Illustrations

God in a Box

Take a small box or shoebox and place odd objects inside (like pencil,eraser, balloon, key, nail, gum, candy, etc.}.

Have the students pick one object from the box. Take the first letter of that object,for example, balloon is “b”. Have kids think of a word to describe God that begins with the same letter. B for balloon could be “Buddy” like God is my buddy.

Then you can ask:
1.How is my object NOT like God?
2.How is my object LIKE God?

The lesson is that there are people in this world that know ABOUT God, but don’t KNOW God. This really gets them thinking about GOD!!

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God is the Most Powerful 409 Cleaner

I was having some trouble reaching my boys during our weekly bible study and suddingly, this hit me. It showed the kids how we need Jesus to solve our problems and made a great impact.

What you need:
A plate of glass (I used 2’x2′)
A hammer
A permanent marker
A bottle of Windex/409
A rag

First I had the kids think of all the possible sins they could and write them on the glass with the permanent marker (it’s important to stress they don’t have to be a sin they’re struggling with as it causes embarrassment). Then I had one of the kids try to wipe them off themselves with the Windex and 409 and the rag. When they didn’t work, I brought out the hammer (Jesus). I had all the kids back away and showed them how Jesus cleansed us of our sins when He died on the cross. This really drove the point home that we can’t do it on our own. Wakes up the sleepy youth too! Just be careful to clean up right after so no one gets hurt!

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God or Mammon?

This is a great way to introduce a discussion on Matthew 6:24. I used it in conjunction with a month long study on oppression, how people use money to oppress others and it is God’s desire His people not be oppressed. Why did Jesus specifically use money when pointing out one cannot serve two masters? Why didn’t He use alcohol, or any number of other things, even possessions in general?

You will need 2 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes, 2 quarters, 4 dollar bills, 1 five dollar bill and 1 two dollar bill. Cut each clue into a strip, fold and have one youth draw. Have them read aloud the clue and let the group figure the answer out together. The person who drew the clue gets the coin or bill once the group figures it out. The fun is who gets the penny and who gets the five! You can make up new riddles if you want to add bigger bills or more bills depending on the size of your group. Now, can you guess which clue goes with which coin or bill? Have fun!

Considered one of our greatest presidents, this man shines on as the Great Emancipator.

Not once, but twice, this great American President appears, but alas you must add thrice to win this prize!

Carried on its back, the scene is set. Let us sign the great Declaration bringing our Independence from that oppressive agent Britain that twice taxed us without representation.

A fitting notation for our first president!

The Great Seal of the United States carries the motto Novus Ordo Seclorum: New Order of the Ages beneath a single Pyramid.

This smackeroo has an average life of 22 months according to the American Federal Reserve and makes up 45% of all US Currency circulation.

Thirteen appears all over this currency, but alas you must divide it by the same to get its equivalent.

My face in profile represents more in number than it does facing forward in paper.

Redesigned in the last century to accommodate all 50 states, my quantity is only half that much.

The longest sitting president am I; now etched in profile forever in silver.

The torch glows bright on my back with olive branch and oak at my side representing a tithe.

The only coin of my color, my back and front bear the same images as my paper friend.

My face on one side, my home on the other but count five coppers to get my grin!

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Going Up Or Down?

Have all youth stand in the middle of the room. Label one wall “Heaven” and one wall “Hell”. Before hand tell one person in secret that they are the only one with the answer to the question and the answer is “John 3:16”. Now, have your “person with the answer” stand among the others and tell the group that only one person in the group knows how to become saved. They must ask everyone that they can if they “Are Saved”. When the “answer person” is asked, they whisper John 3:16 to the person who asked them. Now there is 2 answer people. This goes on for about 1 min. then blow a whistle and announce “There has been a devastating tornado that just swept through town. If you live in a house without a basement and you have been saved go to the wall labeled “Heaven”, if you do not know how to be saved yet go to the wall labeled “Hell”. Let the remaining kids continue to ask others if they “are saved” for another 30 seconds. Then blow the whistle and announce: “There was a terrible car accident involving several teenagers- if you drive a vehicle and you have been saved, go to the wall labeled “Heaven” if you drive a vehicle and are not yet saved, go to the wall labeled “Hell”. Continue playing with ! the remaining kids giving them 30 seconds to find out how to be saved. Then blow the whistle again and tell them that: “ A strange disease has swept through town, if you are wearing tennis shoes and know how to be saved, go to the wall labeled “Heaven” if you don’t yet know how to be saved, go to the wall labeled “Hell”. Finish playing with the remaining kids for about 30 seconds or so and then blow a trumpet and announce that: “Christ has returned for his children- if you are saved go to the wall labeled “Heaven” if you are not go to the wall labeled “Hell”. There should be no one left in the middle and this is a great discussion starter for topics like witnessing, salvation and the Second Coming. It will really make an impact when the kids look around and actually see how many of their friends were not reached and were left standing under the area labeled “Hell”.

