BIG IDEA: I CAN LIFT MY SHIELD OF FAITH
AIM: The aim of the ‘Shield of Faith’ Childrens Lesson on Acts 3 is to help children feel empowered to use their faith to believe in all that God is and all He has called them to be and do. This session is part of the ‘Armor of God’ teaching series.
- ‘Armor of God’ by Troy and Genie Nilsson
- ‘Armor of God’ by Bear Hug Band
- ‘Full Armor of God’ by KidSpring Music
- ‘Armor of God’ Kickstart Worship
- ‘I Am a Christian’ by Ken Blount
- ‘Soldier in the Army of the Lord’ by Go Fish Guys
1. Trash Can Wars. Each player (2) has a bin lid in one hand and a pool noodle in the other. Players must try and hit the other players chest with the pool noodle. The first player to 3 hits is the winner. Alternatively use one bin lid and have the other player timed to see how long it takes them to hit the chest 3 times. Do it the other way around – the quickest time is the winner.
2. Make a Shield: Players must compete to make the best shield using only cardboard and tape in one minute.
3. Beat the Leader: Cotton bud wars. Players must stand on their side of a line drawn in the middle. They use a straw and put a cotton bud in the end. They must aim against the opposition and see how many they can get over the line. Once they land they cannot be removed. If a player hits the opposition they get 2 points. Make sure leaders are watching (also works as a fun team game)
BIG VERSE: Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16.
SET the Scene:
You will need to read the story of how Peter heals the begging man in Acts 3. You can use this video to show how Peter heals the beggar and where he and John famously say “silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you…”
- A fun video made with eggs: Peter & John
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) WHAT IS A SHIELD FOR?
You will need to have or make some kind of shield. The word ‘FAITH’ should be written on it. You will also want to google and use pictures of Roman shields to print off and hand out or to project onto your screen.
Say: Now when you think of a shield, I wonder how big you think it is? The Romans had a HUGE door-like shield almost the size of them that kind of curved around them. It looked like that (point to picture). They were made of wood and covered on the outside with thick leather. The shield was so strong it even protected against the fire-tipped darts of their enemy.
Now you see the Roman Soldiers could see their big shield and they could see the arrows coming towards them when they were under attack, but with us it’s different. We can’t see our shield or our enemy so the Bible tells us to take up the shield of FAITH to protect us against the fiery darts of our enemy; Satan. So faith is our HUGE shield. We can’t see faith or God or our enemy but Faith is trusting and believing in something or someone, even if we can’t see it or them. The Bible says Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. This is what I mean. (illustration of a team member blind folded and is directed to sit on a chair by the Leader) Ok I want you to close you eyes and do what I say….(direct around room until at chair…) now sit down! The chair is there honestly.
You see the leader had to listen to me and trust me and believe that there was a chair there to sit on even though they couldn’t see it. That’s what it’s like with God. So we have faith in God even though we cannot see Him, we can be sure He is there because of what He does for us. We have to trust and have faith that God is with us wherever we are and wants to protect us against His enemy. So…Hold up the Shield of FAITH.
Peter had faith that Jesus was with him – even though he knew Jesus had died and rose again. He had to have faith that Jesus could and would heal the beggar when he laid hands on him. Peter was SURE that Jesus could heal him. He didn’t have doubt but KNEW that Jesus would do what he said he would do.
2) YOU MUST LIFT YOUR SHIELD
If you prefer to show a video you could show ‘The Incredibles’ clip where the daughter, Violet, has to learn how to use her forcefield. This forcefield acts as a shield. All she has to learn to do is raise it against her enemy. However, you will want to point out that although we can pray and have faith to protect others, ultimately we each need our own faith in Jesus if we want to be saved.
Alternatively you can use the skit below. You will need two people to play the different characters.
Say: The Bible says we need our Shield of Faith to help us against the firey arrows of our enemy but if we can’t see our enemy and his firery arrows are invisible, how do we know when he is attacking us? Well…let me show you…
Rachel: I’ll be glad to get home today. I’ve had such a hard day at school! I really tried to talk to my friends about Jesus but they just laughed and then those horrible people started calling me names again. But God says I need to keep going…
Satan: WHAT?? No you don’t. just don’t bother, they’ll find out for themselves. You’re rubbish at talking in front of people anyway, so what’s the point? But what you do need to do is go into school tomorrow and call them names and tell them what you think of them…then if that doesn’t work…well just give em a punch in the mouth…you know you want to…
Rachel: eerrmmm…well… (thinks) NO!! Shield of Faith….huhhhh… God says I must love people like He does…and they DO need to hear about Jesus from me…and I can talk to them! (hold up your shield and point it at the devil who has to run off!) Rachel 1, Satan 0!! (walk off smiling!)
