BIG IDEA: I CAN ENCOURAGE OTHERS
AIM: The aim of the ‘Encourage One Another’ Childrens Lesson on Acts 9:1-19 is to help children realise that they have the power to encourage others – even adults! This is the eighth session in the Pirates teaching series. You can find the PDF of this session here. This session was kindly donated by Kidz Klub, UK as a free resource. Feel free to adapt it to your needs.
Before the session starts, set up a washing line with Hook’s coat and trousers pegged onto it.
This has already been described in Pirates week 5. Our kids love this game so we play it frequently throughout the Pirates theme term. We hope your kids enjoy playing it again!
The cabin boy/girl comes on with a large tray of cockles in shells.
“Ooooh, they stink of bad fish! Does anyone dare eat one?”
You will need: 2 tables and 2 trays of cockles
Choose two boys and two girls. Place a table with a tray on in front of each team. Stand the kids behind their table. When you shout, “Go!” they have to eat as many cockles as they can and throw the shell over their shoulder. The team captains can eat a few to help the game along. The winner is the team to eat the most.
You will need: Hook’s thermal vest and bloomers and the paddling pool.
Hook runs on in his underwear and looks for his jacket. The team captains grab the jacket off the line and for a bit of fun, one runs round to the other side of the paddling pool. They throw it back and forwards, piggy-in-the-middle style with Hook in the middle. Hook tries to grab the coat and doesn’t manage, falling into the paddling pool. You can also introduce two cannibals in this part of the panto who try to help Hook and in the mayhem they fall in too. (When the bloomers are wet they may go see through so your worker will probably need to wear shorts under them)
Haul them all out of the pool and take Hook off to the dungeons and hold the cannibals at gunpoint with water guns. “Cor, they don’t half smell. If we don’t clean them up we won’t be able to keep them as prisoners!”
You will need: 2 chairs, 2 buckets of sponges, 2 cans of shaving foam, 2 scarves to tie the kids three legged and 2 pairs of goggles.
Choose two boys and two girls to play. Sit the two cannibals on chairs centre stage and cover each of their heads in shaving foam for shampoo and let them wear the goggles as shaving foam stings when it gets in your eyes. Place two buckets full of water at each side of your stage. Tie each team’s legs and stand them by the bucket nearest their team. When you shout “Go!” they pick up wet sponges from their buckets and go as quickly as they can to squeeze their sponge out over their cannibal’s head. They run back and forth until you blow the whistle. The winner is the team with the best wash.
Alternative: This game can be played with 4 boys and 4 girls. Stand them in a line in front of their team in between a bucket and their cannibal. When you shout go they pass the sponge down the line and the kid nearest the cannibal squeezes it out over their head.
Team captain comes on wearing big pair of silly bloomers and says, “Hey, these are really cool but they’re a bit big! They need some padding out. Does anyone want to try them on?”
You will need: 2 very big pairs of homemade bloomers (with frilly lace for amusement) and 2 bin (garbage) bags full of balloons.
Pick 4 boys and 4 girls to play. Stand the kids in front of their teams and dress one kid from each team in bloomers on top of their clothes. When you shout “Go!”, two helpers release the bags of balloons into the back of the teams and the kids have to pass them forward through the team to the kid at the front. The kid at the front then stuffs them down the bloomers. When you blow the whistle the kid with the most balloons down their bloomers wins for their team.
BIG VERSE: Encourage one another everyday. Hebrews 3 verse 13.
SET the Scene:
Barnabas believes in Saul. Acts 9:1-19.
This week we’re learning to encourage one another every day. But does anyone know what it means to encourage someone? (Get kids to give suggestions). To encourage someone means that you give them courage or confidence; you support them or cheer them up. One of the ways we can do that is by the things we say.
In this week’s Bible Lesson we are going to learn more about Saul and how he needed someone to encourage him. Last week we learnt that Saul was changed when he started thinking God’s way. In fact, Saul was changed so much that he went around telling everyone how great it was to be a Christian.
And that made some people hate him. “Who does he think he is, telling us that we should change too?” they said. And they started a plan to have Saul murdered. Night and day they had guards on the gate of the city waiting for Saul to come out, but his friends heard about their plan. In the dead of night, when everyone was asleep, they lowered Saul, hidden in a basket, over the walls of the city and he escaped. But what was he going to do now?
Paul went to another city and tried to hang out with the Christians there. But he had a problem. The Christians there knew what he used to be like and didn’t believe that he’d really changed. They were all afraid of him and didn’t want to be his friends. All, that is, apart from one man called Barnabas.
Barnabas always saw the best in people and he realised that Saul really had changed. He could see the good in Saul so he spoke up for him. Because of what Barnabas said, the other Christians decided they would give Saul a chance too. Barnabas was there to encourage Saul and stick up for him, just when Saul needed it. Barnabas’ words made a big difference.
