Teach that only Christ is suitable for us to put our faith in
a chair or stool
a bed sheet
string cut into four or five foot sections one for each student
Tie several pieces of string to the chair and the rest to the index cards. On the index cards write some things that people tend to put their faith in (money power it’s also a good idea to put your own name). Then label the chair “Christ” place the index cards on the seat and cover with the sheet with the strings leading out.
Have everyone gather around the chair and grab a string. Have everyone pull their string and discuss how all these things let us down but Christ never fails.
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.
Materials needed: A couple of bookbags, and books
Have the youth walk around with an empty bookbag on their back; ask them to add a book for every sin they have committed. (lies, lust, sex, not praying, disobeying parents, not following the Laws of the Lord, etc…) The more books that are added, the harder it is to walk around.
Showing it gets harder and harder as we continue to walk around with our sins burdening us. Just let them go, confess them to God and let Him handle them.
You really need plenty of prep time for this one. You need: (two of each) security envelopes, small containers, large containers, doors. This presentation is based on the show “Let’s Make A Deal”. I always wear an “old” sportcoat that makes young people laugh. First, ask for a volunteer. The first volunteer must make a “choice” between two envelopes. NO ONE is to open anything until all “choices” have been made. The first volunteer, after making their choice, then chooses a friend to give the other envelope. The second volunteer then chooses between what is originally offered by #1 and the next level of choices. Each volunteer chooses between on thing or another until all “choices” are made. If they choose NOT to accept their first choice then they must choose to whom to give the unwanted “object”. When all the “choices” are made then the openings will begin. Each student must explain (before opening) why they chose that object. Answers will vary but will give you opportunity to disciple youth on reasons behind our making good or bad choices. The envelopes give them a simple choice (money or a blank piece of paper). In the containers another simple choice (cookies or candy). In the containers (this is the tricky one) (a full or empty twelve pack of soft drinks). You show someone (adviser) inside the empty container with the “empty cans in their original box). Normally the adviser will tell the volunteer to choose wrong. In the doors section have one designed for a guy another girl. Behind the guy door an ugly women who chases him to give a big RED kiss. The girl opens to find an “Archie Bunker” type character who hands her a mop or whatever and screams orders to her as he goes out with the guys. You will not lose young people with this because they want to see what you’re going to do. You then close (after the laughter subsides) and explain form scripture how we must make choices in life and how as Christians God’s Word is our best advisor.
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.
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!
I use this as the first cabin devotion when working at camp. It really shows the kids that we are connected for the week!
You will need a ball of yarn or string. Everyone must sit in a circle on the floor. Start with the person in charge, they will hold the yarn ball and tell everyone their name, age, where they live and something about themselves (you can have them tell different stuff that you feel important! I had myself and co-counsellor share our tetimonies) then when they are done sharing they throw the yarn to someone else but keep holding on to their part. Everyone shares and throws the yarn and holds onto their part of the yarn, then once everyone has gone and the last person is holding the yarn ball you all set down the string. I explained to my cabin that for the week we were together our hearts were conected and that our cabin devotions was a safe time and our cabin a safe place.
They were all free to share what they felt they needed to in the cabin and during devotions. I told them that no one was going to critisize anyone for what they felt or wanted to know and that they could always ask myself and my co-counsellor anything about GOD. They really were impacted with this connection that was illustrated and we had a lot of great devotions. I felt that our cabin was drawn closer through this object lesson about connecting hearts together.
(It also works to use duck tape and leave it on the floor all week. Just have the kids write their name on their spot. You can even sit the same way all week for devotions for a constant, silent impact.)
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.
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.
Graham crackers, peanut butter, sugar, a jumbo sized hershey’s bar, and various small candy, icing, or sprinkles for decoration. Deep plastic plates, plastic knives, paper towels, and a cheap tablecloth. A small bottle of milk, and a can of compressed air.
This is a fun activity we did with our Sunday School class when we were talking about building a good foundation. We read the bible parable about building your house on stone versus sand, and talked a little about what this meant. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Then we went over to the table where I had earlier set up two plates, one filled with sugar, and the other with the chocolate bar. (These of course symbolize the sand or the stone to build your house on.) We then split up into 2 teams, and then had a contest to build the best graham cracker house possible in 15 minutes. The kids had lots of fun with this and got pretty creative, making landscape features out of M&M’s and so forth. Then we brought out the milk and canned air, to which they all said, “Nooo! you’re not going to use that on our houses are you?!” But alas, that was the point of the whole lesson. >:)
Now we made the mistake of using the canned air first, which blew the dry sugar all over the place, so you may want to use the milk first. So pour the milk in the bottom of both plates saying, “And the rain descended, and the floods came…” The plate of sugar will get nice and soggy, as will the bottom of the house. The other house will be safe and dry on top of the chocolate bar. Then blow at the houses with the air “And the winds blew and beat on the house” (Be careful not to actually blow both houses down as that would defeat the purpose. If you aim at the bases of the houses it should work)
Afterwards, have everyone help clean up and eat some of the building supplies.