Bible Study & Prayer

Plunger Nite

One night at youth group have PLUNGER NITE. Your games and devotional all centre around plungers. Play plunger hockey, javelin plunger, relay games with plungers. Use balls and balloons as well. The wilder your games the better – be creative.
Devotional – Ask the youth what is a plunger for, what does it do? Why? Then describe that Christ is the plunger for our sin. Our sin had to be removed in order for our relationship with God to flow. Like the drain, when its clogged, the water does not flow freely, and the drain needs to be unclogged. We don’t work the way God intended when we are clogged with sin, and Christ became the plunger for that sin.

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Sin-ful Reality

While I teach 6th grade, this can be used for any age. During Lent, each Sunday School lesson is devoted to the last week of Jesus’ life. On Palm Sunday we look at Mark 15, examining the trumped up charges against Jesus, the torture and crucifixion. To illustrate the price He paid I have them “nail their sins to the cross.” Each student receives a lunch size brown paper bag, marker or pen, and 5 small sheets of paper. They write their name on the bag and list a separate “sin” on each sheet of paper. After folding the sheet, into the bag it goes. They fold the bag in half and each student takes a turn nailing their bag of sins onto a five foot cross, while I read (slowly) what happened during Jesus’ torture and crucifixion, reminding them of the price He paid for their personal sins. Each student receives a nail to carry around for the week reminding them about the class. During the course of the week, I take the cross home, remove the nails, remove “sin” papers throwing them out (without looking at them as I promised the kids) and replacing them with clean sheets of paper. I re-nail the bags to the cross, with PAID IN FULL written in red marker. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection by each student ripping off the bag with their name on it and seeing what happened to their “sin.” We then read and discuss Mark 16. It makes for quite a real reminder for the kids.

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Taking A Stand

I use this activity when our youth group does a lesson on decision making. Use Acts 22:10 “‘What shall I do Lord,’ I asked.” if your meetings are scripture based.
Have three pre-made signs that say “yes,” “no” and “maybe.” Tape them up in various corners of the room. Read from the following list (you may want to omit some items if you are working with junior high). Have the youth “take a stand” on an issue. Yes, they would do that or no, they would not. Only allow two maybes per person. The goal is for them to make a decision. The trick about this is not telling the kids what you plan to do after you go through the entire list. After you read off the last item, you repeat the list with a different question. It’s no longer “what would you do,” but instead it is “what would Jesus want you to do?” Here is a sample list:
– hang out with people who treat others badly
– hug a stranger who has AIDS
– cheat on a test to get a passing grade
– help a relative die who has a terminal illness
– stay at a party where people are drinking
– drink alcohol while under age
– copy answers from a friend’s homework
– keep the money when the cashier gives you too much change
– smoke a cigarette
– lie to your parents
– speed to make it to school on time
– maintain sexual purity
– spread rumors about someone who hurt you
– lie for a friend to an authority figure
– be the first to talk to the new person in school
– date someone who doesn’t believe in God
– sneak out after curfew

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Ten Steps To Action

It is one thing to see problems in the world and another thing to do something about them. As an exercise to help kids to see what they can do, give the following instructions, one at a time and give enough time for the kids to think through each point. Discussion can follow. 1.) List 5 social problems in your community 2.) Circle 3 for church 3.) Underline 2 of those you can do. 4.) Rewrite one of these 2 5.) List 5 things to be done to deal with this problem. 6.) Circle 2 you can do. 7.) Underline 1 you can do. 8.) What will hinder you from accomplishing this task? 9.) What will help you to do it? 10.) Will you do it?

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Treasure Hunt Lesson

This lesson is to encourage pre-teen to teenage kids to find the treasures in the Bible for themselves. It involves the use of concordances, bibles, encyclopedias, and will require the design of a game board that looks like a treasure map.
Start the class off in Matthew 13: 44-45, and discuss how the Kingdom of God is like a treasure, and that we can use the Bible to find treasures that God wants us to have.
For the first activity, we bring a group of encyclopedias into the middle of the room. Break the group into teams of two or three. Give each of the teams an index card with a specific subject on it. i.e. names of different animals, names of different countries, names of different states. (Make sure that you check in the encyclopedias to make sure that the words you are giving them to look up are in there.) Give them a list of questions that they need to find the answers to about the subject that you give them. (If your using a grouping of animals you can ask: “What does your animal like to eat?”, “Where does your animal live?”.) Give the teams 5-10 minutes to look up the answers in the encyclopedias. When the time is up ask the group questions about what they learned that they didn’t know before the activity.
Discuss with the group the purpose of concordances, and how they can be used, like the encyclopedia, to find out where to get information in the Bible about a subject. Have a map designed large enough so that all the kids can see the different places. You can name the places after biblical events, with a treasure chest at the end. Design questions that will make them look up the answers in the concordances. (i.e. How many times is the word “Christian” found in the bible? What scripture(s) talk about loving your enemies? What is the only book in the Bible that does not have the word/name God in it?) Divide the class into reasonably sized teams. Each team gets their own concordance. Read a question, and the first team to have the correct answer gets to move to the next place on the “treasure map” closer to the treasure at the end.
This activity was a huge success in our preteen class. They learned that there was more in the Bible than they knew about, and that they were capable of finding these things if they looked for them.