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Gossip Spreading

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.

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Happy Shake

Get a couple of (fresh and hot)McDonald’s Happy Meals,(about 2 happy meals for every 3 volunteers,), cups, and a blender. The blender is not displayed until all the volunteers are chosen. The stated object of the game is to see who can consume the happy meal the fastest. Volunteers are easy to get! As the volunteers are getting ready to eat, get the blender out and mix the HB, FF, and soft drink in the blender and pour it into the cups. I believe it will gag a maggot.

I used this as an illustration for a lesson based on the world’s “perceived” Seven Wonders of the World which are The Great Pyramids, Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Panama Canal, Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica, and China’s Great Wall. An e-mail I received stated a students perceived seven wonders of the world; To see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh, and to love. I compared/contrasted the world view vs. God’s word and showed how we put God’s good, (All right, you may question a happy meal being good…) and blend into the what the world says is good. An example would be for laugh: the filthy stuff comedians spew out vs. Sarah laughing at the wonder and joy of the Lord.

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Heaven vs. Hell

For this idea, you need the following supplies:

1 piece of red construction paper
1 piece of blue construction paper
1 piece of paper which says Heaven
1 piece of paper which says Hell
1 package of sticky dots
Ziploc bag of pinto beans
Lots of space
2 tables

Before students arrive:

1) Tape down the heaven and hell signs on 2 seperate tables, tape the blue and red construction paper over them.

2) Affix sticky dots on the floor, in one line if at all possible approximately 1 foot apart

When the students arrive, have them sit at a third table.

What to do:

1) Have kids stand on a sticky dot.

2) Hand one person the bag of beans, on the end. Explain: I want you to pass these beans and take one out, when I call stop, you stop. People who did not get one, sit at the red table and people who did get one, sit at the blue table.

3)Time until it gets half through, then tell them to stop. People who did not get a bean, sit at the red table and people who did, sit at the blue table.

4) On the count of three, one person from the group lifts up the red or blue paper.

Questions to ask:

1. How could your friends have not gotten sent to hell.

Optional: Beforehand, you may want to have 3 or 4 students to whom you know it will be passed, the “refuse” to accept the gift.

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Holding Back

Prep: You take a one dollar bill and you tear it a litte in the middle.

You talk about how when you give your life to God sometimes you don’t completly give everything to God, you hold on to some bad habits or bad friends, and it causes some struggles in your life to walk for Jesus.

So you ask “Who would like to have this dollar bill?” You have someone take the bill from you, when they grab the dollar you rip it in half. And you feign shock as they rip the bill. You explain that when you give your life to God sometimes we don’t give it all to him. We try to hold on to some parts of it. When we call Jesus our Lord, that means that he is in control of all of our lives, and we have to learn to give our lives to him completely.

Rom 10:9
9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Heb 7:25
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

* This is also a good one to explain tithing.

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Hunger and Thirst for God

I use a “George Foreman” electric grill, a couple of small steaks, stuff for a salad, and pop. At the very beginning of the message I start cooking the steaks on the grill. Don’t say anything about it yet, just let the smell and sounds fill the room. Begin to talk about some characteristics of hunger and thirst. You can talk about how when your hungry you will do some crazy things. Have the kids tell you some things they have done. Then talk about how we need to have he same desires for the things of God. The same way your stomach is growling now, and your mouth waters, He wants us to yearn for Him. Psalms 63 gives a very good closure to this message. Then to end the message I’ll have whoever brought the most visitors, or whoever won the game, or let the Youth Pastor and wife eat the steaks.

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Hurtful Words

Using newspaper, cut large paperdolls. Give one to each pair of students. Have one hold the doll and say something mean and nasty to it, ripping a piece of the paper doll. Take turns doing this. Have each person do this about 3 times so your paper doll is in about 6 pieces. Then give each person a roll of scotch tape and tell them to piece their paper doll back together. The results are hilarious. Have each group show their doll and tell what they have learned. Then discuss how words once spoken can never be taken back. The tape signifies an apology but as you can see, it just isn’t the same.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t put the paper doll back in perfect condition.

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