AGE APPROPRIATE: ELEMENTARY AGE (7-11 yr olds)
BIG IDEA: JESUS RESTORES ME
AIM: This session is the final session in the 5 part series called ‘Wrecked 2 Restored’ based on Disney’s ‘Wreck it Ralph’ movie. The aim of the session is to help children see that Jesus is in the business of restoring us, even if others cannot see or understand.
1. ‘We Are Alive’ by Amber Sky Records
2. ‘My Redeemer Lives’ by Hillsong Kids
3. ‘God So Loved’ by Hillsong Kids
1. Jigsaw Dash. Have a jigsaw with all the pieces scattered on the floor. Contestants race to put the jigsaw together. You could do this as a relay and have players race to put the pieces together one at a time, swapping players each time a whistle is blown. The one with the first jigsaw to be brought back together is the winning team or player.
2. Build It Back. Have a picture of a house made of boxes up on a screen. Have enough materials to create two houses. Choose two contestants to race against one another around the room to find all the boxes that make the house and to build it back together. The quickest is the winner.
3. Giant Jenga Rebuild. Choose two teams to compete by trying to rebuild a giant jenga tower the fastest. To make it more fun you could have some of your leaders make it more difficult by throwing toilet rolls at the tower whilst they are building! The team that builds theirs the fastest is the winning team!
SET the Scene:
We set the scene with the passage that tells how Jesus restores Peter (John 21:15-17). You could watch this video by Liquid Kids to help communicate the story, or you create your own drama. Once you have watched the video remind the children that Jesus restored Peter by giving him back his position on his team.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1. OBJECT LESSON: JESUS RESTORES ME
In the last session we looked at how Jesus knew who he was and so we can know who we are too. Peter must have found it very difficult to know who he was, once he had denied knowing Jesus. He had always been one of Jesus’ most enthusiastic followers, but now he had messed up and had let Jesus down. Who was he now? Yet Jesus didn’t just leave Peter to feel like he had forgotten who he was. Jesus showed him who he was!
By asking Peter to tell Jesus that he loved him three times, it was like he was canceling out the three times he had denied him. He was restoring Peter by reminding him who he truly was! He wasn’t the guy that messed up, he was the man that would lead others to know Jesus – the man that would help to build his Church! Jesus wants to remind you of who you are too, that you are his child and that you are loved!
Then again, maybe you’re feeling like you know who you are and who Jesus says you are, but other people just don’t see it. In the Wreck it Ralph movie, when the world is saved and Ralph’s job is done…one more thing needs to happen. What is it?…thats right! Vanellope must cross the finish line!…check this out! (play Venellope Crosses the Finishing Line video). When Vanellope crossed the finish line everything was revealed! People finally saw Vanellope for who she was! Her identity was REVEALED as the Princess Racer she knew inside that she was!
That was the same for Peter. When Jesus restored him, he went around telling everyone about Jesus and many started to recognize again that he was Jesus’ friend! You know, that is really similar to you and me with our identity too! You see, we have discovered our identity as sons and daughters of God…BUT other people don’t see it or always recognize it! We are like Vanellope….we know who we are! We are convinced we are Children of God but its not always recognized by other people! They may just see us as children but God says we are his children! They may think we are weak and all alone but we know we are strong and have God within us!
The bible describes our lives as a race. It says that we are athletes desperately trying to make it to the finish line! The finish line is the end of our lives! It tells us that when we finish the race/our life…we will go to heaven and only then will we be recognized for who we are! Just because we haven’t been recognized for who we are before other people, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question who we are! Because we are children of God, whether our friends or even family believe we are.
Jesus has restored us. When we put our faith in him he not only repairs us, but gives us a new heart, we are a new creation. Just like Venellope, we have also been transformed. So, what will you do, now that you have been restored? To run the kind of race Paul in the bible was talking about, we will want to tell others about this amazing transformation that Jesus has done in us! We will want the world to know how they can be restored too!
So, just as Ralph ran after the medal, and Venellope raced in her car, let’s run to win our race for Jesus. Let’s live out our lives in a way that honors him. As Paul says, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24. And how do we win? By living for Jesus every single day, and never giving up!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Use the bible verses about running a race to help in your discussion below in small groups.
Small Groups DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Connection Question: If you could do any job, what would you do?
1. What does it mean when we say ‘run the race’ or ‘finish the race’?
2. What can we learn from Athletes when it comes to running races?
3. How can we help others to find their true identity?
SENSE How You Feel:
Imagine that you have been running the race with Jesus your whole life. You have finally crossed the finish line and you have come face to face with Christ.
How does it make you feel to see Jesus face to face?
Encourage the children to think about how they want to run their race with Jesus as they create one of these crafts:
1. Medals. Creating medals from card are pretty simple to do.
2. Sugar Medal Cookies. Just like Ralph, your children could make a sugar medal cookie too!
3. Trophies. Create a trophy out of card or from some plastic cups and card handles.
Come together to discuss how the children would feel winning their race.
For this prayer activity you will need a small box for each child.
Have the children write their name on a brick (a box) and place it with all the other bricks, layered on top of one another to form a wall. Once they have put their brick in the wall you can remind the children that God wants to fully restore them. This is a good opportunity to remind the children that if they haven’t asked Jesus into their lives, there is still time.