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God Can

The “God can” is actually a aluminum soda can with a glued on label explaining what it is about. The notion behind the God can is simple-and remarkable. There are some problems that you can solve, and then there are some that “God Can.” The instructions on the label explain that the idea is to write down your unsolved problem on a little slip of paper and slip it into the can and leave it there for God’s attention. When you got a problem that you can’t manage, our Christian faith calls for us to turn it over to God. You can’t fix it but God can.

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Gross-Comp

You’ll need a Weetabix (breakfast wheat bar or some other really dry breakfast bar), some undiluted cordial, piece of bread, can of coke and ground covering for floor protection. (Above foods can be substituted for maximum grossness or you could even replace one food with an individual mixture made of different edible’s).
Get up some volunteers (the amount of kids you get up the front, you will need that amount of each of the foods.) Explain to them that they have to eat each of the foods (in order as above) and be the first finished, but they can only pick up and eat each thing one at a time. Buy some bags of lollies or chocolate bars as prizes and reward to the winners.
This is a really gross competition, but it really does attract huge interest. In my high school (12yrs-18yrs old) youth ministry, this had unsaved youth totally captivated and excited with a huge willingness to come again to the outreach events. They love this stuff!

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Lose Your Marbles

– First go to a toy store and buy a sack of marbles and a fish bowl. The amount of marbles depends entirly on the size of your youth group.
– Next, contact a glass company and ask them to build you a large plexi-glass box (this step can be disregarded if you don’t have the funds to get a box built.)
– Next prepare a sermon focusing on ‘things’ in the youth’s lives that are not sin outright, but are things keeping them from Jesus. These ‘things’ can be anything… I focused on secular music, video games, attitudes, rebellion, etc.

At the end of the sermon, I passed out one marble to every person, put on worship music, and had everybody examine their lives. I instructed them that that marble represents something or someone in their lives that in comming between them and the Lord. After a serious prayer time, I passed around the fishbowl and instructed them to drop their sin in the bowl and leave it there. One by one the sound of the glass marble hitting the glass bowl went through the silent room.

Next, I instructed them to bring all their junk from home and put it into the “Junk Box.” I am pleased to report that the box is filling with secular music, N-Sync posters, and handwritten notes confessing attitudes. The end result has been overwhelming and the Lord has begun a mighty revival in our youth. Parents are coming into the youth to get their kids, who are worshiping (go figure), because they don’t want to leave God’s presense. That’s it… God bless

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Cleaning Up The Mess

I had my group of VBS 5th graders pair up. I gave each pair a card which had a “nasty job” written on it — “being on a road crew that picks up dead skunks”, “changing a baby’s messy diaper” — you get the idea. The groups each had a turn to silently act out the nasty job, while the rest of the class shouted out what was being depicted.

When they were done, we turned to the narrative of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. I wanted them to grasp what a lowly job foot-washing was. Then I asked them to count how many of the nasty jobs were ones that involved cleaning up after someone or something else. All of them were.

I then showed them that Jesus’ work on the cross was the ultimate act of cleaning up after our mess, and that, as we come to Him daily, asking for forgiveness, that He lovingly and gently cleans up our mess again. What a wonderful Savior we have, what a beautiful example of service, and what a responsibility we have to try to live up to that example.

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Burning Your Idols

Text:
Read the first commandment (Ex 20:3)
Read the account in Acts 19 where the people burned all the articles associated with the Devil.

Materals:
Paper grocery bags, markers/crayons/whatever, lighter or matches and a safe place for fire.

Process:
Ask if anybody has ever seen an idol in person? Then why is this verse in the Bible? An idol is anything we worship instead of God. As this goes on, hand out paper grocery bags and markers. Have group make an Idol that represents what they are most tempted to place in front of God. Each can explain what their idol is about.

Provide an opportunity to burn their Idols if they are serious about keeping God first in front of these temptations.

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