The next day…
(walk back on)
Rachel: [name of your kids group] was great today! They said that God really loves me and listens to ME! I can’t wait to get home and read my Bible and talk to Him about my problem.
Satan: Ha! Did they really say that God loves you though? I mean really, God love YOU?! You’re not important, why would God want to listen to you? He doesn’t want to hear about your problems! He might help other people but not you! I mean look at you, you’re just a child! There’s no point in praying… or reading your Bible.
Rachel: (gets sad as devil speaks but thinks) YES there is!! Shield of Faith….huhhhh God will always listen and help me, and need to read my Bible! (hold up your shield and point it at the devil who has to run off!) Rachel 2, Satan 0!! You see when Satan attacks his attacks come in the form of insults, lies, temptations, Satan puts us down, makes us doubt, makes us feel defeated or discouraged…. But we need to remember and believe God’s truth and have FAITH in Him. We need to trust the words He says over everything else! Use your shield of faith to protect you!
Say: We need to lift up our shield of faith! When Roman soldiers would lift up their shields their sheild’s would cover their whole body! Our faith can cover us and protect us from the enemy… not because of the power within us, but because of who we put our faith in – Jesus! Jesus has all power and when we put our faith in Him He can save us from any attack. So don’t lay down your faith, but raise it. Start telling Jesus that you trust Him. Keep coming to church and/or kids ministry. Keep reading your bible and praying!
Peter and John knew how important it was to keep their faith levels high. They knew that the best thing they had to offer anyone was not themselves or even the money that they had. It was Jesus! They knew exactly who Jesus was and the kind of power he has! Peter and John had spent time with Jesus. They knew that Jesus had changed their lives and he could change other people’s lives too.
The bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). When we spend time in prayer, worship and reading the bible we are spending time with Jesus. When we hear the stories of the bible or bible verses it helps to lift our faith. We remember who God is and what He has done. We are reminded of how good He is and how great He is too! That means that when Satan comes to attack us we can defeat him by remembering God’s Word. We can beat him by lifting up our faith and declaring the truth found in the bible! So lift up your shield of faith!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Pass on Your Faith. Write the bible references on an inflatable beach ball. You could write them on paper first and then tape the paper to the ball if you prefer. Children sit in a circle and throw the ball around to one another.Place a bible in the middle of the circle. If someone does not catch the ball they must find one of the bible verses in under 60 seconds. Explain to them that sometimes things go wrong in life and we need to remember God’s Word so that our faith is lifted and we don’t get discouraged. The better we are at using our bible and remembering the words of God, the easier we should find it to encourage ourselves in tough times.
Bible Verses about Faith:
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:22-24.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.
- What does ‘faith’ mean?
- How can you lift your faith?
- How does the bible help your faith in Jesus?
- How does praying help your faith in Jesus?
- Has worship helped to lift your faith in Jesus?
- Is there anything else that helps to grow your faith in Jesus?
- Is there anything we can do to pass on our faith to others and to help them believe in Jesus?
SENSE How You Feel:
- Create your own Shield of Faith using a paper plate or cardboard and aluminium foil.
- Use one of our Shield of Faith Printables to color or decorate.
- Put some bibles in a corner with pillows and rugs and make space for your kids to read up and lift up their faith.
- Using one of the bible verses on faith above encourage your kids to make a sign or poster that they can put in their room to help raise their faith when they are struggling.
Finish the session by having some time to seek God. Ask the children to do one of the activities below:
- Are there any children that have not put their faith in Jesus? Ask the children if they would like to put their faith in Jesus today. This means to trust Him and accept Him as God; Lord and Savior in your life. Explain that this means you believe that you have done wrong things and Jesus has the power to forgive you and set you free. He is the one that can make a way for you to know God and go to Heaven. Why? Because He is God and He lived a perfect life but took a punishment that we deserved. Use bible verses to support what you are saying. You will find a good poster to give the child here.
- Write names or draw pictures on a paper plate as you think about what or who God is asking you to have faith for.