BIG IDEA: FRIENDS CARE
AIM: The aim of this Emoji childrens lesson on Job is to help children to see that anyone can be a friend to someone in need. Our hope is that children will see that true friends care about how their friends are feeling and the suffering that they experience.
- Best Friends. Children take turns to answer questions about their best friend whilst their best friend is not listening (either they are out the room or have noise cancelling headphones on). Then each friend is asked the questions about themselves. The friend that gets the most answers correct about their friend is the winner.
- Find a Friend. Use bingo cards with symbols for different thing that a child can love: a football, a teddy, a rainbow etc. Then hand one out to each player. Children should attempt to find one child that loves one item each. The first child to cross each item off the list is the winner.
- Save My Mini Friends! Make some cold custard or beans and add some candy people [Sweedish fish, jelly babies, haribo goldbears] into the mix. Children must save your mini friends by using their toes or tongue (you decide!) to save them!
BIG VERSE: Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7.
SET the Scene:
Read Job 1. Tell the children that once all of Job’s things were gone, his friends came along to comfort him. Only they were not very comforting! They blamed Job and told him he must have sinned to have caused all of his suffering and pain. Yet that wasn’t true. God had not spoken and had not said that Job was to blame for the mess he was in.
- ‘Job: Old Testament Heroes – 5 Minute Family Devotional’
- ‘The Story of Job – Told By Job’
- ‘Superbook – God Confronts Job’
- ‘Bible Comics – the Story of Job’
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) We Can All Be a Friend
- You will need: a giant paper pad to draw a person that is a friend, ask the children to call out things that make a good friend.
- Alternatively you could ask someone to stand as you put labels on them that describe a friend. You would need to have the blank labels prepared (large enough to be seen by your group) and ready to stick on the person.
- If you would like to be a little more creative you could bring items in to represent the good things a friend does: cell phone (listens and is present), bandaid or cup of soup (cares for friend), lipbalm (not for kissing! Makes you think of lips – uses lips for giving wise advice) etc. You can be as creative as you like! Get the kids guessing what each item represents!
Say: What does a friend do? [Get feedback: some of the suggestions could be listening, loving, prays for you, thinks of you, cares about you, always there, friendly, sticks up for you etc] Every one of us can be a friend to someone else. Sometimes that means listening to them, being there and praying for them. Job had friends. His friends spent a few days just in silence, just being with him. Sometimes we don’t have the words to say and we don’t know what to do. That’s okay! We can be with our friend when they are sad and show them that we care by sticking with them. We can all be a friend.
2) Friends Care
True Friends Quiz. Encourage kids to answer the quiz and see what letter they mostly answer. Of course, any of the answers show a good friend… except the letter d.
Say: Friends care about their friends. Everyone wants to know that they have a friend that cares about them. True friends care. True friends show that they care by doing their best to be a good friend and to care for their friend. That means thinking about their friend and what their friend wants and needs.
Job’s friends came to care for him. Job 2:12-13 says:
When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognise him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
Romans 12:15 tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” When someone is sad a true friend may feel sad too as they will want their friend to feel better. Why? Because they care about their friend. A friend cares. Job’s friends cared about him, but something went wrong. After the seven days of staying quiet, they started to come up with ideas about why Job was suffering. They started to blame Job. Rather than simply listening and staying with Job, they started to accuse him.
The best thing that Job’s friends could have done for him was care. Sometimes we don’t even need to talk – talking can sometimes make things worse. True friends care.
3) There is a Friend Closer than a Brother
You will need a picture or a few pictures of your closest friend and some fun stories to tell. Children love to know about their leaders and what they love. Share a story of how you were there for your friend, or your friend was there for you.
Say: I have a great friend! We have some great stories to tell! [Talk about your friend and the stories about your friend] But, you know, I have another friend who is the best and most perfect friend. Do you know who I mean? [Get feedback] Yes, I mean Jesus! He is the most perfect friend anyone could ever have! Why? Because He is God!
Proverbs 18:24 says: “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” That friend is Jesus. The bible tells us that Jesus cares about us, so much so that he prays for us: Romans 8:34 says “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” This kind of prayer – intercession – is the heartfelt prayer or cry of someone who cares. We can only intercede for someone when we put ourselves in their situation or place and think about how they feel and what they need.
4) Jesus Died Because He Cares For Us
You will need an image or picture of the cross or a large cross.
Say: Jesus cared so much for us that he died in our place so that we do not have to spend eternity away from God forever. The bible says that because we do wrong it cuts us off from God. God is perfect and has never does anything wrong. The bible says that there is a punishment for doing wrong. That punishment is death. Jesus decided to die so that we do not have to be away from God. He took the punishment for our wrong doing (our sin). Jesus rose again because he is God. That means if we accept Jesus then we can know God and live with Him now and for eternity!
Jesus showed how much he cares for us by dying for us. That’s how much he cares about you!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Create a large emoji wall by using yellow and red plates and sticking large emoji faces on each plate and sticking them onto a sturdy surface. Children must take turns to choose an emoji face. They turn the face over to check the back and see if there is a bible verse printed there. The child with the most bible verses is the winner!
Friendship Verses within the Bible:
- Who is someone that you admire for being a great friend?
- If you could be a friend to anybody in the world, who would you like to be friends with?
- Do you think Job’s friends cared about him? How?
- Who do you think God wants you to be friends with?
- How is Jesus your friend?
- How do you show your friends that you care?
SENSE How You Feel:
What makes a good friend?
- Lego/Duplo. Ask children to create something that reminds them of a good friend.
- Playdough. Encourage children to mould a good friend out of playdough.
- Pens and Paper. Have kids draw pictures of their friends or people they consider to be good friends.
- Magazine cutouts and glue. Encourage children to cut and stick parts of magazines together to create a ‘good’ or ‘perfect’ friend.
- Beads. Children can bead their own friendship bracelets/wristbands using elastic and different colored beads.
- Cotton Threads. Children can make friendship bracelets/wristbands by using cotton threads.
- Music. Have music players playing songs about friendship for the children to listen to as they think.
Who is God asking you to be a true friend to?
- Prayer Stations: Encourage the kids to go back into the different stations (see above section) and to use them as prayer stations. Rather than focussing on creating a ‘good friend’ ask them to create as they pray, asking God to help them to be the best friends that they can be.
- Pass around the sad emoji face printables (color) (B&W) and ask the children to write or draw someone that they believe God wants them to be a true friend towards. Pray that God would help them.
- Prayers of Thanks: Take turns to offer thank you prayers for how God is the perfect friend.