the pastor of the church I work for, named Jürgen Schmidt.

Hand out three small strips of paper (equal length) to each of the youth. Then have them write one person or thing that is the most important to them on each piece of paper(they can come up with anything – Mom, house, computer, friends – as long as it is physical in nature. No writing of God or Jesus, for example.).

Then they must hold all 3 pieces of paper in their hands like holding a deck of playing cards. The MC explains that the youth workers represent death and death is going to come and take away one of their pieces of paper randomly. Have the workers do so. Then ask the youth what they lost.

They will probably expect the exercise to be over, but then say that death keeps on coming back. Have the workers take a second of their pieces of paper. Ask what they still have left. Of course, the youth will be clinging on to their last piece of paper very tightly. It is at this point that you have death come around a last time and take what’s left from them.

The youth will have a range of emotions following this. The MC should then explain that that is what happens in life. Death eventually takes all, including our own lives. This can lead into a great discussion. But do make sure to end off with explaining how Christ’s resurrection conquered death giving us access to eternal life after death. And God’s future kingdom will eliminate death completely. Encourage them with this good news and encourage them to share it with others.

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Deceiving Appearances

Take a chocolate bunny that is hollow and drill a small hole in the bottom of it. Then covered the inside with barbecue sauce and melt some more chocolate to spread back over the hole as if it never was there. Then have a volunteer come up and eat the chocolate. They will be in for a big suprise. Finish the lesson by showing them that things in life aren’t always as good as they appear.

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Digest The Word

(Witnessing)

Have two students step forward. One will be a born-again Christian who is witnessing to a lost soul, played by the other student. Give the born-again student a honey bun and have this person place it in his or her mouth without swallowing. Next, tell the born again student to witness to the lost person. He or she will sound foolish with their mouth full. The lesson is that Jesus is the bread of life and the word of God. If we do not digest the word, and make it part of us, we will sound foolish to the world. “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” James 1:22

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Doing It All Alone

(Teamwork / The Body)

The following Letter is supposedly a real life response written to an insurance company who asked for clarification on an accident insurance claim.

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response for your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident report form. I put “trying to do the job alone” as the cause of my accident.

You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust that the following details should be sufficient:

I’m a brick layer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a six story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had approximately 500 lbs of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley that was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof. I swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. I then went down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow decent of the brick. You will note in Block #2 of the accident report form that I weigh 135 lbs.

Due to my surprise in being jerked off the ground, I lost my presence of mind and did not let go of the rope. Needless to say I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my broken collar bone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent up the side of the building until the fingers on my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley six floors up. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to hold on to the rope in spite of my pain.

At approximately the same time however, the barrel hit the ground, and the bottom came out of the barrel. Without the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50lbs. I refer you again to my weight in Block #2.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid decent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I again met the barrel coming up. This accounts for my fractured ankles and the lacerations on my lower body.

The encounter with the barrel slowed me down enough to lessen my injuries when I landed on the pile of bricks. As I lay there on the bricks in pain and unable to move, I let go of the rope. I was helpless to lay there and watch as the barrel came back down and broke my legs.

I hope I have furnished enough information to explain how the accident occurred.

It occurred because I was trying to do the job alone.

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Donut Gospel

IDEA: To show youth what the Gospel means by using donuts.

SUPPLIES: 1 dozen glazed donuts; 1 Box of donut holes; 2 Red jelly filled pastries (they look like glazed donuts without the hole on the outside); Several paper plates; Maybe some food preparation gloves.

HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Start with six donuts on paper plates where the kids can see all of the donuts. Also have the other six donuts on plates out of sight, along with the holes and the pastries.

2. Read Mat. 22:36-40. Explain that we were made to be filled with God’s Love and to share that Love with others. These are the great commandments that the whole Bible depends on.

3. Hold up a donut. Say “we are like donuts. We have a hole in the middle that we long to fill up. We were designed to be filled with God’s Love.”

4. Using all six donuts, say: “We often try and fill up our holes by using other people for popularity, power, money, greed, sex, etc.” While talking, illustrate this by ripping off chunks of donut and stuffing it into the holes of the six donuts. The used, messed up donuts illustrate sin and what it does to our lives. Tell the youth this, and ask if anyone wants the donuts after they have been ripped apart. Most will say NO. Use as an illustration of how messed up we are in sin, when we try to fill ourselves up outside of God’s plan. We are good for nothing except throwing away.

5. Then say: “But God does not want to throw us away. He loves us and wants to heal us and bring us into His Love and His plan for our lives.” Then hold up one of the jelly filled pastries. This pastry represents Jesus – God’s only Son. He is perfect (no hole). Yet He gave His life and died for us so that we would not be thrown away (represent this by tearing the pastry in two, with red jelly spilling out). But He did not stay dead. He rose again from the dead to show us that there is hope beyond this world (bring up the second pastry, un-torn, to represent His resurrection).

6. Say: “If we trust in Jesus, we can be made new, and be forgiven of our sin and healed of our wounds”. Put away the first set of six donuts, and bring up the six new, un-torn donuts. This represents new life and a fresh start in Christ.

7. Say: “Now if we believe in Christ, we can be filled with His Love, and share His Love with others, and He will keep re-filling us with His Holy Spirit”. While doing this, use the donut holes to represent God’s Love and His Spirit. Fill the first hole with the donut hole, then give that hole to another, while refilling the original hole with another donut hole of God’s Love. By using the donut holes, you represent the fact that God’s Love is perfectly fulfilling (it’s a perfect fit), and that it is replenished as we give it to others. This is God’s perfect plan for creation.

After all that, you can eat the illustration, and talk about how to accept the Love of Christ, and how to give it to others.

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