Now I want everyone to do something for me. I want you all to stick out your tongue and have a look at it. Okay, now put them away again. Could everyone see their tongue? Your tongue is one of the most powerful parts of your body. In fact it is so powerful that your tongue has the ability to encourage people and make them feel better or it has the power to make people really unhappy and hurt. Today we’re learning that God want us to use our tongues and the things we say to encourage each other just like barnabas encouraged Saul.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) Object Lesson: Helium High
[The testimony given here is used as an example, try to find your own story to connect in with the demonstration.]
You will need: a Helium balloon, with three circles of cardboard stuck to the ribbon. On each circle write one of the trials you’re going to refer to. Hold the balloon in your hand as you speak. When you finish describing the trials, let it go and let the kids watch it sink to the floor. You then need to cut one cardboard disk off as you describe each encouragement. You need to make sure you have the cardboard weighted properly so the balloon doesn’t float to the ceiling until all three encouragements have been described.
We all need to hear encouraging things. Do you know why? Because we all have bad things happen to us in life. Just the other day I had quite a few bad things happen to me. In the morning I went to get in my car and found that someone had broken into it and it was going to cost over £100 to repair. Then when I got to work my boss was in a really bad mood and kept shouting at me for no reason at all and then when I came round with the Kidz Klub sheets I had a whole gang of lads calling me a Bible basher. (let go of balloon so that it sinks to the floor)
Kids, by the end of that day, just like this balloon, I was feeling pretty low. I needed someone to encourage me. And they did. As I was coming home from visiting I bumped into my friend. When he heard about my day, he started to tell me how great I was (cut one cardboard disc off the balloon) and how much he liked being my friend (cut next cardboard disc off the balloon) and how he couldn’t wait to come round to mine for tea on Saturday night. (cut last cardboard disc off the balloon and release the balloon )Kids, by the time I’d finished chatting to him, I’d gone from being really low to really high. (Gesture to balloon on ceiling) That’s what encouragement does. It makes people feel good and God wants us to feel good. That’s why God tells us to encourage one another every day.
2) OBJECT LESSON: How Do You Look At It?
You will need: the optical illusion image of the old and young woman found here. Make sure you’ve had a good look at it before hand so you can describe to the kids how to view it one way and then the other.
You know you can find something good to say about everybody if you just look at them the right way. Now, I’m going to put a picture up and I want someone to put their hand up and tell me what it is of. (Take answers) That’s right, it’s a woman, but what kind of woman? Yes, an old woman. Her scarf’s here, her chin’s here and her big nose is here. Now, some of you are looking at me a bit funny, because you’re thinking, that’s not an old woman it’s a young woman, her hat’s here and this is her eye and this is her necklace. Well, the truth is, it’s a picture of both. It all depends how you look at it. Let’s see if we can get our eyes to see both pictures. The old woman first. (Talk the kids through the picture looking at it one way and then the other, until they’ve all got it)
Ok. Now, just like we can look at this picture in two different ways, we can look at the people we know in two different ways too. (Get another helper to join you on stage; if you do this with your spouse the kids will find it particularly amusing!) You know, some mornings I could wake up and look at my husband and think “Oh no, it’s you again. You’ve got a baldy head. You never do the washing up, your feet stink and you’ve got the smelliest farts I’ve ever known.” I could look at him in a bad way. Or I can look at him in a good way. I can think “Oh I love you so much, you’re really funny and really kind and all the kids think you’re great. In fact you’re fantastic.” Both times I’m talking about the same person, but it all depends how I look at him. Now we’re learning today that God wants us to look at people in a good way. He wants us to think about the things that are right with them, not the things that are wrong. And when we see something great, to tell them. That’s how we encourage one another everyday.
3) OBJECT LESSON: Everybody Needs Encouraging
You will need: three helpers to stand on the stage, each holding a balloon. The balloons need to have faces drawn on them in such a way that they will appear as a scowl or a smile, depending which way up they’re held. Refer to the last page of this file to see how to draw it.
You might not realise this kids, but all sorts of people need encouraging. Not just kids, but adults too. Your teacher might get upset because there are kids in your class who just won’t listen to her, who laugh at her and make her feel stupid. (Turn balloon from smile to frown) You mum might get depressed because your dad keeps messing her around and treating her bad. (Turn balloon from smile to frown) Your big brother might feel bad because his girlfriend’s gone off with someone else and now he’s all by himself. (Turn balloon from smile to frown)
Adults don’t always let it show, but we need encouraging too. What could you say to your teacher that was encouraging? (As the children give their answers turn each balloon back to a smile.) That’s right. That could make all the difference. What could you say to your mum to help her? That’s right. It’s always great to say thank you to our mums, even for the little things they do to look after us. What could you do to encourage your brother? That’s right. Kids, the little things we say make a big difference and that’s why God tells us to encourage one another every day.