BIG IDEA: I Have to Decide to Live for God
AIM: The ‘I Need to Decide to Live For God’ Childrens Lesson is all about helping children to think about what it means to believe and follow Jesus every day.
1. ‘Real Love’ by Hillsong Young and Free
2. ‘Alive’ by Hillsong Young and Free
3. ‘This is Living’ by Hillsong Young and Free
5. ‘One, Two, Three’ by Yancy
6. ‘Jesus is Alive’ by LifeTree Kids
1. Pick a Brick. Use a jingo game (normal or giant size) to have kids pick a brick and try and build the jingo tower without knocking it down. To make it more exciting add points to each brick. Children should be asked a question about the 4 Points stories and object lessons before they can pick a brick. They then add up their points as they go along and see who can gain the most points.
2. Choose that Tune. (for 8-11s) Have song titles around the room. Play a song and have children go and run to the correct song title. Children are eliminated from the game if they choose the wrong tune. When it gets more difficult the player that runs to the correct tune is the winner of the game.
3. Cherry Picking. Have some cherries or cherry shaped or flavored candy in a bowl of custard, unrefrigerated jelly/jello or water. Children must get the candy out of the bowl either with their tongue or their feet (depending on the size of your bowl)
4. Giant Snap. Make some giant cards with 4 point symbols on the back in different colors. See who can find the matching cards. This could be a game between two players or split your groups into teams. They must choose the card together or nominate someone to choose. They could answer a question about the story before they are able to choose.
5. Egg and Spoon Race or Relay. Children race with an egg on their spoon to get to the finish line.
6. Easter Pictionary. Choose lots of Easter themed words and have kids try and draw them for their team. The winning team is the team that can guess the most Easter items in the time given. BIG VERSE: Romans 5:8.
SET the Scene:
Read John 20:24-29.
1. ‘The Resurrection‘ by ShareFaith
2. ‘The Resurrection of Jesus’ (does not show Thomas so this would need to be explained)
4. ‘Beginners Bible – Easter Story’ by Zondervan
2. ‘Jesus Appeared to the Disciples’ (for 8-11s)
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) THE FOURTH POINT = QUESTION MARK
Use the clip from Toy Story where Woody must decide whether to stay or leave.
Say: The fourth point on the 4 Points is I Have to Decide to Live for God. We each have to make the decision for ourselves if Jesus really is who he says he is and did what he says he did. We have to decide if we believe what the bible says about Jesus. We have to decide if we believe if he really did die and rise again. That’s what the question mark means. It means I have to decide to Live For God. [Review the 4 Points and ask the Children to tell you what they each mean. Then ask the children to explain the 4 points to a friend. Put the 4 Points on the screen so that they can remember each one.]
2) I CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE:
Believe it or Not? Children must choose whether they believe in something by running from one side of the room or the other. Shout out examples such as the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, Love at First Sight, Manchester United are the best team in the world.
Alternatively use this Skit: 3 characters: Detective, Unbelieving Friend and Thomas
Dress up as a detective for younger kids and act as a detective trying to detect if Jesus’ resurrection was real]
Detective: It has come to my attention that some say Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. I need to investigate this further. You see, many say that his body was stolen from the tomb.
Unbelieving Friend: That’s right! It was! Even the Romans said it was! They said it must have been the disciples that stole the body – they told everyone that’s what had happened!
Detective: Then where was Jesus’ body? And weren’t the disciples willing to die for Jesus? Some even did! I very much doubt they would be willing to die for a lie! Hmmm….
Unbelieving Friend: Well, how many friends did this Jesus have anyway? I bet there were hardly any that saw him after he ‘rose from the dead’! [laughs]
Detective: So many people saw Jesus after he died! He appeared to over 500 people! 500! It says so in 1 Corinthians 15:6.
Unbelieving Friend: Well, you know, they could have been seeing things! Maybe they ate something funny and it made them think they saw Jesus… but really they saw him in a dream!
Detective: 500 people seeing things? Hmm… I think that is difficult to believe! I have a witness here that says he did not believe… Thomas, did you say that you did not believe Jesus rose from the dead?
Thomas: That’s right! I didn’t believe! I mean, who would?
Detective: Well, Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead, you know!
