Illustrations

Anchored in Christ

Goal
Teach that only Christ is suitable for us to put our faith in

Items needed
a chair or stool
a bed sheet
string cut into four or five foot sections one for each student
index cards

Directions
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.

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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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Carrying Around Sins

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.

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The Dilemma

(Christianity)

According to an legend, a man became lost in his travels and wandered into a bed of quicksand. Confucius saw the man’s predicament and said, ‘It is evident that men should stay out of places such as this.’ Next, Buddha observed the situation and said, ‘Let that man’s plight be a lesson to the rest of the world.’ Then Muhammad came by and said to the sinking man, ‘Alas, it is the will of God.’ Finally, Jesus appeared. ‘Take my hand, brother,’ he said, ‘and I will save you.

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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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Listening for God

Pair off the group and get them to stand facing each other on opposite sides of a room. (The more “echoey” the better). Give those standing on just one side, a card with a well-known phrase or saying written on it. Make sure there is one short Bible Passage included. At your command, those with the card have to shout the message on it across the room to their partner who has to try and guess what they are saying. Stop after about a minute or so.
Sometimes it is very difficult to listen for God when there is so much else going on around us. Making time for God when things are quiet is better.

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Time Management

First you must bring into the class session a jar, rocks,{nice size)some sand or very small rocks, and a glass of water. First put the rocks in the jar, so the rocks are all the way to the top. Then ask the class if the jar is full. You will get some body to say yes. But then tell them no because you can still fit the the sand or small rocks into the jar. Ask again if the jar is full. Someone should say yes, but then start pouring the water into the jar. The whole message out of this is to teach on the big things that matter in life like God, Church, Family, Pastors. If you first put the sand in and then the water, the rocks would not be able to fit in the jar. Just like if use all your time playing games, going out, partying,(little things) your schedule will be so packed, that you don’t have time for the important things in life.

P.S. Don’t let the class see the rocks, sand, or water.

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God Cleans And Renews

You need a clear glass, some instant coffee powder, water, and a bucket

You hold up the clear glass filled with water so everyone can see it. Tell them it represents How God wants our spirit/heart to be clear and pure and healthy. But things happen though out our lives that hurt that. Then add a small amount of instant coffee powder to the glass which will make the water a little darker, that represents our spirit/heart being damaged like when some one makes fun of you. Give many examples like that and add coffee after each example making the water darker and darker like when you are wrongfully accused or when you were picked last in baseball, etc. Now you see a damaged spirit/heart, but when you have God he takes all that dark and nasty damage in our spirit/heartaway, then add water to the glass until it turns clear again. This was a pretty powerful demonstration that worked for us and I hope to pass it on.

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Walking like Peter

To illustrate the story of Jesus calling Peter to walk on the water when Peter challenged Christ to call him…
Here is the challenge…
To walk on a “tight rope”
Take a rope and have a volunteer to hold one end, you hold the other. Hold the rope about waist high. Challenge another volunteer to walk on the rope like a trapeze artist. Most of the kids will laugh and no one will attempt it. Talk about how impossible it would be to walk on the rope and relate it to the story of Peter and his losing sight of Jesus (by his own accord) but the catch is, that Jesus make it available to us to stay focused and to not lose faith in Him. At this point, i put the rope on the ground and then ask if they can walk on it. remember, the original task was to walk on the rope, not specifying where it would be when they did, they just assumed because I was holding the rope in the air that they had to walk on it in the air. Once it is laid on the ground, Jesus makes it possible for us to follow him.

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Actions Speak Louder

Talk about actions speaking louder then words. At the end of the talk have the students follow these instructions (you will also be doing the instructions):

1. Hold your hand in the air.
2. Wiggle all five fingers.
3. Make a circle by connecting your thumb to your index finger.
4. Wiggle your other three fingers.
5. Tell the students to place the circle on their chin, but you place your circle on your cheek.

Most of the students will place the circle on their cheek because they are following what you doing and not what you’re saying. It helps to show the power of actions and the confusion that arises when word and actions contradict each other.

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