'If you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe in your heart that God has raised Christ from death, you will be saved.' Romans 10:9

Week 1.jpg

Week 1 objectives: to learn that this verse comes from the book of Romans and that ‘Romans’ was written to the Christians living in the city of Rome.

Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game about chariot racing - a popular activity in Roman times.

Briefly spend some time introducing the game. Explain that when Rome was a powerful empire, people didn't watch car racing as we might do today, they watched chariot racing. Hundreds of people cheered as chariots were raced round and round dusty tracks.

Explain that the game the children are about to play is similar to ‘duck, duck, goose’, but instead of being a duck or a goose the players will be chariot drivers racing each other around a track.

Encourage the children to sit on the floor in a circle. Ask for a volunteer. The volunteer should step out of the circle and the remaining children shuffle round to close the gap in the ring. The volunteer should then start to walk anticlockwise around the outside of the circle. As the volunteer makes their way around they should gently tap each child they pass on the shoulder and say, ‘red chariot’. The volunteer should then pick a child to race. When they reach the chosen child they should tap them on the shoulder and instead of saying ‘red chariot’ should call out ‘race!’ At this point the chosen child should stand up and race around the circle clockwise, back to their space on the floor. Meanwhile the volunteer should also run around the circle trying to beat the child they selected and sit in their space. The child left without a space becomes the next ‘volunteer’ and starts to walk around the circle saying ‘red chariot, red chariot...’ before selecting another child to race.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or whiteboard, marker pens, a Bible and ‘God's love and forgiveness’ word graphic (see Printables).

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard.

Underline the reference. Explain that this verse comes from the book of Romans in the New Testament part of the Bible. Find the book of Romans in a Bible or ask a child to find it. Explain that ‘Romans’ is a letter. It was written by the Apostle Paul to the Christians living in the city of Rome. Paul wrote the letter around AD 56 (about 25 years after Jesus went back up to Heaven).

Remind the children that the game they played was about chariot racing - a popular Roman sport. At the time Paul wrote his letter to the Roman Christians, Rome was the most important city in the Roman Empire and one of the most important cities in the world. For hundreds of years the Roman Empire stretched for miles and miles and miles.

Paul wrote many letters, thirteen of which are in the Bible (Romans to Philemon). ‘Romans’ is the longest letter and many people say it is the greatest letter Paul wrote.

Paul wrote the letter to the Romans while he was in the city of Corinth; he hoped that he would soon go to Rome to meet the Christians he was writing to. People all around the world were talking about the way the Christians in the city trusted God. In his letter Paul tells the readers about himself first and then carefully explains about the good news of being a Christian. Write ‘Christian’ next to the verse.

Read the verse aloud and explain that over the next few weeks we will learn more about ‘becoming a Christian’, or what it means to be a Christian, as we find out more about this verse. Point to the word ‘Christian’.

If you have time ask the children what they already know about becoming a Christian, or ask them ‘What makes somebody a Christian?’ Listen to the children’s answers and respond positively.

The children may offer answers to do with behaviour such as going to church. Explain that these are good things that many Christians do but they do not make someone a Christian.

Show the children the ‘God’s love and forgiveness’ word graphic. Explain that people do not become Christians by being good or by going to church, but only by saying ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness.

However people that have said ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness believe it is right for them to live God's way; they believe it is right to love God and love others. Christians believe that each day the Holy Spirit helps millions of people around the world learn and grow to live God’s way; the way he created them to live.

With older children you might like to spend some time talking about the following statements: a person does not obey God’s rules to become a Christian; a person obeys God's rules because he or she is a Christian. People do not live God's way to become Christians; they live God's way because they are Christians.

Song - 2 mins
To the tune of 'The animals went in two by two'.

If you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, he's Lord! he's Lord!
If you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, he's Lord! he's Lord!
If you believe in your heart that God has raised,
Christ from death you will be saved.
Romans 10:9, Romans 10 verse 9.

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