‘We have seen with our own eyes and now tell all the world that God sent his Son to be their Saviour.’ 1 John 4:14

Week 1.jpg

Week 1 objectives: to learn that this verse comes from the book of 1 John and to find out who John was.

Game - 7 mins
Aims: to play a game with twelve cups, three of which are special.
You will need: three paper stars (see Printables), sticky-tac, permanent marker pen, two dice and twelve paper or plastic cups (make sure the plastic cups are not see-through).

Before the session turn the cups upside down. Use the marker pen to write the numbers one to twelve on the sides of the cups, one number on each cup. Stick a paper star to the inside of three of the cups.

During the session, line up the cups on a table or on the floor. Give both dice to one volunteer. Ask the volunteer to throw the dice then count the total number of dots. The volunteer needs to collect the cup with the corresponding number and place it next to them. The second player should then throw the dice and collect their corresponding cup. If the cup with that number has already been taken the player does not collect a cup and play passes to the next child. Keep playing until all the cups, except ‘number one’, have been taken. At this point take one of the dice away and encourage the children to keep playing with one dice until someone throws a ‘one’ and collects the final cup. The child with the most cups is the winner. Encourage those with stars in their cups to place them where they can be seen by everyone.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, names of the disciples (see Printables) and a Bible. Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper.

Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about telling others what being a Christian means to us. Underline the reference. Explain that this verse comes from the book of ‘1 John’ in the New Testament part of the Bible. Find ‘1 John’ in a Bible or ask one of the older children to find it. Explain that ‘1 John’ is a letter to a group of Christians.

Ask the children how many cups there were in the game. Can they think where in the Bible they might hear about the number twelve? Talk about the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve baskets left over after the feeding of the five thousand and the twelve disciples. Tell the children that people who study the Bible think that John, who wrote 1 John, was one of Jesus’ disciples. Can the children name any of the other disciples? Show the ‘names of the disciples’ names.

Ask the children how many cups had stars in them. Explain that although there were twelve disciples three of them spent more time with Jesus than the others did.

Sometimes Jesus would choose just these three disciples to go somewhere with him. Ask the children to remove the stars from inside the cups (if they haven’t done so already) and read aloud the names. These are the names of the three disciples who spent more time with Jesus than the others did.

Underline the word ‘John’ in the reference; John was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus.

Quickly tell the children a little bit more about John. Explain that John found it amazing that God loved him so much. In his writings John talks about how much God loves everybody and how important it is that Christians love each other. Draw some hearts next to the verse as you are talking.

Song - 2 mins
To the tune of ‘On top of Spaghetti’(‘On top of Old Smokey)

We’ve seen with our own eyes
And now tell the world,
To be-ee their Saviour,
God sent his Son.
You’ll read in John’s letter,
One John four, fourteen,
To be-ee their Saviour,
God sent his Son.

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