Thomas: Oh yes… perhaps I should have believed at first…but there are so many false teachers around – it’s always good to make sure!
Detective: You say you saw Jesus heal many people, feed 5000 people with a few loaves and fishes, and you even saw him walk on water!
Thomas: Sure! He even called out my mate Peter to join him! Peter lost his footing and slipped but Jesus helped him up!
Detective: Hmmm… and you say you still didn’t believe this Jesus could rise from the dead.
Thomas: No, I said that I would have to put my fingers in his hands – his nail pierced hands to truly believe! I mean, all the other disciples said they had seen Jesus… but I wasn’t there. I wanted to believe, but I needed to see it for myself!
Detective: Hmmm, yes, yes, I see. So what did Jesus say?
Thomas: He appeared to me! He said that I had believed because I had seen, but blessed were those who would believe in him even if they hadn’t seen him…. detective, have you seen Jesus?
Detective: I’m afraid I haven’t.
Thomas: Well, what do you think?
Detective: Having gathered up all the information I must admit, I have to believe! I just can’t see how so many people could have seen Jesus. How his body could have disappeared without someone finding it. I cannot believe that the disciples would be willing to die for a lie. Jesus must have risen from the dead! It REALLY is true! I believe!
If you do not have enough people for the skit, you could have your kids play the parts or alternatively print the reasons for and against the resurrection on cards and have the children try to argue for each side. Who will win?
Say: We can choose to believe in Jesus. Thomas struggled to believe that Jesus rose again. It seemed impossible and strange. How could someone make themselves come back to life after they had died? Only God can do that! That’s because Jesus is both 100% God and man. He was able to live a completely human life but was also 100% God! WOW! Three days after his death he rose again! We can believe it because there is lots of evidence to suggest that it must be true.
3) I CAN LIVE FOR GOD
Jesus wants much more than for us just to believe – He wants us to choose to live for Him. You see, if we truly believe that He is the Son of God then we can’t keep that quiet, we can’t just go along with our daily lives ignoring all that Jesus is. We have to respond! Knowing that Jesus died and was rose again – he defeated death – means that he can do anything! That means he can help me with anything in my life and I can do anything with and for him! It means that life can be a crazy adventure of living and serving Jesus each and every day!
[show a picture of a rollercoaster]
Just as a rollercoaster goes up and down so our lives can feel a little bit scary like that sometimes – yet rollercoasters are much more fun when you have a friend sat next to you enjoying the ride with you! Jesus wants to be our friend. He wants us to walk through life with Him, yet He wants us to know that He is in control.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
To live for God you actually need to know who He is! So, who does the Bible say that He is? There are so many names for God!
I Can Heal
(we can pray and see people healed too)
I Can Perform Miracles
(we can pray and see the miraculous too!)
I am Spirit
(we can have God’s Spirit within us when we live for Jesus. Our spirits connect with the Holy Spirit.)
I am Truth
(John 8:32) (we can know and share the truth with others)
I am Life
(we can live life to the full)
I am Deliverer/Rescuer/Redeemer
(we can see others delivered, rescued, redeemed when we pray)
I am Peace
(we can know the peace of God and take it wherever we are)
I am Good News
(we can take the good News of the Gospel wherever we go and share it with our friends – using the 4 Points)
I am Hope
(we can bring hope to the hopeless)
I am the Good Shepherd
(We can follow the Good Shepherd and act as shepherds towards other people – taking care of them)
For more check out the 50 names of Jesus here.
1. Who is Jesus to you?
2. Do you believe that Jesus died and rose again? Why/why not?
3. What does it mean ‘to live for God’ a) in school b) at home c) with friends that don’t know Jesus d) when you’re watching YouTube e) when you’re surfing the net?
SENSE How You Feel:
How would it feel to see Jesus after he had died? Consider this question as yo do one of the following:
1. Resurrection Easter Egg Hunt. Hide some eggs around the room or around your building. Each egg should contain a part of the Easter story. See if the kids can tell the story with the eggs.
2. Create an empty tomb picture using a split pin for the tomb entrance – to roll the stone away.
3. In a small group encourage each child to create something different from the Easter story to tell the story together.
4. use one of these fantastic ideas from the 100 Easter Ideas Blog post